Redemption: Reclaiming What Was Taken

    Redemption: Reclaiming What Was Taken

    Redemption: Reclaiming What Was Taken

    The first Monday of every month, Deb Norton hosts a drop-in Writing Club in Ojai, California. This month was my first. While not my usual style, I found the following piece I wrote profound and wanted to share. (We were given six minutes to write from a building’s Point of View.)

    The marauders came marching through. Destroying everything in their way. Laying claim. Making it theirs.

    Lives were lost. Not lost, taken. Brutally. By force. Children killed in front of mothers. Wives in front of husbands. On and on … And yet because of them I am here. I still stand tall. I was built by the “slave equity and torture of the conquered” and yet, I am here.

    Can I truly hate my creator? No. I cannot. For I have been here a long time. The Crusaders long gone. Forgotten, but to a few history buffs. And yet here I stand, a castle they built.

    After the destruction came life again. Weeds in the desert. The sand blowing silence. Me. The goats. The sheep. Until the young ones came.

    They had fire in their eyes. Passion for a land they would claim again as their own.

    The Cossacks tried and couldn’t annihilate them.
    Hitler tried and couldn’t annihilate them.
    The Turkish Sultans tried and couldn’t annihilate them.

    They came from the ghettos. They rose from the ashes of crematoriums and lives destroyed by unprecedented destruction. They broke through British barricades. They came to me for shelter, but there wasn’t much left of me. By day they patched me up. By night they built bonfires and danced the Hora.

    They came. They saw. They saw beyond my creators. I was built over sweat and tears/death and mayhem. Yet here I was giving these young dreamers a chance to forge a home for themselves in the barren wasteland no one wanted. Only them.

    Day and night they toiled. They created a miracle. They made a desert bloom. I saw it all. More than that, I was a part of it. They allowed me to redeem myself so I could hold my walls up high as I watched the desert all around me turn green. Vibrant with color. Hear the laughter.

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    Judith Barrow - August 28, 2013 - 5:20 am

    It would be trite to say I really enjoyed this, but I did. And I think it’s also a thought provoking piece of writing.

    Sydney Avey - August 28, 2013 - 6:45 am

    A powerful piece Tana. An old story told from a different perspective brings history to light and reminds us of the significance of a long struggle.

    What a great idea for a writing group–both the drop-in concept and the exercise.

    Adela - August 28, 2013 - 6:46 am

    What a great idea: writing from a building’s point of view. This is beautiful. You gave me goosebumps.

    Tana Bevan - August 28, 2013 - 11:51 am

    Thank you Adela for your very kind words. If you’re in the area on the first Monday of the month, and are interested in writing, it is well worth your time to attend. Even if that is not practicable, Deb sends out writing prompts, which while different from “live” do still get the creative juices flowing.

    I’m looking forward to attending my second event this coming Monday.

    Tana Bevan - August 28, 2013 - 11:56 am

    Sydney, I agree with your observation. A very Western outlook is to focus on immediate cause and effect. I’m not sure we as humans are even naturally wired that way. Mother Nature most certainly isn’t.

    The exercise was truly a take on the “the walls have ears” concept. Given the time constraint to write (six minutes), and the only rule “keep writing” I had no idea what to expect. I don’t know where the piece came from, but it moved me and I wanted to share.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment. Have yourself a WONDERFUL Wednesday!

    Tana Bevan - August 28, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    Thank you Judith. I’ve attended a few writing workshops/classes and never produced anything like this on the fly. Deb has an interesting way of getting around the monkey chatter and barriers we tend to put up in our minds. She does so in such an unassuming gentle manner you don’t even realize it’s happening, until suddenly six minutes later, there, in your own messy handwriting (okay, my handwriting is messy), is a piece that moves you.

    I’m looking forward to attending this Monday’s workshop. If you followed the link to her site, she does send out email prompts. (With you being across the pond” and attending a live session very impractical. *smiles*)

    Appreciate you stopping by and commenting. May the Muse be with you.

    kath unsworth - August 29, 2013 - 12:50 am

    Really enjoyed this piece very unique style and great flow thanks for sharing it.

    Tana Bevan - August 29, 2013 - 10:20 am

    Thanks for checking in Kath. Glad you enjoyed the post. When I think how long it can take me to write a simple … anything: post, letter, chapter in a book, and this piece was written in six minutes. The Muse definitely was with me!

    Enjoy watching the spring enter your life, as we in the Northern Hemisphere find our summer winding down and autumn on its way.

    Ally Bean - August 29, 2013 - 10:49 am

    Brilliant story. Love the point of view. Old buildings know so much. Never thought about that before. Now, of course, I always will. And that’s a good thing.

    Tana Bevan - August 29, 2013 - 1:09 pm

    I’ve often heard (and even been known to say) “The walls have ears,” and “Imagine if the walls could speak, what stories they’d tell.” It never occurred to me to actually imagine what they walls would say. Yet, Deb thought about it, and for six minutes I wrote about it. Having done so, I will add this PoV shift to my writing arsenal for those times when I’m feeling a bit stuck.

    Ally, I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Have a wonderful day!

    Ramona - August 29, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    Wow! I had to reread the beginning again to see that I had not misunderstood and that you had written this in 6 minutes! This is amazing, thought provoking and very well written. Thanks for sharing!

    Tana Bevan - August 29, 2013 - 10:56 pm

    Yes. It was an amazing experience. I believe there were around 30 in attendance. It was fascinating how Deb found a way to circumvent the monkey chatter and tap into parts of me I didn’t even know where there. I’m definitely looking forward to another session this coming Monday.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting Ramona. I wish you wonderful bursts of inspiration in all you do.

    Robyn Campbell - September 10, 2013 - 8:17 am

    All I can say is wowee! Loved reading. What a great POV. I’m going to use this little exercise. SCWEET!!! *waves peace sign*

    Tana Bevan - September 10, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    By all means, take the PoV. Make it work for you. You may want to check out Deb Norton’s website. She sends out writing prompts every-so-often, and while not the same dynamic as her drop-in class/workshop, they’re still fun. Thank you much for stopping by and commenting. Good writing to you, Robyn.