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This is a blog. Story #1

There is a story, a story you’ve never heard before, about a kid who spent 14 years in school to try and learn, to try and figure out who he was, to try and see what his purpose was in the world. And this boy ended up like a lot of the boys like him. He ended up with more questions than answers. He ended up wondering how he was going to grow up, and what it would mean to do something so drastic.

He was an ordinary person, with ordinary grades, and ordinary SAT scores. He lived an ordinary middle-class life, just like all the rest. However, and you knew there would be a however didn’t you, he did have something. He had the ability, the very ordinary ability, to write. He wrote poetry, tiny little snippets into his ordinary life. They used things like metaphors, and similes; illustrating ideas using the only tool he had, words. Words, he thought, are strange, insignificant things, though. They can be as brittle and fragile as dry twigs, they can be as dense as water and slip through the holes; the white in the middle of the “o”. In a way, he despised words and their seeming uselessness. He figured nobody cared about them, that they were a dying race. They had been doomed to begin with.

Still, day after day, words stayed on his mind. Every day, even if he had not written, he would think about how he had not written. And when he was writing, he was thinking about how strange it was that he was writing. He would write stories about other boys, ordinary like him, and they would be in large open fields of tall grass, or dark immense forests where the leaves of the trees blotted out the bright blue sky.

In a way, he wanted to share these stories with the world, to let people see them, to let people see… him. He was scared of people though, he was scared of a lot of things. Sometimes he was scared of being honest about things, sometimes he was scared of lying about the exact same things. Perhaps saying that nobody wanted to see his writing was his way of staying trapped in that Fear. Because Fear can be a pleasant thing sometimes. Fear is predictable and it doesn’t ask very much of a person. Ex. Fear doesn’t want you to go bungee jumping, so you don’t; that’s easy, you just don’t.

And the more he got to know Fear, the more he joined Fear’s side. And eventually it seemed as though he despised the things he Feared, his Fear’s enemies became his own. They were like two brazen heroes, standing mighty in the wind, capes flapping behind them like flags, declaring their power. And so being afraid of something became equivalent to hating it. And the first villain that stood in their way, as he and Fear stood side by side flooded in dramatic light, was Bravery.

He hated Bravery, and he knew that Fear hated it too. He felt like writing would be the Brave thing to do, because being Brave is all about doing things you don’t want to do. But he also knew that being Brave was important, because we all love Brave people. We throw ourselves at the feet and the mercy of the great Brave people in the world, because being Brave is not ordinary. It is a strange thing to do, we think, to do something Brave; to run into the burning house to save the crying baby.

But still, day after day, he would continue to want to write, to want to get all of these emotions and Fears and tribulations and troubles out of his head and into the page, in the form of these words which he despised, and he hated it because… it would be the Brave thing to do.

And when he realized this, he stopped for a moment. He realized that Fear actually wasn’t so easy after all. Because his Fear both made him want to write and made him not want to write.

So, one day, after spending many years not writing, and then writing, and then not writing again, he sat down at his computer, and started writing a story about a boy who was afraid of writing. And he knew that there would be a lot of days where he would be afraid to write, but he also knew that he had to keep on doing it anyway, not because it was brave, but because standing next to fear was simply too scary.

Posted in Stories by Preston on July 21st, 2010

Forgotten Love

The clouds that day were the color of a baby swan’s feathers. They floated with ease across the sky. The sky behind them was a bright blue and here the clouds were the only inhabitants of the great blue expanse.

You stand straight, like a wheat stalk in a field of grain, only here, you are alone. The yellow grass lies low from the drought that began before you came to these plains, hills rolling out around you until you can see no farther. There are no trees, not a single flower or shrub around. The sun is above you but it is not cruel, the breeze that slides across your back gently is cool and constant. You are silent.

You look down at yourself. You are wearing Jeans but they aren’t tight or loose, they are comfortable. Your shoes are tennis shoes that you bought on discount and your socks are short and white. You are wearing a jacket that has two pockets on the chest and buttons down the center. It is not thick because you are wearing a shirt underneath.

Around your wrist, there are two bracelets, one is proof you knew how to get where you are and the other is proof you know how to get where you’re going. All you hope is that you’re headed some place where you will know how to be, because that is always your hope. In this field of dry, yellow grass, it’s easy to know how to just be. You wonder if you have ended your journey and consider resting now.

Before the thought passes from mind to body a mother deer with two children appear at the top of the hill in front of you, slowly grazing as they roam forward. There you stand, alone, surrounded by nothing but plains and these three deer. Out of the corner of her eye, the mother notices you flinch and raises her head. She looks at you and watches with caution, as her fawn continue to graze obliviously. Her ears move forward and back, listening to the beat of your heart and your ehxhale, waiting for you to move, but you cannot move, you stand still. The irony is starting to seep in as you also wait, your eyes wide, your mouth half open like an animal as it sees light crossing its path, frozen.

The deer wander closer to you until they are right at you. The mother comes up to you, sniffs your chest and face, and walks away. The children follow and soon they have passed over the hill behind you. The expression on the mother’s face as she came up to you remains engraned in your mind’s eye. You realize she understood you, she looked at you and when she looked into your eyes she saw your heart, she saw your pain, your sadness, and as she walked away she gave you the forgiveness and love in the empty language of the universe. The tounges still runs through your head. When the deer are long gone, you turn around. You search the horizon and suddenly it is all gone, you see a gray wall illuminated by the sun’s light through fabric.

You sit up and realize you are wide awake, the memory of the deer still clear in your mind, the mother’s eyes looking right into yours. You saw her saddness, the tears she could not cry. You feel your own tears of love for her, and for the universe, pushing at your eyes but you see the light through the curtain and you stand yourself on the blue carpet of your room and forget.

Posted in Stories by Preston on April 25th, 2008