30 Inspirational Prompts

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My muse has been difficult of late. My poetry has been halted, disjointed and lacking in grace. My thoughts have been scattered, dark and unhelpful, so I have once again taken a writing challenge from Kellie Elmore.

I will likely come to regret my choice, as I did with the letter writing, but I am in serious need of a creative rebooting, and this should do well to open my head up to new ideas.

Wish me luck, I will now embark on a journey into the more personal aspects of my life, and I will be taking you along for the ride. There are 30 inspirational prompts, and no specific time period in which they must be completed. I will be doing at least one a day if I can, and I will post all developments to facebook. Thank you for taking the time to read, and please do not hesitate to visit Kellie Elmore at magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com for your own inspiration.

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Inspirational Prompt 1: Guilty Pleasure

Nudity. I know, it sounds trashy. I love to walk around my house naked, cook clean and work in my garden naked, and I love to go for long walks on the river wearing only a bag for collecting pebbles.

My all-time favorite is topless coffee. There is something about the first rays of morning sun on your skin, a good view of the mountain, NPR on the radio, and a hot fresh cup o’ jo. It’s better than dessert, as far as I am concerned.

Of course I live in what the locals call the backwater of the boondocs, so I can get away with behavior that would be considered irrational by more well balanced folk. I do not suggest attempting this if you live in the city however, I hear they do not take kindly to nude gardening in the cul-de-sack.

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Inspirational Prompt #2: Something That Inspires You

Hands down, my biggest inspiration has always been nature. It was beneath an old growth mother tree that I set down my first lines, and it is within the whispers of the river that hear the poetry. The greatest turning points in my life have consistently been marked by upheavals in nature, and I have learned to watch it carefully, like reading a crystal ball.

Although I would have to say that my second strongest inspiration has always been emotion. Whether painful or beautiful, the tides of soul heaving behind the iris of another has swayed my pen since the first moment I discovered the inner world of others. What makes us tick? What makes us rage, laugh, cry, or persevere? What is the spirit within all people that causes them to reach out, to yearn for something greater, to search for just the right words that will explain their heart? What is it that makes us what we are? These unanswerable questions are endless fodder for my insatiable pages.

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Inspirational Prompt #3: The Five Songs You Would Have On A Deserted Island And Why

1- Tori Amos ‘Pancake’ Because it is a song that always makes me feel empowered, and gives me strength. I suppose I would need that on a deserted island.

2- Norah Jones ’Shoot The Moon’ Because the song always makes me think of standing alone inside of yourself, and finding the will to carry onward. A song about letting go of sadness.

3- Jack Johnson ‘Rodeo Clowns’ So melodic, hypnotic and addictive, I could listen to this song over and over without tiring of it’s rhythm. If I were stuck with only this song on an island, I would be happy- as long as there was also some good merlot too.

4- James Brown ‘Get Up Offa That Thang’ Because I will need a serious dance breakdown moment after my first emotional crash, and there is nothing like James Brown to get your tush shakin’.

5- John Lee Hooker ‘Hobo Blues’ Because I can’t be marooned with out some blues to listen to, and Johnny knows just how to stroke me.

Now I have said that I would take these songs with me if I were stranded, but these are not necessarily my favorites. If you were to ask me tomorrow, the list would likely be different. Actually, as the random play shuffles through my playlist, it will change by the hour. A short time from now I will hear a song and say to myself, “Damn, why didn’t I say that one?”. I love all music, and honestly, as long as I had SOME music on this imaginary island, I would be content.

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Inspirational Prompt #4: What You Imagine Paradise Would Be Like

Ahh, how truthful to be? I could be honest and tell you what paradise would truly be for me, or I could give you a brief overview that would tell no lies, but neglect to mention the important bits. I could pretend that I am a well behaved woman, and that I never have a naughty thought in my head, but it would bore me to tears just writing such drivel, and I will not waste your time by doing so.

The truth? Well, paradise for me would be a place where I did not have to dress myself. Where I could go shopping for veggies in my birthday suit, and where the weather was kind enough to make such things enjoyable. No tan lines except the ones from my toe rings.

It would be a place where I had a large oak desk perched on a beach with sand as soft as silk between my toes, and nobody to interrupt my writing, unless it is for an impromptu disco dance party.

As Melissa Ethridge said, ‘I would smoke, drink swear and I would never grow old.’

I can’t decide between a male or female lover, such is the plight of the genuine bi-sexual, so I suppose in my utopia there would be both. The man would have a great sense of humor and a practical mind, while the woman would be fiery and devious, who could throw a knife with better aim than me.

In my heaven I could read a book and write a book at the same time.

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Inspirational Prompt #5 A Thank You Letter To Someone Who Has Changed Your Life

Dear Moon Mullens,

I know I wrote to you previously, in my 30 day letter writing challenge, but I don’t believe I gave you the credit you so justly deserve. Allow me to try again.

A broken child I was, in so many ways I had been twisted, until I trusted nobody and hid even from myself. I muttered to the ground in conversation, feared to look in a person’s eyes, and had no self esteem to speak of. I wanted a job, but didn’t think I could actually excelle in anything. I didn’t even think you would hire me, and when you did, I questioned your intelligence.

I took great pride in my work, in having a purpose, and I rose early every day to be there on time. I struggled to carry my own weight on a predominantly male job site, I strove to please you, and do every project right the first time, and I worked hard for every penny you gave to me.

That first year was a catastrophe. I spilled paint, dropped antique chandeliers, dug up the wrong roses, gouged  the refrigerator with a ladder, spent 4 hours painting the wrong trim, got caught smoking pot on the roof, put the saw blade in backward, blew up the line trimmer, used the wrong fertilizer on the lawn, and a myriad of other small blunders that a thirteen year old will make on her first job.

You forgave me, corrected me, taught me, berated me, hugged me, made me laugh, cry and rage. You gave me respect. There was something in me that you found worthy of your time, and for that alone I will be forever grateful.

Over the years now, after 13 years of coffee, eggies, green drinks, late night calls, favors, gifts, arguments, trust, friendship and giggle fests, you have sent your roots deeply into my heart and the life of you flourishes there. You have become my soul mother, and the most wonderful woman I have ever met.

May all the Gods keep you, and may your path through this world be strewn with flowers and the friendship of others. May that big heart of yours never find itself empty, and may all of your sunrises be greeted with smiles. The gift of you that has been given to me is one I will cherish forever as the most beautiful gift ever received. I vow to never sully it, degrade, disregard, or impinge upon it. For the bounty you have filled me with, you will forever hold the highest shelf in my heart, and I will always be your biggest fan.

With Love And Devotion,

Kelley Rose Of Rose Hill

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Inspirational Prompt #6 Earliest Thing You Can Remember

My earliest memory is a rather hazy one, as I’m sure most early memories are. It was in Denton Texas, where I was born, at what the family calls the white house (we lived in two white houses in Texas, but this one is remembered for it’s preported haunting, and the town just refered to it as the white house).

It was an 80 acre farm with wild bulls, unbroken mustangs, chickens, goats, hogs, two saddle horses, 12 cats, two dogs, and a family of semi tame raccoons that lived in the attic. The house was once a large manor type deal that had been partially destroyed in a fire, and had several doors upstairs that opened into thin air, and hallways that led nowhere. An old well by the hog pen out back was once used for the old farm house, but was broken and unused when I lived there. At certain times of year, when the water table rose, it would leak steadily out the top and make a make a muddy stream in the yard. The water was an orange rust color, and algae grew in slimy curtains on the spicket. In the prairie of Texas there is not much water to be found for a 3 year old girl to play in, and it is HOT HOT HOT. You learn to make the best of what you have (I once tried to swim in the trough for the bulls, and my mother about had a heart attack).

I had an old tool box given to me by my brother and I had muscle men and G.I. Joes in there, along with little plastic farm animals, marbles, and anything else I had happened to collect.  I got in trouble with my mother, I don’t know what I did, but she told me to get out and go play outside, so I took my little tool box and marched out all pissy.

The most vivid part of the memory is squishing the algae in my fingers. I knew I was not supposed to play in the water, and I knew I was most CERTAINLY not allowed to touch the goo, but my mother had let me out without a chaperone, and I had waited an eternity to know what slime felt like. The water was really cool close to the spicket, but hot and tepid in a small pool below. There was some orange goo beginning to form in the puddle, and I got my hands all over that too. I was feeling like quite a rebel, and I knew I would get a spanking if I was caught, which made it all that more exiting.

I sat down right in the middle of the puddle, and began arranging my soldiers to make war upon one another, a game my brother had taught me how to play. The muscle men were one army, the G.I. Joes were another, and the marbles were the missiles. I don’t know if the game had quite evolved to that point yet, I was only three after all, but I do remember setting them up in ranks.

I never got far enough to invade other countries, because my mother had discovered my clean britches planted in some bio hazard of a sludge pool in the back yard. I got the spanking I knew I would, for doing something I knew damn well I was forbidden from doing, and she made me wear my sister’s dress for the rest of the day.

I would have to say that it was worth it, and I still like to play in puddles.

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Inspirational Prompt #7 Favorite Cover Of Your Favorite Song

The Song: Donovan And Jimmy Page ‘Sunshine Superman’

The Cover Artist: Jewel

I know, this may surprise a lot of people, but I happen to like Jewel in her earlier years, and this was an excellent cover. Anyone who knows me, knows that I get irate when modern artist mess with the classics, and especially when wispy blonde bombshells try to meddle in my love affair with Jimmy Page. I have made allowances for Jewel just this once, for she did a commendable job shocking the hell out of me by actually making me like her spin- However, that does not mean I forgive her for doing a terrible rendition of ‘Over The Rainbow’.

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Inspirational Prompt #8 Someone You Think Would Make A Good President

Who do I think would be a good president? What kind of question is that? Why do we need a president, we stopped carving figureheads on our warships years ago because they were impractical, what does that tell you?

Now ask me who I think would be a good leader for this country. Go ahead, ask.

I think YOU would. I choose the homeless man on the street, or the girl waiting tables at the diner. How about the police man on the night shift, or the doctor on call? What if we were all leaders of eachother? What if we all walked in solidarity and looked after our neighbors like we looked after our stock prices? What if our strength came not from armies or bureaucrats, but from the power of millions of hands working toward a common future?

What if we no longer stood behind figureheads?

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Inspirational Prompt #9 Five Things You Want To See Change

1) First and foremost I would like to see a global respect for nature. This is no bleeding heart, tree hugging, hippie, revolutionary thing, it is a matter of simple respect. Not to mention common sence. This planet that gives us life, is home to more species than ours. In fact BILLIONS of species rely upon this earth. It is completely unacceptable to me that the human race destroys so wantonly and utterly it’s environment to maintain it’s living standards, and most especially when we are perfectly capable of using alternate sources that do not rape our generous host. Simple responsibility and courtesy are taught to a child early on. To respect your elders, put away  your things when you are done with them, do not leave a mess, ask nicely when you want something, share with your neighbor, all of these thing abandoned when governments make environmental policies; Steal from your neighbors, leave a mess when you are done playing with your oil, slowly torture your mother and demand more and more and MORE cookies, even when the jar is long empty… Just a simple acknowledgement of the integral importance of a simple blade of grass, would be nice.

2) For the global acceptance of religion and spirituality. For all people to understand that God is everyone, everywhere, and everything. God is in every religion, every new born creature, every race of people, every prayer or bonfire, or dance, or cave painting. For the understanding and humility of people who refuse to belittle the divinity of another, allowing all living things to find their soul in accordance with their own particular preference.

3) For public education to include lessons on how to use the right side of your brain, rather than a system designed to quell it. It is very important, in my personal belief, to take full advantage of our mental capabilities, and to learn the extent of our potential. The mind will be the true ‘final frontier’, and I do not believe we can evolve as a people until we have  learned to use it properly.

4) For a 1% yearly revenue tax to be applied  to all major cities, for the purpose of rural cleanup and renewal.  This fund will be used for: Tree planting, stream clearing, waste removal, the perpetuation of any locally threatened wildlife, ect. This will serve as an environmental buffer between urban and woodland communities, as well as maintain the national ecosystem.

5) Now that I have ranted about politics, religion, education and the environment, what shall I state as my 5th wish?…… Lower ticket prices on flights to Hawaii.

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Inspirational Prompt #10 A Dream You Had This Past Week Described In Detail

I was rather excited to see this prompt as number ten, because dreams are very interesting to me. They represent an unfathmable enigma in my life, and I have begun to write each one down. For the first three quarters of my life I did not dream- or more accurately, I could not remember my dreams upon waking. In the past several years I have had more of them than I had in my entire life previous. Not only this, but my dreams have shown themselves to be mildly prophetic in nature. Nothing grand, just little things; Being somewhere in my dream I have never seen, only to find myself there a few days later in California. Dreaming of having a conversation with someone I have not seen in a while, then running into them the next day and having a very similar conversation. Things like that.

On the other hand, there is a different kind of dream that has appeared as well. These are very twisted and strange perversions of reality, where nothing makes sence and everything moves quickly. They say that you can neither read or smell in dreams, but I do both on a nightly basis. There are cardboard signs with messages on them, books that I read, a room I walked into that stank so badly of rotten flesh that my stomach turned and I could taste it in my throat, the smell of smoke hanging in the room from a fireplace door left ajar, the smell of damp moss as I hid from some unknown stalker, the smell of a damp jacket when my friend embraces me, the smell of seaweed and salt on a beach at night, and a thousand others.

Sometimes I am myself, sometimes I am watching myself, and sometimes I am another person altogether, and these are the strangest of all. I will be in a group of people, and see myself talking and carrying on. It’s not like it’s another me that watches either, it is very hard to explain. Once I was a very large man, about 300 lbs., and I was talking to someone else while the other me was building something.

But now I digress, for I am supposed to be writing the tale of a dream, not giving you the complete past history of them. So this dream was from monday night:

I was in the residential area of some unknown city and it was night time. I was with a group of about 5-7 people, and we were running from some kind of army. We were ducking into buildings, sneaking through parks, and crouching behind parked cars. The people who were after us wanted something that we had, but it was inside of us, not possessions that we owned. Whatever it was I could feel it in my chest, almost like the tightness you get when you fight off tears, or when you are afraid. My heart was beating so hard it was pounding in my ears. I was not afraid of being caught, I was very precise and logical in my thinking. I planned my next move carefully every step of the way, and part of the group was following my lead, while the other part was following a man who was very dear to me. I never saw his face, so I do not know who it was, but I worried more about his welfare than my own. I apparently had experience in this kind of situation, but I knew it was his first time being so close to danger.

This thing inside of us was also a weapon of some sort that we could use, not like a magic power, and not like a piece of technology. I do not know exactly what, but we could not use it for some reason, or they would find us.

I got separated from the group and found myself in a cull-de-sack where all the street lights were out. I was suddenly wearing different clothes and I had a backpack on. I crouched behind a large black van in someone’s driveway and looked up the street. One block up the streetlights were on and I could see a dozen or more people in black uniforms with large guns talking in a circle, as  if in discussion. I got butterflies in my stomach, and I knew immediately that these were the people after me and my friends. I snuck through the backyard of the house and started to climb the fence, and I knew I was on my way to warn the others. That’s when the dream changed.

I was perched in the rafters of a large log building lined with wooden benches and tables like a cafeteria. I didn’t want anyone to find me, and I was prepared to stay up there indefinitely. I was both a child and an adult at the same time. People started coming in through two big doors on either end of the building and sat at the tables to eat. I do not know where the food came from, it wasn’t on the tables before they came in, and they were not carrying any, but they were eating at the tables, nevertheless.

I got very afraid, thinking someone was going to see me and want to talk to me. The thought of someone looking at me and talking to me had me so petrified I was shaking, and I was clinging to the rafter. I could smell pine and dust on the beam, the dry kind of dust found under a house, very fine and stale.

Suddenly there was a man at the bottom of the column that supported my beam, and he was coaxing me to come down. Everyone in the room had now noticed me, and they had stopped eating. My heart was pounding and my face felt hot as I slowly slid down the column. I didn’t want to come down, but I knew I had to do what I was told. I was very afraid of the man and I didn’t dare look at him. Instead I looked desperately around the room to see if anyone would let me sit with them. I knew I was in a lot of trouble, and anyone seen speaking or associating with me would be in trouble too. Only one person met my eyes.

He was a friend of mine but I did not recognize him as someone I know in the waking world. I knew he could not let me sit with him, but I knew he did not hate me. As I walked slowly by his table he slid a book over to me very subtly. I recognized the book as one I read as a teenager, and one I really liked. I was very happy and wanted to give him a hug, but I knew I had to pretend not to know him, so I left the wooden building.

Once I walked out the door I was an adult again, and I was somewhere completely different. It was night, and there was a dark parking lot in the middle of nowhere, filled to about half of it’s capacity. My jeep was parked in the back left corner and I was talking to my friend Anthony on the phone as I walked toward it. He was at some sort of party, and wanted to know if I could pick him up. I have no idea where his car was. I told him there was no way, I was in some parking lot in the boonies, I told him, and I have no idea how to get to Greenlake from here.

He told me to catch the next flight out, which was very incongruous with the subject matter.

I still had the book in my hand that my friend had given me, and I opened it to read while my jeep warmed up. I read the words ” She looked at her watch and saw that she was late for work…”

Then I woke up, and no, I was not late for work.

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Inspirational Prompt #11 Favorite Picture Of Yourself

This picture was taken at Comanche Lake in California. That road trip was was of mighty proportions, the story of which has yet to be written.

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Inspirational Prompt #12 Favorite Musical Artist’s Life Story

Ani Difranco is a singer, song writer, poet, activist and mother. She has inspired me for the last 15 years with her Great Voice, her strength and wisdom, her unflappable honesty and clarity in a world of misconception. She is a self described “Little Folk Singer”, although her definition of this is broad enough to include soul, funk, jazz, electronica, spoken word, indi rock, bucket drums and a marching band or two. You will never know what kind of sounds you will hear from Ani, each record is an experiment in free expression.

She was born in Buffalo NY in 1970, and she is a Libra. Her first interests were dance and visual arts, but her family was one of music, and she learned the guitar at a very early age. Many struggling musicians passing through, playing the Buffalo bar scene, would stay overnight with her family and they would all play together. This beatnik gritty sound soon swayed her completely. She was singing and performing at Rust Belt bars by the age of 10, and by 15 was writing and performing songs of her own, hitting the regional coffee house and club circuit.

By the time she had decided to record a casset in 1990 she had over 100 original compositions to choose from. Her words are very plain spoken, yet poetic. She writes about the world around her, the politics, environment, relationships, and artistry. All filtered through  her unique and captivating perspective. She has a way of grabbing you with her words, and shaking you until you listen. Her message is powerful and wise, unexpected and gental, inappropriate and sweet. You never see her coming, but you will notice when she has gone.

So Ani made her first self titled record at the age of 20, and sold it from the trunk of her hand painted car at campuses and seedy dives across america. She did this of course, on her own record label. Nobody would take the risk of signing Ani, with her progressive message, her wild hair, and especially when she refused to compromise in any way the integrity of her art for their control over her content. So she flipped a femenist’s finger at the whole business and created Riteous Babe Records. Then she wrote a song about it, bless her.

By 1998 she had 11 albums in circulation, and a massive underground following. Thousands of mix tapes and bootleggers were being passed all over the country, and her popularity grew rapidly. It was during this time that her political voice and standing began to emerge. She studied, she attended, conferences, rallies, marches, lectures and invited college professors of all degrees to have dinner and discussion. She learned for herself what she believed to be right, and she fought for it with a sharp mind and an arsenal of knowledge. She used her growing recognition to bring attention to causes and charities she found worthy of fighting for.

Riteous Babe Records is no longer a dining room table operation, and no longer sells records from the trunk of an art car. Ani now plays venues of 2-6000 seats, has sold well over 1, 120,000 albums, made the cover of several international magazines, appeared several times on network television, and now supports other black sheep artists on her label. Her life-long co conspirators have included the likes of Pete Seeger and the late Utah Phillips, as well as her motley crew- Prince, Maceo Parker, Andrew Bird, Dr. John, Arto Lindsay, Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, the Boffalo Philharmonic, Gillian Welch, Cyndi Lauper, and the Bermese activist and Noble laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ani’s trip to Burma and Thailand, song sharing with the children

Ani and her manager Scott Fisher at the march for woman’s lives in Washington DC in 2004. An honored guest, placed up front with Whoopi Goldberg, Christine Lahti, Frances Fisher and others not shown. (Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, Gloria Steinem)

Ani and Joan Jett swap tales of the road.

Ani In the early years

Some of My Favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55AZRDkMZJs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqk0encp3xc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7xvfb-JLQo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-s-qiCrk-M&feature=related definately a fav

Quotes from Ani:

“We get a little further from perfection,
each year on the road,
I guess that’s what they call character,
I guess that’s just the way it goes,
better to be dusty than polished,
like some store window mannequin,
why don’t you touch me where i’m rusty,
let me stain your hands”
Ani DiFranco
“I love my country, by which I mean I am indebted joyfully to all the people throughout its history, who have fought the government to make right. Where so many cunning sons and daughters, our foremothers and forefathers came singing through slaughter, came through hell and high water so that we could stand here, and behold breathlessly the sight; how a raging river of tears cut a grand canyon of light. Why can’t all decent men and women call themselves feminists, out of respect for those that fought for this?”
Ani DiFranco
“and half of learning to play is learning what not to play
and she’s learning the spaces she leaves have their own things to say
and she’s trying to sing just enough so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy that gives what it is and has nothing to proveshe crawls out on a limb and begins to build her home
and it’s enough just to look around and to know that she’s not aloneup up up up up up up points the spire of the steeple
but god’s work isn’t done by god
it’s done by people”
Ani DiFranco

“Love is a piano dropped from a four story window and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
-Two Little Girls (Little Plastic Castle) ”
Ani DiFranco
“when I was four years old
they tried to test my I.Q.
they showed me a picture
of 3 oranges and a pear
they said,
which one is different?
it does not belong
they taught me different is wrong
but when I was 13 years old
I woke up one morning
thighs covered in blood
like a war
like a warning
that I live in a breakable takeable body
an ever-increasingly valuable body
that a woman had come in the night to replace me
deface me
see,
my body is borrowed
yeah, I got it on loan
for the time in between my mom and some maggots
I don’t need anyone to hold me
I can hold my own
I got highways for stretchmarks
see where I’ve grown
I sing sometimes
like my life is at stake
’cause you’re only as loud
as the noises you make
I’m learning to laugh as hard
as I can listen
’cause silence
is violence
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then I could relax
but a good brain ain’t diddley
if you don’t have the facts
we live in a breakable takeable world
an ever available possible world
and we can make music
like we can make do
genius is in a back beat
backseat to nothing if you’re dancing
especially something stupid
like I.Q.
for every lie I unlearn
I learn something new
I sing sometimes for the war that I fight
’cause every tool is a weapon –
if you hold it right.”
Ani DiFranco
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Inspirational Prompt # 13 A Memory That Never Fails To Make You Laugh
When I was 9 years old the family moved from an apartment complex in the city, to a 5 acre piece of land at the base of Steven’s Pass in the Cascade Mountains. There is four children in the family, and we were all expected to pull our own weight with chores and work (which were two very different things). On top of the average to-do list of dishes, cleaning, and bringing in the firewood, we also chopped the firewood, the trees it came from, burned the stumps under a pile of it’s own branches, hauled countless wheelbarrow loads of gravel, rock and woodchips, and shoveled snow for days at a time until our arms  felt like they would fall off and we could no longer feel our toes.
My family was never very good at communication or bonding, we were always busy doing something else. With three girls and one boy in the family, all of us two years apart, things can get pretty rough when hormones start flying. The battles were epic, the grudges deep, and it was everyone for themselves when the chaos hit the fan. Not religious or spiritual, not dedicated or unified, no holidays were really deemed a priority. Christmas was celebrated like a bunch of  people forced to remain in each other’s company, going through the motions. But not Thanksgiving, my mother loved Thanksgiving.
In the year of  ’97 the tension was running high, everyone had some sort of vendetta against someone else, or they just refused to speak to them altogether, and everyone was dreading the required four hour minimum that we all had to be present. My mother had outdone herself, she had cooked all day and every available surface in our tiny kitchen was packed with plates of food, and I wondered how we were going to eat in the middle of all of it, as the dining table was in the center of the room, or if we were just supposed to start eating our way to a chair. My mother was giving everyone a ‘don’t you dare give me attitude’ look as she called us all in to eat.
My eldest sister and my father, her step-father, had begun to argue in the living room prior to filing into the kitchen, and the storm clouds were dark and heavy. My brother was not always so accommodating, but on this particular evening he had decided to smooth things over with a little humor. He was the clown of the family, and could have all of us in stitches with his terrible Russian accent, and the skit that accompanied it.  As my mother leaned over to fill his plate with some mashed potatoes, he scooped some up with his spoon and mimed launching them at her. With an exaggerated goofy look, and one finger on the back of the spoon like a catapult, he said slowly “What would you do if I flung these at you right now?” He was grinning and leaning forward, as if ready to let loose at any moment.
The table had now gone silent, all of us were looking at my mother, and nobody was breathing. We were all smiling, believing she would say something like ‘I would slap you silly’ or ‘You would be cutting firewood till yer 50’ all in good fun. But she did not say this. Without taking her eyes off of my brother, with a poker face that would have made Cool Hand Luke tip his hat, she plopped a full ladle of mashed potatoes on his head, then calmly awaited his reaction.
He gasped and flinched like someone had thrown a bucket of ice water on him, and the look he gave her was so shocked, so incredibly flabbergasted, that he actually moved his lips a few times but was completely speechless. The rest of us had a shocked moment of our own, looking at each other with silent looks that seemed to say ‘did you just SEE that?’ And we all broke into laughter at the same time. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and we toppled from our chairs, we laughed until we cried and had to pee, we laughed with the hysteric relief of accumulated tension banished by mashed potatoes.
In the midst of our gayety, my mother giggled and struggled to look disapproving down upon our mirth. “What are you laughing about?”  She said to us, “We’ll see how funny it is when YOU’RE wearing taters.” And she launched  those famous potatoes, secret recipe and all, in a well placed fling of her spoon down the line at the table, and nobody, not even my father, was spared from the blast.
We once again reeled to a halt in a moment of shock. I mean, a glob of potato was one thing, but my mother had just declared war in a very big way. In an unspoken agreement, with perfect synchronicity, bowls and platters were snatched from the table and splattered on the person next to you. Some used chairs and cookie pans as defenses behind which to fling their food. Stuffing, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, handfuls of pie, pasta and all the trimmings for a full Thanksgiving meal began flying through the air in all directions.
When the war was over, everyone emerged grinning and breathless from their  fortresses, grabbing handfuls of food from themselves and eating it with a smile. We looked around and oohed at the catastrophe of pumpkin pie in the carpet, and awwed at the cranberry sauce on the ceiling. The carpet was drug outside to be washed the next day (which made the dogs very happy) and all of us began to clean up together in a way we never would have done before, and haven’t done since.
As if we all respected the importance of the turkey nobody had molested it in the war on dinner, and there was one pie still in the oven because it could not fit on the counter. This is what our holiday supper was, and it was a very good turkey. The whole feast my mother had spent all day preparing, the money that had been spent on a tight budget, all of it gone to the trash.
I would like to believe however that what we got for our money that night instead of a meal, was the companionship and unity that we did not know who to communicate otherwise. We could not say the words to one another, and it was impossible to clear the air without something coming to a head. So I suppose in this way we were able to vent, to expel grudges, to forgive, to laugh together without an argument… In my family, it takes a food fight for us to enjoy the holidays.
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Inspirational Prompt #14 The Best Mashup You Ever Heard
I would find it much easier to complete this prompt is I knew what the hell a mashup was. I don’t keep up very well on all this new terminology, despite my relatively young age, I still use words like groovy and peachy keen.. Excuse me for one moment while I google this…
Ahh, so it’s a music mashup is it? I had a suspicion that was what it was, I think I heard about mashups from somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I could tell you my favorite.
How about I just make one up? Art and creativity are all about using your imagination, so that is what I will do… Kellie Elmore did not specify the necessity for honesty in the prompts, so I’m just gonna wing it.
Best mashup ever:  Jimi Hendrix ‘Purple Haze’ mashed with Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion’.
I imagine the colliding of these sexy screamers would cause dogs to howl and woman to spontaneously become pregnant for miles around. The wailing, electric tremors of such a song would transcend the meager flesh and burst up to the heavens to rock the hell out of that dude with the harp.
Just the thought of it is fit to split my skull…
To get the complete effect, I suggest you do what I am doing now: Put a stereo on either side of you with a song playing on each one, and turn it up. The overwhelming sensation of rock and roll in my ears has me squirming in my seat like a girl having naughty thoughts in church.
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Inspirational Prompt #15 A Moment, Phrase Or Song That Has Changed Your Life The Most
My life changing experience is not so much one moment, but an accumulation of smaller moments which led up to one big BANG – Literally.
I was married to a woman for nearly five years, well, as much as you can be married to another woman in a society that chooses to ignore such unions. We bought rings, we changed our names, and we joined our lives together in every way that counts. We struggled, worked, laughed together, fought, made up, and above all supported each other unconditionally every step of the way. Willie Nelson has a song titled “Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground” and the ending of our relationship was something like that.
I met her at a horribly painful time in her life, when she was broken and unable to save herself. I was lonely and outcast, shy and unsure, and just as broken as she was. We healed the wounds in one another, gave each other the strength to stand, gave the understanding and acceptance to the other that we ourselves so desperately needed. She lived in the back of her silver dodge van, and worked as a bartender a few towns away. She was 25, and I was 18.
We were very compatible in every way. We worked very well together when we worked on the same job, we enjoyed the same food, we had the same sleep schedule, we always knew when to crack a joke to get a smile, or to walk away and give space. She had three children in the custody of her ex husband, and after a year and a half of court battles, we were able to see them on the weekends. They called me Auntie Rowan or Auntie Kelley, and I loved them like my own. I still carry their picture in my wallet to this day.
Even the best of things will pass, and Phoenix and I had given each other the strength to go our own ways, although we never saw it that way. We had healed the broken wings and the broken pieces, and our tiny utopia was feeling suddenly clausterphobic. By late December of 2008 the cracks in our chalice had become so great, it could no longer hold water. Phoenix had begun studying for her degree in the culinary arts at the A.I. in Seattle and for the past 6 months I had seen her only on the weekends, and it was now her mid-winter break. There was four feet of snow that year, and our four wheel drive blazer was having a hard time of it. We were house-sitting for a friend outside of town, and a good storm was brewing outside. Both of us loved to watch a snowstorm out the window while snuggling in with some jazz and a cocoa with a kick, but Phoenix was in a standoffish, guarded mood, so I figured on giving her some space and sitting alone. The new batman movie had just come out, the Dark Knight, and she went upstairs to the half loft, into the guest room, to watch it by herself.
My mother suddenly tore into the driveway with my dog of 12 years bleeding profusely from a gash in his foot. My mother takes care of my dogs when I am away, and I live 5 miles outside of a small town that is 25 miles to the nearest hospital, and about 40 miles to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. It was 9:30 at night, I had no money, the Blazer had a quarter of a tank of gas, and there was now a full on white out outside. I was in a near panic, in tears and pacing as I tried desperately to reach someone on the phone. Jaccob was my baby, his mother died when his litter was still nursing, and I raised them all on the bottle. To have him bleeding in front of me, to see the white towel half red around his paw and his brown eyes watching me pace with a calm expression, knowing I would save him, well, I was beside myself to say the least. I admit I overreacted more than slightly.
I reached Moon on the phone, my soul mother and my savior, who offered her credit card  to the cause (I love that woman) and I prepared to make the trek through the storm to the hospital. In all my frantic activity, I had not noticed Phoenix’s complete lack of support, or the major cold shoulder I was receiving from the railing that overlooked the living room. It wasn’t until I ran back in to snatch my jacket and wallet before it dawned on me. I looked up at her “Are you coming?” I asked. “No I am not fucking coming,” she spat at me, “I want to watch this damn movie in peace.”
I looked at her in complete shock for a moment before exploding. “Well it’s too bad that my dog nearly bleeding to death is cramping your style, but if you want me to apologize you can go fuck yourself. Now if you will excuse me, I’ll leave you to your selfish pouting and go save my child. Unless of course you would rather I just left him out there so he wont bother you and cuddle up for the movie.” “I don’t care what you do.” she said, and it was said with finality. ‘I do not care’. It could not have been stated more clearly.
I looked at her for a long moment. I saw her clearly, clinically, honestly. I looked at her beautiful profile lit by the blue television screen. Her jaw clenched, her honey brown eyes dark and hard, that dark Brazilian skin flushed red with anger, the jewish nose I always found beautiful which she hated so much, outlined starkly by the white wall, her arms crossed under her breasts, cradling the tattoo there, and her red tank top slipping slightly down one shoulder. I said the words before I thought of it, acting on pure impulse. “If you have no room in your life for me then we are done. I’m going to take care of someone I love right now, he needs me.” and I turned my heel and left. When I came back several hours  later, she was gone with all of her things, including the batman movie.
I called her cell phone the next morning but she did not answer. I left a message saying that we needed to talk. Which was a redundant thing to say, but someone had to say it. It was three days later that she called back. When the conversation first began I thought we would be working things out, getting over it, and moving on. Halfway through the conversation I was ready to hang up, and by the end of it I was angry and outraged. I began by telling her I wanted to meet for coffee so we could talk face to face. She refused, and said she needed more time to think first. I agreed. She suggested counseling, and I refused. It bounced back and forth this way, the accumulating inertia and friction growing with our rising voices, until nobody could hear anybody else and we both hung up simultaneously. She called back 3 minutes later to tell me she still wanted to be together, and I told her to keep the ring. It was New Year’s Day.
I spent the next 4 weeks in deep meditation when I was not working. I did not go out, I did not socialize, and I filled two notebooks. You may be wondering at my reaction and think it harsh, but I had my own reasons. For a woman who loves me, who knows the deep bond I have with a dog that is more my son than my pet, to show such callous disregard for both him and me was a crime beyond measure in my eyes.   A person who shows such pitiless and selfish behavior is nobody who deserves my love and loyalty. She knew this you see, she was my heart and soul for five years, she knew my triggers better than I did. She knew exactly how I felt about Jaccob, and exactly how I would react to her disregard of his welfare. She was in a mood that night, if you recall, and something had been brewing inside of her for some time. She wanted to leave me, but she didn’t know quite why. We had a good thing together, but the wings I had given her needed to fly. She could not bring herself to just walk away without reason, so she gave herself a reason. She let me do it instead. Of course latter she regretted her decision and tried to make amends, but the damage had already been done.
It was February 5th, 4 weeks later, that everything finally came to a head. The 32 foot 5th wheel hitch travel trailor that I had purchased 8 months before blew up in my face. A propane leak in a cabinate with a toaster oven… A toasted spam and cheese sandwhich would have been a very sad thing to die for.
As I have stated before there was 4 feet of snow on the ground, Phoenix had taken the the Blazer weeks ago, and I lived 5 miles out side of town where I could find help. I had been completely engulfed in flame, I had put myself out in a snow bank, my house was on fire, and I was in shock. I shut off my propane tank, cut the line and tossed it in the brush, and looked at the smoke billowing from the front door and wondered briefly if I should grab anything. A small voice inside of me said simply ‘no’ and I turned to walk up the road. All of this happened very swiftly, in a fog of numbness mixed with a strange mental clarity. My whole body felt like it was pulsing, whomp whomp, in a very physical way that had nothing to do with my heartbeat. Through this fog everything was serreal and weightless.
My only hope is that my mother will be home, as she is my only neighbor for miles, and she is four acres away in the snow. The path was beated down to about two feet in width, and about 12 inches down in the solid pack of snow. It was icy where half melted puddles had formed, and branches that had been weighted down and frozen into the crust made a maze of familiar territory. It was about 50 feet or so up the road that the shock wore out, and I broke down. The whomping grew to a mighty proportion, and my hands were suddenly the source. They were on fire in such a way I find hard to describe. They blazed out from my body  like an explosion, pain shooting up my arms, constricting my chest, clenching my stomach, pushing on the inside of my ears, burning on the inside of my eyes, it was all I could feel, all that I was, I could not breathe or think,  lost and insignificant within this firestorm that had become my body.
I do not know how long that moment lasted, but it is one I will never forget. It was an eternity of agony. It was worse than the wall of fire which engulfed me, worse than the frantic and terrified struggle to douse myself, and worse than anything I had ever encountered in my life. I took a huge gasp of air into my lungs, and I did not recognize the sound of it. It was a gulp, a harsh rattle, a completely primitive and instinctive struggle for air. It snapped something in me, immediately brought me to attention, and I suddenly found myself in the middle of all that chaos. Every hair on my body stood on end, every muscle coiled and ready to spring, feet planted, and a complete mental stillness. An awareness with a profound knowledge of self.
I recall thinking very clearly to myself “Wow Kelley Rose, you’re doing a pretty good job, considering. Now just walk up the road.” I was proud of myself for a moment, that I had pulled myself together so well, before realizing that I was whimpering and had not realized it. It was a strange raspy noise, and it reminded me of a wounded animal. It was very embarrassing and weak, but I could not seem to stop it. Every step was careful and studied, determined and stubborn. I locked my eyes upon the snow patch before me and glared at it until my foot appeared there. My legs wanted to collapse, my knees were shaking, and every movement had to be done carefully and consciously. The pain was so overwhelming that every thought or action had to be held firmy, or be carried away in the hurricane of it. I knew if I sat down I would not get up. I knew if I thought about it I would be afraid. I knew all I had to do was one step at a time, inch by inch, like drops of water to form the sea. It was about this time that I looked down to see my hands.
The moon was about half full and very reflective on the banks of snow. When I had come into a small break in the trees I had ample light to examine my injuries. It was a swift glance down, and my knees nearly buckled. Large blisters covered my hands, swelling and distending them to twice their normal size. They were black and red, and one was currently leaking a clear fluid down my thumb. Another chill passed through my body, my stomach flip flopped, and I wrenched my head back up before I could look more. I no longer looked at the ground, but concentrated as far as I could see up the road, and marched for it. I walked like I was lifting weights, like I was moving mountains, like I was marching into battle. With the stubborn determination of someone who has had to suck it up before, I set out to prove to myself that I was worth a damn. I was angry, I do not know why, but it was white hot and just as powerful as the firestorm, and it got me up the last hill.
My mother was home, and I quite calmly knocked on her door and asked for a pan of water for my hands, she started to reach for it reflexively, before something about my stance made her look closer. She gasped as the light from her open front door revealed my face, which was apparently red and swelling quickly, and I had no eyebrows or eyelashes. Of course I had not noticed this in my struggle to deal with my hands, which were clearly worse off than my face.
She immediately grabbed her purse and told me I had to go to the hospital, which was a pretty stupid thing to say, and we began the quarter mile walk to the main road where her truck was parked. When we got to the hospital I told the security guard that had my elbow to grab my wallet for me out of my right front jacket pocket, which of course is when I noticed, in the bright glow of florescence, that the fleece had completely melted onto the layer beneath. My wallet was long gone. I had hair down to my bum, in a braid at the time of the fire, which came off with the jacket. Nearly three feet of half melted french braid plastered into the fabric. They put me in an induced coma with a breathing tube, as I had inhaled the flames and my throat was swelling shut- Which would explain the strange sounds I was making on my assent. They transferred me immediately to Harborview Medical Center, the top burn center in the country.
I was there for eight days, unable to move my hands, with a lot of time to think about my life. The four weeks of meditation and soul searching after the exodus of Phoenix had set the perfect stage for my emotional rebirth. I could have died, almost did, and my entire life was a regret. I had never had the courage to speak out, to use my voice, take a chance, flirt with danger, do something spontaneous just for fun, or be myself, for the fear of disapproval. I realized that the only thing I would have regretted about my life was not any choice or mistake I had made, but for all of the things I was too afraid to do. I vowed then to be what I wanted to be, stand resolute behind it, and not compromise it for the opinions of others.
Lots of people wait for the moment that defines them. They would like to believe themselves capable of facing an emergency with a cool head and rational actions. They wonder just how strong they would be if they were tested, and ponder secretly where their breaking point may be. Well I have seen the depths of me. I now own the unshakeable knowledge of exactly who I am, and what I am capable of, and it is a strength that can never be taken from me. A friend of mine has told me that there is something  in my eyes. That there is some undefinable, very subtle aspect in me that I did not have before. She tells me that I still have fire in my eyes, and I believe her.
Have you ever heard that riddle of a question, if your house was on fire and you could only grab one thing, what would it be? Well I had heard that question before as well, and I had replied that it would be my stack of notebooks, of course. Well when the moment came, I did not grab anything at all. I chose myself over my possessions, and now all I own from my previous life is the moonstone around my neck that has been tied there on a piece of leather for the past 7 years.
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Inspirational prompt #16 Something You Want To Do Within The Next Five Years
My goal for the next 5 years is to write the story of my life, such as it has been so far. It is a very terrifying thing to undertake, as there are painful subjects to be re hashed, and all sorts of things I fear to put on paper… I suppose that is why it would make a good book…
May all the Gods help me to be fearless.
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Inspirational Prompt # 17 What You Want To Be Remembered For
Ah, now this is a prompt I can get groovy with. I had great cause one dark winter night to ponder this very question, and I have a ready repy: My voice. Not the words I have written but the spirit in which I wrote them. To be remembered as a good friend, who was always there for those who cared for me.- And to be known as the one who had the biggest party at their funeral.
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Inspirational Prompt #18 A Picture That Makes You Feel
This picture was taken in the summer of 2009, the best summer of my life. I joined a softball team, and this is me on the drag, combing the diamond before a game. The first summer of my new life, I lived loudly, laughed profusely, and had the most fun making the mistakes I hadn’t had time to before. I met my best friend, became a newspaper editor, changed back to my birth name of Kelley Rose, and partied like it was the summer of love all over again.
I love the artistry of this shot, the trail of dust behind me, my smoking boots, the sunlight, it takes me back to the moment, and I can recall the smell of the grass.
It has a soundtrack, this picture. Eagles “Brown Eyed Girl”
I can hear it now…
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Inspirational Prompt # 19 A Passage From A Book That Has Touched You
From the Greatest Works of Shakespeare, the sonnet titled “‘The Phoenix And The Turtle”
                           “…truth may seem, but cannot be,
                               beauty brag, but ’tis not she,
                                 for truth and beauty burried be…”
This is a piece I read at the age of about 12, and it immediately captivated me. I have figured several interpretations to this sonnet, but this one particular translation sticks in my head. In my mind he is illustrating how devious a pretty face can be, how tempting are pretty lies, and how the innocence and purity of the world  are figments of the imagination. To me these lines speak of his disillusionment with high society, the flash and glitter which decorates the hardened hearts of those who do only for themselves. It speaks of a world-weary exhaustion and the inner torture of one with a poet’s soul in the face of those who do not know what their spirit feels like.
The beginning of this sonnet speaks of love, and how it crosses all boundaries ( many have speculated that this piece is about a homosexual relationship). He talks of how the opinions and disapproval of others is naught and weightless in the face of those who refuse to be shaped by it. He speaks of the power of love to transcend, but he leaves the sonnet on a very dark note. The phoenix has flown, the loyal turtle expires in sorrow for his loss, and all the world is left to the crows who sing only to the dead. It is a very powerful piece, and I have learned it word for word… As a matter of fact, I have been known to quote Shakespeare at unsuspecting people after a few glasses of wine…
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Inspirational Prompt # 20 A Band That You Immediately Liked, And The Song That Made You Like Them
Well my first love was classic rock, and as you know, you never get over your first love. When I was 10 years old I fell in love with Bob Seger. It was ”Turn The Page’ that I heard on the radio, and something took me away. I asked my father who was singing, and he told me I was too young to like Seger. I told him if that was the case, then he was too old to listen to my Tori Amos albums, so he dropped that argument.
My mother was shocked when I told her I wanted the album for my birthday. She actually laughed. She said how funny it was that when she was young and asked for that same album her parents told her that music was too trashy, now years later she was happy her daughter listened to that kind of trash, instead of the newer stuff. She said if any teenager was gonna blast music so loud from their headphones that everyone could hear it, at least it was classic rock.
She got me George Thorogood instead, but I didn’t mind the mistake. I walked around with a knife on my belt singing bad to the bone like I meant it. 🙂
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Inspirational Prompt #21 Your Favorite Medium Of Art
Ok, you have just asked a writer what their favorite medium of art is… Something wrong with that question?
I will ignore the obvious answer and choose my SECOND favorite art medium: Music.
All kinds of music. Give me a beat, a message, a mystery, a story, inspiration or depression. Carry me away on the tides of song, serenade my ears with the cool fluctuations of symmetry.
Jazz, blues, classical, rock, alternative, pop, folk, country, indigenous, fast, slow, hard and rough or soft and sweet. I like everything but rap, death metal, gospel and modern artists slaughtering songs that were just fine the way they were.
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Inspirational Prompt #22 Someone You Would Give Your Life For Without Question
I thought about this over a cup of coffee, pondered for about 30 minutes, and at the end of it I had a list of names, and I was running out of fingers…. So… My final answer? Anybody.
I would give my life for you, your neighbor, your enemy, your family dog, YOUR best friend, their mother, the homeless man on the street, the hooker on the corner, the preacher at that church I do not attend, the muslim man who everyone fears, , and HIS family dog- Or camel, whatever.
As far as I am concerned, my life does not belong to me, it belongs to you. We are only worth what we are willing to pay for our own souls. I will face myself at the end of the day knowing that I have walked through life with arms willing to embrace, and hands willing to aid. I have received aid in my life from people who did not know me, and I consider it my job to do the same.
Masefield has a poem that he wrote, and it is a sort of mantra that I live by:
All that I rightly think or do,
Or make or spoil, or bless or blast,
Is curse or blessing justly due,
For sloth or effort in the past,
My life’s a statement of the sum,
Of vice indulged or overcome,
And As I journey on these roads,
I shall be helped, and healed, and blessed,
Dear words shall serve to be as goads,
To urge to heights as yet un-guessed,
My road shall be the road I made,
All that I gave shall be repaid.
I recited this in the hospital when I could not sleep, I recited it while I cried myself to sleep as a child, and I sang it like a song while walking the long walk home in the dark. I have lived by this teaching, and it has brought bounty to my life.
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Inspirational Prompt # 23 Most Awkward First Impression You Feel You Have Ever Given
Ahh, so there is a bartending friend of mine by the name of Thom, and we happen to share the same last name. As a joke, I always told him he was my spiritual husband, and that I wanted alimony. I would always greet him with a reference to our imaginary relationship, and he would pretend to be heartbroken if he saw me with another.
I love to play pool, and drive up to see him once a week or so to play a game with him when he closes the bar. The last time we had played together, he told me of his latest lady trouble. He breezed through woman faster than I could keep track of their names, but he actually liked this one quite a lot. I cracked a few jokes and got him to boogie a bit on the dance floor, and he was in a better mood when I left.
I usually went several days between visits, but I decided to go two days later to make sure he was doing alright. I walked up to the bar and began playfully harassing him for not calling me back. “I waited up all night for you,” I said dramatically, “Where were you, with that tramp? You think you can just ignore your wife and go gallivanting around with blonde floozies? I’ll have you know I’m very upset, and I think you should buy your lady wife a beer to show her how sorry you are.” I was laying it on thick, and he was grinning like a fool. This was a little game we played often, and it always put him in a good mood- execpt for today.
There was a pretty, petite blonde (he really liked bottle blondes) sitting at the end bar stool, who was giving me the most horrid look I have ever seen. When I was done with my little skit, she threw her drink in Thom’s face and called him a piece of shit. She then told me she had not intended to be a home-wrecker, and that he was all mine. I laughed before realizing that she was serious.
I apologized and told her “sweetie, I’m a dike and this is my man friend. He has known me since I was 9 years old, and this is just a running joke from a while back. We both have the same last name, and I always tease him about it. I’m really sorry for causing trouble, the last time I spoke with him he was all broken up about a woman named Karen, and I was trying to make him laugh.” I grinned at her and extended my hand. “Let’s start this over, you must be the famous Karen. I’m Kelley Rose, it is very nice to meet you, and I see that you have lived up to your reputation of beauty. As a buddy it is my job to now tell you that I am very protective of Thom, and if you hurt him I will have to get nasty.” I was smiling, she was smiling, and she apologized to Thom for the rum and coke bath. He laughed and told her that it was not the first time I had gotten him into trouble.
We are now friends, Karen and I, and she told me how that first impression of me was a doozy. She thought I must be a gold digger for being with a man 20 years my senior, and manipulative for using it as leverage. We laughed at how wrong impressions can be, and she said that I could be adopted as a daughter, but that I had to divorce Thom. I agreed, and he is no longer my spiritual husband, he is now my big brother.
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Inspirational Prompt # 24 Something You Did As A Child That Others Remember You For
I was a VERY strange child. Ask anyone. I went through phases and levels of strange behavior, but my longest running theme was medieval. I had a long green cloak, knee high leather moccasins that I carried daggers in oversized button up velvet shirts belted around the waist (with more daggers) layers of hemp and leather necklaces, face paint, and a long list of ‘ol time irish drinking and sailing tunes that I sang to anyone who would listen.
I walked around talking to myself and to the crows, spent time perched in trees watching traffic, posted on the bridge railing like a gargoyle, went for midnight walks with a bare blade and no flashlight, slept in a driftwood hut on the river, carried around a massive book of Shakespeare, and gave free tarot readings at the cement bench in the park.
Anyone who has known me long enough to recall those days, say that they will always remember me as the quirky poet with daggers… I don’t mind at all.
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Inspirational Prompt # 25 Something You Would Do If Nobody Stopped You, And You Knew You Wouldn’t Fail
I would build a school in some backwoods scenic area of the mountains. I would employ a multitude of teachers with varying fields of study, from all over the world. A melting pot of culture, religion, spirituality, art, and mentality. In addition to the traditional sports program will also be martial arts, wilderness survival, and rock climbing classes/competitions.
Students would learn agriculture, horsemanship, architecture, astronomy, advanced alchemy, botany, natural science, holistic/alternative medicine, and a multitude of language options. As well as the basics of reading writing and arithmetic, which will be covered in the lower grade classes.
Acceptance to this institution will not be based upon I.Q. tests or existing grade averages in public education, but upon the results of a face to face interview with a small board of enrollment advisors.
This is what I would do if I could get away with it, if nobody stopped me, if I knew I would succeed, and if I had several billion dollars to fund such a thing in perpetuity.
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Inspirational Prompt #26 You Definition Of Love
My definition of love… This question is quite nearly impossible for me to answer…
Do you mean the love of a pet that becomes your child? The love of a child? Do you mean the love of a friend that is the light of your heart? Do you mean the love of a person who is always there to catch you? Perhaps the love of those in your life who have become your family? The love of family? Are you referring to the love of your community, or the love of solitude? Is it a soul mate kind of thing?
What is love? Tell me that, and I will answer the question.
Love to me, is the warmth that creeps into the icy walls of my heart and thaws me, leaving a quivering puddle of smiles and contentment. Love is that perfect moment when I look outside just in time to see a rosy glow touch the snowy peak of the mountain. Love is when I sink gently into my blankets with the memory of laughter still clinging to my skin. Love is when I can look honestly into the face of another who is prepared to accept what they see there, scars, shortcomings, glories and all. Love is a person I do not have to hide from, pretend it’s all okay, fix my hair for, hide my books from, never need to worry about saying the wrong thing, who likes me for my good qualities, and forgives me for the bad ones.
Love is contentment. The knowledge that there will be a hand to help you up if you should fall. Never with the expectation that they would catch you every time you slip, but that they are prepared to have your back if you do… It is knowing that you are not going it alone.
I believe I deserve such happiness, I believe we all do, and I will continue to make space in my life to accommodate such bounty if it should come my way.
But don’t listen to me, I have no idea what love is. Every time I thought I held it, I found that I was wrong… Perhaps it is true what they say, that one cannot be loved if they do not love themselves…
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Inspirational Prompt #27 Your Definition Of The Meaning Of Life
The search for the meaning of life, that is what I live for.
I cannot answer this prompt. I have no definition or answer for the mystery of life, and I do not pretend to. The more I keep my my open to the possibilities, the more painless the transition to understanding will be for me.
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Inspirational Prompt #28 A Moment You Remember Being Completely Happy, And Why You Think You Were
In the winter of 2006 I think it was, my wife came down with a horrible fever. She lay on the couch wrapped in a blanket shivering while I packed the stove full of wood and put the propane heater on high.
I filled a bowl with cool water and sponged her forehead and neck to cool her down. The look she gave me is one I will never forget. Her eyes were bright and slightly glazed, she looked a bit pale, but she was still beautiful. She looked at me with such love. She told me nobody had ever cared for her enough to do such a thing, and it brought tears to her eyes. I didn’t understand what she meant, until a few days later when her fever broke, and I got her flu.
I was laying in bed wrapped in every blanket I could find, without the energy to make a cup of tea. She came home from work and made some for me, and a bowl of broth that was the perfect sipping temperature. She grabbed a bowl of water and sponged MY forehead while she sang Ani DiFranco songs to me. It was the first time in my life I have ever cried tears of joy, and I understood what she had felt. I was so grateful, I was weak with it. Nobody had ever touched me with such love and tenderness, and I had no idea how good it could feel.
I closed my eyes and fell asleep with the sound of her voice and the river in the background, and felt tender and sensitive like something new.
I have never felt so good, just to close my eyes knowing I would be looked after, that somebody cared, that Phoenix would lie there beside me while I slept with her hand resting on the top of my head, and that she would be there when I woke.
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Inspirational Prompt #29 What You Live For
I live for the moments when I laugh unexpectedly, when the beautiful things take my breath away, for when the puddle is warm on bare toes, for when I am given a hug, for when I can give a hug, for a pleasant surprise, for a good book, a good poem, for what may be in my mail box, for a hot meal, for the sunshine on my shoulders, for the perfect song on the radio while dancing in the glow of my headlights, for when the ocean whispers secrets and the river is cold on my thighs, for when I can have loving arms around my lonely torso, for when I see the eagle in the tree above my house or the blue heron fishing in stillness, for a full tank of gas, for ladies night and cherry ice cream, for 4 wheel drive, for a lazy day in bed, for a day without pain, a day when my worries are not pressing and the hands of the clock move slowly, for a shooting star and wishes that come true, for eggs over medium on wheat toast, for cheap beer and cheap thrills, for softball games in the rain, for iTunes that play Michael Jackson at ear splitting volumes, for leather jackets, fedora hats, cowboy hats and baseball caps, for patchouli, daisy chains, for sweet grass crowns, for a doggie tail wagging, for warm socks, for peppermint tea with honey, black coffee or with sugar and cream, for fun loving trouble, for winning a pool game, for laughing until my ribs hurt, for long hot showers, for talking to myself and getting away with it, for being with friends, and for all of the moments I have yet to experience.
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Inspirational Prompt #30 Ways You Think You Have Grown In The Past 30 Days
I have let go. Stopped holding on. To anything, and everyone. I do not hope, expect, wish, or pine. I wake every morning and face the world alone, and it no longer bothers me.
I do not know why I am so undeserving of simple happiness, but I have decided not to waste any more time worrying about it.
I do not care, fatalism looks good on me.
What will be will be, and it only hurts more to hope, draws out the pain to an excruciating level.
So if you are out there, it is your job to find me, because I am tired of looking under every stone.
I have learned how to sit inside of myself, and although it is lonely, it brings solace as well. Your heart cannot be broken if you do not give it away.
In the past 30 days I have learned that it was myself who brought me the most pain.
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4 thoughts on “30 Inspirational Prompts

  1. Kelley, I have finished reading your 30 inspirational prompts. I feel as if I have read the beautiful writings of Shakespear… I am waiting for the BOOK to be published,,, author KELLEY ROSE…:)

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  2. Thank you Thresa, I have begun the book. I do not yet have a publisher for it, but I will worry about that when I have completed the project. It was good to hear support, I feel most of the time like my writing is the equivalent of talking to a rock. I rarely get feedback, and feel rather alone in the writing. A few things here I have shortend or sugar coated, and you can bet there will be none of that in the book. If you thought you needed tissues here, wait till about chapter three.

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