Monday November 14th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about something that occurs: once in a lifetime.

Kat wasn't feeling well this morning, so I took the boys to StrongStart. Haven't been there in a long time, but it was nice to see a few friends there and the boys seemed to enjoy themselves.

This afternoon Miles had a nice long nap, so that meant all four of us could go to soccer class. Max did well and I even managed to have some distance between us for most of it. Helped that there weren't as many kids as usual in attendance.

Kat's got another counselling client tomorrow morning, so I get the boys some more. Extra sleep would be a good idea, I reckon.


This is your chance.
It may never
Come around again,
So don't blow it.
Don't blow it.

Seize the moment,
Live life today!
No regrets, no doubts,
No pressure, man.
No pressure.

Be nimble, Jack,
Gotta be quick.
Capture this moment,
Before it's too late...
Ah, too late.

It's gone.


Greg said...

What's the age limit on StrongStart, and is it something you'd send Miles to after having had Max there? I realised you've not mentioned it in a while, and I remember you had a few problem with Max going there but that overall it seemed like a good way of him meeting other kids.
I like the structure you've chosen for the poem, with the repeated line at the end of each stanza delivering encouragement at first and then sadly revealing the outcome. I also like the overall positive nature of it, though I'm (apparantly, from the leadership course feedback) too positive in outlook to believe that there won't be a different chance later on to take up :)

Once in a lifetime
I don't want to die in my own skin. This body I was born into is not who I am. It's not what I wanted to be, and I not where I intend to stay. I don't want to die in my own skin.

The clouds had rolled over in the early afternoon, greying the sky and washing out the colours of the landscape, and the rain had started falling an hour later. The heather was bowed down and looking bedraggled, beaten by the forces of nature, and the wind was rising. For now it was contenting itself with gusting, hurling sheets of rain across the moor with enthusiasm, slamming them against rock outcroppings with the splatter of water in hot oil, but it was clearly just playing around until it got bored and rose to gale strength. Two men strode, when they could, across the moor, bundled up in bright waterproof clothing and tough camel-coloured boots, but even they had to stop and turn when the wind threw another wall of water at them.
As the rain intensified, droplets hammering down from the gunmetal sky so hard they managed to bounce back up from the springy heather, they hunched over but kept going, mounting the last small rise onto a tiny plateau barely eight metres in diameter that was utterly exposed to the elements. The only slight shelter there was that provided by seven standing stones, and since no stone was taller than a metre and a half they had to crouch down to get any shelter at all.

Glory bound, I'm glory bound; I could use a little help right now. The devil's in my doorway and he ain't leavin'.

"We couldn't have done this on a slightly drier day?" The man's voice was interrupted by the need to turn his face from the wind when it tried to rip his breath away but the bitterness was clear.
"Actually no, brother. The approach to these stones with the right intent brings on the weather conditions."
"I'm not your brother." Venom in the words. "And I don't believe in psychotropic weather."
"I don't think belief comes into it much."
"Let's get this over with. Before I drown on dry land."
"Stand in the middle of the circle."
There was a pause. "That's it? No chanting, no mystical symbols, no tentacle-monsters from beyond time and space that I have to swear allegiance to, or sacrifice a chicken to?"
"Once in a lifetime, brother. At 4:58 local time the stars align and come right and the power is there for the taking."
"I'm not your brother. Stop calling me that! It seems too easy."
"Easy? You know about the right time, the right place, you'd fight through this weather to get here by yourself?"
"Hmphm. The exact centre?"
"Close enough."

And sister, weary from the waiting, broken, on your knees, pray into that lonesome silence. Hold me close to thee.

A single strike of lightning, a brief ecstatic moment of glory. And I have left that old skin behind and have this new skin to wear; my brother stands outside the circle with a knowing smile upon his face. The rain ceases in a heartbeat and the wind becomes playful, teasing. Once in a lifetime indeed.

Marc said...

Greg - ah, up to the start of kindergarten. So 5, I guess? Yeah, we'll probably keep taking Miles after Max is too old (he won't like that at all, I suspect). Our main issue with the place is that it functions far too effectively as a germ factory.

Too positive in outlook, huh? I take it they haven't read your writing then? :P

A fascinating tale. Great descriptions of the scenery really bring it to life - I could feel myself wanting to get in from the rain - and that ending... well, I'd think it could use some continuing. But you already have a lot of continuing on your plate!