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500 X 162 Stream

 
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: 500 X 162 Stream Reply with quote


I'm not sure where this image came from. It's not mine. I think someone sent it to me in an e-mail, as one of many images. If someone knows who it belongs to, please let me know. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

shadowlight
with God all things are possible

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Last edited by shadowlight on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The River at Pittsfield

Harry Buschman

(Dedicated to Marlicia Fernandez)


A stream still runs through Pittsfield. A narrow stream that was once a river. A man can step over it in a single stride now, or a small child, with a running start would have no trouble jumping from one side to the other.

Its grassy banks are gone. No place for loving couples to spread their blanket and sit of a Sunday afternoon. The buzz of insects is intolerable, and if there are birds they are silent in this hot summer afternoon. How long was it – sixty years ago I would imagine, there was a river here. A man could catch trout on a fly rod in the late summer and in spring a young boy could fish for perch with a worm and a hook and a willow branch.

I reminded myself that this was still Pittsfield. My home town. I tried to remember where the town hall had been, the church and the band shell that sat smack in the center of the village green. All was grown over now with a thick verdancy of dense and tangled undergrowth that caught at your ankles as you walked through it.

There was once a paper mill in Pittsfield. Hamersmith Bond. Nearly everybody worked there. You need water to make paper - lots of water. Water, linen and cotton pulp make the finest paper. The river ran the belts that turned the machinery at Hammersmith. The folks who didn’t work there worked for the shoe mill downstream in Dalton.

I looked up and down the muddy stream - a stream, that for all I knew might flow in two directions. You might even say it’s a stream that’s lost its way. I thought how important it was to us, how it governed our lives and how hopeless we were when the river stopped.

The walls of the crumbling mill still stand, but the water wheel that took the power from the river sits crooked in its cradle. Some of the chimneys of the old houses can be seen ... standing cold and silent ... an ivy covered wall perhaps or a patch of sidewalk not completely overrun by weeds. Families are gone and scattered far and wide. They left the town behind and went to live where the work was. Even the pigeons have gone.

I walked out to the main road to get my car. Before getting in I turned to see the town again, to carry its memory away with me ... there was nothing to see. Nothing at all.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the dedication, Harry. It was a perfect birthday gift. I love your slice of life stories. This one looks back, nostalgia tinges the memories, but the truth intrudes and it is saddening. Still the river has impacted his life, as well as the lives of those he knew and loved. They're all scattered now that the river has become a shadow of what it once was. But it's still big enough to carry memories, and just maybe, hope, for a new and better future. Well done, my friend. I love this. Wink

marlicia

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: New Beginnings (WC 500) Reply with quote

New Beginnings
© Marlicia Fernandez (WC 500) 1-30-10


Ethereal music wafted from outside, through the fragrant air, mixing with low rhythmic chants and soft laughter. It was beautiful, really. Soon they would be ready to perform before the Great King.

“Where are we going, Lenken?”

Lenken looked down at the little one bouncing along beside him. Curious, as always, she too was almost ready…more than ready to take the next step. But was he? It would be a new experience, an adventure, for both of them. And there were no guarantees—only the promise. He smiled. “It’s a surprise.”

She sparkled in her excitement. “I love surprises.” The wrought iron gate that kept the soon-to-gos within encircling walls of the development garden loomed in front of them. It swung open at their approach. His charge slowed. “Are we going out?”

“We are indeed.”

“Why?”

He guided her forward. “If you want to know, you’ll have to come with me.”

She bounded through the gate ahead of him, stopping when his slower pace did not bring him to her side quickly enough. “Look at all the colors. And what are those things? They move, but they aren’t like me…or like you either.”

“They’re animals. You’ll see many of them where you’re going. Of all kinds.”

Her eyes widened. “Can I touch them?”

“Not now, but later…maybe.”

The sound of running water filled in the gaps between the chirping, grunts and growls of the animals and the silence left by the singers and musicians. They were getting very close.

“What’s that noise?”

Lenken scooped her up and strode forward. “Why don’t we find out?” He weaved his way through the evergreens and broadleafs marking the edge of the New Woods.

“What are those, Lenken?” His little one pointed to the great, trunks and leafy branches. “And that?”

“Those are trees.” He put her down beside the small waterway. “And this is a river. A newborn river.”

She tiptoed toward it. “Where does it go?”

“That all depends.”

His charge looked at him, newly formed eyebrows raised. Questions danced behind eyes showing signs of future color. Small lips moved for the first time. “On what?”

He sighed. It was time. Ready or not, she had to move on. “It depends on what decisions are made, Little One.”

She pointed her tiny foot above the gurgling rivulet. It hovered, as if hesitant to experience what waited below. “Whose decisions?”

“Yours.”

“Mine?” His little one stumbled back from the water. “I don’t understand.”

“You’re going on a journey.”

She gripped his hand. “Aren’t you coming?”

“I’ll be waiting for you.”

“Oh.” His little one released him. “How will I know where to go?”

A little push sent her splashing into the water. “Follow the river. It will take you where you need to go.”

“And you’ll be waiting for me?”

“I’ll be waiting.”

*** ***

Lenken hovered at the edge of the delivery room.

“Push,” the doctor said.

Loud wailing filled the room.

“It’s a girl.”

Lenken smiled. His little one had arrived.

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Harry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an upbeat and healthy interpretation of the prompt! I choose to think Lenken is the personal guardian angel each of us has before, during and after in this Divine Comedy each of us must go through. Your piece is much greater than the prompt itself Marlicia.
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry,

I'm really glad you enjoyed this. The story just sort of came out of nowhere and you were right on in your interpretation of the snippet. That's exactly what it's mean to represent. It makes me happy that what I was trying to say came out. Wink

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

marlicia

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Heidi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:58 pm    Post subject: cool Reply with quote

I loved both of your stories. Right now my brain isn't at it's best (cold, plus frustrating work day yesterday.) So when I think of something and when I have time I will post it. Harry yours is just well so you I guess. I think shadowlight put it best when she called your slices of life Wink Shadowlight yours sounds like something I might write. I was confused at the end until I read Harry's post. For some strange reason thinking of angels and your story reminds of one called The Forgotten Angel. Can't remember the author at the moment but it was a good read.
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