Dare

dDare.

As in, double-dog dare. Only, the adult version of it.

When I was twenty and first read T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I was struck by the speaker’s question, “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

Do I dare? Do I dare to disturb the comfort of my own little universe, the universe I have carefully measured out, not in coffee spoons, but in falsely created parameters and limits that I don’t cross…because, like Prufrock, I am afraid?

Afraid of going back to school.

Afraid of writing something too honest.

Afraid, maybe, of success.

I keep coming across a quotation from another favorite writer, Mark Twain.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Today, I will Dare to Discover.

 

Chocolate

cChocolate.

Because reasons.

Is there a tastier treat? Richer? More decadent?

Maybe… but it’s my C, so I’m going with the frothy drink of Aztec kings and Spanish noblemen instead of my usual cup of coffee on this cold morning. (betcha thought I’d go with Coffee today, right?)

I’m siding with the Hershey company and the most brilliant product ever created: The Hershey Kiss.

I’m remembering the red and green blotches in my sweaty palms when I was a kid, belying company claims that M & M’s melt in your mouth, not in your hands.

Chanuka gelt shaken in its little mesh bag, chocolate bunnies delightfully decapitated, the Nestlé Quik bunny lamenting that he can’t drink it slow.

Really, what’s not to love?

Less is more with a little drizzle of chocolate over homemade New York-style cheesecake.

More is more when nothing else will do but a raspberry-filled Ghirardelli dark chocolate bar.

Eat your hearts* out caviar lovers, coffee connoisseurs, Marie Antoinettes of the world and your cakes.

I have chocolate. And today, in honor of the A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing.

* just an interesting little fact that the Aztecs did in fact rip out hearts. 

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details from a lithograph I owned many years ago, The Alphabet Suite, by Erté.

Become

bBecome.

I’m a work in progress.

At this point in my life I realize that I have more years under my belt than what I have left to live. Let’s hope there’s a little wisdom behind some of the things I’ve seen and done, right? If nothing else, I won’t be repeating some of my more boneheaded mistakes…though there is the danger that I will find some new ways to be a goober.

Sobering? Depressing?

No. It’s actually kind of inspiring.

It’s one of those things that comes to me in moments of clarity — I’m not yet the person I can be — not because I feel like some grand failure, but because I am full of potential.

I ask myself daily, what are you going to be when you grow up?

I have the experience to see how all of the events in my life have built upon each other. It makes me hopeful for a future that will bring these experiences together for something amazing and unexpected. Even if I’m the only one to see it.

But I doubt that — that I’m the only one to see it. I feel God’s hand in my life, so the unknown is an adventure, not a source of fear.

I just need to remember to breathe.

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details from a lithograph I owned many years ago, The Alphabet Suite, by Erté.

Aspire

AI’ve hit upon a new plan for writing, a jumpstart for my creativity that I stumbled across last year, much too late to participate. And then, here we are, next year. It’s called the A to Z Challenge, a brilliant idea from Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out. Thanks, Arlee, for being a bright note of inspiration!

So this first word, aspire, was both an easy choice, and a difficult one. Easy for me to go with the first definition, to aspire to something, to seek, to attain, perhaps to accomplish.

I want that. I want to accomplish great things. I have a few books roiling around in my head that I need to get down on paper. I’d like to travel, not with an overnight bag to an endless string of cities as I’ve been doing lately, but to one place where I can stay long enough to discover where the locals drink coffee. And I want a miracle or two, though that’s probably more of a hope than an aspiration.

Which leads to the next interpretation, which properly comes from the word origins rather than a definition. To aspire is to breathe. Oh, how I need to breathe. I find myself holding my breath all the time. Like I’m suspending time by not breathing, but that’s not fooling anybody, least of all time. I need to breathe in — and out — and back in again. I need to pay closer attention around me. I need to be present in the present.

I suppose it all begins with a great big cleansing breath. Join me, won’t you, for the next several weeks, as I weave and wend my way through the alphabet, aspiring to be a little creative and, perhaps, a little more alive as I discover what’s on my mind, one letter at a time.

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I’ll be illustrating these posts with details from a lithograph I owned many years ago, The Alphabet Suite, by Erté.