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Writing Prompt Wednesday

February 14, 2018


List a few phobias you have. When and how did you discover you had these?


My ‘phobia’s’ are rather bizarre to say the least. Firstly, as a child I had a recurring nightmare, which was so vivid I would wake with terrible stomach and back pain. The source was a rhino’s horn penetrating my body! In the dream I was at a fancy ‘garden’ party with marquees, waiters, lavish tables, musicians – the works. I was still young and attended with my parents. The setting was Africa on the boundary of the wilderness. (I was born in South Africa).

A rhino thundered towards the garden party scattering the guests in all directions, it also pierced through me as it exited the scene. I could feel the horn through my body and the jarring as the animal ran across the savanna. I could hear screams behind me as the guests realized my predicament. This is the moment I would wake up.

Many, many years later, when my daughter, a born animal whisper wanted to visit the rhino house at Longleat Safari Park, UK, I tried to get her to go on her own. Up to that point I couldn’t even look at a rhino photo images on the TV. She was insistent I went with her to stroke the animal. As we entered the rhino house my fear grew. My daughter went up to the rhino, who was leaning against the massive metal bars and patted it’s hide. She held my hand as I did the same. It’s hide is incredibly solid and rough and I was amazed at how it felt. This encounter lessened my childhood fear in a way I did not think possible. I can look at rhino’s now but still find I turn away when the images are of a charging bull rhino.


My second ‘phobia’ became apparent once I became a mother. The feelings of love and protection were (and are) so intense that I worry about my children’s safety and well-being. Even now when they are adult’s, I still worry about them (I am often teased because of it but the ‘cord’ is never cut – as we mother’s know only too well). Again I had recurring nightmares of this situation, which in a dreamscape is perfectly reasonable, of course. Bearing in mind at the time I was living in England and the situation was far from possible, the dreams were all too real to me.

Once again the dreams were vivid and I had the sensation of the bitter cold. Upon waking I would be shivering. The dream situated me with my two small children on a mountain side where an avalanche roared down towards us. I grabbed a child under each arm and ran to a rocky outcrop, where I held them tight under the overhang. As tonnes of snow poured over us I clung as tightly as I could to ensure each child was not ripped from my grasp.

Once the torrent ceased, we were buried in a capsule of snow and ice with a small pocket of space around us. As time passed, we became colder and colder and I understood I had to find a way to keep my children warm. (Now remember this is a dream and anything is possible in a dream!) I had the children put their feet and hands on my torso and that worked for a while but I could feel my extremities heat lessening. So the best way to keep the children warm was to put them ‘inside’ me where it was very warm. I cut my torso open and made the children crawl inside.

This is the moment I would wake up.

So now you have a glimpse at my psyche – how about you share too?

Lackadaisical Days – A Good Thing…

August 15, 2013

Lackadaisical – definition: careless; without interest; lazy; listless

Lazy lion

On a visit to Longleat Safari Park in England, when I was visiting family this past July, we drove through the lion enclosure. The whole pride was sleeping in the shade, looking like big pussy cats rather than the ferocious beasts we know them to be. If you have ever watched any wildlife programs a pride hunting is a marvelous sight. The teamwork superb.

Seeing them slumbering so peacefully it occurred to me that sometimes we have days when we feel like that. Our motivation deserts us and everything is just too much to bare. No matter how you describe it – unhappy, sad, depressed, down, despondent, dejected, wretched, glum, dismal, low, jaded, discontented, disgruntled, dissatisfied, sick & tired, exasperated, hacked off, cheesed off, had it – we feel mentally lethargic. Nothing sparks inspiration, ideas are non-existent and the blank page mocks us.

However, it may be our minds enforcing a ‘vacation from writing’. Constant use of our creativity must be draining, such as the physical and mental drain from full time work of any kind. Vacations refresh us. Take a look at this post :

Knowing other writers have similar ‘guilt’ helps lessen the impact of our own. It is good to have down time. We can not constantly produce without ‘feeding’ our font of inventiveness.

How do you refresh your muse?

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