Existential Hope

I hope today isn't my last day, because I want to see when "us" realize that we are "them" too.
Cosmicswirl by Steph Abbott.

© 2020 Steph Abbott. All rights reserved. On Monday, November 2, 2020, I created this image using Silk Paints and wrote this open verse while binge watching The West Wing. This is the second in what I hope to be a series of 30 posts in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Specialthanks to Eliza David Lady Writer, for sharing her writing prompts for NaBloPoMo. The prompt for Day 2: “If this was my last day, would I be satisfied with my life?” See her list of 30 prompts at http://elizadavid.com/nablopomo2020/.

What am I called?

Were you teased and called names during your childhood? My childhood was rife with bullies who called me by many names, but rarely by my formal one.

Many names I have heard could have been problematic. But here’s the thing…

People’s problems with me are just that–people’s problems.

I have come to realize that names are simply handles, something for people to hold briefly then let go without much ado.

What am I called? It depends on who you are. Below is a list of names I’ve been called (chronologically and not exclusively):

  • Stephanie
  • Steph
  • Friend
  • Communicator
  • Director
  • Designer
  • Darkhorse
  • Mother
  • Snapperhead
  • Witch
  • Shikseh
  • Lover
  • Street-smart
  • Spirited
  • Hippy
  • Wallflower
  • Lost
  • Denier
  • Jock
  • Enabler
  • Greaser
  • Smartass
  • Wannabe
  • Tweety
  • Bird
  • Sprite
  • Touched
  • Stephleupagus
  • Steffie
  • Steph
  • Stephanie
  • Sister
  • Daughter

Remember the adage: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.”

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————–©2018 Stephanie Abbott. All rights reserved.

About this post: I am participating in a challenge to create daily during the month of November. While I have missed a day or two, this is my post for November 17. I was inspired by the writing prompt: “What are you called?” courtesy of Angela in the NaBloPoMo Revival group on Facebook. I doodled the image for a previous post, and felt it would complement this one too. See “Heart on my Sleeve” at https://stephabbottsays.com/2011/11/10/heart-on-my-sleeve/

#WriteBravely in Pithy Love Letters to Family

Dear​ ​Mom​ ​and​ ​Dad,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​everything.​ Every thing I should never ​take​ ​for​ ​granted.​ ​Granted,​ ​you​ ​were​ ​right often.

Dear​ ​Brother​ ​and​ ​Sister.
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​drove​ ​me​ ​crazy.​ ​Crazy​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​perspective.​ ​Perspective​ ​to appreciate you​ ​now.

Dear​ ​Husband,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​provide​ ​me​ ​with​ ​home​ ​and​ ​hearth.​ ​Hearth​ ​that​ ​we need to​ stoke ​from​ ​time​ ​to​ ​time.​ ​Time–let’s make​ ​some.

Dear​ ​Son​ ​1,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​inspire​ ​me​ ​to​ ​be​ ​patient​ ​with​ people.​ ​People who​ ​have​ ​free​ ​will​ ​to​ ​please.​ ​Please​ ​give​ ​us​ ​a chance.

Dear​ ​Son​ ​2,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​teach​ ​me​ ​how​ ​to​ ​cope​ ​with​ ​adversity​ ​by using humor.​ Humor will help you to cope with those who don’t.​ ​Don’t​ ​be​ ​a​ ​d*ck.

Sincerely,

-Steph

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. #writebravely #writetribe #festivalofwords

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Stella’s Visitor – Act 5

meteorite-landed-5-by-steph-abbott

“Walk with me, Stella,” purred the blue cat. “Let me share something with you.”

Still grappling with the reality of a world with talking animals and no sun, Stella simply nodded and kept pace with her new azure companion as it shared with her a cautionary tale.

Stella listened for hours and learned of the continuing changes to this world’s landscape and the curious population.

“Our forbears suffered for thousands of years as their lives were drenched in greed, hate, and despair. Eventually, a mighty civil war fractured our democratic republic,” the cat told Stella as they walked.

Stunned yet curious, Stella wondered aloud, “How did this happen?”

The cat flicked its bushy blue tail and continued, “Humans grew increasingly hostile to outsiders. They began to fear and distrust their neighbors and build barriers between regions. Their paranoia increased with their isolation as did the wars. Clans continued to live separately, limiting their bloodline, denying progress made by others, and eventually their societies collapsed under the weight of such historical ignorance.”

Stella stopped to consider the folly of the humans and the azure feline with glowing opals looking up at her. She quietly asked, “So, what happened to the humans?”

“During those dark ages, as borders were constantly being redrawn with blood and as their youth continued to lose their lives, humans eventually lost hold of their dominance within the animal kingdom. And that is also when our world was visited by those from the first dominion.”

Stella halted and looked up at the chartreuse sky. “You mean there is life out there?”

“Of course. There has always been. But more to the point, they have returned.”

Stella stopped and asked, “How do you know?”

“Simple,” the cat purred. “They have sent a new ambassador.”

“Really? Where? When?’

The cat smiled and looked towards Stella’s door floating along the glistening horizon. “Yes. Here. Now. She landed in your dining room just moments ago.”

________________________

Today’s post is the fifth and final act in this particular story, “Stella’s Visitor.”

I composed this post last night while watching TV in bed before I created the image using the ArtRage app on my tablet.

Let’s go, #NaBloPoMo.

A Mindful Season

Mindful Season by Steph Abbott

Amoral reaction
Crystal clear fragments each one
Shots fired, souls lost

—–

I wrote the haiku this morning. However, I began this digital painting in early November 2012.

My original doodle was simple. I had a vision of innocence for the winter season. I even tried to capture a memory from childhood, one of freshly falling snow. I envisioned a day trip in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was a time of joy and serenity. My painting started out much bigger, with bright colors, and lots of light.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to stop and reconsider the landscape. Was life so simple, clean, and picturesque? Was my vision simply to recreate a lost reality? I started to lose my focus.

When I returned to painting over a month later, my vision was not so clear. My memory seemed fuzzier. I felt compelled to deepen the mood. My lovely landscape became transformed.

Why did my vision change? Perhaps I was distraught after recent acts of violence and loss of life in Sandy Hook? Perhaps I was distressed from the reactions from both sides of the political aisle? How did so many people become so sanctimonious and self-righteous?

My soul tells me the reactions are simply manifestations of the human condition. From here, I can only hope our society takes a step towards enlightenment. Can we learn how to cope with our differences without the use of violence? Or is that too simple a vision?

Sunday, December 23, 2012. I doodled this image using ArtRage Pro.