MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

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The mind is everything; everything is in the mind

Boat-Calm-waterIt’s a curious thing that happens. Just when you think that things begin to fall in place and you are on the verge of finally finding some peace and much-needed tranquillity, something appears that messes with your mind. It makes you start over-thinking everything. Questioning your actions, rethinking your decisions and worrying about every single thing you do.

The mind is a terrible thing. Deeply powerful too. For the thoughts in your head affect every part of your being, from your mood to your behaviour to the things you decide (not) to do.

We are so often called to fill our heads with positive thoughts, as this is what will inspire our lives to change. The thoughts in our head aren’t always correct. But they overwhelm us to the point where we start creating problems that didn’t exist. We’re not supposed to always believe those random and miscellaneous voices that haunt our heads. Especially the negative ones. But some things are easier said than done.

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down”.

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What to do in a blackout

http://www.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/blackout_1.jpgThere you are, enjoying a steaming hot shower after a freezing cold day. You take your time, reveling in the warm water running down your shoulders, allowing you to relax and feel rejuvenated after a tiring day. A flicker of light gets you worried for an instance, but you decided to think nothing of it. And just when you lift your foot to get out, the lights go out and you find yourself in a total blackout. You can see absolutely nothing, so it is good you already know your way around. But what do you do?

Firstly, you need to put something around you, if only to soak up the water dripping from you. Then you need to find light of some sort – be it candles, the computer screen (for as long as the battery lasts), or even a torch on your smartphone (see, it is smart after all).

Voices are heard in the corridor, because it is not just your flat that lies in darkness, but the entire building. You half-open the window shutter to witness that the entire block is out of power. This is interesting.

It might take a while to get back the technology you are so accustomed to, so what do you do? You mainly appreciate the silence, acknowledging how much noise electricity actually makes – well, you did have the fridge, computer, television, radio, heater, and tea kettle on.

Then you begin to wonder what would people do without electricity? Sure, you still have your computer and phone working, but for how long? And there is no internet, so basically you are cut-off from that form of communication.

Are you dressed yet? You need to keep warm.

There are noises outside, running up and down the stairs. At least, someone is trying to fix the problem.

You head to the kitchen for a snack. There is no use staying hungry all through this ordeal. Find something healthy, like wholemeal chips. That will keep you busy while waiting in the dark.

You hope the power will return before the battery of your savior-machines bails on you.

And all of a sudden, there is light! You can hear the fridge sounds return, the TV turning back on, the modem signaling it’s on, the computer plugging in, the radio singing, the heater warming up again. You rejoice with the “return to civilization”. You exhale a sigh of relief, as your boredom ends.

But it is short-lived, as the blackout revisits. Apparently, the problem was not fixed.

So you sit and wait, until the power eventually returns for good this time. And as you watch the candle light casts its shadows in the dark, all you can do is acknowledge how addicted we have become to things we take for granted. Things that we can now not live without. Things that may help us, but at the same time have converted us into technology-junkies vulnerable to any situation that does not involve their use. Because, be honest, how many of you took a photo during a blackout to post once the power is back on?

 

N.B. Based on a true incident, Athens, Greece, 30 November 2015 (apart from the blackout selfie).

The impulse of an act

wooden bridge nightWhat happened last night?” Vivienne rubbed her eyes as she awakened in a jail cell. Her best friend was sitting right next to her. She had clearly been awake much longer; perhaps she had not even slept at all.

You don’t remember?” Charlotte stared at her wide-eyed. She seemed furious. A bit puzzled too. And quite stressed.

Don’t you remember anything about last night? Nothing? At all?” the panic in her voice was now evident.

Vivienne was still trying to wake up. The litres of alcohol she had consumed the night before were now catching up with her, causing an invisible hammer to pound on her head. She held her head up and calmly responded, “not a thing”. “What did we do?” her curiosity was pure and naïve. It was as if she was asking why the neighbor was piling boxes in his yard. As this did not affect her. As though she did not just spend the night in prison.

Charlotte was furious. And the more angry she got, the more Vivienne wanted to know what exactly happened the night before. She felt as if she was watching her favourite TV series and it had been cut-off at a cliffhanger scene.

The last thing I remember is drinking shots at that bar by the river. Everything is a blank after that. What happened? Did we do something bad?

No honey, we were brought to prison for our own safety”. Charlotte was a master in sarcasm. And she performed best at moments when her rage overwhelmed her.

Sweetie, you got hammered last night. You literally drank a bottle of wine on your own at Spencer’s house, then when we went for Mexican you had half a pitcher of Margaritas, and it was you who insisted we go for more drinks after that. We conceded mainly because you were so upset after seeing Weston again after so long. So we went to that bar by the river that you remember. And we said we’d have one drink. But the waiter took a liking on us – probably you, that is – you were so… friendly and cheerful with everyone; it was bound to get misunderstood.

It’s not my fault I get overly excited when I drink!

Charlotte raised her eyebrows at her. “So, what happened?” Vivienne felt she was listening to a story, not a recount of what she had done the previous night.

We had three rounds of shots and you had another couple of glasses of vodka. You started to get dizzy so the guys suggested we leave and get you out to the fresh air. That is when we went to the bridge and you saw the wooden boat right under it…

Oh no…” Vivienne knew where this was going. She knew herself too well. And her drunk self was even worse. Or rather, more unpredictable and impulsive than her normal self could ever be.

What did I make you guys do?” she questioned in full embarrassment.

You ran down and literally stole the boat for a moonlight stroll. We had to get in too, to control you. But you started feeling woozy and rocked the boat, overturning us all in the freezing river. It was your screaming that brought the police.

And they arrested us for that?” Apparently, it was not a good enough reason.

Oh no, sweetie. They arrested us because you threw up on one of the police officers and then slapped the face off the other one because you hallucinated into thinking it was Weston. That’s what we got arrested for.

But why are you here then?

Because I’m so stupid to care so much for you, I didn’t want to leave you alone in this state of yours. Who knows who else you would molest.

So, I wasn’t left alone at all after that?

Well, just for a couple of minutes when I went to call Justin. He’s bound to come bail us out any minute now. We’ve already been here for six hours.”

OK. So in those few minutes, I didn’t…you know… do anything else, did I?” Vivienne was genuinely frightened. It is scary not remembering part of your life and the actions you may have taken during that time. Especially if they will affect your present or future.

I sure hope not.” Charlotte knew her friend too well, but loved her the same nonetheless.

Their discussion was interrupted by a prison guard coming to let them out.

Is Justin here?” asked Charlotte.

No,” the guard replied. “I made some calls.

Why?” asked Vivienne surprised.

You said you’d only go out with me if you weren’t in here, didn’t you? And I do think we would match. Don’t let my job fool you, I told you I am a trained lawyer. I just can’t get a decent job just yet”.

Vivienne gulped. Her face was heating up and her stomach was churning the previous night’s alcohol.

Charlotte laughed. At least the lawyer-turned-prison-guard was cute. He was young, tall, handsome and athletic. He couldn’t be that bad.

A few days later Vivienne did go on that date with the prison guard, whose name was Leo, by the way. She was blown away at how different he was outside the prison. And so was he. She was careful not to drink too much this time. But she was equally cheerful. It was the excitement of realising that sometimes it is on an impulse that your true desires are revealed and you are pushed into taking the actions that otherwise you would talk yourself out of.

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