My Aunt Betty grew up in the small town of Ware, Virginia right along Mobjack Bay, home of Ward Oyster Company. Aunt Bet, as friends called her, was a fine cook and specialized in fried oysters. People up and down the Ware River knew about Aunt Bet.
She was so popular that that she and Uncle Joe decided to open Aunt Betty’s Oyster Shack. It was a big success, with people lined up around the block to get a taste of her fried oysters, slaw, hush puppies, and sweet tea.
She could shuck those oysters faster than anyone I know. One day I asked her, if she was ever angry that God made her black. A broad smile crossed her face as she looked up at me and said, “No, I do not weep at the world; I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife!”
Today at d’Verse, Lisa challenged us to write a prosery piece, that included the line: “No, I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife!” from –Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928).
I took my fictional setting from information I found on line about the Ward Oyster Company at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. If you are interested you can read more about it below:
Ward Oyster Co. is one of the largest cage oyster farms on the East Coast of the USA, distributing their oysters all over the continental United States. Ward Oyster Co. has about 20 to 30 million oysters placed in cages near the mouth of the Ware River (our nursery) and in the heart of the Mobjack Bay (our grow out location). It is headquartered in the towns of Ware Neck in Gloucester County, and the town of Foster in Mathews county, both of Virginia. The Ware River is one of four rivers which feed the Mobjack Bay, all of which flow directly to and from the salty lower Chesapeake Bay. Visit our online store for the best fresh oysters in the area.
This week my childhood friend and his wife lost their middle-age son to cancer. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child. As I share in their sorrow, I wanted to share this poem that I have posted a few times before. It expresses my understanding of what it is like to pass on from this life to the next.
The old man lay on his death bed waiting for his last breath. Only his wife of sixty years remained with him in this lonely hour.
“We have had a great life together,” Catherine whispered to him as his eyes opened and then closed.
The old man half smiled and tried to nod his head.
“I will miss you my dear, but your time has come to cross over.”
Catherine’s mind wandered as she contemplated his passing…
“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”
“As your soul becomes one with the universe, the thought of beginnings and endings will be no more. The spirit of creation will carry you into the joy of your existence; beyond all that you could ask or think!”
His breathing became more shallow. She held his hand, as John drew his last breath.
A little girl saw a long wooden ladder, with wheels as tall as she was, sitting inside the Cathedral door. Seeing the priest greeting Sunday parishioners nearby, she reached over tugging on the arm of his robe.
Her mother quickly pulled her away and said, “Don’t bother the priest while he is greeting people!”
The priest overhearing what was happening said, “It is quite alright. What would you like to know young lady.”
“Is that the stairway to heaven?” she asked.
“No child, Heaven is much farther away than this ladder could reach. This one is for changing our lightbulbs.”
“Well, where is God?” asked the little girl.
“Oh, Only mouths are we, who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? God is the center of all that exists, both near and far.”
“And, thank you for asking.”
Today at d’Verse, Sanaa introduced a Prosery prompt. It requires a short prose piece, only 144 words, that includes a line from a poem that she has chosen. The line is“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? – from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”
Today at d’Verse, Merril introduced us to Puente, bridge building in our poetry. We are to take the first verse and connect it to the third verse by a single bridge line that completed the first verse and leads into the third. This is a first for me, so I am sharing some thoughts running through my head today.
I read a post from a blogger friend, Astrid, Life’s Adventure and Disability | Astrid’s Words , this morning. It inspired the opening line to this poem. The application to our spiritual life seemed to fit in so well, so I wrote this poem. Click on her link to read her poem.
“Why would anyone believe in God?” Or for that matter, “Why would anyone not believe in God. ““I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.”
Such were the conversations between the old preacher and his grandson. His son did not follow in his steps and had left the church at an early age. Grandson Charlie, now a university student, decided to challenge Grandpa’s long held faith.
“Why do you believe such nonsense, Grandpa,” he asked. “You can’t begin to prove any of it.”
“Well, son, take a look at that daffodil blooming in the sunshine. Do you know anyone who could make a living breathing flower that is as wonderfully complicated as that?” “Some say it all just happened over time, but I believe the God of creation brought everything into existence for a reason.“
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’verse, we are writing Prosery. This is where we are giving a line from a poem and asked to write a story of exactly144 words that includes that line. Merril gave us this line: “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” from polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s poem, “Possibilities”