The annual Blogging from A to Z Challenge begins tomorrow, April 1st, 2023. For those of you unfamiliar with it, those joining in are asked to create 26 posts during the month. The title of each day follows the alphabet, with April 1st using the letter A, the next post starting with B, and so on, with Z falling on April 30th.
All those in the challenge are asked to post a reflection on May 1st.
I started this blog in 2011, joining my first A to Z that year. I’ve been intermittent with my commitment to the challenge since then. It has been a couple of years since my last foray. This is also a very last-minute entry into the challenge. We were supposed to do this much earlier in March.
Procrastinators unite tomorrow?
What To Do?
For those of you who have followed me, you know I am partial to a serialized story as opposed to one-and-done. This year will be no exception. I will do my editing best for brevity, but we also know that that promise can easily go out the window depending on the day’s writing.
So, Rum Ball, please…or Black and White Cookie (preferred):
“Every second is of infinite value.” ~ ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nomad(s) of Infinitum.
Transient(s) of the spatial dimensions
They absorb the Tenth Dimension.
A single point.
Branches of every potential universe.
(ZV) savors Apeiron
Yet the thought along the line:
Definite or Incomplete?
Z will enter/has entered/never be in the Float Pod
Valentina refused/refuses/never enters the Lab
Z will take/is taking/remembers IVs of Modifal-70 from 200 mg to the final dosing of 1000 mg.
Five sessions in a row.
Z will undergo/undergoes/will have gone through rounds of gene and body modifications.
Valentina would/will/has regret(s) supervising the procedure(s).
Things lost control.
Things were never in control.
volcanic eruptions stardust shattered dreams rising falling waves of despair love hatred denial no know known believe belief rituals symbolic pedestal entombed buried airless space time khronos forget forgot lost unclear foggy rain downpour floods levees dams bursting opening hallway echo repeat again again again
Float Pod Conn
Dr. Karen Capri has upper management up her ass. She has been bombarded with questions, demands, threats, quasi-pleading, and distaste. The lab’s repair costs. The dead technician. The disappearance of Subject Z and Dr. Marin. The “Why don’t you have an answer for us, Dr. Capri?” in its non-stop versions.
The last two nights Karen had fallen back on old ways through medical schooling. Adderall to Methamphetamine to blow. Non-stop stimulants, pushing herself to find the answers-any answer-that would relieve the attacks on her competency. There was no way she would allow them to take the yoke of blame on all of this, to become their scapegoat, their sacrificial lamb, the one to crucify.
Three days, high on uppers.
Something had to break.
The console screamed.
Karen raced to shut off the speakers, cursing the entire way from her office.
The Goddess strode into Janiculum through the Gates of Prógramma Spoudón. Her long, unbound hair trailed, tendrils caressing those in her wake. The colors shifted with every other step, taking on the hues of the flowers of the land. Some colors came from other realities, yet none in her presence remarked on the uniqueness. Tall, shapely, skin of a golden-olive hue, caught each eye, young and old alike.
The city-state was festooned with garlands of the sweetest aroma of the scythed. Purple hued feathery fronds, strung through the masses of golds, reds, yellows, and blues. It had taken a harvest to adorn the Goddess Alcyeyx’s walk way to her temple.
Deep genuflections as she passed. The muddy streets stained the linen Himation the populace wore. None were concerned. Their Goddess had arrived. Cheers of “Bless the Winds. Bless the Seas” reverberated throughout. The surrounding mountains concurred in receding echo.
Omens of dire times to come were brushed away with Alcyeyx’s arrival. The Oracle of the Peak wailed her laments to deaf ears once the Goddess arrived. Submitting to the inevitable, the Oracle retreated before the Sun vanished into the ocean. She knew she would return. After.
Rituals were cast, wine flowed, the food was plentiful. Everything was carried to excess. Children with slightly bloated bellies lay fast asleep on straw, patches of grass, and the shorn gardens. They nestled in the land of dreams.
The wine was never ending. Alcyeyx bequeathed that to her people, her devotees, her sacrificial stream. The crowds grew raucous as the skies went black. Fights were few; love making was key. Other lands degraded their festivals, the obscene, to them, rendering of garments, the cries of passions, the coming of more children being placed.
All of those in Janiculum were lost in their revels, as was Alcyeyx. Many women of youth and of age tasted the Goddess’s lips, felt the strong soft gliding over their unadorned flesh. As many came to Alcyeyx as she went to her worshippers. All were left beyond sated.
Except Alcyeyx, whose inner turmoil, the two sides of her constantly clashing, left part of her drained as the other part was elated. This had been the way of things since their metamorphosis. Two strong essences tugged, one always angry, the other mad. Or so the Angry One crowed.
Ten times ten², or when counting ended, were the battles, the pleas, the promises…
Z always called V out on the promises. For a while after, things would subside.
The call of the winds at the ascending sun found Alcyeyx looking beyond the walls of this beloved stronghold. Janiculum was one of the few things they embraced. Yet, the need for elsEwhen called.
The Goddess lifted her arms, raised her chin, and felt the West Wind blow her hair East.
If anyone had been awake at this juncture, they would surely have noticed the golden-olive hued Kingfisher take to the skies and then…
Khione, Nymph of contempt and snow, took satisfaction in Alcyeyx’s leave-taking.
Now, it was Khione’s time to take.
The Kingfisher squabbled with itself, as it phased into the void.
I started Tale Spinning at the beginning of 2011 as an offshoot of BornStoryteller. The latter went more towards non-fiction, rants, comparisons, and observations. Tale Spinning: an experiment in creative writing was the space I needed. Since then, I’ve gone through periods of both non-stop writing and those “dry” spells, where nothing inspired or motivated me.
Joining the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April 2011 was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made. I’ve pushed my own boundaries over the ten years, always looking for that “challenge.” Taking risks is stimulating. A lot of what I write is expressing what is burning within me at the moment.
Which is probably why I have trouble continuing plunging into the worlds and characters I’ve built over the years. The roller-coaster upheaval of my life during these last ten years have jaggedly flowed from euphoric to complete and utter numbness. This isn’t a pity party. Just stating the facts, ma’am.
Many bloggers/writers I have “met along the way have become family. What is “Family is Chosen” for $2,000, Alex?” (Man, I miss Alex Trebek. Right now, I am Team Levar Burton to become the new host. Reading Jeopardy Rainbow!). It’d take me the rest of the day (it’s early here) to point you all out, but my thanks and love are hereby sent. I even met the woman I love writing these blog posts during that first A to Z. Present tense, even though we are not together anymore.
List Time. In case, you know, want to read past (and present) A to Z attempts. Each set starts with A on April 1st of that year. There might be a few preceding posts/teases over the years as I tried out the new voice I was shooting for.
Here’s something not A to Z that I’d love to get your feedback/comments. I keep getting drawn back to it on an emotional/mental level, but have not added a thing to it in quite a while. These were written during the summer of 2011.
“Shard by shard we are released from the tyranny of so-called time.” Patti Smith
FLOAT POD c
Z is not in a raster format.
Yet, pixelated within the FP (Float Pod), Z is obscured. There are no filters, graininess, or fuzziness. Z is not enlarged in the chamber; more the reverse. In the perverse total dark, floating on chemical laden liquid, Z contemplates a linear spiral.
It began once the Pod door was shut, blocking out the lights of the room, a total eclipse of fluorescent tube bulbs.
Awareness fades with ease. Z has/is/will experience(d)(ing) the mindful disassociation gift that the FP offers. Not a womb as others had/have/will deride(d) it. Z dives freely, embracing the dissolution, not surrendering to it. Z does not know where the absolute certainty in the purity of the Float Pod comes from. Yet, it is there.
Z vibrates from a pure, righteous (without the trappings), hole in Z’s soul. It is all encompassing.
Unintentionally, Z synch’s into the O². The plunge causes
z to fracture
every muscle seized trembling to an unheard beat z’s middle twisted into a double fisher man’s knot numbness came taking control z slipped away from z in any tense a full force centrifuge bodily liquids separated density versus density the shell splintering no control no control z found every zeptosecond of z’s life if z hadn’t been in synch there might have have been, is a, or will be a z no warning that
Z fell into a moment. One Z had been able to walk away from. The next moment was just as bad as the preceding one. Z knew the pattern. Z’s fists clenched.
Schrödinger’s Float Pod sat in it’s birth.
This is the day Z doesn’t die
Z was/is/will be
So the journey begins. Backwards, like the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Yes, the internet is full of links to a plethora of quote sites. I’ve cherry picked the specific ones that have wound up on past posts. This time, Wisdom Quotes made it easy with one stop shopping. Uh, I mean copying. Yeah. That. There’s a powerful story behind the Wisdom Quotes site. More power to Maxime Lagacé.
Special note: If you are seeing a Kurt Vonnegut “Slaughterhouse 5” feel to this, it’s a semi-conscious choice. Z is by no means Billy Pilgrim, and I am not trying to plagiarize Mr. Vonnegut’s amazing book in any way. A beginning homage? I’ll plead the fifth on that one. With Continuance (April 3rd), Z begins the tread to elsewhere.
Please leave any comments &/or feedback below. It is always much appreciated.
There isn’t a map that points to where you are. There isn’t a Mall, Zoo, Amusement Park, Tactical Training Range, whatever. Do you need to know the exact spot you occupy? The exact moment in time? You’ve asked yourself, or others, “Why am I here?” It’s an unanswerable question. This isn’t peace during wartime. You are there, but you are not aware of that.
Z is not fixed.
Buoyed at 33.8889° C. The heptahydrate MgSO4·7H2O balances the interior gravity at approximately of 1.26. The FP (Float Pod) is sound proof, light proof, but not air proof. The Air Circulation System (ACS) brings in more air. Humidity often reaches 100%; there is alignment in the darkness. The temperature of the water is constant. The humidity levels off as eyes close.
Z fades into transcendental breathing.
The pod door shuts with a clang; the noise reverberates around the chamber. Z, already afloat, hands along sides. Both palms open, the backs of the hands are resting on top of the chemically infused water. The earplugs are NRR rated at 12dB.
Z is ready. Now. Always present in the Now. It never mattered when the Now came before, or after, the Now Z is part of. Or was, as Z slipped into the next Now. The next. Again.
Z lives each zeptosecond of existence. The why of here, there, now, folds into each other.
Z is approaching Transition. Z’s word for it. Not ours.
It will suffice.
The door to the FP remains closed.
Z was/is/will be.
“Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away.”
My name is John Meadows, at least, that’s what it says on my birth certificate. At this moment, I’m not sure if that is even true.
I woke up in a bedroom. It was an unknown space. Except, as I lifted my head up off the pillow, I noticed a picture that looked familiar. I stood, walked over to it: it was flush with the wall. An outdoor moment in time. There was a man, and a woman. They held each other, big smiles on their faces.
The man leaned on a vast gnarled tree. Instead of branches, It looked as if seven tree trunks wound around each other, an abstract weave of latticework wood. The leaves were thick, a dark shade of green that looked almost like they were black. They hung over the couple like a frame.
The woman had her head resting on the man’s shoulder. His hair fell to his collar, so dark that at first, I thought it looked like it was cut out of the photo. Her hair was lighter, a mixture of golden brown and red. I remembered that it was called Auburn. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that at first. Yes, Auburn-haired, long, it fell down and over his chest, making his torso look like it disappeared as well.
The photo bothered me. Her eyes sparkled when the shot was taken. His eyes held little to no reflection. I looked. His didn’t, even with the sunlight spotlighting where they stood. Her eyes, the tilt of her head, her smile: there was life. He smiled, but it didn’t seem to reach his eyes. They were flat.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a free-standing full-body mirror to my left. It stood at a tilt near white folding slat doors. I shuffled my way over to it. I could not remember what I looked like, nor who I was. Maybe, I thought, looking at the reflection, things would come into focus. My heart began to accelerate, chest tightening, and it was getting difficult to breathe. I hadn’t been aware of breathing before this. I was now.
Coming into full view, I felt my head had received something smashing into it. It hurt like hell. I had to touch my head. It felt like bone shattered. I checked. It felt solid. But the pain. It was like a steel bar was slammed against my forehead.
A steel bar? Why did I…no, more a bat? Baseball? No, no. A baseball. Yes, a baseball hurtling to me, not even registering that I needed to move, to duck, do something. But it was too fast. I was too slow. I was up, then nothing. It felt just like that, although I didn’t know why. I still don’t know why I felt that way when I stepped in front of the mirror.
Yes, I was the man in that photo, even though I did not remember that. It was clear upon viewing, my eyesight was waving, no floaters, no film distortion over the irises. I looked at myself in the mirror, then over to the photo. Goosebumps paraded across my spine.
Turning, I took in the rest of the room. White minimalism in paint and fabrics. Same with my pajama pants. I noticed, then, that I had no shirt on. A look in the mirror traveled down; before, I was solely intent only on my face. My chest was hairy but not matted. Three parallel deep pink scars ran from my left armpit to just past the bellybutton. An inny. They didn’t hurt as much as throb. Noticing them did not help my rapid breathing and heart rate.
The next moments are still a blur. I know I looked around: the place had been tidy when I awoke. Now, drawers, men’s clothing, papers littered the white. All the bed linen was on the floor. The sliding slat doors were open wide, showing a closet that was only half full. I took this all in, sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed. I felt something hard and looked down. I had a metal lockbox in my hands. My breathing shallowed, and I felt myself calm down to regular human beats. At least, what I thought were normal.
There was no lock to have to break into. The lid swung up with ease, showing the mound of papers it carried. I riffled through the envelopes, unfolded the various papers, and only stopped when I found a Birth Certificate. Mine, I have assumed, until someone tells me differently.
My name is John Meadows.
If you are listening to this tape, then most likely I am dead. Or too far away for any meaning of living or dead is inconsequential. This is the story of what happened from that moment of waking, clueless to everything that had meaning to me. I know that the woman in the photo was Jean, my partner. I know she no longer…is here. Where? At this time, I still do not know how to answer that.
Whoever you are, whenever you are, do yourself and loved ones a favor.
Do not stand under the leaves of that massive, gnarled tree.