“That’s how you know,” six year old Alena said as she crossed her arms and stuck out her hip. With her heart shaped sunglasses and serious tone of voice, it did not take much for her body language to reflect the matter of fact attitude behind her advice-giving this morning.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember that Alena is barely a first grader. Since she was about three, I started talking to her like I would talk to an old friend. She has always been one of those kids that is naturally wise beyond her years. Speaking in a childish tone of voice just does not feel right in a conversation with my six year old niece. “Alena. You are telling me that is all there is behind knowing he is the one?” I ask her with an equal amount of seriousness in my voice.
We are swinging in unison at Alena’s favorite playground in town. The playground itself is swamped with miniature adults crawling up and down slides and climbing onto spider web ladders. When it isn’t filled with other patrons, Alena and I enjoy creating our own games on the monkey bars and the funky ladders and slides on the new playground, but the swings are our little semblance of peace on these busier mornings.
“That’s all,” she says, clearly done with the conversation as she leaps from the swing. “He isn’t mean, and he still loves you even when you’re grumpy. Why wouldn’t you want to keep him around?”
I take my hands and unsure of what needs to happen next, I go.
This makes no sense, but I refuse to allow writer’s block to define me as I press on in suspense. Perhaps I will include some sporadic rhyming. My English teachers would shake their heads and shudder at my lack of proper patterns and timing.
“Your rhymes are pathetic,” they would say as they laugh and take their red pens to grant me one more failing grade. So many others are so eloquent in the black and white stains they leave on hypothetical pieces of paper staring back at them from their computer screens.
The murmurs of the travesties and failings of the world keep on, as the television never stops talking. The United States listeners may never start uniting. I hate the blabber of complaint the TV makes. Yet I cannot bring myself to unplug along with the others as we continue to do nothing, sealing our fates.
The coffee is getting cold. I am getting old.
Another piece of writing for my eyes only… It has been so long. I want to stop and correct my mistakes, but sometimes, that is not the case. Mistakes are made every day. There is no delete or backspace on the keyboard of life, no matter how much of a reflex it is to take my pinkie finger and reach over to my right.
I take it back.
Decades ago- centuries ago “I take it back” was a dream. Adulterous lovers who were caught in the act only praying they could just take it back. Words thrown into the air in the heat of conflict are left floating there until the house is empty with no more occupants.
Social media has deleted our span of attention down to six seconds of streaming. We are chained by this lie we insist on believing. Reading from the glow of a computer screen ruins the chance for us to get lost in the pages. A 700-word blog post is far too long. I do not have the time to appreciate that poem or song.
Although I am sure the ending is magnificent.
Am I really trying to rhyme at random? True talent comes and goes like a phantom. Televisions, Facebook friends, and Twitter have taken our talent like a one night hitter. How dare I hide my baby muse in the corner? Seriously? I still have the TV on?
How much I envy the sojourner. He is a hypothetical “he,” maybe born next to Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, or some other foreigner. My eyes turn green as I read about his latest scheme. He travels through the new world searching for purpose while the rest of us in the millennial age are contemplating our next online purchase. The pitter-patter of the rain drums onto his cap as he marvels the star’s demand for attention despite thunder’s clap.
Would he be ashamed if he could see us today?
We hide away from the rain as we complain. Our pitter-patter is only in the form of our own phalanges drumming on the keyboard as we search for our meaning by typing out a similar strife…