Beautifully Tethered

Ever so slight at first
Barely noticeable to the naked eye,
Often glanced over
Seen as nothing more than trite.

But ever so slowly it begins to grow
Ensnarling all around it,
Tangling everything in its grasp
Trying to keep all the pieces together.

Yet as the tiny pieces are uncoiled
And simply cast aside without a further glance,
I desperately trying to collect them
Before they become lost in the wind.

Trying to maintain a semblance of whole
As my world around me becomes tattered and broken,
I gently embrace the fray
Seeking comfort in the unbalance.

There Are No Perfect Endings

The table was rubbed smooth from a century’s worth of use.  No longer glossy or reflective, it instead drew its warmth from within; age and experience had lent the wood its own sort of wisdom.  She pressed a sheet of paper onto the table’s scarred surface, imagining words seeping up from below to meet her pen.  What she needed now – what she’d always needed, really – was to write the truth.

Carinda had contemplated this moment for years, lobbying the pros and cons, trying to decide if it was worth it. But then Caiden was born. Her first great-grandchild. Another male to the Lansing line. Another generation that would be based on lies.

If you lived in the South you knew the Lansings. They owned one of the top retail chains in the country and the best and only chain in the South. They were a family of blue bloods, royalty among the Georgian elite.

But like every great family, they too had their secrets. Deep dark secrets that had been locked away for almost a century. Secrets they thought, and hoped, had been forgotten.

Carinda thoughtlessly ran her hand across her mother-in-laws desk. Is this where she wrote the journal that I found under the floorboard in the attic? Is this where she divulged her secret? No one knew Carinda found it and the secret had been voraciously gnawing at her soul for years.

Her finding it had been a fluke. Her mother-in-law, Leanne, had sent Carinda up to the attic to retrieve a coronation gown she had worn as a teen. Leanne was graciously donating it to the Govenor’s Auction and needed to have it cleaned before the event.

Carinda loved the attic. Generations and generations of heirlooms, furniture and other valuables filled the spacious third floor of the family’s plantation house. She could spend hours up there, lost in a history that she was so blessed to marry in to.

As Carinda walked towards the large armoire, she stubbed her toe on one of the slats in the floor. As she bent down to examine her toe, she caught a glimpse of something red underneath the plank that had assaulted her toe. With a little coaxing, she was able to lift the floorboard and retrieve the object – an old and weathered journal.

Carinda’s heart raced. Whose was it and why was it hidden? She replaced the wooden plank and stacked several large boxes on top of it, preventing anyone else from noticing the secret hiding spot.

Her husband James was out of town, visiting the stores in South Carolina, so Carinda had stopped by to keep Leanne company for the afternoon. Leanne refused to move out of the family home after her husband passed. The large mansion was getting more and more difficult for her to maneuver so she spent most of her time on the first floor.

Carinda and James had just told her a few weeks ago that they were expecting their first child and Leanne was beyond ecstatic. She placed her hand on my nonexistent belly, “A new baby! Oh how I have waited for this day. Of course, I hope it’s a boy! We must have someone to carry on the family name now don’t we Carinda?”

James was the youngest of six and the only boy in the family. Even with five older sisters, he was still the family favorite. His bright blue eyes instantly won the hearts of anyone who laid eyes on him. His smile melted the hearts of many a southern belles. How Carinda landed him had been the gossip for years.

Carinda hid the journal in her purse when she went downstairs, saving it for her night time reading later that evening. If she could wait that long. She finished her time with Leanne and headed back home. The red journal daunting her from her purse. Why was it hidden?

As soon as Carinda got home she poured herself a glass of sweet tea and settled into her favorite arm chair. She carefully opened the cover and read the first page – This Journal Belongs To: Leanne Lansing. So it was her Mother-in-laws! She gasped at the thought Then she read.

Carinda read for hours, soaking up the history, the stories, the betrayal. Leanne has only been able to produce females which caused many a fights between her and her husband. After one of their blow out battles, Leanne had gone into town to retrieve some sweets for party favors for her oldest birthday celebration that weekend. The Candy House always had the best and Tom the owner, would always special order things for Leanne.

The store was empty as Tom brought out Leanne’s candy order. They were beautiful handmade bonnets. Before she knew it she was sobbing in his arms and from there their relationship grew. There were secret rendezvous, visits to the store and social gatherings. But when Leanne found out she was pregnant she ended it, saying she just couldn’t give up her life as a Lansing.

Eight months later she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, James. The only boy able to carry on the Lansing name. The only boy able to inherit the Lansing empire. The boy who bore the same bright blue eyes….. as Tom.

Carinda took a deep breathe, placed the pen to the paper and began to write.

 

This post was written in collaboration with Big Picture Blogs 2nd birthday bonanza. My counter part in crime was Sarah from This Heavenly Life. You can read her ending to the story there. It’s amazing!

Then be sure to head over to Hyacynth’s to read everyone else’s collaborations and partake in the birthday festivities. I myself can’t wait to have some cake!

Two By Two

The power of two. Such a strong connotation attached to such a small number. Yet with two, so many thing are possible. Sure, would you rather be chased by two bears or 16? While my gut instinct would be to pick none, I would  much rather try and outrun two than 16. (just sayin)

But two also provides some amazing possibilities.

Marriage. Basic I know, but marriage requires two. Less than that and it never works. Two people madly in love, best friends wanting nothing more than to spend the rest of their life together – that is marriage.

Kids. I got two of them. Two amazing boys that are truly a blessing from God. I am thankful for them every day – even when they are bickering, fighting and leaving their dirty socks all over the house.  Ok, maybe not then, but I do love them lots!

Photo courtesy of Mishelle Lane

Partners in Crime. You know them. Friends who would help you move a body. Friends who you can laugh with till your sides ache with pain. Friends who you can attack with a Buddha statue and they still love you the next day. Not that I would ever attack a friend with a Buddha statue!

Feet. They take you where you want to go. I love the fact that mine allow me to run, wear killer heels, adorn its nails with crazy nail polish and kick a soccer ball. I have a particularly fond attraction to mine. They are cute. Nuff said.

What does the number two mean to you?

This post is in response to Bigger Picture’s prompt: The number 2. WHAT inspires YOU about the number 2? Gained knowledge? Gained community? Gained friendships? One is a lonely number, but you add one more- It is a gift.

Smoke and Mirrors

sassy irish lassieMolly sat next to him, her face bent down, covered by a shroud of uncertainty. These events always brought out the best in him, making it easy to see why she fell in love with him so many years ago. He always put on quite the show at public affairs. He would laugh and hold her close, determined to maintain the appearance of the ‘perfect couple’. Of course, everyone she met always took time to point out how ‘amazing and generous‘ her husband was, that she was so lucky to have such a great catch. If they only knew….

For Molly, these functions held even greater meaning. These outings were a chance to escape her life and get a glimpse of the outside world. They were a diversion, a momentary liberation from the confines of their penthouse. It was a time for her to shine, to engage, to be noticed. To not just be something that was dull and useless, something that harbored no true joy.

But all this freedom came a price. Molly knew she had to be on her toes, mindful of every word, thought and even glance. For if anything was perceived, even in the slightest, as unacceptable – she would have to endure the wrath. She alone would be made to suffer for her inadequacies. He was a man of his word and she had learned long ago to never question or doubt him.

The mirage of perfection was difficult to sustain. While Molly flourished and thrived in the company of others, the stress of the production was often too much to bear. She had given up hope years ago that he would ever change, that the loving and charming man in public, would ever be the man she went home with.  That the affection and kindness he showered her with in the presence of others would ever be heartfelt  and real. She had given up on being loved.

Relentless

The road stretches out before me. Its twists and turns often make for difficult passage but I embrace the uncertainty. For through challenge there is change and through change there is growth. I still have so much to learn.

I find myself seeking solace in words. Comforted by the freedom they bring. I crave to become lost within the ebb and flow of my pen strokes – needing to break free and speak what is true in my heart. Yet often my pen is met with strong resistance. Too afraid to put the words on the page for fear of making them real. For if they become real I am left to deal with the ramifications. I am left facing the stark reality of my soul.

It seems as though this is a constant battle. Forever searching, trying to find my way among the lost. My edges have become softly frayed and tattered from the journey. Oh how I long to live with reckless abandon – to no longer be purposefully bound to a society I neither want nor need. To be able to embrace beauty on my own terms. To love unconditionally and without apprehension. And even though my heart is fierce and loves without boundaries, it remains guarded, afraid of what lurks in the shadows.

This is how I imagine it is to live with a relentless heart. To live with such intensity that your inner fire has no choice but to burn – reaching every corner of your being, filling you with life and feeding your soul.

This piece is a product of my Bigger Picture Blogs Writing Circle. Our prompt for this assignment was “relentless“. Come on and join us!