The challenge is to write a story using the prompt image below in only 6 minutes.
Emmet was not only the happiest bear in the whole world, but he was also a very special one. Ordinarily the special animals born in the wild don’t have much of a chance at happiness, but Emmet was lucky enough to have a supportive family and community. From his appearance, they all realized early on that Emmet had the animal version of *Down’s Syndrome. As he grew, everyone was patient and protective of him. What he gave back were endless smiles and giggles. Emmet loved making other bears happy through laughter and even though he wasn’t always sure what made him so funny, he didn’t really care. Pictured above, Emmet plays hide-and seek. Emmet was indeed a special bear.
These posts are posed as a ‘stream of consciousness’ evaluation of questions that I am asking myself.
The question I pose in the title is one that troubles me. If I were to choose a phrase that immediately ‘gets under my skin’ it is the statement from others about what ‘everyone’, or ‘someone’, ‘needs‘. From my own sensitivity to other’s views, I’ve talked about trying to frame my comments in the arena of what I think or how I feel. I’ve learned that this is the most ‘unassuming’ and ‘fairest’ approach. So, you may rightfully call me ‘sensitive’ to how others frame their comments. IMHO…I want to get-along and be listened to as much as anyone, but how would I know? 😉 I’ve taken exception to posts that were presented as “everyone agrees” or “everyone should” because of the pretentiousness it conveys to me. The worst kind of statement IMHO is “they don’t need” or ‘worser’ “you don’t need” something. I’ll admit my first internal reaction is “Who do you think you are?!” followed by the calmer, friendlier, question, “How is it that you know ‘what I need’?”
Examples of things I’ve heard are: “People don’t need AR-15s.” “Everyone agrees we should “Go Green”.” “You don’t need to be that busy with your grandkids.” “You don’t need to eat meat.” “Everyone needs to take the “vaccine”.” “Everyoneneeds to be kinder.” [IMHO… Everyone is not routinely nor purposefully unkind. So, I ask, “Are you seeing monsters that I don’t?” Should I be afraid?] And “We all need to come together.” This last one would be nice. I know cohesiveness in our communities is a wonderful thing. IMHO…I think the first thing that would help in the ‘coming together’, is an effort by each of us to speak for ourselves and avoid telling others “What they need.”. It’s off-putting to me and may be to others. (But you don’t need to agree. LOL)
To my fellow Americans: Our Constitution expresses to us directly that each of us have a right to pursue what we ‘need’ but not a right to tell others what they need.
*Oh, I understand that personal ‘needs’ are subjective and different from basic survival ‘needs’ which we all may pursue as ‘we see fit’.
It was my first time. The annual Ice and Snow Sculpture competition was taking place downtown. I’d seen the ad in the local paper and thought, “Why not?”. Amateurs from the community gathered every February to decorate the main street and I loved exploring new creative ventures. An effort to improve our local cohesiveness was critical, in my opinion. This year’s theme was “Love Comes in Pairs”. We had a whole day to sculpt so I set out to create a pair of lovebirds. As I worked, a strange little man busied himself 10 yards away. He giggled all the while! “Oh well.”, I thought, “Eccentrics number highly among those who love to create.” My birds ended up looking like dinosaurs. No surprise! But the man, I’d never seen before, got honorable mention for his pair of gigantic feet! I overheard the judges discussing their decisions and found out that the weird guy was a local who was known to many as Foot Fetish Freddy.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bowl.” Use it as a noun or a verb—use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
A bowl is a round container with a concave surface. You can eat soup or salad out of it. Wait… I’ve eaten salad out of square containers. Are they square bowls or not bowls at all? If they’re considered square bowls, either they don’t fit the definition of a bowl, or the bowl definition doesn’t allow for exceptions. I’m so confused! Our language is fragile and often inaccurate, but communities, and on a larger scale, cultures have something more… common understanding. Language plays a role though. A common language is an essential core to human relationship cohesiveness. Last I checked, the U.S. has never ‘officially’ assigned any ‘official’ language. Whew… that’s a bit overdue. U.S. citizens have had a ‘common understanding’ (forever) that it’s likely, maybe, probably, English but foreigners from countries that have their own designated ‘official’ language might be afraid that their language is against the law here or something. Ugh… I’m getting more confused! Well, at least we can agree on the time, right? Wait…we have Daylight Savings Time, Regular Time, Mountain Time, Central Time, and who could forget “Time to make the donuts”. Never mind. There is, after all, consensus on our good ole American food choices. Everyone I know loves a stack of pancakes for breakfast… or griddle cakes… or flapjacks… or hot cakes. Give me a break! Aren’t those the same thing? I think they are. So, the breakfast isn’t different, but it’s called a different name according to where you’re eating it. I wonder if your grandma made you pancakes in Connecticut and mailed them to Texas if they’d taste different under the Texas label of flapjacks? Even harder, at what point in their journey does the name change. If the plane crashed halfway to Texas, when the package from grandma is recovered, WHAT’S IN IT? Does it depend on where the crash site is, or does it depend on what region of the country the person who recovers the package is from?! I GIVE UP! Happy Saturday Everyone! Do whatever you wish, I don’t want to know!
Here’s a clip from Good Morning Vietnam offering a coherent English lesson. Enjoy!
Once upon a time a hard working community came together and labored side-by-side on a common project of setting stones, with loving care, in order to build a fountain unlike any mankind had ever known and after several generations and blood, sweat, and tears, they succeeded.
People from all over the world marveled at the fountain and that community- virtuously generous- shared access to the abundant water with all.
After a time, more strangers entered the community than there were original members, and builders, and not having invested in the toil and pride in the unique fountain, many disrespected and defaced it while trying to claim as much crystal clean water as they could.
A great debate took place among the elders with some deciding that sharing the water ought to be limited to only those who showed respect for the sacrifice and love that went into building the fountain and others complained that to limit access, by discriminating who gets water under any condition, would not be ‘fair’.
The fairness argument won and it wasn’t long before the fountain began to dry up and crumble from overuse and disrespect by those who had not invested time nor treasure in its construction, so, those strangers simply moved on seeking another generous community to plunder leaving that once happy community forever changed.
Even today that sad tale serves as a powerful warning: to discriminate between gratefulness and opportunism is prudent to survival and cries for ‘fairness’ are best left to 3-year-olds.
Janine wasn’t an ordinary ‘private detective’, she was actually a town surveillance expert. She’d always loved puzzles!
Janine was a 38 year old family child care provider, as far as anyone knew, but her problem solving interests were, actually, directed toward the pulse of her community. As an observer of children for 20 years, she’d become quite adept at understanding human behavior, especially body language. Kids can’t tell you what they want or how they feel. A child care provider becomes extremely sharp at ‘reading’ people. Even the parents gave off signals that she learned to interpret. The parents worked throughout her area and sometimes offered great insight through casual daily chats. So, Janine had abilities that many people needed training to obtain.
Janine was stationed every day at home in her neighborhood. Most residents went off to work on weekdays. No package, mail delivery, or stranger, went unnoticed as she was the daytime ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of goings on.
When she took the kids for walks or to the store or to the park, she overheard conversations and took photos [presumably of the kids] whenever she needed. No one ever paid attention to her and that gave her the privilege of anonymity in plain sight.
The inquisitive children often helped her with their natural curiosity and ability to recognize the unusual. “What’s that man doing?” “Look at the new dog.” “Is your neighbor having a party?”, were each questions that led her to solving local mysteries.
Even the local police had her on speed dial and kept her informed about descriptions of ‘persons of interest’ to them.
A pedophile, a drug dealer, and the police chief’s cheating wife, were all found directly because of her reports in the last two months. Janine wasn’t paid and kept herself out of the limelight. She considered her puzzle solving a community service and found it to be fun!
The theme for the annual Fall Foliage Festival this year is “Take Paws”. Since 1985, my family day care group has entered on occasion. We will be entering this year. Many alumni, of my day care family, will be joining us. Thought I’d add some photos today of a few past endeavors. Although I helped with the designing, the kids did most of their own work!
Since so many other online writers have blogs dedicated to their writings, I’ve decided to jump onto the bandwagon. All posts published here will be either fiction or poetry, some new, and some previously published on various places on the Internet. Some of my works are conventional, and some are quirky. All fiction posted here, except for fan fiction, will include the letters "rose" somewhere, as a tribute to my Baba.