Cycles

At night, silence awakens me.
No familiar sound of breath, no shifts,
I struggle not to fall into the
empty space I lie beside.

By day, I am stoic, professional;
Evenings bring doctors and large words
that I nod at and work to understand.
So brave, they think, but I pretend.

And when the door closes I cry
myself empty of my heart’s tears
and sleep, until once more,
silence awakens me.

Look as good you will not

I was never Carrie Fisher/Leia of back in the day. But I’ve also survived getting older and I’m ok with being 54, soon to be 55. Too bad there’s a whole bunch of folks out there who don’t get it.

Red Fork Hippie

“When [59] years old you reach, look as good you will not.”
— Yoda

In case you’ve been under a rock: Fanboy trollgeek jackasses have been inundating Carrie Fisher with unsolicited critiques of her appearance ever since The Force Awakens was released.

Apparently they’re mad because the last time they saw her in a Star Wars flick, she was kicking ass in a metal bikini, and it made them feel funny inside, like when they climbed the rope in gym class. Three decades later, she looks like a grownup, and the fanboys are apoplectic, because this means either A.) they have to quit lusting after Bikini Slave Girl Leia, or B.) they have to admit they’ve spent years cherishing vivid fantasies about a woman who’s old enough to be their mother.

Rather than spend a little more time listening to Fountains of Wayne songs and embracing their inner Benjamin Braddock…

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Lucy Maud Montgomery Tag

Thanks to my friend Rachel at The Edge of the Precipice, I learned about Eva at Coffee, Classics and Craziness’ celebration of Lucy Maud Montgomery (and see Google’s Doodles about Anne of Green Gables today (and likely in archives and blog posts)).

It looks like fun, so I decided to participate!

  • How did you first discover LMM’s books?

I honestly don’t remember.  I know I didn’t read them when I was younger, so it must have been a recommendation from someone.

  • What’s your favorite LMM book? 

A Tangled Web.  I like Blue Castle, but the way Valency gets treated at the beginning makes me cringe.  Tangled Web is actually kind of fun, and a lot of good people get better lives out of all the commotion over the jug.

  • What’s your least favorite LMM book?

Magic for Marigold.  Just didn’t get into it.

  • Who is your favorite character in allllll of LMM’s works?

Emily.  I know a lot of people don’t like the Emily books as much, but there’s something about her.

  • What couple is your favorite?

Valancy and Barney. They’re more truly kindred spirits than any other couple in LMM, IMHO.

  • What is your favorite quote from LMM (either a quote from one of her books, or from her personal life)?

“Don’t be led away by those howls about realism. Remember-pine woods are just as real as pigsties and a darn sight pleasanter to be in.”

  • How many LMM books have you read?

All of them, I think. I found most of the story collections on either Scribd or Project Gutenberg.  And I’ve read all of Anne, Emily and Pat and the grown-up books: Tangled Web, Blue Castle and Kilmeny of the Orchard. Also the Story Girl books and Jane of Lantern Hill (another favorite). And Magic for Marigold. *sigh*

  • Which LMM book would you most like to see made into a movie?

The Blue Castle.  No casting ideas, but it would just be fun.  Actually, the only casting idea is now too old, alas — I would have liked to see the actor who played “Fedora” in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Richard Young) as Barney.

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  • Have you found a kindred spirit?

In the books? Probably Emily (not that I have any pretense to her looks) because I know how it feels to be misunderstood and to have a passion for writing — even if that passion, at the moment is swamped by apathy and some depression.

 

 

So Played the Pipes in Arras – (day 11)

I wrote this originally for Jim Bronyaur’s “12 Days of Christmas” in 2010. I thought I’d pass it on, for those serving and those remembering those gone.

12 Days 2010!

By

 Janet Lingel Aldrich

Harry McDonald shuffled down the hall to answer the door. He found his regular mail carrier with an oblong box in hand. “Good morning, Mr. McDonald! Ready for Christmas?”

Taking the box, he raised a bushy eyebrow. “Happen I am, lass. Happen I am.” He put the box on the nearest flat surface and took the clipboard he was offered. “Where do I sign, then?”

After he closed the door, Harry stared at the box for a long time before picking it up.  I know what it is and I know what it means. Bloody hell. And at Christmas of all times. He was expecting his grandson any day, home from Afghanistan on furlough. I’ll put it aside for now.

As he passed down the hallway, he searched through the framed pictures on the wall and stopped at one of them. He ran…

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AWAKE, oh Sleeper!

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This is powerful and very true … Wake up!

Everything Rides on Hope Now

Burdened is the only way I can describe my heart recently.  I have this constant feeling in the pit of my stomach that something is very wrong.  It’s a feeling like one of my children is in danger and I am helpless to protect them.  I go to sleep at night with the feeling and I wake up with it.

Around the world, Christians are suffering for their faith.  They always are, but lately it has been overwhelming to watch and hear about.  The headlines on Christian persecution do not end right now.

  • Over 250 schoolgirls were kidnapped by a terrorist group named “Boko Harem”.  These girls were kidnapped because they attended a “Western”, “Christianized” school in Nigeria.  The Islamic extremists forced most of them to convert to Islam, raped some, and sold some as child brides.
  • In Iraq and Syria, an evil, twisted faction of Al Queda named ISIS…

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Legacy – #ThreeWordWednesday (late again!), 03/26/2014

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Cunning, Emaciated, Degenerate

Denis mounted the brownstone steps, thinking about the meeting he needed to attend later in the day. I’ve got to block this deal. Yes, it would probably make money — and destroy what’s left of a hundred lives or so. And destroy some greenspace. I don’t want any part of that. Fortunately for him, he wasn’t alone; there was a group at the company who wanted to stage a takeover, and Denis meant to help them.

His grandfather had picked a heck of time to demand a meeting.

He knocked on the door. Delagardie, who was nearly as aged and emaciated as his master, answered.

Before Denis could get a greeting out, Delagardie said in a barely-audible whisper, “Your grandfather is expecting you. Go straight up.”

The young man started for the stairs as the door squealed shut behind him.  Anyone expecting warmth and courtesy here had come to the last place where it could be found.

He stood outside the room for a minute. Something about the last minute summons bothered him. He and his mother had been estranged from his grandfather after the death of Denis’ father. While it was rumored that the old man was extremely wealthy it wasn’t an attraction for his grandson. With the idealism of youth, Denis had long ago decided it wasn’t a legacy he wanted any part of. In his eyes, the money was contaminated by the degenerate lifestyle and corrupt business practices his grandfather was infamous for.

“Denis. Come in. What are you waiting for?”

Reluctantly, he swung the door open and entered. Andrew DeFleur was laying in bed, his thin frame hardly seeming to hold the blankets off the mattress.

“Grandfather.” Denis bowed slightly. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes. Sit down.”

Dennis paused and then sat.

“I’m dying.  I doubt that comes as any surprise to you.”

What do I say to that? I’m sorry? What a shame? Should I care?

The old man put him out of his misery and chuckled with surprising strength. “I’ll spare you from trying to find a nice, hypocritical phrase. Your Great-aunt Esme would break into tears and that pious old fraud Uncle Jeffrey would preach a sermon over me. You don’t pretend — it’s one of the things I like about you. ”

“You hardly know me.”

A small, cynical smile came over Andrew’s face. “I know more than you think, young man.”

“May I ask why you had me come?” Denis said briskly. He had other and better things to do.

“Why, for the pleasure of your company, of course. Of course, not!” Andrew grasped a small glass of a slightly cloudy liquid and drank. “No, because I need to discuss my inheritance with you.”

Dennis looked at his watch.  He had less than an hour to return to his office. He stood and prepared to leave.  “I don’t have time for this, grandfather, and I’m not  –”

“Sit DOWN!”

He did, involuntarily, feeling for the moment that he’d lost control over himself.

“Now.” His grandfather settled back on his pillows. “This isn’t something I can leave to just anyone.” A cunning smile crossed his face. “It requires someone decent, someone who is capable of making money but who doesn’t make money his first priority. Someone idealistic and fundamentally kind.  Someone like you, Denis.” The old man paused.  “There has to be some sacrifice involved, after all.”

Denis used every bit of his will to get up and leave, but he couldn’t budge.

Andrew swung his scrawny body up and off the side of the bed. “I wasn’t always like this. I don’t mean my age, but the kind of person I was.  We have a great deal in common, you and I — or we did, before my grandfather called me in, just like this.”

He reached out one apparently frail hand and gripped Denis’ wrist. With the other, he raised Denis’ chin so their eyes met and gazes locked.

He has a red highlight in his eyes, the paralyzed Denis thought. Why didn’t I ever notice that before?

A shimmer surrounded the old man and lifted away to form a sphere. It bobbed down the arm Andrew was using to hold Denis’, and slowly traveled up the younger man’s body.  It spread thin and sank into him.

The old man released Denis and collapsed onto the bed.

Denis, whose chin had dropped to his chest, slowly raised his head. He looked at the old man with no interest, stood, adjusted his coat and descended the stairs.

Delagardie met him at the door. “Mr. Andrew?”

“He’s dead.” Their eyes met, and Delagardie noted with pleasure the red glint in the younger man’s eyes. He handed Denis a key.

“I’ll make all the arrangements, sir.  You will be home this evening?”

“Indeed, I will.  But first I have a deal that I need to ensure goes through — and some friends to stab in the back.”  He left, a swagger in his step and a cold, cynical smile on his face.