Wednesday September 22nd, 2010

The exercise:

Today we're writing about: walls.

This morning in the cabin four walls got cleaned (by yours truly) and one wall got its second coat of blue paint (by my lovely wife). And tonight I worked with Kat's dad to get the linoleum installed in the bathroom, which felt like a pretty big accomplishment.

Anyway. Walls. Go!


The wall that had surrounded my village for three generations was crumbling. We had become complacent after so many years of unchallenged security. Our hands were soft, our bellies fat, our swords rusty and dull. It was so decrepit, a child could have broken through our wall in a dozen or more places. 

If only we'd been so fortunate.

But we were not, nor did we deserve to be. No, the day the walls were breached there were no children amongst the invaders. Only savage men, dressed like animals and as relentless as a winter wind. We didn't stand a chance of winning that fight.

So I took my little brother and I ran. 

Now no walls protect us, but we are safer without them.


Greg said...

Sounds like you're really putting the work in on the cabin -- when are you hoping to be living in it by? Wall-cleaning is a tedious task, I don't envy you that at all.

I like the descriptions in your story this morning! Especially "relentless as a winter wind" -- inspired choices!


The mathematician's wife
(God preserve her life),
Was none too happy with her house:
Too small to swing a mouse,
Yet too big to clean, intractable,
Built as it was as a novel fractal.
Everywhere she cared to look
She found another wall, or nook,
Or holes appearing in the floor.
Her Sierpinski carpet that she adored,
Seemed to stretch forever out,
Making her impotently shout
That she could never get it free from dust.
So at the point of fracture she just
Took an axe and two wrecking balls
And chopped her way
Through all the walls
That she could find in finite time.
And when she stopped, dead on her feet,
And found the walls still were standing;
Her wretched house, still so demanding,
Unchanged by all her work she claimed defeat.
The mathematician's wife
(God preserve her life)
Was none too happy with her house.

[I know, the rhythm's a bit erratic and the rhyme's all over the place; sorry.]

morganna said...

But at least it has rhyme, Greg. :)

Walls shelter us,
Hide us, mark our places.
We build real walls,
Imaginary walls of hatred.
Are we human without our walls?

And, from Robert Frost:
There is something that doesn't love a wall.

Marc said...

Greg - we've quietly whispered a goal of 'home for halloween' but we'll see how it goes. I think it's manageable.

I quite like the repetition at the end of the poem, and the image of wielding two wrecking balls and an axe is quite striking :D

Morganna - Food for thought, that. And I love that Frost quote :)

Heather said...

Marc- I enjoyed that a great deal. It brought to mind a book I haven't reread in a long time: Gate to Women's Country. I'm not quite sure why as the themes are quite different!


My tired brain screams for rest, but I push on, knowing that the daylight will soon arrive and with its arrival my friend, the dark, will be forced to leave. I move through the thick brush as a mouse scurries to safe corners in large rooms; quickly and quietly, praying it can pass unnoticed. Finally, I see the wall standing in the distance. The solid outline and soft stone colors give it away in this urban jungle of grape vines, flowers, trimmed hedges, and children's bicycles. A few more yards and my safe escape will be recognized.

Marc said...

Thanks, Heather :)

Intriguing bit of prose there! I could definitely see it continued. I like the bit with the mouse most of all.

Anonymous said...

ha, I will experiment my thought, your post give me some good ideas, it's really awesome, thanks.

- Murk