Monday Motivations

I’m just about coming back down to earth after the excitement and buzz of last week’s London Book Fair. So here is this week’s Monday Motivations word prompt:

The Hiding Place

And here’s this week’s picture prompt:

IMG_3287 (1)


Last week’s Monday Motivations was a rollover, featuring a photo and word prompt. Here are your wonderful creations:

EDC Writing was quick off the mark:

They sat
She wriggled some
Gave a yelp
Jumped up and stripped
Touched her toes
He pulled splinters
One by one
By reflected light
A perfect moon

Steve Walsky wrote a beautiful piece:


Lights strung around, and between the trees
forming a halo above the old, worn-out bench
A bench of wood, now so less inviting
yet tempting for the tired
A place to rest within the shade
a place to contemplate one’s days

Please visit Helen Jones‘ blog to read her wonderful piece of writing on the bench photo prompt:

Rajiv Chopra brings us two super installments in his Mary Jane series:

“Shall we go on a journey?” asked Vivien to all of them. She had the most innocent expression on her face, as she sat down and looked at them.

“Look out of the window,” she continued. “Do you see that bench out there in the woods? Don’t you think that that would be a lovely place to sit a while, and breathe in the fresh air, before we start? There is much magic in these woods, and the spirit is alive. It is always good to sit and pause a while, and to allow some of the spirit to enter you. Without this, the journey itself would be empty and devoid of meaning, and we don’t want that.”

“What sort of meaning do you mean? asked Poison Ivy in a hushed voice.

“You bring your own meaning to the journey,” replied Vivien. “The bench is a conduit, a place for you to sit and meditate, before you take the first step on that journey. When the magic of the woods enters you, and it will to the extent you allow it, the spirits will then move inside you, and weave their own meaning into what you will do next. Some of it will be revealed to you in an instant, and some of it will be revealed step by step. Finally, some shades will never be revealed to your conscious mind, but will shape your thoughts, actions and destiny in strange and marvelous ways.”

Poison Ivy looked outside, and while she was seized with a longing to venture into the woods, and feel the vines on her flesh, she was also seized with a strange doubt. Something of the old, urban memories yet remained within her, and she was not sure of how she would fare in this strange land. There was also the tug and pull of the vines, and the creepers that spoke to her soul, and increased the desire to feel a greater part of this natural world that she had so little experience of.

As for Sam and Frodo, they found themselves most reluctant to leave the wonderful world in which they found themselves. Memories of recent events had shaken up their Hobbit souls, and all they wanted was breakfast, elevensies, lunch, high-tea, dinner, supper, beer, a pipe, mushrooms. It was a long list of desires, and it included a place by warm, crackling fire. The bench in the woods still managed to call to them, as something of the scene reminded them of their days in The Shire, and a voice called from deep inside.
Merlin and Vivien looked at them, with eyes full of knowing and understanding. To see into their eyes, was to fall into the depths of centuries of living, knowing, and the wells of wisdom that they hinted at, were deep indeed. Secrets, deep and dark, lurked deep in those eyes.

Were they ready for the next step? Were they ready to open that oaken door of Merlin’s home, and step out of the safety and comfort it represented?

“I can feel the yearning and the doubt,” said Merlin. “Before we embark on the journey, would you perhaps like to know a little bit about why, and how, Vivien and I chose and built this home to live in?”

And for the second one:

Vivien looked at their three guests through narrowed eyes, and thought deeply.
“Is this the place to take them through a bit of our story, or should it be done in a more appropriate setting? They look nice, comfortable and don’t seem to have the slightest desire to move. Maybe, something should be done.”

“Do you think so?” answered Merlin. No words were spoken aloud, but his mind was in perfect communion with Vivien’s. Centuries of life together, along with their already enhanced magical abilities had helped them perfect their communication with each other. Emotion balanced emotion, and thoughts flowed effortlessly between their minds. There was often no need for the spoken word.

“Yes,” answered Vivien. “We must. If they are to have any understanding at all, then we must expose them to our faces elsewhere. You know where.”

“I know,” he answered.

“Sleep, my dears,” said Vivien to the three of them, and her gaze bade them to sleep. “You are tired, and rest will do you good.”

Poison Ivy nodded off, and she was followed by Frodo and Sam. They slept through the evening and the night, and when they woke up the next morning, they felt refreshed and full of energy.

“It’s time for us to go on a little journey,” said Vivien, after they had breakfasted. “Maybe, we should step outside, and see the world without. Sit on the bench awhile, and then we can see where our desires lead us. Maybe, we will just sit and contemplate nature. Who knows what surprises are in store?”

“So soon?” blurted Sam. He cast a longing glance at the piles of food, and his face became glum. He had been feeling happy, appetite sated, and he had no desire to leave the comfortable home they found themselves ensconced in.

“Yes, my dear,” said Vivien sweetly, but firmly. “The weather is good; the birds are chirping. Now is the time.”

The Hobbits sighed, and as they exited, they looked back. With a gasp, they realized that Merlin’s home was built into a large oak tree, with a huge, magnificent trunk.
They sat on the bench, the two Hobbits on either side of Poison Ivy, and Merlin and Vivien flanking the three of them. The bench, which had seemed narrow and small, magically accommodated all of them with ease.

Within minutes, their world was turned upside down, and with a shock of surprise they found themselves being twisted in what seemed like a whirling vortex. They were stretched, twisted down to a cellular level. Twisting, screaming, shouting, howling, they found themselves being whirled around and around. They were in the grip of a force that seemed to be full of madness and energy, sometimes gentle, at other times spiteful; and, an ancient, mad laughter rang in their ears.

Then, when they could take it no more, they found themselves being flung onto a cold, hard surface. Rising slowly, they found themselves enveloped in a cold darkness. The three of them clutched each other, and clung together, shivering with fear.

“Welcome,” said a voice. Squinting in the dark, they perceived the forms of Merlin and Vivien, dressed in black, shimmering gowns.

“Welcome,” said Merlin. “You seem surprised, and a little fearful.”

Silence fell around them like a dark cloak, broken only by the sound of that ancient, insane, mad laughter.





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31 Responses to Monday Motivations

  1. One seat, many wanderings. Great fun from the arm chair!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucky you getting to go to the London Book Fair! Wish I could have made it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah says:

    I’d be interested in reading about your experience at the London Book Fair, Esther. Not sure if you will be blogging about it? This pic reminds me of the old Sherlock Homes living room. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helen says:

    This picture is seriously spooky. The wallpaper, overmantel, carpet, lamps, chair, shelves crammed with books, bureau, side-tables, lit fire are all so familiar. You’ve triggered some vivid childhood memories here, Esther. At least the room in your picture is light: no heavy shutters to match long velvet drapes and heavy flock wallpaper. We often had our curtains and shutters closed to keep out the sunlight and our lamps were real oil lamps. Your picture transforms the scene by being so full of light.


  5. Helen says:

    I’ve realised we went from the sixties back in time when we moved to an old Victorian manse. The place we moved to was stuck in a time warp so that the men and the women sat separately in Church, funerals were men-only and some of the older folk hadn’t got electricity – shocking for the time. Am going to write something fictional based on this prompt, though I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to share it. Thanks for the Monday motivation, Esther!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Spring (Poem) | Simplicity Lane

  7. Excitement and buzz? Were we at the same event? Oh, yes. We were.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. DrEMiller says:

    Reblogged this on Write of Passage and commented:
    After missing last week’s post from Esther, I didn’t want to let another Monday Motivations slip by.
    Esther, thank you, as always! Your dedication is greatly appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sacha Black says:

    That’s an awesome photo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rajiv says:

    you are kidding! what happened to the nice, kind hearted Esther we know so well?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The Hiding Place: A Monday Motivations – Clockwork Clouds

  12. Rajiv says:

    here you are then!

    The two Hobbits stood there, shivering in the dark. Their hearts were chilled, and their memories kept escaping to the warm home that they had left behind. The high-backed chairs into which they could snuggle and lose themselves in the warmth and comfort; the fireplace, the food, the photographs on the mantelpiece. It all seemed so distant now; a safe-haven, gone so fast. They sighed with regret, as they awaited, what they felt, was their impending doom.

    “We promised you a journey”, said Vivien, and there was a cold sneer in her voice. “We promised you a journey, and we are going to keep our promise. Yet, the journey that each of you must undertake will be a journey inward, and not outward. They shall be journeys into your souls, to those little hiding places where you seek escape from the madness around you. This will be a journey that each of you will undertake and, to make it fun, the others shall witness your journey”.
    The three stood there, beads of sweat gathering on their brows. Fear gripped them, and turned them cold. The beads of sweat became ice, and their hearts were constricted. Blood flow seemed to have stopped, and they seemed frozen.
    Then Merlin spoke, “We also promised you a little bit about ourselves, and we intend to keep that promise. Sit down and listen.”
    Poison Ivy and the Hobbits sat down in a heap, and looked wide eyed at the two ancient, magical creatures that stood in front of them.
    “We come from the depths of the universe, and the far reaches of time. Yet, we shall continue from where the world seems to know us – the time of The Round Table.”
    “Those were dark days,” said Merlin. “The Knights were engaged in continuous strife. Gawain had gone on his Quest, and though much ado has been made of it, a Quest is as much of an inward journey as outward. This is something he did not understand for a long time. Yet, he was honest, one of the most honest of the Knights. Too soon, he was gone.”
    “The Kingdom was in strife. Guinevere and Launcelot had betrayed the King. The Round Table, that symbol of chivalry, was becoming desolate, and the King was turning grey.”
    “I have been on the face of this earth for hundreds of years, guiding its growth, tending to Nature, and keeping things in balance. I was becoming tired, and the Darkness was rising. The time comes for Wizards to retire and regroup themselves, and regain their strength. It is then that they retreat into carefully concealed homes. Some may even say that I needed a hiding place until I was strong again to fight The Darkness. The days of the Knights was ending, and it was necessary for me to withdraw.”
    “Vivien and I decided that I was to be interred in a cave of my choosing, and my making. She locked me into an old oak tree, and became The Lady of The Lake. She bore away the King to a land where he could be healed, and where he would remain until the time for him to return, if at all.”
    “Once he was borne away, and safely deposited on the shores of The Grey Havens, she returned to me. Together we have remained in the Oak Tree, building our strength, and slowly bringing back the balance that has been decreed by Nature.”
    “The process is long, for though Man worships many Gods, Darkness reigns in his soul, and he destroys the Nature that he should preserve and cherish. It is the fate of Man to create a Hell in which to live, while he seeks and elusive Heaven in the Afterlife. Delusion seeks Delusion. This is how it is.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Monday Motivations | esthernewtonblog

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