Take a Breath

For I have found my loneliness
Infinite and sure
Now it has left me behind
Dancing away in history’s arms

My go-to thing to help when I am troubled has been music or words my whole life. I’m not talented in music the same way many of my sisters and parents are, but because it’s been such a large part of my childhood it continues to be the thing I turn to. The same for reading and writing. Reading both fiction and nonfiction has helped me center myself when I haven’t been able to sing for one reason or another.

As an adult, I have discovered that those two things, while still important and certainly helpful, haven’t quite been enough at times.

Increasingly, at times.

But the thing I’ve found is that you don’t have to stick to just one or even two things to find peace. And sometimes you need to branch out and find something new in order to stretch your soul.

For me, the last few years gain depth and peace as I have started to research my family history. As I’ve come to know these people that are long since dead, I have found that I feel less alone during the times when, physically, the only others around are my animals.

(Though working in the ground for our plants and spending time taking care of our animals has also brought me a peace I hadn’t thought possible. It has helped to balance and start the healing for my physical problems. There’s nothing quite like having a handful of goatlings sleeping on you while you read. Their warmth and gentle, unconditional love is something so sweet and soft that it can only exist in the hearts of the young of any species.)

This dive into my soul was brought to you by the Dungeon Prompt: The Healing Arts. Some of these things I hadn’t realized were having such an impact on me until I read through the prompt and the challenge it gave.

(laughs at self) I just realized that this is an old prompt. I had a pingback from it earlier today that I hadn’t noticed before and started writing before I even realized what it was about. I just went in and read the prompt and then this post was written before I had realized this. Isn’t it something how the past pops up when you least expect it?

Spider’s Friend

Can’t remember when the last time
All of us were here
Remembering what we had
I can’t think of another moment
Not knowing what was lost
Going to keep trying, no matter what

It was hard to think of all the time that had passed. She had thought that there would be more time. They were all pretty young and the majority of them had good health. Their lives had all gone off in different directions. one breaking off first and then another and then another until they only had the barest strands linking them.

The strands that used to be as thick as a wool blanket, newly knit by a master craftsman.

Now they were as thin as a string of spider’s web.

She had thought they were still as strong as a spider’s web, at least. After all, those were very strong strings.

But…

But she had forgotten that it was easier for something, or someone, to come along and cut a spider’s thread, destroy the web that was so beautifully created to provide shelter and sustenance.

She’d been able to catch a few glimpses of some of those threads recently. Some of them still shown, bright with morning dew.

But…

But one was slack, billowing in the wind.

She hadn’t understood what that meant. Still wouldn’t understand it for over six months.

She doesn’t wish she never found out, because ignorance is not bliss. She should know, she’s been caught up because of it before and it never ended well.

The thread was cut by the friend himself. There was no coming back from that.


This was inspired by the Dungeon Prompt: Never Shared.

I’m going to be honest, it took me a bit to be able to finish this one. I won’t go into why, but it was hard. This is a hard subject.

Just, for anyone out there, remember that no one is better without you in the world. Even if you aren’t in their lives anymore, just knowing that you are out there in the world and living can be enough for them.

Please don’t give up.

Constant – Story Snippet

There was never any one thing that kept her going.

Sometimes she kept moving because if she stopped there would be no one to stop Them.

Sometimes it was because she knew she would disappoint her family if she gave up.

Sometimes it was because she didn’t have it in her to lay down and stop moving.

Either way, she’d been going for so long, mostly alone and almost always having to leave behind every good thing she found that she didn’t know how to stop.

It was a lot more difficult to stand still than it was to push forward.


I struggled with this prompt more than the others. I couldn’t figure out if I was going to write a little story snippet or write a poem. Either way, this was what happened after reading the Dungeon Prompts: Needing Some Inspiration.

Block of Granite

What I wish to do
And what I wish to be
Are not so far apart
Flung out upon the sea

For I can take a chisel
And hack and saw and chip
Away at the base around my feet
Exposing the edge of a lip

It is not a pedestal
That I stand upon
But the basis of my life
Hopefully of something strong

For my path is my own
My choices also, see
For what I do with my life
Is my own responsibilty

The tools I’m given here
Are not always what I’d choose
But that does not hinder me
They will not make me lose

Circumstances in my life
Change and grow and weave
Taking from me many things
But still much more they leave

Why I was in the beginning
Is not always who I stay
Because I grow and change
Becoming more each day


This was inspired by another of the recently returned Dungeon Prompts: Mission Statement.

My Choice – Story Snippet

If there was one thing she prized above all else, it was choice.

Not everyone made the same decisions. Not everyone should make the same decisions.

And no one, not one single person to ever live or ever will live should get to make another’s choice for them.

She had lived through so many others making her decisions for her, without her consent and mostly without her knowledge.

But now…

Now that she knew what had been done, what had been bartered, what had been taken and stolen from her…

Now she would take back what little of her own life remained.

If she should die, then by all that was and would be, she would die having chosen to do so.

That did not mean that she was choosing death.

Oh no.

She was choosing to live and make her own choices.

If those choices placed her at odds with the world and that led to her death, however…

She closed her eyes and shrunk in on herself.

For one moment, she was more alone than she had ever been in her entire life.

She felt the burn of her lungs as she refused to draw in air.

She took that burn and used it to pull herself up, her shoulders widened from where they had been cringing against her body. Her head came up and her feet took a steadier stance. Her eyes opened as she finally let out that one held breath slowly and then allowed more air to come in again, regaining the rhythm that all know when they are breathing in measured strides, as if preparing themselves for something that would not be easy, but would be worth it.

This was her life and her decision to make.

No one else’s.


This little snippet was born from the Dungeon Prompts:  No Matter Time nor Place.

Savages, Savages, Barely Even Human!

I wish that I could think of just one thing, one moment, that stands apart from the rest when it comes to being ‘wild’ as a child.

Such is not the fate for one such as I.

Dubbed by one of my mother’s reoccurring clients, I am a (once proud) part of Mary Ann’s Heathen Children.

And this was one of the few people that was so shy and hesitant that our mother told us very strongly that we would be on our best behavior around him or so help her we would be grounded for well over a month and she would be giving our only t.v. away. (And this was back before we had a computer when not everyone had one easily accessible.)

I don’t even remember much about that particular patron (Mom designed a lot of clothes for him, though) except for the fact that he was this larger-than-life looking man from a distance and a really quiet, retiring person up close. (And that man had a bakery and made the best muffins I have ever tasted.)

Anyway, I know why we would be labeled ‘Mary Ann’s Heathen Children’ because we were little savages with, strangely enough, excellent table manners. (Mom always got compliments whenever there was a community or youth group activity that needed those because people were always really surprised that we knew not only have to properly set (what my nephew refers to as ‘fancy’) the table, but also had impeccable table manners ourselves. (We also knew how to clean just about anything including crystal and silver.)

(This is kind of a ramble-y day isn’t it?)

But I guess the one example I can think of off hand that is both a perfect picture and an average day for what I was like as a child is this memory:

My youngest two siblings and I liked to collect large sticks that could easily double as a bo staff (we practiced with them often enough that we could do some pretty cool tricks). We also created little bows and arrows from fallen tree branches in our backyard. (We lived on something like a third of an acre.)

One summer afternoon, a stranger appeared on our land. His physical appearance is not remembered, but the green of his jeep was.

He had come take one of our own.

We could not allow this.

We gave mighty chase to this interloper and soon trapped him upon the roof of his vehicle. Running around it we chanted and shook our mighty weapons at him until the Almighty One called to us for her hour of worship.

Gleefully we left our captive, certain that he would not make off with one of our own for She too was with the Almighty One as the Almighty One’s Defender.

Our captive made his escape, never to be seen again.

In short, a teen came to take one of my older sisters out on a date. We greeted him as we were wont to do at that point in our lives to make certain that he was worthy of her by seeing how well he could handle small children chasing him with large sticks.

My sister was not pleased when she came out from where her friend (whose nickname was Umba the Almighty, by the way) had been helping her get ready for the date.

Yeah, we got grounded for that one, but it didn’t really stop us from doing the same thing to other would-be dates for our elder sisters.

This same sister’s husband was one of the few to get us to stop greeting teenage boys wishing to date our sisters this way. My brother-in-law was not amused by our actions when he came to take my sister out. His elder brother (who had also dated a different sister, but only a handful of times before they decided they were better off as friends) had thought that our ways of greeting people hilarious and played along with us chasing him and making off with his hat, car keys, watch, etc.

So yes, I was quite the little heathen as a child.

I am forever grateful that my nieces and nephews are much better behaved than I was. (Even if they have no idea how to set the table for a fancy dinner.)

This little ramble down memory lane was brought to you by Dungeon Prompt: Where the Wild Things Are.

Harsh Reality

There is no growth in your comfort zone, and no comfort in your growth zone.

Perhaps I did not speak clearly
And lost my meaning in the words
Isn’t it strange how we face life dearly
Not knowing just how much it hurts

I live on a farm. Most of you who are reading this post know that, because it’s something that I’ve talked about often. I knew that it would be hard and that it wouldn’t be something easily done.

You’d think I would have been able to prepare myself a little better and I thought I had. Especially after two and a half years and counting, but I wasn’t ready.

Not by a long shot.

I’m still not ready and I doubt I will ever reach the point where every single loss, no matter which type of animal, doesn’t cut into the strangely still soft heart I possess.

But if I didn’t keep trying, then I don’t think I would be able to keep going at all. Giving up, giving in, has never really been a part of my personality.

Well…

I’m not going to add it to my list of character traits now.

Because all of those that I have lost deserve better from me than just being memories that I run from.

(In other news, I have learned how to perform CPR on small mammals. It should be noted that if they aren’t revived within 10 minutes, it’s too late.

But that doesn’t mean it will always be too late.)

This small poem and accompanying ramble was brought to you by Dungeon Prompt: Defined by a Quote.

Eternal Round

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned
It’s that life is not clean cut
Things like to happen without plan
And we’re left standing asking, “What?”

We grow and learn and cry
Tears of joy and pain
Laugh, sing and ask and die
Trying to find our place in life

Walking without fear
When we think we know the way
Questions asked without a pause
Answers clear in the light of day

And then someone comes along
Taking what we thought we knew
Turning it inside out
And left knowing a world so new

Still we keep moving on
Not giving in one jot
There’s still so much to learn
We cannot ever give up

Children become so much more
Than just those mirrors reflected back
As they change and grow
Knowing it’s up to them to stay the track

They leave us far behind
With little power left
Not knowing that they have
Left us feeling bereft

We’ve taught them all we know
But not all that they find
Believing, hoping that
They will themselves o’er bind

And yet they still come home
Smiling with eyes bright
Or crying and alone
Still to our arms they go

“I have seen so much out there,
So much that frightened me,
But always I have known
You would still remain waiting like a tree…

“A sentinel from my past
I have known you won’t forget
That you raised me from first to last
As someone more than what you’ve beget.”

And then we can reply,
“I prayed and watched and hoped
That still you’d come and try
To tell me all you’ve seen…

“My child, my heart still beats
A sure rhythm just for you
So listen as it states
That I will always love you, too.

“No matter where you go
Nor how strange you may become to me
My child of choice or birth
My heart is yours for free.

“Learn and grow and live
But don’t forget the past.
Still learn to forgive and regret
And keep your anger last.

“There’s more to life than this
So much more than I can say
Just remember this from me,
Hope and faith still bring the day.”

A part of them in us are
A part of us in them
For the roots cannot yet grow
Without the branches trim.


Wow. That kind of grew to be a lot longer than I thought it would. Every time I thought, well, that’s done, the words would keep coming. Sometimes all we can do is stand back and watch something grow until its time is done.

This was inspired by the Dungeon Prompt: Moral Authority. Make sure to check the other entries there, because these prompts seem to bring out the best in bloggers’ writing I’ve found.

Dreams Are Not

The world she lived in was like a dream.

Terrifying in it’s simplicity and horrifying with how people just accepted certain things as unchangeable facts about life.

Rule #1 – If you stepped out of line, the authorities weren’t responsible for what happened to you.

Rule #2 – You accepted what you were allotted in all things.

Rule #3 – If you broke either of the previous Rules, then you faced Consequences.

There was only ever one Consequence for all that the Third Rule made it seem like there were many.

Of course, no one ever knew what the Consequence was except for those who received it, but the results all seemed to be the same.

No one ever saw you again.

She shivered as she stayed in line for the food, not even reacting to the harsh temperatures coming from the sky.


I’ll be honest, when I first realized that Dungeon Prompts were back, I geeked out majorly (and then had to explain why to my nephew who is the only other person home right now.) Then I read this week’s Dungeon Prompt: Utopia and this was the first thing that came to mind.

I had wanted to write about the type of world that I consider to be a utopia, like the prompt says, but this is all that would come out.

Then my mind went kind of even worse when it reminded me of a terrible dream that I had once and I decided that there was something worse my head that came to mind when I saw this prompt and decided to just leave it as is.

I am going to go do something that lets me think about something else now.

Like family history. That always makes me feel better.

A Friend Should Be…

Losing their pride
Owning up to mistakes
Yet standing again
And brushing off the dust
Leaning out a hand, to pull you up as well

Keeping you from getting too swelled a head
Including the times when you do so for them
Not forgetting to handle with care when
Defeat seems to be ruling you then

Helping you when sometimes you need
Only a moment to decide on the deed
Now they will work it through with you
Ernest in everything they do
Soft with their words when needed
Telling you what is hard to hear

Reasons for why they stay
Even when you want them to go away
Lists that make no sense
Inside of them that you can’t read
And though you may never know
Beside you is the place they’ll go
Loving you even when you they don’t like
Especially when you need a shoulder during your plight

This is partially inspired by a line about what a friend was in a book that I read last year and also by a re-do of the Dungeon Prompt: Friendship.