Creative Writing Exercise 1: Even He Can

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Even He Can

They went to the coast On his birthday

She sat on the beach

With Uncle in a pair of faded green canvas

Lounge chairs. And talked

About what she would now that her boy was Twenty-seven.

 

Mom and Uncle watched him play in the wet sand

Slowly filling a cracked plastic bucket

With his over-sized hands.

And dumping it out into misshapen mounds,

One on top of another.

 

He didn’t notice

The laughter of the swimmers in the ocean,

Who had shied away from him in the parking lot

when he’d chased the squawking seagulls.

Or

His Uncle’s gentle rebuke

To move farther away from the water

 

Heedless, he sang to himself, drawing stares

And the whispers of children.

Concerned with what he was

Doing. He clumsily shaped the pile of

Sand. Bucket now discarded.

 

His mother’s shadow fell over him and her soft voice

said it was time to go.

She helped him to his feet, sand cascading

Down his gangly legs.

As they followed Uncle back to the car.

He held her hand and told her he was hungry for ‘sketti’

Behind them the cracked bucket sat

Next to a slowly eroding sculpture

Of the Matterhorn

Which he had seen once

In a picture book at school.

The Comfortable Life

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The state of being called comfort is my enemy. It is a warm blanket wrapped around me, lulling me to sleep. It is a cocoon that keeps me separated from the world and all the dangers and glories of reality.

It is known by many names: Procrastination, Leisure, Apathy. I love and loathe it at the same time. Comfort is a middle ground where you do the exact same things in the exact same way. You simply exist, taking each day as it comes and never looking forward unless forced to do so. And the most interesting thing of all, is that even stressful, hectic, unhappy living can become comfortable if you let it.

I have to force myself to be uncomfortable in order to accomplish anything. Even to write, or work on school I can’t be in my apartment. The temptations of the comfort objects and activities around me is too great. Applying for college, or a new job is a huge step outside my comfort zone. Becoming a professional is an intimidating prospect. Am I doing it right? What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t appear competent to others? I would much rather sit in my comfortable retail job and simply exist.

Some people are never comfortable, and I envy them. They are always seeking out new and exciting things or traveling to exotic places. But I think these same people hold the key to breaking out of the comfort zone of my life. Surrounding yourself with exciting people who are active, imaginative, and supportive can lift you out of the funk of a comfortable life and propel you in a new direction.

Are the people in your life enablers of your apathy? Do you surround yourself with those that support your endeavors or that mock those who try to make more of themselves? Put yourself in positions of discomfort. Make friends with those who challenge and inspire you. And most importantly, get off your butt and go do something!!