Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Including Josephine Baker

Photo Credit Jim Chapman


I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at https://www.bewhoyouare.com/ The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo. Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of my homework. 


Here's what I wrote to go with the photo above:


Frida Kahlo had heard his reasons forever. Diego Rivera put calla lilies in his paintings as a “symbol of celebration,” or “purity,” or as a “connection to the Virgin Mother.” He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of the truth.

The calla lily has a deceptively simple form. A sleek single petal hides the pistil containing a single ovary, and the stamen completing the area of meiosis. Frida knew the real reason Diego painted the bushels of lilies carried in the arms of indigenous women. She was sure of the meaning behind the lilies held in great sheaves by naked women.


Anyone could see, the tender lily reflected the secret garden of a woman. Frida had held many women in her arms, some whose names she couldn’t even remember. Her husband would never, could never, forget any of these women. And so, he painted them.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

This Will Do

Photo Credit Eve Hannah

I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at https://www.bewhoyouare.com/ The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo. Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of my homework. 

Here's what I wrote to go with the photo above:


“This will do. I can make this work,” said Olivia. She brushed her calloused hands, along the brick wall and splintered door frame.

“It’s yours if you want it, Miss Jenkins. This parcel was in her will, left for you, free and clear. You can tear it down and build something better. Whatever you want,” said Hank.

As the oldest son, Hank had been chosen the executor of Gert’s will. The ranch had been left to the family. This broken down house and old paddock had been ignored for years. He didn’t know Gert’s reasons for leaving it to Olivia Hart Jenkins, but of course there had been rumors.

“That’ll be fine,” said Olivia, her voice breaking. She looked away to hide her tears. She gazed out at the good green earth of scrub and acacia that reminded her of Gert. Their long days in the heat of the sun. The smell of the soil as they sowed corn and sweet peas. Her Gert. What would she do without her?

“All right then. They’ll just have some papers for you to sign down at Tom Horn’s office,” Hank said.

“As soon as you’d like.” Olivia would sign her name as Gert had taught her, in her careful handwriting. Gert, who read to her in the evenings as they lay in bed. A bed that was now too big for just one person.

Olivia took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She had known love in her life and for that she was grateful. She would re-build this house. In the garden she would plant corn and sweet peas.




Monday, June 24, 2019

High Tide

Photo Credit Julie Moore

I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at https://www.bewhoyouare.com/ The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo. Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of my homework. 

Here's what I wrote to go with the photo above:


Dearest Randall,
You’ve been gone eight days now. I’ve been gone three. If I could have willed my heart to stop beating, I would have. We can hold our breath, why not hold our blood from pumping? A flaw in the system.
I wore the hat you bought me in Cabo on our sixth anniversary and the disguise worked. No one at the shore knew who I was. Nor did they care, really.
Nobody was interested in my story until they found the old me, washed up on the sand. There were theories, of course. I had been standing on the jetty at high tide, taken by a large wave. I fell out of a kayak in the stormy sea. I took a swim in a vigorous riptide. The usual hypotheses. We know the truth. I walked backwards into the ocean and did not stop. The rocks lining my pockets had fallen out before they could become clues.
Even without this ocean, even in a dry, scorched desert, I would be gone by now. Baked in sun, dehydrated by hot wind, birds of prey circling me overhead, waiting. But as you know, I love the beach.
I don’t know what happens next. Maybe I’ll be reincarnated as a fish, or a mermaid, or a benevolent Poseidon, or even you.
Diana


Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Star


Photo Credit by Jeff Stroud

I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at https://www.bewhoyouare.com/ The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo. Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of my homework. 


Here's what I wrote to go with the photo above:

What are the things you knew you could always count on? The places, people, loves, and regrets you knew your soul would always be entwined with? Mouths you’ve kissed, books you’ve read, front porches you’ve sat on that would always mean home? You knew these were in a category of timelessness but they proved not to be. Experience has shown, you can’t even count on yourself.
You’ve surely watched as you’ve left yourself alone in the cold desert at night. Maybe by now you’ve stood on a fault-line and felt the solid earth move out from under you. This was a surprise to you every time it happened.
I’m guessing by now you’ve pawned the wedding ring or the idea of one. You’ve forgotten the words to the song, and most of the secrets. Everything you’ve known to be true has cycled through, and been replaced by changes you could never foresee, or chose not to because change is hard. Change is always constant and inevitable.
But these two things will forever be true: 
My love for you is a star that will never burn out. 
And I adore a saccharine metaphor.