MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “blogging”

Whisper it Seven

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Seven is a special number. It is considered lucky because we have an affinity for it: most people consider seven their favourite number or choose it when asked to pick a number between one and ten.

Seven is prevalent in our daily lives too: seven days in a week, seven continents, seven oceans, seven vertebrae in the neck, seven colours in a rainbow, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven deadly sins. In fact, some researchers argue that human memory works best if it remembers up to seven items.

Seven also features strongly in the religions of the world: in the creation story of the Bible, God made the world in six days and rested on the seven, thus scholars believe it represents perfection or completeness. In Judaism, there are seven heavens. In the Islam’s holy book, the Koran, Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca walk around the Kaaba seven times. In Chinese culture, seven represents Yin and Yang combined with the Five Elements (water, fire, earth, wood and metal), while in Confucianism this combination is believed to represent harmony.

Seven is, therefore, an important number and most often a lucky one.

Seven years pass by in a flash.

I have written a lot during these seven years (794 posts on this blog) and a lot has happened. It is enough time to reflect, to grow, to mature, to experience new things, to change the way you react to situations, to learn how to deal with life especially when things don’t come the way you plan or hoped they would. It is time that allows you to become stronger and more resilient. And one way of doing this – for me – is through writing, right here. By making my own experiences and observations into fictional stories. By writing motivational stories that I would really like someone else to tell me. By drawing optimism and positivity from the words that fill a page on a screen.

Seven years may be many or few, depending on how you look at it. But they are part of what makes us who we are and a chance to reflect on where we are, according to where we want to be.

So here’s to many more, with the wish to never run dry of inspiration and creativity!

Green happiness

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©Ronda Del Boccio

When Martha first moved into her own house, her parents brought her a plant. There were no flowers, just green leaves. They told her that plants were necessary in our lives and our homes not only for the oxygen they provide, but for the meanings they give to us.

Martha didn’t quite understand.

At first she didn’t really care for the plant. She left it at some corner of the house with sunlight and regular water.

But she quickly came to realise that the more she cared for the plant the more it bloomed. It became her friend and inspiration.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Six Whispers

six anniversaryIn numerology, the number six is considered “not too hot, not too cold, not too fast nor too slow”. Six is usually just right, hardly ever part of any extremes, with a well-balanced nature and a “happy number indeed”.

Six years ago, I started writing this blog. Essentially, to externalise the whispers that were mounting in my head about everything and anything. After all, “a writer is someone who pays attention to the world” (Susan Sontag) and it is true that “as a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…and write about the silence” (N.R. Hart). More so, when you make time to write – because you will never find it unless you force yourself – you find that there is always something to write about, especially what doesn’t kill you, want helps you survive, what changes your perception of the world.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’ Connor). Indeed, writing stimulates thought. Perhaps that is the main reason why writers are first urged to read a lot. And why parents are encouraged to read to their children, for a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

In six years of blog writing, there is the fear of being repetitive and inescapably there are topics that come up again and again, due to their importance and their intrinsic part of our lives. In six years, you see yourself mature and grow, evolve and gain new skills, new mentality and a new perspective on life as everything you experience shapes you.

Most of all you learn to appreciate the concept of time. Because you find that you often waste too much of it without real reason. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. We need to focus on the small things because eventually we’ll realise that these were the big things that made life great. In the end, we only regret the things we left unsaid the chances we didn’t take. So devote your time to things that make you happy, to the people you love and to the activities that enrich your soul. Time is the greatest gift to give, because it is like giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.

We can’t predict the future and perhaps it is better that way. Life can certainly be complicated. But we shouldn’t wait for things to get better to do something. We need to learn to be happy right now, otherwise we’ll simply run out of time.

After all, we can’t control the things that happen, but what really matters is the way we react to everything.

Summing it all up are three words that say everything: “live, love, laugh”.

A day of discovery

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©Roger Bultot

It was a day they had taken off work, one of the few they could ‘steal’ during this period. They decided to spend it productively: visiting a museum. She was convinced that no one could change their future or better manage their present if they could not understand where they had come from and what had happened in the past. “We have a rich history and it is worth exploring”. He was persuaded.

The day turned out to be a discovery of things he never even knew existed. And that was more than enough to change his entire life perspective.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Light up, light up

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©Sandra Crook

In daytime, it seemed like a simple street lamp with its metallic surroundings and a white exterior. It was nothing special. At least that was what the majority of passers-by thought.

But one little girl believed differently. She saw in that lamppost a fairy tale. The first time she saw it, she said it reminded her of her father’s bedtime stories.

When night came, the lamp turned on; but in different colours. And when the first snowflake fell, the lamp turned itself into a lit-up snowball encasing Santa’s house.

Magic was there. You just had to want to see it.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Finding new worlds

https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Which_Language_Should_You_Learn_1.jpgLearning 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

©MCD

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

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©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

A Platanus of history

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©MCD

There is a quote that says, “imagine if trees gave free WiFi; we’d all be planting like crazy. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe”.

Trees are more important and vital for our lives than we believe or even give them credit for. They contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. They produce the wood we use to light our fireplaces in the winter, make our furniture, even the paper we write on. Yet, we cut them down without second thoughts.

It is no wonder then, that when we come across a tree that is centuries old we treat it as a wonder of nature. We stand before it dumbfounded, gazing at this stupendous sight. And it makes you truly feel small and insignificant.

There is a place in North Evia, Greece, somewhere along that nature-blazing road that has you driving among trees, on your way towards the Kyreas River, in between the villages of Prokopi and Mantoudi. There is this place where a sign will direct you to the “Great Platanus”. A plane tree that residents will tell you has been there for centuries. It is “a tree of huge dimensions”, as the sign reads, a “monument of nature”. A Platanus Orientalis. It is 22-23 metres tall, with its trunk’s circumference reaching 18 metres, its trunk diameter at 5.5 metres, the surface of its stem at 900 square metres, and its shadow said to be once stretching over 2.5 acres. Its age is estimated at 500-600 years, although some say that it exceeds 2,300 years! It is said that this is the most ancient Platanus in the Balkans, perhaps even the whole of Europe.

20171028_133927Its tree trunks are larger than what can fit in your wide-open arms. It stands imposing before you and, even though lacking in foliage and somewhat deserted and with broken branches, the vastness of this tree is not diminished. Rather, it is a refreshing site in a world full of asbestos and tar. There is also a huge hollow in its trunk, big enough for 10 or more people standing. In it, you suddenly forget all the problems that trouble your head daily. You take a deep breath and simply be grateful for being alive. For being there. And for being able to witness this. Just think about all the changes this tree may have witnessed. It was there before you and will probably remain so even after you.

20171028_133932As with all over-aged creatures, there are myths and legends surrounding this tree. For example, it is said that if someone falls asleep in its hollow, they will fall ill or harm will come to them, as goblins will come out and cast a spell on them. In another legend, if you are found at midnight under the tree, you will hear voices, music, violins and clarinets, and see fairies and goblins appear dancing at the shores of the river. In yet another, it is said that at midnight two large rams come out of the platanus and start noisily fighting each other. This tree is often associated with fairies and goblins as it was believed that, being over-aged, it was also haunted.

No matter the stories, however, the reality remains that this, like so many others, is part of our natural heritage and should be protected and preserved. We devote so much of our time, energy and funds to things that matter less, yet we abandon those that benefit us more.

N.B. All photos are mine, taken in North Evia, Greece, on 28 October 2017.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

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