Writing Challenge: A Visual Ambiguity

Damn and curses! I thought I’d switched my phone off but the alert buzzed the silent bedroom and penetrated up through to the astral plane. What the hell! It’s 2 a.m. and someone is texting me out of a less than peaceful dream. Seething sleepily, I look to see who the insensitive insomniac is.2am photo writing challenge

It’s from Stephanie, my life coach, and all she sent was a simple photo of a solitary, three-syllable word seared into a bronze plaque: AM-BIT-ION.  I mull the word in my mind, roll it on the tongue and check it out on the dictionary app. Derived from Latin ‘ambitus: to go around (for votes)’. Ha-ha! Reduced to its ambient, favour-currying derivation, the word loses its driving force yet at this unguarded hour, it still manages to provoke, sniping at my identity in the way that dogs harass strangers. Evidently this was not a face-value picture but a cryptic clue to help unravel the crossword of my existence.

Right from the time when adults first started asking what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew that my answer was supposed to contain some element of post-holding, ladder-climbing aim. I tried to imagine greatness, developing a thirst for stories of people who had done marvellous deeds, cast aside obstacles and self-actualized in their very own hall of fame. Cassius may have had that lean and hungry look but I was a skinnny-minny in idling mode, awaiting the spark that would ignite the overdrive of focused commitment.  As a result, I’d never quite managed a burning desire but only a vague smoulder and now Stephanie was intimating that my sense of stuckness in life was linked to this ancient, stumbling block.

Since she was obviously awake I texted back: “OK,  lack of ambition on next meet’s agenda”.
To which she sent a laughing smiley: “Sorry. Meant to send txt in morning. Late night with my brother. ‘Ambition’ is agency he manages & they’re recruiting for admin/receptionist.”

Thanks Stephanie, that says it all! Much to discuss at our next meeting, including boundaries.

Written for the WP Writing Challenge: 2am photo
It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.


4 thoughts on “Writing Challenge: A Visual Ambiguity

  1. funny, I ended up sending out a text to a bunch of folks in the middle of the night once. Sadly, I sent it in the early evening but Verizon decided it needed to be sent out around 3 am. I got an email the next morning from a friend saying “did you really text me at 3 this morning? I explained it was verizon who did and what happened. she was fine about it. I thought to myself “she’s a great woman.” she had not gotten mad or approach it in an angry way, she just assumed there was a good reason. I knew I had a lesson from that. On the other hand, I am so glad my mom, who has NO boundaries doesn’t know how to text. I also have learned to turn my phone off at night! (I am a night owl and night can extend to 11 am! 🙂 nice post.


    1. I’m also a night owl but only because the wee wee hours are the peaceful ones – not to be interrupted by boundary breakers. Thanks for your input – don’t teach your Mom to text!


Comments are closed.