I can rotate the stories I “post” to the top of my page with “post-it notes.” And from time to time, I feel like it is time to change it up a bit. Give the cover a different look so to speak.
This time around, I picked stories or poetry of mine that had the highest number of likes. This is biased because some of my oldest stories really weren’t given much exposure because I didn’t have as many followers at the time they were posted. Also, giving certain posts more exposure now at the top of the page necessarily fuels the bias.
Nevertheless, this is always fun. I’ve noticed that readers seem to enjoy the posts that are really expressive, raw, full of emotion, personal, maybe even heart-wrenching, or conversely inspiring. That makes sense because people have the desire to feel.
They want to be touched.
I’ll be back with some new posts here pretty soon, but in the meantime, if you haven’t seen these six before, have a look. 😊
Photos: These pics are from a dome-roofed structure on the grounds of the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas. I was not staying there as a guest. I was merely touring the place. They have no relation to this post at all, except maybe in the context of seeing new things, and being fun 🙂
I think I was about six years old when one of my brothers and I decided to run away from home.
Was this foreshadowing?
I have two brothers, and the one closest in age to me had gotten into some spat with my mom. Dad, the Lieutenant Colonel, was at the Air Base working, and I’ve no doubt that it was my brother who had misbehaved. He wasn’t taking the motherly admonishment too well. And there is always that dreaded, “Wait until your father gets home” threat.
I’ve been writing about that urge to roam. To travel freely. Unencumbered. To experience the world through the lens of constant motion.
My first post in this series introduced the terms “Dromomania” and “Drapetomania,” which placed this desire squarely in the medical model for disease. The word “disease” itself has been defined as: “a condition of the living animal or plant body, or of one of its parts, that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms” that is “not simply a direct result of physical injury.” A disease has also been said to be “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.”*
And there are four main types of disease: infectious, deficiency, hereditary, and physiological diseases. Diseases can be communicable or non-communicable, and when we have absolutely no idea what causes one, we call it “idiopathic.”
And let’s not forget mental or psychogenic diseases.
In fact, the suffix “mania,” in dromomania and drapetomania, arguably places the old terminology squarely in that category of mental illness.
So, is the compulsion to flee, to explore, to wander the world, a mental disorder? And what are those so-afflicted fleeing from?
I recently finished reading, “Backwards: Returning to Our Source for Answers,” by Nanci Danison. It’s a fascinating read as the author describes what people have come to recognize as a near-death experience, but she refers to her adventure into the unknown as a “beyond-death experience.” Or that she experienced “temporary death,” which implies a longer time out of the corporal self and an ultimate return – with vivid memories of what happened.
The tradition LA had focused on was that of the men asking parental permission to marry their daughter. This question provoked some good discussion on the possible drawbacks of maintaining such a tradition in modern times.
At the same time this discussion was transpiring, I came across an article suggesting that married couples needed an additional contract, a “relationship contract,” especially if they were a dual-career couple.
I have to admit, I stole this quote from Victoria Ray. She included in one of her posts recently, but I absolutely loved the words. And I played and played on the photo editor to try to get them to stand out on the background pic, so here is the quote in case you’re having a hard time reading it:
“Because when I read, I don’t really read… I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.” Bohumil Hrabal
The lilies, by the way, were growing wild along the trail – an astonishing lush forest in an arid, high desert climate. Amazing !
I guess I was a little stubborn about my choice in pictures for this post as I could have picked another to contrast the text better, but I loved the symbolism here – beautiful lush flowers, lush forest, in the high desert – not what one expects to find. But there are so many wonderful surprises in this life. Not being predictable makes life so much more interesting, wouldn’t you say?