A gynasium full of students is never this quiet.
Some in the know keep quiet. The rest look to each other, looks of ignorance, looks of fear, looks of a tantalizing greed for information. I’m just sitting here, in the know as it were. Some of my friends are staring blankly ahead, other look like their holding back tears with a flimsy grasp. A small group of kids are loud as they sit down, unknowingly disturbing the grief. They are quickly silenced when they realize theirs are the only voices echoing. They look upon their neighbors in a fear of chastisement, but only feel a thick, encompassing air that smothers them.
I don’t really feel anything, and to feel something would almost seem an insult. Instead, I watch as a young group of girls approach the microphone. They are not yet crying. They are not yet shuddering, moaning, wiping transparent misery from their faces.
One of the girls tries to speak; her utterance a shaky, stuttered version of a voice. She tries to begin again, but must be led back by her friends, unable to use her voice. She is wrapped in arms of shared pain, the connection a kind of wrecking ball, destroying her will of control. Her tears paint a rorshach image on her friend's shoulder.
Another begins to speak, her voice a little stronger, a little more capable of conveying the knowledge some don’t want to hear, some reaching for with hungry fingers, others waiting for the truth to crash into them like a hammer; the words the eyes to see, for to see is finally to believe. It’s real for me though; nothing new, nothing surprisingly horrible.
Ana is dead.
I didn’t know her. Yes, perhaps her and I shared a grade, some classes, and possibly a few words. If not a few words, then a glance, or a look, or merely a recognition. I can’t quite recall if I’ve ever even seen her before today. Or at least, I have, but the reality of her life wasn’t realized until I heard today that she is dead.
The eulogy - of such a sort that can only be spoken to a gymnasium of students - is a little longer than it should be. Not that I’m cold-hearted or anything, but I have a distaste for prolonged emotional stress that would, in any other case, be a bit more overlooked. A young girl dying from cancer isn’t anything new, but no matter how often it occurs, the pain still feels brand new, like buying the newest model car and even though you’ve seen it on the streets before, it doesn’t feel new until you have it.
When the speech is finished, filled with tears and moans and hugs and pain, the kids file out. People I’ve never seen before, and probably people Ana has never met, are crying in the corner, clinging to one another, as if the pain were theirs to grasp.
I used to be called Maisie, or Margaret in the English way, daughter of highland rebel, Ewan of Cluny McPherson. But because of the failure of the Jacobite uprising many years ago, and the threat of loosing our land. I became Daniel Cluny McPherson, the name of my long dead twin brother. The English came to my brother, Duncan one day and told him if he could not pay the taxes now upon his lands, they would become forfeit and we would be evicted. They also told him the fastest way to pay was to join the army in the American colonies. Well, my brother had his wife and child and kind heart and would be no use in an army, my young nephew had not reached the age of two yet and thus was much too young. So I, at the age of fourteen, enlisted for my family.
Late one night in the spring of 1774 I took my brothers' dirk and cut my hair as short as I could. I then took his highland cap and a pair of breeches, a vest, and a light cotton shirt from a chest that belonged to Daniel. I thought it best to leave his kilt behind and instead took his hunting tartan sash and used it as a strap for my bag. Inside I put his dirk, a cloak and food enough for three days. The only possession I owned myself of any value was my Sgian Dubh, a smaller blade than the dirk, which went in its new place in my cap; usually the knife would have gone in the folds of my skirt, but the breeches were no hiding place for it.
I slip out the door into the cool Scottish night and take a long, deep breath of the highland air for what I hope will not be the last time. then off am I, down to the lowlands and the recruiting offices of the English redcoats.
It takes me about three days to make it down to the camps and I meet more and more travellers the closer I get. the first peddler I past, I was terrified my disguise wouldn't work; but he only tipped his hat and asked me if I wanted to buy a pair of his fine shoes. I looked down at my bare feet, which had been that way my whole life. I thanked him and said in as deep a voice as I could muster without it being too obvious "no thank you sir, I dinnae have money." and we went our separate ways. When I did make it to the camp, my mouth did open a bit in awe at the sight. never have I seen a English army with my own eyes, only in stories from my father and brother. This was nowhere near the full force but was at least five hundred men strong. walking stiffly through the first rows of tents I can feel wary eyes on me and my plaid sash. But I hold my head up proudly like the stubborn Scotsman I am and head up to the first table I see.
"Can I 'elp yew with somthin' boy?" said the sergeant at the table, glaring at my sash and my cap.
"Ah'm here tae enlist tae pay off my family's debt...sir." I say.
"Name?" He leans down over a piece of paper, uncaring.
"Daniel McPherson." I answer, and I get a glance then he scribbles on the paper.
"well, welcome too the winning side boy, you'll get to see the might of the British army in the colonies." he smiled and I bite my lip to keep from firing back at him. He looks
Dreams "I can't make it today," he says. It is six in the morning here but probably a more reasonable hour wherever he's calling from. What was it again? Ohio? Oregon? I've lost track. I usually do, because it doesn't really matter where they are. When they're away they're just away. When I was younger I used to think of away it as a place in its own right. If anyone asked I'd say it decisively, the way you'd say "the store" or "grandma's house," my parents went "away." It doesn't matter which of the 50 states they are speaking in, they could be as close as Indiana, or central Illinois, he still wouldn't come home for anything less important than the big game. I guess part of me knew that, even when he promised to get in a day early. I console myself with the fact that he'll be here tomorrow at least. Only for a few hours though, that's all he can spare. He'll be off again as soon as it's over, "Sorry about this, Johnny.""It's fine" I tell him. "I've got a lot of homework anyway, we probably wouldn't even have time to hang out.""Mmhmm," he murmurs absently. I can hear the scratch of a pen and picture the yellow legal pad in front of him. When he does come home they're strewn all around the house and the wastebaskets fill with crumpled yellow pages. Sometimes I don't empty them for weeks. There is a long silence from his end. "Well," I say finally, "I'd better get ready for school.""Right," he says, sounding a little confused, as if he's forgotten who he's talking to. The scratching intensifies, then stops. "Right," he says again, with more confidence this time. "You do that, wouldn't want to be late. You should get into the habit of being on time to everything Johnny, it makes a good first impression, and first impressions are vital.""Yes sir," I say."See you soon!" he booms heartily. There is a click, then the dial tone. It's disconcerting how he never says goodbye. Kim is waiting for me at my locker. There is still 20 minutes before first period so we go and have coffee in the cafeteria. She babbles on and on about homecoming. I couldn't care less what we do or who we go with but these things are very important to her. She asks for my opinion and when I have none to give she gets mad at me and stalks off. Guess I know what I'll be doing seventh period. We've been fighting about stupid shit like this all week. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Morning classes pass in a dull haze. At lunch I sit with Nate and some guys from the team. They talk about girls and call each other fags. I take out my own yellow legal pad and sketch out some plays. I have to be prepared. Have to be brilliant. I try to show Zach and Chris but they tell me to save it for practice. I tell Nate halfheartedly about my latest tiff with Kim but neither of us is too interested in the subject, by now its old news. Th
One day you will be only a memory. But for this day, and every day, until the day, that night and day will be no more for me; yes, that day. The last day through the last night, I will be with you that day. That day; the day that I die.
Personally, based on my studies, I think we make forgiveness much more complicated than it really is and that's what makes it so difficult. it's much like children, they can get offended and 30 minutes later move on as if nothing has happened - so if children are able to do this as children and move on ... why can't we do it as adults? Because holding a grudge is a learned behavior that we pick up as we allow the enemy various avenues in our lives.Unforgivingness in essence is a form of hurt and selfishness. When we refuse to forgive someone- even if its justified- we tell them that we have a right to hold on to that anger and we make it all about us. It blocks us from seeing the whole perspective and also even looking at the person that hurt us as a human being who like us has faults, weaknesses, and can also come under the influence of sin. We have to step outside of ourselves and our emotions and look at it from the site of Christ - which is hard to do if you don't spend a lot of time in His word and walking in His spirit.One thing that has helped me was first realizing that forgiveness was not something I could do ON MY OWN. It just can't happen. I had to be willing to go to God and allow Him to work in me and soften my heart but I also had to make the decision to forgive and release it to God. Once I did that, I had to recognize when those feelings crept up to try an make me angry and I had to counter them with Gods word and walk in love even when I didn't feel I'd been vindicated. Forgiveness isn't about FEELING better once its done...its not even about making the other person feel or act better because you forgave...you might forgive and it could be YEARS or DECADES before the person even acknowledges they did something wrong and apologizes ...and in some cases they never will. YOU just have to make the choice that you are not going to live in a grudge and block your blessings and you have to release these things to God by choosing not to dwell on them, allow yourself to became angry over them, or even spend time talking about/professing to anyone that will listen whatever it is that caused you to hold a grudge.When asked how she feels about the September 11th attacks when she thinks about them, a 5-6 year old child responded "I don't think about them". That was a powerful powerful lesson! One of the reason we have such a hard time forgiving and moving on is because we choose to continuously think about how wronged we've been. We can't let it go because we always bring it up even if it's only in our mind. We have to make the choice to cast it out and trust God to bring healing once we confess it to Him and speak forgiveness over it.It can be done and it is not as complicated as we make it. God is very simple. We're the ones that make everything complex. Yes, it will take a lifetime because as long as you are on this earth you will continuously have to forgive some people regularly but the more you spend time with God, in His word, knowing and understating His word, the more Revelation He will give and the more you will walk in the Spirit - and the more you walk in the spirit
Welcome to the new and improved XRIVO, writerly friends. Powered by endless supplies of kit-kats and chocolate milk (it’s an obsession), Alex and I have managed to implement these new features to make XRIVO simpler and more intuitive, while working to bring you cleaner, fresher designs. There’s a lot of work going on in the comforts of the XRIVO headquarters, and we’re excited to show you exactly how they work to make your stay at XRIVO relaxing, safe, and simple.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your wonderful feedback. It’s made this process of refining XRIVO’s writer’s tools easier and more fun. For those of you who don’t know already, XRIVO’s been featured in a number of publications in the Illinois-Iowa area. It’s exciting to see the name going around.
Anyways, writers, we kind of want to show off the new XRIVO, and the way we’re going to do that is to give you three simple instructions: Write it, workshop it, share it. Think of XRIVO as that simple tool you use to practice writing. Akin to that journal you always have tucked into your jacket pocket, XRIVO is meant to be that safe place where you can share what you want, when you want, to who you want. The security and safety of our writers’ work is our number 1 concern, which is why XRIVO has a number of elements in place to make sure that your writing stays yours.
Your Copyright Protection
Once you submit work to the site, you will receive an email with a timestamp verifying you own the writing that you just put on XRIVO. Keep track of these emails! This is your copyright protection. Think of it like the easiest way to obtain intellectual property rights over your writing that you can manage. We are constantly optimizing the security of the writing our users submit to the public community, and work to continue to bring you the finest security available. XRIVO isn’t designed to share with a public community only, though, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Remember, when you’re experiencing that little itch to share something…
Write it down
Free Writing is the most direct method to begin exercising your literary muscles. Think of it exactly like that: free writing. There’s no bars held against you, here. This is your place. Want to keep it as a simple journal entry? Perfect, click ‘Save’ to keep it private. You can access this work from the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the page or by clicking ‘My Works’. Try sharing a couple journal entries with the community sometimes, too. It can be a lot of fun to get honest feedback from the community on something as simple as a journal entry. Just click ‘Publish’ and the work is readily available on the Discover page.
Workshop it with your Peers
The Writing Workshop on XRIVO is tailored to be like the writing classes Alex and I experienced at the University of Iowa. Thorough feedback is what we gave and what we received, and this is exactly what XRIVO’s tools are prepared to give you once you click ‘workshop’. Be sure to
and it was less sleep;
overstylized, I stir to
head collaborating into
the easy irrational.
neon-flashes of screen,
of dagger-laced text in
my deceitful subconscious,
like a spiteful,
pangs of grief, an undulation of panic,
searchingsearching and too delirious
to distinguish your voice from the
mourning in my ears—
audible anguish, still? still.
at 6am I thought—
I needed you
the ice-tipped relief did
little to douse this
inflammation of heart;
it's swelled, its illness
until my stomach becomes rock-bottom—
it sunk me back to sleep.
Dedicated to my brother Jesse.
These are the first 3 chapters from a work I've been planning for a long time. Throughout the course of the next couple months, I'll be regularly adding content to it in the form of new chapters. I hope you enjoy it. Putting this work together has been and will continue to be something of an emotional purging. It's a bit insane for me to think that I've actually begun to write this, but it's been long overdue.
I'll be chronicling the last few years of my life in the form of a novel, hopefully taking you on a journey that will be memorable, charming, and curious. Feel free to leave whatever feedback you like. I'm open to any thoughts you'd like to share.
A sincere thanks to all who read this.
This is a poem about my grandma who passed away a few years ago, i usually write a lot about her.
the paint is
spread uneven and
left to be assumed
no bulwark no
strategem can occlude
the treacle they
descried is not
aromal on the surface,
mephitic on the
forward they encroach,
an anabasis toward
the mire with
in which you
and I are
prostrated and in
in and in
and in they
the cleft I
mistook for a