The Last Tweet Ever


Picture a gigantic field.  Hold the image steady in your mind for a moment.  Got it?  Now, fill that field with immense rocks.  Boulders, really.  Boulders wearing thin, grey coats.  Imagine those coats are second-hand; worn away in spots.  See the white and the pink and the flecks beneath.

Now, shove all the trees in your mind to the perimeter of the field.

Place a handful of people in that field of stone.

Hand each of them a hammer.

Have them strike at a rock.

What will happen?

Sandstone, of course, will be reduced, bit by bit, to particles.

Slate will be fractured into smaller pieces, yet still be recognizable as itself.

A lucky stone, that hard white rock my sisters and I used to hold into the palm of our hands to bring us good fortune, will withstand the blow, perhaps even returning it, sending it back down your hammer and into your hand.

But strike a rock in this field you’ve planted in your mind, and you just may be rewarded with a pleasant ringing sound.  If the rock is live. 

Dead rocks don’t ring, of course.

* * *

This field of rocks does exist outside of your mind.  And it is here that we venture this day.  


 We go from rock to rock, tapping here and there, prospectors looking for the perfect rock; the perfect sound, following the map left by previous visitors—the scarred and pocked faces of the rock where thousands of hammers have previously struck.

I take some pictures and a video then settle in to watch.  Over there, someone has scratched his name in the side of the rock, wanting to claim it, perhaps, or to leave something of permanence behind.  A girl in a Nags Head tee shirt straddles a rock.  Asks her mother, “wouldn’t it be cool if I discovered gold and silver?” 

Squints wanders away, walking to the edge of the field where the trees begin.  He leaps from rock to rock swinging his hammer at his side then disappears from view. 

Someone has brought the family dog.  He struggles along from rock to rock, whining until the father picks him up and carries him.

Behind us, a man tells someone that if he had two hours, he could find tucked among those rocks, each of the notes that comprise our musical scale.  The rocks can be used to play music.  Indeed, they have.

A girl balances barefoot on a rock, dialing her cell phone.  “Will you follow me on Twitter?  Because I just got an account and I don’t have any followers.”  She nods and breaks the connection and smiles.  “He’s going to follow me,” she says.  Her sister laughs and her mother smiles and studies her fingernails.

Squints returns and we head back to the path: We want to see the waterfall. 

Here on the path, the trees gather in close, ushering us down the hill into the cool darkness.  A ten foot rock is painted with the word Panama in blues and reds and white and it’s strange, jarring, almost, to see graffiti this removed from the city.

A family approaches, returning from the waterfall. “It’s all dried up,” someone tells us. 

We press on and see that they are right: Only a trickle of water falls down the side of the thirty-foot cliff.  

We climb down into the dry creek bed.  Withered leaves crunch beneath our feet.  Here and there are tiny pools of water, brimming with life.  Water skimmers inch along the still surface.  Frogs dive in at our approach, holding themselves perfectly still against the rock background.

Moss crawls across the cracks in the face of a rock.  A bird shadow glides along the smooth surface of stone.  The roots of gnarled trees grasp at the sandy soil, carpeted by a thick layer of green moss.

And I realize that, when the music has ended, when the last Tweet ever has been sent, this will all still be here: the ancient creek bed; the waterfall; the gigantic field of rock.

We return to the car refreshed and content.

We drive home in silence.






For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Carrie gave me this prompt: You stumble across this little critter (https://plus.google.com/106223965383290201748/posts/VdrMbiRqNVr ) and he has an important message for you. What is it?. I gave Michael this prompt: The road construction was making it impossible to leave the city.
Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: The Last Tweet Ever

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Last Tweet Ever


Picture a gigantic field.  Hold the image steady in your mind for a moment.  Got it?  Now, fill that field with immense rocks.  Boulders, really.  Boulders wearing thin, grey coats.  Imagine those coats are second-hand; worn away in spots.  See the white and the pink and the flecks beneath.

Now, shove all the trees in your mind to the perimeter of the field.

Place a handful of people in that field of stone.

Hand each of them a hammer.

Have them strike at a rock.

What will happen?

Sandstone, of course, will be reduced, bit by bit, to particles.

Slate will be fractured into smaller pieces, yet still be recognizable as itself.

A lucky stone, that hard white rock my sisters and I used to hold into the palm of our hands to bring us good fortune, will withstand the blow, perhaps even returning it, sending it back down your hammer and into your hand.

But strike a rock in this field you’ve planted in your mind, and you just may be rewarded with a pleasant ringing sound.  If the rock is live. 

Dead rocks don’t ring, of course.

* * *

This field of rocks does exist outside of your mind.  And it is here that we venture this day.  


 We go from rock to rock, tapping here and there, prospectors looking for the perfect rock; the perfect sound, following the map left by previous visitors—the scarred and pocked faces of the rock where thousands of hammers have previously struck.

I take some pictures and a video then settle in to watch.  Over there, someone has scratched his name in the side of the rock, wanting to claim it, perhaps, or to leave something of permanence behind.  A girl in a Nags Head tee shirt straddles a rock.  Asks her mother, “wouldn’t it be cool if I discovered gold and silver?” 

Squints wanders away, walking to the edge of the field where the trees begin.  He leaps from rock to rock swinging his hammer at his side then disappears from view. 

Someone has brought the family dog.  He struggles along from rock to rock, whining until the father picks him up and carries him.

Behind us, a man tells someone that if he had two hours, he could find tucked among those rocks, each of the notes that comprise our musical scale.  The rocks can be used to play music.  Indeed, they have.

A girl balances barefoot on a rock, dialing her cell phone.  “Will you follow me on Twitter?  Because I just got an account and I don’t have any followers.”  She nods and breaks the connection and smiles.  “He’s going to follow me,” she says.  Her sister laughs and her mother smiles and studies her fingernails.

Squints returns and we head back to the path: We want to see the waterfall. 

Here on the path, the trees gather in close, ushering us down the hill into the cool darkness.  A ten foot rock is painted with the word Panama in blues and reds and white and it’s strange, jarring, almost, to see graffiti this removed from the city.

A family approaches, returning from the waterfall. “It’s all dried up,” someone tells us. 

We press on and see that they are right: Only a trickle of water falls down the side of the thirty-foot cliff.  

We climb down into the dry creek bed.  Withered leaves crunch beneath our feet.  Here and there are tiny pools of water, brimming with life.  Water skimmers inch along the still surface.  Frogs dive in at our approach, holding themselves perfectly still against the rock background.

Moss crawls across the cracks in the face of a rock.  A bird shadow glides along the smooth surface of stone.  The roots of gnarled trees grasp at the sandy soil, carpeted by a thick layer of green moss.

And I realize that, when the music has ended, when the last Tweet ever has been sent, this will all still be here: the ancient creek bed; the waterfall; the gigantic field of rock.

We return to the car refreshed and content.

We drive home in silence.






For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Carrie gave me this prompt: You stumble across this little critter (https://plus.google.com/106223965383290201748/posts/VdrMbiRqNVr ) and he has an important message for you. What is it?. I gave Michael this prompt: The road construction was making it impossible to leave the city.

4 Comments:

At September 17, 2012 at 6:38 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

It is so easy to imagine... like being there and love the end.

 
At September 17, 2012 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Jessie Powell said...

OK, I have to say - that little guy is gorgeous. I had to look him up to find out more. Your story is also wonderful.

 
At September 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

What an interesting way to take that prompt :) And I love the journey and discovery it ultimately led to.

 
At September 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

This is a wonderful picture you've painted with your words. As always, your descriptions are so vivid.

 

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