How’s Waldo?

Prompt: Identity


Dear Wednesday,

Who the hell do you think you are? Or, more calmly, do you think you possess a reliable self-awareness, or are you kidding yourself?

How do we gauge our level of self awareness; how do we crack the code of what our “identity”— the fact of being who or what a person or thing is; self, selfhood, singularity, uniqueness— actually entails?

I think we all should be able to express our singularity in a western haiku poem. What, you are more complicated than that? No, you’re not. You have more similarities with the billions of other people in the world than you have differences. You like walking in the rain, Red Bull, sardines, Persian carpets? You loathe hypocrisy, mistrust the medical establishment, secretly love dogs more than people, admire those who don’t give a shit about what others think of them? Congratulations! You’re not unique.

English haiku is a three-line composition, broken down into 5-7-5 syllables, and featuring a lean, elegant style which often references nature or an unexpected juxtaposition of subjects (according to Wikipedia, if you need a source). But the western version is flexible, should anyone find the constraints too difficult.

Opaque surface pierced
By sunlight and forgiveness
Empty shell beneath.

That’s me after a five-minute attempt. I found it hard. Try it?

Meanwhile, cartoons about the topic and prompt identity are not abundant, though the first (and maybe second, least likely the third, but possible) of today’s selection of some of my favourite cartoons is tangentially so related:

cartoon waldo wonders


cartoon superheroes in underwear


cartoon duck hunting


Nanowrimo is coming soon, so off to prep. Happy week!

~~FP

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Sunblock

Prompt: Brave


Dear Wednesday,

What day is it? Are we close to Nanowrimo? I’m not ready to write my 1600 words per day. This takes courage. I don’t have any!

As in, I’m not brave, which is the daily prompt.

Why am I scared of a laptop and a keyboard and a story half-formed in my head? There are killers and monsters of all kinds out there roaming the earth, most disguised as human beings. Every time we step outside our door we risk being struck by lightning, attacked by a vicious dog, being in the line of fire when our neighbour cleans his rifle, looking up to see a nuclear warhead directed towards our front porch, or, sure, getting hit by a runaway bus. Yet I am ‘asceered’ of a number (albeit a large number) of words.

I forgot to mention other perils when we set forth into the world, which include failure, falling on our face, trailing toilet paper under our shoe, tucking our skirt into our undies, getting publicly caught in a lie, losing an ethical battle, being unable to pick up the fragments of our shattered lives and… well, you get the picture.

National Novel Writing Month challenges us to face failure– and win, or at least die trying. Not die exactly, but expend as much toil and angst as if he had written the full complement of 50,000 words. Which, they tell us, is an accomplishment, too!

Sure it is. Fine.

But I am a competitive person. Not with you, your him, or them, but with myself. It’s how I quit smoking! It’s how I managed to ‘win’ all previous Nanos. A better word might be stubborn. And, I love the couple of days after completing the challenge, when family and friends are so damn proud, even though they have not yet seen a word I’ve written and are taking my achievement on faith.

So to lessen the anxiety of the swiftly approaching November 1st, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, precisely none of which relate to today’s word prompt:

cartoon book of sunblock


cartoon Cat-Guru


cartoon image lineup


Have a happy, productive, courageous week.

~~FP

 

Black Angel [Repost]

Prompt: Fashionable

dark angel

Black never comes back, because it never goes away.

Black has been my constant, steady, reliable fashion companion and confidant since I was old enough to feel angst. And when the angst goes away, the black is still there, pure and angelic.

A black cashmere turtleneck sweater is as angelic and pure as a heavenly choir.

I’ve strayed from my choir, sometimes wearing red and turquoise together in rebellion. My deep, dense black companion doesn’t care, chuckles to itself, and waits patiently for my rebirth.

Then, it slaps me on the bum. Reminds me how flattering the choir is. We have black tea, and watch film noir, and paint black outlines around our eyes.

Black is not the negative of white. Black is an angelic choir.


The Long Days — Repost

Prompt: Pace Oddity
Prompt: Memorize

sb10067777h-001

I get up as late as possible, telling myself I will shower after work instead of before work. Makes logical sense.

I complete my assigned tasks. I’m a professional. The day drags, and I become weary of smiling and listening to the same banter, the same jokes, the same complaints and petty politics.

Once back home, a large drink is in order. I don’t feel creative enough to cook, but defrost something instead. We eat in front of TV, with a bottle of wine.

More wine, more TV, then finally, bed, where I dream I am the master of a herd of wild horses.

On the weekend, I sleep later. It’s physically very hard to drag myself out from under the cool white sheets and plump duvet. I meet friends for late lunch. There are jokes and banter, complaints and petty politics. But the pizza is filling. The glass of wine I drink with lunch makes me drowsy, and I nap, dreaming I am a time traveller.

I wake in time to make dinner. We had planned to go see a movie, but I feel a bit tired, so we have steak and salad at home. I’m not very hungry, but have a few more glasses of wine.

Finally it is time for bed. Finally. The day passes so very slowly, it is almost painful. I feel pricks of hurt, and aches in places there should be no aches. But at last, I can turn out the light, and return to my dreams.

__

For me, this is partly what depression feels like. The day passes agonizingly slowly because there is no joy in it. There is no connection, only numbness. Yet you have to meet and speak to people as if everything is perfectly fine; you have to perform everyday tasks as if they matter. There is only one real and meaningful thought: This will soon be over.

Some depression is triggered by an outside event. Sometimes, it is nothing but an inexplicable shift in your feelings of self and of others. People who are depressed can’t help it.

If you have such feelings, please speak to your doctor. There is relief for depression, whether it is counselling, medication, or a combination of the two.

If you recognize depression in a friend or family member, realize that pep talks don’t work. They need actual, professional help, and you can encourage them to seek help by pointing out there is no shame in depression, and that there is effective help available.

If the shadows grow too long, and the day passes so slowly that you are desperate to hurry the night, please call an emergency hot line. You can feel better.

__

  • Photo: Getty Images.

Luck be a Lady

Prompt: Luck

A few random thoughts about todays prompt…

I don’t find Sinatra’s style sexy (see above video), but what a buttery voice and pristine timing.

Luck is always a lady. But ladies are not mommies. Luck doesn’t love you best.You roll the dice, you take your chances.

Is luck real? Or is it just the esoteric, superstitious entity we credit or blame for the turns our lives take?

Though I did have good luck at the racetrack, a long time ago, when I intuited that a certain non-favourite horse would do well. I think I saw the signals. I think the race was rigged. That’s a different topic.

Happy St. Pat’s!

Elicit and Day 22

Prompt: Elicit

bird-smoke

Does the Daily Prompt word elicit mean the same thing as the word panic? If not, I’m not equipped to talk about elicit, except to say that as a string of letters, it has a nice, sexy sound.

The word panic sounds like what it is. Hard-edged, a bit raw, urgent, not very pretty.

I am almost at 30,000 words with my National Novel Writing Month 50,000 word opus, but you see it is November 22, and I should be at the 36k mark, at least.

Panic. Pancetta. Panini. Pachobel. Peace.

Note to self: Write the effing book!