And so it has come to pass.
Dry leaves from October broke free of their icy moorings following the equinox. Spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern. A point of perfect balance between night and day shared by the world over in successive time. Momentous and yet unique to each one of us. The day Sue Vincent died, I was watching dry leaves twirl in the wind with a puppy named Mause.
We didn’t yet know. Gusts hit our old copper miner’s house and leaves circled upward. Mause propped her small body against the top of the couch with lanky growing legs. She’s still floppy at four months old, yet attentive. She never barked but followed each leaf with wonder and intensity. We went for a walk in the wind and Mause bounded, leaping into the air, catching leaves in her mouth.
Seeing the world through Mause’s eyes can shift me in profound ways. Instead of leaf litter or the dun of winter grit, I see whirling wings and hillocks to climb. Every sight and sound is worth a pause and cock of the head. The world is new and enchanting to a puppy. Dogs mature but stay in that center of mindful wonder. I borrow Mause’s perspective — the path is never the same though we walk it every day.
It’s like the weekly collection. I feel like a pup snapping at leaves. Look at that one — the twist at the end. And this one — rich detail. Stories, characters, settings, tones, humor, darkness, hope. Leaves tumbling in a vortex, the 99-word stories delight each and every outing. We are all human. Yet we each have different lived experiences and rich details to draw from, and imagination to express. Our writing prompts brings us to a shared mindful moment where each voice speaks.
Sue Vincent led an extraordinary life. You can read between the lines and see that she paid attention to people, history, mystery, and literary art. Sue had a rich inner life that could express and draw others in to play with words to share moments and tell stories. Sue had a tenacious sense of humor. Even toward the end of her life she found reason to laugh. It reminded me of the time I shared in my best friend’s passing from this world to the next. We laughed.
It’s human to laugh, to cry, to feel, to think, to imagine what if and why.
As writers, we are the containers of human experience. Like ink pads we soak up stories and control the spill of details from our quills. We think deeply and mine the thoughts for expression. Sometimes we barely think at all and respond like wildfire across the pages. No matter what languages we speak, our mother tongue is storytelling. Our beauty and hope and art form words. So do our shadows.
The craft of writing is one of life-long mastery. Writing forces us to heal and grow. Water can’t remain stagnant when it flows. Rivers well up in us and the process shapes the outpouring. We tumble from dark places, artisan wells and cracks in bedrock, to journey to the sea where other waterways spill. From drops of water comes an ocean.
Writing communities meet and mingle in the great bodies of water. We all flow from source to a common place. Each of us with different perspectives, joining our voices through stories. Sue was the captain across such seas. She knew Albion best and drew writers to her source. She gifted many through the life she led and the stories she wrote. We will miss her and yet her presence is palpable among us, such are the echoes of her writing legacy.
What a gift she gave us all, sharing the intimacy of her end days with us. What a gift the community gave to her, surrounding Sue with stories she inspired. She impacted us. Shared her soul’s song. Like a pup chasing winter-weary debris, she made the best of her life and left a legacy of words.
Though gone from us here and now, she left a guided meditation that feels like the peace, calling us to shed our stress and pain. I hope you find the gift she intended for us all with Swift Passage. Sue Vincent went into spirit on March 29, 2021 while old leaves danced to spring winds.
April 1 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why. What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by April 6, 2021. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
Submissions now closed. Find our latest challenge to enter.
You Were on My Mind Again by Charli Mills
From Ireland to your deathbed was a span of 150 years. Your culture, after five generations in America, remained Catholic. You didn’t call it your religion or heritage. You spoke of your faith as elemental as DNA, your smile brightening a room with the luminaries of sainthood.
You married him anyway. He was Scots to your Irish, a wounded Vietnam vet. A smile that lit yours. Two daughters later, he left to comfort his National Guard Unit as a lay minister on the battlefield. You lost him. But you never lost heart. Swift passage, my dear friend. Home again.