Winter Solstice 2020 by
100
(133 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

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4:20 PM central standard time.

Darkness descends. No sunrise until 7:17. Dark dominates for fifteen hours.

Pandemic fear grips me. More than 311,000 people dead.

Isolation. Zooms — too many zooms. News — too much news.

Books begun and abandoned. Sunday Times unfinished.

Too cold to visit outside in Chicago. 34 degrees numbs fingers and toes.

Too much Netflix bingeing.

Dark moods claim me.

No December holidays with kids and grandkids. No visits with friends.

Even on a warmish winter afternoon, not enough daylight.

I search for beauty and brightness.

Enjoy sunrise. Marvel at the beauty of the sunset.

Light candles. Persevere.

 

RetroFlash — 100 words

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Profile photo of Laurie Levy Laurie Levy
Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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Characterizations: been there, moving, well written

Comments

  1. Laurie, this is so powerful, and so beautiful! Your words ring true for so many of us. Your use of just a few well chosen words and images take us on a deep but profound journey into the light and fill us with hope. Seriously, thank you!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    In 100 words, you catch the mood perfectly. You photos are stunning and I loved your final night of Hanukkah, fully-lit menorah. That did light up the night for a few, bright minutes.

  3. This was a truly well realized and poetic version of a Retroflash, replete with well-selected images to buttress the beautifully crafted language (I was tempted to say, lyrics). Thanks for this powerful contribution.

  4. Marian says:

    Love this, Laurie. And the candle lighting has a special meaning of hope this year.

  5. Suzy says:

    You have taken RetroFlash to a new level, both here and in “Ribbon Barrettes,” with amazing pictures that add so much to the story that it conveys way more than one would expect from 100 words. Perfect!

  6. John Shutkin says:

    I can only parrot what Suzy said, Laurie. You have somehow, and quickly, perfected RetroFlash. Your poetic words convey the message — bleak though it is — and nothing more needs be said. And yet your pictures complement and enhance those words. And add some unexpected beauty as well.

  7. Joe Lowry says:

    Nice presentation in this format.

  8. Beautiful flash, Laurie. The brief, declarative nature of your sentences mirrors the thought process so effectively, each observation adrift on its own, isolated raft. The pics served well to illustrate a passage of time, the cycle of day and night and to add an emotional/ visual counterpoint, familiar, universal. And the menorah lent weight — mebbe ‘illuminated’ your concluding resolve. Thanks!

  9. We tend to think of “statistics” or “quantitative measures” as almost the opposite of the poetic imagination with its emphasis on descriptive words, figurative language, qualitative observation. In that context, it is striking to begin your poem with the very quantitative measure of the time; two different times, in fact, and the statistical measure of the distance from one to the other (15 hours). These numbers work, and the whole poem is strong and meaningful. You have refuted my bias about keeping numbers separate from poems.

  10. We tend to think of “statistics” or “quantitative measures” as almost the opposite of the poetic imagination with its emphasis on descriptive words, figurative language, qualitative observation. In that context, it is striking to begin your poem with the very quantitative measure of the time; two different times, in fact, and the statistical measure of the distance from one to the other (15 hours). These numbers work, and the whole poem is strong and meaningful, and also makes use of other numerical data (e.g., no. of deaths). You have, refuted my bias about keeping numbers separate from poems.

  11. Wonderful RetroFlash Laurie.
    Yes too many Zooms, and too much news, and books put down and not finished. And may I add. cabin fever and short tempers and too much cooking and cleaning.

    But there’s light at the end of the tunnel if we hold out!

  12. Dave Ventre says:

    Succinct. The words are like snapshots, illuminated by actual snapshots.

    Short days are depressing!

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