Climbing a Mountain

Talking about climbing a mountain while climbing a mountain is one of the most difficult, dare to say, impossible, tasks I can imagine. Yet, when writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, it is a battle re-purposing your feelings, thoughts, predispositions, all that is you, essentially. The task of turning your day, your life, as much as you can recall and place value upon, into perspective, to be interpreted and ingested, is a tough one. Now add the burden of expectation to that. You gamble with the possibilities and consequences of offering another road to the path towards understanding self as fully as possible in this realm. Providing the tools for others on the way to self-discovery, subsequently world harmony, through perspective is not an easy chore; especially when you’re an expressive soul who’s prone to self-sabotage out of fear of that untrodden terrain (self).

So how do you remove yourself from fear of growth? Self-discovery?

Remove your expectations.

Easier said than done. I’m ascending the incline as I write this with the wind pulling me to the peak, my feet planted in the crevices of the rocks, I’m climbing.

I could fall, but I don’t see it.The peak is my goal

I hear the raging river below me

Waters crashing, lulling my weary heart to rest

It doesn’t dare skip a beat

Blood pulsing, rushing to my feet

Once planted in stone

Uprooted

Indomitable

Toes, ice cold to the touch

Knocking the rocks into dust

As I climb the beast that entombed my spirit

Getting over me

And getting closer

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

PenTrek: Pushin Through

Pushin through life like a drive-thru
Choices choices choices
That inner voice cutting through like a slicer
But she’s Pushin through
Getting over herself
So she can be herself

Get back to that higher plane
Runnin into pain
Resilience never waning
Sometimes it needs more explaining
This needs more or less
Sometimes I don’t have the answers
Sometimes YOU DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS, SWAY
Sometimes you wished your day would go by faster
Sometimes you wish you could grab one more hour

Pushin through
Out of your mind

Salima’s Pride

Salima's Pride

Salima decided hunger had gotten the best of her heart. She feared the thought of finding strength. Hunger fed her heart so, she craved it even in the light of her struggles. Good times were unpredictable and short-lived. Hunger was the beast she knew. Slipping in and out of herself, restless, confident, terrified, she’d blended with the beast, a shadow of herself. A hero and a pity. A shell to be shed. The inevitable was clear, one day soon, wasn’t soon enough. So she’d breathe and die wrapped around Hunger’s finger. She was victorious. She’d found a purpose she would die for.

What else is there to do but die hungry?

Living was a myth

Hope was for the dying

And as long as Salima had Hunger, she had something.

The beast she knew.

Better than a long, silent death, filled with Hope.

Days passed

And still Hunger hadn’t tired of Salima

Her heart longed to be released

Her body, still in prime health, had betrayed her deepest wish- to die with the passing of Time

She felt abandoned for the first time in her existence.

Death had left her behind, in the care of Hunger, her devoted lover.

A devotion she despised.

And depended upon.

But there was something grabbing a hold of her spirit.

It was a light, dancing far off in the distance.She sat up, her back detaching from the tree trunk she’d called home.

Her knees cracked as she rose to kneel and lean forward to push herself off of the ground.

Standing

Her arms locked, holding her body still as the earth flipped, tossed and sprayed all around her.

Ground

And she remembered.

Her mother

The water

The cracking of the pillars that held up their house

When the wind blew too hard

And the sea forgot its bounds

Washing away her life

All life

As she knew it

Her bed, as it floated away on the tides, carrying the last picture she had of her mother

The pantry that they could never fill, consumed by the sea’s waters in the blink of an eye

She remembered

When she met Hunger

She wasn’t in love at first

She’d been convinced

That Hunger was all she had

But as she rose, her spine climbing itself, she remembered

She remembered her spine

Her backbone

As she rose, squaring her chest

Hunger faded away, a memory buried deep in the rubble she once called home

She squinted her eyes, hoping to get a glimpse of the light that had captured her spirit

She watched them tarry away, and the blood rushing to her feet

Lifting and stamping each one on the ground, rhythmically, she regained full strength

She had to catch up to her spirit

She ran

Away,

Toward

Herself.

The light

She sought and created…

(Photo Credit: Joshua Keating)

Donate to those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines: http://www.redcross.org

MindTrek: Every Soul Speaks

I’ve been riding a whirlwind of inspiration lately. And while I’m grateful to have defeated writer’s block, I’m apprehensive in forging forward, possibly penning a generic plot.

I know, it happens to all of us.

This novel I’m writing, Flying South, means so much to me. It’s a testament to my growth as a writer; I’m no longer as intimidated as I was before to let the story speak to me. Thus, it’s as far as I’ve gotten composing a world and representing it through written language; four chapters complete since the third of this month. When a spirit takes off, it takes off. I’d say I’m out of my mind, but that’s only partly true. The story was born out of thoughts in my mind, but has evolved into its own benefactor, autonomous in every right, something I respect and observe.

It’s fascinating and slightly frightening, all the same. I’d equate it to raising children; you devote the majority of your being to nurturing the mind, body and spirit of this “new” life that you’ve been placed in charge of. As you do so, you watch the life blossom and flourish with less aid as time moves forward. Success lies between the two forces that define the life dubbed “parenthood”. But there’s one consideration you are aware of, and while in the depths of doing you don’t place it at the forefront of your conscious; external forces.

While they’re given some consideration, the power that comes with acknowledgment is reserved for the ultimate investment; a fulfilled, self-sufficient being.

I am the proud Mama of three bright souls. I say all of this to say the fear that arises whilst one is creating something is natural and should be embraced to a certain extent. But, it never should dictate the components of a self-sufficient being. Fear is an emotion, not a foundation. It wavers in the light of knowledge and experience and is ever-changing and shouldn’t be placed as a pillar to stand on. I say this, speaking to myself first.

As you navigate character and plot development it’s important to let the story live and die in its own right, in its own time, independent of external forces.
More precisely, if you want to know what happens next, go for a walk, drive, hell, hike. Just listen to it and nothing else. Forget how it may be received, how likely it is to happen in “real” life (what is that anyway?), just listen. Every soul speaks. Your story has a soul.

ScribeTrek:Flying South, Chapter 1 Excerpt

An Opportune Time

Today would be the perfect day to catch a flight, Phoenix thought. She was daydreaming of an escape while trapped on 76 West, wishing she’d been heading east to the airport instead. The thought of escaping had taken command of her life. Seasonal work at Sephora in King of Prussia mall had become a sentence. What started as an interesting job selling make-up and cosmetics became an unholy ritual, helping mask the inner beauty that so many customers held, yearned for and were oblivious to. She thought of how she almost lost her job as a beauty consultant because she refused to sell a customer, all of twelve years old, concealer to cover her freckles.
But you don’t need concealer. Think of them as pixelated blush.
Regina, Phoenix’s manager, placed her at the cash register for the remainder of the week and cut her hours for the next three weeks. Phoenix was grateful and incredulous. Nonetheless, she was determined to make the best out of the rest of the month. Losing her job would mean pushing her dream further away.
Just two more checks.
And she’d have enough for Senegal.

Why Senegal?
Aunt Sam would ask. Phoenix never had an answer. Just that it was in Africa and that an old friend from third grade hailed from there. Phoenix figured she had to start somewhere if she wanted to make travel her occupation.
Lena and her family were the sweetest people I’ve ever encountered. Senegal is her homeland. It must be full of kindhearted people.
Phoenix thought to herself. She thought of her mother coming home from her day job as an IT consultant with just enough time to shower, change clothes and check Phoenix’s homework. Without a bite to eat, she’d be back out the door to ride the train an hour away to her second job, cleaning office buildings. On one such day, Lena’s mother, Mrs. Barry, greeted Phoenix at her front door with a tray full of tasty looking pastries.
Let’s let Mama work, she’d said with a wink.
So for six months Mrs. Barry kept after Phoenix which was Never a hassle, my Phoenix. My pleasure watching her rise up.
Until one day after school, Phoenix came to the front door of her mother’s house to discover Mrs. Barry wasn’t there to greet her as usual. She thought nothing of it. As she opened the door she heard sobbing. It faded as she approached the vestibule and slowly shut the door. She began to feel uneasy. With knots growing in her stomach, Phoenix removed her backpack and placed it on the coat hanger where her mother’s down coat hang. Strange. Her mother wasn’t due back home for another five hours. After hanging her coat and storing her shoes in a cubby, she retreated to the living room to find her mother.
Baby! Come here!
Moving slowly still, Phoenix approached her mother, not wanting to hear whatever news she had waiting for her.
Mama, where’s Ma Barry?

BAM!
Phoenix was rattled out of her thoughts and plunged into the back bumper of the car sitting in front of her.
Shit!
Her insurance had just lapsed four days prior and she was waiting on her check to obtain coverage in case what was happening happened. But it was happening, after all.
As she reluctantly approached the vehicle she hit, she noticed something odd. The driver, still in his seatbelt, was staring ahead, motionless. His hands still gripping the steering wheel, his eyes blinking rapidly and his mouth slightly agape.
Is he having a stroke? Phoenix asked herself.
Sir, sir! Can you hear me? Can you understand me? Do you need help?
No response
Breathe
Loud, rapid voices blared from the radio:
This is John Butterworth with your shadow traffic update. Bumper-to-bumper on the 42 freeway, bumper-to-bumper on 95 North and South, 76 east and west are tied up too, ALL ROADS LEAD TO JAM. Now back to you Joann.
-Thanks John, in tonight’s forecast, cloudy skies with a chance of showers. And talk about those routes! Everyone stay dry and calm out there! 15 after the hour, this is W-H-Y-Y.

All roads jammed?
Phoenix began looking around for helped. Surely someone in one of all the stalled cars saw her collide into the poor man’s station wagon. But as she looked across the stretch of lanes, that eerie feeling from the vestibule came back. For as far as she could see, all of the drivers were sitting upright, eyes blinking rapidly, with their hands gripping their steering wheels. Their mouths were agape like the gentleman she’d just rear-ended, but they closed and pursed their lips synchronically.

I can’t be the only one not zoned out, she thought.
She returned to her car, climbed into the backseat and began kicking the horn. She sounded Morse code three times and waited for a response.

She thought of her mother’s words, At the most opportune times, things once deemed obsolete prove their worth.
She waited, hanging onto her mother’s words.