I did not sign up for this

It was a little thing but truly isn’t that exactly why the saying is “the straw that broke the camels back?” I mean if the big things broke our spirit, it would be the skyscraper that broke the camels back.

I stood up and grabbed by bag and headed over to the registrar’s office. Oh how my feelings had changed from my first day when they calmly signed me up and showed me the enormous computer that would make sure everything was going to be okay.

I stomped past the clerks with their patient smiles. Yes stomped because I am done playing mrs nice gal. I stomped and banged on the door. Yes banged. Come on you know the drill.

Bang bang bang.

The registrar opened the door calmly and gave me a smile.

“Hey registrar! I did not sign up for this.” I purposely dragged out “registrar” and added a contemptuous inflection. Everyone does that these days and I mean business.

God she was patient. So patient. Angels are like that. It’s infuriating.

“Let’s pull up your enrollment file. Mistakes are rare but I would never want to say they are impossible.”

She gestured into the air and typed my name and birthdate in.

Soft lights surrounded us like fireflies as the computer analyzed my enrollment record. Soft bells and chimes filled the room as she printed out my file.

Damn why did everything have to be so soothing and pleasant in this place. I could feel my anger slipping away.

She pulled a chair close.

“There we go.” She said and she pointed to a class. “See, this is exactly what you signed up for”.

_______

Inspired by the daily prompt: enroll

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/enroll/”>Enroll</a&gt;

Permit approved

Just this morning, the mailman gingerly crossed our ice covered walkway to deliver the mail. I peeked from behind the blinds and saw the frown in his face as he shook his head and moved aside the junk mail. Not sure of the last time I pried open our mailbox but I suspected that this piece of mail would be worth opening up the door and feeling the cold blast of frigid air.

I waited hunched low for fear that he would see my shape on the other side of the window and remind me, as he has in the past, that if I do not remove the old mail, he will have to notify the postmaster general. The first time he told me this, I sobbed uncontrollable and pulled at his carrier bag until my neighbor’s mail tumbled down into a mud puddle. That’s it he said and sure enough I knew no sobbing or pulling was going to change my fate.

It was a different season then. I was a different woman then. In those days I was afraid of authority figures but I have been cured of that affliction. In part because these days you don’t need to be very qualified to be an authority figure.  But the larger reason why  was due to my encounter with the postmaster general who turned out to be a lovely grey haired woman who listened to my plight and even followed me home to assist with a once over clean up of my mail box. I promised her I could keep up with it from here on in and pressed a little left over bag of Halloween candy into her hands as my thank you.

I wish I could say that I was able to keep my promises.

Once it was safe to do so, I opened the door. There resting on top of the pile of pizza coupons, grocery flyers and unopened bills was a letter with the city seal. Part of me knew that I could carry all the mail in but fate placed this dear envelope on the top. Who argues with fate?

I pulled the single envelope off and ignored the marketing materials that fell into the snow and shrubbery. I think I had read that paper makes excellent mulch. Spring will be upon us before we know it!

Sealed within my envelope my destiny awaits. My heart pounded at the thought and I got a giddy excitement. I often feel fortunate that after all these years I have retained a childlike joy and wonder. This is a moment to share.

I cleared last nights dishes from the table. Such beautiful wood! I placed the envelope on the table. Too lonely and stark! I quickly whipped up a cappuccino and created a perfect heart from the foam. Better, the white cup plays off well against the white of the envelope. And berries on the Italian pottery saucer. Wait. Too staged. The chipped one will be just write.

I held the camera high above for that perfect selfie angle.

Open Facebook.

Post last photo!

“Envelope in hand. Permit approved? Feeling Hopeful!!”

————-

Inspired by the daily prompt Permit

The loud sounds of stars exploding

The days of feminine subtlety have passed.

The new strategy must be to let your power shine.

Let your strong opinions grow in the sunshine of unsheltered, unfiltered light.

Yes, it’s more risky than you know.

People will define you as brash. Your voice will be called shrill.

They will define your strong options anger.

They will think you are on your period, menopausal or a lonely unloved she-devil.

You may hear that you are a FEMNAZI.

The old strategy has lost its usefulness. Cajoling and influencing is the strategy of the lesser.

But you are equal.

Not a lesser planet circling a male sun.

Shine as the star that you are.

The universe will be twice as bright.

Awakening

Curled up small, the creature began to sense its surroundings. All senses were engaged. Was it warm or cold? Skin pressed against a hard surface sensed cold and wet.

A limb tentatively reached from its warmer center, pushing outwards. Roughness turned sharp and a sting caused the limb to retract quickly.

The creature discovered its breath and pulled in long gulps of salty air. The breath had a rhythm.

In pause out pause.

The creature curled into its warm belly.

In pause out pause.

In pause out pause.

Focus on the sounds, the creature thought. With thought, came awareness.

The creature held the breath in its core and noticed the rhythmic sound continued.

I know this sound, the creature thought.

It let the word ‘I’ sit in its brain and turned it around, inspecting the word and considering.

I.

Neurons fired. Images formed in the darkness of her closed eyes. Pupils constricted and the breath sped up as adrenaline flushed through her body.

She remembered.

Inspired by the daily prompt: creature

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/creature/”>Creature</a&gt;

Resisting the propaganda machine.

Propaganda is pervasive and we are more easily influenced than we would like to admit. Information is flowing so quickly we are drawn to shortcuts to make sense of the world around us. Simplification of complex ideas to a single emotional meme works like a virus. Right, left or center, no one is immune.

Some signs that infectious content has hijacked your brain:

  • You believe you completely understand the issue with little research.
  • You are emotionally attached to purity of your perspective. Other perspectives are seen as a threat.
  • You find you are unable to sustain a meaningful exploration of an idea without resorting to prepackaged words and slogans.
  • You reject nuanced discussion.

What we can do:

  • Really talk to people we disagree with.
  • Fact check.
  • Use of own voice and our words to describe our perspective. Avoid the slogans that come easily.
  • When things get nasty, exit with strength and dignity.
  • Learn to recognize propaganda
  • Find out more about propaganda theory.

Here’s a few articles about propaganda that I enjoyed.

On our drive to be influenced.

On our need to simplify in an age of information overload.

photo credit: “Nixon is the One” from examples of propaganda by Caitlyn Jordan. An artful collection of propaganda posters.

Inspired by the daily post. <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/theory/”>Theory</a&gt;

Images of elegance

Michelle Obama’s elegant outfit harkens back to Kate Hepburn.

Some say there is no such thing as white privilege.

But google images tell me otherwise.

Screenshot of top images for a google search for “elegant women.”

Inspired by Daily Word

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/elegance/”>Elegance</a>

photo credit, Michelle Obama: TYLER GOLDEN/NBC/NBCU PHOTO BANK/GETTY IMAGES