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Counting Dead Roses Makes Dreamers Fly

by BorderBound 

Posted: 01 June 2005
Word Count: 560
Summary: not sure if it counts as a story...


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A woman once told me that the more you think, the less you feel. The more something eats at you emotionally, the less of a logical, sensible decision you are going to be capable of making. Anne was never too good at thinking. She always feltÖ. And she preached to everyone around her that they too, should be emotional, if nothing else. Anneís worst nightmare was to die unacknowledged. Another name on the stones in the graveyard.
Obsessed with death because she loved life, Anne would collect roses from supermarkets and replant them. They never grew, they died almost instantly but she never gave up and she never thought that she was being naÔve still trying.
The more you think, the less you feel. Well, perhaps everything is inevitable and perhaps nothing that you can do or attempt to do is going to stop fate from happening. Anneís parents, the rest of her family, and all her friends, which are here today, I donít think any one of us saw this coming.
Well of course we didnít. We were blinded by our love for her, our desire and perhaps need for her to stay with us. Maybe if we had thought about it we would have known and maybe if we had seen it coming we wouldnít be as shocked, as disturbed, as heart broken and distressed by her tragic last moments.
If I think back, this could have all been predicted years ago, Anne was never stable. All of the time and hurt and money and patience that went into helping her, really Ė I never actually had to do that because even with it she fell apart.
The roses that Anne planted are all dead. They never had a chance, and if you think about it logically, there was no real point in trying to save them. All of the time and energy that she had put into them could have been spared, for even with it, the roses died.
A woman once told me that the more you think, the less you feel. If last week you had told me that Anne was going to kill herself, that no matter what I did or said would have changed her mind and that there was no way of stopping her, there would be no logical reason to attempt it. But I wouldnít have left her side.
Anneís roses are dead. Anne is dead. Obsessed by death because she loved life so much. Terrified at being just another name in the stones in the graveyard. Well Anne will never be just a name to me. Nor will she just be a face or even a personality. The concept of trying when you know thereís no chance in hell of succeeding. That is what I am going to take away with me. Anne broke when she forgot that. Iím sure she thought about it. Iím sure she went through every scenario and every glimpse of hope and Iím positive that she tried to recover. The more I think about her death, the more I take into consideration her mental state and apparent frame of mind, the more it makes sense. The more I wish I had been there. The more it hurts.
A woman once told me that the more you think the less you feel. That woman is wrong.









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Comments by other Members



laurafraser at 18:42 on 01 June 2005  Report this post
to me this is a story and one that touches just as much as one 500 pages longer. I like the way that it's basic body is exploring the idea of "the more you think..." and then coming to the conclusion. I can't think of another way of putting this other than this is a very human story.

Also Anna planting the roses from supermarkets, for me took this story off in a completely different direction, it made it more unique, more personal.

beautiful.

Laura

Becca at 20:24 on 01 June 2005  Report this post
Hi Gal,
there's a whole bag of stories in there, especially if you're writing from an authentic experience. But as it stands it's not a story, although under the sentences there is fantastic emotion. How to storify it, -- do you want to yet?
Becca.

BorderBound at 20:32 on 01 June 2005  Report this post
Thanks Laura,
nope though, not real!

Becca,
As soon as I posted it I decided to write a spin off 'real' story, because I agree.. its nice, its touching, but its not real.

Whats coming out might end up as a novella though, so might not post!

shinykate at 17:15 on 02 June 2005  Report this post
Hi, Gal

The idea of planting supermarket roses really grabbed me.

I wondered if this was something you could have made more of. Anne doesn't want to die being just a name - but you don't tell us much more about her, so essentially she's not much more than a name here, either.

The first paragraph felt a bit watery to me. The opening sentence - 'A woman once told me that the more you think, the less you feel' - is one of those sentiments which doesn't really mean much without a lot more weight behind it. I'm not saying there's no weight here - I agree with Becca, there's some strong emotion in the piece - but as an opening sentence it's a bit splodgy, the story could go anywhere, there's nothing that directs the reader, if that makes sense.

I wondered what would happen if you started with a direct comment about Anne: say you opened with: 'Anne would collect roses from supermarkets and replant them' which was the sentence which made me sit up and take notice, which made me want to read on and know more about her. I quite wanted a scene where I saw her acquiring and then planting the roses, too. I kind of had it in my mind that she nicked them, stuffed them up her jumper and ran away, or something. I wanted to see it happening, your way.

At the moment, for me it's not a story because there's a lot of description of other people's emotions, but very little description of any characters, or their actions... but there's an awful lot here which could be storified. I like that verb!

If I can be pedantic, there are moments where your writing could be tightened up a bit - 'If I think back, this could have all been predicted years ago', for instance. I'd say that you could do without one of 'if I think back' or 'years ago' - if you're thinking back, it's likely to be something that happened a while ago... there are a few places like that, where you could be less wordy.

I'm worried this might sound critical, but I was intrigued by this, and would like to see what results from it, as it has the potential to be something quirky and beautiful - a neat trick to pull off.

Kate

Joel at 17:48 on 02 June 2005  Report this post
Hi Border,

Powerful stuff, everything Iíve read of yours has been dark and bleak. Is dark and bleak your speciality? I think your good at it. Sometimes when people go down that road it feels contrived, but it seems to come very naturally to you.

To me this felt more like a synopsis for a story, than a story itself. There were to many questions left unanswered. Who is the narrator? What is her relationship to Anne? Why did Anne top herself? What problems did she have? Etc etc.

I think Anne sounds like an interesting character. I liked the symbolism of the roses, although I couldnít really get my head around her motivation for doing such an obviously pointless thing. Another question unanswered.

I think this you should develop this. In my opinion, there are a number of ways you could write it, Anneís progression towards suicide being the most obvious.

Good luck with it,

Cheers,

Joel


BorderBound at 19:23 on 02 June 2005  Report this post
Joel,

Totally agree,

I think the actual story might change name, but will load soon... maybe, not very good at keeping to times..



choille at 11:01 on 12 June 2005  Report this post
Yes this has a certain hypnotic power and must be reworked into an actual story as there are some memorable bits to it. Planting cut flowers and wanting them to grow is such a strange haunting image that it could be expanded on.
Best of luck with it.
Caroline


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