Outcome 2 – Whose Reality folio piece: Justice

    Statement of intention

Title: Justice
Form: Creative, reflective-narrative writing
Audience: Unspecified – see below.
Publication: Readers digest perhaps? Despite the gravity of the scene it’s a bit of a wishy-washy wet blanket tale, and probably only suitable for the waiting room of your GP or dentist.
Prompt: “Emotional distress or upheaval can alter our perception of reality”

In responding to the prompt “Emotional distress or upheaval can alter our perception of reality” I planned to compose a story with the generic components of complication-resolution, and to use ellipsis to present a middle section in which the climax is presented using a different form, style and viewpoint. In other words, I started from a very bleak and negative perspective using reflective-creative writing, then used a formal speech from another character to achieve the exposition, and then returned to the introspective narrator of the first section with the problem resolved and a new feeling and prospect evident. I hoped to explore the prompt through such transitions to demonstrate an answer in which emotional states strongly and clearly affected ones perceptions, and so there is a contrast between the emotions and language of the different sections.
Throughout the first section I planned to use a great deal of figurative language to effect negative emotions. In the second section I planned to control the language to suit the event at which the character was presenting, and to have him give historical examples to respect the context of a eulogy. I planned to make the final section short, emphatic and conclusive so as to demonstrate and emphasise the change to the narrator’s position, and also to conclude some of the imagery of the first section.

“Emotional distress or upheaval can alter our perception of reality”
We sat, sombre and black, straight-backed upon hard plastic chairs set out on the grass in regimented rows. I saw crows sitting in a storm amongst the trees, and felt ravens within me fighting to assert themselves.
“Let us all rise and sing psalm 43 together,” intoned the priest. There was a beautific smile plastered on his face. He was glad not to have to talk to us – a gathering of sad strangers – and was pleased instead to lead a glorious and harmonious prayer in song.
I turned to my grand-mother and held her elbow as she struggled to rise. She would be turning 90 that year. She couldn’t believe she had outlived another family member – indeed, she didn’t want to.
I couldn’t believe it either. There was nothing just about cancer. Around me people murmured, babbled and crowed the words and melody. I struggled with the piercing cry of ravens within me, and couldn’t raise my voice to thank the heavens. Her death was nothing to be grateful for.
Her life was gone, and I felt only cold and dirty and black with grief. My heart was a devil’s furnace inside my chest, my lips frozen into a curling snarl, my eyes dull and soulless.
“Please be seated.” I sank. “I now ask the husband of Allanah to share a few words.” I watched father with beady eyes as he approached the dais…
* * *
“Family and friends, I would like to thank you all for coming today to celebrate the extraordinary, delightful and loving life of Allanah. She always enjoyed a party, and I know she would have taken great pleasure to see you all here today.
Allanah lived her life with a great sense of purpose and direction. Those of you who were not offended at one time or another by her frank and direct manner can consider yourselves fortunate! She had a great ability and propensity to share her opinions, but as you are all probably aware, this special quality was something that everybody that loved her was happy to forgive. The fact that so many of you are here proves our willingness to accept her flaws readily, and with love.
For she was loved, and she loved all too well in her life. When the doctors informed us of her cancer, and that she had only a few short months left to enjoy, I asked Allanah what she would want to do with her remaining time. She told me, very clearly as always, “I’m already doing exactly what I want to do and I don’t want to change a thing”. For me, there could be no sweeter words…”
* * *
The murder of ravens were scattered by father’s words, and the skies cleared within me. I left the service content and at peace, having rediscovered a sense justice in mother’s life.

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