Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"The Latest Word"

            Only recently did I realize the reason I barely post in my blog anymore. When I inherited my son’s iBook, it came equipped with TextEdit, a wimpy little word processing program that left me feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled every time I sat down to type. I hated it so much that I barely explored the options it offered. I needed Word for my words.
            Some days, while at work, I’d try to whip out a brief life observation in Word and mail it to myself to post in my blog later. I slipped back to writing drafts of poems in my Captain America spiral, which I’d quickly transcribe during my lunch break. I felt constricted. Access to Microsoft Word during work hours pulled me away from the late night mental meanderings I indulged in when I had my old laptop. How could I linger over the turn of a phrase when my time narrowed down to fifteen free minutes each day?
            A few days ago, my frustration had me pulling out my ancient HP and setting it up on the kitchen desk. Since it sat idle for more than a year, I’d forgotten my password! Usually, I restrict myself to several passwords with personal-to-me variations. For some reason, none of my typical ones worked. I went through the process of changing to a new one and eventually fired up my old machine. Twenty million updates later, I finally had access to Word!
            But my delight died rapidly when I remembered part of the reason I’d abandoned the laptop was because it heated up and shut down. I sent my husband and son in search of a fan similar to the one I once used, but they called in defeat after searching several local stores.
            “Do you want a copy of Word?” my son asked.
            “I thought it was only subscription,” I answered. “I really don’t want to do that right now.”
            “There’s a copy we can buy right here at Walmart. Do you want it?”
            I didn’t even ask how much!
            My main writing project, a novel I set aside eighteen months ago that needs final tweaking before I can begin the last step towards e-publishing, took priority over a new blog entry. Having Word at my fingertips meant that fine-tuning became effortless. I reached my first goal within a few hours on Saturday. I will probably finish editing it this week. I haven’t investigated all of the lovely options available within this Office suite. That’s for another morning or a restless night.

This morning I’ve pampered myself with a blank page in Word. I have found my bliss.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Is it Real?"

is it real?    
the glowing smile in every photograph    
the arms thrown casually around your husband    
frame after frame    
the friendliness you casually offer to everyone    
the show of happiness you radiate in public    

is it real?    
the vanilla personality that never offends    
the perfect hair, make-up, and outfit    
the gym toned body that defies gravity    
the soccer Mom carpool     

is it real?    
the eyes that don’t shed tears of grief    
the temper that won’t explode    
the heart that can’t break    
the cool reflective surface that never ripples in a breeze    

is it real?    
the excuses for his infidelities    
the acceptance of abuse    
the tolerance for his cruel and belittling words    
the immaculate life with no imperfections    
is it real?  

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, February 5, 2017

"His Way"

pseudo intellectualism     
demanding attention with parasitic tenacity    
irrational and illogical    
he vomits     
spewing intolerance and injustice under the guise of patriotism    
he infects and incites    
taking pleasure in belittling    
priding himself on accomplishments borne by breaking others    
he kills    
in the hearts of those he can’t love    
demeaning those who need because he cannot give    

 Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

"America, Love It or Leave It"

            Out of curiosity, I ventured onto a site the other night that listed real estate in Ireland. I wondered what the dollar (or in this case, Euro) would buy in another country. Imagine my delight to stumble upon a wonderful cottage dating back to the 1880s. I fancied myself strolling through the acre of garden, adding in my mind a bird bath here, a pond there. The site included photographs of the interior of the two bedroom place. Exposed beams enhanced the ceilings while a combination of original wood and tiles decorated the floors. The modest kitchen had “newish” appliances while the miniscule bath proved functional. The total square footage? Just a little over seven hundred square feet. The price tag? About $300,000 American dollars. As I fantasized moving to this rain blessed country, I wondered what I’d do with all my stuff.
            When we travelled to Ireland last fall, it didn’t take me long to realize just how plentiful our lives are here in the states. We take for granted our warehouse sized grocery stores stocked with twenty different cereals. Choice. Our entire economy functions on supplying the consumer with a multitude of choices in every product imaginable. We make certain through our constant advertising to convince our citizens that the next, newest, biggest product becomes necessary for personal happiness and survival. Being in another country forced me to realize that we have too much. The gluttony within our country makes us into petulant children whining, “I want” or “Gimme.”
            Our country faces as many problems as it offers opportunities and choices. Frustration floods me when I hear the trite slogan, “America, love it or leave it.” I don’t love everything about my country. Right now, the political landscape makes me wonder what it would be like to escape into the Irish countryside. Then I get angry because those citizens spouting “Leave it!” have an agenda that will take away the strengths of this country. The choices and diversity found, not just on our store shelves, but within our fundamental beliefs become endangered as people like me are painted as being “un-American” when we make critical suggestions for improving our world. These same people who scream, “Love it!” try to impose a narrow interpretation of rights that reflect their personal values and beliefs while excluding others. In their minds, warping our society into their point of view falls into their rights of citizenship; and yet my right for a government not bound by religious views or corporate interests should be denied. No matter how much that little piece of Irish real estate entices me, I’ll remain firmly rooted here because I still believe in the possibilities of our country.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman