MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Superpowers aren’t just for heroes

MagicPOOFWhen doing all these online quizzes (with which it’s so easy to procrastinate doing anything else), there is almost always one question that asks what superpower you would like to have – usual replies are: the ability to fly, to read other people’s thoughts or to be invisible. Between flying and invisible (because do you really want to read other people’s thoughts?) I would often choose invisibility. But unless it’s Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, what I would much rather would be to disappear.

There are some days more than others that you really do wish the earth would just open up and swallow you down. Well, maybe not while you’re in bed wearing your pyjamas, because if there is anything down there worth exploring, you would at least like to be decently dressed for it.

But the urge to disappear comes mainly due to all the things that are happening during that period. The constant running around, nothing going right, the countless responsibilities you have, the fact that there is not enough time in a day or even in a week to do them all, the lack of sleep, the insufficient food, and above all the immense tiredness that strikes your emotional chords leaving you close to a nervous wreck. And worse of it all, the fact that no-one understands this, or even cares about it all.

I admit there are days that I actually have to drag myself out of bed, after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock – actually my phone – so many times that it automatically stops yelling at me. And then after I get up, I spend five minutes looking for my phone, only to find it hidden under the pillow.

It’s a problem being good and diligent at what you do. Because it doesn’t allow you any time to rest. You know, as well as all those who depend on you, that almost no-one can do it as well or as attentively as you. Without meaning to sound boastful, that is the perks of being a perfectionist. But it is also the curse of it. And although I actually like all the things I do, sometimes all I want is to simply disappear. Even if it is only for a while. I would like to see how all these things I do, and which to some may simply seem as though they magically appear to be done out of nowhere, how all of them would be done if I were gone.

Haven’t you ever wanted to disappear, even for just a little bit? For starters, you would be able to encompass the flying power with the ability to hear what other people were thinking / saying about you – well, at least in my head you would!

But it would also allow you to see the world without you, how your loved ones and the people you deal with every day would actually be affected by your disappearance. It might bring you further down, but if you really are the struggler you believe to be, what you would see would really bring you back up. Maybe in your absence they would actually express all the things they don’t in your presence. Maybe that would even get them to understand that some things should be said to others while they are still there – like how much they are appreciated and loved, and how much all that they do is recognized and acknowledged.

Disappearing is not just a magic act. It’s a wakeup call to everyone. Including yourself.

Sometimes you think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found.

Surprisingly weaved together

Security-CameraHarry would enter the ATM branch on the corner of the street with the best bagel-shop in the entire city center every Wednesday around midday. Silvie knew that. She had been watching him for the past couple of months. But he was not aware of it.

Silvie worked as a security guard and was responsible for monitoring all action in the ATM room from the cameras situated at every corner of it. There was rarely something suspicious going on, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. The last time something out of the ordinary occurred in that specific branch, the security guard had stepped out for a quick smoke and missed the masked man entering and dropping a smoke bomb which mystified the cameras and allowed him to blow up an ATM and run out with the cash. It took three weeks for the police to find him. And the security guard was re-assigned to another post. He still cannot forgive himself for the incident and like everyone is very thankful no-one got hurt. He now quit smoking.

Silvie, however, was much more diligent. And she didn’t smoke. On Wednesdays she would not even get up from her seat until Harry would appear. Of course she did not know his name. She didn’t know anything about him. Simple that he was elegant and charming and always came in wearing a freshly pressed suit. One time he looked up at the camera while he was waiting for an ATM to become available and Silvie blushed.

Her colleagues made fun of her. They even encouraged her to go ask him out herself. But she was more traditional. She preferred to charm him and get him to want to ask her out. So she persevered and continued to admire him through a screen.

One Wednesday though, Harry stood staring at the camera. He was looking straight at it and Silvie felt that he was looking right at her. She felt the need to fix her hair and began to feel on edge. What happened? Harry kept staring. He completed his weekly ATM ritual and before leaving the room, he once again looked back at the camera.

Silvie was baffled but simply forgot about the incident.

To Silvie’s surprise, however, just a few hours later Harry appeared right outside her glass door. Silvie almost fell off her chair and had to rub her eyes and even pinch herself to make sure she was still awake. She opened the door with a trembling hand.

Hi, I’m Harry Woodstaff,” he said, extending a hand. Silvie shook it and in her bedazzlement managed to utter “Silvie Goldtie”.

She couldn’t help but stare into his chestnut eyes. He smiled. She blushed. She offered a drink. He politely refused. She was disappointed. She thought that would have done the trick to keep him there a bit longer.

He began to tell her that he goes to that specific ATM every Wednesday (Silvie was about to shout “I know!” but managed to suppress it). Harry continued that today as for the past two weeks he has noticed something strange about the camera that is facing the door. Silvie was alarmed. This could raise an alert. She jumped to her desk and took out a notepad and pen ready to record any irregular sign witnessed.

You see,” said Harry, “it’s been there for quite a while now, and I didn’t pay any attention at first, but now it’s been growing and it’s actually hard to miss.”

Silvie’s eyes opened wide and her heart began to beat faster. Did someone plant something in there on purpose?

It’s this gigantic spider,” said Harry in all naturalness. “I am not really afraid of them, but it is strange this one is there and to be honest it is a bit unnerving, so if someone could come clean it out, it would be great.”

Silvie smiled, noted down “spider” and reassured him that it would be taken care of. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it will be gone by next week when you return to the ATM”. Harry looked at her and smiled. She was either a really good and attentive listener, or a stalker. Either way though, her smile had won him over, and as he turned to leave, he said “would you like to go out for a coffee sometime?” Silvie was ecstatic. Mission accomplished. And to think she didn’t even like spiders.

Forever is too long

Forever is a very long timeIt started when she was four. She told the doll her father brought her as a gift from his travels, that she would keep her and love her forever. But then she grew up, found new hobbies and left the doll behind, tidily tucked away on one of her bedroom shelves.

When she was a teenager, the hormones kicked in, and when she was upset – very often – she would believe that this situation would go on forever, that no one would ever understand her. She eventually calmed down when she moved to college.

There she fell in love – truly, madly and deeply. She told him that she would love him forever and they would be together through it all, forever and always. But something happened in the meantime. They fought, he lied, he cancelled plans they had been looking forward to for so long. And something broke. Forever just started to seem too long.

When she found her first job, she thought she would be stuck there forever. But then, unexpectedly, an opportunity arose, and she managed to gain a noteworthy position in a renowned company. Everything seemed great at first, but like almost everything, the excitement withered away, exhaustion set in, and it was not that fun anymore. But now it was much harder to find another job. Contingencies in the global labour market had ensured that. She thought she would be stuck there forever, doing something that she was no longer proud of, and no longer motivated her.

Networking at events is important even despite their boastful or narcissistic appearance. She realized that when during a certain event she met someone who had read her work, who appreciated and recognized her worth. He offered her a contract that would make all her aspirations come true. Nancy leaped at the opportunity. “Staying put never got you anywhere”, she thought. She would move around, every so often changing her dreams and plans, and living life as it came along.

Forever was just too long.

Is this really worth it?

heartbeatIt is strange how one single moment can affect your life in ways you could never imagine, or even expect. How one single blow, one missed heartbeat, one strain too many, can change your life forever. You don’t seem to realize this, until something happens and you receive a wake-up call. When you are shaken up and forced to change your perception on everything. On the way you live your life, on your priorities, on what you care about.

Seeing a loved one lying helpless and intubated in a hospital bed, does that to you. It shocks your system to the core and makes you re-examine every single thing in your life. You begin to wonder if everything or anything you are doing is really worth the trouble. If the long hours you work, the lack of holidays or any rest, the multitasking and the constant strive for top quality, are really worth it. Is it worth giving your all for so long without receiving any acknowledgement, recognition or gratitude, while you risk losing the only one thing that matters and keeps you alive – your health?

Maybe it is time to rethink about what really matters in life. Because in the end a job is just a job. And unless you own your own business, you will forever be treated as just another employee. So is it worth wasting away your time, health and energy for this? I used to believe that you should do your best under every circumstance and no matter what. Because that is what you have to show for yourself. But sometimes, that is not true. No matter what you do, your expectations (of others) are never met. And in the end, you are the one at fault on top of it all; simply because you cared too much.

I don’t like hospitals much. And I hate seeing people I care about lying helpless in a bed not knowing when they will be out of there. But these are the moments that get you thinking, that slap you up and awaken you, reminding you that your health is the most important thing of all. Isn’t that what we drink to anyway?

So, ask yourself this then: is this really worth it?

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

A stone in the road

TestYourStupidity-24134There is a stone in the middle of the road. Careless passers-by walk over it, stumble and fall, get up and continue their way, all the while cursing the stone that was in their way. If one of those took it and placed it aside, none of the rest would fall again. [from a poem in Greek by Ioannis Polemis (1862-1924)].

There are countless such examples in our everyday life. Things that demonstrate not only the selfish nature of humans, but their stupidity above all.

All you can do is take such instances lightly, with a glass of wine and a laugh.

Journalist reports on the meeting of a Minister with EU officials.
News anchor asks in all seriousness:
“So the discussions focused on the competencies of the Minister?”

Friend calls you at home: “Hi! Where are you?”

There are a lot of stories of comic (and at times pedagogic nature) from Nasreddin Hodja who lived in the 13th century. For example: Hodja was riding his donkey on the way home from the fields where he had been working all day. On his shoulders he was holding his plow. A friend meets him along the way and asks “Why are you carrying the plow on your shoulders?” To which the Hodja replied “So that I relieve my donkey from the weight of carrying both that and me”.

This is the logic to which we have become accustomed to. No longer being able to think rationally or at times even at all.

As the world becomes more and more dumb in a sense and this kind of daily stupidity increases, perhaps we are leading towards the kind of society depicted in Idiocracy. And that is not good at all.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Never enough

Just-Good-Enough

 

 

 

 

Grandma always said two words in life
were all you needed to know
Good and Enough.

You had to learn to always strive to be good
And know when enough was enough.
That was all it took.

So she grew up being the best
Because simply good was never enough.
But good enough would never suffice,
And that would eventually be her curse.

The world in a box

Opened empty heart shaped box isolated on white.When Matteo gave Chiara the little red heart-shaped box he wasn’t expected the shrill of delight that came out of her. He was always amazed at how much noise could come out of such a small person. But seeing a three-year old sparkle with joy and jump and down with excitement, was enough to wipe every worry from his mind. She was simply adorable. And that little box would change her life forever.

Chiara was a curious child to begin with. She loved learning and accumulated knowledge like a sponge. When she was three, Matteo thought she was ready to delve into a new world. That of languages. And he was right. Chiara loved it. She found learning a language was like playing a non-stop game. Having fun, but all the while learning. Learning things you never knew existed. About different traditions, cultures, people, who were in a country far away. But knowing how to speak their language also increased her chances of meeting them, of being able to communicate with them, of visiting their land, of entering their world. And that was the most precious of all.

From them on every five years, Matteo would give Chiara a little box. One that would hold the key to a bigger box with all the necessary material to learn a new language. Within five years, Chiara had become proficient in that gift-language and was thirsty for more. She couldn’t hide her excitement every time Matteo appeared with a box in hand. The lust for knowledge grew as her world expanded.

By the time she was twenty-five, Chiara could already speak six languages (her mother-tongue and the five gifts). She was much more open-minded, informed and knowledgeable than other people her age. For while her peers spent hours on social media and digital screens, she used her time more productively, playing language games, reading foreign media, and making friends from abroad. So when she decided to take a month off to physically visit the places whose language she had so profoundly studied, she had people ready to welcome her and show her the life of a local and not just the tourist sights.

Learning languages, prevented the clouds from shadowing Chiara’s sight. She was able to grow up with a more extensive view to the world. With friends across the globe and with a deeper understanding of how the world works that she could ever learn through a single educational system. She became wiser, simply for wanting to learn more. And for that she was richer than Matteo could ever hope she would be. Solely because he thought of a special gift, hidden in such a small box.

A suitcase is more than just a bag

Suitcase-travel-31302401-360-273A suitcase is considered an item of luxury. At least that is what Joshua thought. Because to own a suitcase means that you will need it to pack things in when you travel. Wherever that may be. And traveling, let’s face it, costs money. And money is just not something that grows on trees. No matter where you look. So, according to Joshua, a suitcase is an item of luxury. That is why some even cost more than he makes in a month. But that’s a different story.

His main concern today was what he would pack in this suitcase.

It was new and he had saved it especially for this day. It was one of those modern, light-weight yet sturdy four-wheel suitcases, that you could pack your life into and when you would unpack you would be amazed at how much it actually fit inside.

Joshua hated packing, though. He loved to travel but despised the fact that each time he had to spend a couple of hours gathering all his essentials and trying to get them to fit into a bag he could carry. And there was another problem associated with that: Joshua was a secret hoarder. He gathered so many mementos, souvenirs and little accessories from every place he visited, that not only did he have trouble containing them in a suitcase, but even in his very home. He actually built an extra room in his house, simply to serve as his own private museum.

But one thing that Joshua hated more than packing was remaining at the same place for too long. He was a restless spirit and in constant need of movement. Staying put was for him equivalent to remaining inert. And that was worse than not living. There were so many places out there that he still had not seen. So many people he had not yet met. So many cultures he had not discovered. And it was all waiting for him. Of course, like everything, travelling required money. But Joshua worked hard, so he could play hard too. And with every opportunity he got he would indolently make up his suitcase and excitedly rush off to another adventure. It always managed to lift his spirits and rejuvenate his lust for life. No matter where he went. As long as it was somewhere.

Today, he was staring at all the things he had spread out across his bed and was wishing that they would all magically be arranged into his suitcase. Procrastination was his strong point. It was already three hours before midnight and the things had been lying on the bed since morning.

Joshua was setting off for an adventure. One of the biggest so far. He didn’t know how long he would stay there for. But he knew he wanted to take this risk. To try something different. Maybe his luck would change on account of this. He was hoping it would. He just had to be brave enough to take the first step. Everything else would work out along the way. It always somehow did.

He had taken a bold first step. He had bought the suitcase. And in it he would pack all his essentials. That would be enough. Life would happen along the way. And he was ready.

Sometimes you just have to croak

Frog-After-Diner-HDThere are so many times in a day that if you stop and think of how many things bug you just at that moment alone, you’d go insane. We people are like that. Get uptight, obnoxious and nervous wrecks over the slightest of things. Then try to find stress balls, yoga mats and tranquillizers to calm down. We should be more like frogs. They seem to know what they’re doing.

Think about it. Have you ever seen a frog stressed out?

Usually, frogs just sit on a leaf in a middle of a pond, musing. Who knows what may be going on in that (little) head of theirs? They’re just carefree, relaxed and serene.

In fact, do you know why frogs are always happy?

Because they don’t let anything bug them!

So maybe we too should be more like these little green amphibians. Always aware of what is going on around them, constantly monitoring their surroundings, seemingly distant, but ever-present.

It is natural that we all get irritated from time to time about pretty much everything. The trick is to demolish that bug with a speedy roll-out of the tongue and then act as if nothing extraordinary happened.

It may be hard being green, but it ain’t easier being any other colour either. So maybe we should take some hints from these little creatures croaking our way. After all, these short-bodied fellows live for over a decade and, compared to human proportions, this is quite remarkable.

So next time a bug hits you, take two seconds to squash it and then croak away carefree.

That cleansing free shower

summer-rainThat moment when the first autumn raindrop splashes onto your head. It is remarkable isn’t it? After weeks of scorching heat and often humidity, the rain comes to salvage your water bill. Free showers. Who wouldn’t want that? That’s why you often see people smile when they feel that first cool breeze bringing home the rain.

And when the showers begin, everyone automatically looks up. As if expecting a swarm of vicious drops lining up in those dark clouds, weighing and calculating the distance, altitude and speed with which to attack.

But all that happens is that the sky finally opens up and drowns out the heat that for so many days has been stifling the land underneath. People run in all directions trying to avoid getting wet, but in the end just become all the more soaked, as they are still wearing their summer sandals, their linen shirts (that become see-through wet t-shirts) and have no umbrella. It’s fun seeing all these people so unprepared. Autumn rain does that. Particularly if it comes during a time of summer heat.

It’s just not that fun when you are the one caught on the side of the road where all the puddles are concentrated and all the cars speed by. Or when you are the one caught in the autumn storm without an umbrella. Or worse yet, when you stand under a balcony until the rage subsides, and get splashed by the waterdrops washing off the plants and tents above you. Refreshing as it may be, when it happens to you, it is truly not that funny.

All in all though, we all need a few showers in a period of draught. It helps rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh our minds and souls. It cleans out all the negative feelings and allows you to view the world with a new perspective. It is a regeneration of sorts. A necessary and much welcomed new beginning for a new season that is just starting.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

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