Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “home.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!
“You can’t go home again.” No truer words have ever been spoken. Of course, gathering as families or connecting with old friends can be a pleasant experience but how often do our hopeful expectations of somehow being transported back to a ‘happy place and time’ come true? I guess that all depends on how specific one’s expectations are. I know some people would probably say that my initial declaration is a bunch of nonsense. That’s cool. I don’t intend to ‘harsh’ anyone’s experience. But for me, the sugar-coated memories I have are too precious to experiment with by adding a 2.0 version. I’m well aware of the selective nature of our memories. Heck… I never even put much stock in any ‘eyewitness accounts’. I also realize that there are varying levels of optimism and pessimism in each of us. Some people dwell only on the pleasant memories and others (sadly) give too much of their time and energy to the unpleasant ones. Either way, there’s no doubt that we have embellished those memories. So, for me, ‘there’s no going home again’. And that isn’t a sad concept. Perhaps, we who choose to take the path of blowing off high school reunions or trips to childhood ‘stomping grounds’ have a concept of life as an ever-flowing journey of learning and collecting experiences and are compelled to keep moving forward. Reflection on our ‘roads taken’ is a marvelous affirming experience but there’s no return trip in our itinerary. We prefer keeping our memories like a classic movie- without alterations, modern revisions or remakes. A case might even be made that people who keep “moving on” value the route they’ve taken the most.
Auricle, formerly known as Jane, had a ‘thing’ for ears. Nothing kinky but absolutely a bizarre fascination that turned into a full-blown idolization by the time she was 20 years old. Her most recent tribute to her favorite body part was her name change. Auricle’s obsession had developed slowly throughout her life but really ramped up in her late teens. She began eating only chicken and fish as protein sources because, of course, they didn’t have visible ears and she refused to eat beef, pork, or heaven forbid, rabbit because displacing precious ears just to consume something was the most barbaric thing she could imagine! Finally, Auricle’s agastopia became something more dangerous than weird when she started stuffing cotton into her own ears and wrapping them in layers of insulated flannel fashioned into form fitting caps during a bitter winter cold spell. The worry over ugly black frostbite on her ‘beloveds’ actually kept her up nights. Yesterday, it was 5 degrees after a 2-foot snowstorm the night before and Auricle had her first biyearly ear exam with a specialist that was kindly arranged by her newest therapist. All the roads were still nearly impassible, and Auricle knew she’d have to walk the two blocks to such an important appointment. She bundled up her ‘darling’ appendages as tightly as she ever had and climbed a snowbank stepping out into the narrow street…
…The distraught snowplow operator could be heard screaming, “But I blew my horn, and she didn’t move!” as the morgue vehicle removed her body from the bloody scene.
——— I had never heard of agastopia until now. Thanks for the fun, informative, and ultimately sad prompt.
We have a phrase this week to serve as your writing prompt.
…passing through a doorway in history
There is no restriction on format of the piece. There is no last date either, unless you wish to be featured in the Weekly Wrap.
Duncan’s head hurt. His pursuit of truth is a hunger he knows can never be satisfied in a conclusion. He wonders, “Is the past truly a mosaic of endless opinions or is there more?” To become an observer by passing through a doorway of history would give him more evidence but trusting his eyes and ears has limitations. The “who he is”- a being marinated in modern day culture and sensibilities- would be a tremendous disadvantage to an unbiased reenactment. He knows that the understanding of history is disserved by only studying collections of modern intellectual interpretations after the fact. It needs to be excavated for evidentiary fossils that prove each past moment was once alive and three-dimensional. So, Duncan reads everything he can find… journals and diaries, essays and articles. His focus is on the founding of his country. Not from any patriotic duty or political position, as one might guess, but because he has Spatial Sequence Synesthesia, and his personal ‘mental map’ oddly always balances on a fulcrum in the late 1800s. His internal visual timeline stretches to infinity toward the past and future from the 1860s every time he withdraws his focused perspective and tries to ‘see’ all of Time. His ‘gift’ is either a peculiar mental defect or a sign of something special and Duncan doesn’t believe in coincidences, so he feels compelled to understand more. He’s somehow tied to that period.
I wish him well. He may never find a full understanding, but Duncan doesn’t care as long as he collects knowledge that he can absorb through his 5 senses and his heart, bringing the past alive again. He’s a guy I’d like to talk with!
Here’s what to do: *Write a poem (in any form) in response to the challenge: to pick three or more words from the spice list above to use in your poem.
On a paprika and saffron sky Subdued by vanilla clouds We bid the zest of day good-bye On a paprika and saffron sky. Time to savor a lush lullaby Dispersed are imposing crowds On a paprika and saffron sky Subdued by vanilla clouds.
I'm nobody! who are you? Are you nobody too, then there's a pair of us. Don't tell! they'd advertise you know. How dreary-to be somebody. How public-like a frog. To tell one's name-the livelong June, to an admiring bog. Poem by Emily Dickinson.