Tag Archives: Britton Minor

Strike the Sky, a meditation


Have you ever heard the wind siren through the

camphor? Seen its sociable branches strike

the sky? They look harmless, and your mouth will 

water. But those sumptuous, black berries will

kill you.

 

Even magma simmers beneath the earth in

silence, and lava snakes through 

fractures. Should I have kenned the

explosion? Ingested the  judgment before

spitting it out?

 

Before she left, the heavens swept me dry as a summer

bone. I didn’t know I wasn’t breathing until the resolve

to keep her close began to stink, pinned my nostrils flat

against the stench. Betrayal comes from the

bowels.

Without

Malice - Snake

Ignoring the obvious veiled reference to sex, his words landed softly. Ignoring the lustful look, his eyes comforted her. Ignoring the bittersweet memories in her loins, his advances titillated her. Ignoring the knot that immediately rose up in her gut; a tugging she knew all too well, she smiled wantonly. What she couldn’t ignore were the tears streaming down her beautiful face; tears willing to comfort and caress a man who had certainly been through the kind of ordeal that comes not from malice, but from ignorance and a circle of pain that could only be broken by the kind of love that she was willing to give.

This entry is in response to Lillie McFerrin’s weekly challenge to take one word and caress five and only five sentences out of it. This week’s word: malice

Lillie McFerrin Writes

If I told you

You will blush if I tell you what he did to me.

If I told you about the way he kissed me, his passion devouring my lips like fine chocolate, you would be okay, your face impassive, colorless.

Even if I told you about us falling into bed, hungry as wild animals deprived too long from succulent, wild kill, you would merely smile at the imagery.

But if I told you about the way he looked at me, with his eyes wide open and tender, with his heart fully on his sleeve, talking to me, loving me completely, you would blush because what came next obliterated everything rational.

It’s hard for me to tell you what he said, to actually say it without blushing myself, but you must know, I have to share this: “You feel like breathing,” he said.

This week’s word: blush

Lillie McFerrin

Assassin

Simple, shy, and unassuming, she was always shocked to read accounts of her escapades that described her as a “cold, calculated killer.” Though admittedly her world was a dark existence, devoid of deep, meaningful relationships, it was anything but dreary. The fact that plying her trade meant keeping out of sight during the day felt as natural to her as the habitual preparation required for every kill: better put, she loved her job.

Who could have guessed that the world could produce such a quiet, stunning creature so physically beautiful that her unwitting victims practically begged her to kill them? She had no shortage of suitors, it’s just that she couldn’t help devouring them at night.

Join the fun that Lillie McFerrin inspires with her “Five Sentence Fiction” prompts. This week’s word is “Night.” Hurry…you have through Wednesday to link up.

Lillie McFerrin

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Booty

It shows the three of them, all lugging massive, still-gurgling, dirty, dead bodies behind them, trudging up the hill; straight up, in fact–a legendary photo that finds many folks shaking their heads in disbelief; shunning the impossible fable.

But history, as well as cold-hard-facts; crime data to be exact, tell us that between July, 3062 and March, 3075, Ruth, Delilah, and Annabelle Sparrow, seemingly innocent and sweet grandmothers, traveled the United States on a crime-binge of unbelievable proportions, ridding town after town of unmentionable tattoo-less men of prominence and greed. No one, neither police, nor widowed wives, not ex-girlfriends or grieving mothers tried to stop them, despite the heinous and open nature of their deeds.

If legend holds true, and I believe that it does, hoards of people in city after city after state after state, cheered them on, cooked them meals, and showered them with jewels for eliminating the riff-raff; the men responsible for perpetuating the lies of freedom that had not only cost everyone their dignity, but had also kept the United States from inclusion in the nearly world-wide peace treaty negotiated between now-powerful nations who had long ago embraced transparent and honest-dealings; foregoing super powers for humanism.

It would be two hundred years before a gigantic time-capsule found at the bottom of Lake Geneva, which used to be filled with luscious green water, would reveal more pictures of three toothy grinning grandma-rebels, plus the incredible booty these unlikely pirates had collected in those few years just prior to the occupation of the former United States.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Infinite inklings


William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence was the first thought I had when I saw this picture in my haphazard portfolio of photo memories. To be clear, it was this small bit (the part most of us know) that came to mind:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand,
And Eternity in an hour.


William Blake (1757-1827) has seen fit to send me a personal augury (a sign or omen) today: this part of his poem, in a book of the same name; a gift from my mother, was one I read over and over again as a child. When Mom gave me a mustard seed pin, I would think of these lines yet again. Thus began my education about the power and beauty of tiny things. To this day I am fascinated by the minute: the artists who make miniature replicas of life from clay, teensy dew drops that only my macro lens can capture, microscopic particles, insects hidden under rocks and between blades of grass, and minuscule inklings about strangers.

My son’s find (pictured above), important enough to him that he stopped playing to bring it to me, made me smile then, but amazes me now. He is nine–and he loves nothing more than time outside running around with friends. That a small wheatish grain could stop him in his tracks moves me beyond words and into reverence. To see a world in a grain of sand…

Lately I have been seeing a lot of the microscopic; the importance of small moments within relationships, brought home by death, Alzheimer’s, illness and the steady march of time that grows my children up while I am blinking–unwilling to take in what I am seeing, yet embracing it all the same. There is no solace in ignoring what is before me. The greatest struggle, however, is not in the seeing, it is in my inability to refocus, or perhaps de-focus, to zoom back out and enjoy life without feeling everything at a cellular level.

I seem to be craving the opposite of Zen moments; it is oblivion and pure abandon that I crave (yet can’t imagine), but only because despite the blazing beauty of my current hyper-aware state, I am getting burned. I am living in constant awareness, attempting to make the most of everything even as life’s constant thrum stokes the fire that blazes within me. Is it okay to be this vulnerable, this open?

Fire swallowers, in order not to get burned, master the art of cutting off oxygen; sword swallowers, in order not to die, must not swallow. Surely there is a trick to living with eyes, pores, and heart wide open. I know so many who seem to clothe themselves with daily awareness as elegantly as Princess Grace; I just wonder how they do it.

Perhaps the answer lies in the kind of sloughing off one would do in a plane that is too heavy. Out would go the unnecessary items; in this case: guilt, regret, unnecessary and self-imposed expectations, insecurities, perfectionism, procrastination, fear, doubt, and that ever-present Everyman persona. Without these companions, I am already breathing so much easier that even my son holding infinity the palm of his hand won’t shake me.

Eternity in an hour, however, may be an entirely separate matter…

Just Weeds

If it hadn’t been for the wide open space; the five-thousand acre oasis requiring a two-hundred-twenty-five mile drive down a long, dusty, rocky, rutted road to get there, and a couple of laid-back neighbors who could not care less what I do with my land, I would have been busted a long time ago. But I have no time to ponder these blessings, this unexpected serendipity that has fertilized my dreams and nearly brought to fruition not only a near-lifetime of labor, but also the answer to the world’s most desperate prayer.

Today I will boast, yes boast, that all of my long-held beliefs have been true; that big-business, money-monging, greedy assholes are responsible for the unthinkable disease that permeates a planet that used to have–yes, I know this will sound unbelievable–green grass, fresh-grown vegetables, fruit trees taller than I, humans who stood over six feet tall, blue skies, a crashing, ebbing, flowing ocean (yes, I know this word is archaic), a cheese-ball moon (humor you can’t possibly understand), and children who could play in areas called “parks,” with structures built, not for work, but for play…pure, unadulterated, non-diseased, unbelievable freeplay.

Laugh if you will, but be among the shocked; those who will bow down, still open-mouthed, and beg for manna that could easily garner me god-like, heady praise, unlimited profit, and unthinkable power (Don’t be disgusted-I want none of it!), all for the simplest of cures; cures that could, if not for the political stand-still of two parties who choose being “right” over “doing” right, forfeiting peace in the process, eradicate cancer and a host of other diseases.

Today, an army of those who have trusted me, worked by my side, cast aside nay-saying family members and feigned death for this project, will march proud and strong; demonstrating and carrying the cure for cancer in their pocket, a cure that was right under our ignorant noses and only needed dirt, uncontaminated water (don’t ask!), sunlight (of which we barely had enough), and time until the perfect harvest.

Lillie McFerrin

This week’s word prompt was Harvest

A wave of deflation

A burgeoning California morning. An abundance; fields actually, of colorful blooms. A camera. Thus began a promising day.

The homeschool field trip to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad left me with time, while my children were attending a workshop, to take in and attempt to capture–in my psyche and in my camera–the intoxicating beauty surrounding me.

Click, click. Smile. Click. Smile. Click, click, click. Smile.

Arriving home, exhausted but happy, I could hardly wait to view my shots. I loaded them up, hit “Import,” and waited. It would be a while. There were hundreds. I pulled up the internet to check out the photos of an award-winning photographer I had met that day, Donna Pegakis.

Mistake.

I was tired. Too tired. Way too tired to view amazing photos expertly massaged into fine art; photos worthy of the awards they had received.

I clicked over to my photos, now loaded, to see if any were keepers. I didn’t get very far before a wave of creative deflation hit me. What had I been thinking? Me, a potential professional photographer down the road? Who was I kidding? Her shots were amazing. Mine paled in comparison, despite the brilliance of the flowers. I took a nap.

Weeks passed. I received an e-mail from Donna with her newly updated site, and I ignored it.

This. Is. Not. Like. Me. At all. In case you don’t understand. I am not a jealous person. I used to be, but when I decided that being insecure was NOT an option, I eradicated jealousy–seriously (it took many years). I am the kind of person who will compliment a drop-dead gorgeous woman on her calves, her stunning low-cut blouse, or her form-fitting capris. So this fresh round of envy, in response to Donna’s amazing work, depressed me. Still, I ignored it, until I finally decided to look at my shots; not to see if I could out-do my new friend, but to see if any of my shutter clicks matched my vision for them. Lo and behold, since I wasn’t comparing my work with Donna’s; wasn’t letting the atrociously ugly green monster control my thoughts about my aspirations, I found some I loved.

Today I will contact Donna and share this post with her. I will apologize for not responding. I will tell her how her work has inspired me to keep my own creative vision alive–versus comparing it to someone else’s and deciding to quit, or to settle for less than my progressive best.

As for those demons I thought I had wrestled into oblivion? I’ve realized that they are always waiting to rear their formidable heads–especially when I forget to remind myself that my dreams cannot be touched by someone else’s accomplishments. In fact, if I am smart, I will let other people’s genius inspire me to new heights.

Das Fenster

Just outside this window there is a friendly dog–a handsome guy who looks like a black Golden Retriever–and a passel of kids, some of them mine, tossing him a branch-ish stick to retrieve. Down the road there are three horses waiting to be ridden; one of them particularly grateful for her new job, having been recently rescued from the scorching desert heat and someone’s unimaginably cruel neglect. Misery, they named her, a sweet irony to her newly nurturing life and what I could swear looks like a smile on her face.

A toothy llama, Rodeo, stands on the corner–not to be ridden–but to be seen, buck teeth and all. Her gentle, unassuming nature reminds me that in a small town, Julian to be exact, time slows down and pays attention to details missed in larger slices of society. I wonder what I have been missing in my own suburban town – what I might ought to begin to notice.

I nearly walk right past these incredible flowers, blooming freely in a very large pot on the sidewalk next to one of the local apple pie bakeries. It’s the color that stops me in my tracks. Are they blue? Are they purple? I don’t quite decide, I just take the shot and marvel at just how much I like particular shades of blue and purple; how soulful they are.

Later, much later, as I reflect on our impromptu jaunt into Julian, I vow to defect from the rat race and enter into a sort of distracted, nirvana-like existence; to breathe deeply like a nearly-comatose yoga student. Instead, I eat pie…lots and lots of pie, which is the other great way to become comatose. It really is that simple: appreciate what is right in front of your busy nose, eat pie, become comatose, and take a little nap–unless, like me, you still have a mountain to drive back down.

Words and photographs are the creation and property of author/photographer, Britton Minor and The Jaded Lens Photography

From Super Moon to Super Mom

Today I extend an enthusiastically warm welcome to my friend and writer-extrordinaire, Deborah Batterman, author of Shoes Hair Nails, and the new and timely, Because my name is mother. To her, and to every mother on the planet, Happy Mother’s Day!

And now let’s hear from Deborah…

Sometimes (probably more often than not) a kind of collective consciousness takes hold in the blogosphere. No sooner does someone post a photo of last week’s Super Moon when someone else is inspired to write something moon-related. I could easily wax poetic about my own fascination with the moon. Instead, I’ll relish the simple pleasure of being inspired by the photos of Britton Minor and her anything-but-jaded lens of a blog. I first encountered Britton via another site we both wrote for (smartly.com). The connection was instantaneous, the admiration about the ways in which we express our thoughts mutual. So when she sent me a photo to ponder (yes, a shot of the moon), as a way of initiating a collaboration, there was barely time for a second thought. Another photo followed, and another, until a sequence emerged, Britton’s photos/my text, all in the spirit of celebrating mothers.

A selfish woman says to her daughter, ‘Men will come and go but diamonds are forever.’
A selfless woman says to her daughter, ‘Diamonds may come and go, but a mother is forever.’
A wise woman says to her daughter, ‘Think of the cup as neither half-full nor half-empty.’

Deborah writes with warmth, humor and wisdom. Her collection of stories, Shoes Hair Nails, is one you will want to keep by the bed, in the car…anywhere you find yourself craving a satisfying read. If you’re like me, you’ll want to read them again. The short story format makes it perfect for a busy lifestyle. Shoes Hair Nails is also available as a Kindle edition (only $2.99), or in paperback ($6.99).

Purchase Because my name is mother, electronically for only .99!  This is a wonderful collection of mini-observations (not mini in their impact though) on the many facets of motherhood – a book that can be equally appreciated by a daughter.

Thank you, Deborah, for visiting today and for sharing – I hope you’ll come back!