21 Feb

Creative Compliments

Believe me, I have this look on my face, too.

I know how it is. It’s been a long week, you’ve worked hard, and you are so spent. Need a pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day?

Well, pull up a seat and tell me something about yourself in the comments, and I will give you a creative compliment.

A love seat on the Internet. What could go wrong?

I reserved this space just for you.

And remember, because I have written it on the Internet, it must be true. So whether your compliment involves koalas or cupcakes, you can walk away secure in your new knowledge of just how wonderful you truly are.

Ready? Here they are:

Colleen doesn’t know it, but the Djinns of the West worship her. They carve adoring messages in the sky, twisting the clouds into fantastical figures just in case she happens to look up. When she sits inside, they slide along the windows and sigh, rattling the screens with their loneliness. Sometimes they paint small hearts of rain on the glass and watch them slide down the panes. When she walks out the door at the end of the day and smiles, they fling aside the branches of the nearest trees and flutter the flower petals to show their joy. If she could only hear them, they would say: Colleen is a goddess among humans, and they will write her words into the shape of the wind for the next thousand years to celebrate her wisdom.

The linnitos are small creatures, invisible to humans and quite harmless. Until the day Linda was born, they moved through the world by touch, just trying to survive. But Linda gave them a gift. On the day she first opened her eyes, they were suddenly able to see the world, glimpsing all of the beautiful colors through her magical pupil. They watched through her eyes as she took her first steps, and they have been with her through all of her life’s joys and struggles. Because of this, they know that she is one of the kindest people to walk this earth. They see the care she takes with everything, making sure things are just right for others, even if it takes her all night. They cheer her on through every success because they know just how much she deserves it. They are her biggest fans, and they are so grateful that she has graced them with the ability to see such a wonderful life lived well.

Digital Drill Sergeant Grill doesn’t give compliments. His specialty is the finely-tuned insult, and he wields his weaponized words at top volume all day. He has to; he’s never seen such sorry sacks of sh** in a class of recruits in his whole damn life, and that’s saying something! There’s only one guy in the whole lot Sergeant Grill would want watching his back in a laser fight, and he’s still nothing much. Grill had to tell him off again today when he showed up three seconds late. But because he likes the guy, Grill decided to try and teach him. He used the story of Sean and the scorpion. It’s one of his favorites, and all the recruits hear it sooner or later: how Grill was glaring through the screen of an iPhone and was completely surprised to see this guy grab a scorpion and chomp right into it. Yeah, maybe the girl Sean did it for wasn’t impressed, but that wasn’t the point. Being brave isn’t about who’s watching. It’s about who you are, no matter what. And who would you rather have at your back in a fight: a guy who bites the head off of a scorpion without blinking, or some gym bunny who can pull 50 pushups but runs at the sight of a bug? How do you think he’s gonna do when he’s staring into the maw of a giant mutant cockroach, huh, private? That’s right. Courage starts with the little things. Now get your ass up that wall there! MOVE!

Poems float through the air like gossamer on a windy autumn day. We cannot see them shining in the sun, and we do not feel them as they pass through our bodies. But there are some few among us who notice them. Sabra knows that if she holds herself still and closes her eyes, if she waits patiently, she can hear the poems as they dance between the dust motes. They sing as they glide from one room to the next, no louder than the sneeze of a mouse. And the poems know that she listens. They flow around her fingers as she tries to translate them into words, and they shimmer thick in the room when she reads aloud to others. Every poem wants to be heard. Because Sabra helps others hear them, the poems flock to her at night and slip into her dreams, gilding ordinary objects with metaphors. They whisper secrets in her sleeping mind for her to discover when she wakes: how the sunlight falls on the bowed white petals of a snowdrop, how the cotton of her blouse still smells of summer, and how silence and a cup of tea can be all the company you need on a cozy winter morning. These are their thank-yous, their little gifts to a woman wise enough to notice them and generous enough to share with the rest of us. Our world is richer because of them, but we would never know if it were not for Sabra.


That’s it for the creative compliments for now; thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll be doing some sort of activity like this every Friday, so please stop by then for more fun. You can also check out my next post here.

14 thoughts on “Creative Compliments

  1. Okay, I am obviously over-thinking this. :-) I have several "defects" which make me feel "abnormal," the main one being my eye (I have a coloboma, which is basically a misshapen pupil, but I sometimes have poor night vision as a result). On the other hand, I am a perfectionist. Maybe that characteristic came from my physical traits. See? You've got me thinking. LOL!! (Okay, back to work.)
    • Hi Tanya. I hear you. I think words can be like stitches--I avoid them when I'm already hurting because I worry that they'll hurt more, but sometimes they're exactly what I need to help heal. I'm sneaking in one last unofficial compliment for you: The words are tapping at your teeth. They're tugging on your fingers. They want to play. They want to wander through the gorgeous worlds you build for them, clutch the edges of their seats as your characters quarrel, and hide in hedges as your monsters stomp past. You're their wizard, their queen, their high priestess of myth and legend. You are their storyteller, and you're their absolute favorite. They cannot wait to see what you'll make of them next. They're clustering next to your eardrum, winching up the tiniest megaphone you've ever seen. They will scream and shout and bang their consonants together until you hear them say: "WE MISS YOU!"

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