MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “September, 2018”

Be like a flowing river

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjmuM7N9-LdAhUJMuwKHfH1CD4QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fet.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FLoodus&psig=AOvVaw0SUwD2r_uDUzgLACDXdJb3&ust=1538403965673357There is a saying by Heraclitus: “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. There is an advantage with flowing rivers: they are never stagnant, never in the same place, always changing, always moving, always somewhere different.

We should be more like the flowing river. Knowing that there is no hurry, we shall get there someday, even if we don’t really know where we’re going. The point is to keep moving.

Remember too that the more the water moves, the more it is oxygenated and the cleaner it looks.

Imagine the same for your own soul and mental health. The more you move about, you travel, you do and see something different, the more alive you’ll feel.

After all, “you drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it” (Paulo Coelho).

Life is a river of opportunities. We need to learn to flow with the current, for to turn against it takes effort, but the current will carry you if you let it. The river teaches us how to be silent and calm, to go with the flow, to turn the bends and eventually reach the ocean. No matter how long it takes, it’s the journey you must learn to enjoy.

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Lessons in the wind

http://www.sportime.gr/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/windwind.jpgThe wind was racing outside her window. It was storming its way across the land, causing everything in its way to swish along with it. People were terrified of this force of nature. It left them feeling powerless because there was nothing they could do to stop it. And people fear what they cannot control.

But in cases of howling winds, there are two things you can do, like a Chinese proverb says: either build a wall against it, or build windmills to use it.

Just as everything that occurs whether we like it or not, we can either choose to shield ourselves and pretend it doesn’t happen, or actually do something and react to it.

Winds are useful in our lives. They demonstrate a change that is happening regardless of what we think. And it reminds us how powerless we are in our natural habitat.

Cat attacks

https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/kitten-mom-cat-TS-480025920.jpgThe entire house woke up from the shrills of a mother cat in the back yard. Recently, having given birth, the cat was overwhelmed with mood swings and the urge to protect her newborns at every cost.

The kittens had not yet opened their eyes, but their fur had already formed polychromatic waves making them irresistibly cute to anyone who saw them.

The cat raced across the yard, night or day, at the sight of any intruder. She even attached the previous batch of her own kittens out of fear they would harm the new arrivals.

But, as a true cat, she would always welcome a caress, a tender stroke on her head and under her chin, and food, of course. But that was whenever she felt like it.

Because like a true cat, life happened according to her own rules.

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

Dispersing energy

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiRh_a2vsLdAhVByxoKHdd8DyAQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftechcrunch.com%2F2015%2F06%2F30%2Fplanting-the-seed-silicon-valley-mind-control-and-finding-order-in-chaos%2F&psig=AOvVaw238YOYe_j6rwSyvyLP_nc8&ust=1537289132528063There is a quote that helps us remember that we need to devote our energy into the things that matter. There are many sayings, in fact, but this one is the most emphatic: “If you can solve your problem then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?” Clever, no?

Think about it. There are so many quotes we share in our lives daily, reminding us to “don’t worry, be happy”. For example, “the 5 by 5 rule:  If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it”.

We tend to overreact to things that don’t matter as much as we think. And we often drain ourselves of the energy to react effectively to the things that do matter and need our attention.

If we were given life to disperse energy, then why not make that diffusion a positive one? Why do we spend so much time with negative energy, complaining, moaning and lamenting? Wouldn’t our lives be better if we focused more on smiling, on being kind and sensitive, on putting ourselves in each other’s shoes once in a while, on trying to understand the other’s perspective, on being a ray of light in a world that insists on dark shadows?

Think about it.

The tenant of the clock

jhc-clock

©J Hardy Carroll

It was a present from the global travels of a great uncle. It was a gift passed down each generation. It was one that carried the history of its owners with it.

It was finely crafted and had an essence of another era. It stood out in every home it was placed. But that was its point after all: to remind you that you should stand out of the crowd.

One night in its new location, a faint scratching woke everyone up. It wasn’t the clock ticking.

It was something hiding inside the clock-tower: a tiny kitten seeking a home.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A vintage outfit

©MCD

©MCD

The rattling outside his window in the middle of the night did not wake him. Nor did the scratching of the metal on the pavement disturb his sleep. He paid no attention whatsoever to the movement on his front yard at the break of dawn.

But when he woke, he found it there. Right outside his garage door.

It was just as he imagined it would be. Light brown with silver, red, blue and yellow lines and a green and gold rim round the wheels.

A motorcycle with a sidecar.

It was vintage but he had always dreamed of one. He even knew the little-known fact that “a motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack”.

In his head, he was already racing in the countryside with the “outfit”, among green trees and pick-nick perfect valleys. Driving like in those old movies he used to watch, and hoping he wouldn’t hit a tree and split from his other half.

But… he lacked the company. The one to sit in his sidecar.

Just at that moment, someone made their presence felt.

A gentle bark and a wagging of its fury tail as it approached was all he needed to persuade him to let his fleece-golden Labrador be his sidekick in this new adventure.

Changing seasons

https://lonelyplanetwp.imgix.net/2017/10/GettyRF_477322165-b25e63193cfa.jpg?fit=min&q=40&sharp=10&vib=20&w=1470Something happens in September. It’s when the temperature still feels like summer, yet the calendar tells you there’s been a change of season. It’s when you stubbornly refuse to part your summer outfits, yet a cold night breeze forces you to acknowledge the change that is on its way.

It’s not winter that is coming yet. It’s autumn that is already here. And you realise it as soon as the first clouds darken the sky and the first sounds of rain cause you to stir out of your afternoon nap.

It’s when you find out that you do need a sweater, if not a jacket, to walk out during the evenings, and when you have to check the weather in case you need to make an umbrella an essential part of your bag.

Something comes with this change of season. It is all the talk of a new start, with everyone blatantly flagging how excited they are for new goals, new beginnings etc etc. By the time December arrives, all of this will be forgotten.

Yet, there is a sweet melancholy that arrives with the autumn clouds; the change in the atmosphere and the crackling of fallen leaves on the ground. It is perhaps the acknowledgement that things are indeed changing, no matter how much you try to deny it. We change because it is how we move on. How we evolve. Whether we like it or not, we are forced to do something different with every new season. Boredom leads to illnesses more of the mind than the body. So we need to be creative, to do things, to keep our minds busy. There is a beauty in every (changing) month or season. We just have to be open enough to welcome it in.

A night view that unites

gah_window

©Gah Learner

Look at that full moon. Just days ago, it was but a slit in the night sky. Barely even visible. And now…it illuminates the darkness”.

She stared at the empty page highlighted by her lamp. Still not a word. She just couldn’t get her feelings out. All the words were swirling in her mind. A hurricane inside that refused to exteriorise itself.

And all she could do was stare out the window at the view. It was an essential part of the house they bought together.

Maybe he too is staring at this very moon now too. Wherever he is”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The biggest lie we tell ourselves

http://www.trueactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/photo_2016-11-28_02-10-26.jpgSociety, they say, is a reflection of its people. Of their mentality, their habits, their behaviour. Similarly, rulers, or rather the ruling elite, the leaders on top, ideally represent the people they ‘serve’. Regardless if they eventually convert to serving and satisfying their own needs at the expense of the populace.

Carl Thomas, an American journalist, had said: “in a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it”.

People are seen as naïve; no matter how educated they want to believe they are. Because in the end we all prefer to believe comforting lies than inconvenient truths. And in the case of the populace, history has proven that they will support the person who gives them the biggest lie. Because it covers up more of their life’s dissatisfaction.

Between history and politics, the latter has also proven to be the strongest. Because it manages to repeat itself. And we seem to be unable to learn from history. We allow ourselves to keep falling in the same traps, even if we know how things turn out – how the post is more important than the knowledge or skills; how clientelism rages everywhere; how civil administration does not work for the people but for those in charge of it; how rulers everywhere seek to primarily further their own aims and then their county’s – if at all. Yet, we prove wanting in many ways and incapable of changing anything for the better. Because improving things takes work. And no one is willing to do it.

We’d rather engage in big talk and criticism rather than act.  And that is our greatest weakness.

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