A Guided Lesson in Planning

Submitted into Contest #170 in response to: Start your story with the line “I’ve got a plan”. ... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Inspirational Christian

I've got a plan... 'I have a plan' I thought confidently. I scribbled on my notes casually. And then it all started building up, the annotations and crossings out, and the reiteration and addition of corrections was getting hectic. Beginning to feel disheartened, I thought sarcastically to myself, 'Here is something I prepared earlier.'

It is a work in progress of course, little more than a draft really. But it has a spirit to it. An intent that I'm beginning to wonder about... was it really my plan, it was meant to be more exciting than this. Zooms and explosions and humour, conflict and contradictions and... maybe a little romance? No no, let us keep it PG, I don't want to limit the audience too much, which made me think 'Is that word too big? What synonym could I use for the readers?' 'Other noun' works, but PG, 'other word' but that doesn't sound very exciting. If I could find a way to include both, and develop some form of vocabulary growth through the narrative? I breathed out loud “That should do it.” It is a little bit backwards, but the intent is there, and the lesson.

I often wonder where our inspiration comes from, and I mean really often. The brain is so intricately complex. We have our basic faculties, the senses, touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, but then there are memories, and not just one from of memory storage but short term and long term which both operate on different principles, too I read a science journal recently about a new discovery of reflex neurons? It didn't go into great detail.

This might deceive us into believing that those faculties are simple, that they just take up the information and store it, and that we could draw on it at any time, to organise ourselves, to make plans. Sounds simple... “Too simple, compared to my experience.” I whispered while typing it out at the same time. 'See! There, right there!' My mind darted. Did I plan that sentence, how do I say it before the words are completed, how did I pause and choose a different noun before the sentence was completed?

The plan comes first, but 'Uuurgh.' Groaned a little voice in the corner of my mind. “That too.” I whispered, 'I am this little voice too?' It wasn't part of my plan. I could literally feel the cogs churn, it felt more like flashes of energy over cells and neurons, or metaphorically, the lapping of waves on a lake's shore, but as if i was listening to the whole shore of the lake all at once, and they crash and push back down over the sand and then lap back and reverberate through one another.

The clatter calmed down, and I could ponder slowly again, still-ly, a little. And I focused on that little peace, and a felt a breath of oxygen gently caress over the surface of the lake and ripple the surface in that way that the eddies of the air create ripples here and glassy plates there.

'Obviously' a little voice chirps. And I guess I could imagine a sparrow whip over the watery surface, looking for bugs that can hold themselves, like itself in the air above. But I wanted to focus on those faculties. There is language too, written and verbal 'phonic' I liked to think. One of the strangest to me because of the way it can remain after amnesia. The way to speak, but not your spouse's name, not the make of your car, but maybe your favourite flower, if you are lucky. That can make it difficult to wonder, if there really is a plan..

It was a lake I didn't even know, a composition of numerous layers of visual and... “Tactile.” I could feel the water now, as I lifted an arm and felt thick cool fluid drip off my arm. It didn't smell salty, 'So it is a freshwater lake.' I thought as my mind rushed over the surface to create a rivers mouth, and now I could hear the water too, trickling around some rocky protrusions, and pushing into the surface of the lake.

Distracted again, that wasn't my point. But looking back over it again I whispered 'There, that's what I wanted to express.' I breathed and smiled cheekily 'The complexity of our faculties. That is not one image, stored for plans for here or there but a complex arrangement of electrical impulses, and though it looks so real to us, 3D, perspective, depth of field, a vibrant array of colours, it is not pure memory, it didn't exist before, did it? The plan was there, I had a goal, and then the neurons churn, language with vocabulary with pictures, turned and indulged and breathed and felt, really felt. I felt like I was there, and I was here, looking and then through the tips of my fingers, back into vocabulary, language. “Words!” My mind leapt in excitement. And I was excited, this is life to me, like the breath of the wind, like the essence of the soul. Like water rushing over.

Let us try this. I think I made my point, let us see how much we remember. I want to write of, Warm, Friendship, I wasn't finished but already a warm fire crackles into my mind, it was in a pit in the ground, to keep the wind out I assume, a ring of rocks would have been a good idea, they hold the heat and radiate it out as the fire cools down... But I was thinking of something more like a Hearth.

And now I crouched before it, warming my hands, and breathing the remaining sweet scents of cologne and perfumes of the visitors before myself. The whole wall of the Hearth radiated with such a comforting warm, as glasses chinked behind me, and a foot scuffled and paused, as if it suddenly became aware that I was paying attention.

The second part of the plan, I rubbed my hands once more slowly in the warmth of the flame and leaned into it, almost like I wanted to dive in, and blinked against the intense heat that was the sensitiveness that my eyes took in. 'Much more sensitive than the flesh' I thought 'Thank God for the eyelashes that shielded the delicateness that is the window of the soul.'

I stood and turned, and the cotton of my jeans slid over my skin, and I felt and took in the heat they had absorbed in my dallying. It was a tiny bit distracting as I walked, like how a young mind takes in information a bit at a time. 'PG?' I think that is why my mind imagined it that way. I usually try to plan a bit more than this but let's go with what we have.

The atmosphere of the room was delightful. The dryer air created by a fireplace was one of my favourites. It was always warm and soft almost like a static balloon pressed against me, as the thermal currents tumbled over the hairs of my arms and made its way between the fibers of hair to temper my skin against the cold and rain from outside.

In reality, warm was an odd perspective. Afferent neural receptors in the dermal layers detected the change in electron shell charges and ionisation's and differentials drew current below the skin, which then echoes along axon nerve fibers, modulated and repeated by Myelin neurons, and eventually resounds all the way along the nervous system to Oligodendrites, and branched across chemical receptors into and throughout the mind, be processed into gentle insinuations of our surround. In this case a mild and soothing, encouraging warmth.

The bartender cleaned glasses from the dishwasher and returned them to their stables in neat racks and rows. I rose my voice and asked. “This venue has quite the atmosphere, there is history in these walls. To have been part of creating something that has lasted this long would be distinct.” I finished.

He looked up and gave a very welcoming smile. “You are right, it has been in the family for generations, so we have kept its original charm as best we could. What will it be?” He chimed in at the end. “Guinness thank you. Pint of. You are a descendant of Archibald MacLeod! The architraves and mouldings are ornamentally stunning.”

The tender re-homed his current glass and placed down his tea towel someplace clean, scooted to the right to retrieve a pint glass and begin the arduous task of pulling a pint of Guinness. “The moulding was a commissioned work requested by my grandfather of Mr. R. Kroekel from the local moulding mill.” I cut in. “One of the refining details of any construction.” He added “Made to last.” 'Bit of a plan there too' I thought, as I took in and recalled the splendor of the works.

I was going to find a seat elsewhere in the establishment, but changed my mind, and pulled up a bar seat. The following several years of work in Bernisdale, yielded many conversations and friendships in the Grand Terminus and area. Either after a long day climbing on scaffolding painting St. Mary's elegant and graceful arches, or picking long beans on the river flats by The Mitchell River with some local Kurnai Mob.

I had rough plans, but this is where I ended up.. As the old saying goes “We plan, God Laughs."

November 03, 2022 03:37

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