This To Remember

I awake to a great silence, as if life has forgotten about me and just walked away. My heart grieves for this loss of me, not knowing I am still there listening. I walk my mind across my skin confirming I am still intact as my eyes take inventory of the space around me, empty but for the heap of words piled up beside me. A single thought surfaces: there is something I need to remember. I pick up one of the words: kite. Yellow and dangling from my fingers, the word exudes a faint scent of lemon. I place the word before me and watch as the surface transforms from a slate of nothingness to the softest hue of green, my yellow kite rippling softly above my head. I search for another word. I see “Pat,” my mother’s name. I pull and find myself holding patience – how fitting – a silky word that gives my space a periwinkle sky. A spot of red is almost blinding in this subtle space of mine. Of course… love, adding a nice touch of red poppy flowers in the distance. I find kindness and lay down a soft blanket under my periwinkle sky. Humility gives me an old oak and generous shade against the harsh sun of pride. A sudden movement in the pile startles me and I rifle through my words until I find music, one of its wings trapped under the heavy T of Time. Anger fills my space with searing heat while forgiveness provides a pool of clear water in which to cool my spirit. Not surprisingly, sadness drifts overhead in clouds of salty tears. I stop and gaze upon this world that my words have built, a...

Threesome

The three of them stood at the corner, the rain slowly melting their umbrellas. A red umbrella, a yellow umbrella and a green-and-white striped umbrella, drippity-dripping into a puddle at their feet. The littlest one poked the tip of her shoe into the swirl of colors dancing on the sidewalk before her and soon there was nothing left of their umbrellas. Then the rain started on their hooded jackets, three bright pink jackets all in a row drippety-dripping as the color puddle beneath them grew. Small rivulets of what used to be their umbrellas sped away towards the drain, its black mouth gaping wide at the end of the street. The streaks of pink jacket followed closely behind. Then, they were left standing in nothing but their summer dresses: one red dress, one yellow dress and one green-and-white striped dress. The rain soon washed those away and the drain greedily gobbled them up. And that was when the sun decided to make an appearance, turning its golden glory upon that threesome standing at the corner, strong, confident and beautiful in their naked skin. All content is copyrighted by Karla Valenti. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is expressly...

Flowers for Jane

Centuries later people would still be talking about the day that the processing center in heaven crashed. It was all because of Jane, that little overachiever who claimed to have found a more efficient way to pray, “streamlining the process between entreaty and delivery so as to maximize our overall time spent contemplating our unfulfilled desires.” Where she picked up these terms is beyond me since she was, after all, only thirteen. Perhaps she overheard her lawyer mom and tech start-up dad discussing some complex case over dinner one night. Whatever the reason, she talked about her “project” (if we can call it that) with such ease that it was little wonder it received the attention that it did. I first heard about Jane’s project at the kid’s school fair. She had petitioned the school principal to let her set up a booth at the fair for a new and exciting initiative she was spearheading. This was a project that would give the kids an opportunity to get involved in something larger than themselves, she said, they would to be part of a community of like-minded individuals in pursuit of a common good. This project would encourage kids to find moments of quiet contemplation throughout their day, to reflect upon their life and what they hoped to achieve; most compellingly, it would use existing technological resources and leverage kid’s enthusiasm for connecting through digital social media venues which would virtually ensure the project’s success as a tool to establish meaningful relationships and really, isn’t it clear that this – the ability to establish meaningful relationships – is grossly lacking in...

The Tragedy of Parenting

What She Heard Let me tell you now and forever – I am going to make you miserable, wretchedly unhappy and terribly uncomfortable. I am going to make you cry. There will be days when you wish I were dead and you will relish the thought of me laying in my grave finally freeing you of the torture that is living with me. You are going to hate me and what I do to you. You are going to try to avoid me at all costs and yet I will always find you. You will never… ever be able to escape me. What She Said Dear daughter – I write these words so you may remember the intentions, the sentiments, that fill the spaces between what I say and that which you will hear. You are young and your emotions move you with such violence that they sweep away – no, they raze and lay waste to all but that which you must hear in order to break away from me. I understand how it is, I have traveled that journey as well. It is a treacherous and lonely one but a necessary journey to take. I have no doubt that you will come back. And when you do, you will find these words and they will give you comfort for they will fill in all those gaps that you tried (in vain, for a mother’s love will always prevail) to force between my words. Let me tell you now and forever – I am going to make you miserable for I will push you to be all that I know you...

The Scribner

The old man ambled quietly down the street. Night had fallen and the streets were dark on this moonless night. The lamp posts had long since ceased lighting up the evenings and the old man kept his head down, mindful of his steps on the sidewalk, guided only by the soft glow of light emanating from the few households that were still awake at this hour. A stray cat ran in front of him, chasing a rat that was much bigger than it. Hunger made you do the most reckless things. These were difficult times. The clatter of toppling garbage cans filled the night air, shrill and metallic. The old man stopped and held his breath. He could see a silhouette outlined in a window above, a shadow looking out at shadows. Nothing to see here. The old man caught a pair of feline eyes glowing in the alley ahead. These were dangerous times. He let out a breath and continued walking. The shop was only a couple blocks away but it took him over a quarter of an hour to get there. He reached out to grab the door knob and noticed his hands were shaking. He was too old for this line of work, too old for this type of life. The door creaked as it opened and the old man stepped into the store. He looked up and his gaze met that of his oldest friend, Elman. Once known as Elman “the Poet,” his friend had “captivated the world with his vast repository of words and his deep understanding of the human heart”. He had spent...