“If thou hast knowledge, let others light their candle at thine.”

Thomas Fuller, MD [1654-1734], Introductio ad Prudentiam: or, Directions, Counsels, and Cautions, Tending to Prudent Management of Affairs in Common Life, Part II, 1727


Also known as:

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
-Margaret Fuller

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it.”
-Winston Churchill

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.”
-Margaret Fuller

Thanks, Sue Brewton

“Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.

“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.

“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”

-Lisa J, “Define Your Happy and Walk Toward It

Olympic Achievement

Panting, moving; legs dance; running? Slow he moves, yet forward goes.

Yelling, waving; crowds smile; cheering! Quick their hands and banners flow.

Road goes under, step by stepping; ev’ning sunshine asphalt raised.

Signs flash by, their message flapping; glinting sun and wind-blown praise.

Turn now, hero, enter warmly; enter ‘neath the crowds and flares.

Swift and surely, climb the mountain; climb your metal, switchback stairs.

Raise your head now, torch-lit runner

Lift your eyes from up and under;

Hear now, see now: raised-face, raised sight

Bring your arm: the dimmer torch light–

Seek the peak and flame -IGNITE!

Run and fired up for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

April 4, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about fire. It can be a flame that burns or a light that inspires. Follow the flames and go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 9, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

FREE: Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

*YAWN* ‘Mornin’, ma peeps. Welcome to December and to our fourth week of The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.

If you’re new, welcome! Read over my advice on truly sucking at poetry, then read these rules, then enter:

  1. The topic is That Object That Always Breaks in Your House. In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey keeps pulling off that darn banister knob. Chez moi, it’s a heat register originally glued under my kitchen island counter. Maybe yours is a loose bit of carpet or a lightbulb that burns out within a week.
  2. What’s the limit? Word count needs to be between 3 and 153 words. In mathematics terms, that means 3<P<153.
  3. Rhyming’s up to you. Do what you do.
  4. And, most importantly: the poem needs to be terrible. I want your mom to pause before telling you that …well, your penmanship has certainly improved in the last few years and that you know she loves you no matter what, right?
  5. Keep it PG-Rated. Mom’s going to read it, after all.

Think you can do it? You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (December 7, 2018) to submit.

Post your poem or the specific link to it in the comments.

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Depravity, an Answer

Man is no longer subject to an original sin.

No, he’s sinned quite enough on his own to go far beyond what an Adam may or may not have done.

He walks the streets full of money and glances this way or that but not down to where his money might be spent.

-To fill the empty void in another’s life with drink and drug and possibly the warm blanket: proving the beggar no greater than the man walking, for the man walking is fueled by substance as well.

He and his family (if he has one) all walk while empty inside, trying to fill themselves with pulsing, flashing, instantaneous media. They hide behind their screen, almost-tickled by dopamine, while Mom and Dad take a cold one after a day run by warm ones and a few breaks filled with smoky ones.

And the world is filled with varying levels of success, yet all are depraved of what will really fill their soul and leave them sated with light.

Written in response to The Literati Mafia‘s essay prompt.

Wilhelmina Winters, Sixty-Eight

Wil’s tenacious grip on the slide bar slipped, as did her treadless boots on the platform. With all the grace of a surprised, screeching sloth, she tripped, fell, and slid the length of the metal slide. She landed quite solidly on the frosted wood chips and closed her eyes against the cold night sky. Perhaps, if she squeezed her lids tightly enough, Eric and the world would go away. A portal into another world might open beneath her, or a wizard would appear and –

From a distance, she thought she heard running feet. “God; are you okay?” Eric said from quite close, his concern a tad more evident in his tone than his amusement.

Wil cracked one eye open, then the other. He stood over her. What she could see of his features seemed to resolve into an anxious curiosity. His mouth appeared to twitch at the corners, but she couldn’t be sure in the dim lighting of the apartment complex.

That lighting was never luminous, and tended to turn off at important times. Her mother had said the owners were conserving energy; her father said they wanted to conserve money.

As if on cue, the lamp overhead blinked off. Wil, Eric, and the playground were plunged into darkness. Wil attempted an evasive rolling maneuver to rise, and succeeded in smacking her head against the bottom of the slide. The slide reverberated in the chill, empty air like a gong.

Shit, Wil! What -” Eric began, but broke off at the sound of Wil laughing.

She laughed and laughed. Then she cried. She laughed and cried and didn’t know why. Sitting up, she stopped at the shadowy sight of Eric standing nearby. Did he need something? She attempted to stand, and made it upright with minimal wavering. Bits of dirt and pieces of wood clung to her scarf and backside; she brushed at herself accordingly.

Eric was still there when she finished, within the reach of her arm. She’d never realized how tall he was. “What do you want?” she demanded.

He stepped back. “I, er…” His face moved in the dark, seeking an answer from his feet, the playground, and the sky. Finally settling on his gloved hands, he mumbled, “Nothing, I guess.” She watched his shoulders lift as he sighed. He shuffled his feet.

“Wellllll….” Wil couldn’t think of anything to say. She didn’t even know Eric; she just rode in his car because his mom had a vehicle everyone could fit in. None of them liked Mrs. Crandall, either; but, Wil realized, that didn’t necessarily mean Eric was anything like her.

The light a few yards down the sidewalk turned on. Her eyes flicked to it, distracted, then back to Eric. She was able to make out more of Eric’s face. He was staring down at her, and he no longer looked amused. In fact, his expression reminded Wil of someone’s she’d seen recently. She felt a light, fluttering feeling somewhere near her stomach.

“Um,” Eric raised a gloved hand and coughed a bit into it. “So -are you okay, Wil?”

She couldn’t seem to pull her eyes away from his gaze. She nodded.

“Good.” He did the cough again. “Erm. Great.”

“Miiiinaaa!” came an echoing call from down the walkways. The voice sounded like her father’s, not to mention his use of her second-most detested name.

Wil blinked, the spell broken. “I need to go.”

Eric took a turn nodding. Then he smiled a small, shy, simple smile. He looked nice in a smile, even in the semi-dark. Wil smiled in return, then pivoted and ran to her father’s voice and to their building.

Her scarf fluttered behind her, waving goodbye in the night.

 

Continued from Sixty-Seven.
Keep reading to Sixty-Nine.

Wilhelmina Winters, Fifty

Fresh, warm air with a hint of sterility met Wil’s chill-kissed senses as she opened the door into Number 2. She walked into the dimness gratefully, just remembering to retrieve her key before shutting the door behind her. Jakob made it his habit to keep her key if she forgot it in the lock.

Stopping to listen and look intently, she smiled as the sounds of her mother’s presence reached her from the couch: soft sighs of a shadowy sleeper, almost synchronizing with the methodical mechanized sighs and beeps of the IV machine.

Today began the weekend. They would have two complete days together.

Wil paused. She realized her father was at work till late. Jakob was at school till later. Now was the perfect time for a search.

The room was dark; the humming refrigerator and erratic heating provided ample background noise.

A hand clothed in darkness moved deftly, feeling for any obstacles as its owner hushed across the floor. Her dark body barely rustled the air it passed through. She was as silent as the night, as deadly as sharpened steel.

In an eye’s blink of time, she reached the hall. As she suspected, the woman sleeping had not stirred. No one knew Agent W was there. That was preferable, sometimes.

Her gloved hand moved to the wall, lightly guiding her secret path to the room at the end. She could see the door’s outline, then the frame, then the door; then she was pushing gently into complete blackness.

It was then W realized her penlight still rested under the bureau of the Iranian Prime Minister’s military commander. The late commander, she reminded herself -and she smiled. It wasn’t much of a smile, but it was all that was left after what the past decade had done to it.

No matter. She gently closed the bedroom door behind her back, then flipped the overhead light switch on. The glare was overpowering at first, but W adjusted quickly.

She blinked and scanned the disheveled and cluttered furnishings. The floor was littered in laundry, papers, shoes, and medical apparatus. The desk and dressers squeezed uncomfortably around the unmade bed. The bed was scattered pillows, more laundry, and lumpy masses of blankets.

One of the larger lumps began moving and emitting sounds of awakening. Wil quickly switched off the light, fumbled for the doorknob at her back, then rushed from the room before her father woke enough to recognize her.

 

Continued from Forty-Nine.
Keep reading to Fifty-One.

 

Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.