ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was prompted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and is posted here as barter for a presentation on how to handle soup fights, which will appear later. It also fills the "WILD CARD: family" square in my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It belongs to the Don't Try This at Home series in the Schrodinger's Heroes project, following the story "Don't Try This at Home."


"Moving Through the Water"


Eric is surprised when Uncle Chris and Pat
take an ongoing interest in his life, rather than
treating him as a problem to be solved.

Eric doesn't really understand why
two grown men would want to spend time
with a no-account teenager, but he can
wrap his mind around what they mean
when they ask what he likes to do.

"I dunno," he says.
"I hardly ever get to do anything."

Pat frowns, and Eric knows
that he's gone and said the wrong thing.

Uncle Chris just nods, though. "Well, let's see ...
Pat here knows cooking and talking.
I know hunting and fishing, and
we've got a boat out at the compound ..."

"You have a boat?" Eric says, his eyes widening.
He's only ever watched from the shore
as they skim over the blue water of Waxahachie Lake.

So they take him out boating,
and Uncle Chris teaches him all about
how a boat works and the names of the parts.
Eric learns how to coil the lines and
where to store different kinds of gear.

Sometimes they go fishing, and
Uncle Chris explains where to find fish
and how to know when they're biting for what.
Other times they just float over the water,
silently watching the scenery go by.

It's the most peaceful feeling
that Eric has ever known,
until it isn't.

The water brings up bad memories
of what he did to TeJay,
and Eric doesn't like himself
as much as he used to.

Out on the lake,
there's nobody to see
if Eric has to struggle not to cry,
nobody to overhear Pat's soft explanations
about feelings and how to deal with them.

It doesn't make much sense to Eric yet,
but he's trying, and sometimes
it helps a little.

Mostly what helps is just having somebody
to be there and listen to him,
not shoo him away like a horsefly.

Eric likes fishing and he loves the boat,
but what means more to him is the chance
to learn something new for a change,
something he can get his hands on,
not like the boring books in school --
and Uncle Chris notices when Eric
finally learns to tie an anchor hitch right.

Eric's still in trouble, and he knows it,
but he feels better now that he's
moving through the water.

* * *

Notes:

"Being on a boat that's moving through the water, it's so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what's important and what's not."
-- James Taylor

Spending time with teens and helping them make decisions rank among the things they need most from adults. These activities aid communication. There are tips for spending quality time with teenagers.

Waxahachie Lake is popular for fishing and boating, accessible from several parks.

Family boating is a good way to spend time together. It helps to know the basics of boating, parts of a boat, and how to stow your gear. Boating knots include the anchor hitch. There are lots of ways to make family boating enjoyable.

Fishing has various benefits. Understand where to find fish and what bait to use. You can make fishing a fun family activity.

Volatile teenage emotions go hand in hand with making mistakes. Understand how to talk with upset teens and how to teach them emotional intelligence. Here is a workbook for developing emotional skills.

It's a tie

Date: 2014-06-23 03:01 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
whether I love the poem more or the supply of interesting, useful links.

Exceptionally /good/ way to portray a developing mentorship. Extremely satisfying to read, although I want to have some /strong/ words with whomever got him thinking of himself as "no-account" ANYTHING.

Whatever Eric /does/ turn out to be, one thing he's not likely to be any more is /mindless/. And that kind of self-awareness is going to do more to shake off his racist teachings than any /overt/ lecturing or proving the people he loved and relied upon were /wrong/, which could cause an enormous amount of emotional conflict for him.

Thank you for posting this!

Re: It's a tie

Date: 2014-06-23 04:03 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Most everyone in the English-speaking world knows the poem about "all for the want of a horseshoe nail," right? I /like/ the poem but I don't /love/ it, simply because it's so NEGATIVE.

THIS, starting with the stupid STUNT they pulled, is the /positive/ version of that, and it will likely take several YEARS for the events to spool out as a new path Eric doesn't yet realize /exists/.

The good news for him is that he'll have Chris /and/ Pat firmly in his corner by the time he's ready to look at living on his own, or choosing between vo-tech and going straight to 'find a job', all the things he /thinks/ will "make him an adult."

I'm /really/ hoping it doesn't take two or three years to /write/ those stories, though!

Re: It's a tie

Date: 2014-07-24 10:22 pm (UTC)
fyreharper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fyreharper
"And the Bastard grant us, in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe..."

Re: It's a tie

Date: 2014-07-25 03:15 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
"...in time to prevent the cascade of catastrophe. AMEN!"

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-23 02:37 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Once upon a time I was out on a yacht, and the skipper said, "You know what the difference in a sailboat skipper and a powerboat pilot is?" "Nope." "When a powerboat pilot is in his boat, he wants to get somewhere. When a sailboat skipper is in his boat, he's where he wants to be..

I thought about that a bit and then said, "Unless the powerboat pilot is *fishing*."

He allowed as how there might be something to that.

I think Eric is figuring that out.

"I miss the peace of fishing." -- CAPT Marko Ramius

Thoughts

Date: 2014-06-23 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Once upon a time I was out on a yacht, and the skipper said, "You know what the difference in a sailboat skipper and a powerboat pilot is?" "Nope." "When a powerboat pilot is in his boat, he wants to get somewhere. When a sailboat skipper is in his boat, he's where he wants to be..

I thought about that a bit and then said, "Unless the powerboat pilot is *fishing*."

He allowed as how there might be something to that. <<

When I was little, my uncle had a motorboat. Sometimes we went fishing in it. Other times we just went out and rode around the water because it was fun.

>> I think Eric is figuring that out. <<

Yes, he is. He enjoys the attention, and just getting to spend time with Uncle Chris and Pat. But he's also excited to learn new things, which he is actually good at.

>> "I miss the peace of fishing." -- CAPT Marko Ramius <<

Sooth.

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