friday fictioneers: one artist’s rendering…

Remodeling spaces is a form of art.

Could it be that Picasso dabbled in fixer-uppers before painting anatomically grotesque women?

An artist begins with a blank canvas. So it is when I behold the before…imagining in my mind’s eye what will come after.

While I do not strike the carpenter’s hammer or turn the plumber’s screwdriver, mine is the creative vision.

The inspiration. The design. The materials. The textures. The colors.

My aesthetics power the coalescence of the parts.

And when it comes to details…I’m the devil.

Never for symmetry, instead by gut instinct.

If it feels rightIT’S MAGIC!

IMG_4191

…master bedroom…this artist’s vision come true…

IMG_5184

…daughter’s bedroom…also this artist’s rendering…

 

(Visit http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/17-october-2014/
for more great 100 word stories on the photo prompt.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

nurturing thursdays: happiness…a matter of choice

I very often use my daughter’s professional career path as a means to understanding my life, and life in general. I guess it’s because I can step back more easily and reflect upon its course with twenty-twenty hindsight.

Now that she’s headed in a different direction, away from ballet toward contemporary movement, my daughter is happier. For sure there have been potholes along the way, but is anyone’s life ever without them?

Choices. We’re always confronted with them. Never a day goes by when we don’t have to make decisions. A dancer’s life is no different and yet, whatever is decided alters her career path without it being obvious at the time.

The first ballet company with whom my daughter trained at the age of 16 had no qualms about her going elsewhere to dance when they were on hiatus during the summer months. At least that’s what the company’s dance school director said. She felt my daughter was a smart dancer who could easily transition between time with the company and time away with others.

It was during the summer that my daughter began honing her ability as a contemporary dancer. She felt combining year-round ballet with several weeks dancing a different movement would make her a more versatile performer. And it did. Yet it seems to have come with a price that was not made clear until the die had been cast, so to speak.

Rather than inform her directly that it would have been preferable for my daughter to spend summers with the company, very subtle hints were made by staff. Nothing definite, just little questions like “Do you want to be here?” Of course the answer was always an emphatic “Yes!” How was she to know they meant…”Well then you shouldn’t be seen by other directors who might want to steal you away?”

Ballet companies have the upper hand in deciding who among their many trainees and apprentices might eventually be offered a position. There are no guarantees. All of them are made to feel they have potential, but none of them can claim professional status until they have a signed contract.

So then the decision for the “wannabee” career ballet dancer is “Does she commit herself to a company who is still undecided about her? Or does she explore the larger dance community not only to enhance her skills but also to begin networking with fellow artists…dancers, choreographers, and yes, even directors?”

My daughter chose to broaden her dance horizons. She never did it with the intent to leave the company with which she was training. In fact she was always excited to return to the fold after time away. With renewed energy and confidence she incorporated what she’d learned during the summer into her performances.

Of course there are always different perspectives to any situation. So while my daughter saw her summers as enhancing her dance, the ballet company’s director perceived them as a sign that she wasn’t fully committed to him. When he let her go after 5 years he said “I decided to let you go instead of others because you’ll have an easier time finding a job then them.” At that point, my daughter was glad to finally be out from under a shadow that had been looming ever since she returned after the summer. She hugged her boss and thanked him for the opportunities she had been given while there. And with that she left the studio, breathing in the great outdoors and the promise of better days ahead.

Others who trained alongside my daughter never ventured off during the summers. They faithfully remained with the company. Of those, a few have gone on to become principal dancers. Sadly though they have never seen the broader dance world firsthand. And then there are all the others who were not even offered positions.

Becoming a professional dancer, especially in ballet, is just as much luck as it is talent and hard work. My daughter was fortunate to make it with the second ballet company she joined.

However the journey is never without its bumps. If one’s career stalls or back slides, then a dancer must decide her next move.

My daughter could have remained another 6 years to see where her career as a ballet dancer would take her. Instead she made the decision to change directions, helped in large part by all that she’d gained during her months off from the companies.

Over the course of her summers, my daughter has met hundreds of dancers on their way to somewhere. She’s also met her fair share of choreographers and directors. And then there are the stars with whom she’s paled around…Ethan Steiffel…Misty Copeland. Of them all, however, the most notable person she has met has been…herself.

Finding oneself in life is something for which we all strive. The choices we make, difficult as they might be in the moment, bring us to our own conclusion.

I’ve often told my daughter when she was a dance student, as well as on her way to becoming a professional…”Enjoy the process. As long as you do that, you’ll never be disappointed in the outcome. Happiness lies in the journey, not in the promise of the ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.’ ”

Did I already mention…

…my daughter is happy…very happy.

………hugmamma.

(Enjoy more inspirational words at
http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nurturing-thurs-you-are/

 

 

 

nurturing thursdays: a simple ending…

There are moments…usually quiet ones…where I find myself contemplating life’s purpose.

While I may not practice my Catholic faith as religiously as I did in the past, I continue to believe in a benevolent God from whom I received the gift of my life. What I make of it will be to my credit or discredit. I will either return to His loving embrace, or turn my back on Him forever.

The talents with which I’ve been endowed don’t make the headlines. No one bears witness to them except those closest to me, and these I can count on one hand.

Having just returned from settling our daughter into her new home thousands of miles away, I’m comforted knowing that she is surrounded by furnishings that remind her of our cozy, little family. My husband and I poured our hearts into making every inch of our daughter’s apartment functional. She, meanwhile, went off to her new positions as a dancer with a small, contemporary company by day, and a teacher of energetic, young dancers by night. Returning to an apartment glowing with all the love two parents could instill in it, meant the world to our deeply appreciative daughter.

I admire and respect those whose talents bring them acclaim in their communities or throughout the world. How they manage to share themselves with so many is unfathomable to me. They deserve whatever accolades are sent their way, as well as our humble thanks and congratulations.

As we were en route back to our home, sitting side by side on a cramped airplane, I would intermittently reach for my husband’s hand. Attempting to slumber, I rubbed my thumb along the length of his, pleasantly contented in our synchronicity after all these years.

With eyes closed I reflected upon the end of life.

I thought of Robin Williams who had audiences in stitches with his genius for comedy.  Yet while his public adored him, Williams obviously didn’t think he was up to the task of continuing to live the life he’d carved out for himself. Learning that he had Parkinson’s Disease, as revealed by his girlfriend after Williams’ death,  probably brought down his “house of cards.”

Sad when life gets so out of hand that we forget the first substantive moment from which all others evolved.

It matters that our lives make an imprint, large or small. Just as in the film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” our existence is attested to by those whose lives we touch.

When my life ends, I would simply like to be caressing the hands of those I love…who have loved me in return…warts and all. I have made a difference in their lives…

…my existence matters.

………hugmamma.

Enjoy more inspirational posts at
http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/

friday fictioneers: dribble and drool

WILD LIFE

“Delicious! Best I’ve ever tasted.” proclaimed my host, the Emperor of Japan.

I almost puked just looking at those frothy, deep-fried, tempura caterpillars and their egg sacks. Yet the media would have had a ball with the diplomatic backlash.

My brain went into overdrive trying to concoct some way of getting out of the pickle in which I found myself. I’d even trade these delicacies for a bottle of those nasty dills  my mother-in-law bottled and sent us every month.

And then, all eyes were on my cleavage where insects and dribble had settled.

“Tantalizingly delicious!!!” exclaimed the Emperor, drooling.

 

Photo courtesy of Madison Woods…for Friday Fictioneers. 

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/29-august-2014/

 

 

 

…a dream come true…???

I had been here before, a long time ago. 

Exactly where here was, I couldn’t say.

I only knew that I had been very happy. I had belonged. It had been home.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Was it a memory…or just a dream?

Perhaps I was playing at make-believe.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Others were with me. I was not alone.

They were fussing and fawning, bowing and curtsying.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Momentary lightness quickly turned to thundering darkness.

Lightning bolts ripped my cloud apart.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Torrential rains shut out the sun.

Blackness. 

I had been here before, a long time ago.

I grew in light and beauty…the darkness retreated.

My life…the sun.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

My island paradise. My people. My Maui.

At last…I am home.

(Photo courtesy of Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post.)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/build-your-own/

 

 

best friends ‘neath the papaya trees…

As a youngster growing up on the Island of Maui, I had a best girlfriend with whom I got into a lot of mischief. We never went looking for trouble, yet trouble always seemed to find us.

Take the time Lee and I went in search of stray kittens. It was either her cat or mine that had given birth to a litter. We were sure the kittens had been  sequestered nearby. We searched in and around both our houses, scouring the surrounding shrubbery as well, and my mom’s greenhouse. It only seemed natural that the cat would want to keep her young safe from prying eyes and worse, bothersome children.

Not finding our prey, my sidekick and I ventured into uncharted territory, a neighbor’s yard.

An elderly, Japanese couple owned the property which backed up against both ours. Separated by a tall, wooden fence, we could only glimpse the tops of their papaya trees.

Proceeding cautiously, we crept onto virgin territory.

Stepping gingerly between rows of vegetables foreign to me at the time, we mewed softly hoping for a response. It didn’t take long when, to our delighted surprise, one white kitten scampered across our path and out of sight. Darting to and fro we tried to pick up its trail. With the noon sun beating down upon us, we paused to find respite in the shade of the papaya trees.

Relaxing my guard I leaned back against a papaya tree, wrapping my arms around its scrawny trunk. Lee and I soon found ourselves laughing giddily. Chasing after kittens in the neighbor’s yard seemed deliciously naughty, and tons of fun. 

As if on cue, we heard someone stirring inside the house.

Preparing to flee, the tree moved with me as I straightened up. My heart dropped to my toes when I realized that the tree had come loose from its hole in the ground. With mouths agape and eyes darting toward the front of the house where the owners would soon emerge to see what was afoot, Lee and I hadn’t a clue what to do with the tree. Sounds of a door slamming and footsteps in the carport catapulted me into action. With arms still wrapped securely around its trunk, I leaned the papaya tree against another of its kind nearby. 

Without looking back, Lee and I bolted out the side gate through which we had entered. We took refuge on our side of the tall fence, too scared to talk. Hunkering down in fearful excitement, we could hear soft voices grumbling. I’m sure they weren’t saying “Hot diggity dog! Just what we wanted…a broken papaya tree!”

While we were never found out, my friend and I never trespassed onto the neighbor’s property again. We did, however, manage to find ourselves entangled in other such uproarious adventures.

Crazy escapades were just part of our childhood, Lee’s and mine. We were just lucky that way…I guess.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/my-dear-watson/

friday fictioneers: an eye for an eye…

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot

So it began, the subjugation of humankind to earth’s other species. 

“About time, don’t you think?” exclaimed the ivy to the flowers clinging to its twiggy branches. “I’ve been waiting for this day ever since my ancestors put down roots. Generations  of my kind have put up with humans stepping on us…uprooting us to plant something more to their liking. Who died and made the human God anyway?”

Nearby patches of grass peeking out from cracks in the asphalt chimed in “Down with humans!!!”

An uprising the likes of which the world had never seen was underway.

Mankind would pay.

friday fictioneers: the devil incarnate…

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Adam Ickes

It was devastating to see her sitting there, on the edge of her bed, scissors in hand, cutting her dress into shreds. Thin, wiry strands of hair fell carelessly across her face. Eyes swollen and puffy, tears streaming down her cheeks, she was in agony. 

We approached, my toddler and I, fraught with anxiety at the horrible scene. Uncomprehending, we tried to console the poor soul. 

She would have none of our pity. Flailing her arms to keep us away, we could only watch as her consumption began.

Alzheimer’s was feasting on my mother.

I could do nothing.

Except cry. 

IMG_4143

friday fictioneers: running from ourselves…

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Sandra Crook

With environmental catastrophes occurring the world over, it’s no wonder we’re running for the nearest exit.

Folks are finally getting wise to global warming. 

Will we succeed in turning back the clock? Probably not. Nature has a way of forging ahead, regardless of mankind’s agenda.

There’s no fixing the holes we’ve burned through the ozone layer. 

There’s no fixing the erosion we’ve caused by stripping the land of its trees.

There’s no bringing back the wildlife forced into extinction because of our greed.

We will pay for our sins…unless we come to our senses.

Question is…are we too late?

Maybe.

friday fictioneers: pretty, pretty princess…

Copyright - Douglas M. MacIlroy

He was a corporate guy in a suit and tie,

but in a pink hat with matching pearls, he was just one of us girls.

By day he managed employees, sat in on meetings, and problem solved.

At night he happily chucked it all to play “Pretty, Pretty Princess.”

A couple of decades later, he’s still commuting for a paycheck. 

He’s traded floor fun for quiet, relaxed evenings in a chair, Nook in hand, head nodding. 

Memories, always fresh, still linger…of bygone days with his little girl.

All grown up, but still his pretty, pretty princess.

His pumpkin pie. Her pops.

IMG_5272

 

friday fictioneers: living la vida loca…

copyright - DLovering

Once upon a time not so long ago, two strangers met online.

A date soon followed.

As if to bless the occasion the night skies rained down streams of fireworks in celebration of Mardi Gras.

Moira sizzled. Wavy hair the color of New Orleans sunsets framed her porcelain perfect face, while cat-like eyes the color of emeralds bore holes through an onlooker’s soul.

Hovering protectively nearby, a hand cupping her elbow was Jeff, looking every inch Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent.

Fairy tales do happen “when you wish upon a star.”

It did for this lady-of-the-night and her financier, knight-in-shining-armor.

Ooh-la-la. IMG_2610

friday fictioneers: “oh what a tangled web we weave…”

Copyright-John Nixon

Life has become a tangled mess of lamenting.

What coulda, shoulda, woulda…but won’t.

There’ll be no coming together on this.

Dad favors my dating Albert, his financial advisor’s son. I’ll be set for life, according to what I hear when mingling with the jet setters at the country club.

Then there’s mom who’s always pushing Bradford at me. “He’s so good to his mother and his sisters. He’ll treat you like a queen. He already worships the ground you walk on.” Yada, yada, yada.

There’ll never be a good time to break the news.

“Mom and Dad.This is Sheila…my wife.”

friday fictioneers: moral dilemma

Copyright-Dawn Q. Landau

“I’ve heard of foreclosures, but this is going a bit far, don’t you think?” I asked my banker.

“Well, since your home was ‘under water,’ that is since your home was worth less than you owed, we thought we’d blast it to smithereens and collect on the insurance. That way you get 50 and we get 50…and we all make out handsomely.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. My upstanding mortgage company was going belly up as far as morality was concerned.

The ball was in my court.

What to do?

Play ball? Or go home?

Click.

“You’re watching House Hunters International.”IMG_2336

 

friday fictioneers: homeless

copyright -Janet Webb

HOMELESS…TOGETHER 

Marnie loved waking up to beds squeaking, feet shuffling quietly, voices whispering. She found comfort in the morning ritual. 

As she wiped the sleep from her eyes, Marnie surveyed her family, a motley group of folks whose upended lives brought them together.

Under the same roof, individuals coalesced.

Working in harmony, beds were made, breakfast prepared, children dressed and readied for school.

Hopes high, the adults scattered in search of work to help sustain their loved ones and their community.

For little Marnie, homeless meant sharing. A small sacrifice, she felt, for the love bestowed by…her extended family.