MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

Things you never tell

confidentialEveryone – no matter age, gender, social background, or political beliefs – has things they always want to say but never do. Things are just left boiling up inside of us, yet are never uttered. No matter the instance or the person, there are similarities we all share. Here are a few:

– I dislike rude people. Even more so when they work at service desks, either in person or over the phone. Also hypocrites. They are possibly worse.

– I cannot stand people who think they are so important that everyone must set out the red carpet whenever they simply show up. Self-interest, self-prioritisation and greed are possibly the worst of humanity’s greatest evils.

– I am deeply disappointed by people who so boldly state that they will always be there when you need them, but are nowhere to be seen when that time actually comes. Equally despicable are those who pretend to listen but never do.

– I despair with the fact that I cannot get paid for the work I produce, which is doing something that I love.

– I hate that another so easily manages to engage in doing exactly what I am still striving to achieve. I hate it more because I envy them. Yet, some are now doing what they previously scolded me for pursuing so ardently.

– I love what my work allows me to do, but I am opposed to sending my work out with someone else’s credentials, simply because they cannot produce the work they so proudly proclaim they can do.

– I get irritated by people who think they are educated simply because they graduated from a university, but cannot correctly compose a simple text, while they have difficulty even in articulating a few words.

– I despise the fact that money may not be everything but it definitely helps in getting you everywhere faster.

– I resent the truth in the saying “do good constantly and you will never be remembered, do wrong once and you will never be forgotten”.

– I am heartbroken that things never turn out the way you want them, no matter how hard you try, and you always have to settle for the next best thing. Unless you’re the guy next door. Because it seems for the neighbor, everything is always so much easier.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Break the Silence

The art of writing

writing2If there is an elegance in knowing how to speak, there is a charm in knowing how to write. In being able to express the thoughts that swivel in your mind, into words, phrases, sentences. Giving them meaning to paint an image to the outsider, enabling him/her to witness with their own eyes a fraction of your very being.
Being able to write is a gift, a talent, a skill.

In an age when we are constantly busy with something, and never have enough time for anything, possessing good writing skills is a trait few truly have. For, from a very young age, we are taught that reading and writing are intrinsically linked. They are two skills that you learn simultaneously. Today, we spend most of our precious daily time skim reading texts of all sorts. We have no time to waste. If the first few sentences do not grip your interest immediately, the text is not deemed worthy of your attention. So being a good writer becomes all the more important. You need to invite the reader in, to arouse their attention, raise an issue of common interest to them, welcome them into your stream of words, and grasp them so tightly that they would want to stay along for the entire ride. And if you are exceptionally good, you will leave them with an afterthought, having awakened inside of them their spirit of curiosity, of questioning, of bewilderment for the very world we live in. It is true that nowadays we speed read all the more, but that does not necessarily mean we should also skim write.

Think about the books you read. There are some that you can literally not put down. Not even when you feel your bladder so full it is pressing against your stomach, and you’re dancing around on your seat, trying to finish one more line, one more sentence, one more page, before you have to race to the bathroom like a mouse on fire. But there are others that actually put you to sleep after just one or two pages. It might not necessarily be just the plot at fault. It is the way the plot is written. The descriptions, the narrative, the tone. It is no wonder, therefore, that the best books you read – those that remain with you long after – are the ones in which the flow of words can reach deep into your soul, caress every atom of your being, and so thoroughly describe every emotion you feel to the extent that you experience a hair-raising chill down your spine. The most memorable texts are indeed the ones that so vividly describe exactly what they make you feel. The ones that help you embark on a rollercoaster of emotions, of racing heartbeats, and of sighs of relief.

Knowing how to write is more than a dexterity. It is an art. And like many others, everyone claims to know how to do it. But few truly do it well.

Also part of Daily Prompt: On the Edge

Head in the clouds

flying over clouds and rainbowYou know that expression “you’ve got your head in the clouds”? Well, some people actually do. Like Jazmin.

It was only natural she would become an air stewardess, as her father was a successful pilot and she often exploited the free travels she received as part of the perks of being a pilot’s daughter. By the time she was eight she had already set foot in all continents and was the youngest frequent flyer the airline had ever seen.

It was a logical aftermath, therefore, that Jazmin would choose to make a profession out of what she so loved.

Every few days she would embark on a different destination in another part of the world, ready to savour new cultures and mentalities.

She felt as if wanderlust – that strong desire to travel and constantly be on the move, to explore the world – was an emotion running in her veins ever since she was born. Combined with “Fernweh” – that crave for travelling, being homesick for a place you’ve never been – Jazmin was the personification of the ultimate traveler.

She rejoiced every time she set foot on the plane, and never really felt like home anywhere else. She was very well adapted to life on air that she had difficulty adapting to life on the ground.

The excitement and enthusiasm, however, began to fade three years later. Jazmin began to grow tired of the constant change of location, of the packing and unpacking, of the same air routine every couple of days. And she began to feel jealous of the young couples who would come on board, exhilarated that they were fleeing to an exotic destination, together. That is what she now longed for. Sharing this Fernweh that dominated her existence with someone else. Having a partner. Having a home. A stable place to which to return.

It was not too long after she admitted to herself that she yearned for some stability in her life of travels, that one particularly charming passenger made her heart skip a beat, so much that she almost poured the hot coffee on the person sitting right in front of him. Jazmin blushed, and the dandy gentleman radiated what she was for so long expecting – a smile that would make her feel at home.

But he disembarked, leaving Jazmin to wonder if should would ever see him again.

Until she found the note he had left for her on his seat. It was a meeting place for their first date, and the start of their life together. A life as colourful as all her travels, as energized as all her trips, and as loving as all her desires.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Roy G. Biv

Not even when the fat lady sings

fat_lady_singingBen was in pain. It was not the kind of pain that you can take medicine for and make it go away. This was deeper. It was an ache that reached right inside of him, grabbed hold of his soul and clenched it as tightly as possible. It was a pain that could not be soothed.

For two months, nothing could make it any better. Not even words of comfort from older and wiser friends. Not even music of all sorts. Not even movies to make his mind wander off. Not even alcohol.

But one day, the pain changed.

It became one that devoured his insides. He could feel it grasping his lower belly and causing him to fold into two as he fell to the floor, entangled like a baby ape.

That is how his aunt found him when she came to check up on him with a freshly baked carrot cake in hand.

Ben barely managed to utter that he was in too much pain to even move. He was rushed to the hospital and told that his sadness – his untreatable pain – had severely damaged his kidneys, to the point that they were no longer functional. His left kidney had to be removed immediately, but his right one was only in danger. He had to have a kidney transplant in order to be sure that he would not face any future risk that would endanger his very life.

Ben was of a rare blood type and kidney donors that were an exact match were hard to find. But, somehow, he was lucky. The “rare kind of lucky”, the doctor said, as a donor was found within 24 hours. It was a perfect match and the operation was a success. Ben was given a list of things to do, to eat, to take care of. “Get rid of sadness” was written in capitals at the bottom. But anyone who has ever been heart-broken knows that this is an almost impossible task.

The day after his surgery, Ben insisted on being told who his donor was. The doctor told him it was against medical practice, but he said the donor was asked and had no objection. In fact, the donor themselves wanted to come by and see how their new kidney-host was doing. Ben nodded, his curiosity rising.

As the door opened, he saw her. She was even more beautiful than he remembered, with a smile that made his heart pound and her eyes sparkling so brightly they lit up the entire room. He had not seen Lucy for two months now.

I thought it was over,” he told her, his eyes welling up. “Yet, you came and saved me.”

Honey, it is never over with us,” she replied, equally moved to tears. “Not even when the fat lady sings.”

Being the first at something different

man on the moonFor some non-apparent reason we all rush, push and shove to be the first in line for pretty much everything – to get fresh milk, to then pay for it, to learn the news, to see the new film, to watch a new episode of a popular series.

We dedicate so much energy to be the first to experience something that so many other people will also accomplish just a few seconds later. Yet we believe that being the first to do something as trivial as whatever it is we rush to be the first to do, somehow gives us importance and elevates us to VIP status. As if we are better than the rest, simply because we were the first to get a loaf of freshly baked bread, just like another hundred people after us did.

Just imagine how much better this world would be if we dedicated as much zeal into being the first in actually doing something worthwhile; in discovering something innovative and new, that would benefit all the other hundred people who would get to practice it after us. Just think, what a difference we would make if we were the first to bring some new development in our own lives…

Also part of Daily Prompt: Powerful Suggestion

The genie’s wish

genie-lampWould you like to live forever?

How many times throughout the centuries has that thought swiveled in the minds of humans?

To be immortal, unbreakable, untouchable.

To be able to live through everything and forever.

Today’s longest surviving people are almost 1.5 centuries old. They have experienced more developments and history than today’s generation even know about. They have seen the world evolve, crash and burn, rise from its ashes, and progress. They have seen technological advancements that gave life to things that in the past were considered almost impossible, but now we simply take them for granted. They have witnessed the world expand with everything that may be associated with that.

But they have also experienced great pain. For although they may be surviving unusually long periods of time, their loved ones are not. They are the ones who have had to say goodbye to so many of them and continue to live in a world without them. They are the ones who had to learn to keep going no matter what.

So, if you had a wish would you waste it on this? On living forever? Even if it did mean you would get to witness the future of this world, no matter how it would turn out to be? But knowing that it meant you would become that old person surrounded by new faces, feeling as an irrelevant part of history striving to survive in an all too modern age?

When Genie’s lamp was discovered and he was made to appear one last time, he himself was given a wish once freed. He could have anything. But Genie had seen enough wishes gone wrong to know better.

He did not wish for eternal life and immortality. Instead, he wished for something quite similar that would indirectly grant him precisely that, but without forcing him to suffer all the pain too.

Genie instead wished for eternal love and remembrance.

The absence of time

stars in night skyIt is the one thing we all complain of constantly. Of not having enough. Of passing by too quickly. Of not moving along quickly enough. It is what we anxiously count down with, what we nostalgically look back to, and what we constantly fear will run out too soon.

Time is both a friend and a foe. For the latter it is obvious – it is always the one to betray you. It is never enough to do all the things you want; to enjoy all the hobbies you keep yourself occupied with; to saturate your memories and your heart with the people you love. Time will always take something away from you.

But on the other hand, time is your friend. There are people who state that all they have is time. Moaning that days never pass, that everything seems endless. In unpleasant situations, this is the predominant feeling. For if you are having fun, time indeed seems to fly.

Sometimes you need time to yourself. To simply sit in silence and be. To, in a sense, meditate. To listen to what it is you truly desire at the moment. To heal. Even if they do say time heals all wounds, it is not always true. For some wounds never truly heal. People don’t wound you. They leave marks, memories, imprints, maybe even scars on your soul and these cannot be washed away with the passing of time. They may be pushed back into the distant drawers of your mind, but they are never truly forgotten. These are the moments that you cannot explain with words. Not because you lack the vocabulary. But because the words to adequately capture your sensations for them do not yet exist. It is moments like this when you feel a flood of emotions stream through your veins, when all you can do is stand still and surrender to the trickling of tears down your flushed cheeks. It is moments like these, however, that you will remember forever, because these are the ones that feel like an infinity in a predetermined expiration date.

Time is not to blame for the mistakes we make. For the relationships that end, for the choices we didn’t take. We may blame the circumstances, the synergies, the timing, the lighting, or anything that we may easily accuse. But like Cassius says in Act I, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…

We live in a shattered world. One from which we constantly try to hide. In the illusions that things are not so bad as they seem; in the allusions that people are better than we deem them to be; in the desperate need to believe that everything will be all right in the end. Even if we are racing against a ticking clock.

Because sooner or later we will learn that nothing lasts forever. People leave like ocean currents. There is no truth. There is no time. All there is, is now. And what we chose to do with it.

Ten chairs of same size but of different quirks

There were ten chairs arranged in a perfect circle right in the middle of the room, exactly twenty metres from the door and with a diameter of precisely four metres. Abigail herself measured it all every Tuesday ten minutes before the clock on the wall struck 4pm. The other seven members of the group usually began entering at five minutes to four, with only Kaitlin coming in at 4:02pm every time.

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was a drag. But going to a support group meeting in the hope of being able to alleviate the symptoms was something close to unimaginable. How could you accommodate the Obsessiveness of eight different people, especially when some of their OCDs actually conflicted?

For example, Arnold had to sit exactly in the centre of the group, something that had to change each time a group member was absent; but it would also have to accommodate Justin’s need for him to have an almost equal distribution of male and female “colleagues” on either side. And then, Mika always had to be the one to speak last, while Isaac wanted to have the word seventh in line. It was chaos for their coordinator Patrick. But what was worse was the fact that the OCD support group was not really helping anyone improve. If anything, it seemed to make things worse.

Abigail now began going in fifteen minutes earlier to measure the distances of the chairs and doors, irritated that Samuel came in a few minutes later and moved his chair ever so slightly, but enough for her to be compelled to take out her measuring tape and begin all over again.

Caleb had to tap his hand on the back of his chair three times before doing anything – literally, anything – before sitting down, before speaking, before getting up. Ray had to wait for absolute silence before he began to talk and even the slightest sneeze could get him off-course, so that he would have to restart his speech.

Patrick himself didn’t really have any obsessive traits. Well, at least not before he started the group sessions.

Now, three months later, he started noticing things he didn’t use to – the distance between chairs, the whiteness of paper, silence and noise, the order of lists, promptness of time, colours, decorations, the organization of a room; those little things that to any regular person might not seem important.

He feared that soon he too would need counselling. So he decided to follow a new method.

He took the OCD group on a field trip to the park. He laid down a brown plaid blanket and called them all to sit. There was no measuring, no time delays, no tapping, no counting whose turn it was, no total silence. It was just a group of people during a weekly gathering in the park.

Surprisingly it worked. For that one hour, everyone forgot about their OCDs and were just friends having fun in the park.

Until they left. And it all started again. The insomnia from not counting enough sheep, the measuring of the furniture, the tapping, the order of the lists.

Patrick decided to change the location of the meeting every now and again and hope something would work.

By now, he too had began looking at his phone screen more often than usual, swiping all screens back and forth twice before he would put the phone away. He used to think OCD meant something else, like Overtly Characteristic Denial or Other Central Differences or even Ominous Covert Detective. Now, he had learned exactly what it meant and what it felt like. If only he could now shake it off. Maybe even twice.

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