Editors Write: Craving IV

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you our fourth installment of “Editors Write,” this time Forum’s Non-Fiction Editor and Visual Arts Co-Editor, the wonderful Elise Stewart.

This piece was inspired by the prompt “craving.”  Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to submissions@forumccsf.org, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

_

“Craving and aversion are the source of your misery. Remain perfectly equanimous.”
I took a 10-day silent meditation course and hoped it would answer all my questions and solve all my woes.
“Scan the body,” asserted the teacher. “You may feel unpleasant, gross sensations; do not react with aversion. You may feel pleasant, subtle sensations; do not react with craving. You will only multiply your misery.”
One night I woke up tapping my knuckles against the wall in my dorm. I wondered if I’d woken anyone else up. I wanted to hug the girl in the dorm next to mine, who I had met right before we entered silence: “Le Chaim,” she said, as we walked up to the meditation hall for the first time. “Le Chaim,” I repeated back, realizing that Chaim now not only came at the end of the course, but book-ended it.
I wanted desperately to hug her when I woke up knocking on the wall. I wanted to hug my mom, and the guy who I had gone on two dates with before I left. I chided myself for craving these hugs. I developed an aversion to the craving. “Do not react. You will only multiply the misery. Do not react.”
I left the night before the end of the course. I told them I needed to be with my family, and that I could not be late. They said they would not allow it–that I was rebelling. I thanked them for the free food, and showed them my keys.
At the cemetery the next morning, I craved my uncle’s presence, and felt an aversion to his absence. Only, I welcomed this misery as a compliment to the joy that also existed within me, in remembering my time with him. “You are allowed to react,” I thought to myself, as they unveiled Chaim’s headstone.

Editors Write: Craving

Forum Magazine is proud to present to you some pieces from our very own staff here on the blog!

Over the next few days, we’re going to post some pieces inspired by our very own Writing Prompt Wednesday.  This week’s pieces were inspired by the prompt “craving,” and was written by our Social Media and Assistant Non-Fiction Editor, Leith Mahoney-Maver.   Please take a look, and always feel free to post your own work in the comments section below, or send it to submissions@forumccsf.org, subject heading “Writing Prompt Wednesday.”  Thanks, and enjoy!

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Post-It_War.jpg
Post-It Wars.  Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Post-It_War.jpg

“You know why people are poor?  Because they’re not hungry enough!  You have to be hungry if you want to succeed.  That’s it!”

I dated this man, and he wasn’t talking about needing a cheeseburger.  He meant “hungry” in a more metaphorical sense.  People didn’t crave power enough, he said.  That’s why they amounted to nothing in the end, he said.

He told me how, when he was a kid in middle of one of his 18-hour marathon video game runs, it occurred to him that life is, in fact, a video game, only there’s no restart button.

“You only get one life.  You only get one chance to win.”

I rolled my eyes.  He stared at me.  Hurt.  Confused that I didn’t subscribe to his creed.  I mean, I played my fair share of “The Sims Unleashed” back in the day, but this was a whole new level of boyhood fantasy I wasn’t accustomed to.

His statement seemed absurd to me, but he couldn’t have been more serious.  Which forced me to picture him as one of the Mario Brothers–the green one, since he always looked so good in green–walking to work down Market Street, dodging cars, power-stripping up escalators, and collecting an obscene amount of coins from clients in New York as the best damn securities litigation attorney Nintendo had ever seen.

We broke up shortly after his revelation.  I could sense his judgment.  I didn’t crave power enough.  I was Player 2.  He was Player 1.  And only one player gets to win in the end.

Last I heard, he was on the level where you work 18-hour days in the office.  We spoke over dinner.  He sounded lonely.  Distant.  Like he was about to jump and miss his landing.  He was losing.  Staring at me.  Hurt.  Confused.  Fingers creeping across the table toward me, like I might be the restart button.

Reading Recommendation: Sun Magazine

Forum Magazine isn’t the only amazing literary and arts magazine out there!  There are so many great literary magazines, and we’d like to introduce you to one killer one that’s been out there since the ’70s.  Check out this great presentation of Sun Magazine, put together by our very own Sara McKinney, Brian Makishi and David Chang.  Just click the link below to see their presentation!

The Sun Presentation

Where You Can Purchase Forum Magazine: Part II

Three more San Francisco bookstores are now carrying the Fall 2013 issue of Forum Magazine!  Check out the list below, and see the full list of locations in the “Buy the Magazine” link above.  Happy reading!

Dog Eared Books
900 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA94110
(415) 282-1901

Books Inc.
2275 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 864-6777

City Lights
1585 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-2020

Writing Prompt Wednesday, and Happy Birthday Robert Frost!

Our own San Francisco native poet would have been 140-years-old today.  Alas, he died at the age of 88, but his poems live on and in celebration of his genius, we’re devoting this week’s Writing Prompt Wednesday contest to his poem “The Road Not Taken.”

Submit your piece inspired by today’s writing prompt to submissions@forumccsf.org and you could win a Spring 2014 issue of Forum Magazine, have your piece featured on the blog and be considered for publication in the Fall 2014 issue!

All you have to do is create a work inspired by the last stanza of one of Frost’s most celebrated works,

Untitled

Here’s Where You Can Buy Forum Magazine

Wondering where you can pick up copies of the Fall 2013 edition of Forum Magazine?  Wonder no more!  These fabulous local bookstores all now carry copies for purchase for $10.

We’re also working on a way to order a copy directly of this website.  We’ll have more updates when this becomes a reality.  Happy reading!

Bird & Beckett
Books & Records
653 Chenery St.
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-586-3733
www.birdbeckett.com

Green Apple Books
506 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
415-387-2272
www.greenapplebooks.com

Book Shop West Portal
80 West Portal Ave.

City College of San Francisco's Literary Magazine