Archive for the ‘Just for fun’ Category

Frozen Flowers

A man sat in the middle of a forest, in the middle of a garden, in the middle of a bench. Or was it a man? Perhaps it was a boy. He looked very like a lost little boy sitting in the midst of frozen flowers. Funny thing about the first, unexpected frost. If one looks out the window very early the morning of the first frost, he sees all the last flowers, glazed over. One moment they were alive, happy, blooming—one cold wind, and they are encased in a sheet of glassy ice. You can see the beauty and happiness they once were, yet, with the encasing around them, you can no longer touch that beauty—and you know it is only a short matter of time before they die. It is this way with hearts too; most people do not discover that, however, until it is too late. This man, like so many before him, learned this the hard way. He had taken for granted a heart that belonged to him. And now it was too late. She had her heart encased in an ice he couldn’t safely melt, and he was left in a lonely place that was once filled with warmth and love.


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Seller of Dreams

So, one of my dreams has always been to write a story that fulfilled the very murky outlines of Emily of New Moon’s Seller of Dreams. Once, many years ago, I wrote a poem based upon the story I wanted to write. There is no question it needs revising, but I ran into it today, so here it is.

Seller of Dreams

Upon this shore there sits one waiting,
waiting for what may never come,
for upon this shore there is a story;
a legend of a man now long gone.

There was once a seller,
A seller of dreams for you.
He sold them on this beach,
back and forth he put his shoe.

“A dream of love, a dream of peace,”
“A dream for me, A dream for you,
He chanted on and on.
“A dream with the past woven through.”

“Who has time for dreams?”
The townsfolk asked
“Dreams only disappear.”
They turned away and laughed

So instead he talked to children,
And in exchange for a listening ear,
He gave them dreams and tales,
told of futures they might hope or fear.

And love filled their young hearts.
As ambitions filled their lives.
A dream of joy would make them glad
A dream of sorrow pierce like knives

But it all shaped them well,
And fulfillers of dreams they grew to be,
living out their lives,
Proving themselves faithfully.

“A dream of despair, a dream of hope,
A dream of romance, A dream of peace,
The key to a broken heart,
Yes, I am a seller of these.”

And the seller of dreams,
though he couldn’t stay,
His shoe left a lasting mark,
As his tales live on even today.

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An Ocean Touch

So, I felt this super super overwhelming urge to write. I haven’t written in ever so long! But, as other writers, I am sure, can sympathize with, I stared at the blank document in front of me without a thing to put down. So, finally, I put on music from Tim Janis, one of my  new favorite piano artists, and, without looking at the screen, began typing what the music brought to my mind. This is what I typed. I have no doubt it is disjointed, makes little or no sense, and it badly written, especially since I have not even read over it yet, but I am posting it, nonetheless, simply because I want to.

Across a plain filled with wild roses, white, red, sweetly scented – waving in the wind that inevitably blows across the plains trickled a creek. Following the creek, one reaches a river, a river that tumbles it’s way over rocks, through mountains, and into a green forest. Wildlife teams through the forest, living, breathing, loving life just as it is. A dear runs alongside the river, veering from its side as the water gathers together in a rush to cascade down a mountain in  a rushing waterfall. Calmer now, the river continues on its journey, until it reaches the open air, having made its way through the plains, the mountains, the forest, it streams out into an ocean. For now a softly rippling body of water, sunshine glints off of the salty water as dolphins leap through it, whales swim deep below the surface, and just as much life teams underwater as in the forest. Everywhere, everyplace, a love for life swelled the body of nature, bringing into climax the beauty and meaning of life as we know it. As the ocean swept along, it passed many manners of life. A city, also filled with a love for life, as people rushed to work, to parties, back home for a kiss and a meal. It passed ships filled with materials for land, or people who wanted to see what life on the ocean was like. It passed small villages, where another method of life took place entirely, people lived off nature, in dirt, in huts, but still loved life as entirely as the crowds in the city. It passed those forests filled with animals, it passed the plains yet to be seen by human eyes, the deserts untouched by fresh water, past sandy shores, with hundreds of people running through its tips, and others lying under the sun. Past sandy shorts where no one sat, past rocks and cliffs that only the eagle landed on. Alongside this love for life, however, the water passed souls who were no longer hungry for life, souls who didn’t notice the water, the sun, who didn’t care about or have friends, family. Lonely people, traversing the beach, sitting in a small apartment looking out over the ocean. Hermits, in huts far away from other people, men and women, lost in the woods, couples with hearts being broken sitting on the lonely beaches. All these, too, it kept company. For some, the water was their only solace, the only thing that talked to them, night or day, for others a reason to stay alive, to keep going, for some, just a body of water to sit next to while trying to heal.  Among all these hearts, all these souls, all these people, all those longing for love, and all those who had it, however, the drops of the ocean, that had started way back in plains filled with wildflowers, came to rest at and touch the feet of a young woman, standing on a lonely beach, under the moonlight.  She looked down as it touched her bare toes, and a small smile passed over the thin, pale, tired face. Her skirt was tucked up out of the way of the water, her shirt loosened to blow in the breeze. Her hair pulled back in a hair band, wisps of hair escaping to caress her cheek. Turning, she walked along the beach alone, letting the water follow her, ignoring the bites of broken seashells, until she reached a rock, one of many on that part of the beach. Seating herself, she let her feet down into the water, loosening her hair, lifting her face, and closing her eyes to lose herself in the quiet of the night. This was the one time of day she looked forward to – when everyone else slept, everyone but the water – the water that was always there to keep her company. This was one moment she could use the water to try to erase the hurt she felt tugging inside her all day long, to try and heal just a portion of the brokenness she felt inside.  She sat silently, eventually opening her eyes to stare across, and then down into the water lapping gently at the rock. Deep sadness welled inside of her, as it always did at the the quiet magic of the water and the beach and the rocks surrounding her under a the light of a full moon. There was peace in the sadness, somehow – she felt as though she could let it express itself through her eyes without fear of anyone else seeing.  Without being reprimanded – without worry of sympathy – without any repercussions for letting her feelings express themselves in her eyes. There was a sense of relief in letting the sadness come through. As though it could soak itself up in the water below her and the stars above her and leave her for the night. . for an hour she sat like this, barely moving, letting the water surround her and her rock, letting the stars soak up her sorrow, letting her face express what it willed. And then, slowly, reluctantly, she slipped off the rock, and made her way back up the shore, moving out of range of the waves, so they could no longer open her soul. As she moved further from her rock, from the waves, her countenance changed, it became almost plastic, with no frown or smile, no expression in her eyes. Almost methodically, she put her hair back again, and let down her skirt, picking up the shoes she had hidden behind another rock. And she disappeared, into the deep reaches of the night.

He had watched her every evening for almost a year. From his small apartment almost hidden behind the stretch of rocks she came to, he sat at his desk at the same time every night, preparing to write, and every night, he looked out at the same hour and saw her making her way up his beach. Always, without fail, he turned out his light, put his pen down, and watched her as she sat on the rock, so many expressions passing her face it was hard to decipher her mood. One moment a smile, another a frown, one moment gladness as she looked at the moon, another sorrow as she looked at the waves.  Some evenings she sat, some she wrote, some she cried – once, she had had actually run up and down the beach, playing in the waves until she was soaked all over, not leaving until her eyes were sparkling, her face flushed in spite of the cool of the night, and, he had no doubt, her fingers and toes were pruny.

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Out on the Porch

Since moving into this townhouse in Purcellville, I’ve spent lots of time in various parts of the house. In the kitchen, cooking and cleaning – Oh, the joy of cooking again! And I never thought I’d be happy to clean a kitchen, but seeing it sparkling and pretty makes me happy. The dining room, at the table, eating, working on my computer, writing out a schedule – it’s almost like a giant desk all to myself since so few people are ever over. The living room, watching movies, curled up on the couch, taking naps, working on special projects, almost alway alone – it can get lonely sometimes, but having a couch to curl up on, in a quiet house can define the joys of living alone. My bedroom, sleeping, chatting on the computer, organizing my clothes, showering in my own shower, getting myself pretty in front of the large counter with two sinks all to myself, looking at my books lined up on the bookshelf, and feeling the absolute delight in having a huge room with a walk-in closet and big bathroom all to myself. How on earth will I go back to a dorm room after this?

But, attached to the back of the house, is a porch. I’ve always loved porches. And in the two weeks I’ve lived here, that porch has already felt my tears, my smiles, my writing, my dreaming, my working, my frustration, and my friends. It’s amazing the lessons I’ve already been learning out on that porch. In the mornings, if it isn’t raining, one of the first things I do is make a cup of coffee or tea, a small breakfast, take my diary, my Bible, and my devotional book, and sit on the porch at our small white table. The sun is always rising, if it hasn’t risen, and I love feeling it shine on me. The smells and sounds of the morning remind me of my week on the beach in Connecticut, bringing bittersweet feelings. And I already begin feeling a slight peace, provided I am not extra worried that morning. I start with my devotional book, trying desperately to let the words sink in and help me in one of the thousands of areas I need help. Today it was on calling, or gifts that God has given one. What gifts has He given you that you are not exercising? Oh, so many! Then I move on to the Bible, usually the chapter that the reading in the devotional book was based on, and I force myself to concentrate hard to understand the words. It is so hard these days to understand the words in the Bible. I fear that is a result of skipping devotions most of the semester, and leaving so little time until now to talk to God. It becomes easier the more I make time for devotions in the morning. Usually after I finish the passage in the Bible – and often before I finish it, I take my cup of coffee or tea, stand up, and begin pacing across the porch, back and forth, leaning against the railing, raising my face to the sun, or lowering it to look into the charming and quaint garden kept by our neighbors. Praying, usually beseaching God to actually hear me, and help me know that He hears me. Begging Him for a job, for understanding, for help out of the rut I seem to have put myself into. And moving into asking Him to forgive me for my complete lack of faith and trust, sometimes crying at some point, often panicking, and always remembering how little I’ve dedicated my life to Him this semester. But that time on the porch has helped me as I try to make it through these days, re-dedicating my life, and remembering what it is to trust. Feeling the sun, the breeze, hearing the birds, and even the lawn mowers continually running reminds my of the little joys in my life – and how much God has really given me that I tend to overlook.

In the afternoons, again unless it is raining, I sit out again, sometimes with my lunch, occasionally with my computer, and almost always with some sort of reading. I prop my legs up, flip my hair back, and read with a feeling of uttermost contentment as the sun starts working a tan on me. Saturdays, sitting out there, usually with a friend, tanning and reading, I feel as though I live in the most idyllic existence, and I can’t believe how good God has been to me. In those times it is easy to believe that everything will work out.

In the evenings, I love stepping out again and feeling the warm night breeze, sometimes, jotting down a thought, feeling romantic and mysterious when I am probably just looking ridiculous. But it helps me find peace again. That little private spot, my own place to go, a haven right in the back of the house.

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Phantom Riders

Looking through my old writings, I happened upon this extremely rough poem I jotted down a few years ago. But I thought you might enjoy it anyway.


Far and away
many years ago
there were strange ghosts
in an old, old bay.

Phantom Riders named
for their eery flight
over the waters
and under the dusk

Late at night
or early morn
one never knew
when they might come

across the street
the trees, the beach
but when they did
they’d leave no trace

A flash in front
a glow behind
those fierce blue eyes
and bony hands

The children would shiver
within their sleep
hoping the doors
were securely tight

For oft it’d been told
And oft believed
that those unlocked
were open to the night

The phantom riders
in would glide
and choose one member
of the house that night

Whether it be child
or whether it be man
They’d choose for themselves
one for their kind

And that individual
a ghost he would be
A phantom rider
For all eternity

-J. A. VanZandt

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