MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

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.

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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.

 

Also part of Daily Post: Sparkling or Still

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

The revenge of the giant Aloe

Aloe VeraMrs Cliffson loved tending to her garden. Ever since she remained alone in her cozy, stone-built house in the metropolitan suburbs, she decided she would reinvent her garden. At least it would keep her busy and take her mind off being alone.

She began by bringing in all kinds of plants, from flowers to foliage to creepers. She bought all types and all sorts of varieties in order to create what she imagined would be the ideal garden to spend hours admiring. She even bought a small Aloe vera plant. One that would cure every rash or nasty cut she would ever have.

So she got to work.

She got out her spade, trowel and pitchforks and instantly created freshly sowed flower beds, as she also replanted all the plants she had bought from the farmers’ market.

Mrs Cliffson was excited.

She spent her days caring for her rose bushes, her geraniums, her basil and mint and even her cabbages. She had a little section cut off for edible products – such as cabbages, cherry tomatoes, and a series of aromatic plants. All around the garden the flower pots slowly bloomed, radiating their rainbow-coloured glow and embracing Mrs Cliffson’s soul. She was not alone anymore. She cared for something and that paid back. All her plants, in one way or another, returned the love and affection she devoted to them.

But her prize possession – her pride and glory – was the Aloe plant.

That little pot of the shy yet sturdy Aloe vera had within months grown into a huge plant that took up almost an entire corner of the back yard. But no matter its fierce appearance, that Aloe plant was what rescued her.

A few years after the birth of Mrs Cliffson’s garden, she had been diagnosed with a rare dermatological disease. One that would cause strange scars to appear on her skin, appearing as though it was slowly being scraped off. It was a condition that baffled even the most supreme of doctors. She had gone on all sorts of treatment and medication but nothing seemed to work. No-one knew what else to advise. The doctors had almost entirely given up; all they could prescribe now was hope.

Mrs Cliffson was sitting in her garden one day, resting in the wooden swing she had placed in between her flower beds. Her garden had become her refuge, her consolation. And that is when she saw it. The Aloe plant had grown so much that it had almost reached the swing. It seemed as if it was trying to reach out to her. As though it was offering a helping hand. And that is when the thought struck her mind. She immediately got up and cut off a piece one of the Aloe‘s leaves. The juice that ran out onto her hand caused a soothing sensation. Mrs Cliffson rubbed it across her scars. The consequence was almost immediate.

The next day, Mrs Cliffson woke up believing the days and months of running to the doctors was a distant nightmare. She stared at her hands in amazement. The scars were gone, leaving no sign that they had ever existed. She ran out to the garden. The cut-off Aloe leaf had grown back and the plant was complete.

Mrs Cliffson had found her cure. All it took was a little tender, love and care for something that seemingly could not repay you. It is surprising what those small “unimportant” things do for us. Even when you least expect it.

La Hora Gris

La Hora GrisThe first time she died it was around noon, on a stifling hot day. Her carriage had ran off-track. Something had scared the horses and they sprinted off course, almost inverting the carriage as they went, knocking it on obstacles right and left. She was already injured when the carriage fell sideways onto a giant rock off the stone-covered road. The horses were so terrified that they continued to run at full speed. So fast, that they never even realized there was no more ground left to trample on. And the carriage fell off a high cliff. And that was their end.

The second time Teresa died, it was during a tornado. It was monsoon season, and everything happened too fast. As the saying goes, ‘when it rains it pours’, and there was certainly hail that day too. She was caught in a stone-house, not built to last such natural disasters. She could see the whirlwind approaching, but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. The feeling of getting caught up in this monster, was like being pulled into a roller coaster from which you can’t escape. And then it all goes black. And you remember nothing more.

The third time, death came silently. Teresa was aboard a large cruise ship with her boyfriend. They had just gotten engaged in the most romantic of ways – he had even arranged fireworks for her – and she was over the moon. They were cozy in their cabin suite, falling asleep in the early hours of the morning, when something immense, hard and bulky crashed onto the ship. They hardly felt the water filling up their room, and it was only seconds before this force of nature took their last breath.

Teresa’s fourth encounter with the Reaper was during a car chase. She was after a known-fugitive. She knew this meant a promotion, recognition and acknowledgement that she was good at what she did. And that women could be just as good police officers as men. But when she finally trapped the fugitive and there was no way out, out of seemingly nowhere, he fired a gun that hit her straight in the heart. Her consolation lay only in the fact that she managed to fire right back and get him for it.

They say if you have one encounter with the afterlife, you would always remember it. Teresa had five. And she remembered every last minute. Even the shark bite that took her fifth life, when she tore her foot in the ocean outside a reef she set to explore. She remembered how she screamed and splashed, but there was no-one around to hear her because she had drifted too far out.

But somehow, she never remembered what happened afterwards. After the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. After she had crossed over.

It always felt like waking up from a dream. She was simply starting a new life, as if that was where she left off. It was strangely natural. But she never gave it too much thought.

Until now.

Lately she had always been tormented by a thought – an obsession that penetrated her very being. It was the only thing that terrified her. La hora gris. The grey hour. When it is neither night nor day. But when it is better to fall than rise. That was how it had been imprinted in her brain. That hour of day scared her, more than anything.

It was that hour that she felt her end would come. Her final end. That hour that would take away everything from her. And that is why she rarely kept anything other than the clothes and jewelry she wore.

She spent a couple of years worrying about this fatal moment.

Until she met a man on the pier by her house. He appeared oddly familiar, and for some inexplicable reason she felt she knew him, deeper than any other person she had ever known. She felt a connection with him. A mysterious, incomprehensible feeling of trust, affection and attraction for this man.

And it was all realized when during that grey hour, he came towards her, smiled, and said: “Don’t drive yourself crazy and enjoy this moment, because you never know when life is going to hit us again.”

Instantly she knew. He had been with her all this time. He had accompanied her through all five lives. He was the carriage driver, the owner of the wooden shack, her fiancé, her police chief, her scuba instructor. He had failed to protect her all those times. But now he was right there. And everything would be all right.

Something spiky this way comes

hedgehogIt was a dark and stormy night.

It had to be, because nothing remotely as thrilling or exciting happens during a bright sunny morning. For example, you would never expect a thunderstorm to turn into a tornado that would gulp up your house when outside the birds are chirping gleefully, the sun is shining and there is not even a cloud in the sky.

So to set the atmosphere right for what would ensue, it was dark, stormy and all-in-all quite terrifying.

Amy and Adam were tucked up under their fleece blanket with a bowl of fresh popcorn steaming between them on the couch. They were watching a movie they had just downloaded. And outside the wind was howling.

Fittingly, Adam had chosen an action film to watch, and Amy often got scared, so much that she would jump up in her seat and pour popcorn all over the couch. Adam would just laugh and hug her tighter.

Little did they know, that while they were enjoying their night in, there was something creeping into their front lawn.

As the storm receded, and the wind subsided, the night became quieter. That was when Amy and Adam decided to go to bed.

But that was when he reached the outside of their front door.

Spikes all out, he remained there all night.

Until Amy, opened the door early the next morning and screamed.

The spikes had pierced her foot – she was used to walking around barefoot in the house, so it hurt even more.

But she forgot all about the pain when Adam picked up the perpetrator and she stared into his puffy eyes.

Hedgehogs are cute. And they too are scared of dark and stormy nights.

All it takes is two seconds

night roadLately he didn’t feel like running around anymore. He could sense that something had changed. She had just stopped coming suddenly and no-one could tell him why. Matt too hadn’t really left the house in days. He just spent his time glued in front of the TV screen, as if trying to lose himself inside whatever it was he was watching. It was like this for a couple of weeks now, and Harry was becoming restless.

His play-wheels were no longer rolling joyfully. They would only occasionally turn if the strong wind howled through them. But he didn’t feel like performing like a circus act. Not since she stopped appearing.

Harry had loved Rosa since the moment she picked him out from the tens of other hamsters in the pet store. He knew he had found a person who would love him unconditionally and treat him more than just an animal. And she did. For Rosa, Harry was a member of the family. The one she planned to one day have with Matt. She spent entire days at Matt’s house with her laughter bouncing across the rooms and filling every square inch of the loft. Harry loved it. And so did Matt. He was different around her. He seemed more alive. More optimistic. More energetic.

Matt wanted to ask Rosa to spend the rest of her life with him. Harry knew she would accept. They were meant to be together. After all, they would never had gotten him together if they had no future. He was not destined to be the product of a separated family – he just knew it.

But that fateful night, the life of all three of them radically changed forever.

Matt had prepared a romantic candle-lit dinner in his apartment. He had a big surprise planned out and Harry was going to help. Rosa was on her way. She was a bit late and sent a message to Matt as soon as she started the car. She was excited too, although she didn’t know what was awaiting her. But when she heard the message tone from Matt telling her he couldn’t wait for her to arrive, she bent down for two seconds to confirm it was from the love of her life. But two seconds were more than enough. In the dark of night, Rosa went slightly off-road. The speeding sports car that was wrongly attempting to overpass her, though, was unforgiving. It crashed onto her and threw her into the air, rolling twice before she landed on the sidewalk, car destroyed, and out of breath. The strike was fatal.

That was the moment Harry had sensed things had changed. It was that moment when a strong breeze blew in through the windows and blew out the candles Matt had prepared. It was that moment when they both stood in silence, somewhat knowing that they would never be the same again.

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