Welcome to The Creativeness Within Me

I hope you will enjoy browsing through this blog and looking at My Writings, Photography and Paintings. Painting is a fairly new enterprise but I will take pictures of them as I go along to assess improvement (if there is any). But the point is in enjoying what we do and hoping that what we have to offer brings some pleasure or interest to others, or just plain curiousity.

If you like The Creativeness Within Me you may wish to go to my other blogs: http://www.sbehnish.blogspot.com (Talk, Tales, Thoughts and Things) which is about motivational topics, travel, parenting ... and other things, ttp://www.progressofabraininjury.blogspot.com which is, as the name suggests, about brain injuries and http://www.sebehnish.blogspot.com which is my travel blog.

Thank you for stopping by.

Sylvia Behnish

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How Not to Eat Pineapple

Adrianne had not remembered the rules. That is, until she was lying flat on her back in someone's backyard, her head wedged against the edge of their sidewalk. She, like every other guest at the party, knew the rules. They'd been drummed into her head as a child just as they'd been drummed into the head of every young child. But remembering them in all the frantic excitement of a two year old's birthday party she realized, as she lay in her prone position, was quite another matter.

On the negative side, taking a bigger bite than she could properly chew and talking while she had a foreign object in her mouth was not very ladylike. But on the positive side, she had managed to land on the ground with much grace and as little fanfare as possible as far as she could tell.

With the piece of pineapple lodged tightly in her esophagus, she must have remembered other less known rules like, 'don't ruin a good party' and 'don't make a spectacle of yourself' because she had not screamed in agony or writhed on the ground when the pain exploded inside her chest. She distinctly remembered hanging on to the gate with her head down, wondering when the explosion of pain was going to leave her body and vaguely, what she should do about it. She also remembered wondering briefly if they would postpone the party if she suddenly stopped breathing while she was draped over the gate.

As she slowly regained consciousness, she became aware of feeling the cold ground at her back where air had been at her last conscious thought, and with the feel of rough cement against her cheek. She realized belatedly that she had, with no prior planning involved, become the entertainment for this delightful social occasion. However Adrianne, with some embarrassment, knew that her performance wasn't exactly designed for the birthday celebration of a two year old.

Feeling somewhat better when she awoke after her bout on the ground that she'd felt before her debut, she carefully opened her eyes and anxiously tried to sit up. "Wait until the ambulance gets here," a male voice said with the air of authority as he placed his hand firmly on her shoulder.

Lying prone, Adrianne felt conspicuous as many of the party-goers focused their attention upon her. Little faces, their mouths agape in wonder at this aberration on the ground, stared at her. Some giggled, some poked and some jostled her arm, trying to get her attention.

"Why are you lying on the ground?" one small freckle faced little boy, braver than the rest, asked with a sense of determination and a swipe of his runny nose on the back of his grimy hand.

Closing her eyes, in an effort to ignore the circle of people surrounding her, she listened and realized with surprise that a party takes on a much different perspective when you are a guest in a horizontal position.

She decided that it was much like when she was giving birth to what seemed to be a twenty pound baby and the nurses were talking over her perspiring body about the dinner party they'd attended the previous evening. They'd then gone on to talk about their love life, which was the last thing she wanted to think about during that particular experience. In this case, a few chatted about inconsequential subjects as if unconscious of the interruption, one cried while another comforted her sobbing friend as if it was one of them in the prone position. Admittedly, Adrianne agreed others were trying to console her when all she wanted to do was get up off the hard-packed ground. The small children were eventually pulled away from the upsetting vision of a lady having an unscheduled nap on the newly cut lawn at their special birthday party but not before they had drooled all over her new outfit.

After the paramedics left, with assurances from herself that it was unnecessary to go to the hospital, she was finally led to a chair to recover from her plummeting blood pressure. As the party resumed, Adrianne had time to think and to reassess her deplorable eating habits. She realized that, as with everything else in life, there are always lessons to be learned. To be continued ...

Monday, April 29, 2013

In Search of a Dream

Part of short story:

Sitting beside the turbulent creek, Desiree thought about her dream. Her eyes were slowly drawn to the stick, caught near the edge of the bank, where the dark water ran more slowly. Its dream would probably have been to rush headlong downstream to be part of a large body of water instead of stuck in a small pool, going nowhere. 'In a way,' she thought, 'that is what some dreams are like.'

She watched the stick for a few more minutes as it turned in lazy, drifting circles. Her life would be like that if she didn't get out of the rut she had allowed herself to be sucked into. Reaching out, she picked up the stick and threw it back into the centre of the rushing creek. Watching it move towards freedom, she realized something else could delay its progress along the way. Desiree knew that is what can happen to all dreams.

Where had her dream run aground? She felt as if she had lost sight of it; as if the act of living couldn't co-exist with the life of a dream. She had always wanted to be a well-known singer but now, it seemed, she just sang for the enjoyment of her family. Somewhere along the way she had let excuses keep her from achieving her dream.

She watched the water, the small waves persistenly bypassing the large boulders, refusing to be stopped. Small branches and leaves stayed on course, also stubbornly refusing to lose their way, not wishing to find themselves in shallow water. She had let circumstances push her to the side where her dream of becoming a singer became less important than what others wanted. As a result she had ended up in shallow water, going nowhere, like that small stick. It takes courgage, she knew, to stay away from the shore, to move out of your comfort zone and grab opportunities when they came your way. It was only luck if someone picked you up and threw you back into the middle of the stream. It was up to you to get your own life on course.

She took off her shoes and waded into the cool water, letting it froth in foamy bubbles around her ankles. She could feel its life and the pressure of it pushing forward. Like following a dream, the creek was persistently struggling toward success. She had to do that too. She had to stop being afraid.

Fear was her worst enemy. She blamed it on shyness; a lack of confidence, of not wanting to push herself into the public eye, hoping success would land in her lap. She was as good as anyone else who had proven to themselves they could do it.

Stepping out of the water, Desiree reminded herself that life wasn't smooth sailing. It was like the rushing creek finding paths around obstacles. With eddies and whirlpools, it may suck you down into its depths and then spit you to the surfance again but eventually with effort, and perhaps some luck, you'll be able to break free. Avoiding rough patches was difficult but she would find her way around them. She glanced back again at the creek and knew exactly what her first step toward success was going to be. Gathering up her book, she walked away without another backward glance.

To be continued ...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why Didn't You Do Something, Mama?

Part of a short story:

Taylor pressed her face into her hands and let the hot, bitter tears slide slowly down her cheeks. It had been another disaster, she realized, yet another poor choice. Why did she keep doing it over and over again? She had asked herself this question so many times before. But there never seemed to be an answer. And sadly, she suspected, her next choice would be just as dismal as it always had been.

With the back of her hand, she rubbed impatiently at the falling tears, smearing her black mascara in the process. 'Oh shite,' she thought when she saw the smudge of black across her knuckles. 'I can't even do that right.'

In another surge of self-pity, her tears, hot on her face, fell uncontrollably. Perhaps it really did have something to do with what had happened all those years ago when she was a child, as a friend had once suggested. But that couldn't be! That had been her fault. Hadn't Mama said, 'stay away from him.' She still carried feelings of guilt about that. But her small inner child's voice cried inside her head, 'But Mama, I was only a little girl. Why didn't you do something, Mama?'

She rubbed briskly at her face again. 'Enough of this self-pity,' she told herself as she walked into the bathroom. Gazing at the mascara streaks on her cheeks and with her eyes red and swollen from crying, she began to laugh. "Well, isn't that just like the rest of my life. You're going to have to start over again on that face too, kiddo," she told herself.

'Well, how many times had she started over,' she asked herself,'and on more than just her face.' There had been Frank, her first love. Charming, she'd thought until the real Frank, self-centered, egotistical and a two-timer to boot had shown up for breakfast one morning and had never left. The last straw with him had been the miscarriage. Lying alone in her hospital bed, he had neither come to give her emotional support nor shown any concern for her loss after she came home. She had eventually left but not before his treatment of her had left her edges raw and exposed like an unravelled sweater.

Then there had been Eric. She thought she'd found true love at last. He appeared to be good-natured and funny, a man who could make her laugh, she'd thought. It was just what she needed. But she discovered those were the good times. During the bad times he was depressed, suicidal or morose and when he was depressed, he dragged everyone around him into whatever hole he had dug for himself. Realizing something was very wrong, she had managed to convince him to go to a doctor where he was diagnosed with manic depression and was placed on heavy doses of medication. But he refused to stay on his meds. One day when he became so morose and angry that she felt fearful for her safety, she decided it was time to leave.

And so then there had been John. She was sure she had found a winner this time. Popular with his friends, the life of all the parties they attended; she enjoyed his company. And it turned out he'd had as much bad luck in relationships as she'd had so they certainly had a lot in common. When he asked her to move in with him, she was convinced they'd be good for each other. Until that is, she realized he was putting rum into his coffee every morning; she suspected more rum than coffee. 'Only as a pick-me-up, Sweetie,' he'd say. Then there were a couple of drinks because it was almost lunchtime. 'I don't know why you're upset, it's almost noon and you know what they say, it's five o'clock somewhere.' And of course, he couldn't miss happy hour before dinner because that was when the evening fun began. She had to hand it to him though, he could really hold his alcohol. It was no wonder, she thought, that he was the life of all the parties. So, without finishing unpacking all of her boxes, she left before things got any worse.

Applying fresh make-up, she felt her tears begin to well up again.Closing her eyes, she willed herself not to cry. She knew she had to make some changes in her life. She was going to discover why she picked those who were not good for her. Did she not feel she was worthy of a decent relationship? Did she jump too quickly into a relationship? Was she too trusting and gullible? Or was sher flawed in some terrible way?

To be continued...

Monday, February 11, 2013

December/May Relationships - A New Switch on an Old Story

Part of a short story:

"Did you seem them? You'd think she'd feel at least a little embarrassed."

"He looks a bit younger but why should that bother you?"

"It doesn't. I just think there must be something wrong with him."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, if there wasn't, you'd think he'd rather be with someone a lot younger?"

"Maybe she's young at heart and she gives him something he doesn't get when he's with a younger woman."

"What could she possibly give him that younger women can't?"

"Maybe she builds up his confidence. There's some of us that can be real ball crunchers - bitches."

Ellen had heard many similar whisperings and was only embarrassed for the pettiness and narrow mindedness. She felt quite comfortable in her relationship with Scott and after all, fifteen years wasn't that much of an age difference; men did it all the time. She was sick of this double standard. As far as she was concerned, what was okay for the male of the species was okay for the female too.

She knew Scott wasn't after her money because she didn't have any. And she knew he enjoyed her company because he spent all his free time with her. And the sex, well that was better than any she'd had for many years. Sex with her 'wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am-roll-over-and-go-to-sleep' husband had been dismal, at best. It had been almost enough to put a woman off men for life; better to live a life of celibacy, she'd often thought.

And she would have if Scott hadn't happened along; a freak meeting at the in-and-out doors at the supermarket store and one she'd initially been convinced would lead nowhere. She'd almost hoped it wouldn't because she didn't need a man in her life, especially one with the complications a younger man might present. Five years younger would've been respectable enough, even ten years might not have been too bad but fifteen years! Even she'd had to think a few times about it.

When she had voiced her apprehensions to Scott, he had pointed out to her that as far as he knew, they were both consenting adults so the difference in their ages should only concern them. And if it didn't bother him, which it didn't, then she shouldn't let it bother her because age was, after all, only a number. And as far as he was concerned, it wasn't anyone's business but theirs.

He had made it sound so reasonable and logical that she had quickly succumbed to his very obvious attractions. His eyes were bluer than any she had ever seen before, with a twinkle in them that made her want to smile just to look at him, and with fine laugh lines surrounding them. She loved his laugh lines. She didn't want to be the only one with lines, she'd thought with a half-hearted chuckle. But it was his smile that could turn more hardened women that she'd ever be into blobs of melting butter and she was certainly no exception.

She'd often thought in the year they had been seeing each other that it might have been different if she'd had children. More problems definitely would've presented themselves but as it was, what they did only concerned themselves. So if everything happens for a reason, maybe the fact she had not been blessed with children was because fate knew that Scott was going to later enter her life. That is, if one believed in that sort of thing, she thought. Ellen wasn't sure whether or not she did.

Like most new relationships, she never worried about whether Scott was going to call, would she see him later or was he busy checking out someone else. She'd felt very confident about what his feelings for her were, right from the beginning. And although she felt the tingling and heart pounding sensations and feelings of a new love, she also felt the security and confidence of a long-time relationship. She was happy, far happier than she'd been for many years.

After the years with her husband, stagnant, smothering and anger producing at their best, and heart-stopping fearful at their worst, she had decided that celibacy and the single life was definitely the better option. And then Scott had arrived on the scene, easy-going, articulate and full of interests. Ellen's whole body had hummed with the feeling of spring in her blood and the spirit of renewal in her soul. To be continued...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

Part of a Short Story

Roger, shaking with fear, could hear his friend huffing along behind him as they ran.

"Wait for me. Why are we running?" Mark whispered.

"Hurry up," Roger hissed urgently to his friend. "Didn't you hear that? We've got to go and tell Dad. That woman was being murdered."

Bursting out of the trees, Roger ran into the house as if a pack of wolves was on their tail. "Daddy, Daddy, a woman - she's getting murdered - in the woods. We've got to do something."

"What are you talking about, Son? Now calm down and tell me what you saw."

"Mark and I were playing in our stump cave and I came out ... to look for something that we could make into seats. I heard them, Daddy. It sounded like the woman was ... crying. He was on top of her ... he was choking her, Daddy. It looked like she ... was trying to get away."

"Was she screaming?"

"No, I didn't hear her ... exactly. It sounded like she was ... laughing but she wouldn't laugh when she was being murdered. He was murdering her, Daddy. He was right on top of her."

"Okay, you and Mark go into the kitchen and get a glass of milk and some cookies and I'll go take a look," his father said.

* * * * * *

Roger thought back to that time many years ago and still felt the wave of embarrassment wash over him as it had many times over the years when he thought of that incident. He remembered his father coming back and putting a hand on his shoulder and saying, "The woman was'nt murdered, Son. You'll discover as you get older that things are not always as they seem."

Over the years he thought often about what his father had said. And how often had he heard his mother say the same thing? Like when he thought one of his friends was spreading a rumor about him and later found out that he was planning a surprise for his birthday. "Roger," his mother had told him, "you'll have to remember as you get older to look into the facts before you get upset because things aren't always as they seem."

He had later discovered that it went even further than that. Women often weren't what they initially appeared to be either, and the same went for men. And a place you loved to visit may turn out to be quite different when you decided to live there. The same could be said for food. What may look absolutely delicious on the plate may not have the taste of perfection. The list was endless. Presentation may imply more than the substance warrants, he had often thought to himself over the years following many disappointments. It was something he was still coming to terms with because he always got drawn in with what appeared to be rather than what actually was. But how do you determine the difference between what seems and what is? He had asked himself this questions many times in the past.

* * * * * *

When he'd first met Serena, he'd been impressed with her friendly and outgoing personality. As they were introduced, she had tossed thick bangs off her forehead in a practised manner, causing her long carmel colored hair to float across her shoulders. He had been mesmerized with that abundance of silk cascading down her back. And her eyes, they had been the most startling shade of green he'd ever encountered. He'd been entranced with the vision before him. Her happy spirit had filled every room she entered and people always gravitated to her side enjoying her company, and her laughter. She was the life and center of every social event they ever attended. He always stood at her side, an obscure shadow to her bigger than life personality. In short she was the effervescence of every social gathering. Everything else in comparison was dull and drab.

That was until they were in the confines of their own surroundings. The laughter bubbled away to an underground trickle, the abundant hair was put into a bun, the green contacts were replaced with glasses and the happy spirit tucked up her feet and gathered to her bosom the latest book she was reading. But the smile, when she turned it on him, remained effervescent and the shadow became obscure no more. His happy spirit filled the room when she smiled at him and he became Superman to her Lois Lane. ...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Turbulant World of Mothers and Daughters

Part of a Short Story

Janine plunked herself down onto the bench beside her girlfriend, Meredith, her blood boiling. She could feel the heat in her face as she thought about the words she'd had with her mother a short time ago.

"What's wrong?" Meredith asked, seeing her friend's face.

"It's my mother again. She does nothing but criticize me. I can't do anything to please her. I thought it would be better when I moved out on my own. But it's not."

"I thought my mother was critical but I think yours does take the prize. What did she do this time?"

"I stopped by to say hello because it's been a couple of weeks since I've been there. Was she glad to see me? No! She pounced on me with, 'Well, you finally managed to find some time in your busy life to come and visit your father and I."

"What did your father say?" Meredith asked.

You know my Dad. He's always trying to smooth the waters. If it was just him, I'd go over more often. Dad always says nice things to me - he's a builder-upper kind of person. He doesn't try to shred me into little bits every time he sees me." Janine ran her hands through her hair in frustration. "I'd love to have a mother like yours, Meredith."

"We have our problems occasionally too. Yesterday she said, 'I love how you're wearing your hair today, Meredith. It's much nicer than how you had it a few days ago.' It wasn't a terribly bad thing to say. I guess you could call it kind of a left-handed compliment."

"What did you say when she said that?"

"I just laughed and said I like your hair better today too. It's much nicer than last week. But you know my mom, she never changes her hairstyle. I think she's worn the same style since the day she got married. She laughed too."

"I guess part of it is you handle things differently than I do. My mother is more critical than yours but I react to her rather than just letting things roll off me, like you do. I'd hate to think that my mother and I have similar personalities. That would be a scary thought. Expecially if I thought I would treat my own daughter like she treats me."

"I think we can be who we want to be. You already know you don't want to be like your mom, so you can work towards not being that way."

"Yeah, I guess. I try not to react when she says hurtful things to me, but it's hard. Two weeks ago when I was over there, I had only just come in the door and she said, 'Janine, what are you wearing? That looks awful on you. It's far too short and it makes you look dumpy'."

"Wow, that's a tough one. What did you say?"

"I said, 'That's it, I'm leaving. I get nothing but criticism from you. I don't know why I ever come over here. You are the biggest reason I left, Mother.' My dad heard the shouting and came to see what was going on. He looked at me and came over right awway to give me a hug and said, 'It's nice to see you, Sweetheart. You are always the highlight of my day.' That's the difference between my mother and father."

"Let's go and get a cup of tea," Meredith said as she took her friend's arm. "I could use one and from the sounds of it, I think you could too. How do you think Josh will get along with her after the two of you are married?"

"That fiasco has already started. She has made it clear that she doesn't like Josh."

"What doesn't she like about him? Everyone likes Josh; there's nothing not to like. In fact he reminds me of your father, very easy-going."

"She said he's not a go-getter and he'll never amount to anything and I'll probably have to support us for the rest of our lives. I told her he had a good job and she just grunted. You know the way she has of doing it that can be so infuriating. Now she said she knows a good place for us to have our wedding and reception. She wants a big extravaganza with all of her friends. We want it small, just family and our close friends."

"Why is she so into the wedding planning when she doesn't like Josh?"

"I guess she figures marrying Josh is inevitable and she wants to put her stamp on it and be the 'mother of the bride' in a big way. She's driving us crazy." ...