Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just Me... Me And The Deep Woods...

Once upon a time, a fox laid lazily upon a log, munching on a freshly caught mouse. As it lay there eating its prey, a bear came and sat on the log next to the fox.
"Good morning to you, sly one," said the bear.
"And the same to you, large one," replied the fox.
"What do you have there?" asked the bear.
"Just one of the mice that I killed this morning."
"One of?" the bear inquired. "What happened to the others?"
"Oh I just left them. I was only hungry enough for one."
"Then why kill them all? When I am hungry, I eat berries, or go fishing."
"And that's where you go wrong, oh titan of the woods!" exclaimed the fox. "You are the largest, most deadly beast in the forest. You could use your powerful arms and fearsome claws to hunt the largest of elk, and yet you starve yourself with berries and fish!"
"I don't starve," retorted the bear, "I simply eat what I need and nothing more."
"Well," sighed the fox, "if I had your size, I'd rule these woods. I'd eat whatever I want, when I want, and all beasts would fear me. You are not as clever as I, my grizzly friend."
"Hmm," pondered the bear, "perhaps there is some truth to your words. I shall try to use my size to my advantage more often. Thank you for your advice, clever fox."
The bear then stood up from the log, yawned, and stretched his massive arms into the sky. He then turned around, gave the log a mighty swing, and sent the fox soaring into the sky.
A large splash was heard from the direction of the creek, as the bear lumbered quietly of into the woods.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hope Is Brightest... When It Dawns From Fear.

One morning, the sun woke up early and decided to go visit the moon.
"Good morning," said the moon. "What has you up at such an hour?"
"I felt I needed to talk to you, Ms. Moon," replied the sun.
"Well you best make it quick. You know Mother Earth doesn't like me talking to you. And you know how jealous Mars can get."
"Mars is always trying to pick fights with everyone," the sun said.
"What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?"
"I was wondering if you'd consider running away with me and travelling the universe together."
"That's quite a proposition!" exclaimed the moon. "What caused you to think of such a thing?"
"I had a dream," said the sun, "and in it, the sky wasn't so black. It was filled with thousands of little suns, sparkling happily. I believe that you were their mother."
The moon was silent for a moment.
"I love you, Lady Moon," said the sun.
At that moment, Mother Earth awoke and saw the two talking.
"And just what do you think you are doing young lady?!" she yelled at the moon. "I've told you to never talk to him. He's not fit for you."
"Ma'am," started the sun, before he was cut off.
"I'll hear none of it!" Mother Earth blurted. "Get out here!"
The sun turned away from the moon and solemnly walked back across the sky. But, just as the sun was about to cross the horizon, he heard the moon's voice:
"I love you too!"
They both smiled at each other from opposite ends of the sky, and the sun walked back to his home.
Mother Earth has kept them apart as best they could, but, once in a while, the sky will darken in mid-day, as the sun and moon meet in the sky. And each time, a few more stars add some more hope to the night sky.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Political Detour: The Ground Zero Mosque

Every once in a while, a political issue will get me fired up enough that I absolutely have to write about it. It won't happen often, but it will happen. Tough it out and we'll get back to stories, but first, we're making a Political Detour...

Rant time.
So, if you're anything like my politically obsessed dad, you know that there's a mosque being built right next to Ground Zero in New York. There's all sorts of RIGHTeous fury being thrown at it, due to it being "inappropriate" and "disrespectful," despite the leader of the Muslim group saying that they intend to use it to build bridges with non-Muslim Americans. They have every right imaginable to put their place of worship there, so there's no way there can be any legal repercussions. Why are people so furious about this? Because some people associate all Muslims with the brainwashed psychopaths that murdered thousands of people? Well guess what? It wasn't the people building this mosque. It was a fringe extremist group that in all reality has very little grounds to associate themselves with the actual religion of Islam. But people don't think that way. They're convinced that all Muslims are terrorists, and that there's no reasoning with them. Despite it being one of the main principles that we fought for in our struggle for independence as a country, we want to deny them the right to build a building. Well in that case, I guess we shouldn't be building any more churches anywhere that the KKK lynched anyone, because they used Christianity to justify it. Catholics better pack up and leave the entire middle east as well, unless someone's decided the Crusades didn't happen. And Germans? You damn well better not be building any Wienershnitzel restaraunts in any Jewish neighborhoods.
This shouldn't even be an issue. Have a problem with a religion? Don't believe in it.

And A New Myth Of My Own.

Stories are alive. They display all of the characteristics. They are born as a sinlge thought, a spark of inspiration, a word on a page, a glance from a stranger. A moment that makes the storyteller think, "what if...?"
Then it grows. It gains complexity and new characteristics. It becomes a dynamic thing, ever-changing and re-defining itself. It's forming itself into the mature thing that it was always meant to be.
It grows, molds, changes, stretches, refines, bends, twists, flows, compresses, morphs, and becomes.
Like a human from a tiny embryo, the story no longer looks anything like it once did. It has been raised and nurtured into something entirely new, yet completely the same. It's ready to be set free into the world, fully matured, and ready to change other people's lives.
And so, it is let out onto the page, the stage, the screen, the instrument. It's no longer something that belongs to the storyteller. This living thing now belongs to the world, for beauty belongs only to the eye of the beholder, and all of the world is the witness.
The story lives and breaths, even as it has matured and been set free, it is still changing. Everyone that the story meets perceives it in a new and wholly unique and exciting way.
And the story never dies. While it may be forgotten, it is not dead, for at anytime, it may meet someone new who re-invigorates the story with new purpose.
One's life is finite, but one's story is immortal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Until Finally, In the Sudden Sick Silence, It Ends

I stand across the street from him and watch him stand back up. He dusts himself off and heads west toward the office building that he works in. I sigh and walk after him, my head hung and my hands in my pockets. He strolls at a brisk pace as he straightens his suit with the hand that isn't holding a briefcase. I catch up to him in no time.
"Carl?" I say loudly and cheerfully. "Is that you?"
"Yes," he answers. "Do I know you?"
"We met a long time ago, when you were a little boy. Your grandmother's funeral."
"Oh, well then you'll forgive me if I don't recognize you."
"It's alright," I say. "Most people don't. Even when I'm staring right at them. So where are you headed Carl?"
"Oh, just off to the office for another day of accounting!" he says in what he thinks sounds like a cheery voice.
"Sounds like fulfilling work," I reply.
"It pays the bills," he says solemnly.
"That's all that matters, right? Just take it a day at a time. Keep doing your job. What is else is there to life?"
"Something," Carl says, "Something's not right."
He stops on the sidewalk and looks at me.
"Who did you say you were again?" he asks.
"I didn't."
An ambulance and three police cars go flying past us, heading in the other direction, sirens blaring.
"I hope no one's hurt," Carl mumbles.
"Why don't you go find out? You can be late to the office one last time."
Carl drops his briefcase and starts jogging back to where we met. Then he speeds up more and more until he's sprinting frantically down the sidewalk.
I catch up to him and he's kneeling in the intersection, staring at the body, mouth agape.
"I swear officer, he came out of nowhere!" the truckdriver explains loudly. "I hit the breaks, but it was too late for the poor fella."
I stand behind Carl and I place my hand on his shoulder. A tear runs slowly down my face.
I take him away from that place of pain.
It's my job after all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Midnight, November 2nd

A man walks into a bar and takes a seat next to an old blind black man. He tilts his hat down and it casts an ominous shadow over his eyes. The old man takes a drink of red wine and lets out a regretful sigh.
"Your father would take you back in a heartbeat, you know."
"Oh really?" says the man in the hat. "And why is that exactly?"
"All fathers love their sons," says the old man. "Regardless of what they've done."
"You can say that all you want, because you know that I'd never go back to my father."
"He forgives you."
"Of course he does. That's because he's a naive old man who thinks that everything can be solved by love."
"Everything has been solved by love," says the blind man.
"The end has been taken care of, but the stuff that really matters? Peoples lives? They're still as miserable as ever."
"You're wrong."
"I've heard that before."
"Damn you."
"It's not as bad as you think."
They both sit drinking in silence.

Stories Are the Only Thing Worth Dying For!

A man, already visibly drunk, stumbles through the door of a bar. He trips over to the bar and plants himself assertively onto a stool. He yells his drink of choice at the bartender.
"Please don't rush him," says a old blind black man sitting a few feet down the bar, "He's new."
"Dongivadam," the man mumbles. "Juss need mur drinks..."
"That's not at all the reason that you were given a liver you know," says the old man.
"What occasion merits such indulgence?" the old man asks.
"I gotta per...permo... permushun."
"Ah. Congratulations. But why ruin that by getting this drunk? Why not celebrate with your children?"
"My money not theirs..."
"Is money all that matters to you then?" asks the blind man. "Is that what makes you happy."
"Do I not look happy to you?"
"I am a very very old man. I can tell you that people are the only things in this world that will ever bring you happiness."
"Dontalktome..." The man gets up and starts tripping towards the door.
"Please come back!" the old man says urgently.
"I don't need to listen to you," he says as he goes out the door.
Seconds later, a car horn screams, brakes cry out, and a sickening crunch is heard.
The old black blind man sits crying at the bar.