Who Saves the Hero?

Artwork Originally Titled Heartbroken

Who Saves the Hero?

Strength.
Heroes are strength.
They are everything we aspire to be.

There is a certain light in their eyes—
be it a warm, comforting glow,
candlelight flickering undying against shrill winter winds
or a blazing, furious fire
a crackling whirlwind of growling flames
ready to consume

They are both shield and sword, ready
to jump in front of the bullet train,
driving it to the ground with only the flat of their palm
to meet cold metal
Ready to launch themselves into smoke,
to tear enemies down as if they were only grass blades.
Because to them, that is all they are

Weakness.
When I am weak.
When I am nothing but a shriveling dust in my shell
When ashes have come to claim me, and I am no more

A hero shall rise

A hero to come to my aid
When my own arms lay broken and torn
A hero will raise his hand for me
When my voice is a mouse, limp and bleeding in the cat’s mouth
he will shout, a clear, bellowing shout
and all will hear him

Who will save me?

When I cannot run
cannot stand
When I can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe

A hero will.
A hero will save me.

A hero
invincible
infallible

A hero to defeat all those I cannot defeat
A hero to defeat them all

Every last one.
All of them.

But.

But all empires come to fall.
All days must fade to night
Even the crashing tide must recede

And the hero will have no strength
he will know his weakness
feel it

When he can no longer shake the earth
When he cannot run
cannot stand
When he can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe

Who will save him?

Who will save the hero?

If he was the strongest of us all
If he was the one bearing the mountain on his back
Then who could carry his burden
When it became too heavy for him?

When the stars fell from the sky
who caught them?

When he couldn’t

When we couldn’t

When I couldn’t

The final battle hymn will die out
leaving only the frailest of heartbeats
the unsteady rhythm
keeping time as the funeral march begins
the requiem will fill the silence

And we will remember him
the hero
undone
always

But I pity him
for while there was always
someone
something

stronger than me

there was nothing stronger than him

There was nothing there for them

When you are the net to catch those who fall
who will catch you?

Who will save you?

Who will save the hero?

• • •

The artwork above is a piece I did two years ago for my art class, originally titled “Heartbroken.” If I were to rename it now, it might be something like “Silenced” or “Flightless” or something like that. So feel free to imagine up your own title for it.

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Ink Pens

I recently got a new set of pens. Nothing fancy– although they do look pretty fancy– just a grocery store variety. But I think they are very cool.

New Pen 2

I really really really love opening a new pack of pens. Especially the inky kind. It makes my handwriting look fifty thousand times better than usual.

Opening a new pack of pens has that crisp moment. You know, like when you first open a large bag of fresh, un-crushed potato chips (or marshmallows or whatever you eat). Or when you first cut into a very perfect cake, preferably chocolate. Or maybe when you first pop open a can of soda and it makes a really clear cracking sound. Or when you buy a new journal with smooth, unwrinkled pages (equally as important as the pens). Or when you first write in the journal with the pens while consuming chips/soda/cake/marshmallows.

*Sigh* If only. But at least I have my pens. Hopefully my new pens will help me get some real writing done. Creativity from crisp moments!

Or maybe they’ll just motivate me to not be so lazy and just start doing things. After all, what’s more tempting than this:

New Pen 1

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Red Cross Designs

Okay, remember Wings & Antiques? That little backstory? This situation is somewhat similar. Bear with me.

So, sometime at the beginning of this year I was in Red Cross club when it was announced that we needed club T-shirts. And how better to get an awesome club T-shirt than to have the club design the shirt? And then turn it into a shirt-designing competition?

If we look back at Wings & Antiques, we notice how there was a competition that I ultimately lost, while simultaneously earning some sort of self-worth, or something similar.

This is that story. Just replace the words “library” with “Red Cross club” and “piece of writing” with “shirt design” and you basically have it.

Regardless of my apparent losing streak, I did actually gain something personally (no, really). This was my first attempt at some pattern like this, one with clean lines and shirt/logo aspects. A lot of work went into these cuties. I love my little designs, and maybe someday I’ll make my own shirt just for my own enjoyment.

But of course, I wanted to share these designs with all of you. Sharing is caring!

So here’s what I started with– basic drops that I scribbled in the back of my notebooks, plus little droplets that would float near the big ones:Basic Drop Design for Red Cross

Those drops turned into these in my head (the font is Onyx, I think). So I drew those three drops, copied them a whole bunch, and put them together on the computer like this:Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 1

This next one is just inverted.

Red Cross Drop Logo 2

This one’s a pocket-logo-type thing, but …backwards.

Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 5

Then I decided that the drop itself was pretty great, so I put it by itself:

Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 4

The last one became my favorite. I am very proud of my little Red Cross drops. They have come very far.

Oh well, there’s always next year.

White Winter Rabbit Run

Running Rabbit

White Winter Rabbit Run

There is a white winter rabbit, hidden in the snow
with two heartbeats

One rests within his chest, a humming

thump-thump, thump-thump

The other is with his stride
for when he runs he is free

thump-thump, thump-thump

His quick-padded feet pat the snow
and he races

a dart with no target
simply flying

as fast as his feet can carry him.

thump-thump.

He is lightning in the woods
there is thunder in his ears

thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump

He is only free as long as he runs
One heartbeat cannot continue without the other

else they fall silent
clutched in the mouth of the snare

So the white winter rabbit runs

thump-thump, thump-thump

He runs until he can run no more.

• • •

*I wrote this poem a few weeks ago, in the back of a notebook along with Little, Little Fish. On Saturday, I had scheduled this eerie poem to be posted for today– nothing special, just another thing to place and move on. And then suddenly… it hits. Suddenly, things change. I think it has more meaning to me now than it did then, in light of recent events.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tragedy in Boston. You’re in my thoughts. Keep on running.

Little, Little Fish

This is a poem I wrote in one of my notebooks. For some reason I was on a poem-streak and I actually completed some.

Doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Finishing things is always a challenge for me. Especially when it comes to writing big things. I. Just. Can’t. Finish. This happens to me with paintings/drawings/knitting/everything else too.

So here’s a finished piece. Hope you like it!

• • •

Little, Little Fish

I am a fish, a fish in a barrel
but fish, little, little fish, have no wings,
and are stuck in their little, little pond

Water is a slice of glass, with ripples from agitations
that make the glass grow and shrink as it heats and cools
but alas, though the ripples may be there,
and many a creature punctures through

we are stuck

It is a glass we cannot break
no matter our kingfisher leaps
no matter how we jump and flop,
and agitate the surface
we never truly break it,
we never truly break through

And like those fish, those little, little fish,
all boarded up in the barrel,
to that little, little barrel, all must we return
past the slipcover barrier of the glass

because in truth, to breathe pure air is divine
and fish, us tiny, tiny fish, were not made to fly
We have no wings with which to hang alate in the air,
soaking up sunlight, taking in the sky like fresh peppermints

feeling the wind rushing

And so it is, little, little fish,
that as you attempt to shoot straight from glass and barrel
to freefall, spinning with the airy sylphs
that taunt us in their unreachable atmospheres,
that gravity will pull you back down,

to plop

below the surface of the glass
in the barrel
and you will thank it, if halfheartedly

and deep in the skin of water, you will be able to breathe

• • •

Wings & Antiques, Consignment Store

I took this photo of our dining room cabinet earlier this year for my photography class:

Teapot Cabinet

It kind of fits. Kind of.

Anyway, a while back I entered a contest for my local library. All I had to do was submit a piece of writing under 1000 words, about anything. Simple right?

No. No simple. No no no no no.

I am a writer of length, unfortunately. I love formulating whole stories and words with very drippy-juicy descriptions that are sometimes too long for small boxes marked limit: 1000 words.

But I tried anyway. I thought it might be fun, you know, pushing myself to try to fit into this tiny little box. After all, little things can be very special in their own little ways. So I poured my heart into this box and let it sit a while. (It took a long time to fill– you can guess how many times I crumpled it and started over.) I even asked my friends if they would like to edit it for me– I was totally terrified about the responses I might get, since I didn’t like people reading my stuff then. (They were very nice about it– constructive and kind, a beautiful combination.)

Once the box was filled (and the story was actually a coherent story now), I bit my lip, submitted it, and waited in agony for results.

Result: well, I tried. The loss wasn’t unexpected in the least. But it still stung a little…

So I didn’t win, but I am proud of my 999-word story (1 word below the limit! Success!). I thought it would be a waste just to let it languish on my laptop for all eternity. It needs some sunlight. So here it is:

• • •

Wings & Antiques, Consignment Store

Mary walks as fast as her little legs can carry her, eager to get out of the cold. Pale clouds loom above her, as gray as the sidewalk. The whole block is soggy from yesterday’s storm. Mary scurries forward, hoping that it will not rain again.

Several stores along the street are open, but there are very few people. Mary thinks about going into one of the stores, but decides against it. All those coffee shops and boutiques and bookstores would look down upon a small, nine-year-old girl like her.

As Mary continues to walk, she becomes increasingly lost.

She does not recognize any of the shops here, which all seem extremely similar to one another.

That’s when she notices the store in front of her.

The storefront is a warm chestnut brown, unlike the sea of gray windows surrounding her. She reads the store’s sign: Wings & Antiques, Consignment Store.

Mary goes inside. Surely there must be someone who could help her.

A soft bell rings as Mary pushes open the door. Immediately a burst of warm air greets her, and she feels as though she has just walked into her grandparents’ kitchen as her grandmother is baking cookies. She no longer feels cold.

The store is filled with rows of dark, floor-to-ceiling mahogany bookshelves.

“Why, hello.” Mary turns to see the store’s owner, hidden behind the counter. He is rather grandfather-like, with his wispy gray hair and small round spectacles. “Come in from the rain, have we?”

“N-no… No sir,” Mary says timidly, hoping he will not send her away. “S’not raining outside yet, sir.”

The man chuckles softly. “Well, rain or no, you’re welcome to look around. Try on a pair or two, if you like.”

Mary has not the faintest idea of what he means, but all she can say is, “I haven’t any money, sir.”

“Not a worry!” he proclaims. He tosses something towards her, which she manages to catch rather clumsily. It’s a coin. “I will not turn away a customer. Think of it as a small favor.”

Mary, not wanting to offend the old man, shoves the coin into her pocket. She looks around a little, not wanting to tell the man that she only came in because she was lost.

As it turns out, the front shelves are not full of books, as Mary had thought, but all sorts of interesting things. Jars of all shapes and sizes. Candelabras, standing like little trees growing out of the mahogany shelving.  A bowl of rather odd buttons. Curling picture frames. Elaborately engraved silverware. Glinting jewelry in a kaleidoscope of colors.

After Mary comes to the end of the shelf, she moves eagerly to the next one, wondering how much these things must cost. None of the items seem to have prices listed on them.

The next shelf holds antiques, but not as many. Instead, on a particularly dainty stand, sitting between a porcelain doll and an open-faced pocket watch, rests what appear to be a set of wings.

They are only as big as a paperback book, but they are extremely beautiful. The feathers have a glossy, translucent sheen, as if each feather is an individual dragonfly wing.

Mary remembers something about trying a pair on, so she decides to pick them up. She holds them very carefully, as if they might break. They are quite light, and silky in texture.

As she holds them, they start to move. Mary gasps as the wings begin to flutter of their own accord, floating upwards, then disappearing behind her.

Mary feels a tickle in her shoulder blades, and then, suddenly, the wings, now large enough to accommodate her size, appear to be growing out of her back.

She twists around to see them. She can feel them as surely as she can feel her own hands. She tests them, flapping them once or twice.

As she flaps them, a sparkling dust seems to fall from the wings. She rises, little by little, as her wings move. Mary laughs as she ascends, but then realizes that she cannot stop ascending. Her head bumps into the ceiling.

Panicked, Mary wishes the wings off her back. Instantly they fall away, floating to the ground like paper. Mary drops, but finds that she is not hurt.

She picks up the wings and puts them back in their place quickly, but not before noticing the tag attached to them that reads: Altitude.

She moves on to another pair.

It is a pair of butterfly wings. They are as black as night, with an intricate lacy webbing stretching across them in a glinting silver. They remind Mary of her mother’s best necklace, reserved for expensive dinner parties. The tag reads: XL.

The wings attach themselves like the ones before, but instead of growing to fit her, they continue to stretch, becoming heavier. They start bumping into the shelves, continuing to grow. They only stop when the tips of the wings are curled against the ceiling, and Mary is pressed against the mahogany.

Mary tries on others. Some move quickly like hummingbird heartbeats; others cast rainbows off as she flaps them. Although each is extremely wonderful, none seem to fit her quite right.

It is not until Mary reaches the very last shelf in the very last row that she finds a pair of white-feathered wings.

They sit lightly on her back. The feathers are soft and airy, like dollops of fresh whipped-cream. Mary stretches them, admiring their fluffy, cloud-like appearance. She lifts up into the air with them, feeling light and free. They are easy to maneuver, and seem to listen to her. They do not crash her into the ceiling. They do not grow to unmanageable sizes.

They are perfect.

Mary decides that she will get them, if the old man will sell them to her for one coin.

She walks towards the front counter with her wings, and the tag that reads: Small favors.

• • •

Welcome!

First post! Hooray!

Um… What does one write on a first post?

There are so many different pathways my brain traveled down when thinking about what to put. You only get one chance at a first, after all. At first (sorry, the word “first” will probably be repeated several times before the day is out), I wanted a show-stopping post that would really set the stage for my blog. You know, something with pop and color and mystery and ink and fun.

So, of course, I put off writing it. Every time I thought, “maybe I should write about [insert subject here],” the  words “never mind” followed quickly afterward in my head. None of my thoughts were deemed gold-star worthy. So for about a week I sat with nothing. Blank page, blank screen, blank brain. Then a thought struck me, and I realized…

Most people will never see what I write here.

This is the very first post. Most likely, many of you lovelies will come along later, after I have written many many little post-ornaments to hang on the blog tree (hopefully!). So I decided on two things:

  1. I should just give myself a good, hard shove and put something in here, and
  2. I want to hide something magical in this first-of-firsts, so that if anyone should ever be brave enough to venture deep into the pool of ancient posts, they could find this hidden treasure.

What that treasure is…?

Yeah, I don’t know.

*shove*

Anyway, here’s a thought of mine for today. For me, this blog is something of a novel unfolding. In books we follow a character on his or her adventure, rise with their ups and fall with their downs as they figure things out and share their stories and thoughts and insights. But more than that, novels for me were always a form of escape. They still are. They are a place where we can get lost in our own thoughts. Where we can reminisce,  read, enjoy.

This place, a place all our own, where we can continue to be dreamers, if only for a little while.

This place, this place– our own little atmosphere.

Welcome to Little Atmospheres, everyone.

Welcome!