Archive for the 'story' Category

Leaving something unsaid

October 28, 2012

Poetry does this.  (I was going to call this “Leaving the Rest Unsaid,” but I think that may be a poem by Robert Graves and I think that poem may be about something else quite different, as well.)   My point is to explain why I am sometimes cryptic and don’t spell out everything I mean.

It’s because if the reader is ready for the lesson they will see the rest — what I write will be suggestive and it will prompt a leap to the concept I have in mind.  To explain it in a way that everyone can understand would be to support a situation in which understandings might be incomplete or distorted, relying as they would on the content of the communication appreciated through the intellect, etc., not on a perception prompted.  And these misunderstandings are the ones that tend to be then disseminated through ingeniously wrong books and such.

So I try to say enough to direct someone else’s attention towards where they might find an insight within themselves, I try not to explain what I think the insight itself in great detail.  This is why metaphor and imagery and story-telling are so important, I think — they are suggestive without being dictatorial.  The mind slides around its thoughts, and in so doing, sees things for itself.  That, to me, is teaching a person how to fish and not just handing them a cooked seafood platter.

Of course, this explanation, in a way, undercuts all that.

Step-mother’s Day presents

May 5, 2012

This is a fragment of a story.

There was a woman who was somehow connected to a man who had children.  They (the woman and the man) lived quite far apart and actually never saw one another, but they were close as if they were roommates occupying the same studio apartment.

One day, not long before Mother’s Day, the woman found herself buying three gifts:  a small tabletop fountain, a globe filled with water, sand, and sea shells, and a coral necklace and bracelet.

The woman wasn’t sure why she was buying these gifts, having already bought Mother’s Day gifts for her own mother and, on behalf of her children, for her mother-in-law.  Perhaps one or more were intended as gifts for these women on other occasions, as a birthday present or as a hostess gift, for instance.

Or maybe, it occurred to her, they were for her from these children she had never met — a pleasant if somewhat fanciful thought.

But it also occurred to her that perhaps she was merely shadowing the man’s own behavior, as he helped his children get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with their mother.  In that case, it wasn’t clear to her there was any emotional content to impart to her purchases.

At the bus station

January 24, 2012

I was thinking about a story in which a girl was asked to go retrieve some stolen artwork from a psychopathic thief by entering into a relationship with him.  She was given to understand that she could afford to spare no expense in her efforts, because when she was done, there would be someone to pick her up at the bus station.

She entered into the relationship, and did what it took to retrieve the art, at great cost to herself and those related to her.  When she finally was as sure as she could be that she had ferreted out all the stolen art (like searching a sinking vessel for passengers before abandoning ship), she made her way to the bus station, cold, ill-clothed, hungry, emotionally damaged.

Her ride drew up.  She got up to open the door to the car, but the driver indicated that he expected her to take the bus instead.  She had no money for bus fare.  He told her about others who get jobs in order to earn money for bus fare.  He smiled at her warmly and said he’d be rooting for her, he even seemed pained that his car was full (and he wasn’t going to have her ride on top of the car).  He didn’t act as if he recognized that he had somewhere, whether in that car or elsewhere, her clothing, food, a hot shower, a warm bed, and help for what ailed her, which he had been given to hold in trust for her until she was done, and it was clear that he had come to the bus station for a different purpose — he said he just wanted to see what she looked like and to thank her.

What could she do?  How do you deal with two people with two completely different narratives which need to be conjoined?  She took a deep breath and walked away.

She noticed later he was trailing her in his car, with the window down.  They spoke as he drove and she walked.

*****

I have no ending to this story yet, not even what comes next.  To be continued.