Day 22: 500 Word Challenge with Jeff Goins

Write about Fear

Fear blog media

I am afraid of not fulfilling my purpose in life. I keep picturing my future as a bus or train arriving on a set schedule and I stand by too busy dreaming to hop on the vehicle of opportunity and journey to my destiny. I am anxious that I am a wastrel: wasting precious hours and minutes comparing, analysing, and dreaming when I should be listening, speaking, acting.

My deepest fears and concerns are about missing something precious. All my life I have grown most concerned when I misplace something, and occasionally lose things all together. Ironically, I am poor at putting things back in the same place, so I have multiple cheap versions of the things I use all the time black pens, notebooks, journals, water bottles, and jackets.
I want to write profound, ironic, emotional and uniquely expressed articles and stories. The longer I do this with no change in my audience the more frightened I become. In the last twelve months when I’ve been stressed I stop writing for days, even a whole week at a time. Lately, I’ve been feeling my brain grow fearful of writing. It is as if my brain is saying no, no to the thing I am most passionate about because I put in so much effort and grow excited, only to discover people don’t know, and when they do know they are not interested. I am worried about the adrenalin spike when I think of writing, as if my brain is perceiving the act of writing as a threat. How self -defeating!
Tenaciously, I determine to press in. Although my writing of morning pages is becoming spasmodic, I keep telling myself I am a writer.
I say to my weary brain, “You are a writer. You thrive when writing.”
Sometimes I feel anxiety and judgement saturate my grey matter.
They are saying, “Writing is associated with the breakdown of your marriage. Writing has robbed you.”
I reply, “Writing has given me a richer way of living. It has given me the motivation to open myself to observe the world and others, continue to be sensitive and loving towards them, despite my failures. Writing, editing, and the study I did, and the friends I made because of it, have enriched me.”
The inner judgement nags on, “But you did not do very well in your Masters Studies this year. Really you didn’t do much more than pass. I saw your disappointment at the deadlines. You knew your work was mediocre.”
Those words sting, but I pull myself up by the mental boot straps. I remember that I have always been determined when I decide to do something. Seldom have I quit anything halfway through. I’m uncertain of my destination, but I know the journey is not over. I am a hard worker, though I struggle. Knowing I did not try my best is what I fear the most.
Tomorrow I will keep writing the short story challenge and rebuild a new life.

Capture butterfly

Some links for you:

My dear friend Nicole – The Short Story Queen : https://theshortstoryqueen.wordpress.com/

Check out Cristian Mihai : https://cristianmihai.net/

A link to Jeff Goins website : https://goinswriter.com/

 Links to past posts I’ve been thinking about.

https://factitiousvignettes.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/may-a-photo-poem

https://factitiousvignettes.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/lady-gaeophias-wisdom

 

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Faraway by Rianh Wynne Silvertree

A story by Rianh Silvertree “Nestled in 110 acres of natural bushland the Mt Helen Campus of Federation University…” the wind whips the brochure out of the hands of Kelly Maguire. The blue and white promotional flaps from the doorway of the upper reaches of the Albert Coates Centre and stops abruptly, pinned by […]

via “Faraway” — Rianh Wynne Silvertree

Rosellas : favourite Australian birds

 

crimson_rosella_platycercus_elegans_10244627086https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACrimson_Rosella_(Platycercus_elegans)_(10244627086).jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Crimson_Rosella_%28Platycercus_elegans%29_%2810244627086%29.jpg

By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE (Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

eastern-rosella-adult-image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JJ_Harrison?rdfrom=commons:User:JJ_Harrison.

The photo of the Eastern Rosella is attributed to J.J. Harrison

 

800px-eastern_rosella_chicks444

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

Taken by benjamint444. These two attributions are for the photo of the chicks

Crimson Rosellas, the Australian Parrots with scarlet, sky blue and indigo plumage, are a bird that reminds me of childhood, the bush, and the bright flashes of colour in the woodlands that excite imagination. In my childhood years, the rosellas I would have seen were Eastern Rosellas. These have scarlet, yellow, indigo, and green feathers, along with small amounts of white and charcoal, around the edges of the wings. Their beaks are yellowy coloured while the crimson Rosella beaks are ivory, or pale grey.

I love to see a flock of these shy birds alight on the ground. They shuffle and huddle together around the food they have discovered. Memories abound of flocks landing around piles of seed, and pecking quickly, noisily cracking seeds in their powerful beaks. When they flew away, the shape of the fans at the end of their tails, and the graceful curves of their wings were a delight to watch.  On trips to the Warbies, or Grampians, I remember them arriving at the picnic grounds to clean up after the greedier Kookaburras gobbled the sausages and the bulk of the bread. They would peck at the crumbs, and be quickly off if they couldn’t find anything satisfying.

I know that most very young bird chicks are ugly. This lends credence to the theme of the Ugly Duckling, but the startling ugliness of Eastern Rosella chicks takes me aback. They look like very mouldy lumps of a cheese I first tasted in the nineties, pink peppercorn and cheddar, and their beaks look like handles you should use to throw the mess away. There is no doubt Rosella parents see the potential in their offspring. They must make more noise than Magpie chicks seeking to be fed, but I have never knowingly heard them. Something motivates the parents on a day to day basis to help turn their chicks into the handsome birds they become.

It is one of the mysteries of Australia that a land of dull bush in shades of taupe, khaki, brown and grey should be home to birds of such colourful plumage.

Crazy 24h

At 1.28 p.m yesterday I quit the job I had for less than a week, following  a damn disaster I created in a busy kitchen over the weekend. Tears flow as I struggle to come to terms with all my realised fears, and the end of my fragile hopes of escape from the job search provider bureaucratic press.

Helplessness fuels  emotional turmoil like a boiling stockpot: limp celery leaf, orange carrot chunks, transparent onion dice, and seared beef bone become a picture of my inner geyser. Hang on, a voice says,stockpots are meant to gently simmer, but nothing is as it should be. Nothing reflects my hopes, dreams or plans. I view myself as a hopeless misfit on the way to the principal’s office.

This morning on my way to a coffee meeting, I stop to fuel the car. On my way out of service station shop after paying, I drop my prescription glasses on the polished linoleum floor. Seeming animated, they slide under one of the shelves. I kneel on the floor, and pull out the lower drawers, and fluster the dark-haired attendant(under the drawers is littered with dust,crumbs and dirt). The attendant brings a plastic scraper on a stick and starts to poke around under the shelf. That’s when I realise I can reach in and access them at my end. Open, the glasses are too high to slide under the drawers. I stand, brush off my jeans, apologise, and walk out to my safe non-verbal car. I wish I could laugh but I feel like putting my head in a gas oven. I am a klutz, but gee I am an independent, proactive klutz. Perhaps the attendant will leave a note for the cleaner or his boss; perhaps I will get some help.

After the coffee and conversation, I take my time returning to my front room in the 1930s’ cottage. My inner temperature goes from simmer to boil again, and I decide to head to the walking track by the lake. As I slip into my flat shoes, I notice this pressure under my ribs is not just because I’m bending over. The heat spreads up my neck and along my arms. I stamp across the road, and stretch my legs as I head along the packed gravel path.

My mind halves, it seems, into brooding and spitting. The brooding supervisor part observes I am distraught and frustrated, but the walking channels the spitting energy into the ground. Thump, thump go my feet, my heart pounds.

I notice that I am walking the opposite direction to everyone I pass for the first four kilometres. I face the wind, while it blows on their backs. I look up, part of the sky is blue, the horizon pale with cloud and the sun surrounded by a black lump. In defiance, the sun shines brighter, gilding the perturbed lake while I tramp on. My upper body gets warmer, I unbutton my coat and spread my arms out. For a count of twenty I skip. I feel my heart rate increase and enjoy the illusion of strength. Inside I feel as fragile as blown glass, waiting to hear the tinkle of shattering.

My thoughts turn to an image of gold refining: how the bright purified gold bubbles up and is poured out in molten glory. The hope in me is like that: a seam of light torn away from the black heat. I don’t know whether to love it for its expensive shine, or hate it for its inevitable dream. I tramp on.