Another Vivian: Stand By

Vivian stood her ground.

“Times are different now,” she said. “I am different.”

She looked out over the unlimited landscape that sprawled before her – dense green forest with lingering fog, mountains beyond the sky concealing deep fertile valleys begging lonely discovery. A tornadic world of life swirled around her, gently folding her long, sturdy garment about her pillared frame.

“Then go,” the voice said. “Go now.”

The door closed behind her. She waited fearfully for the sound of the latch locking her out.


Vivian concentrated on the horizon, breathed in the soft mist and felt her feet start to rise from the ground. She reached down and grabbed a hold of her leather satchel stuffed with books and papers and dreams. The weight of it did not pull her down yet lifted her higher off the ground. “If am to go, I’d better go,” she thought with hopeful confidence. Her hand went instinctively to her heart and grasped the locket hanging by the long gold chain. Vivian’s eyes closed and the images rushed in front of her, encircling her in love and protection. She began to elevate from the earthen porch leaving only footprints from her long wait to takeoff.

The snake appeared without a sound and was firmly wrapped around her leg, pulling her back to the ground before Vivian heard the first hiss. Its scales were cold and rough against her skin, forcing her muscles to contract in immediate distress. The hand of a black cloud covered her mouth, smothering her screams before they had a chance to fully form. An invisible weight pushed her whole body into the dirt, trapping her satchel underneath her as vines of poison ivy began to wind their way around her arms pulling in opposite directions.

Vivian wanted to fight. She wanted to struggle against the fury that so simply snatched her out of her intended flight. She wished for strength to kick off the snake, begged with muffled cries for courage to bite the hand that kept her down and held her breath trying to evaporate against the punishing weight. She pleaded for relief from the burning itch searing through her from the angry poison-formed welts streaking across her skin.

Yet, she did nothing.

She allowed the snake to crush her legs ever tighter in its attempts to engulf her. She clenched her mouth giving in to the cloud that was growing denser by the second. She was beginning to implode under the pressure of the force, bruising her heart and lungs with each moment she let pass. She refused to permit tears to escape for fear of creating a shallow pool of mud in which she would then drown.

Vivian needed to act. She needed to do something but had no idea where to begin the battle. It was all too much, there were too many familiar forces at work and she didn’t believe she stood a chance against the lot of them. Her life’s power was fading away and she was not stopping its retreat.

A hand, not unlike her own, reached out from the abyss and gently touched her at the top of her spinal column. An electrifying jolt exploded throughout her body and a small gaping wound began growing at its touch point.

Vivian involuntarily went limp. The flesh around the wound started to gently rip apart revealing her bare muscle and vertebrae. The hands so much like hers assisted the tear with a loving caress widening the crevice of her human casing. It took only moments before Vivian was split completely open from the base of her skull to the tip of her tailbone.

She was alive and yet felt no pain. She felt like she could finally move more freely. Vivian’s interior form began to separate itself out of the flesh so stricken with the sudden afflictions. She pulled her chin and face down to her chest forever severing her eyes from their eyelids, her jaw from its lips and her hair from its crown. With a necessarily violent cleaving, Vivian curled her legs and arms up into a fetal position. She lay there for a moment, bloody and sinewy, cradling herself in the comfort of her old skin. Vivian knew once she emerged from it, she could never successfully replace it around her frame. Yet, it was difficult to imagine being anywhere else.

The beautiful hands helping her reached in around Vivian’s huddled form and embraced the nearly gelatinous mass. No longer able to have closed eyes, Vivian saw her rescuer. She raised her crimson hand up and touched a cheek parallel to her own. The woman smiled upon on Vivian with love and acceptance, and then brought her frail body out of the remnants of the lifeless carcass.

The face Vivian saw, the eyes that mirrored back and the smile the radiated peace were all her own.

“How can this be?” Vivian rasped softly from shredded vocal cords.

“How could it not?” was the reply. “There has always been more to you than snakes and dark clouds.”

The woman’s firm and gentle hold on Vivian began to fuse with her exposed flesh, healing the bareness, protecting her inner organs and reforming the outer layers of her body. Vivian was becoming whole again and together with this mysterious woman from her eternal self, they were creating the transformation.

As they reformed themselves, their feet once again began to lift off the ground. Vivian reached down for her satchel and was halted by her new arms.

“Leave it. We’ll make new,” her voice echoed.

Vivian chose not to look back at her empty shell being devoured by the demons she helped manifest. It would have to lie there and rot into nothing while Vivian flew the skies in peace.

It’s time … meme needed to get me started …

Saw it on my blog-friend’s page, and you can get the original here. I need to get out from under my rock, and write something. Anything. Here is a start…


1)  You are facing an epic journey. You may choose one companion, one tool and one vehicle from any book or film to accompany you. Or just one of the three. It’s up to you. What do you choose?

I would bring my familiar with me. My familiar is my late-cat, Monroe Jerome. We would not need tools nor a vehicle – we’d get by just fine.

2)  You can escape to the insides of any book. Where do you go, and why?

When looking to escape and not find a cure for my aching soul, I run away into a world of intrigue and covert action – spy novels. I love Robert Ludlum, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth and David Baldacci.

3)  You can bring one literary character into your current life. Who do you choose, and why?

Miss Jane Pittman because until this very moment in searching for information on non-fiction books, I thought she was a real woman. Her strength and wisdom through an entire people’s struggle is not only mind-boggling but much needed for my own simple stretch of life. I read the book as a kid and took the title literally until this day.

4)  Sacred Voices: Essential Women’s Wisdom Through the Ages by Mary Ford Grabowski is my go-to book. I could read that book fifty-seven times in a row without a break for food or a pee and not be remotely bored. In fact I’ve already done that but it wasn’t fifty-seven times. It was sixty-four.

5)  Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most enviable?

As a kid, I don’t remember the feeling of envy. Maybe I have manipulated memories now that I am a “grown-up” and truly do battle with envy, but as a kid? The closest I can come, I think, is Rizzo from Grease. So wanted to be that tough chick with a voice that could belt out my worst things

6)  Of all the literary or film characters that made an impression on you as a kid, who was the most frightening?

Poltergeist. Absolutely, the Poltergeist in Poltergeist. And those damn red pig eyes and flies from Amityville (book, not movie – never could see the movie). And I still have trouble at the beach thanks to a certain shark (both versions.)

7)  Every time I read _________________, I see something in it that I haven’t seen before.

This one was hard for me – I honestly don’t reread many books. Sacred Voices is a book I’ll randomly flip open to find a passage that may be exactly what I need to read and a few others.

8)  It is imperative that _________________ be made into a movie. Now. I am already picketing Hollywood for this—but if they cast _________________ as _________________, I will not be happy. I will, however, be appeased if they cast _________________.

Another one that is hard – I cannot come up with a book that should be made into a movie.

9)  _________________ is a book that should never be made (or should have never been made) into a film.

Last hard one – shouldn’t squelch anyone’s artistic voice as far as literature and film goes.

10)  After all these years, the _body bag of her friend in school_ scene in the movie _Nightmare on Elm Street_ still manages to give me the queebs.

11)  After all these years, the _final scene in The Color Purple_ still manages to give me a thrill. To see Celie “meet” her children after all that happens, I cannot help but be filled with hope and joy and purple.

12)  If I could corner the author _Alice Walker_, here’s what I’d say to her one minute or less about her books : somehow, someway, I relate to so much of what you write about. The spiritual journey is somehow familiar and I don’t want to know why, but I do want you to know that it reaches across so many misunderstood lines to me.

13)  The coolest non-fiction book I’ve ever read is The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear by Paul Rogat Loeb. Every time I flip through it, it makes me want to save the world with my mighty pen and voice. I can, you know, and so can you.

Bits and pieces of starts and stops

In an effort to clear out the clutter of my blog files, here are some blogs I thought I would write with some new added commentary…not quite like a rerun show to fill the void of actual new creativity, but close…peace…

Public Defender minus one…
July 31, 2009

That’s me. Always has been…

    A friend recently told me that I would defend anyone, anything – that I was that “good.” I wanted to write about that since I certainly don’t feel very “good” these days, but couldn’t find the thread to keep it going. I am the great public defender without a law degree. I do want to make sure and find something redeemable in most folks. I try and since I cannot seem to keep my mouth shut, I usually let everyone know my feelings and/or thoughts on the matter. I cannot even sit in a sanctioned relationship venting session without first giving a disclaimer about all of the “good” things about it…I need to give myself a break and stop taking on the world’s issues. However, in my own defense …

Some Random Thoughts About Friendship
April 2, 2009

I am blessed. I always have just the right amount of friends – enough to fill my heart with joy, belly with laughter or kleenex box when the tears flow – but not too many that I forget any names or start looking for characteristics to cull.

And, as it should be, the number never, ever goes down. The faces may change or the time together may shift, but true friendships never die.

Not that you asked for my not-so-scientific research, here are my random thoughts about friendship that prove they are everlasting and indeed …

    Not sure why I couldn’t keep this thread going and am vague on why it got started. I have some shifting relationships with women friends and growing phases with the main male friend I am married to. I have recently become acquainted with many new friends and become friends with some that I had previously only viewed as acquaintances. I have become keenly aware that I want to be better friends with my siblings and yet I let time, distance and daily routines prevent that. I have let slide the friendship I have with myself and am looking to revitalize it. I cannot be loved by anyone else unless I love myself first and I have slid into an extremely judgment place against myself and where I “should” be, what I “should” look like or what I “should” be doing.
    Mostly, I wanted to say that I trust in the friendships I have – whatever state they are in. I believe in the power of honesty to strengthen them, even if I have not practiced my beliefs to the best of my abilities. I cannot imagine my life without the friends I have. I cannot imagine my life without making many more friends as I travel whatever path is in store for me.

Best version of myself
March 23, 2009

Sometimes I hear messages in the oddest of places.

    I did end up writing about this in a way – it was the quote from CSI: NY. It was a voice from the dreaded TV that made an impact on me when I was down.
    I have recently begun a new exercise program and am training for a half marathon. Have no freaking clue why I am doing it other than my friends are and I want to be in shape and live until I’m over a hundred. In reading and learning about it, there are many schools of thought on reaching personal bests. I am not an “est” person – never have been. I am not the fastest runner in the world and even though I may be close, I’m pretty sure I am not the slowest either. I have never been the prettiest girl in the room, never been the ugliest, certainly have never been the thinnest nor the fattest. As I bemoaned the other day, I am no where near the best singer and even though I love to act, know that there are many who are better. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be pegged to be known as the happiest woman around but I don’t really think I am the saddest either.
    Seriously, I could go on for pages about the “ests” I am not but I always thought I was honest.
    Turns out, I am not that either. At least, not like I want to be – like I had thought I was striving to be. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t keep the money when over paid in change at the cash register. I let folks know when they forgot to charge me for something. I tell my kids the truth as much as I can when they ask questions given their age and appropriateness of response. I tell anyone who asks that yes, I am forty-one and weigh about 138ish on a 5’5″ frame. My hair is not naturally curly and I would love to buy some boobs if I had the disposable income.
    These things are easy to be honest about.
    It’s the rest of the murkiness that lies beneath the seemingly calm or clear surface that is not.
    So, I have taken to lying. Mostly, I say I am fine when I am not. Even in situations where I have the safety to be honest.
    I compose my inner workings here for you to read and secretly waffle between hoping I will be found out or I will remain in cloaked anonymity.
    Is this my personal best? Do I want more from myself and my life?
    Am I willing to take the risks to get there?
    Have no freaking clue.
    Now that is being honest…

So, it’s official…

Now I know out loud what I feared the worst inside.

Not earth-shattering news. Not life changing.

Certainly not assumed as much after all these years.

Not even really a big deal.


Except to me.

When we want so very much, in the deep recesses of our soul, to pour it out and fill it up by whatever means necessary  – it can be achingly painful when some of us are not capable of whatever means we choose.

I have moved in someone else’s world and spoken someone else’s words in the deafening silence brought forth by two simple curtains parting to ignite the eternal human back to the shaman’s fire.

I hope to do that again someday.

With my own words, too.

I believe I can on occasion somehow split those demon-fire joyful dimensions happening inside me down to an understandable linguistic form and quite possibly create something beyond my own understanding.

I hope to do it again, only simpler.

And again, only more complex.

And again, only different.

Until I have nothing left of this body.

Until many bodies beyond.

I am a human by day.

I am a writer by soul.

I am a performer by desire.

No, I don’t think I can dance.

Although, that would be simply wonderful.

But I oh-so-very-much wished I could sing.

I am not telling you this to get pity. And, I have the proof, although I have been unable to convert the video to a format uploadabe, so no trying to placate me with that ole familiar “oh, sure you can!” smile on your face.

I am telling you this because that’s what I do.

Telling is what I am.

No need to mention it again, actually.

I will survive.

And very loudly whilst alone in my car, I might add…

I have been absent. Here is my written excuse.

Not sure if anyone noticed.

Including myself.

I have been absent.

From this blog.

From my writing.

I am not sure where I have been.

Or where I am going.

I am not sure if my journey is creating me.

Or if I am creating a journey for myself.

I could list out all of the many things I have been doing instead of writing.

It wouldn’t change the fact that I haven’t been writing.

It’s not that I haven’t felt like writing.

It’s that I haven’t felt like writing.

I haven’t felt like I had anything comprehendible to write about.

Like now.

“Too much information running through my brain
Too much information driving me insane
Too much information running through my brain
Too much information driving me insane”

I am brain-full.

In fact, it is in overload it is so full.

I am learning so very much.

About who I am.

What I like.

What I don’t like.

What I can do that I always thought I couldn’t.

What I don’t have to do that I always thought I should.

What I want to do and have been reluctant to believe I would.

What I don’t want to do and have been hard pressed to quit.

I’ve discovered musical artists new to me, muscles I didn’t believe I had, endorphins I wasn’t sure worked anymore, new friends, old friends and the wonder and assistance of pharmacology along with downsides I am not willing to accept.

I have also discovered that don’t have a clue how deep my lack of knowledge about myself goes.

“Overkill, overview
Over my dead body
Over me, over you
Over everybody”

Beauty inhales me, beauty escapes me. I live my moments in alternating abject confusion and comfortable understanding. My soul tugs at my body to keep moving in this direction and my body subtly tries to get me to turn back, go another way and lay down. I have a thirst for knowing, learning and being. My eyes well to the brim with baptismal tears more often out of youthful joy yet spill over in aged sorrow.

Love surrounds me, enfolds me and holds my hands securely until the blood flow shuts down to my extremities. There is so much, so varied, so important and none of it mine. Love belongs to the universe and I try with every breath to let it flow through me – I want to experience it, I want to share it, I want to love it.

Some breaths succeed.

Some breaths fail.

And I go missing…

I will write today!

A bird flies high overhead with its wings stretched wide and strong. It glides on the air with ease and grace. It has been traveling a considerable distance without touching the ground and lets nothing distract it from its journey.

I assume it does not get weary.

I assume it is not tired.

I assume flight is easy.

For a bird.

As the bird becomes nothing more than a deep black spec among the clouds, it does not occur to me that it might struggle to stay aloft in the wind. My mind skips over the idea of birds on the ground for nourishment and rest. There is no chance a bird would ever want to be anything other than itself.

Birds take flight above the chaos.

Birds soar where I can only dream.

Birds reach near the stars and never look back.

It has no time to pause and wonder what it is like to be me.

Lucky bird…