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Word Challenge!

By Maralise Petersen

I’ll pick a word and you, in the comments, do a quick free-write of a paragraph or two with your best interpretation of the word.

Today’s word is: Falling

About Maralise Petersen

(Emerita)

11 thoughts on “Word Challenge!”

  1. I stared at him as he scrambled the eggs. He didn't see or sense my gaze, and I watched him delicately whisk our breakfast. He had no idea. I'm afraid that I didn't really have an inclination either. There he was, his strong lines, his gentle smile. He finished the eggs, made some toast, grabbed some plates. He eventually caught my gaze, and returned it with a smile that was my first hint. His casual smile, his knowing eyes. Our eyes caught hold of each other. Then I knew.

    I was falling.

    And how.

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  2. He didn't want me to go out that morning. But he also knew it wasn't his place to tell me to stay. So he strapped Isaac in the high chair and started mixing up pancake batter with Bryce and Annie.

    "I'm only going down to the reservoir, I should be back in 30 minutes, tops. I have my cell phone with me."

    He sighed and told me to be careful.

    I fell into a rhythm as I climbed up the hill through the golf course and turned onto the trail. Looking around, it didn't seem dangerous, didn't feel dangerous. What was Joe so scared of? That I was going to get eaten by a cougar or carried off in the middle of the day by a pregnant-woman snatcher? Over the years, his son has gotten used to the idea of me going out for a run in all kinds of weather, at all times of day, and in all stages of gestation. Didn't Joe know how badly I needed the break?

    Down the mountain and back, I was surprised by how good I felt in the dry air. We don't get cool mornings where I live. For the first time in months, I felt light.

    Back at the golf course hill, I decided to go for it. I hadn't sprinted in months, but I needed to run as fast as I could, just for a few seconds.

    As the path changed from asphalt to gravel, my feet hit, and flew out from underneath me. Mid-air, I had two thoughts, "I can't believe I'm 24 weeks pregnant and falling" and "he was so right." I landed, surveyed my knees and hands, limped up the road to the cabin, and hid in the bathroom until the bleeding stopped and I picked all of the gravel out of my knees. Then I joined the family in the kitchen for a big plate of pancakes.

    Chastened, yes. But still addicted– the next morning I was back out on the trail. This time without the sprinting.

    Great Job, Justine!

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  3. Here. I'm here again. Every child in tow, every conceivable quiet toy and spare Cheerio as well. This bench, how many orange upholstered benches could there be in this kingdom? Another talk about faith, as in 'precedes the miracle' and 'without works is dead' and all that. There haven't been any miracles for me lately and all my 'works' seem to do nothing but suffocate my faith.

    A voice in my head, gentle and loving, prods, "Are you falling away?" Then quietly,"…Catch yourself."

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  4. To prevent the stumbling free flight to the ground one must always be on guard lest some obstacle be left where it doesn't belong, a toy out of place, a rug slightly askew ready to trip the next foot that isn't picked up high enough. The worn piece of carpet at the top of the stairs where the threads could catch a heel and send one headlong to the bottom, those are the most dangerous and deadly to the body.

    The worst thing of all is falling that comes after some misunderstood word. The crash that reverberates through many lives with a falling out over something inconsequential and unknown to at least one of the parties involved. And once in down, no one falls up, there is no going back.

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  5. There's sudden accelerated motion with a dropping sensation, all without any physical change. Something inside me has moved, plummeted, developed an unstoppable attraction for the earth, yet I still breathe in and then, amazingly, out.

    I've stalled somewhere inside me, I'm not where I was grounded just two hearbeats ago and my internal balance has evaporated. Which way is up for me now?

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  6. My birthday, again. This year I don't want to make a big fuss and email my friends about a birthday lunch. I just want to enjoy some quiet time contemplating why no one has ever thrown me a surprise party. Why don't my friends or family think of that? I have dropped a few hints over the years. I do have friends: a couple non-Mormon friends and then the Mormon girls from book group. They knew it was my birthday if they read the RS newsletter. But no surprise party on its way.

    I have four kids too. Maybe they will throw me a surprise party one day. I can't help falling into the same mental routine that tells me I'm not really worth it, no one really wants to be my friend, they just feel sorry for me.
    I've fallen into this pit before and know I must get out of it soon or my thoughts will permanently corrode what is left of my self worth.

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  7. The rain washed over my head in waves, sometimes it came at me almost horizontally. Even when the rain wasn't coming down, the mist was so thick it soaked all the way through my clothes. If that weren't enough, the mud flipping up from the rear tire of my bike splattered at me simultaneously with the falling rain, drenching me even more deeply.

    I took it all in stride. It was one of the joys of being a missionary during springtime in Belgium.

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  8. Routines and lullabies don't work with our son. He knows what they mean. Neither do binkies or rocking chairs. He is too excited about the world to give in to slumber.

    We let him cry himself to sleep for several months, but recently have discovered something new.

    The key seems to be distraction. Swaying in the breeze on the porch, picking leaves off the apple trees, sitting in the grass a while . . . those seem to be essential to getting him past his resistant stage.

    Then it's music–Dragon Tales, The Nylons, practically anything upbeat (today it was "Drift Away")–and dancing in front of the mirror.

    Alert, he watches us move with the rhythm, arms rigid, holding himself away from my body. Eventually his head begins to lean into mine, staying close to my lips, gently kissing his hair. Finally his arms relax and his body leans inward. His breathing slows. In the mirror, I watch his eyes droop and close.

    Finally he is falling asleep.

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  9. A Seduction
    They've got you they have
    those tickling, teasing golden claws
    And there you stand teetering on the edge
    above abyssal night.
    How thrilling! You exclaim and laugh.
    As if they will catch you!

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