The lake is a long way from here. Her dance is a still life, framed in driftwood on our wall. Her rolling waves make no sound. Her scent of balsam and cedar has dissapated. We miss the sun’s red reflection on her shimmering silver and blue. We miss the call of her loons. Faith alone assures us the loons still nest, the flies still bite, the fish still jump clear of her surface when the mayflies hatch. We, like her hunted bear, huddle hidden in our home, waiting for a time when it’s safe again for us to roam.
A viral rampage chokes the breath from countless lives that matter to us. We who survive violent firestorms of inadequately masked rage know raw fear. For a full year out of time we yearn for justice and a cure as we shelter in place. We plant ‘victory’ gardens wishing deep in our battered hearts that hope might sprout with healing herbs and flowers in the coming spring. With stubborn shovels we pierce the sodden clay, defying the flood of terror raining from above. Life matters. Breath matters. Seven generations of new lives matter now. Love will surely win again.
Written in response to the March 16th, 2021, 99 word prompt at Carrotranch.com “deep wishes”.
The grandfathers were whalers, and according to historians, they were yeoman farmers. I wonder, what were the grandmothers doing? And how were the grandfathers, out at sea harpooning whales, managing their farms? Rebecca Corson, one of the grandmothers, is said to have fired a cannon scaring off the British as they approached shore during the revolutionary war. My guess would be that the women were spending less time on widow walks wringing their hands watching for the whalers to return than they spent in the fields tilling, in the woods hunting, and behind the cannon doing what they must.
Wise Women: do what interests you
If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased. – Katharine Hepburn
Wise Women: Bella Abzug
I spend all day figuring out how to beat the machine and knock the crap out of the political power structure. – Bella Abzug
Wise Women: Strong Men
Let’s be very clear: Strong men – men who are truly role models – don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. – Michelle Obama
When Jane’s children left she expected to mourn. Motherhood had been her chosen vocation. Come spring robins delivered a revelation. Jane heard them before she saw them, a nest full of open mouths, demanding. Their mother nervously tried to appease. From ground to nest, from nest to ground she flitted, worm after worm delivered. Jane remembered days like that, every move aimed to assuage another’s insistent hunger. She smiled. She did not envy that robin. She pushed her canoe into the lake, paddling in a direction she could change at will, without explanation to little mouths open and wanting.
Wise Women: a thought for today
I have always noticed that in portraits of really great writers the mouth is always firmly closed. – Gertrude Stein
Wise Women: Harriet Tubman
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. – Harriet Tubman
Lucy Stone: On disappointment
In education, in marriage, in religion, in everything, disappointment is the lot of woman. It shall be the business of my life to deepen this disappointment in every woman’s heart until she bows down to it no longer.
WiseWomen: Quote for this day
Now all we need is to continue to speak the truth fearlessly, and we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things. -Lucy Stone
Joanna hated witnessing the doe-eyed trophies suspended inverted from a scaffold at the end of the harbor, their purple tongues pointing toward the bloodied ground. She hated watching fish with gaping gills flop to death on the bottom of her family’s boat. She loathed the mounted antlered head above the fireplace and the bearskin rug in front of the hearth. Harpooned whales may have sustained her ancestors, but they haunted her dreams. Joanna understood the hunted heart. She didn’t see the point in hurting innocents and ached for the day when she’d no longer be her papa’s favored prey.
Written for Charli’s 99 word April 26 Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge:
April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge
Wise Women: quote for 4/24/18
“I think it is time for all babies to let us know who they want for president.” – Margaret Cho
Wise Women: quote of the day 4/23/18
“I have survivor skills. Some of that is superficial – what I present to people outwardly – but what makes people resilient is the ability to find humour and irony in situations that would otherwise overpower you.” – Amy Tan
Life is placid outside Joy’s woodland cabin as she takes her morning walk. Nuthatches seem unthreatened by nuclear missiles. Chickadees show no interest in crime or collusion. Blue jays apparently don’t know the job market is shrinking. Woodpeckers aren’t worried that stocks plummet and robins aren’t fretting about local or national scandals. This verdant world teems with new life. Leaf buds swell on the tips of tree branches. A spotted fawn appears in a bed of wildflowers. Joy bathes in the misty forest, cleansing her heart of clutter, strengthening herself to resist for one more day humanly created chaos.
Written in response to Charli’s April 19 Carrot Ranch 99 word fast fiction challenge: forest bathing
Wise Women: Virginia Woolf
“To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.” – Virginia Woolf
Wise Women: Eleanor Roosevelt
“I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Louisa May Alcott: On Truth
“Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won. – Louisa May Alcott
Wise Women: “Create Something”
“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.” – Maxine Hong Kingston
Wise Women: Quote of the Day 4/19/18
“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” – Anais Nin