Roar

 

Roar

The ceiling fans turn above five women. One holds an almond cookie in her mouth as her hands adjust her notebook and reach for her pen. She moves the rest of the cookie into her mouth with the hand that has finished turning to the correct page, then brushes away the crumbs from the glass table. Another woman sits hunched over a tablet in her lap. She is wearing a black swimsuit and sits on the white canvas cushion of a rattan couch.

A third taps on her computer—a fact that has driven her former sofa neighbor out to the terrace to write––that tapping too distracting. Next door, the crash of chisel on concrete furnishes a counter-tempo to the gentle tapping of the keys. The ocean swells in a continual basso…the notes and words of a plaintive Mexican song straining in over the fence as well. The sparseness of the view––sea dunes, succulent ground cover, crashing ocean and sky–– is augmented by so many sounds that they blend into a cacophony that can be overlooked…or underheard, as the case may be.

I am the fifth woman, and as the other four write about whatever world each is in, their imagined voices fill my thoughts to a point where my own voice is lost. I can only record what I see and hear. It is as though my own imagination has been sucked up by the morning, lost in the profusion of thoughts of others that grow like liana in my mind.

The blades on the fans spin. Tiny upside-down crosses are formed by the bolts that secure the glass globes of the lights below the fans. Like crucifixes the tortured have slipped free from, they stand useless as metaphors but necessary in actuality. All of the crucified have scurried away…survivors of someone else’s bigotry or fears or cruelty.

Some of the survivors climb up the legs of the coffee table and pull themselves onto my computer keys. They jump on keys to say, “We have voices that will not be stilled. We sacrifice that bullies may be overcome. We expect you to resist as we do. Frightening as it is, it is the only way. Life is choice after choice and those choices, if easy, are not worth making.”

I take over. Brush them like crumbs from my keyboard.  I get to choose how profound my life will be, at least on the page, and I don’t want to write about crucifixion, church bombings, the Paris massacre, the San Bernardino shootings. I have six friends who live in San Bernardino. I haven’t checked Facebook. I don’t want to know.

I want my senses filled with tappings and poundings and too-loud strains of music and where the fridge will go in the tiny new sleeping/feeding room I’m having constructed for my dogs. I want another almond cookie, and a sip, two sips of hazelnut coffee. Some of us have to have a happy life. Some need to go on in spite of the slaughter, greed, small-mindedness. We win in this way. Something exists in spite of the horrible chaos some would make of the world.

We win by fighting, but we also win by being. By remaining. By choosing to be happy. The ocean roars and sometimes I must roar, also. But not always.

Note: No, my essay above was not written to the prompt.  I did start a poem on the WordPress  life-line subject of fortune-telling, and I’ll publish it later, but on my way to posting it, I found this snippet written in response to a prompt at the three day women’s writing retreat I went to last week, so I want to publish it, too. (HERE is a link to my poem on the subject of fortune telling.)

 

7 thoughts on “Roar

  1. judyreeveswriter

    So wonderful to read your blog this morning and bring back our time at the beach, that almond cookie, the ceiling fan. I love how present to the sensory details this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Judy. Do you mind if I use a pic of your retablo in the future? Also, any objections to my using your picture? I’d only use great ones. I had the perfect shot for this post but one lady depicted objected to her picture (even though it was quite good of her) so I didn’t use it. Tried to erase her but it ended up looking rather ghostly–ha. I think I actually just used the ceiling fans as a crop from the picture of the entire room, one woman at the table typing, another to one side, our messy writing table in front. I think the three pics capture the scene, though, fuzzy as they may be from too much cropping.

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      1. judyreeveswriter

        By all means, use the retablo anyway you want. No objections about the picture of me either…what is it you say, so long as you don’t show my butt. As to the pix in the post, I like the tri-fecta effect.

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          Me, too, and the fact that it was a bit blurry because it was cropped so much caused me to use sepia which was effective, I think. Made us look like old hands at this writing business–which of course we are!!!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      What a good comment. Just what I love to hear. I appreciate so much the ones who give us the story of the terrible things going on in the world so this in no way was meant to detract from their message. It was just another part of the truth and one that is also necessary to take into account. Part of the way we change the world is simply by being.

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