1: Fifteen Minutes

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

[In celebration of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 208th birthday… we pledge to write... #Trust30.]

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

(Author: Gwen Bell)

It’s always been a race against the clock, my life. At times… a sprint. Other times… a marathon. This last fifteen minutes, still that of no fame, lingers. The taunt of the last tick and the very final tock tempt from me no revelation. No confession. Strangely, no regrets.

Imprints of a life lived attach to glistening grains siphoning through my immobile hourglass… and plunge into oblivion. One tear… two, for the children I leave, fall too. Hardened salt diamonds, long suppressed behind stoic eyes, shatter on dry cheeks. Shards of silenced pain, anger and sadness litter my breast… melting in the scorching warmth of a soul in solace.

I breathe.
The air of freedom is sweeter.

It is finished.


  1. You did THAT in 15 minutes?


    You are one hell of a talent.

  2. Thank you... so much. I wrote it in less than 15 but it took me about an hour to decide that I liked it.

  3. Beautiful Post. I have also taken the pledge and love reading some of these inspiring posts. Yours was no exception. Miriam

  4. My dear quotable Beth, all very fine but please allow me to respond with a quote, not plucked from a repository of quotes but something which struck me yesterday reading Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human. It’s his aphorism #88, and seems singularly apposite:

    How One Dies is Indifferent--The whole way in which a man thinks of death during the prime of his life and strength is very expressive and significant for what we call his character. But the hour of death itself, his behaviour on the death-bed, is almost indifferent. The exhaustion of waning life, especially when old people die, the irregular or insufficient nourishment of the brain during this last period, the occasionally violent pain, the novel and untried nature of the whole position, and only too often the ebb and flow of superstitious impressions and fears, as if dying were of much consequence and meant the crossing of bridges of the most terrible kind--all this forbids our using death as a testimony concerning the living.

  5. Many of the "15 minute" writings I've read seem to be full of urgency...trying to get as many words out as possible. Yours is different and refreshing. Your writing is full of truth, elegance, and beauty.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


Blog Widget by LinkWithin