Submit your essay here! [Inspired by tula and changling's threads a bit]

by AK - Jeff 38 Replies latest jw experiences

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I enjoy writing as a creative outlet. I have a few 'books' in the works. Likely they will stay in my hard drive rather than ever grace the NYT best seller list.

    An open invitation;

    In 500 words or less, submit here for open critique by this board, any story, essay, thesis. Any topic is allowed, as long as it meets the posting guidelines for the forum. As we go along, posters other than the submitter can 'rate' the work if they dare. It is suggested that such rating is done like this;

    Changling's story about gross Jw's -

    Poster 456's poem about women - 1/2

    Five stars is the best. Let the writing and rating begin!


  • changeling

    In Praise of Sunday Brunch

    I used to hate Sundays. That last day of the weekend when you are more concerned about getting everything ready for the coming workweek than you are enjoying the fact that you are off.

    And then I discovered Sunday Brunch. Well sure, I knew such a thing existed; I had even had "brunch" before. But somehow, this summer, my husband and I fell into a routine of going to brunch late Sunday mornings.

    It happened quite by accident. One Sunday morning in June we got up late and drove into downtown xxxxxx. We had no particular destination. We saw a few people seated at tables outside a little restaurant called xxx xxxx on xxxx Street; it was a lovely day, so we decided to try it.

    We parked the car and got a table. The tables are set up behind a waist high, black, wrought iron fence. They sit in the shade of the buildings across the street and a row of Bradford Pear trees planted in the side walk. Flower baskets hang form antique looking street lamps.

    Up until now, my "brunch" experience consisted of vacations or the occasional trip to a family style diner where the experience was neither picturesque nor leisurely. To be found on an ordinary Sunday, in my hometown, having brunch at a sidewalk café, felt mildly decadent.

    The tables are arranged in two rows that run like the street. A different server handles each row. We watched in amazement as the server on the other side ran endlessly up and down her row taking meticulous care of her guests .She was like the "energizer bunny".

    We studied the menu and placed our order. When the food arrived we found it to be quite delicious. We found ourselves talking and relaxing over our meal and left feeling refreshed and satiated.

    The other patrons were mostly adults, with the occasional family with small children. Some appeared to be coming from church services, but most, judging by their clothes and relaxed demeanor were just like us, just ordinary people enjoying a pretty day and each other’s company.

    Next Sunday we were back, and also the Sunday after that. In fact, it is now early September, and with the exception of traveling out of town and a visit to another similar but not so quaint establishment, we’ve made this our Sunday routine.

    It has changed my life. My least favorite day of the week is now not only my favorite, but a day I look forward to with eager anticipation. I now have a restful, even peaceful feeling on Sunday. I wake up late, shower, get dressed, and my husband and I head off for brunch. We don’t even say: "what are we going to do today?", or, "where do you want to go?" We just get in the car and go to "our little place" and have a leisurely, sumptuous brunch, and talk, and people watch, and relax. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s marvelous!!!

    So, if you hate Sundays, if you spend them cleaning the house or doing laundry or cooking and freezing meals to be eaten during the week, take my advice: Stop! Go to brunch instead. Not only will Sundays get better, but the rest of the week as well.

    And if you find yourself in xxxxxxx, go to xxxx xxxxx. Ask for Tara and leave a big tip.

  • changeling

    The "To" button on my computer was broken. Well, not the computer, the email setup on my company website.

    I love the "To" button. It gives me lists of everyone in every office my company owns. I can write one email and by clicking the "To" button I can select as many people in as many offices as I want to be the recipients of my missive. I can even send it to all employees all at once! It’s a marvelous invention!

    One day, a couple of months ago, it stopped working. I wrote an email, proof read it, deemed it worthy to send out and clicked the "To" button to select who to send it to.

    Nothing happened, no lists came up. I was relegated to the dark ages and had to either enter people’s email addresses from memory or actually look them up. What a horrible waste of time!

    After writing several emails and having the same disappointing result. I clicked on the website’s "Help" button and contacted the IT people. These are mysterious, quiet, people who sit around waiting for technical complaints from people such as me. They then do what they call "troubleshooting". They check out the system and through the process of trial and error, find what’s wrong and fix it. Sometimes, they call your cell phone and ask you do go on the website and click some buttons and do some things in hopes that this will find and fix the problem. I find it’s very similar to what happens when your cable TV goes out.

    Anyway, an IT troubleshooter called me and said they had run several tests and had not found the problem. Then he asked me to click several buttons on my computer. Nothing happened. My "To" button still did not work. The nice IT man gave me an explanation of his opinion of what was wrong. I paid little attention as I do not understand technical stuff and I did not really care to know what was wrong. I just wanted it fixed.

    So, I went on for several weeks, writing emails and pressing the "To" button that did not work, in hopes that it had unexplainably recovered and was now up and ready to function. I was let down each and every time. During this time I received quite a few messages from the "mailer demon". My emails were not all reaching the desired destination as I sometimes remembered the addresses wrong or misspelled something.

    Then I did what I should have done in the first place. I told my husband of my predicament. I handed him my laptop. He pressed several buttons. He gave me back my laptop. I wrote an email. I pressed the "To" button. It worked. It’s been just fine ever since.

    Now I need to tell him that printer doesn’t print.

  • changeling

    There is a tree outside my bedroom window that marks the passage of time. It’s actually several trees, growing in a group, in my front yard.

    I think these trees are only two kinds, though. I don’t know what kind they are as my knowledge of trees is limited to "I like trees". But the leaves of the ones in the forefront are small and "leaf shaped" and the ones in the back are larger and more rounded.

    Anyway, I watch the tree (I’ll call it by the singular "tree" because that is how I think of it) in the mornings, as I slowly wake and contemplate the day in my head.

    I don’t like to schedule anything in the mornings, work or otherwise, if I can help it. I hate the pressure of having to get up at a certain time. It makes me feel stressed statring from the night before and I think it interferes with the quality of my sleep.

    That is not to say that I always get up late. It’s just that I feel more relaxed if I determine when to get up, not an appointment or the alarm clock.

    So, the tree…I watch it from my bed through an uncovered arch above the long curtained windows in my second story bedroom.

    I call it "my" bedroom even though I’m married, because my husband has recently decided to sleep in the guestroom. He claims the bed is more comfortable than ours and he also snores very loudly and knows this disturbs my rest

    This is an amicable arrangement. We both sleep better and we "visit" each other frequently. He doesn’t know it yet, but I intend to make this a permanent arrangement. I quite enjoy having my own room. The solitude and peace it provides refreshes and nurtures me. After 26 years of marriage, a little "space" is no longer a threat to closeness, it just enhances it.

    Back to the tree. It is now late summer, almost fall, and the leaves of my tree have already started to thin out. The leaves in the back (the rounded ones) wiggle and twinkle when the wind blows. The longish ones sort of move up and down with the branch. These leaves don’t move, the branch does. They remind me of the kind of people who always act as a group. They do what’s expected.

    I love the "twinklly" ones. The sky pokes through and the light adds to their movement. Sometimes I think I can hear them, and they sound like wind chimes. They are the "individualists", the ones who make life interesting. You never know which way they will twirl and flutter, and watching them brings me joy.

    In the summer (my least favorite season) I don’t notice the difference between the two types of leaves, nor can I enjoy the wiggling and twinkling. The leaves are so lush and full at that time that they all move in a giant clump. You can’t even see the sky, they are so thick.

    I hate summer. It’s hot. It’s sticky. It has bugs. The days are long and move like molasses.

    The thought of summer coming is depressing.

    There’s one exception. I look forward to early summer, as we usually plan a family trip to the beach. I love being with my family and friends that come along. We rent a house or condo and spend a week being lazy. We play board games at night and sit under big umbrellas on the seashore during the day. Early in the summer the wind still blows slightly cool and the water is not always welcoming, but I like it for these reasons.

    My favorite part is evening walks along the beach. The beauty of the water and the dying day along with my husband’s hand in mine are enough to carry me though the rest of the year.

    The tree in early fall is better yet. The leaves are even thinner and so more twinklly. And soon the colors will intensify and fall will be here in earnest. A long stretch of cool and cold weather approaches.

    I love cold on my skin. It invigorates me. And I love to dress for cooler weather

    The older I get the more I hate summer clothes. All that exposed white skin… I don’t tan much, even if I try. And the process requires heat and sweat (yuck!). I do love sandals though, shoes of all types really. So I guess summer has some redeeming qualities…

    But fall and winter clothes, I truly love them. A tailored jacket, pointy boots, ribbed turtle necks!!!! They are at the same time concealing and sexy. A fashion oxymoron, you’ve gotta love that!

    Winter. The tree is bare. The sky is in full view. I can tell at a glace what kind of day it will be. I don’t miss the leaves; I know they’ll be back soon enough.

    Last winter, a dead, brown, crumply leaf hung on to a branch of the front of the tree. I became obsessed with it. I woke every morning and looked toward the tree expecting the dead leaf to have fallen. I watched as the wind blew the branch around. I watched as rain pummeled it. I thought of the O’Henry story and wondered if someone would die when the leaf finally fell.

    Spring came and new leaves sprouted and joined the dead one. Soon the tree was once again full and lush. Was the dead leaf still there among the new ones but covered from my sight? I’d like to think so.

  • changeling

    Thank you Jeff for your gracious invitation!

    Thank you openmind for showing me how to free my essays from their "Word" prison.


  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Changling's Sunday Brunch - 1/3

    To Button -

    Hey where are all the artists here?



    I've lost my poetry notebook, I can't find it anywhere.

  • John Doe
    John Doe
    I've lost my poetry notebook, I can't find it anywhere.

    That's almost poetic. In fact, delete one word and I think you've got something:

    "I've lost my poetry,

    and I can't find it anywhere." ;-)

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I must retire for the evening, but hope to awaken to a thread filled with Pulitzer winners.


  • nvrgnbk

    The Inescapable Futility

    I was raised to believe that everything I did or did not do had meaning and importance. Not the everyday run-of-the-mill "importance" you may be thinking of, like making friends or acquaintances feel joy or sorrow, or laying the foundation for a secure and prosperous future. I'm talking about really "important", namley, affecting the emotional state of the Sovereign Creator of the Universe. If I forgot to speak to Him, He was saddened and angered. If I didn't give a good answer at the Bible Study, He was hurt and disappointed. If I did well in my assignments at school, He would be proud of me. If I identified myself as one of His Witnesses, even though I was terrified to do so, He would be my friend...forever.

    As I grew older, I continued to operate under the assumption that all of my actions, both positive and negative, we're being scrutinized by the Almighty. I could not escape the feeling that I was more of a disappointment to Him than a friend. Sure, I did some good things. But, deep down, I knew He knew how bad I really was. He was going to forgive me though, His son came and died, so it was all going to work out. But, what if I wasn't appreciative of what His son had done? My actions surely had proven time after time that I wasn't all that grateful. Since I knew right from wrong, every time I committed a transgression, I was impaling His son anew. I spoke to others about the hope of being forgiven and of living in a paradise created by God, but I had private doubts that I would ever see it.

    All of my decisions were made on this premise. I could make Jehovah happy or sad with every last detail of my life. I did everything I could to please Him, suspecting all the while that He knew that I wasn't going to make it. But I had to try, just in case. Maybe, just maybe, He would see some good in me. Maybe my son would be a better man. At least He would surely save him.

    After years and years of this, I came to understand something that truly was important. The realization was both awful and sublimely peaceful all at once. I realized that He wasn't there. He wasn't real. If, by some long shot He was a real entity, I was deeply aware of His absence and apparent lack of concern for humanity. I struggled with this. I prayed to my old friend Jehovah about it. I begged Him to help me to see things with clarity, to see only what was real. I guess, in some bizarre way, He did answer that time. Because I quit believing. No more dread. No more feeling of disappointing the Most Awesome of the Universe. No more wondering. Is He happy with me? Does He wish to destroy me? Will he let this slide? Did I do enough? Did I think too much? Was I too kind?

    What's left? The inescapable futility of it all. Maybe I was better off dreading Him. Nah. I'll take the futility over the lie. Now where's my beer?

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