Even though I have a couple of manuscripts floating out in maybe land, I can’t help myself from playing with microfiction…and here is a mini-paean to summertime, for your reading pleasure.
At one time, before the sun got cruel and the winds fierce, we cherished this time of year. We shed our layers and our inhibitions and basked in the same warmth that cracked open the seed pods and coaxed the green up into the tips of the trees. We opened our hearts to fleeting fancy and risked romance that would never occur to us in more buttoned up and battened down seasons. A zephyr would flutter the gauzy curtain above the bed, and we would sigh in the wanton pleasure of it all.
Now, of course, there are risks and regulations. We scan the horizon nervously as we note the weather warnings, the smoke signals, the accumulation of acrid air. We slather on creams, layer up with UV protectors, and cringe in the company of strangers in confined spaces. We mask, we distance, we carry whistles, we pull the blinds.
And yet, amid the prophecies and rubble, the worry and regrets, connections can still be made that cut through the armour and the aches and limitations. We meet the twinkle in another’s eye and once again we can taste the reckless joy of endless summer.
Lately I have been having fun writing short stories….and I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been nominated for an Alberta Literary Award for the short short I wrote for EDify Magazine in October! Since I am rarely nominated for anything and the last time I even placed in an Alberta writing contest was 1982, I am savouring this nomination…it truly is an honour.
https://thelitteriseeproject.com/ I am so pleased to be part of this project, as of February 24, 2020. I hope you enjoy my entry, a reaction to a photo of detritus sent to me by the amazing coordinator of this vision.
While you are there, check out some of the other offerings by Canadian writers we all know and love.
I feel as if I should apologize to all the single people out there in North America who are being bombarded with Valentine’s propaganda from every side. It’s not enough that chocolatiers and florists and card shops are advertising – I’ve even seen a cupid swinging over a display of grapefruit at the grocery store. Nothing says love like wireless headphones. Or an Audi. It’s as if ever since we took down the Christmas lights (a wee bit later since we have such a strong Ukrainian community hereabouts) we’ve been tripping over hearts and flowers and enforced romance.
And I never really noticed how pushy and insensitive all of that red and pink folderol can be. And I am sorry I was so blind to your pain, if we can call it that. More like a twinge, or a sad sense of being painted out of the picture, while staining your tongue with cinnamon hearts.
This year I am noticing for the first time how frenetically pink everything has become at this time of year. Full disclosure: I’ve been separated from a 21.5 year marriage for a scant 24 weeks, something that came a bit of a surprise to me, that really wasn’t my idea. So this year, everything is different. And it’s not just that I am still shocked, sad, in denial or whatever level of KublerRoss-iness I happen to be in this week. I am alone.
I am navigating the world solo for the first time in more than half my lifetime, because before this last marriage began I had my kids from a previous marriage at home (a marriage that, I have to admit, I ended on a February 13, before I had to deal with what would have been a hypocritical bouquet of roses). And before that first marriage, of course, I was in those cigarettes-and-Donini university years where people disdained holidays foisted on them by card companies (except for one girl who seemed obsessed with the possibility of her boyfriend proposing on that day, as I recall). And before that, if you were handing them out, everyone in the class had to get a Valentine, so that no one felt left out.
But now, tripping over this pseudo-holiday, I understand that I cannot be the only one in the world who feels besieged – and no galentine celebration or email from your auntie will fill the void. Also, I am not sure whether it is worse for those of us who took it for granted that all the messages on the love hearts would be valid forever, or those who have never been part of the cupid club.
All I know is that roses are red and some of us are blue.