Six Sentence Story -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

 

This week the prompt word is ‘PLATE’

Not: LATE or FREIGHT or even CRATE! …plate.

zoe’s instructions are quite explicit: a story that employs the word (in some capacity), limited in total length to precisely Six Sentences.

So this week’s Six Sentence Story is, like most of life here in the virtual world, mostly factual but in (some) part fictional. But then, therein lies the charm. The experience (and the inference that leads to an insight into the human psyche) were quite real. The day and time and place has been eaten by that famously hungry, increasingly attractive goddess, Lethe.

Plate

As I walked down Circuit Ave very early one Tuesday morning, in a forgotten year’s October, I noticed movement on the opposite side of the street. The street and it’s sidewalks were deserted; the combined effect of the time of year and the time of day. Only natives, (who claimed with defiance and pride the title of ‘Islander’) would be available, but few had the time or the interest to window-shop the businesses that hadn’t closed down on Labor Day.

I did not stop or slow my pace, rather I turned my head to the left and, once both eyes were looking ‘over there’ instead of ‘up ahead’, I saw a man walking parallel to me. Within that brief instant, a period in which a tick of a clock would be too long but a stutter of a heartbeat far too short an interval, I realized it was my reflection in a plate-glass window of a combination, gift shop/consignment clothing store, with the unlikely name of ‘Give it One More Try’.

After a laugh that was one part embarrassment but mostly appreciation of the world’s endless ability to surprise me, I thought, ‘You didn’t recognize yourself?’ (complete with a slight Yiddish accent); before I could admit I hadn’t, the thought came, ‘Well then, who were you expecting to see?’

 

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

Walking towards home on a Misty September morning.
Phyllis wearing her pink, ‘Meteor Crater’ hoodie walks with Una towards the house.
Not yet autumn brown, the leaves of the low bushes in the foreground are becoming increasingly transparent with the loss of the chlorophyl in their leaves.

This is the 789th installment of the Ten Things of Thankful. Please, lets hear it for Josie Two Shoes (and her predecessor and founder of this here bloghop here, Lizzi St. John-Lewis) without who’s (or whose or whos’) vision for a virtual playground of spirit-building equipment and toys and such, we would all be typing an entirely different set of words.

(And, you would, too, you know. Typing different words. If Josie (and Lizzi) were not a feature of your ‘virtual’ reality.)

There! see how simple this exercise can be? Two… or one Things of Thankful and I haven’t even inserted a single photo or superscripted number.

Continue? Thank you, I will.

(Well, yes. That would qualify. There are limits to the …solidity of Items that might be cited, but sure, to note an inferred permission…no, make that an encouragement to continue along a certain path towards the completion of a list of Ten Items, would be an un-contested entry of this week’s List.)

Is anyone keeping count? I imagine there are three. Thank god there is not a tribunal or agency that has final say over the number or the content of (any participant’s) Ten Things of Thankful post. That would surely transform a self-directed exercise into a duty or worse, something that ‘is really good for you to do’. Now this may be my Y Chromosome talking, but having a person tell me exactly how something must be done, in order for it to have merit or be deserving of the acceptance of others is a non-starter. (Not that there’s anything wrong with lacking a Y Chromosome… some of my best friends are Y Chrome deficient (YCdef… yo)).

So, in keeping with my Joyce homage. (yeah, as if). I will express explicit and unconditional gratitude to the Book of Secret Rules (aka the Secret Book of Rules). Writing weekly posts in this Etch-a-Sketch world of blogs and bloghops since it’s inception leaves me with a sense of appreciation (yeah, cha….ching!) of the creativity-empowering setting in which we are fortunate to interact with one and other each week. The BoSR/SBoR is, for me, the manifestation of this attitude, promulgated by ‘2J-Shoes’ and nurtured and supported by all participants. It is a most excellent demonstration of (an) ‘attitude of gratitude’.

I should (and, rather than leave it as a ‘conditional promissory verb’*, I will restate that), I will dar las gracias (and a shoutout to Kerry, who I associate with the SOC (both the blohop and, more importantly, the attitude of writing what is in the mind at the moment, trusting that the reader will, through the thaumaturgy of blog writing and reading, will find elements here that encourage and support their own efforts along the same lines.)

(Yeah, there are the standard Items in this, (as in all of our TToT posts), that form the context and foundation of our personal expression of gratitude. This being a ‘weekend’ ‘hop, I will continue it tomorrow, when I might be in a more explicit mood. (Or would that be, more properly a, ‘more literal mood’?…  well, since you asked, I’ll go with ‘a more explicitly literal mood’.)

As the simplest of demonstrations of the ‘user friendly-ness’ of the TToT, I will mention that I intend to return to these pages tomorrow with additional Items of Grat, possible photos of interest and, given the nature of life (and to borrow a meme from Denise (at Girlie on the Edge)…ie if I awaken tomorrow, (the implied uncertainty being the most city-block-wide-red-spray-paint graffiti of gratitude in its most fundamental form) I might even have some additional photos. ten four

(New Readers? math and the unfair restrictions it would impose upon us is an optional quality here at the Doctrine. So, that ‘789th Post’ thing, at the top? It might be true!*)

*one of the simplest ‘tests’ that are available to help determine the predominant worldview of a person, (aka personality type), here at the Doctrine? Go up to the person you’re not sure of and ask: “How much is 2 + 2?” If they answer immediately with not the slightest of hesitation, you’re safe with roger… if they look at you and laugh (good-naturedly) you can rest east that they be a scott. If, however, they take their time, look down to their left, start to answer, look around to see if there’s anyone else around and then say, “In what context?”  you’re safe going with a probable clark.

…oh yeah, that reminds me!

Here is a somewhat impromptu Item… (actually it represents a form of hypo-grat of the most extenuating sort**  I was talking to Val (on the Facebook regarding a link that I put in the morning’s Gravity Challenge reminder. ( I send them each morning to Joy and Val and Kristi, except for Sunday morning)… in any event, it was a clip from ‘The Princess Bride’, the joke about the use of the word ‘inconceivable’.) In any event, I went back to the youtube and looked up ‘Princess Bride’ and came across one of my favorite scenes and, to use a true rogerian expression, as I thought about my developing writing skill, as I watched the scene, ‘my head swelled up and my face fell’. To be able to write a scene like this… ayiiee!

(the scene:

10) SR 1.3

 

* not a ‘real’ grammatical or rhetorical term

** if you recognized a faux rogerian expression, I tip my hat.

 

(The rabbit hole)

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Six Sentence Story -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

The word is ‘CAST’

The format is Six Sentences (only) Story.

zoe is our host

 

CAST

The long, green-tiled hallway was lined with closed doors, slanted outwards at the ceiling above each, white-frosted clerestory windows were waterfalls of earnest, young voices. The boy’s hand tentatively brushed the shiny-soft brass doorknob.

“Mrs. Avery, Mrs. Avery! I know!” the gender-temporary contralto echoed of summer forts and late sunsets, the boy stopped outside the classroom.

“Yes, Keith, please come up to the front of the class and give your report”

The cloud-dark September morning began to clear, the door at the end of the hallway spreading a light carpet, the trapezoid flowed from the glass and raced towards the boy’s untied shoelaces.

“Paul Revere was a silversmith in…” the earnest voice faded as the boy ran down the hallway, the die he could not remember throwing, already cast.

 

(Thanks to our guest characters: Mrs. Avery and young Keith)

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TToT -the Wakefield Doctrine- “Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom”

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

This is the weekend. There is a little blue rectangle at Josie Two Shoes‘s blog where you can add your own TToT post. Go ahead. That way, when you have a minute in the course of the weekend you can click on one (or the other) and read a list of Ten Things of Thankful (or two or five) created by another person from somewhere on the planet. It’s enjoyable and it’s useful and, for those among us who make the effort to cultivate the gratitudinous view of life, it pretty darn beneficial.

Josie provides the common ground, everyone contributes to the attitude. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

1) Phyllis and her ancient friend (See Item 8)

 

‘Phyllis and the reptile’
Phyllis in blue tee shirt and black shorts crouches behind the turtle, forearms on bended knees. Like an origami, ‘motion-in-still-life’
The turtle is all about pointing to the place he (or she) is not and dragging his ungainly body behind.
To offset any hint of species chauvinism, his people been here for 220 million years. Probably will have the last laugh.

2) Reptilian Cam (“ruunn Forest…Runn!”)

Set free, transported by heavenly two-legged gods to a place like home.
(Shouldn’t require ingesting any hallucinogens to shift the perspective in this photo from: brown-with-rounded-square-patches-on-domed-shell turtle stepping into a shallow pond to: turtle walking over narrow bridge suspended across abyss.) 
what hallucinogens?!! lol

3) Youtube still is such a wonderful resource. (video at bottom of post)

4)Home and Heart‘ it’s on jukepop and it’s a fun diversion as we enter the ‘do you really want to go outside’ season.

5) Life, death and defiance. Specifically as demonstrated (or would that be illustrated?) by the lone sunflower that survived the ravages of the ‘Appetites of the Deers!’. A single plant lived long enough to make adulthood, only to be brought down by a weakness that was in part inherent and, at the same time, a lack in a sufficiently nurturing and supportive environment. It grew too tall, too thin. And as a result, the combination of wind and rain caused it to fall to the earth.

 

6) Grat Item Five (slight reprise) …and though we were saddened by the demise of the “Tallest flower in this whole damn yard”, what do we see, a day or two later, than…. (hey! here’s a cultural reference that is, hold on to your hats, less than 20 years old)… baby Groot.

7) Una. Because, well..duh.

8) So, Phyllis is in the house minding her own business and Una starts yelling, (aka barking like crazy). Loosely translated she was saying, “Hey!! Hey!!! There’s something really strange in the yard. Don’t you smell it??!! No?!?! Then come here and look!” So Phyllis looked and, from my post in the woods, I hear, “Hey Clark! Come here.” I forward-fell up the path and through the woods and there, in the driveway, was an upside-down, painted tree stump. I stared. It ignored me. It moved. I smiled. The pieces of light and texture reassembled themselves, like in a cartoon where Wile E Coyote gets blown up by that fricken roadrunner and then all the parts draw together and the cartoon continues. So we did what any modern Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins would do. (Cultural reference more than 10 years old. The universe does not suffer deviance.) We wrestled it to the ground, (which wasn’t difficult) and threw it in the air (aka carried it, while wearing welder’s gloves) down to the pond and lectured it on the advisability of staying doing what it knows, as opposed to exploring strange new worlds and driveways and roads. (Boy, have we turned old).

9) Sunday Supplement  Well, from a species point of view (or a rogerian point of view) Phyllis’s visitor is kinda pre-historic.

10) Secret Rule 1.3 (From the Book of Secret Rules, aka the Secret Book of Rules. Considered by many to be the Solomon Stone for the most anemic of Lists of Ten things or any other endeavor, here in the land of consensual make-believe. The internet is, of course, full of advice. And, not surprisingly, a very common topic is writer’s block. The BoSR/SBoR is both proof of the cause and surefire cure for ‘I-can’t-think-of-anything-to-write’/ ‘I’m out of ideas-itis’. In fact, it’s rumored that the preface of the original Secret Book, (in -6.66 font), it was written: “You have every word you had before being gripped by writer’s block, therefore, barring any significant blow to the head, they are all still available. Stop writing ‘to a standard’ and go back to writing for yourself.”

Hey! Come on, why don’cha join us! You know you want to! Nervous about what might be expected of you? Don’t worry ’bout nothin Tell ’em the Doctrine sent ya.

 

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Friday Freestyle -the Wakefield Doctrine-

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)

Miami Children’s Home, Maumee OH
Courtesy of the Troy Historical Society (www.thetroyhistoricalsociety.org)

Holy smoke!* So I was wandering the halls of the imaginary universe, aka the internet, looking for the trail that continues up through what remains of ‘Home and Heart‘ late last night. One part of writing that I really get a kick from is when I find I need a location or a cultural reference or just maybe just a detail in a character’s personal history. Rather than make it all up, I search the virtual world for it. (The assumption, a subset of the Doctrine’s ‘Everything Rule’ holds that if you look in enough places, long enough, you will find it.)

Example: Sister Catherine. She is a character in both Sister Margaret books. In the current book, ‘Home and Heart’ her character gets to play a larger role. Subsequently we learn more about her. Fine. All the books on writing say, ‘it’s essential that you come to know your characters better than you know your friends.’ I realized that Sister Catherine grew up an orphan. So I went out looking for orphanages. I backed her age off to bracket her childhood. She was born in 1967. In the course of my searching, I came across a reference to the Miami Ohio Children’s Home. A very real place, an orphanage. But that’s not what inspired me to write, ‘holy smoke’ What did inspire me to write ‘hole smoke’ was a page from the Troy (OH) Historical Society’s website titled: Miami County Ohio Children’s Home Index (1879-1930). On the page are links to entries that, presumably, account for all the residents of the Miami Children’s Home between those years. Alphabetically. And, as often happens with alphabetical listings, before the list starts in earnest (Addams, Addams, …Addington etc), there is, at the head of the list, the most outside of Outsiders, those generic entries. ‘no-name baby, last name**’

So I clicked on the last of these unknowns (‘no-name-baby, Ruth -?-) and this is what I found:

baby, Ruth (surname unknown)
Book #1, Page #290 
Inmate # 0579 
Date admitted:19 July 1894
Date discharged: died 21 Feb 1895 
Age: believed to be about 6 weeks
Sex: Female 
Comments: Baby found in basket in front of Home. Believed to be about six weeks old. She died.
“The one that we all loved. But Heaven claims it’s own”

‘She died’ ….’holy smoke!’

A part of me, at this moment, is itching to stay here at the keyboard. There seems to be so much that can, (and in the curiously poignant way of clarks), that should be said. This last is less the endless flow of information that is the foundation of the social contract of clarks, as it’s a need to mark the existence of those belonging to this particular set of outsiders. As such, this clarklike impulse is both sad and heartening.

*  an approximation of my two-word expression of… not sure what the word is, not shock, not surprise, more like finding yourself in the kitchen at 2:00 am for a glass of water and finding a full-sized car tire on the counter.

** presumably the last name of the adopting parents

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