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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)

TITLE: The Dwellers
By george elerick


It's a very tricky thing. Life I mean. It is riddled with those beautiful cascaded mountain-top experiences and than the inevitable pesky deep valley trenches that just seem too much to bear somtimes.

I was walking through a village, nestled in the valley of a small German town about 3 years ago and had seen a bit of what life is all about.

The brownish hue of melting moss had covered this one-bedroom clay house that was barely recognizable by the owner himself. The village life was somewhat similar to the monastic order of the 15th century. Somehow, time had slipped back and so did the lives of those who dwelt in this dark gloomy town. Once a month, the dwellers would come together for the town meeting and instead of dealing with the town concerns and business which wasn't much at all, they seemed to deviate time and time again to a place in their minds when the town was a boistrous lively place. Where excitement was one of the known characteristics to the towns and cities beyond this seascape town. They wanted it to return. They wanted the moments where life had seemed to be what it was meant to be. They wanted to go back to the beginning. When the moss was nothing but something read about in a ten-page science book. They didn't know much at that time, the time when moss didn't cover things. They focused on life and living it with passion. The life abundantly. Now that years have come and gone, their knowledge is the very thing that has slowed them down. But, no matter how much they want the beginning, these dwellers just sit and talk until the moss advances and hides more of this clay. One day when things are better they may just come to their senses that life is more than just desire. I hope they do. This village never knew me, and I never knew it, but it was this village experience that changed my life.

THEME: I wanted to present this story as someone who had experienced the small life of a village dying. And yes, some elements are very easy to pick out, but we must realize that we are the frail little clay houses sitting about, talking about having a close relationship with God while all the while that our sin and sinful lifestyle still rules our existence. We can want to be close to our creator, who was also the owner who couldn't make out his own creation. We have been far too gone. Time, Apathy, and Lack of Determination are at fault, which is our very own fault. We can reminisce about life when we became Christians and everything was fresh and new or we can life as a hungry people who have never stopped being in need of saviour. We think since we're saved, we don't have a need a for our saviour. We get ourselves into all kinds of messes, trust me, we still need Jesus to save us. We have a choice we can let the valley's rules or we can let Jesus rule us, either way we still need our saviour.

Member Comments
Member Date
Dian Moore06/07/04
Hi George, the illustration you gave was very interesting. However, I found it hard to read -mabye needs some more white space? Also - how did you know the owner couldn't recognize his own house? Did he tell you? With a little more detail and more white space, I think you have a winning observation.
Linda Miller06/07/04
Hi George - this was a hard piece for me to read and get through. Typos like "than" instead of "then" in the first paragraph and "bear" instead of "bare." But keep writing - you have good thoughts in this piece, just had to re-read sentences.
Gary Sims06/07/04
George - I think the comments are heading a little negative so far and I don't want you to feel that this is a bad article. You have some great descriptive lines that really paint a vivid picture like: “But, no matter how much they want the beginning, these dwellers just sit and talk until the moss advances” How slowly moss advances and yet, your dwellers are unable to move away from its advance. This is good imagery.

The three main areas to work on with this piece are:

1) The two big paragraphs need to be broken down, separating thoughts and ideas into smaller sections. Doing this along with adding a line of space between them will help the reader. One new paragraph could begin with “Once a month” as an example.

2) You haven’t sold your reader that you really know the dwellers and are in a position to be critical of them. You state “I was walking through a village…” How does someone passing through a town really come to know it? To be honestly critical of another person you need to have been where they have been… the walk a mile in their shoes routine. I think this is a credibility issue with your reader and until we come to know your “authority” we may not follow your critique, even with a strong summation paragraph.

3) Editing – we all need editing skills. (if your read some of my other comments, it seems that every time I point out someone’s mistake, I make one of my own.) The paragraphing in point #1 could help you a little with this as well. Breaking your thoughts apart gives you the ability to better see your phrasing, spelling, and punctuation because it is in smaller pieces. An example: “The life abundantly.” I don’t know what you meant with this.

Like I said, it sounds more negative than it really is. Keeping working on this piece and let us see what it turns into. Gary.
Deborah Porter 06/08/04
George, first of all, you actually did use the right "bear" in the first paragraph - so don't change it. A lot of people get those two words mixed up, but you were spot on. ;-)

There were some typos and the comment about breaking up your paragraphs a little more was a good one. But you have a wonderful, descriptive ability and paint word pictures that are very appealing. With love, Deb
L.M. Lee06/09/04
what an interesting piece.