It is with a heavy heart that I must say good-bye to the lovely writers under the Cuckoo Clock. I wish all of you success in your writing endeavors! I will now be blogging at my new blog, Little Wayward Typewriter (samanthaprust.wordpress.com).
Once upon a time there was a plant that had enough light to keep himself alive.
With no other nourishment, not even water, through his whole existence, his soil became dry and crackly.
It wasn’t that the plant was not loved, because he was. His owners would come by and from time to time, stroke his stems. He was sure they adored him.
Except for the times they would approach his pot with a shiny object in their hand, and after coming even closer than he’d expect, a pain pierced through his being and liquid dribbled out where a piece of himself used to be.
He did not know what their motive was for these attacks.
Months would go by and he would feel safe, then it would happen again, the shooting pain and the sap sliding down his side. After a while the plant knew his missing parts would never grow back, because each one of them had begun to grow crusty protections, and he was never the same.
Except for the tiny shoots growing from his center core, his body started to shrink and any bright outlook he had began to get smaller along with his size.
He would sometimes, when the sun shined through the sliding glass doors, where he sat on the kitchen table, imagining that he had all his limbs in tact and perhaps life would be as it was.
Weeks passed and the plant still had a lot of his body in tact but since he was not getting any extra nourishment, nor water, he would soon disappear.
He thought, If only they realized I was hurting. He wondered why they had not noticed his slow diminishing into nowhere.
Until one day he heard them talking in the next room early in the morning. They spoke of a great accident on one of their fingers, and if it wasn’t for him their precious Aloe Vera she might have lost her entire appendage.
What does that mean? He tried to hear a little better by leaning to one side, but being careful not to fall over, because of his frail condition.
“We have to take better care of our plant in there, because by cutting little pieces of his being, we saved my finger and healed so many of our other wounds. I’m glad we finally realized what we had,” the woman said.
“He has been looking a little sad. Why don’t we go and buy some plant food, and maybe then he’ll perk up. Or maybe we should water him,” said the man.
“Oh no remember what they said at the plant store, when we bought him. Never water them because they are cactuses. And I know we wouldn’t want to hurt him.”
The plant felt better just knowing that he was special and no one was out to get him. He felt useful and loved.
Although the Prayer of Serenity is often associated with 12-Step Programs for addictions, it has practical applications for everyone. These lines are familiar to most of us.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
That last line is the kicker. I know that I often think that I should be able to change things that annoy me. Upon deeper reflection, I realize that I what I lack is the wisdom to know the difference. Some things are not mine to change.
Then I came across a version of the prayer that applies directly to me.
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
Courage to change the one I can change,
And the wisdom to know that it’s me.
Yes. The only person I have control over is me and that means that I, alone, am responsible for my responses and reactions to others. That is all that I can change.
I’m working on it.
On a breezy, rainy Sunday, Tim and I sit underneath the balcony at the Mandolin Café, drinking coffee as we write about what ifs, or what about’s, or some big maybe.
A dog squeals down the street.
“The dog’s singing opera,” Tim says as he writes.
A brown-haired girls plays Pachebel’s Canon in D, a smile on her face.
Next to her, a thin woman with sleek gray hair under a beret pens in her journal.
And my dog Zoey sits underneath the table, looking down Fourth Street to where the other dog yips and yaps.
I want to get up and dance, but will words do?
The dog’s squeals start up again, riding on top of the piano notes, echoed by the tap-tap of our keyboards.
The sun slips out and the rain peppering my laptop slides away, as if the clouds are all wrung out.
I imagine Tim’s fingers moving up the body of his Fender Stratocaster as if she were a long-bodied woman. She’s white, cool and slick, this electric beauty that stings the stage with her wide mouthed squeals.
Tim seems to fondle the Fender’s neck as his fingers fly across the scales. The Fender melts with a howl as he swivels the song’s refrain into a furious flinging of movement. A hummingbird flitting around a tulip, this is how his hands look as he turns a song into dancing hands.
It’s his pickup of sound underneath the strings that turns a simple maybe into his dream of Flying V.
For Tim, it’s not a mandolin, a banjo, the piano, it’s this taking of guitar strings like telephone wires that carry sound into whole new meanings.
The Epiphone, the epic of flying from A to Z.