Revisiting an Old Favorite: Yeats

Aedh

I recast this “old favorite” of a poem on a new background this week.

As much as I love much of Yeats’ work – even going so far as to make it a key centerpiece in At the Water’s Edge – I love none more than the depth of this tenderly romantic, yet heart-breakingly vulnerable, message. To me, true love encompasses and sets itself on a tier of trust that allows the lover to open up on both of these levels. Like revealing the precious contents of one’s lifelong hope chest and seeing their use come to fruition is how I imagine making such a profession when fearfully yet reverently revealing the contents of one’s heart to another.

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When the Brain Defies all Logic

When I read the Trifecta prompt today, it brought me back to a short story I had been working, some time ago, as little ideas came to mind – Life Beyond the Late Great Henry Sceates. This seemed like a good opportunity to develop one more tiny piece of it, as it always helps in bringing healing to personal loss.

I’ve submitted another little excerpt on these two characters before, so I thought I’d use this prompt to let Henry (a past semi-pro baseball player who coincidentally prefers to be called Hank, though his wife never does so) make another portion of his case to his widow, Megan (a librarian who is not necessarily enthusiastic to continue seeing her husband beyond his grave and who adamantly prefers not to be called Eggs by Henry). Despite their many differences, breathing being the main one, the two can’t seem to let one another go.

If you’re interested in getting to know these two a little better, the prior excerpt is a banter between them, entitled:  The Overly Ordinary Life of Megan Scott Sceates

Today is Henry’s (aka, Hank’s) voice from the beyond, working to strengthen his own case for his right to exist:

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Eggs, if you keep trying to define my existence through your logic, you’ll come up weak every time. Every stinkin’ analytical time. Besides, when did you ever know me to be a rational kinda’ guy, anyway? If you had ever operated on logic where it came to you and me, then…well, Eggs, we weren’t rational from the beginning, were we? So keep operating through your systematic, scientific approach to come up with a suitable explanation for what I could be. Let me know when you get it all rationalized out. Oh, but then…I might not be here anymore to hear about it. Are you really willing to take that chance? Or could you, just for once in your methodical, self-righteous life, admit that you don’t have all the answers that this vast universe holds? That maybe, just maybe, the truth’s not nearly as organized as all those library books that fit in just the right spaces on just the right shelves, forming a safe little compound to surround all those indexed ideas that could otherwise escape and swim around in that pretty little head of yours?

Am I making any sense here, Eggs? Gawd, don’t you just hate when the sensible one turns out to be me?

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So, if you’re a non-Trifectan, did you try to guess the prompt?
(Or, would you like to join us as a Trifectan & work on developing your own piece using the prompt?)

Not to keep you in further suspense, here it is:

WEAK (adjective) – by its 3rd definition only:
If you decide to join up with us…Remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.vQkjbWRy.dpuf

Transfixed

Trifextra’s weekend challenge asks for exactly 33 words inspired by the following quote:

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ― Paulo CoelhoAlchemist

Everyone of us is in need of a good dream – but we should always assure that whatever it is we’re reaching for in our dream isn’t in danger of stealing from someone else’s.

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There I sat, transfixed, perspiration beads descending my clammy body.

No longer could I deny the prospect that dreams really do come true.

I simply hadn’t considered the nightmarish form verity often takes.

This week’s challenge is community judged.
  • For the 12 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links HERE.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don’t tell them to vote on a number.  The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
  • You have 12 hours to vote.  It’s not much time, so be diligent! We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.

Weekly Photo Challenge: HOME – Permit Me a Voyage

The WordPress Weekly Challenge has asked for a share that evokes HOME, whether the representation is literal or abstract.

Home is more often a concept concerning our personal identity that we carry with us wherever we go, even once the memory of a specific place might otherwise have faded, growing dark and hazy. Still, we find commonalities with others when comparing our memories of home life. Sharing experiences, such as a book or a poem or a song, can spark connections (and even serve to make new memories).

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Here’s a writing I’d like to share from my home area, if you’ll permit me.

Permit Me (a) Voyage (from The Third Voyage of Hart Crane) is a poem by James Agee, a fellow mountaineer from Tennessee (now gone from this world), who is likely best known for “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” – a significant literary document about three impoverished sharecropper families during the Great Depression.

Agee’s poem gets a cameo role in my own writingAt the Water’s Edge, when Wil and Danielle are sharing a moment about forced memorization of their regions’ poets in their earlier school years. Though their regions were countries apart, they can relate to this common experience (just as some of you may). She can’t recite the poem in its entirety, but she makes the mistake (or is it a Freudian slip?) of mentioning that she can still recall the final line. I’ll save that for after you get a chance to read the poem for yourself.

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Permit Me Voyage

Take these who will as may be: I
Am careless now of what they fail:
My heart and mind discharted lie
And surely as the nerved nail

Appoints all quarters on the north
So now it designates him forth
My sovereign God my princely soul
Whereon my flesh is priestly stole:

Whence forth shall my heart and mind
To God through soul entirely bow,
Therein such strong increase to find
In truth as is my fate to know:

Small though that be great God I know
I know in this gigantic day
What God is ruined and I know
How labors with Godhead this day:

How from the porches of our sky
The crested glory is declined:
And hear with what translated cry
The stridden soul is overshined:

And how this world of wildness through
True poets shall walk who herald you:
Of whom God grant me of your grace
To be, that shall preserve this race.

Permit me voyage, Love, into your hands.

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Back to a little awkward banter concerning Agee’s poem that’s taken place between Wil and Danielle:

***

“You said you remembered the last line too. What was it?”

She sighed in mock exasperation. “Doesn’t anything get past you Donnellys?” Her voice resonated with the panic she was feeling. Why had she even mentioned the final line? This was nobody’s fault but her own. She should’ve expected him to be this attentive after spending the day before with his ever-so-astute brother.

“Permit me voyage, Love, into your hands,” she hastily murmured, looking down at her fingers that were nervously wiggling and interlocking in her lap.

To assure her he’d heard every single syllable, he repeated the words – each with the same passionate enunciation he’d used at the waterfall while reciting Yeats, “Permit me voyage, Love, into your hands,” even adding an over-pronounced exhalation of breath at the end. His own hands locked tightly on the steering wheel as he drove further into Sligo, refusing himself access to his companion’s lovely (though now-scarlet) face. His stomach twisted into a small knot. Yet, he merely nodded casually, fighting an irresistible urge to allow the corners of his mouth to turn upward.

33 words of poetic bliss…

Trifecta issued a different sort of writing challenge for the weekend:
“This weekend we are venturing into uncharted territories once again.  This Trifextra isn’t so much a writing challenge; it’s more of a reading challenge.  We want you to scour through your favorite pieces of literature and give us the best 33 words you can find.”

Since Trifecta is composed of a writing community and we’re all part of a larger blogging community, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reveal a little something about myself (for those of you who haven’t already read it elsewhere within my blog). One of my all-time favorite poets is the Northwestern Irish bard, W.B. Yeats. In his honor, I thought I’d include a little snippet from one of my all-time favorites among his poems.

I now present to you a 33-word excerpt from: Yeats, W.B. (1899), He (Aedh) Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. In: The Wind Among the Reeds.

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Scan312The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
O
f night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams…

***

To read Aedh’s fuller thought, you may access it at:

In Honor of National Poetry Day: An All-Time Favorite

I’ve Been Tagged as ‘The Next Big Thing’

(Er, you do understand this isn’t about weight gain, right?) And, by appropriate southern states terminology, it’s actually ‘The Next Big Thang,’ but when you’re braggin’, you wanna’ make sure the rest of the world can understand you too.

I’m actually not bragging on myself nearly so much as I am the person who took the time to throw some encouragement my way by making this nomination – and some other folks who I’d like to take the time to pass the baton forward and maybe some of them will run with it.

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I greatly appreciate the gift of exhortation, and especially appreciate MommyVerbs directing her particular gift towards me. She told me to “Engage the Day!” Thank you so much for “verbing” me!

In her post, she explained that The Next Big Thing involves bloggers who either have a book under their belt, or are in the process of writing one, or should be writing one. What a great compliment to receive!

And, yes! I do have a novel I just recently finished! Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share. My best current share is that I finally figured out how I wanted to classify its genre this week – as mystical realism. I’m currently working on its sequel, as well as another unrelated novel between work on my dissertation. But this first novel is closest of all to my heart, and I can’t wait for it to find its way into yours!

I’m getting ahead of myself though. Apparently, there are some specific questions that I’m supposed to answer in order to officially accept such a Big Thing – Next. So…here goes:

What is the title of your book?

At the Water’s Edge

Where did the idea come from for your book?

Its background comes from many personal life experiences, one of those being the loss of a daughter for whom I wanted to provide with her own life venture; another coming from the loss of my grandmother’s Irish father to her in her childhood. The mystical portion was the impetus, sparked by a recurring dream from various times in my life. And its setting in the reality context of the story (versus the supernatural one) came from my ‘little-brother-like’ nephew’s shared fascination in our family’s Irish heritage, which he was studying prior to losing his battle with leukemia in his early twenties. I wanted us to be able to make this trip to our ancestors’ homeland together, and I wanted (perhaps needed) a way to express restoration in the midst of loss.

What genre does your book fall under?

As I earlier mentioned (bragged?), I’ve just decided it belongs under the genre of ‘mystical realism’ (more often referred to as ‘magical realism‘ – but Ireland is a mystical place, as are the book’s experiences).

Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

Funny how my characters have lived among me for these past three years to the point that I can see them clearly in my mind. However, I can’t place a finger on specific actors that match those characteristics. I would want the Donnellys to all be authentic Irish actors.

Setting: It begins briefly in Dublin, then transitions to the Lietrim/Sligo region of the Irish Republic.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

My tag-line rolls into three thoughts. Here they are:

Restoration. All souls need it in a broken world. So much so that some unknowingly seek it out – not only for themselves, but also for others.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m in the process of query letter submissions to literary agents. This process is helping me learn to better summarize my overall project, but I know I still have much to learn in the area of appropriately marketing my work (since it wasn’t written as the product of a business mindset – which may be the greatest struggle for many writers).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The concept for this novel was birthed in early January 2009, and although I had completed a massive amount of it within months, I had to set it aside due to the demands of my doctoral studies. I got around to penning the final words on September 1, 2012, when my characters (and one of my test readers) demanded resolution to their story (or just their freedom from being held captive in my brain – who could blame them for that?).

What other books would you compare this story to?

I’m fairly certain I was strongly influenced by all the Sidney Sheldon books I read in my earlier years – his many female protagonists, with their unexpected adventures and romance always in the way, so to speak (but I guess Sheldon’s Genie is the closest he got to mystical). 😉

Though there are a good number of mystical reads around, and a good number of suspenseful adventure journeys that include a romantic element, I haven’t personally run across a similar read to this. (If I had, I wouldn’t have felt compelled to write about it, I suppose.) The main characters are interconnected from an historical past of which they aren’t even aware; while being influenced from a mystical dream that has occurred their entire lives, yet neither can bring themselves to reconcile (much less admit to) such a connection in reality. This element of uncertainty/denial actually serves to move the story forward.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

At the Water’s Edge began as a personal expression for processing some losses in my life, while honoring those precious loved ones – all of whom have inspired me, one way or another – throughout my own life’s journey. This is a surreal tale, though, combining both natural and supernatural elements to speak to the importance of relationships with both those in our present and the ancestors of our past. After all, what’s life without a little magic sprinkled in?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Readers are likely going to feel pulled along in indecision with Danielle in the decisions she’s going to finally have to face, both practically and relationally, as they become drawn into the lives and experiences of the Donnelly family with her.

I’ve included excerpts from the Irish bard of my story’s area, W.B. Yeats, particularly seeking to embrace his style of sharing the love of his land, drawing his reader into both the content and context surrounding his subjects.

It’s my hope that, through the descriptive aspects of the landscape, the people, and this region’s poetic elements, readers particularly of Irish emigrant descent might allow their souls to make that magical, ancestry-laden connection with the Emerald Isle.

And now…I would like to tag these folks as…. “The Next Big Thing!”

  • Marla at TravelingMarla surely has a fun, inspirational book in the works on her transformative experiences.
  • Joe’s a Poet and He Knows It (joe2poetry) – with a book of poetry! And he’s bloody Oirish too. 🙂 (I may be pushing it again.)

  • Tom at Cobbie’s World continually inspires me and others with his observant and gracious comments and feedback. I always enjoy reading his shared thoughts and bet you would too.

  • There are, of course, so many more talented bloggers whose work I read & with whom I have the privilege of interacting. It’s an exhaustive list. I’d invite you to peruse my “Whispers & Shouts” section for some of my more prolific commenters, as these are generally the ‘writer-types’ who actively interact on my blog.

  • And if you have a recent project in the works or under your belt that you’d like to brag about, have at it in the comments section! We’d love to hear about your ‘next big thang’!

Dream big,  -jody

Water – A Falls Fetish

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Okay, I’ll just admit it. I have a Falls Fetish.

Now before you go labeling me as a weirdo or kinky, let’s discuss the actual definition of this word, fetish – from somewhere other than the Urban Dictionary. I’m going to default to Dictionary.com:

fet·ish     /ˈfetiSH/

Noun

  1. An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
  2. A course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment.

Synonyms: idol – charm

I can’t seem to resist being drawn in by a waterfall. I’ll assume it’s the associated magical powers compelling me to come find it – – either that or my State Parks Waterfalls Google search. (One can never be too sure about these things.) Waterfalls do, after all, have a certain charm to them. And, on occasion, I’ve found myself being irrational concerning my commitment to get to one of them – sliding deep into a gorge, of which I’ve then had to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for muddy roots by which to pull myself back out; or perhaps dangling dangerously over a ledge to assure that some nosy tourist’s ear didn’t get in the way of my camera lens’ view. But I digress…

So there was this meet-n-greet at our church the other day, in which one of the new attenders mentioned that his wife had gotten him a waterfall map for our area, and I immediately began to either try to coerce him out of it or set up a hiking date. His wife seemed good with it – I think she understood the waterfalls were the actual attraction. Church – spiritual – maybe a little irrational in my course of action? See the connection with the actual definition that includes worshiping, spiritual inhabitance, excessive courses of action? Yep, it’s a fierce fetish.

And then there’s my novel, At the Water’s Edge. Bet you’d never guess that it has a waterfall in the setting that makes a wonderful centerpiece to an important part of the book’s context. Here’s Wil giving his Aintin Aoife (and now you) a worded image of this magnificent waterfall by his own memory’s recall:

“Me senses could na’ quite take it all in – the scents o’ the blossoms, the harmony o’ the waterfall with distant birds’ calls, the vibrant colors more powerful than any I’d e’er before seen, the warmth o’ the sun mixed with the refreshin’ coolness o’ the water. ‘Twas sech an awesomeness ‘bout it – ‘til I realized I was there alone. I had this fleetin’ thought then.  It occurred ta’ me that ‘twasn’t mech of a gift if I didst na’ have someone with which ta’ share it.”

So it’s by Wil’s cue (and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on Water) with which I share my own water submission today, as well as make the not-so-confidential confession of my own Falls Fetish. It’s been a gift for me to be able to share a few of my falls fotos with you!