MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “November, 2017”

The magic season candles

candles_ IMG_20171126_122525_941


It’s less than a month away!” miaowed Penny as she raced across the house into the kitchen. There was frost outside that morning and it made it feel all the more like winter. The streets and shops were already decorated, lighting up the magic of the season. For Penny it was more than just “the most wonderful time of the year”. Being a Christmas baby, she of course disliked the fact that everything was crammed into one day that did not entirely belong to her, but she felt it all so much more profoundly, deeply and emotionally. This was her season and she relished it.

This year, her parents decided to begin the season by handcrafting decorations before they turned the house into what could easily be likened to Santa Claus’ home. Her father brought out a huge pot and her mother put on an apron. Penny was curious. There were no ingredients out for cookies or cake. So what was going on?

“We’re going to make candles”, her mother announced. Scented, colourful, big or small they would all have something special because, like her parents always said, “what is made with love, reflects that positiveness and warmth”, and what would be more ideal for this season?

Penny watched as the fluid wax turned into hard candles. She believed she even saw a sparkle glowing from the mixture. And when the first candle was lit that night, she was certain; this was going to be one of the best holiday seasons ever.


A Snowman’s Heart has it that if you can warm up a snowman’s heart, s/he will become a real person. The person s/he once was. That is why we try to dress up these big, round snow-persons as best as possible, expecting that the glow will reignite inside and they will return to being happy.

Joy grew up believing in this legend and every year she would devise all sorts of things in the hope of turning the snowman into a real person. She would dress him with beautiful, colourful, clothes – not just the scarf, but a jacket, gloves, a woollen hat, sunglasses even. But that wouldn’t work. One year, she even made a snowwoman to keep him company, wishing that love and companionship was what made the snowman’s heart grow colder.

The year her parents divorced, Joy was still a teenager. When winter came, she understood why the season causes some to fill with melancholy and depression. And when her own heart was broken, she realised what it is that makes some hearts grow cold.

Then she found a random hand-written note in a book she had borrowed from the library. It read: “Here’s the thing about people with good hearts. They give you excuses when you don’t explain yourself. They accept apologies you don’t give. At your worst, they lift you up, even if it means putting their priorities aside. It’s because they don’t make you work hard for the attention they give you. They accept the love they think they’ve earned and you accept the love you think you’re entitled to. Let me tell you something. Fear the day when a good heart gives up on you. Our skies don’t become grey out of nowhere. Our sunshine does not allow the darkness to take over for no reason. A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness for a while”.

It was signed with a snowflake.


FernwehThere is a word in German – Fernweh – describing a crave for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been. Few can understand the feeling. It’s the need to be somewhere else, wherever  you are at the moment. It’s that emotion that fills your veins when you stare outside a window on a rainy autumn morning. It’s the answer to “what’s wrong” on days you can’t function, or aren’t satisfied with anything but don’t know why.

We all experience that longing at some point in our lives. That need to flee, to escape it all; that urge for change; to find something new, something that will relight a spark in our lives.

Even if we don’t know where that place is, we will always be hopeful that there exists somewhere where everything is (somehow) better, different, brighter.

Finding new worlds a language is like opening up your mind to new worlds. Because if you can train your brain to think, read, speak, communicate in more than one language, you are pretty much ready to open yourself up to anything: new cultures, new ways of thought, new people, new traditions, new…everything. Languages open a door to another world. And this is no exaggeration.

People who love to read, love to learn. They are the people who can not sit still for too long. They are too restless to understand what it means to literally do ‘nothing’. They are the people who will be constantly seeking new things to do, new activities to keep their mind occupied with. The ones whose brain is always plugged, associating everything with anything and searching for more things to do, even before finishing previous pending ones. These are the people who are active learners, who read things and try to find something worthwhile to get out of them and who will make use of their new knowledge as soon as they can. These are the people who make learning seem like a game. And these are the same people who have a talent in learning, especially languages.

For some, it is easy learning a new language. It is like playing a game – you learn new words, new grammar, new phrases; you hear people talk in a different way; and you obtain another way of looking at the world. Your perspective changes because you become even smaller in a world that is so vast. What changes is that you can now communicate with a few more people in it.

Learning languages are essential. Because it makes us acknowledge that there is so much more out there for us than the narcissistic walls in which we confines ourselves. If we open up our minds to new things, we will create the new opportunities and a worthy future we so strive to find.

When a river turns into a current

Holding on to angerThere comes a moment when even the calmest of rivers transform into currents, streaming their way, carrying with them anything around them, like a gush of strong, wet wind flooding its surroundings. Times change. It is the nature of things. Nothing can maintain a steady rhythm, pace or rate perpetually.

There is a need to react, to act, to do something to relieve all those feelings that are suppressed inside. And the longer you keep them locked up, the greater the explosion will be.

Buddha said that “holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”.

After the blow-out, disaster may have ensued around you, but it is you – the quiet stream – that has lost its composure, that has experienced something out of character, that has been irreversibly scarred. And the more times the river turns into a current and causes floods, the greater and irreparable the wounds will be.

The truth is, however, no matter how many self-esteem and self-improvement books we read, if we are not surrounded by people who understand us, who love us and who share our desire for mutual respect, it is not easy to maintain that much needed calm for long. All people really need is the acknowledgement of their actions and the reciprocation without needing to spell out everything done for someone else every single time. More often than not – and this should be the case – we do things for others because we want to, not because we have to. There is no point to the latter.

It is in the nature of things to fall apart. But it is also in their nature to come back together. The rate depends on us alone and our determination to prefer the calm river to the raging flood.

Autumn walks

©MCD_Autumn walks - Karpenisi


There is something soothing about a walk in the park, surrounded by the colours of autumn, the falling orange-brown leaves and the crackling sound of them under your feet. There is something even more calming when you are accompanied by people you hold dear in your heart; more so when you’re holding hands transferring the warmth of love with one cherished.

Autumn walks help clear your mind. Because for those valuable moments you are lost in the footpath, your mind drifts among the crispy leaves, the fallen chestnuts, the tall trees of shades of yellow and brown. The tranquillity touches upon your soul in ways that only nature can. And you return somewhat changed, more serene, ready to set and accomplish new goals.

In a season of change, we need the escape to rethink our own paths in life and be ready to take bolder steps.

A shop of memories


©Marie Gail Stratford

It’s strange how certain places, songs, things, are associated with specific people. Maira had that. Every time she visited the city, she would always drop by her favourite department store.

And every time it would bring back memories.

She had visited that store so many times with different people. All with whom she shared a special bond.

That bond was rejuvenated whenever she stepped through the big glass door.

Even if she was alone, she always felt that sweet melancholy of beautiful times passed.

And so, each time, she always bought something from there. As a reminder of the visit.


Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Push the button

petergriffin - do not push buttonLife can change in an instant. It is at those moments you realise how short time is. How little you spend truly appreciating things that are important, and actually living. It is in those instants that you suddenly awake at the thought that you spend too many moments overthinking and worrying about things that won’t matter later on.

An instant is all it takes for the world to change.

In an age where technology has evolved to the extent that it connects people across countries, continents, oceans, time zones with just a click of a button, anything is possible. At any moment. In just an instant.

In our daily lives we are constantly pushing buttons. Some are in the form of switches, like the one you press to turn the light on or off. Some buttons start our cars, open doors, turn on the cooker / boiler, launch our computers/ tablets / phones. Things that we nowadays take for granted and happen automatically.

But what happens if we push the wrong button? If suddenly – in an instant – we mistakenly erase important data that we can’t recover? It is in that instant that time freezes. It is then that we realise how much power a simple button has, and how much we have entered an automated mode that we often do things – press buttons – without really considering the consequences.

We live life on full speed and when things get a bit out of hand we panic, we feel lost and desperate. It is not about the speed with which we do things. It’s about the buttons we push and the impact they will have on our lives. Even if it is just one button. The implications may be huge. Just think that a bomb – any type of – can explode at the simple push of one button.

When forgiveness is a privilege is a man on the street, sitting at the same spot on the pavement each day with almost the same clothes, clean and ironed, and a small bag on his side. He sits there watching people pass him by. He holds a sign that reads, “Please forgive me. I’m hungry”. He stays there all day. Every day.

There are others too. They get on buses and trains asking to be forgiven for the intrusion. Asking not to be seen as beggars. Asking for the understanding that their need to survive is greater than their own dignity. They sometimes sell something: a pen, a notebook, a pack of handkerchiefs; solely for the purpose of giving something back in exchange for any money they would receive from anyone who pities them.

Some even have a dog with them. One that sits next to them trembling in the cold, wagging its tail miserably once someone comes a little closer in the hope that they will throw something edible at it. One whose eyes have lost that glow it has as a puppy when it enters the world full of excitement.

Sorrow has many faces. So does despair.

People are brought to the brink of their tolerance, of their ability to survive, that they decide to do what they perhaps vowed never to do: to ask strangers for help.

But they do so without abandoning their dignity. They sometimes are stronger than us, because they acknowledge their inability, the fact that they have nothing to lose because they have already lost it all. They are asking for forgiveness from a world that has cast them aside. They are demonstrating to the society we live in that it has no dignity, no empathy, no respect, if it ignores them and hopes this problem will solve itself.

Forgiveness, they say, is an attribute of the strong.

Yet, instead of requesting our forgiveness, we should be the ones apologising to these people. For disappointing them, for letting them down, for allowing them to see only the ruthless and dark side of life.

Anyone with even the slightest sense of emotion feels ashamed when passing by these people. Because we have food, warm clothes and a roof to go back to. Contrary to them, we still are part of this society, no matter how much we blame it for all the difficulties we have to face. But they have something we lack: the acknowledgement that the reality we live in is fragile. Yet, they are the ones who can better manage happiness and fortune when it comes to them. Because we take these things for granted. And do not appreciate them enough.

Everyone you meet has something they fear, something they love, something they lost, something they are missing, and something they need. It is in the silent ones that you acknowledge everything you have and realise what it is you are missing.

The box under the nightstand was a box she had in the open space under her nightstand. It was a usual cardboard box that seemed to be made out of wood and was beautifully decorated with colours and abstract figures. She treasured the box because inside she kept her happiness.

She had never shown the box to others. Sometimes, there are things you don’t share. Things you keep for yourself.

Those closest to her, who had the honour and privilege of entering her bedroom, always found that box under the nightstand to be a mystery. Because even when asked about it, she would simply smile, her eyes lighting up, gaze somewhere else, even blush a little, and respond with just a smile.

No-one ever tried to open the box. Because for some things you respect the other’s privacy. And often, a little mystery keeps your heart pounding a bit faster and your mind racing with all the possible scenarios of what it might contain.

The box under her nightstand was renewed often and she believed that as long as she would have something to put in it, life was good.


Also part of Daily Prompt: Mystery

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