To Exist Safely

Today at DVerse, we have prosery again. This is usually very difficult for me, so I rarely try it, but this week I want to try. 🙂 However, the given line, from Rilke, is challenging: “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?” – from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.” I am also sharing this with yesterday’s Writers’ Pantry at PSU. I usually don’t share anything other than poems, so this should be fun.


There is something inside that must be spoken, before it eats its way out of its cage inside of her mind. She tries to find the words to express her secret, but with difficulty, for she can barely get any words out without shaking. She trips over those words, like stones in her path to freedom. Even the words that escape the prison of her lips do not seem to express fully what she means to say. Sadly she realizes, “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?”

Continuing to tremble, as if trying to shake off the chains of the past, she hugs herself and feels the beat of her own heart in the center of her chest. It is the life inside of her, which is close and which has its own, wordless song. She takes a deep breath in and begins to speak again.

 

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Positive Affirmations

I don’t usually take part in DVerse’s prosery prompts, but when I saw today’s, coupled with Fandango’s one-word challenge, I just had to write something! The “prosery” line is, “Reading what I have just written, I now believe,” and it is from Louise Gluck.


Staring at the blank sheet of paper in front of me, pen in hand, I try to think of some “positive affirmations” that don’t reek of insincerity.

“I love my body.” No, not true at all.

“I appreciate my body.” Not as much of a stretch, but still a load of crap.

“There are good things about my body.” Hmmm…. Next.

“There might be good things about how I look.” Well, maybe, but I don’t see them.

“I am willing to believe that there might be good things about how I look.” It seems pitiful, but that I can accept, and it’s a step. One painful, tiny step in the journey.

Reading what I have just written, I now believe that recovery is maybe, at least a little bit, possible.

What Season Is It?

I decided to try Prosery again at DVerse. We are “jazzing it up” today. Lillian gives us the choice between two quotations from Carl Sandburg’s poem “Jazz Fantasia.” The one I used is, “Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops.”


The depression is usually worse in the fall, as the weather tends to be more cold and rainy. I am thinking — I am hoping — spring and summer will get the worst of it this year. I am hoping unsteadily, that in September or October, I can see more friends. Maybe even in person. Maybe I can go to the store and roll my eyes at all the pumpkin spice, and not even have to think about my (not-Halloween) mask. As it is, all day this whole world feels like The Twilight Zone, and some moments I feel so lonely that my soul wants to moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops.

Imperturbable?

“We go in different directions down the imperturbable street.” This is the sentence, a line from a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, that Merril gives us to use for DVerse prosery. Just so you all know, this is fiction, and also I am really not used to writing flash fiction, so go easy on me in the comments!


We meet each other on a sunny day, people bustling down both sides of the sidewalk. We embrace, you and I, my dearest friend. Our lives have gone in various directions since college, yet we have kept in touch, and now I finally get to see you again. After all this time, I still have feelings for you. Maybe if I were more daring, I would say so.

When I see the ring on your left hand, I paste a smile on my face, belying my true feelings. We enjoy the afternoon, but everyone, including you, is oblivious to the turmoil inside my heart. When the afternoon ends, I know this is the closing of a chapter. We go in different directions down the imperturbable street.