A Not-How-I-Want-It-to-End Situation

As I’m facing a potentially not-how-I-want-it-to-end situation, I’m trying to both face reality as well as continue pursuing my dreams. The process of sorting out my finances for this semester has been even more difficult than usual as I am to partake in my fifth year of university (for just one semester). Because of this, my aid dropped substantially, and I only have two days to finish financial registration before a $100 fee is added to my account. I still need nearly $3500. Waiting on the government and other financial resources to finish coming through or contact my family is really challenging, and the waiting is almost making me want to just drop out and attempt living my life now. It’s tempting, but I’m so close to earning my bachelor’s in English, and there is no way I would actually give up now.

It also isn’t encouraging me about what will come after the semester ends. I have no money and no idea where I will end up, but I have ideas. Ideas about where I might like to go and what I would like to do. Some of these ideas are things which could take years to achieve, but I want to pursue them the most. Ideas which have been lifelong dreams, like living in England and becoming fluent in French. Others have been in existence for quite as long, but they have just as much appeal, like getting a master’s in Linguistics and writing.

Even through these confusing (and somewhat terrifying) times, I have so many people who are supporting my ideas and dreams. Although very, very few (if any) can support me financially through all of this, basically everyone I know is constantly encouraging me and pushing me to improve myself and my talents. To/For all these people, I could never be thankful enough.

Here’s to wishing, hoping, working, and praying this time through to victory, fulfillment, and flourish-ment.

Serial: Part 2

Jack won’t stop staring in the direction of the sound until I start dragging him away from the area. I don’t know who is lurking in the forest, who isn’t even concerned about the sharks, or who would want to actually cause us harm, especially the agonising torture of being slowly devoured, but I don’t want to find out. I take off running, still clinging to Jack’s arm in an attempt to get him away from the creature which not only injured him, but which is also weighing our lives in a very unbalanced scale.

Jack nearly falls over with the force of my pull and from his inability to voluntarily move his limbs, but once he begins to stumble, his body kicks into action and he begins to sprint, faster than I ever could and disappears into the lush and wild greenery. Great, he’s so scared that he’s leaving me behind.

A few moments later, a rock rushes by my head and my hair moves with the force of it. Is he throwing rocks at me? Why would he throw rocks at me? Another rock passes over my head, and I decide to glance back. I soon regret as well as rejoice that I did so. A dog of some sort with a large collar and an even larger set of teeth is chasing me, which is terrifying, but sends another rush of adrenaline pumping through my veins and causing my speed to increase. Another rock passes me and I hear a snarl from the dog, meaning the rock either hit or came very close to hitting it. Jack is protecting me. I can’t help but smile a little at the thought.

I finally begin to catch up to him when I notice we’re back at the glade, or a glade, with a lone tree in the middle of the clearing. Something looks strange about this tree, but I can’t tell what. Jack is already entering the shadows of the lower branches when I step into the clearing. He pauses while he’s still low in the tree to grab my hand and pull me up. We know that the branches, especially the lower ones could be the perfect shelter for small sharks, but we’re more willing to risk encountering them than the dog.

“We need to climb,” Jack says sternly. Even if I doubted his judgment, I wouldn’t bother questioning this statement, so I start climbing, trying to be as careful as I can. Stepping only on branches I know could support either or both of us, I climb as high as I would usually deem safe, and further still.

After a few minutes of climbing, I finally reach a spot where I can no longer go higher, and I hope that the owner of the dog isn’t as light or fit as Jack and I if he decides to pursue us. I look back to make sure Jack is still near me, and see that he is only a couple branches lower. He’s seems to be keeping an eye out for sharks, which might be more important than ever considering we just sent several flocks and lone birds flying, and the attention drawn from that will most likely attract every predator in the forest in our direction.

I decide to look out through the leaves from my perch. I see a sunset of bleeding orange, fiery red, and gold flecks of clouds on the horizon. It’s the most beautiful display of nature I have ever seen, but mingled with the brilliant colours, I see the grey haze of smoke blending with a lone patch of striking pink in the sky. The smoke is issuing from a cabin on a hilltop near the western edge of the forest. I don’t know whether the cabin will be a place of refuge or our doom, but I tell Jack, mentioning that it might be our only escape. “If it means getting to survive the night, I don’t care if it might be dangerous. Finding danger in or around a building doesn’t seem as though it could be as bad as all the dangers we are facing here,” he responds. We slowly begin our descent, but the darkening sky and the muffled growling of a dog are friendly reminders that whatever we do, we are not safe until we are far, far from this forest.

An Interesting Man

With his teeth fully visible and head slowly tilting forward, Erik’s dark, fluffy hair goes from looking slightly controlled and pushed back to being poofy beyond expectation and bobs in front of his forehead as his body shakes from laughter. His laughter seems to be a sort of hyperventilation, the regular ha’s mingled with gasping. His brown eyes aren’t visible because his cheeks come up so high that his eyelids are pushed together into a squint. Slowly regaining his composure and breath, he straights up to tell another story ending in laughter, to talk about his various, innumerable creative projects, or to pour his heart out about whatever is weighing on him or impassioning him. As his excitement flows into speech, his eye shine with renewed interest and curiosity. Even his stories of mold filled showers and clogged drains are filled with enthusiasm and joy, his voice growing quiet with suspense (or occasionally distraction) or bellowing with finality. He switches from subject to unrelated subject without seam or notice, and when finished or thinking, he stops looks to the left and sighs, contentment filling the sound.

Skyping him while he lives in Japan never fails to be an adventure. From his extraordinary array of flower print shirts and patterned ties to his learning another language and his ever-growing game collection, his appearance and stories never fail to impress me and brighten my day. He loves cooking with unknown foods and inviting me to help from half way around the world, while I tell stories of my day at the library or talk about my crochet and knitting projects and creations. I “learn” one or two Japanese words or phrases from my enthusiastic teacher which I forget not long after hitting the red phone button at the bottom of the screen. My thoughts linger on the conversations about God and his love and our beliefs and our discussions about our incredibly different, but similarly passionate, futures. This young Ted Mosby and I connected so quickly over our similar love for language and passion for creativity, though it took a several months to actually begin our friendship. A friendship that with hopefully last for years, if not a lifetime.

Prompt: Write about the most interesting person/people you met this year.
(I technically met Erik last fall, but we didn’t begin conversing or become friends until this spring.)

Boone County Library

The slightly distant beeping and clunking of musty, bound pages and their covers being checked in and out at the “L” shaped counter is just as loud as the quiet turning of thin leaflets of dead trees worked into pieces of art. The exhilarating thrill and calming peace that accompanies these sounds is only intensified as I slowly step through shelves, worlds, and cultures while looking with a quick pulse, my eyes sparkling, and the right corner of my mouth pulling back into a bit of a smile. Even though I’m not allowing myself to check out any books for the fear of never accomplishing what I must, I allow myself to become lost in the sweet smell and the wonderful words. I carefully rummage through the copious amounts poetry, perfect selection of Charles Dickens, the modest array of languages books, the various world history collections, and diverse folklore.

There is a young man typing on his computer near an oddly placed window in a comfortable chair, watched by the cheap bust of an elegant women. The bust depicts her too poorly for her features and imagined stature. Another young man, who works at the library, continually slips in an out of a door marked “Employees Only” with a look of both irritation and elation covering his square, tan face. More beeping and clunking sounds as another patron retrieves books to temporarily name their own. This sound is my own reminder that I cannot do such today and that it is my time to leave the wondrous smell, feel, sound, and appearance of the library and books. I slowly and reluctantly leave the ever-used, two-story building which is overflowing with its marvellous fare.

Pale Pink Paper

“Hey, Nathan? I lost the notes for our assignment.”

We went to a concert, took notes in response to some very specific questions, and enjoyed the company of the British man sitting behind us so we could get our experiential credit for a class, and I lost our notes. I wasn’t back in my dorm for ten minutes before I reached over to were I put the pale pink paper covered in scribbled, doctor-like scratches and messy, yet readable cursive to find that it was no longer there. Not only were the notes for our semi-drowsy, semi-entertaining course, but they also had some witty add-ins and comical sketches intermingled with the two dancing scripts. I was panicking as I carefully unstacked worn books, pulled back colourful blankets, opened organised drawers, and looked underneath the low-laying bed.

Nowhere. The notes were gone.

As I tried to calm myself down to avoid an anxiety attack, I pulled out the simple cream-coloured program and began to look online to find the orchestral pieces.

“Another hour and a half of listening to the same music again. Oh, joy,” I murmured sarcastically as I pulled out my phone to inform my friend of our newly perceived dilemma.

I started moving the furniture around in hopes of finding the sheet of paper for fear of my lacking ability to remember how the various songs sounded. I searched for several minutes, fully aware that I had taken the paper out and placed it inside the book which would be cited in our assignment, so I checked the pages again, gently turning every page until I had seen the entire book. It still wasn’t held inside, hugged in safety near the spine.

“Sam and Christina Jo took good notes as well, I’ll ask them if they can send us photos or let us borrow them,” Nathan replied.

That is exactly what occurred.

Several months later, as my roommate and I were rearranging the furniture for moving out for the summer, I moved my bed away from the wall for the umpteenth time to see a carefully folded piece of pale pink paper float to the ground.

Prompt: write about a loss.

Would you like to read about the imagined adventures of the pale pink paper as another random prompt? If so, let me know via the comments down below.

What’s something you’ve lost when it was (at least seemingly) dire that you have it and found when it held no more importance?

Confession 2: Three Songs

Choosing just three songs to deem the most important in my life is a near impossible task. There are loads of songs out there which I love and which hold a lot of meaning to me, but the longer I think about it, the fewer songs actually seem important. After dwelling on this for a while, I have chosen songs which greatly impacted my childhood/adolescence as well as which continue to impact my life now.

“A Minute Without You” by Hanson might be the only song with lyrics that I will always see as truly important in my life. This song became the song claimed and shared between us Boggus girls. I have no idea when or how it happened, but ever since I was a little girl, I have always seen this as a song for my sisters and me. It holds so many memories and longings within its chords, lyrics, and harmonies. Anytime I hear it, all I can think of is how much I want to be with my sisters.

When I was in junior high and high school and Shawn, Kelly, and I were together, we would dance to this song. I think the most memorable time was when our grandparents were in town and we were sent to the store to get a few things. We had formed the joyful habit of dancing in the Walmart parking lot a long time before this, so after we checked out we went back to Shawn and Kelly’s cars and started blaring the music. Rather quickly we received a phone call asking what was taking us so long, so we were winding down and getting ready to leave when Kelly realised she had locked her keys in her car.

Other than it being a fun and crazy evening, I can’t remember anything special about that particular time, but it is one of my happiest memories.

I still remember hearing “The Fellowship” by Howard Shore and “Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams on the trailers and in advertisements before the movies came out. These two are incredibly commonly heard now, especially by The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fans. I’ve loved both of these fandoms for almost as long as I can remember. Obviously, Harry Potter came a bit later, and I didn’t actually get involved in reading the books and watching the movies until a little bit later, but it actually holds a little bit more importance to me than LOTR, and I am quite obsessed with both.

The Lord of the Rings was always a story of adventure and hope for me, and I’ve always greatly admired the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. So when the movies came out, my family watched them. I remember going to the theatre on Christmas Day to see The Return of the King, which thus began a family tradition. “The Fellowship” and the entirety of LOTR has always made me long to do what ever I can to make the world a better place, even if I seem like an unlikely candidate for doing so.

Harry Potter, on the other hand, was there for me when I felt like no one and nothing else was. My sisters had just both moved out of town, which meant the two people that I felt I could tell anything to and the two people I knew would always be my friends were no longer just down the hall or across town. Before this, even though we weren’t allowed, my sisters and I watched all the Harry Potter films that had been released (which was through Order of the Phoenix). I had attempted reading the books multiple times before, but was always caught by my parents. I had been feeling incredibly sad and alone after they moved out, and had started to lose all interest in everything. The pain I had been feeling became emptiness, and I just started to not feel.

After a couple of months, I was walking through the library as I often did, and I saw the Harry Potter books. I decided to check one out. Little did I know, this was the first step into feeling alive again. I gained so many friends in those books, and eventually gained friends in high school and on through becoming a fan of them. Neville and Hermoine helped me understand myself and become comfortable, and even proud, of who I was. Neville was the forgetful child who always had all sorts of things happen to him, and I was that child as well. Hermoine was the smart child who strove to do her best in everything she did and tended to prefer her time in the company of books, although she wanted human companionship as well, and I was too. Through seeing these two characters grow and find friendship and start believing in themselves, I was able to as well.

As you can tell, my “most important songs” don’t hold any importance because of what they are, but instead because of the memories they hold and the things they represent. What are your most important songs?

St. James

The busy streets bustle as the fog begins to lessen ever so slightly from the sprinkle that is coming down from the unseen clouds far above. Black umbrellas open, scattered and worn, among the masses. The bright red of the public transport seems blinding in the dim light of the evening. As I walk down the street with a tea in my hands, I look up to see a river and, directly across it, a clock tower known all around the world. No one here seems to notice it much, at least not beyond glancing up at it occasionally to see what time it is, but to me it is still unfamiliar and exciting. I pause as I reach the bridge and look up to see Big Ben’s giant clock face watching over the city.

I continue on my way until I reach St. James’s Park and find a bench near the water. I sit, eat, and read to my heart’s content as the sounds of the slowly moving liquid, the prancing joggers, and the gushing couples waft around me filling my mind with happiness and ideas. After longing for years, I can finally call this place home. The British accents and tourists taking photos and the smell of pasties and fish and chips with vinegar will never tire me, instead they will fill my mind and home with constant fervour.

I smell bread fresh from the oven as I roll over in bed and hear my father cutting slices for his breakfast before he leaves for work. If only this room full of yarn, books, and art supplies could be in England. Instead when I look out the window, I see the tiny forested area across the road from my parents’ house in northern Arkansas. My window is open, and I feel a cool breeze drift into my room and hear the droplets of water hitting the roof. If I can’t be there, at least I have the cool weather and drizzling rain that are so rarely found here in the summer but that fill that country with a different sort of life.

This post was based off a prompt asking one to describe any setting they wish. I haven’t been to London, but I’ve always longed to go, and I wish to live in England, thus I chose this as the location.

Featured photo belongs to Ben Cawthra.