Nature’s Army

(Inspired by my own writing prompt I posted on Twitter, et al, today)

This past decade has been quite the journey for me as an unemployed worker  graduate student historian admin assistant temp gas station attendant substitute teacher and eternal job seeker.

It was only in the past year that I really set aside time to dedicate to writing.

What surprised me was how quiet the process was. I’m used to living in a state of chaos. Neither one thing or another. Always fiercely banging against things, trying to prove I could fit in. “Notice me!” my efforts would scream. “I’m a hard worker.” Trying to conform to hold down jobs I hated.

I was a real-life Don Quixote, tilting at society’s windmills.

I wouldn’t say I was clueless about who I was–I just had to ignore it. Hide it away. Because it wasn’t relevant, hireable, marketable, socially acceptable, important, and, therefore, had zero worth to the world. Or so I had been taught to believe, from a very young age.

Like I said, the process of writing is quiet. The development of a writer, or any artist/creative soul, cannot be forced. It has to grow on its own. It was hard to let go. To relax. But then I had expended years of energy and had nothing to show for it.

I had to push my way up from the morass to figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be. I shed growth when it no longer fit. Dropping leaves that had been grafted onto me. (The drive for money being one of them–proof positive I wasn’t a failure.) It was scary to let go. It still is.

I suddenly realized, though, that if I was going to do it, I couldn’t do it inauthentically. Writing is demanding; it won’t let you be what you’re not. You can’t grow against the grain. At the same time, you have to write to write. Write where the topic (and submission guidelines!) takes you.

I stopped trying to be all things. One of the lessons passed down in workshops, articles, blogs was “find your niche.”

This was probably the hardest. I’d never been allowed; subsequently, never allowed myself, to have a niche based on my actual self.

“Who am I,” I asked myself.

The winds started howling from deep within. I shivered a deep bone chill when I realized I had no idea. I had had my existence wiped. I had been reprogrammed.

So, I had to dig deep. Dig through a frightening past, risk getting lost in nebulous dimensions, all to excavate a handful of fractured remembrances.

It’s still going on. Slowly. Quietly. And my self is still fractured. But I’m rebuilding. Even if people still want to classify me by their negative terms.

But here’s some discoveries.

Writer.

Artist.

A sensitive soul.

A creative mind.

Someone who played the violin.

Who likes classical music. Atmospheric music, without words.

Drawn to what’s now classified as speculative: horror, fantasy, science fiction.

I write these things.

The spooky.

The unreal.

The mystic.

A world of make-believe.

The impossibly possible.

So, if you made it this far, what does that have to do with the title of the blog, “Nature’s Army”?

Because I also love nature. Trees. Plants. Insects.

And that’s the stuff of nightmares dreams.

Working its tangled way into my stories.

Building a fictive world where nature has agency.

Where nature wins.

[See my 66-word story (and others!) in Speculative 66’s Issue 20, on April 6th. https://speculative66.weebly.com/ ]

 

Now it’s your turn to “tilt at windmills”. How has writing/creative ventures helped you develop your sense of self?

 

A Lily for the Valley

A Lily for the Valley

Frosted guardians keep watch

yet I still feel alone

winter blue, and

I am tired of angels

angling towards me

handfuls of bait outstretched.

How do I know what’s true,

even here in the empty desert

with no hiding place for cruelty.

Trapped by four walls, I burrow down for winter,

sinking deep in the depths of my splintered-ice mind.

There, I dream of a greening world from long ago,

tangled, wild, warm,

just like you.

 

–Willow Croft 2019

 

(My inspiration came from these Canva-created posts I made and shared via Pinterest and Twitter. Feel free to use them for today’s creative inspiration, and link back if you wish.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/422986590001080493/ or https://twitter.com/WillowCroft16/status/1100425111042174983 )

 

Treasure Box

Treasure Box

It’s the end of the world

in this dream that rests in eternity.

We have lost the outside to poisons

made by our own hands.

This thought carries so much pain.

Heartbreak

for our lost animals

but here, inside the abandoned office

next to the empty soda machine 

and paper that was once trees

I find the magic you

and everything is put right

both inside and out

and the treasure box I hold

has only trinkets

but you love it anyway,

and we plant it in the last wild wood.

–Willow Croft

The Glitch is Constant

 

The Glitch is Constant

Just like every other day

the reboot has failed

I’ve examined my insides 

but the how-to-fix-things

button remains hidden

I’ve looked to the outside world

for the caring techician 

to bring both expert knowledge

and hope 

but no such thing exists.

Sometimes I still wonder

who will fix me

even though it’s futile

so I just wait in this state of decay

for the reboot of my soul’s time

or even the reset of eons

to erase humanity for sake of the animals

and trees.

It’s the only hope I have left.

An Idle Friday

 

Today I have off from my day job. It feels idle even though I’m still technically working. Which got me thinking about the obscenely rich. Well, an idle Friday and coupled with this blog post about the absurdly wealthy from one of my favourite blogs: https://buffalotompeabodysblog3.com/2017/10/12/daily-briefing-sack-wranglers-2/.

All that wealth pooled together could be put towards the actual planet and its non-human inhabitants instead of all this silly crap they buy to show the world and each other just how much money they have. Who needs six mansions? I mean, really?

I like to think that if I were among the top 2% I would just buy something simple–a modest vintage house and fix it up (unless I got an old castle and turned it into a rescued animal mansion/shelter).

Then my 2% friends and I would use all the rest of my obscene wealth to buy up huge tracts of land (rainforest, wetlands, forests, etc.) and anything else natural we could buy and restore it to its “natural” (or, as natural as it gets) habitat to protect the threatened-with-extinction animals that live within its particular ecosystem. Or clean up the ocean of all its plastic junk, trash, and pollutants. Then we, the 2%, in between making more money, would just cruise around on the newly clean ocean in our small, dinky, but non-polluting boat, hanging out with all our non A-list fish and marine friends, on our weekend getaways.

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/vaquita

Or something like that.

 

Now I just have to get rich. Well, before their time runs out.