Writing 101 – The Letter Returns ( Part III A Letter to Ann)


Cameal sat at her desk with a smug smile on her pretty freckled face. Ann had been away from David for a couple of months now.  She had never liked Ann. She thought that Ann believed that Ann was better than Cameal and that Ann just flaunted her relationship with David in Cameal’s face even though she knew Cameal liked David.

Ann might have blond hair and blue eyes — but her hair was probably from the bottle — and her plane little face and lumpy body disgusted Cameal who had real Auburn Red Hair, beautiful skin with green eyes, and the perfect willowy body. Cameal didn’t understand what David saw in Ann.

But she had found that David had been miserable lately. He was curt with her especially. Cameal made sure to be extra nice to David, to have her work done for him before her other bosses, to wear nice clothing in colors and cuts that looked nice on her, to add a little swing to her step every time David walked by. But she found David barely looked at her.

She had been told by the office Manager, Nelly, that David had said her work was slipping. He had said that Cameal hadn’t been putting the effort she use to into her receptionist duties. But Cameal knew this wasn’t true. She had worked extra time to  see David more, been extra careful with his reports, and been truly sympathetic to him concerning Ann.Cameal knew she could win David over to her side eventually, or so she thought.

Pulling out a pile of paper’s from her In-box Cameal began to leaf through them. She was horrified to suddenly come upon a thick piece of cream paper, her letter to Ann, between some invoices. Cameal looked at the letter and bit her lip so hard it almost bled. David knew she had put that letter on the park pathway by his house. How could David know she watched from the bushes as Ann picked up that letter where Cameal had written David’s breakup from Ann, and left it on the running path? How could he know it was Cameal who wrote it?

A gentle panic began to take hold of Cameal and became increasingly worse in waves. Ann had taken time off from work so it couldn’t have been Ann who placed the letter back in her In-box despite the tear marks that blurred some of the typed letters on the page. Cameal began to pace her desk area.Finally, she got up and ripped the letter into a hundred tiny pieces. There was nothing written beside the letter, nothing stuck to it.

David knew Cameal had written Ann that letter but she wasn’t going to let David get the better of her. She maybe young but she was smart. Cameal opened her computer and wrote a letter to HR. Let’s see how David liked a sexual harassment complaint. She was a model employee and David and Cameal had been alone at his house when she had told him her boyfriend beat her up and after when Ann had fled that morning after finding the letter. Let’s see how David dealt with this. Cameal smiled to herself and waited for HR to email her back.

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Writing 101 – Vortex


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Vortex (Definition) Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online

1.something that resembles a whirlpool

2.a. a mass of fluid (as a liquid) with a whirling or circular motion that tends to form a cavity or a vacuum in the center of the circle and to draw toward this cavity or vacuum bodies subject to its action;

b.a region within a body of fluid in which the fluid elements have an angular velocity

plural vortices also vortexes

To Whom It May Concern:

Have you ever looked at life and wondered if it was just some giant vortex waiting to pull us down into its whirling center and suck us dry? Doesn’t it seem to you that at some points in life we have no choice but to be pulled down into the whirlpool and face whatever meets us there.

What I’m trying to say is this: at times we go about life happily and unaware of the bad stuff that is about to effect us. We don’t even stop to think that there is something out there waiting to pull us down from our content reality. We think that we’re not in any danger, we believe that our life is just going to go along in the fantastic or at least normal way that is has gone then, wam! We are in this giant vortex and no matter what we do we can’t seem to wriggle our way our way out of  our problems or a situation we could potentially find growth in.

A Canadian poet, Margaret Avison, once described a vortex as whirlpool. That the whirlpool was a defining moment in our life and different people faced this defining moment in 3 different ways. Here is the poem so you might read it; it’s one of my favorites from high school. It’s called The Swimmer’s Moment.

THE SWIMMER’S MOMENT

Margaret Avison
From:   Winter Sun. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962. pp.36

For everyone
The swimmer’s moment at the whirlpool comes,
But many at that moment will not say
“This is the whirlpool, then.”
By their refusal they are saved
From the black pit, and also from contesting
The deadly rapids, and emerging in
The mysterious, and more ample, further waters.
And so their bland-blank faces turn and turn
Pale and forever on the rim of suction
They will not recognize.
Of those who dare the knowledge
Many are whirled into the ominous centre
That, gaping vertical, seals up
For them an eternal boon of privacy,
So that we turn away from their defeat
With a despair, not for their deaths, but for
Ourselves, who cannot penetrate their secret
Nor even guess at the anonymous breadth
Where one or two have won:
(The silver reaches of the estuary).

I think that I love this poem because it demonstrates how we — the swimmer — face the difficult or defining moments in our life. Some people see that moment (the whirlpool) and do not realize it is a defining moment in their life. They are saved from “the black pit and also from contesting” because they never try to see the grand and great wonders that could be on the other side of the vortex (the whirlpool). They never get to see ” [t]he mysterious, and ample, further waters.” In fact, Avison writes that those who do not dare the whirlpool miss their purpose, a greater knowledge because they are too afraid to swim into the vortexes in their life.

Those who never risk also do not recognize the “eternal boon of privacy” of those “whirled (in the vortex’s) ominous center” and who  are defeated by the whirlpool. Not all of us make it past the defining moments in our lives. Some of us are destroyed by them but I think Avison believes it is still worth it to take risks and enter the whirlpool. Even those who are gone, who we ” . .  . despair, not for the deaths, but for / [o]urselves who cannot penetrate their secret,” even in risking themselves those who are defeated by the whirlpool have gained a knowledge that those of us who have never swam into the whirlpool cannot guess at.

Nor can those who have not “penetrated” the whirlpool, swam into the vortex, understand “[w]here one or two have won /( [t]he silver reaches of the estuary). ” Some people set out to meet their defining moment at the whirlpools edge and they swim through the vortex of the whirlpool and come out with a special knowledge, with a special purpose, having gained wonderful and subliminal riches by taking their swimmer’s moment at the whirlpools edge.

I think in this poem Avison encourages us to take risks in our lives. So when it seems like everything is going fine and you become sucked into a vortex, something new and exciting, somewhere or something where we are at our own peril please take up  that challenge. You will never see  ” . . . the silver reaches of the estuary.” what magnificent adventures await you in life if you don’t set out to find your purpose. You will never gain knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of yourself, if you cannot meet the challenges of the “[t]he [s]wimmer’s [m]oment” in your lives. If you cannot make it through the bad times, the times that make you grow, and understand yourself as a person, you will be missing out. Your loss will be greater than those people who risk bad times in their lives and never make it through them.

Sincerely,

Amanda

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