Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Culture

culture

wanting to know more

All that remains of the Thanksgiving turkey is sandwich-sized morsels and once again we are left wondering about what really happened when our ancestors got off the boat to build a new city in a new land.  Church and civic records don’t give much clue and most of the tales we hear about who married who and how they dispersed are just that: small bits and pieces that have great hunks worn away like the missing pediment on the facade of an old building. For whatever reason, the bloodline has been less than forthcoming in maintaining a rich oral tradition and so we attempt renovation, to shore up the foundation and paint a fresh identity upon the past.

Sadly, we are stuck having run out of the proverbial resources and energy to keep the project solvent: We are wedged between the genealogical rock we can’t dust off enough to see the beauty of its detail and the very hard place where an upcoming generation is unconcerned, uncaring and uninterested. Unwilling to make an effort to find out what connects them to their heritage, they seem more than eager to jump ship for greener pastures. Perhaps that could be defined as a pioneering spirit but more likely it is just running away from it all.

As much as we might cringe at chest-thumping nationalism, religious zeal or an adhesion to out-dated traditions just because that is always the way it has been done, there is something to be said for wanting to include, and being included. People with strong ties that have united them as family, as members of a community, as part of something greater than self are to be admired, for it means they are looking outward when they try to establish some sense of continuity. It isn’t only about now; it is about what happened before and understanding that helps make a small mark on history for future generations to be able to hold close in times of need and reflection.

“What does your culture look like?” – costumes and customs, meals and milestones, a country or county, monument or monolith, a pantheon of people or singular person – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Lost – Week 2

lost 2

when every step leads further away from where you started

Everyone misplaces stuff. The old joke about Grampa looking for his spectacles when they are perched on his head isn’t the material of urban legend, it is a fact: our own mother uses her sunglasses as a headband and then asks straight-faced where they may have gotten to. Such are the vagaries of age but they are also a greater indication of a pre-occupation with other things at hand that might be more interesting, important or just distracting. It is a given that the more stuff one has, be it material or what we carry around in our heads, at some point or another we are going to drop bits without even knowing where or when. Our metaphysical file cabinets can get so jammed that the drawers don’t close anymore. Remember that really significant, sentimental, valuable (insert appropriate adjective here) thing that suddenly loomed large, clear as day, in foggy 2AM insomniac brain wanderings?

Gone.

So you retrace your steps to the source. Or try to, but sometimes it has been a very long journey indeed since said thing has been reassigned to a new location. Organizational skills aren’t very helpful in this kind of situation, in fact, they can be a huge hindrance for what seemed like a really good idea at the time can make no sense at all later. Oh, I’ll just put it here and no, I don’t need to write that number down – I’m positive they said 4pm… Thankfully, many of these quandaries can be solved with a little detective work. Like Jack and Victor looking for the disappeared scone (oh, here it is next to the phone…) they can end in success  – or the sad realization that, like the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge, they are irretrievably – Lost

Last week we wanted to know “Have you ever been lost?” – In a great book or symphony, in love or grief, in the magic of a sunset or the gaze of a newborn, in traffic or far from home…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Gifts – Week 2

strawflowers

everlasting

There are those who have a special bond with the earth. Our uncle – Wojek – was just such a man: stubborn and suspicious, with eyes like an animal that would size a person up in a glance, he was blessed with the ability to nurture all things green. With no patience to engage in dinner-table discussions about the state of the world or the latest styles for longer than it took to clean his plate, he could spend hours carefully twisting the branch of a bonsai, coaxing seedlings to sprout out of their cotton-wool nests or just turning over the dark, damp earth in preparation for that year’s vegetable garden.  He was our source of botanical wisdom – if Wojek said the brown withered plant held sadly in our hands was beyond salvation, we knew there was truly nothing else to be done. More often than not he would just give us the look, take it and in a month’s time have it four times the size, green and thriving in his kitchen window. Wojek had come through life like a character in a Russian novel and throughout the years never saw the need or the use of being on the giving end when it came to assorted family holidays but a passing mention about a childhood memory of strawflowers resulted in a bed of blooms as variegated as the colours of a summer’s worth of sunsets. It was just who he was.

This fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme – Gifts  is as much about the temporal as the eternal and last week, Across the Bored queried “What is a gift for you?” -A present, a prize, the look in her eyes, a talent to sing or big shiny ring, the love of a child or something more wild, the quiet of night or just waking up, right…… We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.