What follows is given in response to the 100 Word Challenge, reborn, now, under the gentle auspices of Tara Roberts at "Thin Spiral Notebook". The word, this week, is "peculiar".
When I remember how to do all the linking and stuff, it will look mach as it used to.
Most peculiar, this thing called Death.
She seems as though she sleeps. I wait for her breast to rise with a breath, for her eyes to open and find me, see me, and to smile at me.
But she stays so very still.
No pulse throbs at her temple, or her neck, now so alabaster, so white.
Tears flood my eyes, stream down my cheek, drop onto her hand, crossed with the other, holding white orchid in their grasp.
I cannot bring myself to touch her.
A hand grasps my arm, pulls me away.
Most peculiar ... this thing ... called Death.
Disappointingly, I read now of hate crimes being perpetrated against Muslims and Muslim institutions.
Mosques being burned. Dead pigs left in in mosque doorways. Muslims (or people who appear to be Muslim) being beaten. Attacked for the religion they practice. Or because they LOOK like they're Muslim.
Imagine if you will ... that you are Irish in the middle of the 19th Century.
You are hated, vilified, beaten upon and downtrodden. Called every despicable name in the book. Everyday. Everywhere you go.
As much as you don't think it was ever like that - you're wrong. It was. And for little or no good reason.
Imagine if you will ... that you are German in the midst of WWI, but living here, in the United States.
You are hated, vilified, beaten upon and downtrodden. Called every despicable name in the book. Every day. Everywhere you go.
As much as you don't know that it was ever like that, it really was. And the only reason was we were fighting the Germans, and we were killing them and they were killing us - in Europe. Not here. Not the corner butcher or the brew master or the guy that lived down the street that made sausages your grandmother used to cook up for special meals.
You know people who are descended from those people. Those Irish. Those Germans. You, yourself, may be descended from those people.
I know I am. I am German and Irish. Mostly.
I am no more deserving of the hatred expressed in those time than Muslims are today.
Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember how your ancestors were hated. Imagine what that felt like. And then ask yourself if that's what Muslims really deserve.
It's my feeling they do not.
There's a new service in Chicagoland - UberRUSH.
It's a Courier Service. A Package Delivery Service. A service which offers some retailers, in Chicago, the opportunity to offer Same Day Delivery to online shoppers.
It's cool. Trendy.
And I now drive for UberRUSH.
I am not employed by Uber. I am an independent contractor. If I follow the rules (and they're simple to live by), I can make a little money. Enough to make the time I spend in my Li'L Red Truck worthwhile. Enough to keep me in Breakfast Burritos and Senior Coffees, at Mickey D's.
Many years ago, I was a taxi driver in Chicago for Checker Cab. MANY years ago. I used to drive out of the Checker garage at Broadway & Lawrence (North Side of the city, in case you don't know). I wasn't at it too long, but in the time I did drive I learned the city pretty well.
Some of the landmarks I used to use are gone, or changed. But the streets are pretty much the same. And it's all coming back to me, slowly.
I can still get around this city. And I'm beginning to remember how I used to love it. It wasn't as crowded, then. Parking was easier. The streets were easier to navigate. But I did love the city, and I remember, now.
But I live in the suburbs, now. I live with "elbow room". I LOVE living in an area where I can be in the middle of corn fields as far a I can see, in less the 5 minutes.
I may remember how I used to love the city, and why, but I wouldn't want to live in it, anymore.
Not at all.
They gave us Math. The concept of Zero. They gave names to the stars and and the word "Algebra" is part and participle of their language.
The gave us music and dance, legends and stories. They were tolerant and fierce, kind and full of courage.
Over time, their gifts to us, which did so much to ease us, the West, into the sciences and opened the doors to an appreciation of Higher Learning, became what we considered our own. And maybe they did, in fact, belong to us.
But we were like children seated in a wagon at the top of the hill, and they were the elders that gave us that first shove. We've been on that ride ever since, long ago exceeding, with OUR civilization, what they gave us with THEIR civilization.
Now they have given us 9/11. Paris. Lebanon. Mumbai.
Fear and terror are the new legacy of a people whose culture is thousands of years old. Not all would wish it so. It is the young. The warriors. Where they rode desert horses to win their battles, scimitars flashing in the sun, now they wear masks and plant their bombs, shoot down innocents with their automatic weapons - weapons the result of the sciences they gave us.
Once they were remembered and respected for the knowledge they imparted to the West. That has been taken away and replaced by fear, hatred and mistrust.
There was a time ... when things were simpler.
I fear those times and those things, remembrance and respect, are gone forever.
By now, unless of course, you live under a rock, you're aware of the tragic happenings in Paris. Everyone has questions. Everyone is concerned, worried, and many are just scared. And, perhaps, rightfully so.
The question I have about this attack, and about the underlying radicalization of the people involved, is "why?"
Is it as simple as religious ideology? Is it really that simple - that Westerners are seen as "Infidels" and infidels must be killed?
Or is it something deeper, and hidden? Is it an agenda of some person or group disguised as a philosophy of death and terror wrapped in Religion?
Just who, or what, is the spider at the center of this worldwide web of terror and terrorists?
THAT is the question that must be answered.
There is a lot of money and preparation that goes into an attack like Paris. Where does the money come from? Who, or what, is raising the funds necessary create the terror groups that seem to be everywhere? And to what purpose? What REAL purpose? Just WHY?
... since I've been in here, blogging away.
I seem to have somehow lost my blogging mojo ... no ... my WRITING mojo.
Too busy. Too committed to Work. Too tired when I get home at whatever unpredictable hour the Powers That Be will allow.
I am changing jobs. I am going to drive for UberRUSH!, the new package delivery service here in the Chicagoland area.
I will define my own hours. I will have time to read and write ... and blog. Again.
It will take a little time, I think, to get it back, again. A little time to find the petcocks and open the flow for writing, again.
I don't know if I will ever become an Every Day Blogger, again. I'm hoping I can establish a meaningful and regular calendar of posts. I hope.
We shall see.
People I care about have made it perfectly clear what their opinion is regarding ads, on my blog, unrelated to normal content.
What I may do, instead, is make a better effort to display and sell my photos and paintings.
And I'll make more and better photos and paintings. Try, anyway.
Meanwhile, losing my phone has forced me to re-acquaint myself with my Insignia tablet, and opened up the possibilities that tablet represents: access to email, writing for the blog, working on stories in progress, and other activities better done on a larger system than my phone. I can even Skype, so total isolation is no longer the case.
Funny, how the worst happenings will sometimes breed beneficial change.