, , , , , , ,

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 — Exercise 5

What it is about you that you feel makes you
different from everybody else?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Not a bloomin’ thing! I didn’t like this prompt when we did it before. I like it even less now. Had the book said “What makes you unique?” I think I would have been okay with it because “unique” covers a LOT of ground. Especially skill sets. And not everyone is gifted with the same “unique” talents. “Unique” sets you apart.

But different? Nope. I believe that deep down inside everyone of us is just human. No matter what our background, or whether you believe in nurture vs. nature, we all start out as helpless babies born with the genetic material to be shaped and molded into a human being. (How many of us end up being “human doings?” But that’s a question for another time…)

Does that human behave or speak or look like everyone else? No. On the outside we’re as different as any two snowflakes. But on the inside, where it counts, we are all vulnerable children still — even when we’re 70, 80… That vulnerability is the most important thing I think we have in common. It’s very fragile. And we need to learn to treat that part of ourselves and others with great respect, humility, and gentleness.

Judy Dykstra-Brown over at lifelessons posted a poem this morning she had written about how our dreams stay with us as we age. I was feeling fragile and vulnerable when I read it, and it made me all teary. I think it is a perfect picture of how that child part of us survives and transcends our life until one day we come face-to-face with her/him again. I wanted to share it on here…  (Judy, hope you don’t mind if I post instead of reblog your poem. Don’t think you can do that inside another post.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

My dialogue takes place between my 7 year old self and my 70 year old self who, ironically, is writing this in Mexico.

Childhood Dreams

The mysteries
of Grandma’s barn
and basement—
whole lost worlds there.
Our own attic—a door held down
by a gravity never challenged.

I wanted to see
the hanging gardens of Babylon,
Mexico and Africa—
all these places from books,
their pieces jumbled together
like puzzle pieces
in the deep recesses of my closet,
but ready for assembly
some day
when I would
make my future memories

I crouch with myself at seven—
sharing imagined dangers
in deep closets,
trying to conjure the world.
So many small town stories
while I dreamed of living
in those fairy tale places
of Bible stories
that stood on a shelf
sandwiched between
the Bobbsey Twins
and Tarzan.

Some of us spend our lives
trying to be like books,
then spend our old age
trying to remember childhood,
mainly remembering
childhood’s dreams.


Picture Sources:
kids — Carol Fleurette
world — Life in the Right Direction