Story of A Snowman (Happy New Year!)

(MAZE IN MY MIND #4)

This is an interpretation of the past week’s events. It is the story of a Snowman.

The Snowman

There once was a Snowman, built happy and strong from the fresh snow of Yesterdays. He was pampered and loved by his builder… at least for awhile. Then he was quietly abandoned

snowman_before

As time passed, the Snowman became sad and lonely. The builder checked in from time to time, but was far too busy for an old toy. He had moved forward to new things, much much more important than a silly figure made of snow.

But the Snowman, like all investments of the mind and heart, was made of far more than just snow. He was made of love and memories. And without love and affection, the Snowman began to melt.

When the builder saw this, a part of him was sad. But he had already moved on. The Snowman had been a fun adventure in passing, but had already served his purpose. The builder, of course, could not afford to dwell long on the well-being of a silly man made of ice. Instead, seeing the sad condition of his old friend, the builder made some quick cosmetic adjustments to keep the snowman together, and once again moved hastily onward.

Sad Snowman

Days passed and the Snowman grew sickly. Through loveless neglect, he became shrunken and mangled. A sad shadow of his former self; a sad reflection of his current circumstances. Eventually, the builder returned to find him melting and in this miserable state. The builder tried to pack what was left of his old friend back together.

The atrocity that resulted was a filthy, disturbed mass of hardened ice. The builder took a step back. This new Snowman was a pure manifestation of hate and madness– the Snowman’s anger and the builder’s self-loathing.

Demented Snowman

 

Look now to the puddle in the grass. Water and regret.
The Snowman is gone.

You see, a snowman thrives on the cold, just as we thrive on warmth. Without an icy touch, the snowman becomes an ugly shadow of his former self. Without the warm touch of genuine love, we too will slowly waste away.

Dead Snowman

 

We are heading into a new year. Let us not become Snowmen. Let us not fall victim to the icy hardening of our hearts. Let us be builders. And Let us protect and value the things we build and the people we build with. Happy New Year!

-Garrett

 

 

 

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Sweet Surrender

Sweet Surrender

Rough, brown fingers thumbed over the crinkled corners of dusty old pages, and a pair of dark eyes meticulously scanned the tiny black text printed on the lines.

“Why the hell would Big-Boss have a book like that? You said you found it just lying on the seat?”

“This isn’t a book, Potsie. This here is a mutha fuckin’ big-ass tome.”

The man’s fingers kept thumbing through the flimsy sheets until they came upon the image of a gigantic, winged creature.  They stopped, and the index drifted down the page, until it came to rest, pressing against the bold-printed image.

“Potsie, you ever heard the story of the Phoenix?”

“Think so.”

“Look at this: Queen of all birds… Scarlet and gold plumage. They say every 500 years she builds a pyre nest.”

“It’s a metaphor.”

“It’s some elegant shit. She builds a great nest of aromatic branches and brushwood, which she then, and I quote: sets wildly ablaze, only to be consumed in the flames.”

“So the bird surrenders to her destiny. So what?”

“This has got nothing to do with surrender. I don’t think you heard what I said.”

“I dunno, Curtis.”

The brown fingers shut the book.

“Did you hear me?  I said the Phoenix builds its own coffin. Now imagine that shit. She knows she will be burned alive, and the bitch builds the furnace.”

“Sure sounds a lot like surrender to me.”

“Why do you think the bird willingly lights itself on fire?”

“Cuz that’s its fate.”

“No Potsie. No.  The Phoenix accepts its demise because it knows that it will be born again.”

********

The sun shone high and hot above a sprawling suburban lawn.  Down below, a driveway bent to a short walkway that, in turn, coiled around its bordering house.  Adjacent the walkway someone had planted a beautiful row of burning red roses, whose tangled thorns had been trimmed a safe distance from the walking path.  Next to the roses, a giant willow watched over the property with its wise melancholy, draping a portion of the sun-baked lawn in the sweet cool of shadow.  Beside the shadow, on the far end of the lawn, was a curb.  Beside, was a van.

“Never give an inch” Continue reading

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Merry Christmas: Finding Joy Through the Pain

(MAZE IN MY MIND #3)

Merry Christmas Everyone ,

I wasn’t originally going to write today, but I decided to take a few moments to share my personal thoughts on the Holidays. Maybe this piece will be of help to anybody struggling with pain during this Holiday Season. It can be an especially tough time for loss and hardship. Perhaps, rather than letting it bring us down, we can shape it into something that will boost us up.

~G

Finding Holiday Joy Through the Pain

What to Wear

I woke up this Christmas morning, and I couldn’t decide how to feel. I love the Christmas season, but recent life events have made it hard to feel as “merry” as I would like. So this morning I just couldn’t decide whether to jump out of bed and put on a red Santa hat with a smile, or to bury my face in the pillow and sleep the day away in my PJ’s. I couldn’t decide what to wear, so I simply decided to wear the truth.

Wearing The Truth

Like most, I’ve had some big loss and some big heartbreak in my life. From my experience, confronting the truth has consistently been the best first-step in overcoming my problems and getting through the dark times. As I move forward, through the Holiday season, I am making sure to speak and think the truth every day. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it hurts. I encourage you to do the same. If you need to scream… Scream! If you want to sing… Sing! And if you feel like smiling from time to time… Then please, for God’s sake– Smile :). Keeping it tucked away will only light you on fire and destroy you from the inside out. Let the truth out, Guys. Everyday. Even if you just write it down or speak it to yourself.

Scrooge That!

There’s always that pressure to conform to other people’s standards and celebrate Christmas traditionally. SCREW THAT! You are the only one who really knows what you are going through, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the Holidays in your own special way. Taking control will actually make you feel better. That doesn’t mean skipping Christmas and New Years, it means celebrating them in a way that makes sense to you. Sometimes nontraditional feelings or pain call for nontraditional celebration. Just make sure that you don’t bury your head and dismiss the Holidays all together. This is a special time of year… don’t miss the opportunity to use that to your advantage and start to heal. I am spending the majority of this day studying for a GRE graduate test that I have tomorrow, and I’m okay with that. It makes me feel productive. Maybe I’ll even treat myself to a movie later today. Maybe I’ll take someone that’s special to me. The point is, make the holidays what YOU need them to be. This is your life.

Merry Christmas, Me!

When we really feel down, many times we get down on ourselves. During the Holiday season, seeing so many other happy people and couples can, at times, make us feel even worse about our less-than-perfect situations. Try this: Look in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you,” or better yet, give your mirror self a big wet kiss. Make it genuine. If you feel like you’re not there yet, do something to help yourself get there. Think about what things you do like about yourself– Not surface things, but deep down characteristics. You have them, time to pull them out and start recognizing them.

Time and Action Warm Up Your Heart

Hot Coco would be nice right about now, and maybe a brisk walk to warm up my heart and clear my mind. The old adage is true: Time heals wounds. But only time spent the right way. Things are never fully healed until we take action to heal them. Think of it this way: Time is the bandage, but our thoughts and actions are the neosporin.  The best thing we can do for ourselves during these colder months, is to keep moving. Even small steps will keep us warm, as long as we’re headed towards the sun. Instead of running away from our problems, lets run toward a solution. Let’s find a way through this maze in our minds.

Merry Christmas, All

So yeah, I wish you all a Merry Christmas; but more than that, my wish is that you get the opportunity to celebrate Christmas as you wish. Whether they are traditional or nontraditional, may your holidays bring you love and nourish your soul.

Happy Holidays, Guys.

-Garrett

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The Little Glass Lie

The other side of a Fairy Tale…

The Little Glass Lie

It’s your choice: You could have some invisible know-it-all up in the clouds tell you the story, or you could have it told by plain me– and I don’t much care which.

I had my eye on her my whole life, so I know she wasn’t treated badly as they say.  Sure, at times she quarreled with her step-mother, but the arguments were mostly harmless and mostly her fault.  She had the temperament of one who became too pretty too early in life, and that’s where most of the contention came from. I used to worship her from my little house on the other side of the old dusty road, and sometimes, in secret, from a little patch of butterfly bushes below her window. She had all the splendor of a delicate rose, but she also embodied the stinging bite of the hidden thorns hiding along its stem. I didn’t loathe her thorny disposition though. She was icy, and to me that made her all the more gorgeous. She was truly, truly gorgeous.  That is the one thing they get right when they tell the story.

She always told it that she wasn’t noticed enough by her father and stepsisters. I don’t know that there’s any truth in that. I don’t think that there was a parent, sibling, or soul in the entire world who could have satisfied her thirst for attention– certainly not a poor lad like me. Nevertheless, the time I spent keeping her under my eye was matched only by the time I spent toiling to gain a glance from hers. I made things for her. Fine things. I made her necklaces, bracelets, the most beautiful clothing I could afford. One night, I took to making a very special gift. I crafted for her the finest shoe that I had ever built, a slipper made of the softest squirrel fur.

Clear, cold glass would have been more fitting.  It was the biggest project I had ever undertaken. I labored tirelessly over those slippers. Days passed. Weeks and months went by when I never saw more sunlight than could be glimpsed through my dirt-blotched window. My eyes became red and tired, my hands arthritic and blistered, but nothing less than perfection would do for her– my wintry passion, my secret love. I :worked on, night after sleepless night, sewing and stitching with unmatched precision, hammering and needling until my fingers were raw and chafed. The string’s endless looping seemed to lace fabric and time together into one infinite and timeless undertaking. There is no counting the hours that passed. But I finished the slippers just in time for the big ball.

I had never delivered my gifts to her personally; it had always been a note on her doorstep, signed with my best penmanship. This night, I brought myself with the slippers. Her stepmother called for her when I came to the house, and I was weak with anxiety by the time she glided into the doorway.  The memory of her beauty is etched forever into my mind.  Golden hair. Golden skin. And a silver voice.

“Hello.”

I could not find the language to tell her why I was there at her door. I held out my hands.

“T-These are for you.”

She looked at me blankly.

“I made them.  I am the boy from the notes on your doorstep.”

She took the shoes. She slowly closed the door, without so much as a thank you.

Somewhere I heard that she married a prince whom she met that night. I had my eye on her my whole life, and she was wisped away in an instant.  I harbor no rancor or resentment towards her over her heart; I never presumed to be loved by one so fine as her. But I did make those slippers. Recognition of a man’s labor should never be begrudged him. A man should never be robbed of his accomplishments, especially not by a Fairy Godmother. I made those slippers, and I made them with my own hardened hands.

That invisible voice that told you the lie- she invented it. That’s her silver voice. You can believe it or not.  It’s your choice– and I don’t much care which.

-Garrett Ashe

© 2012 Garrett Ashe

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The Famished Heart

The Famished Heart

This fucking hole where my heart used to be.
Starved and Emptied.
I fill it with Sadness. But drain it as the tears begin to drown me.
And it’s empty again.
I fill it with Hate. But douse it as the flames begin to melt me.
And it’s empty again.
Empty and Painful.
This fucking hole where my heart used to be.

I need to find a way to fill it with me.

-Garrett Ashe

(Maze in my Mind #2)

Lately I’ve been through a lot of emotional turmoil. This quick poem, written today, is a reflection of some of that pain. Later today, I will post a short story that also plays on the pain of heartache- A story that chronicles the events of a real-life Fairy Tale gone wrong. (The Little Glass Lie)

~G~

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Maze in my Mind #1

Every blog needs that personal touch. I’m starting this new section where I let readers explore a little piece of my mind… Careful, sometimes it gets pretty dark in there.  If you’re looking for this section in the future, there should be a permanent link in the sidebar under “Categories.”

Maybe you’ll identify with some of the things I talk about: Musings, fears, emotions. Feel free to share a piece of your own mind here as well, as we wander together, Into the maze…

 

 

For personal writings, including poetry and nonfiction, get lost in the Maze in my Mind.

Maze in my Mind

 

 

 

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It’s Alive!

Hey guys, welcome to the beginnings of my first ever blog: My Living Fiction. He’s alive, but he’s still just a newborn. Who knows what the little guy will become? With his infinite potential, the possibilities are limitless.

Just look at him… The little guy could grow up to be a Superhero one day, or a President. A blog can be whatever it puts its mind to. Though, truth be told, he’s just as likely to end up in the madhouse as the White House. But whether he dawns a red cape, a black suit, or a white straight-jacket, this blog is going to be interesting. The coolest thing about a place dedicated to the whims of the imagination and the mind is that it’s personalized and ever-changing. That is what I want from My Living Fiction.

It takes a community to raise a blog, so I’m going to need your help. As My Living Fiction grows, I want it to be shaped by the thoughts and creativity of an entire community, not just my own. I think that’s the difference that can set this blog apart from the pack. I want to get inspiration from the stories of my readers, in addition to my own experience. As My Living Fiction becomes more established, perhaps the blog can take it a step further, becoming a place to show off reader art, music, and poetry.

But first, baby steps…

For now, I’ll bring the effort and the updates. Hopefully the readers will follow. :)

Head on over to the About page for more details on my vision.
Never hesitate to let me know what you think.

 

© 2012 Garrett Ashe

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