Posts tagged ‘change’

Change

by: Rebecca Taylor

Change can be happy, or it can be sad

Sometimes it comes with gladness or madness

But there’s no point in pouting

And no reason for shouting

It is best just to take it as it comes

Some changes we can fight against

But many once come must just be accepted

The sooner we accept it

The easier it is to move along

Where we must continue to seek the good.

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Dream Weaver

By: Rebecca Taylor in 2008

Previously published by Ageless-Sages, and in Memories Everlasting (compiliaton of stories for a fundraiser for The Wales Home Foundation).

Nestled away in a drawer is my graduation hat. Occasionally, I take it out and look at it. Some probably call it clutter. I call it a memento. Looking at it makes me smile because I remember the hard work that made high school graduation possible and the grand moment when I walked across the stage and received my diploma. Next, I went to college and emerged two years later with my diploma in office administration.

Now, I am secretary-receptionist at a senior’s home where I have the opportunity to meet and help amazing seniors every day. I am proud of my accomplishments but more importantly, I am proud of the undertakings, which I see them make. Change is hard to accept, but when the transformations that occur alter the way your life has been lived, you have to have an astonishing sense of strength to overcome those challenges. Age has caused some of these seniors to lose mobility, eyesight, hearing and sometimes their minds are not as sharp as they desire. The ability to write their names as they once did often changes, they see the change in what was on the papers in front of them but I see perfection, because no matter what life brings them, these seniors push their boundaries, overcoming their obstacles making me proud of them. I believe that as long as any of us does our best we have achieved. Some people fear aging, I don’t. I know at twenty-one, I am starting my life but if I adopt the practices of these seniors and live a happy, determined lifestyle anything is possible. Life must be taken in strides.

You never know what will touch your life. Some of the smallest things can touch lives in the biggest ways. My favourite phrases are “thank you” and “have a great evening.” They may seem insignificant, but they’re not. They mean that someone cares, that you are important. We are all tiny ripples in the ocean of the world, each responsible for changing it. By touching a life, you make a difference. I pray that some day the world will be filled with smiling people, hands reaching out to help each other, and violence will be outdated. I believe positive thinking can help achieve anything; a smile is one’s greatest asset and wanting something enough will make it happen.

The most important thing in life is being happy. If you are unhappy stop, step back, and reflect. You need to weave dreams; they achieve goals. Dreams are motivation. Give back to the world, and it will give back to you. Our lives can be touched in the smallest of ways; a kind word, the touch of a hand and a smile can give people the utmost happiness they experience .Never quit. All lives need to be put in perspective. Sometimes it takes a news story but it could be a memento like my graduation cap, which reminds me of how fortunate I am to be surrounded by people that care both at home, at work, and in the community.

 

 

Making Change

by: Rebecca Taylor

In a dark place is your heart

And it’s taking your common sense with it

I want to say the right things

But am confused as to what they are

I’m afraid you won’t listen anyways

Do I bother to give you the words I think you need to hear

Maybe you won’t want to listen

Perhaps you’ll walk away from me

This rejection is a chance I sometimes have to take

Sometimes we have to break silence

To make change.

The Pastures and the Fields

By Christian Sopkowiak

Using the prompt for this week: “Our writing prompt for this week is to write a story using the following five words: bottle, balcony, strawberry, conversation, values.”

Inspired by the biblical story of Cain and Abel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

His mind drifted away from the fields, the stalks, and the sun. He thought of his brother standing in the pasture, the pepper-grey sheep surrounding him. His brother would always herd those sheep. They would always listen to his brother but the one time Carl tried it, the sheep scattered. He thought of the balcony on which he stood, a wooden thing high above the ground. He had his arms on the rails and his eyes on his fields. He thought of his brother once again, this time Abe was standing with him on this balcony, with a bottle in his left hand. It was always his left; he said it helped the alcohol flow down his throat when he drank with his left.

Carl and Abe were brothers by blood but not in truth. For when the two brothers ventured to visit their grandfather’s, Grandpa Gabe never once asked Carl about his fields. Only Abe’s sheep piqued his interest. The conversation droned on with the talk of the sharp, soft wool and tender meat. Carl left that day, knowing he seemed lost to his only other family besides his brother. The balcony began to creak a bit as Carl again tried to spot a flaw in his fields. He had corn, beanstalks, potatoes, apples, and so much more. Yet, Gabe chose Abe’s sheep. Carl saw his brother before him, a smaller man with dark hair and a clean face. There was never any hardness there. He had tried his best to forget that.

The day after their visit with Gabe, Carl approached his brother. He blamed Abe for Gabe’s neglect. Gabe had told Carl that if he kept trying, he may be able to change. But Carl knew Gabe was trying to soften the hurt. The brothers screamed at each other, neither stopping to hear the other. Carl and Abe fought about food, family, culture, values, and finally, life. Carl had brought a knife, no longer than his index finger. It was curved and smeared in oil and dirt. He had used it in his fields. That day, he used it to kill his brother. During their talk, Abe turned to look at his pasture and heavily sighed. Carl drove the blade through him. It went through his heart in one swift motion and Abe began bleeding. The blood reminded Carl of a strawberry: foolishly crimson but eloquently beautiful. So much, like the sun.

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When I was in High School

It’s funny how high school drama sticks with a person. I graduated high school four years to the day, and yet I can still picture the look on his face when he told me he loved me, and then the look on his face a few weeks later when he said he didn’t. That was junior year.

I suppose we all made mistakes that year – Tina totaled her dad’s car, I slept through a shift of work, and Louise accidentally blabbed about her crush to the whole school. But he – Jeremy – made a the biggest mistake of all. I couldn’t handle all of his lies. “I love you,” he said. He was never an honest guy, but I was blind to a lot of things when I was a junior in high school.

All of these things floated around in the back of my mind everyday. In between my classes and studying and long night shifts, a painful memory or two would invade my day.

But today, I’ve decided, I won’t let it stick with me. I refuse to let this perfectly joyous day be ruined by an fiendish man. And so I strode right up to the grocery story, intent on having a peaceful time of errand running. I grabbed my toothpaste and other odds and ends with a bounce in my step. No painful memories for this girl. Once in line at the check-out, I heard something familiar. The customer in front of me chuckled at something the cashier said. I knew that chuckle.

The customer turned around. I knew that face.

He blinked in shock, and I blinked back. “Hi,” he said.

How could I respond to that in a way that’s not lame?

“How’ve you been, Mia?”

“Fine,” I said whimsically. I had nothing else to say, and I laid my items down on the conveyor belt, hoping that he would leave me be.

“You know, it’s been so long since we talked. I’ve been thinking for a while about writing you a letter.”

“That’s really interesting,” I said. “I’ve never thought of doing the same.” I inwardly cringed. What happened to being cool and collected?

“In that letter I would have apologized.”

Now I looked up.

He grinned, as if something was truly joyful, and I knew he was kidding about the apology part. “I’m sorry that you didn’t understand relationships back then,” he said. “Hope you’re a better person now.” He flashed  me a grin, took his plastic bag, and turned on his heel.

When I a junior in high school, I would have sulked like a dog with it’s tail between his legs, reeling from Jeremy’s tumultuous wake. But now I shrugged.

Like I said, it’s funny how high school drama sticks with you. It’s also funny how people change, or in some cases, how little they change.

Challenging Ourselves as Writers

by: Rebecca Taylor

One thing that I think helps keep our creativity alive is to challenge ourselves as writers. It is easy to fall into writing a form – always about the same subjects, emotions or character types. If we challenge ourselves, we have to leave our comfort zones. This can be frightening especially if we are sending out this work after completing it. We don’t know how a potential publisher might react but let’s be honest with ourselves – do we ever know how our work will be received? The answer is no but we’re writers and we are a determined bunch. We keep on going, no matter how many rejections one piece may be met with. Sometimes, our rejections come with suggestions for improvement but most of the time editors only have time for a form letter.

 

How can we challenge ourselves? There are lots of ways. Here are some of my suggestions:

 

1)      Answer a writing call – sites like Places for Writers (www.placesforwriters.com) always have lots of publications looking for work. Read the guidelines for one and write a piece that you think would be fitting for them. It could be a publisher looking for a genre that you’ve never written before like fantasy or romance. You have nothing to lose by trying to write something different. The worst thing that will happen is that you don’t like the piece and decide not to send it in. This isn’t wasted time. It is a challenge and even if you don’t submit it, you might get some idea out of it that you can use in the future.

 

2)      Try writing in a different format. Do you always write short stories that are fiction? Try writing a non-fiction piece, an article or even a poem. You could try turning a poem into a short story or vice versa. If you write a lot of poetry, do you always use the same form? I like to change formats. I especially like the way an acrostic poem can challenge me because I have certain letters that my words must start with.

 

3)      Take one of your characters and put him or her in a different situation. She might be a recluse who finds herself in the middle of a bustling city or a forward thinker who ends up in a town from the past. How does this affect her thoughts, her actions and the outcome of the story? By changing our characters plans, we challenge ourselves.

 

4)      Follow a writing prompt. Many sites have them including this one that has a prompt generator (http://www.jc-schools.net/write/create.htm). Being given a sentence or a few words will make you think many what ifs and this will get your mind whirling.

 

Happy writing. I hope you enjoy challenging yourself.

 

 

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