Monday December 27th, 2010

The exercise:

Let us begin this final week of 2010 with: the record.

This article is what inspired the prompt. But not my writing. That happens sometimes.

Thankfully I managed to get internet access here, because I totally forgot to schedule a post before leaving my parent's house. The trip to Vancouver went fairly smoothly, hopefully the same will be said after tomorrow's journey home.


Turn the lights down low,
Let all those busy thoughts slow;
You've got nowhere to go,
So let that mad wind blow.

That wild storm will pass,
But oh this moment will last.
Rain splatters against glass,
While Miles comforts with class.

Kind of Blue is here
To fill you with peace my dear;
This record is my seer
And this will be a good year.


Sean said...

The prompt "record" took me on a surprising turn which turned into a little poem. Hope you enjoy.

The Mountain of Est

Am I the best? The worst?
The most...the least?
The fastest...the slowest...the dumbest...the smartest?
What is my -est?
What is your -est?
What do you hold the record for?
Each of us is all of these things when compared to someone who is not
It is a treacherous slope....the Mountain of Est
Preparing and hoping
Plotting your ascent
Conquering your fears and the doubts of others
Overcoming each obstacle presented

the almost’s......almost got to the top, almost made it

the If -er’s......if I was faster, if I was smarter

the because of’s....because of my job/responsibilities, because they wouldn’t let me...
Each of these is pushed down the mountain to the foot of Est
Where they become the least
I will continue to scale the slopes of my own Est
That is only what each of us can do
Your Est is not my Est
Est is one of those magical, devious relative mountains
It is a different height for each person
But the summit is always in the same place
It’s slopes are impossibly intimidating no matter the height
Each record of Est is etched in your mind
The magical peak of Est is in your own heart

Zhongming said...

The record (Continuation from the snowy woods)

Memo of day two, 10:05am Friday, 21st Jan 2000.

I was still in half conscious mind when I heard someone calling my name in close range. My body was almost senseless and it felt numb after sleeping in the wild throughout the night. I saw bright orange lights with my half opened eyes. Which I've only realize that it's campfire later. 

"He's awake!! Hey John are you alright? Can you recognize us?" Jennifer and Sam was calling out to me as if I am almost half dead after the plane crash. I thought it was a dream. The snowy woods is just too remote and there isn't anybody there. Nobody lives there, no food, no water and its freezing.

"aww, to se..e you here.." And I pass out after saying that. Sam was a doctor and Jennifer his girlfriend. They're both the survivors of the plane crash. I was lucky that they found me. They were hurt pretty bad but luckily it doesn't affect their maneuver. If it did, they probably won't get to me. 

I had a dream while Sam was operating on my right foot. I dream of my future. The place where I live with my family. It was a wooden house that I built together with my wife. I dream about how we plan, design and built upon. The house was a cozy little place with nice cabin and garden full of beautiful flowers. That day infant Jimmy was holding his mum's hands learning how to walk. My wife was in the backyard walking small steps as she offers her best support for Jimmy. I was sitting on the swing watching the whole scene... 

The operation was a success. It was a record for Sam as it took him nearly three hours to get it done. I'm really grateful for his help! We rest in the tent for the next two days with some supplies from Jennifer's backpack before we set out looking for someone to rescue us...

Greg said...

@Sean: That's an intriguing poem, I really like the progression it takes. The last line is very apt.

@Zhongming: A very neat continuation.

@Marc: Good luck getting home today! I like your poem, although I have no idea who Miles is in the second verse. I suspect he's not very important though :)

The record
In the record hall there are over fourteen thousand documents, all stored on paper in climate-controlled conditions. Despite -- or more accurately, because of -- technological advances that seem to speed up every month, paper has proved the more durable, persistent and viable medium for the long-term storage of data.
And the record that I'm looking for is in here somewhere. On one of those shelves that stretch off into the distance and possess their own vanishing point. Indexed by a card catalogue that requires two years training to learn how to use, unless you're allowed access to the Rosetta Stone -- which I'm not. I have to walk the shelves, hunting for the document manually, until I find it.
And then things shall change.

Heather said...

Okay, so I only had 10 minutes to write and transfer it to your blog. Be kind :)

All she could think about was the record. It controlled her thoughts, following her relentlessly through the streets as she ran. Her blond hair pulled up into a tight pony tail bounced as each step jarred against the cold concrete beneath her feet. She kept looking straight ahead. The lyrics to"I will Survive" played smoothly through her head. Her lungs pulled deeply at the air, filling and expelling in little bursts. She pushed forward.

Richard would want the record too. He'd be fighting for it come the day after tomorrow. She saw the glint in his eye, his lazy smile, the dark brown hair with a soft sprinkling of grey, and his muscular body. She shook her head to rid herself of the image and focused on the small flashed of white her socks made as her legs pushed one foot after the other forward. He'd come prepared. He was always prepared. It's what made him so inexhaustible in every aspect of life.

But the record would be hers. It had to be hers. They were her lyrics and her voice. He may have helped produce it and because of him it rocketed into Billboard's top spot, but it was her property. That original recording was hers, wasn't it?

Her feet continued to pound.

summerfield said...

i haven't read everyone's posts as i have two very noisy boys playing with their electronic games. so i could only manage this:

The Record

For the entire month of September it rained, not continuous but the heavy downpour arrived at various times of the day, sometimes heavy, sometimes quite light, but rain it did. It was the record rainfall that the entire country had not expected and by the end of that month, the waters rose and flowed into the streets in every city.

It spared no one, not even the most powerful politicians, not even the most popular celebrities escaped it as streets turned into rivers and parks into lakes. A Mercedes Benz was treated the same way as a rusty rundown old car - carried by the strong current, turned over and left unusable. The only difference was that the owner of the Mercedes had insurance coverage and the rusty rundown car did not. The famous actress on the roof of her expensive home, devoid of makeup and the expensive clothes, wet from the pouring rain.

People tried to rescue whatever belongings they could - a woman held her family's clothes in a plastic basin on her head, as she walked the chest-high flood water; a child rode on the shoulders of an old man as he treaded along, looking for a place high enough for the child's safety; a policeman carried a dog and a cat while the owners chose to remain in their houses.

An old man refused to leave his home, telling everyone the water would soon recede. He knew these waters when they came and he knew they could only rise so high. But when the waters reached just below his shoulders, he was forcibly removed from his single-storey home by his neighbours and brought to someone's second floor home. A woman sat on her refrigerator to prevent it from being carried by the raging flood, a possession she knew she would never again have, as she held the statue of the Virgin Mary in her arms.

The pictures were devastating and heart rending, especially of a five-year old girl huddled on top of a shanty's roof illegally built underneath an overpass; of people who used the high voltage wires to traverse the streets - they figured since there is no power, the wires were safe. When one wants so desperately to survive, you hold on to anything, you count on anything.

And when the waters receded, the pictures of devastation, the chaos of retrieving one's possession from the knee-deep mire; the despair of people hugging their expensive sofas, crying over their damaged material possessions, feet buried in mud, faces buried in their hands, crying over their loss.

Those were but few of the images recorded caused by the record rainfall that caused the record flood that wreak havoc to the lives of so many people.

And then how soon they all forgot.

Marc said...

Sean - really like the idea of a Mountain of Est. 'Your Est is not my Est' - more people need to realize that, I reckon.

Zhongming - excellent continuation! I hope you're able to keep going with this with the prompts I throw at you :)

Greg - Miles Davis? I hope you just read it too quickly :P

Loved the description of the hall, I could picture it perfectly.

Heather - you managed that in only ten minutes? Consider me impressed. I like the way you lead me one way, only to spin me around in another.

Summerfield - oh, that last line. So true. So, so true.