MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “December, 2015”

New Year thoughts

http://www.shamoozal.com/nerdlog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/new_years_12.gifWhenever a year ends, you really only wish for one thing: that the new one will be (even) better. That it will find you smiling broadly, laughing wholeheartedly, loving deeply, and enjoying every second.

But before the clock strikes midnight and the current year becomes history, you do look back and reminisce on all that you’ve been through these past 365 days, what you’ve learnt, what you’ve achieved, the experiences you’ve gained, how much fun you had, how much you hurt, but most of all, how you survived. Every year that passes leaves a mark on your person, no matter how much or quickly it may fade. It means you’ve grown, you’ve learnt how to become better, stronger and more confident. It means you have become a bit wiser than before, and can exploit that newfound knowledge to reach even greater heights.

The New Year finds us all aspiring for more, wishing each other the very best – happiness, health, and love – and hoping that this will be the year when we (finally) realise our dreams. It’s good to start the year with such optimism. The difficult part is to maintain it all the year through, and start each of its 366 days (yes, 2016 is a leap year!) with a glowing smile.

There are so many wonderful and inspiring quotes to share on the eve of the New Year. For example, Neil Gaiman expresses the hope “that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Here’s another bright wish by D.Simone:

May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire
.”

It is never too late to be what you might have been.” (George Eliot).

So go out there and make this the best year yet, until the next one. Be daring and bold; young at heart; but mature in mind; and never forget that life was given to us to make the most out of it!

Happy New Year!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Earworm

Advertisements

The story of a bad elf

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/christmas-elf-laying-edge-26851791.jpg

In a cold snowy hill, there lived an elf

Who was completely and always enwrapped in himself.

People around him called him a Grinch

For all he only wanted was to be filthy rich.

He was stubborn and bad-tempered,

Never smiled or remembered

Any of the good that people had done in the past,

Because for him nothing ever was meant to last.

Life had left him bitter and sour,

He had felt pain by the hour,

Now cared less with every year

And was hoping that money would instead bring him cheer.

But this season he learnt a lesson

That would be hard to forget.

For in his possession

Came a small statuette.

It resembled his first love

A girl as young as dawn,

The one who broke his heart

And bade him begone.

As he saw it, a tear ran down his cheek

And became ice as it fell

Then another followed in his freak,

As though he had toppled a well.

He began to understand,

That money was not the goal.

It would not bring him happiness,

Or the love of the other half of his soul.

So he radically changed it all,

Made the neighbors doubt their eyes,

For what they saw was a man changed

As though he had suddenly won a lottery prize.

And then, as the little things made the difference,

She appeared like a light in the distance,

Unexpectedly she arrived in the night,

Falling onto him, like a radiant light.

So, the Grinch became a happy elf,

Realizing that we are all worth more than we believe ourselves,

That what we seek cannot be found with might,

But only if we search deep in our hearts and broaden our sight.

The Christmas Birthday

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ac/3b/7d/ac3b7d15a7cead65049ee8d365e92b11.jpgThere is a problem with having your birthday on Christmas day (25 December). Well, there are actually quite a few, but there is one main one: that you risk being forgotten.

It’s just that on that day everything seems so much bigger than you, that your birthday, to many people, simply passes by unnoticed.

And it’s not fair. Because it’s not as if you chose to be born on that specific day. Like so many other things in life, it just happened.

So, apart from the 2-in-1 combined gifts for Christmas and birthday that you unwittingly are forced to accept, you essentially never have a day during the year that is just for you. That one day that you know is yours, and that people think of and associate with you. Because literally everything on that day is associated with something else, and for that it doesn’t really feel very birthday-y.

And what is worse, you spend the entire year waiting for that one day, when everything is crammed into those 24 hours that pass-by so quickly, you hardly have the time to acknowledge what just happened.

It is widely recognised, though, that people with December birthdays live Christmas more intensely, despite being overshadowed by it. They do unwillingly assent to the fact that they are classified as people of that year, despite the fact that they only showed up during its last five days, and it is simply unfair to lose an entire year like that. But there is nothing really you can do about it. Apart from remind everyone that when they’re out celebrating this festive season, there is one more reason there too.

Yet, no matter the fact that you do feel severely neglected, you can’t not delight in the fact that you were still born during the most wonderful time of the year, when everything seems just so much more lovely, and that may be a blessing in itself.

The Festive Happening

http://rlv.zcache.com/reindeer_christmas_party_invitation_soft_grey-rc8e45aaac1b64d25b81e718f3b8f457f_zk9gs_324.jpg?rlvnet=1The sun set early this time of year, wrapping the snow-capped slopes into a flurry of darkness. The elves scrambled to turn the lights on, earlier each day, until the chief elf finally remembered they had an automatic mechanism they could activate to do it for them. Today was special though. There was a happening being planned for a month now and everyone was very excited.

Mrs Clause had baked her famous huge vanilla cookies with colourful chocolate buttons that melted in your mouth with the first bite. The elves were busy with decorations, confetti, presents and the like. Santa was overseeing everything as usual. And the reindeer were trying to keep everything hush so that Rudolph would not find out. But once again, Rudolph felt left out; as though all the other South Pole residents knew something he didn’t. He was so sad, his nose would not even glow.

When evening set and the elves deemed the time was right, Dasher, Comet, Donner and Blitzen feigned they had work to do at Santa’s stables and quietly left. Vixen and Cupid were trying to convince Rudolph to join them for a nightcap, while Dancer and Prancer rushed awkwardly into their room throwing garlands and sparkles overhead the saddened reindeer. They wanted to get Rudolph into a festive mood. It was his day to celebrate, and he should not be distressed about silly things. To Dancer and Prancer everything not worth laughing about was silly. They did manage to get Rudolph to crack a smile, though. But he then moaned “leave me alone”, and rolled up on his bed.

Vixen knew something more radical should be done. She signaled to Blitzen from the bedroom window and he ran to Santa for the emergency signal.

The whistle was heard almost instantly making Rudolph jump up like a spring. It was his secret communication with Santa. He was the only one needed whenever he heard it. He ran out the door without saying a word, and the other reindeer rushed to the stables.

Santa, what is it? I came as fast as I could!” Santa smiled and placed his large arms around Rudolph’s neck. The red velvet coat felt like a warm fuzzy blanket around his frozen fur. “Have you forgotten what today is?” asked Santa with a mischievous smile forming on his plump face. Rudolph had not noticed that they were standing in a dark stable all this time. When a dong was heard, he leaped back and out of fright, his nose began to beam red. Was there danger there? Did Santa need protecting? Rudolph was scared and still did not understand what was going on.

Suddenly, fireworks began to sound in the cold, frosty air and a loud festive “surprise” filled his eardrums, as lights, candles and decorations fired up inside the stables. Rudolph looked around in amazement – they had all remembered. It was his birthday, and this was the loveliest surprise he had ever had. And when Mrs Clause came forth with a batch of freshly made soft-core cookies, he knew there was nowhere else he would rather be.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Safety First

More festive reindeer stories here.

Snowy mistletoe

http://cache.desktopnexus.com/thumbseg/852/852154-bigthumbnail.jpgThe first snowflakes had hit the ground early at dew point. He was sleeping when they arrived. But that was the best surprise.

When he woke up, a white velvet carpet was awaiting him outside his window. The door needed a hard shove in order to open.

And then, as the frozen air slammed his face, it hit him. It was mid December. That season when everything suddenly seems so much nicer, so much more peaceful, more wonderful. The sparkling lights appeared even more brightly coloured now with the snowy background. People were more cheerful and smiles were abundant. It didn’t matter that it was so cold.

The only thing that mattered was that another year was slowly exiting, and everyone was striving to account for everything that had passed during these 12 months. It had to be good, so that the next ones would be even better and more fruitful.

It is the time when dreams are revived, ambitions reinvigorated, and emotions rekindled.

So when he saw the bright red mistletoe gleaming under the snowflakes on his frontfoor, he consciously knew that there will always be a light shining no matter how dark it gets. Surviving, no matter the weather.

Aggressively inarticulate

http://associationnow.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/0309_language-800x480.jpgIt’s hard to find the right words. Especially when you’re in a hurry or rushing to get it all off your chest, you end up mumbling something stupidly incoherent that sounds like gibberish making no sense whatsoever. Then you sit and think of all the comebacks you could have said and beat yourself down for not demonstrating more verbal authority when you had the chance.

But is this a millennial problem? That we don’t really know what we’re saying? That we have lost any access to an extensive vocabulary, preferring instead to repeat nonsense words such as “like” and “you know”, filling up our phrases with…well, nothing really. We make it all sound “cool” and “hip”, but in essence, it means absolutely nothing. Rather, it all reflects the uncertainty that has dwindled upon us. And the dilemma of having nothing to say, or simply not knowing how to express it.

A fantastic kind of stand-up comedy presentation makes fun of exactly this, and eloquently argues that “we are the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along since, you know, a long time ago”.

We no longer speak with authority, because we have none. We are instead overwhelmed with too many choices and selections; so many that we have ourselves become indecisive and unsure of even the slightest of things.

We have lost touch with the joy of learning independently. Of being able to handle things without computerized assistance. To the extent that some jobs won’t even hire you if you declare that you don’t need the aid of technology to do something, but can handle it very well on your own. Is it so absurd that you yourself possess the knowledge someone else fed into a machine to do it for you? Sure, it helps, but what about the satisfaction of accomplishing things on your own?

Being articulate isn’t just about finding the right words, and knowing how to spell them correctly. It’s about the clout that comes from demonstrating a higher level of intellect and the ability to expand your own horizons.

Flawed in perfection

https://danfonseca.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/imperfection.jpegIt is said that we are all flawed, for that is what makes us real. Michael had a serious flaw. He was overly generous – with his time, with his money, with his services, with his care. And he never really demanded anything back. Something which made him open to exploitation. But to Michael, that didn’t matter. He believed that what you give is what you get, and that would compensate for it all.

When Michael graduated from Medical School, he took up an internship at a military hospital and was soon sent to a warzone. It was since then that his perspective on everything changed, because that is when he realized the shortness of life and the futility of our concerns. It is then that he decided that he would give more than he received, in the hope that this act of his would spur a small change that would lead to greater results.

So he would help anyone in need. He would give money to beggars in the streets. He would offer free medical checks to the poor, and would go out of his way to offer assistance to literally anyone who asked. He considered asking for money in return, at least a small sum, but the people who came for help appeared to him to be sincere and honest in their financial shortcomings. For this, he felt it was not worth it asking for something from someone who did not possess it. He did manage to set a limit though, and often refused service to the ones seeking a free ride, or rather a free service, despite being prosperous themselves.

Michael grew old helping people and living off a meagre pension that was cut down year after year. But he did not care because he was happy with what he was doing, and that is all that mattered to him. “The smile and appreciation on the face of a person you help, is truly priceless,” he would say, trying to hold back the tears welling up in his eyes. For him, that was gratification enough.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Flawed

The secret dream

http://www.mywearingideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/dance-shoes-4.jpgIrina had a secret dream. It was one of those things you never told anyone, but kept it flaming up inside of you. She was too afraid to express what it was because she was surrounded by realists; people who believed it was best if you had both feet on the ground and thought logically about everything. Irina wasn’t really like that, but was not bold enough to disagree.

So she grew up following all the rules – going to college, getting a degree, doing an internship for experience, accepting minimum wage for a start, gaining more responsibility the more time she stayed in the company, tolerating wage cuts that blamed the financial crisis, and carrying on with what realists believe was life – working to gain a living and if you had any free time left, you could actually live too.

But that was not enough.

It somehow never was.

Inside of her that dream was pushed aside by all the obligations and responsibilities that came with adult life.

It may have faded but it had never disappeared.

It came back out of coincidence and a mixture of boldness and stubbornness. She could not accept that she would never be able to even touch her dream. So she tried her best to change circumstances. On the spur of an impulse she made all the necessary contacts and enrollments. It was never too late, everyone said, and she believed it to be true. Because all it really takes to achieve everything you want is passion. And perhaps a little determination too.

Irina was to become a dancer. And in less than in two years, she would have grabbed hold of her dream. And it would not be a secret anymore. Only she wouldn’t need to tell anyone. She would simply show them.

The expectation cake

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/06/69/65/06696539ee1ca72964593a3b663854df.jpgHelen was baking a cake. She knew exactly how she would want it to be. She had it all planned in her head up to every last detail. It was simple really – you took a bunch of ingredients, mixed them all together, place it in the oven and let it bake. Then the fun begun. Because everyone knows that it is the icing on the cake that makes all the difference.

Once the cake cooled down, Helen began to implement what she had already so careful planned in her head. She added colors to the sugar icing and delicately began to decorate. The cake had been placed in layers, stacked one on top of the other, each shrinking on their way up. She wrapped a red satin ribbon around the bottom layer and decorated the top layer with blue lilies made of icing. It seemed exquisite. It was exactly what she had imagined. She stepped back to admire her work and was herself impressed at how well she had managed to bring to life the image she had mentally created. She was proud of herself.

She likened the cake with her expectations of life, for she believed that if you set your mind on something and tried hard enough, you could realise all the things whose value you heighten in your head.

But then it happened.

A football came crashing through her kitchen window, landing straight onto the layered cake. The icing splattered onto her apron and across the kitchen, whose floor was also filled with pieces of broken glass.

The neighbor’s son was heard yelling an embarrassed “sorry”, but that made absolutely no difference now.

Reality struck with a thunderous collision for Helen that day. And that is was when she realized that sometimes, we shouldn’t expect so much from the slightest of things. Because in the end, expectation is indeed the root of all heartache.

Interviewing a person you want to be like

DSC_8267 (2)Every young writer has a longing to meet the authors s/he looks up to, either for advice, or to find traits in their writing process that fit into their own, thus granting them a sense that they are doing something right, and if they keep working hard enough, just maybe they too will become bestselling authors. It’s an amazing sensation to be able to sit down and chat with a writer you admire. Even more so when that person is not just a writer, but also an actor, a radio producer, a dancer and so much more. And he inspires you too, to just “get out there and fight hard for what you want”.

Kostas Krommydas is a well-known Greek actor having participated in many TV series, theatre performances and movies. He is the author of four books (and more to come). For the past two years, he selects music for a three-hour programme on popular Love Radio, while he has also participated in the Greek version of Dancing with the Stars.

I first met him at a book exhibition where I was lucky enough to convince him to sign his book for me, and was won over by a chocolate he was handing out, like a host at a party. He is slender and tall, yet emits a warmth and generosity that is rare in people who have so much of the spotlight turned onto them. Active on social media, he will respond almost instantly, and I was genuinely surprised at how approachable and cheerful he is. As soon as I finished his book – based on a true story, weaving together seemingly independent tales with a fascinating and fast-paced cinematographic script – I contacted him to ask for an interview. It is always wonderful to meet the person behind the pen. You always learn something, even if it is just the fact that they are quick-witted and love to multitask. But they do it all so well, and that is truly encouraging for someone who is also involved in so many things they need to make lists simply to keep up with themselves.

“Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be an actor and had begun searching for how to become one from a very young age,” he recounts. “But I also wrote from a young age. In an organized manner, though, I officially began to write the last six years. I began with a biographical book of how I raised my daughter, then followed three novels”.

20151202_120354Can an actor and a writer be combined? Kostas says “One hundred percent yes. Each helps the other, because of all the skills, experiences, and images gained from the one, you can use for the other, and by combining the two you can create something great”.

Like every writer, Kostas too says he is influenced by many other authors, naming for example, Milan Kundera’s early works, the Ancient Greek Tragedians (Aeschylos, Sophocles, Evripides), as well as Alexandros Papadiamantis, and Herman Hesse, as just a few. As for his favourite book, he chooses Oedipus Rex, which he says “even today, it is as if it was written yesterday. It’s structure is simply astonishing”.

Currently working on another book, Kostas says he would like to write a genuine crime novel. All of his novels, however, contain an element of crime, and the last two in particular are based on true stories. “If you look out there, there are amazing stories that life has written, so you don’t have to imagine them; on its own, life hands you a lot of material to take and develop.” Yet, he recognizes the huge responsibility that lies in this, “in basing your novel on a true story and developing it, making it into a version of what the reality could have been”.

Do his books entail something personal? “One hundred percent, yes. All my books have something mine in them. I really like to include a piece of my life, of the images and feelings I have; I think it makes the text more lively that way”.

And what about where inspiration comes from? “From everything. Music, nature, people around you. A lot of things inspire me. I may see something in the street, I may hear music, and be inspired. I think that generally, if you let yourself go and observe what is going on around you, inspiration will arrive on its own”.

IMG_4301That moment when you see your views converge with that of an acclaimed writer is priceless and fills you with a sense of satisfaction. And then he goes and inspires you even further, because how easy is it really to decide what you want to do and simply go and do it? “It is both easy and difficult at the same time. Sometimes it’s simply about deciding what you want to do. But on the other hand, taking that decision is the hardest thing in the world. It all depends on the person, on where in life s/he is when that decisive moment arrives, and whether you take or not those decisions”.

In his latest book, Kostas beautifully writes, «Grab every minute of all the life that is given to you and add value to it. You live life today, in every second that passes by with no return, and not in future desires that never become actions”.

So what advice would he give today? “To do what I did – to go out and fight hard for what you want; to chase after the things you want to achieve. Success rarely comes and finds you on its own.

His words come out flowing, like a strong current full of knowledge, experience and passion for the life he lives. And this is exactly what he both motivates and encourages others to do. After all, he even writes it in his books: “it is better to do something wrong, than to never live it at all…”.

Post Navigation