On the way home from school one day, Mom took us to a pet store just for fun. In a box beneath a heat lamp were the cutest little yellow ducklings, quacking away in their little duckling voices. We fell in love with them immediately. “Oh please can we get one?” we begged Mom. “Please please please?” “Okay,” she said, “BUT JUST ONE.” So we brought it home and put it in the bathtub. It was very happy there, swimming around and making its little baby quackles. But then I started to worry, “What will Dad say when he gets home from work?” (Sometimes Dad wasn't always happy with the decisions Mom made.) As it got closer to 5 pm when Dad's bus was going to arrive, I got nervouser and nervouser. No, that isn't really a word! I should write “more and more nervous.” Anyway, you get my point. By the time Dad got home, you can imagine how my stomach was feeling: like it was full of butterflies! Okay, so Dad got home, put down his lunch pail, took off his coat, and said to us, “What is going on -- you all look funny.” As in funny-strange. The four of us kids were happy and scared at the same time, and I guess it showed on our faces. “Ummm...Dad….ummmm...we have something to show you.” “Okay, what is it?” “Go look in the bathtub.” So he did, and he started laughing! “That little guy looks lonely,” he said, “he needs a friend!” We all jumped into the van and went back to Rodney's Pets & Feed and Dad bought us another little duckling! I named one Martha and the other one Petunia, after two of my favorite books at the time (George & Martha, by James Marshall, and Petunia by Roger Duvoisin). We four loved Martha and Petunia, and they loved us. They followed us everywhere around the backyard. In the late afternoons, we crawled around on the ground, hunting for stalks of their favorite grass -- appropriately named “duck grass weed” -- to bring them. They always quacked “happy, thank you” as they ate it. That's the thing about ducks: their emotions and their words are the same. Their word for “happy” is the same as the happy sound they make and so they pretty much tell you how they feel and what's going on with them. One day, Dad brought home a large fiberglass airline shipping container and he used it to build a little rectangular pond in the backyard. Now they had a real place to swim, and we had our bathtub back. Martha and Petunia would slide into the water, wiggle their tails and quack “happy, swimming” that told us that they liked the water. Sometimes we filled up the Radio Flyer with water and gave them rides around the backyard. I honestly don't know if they liked that so much, because I can't remember the sound that they made while we were tugging them slowly around the yard. But being good sports, they tolerated it. Those days back then felt endless, but in reality they were all too brief. It's a good thing to grow up with animals, which I was lucky to do. Martha and Petunia still live in my heart, and to this day in my mind's ear, I can still hear the sounds they made and what they were saying to me. About the photo: my twin sisters with Martha and Petunia and the Radio Flyer, in our backyard circa 1970.
Quarantine. Of course, this word is more frightening and frightening than any other scary word. Because all people have experienced this scourge - quarantine. The plague of Covid-19 fell on the heads of every state and every nation. Because of this contagious disease, all people have seen strange events called quarantine, isolation. Everyone realized that these things were a catastrophe that would keep a person in and out of the house, and they experienced this catastrophe in their own lives. Quarantine also locked up all the powerful, all-powerful people in their homes. This was to counteract the spread and spread of Covid-19 disease. Due to the pandemic, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers passed a law to quarantine and isolate everyone, so that no one should leave their homes unless necessary. All workplaces, companies, industries, studies, schools, public and private affairs, universities, colleges and all other workplaces were suspended. The readings were conducted online. only state military bodies, doctors in the field of medicine, hospitals, pharmacies were able to operate. It was as if life had come to a standstill. Because not all places work, people do not go out on the streets, busy roads have become deserted roads. Even the calves did not work for some time. Everyone was confused and scared. Various quarantine and disease prevention instructions were given on television and radio. As a result of the shutdown of all businesses and the closure of markets, people began to face difficulties. Many people died of the disease. Many began to mourn the loss of a loved one in their home. And this thing was growing day by day. In particular, a close relative of our family also died due to Covid-19. This thing was very sad for all of us. Losing one of our closest people was hard for all of us. even now when I think of that man, tears come to my eyes. Because that person was also a very close friend to me. We walked around with him, in short, we always had fun with him. Unfortunately, the disease caused the death of such a wonderful man. Like all people, my family and I were quarantined. Our family consists of 5 people. There are also benefits to quarantine. Thanks to quarantine, we all sat at home together in the arms of our family, doing different things. My father also stayed at home because the work centers were temporarily closed due to quarantine. Since they had a lot of free time, they did the housework with us. We cleaned the houses, planted flowers in the orchards, plowed the soil, and did all the other work. One day I went out and saw that my father had stopped a car carrying an oven on the road and bought an oven. It was one of the most necessary things to bake for the bread. We, as 3 people, slowly put the oven on top of 3 pieces of meat. Because a single wrong move could have caused the oven to break after class. Because the tandoor is a quick-breaking thing that can be done very carefully. The reason is that the tandoor is a cylindrical body made of a mixture of water, soil, and sheep's wool, which is baked over a long period of time and dried in the sun. Then one question came to our minds. --"How do we set it up?" The reason was that even the masters did not go out to work because of the nature. It was then that I remembered my father's childhood. Because my father grew up in the village as a child, he built a tandoor at that time. Remembering the cooking methods of that time, my father and I worked for exactly 4 and a half hours and set up the oven. In addition, my dad and I poured cement around the flower garden outside our house. This made our outside beautiful. Yes quarantine has also shown us that it has its advantages. We lived in the arms of our family, in short we did all the housework. Although we took advantage of so many good aspects of proper quarantine, we also faced challenges. For example, because of quarantine, we were forced to ride bicycles because we were not allowed to drive on the street. Imagine riding a bike for more than 25 miles. Wonderful. We also went home on a bike ride over it with so many things after picking up what we needed from the market. First of all, thanks to quarantine, I realized how precious life is. Because no matter how good your home is, I felt that being able to walk freely on the streets, freedom, the continuation of life, the crowds of people outside and the cars, were all valuable. Man cannot live without such people, without interesting daily events. Communicating with the people around us, working as usual, going to our office to work on our daily work, and working harder for our own development; engaging in activities such as chatting with neighbors, friends, relatives, and loved ones gives a person pleasure, further increasing his desire to live life. Regardless of quarantine, a person should enjoy his environment and life!
Good afternoon. I can see all your ears are waiting eagerly to hear what you've never heard and see whom you've never seen. It's unfortunate to disappoint you to stop expecting another because he's already here speaking to you. Yeah, I am who I am. I hope you listen attentively to today's edition with meditative heart because you will never be the same again. I didn't know what pride can do until I saw true colours of hunger; a situation I was the only actor in the play. No one told me to take a step and seek for the solution. No one knows how painful it is sleeping on empty stomach while I was once having four to five meals daily. Sad as it may, but wait as I give you categories of pain in sequence. I hope you are not in a hurry because the real dance is yet to begin. With due respect ladies and gentlemen, the affluent show off in the supermarket ended just in two weeks of lockdown. A thought came after an afternoon without lunch almost in the web of depression, “Bringing the best out of this situation, lies in your power of creating another you.” Is this possible? I asked myself. How can I create another me? March 20th, 2020 till date has been an interesting moment that will never be effaced in the memory of my existence. Coronavirus lockdown started as if it is a few days issue until I was told to stop working due to the presidential directives. Keeping all things constant, I spent my whole day thinking and anticipating for a better tomorrow which is yet to come. Survival became the option not development anymore. Three square meal turned into two; strategically, between 10 am, breakfast and early supper at 5 pm. Although, it was so, I was hopeful because some do have a meal while others have none through the day and they were hopeful too. Categorically, I shoulder-off my pride; picked my hoe where I had hid it and went to my farm. Recalling the words of my late father, Dad Luke, “when a man forgets his true self and live the other, that man certainly will have no destination.” These knocked off my pride of white-collar job to digging the garden which was the childhood experience I never liked but now the pandemic of Coronavirus have shaped my thinking faculties. What about you? Currently, my farm has fattened my pocket and as well restocked my hope of eating three times a day. This realisation created for me a job that I will never quit doing; seeing my berries flowering, the tomatoes and lettuce in their harvesting stage, I heave a sigh of relief. An applauds for me, please! Calm down for a while please; there is a token for you before the break. Uum!!! What is your take on this today? Do you still consider agriculture as work for failures or a way forward towards keeping our society sustained? Just think about it. Work with me; we shall say goodbye to hunger.
The world was mad at me, or so I had thought. My selfish mindset taught me the world had been waiting for generations upon generations to release its rage upon me. I became blind to the idea that I, of all people, was filled with ego. Through the moments I noticed this within me I felt as if I was allowed to feel this way, more than anyone. The universe knew every particle of my being, the good and the bad, and knew how to play my strings perfectly to slowly kill my thoughts. I was a robot. I self-destructed more than anyone and denied that it was me doing it. I procrastinated until I couldn't anymore, I grabbed things no thirteen-year-old should grab. Imagine what you will. I wanted boys to seek me, to pursue me. I still do. I crave the idea of having the slightest bit of attention and I break when someone does not laugh at my joke. I would break when things did not go my way and when there was no reason to break at all. The world was no longer the world I was in but much more of a living hell. I was burnt to crisp and would drive myself insane. I was broken and torn to pieces and I blamed no one but the universe. It hated me, it had to. My father would say things without thinking and it drove me to insanity. My mother was at work too much. I questioned my life too often. I could not imagine a future. I liked falling asleep but I could never do it right. Nightmares were less scary than the world I was living in. Happiness made me feel inferior, normal. I accepted the universe's destiny for me. I had it the worst. One day, another day, and another had passed. The sun began to shine and the moon would glow. My dog would lick my face and this time I did not push him away. My brother said hi to me first when he came home. I went to therapy. I described my life “as an elevator, rather than hills. When I get hurt I start at a floor and get shot down”. She understood me. I would go to the mall and play truth or dare. I spent cold autumn nights going to football games and Starbucks and to the new taco place in town. I found new music and I went to concerts. I began to give more hugs, take more pictures. I licked the snow, I made hot chocolate, and burnt my tongue way too often. I wore Christmas pajamas. I wore dresses to school. I wore whatever I wanted to wear. I held babies and played with kids. I smiled at strangers; Sometimes I would beat my anxiety and talk to them. Once I met a girl in the clearance section in Old Navy, she wants to go to space one day. Traveling made me smile, made me feel small. I was no longer the center of the universe, but an ant in the distance. Rollercoasters were never scary, but thrilling. I enjoyed the pit you get in your stomach once you fall from the peak of the ride, almost relieved. I noticed the feeling you get when you shave your legs and go under the sheets. The feeling of wearing clothes that were fresh out of the drier was a whole new world. I went to lakes and ran barefoot in the grass, the blades were soft and muddy feet were the least of my worries. I kept pennies I found on the ground. I woke up on time on weekdays and slept in late on Saturdays. I went to church often. I would notice the feeling of not being able to breathe from laughing too hard. The glisten in your eyes when you are so happy you could cry. I made new friends and rekindled hope with the old ones. I started putting my pieces together. I picked up my own broom. For months this period went on and I felt as if I had it the worst at one point; the ignorance I painted over my eyes blinded me. Months became the last few seconds of my innocence. I heard the door shut and my eyes opened to the ear-piercing sound of my brother wailing. I questioned him, “What happened?”, the question echoes in my mind to this day. Life as I had known it had ended, slowly but all at once. The climax of the fight scene, right when the last thing you would have expected was for the protagonist to get knocked down yet again. But that's when I realized- I wasn't the protagonist- or the antagonist. I was someone different in everyone's stories. But all stories come to an end. Esther's story ended, but she was still a light in mine. She was the sun that began to shine and the moons glow and the flickering of the morning stars. I suddenly realized that at thirteen, I thought it could not have been worse. I became a much quieter version of myself and fell back into pitiful habits I thought I had once lost. I hated myself for it. I was no longer scared of the future but stuck in the present. The sun no longer woke me up in the mornings, the moon was small looking and frail. The night sky seemed empty and the world was massive. Life was no longer living, but struggling to be alive. Feelings were no longer felt, but hoped for. Hope was fragile and small but still flickered in dark rooms. I no longer licked the snow, or wore Christmas pajamas. But: One day, another day, and another had passed. *in loving honor of Esther Morgan
Good Day, Wow wee has time just flown by. This summer I spent my time re-writing my manuscript for the editors. My book Viktor, Into the Light will be out sometime in the summer of 2020 and I am delighted to share this exciting moment in my life with you. I am just thrilled that my dream is on the precipice of coming true! Publishing one of my books and having it made into a real book is so exciting for me.I have waited 40 years for this moment in my life and now it is finally happening for me! This is just wonderful! The whole experience of writing Viktor has been quite magical and inspirational. Since 2014 I have written 5 books, with Viktor being my first for publication. I hope you all have something exciting going on in your lives that just brings you pure joy! Have a wonderful time dancing through life. Look for my book; it will make a great gift for someone you love. Thank you for your time! God Bless, Julie Ann
I am surrounded by lots of people, yet I am a very lonely person. What do I mean by that? Let me explain. Imagine you have lots of colorful pens and you want to draw a picture, you want to create something spectacular. You try each of them but neither of them contributes to that one single drawing you want to make. They are all pretty and unique in their own way but don't help that much on you to enhance your drawing. You end up getting a lovely picture but not a very special one. Because all the pens you use are pretty similar to each other and doesn't match the ideal coloring you want to see on your paper. You create art but it doesn't satisfy you the way it should be. It is a similar situation I encounter with people. Like the pens, people are all different and may all be distinguished from each other by a variety of specialties but they don't help me to get through life, they are only here for today and sometimes they are not even there for me. They are not in the big picture, they assume me as some kind of a safe place to go and some sort of friend who they can always rely on and trust no matter what. I am such a great friend; keeping secrets, checking up to see if they are okay when I am actually not doing well myself, giving advices, encouraging them for their goals, making time for their countless problems and solving sessions, being happy with them and getting depressed with them. Sometimes I can't even feel like myself, I become a shadow of the person I am willing to help. This is killing me and the sad part is, I am well aware of that however I do nothing to fix it. I just watch how I get drowned every single day instead. Having friends doesn't mean you are social. Getting too much likes and comments on your posts only make you happy for a few seconds, then they are all gone. Chatting through messages doesn't help you to become more confident, it just confines you into a big deep hole. You can't get to know people through social media. You can only see a much better version of them which is a plastic and unreal coverage. They wanted to be approved so badly that they almost become strangers to theirselves. In conclusion of all of these, it saddens me to see that the amount of time I'm wasting on people equals to my lifetime I should have been spending on myself. It saddens me even more when people just take it for granted and start behaving like I owe them my time. I owe nothing to anyone but myself. I owe myself self appreciation and love for what I did for people. Because I could be a douche just like some of the people around me and didn't care about anything if it did not affect me in some way. But instead, I chose to be kind and lonely. I realized it had much more in it than to be a self-centered person. And for that, I'm proud of myself. I finally noticed that the art I create with pens is just a vision and the idea behind the drawing is much more meaningful than the drawing itself. So the people who come and go in my life are just the visitors of my exhibition and the real artist is me for giving them the chance to look at it. Being lonely is not bad when you know your own worth. In case it is a good thing for opening up spaces for you to come along and take a look at what you've done, it helps you to see you, to be more you. I recommend every single person to take a step back and see what they are capable of. Because once you see, you are going to start looking for no pens to create your drawing; you are only going to use your own colors and this will be enough.
As some of you may know, these last 2 1/2 weeks have been crazy. Breaking both my elbows has put a "crink" in my activity online and virtual reality here at home! On top of all that I have been gifted a new laptop because my old one is defunct and I am currently unable to access anything from it. I am very thankful for this new gift and will baptize it in a river of words that will sail me into the sea of expressions and literary bliss. And- there I go; forecasts - fair weather ahead!
I decided I will distract them and save that girl's life. I saw a stone on the sand as I am good at throwing things. I threw it to the soldier in front then he was hurt and started bleeding. It stopped the rape and saved the girl then the soldier looked in the back and saw me I had to run. Lucky me, I was not sure of what I was doing but I have a gut and I started running fast. They took a car to catch me. I ran as I can and it was not easy then I started having a blurred vision which incremented as they were approaching and I felt unconscious because I didn't eat. I woke up in a cage with a lot of people. I saw that girl next to me greeting me and saying thank you for saving my life. She told me to rest but I was feeling not good I decided to know people and asked them questions then I discovered there were a war in my country where the tribe in power sold land to our enemies without respecting the country agreement law. So this led to a tribal war killing 1 million people. I discovered my parents were trying to run away in a car and we had an accident. They saved me and they couldn't save themselves. Directly, the leader of troops came. She was a female soldier. She asked me what's my name? i said "jo as I remember my name in the dream". "She said come with me" . "I refused but the guard brought me there and she said took off your clothes I refused, she put a gun in my head and unclothed me then she raped me. I was confused, it felt good but I didn't want it. I didn't like, I am crying and shouting leave me alone but it feels good. This changed my life. I fell asleep while sleeping, I saw my father telling me it is not your fault what happened to you stop crying. you are a born leader. Follow your dreams. Be a leader. I woke up and prayed to ask God to forgive her. I didn't want to tell anyone about it. I decided to help people like me and change the world. As i was looking for a way to run, I heard and saw a helicopter then it becomes 2 then it was like more than ten. It is the American soldiers coming to save us. Gun started popping from everywhere. I was afraid I saw innocent people getting shot and dying. I was panicking when I said I am a leader. I heard a girl voice screaming. I went down on some never seen underground escalator which holds a lot of prisoners. Nobody knew they were people underground as they were a small number of people in the cage in the rebel camp. So I didn't know what to do or where I was going again. I followed my heart and the echo of the girl I saved then found them. The front of camp exploded. Lucky me, I was almost 6 7 inch as I saw a light then i jumped. I saw a door with a dead soldier who was trying to get in and hide but was killed and his body covered the way in. I pushed that body I saw the sun then it was quiet. I screamed help me then a big and tall soldier. Shouted "we found you" . You are safe. I explained to him what happened he told me I am a born leader. Directly, I thought about my dad and mom. Let me make this long story short. I have moved to South Africa as refugees. I am still following my dreams. I am studying currently online at an American university. I am looking for money to pay for my school fees. Despite what happened to me, I want to help people around the world who had an experience like me and change the world. One of my biggest dreams is the American dream. the dream always wins if you have the gut to follow it.
I was teary eyed. My fight had fallen to grips of sorrow. Too much pain not enough joy to borrow let alone call my own. I sold my soul for a fist full of charcoal. My gift was to cash this check given to me by him. The light will one day dim. Suffering is crucial to life, joy, and grief. Watch as the final leaf falls. I adore all, all my friends, my foes all which I know by their names. The truth is that we do not exist. The truth is that pain is the closest we will ever come to being real. I feel sorrow from a far. I feel pain as people's lives wax and wane. Am I sane am I gone will I ever live long enough to be a don. Will I have a son will I have a daughter. My heart is mangled my mind is twisted. I am a fragment of what I once was. I am a swing without a child to play on me. See all things that are and you will near zero. Truth is zero does not exist. I believe not in evil. But if evil does not exist do I. I wish to travel the world fly above all things and smile. Maybe then may I be happy may I be sane. This dam of mine is falling and I will not live long enough to have someone to call darling. Tomorrow may come undone. Maybe tomorrow will be the end of me because of that I must seep in the cracks and only then may I live. These days have made me mad, and Iron Clad. Will I ever marry? Will I see my wife or husband? Who is to know if I will ever see the sky with my name etched on it? The shade is wise. Wiser than us all and I will never see its beauty. I will never see what pain and joy truly are. I am willing to be my own martyr I will feast on only fodder. These clovers in front of me do not wish to live or give a wish. Dare I dare to give my life for this world? This life of mine has seen the flames of the sun, and it has come undone. The shadow is cool but you cannot live in darkness. This softness of this girl is as close to perfect that I have ever seen. While I remain dark, and this mark of mine will be my victory. So I say as I end this; look past the joy, and see the dark.
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. “Allah creates the creation in the beginning, and then brings it forth anew: and, in the end, to Him you all will re- turn” Quran 30:11. A question was posed to me “What is square one and can you ever return to it?” The first thing that came to mind was the dichotomy I am currently living. A dichotomy of east and west, Christian vs Muslim I must start at the very beginning. My life began in a dichotomy, conceived as the child of Uyghur parents. The Uyghur are a tribe and racial group split by the borders of China and Kyrgyzstan. We are a persecuted racial minority in China and a racial minority in Kyrgyzstan. The Uyghur are neither Chinese nor Caucasian but a unique racial and tribal group, comparable to the Native American Indians. Sadly fewer and fewer speak my native language, even I speak mainly Russian and was educated in Russian as Kyrgyzstan was part of the former Soviet Union. My people are torn between countries and languages. My story begins in 1999 in the capital of Kyrgyzstan Bishkek where I spent just 3-4 years and then went to a small town Karakol with my mom and my younger sister. My dad doesn't live with us. Now I want talk about a very important event that had happened to me. On March 28th 2016 a lot of things have changed. I won a scholarship for a Future Leaders Exchange program. It is a scholarship based exchange program that helps high school students from Middle Eastern countries study in an American High School and exchange their cultural experiences with the American people. Nobody can imagine how happy I was to be a finalist of this exchange program. I have been dreaming of seeing America since I was in the 6th grade. There are four thousand applicants in my city alone and only ninety students from all of Kyrgyzstan get selected. I had applied three times and this was my last chance. They do not tell you why you do not get accepted. I was president of my class and academically first in my class but didn't make it the first two times. My uncle filled out my paperwork the third time because the first two times when I wasn't selected my father told me it was because no one wanted me and they never would and I should stop applying. I studied incredibly hard and tried again because I couldn't give up on my dream. This time, my very last chance, I made it. What has impressed me the most, is how much charity work the church does. I volunteer in the food pantry, serving dinners and with the nurseries. I was really impressed by how there are so many people that want to be useful to their community. At home I volunteer with Kyrgyzstani Orphans. I have written grants to create curriculum to tutor them in English. Having lived in the US my desire to be useful to my community has grown. It is really important to understand that every help is appreciated. I remember one story that my teacher told me. He told us that one time there was a fire in the city and people were trying to get water in order to put out a fire, so one man saw that a small ant was carrying some water and he asked him if he thought that this much water can put out the fire and then ant replied:” The amount is not very important, your intentions are more important” In conclusion I want to say that we people should be kind to each other. We should always be willing to help each other. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”- Galatians 5:22 Another message of my essay is that all people are equal. It does not matter if you are Christian or Muslim, black or white, Asian or Hispanic. I uploaded the picture where there are girls from different countries and continents who have different religions and ethnicity but that is not a problem for them, because there is kindness in their heart.
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