Sky secrets

From the 642

Prompt: A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year-old son. Describe the color of the sky right before the storm hit.

With the sun just barely tucked beneath the horizon, clouds began to overtake the sky. The faint pinks and purples of the sunset became tainted by the storm’s approaching grey- the result a color not unlike a tear running down a dusty cheek. The more the clouds gathered, the more the sky smudged until a masking charcoal shadow had overpowered any hopeful hues.

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Imaginary Friend

Preface: Nearly 2 years ago my boyfriend gifted me a book for my birthday called “642 Things to Write About.” I haven’t yet completed all 642 things, but I figured as I write, I will post. They may be poorly formed ideas and rather strange, but that’s what I like to write.

From the 642

Prompt: Introduce your long-time imaginary friend.

Mr. Pogo was a shadow. He was named as a result of my limited vocabulary to describe the banister from which he arose. A literal pillar, he represented the strengths I knew but needed reminding of. He was a wise guide and a comfort for all the nights I felt alone. His stories were often fables with lessons to be learned. He had no discernable face, but I can tell you his eyes were accepting and kind. He did not make me laugh because he didn’t need to, for it brought a smile to my face just to know he was there. One of his best feature was his magical yellow hat under which he safely kept all the secrets of my childhood.

Reality Check

Re: Media’s recent bad news
Originally posted on Facebook, November 14, 2015.

“With all the recent discourse on global issues flooding social media, I couldn’t help but add my two cents. I typically find it hard to share thoughts on subjects as complex as this since I am not entirely sure about what I think or feel, but I think that acknowledgement in itself is an important piece in understanding the bigger picture. Fact is, as I sit safely in my home with my family nearby, half studying for an exam for my first-rate post-secondary education and freely reading posts about the evil around the world from a distance, I am reminded of my privilege. I am humbled by how skewed my perspective is of the events that take place around me. I am saddened by the injustice that allows me to selectively choose which lives to pray for, all while feeling no fear for the loss of my own. I am harshly retold that this world is made up of “us” and “them,” with each daily global tragedy only aggravating the divide. I too wish for love to prevail but this world is not fair, and I don’t know how to understand that.”

There is no “I” in Volunteer

Throwback to an op-ed piece written for a class a while back….

These days it is common to see various bulletin boards around the University of Alberta campus aggressively tacked with posters advertising the opportunity for students to engage in a “voluntourist” experience – a self-funded résumé-boosting vacation that combines a few weeks of group travel with a few days of volunteer work.

Voluntourism is rapidly growing in popularity due to the appeal of “giving back” while travelling abroad. Though these programs encourage humanitarian work and permit individuals to act on their desire to help others, I challenge that in the case of voluntourism good intentions are not good enough.

But how could volunteering be a bad thing? Advocates of voluntourist trips, such as Dr. Anna Mdee of Voluntourism.org, contend that these programs provide a unique opportunity to individuals who have an interest in “making a difference” through international volunteering. Voluntourism not only allows for individuals to contextualize poverty and global issues, but also grants the chance to directly change lives and increase the quality of life in a far-off land. Reviews from participating volunteers in these programs frequently express the personal moral rewards of these experiences that “gave their life meaning.”

According to the Travel Industry Association of America, it appears that many share Mdee’s perspective as more than 55 million Americans have already participated in volunteer vacations, and about 100 million more are considering taking one.

As the demand for convenient outlets of philanthropic work increases, private companies are motivated by profit to supply more voluntourist programs. Travel websites can now be found offering “voluntourism” vacations under a separate tab with egocentric advertising that lists benefits to the tourist. While looking up travel destinations departing from Edmonton, it is not uncommon to come across a link to something like Travel Best Bets offering a “life changing” 15-day Costa Rica tour and 5-day volunteer sea turtle conservation project for $1099, not including flights. The Adventure Travel Trade Association conducted a survey in 2012 for its member tour operators in the U.S. and recorded that 55% already focused primarily on voluntourist trips, and 41% were looking to implement voluntourist programs based on increased demand.

Books raved about by National Geographic, such as Pam Grout’s “The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life,” ironically identify the escalating market in life-enriching activities, where voluntourist companies can greatly profit. Many companies already capitalize on the public interest of personal growth, so the millions of dollars funneled into companies offering voluntoursim as individuals “buy altruism” is hardly a surprise.

I am not condemning pursuing personal growth or cross-cultural learning; however, I see a stark difference in “finding purpose” going on a yoga excursion in India compared to spending a couple days building homes in Ecuador. Admitting that our drive to “help others” comes from the interest in bettering ourselves is a healthy acknowledgement, though with voluntourism there is a lot more at stake than the volunteer’s self development.

As Alberta Primetime discussed, the impacts on the members of host communities of volunteer vacations don’t always compare to the surmounting list of benefits to the tourist. Though the grounding force behind a project may be to create momentum for positive change, rounds of new un-skilled un-trained volunteers working jobs that locals are likely better qualified for, and implementing projects that aren’t asked for does little in terms of sustainability and community engagement. Rather than bridging the gap between developed and developing countries, the structure of the volunteer projects may instead assume a preconceived “privileged” notion about “helping lesser communities,” that hinders the local agency to foster change. These top-down projects that attempt to make a change in a miniscule time frame rarely succeed in the long-term, can negatively impact the community meant to be improved, and can also deter from local self-reliance.

Often times the figures don’t even add up when comparing the cost of an implemented project to the price paid by a volunteer. Al Jazeera’s People & Power sent a correspondent to Cambodia to explore how goodwill can be used for profit by both the host countries and the companies sending voluntourists. A documentary was filmed based on the discovery that many of the orphanages worked in are deliberately kept in decrepit conditions to ensure ongoing funding and services from voluntourist groups.

An aspect of global ethic needs to be integrated into international voluntourism so it can eventually become an opportunity for co-learning that promotes equal benefits to both parties involved. Though being motivated to do something through voluntourism is arguably better than doing nothing, we should do our homework before blindly funding programs that encourage one person’s growth at the expense of the other. It is more likely that we grow as individuals in independent travel endeavors through simple and equal human-human interactions, rather than comfortably travelling through profit-motivated programs that carry implicating assumptions.

In thinking critically about voluntourism, we might want to consider other outlets for our good intentions. More importantly, perhaps we should question how noble our intentions really are.

My Dad Is Not Grey

What is this so-called “grey area” we are so often found living in?

Grey (or gray, if you prefer) requires no commitment. Grey enables us to sit comfortably on the edge, straddling the binaries, and claiming no view but the grey one. Grey gives us the voice to call ourselves people of science and people of faith, simultaneously, unquestioned in our contradictions. Grey evades the rules and permits exceptions. Grey discredits all sense of “to be, or not to be” and provides alternatives and escape routes.

This seemingly safe intersection of black and white is the uncertain, the unknown, and ultimately the thing we are most afraid of because it cannot be distinguished or made true. It is ironic we claim sanctuary in grey when it is in fact limbo.

Grey is the weak point in our armor, cloaked as “liberal thinking”. It muddles our rights and wrongs and blurs our decision-making. Grey is a copout – sought by the cowardly and unconfident. Grey encourages mistakes and excuses, confuses us, and makes room for wanderers off the path. Grey dims the vision of the mind’s eye, leading the lost to its tempting shade and disguised security.

Where grey is superficially safe, the ends of the spectrum are, in contrast, dangerous. A black and white life is for the bold, daring, and sure. It demands courage, fully formed ideas, arrogance, and an unshakeable foundation. It asks us to sometimes appear close-minded to the grey-dwellers, but in reward provides us with an absolute. It separates our logic from emotion to lay down a clearly paved road of thought. In a world black and white, there is knowledge, power, and truth. To get there we must jump, and not fear falling.

Grey is required for growth, and much experience is needed before one can settle into more distinct shades of living. Few people I know seem to find their place in a black-and-white world, though one wise man once told me “the only thing that matters is what you do.” To this day I have not heard words less grey.

Island Girl

Kiera Prasad


Before it all:

This is my sure shore, where the sun shines idealism onto glittering specks of sand as it has for the last eighteen years. Since the vegetation is not yet tall enough to cast any gloom, the only shadows that exist are from clouds that pass too quickly to be noticed. The ground feels solid—though newly made—built upon teachings from my family. But it is more isolated than others, more sheltered. It is constructed so safely I feel only the warmth of the sun, never even noticing the moon’s changing tides. To me, everything is still. My shape is whole, formed by clear black-and-white moral grounds laid by my parents’ example. I live too secure above the earth to pay any mind to the deep-blue expanse that surrounds me. It probably looks deeper than it is just from my assured perspective. My family is my foundation, my main basic need to serve the rest—my identity. My place is set and I know it, and I am comfortable and carefree here. The only sound I hear is my own noise, which itself is an echo of my parents’ words reverberating in romanticized air. Their voice is mine. I am happy because of privilege and nothing to be unhappy about. In this, my own world, I live surely and with ease, as a child should.

This was my island, until the waves came.

November 17, 2011:

The air was cold and dark, and ghosts of frost snaked in front of our vehicle as we sped down the Whitemud. The roads were quiet and the sky was still. At a red light, he peered through the shadows on my face with heavy eyes to say, “There’s something I’d like to tell you.”

From the words that passed next, my life would change forever. Strangely enough, I cannot actually recall what he said to express that he and Mom were separating, perhaps because I was listening to something else.

It was the sound of the first crash of a shattering truth: everything was about to become different. The facts dragged me from my contented idealistic tower into a deep mess, just to roll me back to reassess all I thought I knew so well.

That day I heard a voice telling me it was time to grow up.

I’ve been hearing voices ever since.

Later that night:

“Take a leap of faith with me,” he said.

Her eyes were glazed over, and tears stained her cheeks. Her mind was hidden, tucked away from the confrontation, protected by an impassable barrier his words could not cross. To me she was not even present, seated like an empty shell on the couch.

“Try! Failure could be an attempt we could grow from,” he urged.

The words surged like an overwhelming be-all-end-all option and crashed dead into her already made-up mind.

With half a heart, she nodded.

It was at that moment I knew their time had come to an end. They must have known it then too.

I had no part in the conversation other than to listen. In one swift motion, their solution crumbled and overflowed into my awareness. My vision of real-life fairy tales was sucked into the deep abyss of a childhood now over. My ideal of romance, embodied in my parents’ marriage, was washed away—scattered fragments to be used in a new idea.

The following month:

All but three inhabitants of the house carried on as if nothing was different, because to them, life was as it always was. My grandma, a side casualty in the whole event, sat on the couch, headphones blasting plugged into her iPad. She mumbled something or other, probably foreshadowing the impending instability she never asked for or deserved.

For my two younger brothers, it was eat, play, sleep, repeat, with little interest for much else. Boys will be boys, and children live in a realm that is completely their own. I knew this.

They didn’t notice, or couldn’t expect that the base under them was slowly shifting, the safeguard around them losing shape.

The façade of trying was not as obvious to them as it was to me. The ground around me was eroding so quickly I could hardly stand upright. What was passed off as the relationship my parents always had —a lame attempt that was somehow undetectable to anyone else—was an utter lie to me. I avoided being home to be less subject to their vacant expressions, forced interaction, and empty “How was your day?” small talk.

While everyone else had been fooled by the calm before the storm, I floated with my parents in limbo. It felt pathetic.

They had drowned my idealism in a pool of harsh reality that a supposed “50% of marriages” eventually face. What’s worse is that for a brief moment they introduced some small hope through an idea.

For a month, I watched painfully as my father’s belief—a reset, a fresh start, a leap of faith, a transcendent solution—did not translate to my mother. For a month, I watched them fake an attempt to fix things, and for a month I felt a stagnant pool of discomfort in my gut.

I also made the mistake of seeking to understand the idea, and it pulled me down with it.

One night after a teary-eyed conversation in the car:

My father.

He gushes,

I could be his legacy.

I could understand.

It could be me to triumph, their phoenix, their flame.

Try.

He dives full might, splashes,

the floating debris transformed,

washed, atoned,

in me.

Imagine, he prompts,

dream.

And the wise caresses my cheek.

This is for you.

A gift, pupils dilate at my core,

Humble and heavy,

but please see,

his reflection.

Try.

A few days before Christmas:

All of us sat in a silence no one had the words to break. Dad was moving out. Our family as we had always known it would never be the same.

My baby brother asked “Why?” and the sound of his voice, asking a question no answer could rightly justify, sorely rang in our ears, weakened our hearts, and seemed to challenge the powerful force of the separation of our family’s two pillars.

We held one another, as if we could somehow, just for one extra moment, contain the flow of change that was already gushing.

A part of who I was felt as if it drifted away, and the remainder stayed asking to be re-arranged. I wasn’t prepared to have my identity, which was harvested out of my stable notion of family, shift with no place to go.

January, and throughout the following year:

Sound waves carrying the voices of others in different amplitudes and frequencies struck my ears in an unharmonious tune. The opinions of society had no place in my renewal of who I was, but each word spoken was spurt in my face as I tried to redefine family and manage the changes. The raging emotions of a confused world toyed with my progress to identify myself in relation to it all.

“But they were the golden standard couple! If they couldn’t make it, we don’t stand a chance.”

“Your parents are so courageous, not everyone can make that decision.”

“Some people who shouldn’t be married still are, and other couples who could make it work, don’t.”

“I’m here for you.”

“Think of the children. They should have at least waited until the little one was older.”

It’s not that big of a deal. Being all ‘woe is me’ is pretty selfish.”

“This must be so hard on you. I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Relationships don’t last.”

Each thought that was not my own would recede out of my mind only to return as an insecurity or uncertainty and pound against my understanding of what it all meant. I was trying to see the world’s rights and wrongs as grey, with exceptions to the rules I once strictly adhered to.

Within a few weeks, my dad had already started another serious relationship, my mom lived in denial imagining the situation as temporary, and my brothers just floated on like nothing happened. They were each on their own strange journey through uncharted seas, while I eroded beneath them.

The truth that my parents weren’t perfect flooded my whole being with instability. Seeing my guiding lights unpolished and human awoke a new perspective in me. Their imperfections shed light on my own, and for the first time with a buoyant force, I decided to take my happiness into my own hands. I found creative outlets with art, music, and nature, and learned to have fun by myself. I no longer saw the world through rose-coloured glasses because I realized that it didn’t have to be a perfect place to be beautiful.

Throughout 2013:

Fear and anger and sadness with words contradicting words and actions. This was my mom, with bipolar anxiety and depression.

I watched her mental struggle, her fight trying to integrate her reality into the real world. I received the brunt of it all. Time and time again, the repeat act of the same conversations, the same emotions vented, the same level of understanding achieved, hit me like a taunt.

No battle can be won against brain chemistry perpetuated by personal belief. Will power can’t be as strong as it seems. I can’t help her. Give up. Incapable. Impossible.

The rough texture of months of frustration sloughed my patience and pushed my limits of compassion and understanding.

That is, until I found courage.

April 2013:

For a long time the grand idea of love that was once inspired in me was tucked away, but not forgotten. I had buried it and fought it, but couldn’t help but imagine that something better could exist for me and for all relationships. Though it could not save my parents, I believed it could still exist.

They had been able to harness the courage to make the right choice, even though it was not easy. I still wanted to follow their example, and make my own mark. I wanted to learn from their triumphs and their failure, so I sought the courage to give up something comfortable to grow. I let go of my own boyfriend of three years, for the dream of something greater I couldn’t help but believe.

I also decided to try. My mother, who transformed in my eyes too many times to count, would still always be my mother. I loved her, in her light and her darkness. I pledged I would take care of her even when I didn’t understand her, because I wouldn’t be who I am without her.

The summer of 2013:

With my newly formed shore, I was building myself up again. My faith in the world around me cycled with my newfound courage, and I began to speak a voice of confidence and truth. I sought learning and wasn’t afraid of honesty, of trying new things, or of breaking out of comfort zones to grow. I left home to live in another continent with half of the extravagances I have always been spoiled with. I climbed the world’s largest free-standing mountain, and pushed myself to extremes of mental fortitude. I came down to the earth I was raised up from to finally understand what it meant to be a part of the place I always belonged.

I was slowly letting go of my parents’ hands to forge my own path, and to recreate my own paradise.

The months till now:

Change is a constant. I feel the fluctuating highs and lows of optimism and cynicism as life goes on and people, knowledge, memories, and ideas flow in and out. I feel the push and pull of the stresses of school, work, and other responsibilities balancing with my growing self-awareness. My child-like dreams resurface and adjust to the harsh reality of adulthood, and I still seek my own true love despite it all.

So I am now who I always was and was meant to be, but with an inner voice that will only grow louder each day. My beliefs are the identity to which I have tethered myself to float with the changes. My own voice—a unity and diversity of the voices of all those around me —will respond to the changing world. It is challenged daily, and often confronted with second thoughts, and has more room to grow. But these waves of adversity I had never experienced before were the truths I needed to hear to mature. I heard them well because of my family, who will always remain at the core of who I am.

Today:

I can surely say that my parents’ separation is the best thing that ever happened to me. The edges of my world that were weak have been washed away by the crashing waves of reality. My overconfident island of childhood has now reformed into a landmass that knows a reaffirmed truth, and will keep growing as the waves keep rolling in.


This piece was originally written for Write 298 Creative Non-Fiction at the University of Alberta.
It was published in the summer 2014 issue of Glass Buffalo Magazine, and won the University of Alberta Bookstore WRITE 298 Prize in Non-Fiction Writing in 2014.

 

Grey Expectations

Mwanabwito, which is never one thing, beats an irregular pulse to whisper “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” An unlabelled speck on a map of Tanzania, yet the heart of the place. There, beyond a taxing red road, two gruelling hills, a perfect panoramic view, and some kilometers down an impossible sandy path, sits this village partly frozen and thawing in time.

At its entrance, a lush shading mango tree beckons visitors and change, under which Earl, the ever-present mangy stray rests lazily in the sand. The mud-brick classrooms a few steps further carry the scent of uncertain optimism. “Donated by Plan International” is scrawled on some of the scarce furniture covered with a replenishing film of dust, left as a broken promise. A hand-written ranking of exam scores taped to the open doorway showcases the name “Happyness” somewhere near the middle of the page. During class, the hopeful stare towards the tired chalk board for their eventual urban ticket, while others watch mutant African bees with jarring wings circle the room, or gaze out from crooked desks to their future fields where peaceful vegetation sleeps in the still air. Fire ants dance to the far-off rattle of a struggling motorcycle that invites anticipation of something good from the big town.

A promising package would include blue pills for malaria victims, immunizations to counter the line-up of expectant mothers, or packs of condoms to grow dry. The local dispensary, craving this rare delivery from the outside, paints an image of crippled progress. It is a building hidden deeper in the village painted colorfully to camouflage the stain of poverty on medical records. The ghosts of poor drinking water and a lack of food haunt the steps to deter new patients. In the distance, a well-dressed witch doctor prescribes magic beans from an enchanted rainbow-trunked tree to cure impotency. A thick air of sterile struggle lingers in the few dispensary treatment rooms with barred windows, where medical supplies dwindle and health professionals infrequently cast a shadow. Somehow, strangely, a neat delicate line of flowers in front signals the belief in forward momentum, and so life goes on.

Nature both challenges and encourages development, in a disjointed harmony with village life. The thriving surrounding jungle unaffected by history embraces an old way the new might compromise. Sparse collections of mud huts line the extending road paved by the rainy season adorned with droppings of the Maasai’s migrating cattle. At the edge of grasses hissing with snakes, mamas walk calmly with their babies tied by cloth to their back and goods balanced on their heads. Women squat masterfully to blister a recently caught dinner on a pitiful charcoal fire or in bubbling palm oil. This sight is often masked by precisely dispersed piles of burning garbage which release a smell toxic to brain cells. Neighbors will wave “habari asubuhi” to young boys on bicycle delivering buckets of river water from a turbid source shared with livestock and visited by crocodiles and hippos. Chickens peck at small tarps scattered with husked rice to dry in the scalding Tanzanian sun. The sky over the rural community blankets a comfort in the status quo, to some. The day begins and ends with the sun’s place on the horizon, with only stars to light the night.

Mornings are greeted by the gentle hum of the mosque that sings gratitude for all that is already in place. Tranquil chatter often surrounds the convenience store, the hub of activity in a quiet faraway place. As adults convene to discuss issues of politics, incurable viruses, and lesser family drama, usually a wailing six-month-old soggy with drool being tended to by his sister, two years his senior, will get drawn outside to play in the dirt or with the local chickens. Other children pass by, giggling. With bare feet in powdery dirt, they kick a ball of old clothes and stop at the shop to greet their smaller friends. Adjacent to the store lies a small grass-roofed structure, under which a couple plastic lawn chairs and tree stumps are placed for the neighbourhood to stretch heads back in laughter and enjoy the shade. The community’s resounding collective voices prompt mobility from hardship in solidarity, and individual smiles speak peace for what is.

Mwanabwito is the grain of sand in the intersecting center of an hour-glass. The village is crafted around the offerings of the landscape in place long before it, yet seeks to slowly grow to the developed world ahead of it. With unsure hope, it will wait for its own time, and till then will continue telling a tale of two villages to those fortunate enough to listen.

IMG_5866
Written as an “essay of place” from my home away from home in the summers of 2013 and 2014.

Write or Die

I feel that it would not be too bold to claim that the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” has been overused in meta writing to describe the power of writing while writing. If you catch my drift, you may also be able to relate to the feeling of wanting to or needing to write, but having nothing to say. Whatever it is that necessitates that want or need (and being unable to distinguish between the need or want to write) seems to be evolutionary and therapeutic, if you ask me. The reason I say this is here I sit, writing about such a convoluted and rather empty subject, yet feeling some sort of relief just having my hands creating words on this page. In splurging my thoughts in these sentences with proper form but no direction, I feel as though I am emptying the trash bins of my mind and readying a new blank page. When in bouts of self-pity, hopelessness, or apathy, some inner urge encourages me to write all my pains away, even if the words are hardly meaningful to me. The process of sitting down and expressing a thought in sentence form requires just one small start up from any remaining optimism, but, with any luck, results in the impetus for a new story and direction. For me, this is nearly always true. In my last moments of patience the pen will forever prove mightier than the sword. It seems my (in)sanity can be managed, so long as I keep writing.

Para(site)noid

It’s not uncommon that the mention of a human parasite makes members of the host variety instantly feel some measure of the creepy-crawlies.  In the West we pride ourselves on the abundance of Purell in homes and public settings, as we cough into our shoulders, sanitize every surface we contact, and take all measures of cleanliness to avoid the all-powerful living microbes we so greatly fear- though I think there’s more to it than that.

I suppose the notion of parasites –itty-bitty germy things partaking in non-mutual symbiosis in any combination of on, in, or between your cells– does sound unappealing to most people.  I would assume that the feel of microscopic viruses or bacteria taking residence in your parts to make them home is universally unsettling. I’m inclined to imagine that the word “parasite” could stir mental images of some foot-long Ascaris monster overtaking your GI tract, little plasmodium bastards hiding in your red blood cells, or heaven forbid, visible blood-suckers including mites, lice, and bedbugs disgracing your skin. Then there’s the added ick-factor that comes with the miniature devils donning virulence factors with a range of pathogenicity, so little armies of invaders can materialize weapons to adhere, colonize, and create toxic destruction wherever they so choose.  What’s worse is their grossness is always evolving so that every time your immune system responds or a new antibiotic is developed to counter their attack, they fight back. 

The funny thing is, the more you know, the more paranoid you can become. Sure, all the physical contamination of another living microbe is both fascinating and sickening, but perhaps we fear a greater evil than the repugnant but brilliant nature of these creatures.  

We fear because we each have a parasite, in the form of insecurity. Parasites feed off your disgust and use your own machinery against you, just as self-doubt multiplies from within with the right environment, to eventually be transmitted to others.  As Inception aptly put, “an idea is like a virus” and so just like a parasite’s mechanism of infection, an idea, or perception, can plant a seed of doubt to grow to a point of resiliency and contagion.  An infective cycle of scapegoating and negative connotations, both are feared for more than the discomfort they rouse.  And to cope, we are motivated to take efforts to avoid, suppress, and conceal. Small and powerful, hidden and paranoid. That’s got to be the scariest part of all. 

A “marvel”- as taught in my creative non-fiction writing class

Your Light

Enter a thinking cloud yearning for a brainstorm of positive ideas, in a way similar to the better-known cumulonimbus variety that huddles in the sky preparing for torrential downpour. Imagine, if you will, the strength needed to overcome the weight of a mind sinking into darkness, not unlike clouds that sulk in a grey sky. Picture synapses firing and particles colliding where lifting thoughts are overshadowed by cynicism, pessimism, fear. The world below is in shadow too; though breaking that dark is not out of reach.

With force, feel the charge separation of emotion, that pushes negativity down to knock electrons loose and escape their confinement. See how to create an electric idea and sense the blinding electrostatic discharge of confident thought that takes you down to earth with it, back to the planet’s positively charged surface. For the brief flicker of your magnificent light, know the power of self-trust. In an insincere applause, thunder will twist the sound of your strength to scare you, to make your second guess your spark. There is no thunder without lightning, but do not let it fool you. Your light travels faster, and though it will never be free of both positive and negative charges, it is capable of great things.

 

A “marvel”- as taught in my creative non-fiction writing class