Dear Fate,

A letter to my enemy of nonexistence 

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I hate you.

Before you lift a lofty and proud head, I would like to quantify this letter even more to “you.”  Though the Ancients gave you a face and the Medievals underscored their brilliance by mimicry, I do not flatter you so by designating to you any sort of persona.

Neither do I in any way give you any sort of gender.  I know, just as those worthies above (please note, no sarcasm is applied, I very much revere and respect both the Ancients and the Medievals) that many if not all the world would engender you with that of the female persuasion.  I refuse to pander my own sex concerning you.  Neither will I allow you to claim that of the male gender; hard, flinty and without mercy, a masculinity without pity.  And though many may scoff and sneer at my refusal to describe you in terms of the crone or with haggish mannerisms so associated with you, I refuse to stoop to describing you as a person of any sort.

Fate, you are so much more than a metaphor to either of mankind’s beleaguered genders and oh so much less…and that is the very reason I hate you.

You Fate are the very fabric of a larger and misty concept.  Like the air, mankind breathes (oh and by the way, a feminist may check out now for again I repeat mankind – humankind clanks upon my old ears) you oh Fate is deception.  Lies are your own personal underlings.  You are the fabric of Deception – the very tool of Evil.

How many cultures, how many souls have endeavored to thwart you?  You who are nothing?  How many have whispered in surrender “God’s will be done,” and that statement the only evocation of God in their plight for they surrendered in their heart through teachings and philosophies that only endeavor to build defeatism?

The ancient Greets, the Romans as well, so enmeshed in flattery and brilliance, have fought the stone wall of you.  What have you accomplished other than the idea that you have passively defeated us all?  A man lies, belly down, in the dust and returns to his likeness upon an idea of you.  Damn you.

Yes, indeed Fate, I hate you.

Even this letter is too much a tribute to you when the greater demon that props you up and gives you voice, like a great puppet master, is greater and deserves more respect than you.  Yes, Deception is the life’s breath of you.

And what in the end does this letter prove?

That you Fate deserve no more than a snap of my fingers? Hardly, you have deceived the timeline too well for too long. But I will not leave you without a breath of the name that sizzles upon your ears: Faith.  Why is it that the human soul cannot insist that Fate is indeed not in the same league as Faith?  When will we kill the concept of fate and reach out to the very souls that Faith endures preserving?

Actually, the idea of death, or killing you puts you well into focus.  The very reality of death (Death, whatever you please) puts you in the crosshairs of near extinction.  You are, Fate, in reality too minuscule to kill – and unlike Faith, you prove no bridge to peace for those who live another day beyond catastrophe.

So I will take up the metaphoric kerchief of my own Dulcinea – a child perhaps or my own embattled Western culture – and tilt against your shadow, charge through your cloud of fog-like confusion and demand with my last breath that my brothers and sisters renounce the very concept of you.

In Stern and Cold Disdain,

Your enemy

 

Photo by Stephen Di Donato on Unsplash

Writing Quincey

I see society as being deceived into thinking that they can fight evil alone, by making it good in their own minds.

God help me I’m ready to sit down to write, something I think about all day at work, I wake up thinking about it and pray about it – sit down into a hot flash.

It’s a perfect evening in Norther Indiana.  The rain is so gentle and once and a while I hear the rumble of thunder.  The green of spring still has that neon glow under the lowering gray sky.  The rain is so gentle that I still hear the distant sound of the birds.

Every once in a while, the subdued north wind softly seeps in.  The pattering of the rain calls for a cot next to the window and a languid feeling to settle in.  I think of cotton curtains and thick flannel shirts against my skin.  The distant train horn calls out, and I wonder how anyone could want to be anywhere but home.

It’s been a long day, and I’ve had little time to think about my novel, Quincey.  This novel has changed me.  It has taken me into places I thought I would never go.  To write it has not been a mere journey into research but into deep reflection and change.  Being reared a Protestant, I’ve entered the Catholic church.  Writing about the battle against evil has sent me searching for more than raising up my crucifix and hoping for the best.

I need to know how and why we got here.  And I need to know how in this 21st century how the evil I’m writing about has become good, and good evil.

I’ve been deceived in my life, and it’s a painful experience.  I’ve been deceived by people, and I’ve allowed myself to be deceived.  In writing Quincey, I see society as being deceived into thinking that they can fight evil alone, by making it good in their own minds.

Quincey is my attempt to combat the deception.

Never mind really  –  it’s just a ramble.

Onward.

A Writer of Whatever

For two years I have been trying to write my third novel. In between work, my son’s college career, my house, my yard and my ageing parents I’ve been trying to write.

For two years I have been trying to write my third novel.  In between work, my son’s college career, my house, my yard and my ageing parents I’ve been trying to write.  There is something about this project that has pushed from having fun writing poetry and flash fiction to becoming this consumed haunted person.

My first two novels were different.  The first was a rush.  I sat down each night and pour forth scads of words and formed characters who I think about once in a while but they don’t consume me.  My second novel was just plain fun because I wrote it with my son.  Actually, it was his idea, his characters and the time we spent on that project was a joy.

My third novel I guess I can say is transforming.  I’ve actually fought deep depression and a sense of worthlessness.  Could I write it?  Sure I could write it.  I wrote it several times and each time about ten thousand words in I deleted the damn thing.

I’ve had the title for two years now – two.  The title is Quincey.  Quincey is the one that has almost defeated me.  With my other novels I had spin off poetry, shortstories, flashfiction, with Quincey I have a half baked novella.  No kidding a novella.

In short I’m the writer of whatever which is better than a writer with a blank page.  And here’s the thing, when I tried to push it through, just write, I’d end up in tears.  I’m way to old to cry, blubber, sob.

Then all of a sudden Quincey began to drop.  The words started to come and the story line started to fall in line with my expectations.  I know that when I have the first draft down the rewrite will be the real story.  But the real goal is to complete this thing that has consumed the whatever writer in me.

Reading

It was a dark and stormy night when I decided I hated everything written by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen. I know that probably kicks me out of the league of women despite my gender qualifying me but the only thing a woman hates more than green peas is deception.

It was a dark and stormy night when I decided I hated everything written by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen.  I know that probably kicks me out of the league of women despite my gender qualifying me but the only thing a woman hates more than green peas is deception.

I know as I scribble away in my garret room (garret because it’s true even in the 21st century, women suffer financially from divorce and I have two behind me, divorces not marriages), that the Bronte sisters and Miss Austen are probably mere pawns in the battle for my psyche.

I also realize that perhaps the Bronte sisters and Miss Austen would have had less infamous influence if Sigmund Freud had died in obscurity but he didn’t.  Actually, men don’t do they?

The veil split too late before my eyes that these women were writing fairy tales.  You have no idea my suffering.  The artist even bohemian atmosphere around me closing in, the impending July thunderstorm and my single paned window looking out on a back alley, opened wide for the storm to enter in.  I had stripped down to nothing, my skin absorbing the heat and humidity of summer, even prickling in the anticipation of cold wind, thunder riddled, coming my way.  Sense and Sensibility was open before me and the margins, where I had penned notes over the decades of reading the novel, consoled my loneliness.

Yes, Colonel Brandon, even though he wore flannel waistcoats (or something flannel) was a true knight and our young heroine would embrace his calmness, his intellect, his nonexistence?

His fiction?

Shit!

The storm had not hit, there was time and I knew to keep up my own self-induce façade I had to bring out the big guns.  Villette?  No, Jane Eyre.  Rochester must pave his road to hell and with single-minded passion. Would such a man really have brains enough to covet a mousy little governess over an accomplished coquette?

The storm hit with such a vengeance I jumped and the rain hit my clammy skin like so many needles and the blue-white lightning split the skies before me and I saw the face of God.

Don’t believe me, I don’t care.

He was there beard and all – the Father and in my despair, He did what only a loving, encompassing parent could do, He drove the lesson home.

“I told Adam anything but one thing – he took the one thing.”

“I told Abraham he’d have a son in good time but he had to help it along.”

“David had any woman he wanted, freely but he took the one that didn’t belong to him.

I raised my arms in an appeal to stop, and He did.  The storm passed with a shudder and I sat in my garret room cold and damp.  The pages of my books, both Austen’s and Bronte’s were damp with rain but not tears.

I’ve not evolved, I have adapted however to reality.

 

Dear Tuesday

Dear Tuesday,

You’re awful.

Dear Tuesday,

You’re awful.

I do not hold you responsible for my attitude (I am adult enough to own my attitude) nor do I sling out my sentiment to cause pain, resentment or embarrassment…perhaps.

Aside from that, I feel that you are the way you are (awful) simply because you hide behind Monday.  The accusation of hiding, in some estimations, may prove to be more cause for resentment (on your part) and insult (again on your part) than being just plain awful,(which you are) I understand.  I myself have been accused of hiding and that accusation stings and nettles me – I’m sure it does the same to you.  However, to keep to the truth I am sure, beyond doubt, that the reason for my feeling resentment toward you is that you hide behind Monday.

Tuesday, hiding is a despicable practice and never have you come forward and tried in any way to defend Monday.  Never have you reasoned with us, (slaves to the paycheck), that the reason we hate Monday is that you yourself Tuesday show no mercy in longevity nor do have you open-handedly proffered us hope.  You are a repeat of Monday with the added rancor of making us all feel trapped without a Friday in sight.  Tuesday you even paint poor old Wednesday with a drear and deadly gray that makes sorrow seem interminable and Thursday so very far away.

I do want you to know that I have settled down to write this letter to you on a Wednesday.  While I suffered through your hours yesterday forming my accusations I thought it would only be sporting of me if I gave you the full day – to see if you redeemed yourself at all.

You did not.  My home was quiet, dull and sullen with the Tuesday doldrums when I walked through the door.  All the inhabitants therein, right down to the cat, looked at me with the idea that perhaps I should do something – anything, which would give relief.  I failed and being that it was Tuesday I felt that perhaps my failure was helped along.

Know too, that I pause in my other letter writing (one to U.S. Literary critics that has been confounding me for some time, another to audiobooks in general and another to Corrie – I just found her physical address again and the most adorable owl cards that are just dying to be sent) so that I may further analyze my feelings and express to you my dismay.  I realize too that there is nothing I can do – you are.  Nor do I want to argue the fact that you are third in the week or second in the week according to ISO standards (drop dead).  Nor do I want to want to delve into your ancestry to some Norse god – you are more than that, you are more than a name – you are a 24-hour eternity.  You’re awful.

With Regret,

 

Me

 

The Love of Silence

Take heart for the cold of hatred is brief in fury

Though I would prefer the cold of nature to bury.

Take heart for the cold of hatred is brief in fury

Though I would prefer the cold of nature to bury.

I have heard of such places, the wind wicked cold

The water hard, so hard it cuts.  My sister, my sister,

Who lives there prays by the fire that keeps the winter at bay.

The men of that country, she says, glide upon the water

The water takes all the men away and they sail beyond the sun.

The water, all fresh and cold and haunted keep the men away.

She sits there and talks to God and speaks to Him about me.

My sister, says she to God, will know of me some day.

Our children are of one or the other; for me in their graves

For her never started.  We say little of their missing laughter

We say little of their missing sisters, brothers, and their play,

While in the daytime as she spins the thread that twists and curls

And I weave the nights away.

My sister steps out of her old stone house and listens to the rain

In Spring, while I listen to the sand and heat slide in a secret sacred way.

She thinks of me in the dry seasons and she prays.  I walk beneath

The dome of the universe and sing to the man that once shared

This cape of love with me – and listen to what God says she prayed.

During the day, while in the heat I let salt water drip from my eyes,

Once brilliant, clear, in pools white as milk and my husband would gaze at me

Amazed.  My sister has never known such love, such passion.  I have

Never known her days of silent peace.  We pray for one another.

We keep faith with God and wait to know the day we meet.

I will teach her to weave and love, she will teach me the love of silence.

 

What Matters?

What matters?

The stone or the throw?

What matters?

The stone or the throw?

No, I’m not being political I’m pondering the idea of literature and what we think that lilting, lovely, lofty, lulling language is – literature.  Nobody likes a conspiracy theorist on the opposite side of a solid answer.

Literature is a story turned into a symbol by those who cannot stand a story.  The stake that pierces the heart turns into a phallic symbol.  That interpretation gives pause; what sort of mind is able to turn violence (for good or evil) into a symbol?

I love particularly the critiques comment that a long-dead author wrote in a surprisingly modern style.  I think of a reader who sits within the comforts of a dusty, winged-back chair and chuckles over such language  — knowing full well that the “modern,” writing means culture has found stagnation.

I wander the streets of Chicago at night because I can.  I am a god (notice the little g please) among the masses that light this city and pave its roads and destroy its beauty into another sort of beauty.  All the while, writers of literature ponder symbols and rhymes that only they and a select few understand.

I don’t try to write, I don’t need to write.  I simply walk and when I’ve had my fill, I sit and read the rags that feel glossy and shine under the electric lights.  I don’t need to read the stories but read the critical reviews and feel fine in the hiding I do in the plain sight of darkness.  I’m allowed to for now.

There is a problem.  The masses are catching on in a fashion.  There was a time I could pull the life out of a person and not no one would turn around to watch the ecstasy of my fatal kiss.  There would be those who would yearn for me but none who would interfere – but a few are starting to raise their crosses again.

You think I mock?  Or do you think I jest?  The ones with the power of the pen often do at the end.  No one realizes that the audience is gone.  Don’t be confused, there is no victory in the pendulum tick and tock of the world.  Go ahead and mock the superstitious they will pray for you.

It matters little to me other than the mundane existence I lead.  I walk a god amongst those who feel no need for good or evil, I will fight the war that is coming when the deceived become a mob.  It always happens.

I frankly don’t give a damn either way.  It is not my business to find a winner outside of myself and the continual movement of deception.  I applaud the striving for self-actualization that everyone feels should be universal.  Breathe deeply and find the hum of the universe, a moment of ecstasy that will pull you along until another moment alone.

I’ll read all your old stories verbatim and laugh.