A new yellow lotus in the pond!
It bloomed yesterday morning and will stay for two more days. And there's a new bud coming up.
An old one from the closet.
I was having a hard time with the writing today, so I decided to take a break and see where I went with the writing prompt from freelancewrite.about.com
Here's the Writing Prompt: You sit in a restaurant booth eating a turkey sandwich when you hear the couple next to you start to argue under their breath. The woman begins to cry softly and says, "You didn't have to kill her."
Here's my take -
I hate turkey sandwiches. But I hate pizza even more and that was the only other thing Annabel's had tonight. And every night, really. The rest of the menu is only there to gull the customers. If you're new here, you spend 5 minutes looking through everything and then the bored waitress spends 5 minutes telling you they don't have this and this and that. Just pizza and turkey sandwiches, sir and ma'am. Today, tomorrow, and everyday. On days like today, when I'm just too darned tired to walk up to the apartment and cook and too weary to walk around the corner to another restaurant, I wrinkle my nose and eat the nasty fare.
It would've helped if there was some sort of entertainment here to distract you, but there isn't. Annabel's is the most soulless place I've ever eaten in - and I've eaten in quite a lot of soulless places, so that's really saying something. Hell, you know, every time I eat here, I feel like I've lost a few inches of mine. Nobody seems to ever talk in Annabel's. People slouch in and slouch down on the plastic chairs, gaze at the dirty green walls or just about anywhere. They avoid all eye contact as they eat their soggy turkey sandwich or their cold, dry pizza. Then they pay the bill and slouch back out. If this is a gathering place for losers, I guess it's for the kind that like to suffer in silence.
Except today. There's actually a couple murmuring at the table behind me. It's incredible. Human sounds. Who did have thought you would hear them in here?
It sounds like they're having a mighty argument. I perk up my ears and listen. Yeah, I know that's eavesdropping, but I've committed far worse crimes. Besides the girl's crying. I'm only human, you know - if you're only human, you like to know why people are crying - if only for the scandal value.
She sniffed and said, "You didn't have to kill her!"
"Get a grip on yourself," said the man. "What else could I do? It was the only way out of the miserable situation."
"You could've have discussed it with me at least."
"Discuss? Damn it, Marla, I had to make a split second decision, didn't I? If I hadn't shot her, she would have shot me!"
"Well, you didn't have to kill her - you could've shot her in the arm or the leg, you know."
"Oh, for heaven's sake, what's done is done. She's dead. Let's forget it."
"Yeah, right. You're just like every single man, aren't you?"
"What the hell's that supposed to mean?"
"That means this is a wake up call for me. Boy, am I glad I found out before it got too late. I thought you were different, you know, Sean. But you're not. You're no different from every single jerk I've ever known in my whole fucking life!"
"Oh, excuse me, I'm a jerk because I didn't let myself get killed?"
"No, you're a jerk 'cause you took the whole sole decision - we were supposed to be a team, goddamn it! - but you've been making all the important decisions, you didn't once consult me about anything. It's everything your way."
"Look, I told you it was a split-second thing."
"Yeah, it's always a split-second thing. It'll always be a split-second thing." She sniffed again. "My mother's right. You're a selfish, inconsiderate bastard."
"No, your goddamn mother's not right. She's never bloody well right. Okay? And especially not when she's interfering in our personal affairs...."
"Don't talk about my mother that way, I'm warning you!"
"Or what? You're going to get violent? You couldn't even throw the bloody grenade back there."
I stirred. Grenade? The cell-phone is in the bag, I thought, and the bag is under the table. Reach down slowly. Get it. Call the police, the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, the CID, the Surete, Scotland Yard, anyone, this has to be the Orange Alert of Terrorism, or is it Violet?
"Like hell I couldn't," said Marla angrily."I would have thrown it if your bloody, fucking Playstation joystick didn't keep getting stuck all the bloody, fucking time. It's so ancient it's from the Stone Age. And of course you'll have me use it. You will keep the new one for yourself. And that alone says everything about the way you treat me. Our relationship's over, Sean. I'm not going to play another bloody game with you ever!"
That's when the turkey went down the wrong way.
Interesting article here -
And an inspiring video by Apna TV CVU about Mangal Thorat, a former rag-picker from Bombay, who got an education and became a teacher. Now, since the lady has obviously understood the importance of having an education, she will make sure her children are educated. With an education, they will be more likely to get good jobs and so correspondingly their economic situation and their personal lives ought to improve.
We have such a success story in our own area. Our former domestic help, after her drunkard and wife-beater of a husband died, raised her three children by herself and insisted they all get an education. Now the eldest son works in a good position in a factory, the middle son runs a computer booth and the youngest daughter is about to graduate with a degree in Computer Science.
Education + Hard Work + Opportunity (and the sense to grab an opportunity when it comes) + Encouragement = Success
That's just the simple formula, of course.
Can success be measured? What is the general criteria?
I drew up the following list -
For the record, I never thought it was all about keeping up with the Joneses.
But it's nice to remind yourself from time to time about wh0 you are and what you are all about.
Especially when the Joneses look down their noses and make pointed remarks about lilies of the field that neither toil nor spin.
And what do you do in that situation?
A. Do you throw a fine fit and a thundering tantrum about being a grossly misunderstood creative person?
B. Do you calmly and patiently explain in detail the time, effort, thought, research and learning that goes into crafting an article, designing a web site, producing a graphic, creating an illustration or painting a picture?
C. Do you hike up your nose in your turn and offer them that lovely tale about pearls before swine?
D. Do you hone your acting skills by pretending you are too thick-skinned and superior to be felled by such minor barbs?
Well, it really depends on when they drop the clangers and what sort of mood I am in - saintly, educative, bloody-minded or beastly.
Here's the satellite view of Samboja Lestari - http://createrainforest.org/infosystem/en/satellitenkarte.htm
The new rainforest has worked wonders for the climate, the ecosystem and also created many jobs for the local people. A win-win situation all around.
We have managed a mini miracle in our own backyard - the pond and the fruit trees draw birds (20 species so far), butterflies (9 species), reptiles (not counted - snakes, lizards, frogs and toads) and some mammals (squirrels, mongoose, cats, dogs, cows, donkeys, neighborhood kids).
I got some new stretchers from A.K. John in Bombay, I have the colors and the new canvas will come today or tomorrow. I'm all set to begin a new series of oil paintings.
I don't usually plan the paintings ahead - it's more fun when you have to wait until towards the end to know how it's going to turn out - but I'm very partial to laying on the color in thick, impasto style with a palette knife.