About iidorun

I Do running, writing, raising (kids!), reading, loving, listening, eating, sleeping, working - not always in that order and usually not all at the same time.

America – A Short Story

Looking out my back door, I tried to keep my breathing steady. It had been twenty-four hours since Mamá said goodbye. She had walked me to the school door instead of just dropping me off. She had given me an extra long hug and whispered, “Hay una sorpresa para ti, in your lunchbox,” before letting me go and walking quickly down the steps so she wouldn’t be late for work.

I had entered the school and didn’t give her another thought. Until she didn’t come home for dinner. And she wasn’t in the kitchen making arroz con chorizo on Saturday morning. And now it was Saturday evening.

I walked into the living room and picked up my cell phone. I tapped the “news” icon and watched the app launch. I saw it then, a picture of the factory where she worked. Mamá was coming out of the front door, flanked by two men in dark clothing, carrying guns, and wearing bullet proof vests that had the three scariest letters in the entire English language.

I-C-E

Mamá was still wearing the gloves she used for cleaning, her hair was mussed, the curly tendrils like a crown of ivy on her head. The headline said, “The first day of school turned into a nightmare after record immigration raids.” I sat on the couch, my heart rate increasing.

“No te preocupes,” Mamá would say when I whispered my fears to her. “Tengo fe in this nation.”

Mamá might have faith in this country, but I no longer did.

The photo above was taken by Patrick for his Pic and a Word Challenge #216 – America. I’ve also incorporated other prompts from this last week: Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt to use the word “ice” and the number “twenty four”; and the Ragtag Daily prompt for Saturday – Nation (Thank you, Punam!), Thursday – Looking out my back door and Wednesday – Goodbye.

This story is based on a true story of an immigration raid in Mississippi that occurred on the first day of school in 2019 – so it isn’t really “fiction”, hence the title. The children, of the immigrants who were taken, were not picked up from school and had no way of knowing what happened to their parents. I can only imagine the terror of those children – losing a parent is a big fear for any child. This incident also reminded me of the way the Jewish people were rounded up by the Nazis. Is this what America has become?

©️ 2020 iido

Speak My Name – Fiction

The stories got it wrong, you know the ones about the “fallen angel” who defied the god. It wasn’t for power or control of the heavens. No, it was for love.

You see, he didn’t want to share the light that would allow the humans to survive in the world we created. He wanted to keep them dependent on him. But that meant they were subject to his whims. Like I was. I couldn’t do that to them.

He had created the cold, dark time then told the humans that if they didn’t give him sacrifices, that he wouldn’t bring back the sky fire that would warm them and make their food grow. I tried to help but he put out my sky fire and now it is just a shiny stone ball in the sky.

That made me so angry! For millennia, I have supported him whether I agreed with what he did or not. How many worlds did we create together? How many worlds did he destroy for his own selfish reasons?

But not this one! These humans I made looked the most like me than any of the other creatures I had fashioned for him before. They were like children to me and I loved them.

I was done sitting idly by. The bit of fire that I brought the humans helped them to survive the cold and the dark. It helped them to thrive so they no longer had to depend on him. I was their liberator, their angel who saved them from death.

“Lucy, our Light,” they used to call me.

“Lucifer, the Light Bearer,” they used to praise my gift to them.

They loved me and I loved them! Why else would I have risked his wrath?

But he got the better of me. He corrupted the humans, corrupted my gift. He turned my gift of warmth and life into one of destruction and death, scaring the humans into thinking I wanted to harm them. And now my name is no longer shouted with joy but spit out with hate and worse, fear.

My heart is broken but I don’t regret helping my humans. And I know, one day, my name, my real name, will again be spoken with love.

Sadje at Keep it Alive has given us another beautiful picture prompt for this week’s “What do you see?” #13. The flame in the woman’s hand made me think of the story of Prometheus as well as the story of the fall of Lucifer.

Fire, which brings heat and light, has always been important to our survival. If you’ve ever watch episodes of the show, “Naked and Afraid,” getting a fire started is usually the number one priority for the contestants. The question of how did early humans discover fire is still unanswered. Still, I am grateful for the hominid who might have seen a burning bush and said, “Hey, this could be useful…”

******

As I was writing this post, I remembered the fires still burning in Australia. Fire – like most things in life – can be both good and bad. If you would like to donate to help those affected by these fires, this link will take you to an article that has links to organizations accepting donations.

©️ 2020 iido

Self – Deception — A Haiku

If I don’t swallow

The lie you put on my plate

My stomach grumbles

This haiku was written for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about deception. You can read some of the fabulous responses here.

We all tell lies to ourselves whether we know it or not. My most frequent lie to myself is thinking that I have enough time to do something, when really I don’t. Hence, the reason I am perpetually tardy. I don’t know why I haven’t learned that lesson: I consider myself an insightful person, I know I underestimate time and have always struggled with time management. Yet, something inside makes it hard for me to believe that it really doesn’t take only 15 minutes to get anywhere.

Some lies are OK to believe, in my opinion, like the lie of Santa Claus or the lie that I still look good in the pants I wore when I was 20 (I can still get them past my hips if I suck everything in!). These lies serve a purpose for that point in life. But after awhile, we do have to start seeing reality and accepting the truth. Or come up with a different and better lie than before.

©️ 2020 iido

Running the Ragged Edge – A Haiku and Running Memory

Ragged points abound

Softened by mist and lush greens

The edge, not the end

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #215 – Point included a poem and picture of one of my favorite places in the world: Big Sur, specifically the Pacific Coast Highway which runs along cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. It truly is the ragged edge of the United States or “the Western World” as the annual international marathon states.

I ran the Big Sur International Marathon in 2016. It was my “Farewell to California Race” since it was the last race I did before we moved. When we lived in CA, we visited Big Sur, Capitola, Santa Cruz and Monterrey often. That area embodies my idea of California with its contrasts of rust colored, sharp pointed cliffs, golden sands, verdant grasses and redwood forests all shaped by the deep blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. The vibe is relaxed and eclectic – the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.

When I ran the BSIM, I was 1 year post-partum with my youngest. I had to defer the race from 2015 since I was having the baby then, so I was really excited for the opportunity to run this race. Despite not having lost all the baby weight and not training as well as I could have (I was still nursing then as well), I felt strong and capable. I had trained with some fantastic members from the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town who had also thrown a goodbye party for me a few weeks before. It was really a wonderful race to end one chapter of my life and begin another.

©️ 2020 iido

Liar, Liar – A Poem

Cough, cough, ahem,
Excuse me,
You’re on fire
Yes, you, holding the cell phone
And scrolling
Scrolling
Is it Facebook? Instagram?
Twitter? Tiktok?
Or maybe just the news?
Oh, you don’t notice the smell?
The smoke coming from your pants?
Those pants twisted from all the gymnastics you do –
Well, not actual gymnastics
But the mental gymnastics you do
So you can sleep at night
Oh wait, that’s right
You don’t sleep
You’re scrolling
At 2 AM
Your body, your mind
Your life
Hacked
Into believing
You’re the only one entitled to the American Dream

This poem was written for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt from last week to write about living in a “hacked world”. Responses to this prompt can be found here.

The word “hacking” can have many different meanings. This being cold and flu season, and having kids in various stages of “the sniffles”, my first thought was coughing and not electronic hacking. These are both symptoms of much larger problems.

©️ 2020 iido

Out to Pasture – A Rhyming Poem

Her hooves pawed at the frozen ground.

Her coat matted a sticky mud brown.

The haflinger snorted, nostrils flared

Tossing her mane without a care

Or so it seemed, this lonely horse

Left in the cold without recourse

She was too old, her back too swayed

A life giving rides to any who paid

But now, no longer able to work

No more carrot treats as a perk

Standing in the mirror, she nuzzled her reflection

The mirror an impractical gift of appreciation

Her breath fogged the silvery surface

As the moon emerged and shone on her face

A tingling started and then a pain

Then something blossomed in her brain

A horn of gold twisted from her forelock

Her coat showed no more signs of muck

Her body grew with muscles strong

Her mane and tail got Fabio long

She turned to the mirror and let out a neigh

She won’t become glue to her owner’s dismay

No more prancing for the pleasure of others

A unicorn surely should not be smothered

She nudged her stall door then galloped out of the barn

Without a look back, she didn’t give a darn

As a unicorn, she didn’t need to linger

But if only she had a middle finger

I had fun writing this poem for Sadje’s picture prompt What do you see? Challenge #12 although the inspiration was actually a sad event.

My daughters take horse back riding lessons. There is a halflinger named Sarge who has been at this barn for a long time and is usually the first horse that new students ride due to his gentle nature. He is getting old and has been having some physical issues. His owner mentioned selling him when he can no longer give riding lessons. I asked the owner if she would sell him despite making her a lot of money giving riding lessons. She said despite Sarge being a good horse, that he still needed to earn his keep and that she would have no use for him if he is no longer able to work.

I didn’t grow up on a farm so it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea of animals that aren’t pets, that they are there to serve their purpose for humans – whether pulling wagons, laying eggs, giving milk or being our food. I know I participate in this exploitation and I joke about it (if cows didn’t taste so good…) however this reality really saddened me. After years of work, this horse would just be tossed away as if he didn’t matter.

The Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt to use the phrase “standing in the mirror, she…” helped me turn this sad scenario into a happy ending. Sometimes we need to take a good look in the mirror to see our self-worth and to leave situations or people who don’t honor our worth. We might not sprout a golden horn, but our confidence and self esteem would shine through.

©️ 2020 iido

Infernal Hope – A Haibun

The new year begins in the darkness of winter. We try to light it up with fireworks and cheers, loud illusions of summer happiness in the frosty night air.

Yet there is no inferno that can thaw the the frozen fear of what this new year, this new decade will bring. The crackle of global warming stabbing glaciers into rising oceans while lighting never ending fires. The heated breaths of chanting voices wanting to be heard or wanting to hear heads rolling. The red faced demands of hot-under-the-collar public servants who expect a tip for doing their job.

The twelve chimes of midnight mask my reddened eyes streaming with red-hot tears and the choked sobs of my frozen throat that cannot – can not – defrost despite the promise of new beginnings. The illusion of a friendly inferno only works until you catch on fire. Still, I walk towards that new morning sun.

Winter’s cold ignites
The need for new illusions
Hope can’t wait for Spring

Hello! Happy New Year! This is my first post of 2020 and it’s a triple play! Ok, so one prompt is a missed one from last week (Sorry, Patrick! I was away and missed the deadline but I’m still on a streak!) but the rest are current. I am especially excited about the picture prompt (above) from Sadje who has taken up the “What do you see?” Challenge from Hélène who passed away last year.

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #213 – Illusions and #214 – Inferno came together with Björn’s first dVerse haibun prompt of the year – beginnings to express my feelings about the start of this new year. Sadje’s picture was the cherry on top of this trifecta of prompts.

Beginnings are usually hopeful events however the news of the last few weeks have been anything but hopeful. This is an election year in the USA and I can already feel the tension and am bracing myself for disappointment. Why? Because people nowadays seem to thrive on fear, not hope. Maybe like in Star Wars Episode VIII, we are looking for the one person (or thing or event) to bring us hope. I think, though, that we have to look to ourselves for hope – to be the hope and even to share that with others.

©️ 2020 iido