Friday, February 22, 2013

Empty Nest

The woman’s quiescence said all

Blankness would devour her.

She could not abide the thought

Of no children in the house

The pink impatiens by the front door

Were hidden, then gone…never mind

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I wrote this for the Trifextra Week 56 Writing Challenge.  Here are the instructions for the prompt:

This weekend we are playing another type of word game with you. Below are photos from the 33rd page of one of our very favorite books, Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. What we want you to do is to scour the page (click to enlarge), choose 33 words, and reshape those words into a piece of your own. Your piece does not have to tell an entire story. We just want to see what you can do with this particular word bank. Punctuation is up to you. Use whatever you need, whether or not it appears in the photos.

Your comments are appreciated.

58 comments:

  1. Bleak! Very good use of the words.

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    1. Bleak it is. I found the word limitation lent itself to dark, choppy phrases. Thanks Sandra.

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  2. A lot of grief in just a few words. Well done - it was a tricky one this week!

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    1. Yeah, for sure. I thought it would be easy until I couldn't find words that I needed to finish each phrase. It wound up telling me what to write. lol! Thanks Morgan.

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  3. Nice piece. I love the way the flowers disappear.

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    1. Thanks Kelly. I was happy when I came up with that line. :)

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  4. Really nice... a slice of life. Great arrangement!

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    1. Thanks Steph. For a few minutes, I wasn't sure I'd come up with anything coherant.

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  5. my favorite one thus far this weekend. you really set an atmosphere in this short piece. and quiescence, a new word for my vocab!

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  6. Such a sad tale, but beautifully told. (Though I notice there are 34 words... Shhhh!) ;)

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    1. Thank you for some of those comments. Lol! ;). My Word counter said 33 but you are right, just between us!

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    2. Interesting. I see the word counter takes the 'gone...never' as one word. By the same token, to my fury, it takes my habit of spacing both sides of an elipse as being an extra word, e.g. 'gone ... never' would be three.

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  7. The barren emotion comes through brilliantly (:

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  8. You have captured the emotion of the empty-nester..I should know being one of those women! Interesting use of the words grabbed for the Challenge. It was a difficult one.

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  9. This is lovely, capturing a personal emotion. You selected some beautiful words to craft your piece.

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    1. Thanks Joann. I wasn't sure whether this would come across.

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  10. Swoon. From reading the comments around the blogosphere, it sounds like you struggled with this one. You would never know it by reading this. This is lovely. Choppy, maybe. But I think the choppiness fits here.

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    1. Thanks Tri. I commented on my struggles on the Trifecta site. It was an interesting exercise since the choices were so limited. Glad you liked "choppy"!

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  11. You made this description quite understandable, as I jumped right into your words without noticing the title. My mind had already titled it "Empty Nest Syndrome" before I saw your own "Empty Nest" designation. Well-expressed, lumdog.

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  12. Loved the very end (well the whole thing but especially the end). I hate when I feel, "oh, just forget it." Uselessness. We're left feeling her sadness, emptiness. This might be my favorite thing you've written, lum!

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    1. Btw, are you going to jump in these treacherous waters?

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  13. Thanks Gina, especially your last comment, though the prompt forced me to write something very different than my usual. Maybe it's a good lesson. :)

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  14. Oh Wow! This is really good Lumdog. Superb! :D

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  15. This was like a punch to the gut. You've packed so much despair in so few words!

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    1. Thank you Tina. The prompt caused my to write in stark phrases. Maybe a good learning experience for my verbose poetry! :)

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  16. Oh this is sad, makes me think something happened to the children :-(

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    1. Thank you Kenya. I was really thinking of kids off to school, etc., but it came out darker. I like your interpretation!

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  17. I wonder how much patiens I will have for this theme.

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  18. I love the words you chose in this. well done.

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  19. Very poignant, Lumdog. A powerful use of those 33 words.

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    1. Thanks Tom. I think you mailed this one with you entry.

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  20. This really covers your topic well. It is fascinating to see how many different nuances of meaning variious bloggers have seized on that 'never mind' to convey.

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    1. Thank you. I agree. When I started to write, it seemed so limiting but the variety destroys that idea!

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  21. It hits the solar plexus-whoosh!The line "She could not abide the thought
    Of no children in the house" is so poignant!Love it Lumdog-a fab piece:-)

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  22. I think this group has squeezed all conceivable meaning out of this word bank. good work :)

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  23. Aw...sad! Perfect ending in her blank lostness of self summed up in "... never mind." Beautiful :)

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    1. Thanks Dawn. Glad you liked the ending. I wasn't sure about it.

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  24. Blankness would devour her

    This is the fear that keeps me writing, lumdog.

    Terrific entry. also, the impatiens hidden, then gone.

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  25. Oh, this just made my heart break. So well done.

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    1. Thank you Renee. You linked up late but you had a good one!

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  26. Nice... I liked the 'never mind'.

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  27. You got me with the second line. So touching and sad.

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