Flower Fiction

This week I chose a painting to write some fiction about. The painting that really appealed to me is “Two Calla Lillies on Pink” by Georgina O’Keeffe.

two-calla-lily-on-pink

I think it is very beautiful and simplistic. In a nutshell, my fiction is about a man and a woman and takes place outside a flower shop.

Everyday, he boarded the train at 8:00 am. Everyday he sat in the same seat clutching his old briefcase. Everyday the same people talked around him, ready for another long day at work in the city. It was always the same, people drank their coffee and hastily checked their appearance in the reflective windows before getting off at their stops.

On one of these occasions, he decided to watch the outside world wiz past him. When the train began to slow down at a stop, he almost turned away, but not before he caught a glimpse of something. There she was, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was standing in front of a flower shop, chatting with a shop worker. The worker handed her a bundle of white flowers, which she took with a smile. Turning around, she continued on her way. He realized that he had been staring at her and quickly looked away as the train rolled forward again.

The next day, he followed his same routine and boarded the train. As the train slowed down at the stop in front of the flower shop, he felt his heart beat faster. Straining his neck, he looked for her. There she was! Buying the same flowers and turning to walk down the street. From here on, he continued to see her every morning.

After a few days, he decided to try and meet her. So the next morning, he got ready extra quickly and arrived to that same stop 10 minutes early. He wanted to look nonchalant, but he kept trying to find her in the crowd of people walking past. However, she never showed. He arrived early 2 more days and again he didn’t see her. Feeling disheartened, he went back to his normal routine and gave up on it.

However, a couple of days later, she reappeared! But it wasn’t the same, she didn’t look happy or smile and laugh with the shop worker. Confused, he thought about it the rest of the day.

The next morning she hurried down the street, worried she would be late again. She hadn’t been herself the past couple of days and didn’t want it to affect work. She had decided that morning she would not get flowers for her work space, even though she loved them. Walking towards the flower shop, she still looked for the calla lillies she usually bought. But there weren’t any and she felt a little disappointed. Just as she was about to walk past the shop, someone stepped into her path. She took a step back and looked up. He appeared a little sheepish and his smile was lopsided.  He held up two beautiful calla lillies toward her.

She looked up at him confused and then back down at the lillies wrinkling her forehead. After what felt like forever, she looked up again and smiled.

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Fiction

 

So I’m going to write some fiction this week. The scene starts with a man and an older woman talking in a train cart having an animated discussion. He’s holding a large box, she’s got a map that she doesn’t seem to understand and wearing a weird hat.

‘There she goes again, yelling about my ungratefulness’ I think while she continues to talk too loudly. Nobody seems to notice what’s going on between us. Yet. Interrupting her, I say once again “If you would just listen to what I’m doing, you would understand. I’m not going to ‘dishonor’ the family. And Henry can take over the farm when he gets older.”

“No! That is not the point. We have tried to give you everything and yet you continue on with this ridiculous dream of yours! It will never work!” She exclaims. “Look at this map. You don’t even know what it is saying. You are not from here. You don’t even speak the language!”

“Well how do you expect me to learn? Stuck on the farm? I’m doing this and you cannot stop me. And of course the map doesn’t make sense. You are holding it upside downI say angrily, snatching the map back. Looking down I search for the place I’m going. According to the map, it should be the next stop. Glancing out the train cart’s window, I accidentally make eye contact with a person who was looking at us. Embarrassed, I turn back to her. “Oh!” I gasp. Standing there, she’s letting small droplets of water run down her blotchy face. Her angry seems to have quickly evaporated.

“I know I can’t stop you. You’ve always been like that: stubborn. But, you’re just a little boy,” seeing the look of contempt on my face, she quickly corrects herself, “man”. Sitting down opposite me, her eyes meet mine. “I’m just worried about you. Look at me, I don’t know anything about living in this society. We can’t help you at all if you decide to do this. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“Well, the hat does look funny” I tease. Lowering my voice, I say “Mama, I know I can do this. I have always wanted to do this. It’s my dream and nothing is going to stop me. I believe in myself. I know it will be hard, but can you and papa just trust me?”

She barely nods her head. I look out the window once more and her sniffle. We stay silent at the train pulls forward.

Other Blogs

I recently went and viewed some other peoples blogs and what they had to say on them. These were a few I found interesting:

Poem Comparisons

The two poems Mezzo Cammin by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1842)  and When I have Fears by John Keats (1818) have much in common. Both poems address what the passage of time means to them; they both do not feel they have enough time to do the work they can. Each poem starts with the the desolation of time and what that means for them. Keats describes the sadness and fear that comes along with those thoughts and Longfellow uses a more melancholy tone; yet, both convey the same message. At the end of both, while Keats describes what he feels at the prospect of wasting away into nothing, Longfellow is saddened by what little he has done and worries about an uncertain future.

If I were to write an essay comparing and contrasting these two poems, I would organize each by the literary devices the poets use to convey their messages. I think imagery played a large role in each poem as well as the repetition and contrasting ends.

An outline of the essay I would write:

  • Thesis sentence: While each poems begins with the sadness each poet feels at not accomplishing everything they want to, they end on a different note: Longfellow’s prospect of the future is grim, whereas Keats is accepting and realizes the wonder of life no matter the ultimate end.
  • Topic sentences: In the beginning of each poem, the disappointment felt by each poet at not doing enough in the time they had is present.
    • In the opening lines, Keats expresses his fear of dying “before [his] pen has gleaned [his] teeming brain.” Similarly, Longfellow realizes that he has let “the years slip from me and have not fulfilled / [his] aspirations.”
    • Each poet uses the image of some large item as to convey how consuming their fears are. Keats says that his are “high-pilèd books, in charactery” and Longfellow describes his as a “tower of song with lofty parapet.”
  • Topic sentence: However, in the end the poets have different views on the future they have in store.
    • Each poets does similar actions; Keats goes to “the shore / of the wide world” and Longfellow goes “half-way up the hill” and sees a city.
    • In the end, Keats recognizes that “love and fame to nothingness do sink.” But, Longfellow reminisces on the past, thinking of it as “a city in the twilight dim” and his death as a giant waterfall ready to descend.