What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Petals: A Woman's Musings by Teri

When I was younger, my older sister used to play a game. She would pluck the petals from a flower to decide if her current sweetheart truly loved her. Well finally, after so many years of waiting and hoping, I too get to play her game. It is a breezy and bright morning when I venture out into the garden. Where, hiding in the recently cut grass, I see a small yellow buttercup that will be perfect for my game. I sit down on the lawn, still slightly damp with dew, and pluck the little flower from its stem. I begin my litany as I carefully remove the petals, one at a time.

"She loves me." "She loves me, not." Oooo! I don't like the sound of that, so I don't think I will say it again. "She loves me." "She loves me more." I know that the line associated with this last petal was supposed to be a negative statement, but I can't bring myself to say the words. "She truly loves me more." Oh! I'm out of petals. I guess the flower has spoken and our love is true. I'm glad I spent all those years watching my sister and, in doing so, coming to realise that one could ensure everlasting love and happiness by selecting a flower with an odd number of leaves.

I ponder for a moment and wonder if the flower method is as sound and reliable as my sister claimed. It doesn’t really seem wise to trust one’s romantic plans on the semi-randomness of leaf counts. Hmmmm, perhaps I should improve the method and add a more analytical feel to it. I think for another moment and decide that if I can list one solid reason why she is the one for me, for each petal on a flower, I will know for certain that our love is true. Now, which flower should I use? I peer around the garden and find a sunflower. My sweetheart brightens my life like the sun, so my choice seems appropriate. But, as I examine the sunflower, I notice it has ever so many petals. Oh well, I wanted a more challenging game, didn't I?

I pull out a notebook so I can record my musing. It's a moleskin notebook and tucked inside it is a little silver Fisher space pen. I'll need to write small, but it will do nicely. Carefully, in my best penmanship, I write a title, "Why She is THE ONE." I pluck the first petal and begin to write.

"1. She makes me happy. I smile when I'm with her, or if I just think of her. I get all giddy and feel good." Hmmm, too vague I think; my last thought was clearer. I cross it out and start again.

"1. She makes me feel good. I get all warm and happy inside when I think of her or when I'm near her. Her touch is like magic and brings me instant happiness. She makes my whole body tingle and my mind becomes a mushy pile of sentiment in her presence." Is mushy sentiment a good thing? I'd better be more careful on the next point. I pluck another petal.

"2. She loves me. She respects me and treats me with affection and kindness. She's never said a harsh word or done anything hurtful. She and I race to appologise when the slightest misunderstanding occurs." Oh! I had better watch it again since I mentioned a negative, “misunderstanding.” Let's try another petal.

"3. She is smart and wise. I find her witty. I can hold the most amazing conversation with her and never get bored. She can hold her own in a good debate and use logic wonderfully." Yes, much better, no doubt about this point. Pluck! There goes the next petal!

"4. A sexy goddess! She is pretty, playful, and can flirt so very well. I am always so taken with how attractive she is and how she is careful to try and be what I need. Her hugs are a blanket I can wrap myself in forever and her kisses like a honey'd potion that I savour with delight." I giggle slightly as I think of her sweet affections and quickly move on before I get sidetracked.

"5. Completeness and contentment. I should be with her because she makes me feel complete. I am only whole when I am in her presence. I can sense we are soul-mates, destined to be together. Fate has willed us to take this path. It is karma in motion." Hmmm, I like that phrase, "karma in motion." I think I will have to use it somewhere else in the future.

"6. She cares for me. She shows the most amazing compassion. She knows what I need and when I need it. If I am tired, she gets me to bed. If I am depressed she fights to bring me back my happiness. She holds me when I cry and hands me a tissue when I need it." Oh noes! I've been forgetting the petals. How many have I forgotten? Two? Or was it three? I pluck off 3 to be safe. Perhaps I’d better start using briefer points to hurry up the process. As much as I could spend my day just dreaming of her, I do have to get a few chores done.

"7. Knows how to play and have fun."
“8. My friends like her.”
“9. Good dancer.”
“10. Good taste in books, movies, music, clothes.”
“11. Communicative, easy to talk to.”
“12. Honest. No mind games or deceit.”
“13. Sharing. Gives as well as takes.”
“14. Can surprise me. Isn’t stuck in predictable routine.”
“15. Shares and helps establish our little loving rituals.”
“16. I can’t spend an hour, awake or asleep, and not think of her, even after a few months of dating.”

I pause for a second, my hand cramping slightly. Then, I look down at the flower and can barely even see the missing petals. I doubt I'm ever going to come up with a reason for every single one. There must be over a hundred. Perhaps she isn't “The One." Perhaps my game is showing me that there just aren't enough reasons. My heart sinks slightly in despair at this thought. But then I see the list in my notebook. Many of the words stand out: "feel good, love, happy, affectionate, smart, wise, sexy, pretty, communicative, honest." Surely I have found enough reasons already.

As I think about her for a second, I explore different futures and I contemplate ending this relationship and finding a better one; that is, one I can justify better. My heart skips a beat and I'm filled with dread. I feel as if someone has just plunged a knife into me. I look at my list again, then at the flower. I begin to write again.

“99. I am hers and she is mine.” What more do I need to say? This love may last another week, or we may spend the rest of our lives together. But however long it lasts, she is too wonderful and special to let go of. She is all I can think about. Maybe someone smarter and more creative could come up with more reasons to be together, but I don't need a lot more reasons. I only need one. I toss the flower away.

"100. I love her." And as I pen these words, I know, without a shadow of a doubt. She *IS* the one. I'm sure she knows it too. Don't you sweetheart?

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