Imagination

Prompt: Arctic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to imagine the Arctic cold when it’s 32F and there are waves languidly lapping the sand. Just as it’s difficult to remember the feeling of a hot sun on your skin on a frozen winter day.

Or a teenager utterly unable to relate to an older person; and an older person critical of the young, having lost the memory of being young themselves.

Or a conservative trying to understand a liberal; and a decent, progressive human being trying to understand a Trump supporter.

(That last one doesn’t really work.)

Empathy, which requires imagination and good intentions, seems in short supply these days. That’s why there are such unnecessary divisions in the world: From politics, to art, religion, and generational, environmental, cultural and gender issues.

Trump supporters skew older, among other things, and like Trump, they often resemble the stereotypical angry old man ordering the kids off his lawn. They also tend to be culturally isolated; i.e. live in white communities with very little interaction with Black or brown people. They have a strong sense of entitlement and are hostile towards those who have more than they do— more money, maybe (but America worships the rich in general) but also in terms of education and status. They tend to favour authoritarianism, which is obvious not just in their blind support for Trump, but for their steadfast believe in a God, no matter how outlandishly her commandments are misinterpreted. But mainly, they lack imagination and good intentions.

It’s hard to imagine creatures actually suffering from the effects of climate change. It is much more convenient to side with those for whom the truth is too frightening to consider. It feels better to believe the authoritarian figures —not scientists, but politicians and religious leaders— who soothe their fears about horrific truths at the same time as they stoke fears about imaginary enemies, all the while being manipulated into accepting attitudes and policies that are damaging and harmful to them but which serve the wealthy elite.

Whew. I had no intention of dragging Trump into this post. Let’s step away from the Tr*mp, and browse a few of my favourite cartoons relating to the prompt, “Arctic”:

cartoon arctic american

cartoon eskimo

cartoon dog sled


Stay safe, warm, and imaginative!

~~FP

Bad Goldfish

Prompt: Unrelated


Hello Wednesday,

As summer approaches we get busier here in tiny town, with gardening, watching fish mate, visitors, making up species names for birds, wondering what “that smell” is, mentally putting out forest fires, and treating sunburn. It is a magical time of year.

We are thinking of getting a puppy. There is a local farm litter of chubby creatures of unknown lineage, and a couple of shepherd/ lab puppies now available at a local SPCA. Life is so easy and peaceful without a puppy, dear Wednesday, so I’m of two minds. My brain is split. My heart wants a cuddly fur ball, but my muscles, joints, and sleep centre all scream ARE YOU SURE?

Decades ago I did this: I woke up in the morning and noted that I felt cheerful enough to hum a random song, that it was supremely easy to propel myself out of bed, that I felt healthy, fit, alert, awake, energetic, and optimistic about the day ahead. I wondered if that moment would be worthy of a spot in my memory. It was a worthy thought. I appreciated, even if for just a fleeting moment, my youth and vigour, and as I now am greeted each morning with bizarre little aches, pains, random bumps, vague mental lapses, and a desire for a puppy, at least I have that vivid sense memory of a time when my body sang, even if my brain was annoying and juvenile.

The saddest thing in the world: a lone duck or Canada goose gliding across the lake,  obviously looking for a missing mate. Also puffins washing up on shore starved to death because global warming has caused their food fish to flee to colder waters further north. Today I recycled a wax milk carton, so I’m part of the solution.

Before I go and peel an orange, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons of no particular theme?

cartoon switch on

cartoon reserved table

cartoon bad goldfish


Love, peace, and happy memories.

~~FP

Freak Flag

Prompt: Freaky


Hello Wednesday! Long time no see!

I’ve been sick and tired (in the literal sense) for the past couple of weeks— a combination of exhaustion from a week-long family reunion and the dense smoke from the surrounding forest fires that sometimes rains ashes and charred pine needles upon us.

We who live in this paradise wonder if this is “the new normal”. Stinking hot summers, fires all around us, unbreathable air— and all because of this “hoax” called climate change? I have pressed my government reps for years about prioritizing global warming as a crisis that will affect generations to come, and in the worst possible way. Now my pristine lake country home has turned, very suddenly over a few years, from a utopia into a dystopia. Is this what our children and grandchildren have to look forward to?

Fortunately, we  have cartoons to save us from despair. At least for today, for now, let’s enjoy a few giggles as I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which corresponds to today’s casual prompt, “freaky”:

cartoon a-young-boy-asks-his-grandfather-barbara-smaller

cartoon step away from the laptop

cartoon beachball


Enjoy the last few precious weeks of summer!

Peace, love, and a clean environment,

~~FP

Fairy Tale Ending [Repost]

ice cream sprinkles

We sat on the sunporch, though it was after midnight. They usually didn’t arrive until after two am, but it was impossible to rest, knowing they were coming. So we didn’t rest. We gathered in skimpy clothing, because it was so very hot overnight. The men were bare chested, shiny with sweat and the women wore tank tops glued by the heat to their bodies.

We played Yahtzee. It was the only game that did not incite physical fights. It was the perfect blend of luck and skill… you could not justifiably kill a person because of the random numbers on the dice.

The children ate ice cream in the kitchen. We didn’t force them to bed at the children’s time because it could be their last hour, too. They had sprinkles to put on their ice cream, if they wanted, and chocolate milk. It would be their best last night, if that’s the way it turned out.

I went to the doorway and looked out at the night. It was so beautiful it made me miss a heartbeat; deep, intense and fragrant, with moonlight shining through the lush and tiny leaves of the trees, shimmering like light upon the water.

My parents and grandparents were dead. It was pointless to lay blame with them. They thought everything would work out. They had the optimism of deniers. They chose not to see what covered them like a blanket. They chose to be blind. They dreamed of a lush and welcoming world for their children, and lived on faith.

They were criminally wrong.

When the things came, a little earlier than 2 am, the screens held for a long time. They had no evil intent; they were trying to survive, just as we were.

It was breathlessly frightening, listening to them trying to breach the screens. At those moments I thought of my parents and grandparents who could have laid out a different path for us. They knew about beauty and caring and value and wisdom, but not about survival, not about reality.

I want to say they were misled, or lied to, or simply not aware.

But they knew. And now our children put sprinkles on their ice cream, before they died.


  • Original prompt: Screen, March 6, 2016

 

Fairy Tale Ending

Prompt: Screen

ice cream sprinkles

We sat on the sunporch, though it was after midnight. They usually didn’t arrive until after two am, but it was impossible to rest, knowing they were coming. So we didn’t rest. We gathered in skimpy clothing, because it was so very hot overnight. The men were bare chested, shiny with sweat and the women wore tank tops glued by the heat to their bodies.

We played Yahtzee. It was the only game that did not incite physical fights. It was the perfect blend of luck and skill… you could not justifiably kill a person because of the random numbers on the dice.

The children ate ice cream in the kitchen. We didn’t force them to bed at the children’s time because it could be their last hour, too. They had sprinkles to put on their ice cream, if they wanted, and chocolate milk. It would be their best last night, if that’s the way it turned out.

I went to the doorway and looked out at the night. It was so beautiful it made me miss a heartbeat; deep, intense and fragrant, with moonlight shining through the lush and tiny leaves of the trees, shimmering like light upon the water.

My parents and grandparents were dead. It was pointless to lay blame with them. They thought everything would work out. They had the optimism of deniers. They chose not to see what covered them like a blanket. They chose to be blind. They dreamed of a lush and welcoming world for their children, and lived on faith.

They were criminally wrong.

When the things came, a little earlier than 2 am, the screens held for a long time. They had no evil intent; they were trying to survive, just as we were.

It was breathlessly frightening, listening to them trying to breach the screens. At those moments I thought of my parents and grandparents who could have laid out a different path for us. They knew about beauty and caring and value and wisdom, but not about survival, not about reality.

I want to say they were misled, or lied to, or simply not aware.

But they knew. And now our children put sprinkles on their ice cream, before they die.