The Mountain.

Standard

(Flash fiction from June 2014)

Song Bird Songs

mountain

Looking upward he adjusted the loaded backpack. The mountain rose majestic  before him its pristine slopes green in the early sun. Tilting his cap he set off.

By mid-day slopes and dappled woodlands lay behind, the path ahead was steeper, rockier. The occasional hikers had vanished along with his mobile signal.  A strange isolation seized him, fear nibbled. Was this wise? Should he wait, join a climbing party?

No, this was what he had wanted, alone, above the confusion. Rebelliously he consumed a sandwich and trudged on. He became increasingly conscious of his surroundings. The rocks were not barren, tiny plants grew. He was not alone for birds carolled in passing and rodents rustled from his path. This was their world always, but today he would partake.

Joyous ripples announced a stream, leaping towards the waiting valley, cool and sweet. He emptied his bottle replacing stale water. He felt a…

View original post 251 more words

Dumb Bunny Blogging!

Standard

(Well I was born in the year of the rabbit). 

rabbit
After several months I still seem to be just finding out what works for me (due in part to a total lack of IT training). My question was:

How do I use blogging as an outlet for my creative skills without it taking over my life or dictating my posts? What’s the balance?

It’s always been this way in my life, I know what’s expected, how things work within “the systems” but I refuse to compromise my moral frame of reference to comply. I know if I added some creepy supernatural stuff to my fantasy writing I could probably find a publisher (as daughter a “gifted” psychic it wouldn’t be so hard to ace that) but that’s not what I want to promote.
Blogging is the same, I’ve read a lot of “how to’s” from the famed “Opinionated Man” and other sites (I enjoy his stuff!) but some how the idea of blindly pressing a follow button for 500 new people every day just doesn’t jell for me (no prob. with those that do, it’s just not me). One bit of advice he gave I do try to stick to though is to write what you want rather than try to think what your “audience” might read.
I found it hard to do this though as those nasty little thoughts would keep on re- occurring – how many likes will this get etc.? I also find it hard to evade the “guilt trip” when someone leaves tons of likes on my blog and I’m not able to reciprocate (I never press like unless I mean it!)

I also had a mental picture of my blog in black leather stance; whip in hand should I fail to keep up my daily postings. The consensus being that you need to blog daily for the first 6 months to get established.

girl with whip

So anyway what was my dumb bunny break through?

For the last week I’ve disciplined myself to first spend an hour a day on my reader and when the hour is up stop. Only after that do I write/post my daily post. I don’t suppose this will work for everyone (I am retired except for grandson after school duty) but it really works for me. I get so inspired reading all those great posts out there that ideas just flood in and if that nasty little voice comes in saying, “your just trying to promote your own stuff!” he doesn’t have a leg to stand on (I hate marketing and promotions with a perfect hatred).
A side benefit of all this is even if I don’t get to read all the stuff on my reader what I do read I go slow enough to digest and enjoy. My blog “rat race” is over!

(I’ve also decided to do away with my “certain things on certain days” idea as it tends to be too limiting.)

Things I’d have Missed.

Standard

rainchild

I sat down at my laptop  this morning planning my day in usual manner (I’m an organisational type) when a whimsical urge led me to turn my schedule upside down, postpone breakfast, and start my day with an early morning walk to my allotment to get the lettuce I needed. It was raining – sensible to go later – but the child in me rebelled.

Setting off in mild drizzle armed with my China umbrella I further rebelled noticing a footpath sign I’d not seen before…

Not only did I get the lettuce, spinage and beetroot as planned but I…

1) Foraged the first wild blackberries along the way.

2) Discovered a beautiful, wooded, short cut to the allotment and supermarket by-passing the busy road so I could hear my music tapes.

3) Explored a cycle track and read its fascinating history (the remnant of a Victorian railway line).

4) Saw a fight between a swan and a goose (short lived on the goose’s part).

5) Smelt a lavender bush in the fresh morning rain.

6) Greeted another early riser, an old man also braving the rain along the walkway.

7) Found a pathway leading from my allotment to the canal loch (with hundreds of undiscovered blackberries.)

8) Treated myself to some fresh cream and rocket to bring out the best in my foraging stuff.

9) Saw what looked like the remains on an old English garden with lupins and hollyhocks etc. growing wild in the woods.

10) Saw Morris dancers (in full costume) practicing in a shed.

But beyond all these there was something more important. I reveled in freedom. I had not realised I was shackled by my routines, hampered by my organising. Seeking to be efficient I was forgetting to enjoy the moments. Something of the child came out to play and we had fun together!

 

Battles With Shyness.

Standard

shyness

I’ve always been shy. As a child I hid behind my mother’s skirts, turned every shade of red when spoken to (still do sometimes.) I’ve heard the term “painfully shy” – that says it all. It was certainly painful at school with its loud mouthed bullies.

At adolescence I learnt to overcome it, learnt not to care what people thought, defiantly going the opposite direction with my outlandish clothes and escapades. I decided “to hell with trying to be like my peers, I’d let lose my creative side and claim supremacy!” (There was of course a great degree of arrogance in this!)

Abandoning the perceived restrictions of my environment I learnt to aim high, miraculously gaining a fine arts degree in a low class neighborhood where kids seldom attained the modest GCSE level. I discovered strangely that my shyness didn’t extend to public speaking (I could act any role). Even in my private life I learnt to overcome my timidity though as Wolverine said, “it hurts like hell every time!”

Now in my later years when, pride diminished, I look back and ponder, I make a realization. What fueled my vision, my creativity, wasn’t it those very times alone taking in the wonders of creation, seeing things the others missed?

Hanging back from the confident, outgoing crowd I had time to look around, time to ponder, to notice those other paths leading off the highway to exciting unknown destinations. Looking back I am thankful for my “cross”, without it I would have missed so much. As “the crowd” descended to office, shop or factory I found a door to wonders beyond my dreams. The answer was not to become a member of the bustling throng but to appreciate my unique value just as I am. May we all enjoy being just who we are!

 

The Mountain.

Standard

mountain

Looking upward he adjusted the loaded backpack. The mountain rose majestic  before him its pristine slopes green in the early sun. Tilting his cap he set off.

By mid-day slopes and dappled woodlands lay behind, the path ahead was steeper, rockier. The occasional hikers had vanished along with his mobile signal.  A strange isolation seized him, fear nibbled. Was this wise? Should he wait, join a climbing party?

No, this was what he had wanted, alone, above the confusion. Rebelliously he consumed a sandwich and trudged on. He became increasingly conscious of his surroundings. The rocks were not barren, tiny plants grew. He was not alone for birds carolled in passing and rodents rustled from his path. This was their world always, but today he would partake.

Joyous ripples announced a stream, leaping towards the waiting valley, cool and sweet. He emptied his bottle replacing stale water. He felt a new spring in his step. On he walked, enclosing clouds bathing him in refreshing dew, longing to see the veiled view beneath. On till aching calves enforced rest, silence, eyes feasting in fog drenched vision.

Would he have the strength to get down? Soon he’d have no choice but sleep here, alone in the darkness. He rejected the voice not wanting to concede defeat.  He must gain the summit. Stubbornly he rose and lumbered onward, his mind relaying pictures – his body found, relatives weeping at the funeral. He pushed them all away striking up a song to bolster his confidence. He had no voice, but here it didn’t matter, there was no one to hear. He belted out words revelling in freedom, the stones echoing in strange harmony.

He was close now. Light had almost departed but that must be it, the summit. Something gleamed – traces of snow! How strange to sit there in a T shirt, his body heated by exertion. It wouldn’t last that’s why he’d brought the sleeping bag. He rolled it out and exhausted lay down. It was not black, stars glimmered and the moon shone serenely as he slumbered.

He awoke to sunshine and aching muscles. Dazed he gazed in astonishment at visons he’d missed behind veiling clouds. Vistas opened, perspectives changed in a moment. Life resumed its proper perception.  He knew he must return but as he ate the final sandwiches he knew nothing would be the same. The mountain had changed him.