#writephoto — Serenity In the Midst of Madness

4217516E-452E-4D41-9B94-1FA7922107B2Michael sat on the wooden bench by the side of the calm stream, hoping to find that, in what is arguably the most bountiful nation on the planet, there was yet a trace of humanity left.

He had been under a tremendous amount of stress since last night, when yet another mass shooting in America took place. It’s not as if there were no warning signs that such a tragedy would occur. This latest one, in Thousand Oaks, California, was the thirteenth mass shooting — where four or more people were shot — in the United States in the twelve days since (and including) the attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27th. Thirteen mass shootings in twelve days.

How many more interviews would Michael, an investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, (aka, the ATF), have to conduct with the survivors of these shootings and of the next of kin of those whose lives had been tragically cut short?

Michael sat on the bench by the stream, tears in his eyes and a profound sadness in his heart, wondering if he could ever find any serenity in the midst of all the madness.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Also for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trace), Daily Addictions (bountiful), Scotts Daily Prompt (warning), and Word of the Day Challenge (kin).

Song Lyric Sunday — Brain Damage

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt is “madness.” As a long time Pink Floyd fan, it is only natural that the band’s song “Brain Damage” would come to mind when the word “madness” is bandied about.

“Brain Damage” is a track from English rock band Pink Floyd’s 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” The song was written by Roger Waters, who also performed the vocals on the track. The song was never released as a single.

Waters wrote the insanity-themed song based on former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett’s mental instability. The line, “The lunatic is on the grass” reflects society’s contempt for “uncustomary” behavior. Normal, sane people walk on the path, while the man who steps on the grass is the “lunatic.”

Similarly, the moon has often been associated with insanity and darkness, and in the line, “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon,” Waters was expressing that he could relate to Barrett’s feelings and to his form of madness.

The line, “And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes” is a specific reference to Syd Barrett’s propensity for playing the wrong song on stage during his “episodes.”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path

The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ’til I’m sane

You lock the door and throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.

And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Twittering Tales — The Hole

D236E3D4-DE33-4672-B967-C08F6C8F8EC1We called it “the hole” because the only opening to the outside world was the rectangular window high above us. A bright light was always shining, blinding us to whatever might be peering down upon us. Jason had gone mad after about a week and I was sure to follow suit shortly.

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Written for this week’s Twittering Tales prompt (and photo) from Kat Myrman.