The word of the week is:

Ruin

Definition:

noun

  1. the physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed
  2. the remains of a building, typically an old one that has suffered much damage or disintegration
  3. the disastrous disintegration of someone’s life
  4. the complete loss of one’s money and other assets
  5. something that causes the disintegration of a person’s life or the complete loss of their assets

verb

  1. reduce (a building or place) to a state of decay, collapse, or disintegration
  2. cause great and usually irreparable damage or harm to; have a disastrous effect on
  3. reduce to a state of poverty
  4. fall headlong or with a crash

Here’s an excerpt from Diary of a Bad Year by the Nobel prize winning author JM Coetzee

I saw Anya the last time on the morning after the fateful celebration when that fiancé or protector of hers or whatever he was used the evening to insult me and embarrass her. She came to apologise. She was sorry the two of them had ruined the evening, she said. Alan had got the hell in – that was the phrase she used – and once Alan had got the hell in, there was no stopping him. I would have thought, I said, that if it was Alan who got the hell in then it is Alan who ought to be apologising, not his lady friend. Alan never apologises, said his lady friend. Well, I said, as a matter of semantics, can one properly apologise on behalf of someone who is not in an apologetic frame of mind. She shrugged. I came to say I am sorry.

Dunstanburgh Castle ruin by DancesWithLight

Dunstanburgh Castle ruin by DancesWithLight

PRACTICE

Write for five minutes, save yourself from ruin, using the word in its many forms. When you are finished comment on your fellow practitioners’ work.

Also, extra credit if you use the word of the week in your daily practice!

My Practice
Mothers’ ruin or should it be mother’s ruin? Is it the ruin of all mothers or just this particular one? Even though she was steadily drinking the “gin and it, lose the it, lose the ice, lose the lemon” her mind was still as busy as ever. This was why she drank, of course, to stop the little thoughts that would explode in her head. She hated it, she hated her head.

Ever since she could remember thoughts that didn’t belong to her ruined everything. These words, sentences, entire paragraphs were not even in her language, though she understood them. And that presented no end of trouble.

Before she got wise to it all she would repeat the thoughts out loud to her parents. Shock would cloud their faces into masked grimaces. She remembered talking to her Sunday School teacher and summarily got kicked out and had to spend an entire year listening to the sermons of the evangelically challenged Reverend Peardron. Her parents were accused of ruining her.

She read about Noah and the ark and wondered if the thoughts were like that, go build a boat. She liked that idea and yet she knew it wasn’t true, she was hearing someone else’s thoughts and they were not from this world. So at twenty six she was sitting in the bar, it didn’t matter what bar, or what town, or what country.

She sat and she drank and thought of her children back home with their daddy, she thought of her childhood and college and marriage and all the ruined things in between. She filled her mind with mundane facts and figures, but until she became a cliché at the bottom of a bottle of mother’s ruin, the thoughts continued.