Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


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Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/daily-prompt-mirrored/ 

Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances? Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED.

Bernardo Strozzi - Public Domain

Bernardo Strozzi – Public Domain

Stranger in the Mirror

The face looking back at me,
so haggard and worn.
I’ve not met this face before,
This stranger in the mirror.
Lines of care drawn by pain,
stretching over skin so grey.
I don’t know this face,
This stranger in the mirror.
Why does she stare at me,
with desperation and despair?
I can’t help her. I don’t know her,
This stranger in the mirror.
This face so sad and so beyond repair.
What does she want from me?
Why look at me so?
This stranger in the mirror.
In her eyes, I see the shadows of all yesterdays.
Grief, so bluntly written for all the world to see.
I’m sorry. I don’t know her,
This stranger in the mirror.
How can I help?
Looking back at her,
I see contempt for my lack of compassion.
I look deeper into the eyes of all yesterdays.
I see me.
Me, as I once was, happy, beautiful,
and full of hopes and dreams.
Startled, I jump back.
No, not me!
Just an illusion of things past.
I don’t know this face.
This stranger in the mirror.

Ó Elizabeth Melton Parsons


17 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/out-of-this-world/

This post is longer than my norm, but includes back story, photos and an old poem of mine. I’m sorry but you’ll have to read the entire post to understand why I chose this as my masterpiece.

Masterpiece:
1. the most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman
2. an outstanding achievement

Achievement:
1. The act of accomplishing or finishing.
2. Something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance.

I’ve seen a lot of things that could easily be described as a masterpiece. I was going to post some photos of an old hotel near here. It’s definitely a masterpiece in every way, but I changed my mind. I had an experience a couple of days ago and to me this was my masterpiece. Look at definition number 2 for masterpiece and then look at the definition for achievement. My post for this challenge is about my own personal masterpiece of achievement. And for those who’d like to see the old hotel, I’ll be posting them in the near future.

I’ve always had a passion for climbing fire towers. This passion began when I was thirteen and out with my older brother. We were driving down a curving, country road in a sporty, little Triumph convertible. This was a thrill in itself. My brother never learned the meaning of slow. As we came out to the main road that would take us to his home, he looked across the road and saw an old wooden fire tower that had been abandoned many years before. It rose skyward where black clouds roiled and lightening flashed. He looked over at me and asked if I wanted to climb it. My answer, “Oh yeah!” He got this silly grin on his face and we roared across the road and up the deserted trail to the tower.

We were about half way up when the wind picked up and the rickety old thing began to sway. He asked if I wanted to go back, but I shook my head no and we continued to the top. We clung to the railing of the little observation deck and watched the storm rage. When it had blown itself out, we climbed back down and walked to the car. It was only then we realized we were sopping wet. We began to laugh. It was such a feeling of freedom and excitement and I was delirious to have been allowed to share it with him. From then on I climbed every fire tower I could find. Up until about ten years ago anyway. That’s when my ill health began and none of the doctors I went to could figure out what was wrong with me. They knew I was diabetic and blamed that. I knew better. It took a heart attack for them to discover my genetic heart problem, With treatment, I’ve been better and have worked really hard over the past year to get back a semblance of my old zest for life.

Some of you may remember the post I made a while back about Sycamore Springs Park and the spiral staircase. I’ve always wanted to climb it, but was never physically able to. Not as high as a fire tower, but still way beyond my capabilities. A couple of days ago my son and I took Bernie there for a little romp and I kept looking at those stairs. I told my son I was going to give it a try. He told me to go for it. I did. It creaked and groaned and swayed just like that old fire tower I’d first climbed with my brother. About half way up I stopped to see how I felt. I felt fine and up, up I went. Oh man, what a feeling I had when I reached the top and looked out at the fabulous views. I’d done it. A personal triumph. A small thing for most, but a huge masterpiece of achievement for me.

spiral stairs - expansion bridge

spiral stairs – expansion bridge

Stairs to Freedom 

Marching their way toward heaven,

Surrounded by flowering vines.

The breeze freshening the air around me

As I climb slowly one step at a time.

These stairs are my vision of freedom.

If I could just make my way to the top_

My fear makes me weak and I stumble,

Sometimes lacking strength, I must stop.

When my courage returns, I continue,

To slowly ascend once more.

Knowing when reaching the summit,

I’ll be granted a glorious reward.

I may falter when courage deserts me,

But each day I climb a bit higher.

The going is slow, but I’ll make it,

No matter how much I may tire.

I may be weak and weary,

But to continue on up, I must dare.

To reach that glorious freedom,

Waiting at the top of the stairs.

halfway there

halfway there

View From the Top

View From the Top


12 Comments

Daily Prompt: There’s No Place Like Home

If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you? Photographers, artists, poets: show us MOVING. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/daily-prompt-moving/

I lived a pretty nomadic life growing up. I went to two or three different schools every year. It seemed we were always traveling from one end of the country to the other. In fact I was nearly born in Canada, as that’s where my family was when I decided it was time to introduce myself to my parents. Dad however wanted me born right here in the good old USA. They made it across the border into Michigan and that’s my birthplace.

I thought I loved my nomadic existence. Then one Spring we were in Indiana and one of my brothers fell in love. He begged Dad to stay. Since he was pretty much the favorite child (I love him in spite of this), Dad decided to buy a farm and settle his large family in one spot. I was a little upset by this, but I was still able to live the nomadic lifestyle I loved by travelling with other family members.

I soon came to realize I loved our farm and going to one school every year. It was home. And that’s a word I wasn’t too familiar with up to this point. If given the opportunity to live that nomadic lifestyle now, my answer would have to be a resounding no. Oh, I still love to travel and there are many places I’ve never been and would love to visit. And when the opportunity arises, I will go. But I need my home base. To me, there really is no place like home. Within the walls of our little cottage lives comfort, security, joy, laughter and even tears, but most of all love lives here. It’s the nicest place I can imagine being. Every time I pull into the drive after being away, I feel a marvelous feeling contentment.

I wrote a sad poem a few years ago titled Home Again. Hope you like it. 🙂 After the poem are a couple of photos to represent moving from the past to the present.

Home Again 

Sun burning on my back,
Palm trees rustling in the breeze.
Soft warm sand beneath my feet,
Ocean clear and glassy green,
Foamy peaks rushing onto shore.
Walking up the sun drenched beach,
Thinking of nothing, seeing all.
Home again,
So many years gone by.
Streets at dusk are quiet now,
Homes all bright from light within.
Air, heavy with the scent of citrus.
Fruit laden trees in gardens here and there,
Lemon, orange and kumquat.
Roaming far away from home,
Finding you, seeing the world.
Never quite understanding
That you were here all along.
Time wasted in running away,
Homecoming bittersweet.
The funeral home was full,
The burial quiet.
Home again, but missing Mama.
Strayed for much too long,
Never got to say goodbye.

Palm Beach-past

Palm Beach


15 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour. In photography, the “golden hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day. Photographers venture out on sunrise hikes or sunset treks to capture a magical shot, due to the quality of the light during that time of day.

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE TAKEN DURING THE GOLDEN HOURhttp://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/the-golden-hour/

I wanted so badly to participate in this challenge. I was hoping to get out and find some really cool shots of shadow and light. Unfortunately it’s been an extremely hectic week for me. So this morning I went out early before I had to leave town and snapped these shots. Not exactly magical shots, but I think they’re nice.

Golden Light-July-18-2013 006-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 005-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 008-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 002-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 003-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 010-sm

Golden Light-July-18-2013 001-sm

Purple-Dawn-trees-July-18-2013 007

Dawn-sunrise-trees-July-18-2013

fog-dawn--trees-July-18-2013


4 Comments

Daily Prompt – Opposite

Today’s daily prompt is opposite: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/daily-prompt-opposite/ I don’t normally participate in these because all my posts are pretty random and spontaneous, but this one got me to thinking. I don’t post about one thing or even three or four things. I post fiction, non-fiction, art, poetry, photos, nature, books and book reviews, even rants at times and of course, my life, family, pets….so on and so on.  Now what on earth would be opposite of that. I’ve been racking my brain all morning to come up with one subject matter opposite of what I generally post and I finally came up with one. I have never posted a sketch. For a very good reason, I can’t draw. I freehand my paintings. Sketching is something I have absolutely no gift for and no patience for learning.  And believe me, I’ve tried because it’s something I’ve always wanted to be skillful at. So my opposite post today is a self-portrait sketch. I worked really hard on this. Must have slaved over it for at least three seconds. So enjoy! 🙂

me-4