Glad you could join us for the next captivating episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
The ground had changed from a hardened white crust, scraping beneath his foot like the shards of a broken dream, to a rough carpet of crunchy leaves scratching softly at his seeping sole, but Elliot didn’t notice.
His single-minded purpose had pushed him to the peak, a glistening trail of crystalized slime painting his path over the sun-baked clay, drawing a portrait of imminent death as he slipped in and out of conscious awareness, his brain so shriveled and fatigued that the air before his eyes seemed to shimmer with hallucinations.
One of them spoke.
“Why, beat my wings and call me Luna! You poor, sweet darlin’.” Charlett’s voice fluttered down from the twiggy edge of the encroaching forest, bathing Elliot’s mind with nectar-flavored hope. “You look exhausted. Do you need some help, Sweetie?”
“Water, Luna” Elliot croaked, “I need water.”
“Oh, Sugar, my name’s not Luna, it’s Charlett.” She peered through the leaves at his confusion, feeling such pity her heart melted like honey butter on fresh cornbread. “I am purely happy to point you in the right direction. All you have to do is trundle on over to all that black rock over yonder, and you’ll see the most cunning white and purple fairy flower lyin’ in the road just this side of a precious lil’ ole stream. I can see it from here, Dumplin’. You are almost there.”
And without waiting for thanks or even asking his name, Charlett flitted off into the shadowy canopy of the trees.
Unsure he had truly heard anyone speak, Elliot strained the last dregs of his spirit to find the will to carry on, sliding slowly over the cushioning bed of leaf rot, in what he knew would be his final attempt to find a life-saving drink.
To be continued…
Today’s twofer from April 4, 2016:
Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “Not my circus; not my monkeys.” People say it to disavow responsibility when somebody else causes some kind of chaos.
I know a thing or two about chaos.
I was a Licensed Child Care Provider. For more than 22 years, as a single parent, I spent-12-hours-a-day-5-days-a-week-raising-6-to-9-children-who-had-other-parents,-while-home-schooling-my-son-and-costuming-3-musicals-a-year-with-65-to-73-kids-in-each-show-for-a-nationwide-children’s-theater-company,-after-the-other-kids-went-home-and-on-weekends,-living-too-many-days-with-never-enough-hours-in-any-of-them-so-I-could-sleep-only-5-and-1/2-hours-a-night-for-127-years.
I lived in a circus — a three-ring, never ending circus.
Deep, cleansing breath.
Sometimes I’d stop the minivan at a red light half a mile from home, close my eyes, and think, “Please let it stay red so I can take a nap.”
Ten seconds later, the light always turned green.
Yeah, I know a thing or two about chaos.
“They’re so sweet when they’re sleeping.” Every mother everywhere throughout the History of Time.
There are two types of chaos.
One sneaks up behind you and bashes in your confidence with unexpected and devastating force, turning life upside-down, inside-out, and seven ways to Sunday. It most frequently involves illness, injury, death, and/or the American court system, and can drop you into a pit you might never climb out of.
I’ve met this Chaos face to face in battle, and emerged scarred but victorious.
I will not talk about it behind its back.
The other kind of chaos surrounds you while you’re making a Plan. It turns your life upside-down and inside-out while filling it with frustration, laughter, creativity, noise, and love. You can try taming it by scheduling every activity, meal, and nap, but it will just laugh in your face and retreat to some tropic bar for mai tais or some exotic -tini drink, waiting for the moment you crack from the stress of trying to control ALL the possibilities ALL the time.
There is only one way to survive this battle of Your Will against Reality and still maintain some modicum of mental and emotional health.
You have to follow Guy’s advice:
“Take comfort in the chaos — it means something is happening.” Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil
Because we each have our own circus, but the monkeys don’t belong to any of us.