Have You Kissed a Mountaintop Without Trudging Up Its Slopes? #IWSG

Yaks carrying their burden

Trudging Up the Mountain

The following post is for Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This is a picture taken by my dad, somewhere upwards of Nepal, on some off-the-map stretch of Tibet during his trek in the Himalayas, where the hourglass turns at a different pace, and the air is rare and thin. The Yaks make those bundles look small, but I’m sure they feel the weight just the same. Just as I do, writing chapter after chapter of my WIP. A lot of writers I meet online and off say that they enjoy writing. For me, I enjoy having written. And right now I feel the weight of all those unwritten chapters, and the air around me seems thin.

Prayer flags in the Himalayas where the hourglass is slow

Prayer flags in the Himalayas

What I need, is to let go. Not of the writing, no; but of my ingrained instinct for perfection. I’ve been studying rewrites and editing for fiction classes I do with kids, and that seems to have rubbed off on me. I can let my inner perfectionist loose when I do rewrites. Not now, during the first draft.

Right now is the time to let my soul take flight, like these prayer flags from my Dad’s camera on that same trip. They seem to reach for that obscured peak, losing none of their colorful exuberance in the process. There is more than one way to climb a mountain, they seem to whisper to the winds. On some days,  you can kiss a mountain’s top without trudging up its slopes. Let the breeze bear you up, all you have to do is let yourself float.

Have You Kissed a Mountaintop Without Trudging Up Its Slopes?

Writing about love: Phoenix


Phoenix is a month-old puppy.

Phoenix cannot walk.

Phoenix was not born that way.

Dad went and picked him up one cold night, after a neighbor left him near our home. Phoenix’s mum was apparently a stray, and the neighbor’s son had picked up the puppy.

The son broke Phoenix’s back, and so the father left the puppy near our home hoping “its mother would come and pick it up”.

My dad could not stand the puppy’s crying at night and picked it up….only to discover the broken back in the morning. The vet said the puppy had permanent spinal nerve injury, would never walk and it would be best to put it out of its misery. My dad, trying hard to be a realist, agreed.

The puppy was euthanised, and the vet gave it a dose that would kill a Rottweiler, because it kept waking up.

My dad left the bag hanging outside, and went to find a spade to give the poor mite a decent burial.

But when he came back, the bag was moving……and a groggy pup was peeping out! So the name Phoenix was born.(The vet nearly fainted when he saw Phoenix at his clinic the next day.)

Phoenix is full of beans and tries to drag himself everywhere on his forelegs. My dad has found a new occupation in his retired life: how to keep a handicapped puppy clean—because Phoenix pees and poos and rolls about in the mess with gay abandon, and does not act handicapped at all.

He has to be restrained with a soft cloth, because the vet says dragging himself around would give him a dangerously sore butt. Not that Phoenix cares.

My dad who had never done much to keep his own progeny clean, is found hovering over Phoenix all the time. He puts the pup in warm water to try and make it swim, massages its lifeless hind legs four times a day with medicines, takes it for a nerve injection everyday(the vet treats Phoenix for free and refuses to take money after being asked a dozen times) and so on.

Dad is extremely proud of Phoenix because he licks up the medicine without complaint, and has a wolf’s appetite for milk-soaked biscuits. (When I think of sheer will to live, I can’t think of anyone stronger than our tiny Phoenix:).

phoenix eating

Phoenix has now started wagging his tail in greeting, and moving his hind legs very, very little, which has Dad in absolute throes of happiness.

Love has created many miracles.

Though the vet is not hopeful, I have a feeling Phoenix would walk—he has already come too far not to.

Phoenix to the vet