Prisoner in Paradise–a Parable

Once upon a time a peasant girl met a handsome prince who swept her off her feet and carried her away to his magical kingdom to live “happily ever after.” There he provided her with “everything she could ever want”–a gorgeous castle, fancy clothes, servants and chariots. Eventually, she even gave birth to two beautiful children. It seemed the peasant girl, indeed, had “everything”! She was certainly the envy of all the citizens in the kingdom. Yet, deep in her heart, the peasant girl was unhappy and the prince could not understand why.  After all, he had given her “everything.” He offered her more things, but she turned them away. He tried to impress her with his heroic deeds and commendations, but she was unimpressed. With each day, month and year the peasant girl-turned princess became increasingly depressed.

Then, one day, she was gone!

No one in the kingdom could find her. The servants searched her quarters, the children searched the gardens, the prince searched the bedroom. She was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the maid came rushing in from the kitchen waving a slip of paper. It was a note that read:

Dear Beloved,

When I was a peasant girl I was confined to my father’s house. I had to obey him and abide by his rules. When I became a woman I left my father’s house but was, again, subject to a man’s rule. I have spent my entire life longing to be free. I loved my father and I love my husband. They are both good men who have been good to me, but the person who I long to be can not exist in captivity, even if it looks like paradise! I am more than a daughter, a wife and a mother. I am also a poet, an artist, a speaker, but you’ve never heard my voice! How could you? In this kingdom it is drowned out by so many other sounds… So, I had to get away…to hear the sound of my own voice!

I wonder how many women can relate to the princess in this story? Feeling like a “prisoner in paradise” who can–or should–not complain about a “good” life with a husband and children who love you, but also feeling completely underwhelmed and unfulfilled because you have your own dreams and ambitions that have been set aside for theirs?  I’ve struggled with many of the “safe” choices I’ve made, wondering if I should have taken some risks instead.

But, where does the princess in this story go? She leaves the safety of the kingdom–the protection of her prince and the surety of his purse! She’s on her own without his advice and she’ll have to figure out how to navigate the wilderness all by herself! She dares to venture out after years of pampered, protected and privileged captivity. What does she feel now that she’s gone? Fear? Freedom? Both? Will she succeed or will she fail? Will she hear her own voice or will it be drowned out by a cacophony of sounds she never anticipated? Your/her/our plot thickens!

To be continued…

slipper

 

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#Daily Post #Traditional

Flash fiction: Life’s a Challenge–Face It!

In my Creative Writing class we learned about micro-fiction or “flash” fiction, a genre that takes the “short” in short story very seriously. Micro-fiction really challenges a writer to get his or her point across quickly and creatively. Every word counts. It’s much like poetry, except it’s prose! So, last month I featured Raven’s story.  This month I’m featuring my two boys–there’s only two of them in the class–and they each did a great job with this assignment. First, “She’s Like a Wack-A-Mole Game by Thierry Lundy

Everything was fine between her and I, until she started to give me trouble.  Like a psychiatrist, I tried my best to help her resolve her issues, but this was a frustrating and expensive task.  She became too much like a wack-a-mole game.  It seemed like as soon as I would knock one issue out, another would pop up.  This led to constant visits to the store to buy her things to make her feel better.

Sometimes, I would be overcome with gladness as we rode through the city together.  I would not hear one peep from her.  To me, this was a sign that she was healed.  Filled with hope, I would say to myself, “Maybe she has overcome the wack-a-mole syndrome.”  Then on day this hope of mine quickly vanished.  While riding down the street with her, another mole popped up.  It was a big mole.  Her brakes went out.

She was my first car, a Ford Tempo.  She was my own personal wack-a-mole game.

Ford Tempo

Next is Cory Jackson. He’s kind of a quiet force in the room, but he has a way with words. Since he didn’t have a title for this piece, I’ve chosen to call it “DECISIONS, DECISIONS”

Staring into space, it seemed I watched him contemplate every decision he’s ever made. His rights, his wrongs, the right things he’s left and the things he’s left that he knew was right. Puzzled, but yet still determined to figure out the solution in this life and death situation. As we both stood there aimlessly, I mumbled, “Just pick”.

With a sarcastic smirk he replied, “I can’t, it’s not that easy.”

“What do you mean it’s not that easy? Either pick the right one or the left one, you can’t go wrong with either one.”

“If only it was that simple” he quickly responded.

“Well, it is, so pick or I’ll choose for you.”

“Fine!” he stated, annoyed at the fact that I was rushing him to reach a conclusion, he gracefully stretched out his hand as if he knew all along which one he wanted, then  swiftly pulled it back. “Can’t I get both?”

“Absolutely not!” I responded. “Either pick or we can leave.”

Disappointed, he laughed it off. “Ok fine, I’ll go with the Kyrie 2’s rather than the Kyrie 3’s.

“Alright grab them so I can pay.”

As he grabbed the shoes of his choosing, filled with excitement, relieved his hard work of decision-making had finally payed off, I watched as my younger brother made eye connect with the beautiful patent leather on the Jordan 11’s. Noticing, I quickly shouted, “Don’t you do this!”

Standing there in a daze he looked at me and said, “But what about these?”

I sighed and sat back down. “Just pick.” In that moment I was reminded of the trouble with being a 16 year old boy.

Jordans

Did you like these stories? Share them with a friend! If you like this, you might also like The Looking Glass. Like, follow and share Books & Coffee. Be sure to check back every Monday for more stories, poems and inspiration!

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Monday Mayhem: Create!

Good Morning!

To get us energized today, I’m suggesting a brisk walk, walk/run or 1 mile run at your fastest pace–10 minutes minimum.  Remember, the shorter the time, the more intense the effort. If you have 30 minutes to an hour for your workout, then you can afford to work at a moderate pace, but you still want to gradually increase periods of intensity. If you opt for the 10 minute sprint, follow that with a Tabata (Burpees, Jump squats or Lunges) Then…

Fuel up with my favorite parfait and slices of green apples this time. Aren’t they pretty?2017-02-13-07-09-16

Now it’s time to CREATE!

I found this mug at Burlington Coat Factory of all places (who knew?) and I love it! Not only is it sturdy and perfect for cupping a warm beverage, it’s also inspirational. To create is to cause something to come into being…so when we create those characters in our stories it’s like we’re little scientists piecing together the leftover parts of people we once knew to make new people we have yet to know…people who come alive on the pages of our text and become real. Real to us and to our readers.  Yet, they are not real. They are not natural. They do not evolve except in our imaginations and the processes by which they come to be are so extraordinary that it literally keeps us up at night…keeps us up nights…night

after night…

unnatural indeed.

Yet invigorating!

Because, today, creators we will be! Fueled with energy and imagination, we will forge ahead into that vast unknown and emerge victorious on the other side!

#amwriting

#mondaymorningmotivation

#somebodysgottadoit

Now…

CREATE!

hAPPY mONDAY!

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