Unabashed Bash

red-velvet-cake-3960016_1920

Photo: Fawaz Sharif

 

She would not apologize for throwing a party to celebrate her last menstruation.

“Oh, but I will have a bash, if only to bash the preconceived notion that we women have any reason to be bashful about our body’s machinations,” she declared when her husband paled at the idea and her sons bloomed into a matching shade of pink.

“We gals bleed for a good chunk of our lives,” she pressed on, ignoring the slight green hue that crept onto her sons’ faces. “It is the blood of life, the blood of disappointment, or relief, or missed opportunity … but it is our blood, made by our bodies and relinquished so new lining can accept a future product of intercourse.”

“Mom …” her eldest groaned, but she silenced him with one of her ‘looks’ and glared a warning at her youngest, who appeared ready to chorus. At seventeen and sixteen they had squirmed through several variations of “the talk” in their lives, and would survive this one, too. Especially as they were old enough to be instrumental in causing a female’s monthly cycle to not cycle … If they were capable of ravishing girls’ bodies with more than their eyes, they should be able to stomach the realities of what girls’ bodies are capable of, as well as what women both endure and celebrate.

“I’m not going to force you to be here for the party,” she clarified. The vivid relief on all three of her menfolk’s faces was hilarious even if she couldn’t help being somewhat insulted. “What I will not do is lie about what this party is for.”

Her body had reached a milestone, and she wasn’t going to pretend it was nothing worth a mention. Not when the two young men (and the one which had preceded them but never made it through to birthing) were proof of the very miracles that female bodies – like her own – had been capable of till now. This called for proper celebration.

She rummaged in her bag and pulled out a scribbled-on napkin. “Let’s see. I’ve made a list. There will be invitations, perhaps shaped like uteri, or like tampons. I hadn’t decided.”

Now that her attention was no longer fully on them, her sons eyed each other and began to beat a slow but determined retreat. She raised an eyebrow in their direction and did not challenge them, but when her husband deigned to follow his offspring, she tapped the seat next to her in more order than invitation.

He sat.

He’d learned long ago that anything to do with “women’s time” was best not argued with or over. He hadn’t the foggiest idea what it would be like to have a period (or be pregnant or lose one or give birth or nurse babies, for that matter), and he wasn’t sure he wanted to have more of an idea of any of it. Certainly not the bloody business, which always gave him the queasy willies. So he kept his mouth shut and nodded at what he thought were appropriate intervals as his wife kept on with her planning monologue.

It did not stop his mind from sending fervent prayers that Carrie or Michelle or Linda, or anyone with double-X chromosomes, and therefore far more suited for such planning, would stop by or call and rescue him from being his wife’s audience.

“So,” she enthused, “for the cake? What do you think? Red velvet?”

His favorite. Well, not anymore.

He didn’t think he’d be able to touch the stuff again.

 

 

For the SoCS prompt: abash/a bash/bash

 

A Good Fit

Photo by Bryan Schneider

Photo: Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

 

“How does it look?” she twirled,

And I knew she was asking about

A lot more

Than the dress.

 

“It looks really great,” I answered,

And she knew

It was about

A lot more than

Her silhouette,

Or how the fabric hugged

Her curves.

 

“Then I’ll take it,” she said.

And we smiled because

We both knew

It meant she will take him, as well.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Silhouette in 65 words

 

The Best Tradition

Traditions R.Yehuda

Photo: R. Yehuda

 

The doorbell rings

The gate stays open

As they trickle, stream, come in.

Sisters, brothers, nieces, cousins,

Nephews, parents, aunts and uncles,

And new additions to the scene.

Candles lit and babies cuddled,

In the kitchen tied-up aprons swirl

As busy hands ready cuisine.

A phone is passed:

A distant caller

Hellos each loved one from the screen.

The rooms are filled

The hearts are fuller.

Another year of treasured family din.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Traditions

 

 

Late Dance

dance OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Rega’im Menatzhim

 

Things were winding down. Most tables had been cleared and many guests had left for home. Only the hardiest (or closest kin) still remained. Sated and a bit deflated with fatigue, they lounged, gossiped, tapped phones, and not-so-surreptitiously checked the time. Several small children slept on makeshift cots of pulled together chairs.

Music still played but with more inertia than conviction.

The celebration was officially over, though not for everyone: two boys, oblivious to the late hour and overall exhaustion, danced on.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Celebration (82 words)

 

Pyrotechnical Prayer

blue and red brocade fireworks at night

Photo by Laziii Codar on Pexels.com

 

May you light the sky

With color

Not with pain.

May you fill all hearts

With freedom

Not disdain.

May the booms resound

Within

To offer hope.

As the boons of

Independence

Widen scope.

 

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for July 4, 2018:

Pyrotechnics

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

Darkness and Light

light path

As the holiday season comes into swing (even if the weather on the East Coast has not gotten the memo…), I find myself thinking of the theme of light that permeates the season; and of the fears of darkness it hopes to overcome.

Someone noted to me–rather resentfully–how angry they are with the holiday season “hijacked by all this talk of fear and dark and hate and ugliness.” I was a bit surprised, because to me it was the opposite: This is probably the most apt time of year to face polarities of light and dark … Oh, it is a most difficult subject to approach and manage, but what can be more timely than doing so in the time of celebrating light and highlighting the survival or the birth of a religion? Or humanity’s perception of possible ongoing life?

So I think of the realities of shadows that too many are hell-bent on casting (either in advocacy of terror or in preaching overgeneralized fear and hate); and I think of the many lights that can chase those shadows away. I think of those who somehow gravitate more toward dark than illumination; and of the many who find light a far more satisfying source of power than adding to the pool of dark.

This year the battle between light and darkness may be especially evident, but the struggle has been then for eons; as did the valiant effort to shine light onto darkness and highlight life, not death.

This time of year, particularly.

The approach of the longest night has always been a time of worry and wariness. All through history, humans have found ways to combat it with light and celebrations, prayer and devotion, with reminders of the light-to-come and the reminiscing on the light that did return even after times of darkness. The miracle of light and hope and life.

Peoples the world over have some holiday of light around this time of year. Christianity itself ‘piggybacked’ onto existing holidays (and moved the celebration of the ‘birth of Christ’ from the summer, when Jesus was actually born, to near the Winter Solstice), to fill the need to note light and rebirth at the time of utmost darkness. People always needed to remind and rejoice the slow return of longer daylight and the promise of regrowth, spring, future harvests; life.

So … maybe it is not so strange that we are facing yet another battle of dark and light in this time of archetypical struggle between a sense of doom and a holding on to hope. There have probably always been those naysayers who predicted death, destruction, loss (or who hung the prevention of awfulness on penance and ‘sacrifices’). However, history itself also shows how humanity repeatedly–universally–found a way to hold light high and sparkle it abundantly. Cultures chased dark not with gloom but with sharing light, kindness, warmth, and celebration.

May we, too, remember that light will come. Is already on its way to coming. May we hold fast to the knowledge that the days will slowly overcome the night of soul and darkness will lose hold and weaken. We can hasten it with sharing our own light. With spreading kindness. With opening our hearts to those in need. With refusing to feed or amplify the darkness. Dark needs growth to spread, but light is never diminished when it is shared. We can help it grow by holding on not to fear, but hope.

Wishing you and all a season — a lifetime — of light.

light

Outlawed Hope only $0.99 TODAY & TOMORROW

Outlawed Hope is half-year-old TODAY!

Get it for $0.99 June 3-4 ONLY

Since its publication six months ago today, Outlawed Hope has seen all five-star reviews and much heartwarming feedback besides.

To celebrate this happy half-birthday (hey, any reason for a good party!), Outlawed Hope for Kindle is available for only $0.99 today and tomorrow, June 3 and June 4, 2014!

 

[Regular e-book price is $7.99 so hurry up and grab Outlawed Hope before the price goes back up–the sale won’t last but your reading pleasure will!]

Prefer books you can actually hold and turn the pages on? No worries–you can still celebrate–Outlawed Hope is available in paperback and you can get it for 25% OFF the listed price on Amazon NOW!

Join the celebration and get Outlawed Hope for $0.99 TODAY!

http://www.amazon.com/Outlawed-Hope-Naama-Yehuda-ebook/dp/B00I8ZGXPU/

Some of the praise for Outlawed Hope:

“Brilliant, enchanting story telling!”

“Thrilling!”

“Marvelously written, fascinating book.”

“A great read”

“… a gem of a read. You won’t want to put it down …”

“Outstanding first novel”

“A sublime read!”

“Outlawed Hope is a wonderful, well written, heartful read for our times …”

“A winner”

“A captivating and addicting page turner …”

“… The book is an emotional roller coaster, intellectually challenging, and teeming with insightful dialogue and introspection.”

Don’t Delay!

Get Outlawed Hope for $0.99 TODAY!

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope cover