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June 16, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rocky end. Interrupted

Words Rubik’s Cubing into order. Neatly clicking.

Interrupted.

Again.

Command performance level interruption. Just as the writing ran.

Queensland State Archives Digital Image 4502:ID 12698446:PD:Commons.wikimedia.org)

Thoughts roam far afield.

(Quick notes. Breadcrumbs along the story trail for easier backtracking later.)

Would they forget, being so young? . If the King called, he rode    If the company merger was close, he was on the jet

Would his three sons turn to  the stablehands   the neighbor  to learn how to bait a hook or how to hammer a nail? Always on the road was tough. As king’s guardsman    As company founder  He struggled with duty   with work.

Remembering being a child, he devised a plan.

At each place, he looked for local treasures: the kind small boys collect in small boxes hidden in secret places. A sketch of the meadow    hotel  where he was. Maybe a dried leaf or pressed flower. A found bird’s feather.

Always three pebbles. Smooth. Different colors: blue-grey, white, and dusty rose. One for each. Something to hold.

These he wrapped in a note and sent them with the hard riding couriers    snapped pictures of with his iPhone and sent them by email with the hope the kids could travel along with him.

Maybe they would remember.

The last letter would be remembered. “How will I tell them?” she wondered.

In the children tumbled. The youngest wandering to the open window. She starts to speak when the smallest says “Papa here. Papa gone.” All eyes go to the window sill where three small pebbles waited.

Three small smooth stones: blue-grey, white, and dusty rose. 

Insistent interruption. Not to be voicemailed until convenient.

Story paused.

1550 fable "The Gourd and the Palm"/US PD:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Like wild things, stories need time and room to grow. Capture only when ready. (1550 US PD:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Not totally unexpected at almost 100. Grabbed “The Folder” with DNR and all the papers.

While older brother was shouldered with the expectations of great success and the entire future of the world – and all the heirlooms of import to the family name,

I was handed the expectations of following instructions, taking care of what must be done, and small bundles of heirloom thoughts: ” Treat others as you want to be treated”, “When you meet someone new, just sit back and wait to see what he does before making up your mind what kind of person he is.”  Stuff like that.

Closing up a family house means poking through everything. 

With conflicting memories as to who gets what.

(Even if written down? Don’t say it. Not worth it…Will this day never end…)

The value of an ordinary object coveted by one, dismissed by another.

(That? You want that? No problem. Take it)

Funny about that.

“Look, ” older brother said. “He did the silliest things. Look what I found in his work pants’ pocket.” He laughed at the old man’s foolishness.

He held out three small smooth stones. Each a different color: blue grey, white, and dusty rose. 

Silence.

Then laughter as I claimed them and offered him a choice of one.

1914.Andersen fairy tales.Walker,illustr./Doubleday/US PD:pub.date/artist - author lives/Commons.wikimedia.org)

There always something left at the end. (1914.Andersen/Walker/US PD:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Three small smooth stones: one blue-grey. One white. One dusty rose.

The story   novel  idea in progress had been told to no one. ( You know,  jinxes it.)

Fathers know without words.

Of dreams. Of possibilities.

Of difficult people who have to be dealt with and hard things that must be done.

Some cannot see what is in front of their faces, so why waste breath.

I know why the pebbles were there. They were for me.

One last gift.

One last vote of confidence and encouragement.

An orphan now, but I have something to hold of the journey.

Rocky is not always bad.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

1900 Andersen fairy tales/Tegner, illstr./NY public lib/US PD.pub.date/artist-author lives/Commons.wikimedia.org

The adventure never ends. Little miracles and messages along the road. (1900 Andersen/Tegner /US PD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 Comments

  1. katecrimmins / Jun 16 2014 2:26 pm

    Sounds like you lost your father. My sincerest sympathy and sometimes the smallest objects have the most value.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 2:37 pm

      You are so kind. This happened quite a while ago. The small pebbles in his pockets just so odd, the story had to be written at some point..and maybe the longer story in story, too some day…if I ever decide to sit still long enough. Thanks for rolling along

      Like

  2. Ronovan / Jun 16 2014 3:04 pm

    Once into the story it went well. I enjoyed it and there were hints of feeling but not over done. The beginning made it difficult for me to really get going, but then that is probably because of that accident I had and my attention. The beginning needs to be there but I suppose the cross through parts are what got to my brain, but I understand why they are there. 🙂
    Excellent story and I loved the pebbles.
    Much Respect
    Ronovan

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 3:33 pm

      Really appreciate the feedback. I was concerned the opening wasn’t strong/intriguing enough (but got lazy). Also realized the crossouts can be annoying…there’s really 3 story lines going on with 2 in “draft” form. Trying to establish the writing part is still in progress – for the overall main story to make more sense, but not sure if it’s too much. Always fiddling and trying stuff – it make writing more fun. Thanks for taking time to analyse. Glad you took time to travel this road.

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  3. Paul / Jun 16 2014 3:05 pm

    Mmmm, those small mementos mean so much. I got a lesson in that many years ago when a young friend of our son was turning 5. I was tasked with getting the young man a present but knew so little about him it was hard to choose. So I cast back to my own 5th year and prepared a small box about 1/2 the size of a shoe box with about 12 small items individually wrapped inside – including a few large colorful marbles (when I was young we called them Dough-boys), some shiny stainless steel ball-bearings, some matchbox cars, and a bunch of other interesting small items – total price under $15. Then I wrapped the full box too and away it went to the party. The next day, the boy’s single Mom came visiting and wanted to know how I chose the gift for her son. I just told her I gave him what I would have liked at that age. She said that that little box was his most favorite gift and she wanted to thank us very much. It really is the small momentos that seem to mean the most.

    Thanks for sharing the story of the pebbles. It brought back many memories. It’s the tinkling of pebbles in the stream of life that give it the richness it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 3:36 pm

      What a nice story. Sounds like you haven’t lost being a small child – that will serve well in life. That last line you wrote is terrific. Thanks for picking up some comment pebbles and tossing them in this water

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  4. easyweimaraner / Jun 16 2014 3:09 pm

    I wouldn’t laugh at the stones… I would keep them, think they have a meaning …

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 3:37 pm

      They are all three sitting near a window so they can see out and we can see them. Thanks for wandering this path

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  5. Spinster / Jun 16 2014 3:42 pm

    Heartwarming story. If only all of us had such stories about our parents. Thanks for sharing.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 7:26 pm

      Reality is stranger than fiction? All depends on viewpoint, I guess. Would like to finish the story someday – looks like I owe that? Thanks for pondering the rock pile

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  6. Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) / Jun 16 2014 6:14 pm

    fabulous! this phrase grabbed me: “*Insistent interruption. Not to be voicemailed until convenient.”*

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 7:29 pm

      Luxury must be having long periods of time without interruptions. (But no, hospital stays not requested! Insert nervous giggles…mustn’t tempt fate…) Appreciate the feedback. Thanks for chipping off a rocky comment

      Like

  7. heretherebespiders / Jun 16 2014 6:41 pm

    Oh! Oh. Ohhhhh…

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 7:18 pm

      What else can you say? It’s strange, right? Thanks for draggin’ over a comment

      Like

      • heretherebespiders / Jun 16 2014 7:19 pm

        An exclamation for each pebble… now which one was you?

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        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 7:33 pm

          Claim them all as no one else sees …but always the one that didn’t find the square hole a fit. (Too uneasy to take a pix of them, but probably the blue-grey is my favorite)

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          • heretherebespiders / Jun 16 2014 7:35 pm

            I know about those holes, too 🙂 Mm, do you have two siblings? Or maybe just the one and the third stone was for your mother? It’s just what came to my mind first.

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          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 10:07 pm

            Mom went ahead and dad joined her.There are just 2 of us…but if there had only been 2 stones, it probably wouldn’t have been so noted as odd…the right number and right colors even though no one knew about the drafted story? As Shakespeare said, “more things in Heaven and Earth that are dreamt of” Thanks for rolling that comment this way

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  8. marthaschaefer / Jun 16 2014 9:54 pm

    Life is a rocky road, some relationships are like a stone in your shoe. Thanks for the insights.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2014 10:09 pm

      Does reality mirror fiction or is it the other way around? A mosaic of mystery and wonder for sure. Thanks for chipping off a rocky comment

      Like

  9. shoreacres / Jun 17 2014 12:23 am

    Well! I’m glad no one has recently died. I just couldn’t quite figure… But I love the three stones. I have a little collection of my own — rose quartz, raw turquoise and smooth river rock from the Sabinal. One found, one given, one begged. It always has amazed me how much power stones have — but then, that’s how we got our “touchstones”.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 17 2014 1:45 am

      Odd little story for around Father’s Day – but I’m not a big participant Hallmark events. You’ve got some powerful stones/stories of your own there. Think we are due for some Peruvian food shortly to compare notes. Thanks for rolling some stones this way

      Like

  10. gingerfightback / Jun 17 2014 5:35 am

    Great story telling and very poignant. Loved the pebbles! Not sure about all the cross throughs as they detract from the pacing. But more please!

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 17 2014 12:39 pm

      Just trying some new stuff – story within a story, but there were actually 3 stories and maybe should have cut to just 2 and limited the cross outs. Trying to emphasize the “story/novel” was still in very rough draft and no one knew anything about it to relay the real shock of the pebbles. It was too confusing. Definitely appreciate the feedback from such a great storyteller. Thanks for stacking a rocky comment

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  11. jannatwrites / Jun 17 2014 6:34 pm

    That is curious about the stones. I’m glad you kept them because they obviously meant something (we don’t often carry around meaningless objects… we stack those up in our houses 🙂 ) Thanks for sharing this memory in the unique way that only you can! (That is a compliment, btw…)

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 17 2014 7:25 pm

      Stalled this story for a long time as it was just so odd. That pocket was in the pants he wore the day before while working in the vegetable garden. Consider that this is not a rocky environment – lots of sand, but few rock – and most of those are iron rich red ones…So these?….little rocks are staying. Glad you enjoyed the mystery. Thanks for the encouragement

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  12. EllaDee / Jun 17 2014 8:04 pm

    Good story, and lovely memory. It’s the little things that mean the most. In a similar situation, while the others were lobbying for the big ticket items, I was able to simply pick up with no competition at all, a few priceless – literally valueless – mementos that mean the world to me.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 17 2014 8:22 pm

      That’s all that matters. All in perception and connections. As long as the little rocks are with me, I’m fine…besides they would travel easily – even on a boat when furniture won’t….and Bonus! Robbers won’t ever steal them…but must keep aways from pets… (giggles) Thanks for rocking along

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  13. roughseasinthemed / Jun 18 2014 8:45 pm

    No cold stones, little left from mine. They seemed to take their vivid life with them. I’m left with, whatever. I often think I never really knew them, just as they never knew me. Strangers who passed for some years … And then we went our own ways.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 19 2014 1:01 am

      Can identify with that. A different time, perhaps when kids were expected to be quiet and keep out of the way. My dad was a very different person when he wasn’t around my mom. But she made sure that didn’t happen very often. The stones were a surprise, but it would be so in character. He had quite a sense of humor and quiet philosophy of life. Regret we didn’t do more practical jokes along the way. Thanks for rolling over a few stones here

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