Tag Archives: dragonfly

Starts, Stops and Goodbyes by J J Dare

Today, I bring my oldest daughter and youngest granddaughter to the airport. After a three week visit, I’m not ready for silence to envelope my house. I’m not ready to say goodbye. Life is fickle and I don’t know when I’ll see them again.

Sunday was the first time in a long time I was able to see all of my girls on the same day. The constant noise was loud and wonderful. A kaleidoscope of people flowed in and out of the house all day.

Last week, my mother went into a “skilled nursing facility,” a fancier term for a nursing home. After breaking a bone in her leg four weeks ago and after a stint in a rehabilitation hospital, she is still unable to manage. The hope is she will rally enough to begin walking again and, in her words, “break out” of that place and move back in with me.

My childhood home is gone. The closing was only thirty minutes long. Thirty minutes and a multitude of papers to sign and that was it. It’s no longer the central hub of our family. The shift is slowly turning to my own house as it becomes the hive of the queen bee.

In addition to the goodbye we said to my mother’s home, I saw some faces in my family unmasked. The actions and reactions from the loss of the home surprised and saddened me. The start of naked greed over a tangible thing contributed to the fracture of intangible relationships.

The days in July are starts, stops and goodbyes. They contain the birthday of my partner and later in the month, his deathday. Although it’s another month among the past eleven months of my mourning, the sixty-second anniversary of his birth and first anniversary of his death loom large. I grieve for him daily, yet, this coming month will be the hardest to live through.

My writing has come to a stop. I blame it on the lack of time during the day because of the care I  have to give to so many. The true reason is my muse has left me for greener pastures until I’m ready for her to return. Will she come back next month, the month I could really use her to distract me from my sorrow? Or, will my grief keep the door shut on my writing helper? As with fickle life, muses do not always come when called.

Yesterday, I was visited by a grandfather dragonfly. As the three-inch long insect kept me company outside, I thought about how the smallest things are as important as the largest. Life is fleeting and fickle. Reality is how you make it. Muses come and go, as do the people in your life. The best you can hope for is to walk the path fate has laid out for you without stumbling too often.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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Tripping Down Memory Lane

Everything I write has a memory connected to it. Like a retro song heard on an oldies station, words I’ve put on paper evoke where I was at the time I wrote them.

Some of my earliest writings as an adult were done when my kids were young. As a young widowed mother with two early elementary children, I can see the emotions of that time coming out in some of my words. The overprotective nature of my parenting shows very clearly. The sorrow of the time does, too.

Moving on as my two rugrats emerge into their rebellious teens, my writing takes a sharper turn. It was like I channeled their angst into my own stories. Their teenage search for identities became a focal point in my tales by way of the confusion of a flawed protagonist.

During that same time, I went back to school for my degree. I’d never really questioned my beliefs, but something about college, even when you’re sort of all grown up, something about the atmosphere makes you wonder about the world beyond the one you’ve been taught. I questioned, I stopped believing in certain things, and formed my own opinion. This time reflects in a slightly agnostic tone in many of my stories from those years.

An upheaval in my extended family shows in the style of my writing during the early 2000’s. Chaos was king during that time. Situations were masked and nothing was as it seemed. The world was not what it looked like – an undercurrent of unease ran through my tales.

Over the past few years, a grimness pervaded my words. I look back now and realize it was precognitive. I was being prepared, through a type of emotional channeling, for the worst year of my life. I can’t say whether this was a good or bad thing, this precursor of events to come; it simply was.

Last year, I wrote with a heavy heart and the common theme was untimely death. My nonstop grief was evident. Some of those writings are locked away; I recall them, but I never want to look at the words I put on paper. I’m afraid I’ll unleash a monster that will sweep over me and drag me in the wake of despair.

Today is another day, however. I will write. It’s a part of me and, although I’ll always immortalize my own feelings through my writing, it won’t stop me. I refuse to let my writing cripple me; instead, I will embrace it, pat its back and send it on its way.

Whether you’re writing or reading, do you remember where you were in your life when you look back over stories you’ve written or read? Please share some of your textual milestones.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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