Seemingly Equal Paths - Sept. 18th

I am trying to make my way through this winding overgrown path. It’s tight. The thorns of the bushes catch on my clothes and tug at my skin. It’s day time, but heavily overcast and dreary. Everything is damp and saturated. A blue-grey hangs in the air, and the wood around me is hazed with a cool-green tint.

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Flower in the Window - Sept. 17th

I am but a small flower that sits on a window sill above the kitchen sink. It’s a safe existence, and one that I am sure brings happiness to those who approach. I get my daily sun through the panes of the small bay window. Every few days, I receive my water when the dishes are done. My little red clay pot is cozy, though large enough that I desire another with which to share this space. But I stay content. For I only have a short time before I might wither and the cycle begins anew.

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The Compass Man - Sept. 16th

Surrounding the campfire, the small caravan of travelers were on their third full day of being lost on the open plains. The party had been covering a mere ten miles a day, chiefly due to lack of experience. It was during a severe weather outbreak on their thirty-first day of travel that had mislaid their path as they wandered into uncharted regions. Beyond those of the crude maps they carried. They had the food stores on hand for three additional weeks travel; four if rationed correctly. Amongst the party of eight, was but one who had thus ventured past the mighty Mississippi, he was the navigator, John Bryson.

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Urban Trees - Sept. 15th

 

To be an urban tree

Means to fear to grow large

Growing as nature intended

To its full scope and capacity

Urban trees pretend

Almost if of plastic

Because if they spread too broad

They will cease to conform to their home

That simply can’t be

A tree too large is like

An ocean to expansive

A dream to bold or a sky too big

 

The Story Bard of Shallowdeep - Sept. 14th

"Who be you?" Asked the guard.

"I am Mathieu Oliver, the story bard of the Shallowdeep.  Certainly you're familiar with my work."

"I be not. What business do you serve here?"

"I have come to entertain the good folk of Phandalin for the coming festival. My presence was requested by Sildar the third through written correspondence." 

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A Coffee and the Paper - Sept. 13th

A coffee and the paper

I've never needed more

Mornings run the gamut

Why are we all so bored

Sun on the breakfast table

I've never needed more

I would feel much better

What are we working toward

Indignant responses

We should be asking more

Of ourselves and each other

We shouldn't live so moored

So much more that we can do

So much more we should want

Let's all stop being so scared

Chase our dreams for reward

Books at the Fireside - Sept. 12th

I came across the threshold of the front door, in from the blistering cold, having just cut a few cords of wood for the fire. Tireless work, but a necessity when one lives miles from the town center. The wind lashed out from behind, catching the door with its full impetus, I toiled to push back the door closed. Flickers and ribbons of powdery snow skittered across the floor, twisting in vortices, before gathering along the edge of the rug. Maria looked up from her knitting with a piercing stare of dismay. For as much I loved Maria, she had a capricious disposition that kept me on guard. She was chiefly of a gentle nature, however liable to moments of irritation. Of this, I knew and tried to let pass those moments as I knew they were not about me.

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Arriving Home - Sept. 11th

Upon walking into his home, Sam pulled back the curtains on the large bay window. The morning light now streamed through the window, casting a glowing haze, and illuminating the fine dust particles that were suspended in the air. Laying down on the couch — which was backed up to the window — he stared at the ceiling, considering his next move for the day. The sun quickly warmed the room, and this warmth put Sam at ease. He closed his eyes and began to drift off.

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Waiting for a Song - Sept. 10th

Sitting along the edge of the river, I found myself taken by the silence. The water trickled and flowed on its customary course, perhaps gentler than usual, but the river was quiet as though it were keeping a secret. I had sat atop an old tree trunk that gently leaned and arched into the water. I thought on the force that it must have taken to topple such a massive tree was sure to have been astonishing.

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Rearview Storm - Sept. 9th

 

On the horizon, many miles away, clouds gather.

One on top of another, growing, changing and fading.

Building a ball of energy waiting to be released.

Above me nothing but bluesky.

In the evenings these storm clouds are accentuated.

By the soft pastel pallets of the fading, falling sun.

In these moments, it's as if the clouds are extending upward.

Trying in vain to keep pace with the setting sun.

Yellows, pinks and oranges cascade down.

Melt into the blues and purples of the evening below.

This is all seen from my rearview mirror.

I can’t say to where I am headed.

But I can certainly say to where I am not.

 

Holed Up - Sept. 8th

The rain was coming down so hard that it outpaced what the wipers could handle. A hard, driving rain that was coming in from the west. It forced me to pull off at the next exit and take up residence at a small roadside diner. A tired little truck stop town of unremarkable note, it was less than a flyover or one light place. In fact, you were only briefly asked to keep it at 45mph for about the space of a city block before you could bring her back up to speed. The small diner, a general store, two tiny run-down houses, and one room little white church was all that Millington had.

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Where He's Going - Sept. 7th

The rolling hills are gentle and soft, scattered with rows of trees that create breaks in the fields; where one set starts and where another ends. The horizon stretches on for as far as the eye can see, almost to the point that you’d swear you can see the curvature of the earth right before you. Fields full of the crop were swaying gently in the breeze, dancing, moving to the rhythm of nature. Overhead they are watered by sprinklers that circle the fields from above.

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Campfire Bonds - Sept. 5th

The fire was lit but night was hot and damp
Above the flame the sparks and smoke took rise
We sat silent, we sat in joy and peace
To share ourselves we talk in hushed code
Whisper ideas of who we are this day
Of what we have become to one another

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Troubleshooting, being human - Sept. 4th

On a bright sunny day in January, a systems analyst is called in to troubleshoot a few recurring issues with a system. As he sits at the console, he begins the process of looking through the log files to determine where the problems started. After a short time, the console reached out and began to respond back. Here is the following conversation.

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The Personailities of Good and Bad - Sept. 3rd

 

Recently, I sat down for coffee with Good and Bad. I hadn't intended on doing so, it just sort of happened that way. And when these things happen, I don't ask questions. I let them be and sort out the details later. So here I was, sitting at the local coffee shop working on a cup of coffee and a new, used book. When, shortly after finishing the first chapter, Good walked in, introduced herself, and struck up a conversation. It was a pleasant and delightful conversation. We talked about a multitude of topics. It brought joy and peace to the day — something that I was much in need of.  

After some time, Bad walked in and just sat down. He didn't ask, didn't introduce himself, simply sat down. I was put off near immediately but didn't want to be rude. Though I can say, this was not the case for him. I tried to keep a civil conversation, but the harder I tried, the more it deteriorated into chaos. He attacked me, and he attacked Good. He belittled our characters, he chased our fears, and ultimately drove Good to tears. All that my conversation with Good had been was undone and then some. I was left bitter and sore.

After Good had been chased away and Bad was all too proud of himself, he left me. I tried to read on, but I just couldn't — Bad weighed too heavily on my mind. Closing my book, I went for a walk to try to clear my head. The things Bad said stirred and attacked my soul, they ate away at my sense of confidence. I was challenging things that I shouldn't be questioning. The sting of this occurrence lingered in my mind for days. But slowly, I began to see Good and Bad for what they are.

Good is gentle and Good is kind. She never demands and never commands. She is compassionate and caring. Everything one would expect her to be. But with these traits comes her weaknesses. She is timid, she is shy. Good — try as she might — is quickly overshadowed by more boisterous personalities. She can easily be made to feel small, she can fade into the background when chaos takes over. She has every intention to do right by the situation but is sometimes in need of help.

Bad on the other hand, we'll he is a dick. He will throw gas onto hot coals just to burn you. He will indiscriminately attack you as a person for no other reason than self-amusement. He is apathetic and cruel. He will chase your weak moments like a dog trained to hunt fox — by instinct and force. But here is the thing about bad, he is indifferent. He doesn't care about you or about your feelings. Though he may target them, it's not about you —  you just happen to be an available target. He is also ignorant, and as such, there is no point in arguing or debating. It is a battle that can't be won as he has no dog in the fight, only the interest in watching the kill.

As I came to these realizations, I started to find peace again. I saw Bad for what he is and knew that it's his ignorance that makes him what he is. And I began to see Good for all that she can be. But it needs to be said that Good needs to be defended. She needs to be supported and encouraged to be herself, wholly and truly.

It's incredible to me that someone such as Bad can have such a devastating impact on lives when he is simply a self-absorbed, uneducated, arrogant dick. But, it's nice to know that we can easily walk away and he'll find something else to do because ultimately, he doesn't care about us, he's not concerned with us in the least, he's only interested in himself. As for Good, she'll have her day. Next time I see her, I'll treat her to coffee, she'll be able to see the joy and peace she brings.

 

Peter Philipsen: Time Traveler - Sept. 2nd

Peter Philipsen has a secret, one that he is particularly embarrassed by. One that is based on superstition, which runs counter to how he functions within the rest of his life. If Peter were to tell you of his secret, you'd assume he was simply putting you on. But upon describing the details, you'd wonder where else in life he has come off the rails. For you see, Peter's secret is that he's a bit of a time traveler, sort of.

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Nautical Twilight - Sept. 1

In the courtyard square, on a bench, away from the street lamps that were not yet on, Jack sat. The light was fading from the sky, casting blue-grays over everything with the oncoming night. As the sun sank below the horizon and its last twinges of fire sparked in the air, the streetlamps began to illuminate. When the final lamp in the small courtyard square came to be, the long shadow of a figure was cast across the ground. Slowly it moved in Jacks direction. At first, he paid the approaching figure no mind, but it was quickly apparent that it was headed in his direction.

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