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mermaidcamp

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#WritePhoto, Dancehall Of Dread

January 19, 2017 14 Comments

#writephoto

#writephoto

In the darkest moment of winter, heaviness and despair falls on the land.  Frightened workers huddle indoors, sharing the heat of a single stove in the dance hall of the dead.  The musical sounds drift in from the streets, strings and horns and voices of the past kill time by serenading the future.  The dance floor is void of happy feelings but full of feverish dread of the coming days.  The waltz goes on forever, the tempo hypnotic, mind numbing.  The dancers know all the tribal dances that have been danced for centuries in this place.  Circles of spirited colors whirl above the floor.  The walls vibrate with deep bass rhythm and drumming creatures representing sacrifices made to tradition.  The swift current of time sweeps the crowd up in a cloud of memory and doubt.

The donkey shadow on the wall opposes the one of the elephant wearing a hat.  The shadow puppets play the same parts forever, constantly changing costumes to deceive.  The audience blends into the puppetry, never minding the strings attached. The glow from the streetlight illuminates the dancing puppets as they pass.  The translucent quality of their weary bodies is briefly revealed for a moment.  Darkness and bitter cold then quickly envelops each one in dread.  Nobody knows if this is real or imaginary. This may be happening in the present, or we may be stuck in each other’s dreams. Is there an escape?  Are we under a spell?  Will this dance continue? Do we have a choice?

Visit Sue Vincent’s blog on Thursdays to find a photo prompt for fiction.  Create your own story to go with this week’s image.

#writephoto

#writephoto

Dealing with Dread

May 4, 2015 7 Comments

On the Office Floor

On the Office Floor

Fear has many aspects. Reasonable fear keeps us safe and alert to danger around us. We must learn to strike a balance between risking too much and avoiding life to stay safe. Frightening situations call on the adrenal glands to kick in the fuel needed to either fight or flight. If we tax those little glands too much with our lifestyle choices they can become depleted and add to an over all loss of well being. Some people face danger in their professions, but the rest of us can generally avoid it. Strong healthy bodies with well nourished nervous systems can endure some stress and fear without harm. In reasonable doses we can handle scary aspects of existence.

Dread is quite another matter. I am under a dark cloud of dread now because my darling dog is having end of life issues. She is 12 years old, so this is not a big surprise. Her kidneys are failing in slow motion. She has been to her vet for antibiotics frequently in the last 6 months because she has a recurring infection in her urinary tract.  She has been able to recover from these bouts, but not come back to the same level of health.  She has less ability to find comfort and move with ease.  She no longer jumps up on our bed, and has difficulty jumping into my car.  The thrill of riding has been replaced by a fear of getting into the back seat.  Since she can’t tell us in words about her level of pain I am wondering.

We cared for my mother at the end of her life.  That was a tough time in terms of patience and  understanding.  It was similar in that we knew she was at the end of her life, but had no idea how long the end might take.  Now that Artemisia the magical huntress will soon go to join her grandma I remember how difficult it was to wait and wonder when death would come.  Dread is not depression, and it is not regular fear.  It is a test.  For an unknown time it is necessary to walk the tightrope between sorrow and acceptance.  The inability to control or stop events in progress is a hard pill to swallow.  It is bittersweet.  This lovely dog has brought much joy to the world which will remain with us after she leaves.

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