Five Minute Friday: Empty

Photo of United Methodist Cross and Flame beneath text of "Meditation at the Cross."

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Empty

Go.

Good Friday Haiku;

Even angels are weeping;

Mournful psalms singing.

Power offered up;

Tender-hearted grace shown us;

Yahweh gave it all.

Stop.

Advertisements

Fellow Travelers

Sign says, "Occupied By a Through Passenger."

In the summer of 1989 – a few weeks after the Chinese government cracked down on protesters in Tiananmen Square and a few months before the East German government unexpectedly began cutting holes in the Berlin Wall – I boarded a flight for West Germany and met a man from Syria.

I don’t remember his name and I would not be able to pick him out of a crowd today, but I remember conversing with him during our eight-hour flight. He was a pleasant seatmate, chatting sociably but not so much as to monopolize my attention or time.

The plane landed and we went our separate ways. I headed off to start my new job as a reporter/producer at Radio Deutsche Welle and he headed off in his own direction.

As the war in Syria drags on, I find myself wondering about him and what became of his life since that shared flight and brief conversation.

Is he still alive?

If so, I think he would be in his 60s. What is his life like?

Does he have children? Grandchildren?

Is he among the refugees who fled the country, among those who remained and fear for their lives; or – perhaps – is he part of Assad’s government forces or one of the terrorist groups?

I really have no idea.

Rapid-fire news headlines and pontificating pundits can quickly numb us to an important truth.

The people of Syria – and those in many other war zones around the world – are people who work and eat and sleep and laugh and cry and sing and bleed.

Just like us.

Some of them are nice to other people; some of them are not.

Just like us.

They are born; live; and die.

Just like us.

We are, after all, aboard the same flight.

Five Minute Friday: Abandon

Yellow daffodils bow their heads against the cold of an early March snowfall.

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Abandon

Go.

The afternoon sun magnified the effect of the blindingly white clouds surrounded by almost-too-blue-to-be-true patches of sky.

This early March day started with pelting snow and trees clothed in wintry white, but by afternoon the limbs displayed a costume change, showing off their white blossoms, which were there under the snow all along.

Winter sideswiped us this year, but this morning she reminded us it was not quite time, despite the blossoms and blooms all around us, for her to abandon us to spring.

Stop.

Five Minute Friday: Slow

Sunrise reds and pinks as seen through glass.

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Slow

Go.

Time has one speed.

It’s not fast. It’s not slow.

I don’t always perceive its steady pace. One moment I’m caught up in a frenzy of activities and deadlines, and then I slide into patches of impatience and wistful waiting.

Sometimes time seems to be racing past me; sometimes it feels like it is crawling by.

But of course time has one speed.

Tick.

Tock.

I’ve been reading about Native American culture and the custom of living at peace with nature’s pace.

I envy those who try to live that way and I cringe at our culture’s pushy infringement on their ability to do so – the shameful pattern in our nation and around the world of cheating native peoples, stealing their land, raping their natural resources, and undermining their ability to live according to their own customs. Just this week we have witnessed the latest installment of this shameful pattern at Standing Rock.

Those customs often model for the rest of us how we could live in harmony with time and its one, steady speed.

Tick.

Tock.

Time has one speed.

Synchronize watches.

Mark.

Stop.

America

Grey sky reflects in a grey lake with a leafless tree along the shore.

Heartbroken

Unspoken

Words to share.

Do you care?

When I fear

You won’t hear,

Where to go?

I don’t know.

So alone.

I feel alone.

Five Minute Friday: Connect

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Connect

Go.

The road, one of the main ways in and out of town, slinks along between the river and a hill. On a good day, driving it involves an effort to ignore the patched places where the road started to slip off into the water and to overlook the pebbly places where the hill has shifted and scattered itself onto the pavement.

Now and then, the hill loses larger chunks of itself and the road must be closed until crews can scrape it out of the way and clear the lanes.

To be honest, even on days when we are allowed to drive along that road, I worry about it.

But it’s the shortest route and so I play along with the willing suspension of disbelief and drive on through, holding my breath, telling myself, “not today…it won’t come crashing down today.”

This week the road is closed, so I must seek out new connections to where I need to be.

Needing new connections so early in the new year.

Perhaps it’s a sign.

Stop.

 Screen shot of a Twitter post from highways, showing that a rock slide has closed a major roadway.

 

 

Through, Over, Around, Onward

A red light hangs over a trio of signs that all announce, "ROAD CLOSED."

Lost jobs.

Lost elections.

Racism.

Classism.

Homophobia.

Hatred.

Addiction.

Bullies.

Illness.

Debt.

Thoughts of suicide.

Somedays there are horrible things blocking our path.

We wake up and there they are.

Or maybe they’ve been there awhile and we just don’t see a way past them.

We can’t see past those things in our way.

But look up from the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other Everyday.

The path does continue.

There is a path and a journey beyond what seems to be in our way.

A rail trail path is blocked by a fallen tree, but you can see beyond the tree where the path continues.

We can move what is blocking the path, climb over it, or go around it.

But the path beckons.

It calls us forward.

As I write this, a New Year invites us to look beyond the present.

Look beyond current challenges, disappoints, or worries.

Life will go on beyond today’s blocked paths.

Move onward.

The journey continues.

A hiker and his dog go around a rock blocking the path and continue their journey.