Life’s Ceaseless Circus

(C) 2021, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

My life is a three-ring circus, but someone forgot the popcorn.

I am a performer that sometimes falls at breakneck speed,

Never allowed to simply sit in the stands.

Sometimes I fret over how I have performed…

I sometimes am greeted by smiles, and other times, worry lines.

After a fall, I dust myself off and practice my turns, I can not give up.

Maybe it never slows down, and I’ll need to stay well-rehearsed

Maybe I should call the shots and require performer’s rights

Being a one-woman show who enlists others to join

We’ll dance with elephants and laugh with the monkeys while singing jolly songs

I don’t control this circus, but I can set the tone.

The smile on my face is my choice, the reaction I choose is my dance on the wire.

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Literacy and Creating Community

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, and top o’ the mornin’ to you! I just had my matcha green tea, since yesterday was coffee day. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage. My fluffy canine companion might even make an appearance!

I feel hopeful this morning. The sun is out, and it looks like Spring! We do get those starts and stops with Spring in Jacksonville, Florida. I also slept well last night! I socially distanced by eating at home, intended to watch some Netflix after making a review quiz for my classes and speaking to my boyfriend, but fell asleep before turning on the TV. I didn’t miss much, and I sure need more sleep lately!

A quiet night was a welcome balance after a busy, boisterous week as a middle school English teacher. My observation was this week, there was also a full moon this week, yada, yada, yada. I survived. Did you know this past week was Literacy week? Well, we had a little fun, and it makes working during a pandemic much more bearable.

My coworkers are the best!

I found out late about Literacy week, so I spread the word to my grade and subject co-workers to wear animal print or animal themed clothing on Friday, stating that we’re “Wild about Books, Reading, etc.” I made a little 3D book for some of my grade level cohorts to wear. It was fun telling the kids why we did this and getting a smile or chuckle, especially from the ones who also love reading! One of my new coworkers who has been stressed lately even said that it made work feel a little better today, and I’m so glad! We are creating a community, with each other and with our students.

I know there are some I’m not reaching yet, but I have whole classes that are kind communities. Was it my doing? I hope that it partly was. I’ll definitely give the kids some credit. I’m starting the Newspaper Club this week and so excited! I even bought a newsprint mask from Etsy! I know, I’m such a dork, but let’s make dorkhood cool…Why not?

So, at least I’ll be using my writing talents in some way: to inspire others. Maybe to also create community. It’s all a work in progress.

Interestingly, I forgot to mention the negatives, only that my week was busy. I forgot my moments of anxiety; they rolled right off my back. I feel like I can overcome anything!

Take care my friends, be safe, and have a great week!

What’s in Your Heart? #FFfAW #amwriting

“Daddy,  why is everyone sad?”

“We’re honoring those whose loves were lost.”

“But isn’t the world good?  Why did someone kill them?”

“That someone was sick, honey.  He meant them harm, but he didn’t have any reason.  All we can do is spread our love, so there aren’t many more like him.”

“If you could be their daddy, they’d all want to spread love, too.  They’d never want to do harm.”

He smiled, and knelt down to put his arms around her.  Perhaps he had been doing this parenting thing right.

“I wish Mom was here to show her love to the world.”

“So do I, dear.”  He stood and took her hand again.

“She wishes she was here, too.  She still loves us, Daddy.  She tells me every night when I’m in bed.”

He squeezed her hand, this wonderful, intuitive creature, who was already so much like her mother.

~150 words~

 

To learn more about the weekly Flash Fiction challenge, go to flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

To see more of this week’s great stories, go to https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/fffaw-challenge-week-of-october-3-2017/

Thank you to Elaine Farrington Johnson for this week’s photo prompt and inspiration!

We Are, a Haiku #amwriting

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We Are, a Haiku
Hurricane Irma Aftermath
(c) 2017

We are resilient,
Surviving the storm’s effects,
We are Florida.

**I’d like to offer a genuine prayer for the hurricane victims in TX, those enduring fires in the Northwest, and victims of natural disaster all over the world. May your spirits rise you up until circumstances improve.** I was humbled by this woman enjoying her kayak in the flooded street my neighborhood. Her smile touched me.
God bless us all!

Seeking Solitude for the End of the World? Friday Fictioneers. #amwriting

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

The end of the road is really not an end.  I embarked on this journey to find a final home in solitude.  Society was in shambles; natural disasters were abundant.

I packed necessities and a super strong tent.  Two flat tires later (I learned to change them myself), I had to rely on a friendly old native Arizona man when I ran out of gas. Darn cars,  I should’ve just walked.  Would I survive?

Now, I find a young fellow encamped over the hill, painting whatever he sees.

We will either be great friends, or I’m on the road again.

~The End~  (In a somewhat open ending…)

*A 100 word story.

**Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle at https://rochellewisoff.com/ and restarts every Friday with a new photo prompt.  Flash fiction stories are to be 100 words or less, with a beginning, middle, and an end.  Proper credit must be given to the owner of the photo.  Add your own by clicking the Inlinks button at the Sept. 1 post at rochellewisoff.com.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare. November’s Over, and Now….

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Welcome to the weekend coffee share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com.  I so enjoy being a part of this blogging community!  If we were having coffee, you’d get to know a bit of who I am.  I’d tell you-

Now that November’s over, I am giving myself a writing break until the Christmas holiday.  November was such a writing crunch!  There was not enough time for reading.  So, the start of December is giving me time to continue reading a novel, The Step, about a woman who was part of the Apollo space program, and to watch my favorite new Netflix show called “Glitch.”  It’s mysterious and weird, and involves a lot of the history of a town come back to haunt them (almost literally); that’s why I love it.  There are sure to be many plot holes, but it does get me to thinking.  Considering, I am an avid fan of The X-Files and The Twilight Zone.  🙂

With an inspired thought process, I’ve had some wild dreams lately.  Maybe these are story ideas in a disguised form, and I should take heed.  I’m still mulling it over.  But I know it arose from a picture a student drew yesterday of birds with dead fish laying at their feet.  She left it under the desk.  Another child found it later and said it was very dark, but I said, “Well, birds eat fish.  I guess you could say that’s just life and survival.  I suppose survival could be considered dark.”  I honestly wasn’t grossed out by it.  Maybe my answer wasn’t the best; I didn’t bring up survival of the fittest because I really prefer to promote peace in the classroom!  I also don’t mind kids being creative in their down time.  Nonetheless, I believe this innocent drawing inspired my survival dream of the Jurassic Park variety.  Survival of the fittest, indeed!

Anyway, I’ll take inspiration anywhere I can get it.  I finished out November with 45,000 words written of a new novel, but I still need to finish it.  Yes, it’s just below the goal, but I still feel I have come away a champion.  This is more than I’ve written in one month, ever!  For more reflections on my NANOWRIMO process and experience, click here: http://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/a-november-to-remember-on-losing-graciously-yet-victoriously-in-nanowrimo-amwriting/

Work has been full of testing.  There are mid-year tests in a few of the subjects, and I am a teacher who would prefer to teach and read with my students, but we have made it through the first week and it wasn’t all that difficult.

That’s my week in a nutshell.  I tried not to overwhelm you with talk about my writing, as I know I’ve talked about it so much all month!  Yet, it is still a big part of this post.  I am remembering myself two years ago, wondering when I’d actually live out my dream of being a writer, if I’d have to wait until retirement, cursing myself anytime I’d forget to write down a story idea.  Then again, my son was so much more of my responsibility back then, and he’s much more grown up now, though I still need to help him find another car…

How was your week?  What has inspired you?  I appreciate you stopping by and letting me share about my week!  I encourage you to visit our host of the Weekend Coffee share at parttimemonsterblog.com!

 

How Much Do We Need Community?

What do a recent rap song, Johnny Cash, the movie Fight Club, and the Bible have in common?  A post on society and the ones we love. “No man is an island, entire of itself…”  R…

A re-blog of a subject that revisits me constantly. Source: How Much Do We Need Community?

How Much Do We Need Community?

What do a recent rap song, Johnny Cash, the movie Fight Club, and the Bible have in common?  A post on society and the ones we love.

“No man is an island, entire of itself…”  – John Donne.

This quote has stayed with me for over twenty five years.  I have used it,  in conversations, in my classroom.  I have felt it, when I was in my third year of college, after transferring to a university from community college.  Classes were huge, and I felt very alone.  Over the years, I learned the value of forming friendships for many different reasons, to handle difficult situations at work, to enjoy life a little more, to have someone to talk to, or to share a value with others (such as charity, faith, volunteerism, recovery).  People go to many types of places to feel a part of a community:  hobby/enthusiast groups, church, bars.  That’s quite a variety of places, but a lot of it starts because we need someone to talk to.  Some of us are fortunate enough for it to happen in the workplace.  It sure makes working a lot more fun.  Some are not that fortunate, and have to seek other places like the aforementioned.  I imagine, in early civilization, hunter/gatherers survived cold weather and wild animals better if they banded together to survive.  Farmers usually rely on a community to get their work done.  They have to get along to get things done together.  I look at these huge farms in the Midwest and I know just one man alone could have never gotten all that done.  Community seems, to me, to be a key to survival for mankind.

The Christian Bible preaches the value of community.  I made a promise to myself to use or read the Bible more often during Lent this year.  It’s not too much of a cheat if I found relevant verses in an online subject search, is it?  From http://dailyverses.net/community : “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 | NIV

Since the Dark Ages, even earlier, people have gathered together to appreciate art, music, and Literature to enrich their lives and minds.  I am seeing that as one way we “walk in the light.”  We still gather to do these things.  Sometimes we just enjoy them in a solitary way.  I don’t mean to contradict myself here….

Or, take this Bible verse about supporting each other, maybe even inspiring one another to be better people:
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
But yet, there is plenty of fuel to fire the opposing argument, that the lone wolf is that way because he chooses to be because he is totally independent.  In a current, popular song, that I just heard for the first time today while switching stations, by G-Easy, the lyrics go like this: “It’s just me, myself, and I/ Solo right until I die/ Because I’ve…got me for life.”  I at first thought the song might be a little narcissistic, then I watched the video (uncut lyrics).  It depicts a star who really struggles with himself and the fame that has come to him, perhaps realizing his large number of false friends.  Perhaps that just comes with fame and riches.  I may never have that problem.  I’ll admit the lyrics are catchy.  I was drawn to them after hearing Jonny Cash’s rendition of Empire of Dirt, a song that could make me cry on a gray day.  Similar themes, but quite a switch!
And then there was an article shared by a Facebook friend today as well, titled “Why Millions of Men Lose Friends in their 20s,” available at http://www.vice.com/read/why-men-lose-friends-in-their-20s?utm_source=vicefbus which totally touches upon the subject as perhaps not always being  a choice, or sometimes being a regrettable one.  “As we get older….we might start to wonder whether there’s a reason most wolves hunt in packs.”  As if most men interviewed by the writer seemed to acknowledge that life would be easier if they had a “pack.” By the way, the falling away of friendships in your 20s happens just as much to women.  But it was good to read from this perspective since I get concerned about my son in his young adulthood and his lack of community or even any concern for being part of a community.
Of course, modern technology makes it easier to do everything from the confines of our home, even conversing with others (through our acronyms, LOL). Thereby, it decreases active participation in a community.The quality of conversation has really declined, BTW.  🙂 On an average day for many, our survival involves sitting in our cubicle, pecking away at a computer under artificial light.  Hmmm…I am getting an image from  the movie Fight Club!   Ed Norton or Brad Pitt with a shiner, what a way to fight the artificially lighted cubicle!  The word “club” stands out here in my mind, almost as much as Brad’s shiner.  His character started out as a socially awkward young man, feeling withdrawn from society.  Modern culture seems to perpetuate that.  We were all so much thicker skinned in the past, but we did it through community and teamwork.  That was a key to our survival as a species.  It is even helpful today.  Without it, there may be many lone wolves, but I doubt their descendants will go too far.
I’ll put this in my own personal terms.  Sometimes I need something to do that I know will benefit someone else; that gets me away from selfish concerns or worries.  Or I need to talk to someone about anything that will get me out of my head or my worries (that sometimes can chase themselves like a dog chasing its tail).  I know community is a key to survival.  I also love my lone wolves, especially since my son is one of them, and I know he needs love and acceptance, even when he accepts it so tentatively.  I think they have an important place in our community, if for no other reason than to fix things, build things, produce art, Literature, or music to make us think or help us escape. Then there are also those who think up the theoretical ideas, yet can’t talk in a social setting.  They are still invaluable.  Perhaps the lone wolf is, at times, an inspiration to the broken-hearted or newly single?   They’d never admit it, but in some way, they do need us.  I just hope they realize they mean something to the rest of us.  Yet, I see that I have to accept anyone’s choice to be outside of community.  So do we just leave them be?  As a mother, I adamantly say, No.
I just hope our lone wolves realize they mean something to the rest of us.  Yet, I see that I have to accept anyone’s choice to be outside of community.  Take the example of my son.  One may speak to him and get very little reply.  It doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect you.  It’s just, you may have interrupted a thought process; he may have to work hard to switch that off.  But he may have really needed those kind words, even if you got very little response.  You see, I’ve been working on understanding this.  His mentor that we knew from church was learning this.  One day, he told me, “I got a smile and a chuckle out of him today.  It was a real smile!”  Yes, I believe it was.  Sometimes that’s all you get.  God bless him for trying.  Maybe we can’t change a lone wolf into a social being, but just let them know they’re loved and accepted.  Awkward can be awesome.  If we are truly a loving community that will survive together, we should be checking up on our lone wolves, and embracing those Emily Dickensens and Van Goghs, long before they’ve left us with nothing but their art or interesting memorabilia collections.
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