Friday, 19 June 2020

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop/IWSG hop: Urban Nightmare …




Another frigging failure for WEP … ‘cos of a freakin’ submicroscopic infectious agent causing frantic frights across the planet …

Greater Tokyo

Urban emptiness … absolute pleasure, utter bliss … no noise …


Town dwellers delight … insects embrace, birdsong trills …



The English Robin - which
can be heard in full song

People in desperate times … their world turned upside down … a writer with no creative inspiration for the prompt …




… as Francisco Goya artistically expressed in 1797/8 with the Los Caprichos … a set of 80 prints …


The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
by Francisco Goya (1797/8)

a medium for his 

condemnation of the 

universal follies and 

foolishness in the society 

in which he found himself



... it’s an urban nightmare … what will we write, what will we tell our children or leave in stories and tales …





… the only recommendation is that we do not succumb – Goya’s The Sleep of Reason cannot Produce Monsters … we must endure so that our future will have a rainbow end …




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

65 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

NOT a frigging failure but an expression of our times. An expression which rings true for me - and for many, many others I am sure.

Hels said...

Goya had to deal with personal darkness (he went deaf) and public darkness (Napoleonic devastation). We may be going through tough times just now but there is a warm future awaiting. I hope.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Yeah, what EC and Hels said! You got a post out - so winner winner and (soy) chicken dinner!!! YAM xx

Mason Canyon said...

Definitely not a frigging failure. Well said.

Annalisa Crawford said...

If we ignore the "freakin’ submicroscopic infectious agent" for a moment, it's pretty awesome out there - I've heard so many birds tweeting from rooftops and trees recently. It feels like I'm being serenaded while I walk the dog.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I had to ponder this one for a while, Hilary. Probably, on balance, not a friggin' failure. The "submicroscopic infectious agent" has caused many of us to be a little more introspective about ourselves, and to ponder however slightly, our role in the grand scheme of life on Earth. So much of what has emerged from this pandemic is positive, not the least of which has been a renewal of Earth itself. How much we will learn from it all remains to be seen. I do not have quite the optimism of Hels that a warm future awaits us.

Denise Covey said...

'People in desperate times … their world turned upside down … a writer with no creative inspiration for the prompt.' Inspiration comes from the strangest things. Not a frigging failure, Hilary, but an expression of a world turned upside down. Keep safe and well. And keep learning and teaching. You do it so well. Thank you.

Debdatta Dasgupta said...

Nope not a failure!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – close to one I think … but that’s me … had to find a way to get a post up … so thank you.

@ Hels – I didn’t realise he went deaf … I knew he had a stroke … and was very agitated about the Spanish Inquisition … but his art is quite extraordinary …

… are we in for a warm future – I certainly hope so …

@ Yam – yes I did get a post up … just! And I learnt a little about Goya …

@ Mason – thanks … a little bit of ‘cheating’ going on – but it worked well enough …

@ Annalisa – yes if we can forget what we’re living through … I agree the birdsong, insect crackle is quite extraordinary and really loud; you must be enjoying your field walks … I’m a bit far away to be able to reach the Downs …

@ David – I’m not surprised … thank you for hanging around to comment – close to a ‘fractious friggin failure’! Yes I liked the description … ‘submicroscopic infectious agent’.

I’m definitely trying to clear my decks – so my future days are clear of ‘rubbish’ – yet lots of articles appear. I think like us … if we’re in the background – and don’t have to worry – then it is being positive – that I can agree … and earth can take stock too – til we return?! Like you I’m not too sure of the future.

@ Denise – you’re always so positive towards us contributors … I’m glad I managed to post something and learnt a little about Goya and his Los Caprichos set of engravings. Appreciate your support and comment.

@ Deb – many thanks … a close run thing… I think!

Take care all of you – I’ll be visiting soon … Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

I am feeling a tad desperate. I don't know where all of this will end. My solace is escaping into my writing. Hope all goes well for you, Hilary.

Chatty Crone said...

I am getting to the point I don't want to watch any news! I feel sad about what all is happening.

Jemi Fraser said...

My creative juices are weak and going in very strange directions. The world weighs heavily on my mind

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a failure- you called attention to the very issue plaguing most of us.

Joanne said...

Wow -this was good.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - I completely agree with your other commenters. Not a failure at all!

A Hundred Quills said...

Well...Tough times. Creativity is running dry for sure but I'd still say your attempt is no failure. It's the real reflection of the times we live in. Stay safe!
Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

Rhodesia said...

I think David has it right, we have learnt a lot from lockdown. We have actually been busier than normal, so much to do in the garden, and because we are not going out at all I have invented all sorts of dishes in the kitchen that we would not normally try. I am seeing wildlife closeby that we would normally never see. Certainly, a renewal of earth seems to have happened. As for the future, have we learnt anything from all this friggen failure?

Have a good weekend and keep safe. Diane

Christopher Scott Author said...

An inspiring tale about the dangers of creative blockage. Well done, Hilary.

Liz A. said...

You can always write about these times. Or what you wish for the future. Or remembrances of the past. I think the issue with writing right now is stress over other things, not the writing. I think the writing would help right about now, if one could focus.

Susan Kane said...

Stress indeed. I am baking more, taking them over to our gr-daughters. I am outside, gardening more. Reading more.

Uncertainty and confusion rein.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Reaad this,thought about it, wentan put clothes onto wash returned to the computer still nothing........every body fails at times it's part of life,I still have nothing

Olga Godim said...

I hope for a rainbow too. This pandemic seems to be a steep learning experience for governments and people alike. With the businesses gradually opening now, the smallest event might cause you joy, as it never did before. I learned today that our dry cleaning finally opened up, and it made me happy. I mean: a dry cleaning open. Did it ever made anyone happy before? Maybe we all needed this reminder of the conveniences of our lives. We should appreciate what we have, I think. And I hope it will become better some time, even if not very soon. Don't give in to despair, Hilary.
Now, I'm waiting for our library to open its doors again. That would make me really ecstatic.

D.G. Kaye said...

Hi Hilary. I think this pause in time for humanity was sorely needed. I hope we're all taking in the the lessons. A chance to change for everyone's better. <3

J Lenni Dorner said...

Yeah, we have to keep enduring. I'm not so sure there aren't monsters right now.

Good work on this!

Jamie said...

What will we tell the next generation? How many will die for money? It's a hard time on this world. I hope more love for each other happens soon.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui – I feel for you … especially as we really don’t know where we’re going … I’m glad you can escape into your writing … I guess in a way I do too – so pleased to have the blog …

@ Sandie – not surprised … I keep an eye on it … so I’ve an idea of what’s happening worldwide …

@ Jemi – that’s why I didn’t think I could write a story at this time … but equally I wanted to put something up …

@ Alex – thanks … I’m glad the post resonated …

@ Sonia – I’m in my little bubble – and now I’m doing what needs to be done … and staying safe thank you …

@ Diane – yes David always leaves thoughtful comments … I’ve been thinking a lot too, and helping my future self – by clearing things up. This unexpected and unwanted time has given us a chance to do other things … as you say invent dishes … and watch wildlife – that I must get to do. I sincerely hope earth’s renewal will carry on …

Once again – have we (the powers that be) this time learnt anything, or perhaps more importantly – will they pay attention to those who have it on their radars … so the leaders are prepared to help us lesser mortals next time …

@ Christopher – thank you … not really what I’d intended …but satisfactory apparently …

@ Liz – Not having children … I’ve no wish to write about these times as such – in fact I’ve avoided writing about past pandemics … lots of others have. I’m happy doing what I’m doing – fortunately I’m not the worrying kind …

@ Susan – I’m fortunate that I don’t get stressed … so pleased you’re able to bake for the gr-kids – they’d prefer to be doing it with you … but soon, I hope. I know you love your garden … and being able to lose yourself in a book or two …
Uncertainty and confusion reign … that is very true …

@ Jo-Anne – thank you for thinking about the post …

@ Olga – yes a rainbow or two would be good; it seems very unfortunate that the warning signs were there – yet leaders ignored.

The opening up of the dry-cleaners doesn’t spark my light – but obviously it does yours … so I’m happy for you! I agree in these times … we really should remember all the things we have to be grateful for …

Thankfully I’m not one to be down in the dumps … I cope … and yes wouldn’t it be lovely if the library opened up again – our bookshops are open … but I’ve plenty to read here.

@ Debby – I have to admit I’m enjoying the peace and quiet … I’m getting things done for my future … and then more time for others …

@ J Lenni – I just hope we don’t create more monsters …

@ Jamie – Sadly I think you’re right … many will die for food/money; what the future world will think about us is something I never thought would happen. I do hope we can spread compassion and love over everyone and this planet.

Thanks for visiting – have peaceful weekends … Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

In the words of Winston Churchill, success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Kalpana said...

I enjoyed your post, grounded in the reality we live in. It's so true that it's hard to find inspiration when life is stranger than fiction.

Susan B said...

Beautiful Hilary. Concise, yes but perfect. Love your alliterations and sweet Robin. The painting is one of my favorites from Goya.
Happy WEP week.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I'm hoping for a rainbow end too - fingers crossed! Even as our current pandemic situation has gone from dire to desperate, I'm so uplifted to see the young people all over the world protesting injustices and inequalities. They will create the world we have failed to, a more equal and more compassionate, better balanced, sensible one. Goya was a cusp painter and social commentator - an ideal choice for this prompt!

Susan Scott said...

We're slap bang in the middle of living in an historical time. All well and good to look back at history and imagine those desperate times. Well, now we're in it, not as observer but as both subject and object. This too will end, let's hope too far in the distance. Thanks Hilary. Goya's come up one way or the other just recently ...

Sanhita Mukherjee said...

Wish the world Sunshine....

Toi Thomas said...

This is not a failure. In a few words, it's a triumph. You said what a lot of people are feeling. Kudos. Thanks for sharing this post.

Edix said...

I liked it and it felt representative of our fragmented times

DMS said...

I would love a rainbow ending. Sometimes we must go through a lot of darkness for there to be progress.
~Jess

Karuna said...

Huh. Wow. I found this entry deeply moving, gripping really. Heartfelt and hitting close to home. Your observations and artwork blend together, the words stumbling past the pain onto the page--courageously determined to be shared with others.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece.

L.G. Keltner said...

I feel your struggles. I've been dealing with a struggle to write too, but what you've accomplished here is wonderful! We truly are living in an urban nightmare right now. Your attempt to capture that and the impact it's had on creativity is great!

Helen said...

In with DG...I think we needed this 'break' in the way things were. Don't know if we will all learn from it, but it has made a lot of people reanalyze their lives. :) Now we all can write what we know...how many medieval plague stories will pop up? Or at least rereading Bocaccio his Decameron will have a new resonance.

Inger said...

I for one, living in the United States, an american now, but now born here, see a glimmer of hope in the massive protests against police brutality and killings of unarmed black men. It's as if white America finally woke up, finally had enough, finally stood up against all the horror that continues to befall unarmed black men at the hands or knees of the police. I see some hope in that. I may be wrong, I have been wrong before, but still, there's something different going on here.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – I’m not sure I’d realised this was one of Churchill’s ‘quotes’ … but so right – we need to keep going …

@ Kalpana – I just couldn’t pull an appropriate story together for the prompt … life is certainly stranger than fiction at the moment …

@ Susan – thank you … appreciate the ‘concise’ I’m not usually inclined that way. The alliterations followed on from my last failure. Little robins – I’ve seen lots of them around. At least now I’ve looked at some of Goya’s works … my knowledge of art is limited … a discipline I need to know more about …

@ Nila – yes … being able to see the start of the rainbow would help … but we will get there. As you note – it’s really interesting for us to be a part of the pandemic and to see how the younger generations are coping.

The youngsters have a better understanding of all the differences nuances of humanity … so I sincerely hope the next generations have understanding and equality … especially as you say more compassionate, better balanced, and with more common sense.

I must look into the discipline of the art world … to learn. Your comment I appreciate … for instance – Goya being on the cusp, and a social commentator … my choice was pure luck – yet by including him … I learn …

@ Susan – we are certainly living in history … somewhere I never thought we’d be – and yes … as both subject and object – I wonder what they’ll say about us.

This too will end … and I hope we’ve learnt a few lessons which we will apply in the future. Interesting your comment about Goya – I need to spend some time looking at artists and the effect on their eras.

@ Sanhita – it would be lovely for us all to come out as one world in the sunshine …

@ Toi – thank you … I actually feel quite calm – but appreciate others are struggling and really anxious about their futures. So pleased it worked …

@ Edix – many thanks … your comment ‘felt representative of our fragmented times’ – puts where so many of us find ourselves …

@ Jess – let’s hope for that rainbow ending … as you say we have to continue on our own sensible journeys in the shadows until the whole becomes clear …

@ Karuna – honestly … I’m staggered: thank you – your comment is valued … while amazing me … that it’s hit the mark …

@ Laura – in fact I’m not really struggling … but wanted to write something that isn’t right in today’s time and felt I couldn’t do it. So went this route – very glad I managed to put a post up.

@ Helen – like you and DG … I hope people are taking stock … and won’t rush back to where they/we were – I just hope our leaders appreciate and understand that we need to be compassionate and fairer to all as history develops …

@ Inger – I sincerely hope you are right … all peoples need to accept that we’re all human – and that the fringes of society don’t ruin everyone else’s hope of the future. It’s a time of change … where understanding is needed, then a coming together.

Thanks to you all – there is so much going on … we will all help where we can … take care - Hilary

Yolanda Renée said...

Very well said, Hilary!
You captured the moment for many writers, many creative people, and the population as a whole!
No wimping out, no failure here!
Stay safe and well!

Botanist said...

These are tough times to deal with, and you've captured the mood of the times perfectly. Nothing will go back to the way it was.

Jz said...

No... I do not recommend Goya for these times, tempting tho' it may seem.
For all its challenges, the upheaval known as 2020 has forced people to think ... and I cannot be sorry for that. (Even tho' I still feel the urge to scream at times.)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yolanda - thank you ... it was a post, rather than a story ... but at least it's resonated ... + I didn't wimp out:quite!

@ Ian - many thanks ... and yes nothing will go back to where it was ... I just hope the powers that be can be rational as we move forward ...

@ Jz - yes obviously Goya was reflecting and thinking about the times he lived in - which expressed in art ...

I agree - we are thinking about it ... I hope we can change democratically and happily ...

Take care everyone - and thanks for being here ... Hilary

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Hilary,
Forget not having anything to write for the June prompt. This says it all. I like the rhyming. I like how you subtly declared that we go to sleep and leave our world to a bunch of people who would kill the rainbow.
I agree. Let's not sleep and let the rainbow die.
Great take on the prompt.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Sandra Cox said...

Look at that wonderful rainbow.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Fil said...

Had to go to town today ... so much traffic again ... I think I preferred your urban emptiness and the bliss of quiet ... if there hadn't been so much sadness we might remember more of the quiet and peace and make sure we keep the rainbows. Nice writing Hilary xx

Donna Hanton said...

No failure, Hilary. I think you reflect the way many of us feel at the moment. I swing between overflowing optimism and deep despair. I believe we are already living with the impossible monsters; they're running the show right now. I will always believe in the rainbow, however. But I learned something, as I went and checked out 'Los Caprichos'. My favourite--'They Spruced Themselves Up'. It resonated after the rabid desire shown by some for a mani-pedi and a haircut!

Roland Clarke said...

You are so right, Hilary, with a real urban nightmare out there, we need to look to the rainbow and not the monsters. So, as Sue says, "NOT a frigging failure but an expression of our times." And others agree. This is what many of us feel and want to read - and avoiding the horrific news is hard. Thank you for looking ahead.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pat – thanks … I was lucky when I looked around … and got inspiration from Goya – so I’m really grateful the post seemed to resonate ... and I do hope the rainbow will be around for most of the world …

@ Sandra – well I hope that’s what we can see … rainbows, rather than urban nightmares …

@ Fil – yes I’m aware there’s more traffic and more people!! The quiet has been bliss, hearing the bird song so clearly ‘ringing’ out … and despite the challenges – we must stay positive with rainbows on our horizons …

@ Donna – I’m lucky I’m not worried, but I do know, read, and hear others with lots of anxieties; I hope sensible leaders, with a proper plan, will come to the fore – so our societies don’t lose out too much.

Goya’s ‘They Spruced Themselves Up’ - wonderful … I must now look at the other works … thanks for that introduction - I’d only found the one …

@ Roland – we certainly need to look beyond where we’re at … and so I’m really grateful my instincts took me out of my inabilities to draft a story … to this post. I’m learning a lot …

Stay safe everyone – we’re having a warm spell here – for us it’s warm! All the best and thanks for commenting - Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

What an amazing creation for no inspiration.
Stay safe. Be healthy.

Sally said...

It's amazing how some things have improved during this horrible time. Great words.

Sherry Ellis said...

A lot of good can come out of the darkest times.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope your day is productive and pleasant.
Stay safe. Be healthy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra - thanks for always coming by - often more than once .. appreciate your look ins.

@ Sally - life carries on ... and there's so much innovation - thank goodness. Good to see you.

@ Sherry - yes light always comes after the dark times ... while community always helps.

Thanks so much to you all - take care and we'll see the light - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

This is a success in my book, Hilary. Anything that makes me think - causes me to exercise my brain is a win!

Elsie

Munir said...

It has been such a long time since I have read a post from you and it is entirely my fault. I do delay reading not because I want to but there is always something else. I have been wanting to start a new blog for last two years but because of my husband's hospitalization and rehab I was really very busy. Now that he is home safe and sound, I could use the time to write, but he is constantly in need of something or the other so the flow of thought and the motivation gets lost.
Now that I am on furlough because of Covid, I do have time, but it seems like my time is meant for him alone. His doctor tells me to go back to work so he becomes a little active. I may go back to work in a couple of weeks and then may be I can start a new blog as well.
Once again thanks of writing such inspirational work.
What shall we write and leave behind that can look back and see what we are going through write now. This question haunts me a lot.

Sandra Cox said...

Thinking of you and hoping today has been a great one.

sandy said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I came here from Inger's blog.

Unknown said...

A very thought-provoking post, so not a failure at all. We do need to cling on to hope to get beyond this (and keep acting sensibly - which seems to be a challenge for some). I do think, though, that a lot of interesting things might come out of this creatively. Perhaps those with dormant creative instincts might have been inspired to pick up a paintbrush or pen to express their thoughts. It'll be interesting to see what comes out in the wash.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie - great ... I'm glad I got the little grey cells working and thinking - thank you ...

@ Munir - good to see you again - it's difficult keeping a blog going when you have illness in the family - and your husband particularly comes first ... good luck - sounds like a challenging time ... all the best ...

@ Sandra - thanks for coming over again ...

@ Sandy - always good to meet friends of Inger's ... and thank you for commenting ...

@ Unknown - I'd love to know who you are ... but still appreciate your thoughts on this post; I'm sure many are reflecting and taking up a hobby or two to fulfil their lives - looks like that will happen for a while yet ... as you mention: time will tell.

Take care all of you - and thanks for being here - Hilary

c.stolz@hopeforfreedom.de said...

A friend of mine, a Pastor, told me years ago that „we are entering into a time of change, like the agricultural or industrial revolutions. It’s going to be like a spin setting on a washing machine. We will come out changed after the spin, but we don‘t know how the world will look when it comes out.“
It seems his words were prophetic of the Covid times.
I love your take on the prompt - I personally prefer to dream of rainbows.
Carole S.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Carole - like you I prefer rainbows, but I think we must help everyone at these times. Take care - Hilary

Munir said...

Thank you so much !

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Munir ... stay safe - Hilary