Category Archives: Life Lessons

The Power of Adversity


“Closet-Shower by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.  —Booker T. Washington

“Hurry it up Lucy! I gotta goooo!”

“Almost done, Stuuuu-eeey,” Lucy snickered, delighting in the thought of him dancing outside the door, clutching his groin.

“Okay!” Stuart squealed. He knew she didn’t mean it. She never did. His only goal was to avoid further humiliation by restraining nature’s call until granted access to the privy. He didn’t always win. Eventually he figured out that he could avert the entire ordeal by rising 15 minutes earlier every morning.

Years later at a family gathering Stuart thanked his sister for inspiring his success.

“What? Whatever Stu-ey!” Lucy didn’t get it of course.


Another 100 words for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneer’s Challenge prompted by her photo of a closet-shower above. This week I had two different stories pop into my head.



PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Field

She winced at the bruised reflection emerging, scored by the shrill squeal produced by the slow, circular motion of her wet hand on the mirror.

“I loathe you, you know.  You’re weak. You’re nothing!” She surrendered to the voices in her head, letting them to spill through her lips, hot tears burning her swollen cheeks.

No one believed her; not even the women. He was an esteemed community leader…board chair for the battered women’s shelter, a church deacon, little league coach.

She packed a few belongings and disappeared quietly; no note, no goodbyes. That is how nothing leaves a room.


100 words for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneer’s Challenge prompted by her photo of a closet-shower above.

Magnetic Poetry Monday

we are so easily charmed
by the sound of our own
voices, that listening has
become a lost art


Magnetic Poetry Love Kit

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -13 August 2017

The heavens are convulsing this month with lunar eclipses, meteor showers, solar eclipses and retrograde mercurial planets. Is it any wonder we’re going mad down here? But don’t blame the heavens or the gods for what is happening. We can’t keep pointing fingers at others saying, “There! They are the reason why our lives are a mess, not working, or unhappy…fill in the blank…the reasons are many.

It’s time my friends to look in the mirror and decide on which side of fault line you will stand. There is no middle. The middle is an abyss. And the the choice is easier than you think. A few questions to help you along…

Love? or Hate?
Truth? or Lies?
Open? or Closed?
Fear? or Faith?
Apathy? or Empathy?
Ignorance? or Knowledge?
Judgment? or Mercy?
Compassion? or Indifference?
Doors? or Walls?
Black Lives Matter? or All Lives Matter? (…this is not a trick question…)
Love is Love is Love? Or Love is…except for…?

I could go on, but I’m going to stop right here. I believe most of us want to believe we’re doing the right thing. We want to believe we’re good. Contrary to popular, feel good, “we’re all entitled to our own opinion” sensibilities, there is a right and a wrong answer. Of course we would choose the right answer…the right words. But what do our actions say?

I’m not judging. I wrestle everyday with these questions. I fall short. But I would like to declare a do-over for us all. Slate clean. It’s not too late.

What will I do when called to take a stand? What do I do when no one is looking? Can I look in the mirror without wincing? Because at the end of the day that is what matters. At the end of the day we need each other and we’re counting on us to do the right thing; the thing that is good and true and just.

Blessings and grace, love and healing to you this week. Clean slate. Let’s do this! ❤️

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -13 August 2017

moll with painted crimson lips
feel the blue
but the virus was resistant
for the costly price of love
evanescence gone
no means no, you know
I could tell you things…
she appears as an angel
come out from the nimbus mist
there is no normal
dull, entranced faces
our dreams bittersweet
prayers for our fractured nation
their magnificent innocence…fades far too quickly, like echoes of laughter in the distance.


A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.

The Girl Who Dreamed of Flying

Once upon a time…you know where this is going. You might even think, this is one of those ‘fairy tales’ and dismiss it straight away as a myth, but I can assure you it is truer than true. For it is true that everything in this world has a once upon a time; even you, if you think about it, when you burst purple, wet into this place, gulping your first breath, eyes squinting at the bright glare of life.

And so it was for Clarissa. Born in a humble wisteria-draped cottage in a dingle village long, long ago, Clarissa emerged from the Guf laughing, eyes wide and bright. The midwife declared, “My my, but this is a special one!” Never had a truer thing been uttered, as time would tell.

As soon as she could walk, Clarissa set about exploring every cranny and nook. Birds and bugs, whirlygigs, cottonwood fluff and witch’s gowan wishies…flying things, were her favorite things of all. She spent hours studying them, quite unusual for a youngster, and gibbering to them about this and that, as if they were listening. She dreamed of flying like her airborne friends. One day she did. It was the saddest of all days the dingle had ever known.

On that dark and dreadful day Clarissa managed to escape the watchful eyes of her doting mum to wander up the mountain trail to the lookout ledge. She stood there for a moment, feet clinging to the rocky crag, arms extended, her fiery red curls dancing in the wind, and she laughed so loudly it caught the attention of every living thing below. They watched aghast as Clarissa lept into a swooping gust and flew for a short, too few magnificent seconds.

Frantic to save her, every winged, wispy thing surrendered their feathers and wings, whirligigs and fluffy, puff wishies to the wind, hoping to break her fall her by blanketing the dingle in feathery fluff, but they were no match for gravity’s power, drifting helplessly in the air. Clarissa fell right through them, landing in a horrible thud as the last echo of her laughter faded in the distance.

Now you may not notice it when it happens but I can assure you it’s true. Every time a child laughs a bird sheds a feather or bug its wings. And sometimes Maple tree whirligigs, cottonwood fluffies and dandelion wishies take to the wind too. All to remember Clarissa, the girl who dreamed of flying, and to add another moment’s wonder and happiness to children everywhere. For it is also true that their magnificent innocence, like Clarissa’s ill-fated flight, fades far too quickly, like echoes of laughter in the distance.


A Folktale for Jane Dougherty Microfiction Challenge inspired by Jeren of itsallaboutnothing’s poem that you can read HERE.

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