Facade continued (2)

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Amanda was as shattered as I expected.  Damn!  No way to lessen the impact of a statement like that.  She was younger than I, not by much, but she’d lead a sheltered life and was in no way prepared for the news.  Not that I was either.  Still I found myself on a white-knuckle ride as I attempted to shield and protect my other best friend.

Both women worked in my shop, Gifts’n such.  Not only did we work together, we shared our lives and spend as much of our free time together as work time.  Consequently,  we were close.  We’de created a sisterhood of our own.  There was a hole in the fabric of time and our lives.  We wandered the room unable to settle as emotion rolled through us.  Grief would not be denied as anger, frustration, denial, and loss whipped through us like a storm on a blustery night.  In an attempt to ward of the emptiness that tried to ooze in, I had an idea.

Although i didn’t relish the idea, I sat Amanda down and explained how the police handled an unexplained, a supposedly easier word for murder, and the timeline involved. I watched as she assimilated all that had been explained in detail by Detective Grayson,  although hers was a condensed version.

“Janie’s parents will be here in a few days.  Jim has to finish up some work before they are able to leave.  They’ve given us the go-ahead to plan the wake.  It would be too overwhelming to hold at Janie’s so I was hoping you’d help me with the arranging.  We could hold the wake here.  You up for that, Amanda?”

“Yeah, we need to do this, I need to do this.”

“What did the Detective have to say?”

“At first he threw a lot of bureaucratic red tape in my face.  When I resisted, he asked a few leading questions that suggested Janie was killed out on the flats.  At least that’s where her body was found by a couple on a romantic rendezvous.”

“The flats?  Why would Janie go there?”

“She mentioned a new boyfriend, someone she’d recently met.  Wouldn’t give me details, didn’t say much.  Only that he was originally from Calgary and his family had moved to Quebec.  He’d grown up there and integrated.  Apparantly he was travelling across Canada before heading to Europe.”

“Consequently, I wondered if she’d planned on meeting him on the boat.”  Sam waited and let the idea sink in.

“You mean her parents Trimaran?”

“Exactly.  Interested in some sleuthing?”

“As ever!”

“Let’s head out that way.  If the police haven’t cordoned it off yet, we might find something to suggest what Janie was doing there, or what information she may have obtained that resulted in her demise, if it was connected.”

“She loved a good mystery, and she was great at solving them.  Used to drive me bonkers!  Couldn’t watch a show she hadn’t figured out, five minutes in.”

“What do you think she found?”

“No idea, but I’m determined to investigate, see if I can find out.”

They dressed warmly for the cool autumn weather carrying a biting chill.  Hopping into Sam’s car,  they drove out to the flats along the old highway.  Sam parked on the west side of the bridge and alighting from the car, they hurried to the boat.

Amanda was definitely not a sailor and the second they stepped foot on the boat, the miniscule rocking had her turning green.  “Oh my god, now I remember why I hate boats!”

They weren’t aboard long.  Sam took a cursery look around and found fresh food in the pantry and opening the fridge found milk cheese and eggs bacon along with a bottle of bubbly and a couple of champagne flutes she’d obviously planned on using.  Finding their “could-have-been book” they turned to go.

From nowhere a shot rang out.  A man’s voice was yelling at them to stay down and take cover.  Sam peered overtop the edge of the cabin.  A man was hurtling through space toward her and thumped onto the boat it’s tumultuous rocking shook her hands from the hold she had on the cabin roof and Amanda struggled to remain upright.

“Grayson, what are you doing here?” Sam asked in surprise.

“I might ask you the same damn question!” he growled as gun in hand he turned to survey the surrounding area.   He cursed as a boat on the far side of the quay roared to life and raced away across the water.

“Now, I want an explanation.”

“Can we get to dry land first?” Amanda requested.

Noting her pallor he assisted both onto the shore.  “I’m waiting!”

 

Forgiveness

 

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I was wondering and decided to include everyone in my wanderlust to see what your thoughts are on the subject.

Have you noticed there are many who expect forgiveness for things said and done, as though it’s their right?  While others cannot forgive themselves for slight errors much less weighty ones? It made me ask, is it a matter of conscience, some have one, others don’t?

Personally, I find small hurts or slights and unintentional wounds easy to forgive.  But what of the other “stuff” the huge life changing grievences perpetrated upon our person?  How do we get to forgiveness with those?

I’ve witnessed through news reports, parents, husbands and wifes, mothers and fathers forgiving a perpetrator (too harsh a word?).  One of many examples, a drunk driver who had taken the life of another.  Although grieving, achingly so, I watched a video taken in a court room of a mother and father forgiving  a young man who’d taken their very young daughter from them.  In an astounding act of the ultimate in digging deep past the hurt anger and pain, they wrapped the young man in their arms as he sobbed uncontrollably.

I had to wonder whether I had it in me to reach that depth of forgiveness and understanding.  I suppose it would depend on the how and why of the situation and whether carelessness played a part, whether it was a premeditated act, or truly accidental.

As I’ve aged, gracefully or not, this question continues to haunt me.  They say letting go and forgiving is a healing to you and in no way negates the acts the perpetrator has committed.  I often wonder.

 

 

 

Test

Test

 

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Oh the yin and yang of it all

Sometimes I feel so small

Test of faith, test of love

Tests that will not fit like a glove

A journey an ongoing quest

Often i am confounded and beat my breast

Which path to take, left or right

My decisions often cut like a knife

Draped in confusion amidst all this

For there is no right or wrong only what is

Still we have come so far, so many tests completed

We are at last at the big table seated

Feeling accomplished and delighted

Through it all we carry on undaunted

Surely more tests our way will come

We shall handle them with apolmb

For the end result is what we seek

To get there we must not be meek

But take in hand that which comes our way

As upon the field of growth we play

One day perhaps to achieve

All that we now perceive

Baby steps must follow each undertaken bravely

Until the ultimate test, that of our humanity

Our goal a simple one

Long since begun

And when we listen to the whisper

We shall acknowledge our strength of character.

 

Facade

Facade

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I laugh when I wish to cry, I smile when I am sad, I joke when I am scared.  My facade complete, in place, I go to face the world.  My best friend is gone.  Not due to illness, or an accident, but as a result of murder.  Murder!  In small town nowhere.  So small we don’t even have a traffic light.  Not one!

The population is compact, intimate as small towns are.  Everyone knows everyone, and their business.  You practically know what someone is doing before they do it! Therefore that Janie had been murdered didn’t seem possible, reasonable, logical.

I was looking for the logic, the reason behind it all.  She was a bright star, a generous and exceedingly attractive woman, and funny.  My god,  she was funny!  She could light up a room with her smile. It was impossible to believe anyone hated Janie let alone hate her enough to kill her.

I was waiting for the Detective assigned to the case to arrive.  He would have questions.  After watching hundreds of police shows on tv, the scenerio seldom differed, so I half knew what to expect.  Since I was apparantly the last person to see her alive, it made sense.

They would work backward from the time of her demise, until the last time she’d been seen alive by anyone. Since we were best friends, and she worked for me, it would be logical I might have information.  Amanda hadn’t been told. I would have to tell her before the police arrive.  I’d waited knowing how shattered she would be.  Good news should be shared immediately, bad news could always wait a little longer.

I’d plastered a smile on my face and continued with my day.  The fascade was beginning to crack.  I had to hold on just a little longer, until after the police questioned me.  Then I would close the shop and gather Amanda, and we would head to my place, and together, continue with what came next.

Disagree

Disagree

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“It’s a moot point!  You’re living in the past!  Move on!  It’s over!” I stood staring at him, his legs spread slightly apart, standing stiff legged, arms held ridgidly at his side, his eyes reflections of ice chips you could freeze in.

I stared dumbfounded!  How heartless, how unshakeable immoveable and cold!  Unbelieveably hostile.  Where was this coming from?  Why?  I didn’t understand, not at all.  I was surely on the other side of that fence!  Ok, ok, so I was compassionate, caring, warmhearted, certainly not to a fault!  I mean, I could get tough!  I could get down and dirty, mean and rough, couldn’t I?  Sure I could.

We’de faced off before.  It was the nature of the business, the nature of the job.  He was an advocate for changing the city, modernzing, creative space and all that.  I had no quarrel with that, none what-so-ever.  While I was a book writer, a novelist I euphemistically considered myself as I hadn’t sold a book as yet. This was different.

I was digging my heals in this time!  This little piece of heaven must remain.  I didn’t give a damn if they built 20 square blocks around this space.  This space was mine, correction, ours!  It belonged to those of us with a deep and abiding connection with the past, with a by-gone era in which elegance, beauty, decorum remained.  Certainly things were crazy, dicey, and who knows what went on behind closed doors.  That wasn’t in question.

This was the last haven of design that meant something, was something!  I would fight to the death to preserve this space including the architecture that had come to mean so much.  Perhaps getting to know the charachters who lived here, a microcosim of humanity that still clung to style and grace, who dressed with care, hair coiffed and shoes shining impeccably, was part of it.  The ambiance of this space imbude the stylish sophistication of an era long past. That did not, however, make it irrelevant!

“I realize that may be what you think?  But you are dead wrong!  This fight has just begun!” I nearly spat.  “Whether it’s a team of lawyers or a mountain of red tape, I will tie this site up and gift wrap it for you as a reminder that you will not win this one!”  Standing tall I continued,  “And no, don’t even consider your moral high ground ‘agree to disagree’ doesn’t equate with this situtation, it’s not on the table!  It’s  a fight to the death, Mason.  I’m in, in all the way and you’ll soon realize I don’t give up and I don’t give in.  You can take that to the bank!”  I turned and marched away without giving him an opportunity to respond.  There was nothing more to be said.  We were on opposite sides of a battle field and I needed distance between us.

He would have cursed, wanted to curse.  They’d grown up together, attended the same schools, becomes friends and even lovers.  Now they were adversaries in the most important moment of his life.  He had to win this one, or lose his position on the board of architectural design.

What made the situation worse, he couldn’t in his heart disagree with anything she’d said, and how he knew she felt about this little piece of heaven.  Architecturally she was right, but it wasn’t on the game plan for the high rollers of the city.  They foresaw three 20 story building that would abutt against the enroaching downtown area.

Disagree? On the surface, they would.  His fight could become an all out war, down and dirty, rough and tough and even he was concerned with how viscious this could become.  He’d taken his stand, it was his job.  They would fight!

A Question of Empathy

Can you find it in yourself, to wear another mans shoes. Walk the path he’s trodden, experience his moods. Can you empathise with him, understand his woes.  Does it help you if you see,  the …

Source: A Question of Empathy

Unfinished

Unfinished

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Unfinished business, that’s what I am?

I lean forward his eyes I quickly scan

You left without a single word

I thought someone else you preferred

I tossed and turned and slept so little

Nothing was said, you  were noncommittal

A year has passed in which to heal

Even as my eyes in sleep did seal

I’ve pictured your beautiful face

Full of strength and equal grace

I loved you with depth profound

Memories full and clear abound

Of everything we shared together

Days and nights of heady pleasure

Now a conundrum before me lays

My mind enveloped in a haze

Or did we leave our business unfinished?

 

 

 

 

Dilemma

Dilemma

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Oh what a pickle I am in

As I laugh a toothy grin

Time is short and I must hurry

I race around and I scurry

Looking for the purse I cannot find

Surely it’s not been left behind

I cast my mind on back

The lights were off it was pitch black

The moment when I had it last

Within my grasp and held fast

It has all I need tucked within

I must find it patience wearing thin

I’m already late for this important date

This could not be an act of fate

The dilemma I now face

Acting with good grace

I stand and peer around

Thank god it’s on the ground

Tis now held within my hand

Only dropped it in the sand

When I saw two men I adore

Walking toward me on the shore

I must run and I must hide

They must not know what is inside

Tickets to the latest show

Both have given me, in the know

How much I love the opera

Good god is this a soap opera

When once upon a time I was alone

I now juggle two men I adore

Neither one I wish to ignore

Oh what a pickle I am in

For only one my heart will win

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretend

Pretend

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I walked to work this morning, carried on my day as usual, much as every other day.

The day stretched long and bleak before me.  To say I felt sick, bewildered, shocked and numb in combination was an understatement.  How was I supposed to get through this day?  Forget a day, weeks, months, years stood before me!  All alone, unescorted, unaccompanied.  I pictured that solitary figure I’d seen only last week, a single, lonely figure walking down the street hunched in sadness and sorrow  aged and so alone.  Could that be me?

Pretend, that’s what I’d do.  The sun shone brightly overhead, I did not see it or feel it’s warmth.  I straightened my back and held my head high. No one would ever know by glancing my way, I was filled with sorrow.

The breeze whisked my hair from my face, I did not feel it’s gentle caress.  Pretend, that’s what I would do.  Stroking my hair i continue on down the street unaware of it’s effort to awaken me.

A bustling street filled with people I did not know sauntered, hurried, jostled around me and I did not notice nor care.  Pretend! I scolded myself.  I placed a fake smile upon my face and walked a little faster, attempting to add purpose to my step so no one would notice how lost I was.

I wondered if I had managed to make the pretense complete.  Would anyone notice the glazed sorrowful eyes or the pain emanating from within or how bereft I felt?  Was I convincing in my deception?  Could I be that effective an actress and pretend to wear this mantra so well no questions were asked, no pity given?  Had my disguise worked? Would I ever fit in with these happy delighted joyful people or was I destined to remain on the outside looking in forever?

I woke from the dream, startled and stared around me if only to confirm that what I’d witnessed was only that, a dream.  I reached across the bed and touched my partner.  Yes he was real, this was real, the other was but a dream.  Only a dream; I congratulated myself and fell back asleep.  Only to fall through the now floating sugary wisps surrounding me, back into the unknown.  Pretend was the last word I heard.

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award: (If you choose to participate)

Thank the person who nominated you

I am doubly honoured Ayoka as I enjoy your blogs very much.  When I consider how I felt writing my first blog, I am astounded by your responses as I continue reading them, enjoying them so much, a true highlight of my day!

These awards are so touching and delightful as I read and learn some intimate details that make me feel closer to all of you.

Answer their questions

Nominate fellow bloggers who you follow

Give them ten questions to answer

Questions For Nominees: 

What languages do you speak?

I only speak English alas I’ve forgotten my French, Spanish and Sign Language.  Something I really should rectify.

When did you last cry in front of another person?

Crying is very rare for me, not something I do often.  The last time I cried was watching my granddaughter dance because she is exquisite.

Are you less religious than your parents?

My parents passed many years ago, and my form of religion is different. I believe in God, but not organized religion.

What is the the one thing you have tried but will never do again?

Unfortunately I have to say the list is long.  Due to an accident I’ve lost a great deal of my vision so I am unable to knit, crochet, and most heart wrenching of all, paint draw or photography all of which I was incredibly good at and which delighted me immensely.

Do you believe everyone needs a soulmate?

Actually, I do.  I believe that often too many “settle” but I have witnessed friends finding their “soulmate” and it is such a delight.

Would you say no to palm oil products to save the orangutans?

I am uneducated in this area, but I don’t believe in harming animals for any reason.

Have you ever succeeded when you thought you might fail?

On many occasions, too numerous to recount, the answer is an unqualified yes!

Who makes your dinner?

We work together to make dinner, so the “who” changes daily but it is a combined effort for the most part as we enjoy our meals as a family.
Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert

I have been both.  Although shy at first, I am extroverted once I feel comfortable.

Have you ever witnessed a panic attack?

I have only witnessed my own.

I nominate the following, although I have so many I wish to choose.

cwaugh212

eddaz

Globolabo Adetunji

sandyjwhite

A Star on the Forehead

Roberta Pimentel

NikkiD


	

Panic

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/panic/">Panic</a>

 

I love Cape Scott Park.  The winds can reach a varified 120 mph so it’s not a place to hike during fall and winter. You may have to fight trails with bears on occasion so 13 caches are provided for campers food.  There are now cautionary warnings regarding wolves as well. You drive 1 1/2 hours over an active, graded gravel logging road, and you must yield right of way to logging trucks traveling between 7 am and 4 pm.

Throughout  Cape Scott you will wander past some excellent examples of old-growth forest, including Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar in excess of 3 metres in diameter with many treas 7 meters in diameter. I used to love hiking there.

On one such occasion, while hiking with my two (then) teenagers, we took the shorter jaunt to San Josef Bay which is an easy 45 minute hike in. Might I add well worth the effort.

We packed a lunch and frisbee and when we arrived at the beach, we relaxed, ate and played games before wandering a considerable length of beach.  Noticing clouds moving toward us, I suggested we head out.  When heavy cloud moves in, it’s possible to get stuck there and you won’t move until the clouds lift.  One couple mentioned hunkering down for 13 days. Although this was much further into the park, it still concerned me.  True or not, it wasn’t a risk I was willing to take as we had only prepared a light lunch and no extra clothing.

Fortunately my son had raced on ahead, determined to win the race back to the car.  As I hustled along, enjoying my surroundings, chatting with my daughter, it happened!  For no apparant reason, I lost my breath, I couldn’t seem to suck in enough air to fill my lungs and there I stood in the middle of the path shaking my hands in panic.  I remember stomping my feet and turning circles for some unknown reason.  When I still couldn’t catch my breath, I started ripping layers of clothing off until I stood in nothing but my underwear and shoes.  I was gasping for breath, and I couldn’t make a sound to alert my daughter up ahead of me.  When she realized she was alone, she back tracked to find me.  I grabbed hold of her and held on.  Simply touching her seemed to calm me and I was finally able to suck air slowly into my deprived lungs.  It took awhile for the panic to subside. My daughter did her best to shield me lest an unwitting hiker should appear.

In the process I re-dressed myself and I began laughing.  I laughed so hard i doubled in half and tears rolled down my cheeks.  My daughter’s startled eyes now held a question. I’d never had a panic attack and had no idea that is what had transpired.  My only thought at the time was what if some poor hiker had come upon us,  finding me nearly naked, clad in next to nothing.  It would have been mortifying to me, but no doubt a shock to them as well or perhaps provided a good laugh – either way, you can imagine my relief that did not happen.

My daughter stayed close the rest of the way back to the car.  I was relieved not knowing what that was, but I certainly didn’t want a repeat. It wasn’t my last panic attack and they would continue for several years. It did not stop me from embarking on other hiking expeditions.

When once I was mortified by panic attacks, I’ve come to understand, they are a result of a stoic strong person holding on too long and a release of tension and stress relief is required.  I no longer fear them and they have thankfully subsided over the years.

 

 

 

 

Generous

Generous

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When I contemplated the word “generous”, I struggled.  Admittedly, some have become jaded as they witness the extent of greed in our society as well as the horrendous misuse of funds.  Perhaps having observing the extent of what some consider acceptable theft, or observing people stepping on others to obtain a promotion. Indeed the news is full of such examples resulting in a cloud of suspicion and negativity as we shake our heads in disgust and shame at where some have allowed themselves to go.

During particular occasions, christmas being one of them, or perhaps a special birthday or anniversary, we are compelled by generosity to make the occasion as special as possible and it gladdens our hearts to do so.

Conversely there are many who epitomize generosity in spirit and it’s a part of who they are.  I thought I’d share just one example of a moment of unexpected generosity that touched my heart.

While sitting in the car not far from the mall entrance, I watched a frail gentleman struggle, his gait unsure, as he made his way to the door.  Many hustled by him accidentally bumping and nudging him and he nearly toppled over.  A younger man walking nearby, witnessed the incident.  He walked closer to the older man, held out a hand and I watched him introduce himself.  The older man seemed startled at first.  They shook hands after which, he took the older man’s arm and guided him the rest of the way to the door.  He didn’t stop there.  He opened the door and cleared a path for the gentleman, holding  the door until the dotteringly slow gentleman entered.  Another conversation resulted.  He didn’t walk away but assisted the man on, into the mall and out of sight.   I was overcome with emotion at the tenderness of the moment which moved me to tears.  The generous display, unsolicited, and obviously heartfelt all the more valuable as a result.

We often hear of huge events arranged on a massive scale, and while I certainly don’t negate the momentousness of what was accomplished as a result, I find I’m far more touched as a result of the daily moments of generosity available to all of us.  That helping hand, the kind word, a moment in which to uplift or assist another in meaningful ways that has a profound and lasting affect on the recipient.

I’ve experienced generosity of nature here, among this delightful community of bloggers, who constantly offer uplifting and thoughtful words of encouragement.  Generosity of nature is not lost here.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who offer that spirit freely and willingly and although on the surface, we may not see the affect, it is felt and appreciated.