What does the future hold?

How many times have I walked on the path of this park? The grass has gone from green to yellow and from yellow to green so many times that sometimes I see green grass and dandelions in December.

Did I see kites on the sky last spring or have I seen them every year? I’ve been coming to this park for so long and always with different emotions. Sometimes the ducks and the geese are here, and they will never know how much I have lost and lose again when I remember.

Elizabeth Bishop wrote, The art of losing isn’t hard to master. / Then practice losing farther, losing faster: / places, and names, and where it was you meant / to travel. Learning loss was never my intention. I lost my father figure at seventeen, and I lose him again when I remember.

When I walk on the path of this park, I see people who I’ve seen before: the couple, the runner in her pony tail, the family of four, the man with a hunched back and gray hair. These details seem inconsequential everywhere else but here.

This is the park that changes and also stays the same. I think about how much I’ve changed since the first day I ran in this park. I walk in it now because I don’t run anymore (I don’t run anymore because of an ankle fracture).

Of what remains the same, I keep visiting this park. As I walk in this park, sometimes I see the clear divide between the person I am today and the person I was 8 years ago.

As I walked in this park, I was often lost in the same thoughts and questions I had 8 years ago. I asked myself, What does the future hold for me?

The park had been trying to teach me a lesson it has taken me 8 years to learn. As I walked on the park’s path, I thought a lot about the future. The park repeated: There is no future. There is no future. I didn’t listen. I held on to my illusions.

Photos of the Park


Inspiration

Louise Gluck’s poem “October” and the blog Writings from the Couch inspired this post.

The Most Interesting Character Names I’ve Read

girl-with-angel-wings

I found the most interesting combination of character names in Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels which I read more than a year ago.

In the book, we find characters with the following names: Big Angel, Little Angel, Perla, Minnie, La Gloriosa, Paz, Ookie among others. Most of these names like Perla and Gloriosa are actually words in Spanish.

Perla means pearl in English, La Gloriosa means the glorious one, and Paz means peace. Ookie sounds like the name of someone child-like. Ookie turns out the be a grown man with child-like qualities. La Gloriosa is known for her beauty. And Paz has an ironic name because she isn’t all that peaceful.

As for Big Angel and Little Angel, I admire the connection the names have with the topic of death that is present in the book. It’s also an interesting way to represent the son-father relationship.

What’s the most interesting character you ever read? Why do you find it interesting?

Telling Stories at a Bonfire without Any Companions

Photo by Amit Thakare from Pexels

The outcast, deep thinker, and storyteller, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, doesn’t stop sharing his stories even when no one listens to him and everyone rejects him in Sherman Alexie’s short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”.

He says:

“We are all given one thing by which our lives are measured, one determination. Mine are the stories which can change or not change the world. It doesn’t matter which stories as long as I continue to tell the stories.”

In addition to storytelling, Thomas has the gifts of seeing visions, receiving messages about the future, and knowing what people are thinking.

One of the problems with Thomas’s storytelling is that he’s been retelling the stories for so long that his community becomes tired of hearing them, but one begins to wonder: are people actually listening to them, taking in their messages?

At one point during the short story, Thomas asks his former friend, Victor, for a favor that seems really simple, but which will take a lot of effort and courage: Can Victor listen to just one of his stories in the future? This is hard to do considering that anyone who associates with Thomas is frowned upon.

In connection to my rookie short story writing skills, I’ve been writing stories because I felt inspired to write them, and, sometimes, I kind of feel like Thomas receiving his stories. I don’t hear a voice tell me the stories word for word, but the stories form without effort.

This is what it feels like to be a storyteller, to feel the call to write from within, to feel a spark of inspiration, to let stories form on their own terms.

Do you ever wonder about the impact your words have on the world? According to Thomas, writers must use their gifts to share stories even when no one seems to be listening. You may never know the full extent of the impact of your words. In the end, you show up to the task of writing, the only thing you’re fully in control of as the storyteller, as the writer.