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Part V, Myths and Fables IV

By Remy Benoit

The continuing discussion of the role of mythology in our lives and in our healing process. And a look at the "myths" we may have come to believe about ourselves.

In the Old West, in many places, people lived by the law of the Six Gun.

How would that translate to modern society? How and where did the attitude toward the law of the Six Gun change?

The mythological figure is "bigger than life." Why?

Finally, what myths are still directing your own life? Do they still fit, have you outgrown them?

For Mr. Campbell, the hero chooses the "Vision Quest."

What is the vision, what is the reality, how do the two conflict with your characters?

If you are taking to writing, you are venturing into a Hero’s Quest: a quest for words, for insights, for truth, and for compassion.

How do movies portray the hero/heroine?

What is it about Indiana Jones that so endears this man to his audience?

How is his character bigger than life? Why is it, what is in the character that appeals to, and makes both men and women comfortable with this man? We know his fear, the snake thing, and yet, his fear of snakes makes him just more endearing, human; a super hero with a human fragility to make him all the more lovable.

Take a look at the movie "Gladiator." It is not a movie for children, there is brutality in it. Rome, for all its civilization, was brutal. Watch the movie, read the real history. Wherein do we judge the truth? In Marcus Aurelius' Mediations; in the wars he waged for Rome; in his son's abuse of power; in the arena? They are all part of the "truth."

For a unique view of the After Life to compare with other views throughout history, I suggest both the book and the movie What Dreams May Come. It is visually stunning.

For the mythology of war compare The Green Berets with The Boys of Company C, The Thin Red Line, and Saving Private Ryan. Again these are not for young children.

Which leads us to a question. What do we tell young children about war? What do we tell our teenagers about war and its verities when there is so much blood shed on television and in the movies that perhaps death on the news becomes surreal?

What were you taught in school about war? Did it really teach you of war? What was not told to you that you would like to have been taught?

If you are a Veteran, here you prepared by your education from any source for what you came into contact with? Do you think it would have made a difference for you during your term of service?

If you feel more information could have been presented to you, you might consider taking the time to write a letter to your local school board, or a letter to the editor of your local paper, explaining your experience and your concerns about the current generation of students and their education in these areas.

This leads me to an interesting question that high school students recently asked of me.

Why are we not taught more about the rest of the world and its history and its concerns. We have to live with the rest of the world, its problems and their impact on our lives. We should know more.

We have just witnessed, been violated by a terrible tragedy with the bombing of the World Trade Center. Many of us lost friends, relatives, loved ones.

It will take time for us to begin to process those losses. It will take time for us to accept them. Perhaps a place to start is writing down your feelings about what occurred; asking on paper the questions that are in your mind and heart about why it happened. And then, taking those questions out into the world, into research, discussion to find the reasons. That is not excusing terrorism; that is plowing fields to put a stop to it by searching for the root causes.

When dealing with tragedy and confusion, we have to dig deep for answers.

How do you personally define the word terrorism?

Can, by your definition, an act of terrorism be commited during war, or is it something confined to times of peace?

By your definition, are there world leaders who can be defined as having histories of being terrorists? Is there ever any acceptable reason for acts of terrorism, or is it simply the action of fanatics?

Looking back through history, what roles, active or passive, do religious institutions play in fostering terrorism? or do they at all?

What myths are we seeing in operation today?

What important words have different meanings?

What devices, people, could we bring forward to mediate which or who are capable of bridging the gap in understanding and communication?

Perhaps you can draw up a list of possible long term solutions, resolutions to the current situation. These could be discussed with a friend, or in your own private journal exploring for gaps in your thinking, inadequacies of implementation. When they are completed to your satisfaction, you might want to forward your ideas to your Congressman or Senator, thus overcoming feelings of impotence in the movement of world affairs.

As to the potential power and impact of combining myth and philosophy, I submit but four words: Social Darwinism: Aryan Supremacy. In the case of the latter, the myths of the occult world enter the picture. Little or nothing is mentioned in classrooms about Hitler and the SS's connection to the occult, but it was very real, and very important in their vision of a Thousand Year Reich.

Another myth: The soldier who goes to war and comes back the same man.

The war was over and there was no place in particular to go.
Tim O’Brien

As I said, today we are lacking in contemporary mythology. There is a new philosophy about, generally refereed to as "Co-Creation:" people, males, females working together. A field is being freshly ploughed for a new mythology. Look to the work and writings of the futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Explore the Jungian concepts of anima and animus, female and male aspects in all of us; explore the Eastern concept of the balance of yin and yang.

Explore the muse in your work; who is it, what is it; it must be, you must be; he, she, or it must be feed, balanced, danced, and honored.

...nothing left to write with...need new, new experiences...a tactile woman, a touching woman...need to try a hurricane in a glass; need to dance, to touch the sky, to swim in the water at night again, to sleep on a beach; need to touch velvets and silks; need to touch a storm, dance a storm, let it, flow through me...need to walk in and through a new city, reading it through the bricks, through plaster and color and life and noise and music....February, 2001...

There are all kinds of "terrorist" activities in our lives and these include both verbal and physical abuse.

Are you ready to look back into your own history and see what impact words had on you, as well as the physical actions of others?

What events, words, phrases cause a sinking feeling in you? Do you feel "not good enough;" do you think of yourself as being incompetent in some area(s)? If you really think back, can you find where these feelings began? Was it a sunny afternoon when the world turned dark with an "F" on a school paper; was it a snowy day that seemed to hold the promise of all kinds of glorious adventures when you lost a $5 bill on the way to get rock salt and everyone looked at you with disdain and uttered words about your carelessness?

Before you judge too harshly, what was the background, the personal history of the person who was criticizing you? That is not to say that you have to accept their criticism as an accurate judgment of who you were then and are now, but you might want to give consideration to the experiences in their lives that brought them to the place where they felt impelled to utter them.

There is much help available for those who have known abuse. You may want to begin with seeking direction at websites like the following:
http://www.gov.ns.ca/coms/pdf/fact3.pdf
http://www.safe4all.org/
http://www.cosmicwarehouse.com/links/pages/Domestic_Violence/

The hardest part about confronting an abusive situation is admitting to it. Those suffering the abuse are often made to feel by the abuser that they are responsible for her or his actions. That is part of the abuse cycle.

There are all kinds of wounds; some visible, some invisible manifesting themselves in shattered lives and broken dreams.

There are all kinds of war zones:

How many times have we envied the seemingly perfect lives of others, only to be confronted with terrible truths?

It delighted Jesse that Rhea made Mellie feel totally at home, but he knew he should have expected that, considering that Rhea had told him so many years before that the dark haired woman was for him, and that it would be a long time coming before he brought her home to stay as he had finally done.

This lovely Saturday afternoon, Rhea, Mellie, and Rhea’s childhood friend, Lannie, were taking a women’s day and going to visit another old friend, Mira. Just a day set aside for being women, sharing talk and coffee, and life; just a day to be spent rejoicing in all the sharing all the multitude of things, all the highs and lows, gifts and trials that life carries.

Rhea pulled the car up in front of a beautifully kept lawn and garden but even there the signs of the two year drought were evident, the grass, while well manicured and edged, was brown like that of all its neighbors. The front porch had wicker furniture and three large hanging ferns.

Leaving the air-conditioned car, Rhea and Mellie were blanketed in the 103 degree heat. As they moved up the walkway, the front door opened and Mira was there welcoming them with her natural warmth. She was a small woman, her hair cut short and stylishly, dark brown with a streak of silver across her short bangs as though she welcomed, instead of fought her years of maturity. She hugged Rhea and Lannie, sisters of her soul, and then reached for Mellie, making this first time visitor in her home feel very welcomed.

Closing the door, the cool air was delicious. They took chairs in the living room; big, soft, deep green chairs that wrapped themselves around a person taking them into them with comfort. Mira left them in the living room and went to fetch some iced tea and glasses while Rhea, Lannie, and Mellie kicked their shoes off.

The room was immaculately kept; a quiet blend of modern textures of soft leathers set off by much handwork in pillows, folded afghans for the cooler months, and small. colorful arrangements of both dried and fresh flowers. The front door was protected with a crucifix, the shining, dust free top of the coffee table held a prayer book and a six inch wood carved ankh. There were a couple of fancily dressed dolls on small tables, books lined the walls, original paintings in a variety of styles showing the owners preferences rather than concern with what was in vogue. The drapes were opened to the flowers outside the windows; the ceiling fan turned slowly in keeping with the peace of the room.

On the mantle over the fireplace, there were pictures of the children now grown and out on their own. As the visitors eased into the room, two tiny kittens, one a variegated gray and the other with white paws and face, fur orange and black mixed, tumbled into the room in play. The small old dog opened one eye as if wondering where such energy came from. The mature cat lay sprawled and asleep, draped across back of the sofa by the front window and thus able, when interested, to view the workings of the hot, outside world.

The women inquired of the children. Mellie giggled as the tiny feet of the gray kitten explored her ankle and the tiny teeth tasted its skin tentatively. Within moments, it was sound asleep on her foot, curled into a small ball of fluff. It took only two minutes more before her sister lay asleep in Rhea’s lap. Both women just waved off Mira’s attempts to stop the kittens from being a nuisance.

And then, it all seemed to come apart when Rhea asked Mira about how her new book of poetry was coming along.

The response she got was not one she had expected.

Mira just looked at her.The woman’s hands started to tremble as three tears slid down her face. She began, very slowly, looking about the room, her own living room in her own house as if she had never seen it before; as if she had not been the one to make it all so comfortable, inviting, and soothing.

When she spoke, her voice was small.

"There are no words.There are no new poems. This," as she looked about the room, "this is all dead. I am dead."

With that she started to sob.

Rhea handed the kitten to Mellie and rose to go to Mira. She took her friend’s trembling hands and raised her to her feet, guiding her to the soft dark green sofa where she sat her down and herself next to her. Mellie moved, both kittens in hand, to the other side of Mira on the sofa and settled in while Lannie fussed with the iced tea, tiny cubes tinkling as they cracked to become one with the deep amber liquid.

They just stayed there quietly, letting their hostess cry it all out between them, lending her the quiet strength of women of a certain age who knew, all too well knew, that sometimes even quiet strength failed; women who knew that even vast wells of quiet strength sometimes knew drought to and had to be refilled.

Eventually, as Mellie, Lannie, and Rhea sipped lemonade and waited, the tears stopped and Mira began to try to apologize.

Rhea simply said, "No, don’t. Tell us what is wrong."

Mira sighed.

"The lack of rain is not only outside, it is also in my soul. I am caught in routine and can’t seem to break out. When I sit down to try to bring the words, they don’t come. I get up, I weed the flowers, I dust the coffee table, hang the wash. I cook the meals but I don’t taste them; I think, perhaps, they have no taste, well, because I am not there when I am making them. Does that make any sense at all? How can food have no taste, no life, just there on the plate, being lifted, fork full by for full into a mouth, chewed and swallowed and have no taste. Perhaps it loses its taste with our neglect in its preparation, in our not offering thanks for the nurturing it gives us; perhaps, perhaps when we feel so empty, well, perhaps we violate the life of the food, taking away its taste and sparkle too. I don’t know, just know, no taste, no joy, no place, nowhere, no truly being here.

"I listen to John tell of his day but I don’t hear him. I see his mouth move, I watch him eat, but it is as though I am watching a movie, totally removed from the characters in a story that has no meaning, no relevance to me.

"I get up in the morning, I go to bed at night and then I get up in the morning and another day has come and gone. I know it happened but nothing happened. I just go through the motions of being alive and I feel nothing; see, hear, taste and touch nothing.

"I don’t have the energy to even drive to the water I so love. Showers exhaust me. Sleep comes but brings no surcease of tiredness. In fact, I feel more tired after sleeping. And it seems, well, it seems, all of me is always asleep in a sleep world with no dreams, just a void, a stopping of the endless routine; an insane repetition of nothing over and over again. Day after day, week after week, no words, blank pages, blank life.

"It all looks perfect, but it isn’t. He goes to work each day, he comes home, but so much of him is missing; so much of him still in country. I can’t reach him, the him inside; the hurting him inside. All these years since he came back to a hardly known bride, not the man who was her groom, not the young, beautiful young man, who was taken away from me."

She trembled, her whole body shaking.

“Oh, Rhea, sometimes, forgive me, this sounds so awful, but sometimes, I think, thank God, thank God, that you didn’t have to see this happen to Jordan; that you can remember him innocent, filled with light, not living with dark spidery things in the hidden closets, in the nailed up, tortured, so deeply buried closets of his heart and soul.”

The room was so quiet all the four women could hear was the sleeping breathing of the two tiny innocent kittens who had known nothing but love and nurturing in the few weeks span of their lives.

The words ran through Mellie’s heart and soul, Mellie I ran...the years of Luke’s growing tumbled by day by day; the joy of the opening of Schloos Geistod, filling it with spirit, ending the spirit killing of its interior walls. So many interior wall covered with so much debris; so many locked closets in so many hearts and soul. Some of them from war, like her beloved Jesse, others from hurts long passed but still living in the tearing away, day by day, of the innocence of the child they once fell on.

Bring me the little children...you must have the faith of a child.

But how to hold that child; how to walk, and live and dream new dreams, or refresh old dreams of that child who once saw the wonder of Creation with open beaming eyes ready for any adventure, any make believe to become real...

it hurts to become real...that is what the Velveteen Rabbit was told...

oh how it hurts to become real; to push away, peel away layer after layer after layer of stuff that is not your stuff....

"I am afraid, always afraid," Mira said, tight voiced.

"Afraid I will close a door too loudly, afraid when the lightning cracks and the thunder rolls and I see him go away from me, back to that place. I am afraid when he just leaves me here and I don’t know where he is or what he is seeing. Feel shut out, want to help, want to assuage the pain, but I don’t know how, and he can’t tell me how, and year after year goes by and the jungle rot eats it way through more and more. Sure it has lessened over the years, the nightmares are gone, for the most parts; the going away times less frequent, but always simmering there, bubbling there, spilling over at politicians speeches, all the doubt, all the lack of trust...them saying we went believing, we came back not believing, so many of us, not all of us, but so many of us not believing, not trusting, asking what it was about, and could God hear any of the prayers from either side; does God choose up sides in any war, did he in the Good War? Or did He just weep at Big Berthas and Bouncing Betties, did He weep at V2’s and cluster grenades. Does He pray how can I make them see, how can I make them understand, this is not what I intended, but I have to let it be, let them do what they do to learn that this is not what I intended.

"And yet, I love them all, created them all; will they all as prodigal sons and daughters, one day come to see, come to know what I gave them to enjoy, not to destroy?"

"Do I blaspheme, am I putting words in the Creator’s mouth, or hearing His pain? So much pain, too much pain, when there should be none? Am I making any sense at all?

"Does He love me, does He see me? Yes, no, how can he until he sees him, until he loves him; until he takes what he was given and never asked for and heals it by trying to turn it into peace?

"How do we turn hell into peace?

"I’m sorry, Rhea, sometimes our men and women are swallowed whole and sometimes they are swallowed, piece by piece, day by day, like my John has been. It is a sucking kind of drain, all clogged heart and soul wise; damning the flow, dripping it away year by year.

"Grannie used to say, each pot has a lid; John is my lid, I know that, but the pot and the lid were shiny bright and new and fit together so well; and they blackened the bottom, burned the bottom, scorched the top and sides inside and out, so that everything in it has the acrid taste of the war that he is still in, with the same questions burning it, tarnishing it, in an endless cycle; what was it for? What were we doing, what were we supposed to be doing? Was there a game plan or just some obscene game with no rules, no rules except stay alive anyway you can by bringing up that shadow side none of should see, to stay alive.

"And then the rest of your life spent, and I mean spent, dreams blocked, soul blocked, with his shadow side stuck to the outside and inside of you, choking back, not letting in, the light and the sun.

"I’m sorry, I’ve kept in so many years, where I am, where he is, is in the jungle, the mighty desolate Agent Oranged jungle; pieces of my soul and his sleep broken and twisted today, tonight, last night, and all the days and nights before theses, lay broken and twisted on shadowed, defoliated, dehumanized, denaturized jungle floors. Living in our wake a sterile Gaia.

"How does he, how do I get those pieces back, and if we do, if we can do that, what will they look like? Can we bear to see them, reach out, touch them, love them back to wholeness and put them where they belong? Can we face even having them back?"

The room was quiet, each of the women lost in her own thoughts.

Rhea seeing Jor at Jackson Square doing sketches of tourists in full, bright, skin and soul warming sunshine.

Jesse saying, he was there, Rhea, he was there and then he was just gone....

HOW do you just be undone, just gone; gone like you were never there, without even anything to bury, enshrine?

WHERE is gone?

Gone is in an empty bed, an empty womb with no seed to fill it; gone is in pastels and charcoals crumbling untouched into dust.

His pastels at least got to crumble into dust, but not him.

Where the hell is just gone?

Mellie sat there, stroking the kittens, maybe, maybe aware or not of feeling the tiny heartbeats, while hearing Jesse’s words...

stayed there until I became one with it all....

Knowing part of her Jesse was still undone....

Mira was rocking on the edge of the sofa, her arms wrapped around each other and her chest as if, as if she left go she too would become undone after trying to hold it all together for so many years.

The clock ticked, the refrigerator hummed and one of the kittens purred in her sleep.

A tableau of sisters of any one moment in any of thousands of years; the living room could have been a cave, or a Roman villa; a thatched cottage in Britain, a camp fire on a cold, snowfilled, war filled night.

Women, together, trying to carry on, trying to hold together the thin veneer of civilization, trying to be keepers of civilization; trying to understand what it was all about, and live with and through it, never, never, never stopping trying to thicken the layer, to make it all fine wood.

These women could have been in a scared grove, or in a temple precinct all bound as they were to the world’s soul pain.

Lannie moved, just so slightly, ever so slightly, like rustle of a butterfly's wing, yet the movement was so startling in the abyss of the silent screaming pain, that they all looked up, even the elder cat, twitching his ears and focusing his emerald green eyes on Lannie’s hands.

Lannie’s hands moved to Lannie’s blouse.

Lannie’s long, perfectly manicured, and always chip free polished finger nails at the end of long slender fingers, moved to Lannie’s buttons.

Lannie, popcorn loving, once always chattering through movies, just like Molly said her mother had done as a girl - Lannie quiet now at the movies; listening, intently to each word as if listening for something for many years now quiet; just eating the popcorn, one piece at time, slowly, deliberately, no longer in exuberant handfuls.

Lannie, who always, winter/summer wore silk blouses, pants, or dresses, always long sleeved and to the ground. Exquisite, petite, fragile, perfect China doll, demure Lannie, always top buttoned, or gold or silver or cameo top buttoned.

Lannie who did not swim and certainly did not skinny dip anymore.

Lannie whose house was immaculate; who gave magnificent dinner parties, and open houses for the winter holidays.

Perfect homemaker, mother, wife, caregiving, nurturing, friend, Lannie, opened the buttons one by one, her friends staring at her, gasping at her simple words:

"There are all kinds of wars."

Lannie’s fingers moved slowly as she opened the buttons, one by one, slipped off her blouse, reached behind her and undid her bra, sliding it off onto the top of the coral mounds of her blouse on the floor.

She stood up, real slow, undid the zipper on her silk beige silk slacks, and let them slid down; slipped those perfectly manicured nails under the soft silk of her panties and eased them down too.

And all of the women in the room came undone.

She looked one by one at her friends and answered slowly, “No, I took it all for the children to be spared.”

They had never heard a word from her about this; nothing but those simple words: there are all kinds of wars.

Her slender, petite, but full buxom figure was a white zone of scars. Jesse had talked about the white zone at Cu Chi where anything left in aerial steel bellies that hadn’t been dropped could be dropped to explode tearing Gaia’s flesh. This earth mother’s flesh, their friend’s flesh, was covered with old and fading, new and deep purple, yellowing, or bluing scars, burn marks, like some obscene rainbow from hell, from someone’s fury being spent. But there was not a mark on her face or one those slender hands with perfectly manicured nails to hide his shame.

A single tear slid down her face; her bottom lip trembled slightly and then her teeth began to chatter and her body shake. As she shook, her black hair tumbled free, falling out of its gold pins, falling long to her waist to cover her shame; hers, as she saw it, of not having left...

but there were kids, the image to hold, the disbelief that one who said he loved her could do this; the hope the prayers, the endless prayers when he lay next to her sleeping, that hope, that disbelief, that total chaos of confusion because this didn’t happen to nice women; all of it tumbling down with her hair; all the I’m sorries, it won’t happen again, WHY do YOU MAKE ME DO this?...

always searching, always asking, what did I do wrong?

How can I do it better, so I don’t make this happen again?

Lannie stood there, a goddess in purple and bluish bruises, naked in front of her friends, naked in front of her own heart and soul; and finally, through tears, through hair that stuck to her tear moistened face, stuck in her mouth as she formed her words:

"Please, help me. I can’t go back even one more time," and then she crumbled and slid to the floor on top of beige and coral silk, while her sisters could now move to take her into the arms of the world of sisters.

Mira, gulping with outrage, broke the circle and left the room to go up the stairs. She put the stopper in the old claw footed tub and ran the water hot, filling it with raspberry soothing scent and bubbles.

She heard the others guide Lannie up the stairs, as she brought the white, terry cloth robe from her room to the bathroom and slid a CD of the ocean on to be filling the now steamy refuge with the throat murmurs of the sea.

The women eased her into the tub and covered her gently with bubbles.

Rhea washed her hair with long, soothing strokes and then they left her to a quiet time of knowing, of drinking in, that it was all over, she would not be going back, although they all knew, it would never be truly all over.

They gathered in the kitchen as women have always gathered in the kitchen.

Mellie spoke and broke the silence, there had been so many silences that day.

“Mira, I’d like to use your phone. Jesse, well Jesse has a friend, a good man, a Vet, named Jake, a lawyer.

I’ll set Jesse to have Jake begin the taking care of this.”

They sat and sipped iced tea from sweating glasses.

Rhea looked at Mira.

"Thinking, Mira, you and I have been given so many words today; words for telling the truth of how it really is, was, is.

"Where do we start; disillusionment?

"Disillusionment that comes from using our men and women as expendables; using, polluting, bombing the earth; spilling lives, spending resources, killing resources, making extinct instead of thinking ahead, of thinking of it all and how it all goes together?

"There’s the real linkage, knowing it is all One, not some Machiavellian fancy for fleeting power without dignity, without soul.

"Use your words, Mira, to tell them of your visits to VA Hospitals, of who lives in them and why; who lives in them forgotten on the cinder pile of history. Use your words to tell them of the power of words that leave no marks like Lannie’s but dead steps, make eyes vacant and smother dreams and laughter and love.

“Use your words to tell them about the elevation in wife battering on Super Bowl Sunday when a favored team loses and she takes the penalty call.

"Use you words to tell them about how we nurse our men, how we have to nurse our nurses with skin sweating blood, with kidney failures, and diabetes cracking toes open.

"Let’s tell them how we don’t need endless studies that no one reads, but that we all need to read what is there with eyes and hearts and souls open.

"Tell them how we destroy food producing earth and make mushroom clouds and pineapple grenades; how we make whole species extinct and build tiger cages. How we make words obscene: Arbeit macht frei.

"Pineapples are symbols of Southern hospitality; yet we call grenades by the same name.

"Let’s tell them what we do today echoes into tomorrow. Let’s talk about how we disinfect our homes and have chemical and germ warfare made with our money and in our names.

"I’ll tell them, what it means to be an MIA wife; what loneliness so intense means, never, ever absolutely sure if you are a widow, but so absolutely sure that you are so lonely that you boil an egg and hold it still warm in your hand just to touch something, anything warm.

"I have a SETI program on my computer for a screen saver; it tracks, looks for extraterrestrial life. What about our care of life here? Let’s call it grass roots loving.

"Let's call it grass roots loving; open soul loving. So many wounds, bruised, gashed, and bombed out places where they destruction is evident; unlike word wounds that leave nothing behind to be seen, just a dulling of the eyes, a heaving of step, a closing down of spirit and dreams."

As Rhea finishing speaking, draining of herself of so much frustration, Lannie came into the room wearing only Mira’s robe with her hair in up in a bath towel. She looked slowly at each of the women at the kitchen table, and found only love and empathy in their eyes. She walked over to the empty chair, sat down; picked up the ice tea server and poured herself a glass. The cold tea, the reassuring tinkle of tiny cubes seemed to soothe her.

Mellie spoke.

"Jesse is talking to a lawyer. I think you can press charges, or go home and keep him away from you, we will find out soon. What would you like to do, Lannie?"

"I do not want to go back there. The kids are gone. That house to me holds nothing but a dungeon of pain.

Rhea said, quite quietly, “I would like you to come home with me for a while. You know how big the house is. There is a room, a quiet room of soft pastels, with herbs and candles, soft leathers, and downy pillows. I’ve had many friends spend time there, get away time there, over the years. Consider it your room for as long as you need it. Would you, Lannie, would you like to come home with me for a while?"

Lannie smiled, just the tiniest smile and nodded, yes.

She turned to Mira, petite like her and said quietly, “May I borrow something open throated and short sleeved to wear until I am ready to go shopping."

Mira smiled and nodded, yes; as have sisters of all the centuries trying to so hard to keep things simmering quiet and full with out scorching the edges, inside and outside and blackening the bottoms.

— Loving

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