Tag Archives: death

FPQ41: Perfectly Tense

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

“So this week’s question is for you to discuss what you think about Zadie Smith’s quote. Do you believe that the past is always tense, the future perfect?”

I suggest you visit Fandango’s link to get the full sense of what he’s on about before you try to make sense of my jabber, but do as you will. Obviously, I am going to speak only to my limited experience on this.

In most cases, I believe people engage in a cognitive dissonance regarding their past. Well, let me back up. A disclaimer: Memory is notoriously unreliable. Even our short-term memories can be wrongola, so the idea that we can accurately remember what happened decades back and make judgments from there? Pffft. Let’s get that out of the way. Okay then.

Do I believe the past is always tense? Well, no! That’s silly. Some people say they had wonderful childhoods. Others have had or are currently in long, happy relationships. These people may or may not be optimistic regarding the future, depending upon a whole bunch of factors, including their individual personalities. That married man I was with for 2.5 years was a “glory days” guy, always telling stories of how much fun he’d had back when, and how the future would never measure up. Always nice to hear, amirite? 🙄

I’m somewhere in the middle, as usual. I had an okay childhood, not great, not awful. I recognize that my memories might be inaccurate and there is no one around to verify anything with. I accept responsibility for my part in failed relationships as an adult, which mostly connects to choosing the wrong men and then doubling down. [Note to self: Don’t do that.]

I’m kinda gloomy about the future, I admit. Maybe it’s a function of where I live, but I see people working their butts off and just getting nowhere. Is this happening in “the heartland” as well as on the coasts? You work a normal full-time job, plus maybe do some part-time work too, and can barely afford to rent an apartment? Forget ever buying a house unless Grandma leaves you one or you win the lottery. Maybe you save and save and can buy something with a group of others, but that’s not exactly “the American dream,” to live like a college student decade after decade.

Okay, so Fandango’s post was more about learning from your mistakes in order to create a perfect future. How realistic is that though? I’ll be 60 in 1.5 years. I understand I could have done many things better, but those chances are gone. I can’t redo where I went to college (passed on Northwestern and UCLA like a freaking idiot). I can’t improve my relationship with my parents because they’re both dead. I can’t make it 1995 again and fix my marriage with what I know now.

Learning is great, but opportunities do not stay available forever. Times change, the dogs bark, the caravan moves on. 🐶

~*~

2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Expedition [flash 180]

Lixa gazed at the rows of small openings that were amazingly intact in the rubble. “What do you suppose they used these for?” she asked Tareg, who was leading the expedition.

“I’ve seen pictures of other buildings that had similar construction,” Tareg said. “It was part of a communications center. This is a great find.”

“So, we’ll be rewarded with a bonus and time off?” Lixa asked. She’d been working on Earth for three years and was hoping for a break to visit her family.

Tareg laughed. “Keep dreaming, Lix. They want all of this section finished now that the radiation levels are safe to work in.”

“It’s been ten thousand years since humans all died out,” she muttered. “What’s the big hurry?”

“Because we might need a new planet soon,” he whispered, his purple eyes aglow with a strange light she recognized as fear. “There have been threats.”

Lixa waved a hand to indicate the ruined city. “After knowing this… happens, we would still engage in warfare?”

“It will always be the way.” Tareg shrugged. “Let’s finish the job.”

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 32

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©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bonfire-ku

Bonfire

As winter whispers,
I contemplate the missing
And dreams left undone.

Never felt native
To this atmosphere of one…
Fire-starting alone.

Hopes in golden sun
That once seemed fundamental
Are tossed on the pyre.

Moon watches coldly
As flames turn night into day;
The sea is dark glass.

Everything is ash
Hearts duplicated in grey–
For I have come home.

~*~

Written for Thursday Inspiration 21

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Fun Challenge: Grocery List

Grocery list

Shocking right? What a mess! Welp, I don’t keep it neatly on my phone like the Bag Lady does. I grab any piece of paper and start scribbling as I think of things, using whichever writing implement hasn’t been batted under the fridge by the kitty. I also write in code that even I sometimes have trouble deciphering later.

S&C is shampoo and conditioner, obviously. Lysol wipes, coffee, tissue, green beans, and… guam? Yes, apparently I’m picking up Guam this weekend. Hope they have it at Von’s and it’s not over my credit card limit.

Dunno why I wrote my beverages as an outline, though of course Diet Coke is the most important one. Don’t worry, haters! I’ve reserved lots of comments so you can rant about the evils of diet soda. Please do go on. Now, in your corner is a recent study correlating diet soda to early death… but also regular (sugary) soda is linked as well. Soda is bad, mmkay? Always remember though: correlation is not causation.

Also, if you didn’t know… milk is bad (fat). Juice is bad (sugar). Booze is bad (duh). And even water is bad ~ polluted and full of micro-plastics and hormones and fluoride, which now has been proven to lower IQ. OMG, the wackadoos were right! What else have they been right about? Maybe the earth is flat! Maybe we didn’t go to the moon! Maybe Elvis is still alive! The possibilities are endless…

What can we drink then? Conservatives have liberal tears slurped up through plastic straws, but what about the rest of us? Personally, I alternate my Diet Coke with Bai and Snapple (both also diet) until it’s cold (under 70 degrees F), at which point I’ll switch mainly to hot black tea with a splash of milk. Generally, I’ll have one large cup of coffee per day. Mm, hot drinks coming soon. September is annoying because of this heat forcing me to drink so many cold things. Hurry up autumn!

I’ve been out of avos for days, which is so sad (maybe I was crying when I wrote it down, hence the blur?). Avocados are my favorite food and I like to have one a day when I can. I’ve been known to have an avo for breakfast. Just plain, with salt. I’m not a fancy person.

This is also why I don’t date anymore ~ who would want to have a relationship with someone that eats avocados for breakfast? Besides a raccoon… 🥑

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ39: This Magic Moment

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe in magic? Define magic any way you wish and explain your belief about magic.”

My definition of magic (for the purpose of this discussion*) is events occurring via the supernatural ~ thats is, outside the realm of physical laws. Things that fall into this category include but are not limited to: vampires, ghosts, gods, and life after death. And my answer is no.

Certainly, there are things that science has yet to explain. But that doesn’t mean we should leap to the idea they were caused by “magic” ~ that’s what people did when they didn’t know anything. We know so much now… not me personally, but scientists and others who take more of an interest in keeping up with the latest developments in the various fields.

Now, for writing and poetic purposes, it can be fun to include some magic. I enjoy art that’s about escape from reality, so I often try to create the same myself. It makes life more sparkling to have these fantasies.

*Outside of this discussion, we can use the word magic (or magical) to mean a magic show/seance or something wonderful, such as a kiss by the beach, warm chocolate chip cookies, a snuggly puppy, or a spectacular piece of music.

I wouldn’t use it to describe cereal with little colored marshmallows however. Maybe s’mores…

At midnight…

With John Cusack…

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Mischievous Waters

Waves

Mischievous waters,

Such power in your claws:

You’re a gentle green cradle;

You’re an icy blue coffin.

Tell me of the sailors

Lost to you forever;

Sing me sweet waves

Bringing my beloved.

The morning sun sparkles

Your surface to crystal,

But midnight skies hide

The depths of your mystery.

~*~

Written for Go Dog Go Café

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© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Narcissus 2.0 [flash 200]

Trees mirrored in pond

He needed time away. Forest bathing would rev up his blood oxygen count and increase his sales count, he’d read. Appreciating the beauty and serenity of nature today would improve his bottom line next quarter. He nodded at the leafy trees, his partners in profitability. They’d help him upgrade to a BMW Series 7 this fall.

Unzipping his backpack, he removed an energy bar and chewed it methodically. When finished, he tucked the wrapper in his pocket. He stepped into the clearing and gazed at the pond. The sun shone through the branches, creating a dance of rainbows across the mirrored surface. This would be a great selfie for his bio. He took out his phone and walked over to the edge of the pond, holding out the camera and smiling.

A crow shrieked from a nearby tree, startling him, and he lost his balance. He fell back from the weight of his pack and slipped under the water, never to be seen again. Eventually the shiny red wrapper from his energy bar floated out of his pocket and up to the surface of the pond where the crow spied it.

She flew down and grabbed it for her nest.

~*~

Written for the Daily Echo

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© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Meal Prep [flash 100]

Outer space with colorful planets and spaceship

The holidays were always problematic here in the Plutonic Zone. Folks expected a feast, but you couldn’t feed them mutant turkey. Stan the Retired Lieutenant had passed around a written notice forbidding the use of the two-headed birds as people food. So annoying.

She woke early and began to creep through the old garden, collecting colorful pebbles for her soup. Some of them had little bugs clinging to them, which would add protein. After a while, her wrist began to ache from the bitter cold, and she wished she had worn the gloves she’d taken from that dead spaceman.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A Special Recipe [flash 99]

Apricot jam

He smiled at the cheery table his wife had set. She seemed so much better since her rest at the hospital last month. He wished she wasn’t so troubled over the past, and that vile gossip in town that refused to die down, but regardless he felt determined to be a loving partner. He’d made sure she’d be provided for if anything happened to him; he was much older, after all.

“Try my sweet apricot jam,” she urged. “It’s a special recipe from a new friend.”

He spread it thickly on his bread. “Thank you, Lizzie. It smells wonderful.”

~*~

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge

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© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.