MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Mountain views

mt-lemmon-with-tree

©Jan Wayne Fields

He loved breath-taking views. He could get lost in them for hours. Just sitting there relaxed, letting his mind wander over the horizon. It was always as if he was flying. This must be sort of what it feels like.

And in such a “flight”, he met her. A person who would suffer if she sat still for too long. But at that very moment she needed the tranquillity. That sense of escape from everything and everyone. And at that mountain top she found it.

Together with the person who would lift her up as high as he possibly could.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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Be authentic; be real

https://thecreatorwritings.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/authenticity-hoax.jpg?w=473We hear it often and almost everywhere: be yourself; be authentic. But in a world where almost everything and everyone is a copy, how easy is it really to be an original?

Authenticity is a trait or a characteristic described by the recognition and acknowledgement of who you are and being brave enough to live it. It is being real, showing true emotion and not indulging in hypocrisy.

You don’t need to copy others. The mentality of the masses doesn’t always work. That is why masses are often likened to sheep – presumably dumb animals who follow each other even acting irrationally. Stand out from the crowd. It is a prompt that calls on people to embrace their differences. It is the only way to bring about change. By daring to be unique. Regardless of whether this will lead to others copying you. The original will always distinctively vary from a fake.

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” – Coco Chanel

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation” – Herman Melville

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Authentic

Fretting too much

http://www.stickpng.com/assets/images/58afd65a0187e59a7d8a8f14.pngThe problem with us humans is that we tend to fret too much about too many things, many of which may not even matter. Look up “fret”: it means “to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent or torment” but also “to cause corrosion, wear away”. It is obvious that when we fret too much, we cause damage to our own selves.

But even if we know it and we acknowledge the fact that this is what we do, often we don’t do much to alter it. Human nature is difficult to change. And when there are certain things that bother you, to the extent that they eat you inside, the simple realisation of what is happening will not save you.

Admittedly fretting about things that either make us anxious, agitated, upset or angry won’t really cause a spontaneous change that will turn everything positive. Sometimes we need a helping hand. People who understand us enough to comprehend why it is we fret so much over issues that may seem insignificant, and who care enough to act with us and to ensure that we won’t have a reason to fret.

Even Arthur Conan Doyle said it: “Above all, do not fret until you know that you really have a cause for it”. And when you have a cause, try with all your might to eliminate it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fret

A song of fireworks

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwizvPi4ubzaAhVMaxQKHdjwBo4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpatch.com%2Fflorida%2Fbradenton%2Fbradenton-4th-july-fireworks-what-you-need-know&psig=AOvVaw3ixqnT-W0OrX-FZC8nmnm2&ust=1523887461934014He was waiting for the fireworks. For a week now, it was all he could think about. She was excited too, but she had many other things on her mind that were consuming her attention. She relished the fact that he was so thrilled. Sometimes all it takes is someone else’s smile to make you smile even wider.

That night there was a fair, accompanied with the grandiose of a market, stalls, candy, street food, a Ferris wheel, lights, dance, songs and, of course, at the end of the night, fireworks. That splendid display of low explosive pyrotechnic devices that always make people stare at the sky with awe and amazement.

Tonight he had something special planned though.

As soon as the fireworks ended, he had arranged with the local DJ for her favourite song to play. As soon as she heard it, she turned at once towards his direction, her eyes now wide and bright, glistening in the night. He stretched his hand to clasp hers and drew her into an opening. And there he led her into her favourite dance. She was amazed. He had learned all the moves she enjoyed and managed to surprise her in a way she never expected.

For her, the fireworks came later. And that was all that mattered.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Song

What starts the waterworks

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiQgt7ly7XaAhUGMewKHd9oCq4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdowhatlightsyouup.com%2Fgo-ahead-and-cry%2F&psig=AOvVaw1xo_TxfeVgsIFS-Yukag8-&ust=1523651732943075It is a small drop that forms at the corner of your eyelid. One that soon blurs your vision and causes your eyes to well up, releasing droplets to slide down your cheek. Then another comes and you are suddenly found in a state of distress, be it emotional or reflexive. But what is it that causes these waterworks to start? And why is it that some of us cry so much more often and easier than others?

There are reportedly three kinds of tears. According to this very interesting article our body produces basal, reflex and psychic tears. “Your basal tears are what I like to call the ‘worker tears’ and they keep your cornea (the transparent front of your eye) nourished and lubricated so your eyes don’t dry out. Then there are your reflex tears which that help you to wash out any irritations to your eyes from foreign particles or vapours (onion, being the classic example)”. Finally, there are the most popular type of tears: the “psychic, or ‘crying’ tears. These are the tears produced in response to that strong emotion you may experience from stress, pleasure, anger, sadness and suffering to indeed, physical pain. Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry!”

When we cry, we don’t just become dehydrated and – literally – drained. There are more things that happen at the same time: your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you may even get a lump in your throat – known as the globus sensation. This is all believed to occur as a result of your sympathetic nervous system (your ‘fight or flight’ system) activating in response to your emotional situation. This is also why we are left so tired after a good cry. Yet we somehow feel relieved.

According to this enlightening article, “many psychologists believe that in addition to giving us an outlet for a rapid build-up of a powerful emotions, crying is a social signal to others that we’re in distress”. It is also considered an outlet for shedding stress. In fact, it is believed that emotional tears contain more protein particularly linked to higher stress levels, which is thought to make them thicker and more noticeable as they streak down the cheeks. It is a call for support and empathy and a way of releasing stress-related chemicals from the body.

We cry mostly when we’re sad. In this way, it acts as a signal to others that we are in distress and it is a call to induce sympathy and attention. This may explain why the waterworks appear more often in children and women.  According to a 1980s PhD study by biochemist William H. Frey, on average, women cry 5.3 times a month, while men cry 1.3 times in that same time period.  There may be a biological reason behind this, as the hormone prolactin – found at higher levels in women – is thought to promote crying.

We cry when we feel that we are overwhelmed with emotions that are too difficult to handle. And suddenly thoughts invade our head that make us feel even worse, such as that things aren’t going our way, that we don’t have time to be or do the things we want, or that others are better off than we are. A whirlwind of reflections and feelings ensues entrapping us into a vicious circle that simply accentuates the waterworks.

But we also cry when we’re happy. It is a way of demonstrating how we feel – that we are so overjoyed, we sometimes can’t believe it. That powerful string of – positive, this time – emotions is what causes the tears to run. It is a good thing. But this too causes us to feel exhausted after a while.

It is believed that crying depends on a person’s level of sensitivity. We don’t all think the same way, nor do we feel the same. People react to different circumstances differently. That is what makes them unique. They should not be judged for it, but rather appreciated for their own way of responding to whatever life throws at them. Crying is not a sign of weakness after all; it is merely a sign of emotions and the fact that a person’s heart is beating faster at times.

Knowing One’s Own

Book cover NK.jpegThere is a special connection that ties people who write with each other. More so, when they share similar views and may recommend readings to each other. It is not often that I embark on a personal rant, but this is about a person who is more than my employer or my co-worker; he is my mentor and the person who always has some exciting book / author to recommend and some fascinating viewpoint to share.

Knowing One’s Place is Nicholas Karides’ first book, published in December 2017. It is a book of memoirs: those recited by the writer and those ignited in the reader. When I first asked him why he was writing a book, he told me it was because he wanted to put all his notes from his journals into some logic order. I was intrigued, as I am well aware at how his scrapbook-snippets consist of historical milestones, incidents of history that we quickly forget until someone reminds us of them again. His book is precisely what it promised to be: “Essays on journalism, diplomacy, and football”. It talks about the controversial state of journalism in today’s digital area of constant reporting from all sorts of media – at anywhere at anytime; it discusses the diminishing traits of bold world leaders in a time when everyone can rise to power (given the right connections); and it shares thoughts about a rapidly changing world with its never-ceasing developments. More than that, the book offers a greater insight and a different perspective into the place in which you were born and bred and which you shamefully come to realise you know little about. Cyprus features a great deal in the book, and it is the tool through which you get to know the writer a bit better, but also this European country that, albeit small, has suffered a lot and is still caught in the crossroads of history. As with every book, you appreciate every thing a little bit more when you are aware of the circumstances being discussed, and when you know the person holding the pen.

This is a book that is extremely well researched, calling upon a list of prestigious sources, well justified and above all really well written with the perfect dose of wit. Every word is important. And it manages to grasp your attention and maintain it until the very last page.

It’s a book about how we must value the time and world we live in, but also about the significance of education and the need to keep it alive. It serves as a reminder to constantly contemplate the circumstances that surround us, to reflect, and to engage in opportunities that may help us improve, both ourselves and the places we live in.

Mystery Eggs

https://www.preparedpantryblog.com/the-best-way-to-color-easter-eggs/It appeared suddenly when he was a child. Ever since he could remember, it was present. Every Easter Sunday, it would leave two Easter eggs by his bed, resulting in that he would always awake with enthusiasm that morning and a smile that rejuvenated his entire existence. As he got older, he tried to uncover who the Easter Bunny – or maybe Duck, or whatever other animal it may have been – was. But it was not easy. It wasn’t his parents. Nor his grandparents. So who was it? No matter how much he stalked and staked out or tried to stay awake, he would fail in finding out who the mystery Easter-deliver came from.

It was an exhilarating and at the same time exciting tradition.

When it was his turn to become a parent, the eggs didn’t stop coming. They just switched destination and now appeared at his children’s bedsides.

He never found out who the source was; but he certainly cherished the fact that it revived in him a sense of gratitude and desire to do more for his fellow citizens who may not be as lucky as he. Easter, after all, was a time to cherish that we’re alive and to be grateful; to resurrect the life we hide inside and to gather the strength to carry on.

Never a time waste

dales-symphony-2

©Dale Rogerson

The speech had just ended and Sarah thought it was the most boring two hours of her life. Jonas had the same view. “What a time waste!” he was heard saying in the reception area, glass of wine in hand. Sarah’s eyes met his glance and he approached her. “Politicians never have something new to say, don’t you think?” he suggested as he handed her a topped-up wine glass.

She smiled, blushing at his communicative spirit, the ease with which he started a conversation with someone unknown.

Yes,” she finally agreed. “But perhaps the evening will now be more interesting”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Season in bloom

fatima-fakier-deria-3

©Fatima Fakier Deria

Once the season changed, they would take the garden furniture out and set it in its usual place under the large oak tree. They would spend an entire morning washing the winter dust off; playfully splashing each other with the garden hose. Then, they would allow the sun’s rays to rejuvenate them with new life, ready for the new summer memories that were to be created.

Spring was their favourite time. It was when everything in bloom reminded them that even after a harsh and dark winter, it would always be warm and bright again. You just had to wait.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Stretching your mind

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Why do we learn new things? Why are we even interested in something we know nothing about and may possibly not affect us?

We learn because it is how we grow. It is why as children we are so easily excited about almost everything, regardless of how nonsense it may later seem to us as adults.

There are many types of learning, for example, targeted learning simply to pass an exam; specialised learning to become experts in one (or only a few) specific areas; and broader life-long learning that never stops.

Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance” (Will Durant). It is how we find our place in the world and how we can discover new ways to make things better.

Indeed, as Benjamin Franklin said, “being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn”. We should want to learn. We should desire to broaden our perspectives and widen our horizons. We should be willing to engage in more talk than just things we know much about.

 “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice” – Brian Herbert

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