Thoughts on Words

Helen Keller knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over her hand but being able to say this word on March 3rd, 1887 awakened her soul, gave it light, hope, joy, setting her free!  We cannot see thoughts or ideas, but they have a way of becoming words, and when Descartes was contemplating his own existence, he said “I think therefore, I am.”  The human brain controls the vocal folds of the larynx, or voice box and the lip, tongue, and throat muscles, which are needed to produce sounds.  Brain cells located in the dorsal laryngeal motor cortex area encode the command signals that are sent to our mouths, and our muscles move in response to these signals so we can produce the correct words relating to our thoughts.

I imagine that words can spur thoughts, especially when you are trying to say something that is stuck on the tip of your tongue.  Saying phrases like , “hold on, wait a minute, or I almost got it” can improve your concentration and help you break the disconnect between what you are trying to say and what you are thinking.  Since I am not a brain surgeon, I have no idea how this interaction works.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 153 – where she asks three questions.  1. How do my thoughts get processed into words?  2. Or do my words spur thoughts? 3. How do they interact?

Tell Me the Truth

“I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but I can’t take any more of your lies Mr. President.  You say that you didn’t want to cause panic, so you kept the dangers of Covid-19 away from the people and told us that it was going to magically disappear.  I am not a simple-minded person and I was able to handle the 9/11 tragedies and that was a rough period in my life, because I was out of work, but I did not panic.  You say that a vaccine is coming soon, but only about 25% of vaccines that enter human testing end up receiving approval and being marketed to the public.  I have lost all trust in everything that you say and this vaccine will never be effective without truth.”

AstraZeneca placed their Covid-19 vaccine on hold this week and they said that this trial is under investigation adding that it’s not at all unprecedented saying this is a routine action.  A volunteer developed a neurological problem contracting transverse myelitis which is a rare inflammation of the spinal cord after receiving the vaccine.  Most experts have been saying that a hold on a trial is uncommon in large clinical trials, but not unheard of.  This is just one of about 160 such experimental drugs currently being tested to prevent coronavirus infection, but the Oxford vaccine was part of an exclusive group of just nine drugs that had progressed to the Phase 3 testing stage.

“I don’t want to be treated like a baby, like I can’t handle what is what is happening and I don’t want to be talked down to by you, because you think that you are more superior than me Mr. President.  Lay it on the table and be honest, give me the good news along with the bad news.  After 9/11 our country was united and we all worked together, but all you have done is divide us and get the rest of the world to hate us, except for your good buddy Vladimir Putin who you let do whatever he wants.  You kept asking Americans to remain calm, while the virus spread across the country and now you want to blame Bob Woodward.  All you have ever done since you have been in office was to spread panic with your fake news.”

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 152 – “I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but …..”

Self-Relevance

People go around judging things in this world where it seems like everything is competing for our attention and if something is seen as being arousing, this would warrant further attention and deeper evaluation.  The word “gun” may have negative connotations for some people, but it might have positive connotations for others.   Names are abstract self-representations, but you are not supposed to say the words “bomb” or “terrorist” when you are flying on a plane, as this could upset others and cause panic, which might result in you being removed from a flight, or even placed on the no-fly list.

Joe Flynn played the part of Captain Wallace B. Binghamton aka “Old Leadbottom” (due to a bullet wound in his rear end) on the popular television show McHale’s Navy, which was known for being more historically accurate than its contemporary series, F Troop.  Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale would always cause trouble for him and he would say, “Why me?  Why is it always me?”

I have no idea why this song ended up being in this post, as it has no relevance to anything that I was writing about.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 151 – Is it always Me?

High‐Tech Terrorist

Untouched books crowded his shelves, shiny leather spines and faded first editions, meticulously dusted and never read.  The books were just illusions to impress others, and they made his life bearable, because they impressed his friends.  He had no intention of ever reading any of them, as knowing too much would take away his individualism, and his sense of style.  He was as phony as a three-dollar bill, but what nobody knew was that the book shelves were hiding a secret passage to his panic room.  He was not sorry for all of the lies that he feed to the press and he hoped that Trump would exonerate him one day.

They finally caught up to Julian Assange and his long-time friend Pamela Anderson felt he would not survive an extradition from the U.K. to the U.S.  He breached his bail in June 2012 and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London.  In January 2018, Julian was granted Ecuadorian citizenship.  Assange was arrested in 2019 after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had sought refuge to avoid being sent to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.  The 48-year-old Australian has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 charges over the publication of classified documents.  Prosecutors say he conspired with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password, hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump stood on his soap box and threw a conniption saying that he loves Wikileaks and he publicly encouraged Russians to hack Hillary’s emails, but now he changed his mind and he is currently saying, “I know nothing about Wikileaks”.  Assange chose to play around in espionage and the First Amendment doesn’t give anyone a license to jeopardize national security, especially an unsavory character that is using dubious methods.  Julian has set a bad precedent for the future of the internet and he made his bed, so he should have to sleep in it.  Whether he is found guilty or innocent, doesn’t really bother me, but I am interested in what the final decision is about him.  Many people think he is a good guy who got a bad deal, but I disagree as united we fell to the hackers.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Exonerate, for the Daily Spur prompt – Feed, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan, for FOWC with Fandango – Survive, for Jibber Jabber by Sue – Box, for August Monthly Writing Prompts – United we fell, for Ragtag Community – Lies, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 150 – Illusions, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Play Sorry Final and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Conniption.

Light the Song with Sense and Color

Reena gives us the prompt “A Colorless World” along with a black and white picture showing people holding up some guitars, a microphone, a keyboard, a cymbal and what maybe looks like a block of wood and she tells us to let the prompt take us anywhere, delving into the realms of our conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious mind.  I came up with a Grateful Dead song called ‘Terrapin Station’ that was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and released in 1977 on the album with the same name.  This song was written as the second part of the Terrapin Station Suite, where the first song in the suite is ‘Lady With A Fan’, and because they were often lumped together they are thought of as being one song.

Robert Hunter wrote this song while he was sitting in an unfurnished house with a picture window overlooking San Francisco Bay during a flamboyant lightning storm.  He typed the first thing that came into his mind, being the title Terrapin Station.  Not knowing what this song was going to be about, he began writing an invocation (seeking assistance by calling on an authority) to the muse and as he kept typing the story began to unfold.  On the same day, while driving into the city, Garcia was also struck by a singular inspiration.  He turned his car around and hurried home to set down some music that popped into his head, feeling that it demanded immediate attention.   When they met the next day, they showed each other what they came up with, lyrics by Hunter and music by Garcia which seemed to fit perfectly this song called ‘Terrapin Station’.

Perhaps Terrapin is the name of the muse that Hunter invoked, as he was seeking the ability to tell a story, to hold off the despair he was feeling for not finding inspiration.  The poet promises not to ask for more than this gift, of being allowed to tell a story that will come alive for his readers, and as he is inspired, he is moved to light the song with colors.  He is faced with dark mysteries and he knows that others people in his same position have risen to the occasion, while others have failed and some have climbed their way all the way up to Terrapin Station.

He has the light of Venus to guide him on his way and there is a brand-new crescent moon which is also helping.  He listens to the crickets and cicadas singing a rare and different tune as he tries to get to Terrapin Station.  He hopes to get there soon but he becomes confused along the way, not knowing if this is the end or the beginning.  He is unsure if he is leaving Terrapin or maybe he is returning to Terrapin.  He hears that the train’s put on its brakes and the whistle is screaming.

Inspiration, move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
Faced with mysteries dark and vast
Statements just seem vain at last
Some rise, some fall, some climb
To get to Terrapin

Counting stars by candlelight
All are dim but one is bright
The spiral light of Venus
Rising first and shining best
Oh, from the north-west corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Where crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and different tune
Terrapin Station
In the shadow of the moon
Terrapin Station
And I know we’ll be there soon

(Terrapin)
I can’t figure out
(Terrapin)
If it’s the end or beginning
(Terrapin)
But the train’s put it brakes on
(Terrapin)
And the whistle is screaming
Terrapin

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge 147 prompt – A Colorless World.

More Than I Need

I had enough toilet paper to last me till Thanksgiving and I was not worried when all the shelves were empty at the store, but yesterday when I went out, I saw that they had toilet paper available on the shelves again, and I bought more.  It is taking up the whole bottom space in my pantry and I can barely close the door and I figure that now I will be good through Easter and my pantry could be called the cupboard of abundance.  I certainly don’t want to run out of toilet paper and it looks like we have a long way to go with this Covid-19 pandemic, as it doesn’t seem to be going quietly away.  I wonder if I was stocking up, or have I become a hoarder.

It seems simple enough, wash your hands, avoid touching your face and when you are out in public, wear a mask and practice social distancing.  Trump came up with a deeply flawed argument, dismissing the severity of the pandemic, downplaying the effect of the disease even as infections continue to spread across the US.  He falsely claimed that 99% of the virus cases are totally harmless and I heard on the news that 4% of the people who get Covid-19 in the US, end up dead.  Almost 130,000 people have already died here from this so-called “harmless” virus and at about 2.9 million people have tested positive for the infection, so a simple observation along with some easy math says that it is closer to 4.5% of the people that contract this virus will end up dead.  These statistics don’t even account for the thousands of people who have spent weeks in the hospital or weeks at home with mild to moderate symptoms that caused debilitating health problems.

In Florida where many people are aging, test results showed that by July 3, that there has been a total of 190,052 positive COVID-19 cases with 3,702 of these resulting in death from the virus.  Since July 3rd, 18 more Florida residents have died from this pandemic.  It is not just the older populations and those with underlying health conditions that are at risk, as Covid-19 is having a severe impact on young people now.  In Florida, the median age of positive Covid-19 cases in March was 65 years old, but within the last week, it has dropped to 35 years old.  Florida has reopened and maybe this was done by Governor Ron DeSantis to oblige the Republican president, but if that is the case, this was done in bad taste.

A significant portion of Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic, so that means that there are a lot of people who are walking around with the virus, but since they are unaware of having it, but they are passing this infection on to others, so the transmission is still spreading.  The Novel Covid-19 is a silent killer and you may not know that you are infected, until it is too late.  The world is different now, especially in the stillness that was created by social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.  Many people feel loneliness and this is apparent in those who wear their heart on their sleeve, but everyone copes differently and you can’t tell a book by its cover.  It is not like we can put on a pair of ruby slippers and tap our heels together like Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz and have everything go back to normal again, as the genie is not getting back in the bottle.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompts – Oblige, for the Daily Spur prompt – Loneliness, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Observation, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #Week 142 prompt – The genie is not getting back in the bottle, for FOWC with Fandango – Taste, for Midwest Fantasy Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge – to write a poem or piece of prose around the words “in the stillness”, for Jibber Jabber by Sue – Quietly, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – The cupboard of abundance, for Ragtag Community – Ruby, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Available Book Sleeve, for Linda G. Hill Life in progress What Day is it Anyway? July 7th, 2020 and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Aging.

Sinks with the Boat

You only need to know a few folding tricks in order to make your own vessel to navigate the water’s currents.  I wanted to watch my paper boat which I painted green, as it made its way out to sea, that is if it didn’t get stuck in those waterlilies.  I opened up a bottle of Yoo-Hoo, because I wasn’t able to get hold of my dad’s rum and I poured some of the contents onto the bow to christen my boat Sea Biscuit, but I was not sure if would sink or float.  I launched it in the creek just under the bridge and since my favorite toy was Gumby and I knew how much he enjoyed going on adventures, I put him in my boat.

Gumby was flexible enough to pilot Sea Biscuit past the waterlilies and he looked like a champion as he steered past the rocks that were jutting up, making a classic move around them that showed his skill.  The rocks created turbulent zones, but Gumby maintained control as he went past a frog that just grabbed an insect with his long tongue.  I ran through the field alongside of the creek and I almost stepped on a snake which made me fumble my candy bar, which I got from the market.  That sneaky snake was a master at deception, but I was sipping on subterfuge as I knew his camouflage was no match for me.

The water started flowing more rapidly and I could hear the water falls ahead and I wanted to have a good spot to watch Gumby plunge over the falls.  Gumby was my favorite toy, but I had grown tired of him and besides that my friends made fun of me for having a stupid toy that didn’t ever do anything cool.  Well this would be a cool end for him and it would make me happy to see him bash his rubber head and drown.  I would not miss him, or get the Blues from him not being in my life, but on the other hand we were friends for many years and he would not be forgotten.  I wondered if Gumby might be eaten by a lobster after he sunk with the boat.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Fumble, for the Daily Spur prompt – Champion, for FOWC with Fandango – Classic, for May Writing Prompts – Sipping on subterfuge, for Ragtag Community – The Blues, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #136 prompt – Painted “Sinks with the boat” where we are supposed to write about any one line from her poem, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Field Skill Market, for Sue Vincent’s May 21, 2020 Thursday photo prompt and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Forgotten.

Femininity

She was afraid that her top would come undone, so she tested out her bathing suit under a torrent of water and to her surprise it held up.  She was not sure if she should embrace or conceal her feminine traits.  She loved the way her new bathing suit looked on her, but it was so revealing and she was basically a shy girl.  She wore it because it was in style, and girls all across the country started wearing bikinis.  She thought about wearing it as a mutiny against her parents, as her mom preferred her to wear more subdued clothing, which always made her feel as though her body was something to be ashamed of, and this caused her a lot of humiliation.  The suit would work out great for being in the water, but it did not hide an inch of her body, instead it exposed so much of her, all of those girly parts that she never wanted anyone to see.

She always heard people say that there was no need to have breasts any bigger than a mouthful, but at sixteen, she was still flat as a post.  The truth often hurts and she was tired of wearing A-cup size bras, but she knew there was no method available for her to flex her chest muscles to increase her breast size, as this could only be done by improving her posture, and pushing her breasts further forward to make them appear to be firmer and fuller.  She would never win a beauty pageant title and she was OK with that, but she had to get off this merry-go-round of hiding her body in public.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Mutiny, for the Daily Spur prompt – Post, for FOWC with Fandango – Top, for March Writing Prompts – The truth often hurts, for Ragtag Community – Afraid, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #125 prompt – Women and womanhood, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Flex Title Merry-Go-Round, for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – Torrent and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Country.

Astigmatism

The scroll of the screen continued even after she closed her eyes.  The long and short arrows pointed left and right, up and down as the ophthalmologist measured the curvature of the front of her cornea by using a non-invasive medical imaging technique to map the surface curvature of the outer structure of her eye.  The test determined that her vision is blurred because her cornea (the clear front cover of her eye) is irregularly shaped, but she also had cataracts.  Jade was a popular blogger who wrote poetry and she also enjoyed the sound of music, participating in Song Lyric Sunday and the MM Music challenge every other Friday.  There was a vast wonderland out there and jade was missing some of it because of her vision, so she decided to schedule the surgery.

With the surgery and the new lenses implanted, she would be able to spot familiar faces again, drive her car with more confidence even if there was rain.  Jade had been making a lot of typos on her posts and after the operation, she hoped to cut down on these five finger fiascoes.  Jade wanted to dive into this new story about Mother Nature wanting to strike back against the fossil fuel companies who were ruining the Earth.  Jade knew that Global Warming was not false and she was embracing the impeachment process against Trump and she would shout, “Hurray”, when he was gone for good.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Vast, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Dive, for the Daily Spur prompt – Rain, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan prompt – The scroll of the screen continued even after she closed her eyes, for FOWC with Fandango – False, for Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt – The sound of music, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Jade, for January Writing Prompts – Five finger fiascoes, for Ragtag Community – Wonderland, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #118 prompt, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Story Popular Strike and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Hurray.

Shut Those Dogs Up

Jerry got his BB gun out and fired a shot that hit one of the dogs.  It yelped and then he shot the other dog and they finally settled down.  His wife Karen said, “I hope that you didn’t hurt them, but I am glad that you got them to quiet down.  I have to be at the hospital in another three hours and I am hoping to get another two more hours of sleep.”  Karen knew that Jerry did not hurt the dogs as he was an expert marksman, capable of shooting a flee off of the dogs, as he was raised in West Virginia and as a boy he spent his entire day hunting squirrels.  Jerry said that the only way he was going to be able to get back to sleep after all of that barking was if they made love.

Karen knew that Jerry was also getting up at the same time as her, so he could get to his job driving the bus and she figured a quickie might help both of them.  Jerry said, “I don’t have a rubber” and Karen responded by saying, “Just stick in in and get it over, so I can get back to sleep”, and then she wondered ‘Was that really me?’, as things were getting more and more frazzled and all the romance that they once shared, had all but disappeared.  They still shared superficial pleasantries, but most of their free time together was spent watching television.  Jerry finished and they both drifted off back to sleep, but Karen kept wondering about the nerve that her next-door neighbor had, to tie his dogs up outside and allow them to wake up the whole neighborhood every night.

Karen woke up before the alarm went off, because she realized that she still needed to iron a shirt for Jerry.  Karen made breakfast for her and Jerry, just cereal and coffee and she kissed Jerry goodbye and then she shut the front door and went to work.  There was unrest at the hospital, as a new administrator had just taken over the department that Karen worked in and he was starting a campaign to decrease spending.  The other ladies that worked with Karen felt that the hospital should be spending more money and improving customer satisfaction and this created a rivalry in her group.  The new administrator was kind of a quirk, as he went around singing show tunes all day and it was apparent that he must have just watched Guys and Dolls last night.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Quirk, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Shirt, for the Daily Spur prompt – Rivalry, for FOWC with Fandango – Rubber, for Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt – Guys and dolls, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan prompt – Dogs, for January Writing Prompts – Superficial pleasantries, for Ragtag Community – Shut, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt #117 – Was that really me?, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Television Nerve Unrest and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Campaign.