February 28, 2011
Image by Paranoid Black Jack on Flickr.
There was frost in the grass, the cold nibbling her fingers, making them blush and ache, as if pins were pricking them, shedding blood. A silver sliver escaped her parted lips, her breath a ghost disappearing into the unknown.
She was waiting.
Under a distant tree, far afield, lay blushing spheres, their rotting flesh spreading intoxicating fumes. Soft and sickly sweet, their whispers travelled silently, waving, luring, urging, for creatures to follow them to certain death.
Slowly fiddling with a thread spun from spider’s silk she was waiting for her prey. The sun rose, melted the frost and turned it to dew rising as misty clouds, wisping in the morning air. She was breathless; the slightest sound and her wait would be in vain.
Tentatively and with great reserve her prey emerged from the woods. Ears erect and with nostrils flared, scanning the world for predators thirsting for their blood. Each step was made as on glass, a foot set down, withdrawn, shiveringly replaced. They inched forward, lured by the succulence saturating the air.
Her heart was beating, the silk twirled round her fingers. Hands shivering with suspense, she watched the creatures draw ever nearer her irresistible trap.
The cider from the fermented fruit moistened their coat as they feasted on her bait. There was a premature twitch in the silk, and within a second they were all gone. Their silver breath faded slowly, tracing their path.
She twirled the silk hard round her fingers, turning them blue. All that wait for nothing. And it was all her fault.
February 26, 2011
February 26, 2011
Image by Zinius on Flickr.
It’s raining, but the dams protecting my emotions are still whole. Far up in the mountains, upon the snow-covered peaks there was a downpour. I don’t think it was snow; it feels harsher than that. I think it was rain; droplets of water that fell from silver skies, pouring off the sides of the mountains and down onto the valleys below. I think my dams are about to burst, the water wants to flow, down, down, down and seep into the ground that hasn’t been watered for so long.
Water is very different from everything else. It is. And still it is not. If I stick my fingers into it I can feel that it is wet; I can feel its watery lips gently caress and kiss my skin. But what is the feeling of water; is there any such thing? What if water is an illusion, very much like life, and me, myself?
I am overcome with emotion; there’s a storm brewing inside. I’m fumbling in the dark and everyone is waiting for me to fall. They support me, but they don’t do it will all of their heart. They think I’m insane, that I’m crazy, that I’m mad. maybe I am, but the storm pushes me forward. It feels so right, yet I know there can only be pain in the end.
But all addicts are addicted to their drug, that’s why they can’t stop. There’s this ecstasy of taking it, and no abyss can deter them from taking it again. And still it hurts, and it feels so good. And all you want is for it to go away. But when you see it leave, you freak, you cry, because you don’t want to lose it. So you catch it again, caress it and kiss it and say you’ll never part.
Life is torture, but feeling nothing at all would be death.
And still, hidden among the raging clouds that obscure the snow-covered fells, I know that there is hope. It’s tangible. But maybe it is because I want it to be. Maybe it’s a bird of hope that’s made of glass. When I touch it it’s going to break, because it was made for hands that aren’t mine.
I shiver, because I don’t want to see that bird of hope flying among the raging clouds. I don’t want to see it, because if I ever catch it, how can I know it will not break?
It’s raining. And I’m still here.
January 25, 2011
Image by SonOfJordan on Flickr.
Through a recommendation (I shall restrain myself so as to not bore you with the details — so do not tempt me) I was introduced to Nietzsche through his collection of aphorisms in “Human, All Too Human”. I found a copy in the university library — admittedly, there were numerous copies, but since I only had use for one, that is what I borrowed. The book has been my companion on my long commutes since.
Ah, indeed, I do realise that makes me appear a slow reader, if I divulge that I have had it for three weeks, which translates to 30 hours of train rides — but, to my defence, every morning and every evening I travel through rather mundane British countryside; which never the less manages to be among the most beautiful scenery I have ever beheld. Half my time on the train is thus dedicated to pressing my nose against the glass of the window, studying the hills and fields that I know so very well — almost by heart — as if I seek some deeper truth I hope thusly shall be revealed.
So, shall the time I spent reading the work be summarised, it is probably closer to 15 hours, which I believe a more accurate estimation. And, Nietzsche himself stated in a version of the preface that “I betray the fact that this book is hard to understand –that it stimulates confusion.” I cannot say it stimulated confusion, but the act of understanding someone else’s thoughts has always been a laborious one.
Never the less, this afternoon, not long after I had departed London, I could close the book and declare myself done; I had read and considered the last set of aphorisms, and I could turn to the — perhaps paramount — task of understanding them fully; at least to the best of my ability.
One of the last aphorisms is #627: Living and Experiencing:
[W]e are finally tempted to divide humanity into a minority (a minimality) of those who understand how to make a great deal out of very little and a majority of those who understand how to make very little out of a great deal; indeed, we encounter those reverse wizards who, instead of creating the world out of nothing, create a nothing out of the world.
Yes, admittedly, Nietzsche was an existentialist, and a pondering such as this is not at all unexpected. What caught my eye, however, was that it rang so true in its appeal; the irony in the observation being that although it is within human ability to see beauty wherever one turns, it is also human to fail to hone this ability — this talent.
Maybe — I am merely philosophising on my own, inadequate level here — the ability to see the world as a beautiful place (to be a wizard) is innate, only that it is lost as the human creatures outgrow their childhood to be lost in the present, too occupied with the mundane to realise that beauty is plentiful therein.
I am the eldest of a cinquain of sisters, and have thusly been blessed in appreciating the vastness of the infant mind, despite my own tender age, as I have seen my sisters grow up alongside myself. In regards to one’s own view of the world it is simple — too simple — to grow forgetful, and it is near impossible to remain objective. But in regards to the world-view of others it is easier to avoid subjectivity.
When I think of my sisters as they outgrew their infancies, I think of smiling faces with glittering eyes; the sparkle therein being the fire of wonder. And sometimes, as I recall this imagery, I think that a mature mind in a baby’s all-seeing apparition would go mad with the stream of influence to which it is exposed — for a child sees everything that the world offers. They are purely objective.
A young child does not pay much attention to the constructs of the world; what they see is the world as it is. They can crawl in what seems the most insignificant of spaces only to return with a treasure which is trash to everyone else. But to the child whose treasure it is, it is a part of the world into which they have been brought; their infantile minds believing that it is utter and complete truth, having no opinion about the worth — or lack thereof — of existence. If something is, then it is; a child’s world is not more complicated that so.
Many people fail to hone this ability to see the little within the large as they mature and grow up. They no longer see the innate beauty of things, but pass judgement upon it instead; they reverse the wizardry with which their childhood was endowed. Maybe that is why I am the only one on the train who childishly presses her nose against the glass as we fly across the countryside; I see such beauty in a world that others consider perfectly mundane, somehow, perhaps, who knows, having escaped the reversal that defines the adult mind.
Yes, to the defence of the native Britons, I am an infant in their corner of the world; but as a person, I have grown and matured into adulthood. In that sense, I am them. And still, they bury their faces in the blotted ink of the newspaper, whilst I breathe silver upon the glass of the carriage. My mind still retains the infancy theirs have suppressed; the reversal robbing them of the ability to see the beauty of it all.
I think this is very much at the world’s loss, and I believe there would be such benefit if “mature minds” could only kneel like wizards in the grass once in a while, having found a hidden treasure that although being worth noting, still manages to be worth the world.
Although I readily admit this is a liberal interpretation, I think this is what Nietzsche meant~.
January 8, 2011
Image by Anders Adermark.
The task was simple enough. She was to find the perfect flower.
It was to be white, and sweet-smelling. But it also had to be not far removed from bud, and with double petals.
It seemed simple enough.
With those directions the green riding hood set out, young, but not little — and dressed in green because red did not become her at all. It may have been beige too, but the colours of her attire are of no consequence to her story.
The green riding hood had not ventured far before she found a flower. But red, and in full bloom, it was far from perfect.
One with double petals was blue.
A sweet-smelling one was not white.
One was in bud, but covered with thorns and not perfect at all.
Indeed, the entire forest, it seemed, was abloom, although none of the floral faces was perfect. The perfect ones seemed hard, if not impossible, to find. Still, she had her task, and it was to be fulfilled. So she ventured further, unwilling to admit defeat.
All of a sudden a sweet scent reached her through the warm mid-summer air, and she followed it to its source. It proved white, but although fine, it was not perfect.
Though white and endowed with a sweet scent, the flower had a single row of petals, and was withering, far removed from bud.
The green riding hood looked at it, sighing, wondering: Why could it not be perfect? Why had it to be merely fine?
Had it not been for a persistent voice in her head, whispering: “Beyond, beyond, beyond!” she might had settled with a flower that was merely fine, but as it was, she continued her search, leving the mere fineness beyond.
As so often happens to young women searching for flowers in the woods, the green riding hood eventually stumbled upon the same, merely fine, flower anew.
She sat down by its side, brushing against the blossom itself, wondering why the fine, but not perfect, flower could not be endowed with a double row of petals, and be nearer to bud. Indeed, after this long an excursion, she would have settled with a sole row of petals, but the flower being withered was what rendered what otherwise would have been perfect, merely fine.
Despite there was a voice still in her head telling her to move beyond, beyond, beyond! she could not leave the flower. It was fine — better than any she had found thus far — but is was not perfect. Never the less, she remained by it, waiting for the solar cycle to encourage the flower to turn away from her; for she could not be removed on her own accord.
It seemed strange, she thought, that something that was fine and perfectly acceptable could not be perfect. The voice and its “Beyond!” reminded her thusly, although she herself doubted — as much as she feared — there was any flower more perfect to be found.
The flower before her was sweet-smelling and white; what if all the other flowers were equally fine, and there were no perfect flowers to be found? What if the ones with double petals were red, and the ones still in bud would bloom with the most horrendous of scents? What if the white, sweet-smelling bloom before her was indeed perfect, only that her doubts failed for her to realise and conclude that indeed was so?
As the day passed and the flower followed the sun’s path with its floral face, the green riding hood sat by its side, unable to leave it, waiting for it to turn away on its own accord.
December 20, 2010
Image by Moi.
The worst brings out the very best in people good at heart.
To see the world covered by cottoned water is a phenomenon very familiar to myself, as I was brought up in a faraway land where ice reigns supreme during each of the wintery months. Admittedly, the beauty grew bitter to my senses’ tongue after decades of never-late cold, but things once learnt are hard to unlearn.
So when the world surrounding my humble dwelling, outside the great city of London, gradually disappeared beneath a downy, frozen blanket, I sighed: “Oh dear,” — as I had a flight north to catch — but was never the less not deterred.
As the clouds broke to pieces that slowly swirled from the place of their heavenly birth, I wrapped a scarf around my neck and buttoned my coat. My companion — my suitcase — was already standing by the door, longing to taste air, having been trapped indoors for so long.
Eventually I stepped out into the world, having locked my door twice. However, the cold deterred my companion and friend, and my bag made up its mind that it did not at all want to go. Sitting on its (w)heels, I had to persuade it to move by pulling it along with my weight as an argument, ploughing a broad trail in the snow as I went.
Halfway to the station a taxi took pity on me and offered to take me the rest of the way. That was however not to be as the slope to the station was too steep with all the snow, but I never the less ended up having to pay a full fare.
Struggling to reach the station on time, I trudged on, eventually making it onto a train following a cancellation and a false alarm. I had a man help me carry my bag onto the train — as although I can pull it along, I cannot lift it very far!
“Normally I’d charge you for this,” the grumpy not-very-gentlemanly man growled, and I foolishly smiled. (What else is there to do?)
Having brought the first part of my long journey to a close I sank into a seat and studied the world as it passed by the window by my eyes. Knowing every nook and cranny of the route by heart, the journey never the less kept me mesmerised; for the green meadows and ploughed fields were all frozen — stunning and white!
The train only brought me three stations farther towards my goal, and once back into the cold I found the connecting train was delayed — by heaven knew how long!
On the platform with me were people huddled up in jackets and scarves — staring, standing, waiting — what else is there really to do?
Half-way into our long, shivering wait, a train came along. It pulled to a stop, and its driver came out. Boiling water was brought and his horn was de-iced, but when questioned if his train — only standing there — could open its doors to allow the freezing people on board, the driver only shrugged his shoulders and said:
“This station is not a scheduled stop.”
And once the horn had been de-iced and the honk was confirmed, the train pulled away and disappeared within long.
The disappointment such oblivion brought was enough to tear down walls and break the bounds that otherwise keep people apart.
A man and his son — travelling north to the town of Shakespeare’s birth — started talking with a woman carrying the only cello of an orchestra upon her back. Farther away a man with a broken leg — most likely courtesy of the cold — spoke to the not-so-gentle man who had growled before.
By my side stood a man only recently arrived who ceased the opportunity to break the silence, too. He proved rather polite, and once the connecting train arrived he brought my heavy bag on board. And since the train had already travelled far, and few seats were left, we ended up carrying the conversation on.
We spoke as gingerbread villages — frosted with snow — passed by and the villages grew into towns and London gradually emerged. As the final station was reached the man fumbled in his pocket, concluding:
“I have run out of business cards!”
I took pity on his disappointment and gave him paper and pen — being given a name and a number — and I do have to admit, for me that was a first!
Stuffing it all back in my purse I carried on as I still had a flight to catch! Within the hour I reached the airport which I had sought — many pounds the poorer, and with the blood racing in my ears. (I did not at all have many minutes left to spare!)
But as I entered the airport, I realised my fears had come true, and by the time my flight had been to depart it was announced irony had sneered and snow was to keep me from returning to my home in the snowy north!
Sighing — as you do when such things are said — I caught the attention of a woman by my side.
“Oh heavens, what are we to do?” she said.
Neither I knew what was to be done.
So coffee was settled upon — it is after all human to drown sorrows with delight. A brief friendship was formed in that time of need, and we spent several hours in otherwise unlikely company.
But as time lingered on and the people around succumbed to despair, I realised nothing else could be done — that day, I was not going home. I therefore bade my new friend farewell and returned in defeat to the cold.
With no more time to keep I made my way to the trains, only to find a thousand — multiples thereof! — had come up with the same, brilliant plan! I however had no choice but to join them, within long being swallowed by the human ocean’s vast expanse.
At one point a speaker crackled to life:
“This is a security announcement,” the detached voice said. “Remember to keep close to your belongings~”
Was more said, it was not to be heard. The people crammed into one another with bags and whatnot only laughed — and I do have to admit, even my pursed lips parted with a smile.
Two hours thereafter I reached my goal, once more standing upon a platform waiting for a delayed train to arrive.
A young Canadian woman sighed from the corner where she sat:
“I am so hungry; I haven’t eaten since breakfast — and that was long, long ago!”
I took pity on her, and dug deeply in my purse. Triumphant I handed her the prize of my search; a snack — not large, but for the moment enough. She wanted to compensate me with monetary means, but I declined her offer, as I only wanted for her condition to improve.
“That’s the Christmas spirit!” she smiled, with her mouth full.
Although I nodded, I did not agree; that is simply what you do for others in need.
After a few hours more I finally made it back to my by then cold and dark home. I had to turn up the heat and light the lamps anew, silence my hunger and then crawl into bed to get some much needed sleep.
That day had proven much an ordeal. Some would have called it pointless, but as I lay back in a bed I thought I would temporarily have left, I could not help but strangely consider the day worth the while.
For, it seemed that the worst — what could so many broken plans otherwise be called? — never the less had managed to make the best surface in some kind, kindred souls. It had proven a very pleasant day, I thought, for never before had so many strangers broken their otherwise unquestioned silence and treat their fellow men as such.
Forgive me for what follows — but I think humanity as a whole would regain much of its worth were only more “disasters” to occur. For there is nothing that unites people with others of their kind as shared circumstances — and that, I do think — is something the world very regrettably has lost ~.
November 24, 2010
Image by mrWerner.
It feels as if I am soaring, travelling by the speed of light. I have a fluttering feeling breathing in my chest. But the smouldering embers I have hidden therein are oxygenated by the strokes of the butterfly’s wings, igniting flames that scorch me on the inside. Life is torture — but feeling nothing at all would be death.
July 16, 2010
Image by rayewillow.
To a seamstress, the art of weaving paper tapestries with words is an addiction; once the eye of the needle has been threaded; once the pen has been filled with ink, there is no stopping the flow of words until all ink has been transformed into characters on paper and opened doors to new dimensions and worlds that only just became.
My inner seamstress of stories and tales has been sewing words onto papers for almost half a year; meticulously and thirsting for more — for a tale does not exist until it can be read. Adventures have unfolded in her lap, as the tapestry has grown increasingly ornate. And eventually, the time she had longed for appeared — the day when she was to admire her story as a whole; when the tapestry was to be hung and flaws about to be corrected.
The tapestry with its glimmering words and whispering thread was a magnificent sight, and she felt her heart pound with a creator’s pride. Stroking the smooth surface, allowing her hands to caress her beloved characters, her fingers however caught hold of a loose thread; a mistake that did not belong.
Determined, she pulled the thread that should not be and removed it, only to find it entangled three other threads. She pulled those too, only to find that the tapestry of her tale fell to pieces before her eyes. In a cloud of dust the words fell off the pages and the tapestry lost its glossy sheen. All of a sudden, the tale and its tens of thousands of words were no more. And the seamstress disappeared — disappointed — into oblivion; unable to sleep nor eat, knowing her tale had been tousled beyond recognition.
A few of the threads, the ideas and words, were still sparkling as she held the stumps up to the light; but most of her creation was fouled and had to be brushed away. With only a few crooked threads in her lap, my inner seamstress is now absent-mindedly staring out the windows of my mind, seeking inspiration to conjure her glossy threads anew and begin to embroider a new tapestry, reminiscent albeit better than the old her strife for perfection tousled and lost.
May 14, 2010
Image by pyth0ns.
I did not start to think of myself as an amateur writer until a few years ago — shall I be honest, it is not more than two years ago, perhaps three. A friend remarked on a short story I described a picture with, that it would make the perfect beginning of a book. That, in addition to my friend being a writer, inspired me to follow her advice and turn the few lines into a book.
It proved hard, to not say impossible. I worked on and off on the plot for almost two years until deciding it was a hopeless case and that I should leave it and pursue other projects. And so I did; my next story currently growing one chapter at a time whenever inspiration strikes.
Yesterday, however, I remember the story I had abandoned and all but forgotten. I was on the train, riding through the most wonderful beech forests and rolling hills, when I all of a sudden realised that was the very kind of world my very first story was supposed to have been set in.
And, no sooner than I had thought that though, the main character of my forgotten story waltzed into my consciousness with pleading eyes, wondering why she had not heard from me in such a long time.
At that moment, I wondered the very same thing.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realised I am not over her story; I simply do not know how to handle it. In order for her story to be written a fair amount of research is due, but due to the nature of the story itself, I am unsure whether the final product will be worth the effort I would be required to invest in it.
It is food for thought, indeed!
I do have to admit, that I am one of those dreadful people who likes to see results. I do not undertake a project unless I know some success can be derived from it. If I spend hours and hours without end contemplating a story, and months painfully typing it down, I would like to one day see it being enjoyed by others; justifying my hard work.
My forgotten story is however not the kind of story I think would have any chance of ever reaching the hands of others, which brings me to the dilemma which made me abandon my character the first time around; I love her and her story, and I want everything I intended to happen to her to come true, but I don’t believe in the story per se.
It’s painful, to say the least!
But, I am curious, if any of you who read this are writers, have you ever been in the same situation which I have found myself in? How did you solve it? Is there a point in completing a story for personal satisfaction alone? Anything else that comes to mind? Or, do you think some stories are best left short, allowed to speak for themselves?
A heavy book lies on a table, its cover says it is several centuries old.
As it is opened, it screams, blinded by the light its pages have been hidden from for so long.
A cloud of dust rises from the ancient pages, the old parchment fragile and dry.
From one of the pages, a face looks out on the world.
It is the drawing of a young woman, who studies the world with interest.
When she was shut inside the book for the last time, the world was so different from what it is now.
She wants to be part of it, but can not as the parchment she is drawn on is the only border she never will be able to cross.
March 22, 2010
Image by netdog
She had always been bit of a loner. In some ways it was because she had chosen to, in others because she had failed to find friends.
That changed when she came across a red-haired girl when she still was very little. They became the best of friends and spent all their time together.
But for a loner such a blessing may sometimes turn bitter, and she found that she needed some time for herself. Foolishly, young as she was, she believed she had grown tired of her very best friend.
She ended their friendship.
Not long thereafter she changed her mind. She could see her best friend walk through the same corridors as she did in their new school, and she missed her. But she was too embarrassed about her former rejection that she dared not apologise.
When three years had passed she had found the strength she had lacked and spoke to her friend again, saying that she missed her and desired to go back to the way they were.
Her friend only laughed and said that it was too late for that, and that she did not desire to ever be spoken to again.
The girl walked away from her former red-haired friend, not desiring to admit she had broken down in tears.
More time passed, and the girl reproached herself for the folly that had robbed her of her first friend in life. Sometimes she could see her red-haired friend walk past in the distance, reminding her of the mistake she had committed.
Such regrets never fade, continuously being stirred to the surface by reminders that it was a mistake easily prevented. A decade later, it still hurt.