MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Digital Detox

DigitalDetox-Tell-IT-Media-300x201You know what, I think it’s time to take a break. People nowadays are so caught up with being online all the time that they actually forget to live in the reality that surrounds them. Indeed, everyone is too addicted to digital technology and social media, that even a three-year old can hijack your “i-thingy” and appear more knowledgeable at it than you do!

It’s a compulsive obsession. This need to advertise every single thing you do. Or don’t. It’s often annoying. But then again, even though everyone complains about it, the majority still does it too.  And no matter how much people say they hate social media, why are they not logging off then? It’s as if something is drawing them in. There’s a survey too to prove it!

But what is most annoying though is the fact that we live in an era where it appears almost impossible to live without constantly looking at a screen, no matter its size. Wherever you go, at whatever time of day, people of all ages are staring into a touchscreen, be it a phone, a tablet or a computer. They even gather together “to meet and catch up” and instead spend the entire time focused on that technological marvel in front of them.

Maybe we do need a digital detox after all. To get back in touch with what really matters. To actually pay attention to what others are saying to you. To make the person sitting opposite you and talking to you, feel important and not challenging them to compete (often in vain) with a touchscreen.

Sometimes you just need to step away for a moment and clear your head. After all, a decade ago (and no that’s not too far away), there were no such things, and people did live better, healthier and often longer. Ergo…?

So next time you’re out with your friends for coffee don’t look at your phone at all – don’t even put it on the table, cause that’s annoying too and extremely distracting for all.

Come on, can you bear it? I dare ya!

 

Also part of Trifecta Writing Challenge for the prompt word APPEAR:
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

Also part of Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs – Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

Also part of Daily Prompt: Bloggers, Unplugged

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Going up? No, down…

Observation-Elevator-BEX01-The elevator doors opened and I slid in. I always felt a bit weird when there was someone else already inside. But his face seemed familiar. He was tall and Mediterranean. Charming, you could say. He smiled politely and I returned the gesture. It was plain courtesy. Then it happened.

The power went out and we were stuck. In the elevator. Together.

Well, that was something new. I had never been stuck in an elevator before and I didn’t know what to do. How to react. I had only seen this scene played out in movies, but never in real life. So, what now?

I looked at him. Maybe he knew better. His colour had turned pale and the smile had disappeared. What happened? He looked almost scared, as if he had instantly turned into a lost puppy. He also seemed a bit flushed. What was going on with this guy? I wanted to ask if he was OK, but I wasn’t sure if I was! Maybe he was claustrophobic? What do you do in such cases?

A million thoughts passed through my mind. How long would we be in here? What if I had to go to the bathroom? (They never show you that in the movies!) And who was this intriguing man changing colours like a chameleon? I was sure I had seen him before but we never actually spoke, other than the usual greetings.

He seemed as if he wanted to do or say something. Who was he? Was I in danger? Is that where I remembered him from? FBI’s most wanted? But, wait I don’t know who is on the FBI list. So it wasn’t that…

It was getting hot in there. And I wasn’t planning on taking off any clothes, even if that seems to be the norm in movies.

It seemed that we had been in there for hours. Silent. Immersed in our noisy thoughts.

Fifteen minutes had in reality passed and the power came back on and we continued our descent to the outer world.

“Hey, I’m Alex”.

He spoke!!! I looked at him with eyes glaring in amazement. Couldn’t he have voiced a word before, at least to reassure me, that I wasn’t stuck in an elevator with a serial killer?

“Hi”, I managed to utter.

“I live in the flat upstairs. Maybe we can meet more often since we’re practically neighbours”. The smile was back. Large and warm and sparkling like the ones on Colgate commercials!

That was the start of a beautiful friendship…and maybe even more! 😉

Also part of the Daily Prompt: Elevator – Fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene.

The feeling of freedom

5272593-a-small-rabbit-in-a-field-of-grassShe was excited. It was her first day free! Free at last! Her heart was pounding, and the adrenaline rush was causing her vision to blur. She was ready. She had been for so long. It was all she could look forward to. And now…Now the time had finally arrived!

She had been a prisoner for so long…behind those bars. Being controlled in every way. On when to eat, sleep, and…well, you know…

It was just terrible. Nerve racking. Oppressive. Dull. And even claustrophobic at times – especially when thunder and lightning were the evening spectacle. She felt so alone in there. With nowhere to go.

Then, she would evoke her imaginative friend Clara and they would chat for hours until sunrise, when sunshine would take over the sky from the reigns of the angry night. She would tell Clara how she felt, stifled and distressed. But at times, even Clara wouldn’t understand her. She would say she was a drama-queen. Or that she was pedantic and couldn’t squeeze the juice out of the lemons life had handed her. But as much as Zuzu looked, she couldn’t find any lemons.

Yet, today the day had finally come! The sun was shining and a cool breeze had stated its presence through the crack by the door. It was a perfect day. And Tom and Jenny thought so too. Zuzu could see they were just as excited as she was. The picnic basket was all set, and they were finally out the door. She was one step closer to freedom.

Ten minutes later. They were there. In that amazing green field of so many munchies! The local park seemed like heaven to Zuzu. She was finally left out of her cage with a warning not to go too far.  She hopped out, shook off the cage air from her fur, waggled her little furry tail, pointed up her big ears and with her tiny nose wiggling faster than ever, began to hop rapidly through the grass.

Also part of Trifecta Writing Challenge to include the third definition of the word PEDANTIC (adjective) –  : unimaginative, pedestrian

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Cat Says Meow– Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal, or another person.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Perspective

A helping paw

CatsPawThere are moments in your life when you need a helping hand to get you back on track. To support you and transmit to you the feeling that everything will be all right, even if at that moment it doesn’t appear to be so. To reach out into your heart and make you feel loved, supported and – most importantly – not alone. And there are moments when that helping hand does not come from those around you, but from the most unexpected sources.

To me that helping hand for seventeen years, was my beloved pet cat. She was the one who could bring you up when you were feeling down. Who would come and crawl under the blanket beside you, clinging onto you with her paws simply so you would feel her presence, signifying that you were not alone. She was the one that could look into my eyes with her two big shiny eyes and reach right into my soul. Who could understand how I felt, and what I was thinking without me needing to utter a word. She was the one that stretched out a helping hand (or paw) when I was depressed.

People who have no pets cannot understand the magic and wonder of sharing your life with these wonderful creatures. They can sense your mood, thoughts and feelings, as if through a sixth sense, and know exactly what to do to change it. Be it rolling off the bed by accident; sleeping upside down or in other weird positions; or chasing flies of all sorts across the room, they are a constant pick-me-up. And above all, they are always there when you need them.

Just look into the loving eyes of these beautiful animals and you will understand why this is one helping hand that will never let you down.

Also part of the Daily Prompt: Helping Hand

Also part of Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need

What you know…or you think you do

01c-day-of-knowledge-2011There are many sayings which argue that knowledge is power. I don’t know however how strong it is, particularly in an era when what you know comes second to who you know… Nonetheless, we all have fun with seemingly useless and random information, like “If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white”. You never know when it will come in handy – well maybe not the goldfish fact, but you might need to know, for example that there are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos, or that a “hairbreadth away” is 1/48 of an inch, and an inch is 2.54 centimeters. Either way, it is certainly better to know something than to be found in a situation where you need to frown, blush and pretend to be muttering something in order to avoid that awkward moment of not knowing the right response.

But sometimes what you think you know is not even close to what you actually do. A very interesting online survey concerning public knowledge of science and religion in the US has actually revealed just that. That even things you presume as given, as guaranteed knowledge, and as obvious facts, are…well, not.

There are people who don’t know that carbon dioxide causes rising temperatures, despite climate change, global warming and greenhouse gases being a major concern of the 21st century. Even in things that are considered basic knowledge, people are found lacking information, or simply appearing ignorant of these facts.

Teachers and lecturers themselves can testify on the “pearls of wisdom” found in student responses. And although some are imaginative and creative, others are simply silly.

Even in enquiring young people at random what national holiday a country is celebrating at a given day, receives replies that definitely call for a face-palm simply to avoid slapping them right then and there. To some extremes, some people don’t even know what Christmas and Easter stand for, apart from presents and chocolate eggs respectively. Gulping at amazement at the response, people who know the right answer are left wondering what exactly it is that education these days offers. And whose fault is it – the education system’s? The educators? Or the people themselves? Is it that we are so lost in the mundane and the casual that we no longer care about the important stuff? Or is it because our attention span is depleting to such an extent due to the technology peak that we can no longer truly concentrate on storing long-term valuable information?

Whichever the answer, the words of Confucius resonate soundly in an era of widespread information but little knowledge: “real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire

Three people walk into a bar . . .

hear_no_evil_see_no_evil_speak_no_evil_monkeys_postcard-p239679224972965607envli_400The first was walking with a cane and walked straight into it as he couldn’t see.

The second couldn’t hear the “ouch” and was distracted looking at the cane flying through the air, crashing into it.

And the third. Well, the third couldn’t speak, so he couldn’t warn them of the bar ahead. But as they were walking into it…it would be a shame not to be the third time charm!

 

A response to today’s Daily Prompt: Fill In the Blank

The broken plate

broken plateWhy? Why is it so hard to talk to someone? To tell them what you feel, what you think, or exactly what you want? It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s not “normal”. You shouldn’t have to plan out and rehearse what you want to say, always waiting for the opportune moment, because that moment will never arrive. It simply doesn’t exist. But why does the fear embrace her soul every time she wants to say something?

Marie stood there, staring out the window with her eyes misty and depressed. Nothing in her life was what she wanted. It was not the life she dreamt. Not what she wished for. Not even worth living. There was nothing that made her truly happy. Without any worries. She couldn’t even feel relaxed anymore. Her routine had overwhelmed her and stress had taken over her very being. She couldn’t even eat or sleep. And it wasn’t because she was in love. It was because pursuing happiness is so much tougher than everyone makes it out to be.

And then, every time she wanted to speak to someone, to let out all these feelings, to relieve some of the pain at least, she just couldn’t. Why was it so hard? Why did she feel so alone and invisible at times? So unwanted and unappreciated? What had happened?

Clouds drifted quietly and covered the sun. For a few minutes it grew dark even though it was the middle of the day. That was how Marie felt too. At least the sky could understand her. That meant something too…

She stood there silently, playing out different scenes in her head. Letting her mind drift to the past, to the future and then back to the present. But to her, there was nothing worth fighting for there. She knew she had to keep going. Persistence and struggle would in the end get her what she wanted. What she dreamed for. But it was hard and she needed the support that she felt was so lacking around her.

And then…

Then for a moment that seemed to last a lifetime, the plate she was holding, that pretty plate with flowers on, flowers that symbolized love and peace and harmony, fell from her hands, hitting the floor and scattering into pieces, shattering her heart along with it. She stood there in what seemed like minutes on end, looking down at it. A dark cloud had swallowed up her core. She was trembling. Fear had encircled her and was standing right there with her. And she just stood there not knowing what to do. And a tear trickled down her cheek…Silently stating its presence…

Making a half a whole

glassesSo, you remember that Chinese curse (“may you live in interesting times”)? You have to admit these are interesting times even though at some point everything seems so boring, so static, and so monotonous. But in what other time has there ever been so much happening: natural disasters at the same time as man-made disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, explosions, murders, bombings, and of course political and economic crises. In every aspect of our lives the crisis reaches out. It’s not only financial / economic, it is also social and by extent psychological. It’s a crisis of mentality in the end, which touches deep into our very being. And makes us wonder what it is all worth. If there is a future worth fighting for. And most importantly if there is still hope.

In essence it makes you look at the world as a glass and wonder if it is half-full or half-empty.

So which one is it?

It all depends on your perspective. But the key in surviving is not to give up. Even if it is half-empty, we must not forget that it was once full and only needs that much to be so again. At least there is still something there and it is not completely empty. So that is something, right?

But the best thing would be to retain optimism and see the situation as a glass half-full. One that would inspire you to keep fighting for something better. That would remove pessimism, sadness and depression. And that would keep you hoping for a positive change that will soon come. Having a cause to hope for, is after all a quality of a strong mind. And although the Chinese cursed with interesting times, they never said those would all be good… After all, if it wasn’t dark, you wouldn’t be able to see that wonder of the universe – the moon and stars.

Hope is essential in order to be able to utilize the glass to our purpose. It’s up to us whether we will fill it up, or empty it down.

 

Also part of  the Daily Prompt: The Glass: Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

 

A brilliant run

running-girl-with-headphones-and-dog (2)The sun was shining this morning. The birds were singing. The trees were in bloom. It was a perfect day for a run.

Sophie put on her running shoes and was out the door as soon as she had drawn the curtains and saw the beauty of nature streaming in through her windows.

She would follow a different route today. Through the park and along the beach. It would be simply brilliant.

The park was bustling with life today. People of all ages decided to take advantage of the warm spring day and took their children, friends, pets to the outdoors for some real fun. Different to the digital one usually enjoyed on screens.

Running through the park felt cool. Not just because she could observe the habits and quirks of people there, but because the shelter of the trees actually blocked out some of the suns burning rays.

Sooner than she even realized, Sophie reached the beach. Running on the sand with the waves timidly approaching your feet was a whole different feeling. And there she saw another group of people. Who were even bathing in the cool waters of the sea, while some dogs were sprinting across, kicking up sand and playing Frisbee. It was a marvel. The joy of feeling alive.

There was so much wonder in the world, so much to notice through a daily habit; things we are too busy or too self-absorbed to even see. Sophie ended her run, content at all she saw and experienced. She felt the physical exercise had also cleansed her soul. Whoever said a run was simply boring and tiring?

 

Part of the Daily Prompt: Mad Libs

 

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