In September we had a special project with a group friend, Joyce. Joyce was so kind to offer a project and donated all the materials. Here are some of the beautiful terrariums designed under Joyce’s guidance.
The first sounds I heard today happened early even before my alarm sounded to wake me up was the sound of my air conditioner running to keep it cool. Once I turn off the AC which I can do while still in bed because it has a remote. The next thing I hear are the birds singing and sometimes I just lay there and listen until the sound of a guitar strum starts to play which is the sound of my alarm. I then become more aware of the ticking of my clock on the wall. Those are the sounds that start my day. I start to move my hands and kick my feet which makes a rubbing sound against my sheets. The slight thump my feet make as the hit floor when I get out of bed and then the sound of footsteps as make my way to the bathroom. The click of the switch as I turn on the light and then the sound of running water as I prepare to take a shower. At this point I can hear my neighbors’ footsteps as she starts her day. Those are the sounds I sometimes hear as my day begins.
Written by N. D.
The Eighth Sense
I was pondering the prompt for this writing session. As usual my perception of the task at hand takes a connotation, or wanders down the road less traveled by many…
I found that traditionally there are 5 senses in humans. not in any particular order) our senses sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.
If we look beyond those traditional sense there are two more movement and body positioning which brings our total to seven senses.
Here is my thinking way outside the box. I want to say I have an eighth sense which connects me to one other person in this world like no one else. My twin sister.
Our beginning details have as many craters as the moon’s surface. When there no specific details to your history one can keep or change timelines of significant details, depending on who the editor is, rewriting the beginning.
Now where was I? The eighth sense.
There are countless stories of how twins communicate through osmosis. My twin sister and I share what I would call an eighth sense. There have been times when my sister was experiencing a health crisis and my eighth sense has urged me to call her that instance.
When my sister travels in an airplane my ears generally pop as the plane lands. My sister went on a cruise and experienced sea sickness from my couch at home. When my twin went into labor I felt the remnants of her labor pains.
I can’t even count the number of times we showed up to an event in similar attire or color coordinations like we planned it.
The uniqueness of being twins
I’m sure they’ll be many more twin sensory experiences.
If you had a window looking into anything, what would you see?
Just a Glimpse of Heaven
If I had a special window that could give me a “Calgon Take Me Away Moment” I would like my window to provide me with a glimpse of Heaven.
Some days I find myself in awe watching the formation of the clouds,which in my head,seem to conceal a much different realm of life “way beyond the blue.”
I have so many questions about Heaven and our loved ones who passed on before us.
I will spare you my many questions. I’m not in a hurry to go to heaven anytime soon.
I often wonder what the aging process looks like in heaven..
I ask only because, I have daughters there. Krystyna Louise’s departure from our world, as we know it after a year and 20 days of life. If I knew I’d only get to hug her.for
a limited time I think I would have spent that time with her so differently.
the middle child passed away 38 days before her 30th birthday. Somewhere in my head. I just knew she’d be here with a family long after my own passing.
My girls never got to see or know each other here on earth. I’m sure they are making up for lost time now ,because their spirits passed each other. I believe they knew each other long before they knew anything about this life and their role in it.
These two events left me
broken beyond measure. I’m working at healing a shattered heart and body mind and spirit.
The scriptures say choose you this day. Which refers to something else entirely, but given my 12 week or more battle with Covidi I had a choice to a make, a choice of life or death.
I told God that I wanted to live but that is a testimony for another day.
I want to know who sings, rocks, plays with or comforts the little ones that arrive in heaven way before their parents do? I picture youthful grandmothers meeting their needs.
Do the little ones
grow up in heaven?or will it seem like time stood still waiting?
Does it rain in Heaven? I imagine that it does because I picture so many beautiful flowers everywhere.
Just a glimpse of heaven would assure me the order of things are still intact. A glimpse of heaven would give me some assemblance of solstice.
These questions will resolve themselves as its meant to be answered …. Thanks for the opportunity to dare to dream if only for a little while.
Written by – K. H.
If you had a window looking into anything, what would you see?
If I had a window looking into the future, in addition to things I cannot imagine, I would see my daughters grown with families of their Own. I would see how well , or how poorly, Barbara and I did teaching them important life skills they will pass on to their children. Or… they will teach me , better ways to communicate with their children.
I see the recent breakthrough in viral medicine treatments accelerating the ability to alter illnesses as we now know them.
While I am usually optimistic about the future, our recent reality doesn’t leave me feeling very hopeful. However…when the going gets tough-
Metamorphosis: a change of the form or nature of a thing into a completely different one.
We offered rocks to represent one form and our members had the option to change the rock into something else or to write about change.
Writing prompt – What is one thing about the world that you want most to change?
Artwork by – N. D.
The One Thing I Would Change About the World –
If I could change one thing about the world today it would be to restructure the housing system in this country. It is too easy to become homeless especially in our world today. No one purposely sets out with the task or goal of becoming homeless. I’m sure that in a perfect world we would all have a crystal ball to show us just how to maneuver around those potholes of life. I know that background and credit checks are essential to getting to know who your tenants are. There should be a system much like how repayment of student loans Which based on your ability to pay. Rent should based on an affordable percentage of your household income. I guess really the cost of living should be affordable to all.
Written by – K. H.
Artwork by – A.R.
Clean Air, Lakes and Rivers
I would like to see the world learn a valuable lesson from this pandemic that may be the key to the human race surviving on the planet we cohabitate. I want us all to be survivors.
While I want the human race to prove it’s supreme intelligence, that many believe to be true. I hope the majority of our species learn from this once-in-a-century experience, that the approach we are taking is destroying our home. The evidence could not be clearer. One only needs to look to the few months after this worldwide pandemic began, when those in the fast lane had no choice but to merge into the slow lane. Many had no choice but to think more on a global scale. While I’m sure there are many who weren’t able to grasp the concept that the speed and way in which we live is unsustainable. For me it was when I saw photos and video showing comparisons of the new clean air we experienced in the spring of 2020 across the globe, to the poor air quality so many expose themselves to, either knowingly or unknowingly. Then there were the photos /video oƒ bodies of water around the globe, such as Venice, Italy , where for the first time in many years , water was so clear that fish could be seen in the canals, where now normally all that could be seen was cloudy muddy water.
How many more will suffer before our human race learns we are all brothers and sisters and need to look out for one another? Will it ever become obvious to those unable to grasp the concept now? My fear is that the human race is moving at too fast a pace, to slow down in time. But I am an optimist, and I truly believe, “where there is a will , there’s a way. May we all have the will, and may the way find us.
Note – Editor will now add the writer or artist’s name or initials after their work.
Considering the Dash
When I think of the concept of the dash between two dates. I think of a place and time to begin and a place and time to finish. I recently read the poem Dash by Linda Ellis it’s a poem that reminds us that it is important how we spend our time living life. The dash is given to everyone who’s born. Consider everyone you know well each of them was born. If there are family members from other generations or at least the generation of your grandparents. I’m sure there’s a story that tells of the preparation that took place for your arrival. There are many things that young parents do that prepare for the arrival of a newborn baby. Think of all the things you already know about newborns even before they are born. Sometimes names are all picked out family traits and lineage and stories that are passed along from generation to generation. Let’s get back to that Dash! The dash that’s between the date one is born and the date it tells you the equation of just how long the person lived. I am quite certain there are countless things that happen in life and stories too numerous to tell. I said all this to say that the dash is abstract because it’s usually the same size for everyone, same length and same font, when you write or type it. Ms. Ellis wants to us to think about our dash in a multiple of ways that are different from the way, you might have seen it only yesterday. Now if the dash is a reflection it of how a person lived there are stories beyond stories to be told. When you read the poem in its entirety. This dash also reflects how fleeting life tends to be. t is not just when a person was born or even when a person died the importance of the dash is to remember that it’s how you spend your dash of a lifetime for however long or instantaneous the dash between the dates last. I chose the Dash as my abstract subject because uniformly the dash appears to – all to look the same, The importance of Dash is life and how we live and spend it. What will others remember about how you spent your dash?
February’s thoughts were on movement. How can we show movement in our artwork? Lines, shapes and objects, and colors.
Our Writing/Poetry Prompt – What moves or motivates you?
Sitting in a sluggish mound
Of opaque disconnection,
My body waits
For a spark,
For motivation to shine through
To animate my mind,
The source is a kindled ember.
The light ignites me in a blaze.
In the dismal dark,
Seeking from a far horizon
Needling through the stifling murk
To jab me into action.
— Nick Pentzell (2021)
Lori’s Quiet Day
It was, Lori decided, a perfect day for sleeping in, followed by taking a long, hot shower, making and lingering over an overstuffed golden brown grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato, washing that down with a tall glass of iced Earl Grey tea and accomplishing very little else of consequence. As she closed her eyes and felt the shower water trickle down her back, she smiled to herself contemplating the day ahead. She didn’t usually care for cloudy, windy, rainy days, but that was because she so often had to be out in the weather. Today, the idea that whatever it chose to do outside would be happening while she was warm and dry in her cozy studio apartment made her actually look forward to the hours ahead.
After she had finally finished her brunch and was standing at the kitchen sink washing her few dishes, her peaceful, contemplative mood suddenly switched to a grumpy, irritated one as she heard her neighbor’s distinctly cheerful tap on her door. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Annabelle (or “Bella”, as she preferred to be called since finding out that she had Italian ancestry), but she really had been looking forward to having a “me day” today, and Bella was not the type to sit quietly and enjoy the rain, a good book, or much else besides pop music, soap operas and gossip about her co-workers, her family, and celebrities.
Sighing and trying to rearrange her face into its best and most convincing “glad-to-see-you-but-I-really-do-have-plans-for-today” expression, Lori grabbed a dish towel off the rack beside the sink and dried her hands as she went to open the door, hopeful that although the door was not locked, going to it and opening it herself rather than just calling out “Come in!” might forestall Bella before she could get inside. “Hey, girl!” she said, standing in the doorway, carefully moderating both her smile and her tone of voice to prevent either from coming across as too enthusiastic. She silently patted herself on the back that she had also chosen to remain in her nightshirt and bathrobe for the time being. Friendly, but not desperate for company—that was the look she was going for, and she hoped that Bella was shrewd enough to pick up on it. However, her friend crushed all such hopes with her next words.
Our themes this month: Fresh Beginnings: The promise and/or challenge of an empty calendar.
A poetry prompt: Ode to the New Year, or, Good Riddance to the Past.
Our artwork challenge was to start to trace a shape and then to complete the shape freehand to make a new piece. Complicating that was to change to non-dominate hand half way through.
Good Riddance to the Past So long to the Past being a sentimentalist…can I really let you go? While I have many pleasant memories to look back on I am finally able to admit that some no longer serve me dump the unneeded data! the Universe is watching and history remembers everything Let them go! they are but the wake behind your boat and yes, it is your boat…that only you can steer your seamen experience exceeds that of your co-captain after all you taught her to drive she’s told you she no longer wants to be behind the wheel of your boat it’s time to be the captain of your own boat man! so prep it before you set sail and sail you will you don’t need to walk to be a man of the sea get your sea legs man!
Ode to the New Year To this year… you won’t recognize me as a child you heard those in your condition referred to as “invalids” dump that data! you are not in-valid you’re anything but 2021 will be your year to break free dude!!, it’s your year…21 is your number remember the joy it brought you when you were officially given that number? when you donned your first official middle school football Jersey back then you wanted to catch like “Branch” but now you are the mighty tree thank you 2021
Much like a birthday the new year brings new challenges goals and expectations, that keep you, from being focused, on realistic goals that might initially feel attainable, only in your thoughts. The commitment to these goals are earnestly obtainable if only in your head. This year however nobody’s resolution is written in stone giving Covid- 19, the World’s newest scapegoat. Covid-19 has become the Fall Guy for a lot . Many of our goals have become contingent upon covid-19 such as travel, exercise, healthy living are all things that have become the rationalized excuse for less than positive outcomes. Thinking of goals for the new year should have started maybe at Thanksgiving. Which would give you time to reflect on edits,cancellations, deletions.or reformulations of obtainable conditions to ensure some level success.
I am determined to do something special for my birthday 2021. A celebration of life while I can still participate. I’m learning this year how to be comfortable with asking for what I want and to being okay with raising my expectations for what success looks like for me. Some goals can only be measured by the eye of the beholder. I want to be conscious of what happiness feels like and looks like again. Spontaneous laughter is a precious gift in the eye looking through the kaleidoscope offering a multitude of picturesque outcomes. If nothing else, this year I want to be conscious of all my Windows of opportunity and my blessings the whole year through.
Covid Calendar Empty pages lie ahead As the year begins. What will fill the destiny Of my unmarked days? Sameness Stretches ahead Many more months In isolation. Fears Encroach my mind: Political pain, Pandemic grief. Friendships Zooming at me From the void Of social distance. Needing Faster cures, Common joys And human touch. Compassion Connecting hearts, Reaching ears, Opening eyes. Twelve more months of brokenness As the year begins? Or shall I pencil tentative Reminders to have hope?
Our themes for December’s group were decorative and whimsical.
Prompts for contemplative writing.
Winter Sensations: sensory experiences of the season
Ghosts of Holidays Past: memories rekindled at this time of year
Skating on Thin Ice: slipping and sliding to Spring
My bald head,
Warm under my cap,
My glasses fogged.
Through them I view
The hazy outlines
Of a frozen world:
I feel a chill in the marrow
Of my own bones,
Enervating but brrrrr!
Sound is muffled
Into isolated crunches
And dulled, distant birdsong.
Through a dripping nose
The air is sterile
But cutting in its purity.
I move in swaddled stiffness,
Belie my hesitant steps
In bulky boots as I
Press my imprint On a blank page of snow
— Nick Pentzell (2020)
Winter Sensations: sensory experiences of the season
I’ve always loved snowy days. I remember that one of the hardest things about giving up my independence of driving, was taking a long drive on a snowy day to Horse Country in Delaware County, get out of the car and just stand in the snow.
When I had to give up my license, I was fortunate enough to have an electric scooter that I could ride 10 minutes to the Morton train station to take the SEPTA R3 Regional Rail to Center City Philadelphia. From the University City train station I had a 20 minute ride to my office. I have frigid, but fond memories of riding across the South Street Bridge with the cold breeze blowing up the Schuylkill River. The crisp air woke me up on those early weekday mornings. Unfortunately, due to poor blood circulation, often by the time I reached the office on Spruce Street, my hands and feet were numb. That crisp city air on my face is definitely a sensation I relate to Winter.
Other fond memories of winter sensations we’re experiencing 14 degrees below zero in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, when I recall spitting and it freezing before hitting the ground.
I also have fond memories of sledding on a golf course in White Bear Lake, Minnesota during the winter of ’83.