My Love Has Sand In It

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Scene: Desert Utah sunset. Wind. Dust. Wanderers. Kindred spirits. The wide-open unknown.
Instrument: Lap slide guitar

Darlin’,
I’ll see you in the morning when the sun is on the rise
I hope by then the wind is gonna tell us where to blow and where to abide
Got to forget our past,
Dig up old roots at last, and move on light

We are kindred
Our minds are bound to wander, but our souls, they’ll come on home
So if you go, my friend, I’ll give you all the lovin’ that my heart can hold
But I should tell you
Oh Lord, it just won’t do for our love go cold

On our journey
May it never be a burden to reside inside this love
But I’m still learning, so tell me when I’m squeezing too hard or not half enough
And we’ll keep movin’ on
And hail that breaking dawn when the old day’s done

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A Moment like this

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Last month, I made a brief trip back to Boston to take care of some business. While in town, I stopped in and hung out at my old writing consultant job for a few hours. During my visit there was a sudden rush of students needing help on upcoming papers. I found myself thrust back into the fray of explaining how to support topic sentences with evidence and writing strong conclusions that wrapped up an essay in neat fashion.

It was exhausting and exhilarating. It was as if I had never left. I was in the zone, doing what I really enjoy. The next few hours flew by and before I knew it, I had to leave. As I walked out, I was happy and felt good about the couple of hours of work I had just put in, like I had made a difference.

Now, back in Texas, I often think about those few hours and it hits me. I miss teaching. It’s not so much the writing that I miss, but the interactions with my students. I miss their questions and watching as understanding spreads across their faces when they finally get a concept I’ve been explaining. I could never pinpoint what it was about teaching that I enjoyed so much until a recent event brought it to my attention.

Last week, I started a taking a class in the morning before work. I envision as something fun to occupy my time, get me out of bed in the morning and possibly make me a little money down the road. Plus, I just like the idea of learning new stuff. At one point during the class I paired up with another student and we went over the various materials presented that day. As we worked, she asked me question of clarification because she was confused about a particular aspect. I answered her and then gave her a quick trick to remember the answer in the future. That’s when I saw it.

She straightened up, cocked her head to one side, blinked and then nodded. “I get it now,” she said. It was that moment when the piece of information clicked and she completely understood it. I had helped her get there and that made me grin. That moment of complete clarity is the moment that teachers live for. It’s that moment that gets us up and out of bed in the morning. I missed that because I don’t get those moments at my job, which makes me sad.

I think a good job, is a job that allows us to strive for those moments, whatever they may be. For me it’s teaching or, maybe more broadly, it’s the sharing of information. The point is, these are the things that make us happy to do the work we do. Now, I just need to find a way back to doing that work.

Week in Review 4/11 – 4/16

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Yes indeed, dear readers, Phreelance Writers is back! As promised, fresh, new content has been delivered and we hope that you are rejoicing, like we are. Despite the span of miles between us, Gage and I, with the help of our friends, managed to put together a solid week. We’re quite proud. If you missed it, it’s cool. We’ve got your weekly rundown, just the way you like it!

On Monday, Gage got us started with a return to Tiger Fist. This is quickly becoming our new catch phrase, motto and mantra. It’s hard to argue with such phenomenal results. I dare say it may even become our new Tao. Tiger Fist, a way of life.

On Tuesday, Dash complained in the form of a question. It’s something he has to ask himself from time to time. We appreciate the feedback in the comment section. Once again, readers, you prove that you are all smarter than us. But we knew this already!

Wednesday is our guest contributor day and Adam Walker stepped in and hit it out of the park. We’re in the process of adding his bio to our Writers page and we’re looking forward to more poetic contributions from him. It’s great stuff.

Dash posted on Thursday about a recent diagnosis and how that condition effects him. While he remains in good spirits, we suspect his illness to be terminal. He’ll keep you posted as things progress. We’re all pulling for him.

On Friday, Gage gave us an update on his new gig and larger plans. The guys is always scheming and it’s a good thing. There is a growing number of us who believe Gage is directly involved in shadow ops. Like he’s a secret agent, the Jack Bauer of job searching.

We’ve begun to use Saturdays as a creative space on Phreelance Writers and Ori Fienberg did an admirable job of showcasing his talent this week. We’ve said it before and it remains true. Our love of writing extends beyond the journalistic. Ori’s work shows how diverse and great writing can be.

There you have it, folks, our first week back from extended absence. We’re feeling good and looking to keep the momentum going. Stay with us.

Collectors

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Collectors: Paleontologists

Beneath their skin most children have dinosaur bones (a very few also
have a brain in their behind).  Always the dinosaur in them wants to
eat.  It stalks about the houses and roars for food.

The inner dinosaur wants to mingle with more of its kind.  It gets
excited when it goes to museums and sees itself hanging from ceilings.

Very few adults have dinosaur bones beneath their skin (or a brain in
their behind).  Aging tends to lead toward extinction.  Children
evolve millions of years at a time, until something happens:  an
internal ice age, or possibly the meteor of puberty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Collectors: Good Grazing

All the young men of the village are put out to pasture.  At first
this does not please them.  They line the fence and bleat for their
mothers.

During winter they grow bearded and wooly.  As it becomes warmer they
butt heads and brawl for days until they realize the pleasures of
grazing.  On cooler nights they huddle together by a copse of trees.
As the first summer storm approaches, they face the wind together.
After it has passed, they line up to be shaved.

Fall arrives.  One man unlatches the gate and the rest stroll into the
village.  Then a new herd of young men are led out to the pasture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                          

Collectors: A Brief Exploration

Early one evening a man begins an excavation of himself.  He sweeps
away the cobwebs of recent events, and then lifts the memory chains,
till he has access to his inner sanctum.

Then the man wades, waist deep, through chewed, missing caps of a
thousand ballpoint pens, up to an ark filled with the sacred relics:
fossilized dinosaur bones, vials of honeysuckle nectar; scrabble tiles
stacked like gold coins and spilling from burlap sacks. He hears
barking from a box of puppies, the first he’d ever seen for sale.

But there’s nothing he can bring back, and while he’s worshipping in
the temple, nothing can be added.  So the man replaces the chains,
apologizes to the spiders, and leaves, for now.

                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                         Collectors: Mastering an Art

We will have a special award for aging.  For rusty faces, bones that
grow brittle, and patina covered hands.

Everyone will age as enthusiastically as they can.  Some are bound to
focus on the amassing of years, but it is not just the most
experienced collectors who age best.  Also to be considered is the
light unpredictable dust of small things lost, and for the true
competitor, the accumulation of some heavier sediment.

The ceremony will be held on a random day every year.  It will go on
as long as is necessary for everyone to receive their award.

                                                                                                                                                            Ori Fienberg works as a Writing Specialist for Foundation Year and is an accomplished poet. The Collectors was originally published in http://www.artificemag.com/. He’s had work published several places including Diagram, PANK, Subtropics, the current issue of Monkeybicycle, and forthcoming at Kill AuthorYou can find musings and links to other publications at ojconfesses.blogspot.com

Week Two

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It’s been a pretty crazy two weeks.

Starting a new job, getting used to new people and responsibilities—it takes its toll.  I’m still getting used to the hours (I’m thankful for them!) and the new office.  Occasionally I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work.  My co-workers say that will fade after the first few weeks.

A lot of it I’m thankful for.  The people here are beyond helpful.  There are microwaves.  Don’t even get me started on the foosball.

All sarcasm aside, it truly is a rewarding place to be, working for a human rights / healthcare NGO.  It’s a job that fits with my moral character and values–even my skillset!  But what I really want is to work in the communications department.

It’s a strange feeling; now that I’m here, I feel like I still have a lot left to do.  I used to think that once I made it to the company I wanted to work for, I could sit back and relax.  Not true.  I have my sights set on the offices across the hall.

I wonder if it deserves a new tiger fist sort of plan.  Maybe a slightly more subtle one… a sort of “Fox Paw,” if you will.  Silent, sophisticated, but still deadly.  I’ve been wondering how to go about it, given the 3-4 months I have at my current position.  Every morning I walk by a huge whiteboard that has the list of open positions at the company.  I’ve considered writing my name in huge red dry-erase letters next to the one I want, but it just seems a bit tactless. More like a water buffalo than a fox.

My current plan—hatched in the wee hours of morning, after a particularly vivid work dream—is to give myself at least a month and a half to get used to the current job environment.  Then, having proven myself indispensable, I’ll make my boss start saying things like “what will we do without you?” and, “we’re going to work to get you on permanently.”  Nice things like that.  All the while, I’ll be making friends with the communications team, lending my skills for an article or two, or my defensive skills for a foosball game or two.  Then, four months from now, I’ll get offered the chance to stay on with my current team, and I’ll respectfully decline, counter offer, and preen my beautiful orange fur.

Job (dis)Satisfaction

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I came to a realization while at work the other day. I hate my job. The epiphany hit me while I placed price tags on sale items. It made me want to scream, cry and laugh all at the same time. The amalgamation of emotions manifested itself as a manic smile that lasted for ten minutes. I may have frightened some customers.

Maybe you’ve felt something similar. It starts with a general distaste for being at a job. Nothing outrageous, just sort of like a sudden fatigue whenever you have to be there. It passes once you leave. Later, it upgrades to a definite dislike. Now, it’s hard to stay focused while at work, maybe you take one or two more bathroom breaks than you really need. Keep ignoring it and it turns into a full-blown case of hate complete with all the symptoms; showing up late, thinking of reasons to not show up at all, sobbing uncontrollably in your car before going into work.

Okay, maybe the last one is just me…

I’ve been through this before. It usually builds up over the span of several months until I take a vacation, which relieves the pressure. The cycle then restarts until the pressure boils over and I decide that I no longer want to work at that particular job. However, this time was different. I’ve never had the build up reach max pressure so quickly.

When this happens, a countdown begins. It’s the official countdown until I quit my job because I can’t take it anymore. Unfortunately, the countdown is an undetermined length of time. It could be a short as a three days or as long as three months. I never know. Kind of makes it a most dangerous game! But I’m being cavalier about the whole situation.

I have to use the countdown to find a new job. There is an inherent pressure because I don’t know how long I have to change my situation. Working the countdown requires quick, decisive action and speed. There are many steps and they all need to be taken care of all while I work at a job I detest.

Okay, let me stop bitching. I have work to do and the countdown never stops.

The Depths of a One-Sided Love

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Caught in the Depths of a One-Sided Love;

Lost in confusion, holding on to dreams;

Fighting for some hope, that this could finally be;

The true Love you’ve been waiting for, hearts to blind to see;

Hanging on their every word, daydreaming about every kiss;

Hoping that they Love you back, hypnotized by the mist;

Of sweet smelling fragrances that they wear, puppet master they hold the strings;

To your heart, this is obscene;

Drawn in closer by their laughter, drunk with Love the morning after;

Taken by their sweetest smile, wrapped up in their wondrous style;

Heart so open, what is this;

So in love, forgot the risk;

Of a broken heart, too crushed to mend;

But it’s too late, you’re so far in;

They don’t care, it’s just a game;

They play they hand that they are dealt;

They feel no Love, it’s just the same;

As relationships of their past, in spite of what you may have felt;

The game is over, they had fun while it lasted;

You’re all in, and they’re so far past it;

Now you’re in and out their revolving door;

The two of you are no more;

Your heart is shattered, soul is wounded;

No healing cast could ever mend it;

Now your hurt, nowhere to turn;

Suicidal, heart does burn;

Longing just for one more touch;

Can’t let go you Love too much;

Clinging to a memory;

Of what you thought just might be;

When caught up in The Depths of a One-Sided Love.

Adam “Walada” Walker is a poet and architect-in-training. He is the newest guest contributor on Phreelance Writers. Stay tuned for more of his stuff.

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