Welcome to Shangri La

She sashayed her way into the walled off city, knowing that this once lost Tibetan paradise was the last thing left for her to see on her bucket list.  She planed on ending it once she reached this utopian wonderland, this permanently happy land, that was isolated from the rest of the world.  She spent her life willing to die for love and when love let her down, she saw death as her only alternative.  She lived in shame because her man left her for another and in this beautiful place that is filled with peace and harmony, she would find her eternal peace.

Once she was safely ensconced inside these sacred walls, she started her journey of inner exploration and discovery.  She went to the Snow Mountains where she discovered the key to eternal life and that is when she realized that she was not to blame for losing love.  She realized that she could start over and find a new l0ove that would be stronger than the one she lost.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image credit Timur Kozmenko.

Forgetting Things

It is on the tip of my tongue and I am sure that it will come to me, as it feels like it is right at my fingertips, but alas now it is gone.  This happens to the best of us, although David Bowie had a big hit with his ‘Golden Years’.  Did you ever have one of those days where you are shampooing your hair and then you remember that you just did this a minute ago.  Lately I have been having a hard time dealing with my short-term memory loss, and on top of that, I’m trying to deal with this short-term memory loss.

I met her right there on the platform next to the tracks, but now I can’t even recall her name.  Many of the details are still clear, as she walked up to me and whispered that she had not kissed anyone since the Covid-19 pandemic and she wondered if she was losing her touch.  She asked me if it would be OK for her to kiss me, and since she was smoking hot, I agreed, removed my mask, put my arms around her and planted one on her lips.  She thanked me after we kissed and she explained that she only said that to me to try and make her ex-boyfriend jealous, but to her surprise the guy who she thought was her ex, as she looked at him from behind, turned out to be somebody else when she finally saw his face.

I told her that it was nice to meet her and when she said “Goodbye”, I told her, “Oh, you’ve got something on your lip”, and she said, “Really?  Where?”, that is when I moved in to kiss her again and said, “Right here”.  She wiped off her lips and said, “Its all gone now, but maybe I could get another one”.  I obliged and we dated for about a month and I can’t for the life of me remember why we broke up.  Recent I went for a new Covid-19 test and now my smile looks out of place as the test showed that I had picked up that new strain of the coronavirus, the one with the more contagious mutations.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See?

Don’t Forget To

I picked up a side job, house sitting for my neighbor, as she heard about the impending hurricane and she said she was bugging out.  She wrote down all of her instructions for me and then she went around her house explaining everything.  She has a cat called Dixie and she told me that Dixie gets fed twice a day and that I must make dure that she has fresh water and treats and she showed me how to clean her litter box.  She showed me her emergency radio and the candles which she kept on her patio in her screened-in lanai and she said that the radio would give me alerts on how bad the storm was going to get.

At the first sign of a storm, I was to take her radio back inside of her house and also bring in her plant.  Pretty simple, feed the cat and water the plant and call her if there were any problems.  I am only getting paid $15 a day, but this is a cake job.  She was going to head north and west to her sister’s house to ride it out and then she would return.  She showed me the alarm system and handed me the key and before she left, she said, “Don’t forget to sing to my plant when you are watering it”, but there is no way in hell that is happening.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image credit Shche – Team @ Unsplash.

The Waning Gibbous Moon

Roy said, “Look at those three cranes flying past the waning gibbous moon, isn’t that a lovely sight this evening?”  Rachel replied, “Are you sure those are cranes and how do you know that is a waning gibbous moon?”  Roy said, “Their long necks, long legs, and very broad wings tell me that they are cranes and because of their shorter beaks, they are not herons, egrets, or storks.  Although you may think of me as a lunatic, I am sort of an expert on the moon.  Everybody knows that the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong said, ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’, but I actually wrote the words for the second man Buzz Aldrin when he stepped onto the moon.   Most people think he said, ‘Wow, it really is made out of cheese’, but he actually said, ‘Beautiful view. Magnificent desolation.’

After a full moon, the moon starts becoming less illuminated again, waning toward the last quarter moon, then finally, another new moon.  This is the last day of the waning gibbous moon and we have been in this phase with 56% illumination since December 1st, so tomorrow we will get to 45% and be in the last quarter.  Gibbous means that the observable illuminated part of the moon is greater than a semicircle and less than a circle.  Like the Earth, half of the Moon’s surface (the day side) is always illuminated by the Sun.  However, as the moon orbits the Earth, the sunlit portion that can be observed varies through the course of the month as the Moon moves around us.

There is no such thing as moonlight, as what you see is actually sunlight reflecting off the moon’s surface.  Our moon doesn’t generate any light, it only reflects the light from our Sun which makes it change its shape every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds as the moon will go through its 8 phases.  Moon phases represent the names given to points in its orbit around Earth.  Each phase lasts for only an instant as the moon is constantly moving.  Starting out from what is called a new moon, (the first moon phase which is when the moon’s surface looks dark because the illuminated side is facing away from Earth) the moon appears to grow in the sky gradually increasing in magnitude or extent and that is called waxing.  This second phase of the moon is called the waxing crescent, where crescent refers to the curved shape similar to a banana or a pastry.  The next moon phase is called the first quarter and this term seems misleading to many, as half of the moon’s disc is visible from Earth due to the light from the Sun.  This occurs approximately one week after the new moon.  The moon continues to become the waxing gibbous, the full moon, the waning gibbous, the last quarter and then the waning crescent.  As Mr. Miyagi said, “Wax on, Wane off”.

The primary phases of the Moon cycle are the new moon, the first quarter, the full moon and the last quarter.  To the naked eye, the full moon lasts about three days, but in reality, it is a full moon for just an instant before it begins to wane.   Since the phase cycles of the Moon are almost always shorter than a full calendar month, (February being the exception) the phase of moon that occurs at the start of the month usually occurs again before the end of the month.  As a result of this, every 2.7 years, the full moon phase will occur twice in the same month and this is known as the Blue Moon.  In an astrological sense, 2.7 years is not an irregular occurrence, but the phrase, “Once in a blue moon” is used for something that rarely happens.

It is easy to determine a new moon, a full moon, a crescent moon and a gibbous moon, but if you have not been watching it growing or shrinking, then it may be hard to figure out what phase it is in.  The Moon goes around the Earth from West to East, so the side illuminated by the sun will move across the face of the Moon from West to East.  The Moon rises in the east and sets in the west, but it goes across the sky a little slower than our Sun.  The Sun marches across at 15 degrees per hour, while the Moon is moving at 13.5 degrees, so even they are both going the same way across the sky, the moon is losing ground.

You can tell if the moon is waxing or waning based on when it sets or rises.  If you can see the moon at sunset), then it’s waxing.  If the moon rises just before sunset, then it’s waning.  If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the part of the waxing moon that is in shadow will be on the left, and when the moon is waning, the shadow part is on the right.  If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, the shape is reversed.  Look to see which side of the Sun the shadow is on.  If it’s to the East (late in the day it will look like it’s above the Sun, early in the day it will look like it’s below the Sun) then it’s Waxing.  If it’s to the West (late in the day it will look like it’s below the Sun, early in the day it will look like it’s above the Sun) then it’s Waning.  Another way to find out if the moon is waxing or waning would be to hold a finger up to the moon, making sure that you’re looking at the North of the Moon and that is if you’re in the northern hemisphere.  If your finger against the moon makes a lowercase “b” shape then it is getting bigger (waxing).  If your finger makes a “d” shape then the moon is decreasing, or getting smaller (waning).  So, is there anything more that you want to learn about the moon Rachel?”

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image creditLolame @ Pixabay.

Sings Like a Bird

Just like the white winged dove, sings a song, sounds like she’s singing.  All I know is something like a bird within her sang.  When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’, along.  He rocks in the treetops all day long, hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing his song.  Listen to my bluebird laugh, she can’t tell you why.  Don’t fly, mister blue bird, I’m just walking down the road.  Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me.  Cause I’m as free as a bird now and this bird you cannot change.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See?  Picture prompt Image credit – Evan Clark @ Unsplash.

A Mantra

She is praying for peace and an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The hummingbird hears her chanting and it hovers near by after sucking sustenance from the flowers.  She starts singing, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.  The sixteen-word mantra is repeated to deliver peace and to free her mind.  The word Hare refers to the divine feminine potency of God.  Krishna means the all-attractive one, and Rama is the reservoir of all pleasure.  Chanting these sixteen names is supposed to be counteract the evil effects of the demon Kali.

At the dawn of civilization, when the human race was still under the spell of the powers and mysteries of nature, most human rituals were centered around pleasing the five basic natural forces.  Those being fire, water, sky, wind and earth.  Hearken to that which all Shrutis (the Vedas) keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the Saṃsāra (mundane existence) of Kali.  One can shake off the evil effects of Kali through the mere uttering of the name of Lord Narayana, who is the primeval Purusha.  Kali is dark in color, she drinks blood, and is portrayed as evil.  Kali is a mysterious goddess of death and destruction with a very complex story.

The name Kālī first appears in the Atharva Veda, a collection of hymns and mantras published between 1200 BCE and 1000 BCE, however she is not a goddess but rather a fierce black tongue, one of seven belonging to Agni, the god of fire.  It is another 400 years before Kali is described as an individual in her own right, when she appears as a battlefield goddess personifying the wrath of Durga.  At this point, she has become a terrible skeletal and frightening crone, wearing animal skins and carrying the skull-topped staff associated with tribal shamans.

In Swami Vivekananda’s 1898 poem, Kali the Mother, he evokes the Night of Kali as a time of pitch darkness that blots out the stars, trouble comes from the souls of a million lunatics let loose from the prison, while on every side a thousand shades of Death blacken the sky perpetuating plagues and bringing sorrow which becomes a mad dance of terror and death.  In the poet’s vision, destruction follows her every foot step, for she is the relentless power, the All-Destroyer of Time, locked in a Dance of Destruction.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image credit- Stefan Keller – Pixabay.

Entering Oz

The house was swept up in a tornado and now it is falling with a sepia colored Dorothy landing safely in her bed.  She picks up her dog Toto, opens the door and steps out into the world of Oz, which is made up of vibrant colors exploding with gorgeous scenery.  This scene is what gave me the inspiration to create this new colorizer camera, which will automatically colorize black and white photos, pictures, and images.  The algorithm brings your old photos to life and it is simple to use.  You upload a photo to it through the USB port, wait for it to be processed and when the green light comes on, your grayscale photos are now in color.  Your photos are private and they will not be shared with anyone unless you do that yourself.

It is technology, not magic and you can purchase extra software that will allow you to adjust the colors, like for instance if you think that the photo that you took of Trump is not orange enough, you have the ability to adjust the hue, shade or tint and make him look more pumpkin faced.  You could also use this camera to create rainbow text effects for your blog and add new smiley faces to every sentence that you write.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Image Credit- Pixabay- Ariadne-a-mazed.

She’s Not There

She is going through an emotional detachment having trouble identifying herself in the real world, not really knowing if she is here or there.  This psycho bitch with her lies, the way she breaks everyone’s heart and she would never even bother to apologize, is kind of spooky.  She exists in no particular space or time and she could be anywhere and everywhere.  She still feels certain things and when her feet got cold, she tried to slip into these sneakers, but to no avail.

Well, no one told me about her
The way she lied
Well, no one told me about her
How many people cried
But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there
Well, let me tell you ‘bout the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there
Well, no one told me about her
What could I do?
Well, no one told me about her
Though they all knew
But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there
Well, let me tell you about the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there
But it’s too late to say you’re sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don’t bother trying to find her
She’s not there
Well, let me tell you about the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright
But she’s not there

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? Picture prompt Reflections by Yunus Emre Uzun.

Saul Good

Raven told Saul to meet her at the wiccan altar and she would teach him the craft.  Even though many more women are drawn to Pagan religions than men are, Raven said that he could join her group, as long as he could master the art of fire bending.  Saul was an easy-going guy and a less than satisfactory outcome was always permissible for him.  Raven held fire in her hand and told Saul not to worry, as he has been bending air and water for his whole life and bending fire is just the next step up in control of the elements.  Saul replied, “I have not been bending anything.”  Raven said, “We all are surrounded by this mysterious gas, and life would be impossible without it, but we hardly ever give it a moment’s thought, because solids and liquids are much denser than gases and when you are walking through air, you are creating waves and all waves contain energy.”

Raven told Saul that it is nothing more than a trick and that she selects materials that can burn at room temperature and she chooses vapors that are denser than air, so they will sink and collect at the lowest point, allowing her to disperse flammable gas to ignite the fire.  She told Saul that he may get burned a few times while he is learning and that it might be a good idea to keep a bucket of water handy.  Saul smiled and said, “It’s all good.”

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? prompt #13.

Midnight and Elmer

The rocks in the stream were perfect for the pretty playful little kitten to jump along on and hunt for fish and lizards.  Midnight was aquaphobic and he really did hate water, but he would dip his paws into the stream for prey.  Midnight saw Elmer the elephant and being curious like every cat is, he asked him what in the heck he was doing.  Elmer told Midnight that he was using his trunk to help him get a drink of water.  Midnight asked Elmer why he would drink water with his nose.  Elmer said that his trunk was a combination of his nose and upper lip and that he is able to breathe through it, touch, grasp and smell things with it, but he was only using his trunk as a siphon to suck the water part of the way up and then he would use his trunk to squirt the water into his mouth.

Elmer told Midnight that he was having trouble reaching the water because his trunk was a bit too short and he asked Midnight how he got down there.  Midnight said that he climbed down and that he loves to climb on everything.  He said that when he is not napping that he is most likely climbing.  Elmer said that he does not do hills and that he tries to avoid any type of sloped terrain ever since he heard about all of his ancestors that were lost crossing the Alps with Hannibal many years ago.  Midnight asked Elmer how he could stand being so fat and Elmer struggled to lower his trunk into the water and he sucked up several gallons of it and the he squirted Midnight and asked him if he liked being wet.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See? prompt. Image credit: yo.