She walked slowly toward the light that shone dimly from underneath the stairs. As she moved closer, the walls around her seemed to widen. She felt a sense of relief, a peace, as she drew closer to the light. Her flesh had been so strong, holding her captive to worldly desires. She desired to experience freedom from this constant emptiness, a void that never seemed to be filled. This light seemed to be a beacon of that freedom. As she walked closer, it seemed as though a light breeze was guiding her towards it. She hesitated briefly, torn between the desires of her flesh and the desires of her spirit. Her flesh had won so many times before and offered no escape. She decided to try something new. She would give the spirit a try. She wondered for a moment if this light was real or just a figment of her imagination. Either way, she knew it offered contrast to the darkness she had been living in for so long; a release from the ghosts of her past that haunted her incessantly. She had heard of the freedom that comes in surrendering to Christ, but she could never muster the courage to do it, though she always felt a faint tug toward Him. Tonight was the night; she was weary of the life that she was living, the constant darkness. She wanted this light to consume her life. As she approached the light, and knelt in surrender to her Lord and Savior, she was overcome with joy, her spirit was light, and the worries that crowded her mind were silent. It was a sensation unlike anything she had experienced before and she knew she would never be the same. The love that filed her was a love so unfathomable yet so real.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12
Over the last few months, warriors have been working on Character Sketches! Warrior Daisy Leon in Surat Thani wrote her first character sketch:
Basics: Name - Bella 22 year old Latina, college drop out, single
How does your character handle criticism? Accepts criticism, but does not care to work on negative aspects about herself
Is your character content in their own solitude? No. Bella fears being alone for too long.
Does your character possess reflective capabilities? No. Bella does not think before she speaks or acts. Is highly impulsive and does not reflect on any previous actions she as taken.
Hx of drug or alcohol abuse? Does not drink alcohol nor does she use any drugs.
Will your character have some mental or physical disability? Minor separation anxiety, not diagnosed.
What current struggles is your character undergoing? Bella struggles with self-identity. This is the primary reason why she dropped out of college. Bella feared not knowing which field to dedicate her studies and career to. From this also stems the fear of commitment, another struggle she deals with in relationships.
What is their darkest bit of self-knowledge? Bella acts decent and “well behaved” but Bella is addicted to having sex with multiple partners but never makes it obvious for others to point at.
Does your character give advice or needs it? Why? Bella gives advice but does not take her own nor others. This is again her issue of actively approaching constructive criticism.
If they could choose how/when to die how would that look like? Bella wishes to die in her sleep because she believes it to be the most peaceful way of dying.
Do they believe in the afterlife? She is uncertain about the afterlife.
What is their biggest/paralyzing insecurities? Bella never leaves her house without makeup. She feels ugly without it and fears people rejecting her if they were to see her bare face.
Any anxiety triggers? Being alone.
Do they keep a journal, if yes, describe content. No, she draws/doodles on a blank note pad with black ink only. Her drawings consist of flowers and detailed geometric patterns with.
How do they behave at a restaurant when eating alone? She will never eat at a restaurant alone. She would prefer to starve or eat at home.
Have they ever cheated on a significant other? No, but she has been cheated on.
How would they react during an armed robbery? Bella would be that bystander that is in shock and uncertain about what to do.
Are they intro/extroverted? She is slightly more extroverted.
Do they prefer stability or constant change? Bella yearn for stability but because of her lack of commitment abilities, she does not have a routine and is constantly doing different things. Her way of trying to figure herself out.
Closer to father/mother? Bella was closer to her Mother when she was younger, but as she grew up she began to stray away from her mother, especially because she is the opposite of her. Bella’s parents were not happy nor supportive about her dropping out. Bella was never close to her father. So now she clings to friends and her older sister.
What places/countries would you character like to visit? Bella has never left her small home town.
What places/countries has your character been to? Bella has a deep interest in visiting Egypt.
What types of books does your character read? Bella enjoys romantic novels.
This is a guest post by Warrior Sonya Audet in Surat Thani in response to the Petals of Compassion organizations efforts to build a village in Nepal .
Why do you look the other way...
when this could have happened to you today?
No grief, no pain, no satisfaction.
Headlines are written to cause a reaction.
You think to yourself, "It'll never happen to me."
But then, there in the crowd, who do you see?
It could be an acquaintance or even an old friend.
Someone you'd call up and see every weekend.
In moments of panic it all seems so surreal,
until you watch someone suffer and don't know how to feel.
Are you relieved it's not you? Do you feel sadness or shame?
Some people reach out to help. Would you do the same?
This is a guest post from Warrior Mikey Collings in Suratthani in response to a grab bag exercise.
In Writers Group last week we were asked to come up with ten random words and incorporate them into a prompt.
My words: write, snow, falter, sing, solid, tree, picture, fan, cola, coda
My prompt was "Postcard"
Hi. Sorry it's taken so long to write. There's been such a maelstrom in my head and every time I put pen to paper I would falter. Such an assault on the senses - nothing seemed solid. It's dreamlike being back and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm a real person in a physical world with a job to do.
I want to sing every day. I do, actually, though usually out of earshot of the neighbours! My head is still full of home, of cold and snow and pictures of mountains in their austere beauty - surreal images when you're sitting under a fan and it's 32 degrees indoors. I've resolved to make myself healthier and try and eat more fresh food. It's surprisingly difficult here where I only have a microwave and if you eat out it's usually something fried. I already lapsed and bought Coca-Cola - well, Pepsi. I've not yet touched the whisky, though we'll see how long that lasts.
I'm writing this in Surat Writers. I didn't intend to, so it's rather weird that this is all tumbling out from ten random words, but I think it makes a fitting coda to a wonderful Christmas trip.
Miss you all.
PS: I need to include the word "tree".
The following is a guest post from Anthony Catalano (TC to his amigos) in Nakhon Si Thammarat. For more from Anthony, check out his personal blog, A Timeless Interval. Cheers!
The wall clock isn’t hanging on the wall. The wall clock rests on top of the audio speaker placed stage-right adjacent to the television. A series of negative taunts becomes my reality. I breathe and don’t expect anything. The tick and tock of the clock beats with an entrancing pulse. Rhythm adjusts the vibrations. The room itself hums in silent congruent resonance. The reverb of my breath shakes away a certain feeling and allows proper tuning. What was it that was getting at me? A sound! I turn around and see nothing but my own laughter. How easily startled! So becoming of faith and foolishness! The wall clock stares at the ceiling. Oh, yes. The rhythm hasn’t stopped. The AA battery will only last so long, but alas, what worry have I tonight? Verily, a man who checks his wristwatch with impulsive rapidity would do well to avoid positions of high authority, lest he enter la vie un Sheol in a paranoid, self-induced slavery. Truly I tell you, the man who measures his days is wise, but obsession with temporal materializations is the methodology of fools. The clock cannot be seen but still ticks in perfect time. Sure, you have to reach around the back and set the time manually. And what good is it to set the time manually if the battery is depleted? Will you set the time? Will you keep checking the time? Hark, the clock may run slow or fast! Do you consider this problematic? A lad late to the date makes a mate quite mad. Will you be tolerated? Can you even tolerate yourself? Are you able to tolerate the tick? Do you have the ability to handle the tock? There is a piece of melted dark chocolate sitting right on the clock face. The chocolate is still edible, but the devil himself cowers at the increased difficulty of removing melted chocolate from its foil wrapper. Oh, yes. The rhythm continues. Such sensation! A sinless sensation! What could compare? Distraction here, and distraction there, there’s distractions everywhere! A chirp! A knock! A candle that burned yesterday! A fresh candle seen earlier today at the market! The inexpensive vegetables! Father time, my grandfather clock, a tick from heaven, from earth a tock. The soft mellow strum of an A-432 classical guitar. And has it really been so long since we loved? Since our embrace? Has it really been any time at all? Silent in the moment I sit, dipped in honey, patiently and earnestly waiting for your touch.
This story was written by Warrior Jak in response to the following prompt: Be a building that you know well. Talk about your life and memories. Jak is from Suratthani but has spent the last 5 years living abroad in Austrailia.
This poem was written by Warrior, Jill! from Whangarei, New Zealand. She is a teacher in Surat Thani.
It Ain’t You Babe
Seriously I don’t have a title.
His rheumy eyes lust
He sees himself.
He reaches for
his bright, clean, innocent promise
gone now his future yours.
That is his lust.
Confused by your nascent sexuality.
Top of Form
This was written by Warrior Jak. He is from Surat but has spent the last 5 years living abroad in Austrailia.
The prompt is: Rude Awakeing
“Get up. That’s right you, with the face. GET UP.” After the boot roughly hits your side you groggily wake up. You remember the bomb, yes the bomb you had to deactivate. That would be your top priority but your captor has a knife and your hands are bound. What do you do next?
This post was written by Warrior, Munnawar Hashim. He is a teacher in Surat and is from London, England. This is his 'Family Matters' story!
Hassan’s nose and forehead were planted on the ground. He waited patiently for the signal. “Allahuakbar!” He raised his head in unison with a thousand other men and the mosque was filled with low muttering. Hassan knew the motions but had long since forgotten the accompanying words. To him the Friday prayer he attended with his father and brother was a ritual that held very little religious significance for him.
Once the prayer was over; the masses congregated at the entrance, grabbing a variety of footwear from the shelves. Shoes, sandals, trainers and loafers originating from all the markets of London were flung indiscriminately in various directions. Hassan knew to wait; he was in no particular rush to join the mob. Like those who are eager to leave an aircraft after landing; the mob began to get restless.
This piece was written by warrior Cati! She expanded on the Blow your mind exercise (click here to read her entire list) by picking one as a writing prompt:
16. Floating across the sky in a cloud
Thanks to all of our friends near and far that have allowed us to showcase their work.