If you follow this site through week after week of One-liner Wednesdays, Thursday Doors and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, you might find it confusing when I say that I don’t normally respond to blogging prompts.
“Um, Dan, 75% of your posts are in response to a blogging prompt.”
You might say. To which I would say: “yes, but not really.” Which is where the Editor would shake her head and make a comment about something being something, only in my mind.
You see, those three prompts/series/blog-hops/whatevers, are normal things and, with the exception of SoCS, they aren’t really prompts. Linda Hill doesn’t give us a prompt word on Wednesday and Norm doesn’t tell us what kind of doors to search for. Linda gives us a word, series of words or phrase to use on Saturday, but she’s pretty relaxed with respect to what we do with it – well, she doesn’t want us to think much (easy for me), she doesn’t want us to edit (difficult) and she sometimes bribes us with bonus points.
“Um, speaking of points, Dan, do you have one?”
Yes, yes, I do. Last Thursday, Marian Allen ended her Thursday Doors post with the following:
“A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a grape leaf. Or a fig leaf. Real or metaphorical.”
Do you remember the story last August about the police in Georgia tasing an 87-yr-old Syrian woman who was picking dandelions? Various reports had her at either 4’ 10” or 5’ 2” (147-157 cm) tall and standing slightly uphill of the three police officers who felt threatened because she was “wielding” a butcher knife.
When I read that story, I sent it to my wife, daughter and brother with the subject: “This Could Have Been Sita.” ‘Sita’ being Syrian for grandmother.
We lived next to my grandmother until I was about 10 years old. She was about five feet tall and not a particularly menacing figure. However, she could often be found “wielding” a butcher knife in search of dandelions or vegetables. In fact, she had a couple of older kitchen knives laying next to a rain barrel near her garden.
In addition to dandelions, which she would cut for salad, she picked grape leaves from her own grape vines and from vines she found growing in the wild. Those grape leaves were stuffed with a mixture of rice, lamb and pine nuts and steamed until they were oh-so-good.
One summer morning, we were all awakened early to considerable yelling and hubbub between my father and his mother. My father, while on his way to work between 5:30 and 6:00 am, had discovered Sita picking grape leaves along the side of a railroad track. He didn’t tase her, but he probably wrestled her into his car and drove her home. She wasn’t a terrorist threat, but she wasn’t one to tolerate being treated like a child, by her child, so bad words were exchanged in two languages.
As much as I could tell from his side of the argument, A) she had no right being there, B) she could have fallen and gotten hurt, C) she could have been hit by a train, and D) what the hell was she doing out there at 5:00 am? Her side of the argument was much easier to understand, even though she didn’t speak English well: A) God created the grape leaves and they don’t belong to anyone, and B) if you don’t pick them while they are still wet with dew, they will be too tough to eat.
Even I knew that. She had explained that fact about a million times – you pick leafy things while they are wet with dew – end of story.
I will always remember that story, but I never thought I’d be saying: “these days, Sita would be tased, handcuffed and arrested for doing that.” That makes me sad.