Something About Fear


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I’ve noticed something very curious about fear, both in general and as it relates to writing.  It’s always there, I’m just very good at trying to look the other way.  And we all know how well that works.  It doesn’t.  Every time I sit down to write, there is  fear that starts fluttering away in my chest.  An internal dialogue starts, always self-depreciating.  Ironically, I don’t experience this when I write a post on Facebook; a place of complete exposure.  But when the fear comes, I will not write.  Anything.  I just click that little red “x” in the upper right hand corner of the empty page with the proclamation “I can’t do it,” and busy myself in something else.

At first I thought it wise to figure out the “why” but I remembered that even if I do figure out why, I just end up constructing a mental fiction about it, filled with drama and intrigue, and it just compounds and completely defeats the purpose.  So no scrutinizing whys.

I’ve managed to make friends with my other arch rival, pain, why not this unfounded and irrational fear?  So, I invited fear to come and sit awhile.  Like pain, it too came quietly.  It sat very still, not the jittery, sweaty thing I had imagined it to be.  When I looked into its eyes I didn’t see quivering terror.  I saw a luminous softness, and somewhere behind the softness there was longing.  And in the quietest of voices, barely above a whisper, it explained its loneliness.  With a childlike innocence so tender and fragile, it was feeling very isolated.  Separated.  It longed for union and that union had to begin with my acceptance of its existence.  Another dear old friend just needing a loving embrace.  Another one I had forsaken.  Stupid me.  Coward to the bone.

But fear, when you invite it without resistance or definition, is such a tender thing.  An infant, all pink and soft and helpless, wanting to be nurtured, to be accepted, to be whole.  But this wholeness it longs for is not with the outside world or anything material or with anyone else.  It has awakened into the cold light of an illusory world and has become lost in the gaudiness, mesmerized by the din, believing its fairy tales and its horror stories.  It’s utterly confused.

So, I took its wee hand and patted it.  A comforted understanding bloomed and it simply faded away.  All that remained was a grateful and radiant smile.

 

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Why Did you Decide to Get Married?


A very short story…

“Why did you decide to get married?” Kumar asked his lifelong, and dearest friend, Amit.  “You always said you wouldn’t.”

They had been sitting, mostly silent, watching the sunrise and appreciating each other’s company.  It had been years since their last meeting.  Tea cups now empty sat between them waiting to be filled back up with words.

Kumar leaned closer to encourage his reply.

But Amit was gathering his thoughts.  It wasn’t for lack of an appropriate answer or because he was unsure.  His friend deserved his best answer.  He deserved his deepest truth.  Kumar, knowing his friend well, patiently waited.

Amit hadn’t married his wife, Sarah, for the reasons most of his friends and family assumed.  But he respected their hesitancy.  They were so different to those on the outside looking in.  They were products of different cultures, different continents, different worlds so it was easy for people to wonder what common ground they shared.  Some ulterior motive was usually the suspicion and that one hurt him most.

Sarah bloomed in his mind then, as she always did over all these years; even those they spent half a world apart.  The image remained the same and the familiar scene formed and played out as it always did when his heart responded.  She came to him as a little child, running barefooted down the path.  Her smile rivalling the sun blazing down on them, yellow hair floating behind her.  His heart would stutter and fill him with joy.  She was as tall as the sky and as tiny as a blossom and his most precious treasure.

He waited for her eternally in this secret place; a green and wild and watery place.  Their place.  Filled with butterflies and birds and promises and his own unending boyhood.  They would meet without words.  All smiles and giggles.  He would offer her the flower he’d picked and she would tuck it in the collar of her dress.  Together, they would push their little raft into the muddy water of the river and lay back to watch the sky.  Hand in hand they would ride the current, making cloud pictures and sharing riddles.  The direction they traveled was meaningless.  There was only one way.  Together.

This was their relationship.  Even the daily doldrums of marriage couldn’t change it.  This was who she was to him and he knew it was who he was to her.  All of this rolled to the tip of his tongue.

“Because I love her.”

Kumar searched his friend’s eyes a moment and sat back again.

“Yes.  This is the best answer,” he said.

He turned his tea cup over and set it back down with a sigh.

 

The truth is always in the pauses between words.

Book Release: Whispers to the Sky


I’m so pleased and excited to announce that my first book, Whispers to the Sky was released 8-31-2012 and is now available.  Per Amazon, Whispers to the Sky is:

An entertaining and thought-provoking look through the eyes of a woman inspired by her own spiritual inner journey. Her creative inspirations reflect a perspective gently tempered by her experiences with Eastern culture and memories of her homeland. Each page has been crafted to reveal what may be a hidden facet of our own true nature.

Ironically, and more synchronicity than planned, it was released on the blue moon so it deserves it’s big send-off to my followers on MoonLightened Way!

Whispers to the Sky is currently available in paperback through Amazon.com here.

If Amazon isn’t available to you or you prefer, you can also purchase it through CreateSpace.com here.

Kindle version will be available in about 14 days.  I’ll be posting that link as soon as it’s available.  I hope you like it!

My First Book!


I can finally let the cat out of the bag.  The reason I took a brief break from blogging was to complete my first book!  I’m happy to report it’s finished and off to the publisher.  Whew.

This is a simple little book and exactly as I had envisioned it.  Most of the content I’ve posted here on my blog, however much more editing has been done and improvements and additions have been made.  What a labor of love and miraculous experience it’s been!  There are short stories, poetry, and haiku as well as mindful shorts and meditational thoughts.  It’ll be available in both paperback and Kindle versions and is due to be released within the next 10 days.

I’m so excited!  And I’m happy to be able to share this experience with you.  This has been a lifelong dream finally materialized, but not the last!  I’ve got a novel in the works and plans are laid for another collection in 6 months.

When the release is official, be sure I’ll share it here with you.  I hope you join me in the celebration!  Thanks to each and every one of.  You, as readers and commentors, were the wind beneath my wings that gave me that final dose of courage to go for it.  We touch each other’s lives, sometimes without even realizing it.

Namaste,

Jean Mishra

Take the 10-Word Story Challenge: Dreams


The subject this week is “dreams”.

I am rabid about writing challenges.  They pull me out of my comfort zone and make me explore different facets of my muse.  There are a lot of writers out there reading this right now and I challenge you to write a 10-word story.  Here are the rules:

  • It will be exactly 10 words.
  • It will be a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an ending.
  • It will be in context to the subject each week.
  • A new challenge will be posted every Wednesday and the deadline will be the following Tuesday at midnight wherever you’re living.
  • Post your 10-word story in the comments of each week’s challenge and feel free to comment on each other’s.

If you are a blogger, post your entry on your blog and reference The 10-Word Challenge.  Also, be sure to include a link to your blog when you post your story in the comments.  Let’s have some fun!  Spread the “word”.

Add this image to your blog with a link to the 10-Word Story Challenge page!

My 10-Word Story entry this week is:

He awoke into a dream of waking and fell asleep.

Irony Had a Gun


Here is my entry for this week’s 100-Word Challenge for Adults.  The prompt is:

….The flame flickered before….

A rock fell.  Was that a footstep?  My heart hammered like fists against my ribs.  The cave seemed my escape.  No way he saw me duck in here.  Right?

The fire was the mistake.  A dead giveaway.  Don’t bother excusing the pun.  I’m afraid of the dark.

No one messed with Dirty O’Neill and lived to tell about it.  I wouldn’t be breaking that trend either.  All for 50 grand.  Stupid.

The flame flickered before the shadow appeared.  It had a gun.  No time.  I threw myself on the flames.  Pitch black.  Fear’s the only hope and the irony burns.

 

To see my other 100-Word-Challenge entries go here.  To learn more about the 100-Word Challenge for Adults, and to see what this week’s prompt was, go here.

They Know


This is my entry for this week’s 100-Word Challenge for Adults.

Elsie lay across her cot like a damp rag in the sweltering afternoon heat.  She was trying to digest what she’d seen.  She’d followed the elephant herd  for days, but today was a revelation.  Textbook words long ago had come to life like some ethereal dream in the velvety haze of morning.

The herd had discovered the carcass of another pachyderm.  They gathered around it solemnly, and one by one, each member had caressed the heap of parched old bones.  They fondled pieces of the deceased and carefully set them back, then stood quietly.

“They know they’re elephants,” she whispered.

To see my other 100-Word-Challenge entries go here.  To learn more about the 100-Word Challenge for Adults, and to see what this week’s prompt was, go here.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like Love without Language:  Elephants Pay their Respects to Lawrence Anthony After his Death

A Boy’s Question


This is the latest entry in the 100-Word-Challenge for Adults.  This week’s challenge was to use the words “… I’m exhausted. Shut the door behind you..”

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“What’s the meaning of life?”  the boy asked the old man.

Rearranging noisy bones he replied, “Life has no meaning, boy.”

The boy stared, thunderstruck.

“But why are we here?”

“Look, to know what life is you first have to learn what life isn’t.  And believe me, son, there are almost as many things that life isn’t as there are stars in the sky.  When you’ve exhausted them all you’ll have your answer.”

“But I’ll never figure it out!” the boy whined.

“Some don’t,” the old man agreed.  “Now, I’m exhausted. Shut the door behind you so I can rest.”

He smiled as the door clicked closed.

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To see my other 100-Word-Challenge entries go here.  To learn more about the 100-Word Challenge for Adults, read here.

The Frightening of Emily Bean: Attempt Number Two


Becoming a full-fledged demon was not an easy a task as one might imagine and Moribund the Shadow Thing was attempting demonhood. His target had unnerved him so utterly upon their first encounter he disappeared into the abyss entirely.

Now, it was time to try again.  He must frighten Emily Bean or risk losing his chance altogether.  He slithered from under her closet door and arched himself most sinisterly over her.

“Read me a story,” Emily smiled, flicking on her nightlight.

Moribund sagged.  Not again.  That cherub’s face…

Opening the book, he sighed,‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice.”

Maybe this demon-thing wasn’t in the cards.

The above is my entry for the 100-Word-Challenge. The prompt this week was writing a piece with ….‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice….. in it.  Next week the last line of each entry will be taken by another writer and used as a prompt for that challenge.

To see other entries, and more installments of this saga, go here.