MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “children”

Treasure troves of magic

©Ted Strutz

It’s a place of magic. There are so many different worlds to travel to. So many personalities to impersonate. Here, you could be anything, anyone, at anytime, anywhere.

Libraries, she was taught, “are more than just a storage place for books, they are treasure troves filled with creativity and knowledge. And that knowledge can be empowering(R.L Hemlock).

Libraries open windows to the world, inspire us to explore and achieve more, to contribute to improving the world, and thus change it for the better.

They are parts of life’s necessities, reminding us simultaneously of the excitement of being a kid.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The original painting

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

When we were kids at school, we would indulge in painting with watercolours. The more colourful our drawing would be, the better, and the happier it made us.

As kids, we would have the same palette of colours, but each one would produce a unique creation.

As grown-ups, we try to copy each other down to every minute detail. Jealousy has become a spiteful characteristic of adults, fighting over who will show they were first in doing something, regardless if they know the truth.

The original is always better than the copy, though, and it is evident which is which.

“You have your brush, you have your colours, you paint the paradise, then in you go” – Nikos Kazantzakis

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Nature’s magic

©MCD

When Grandpa got up with the rising sun, he did not expect that the front door wouldn’t open. Neither the back. He knew it was going to be a difficult day. But for some, it would be exactly the opposite.

He tip-toed into Jenny’s room and gently shook her to waken her from dreamland. She half-opened her eyes and stretched every inch of her small body.

Good morning, Grandpa,” she whispered.

There’s a surprise outside your window,” he smiled.

She jumped out of bed and looked outside.

Everything was white. An impeccable white blanket had covered everything as far as she could see. It was snowing all night and it continued to do so now. They were snowed in.

Grandpa was concerned because they were somewhat isolated in the village and their resources were scarce. He was planning to go into town today, had the weather permitted it. But few things in life usually go according to plan.

Jenny was excited; she was jumping up and down and rushing to put on warm clothes in order to run outside. It was freezing, but enthusiasm always keeps you warm.

Come on Grandpa, let’s go build a snowman!” she called as she tried to open the door.

The old man used a shovel, back-aching and almost sweating in the sub-zero temperatures, striving to open the door.

When he succeeded the little girl ran outside and dived into the snow.

Grandpa smiled.

There wasn’t much he could do anyway. He just had to wait for assistance. So they might as well have some fun in the meantime.

Snow beautifies everything. It is nature’s magic that fills your soul with wonder.

What a heart sounds like from the inside

http://mosafernameh.com/UploadImage/lz6.jpgShe is the one who knows you better than you (admit you) know yourself. She has learnt to do so ever since you arrived. To interpret what your every frown, tear, smile means. She is the one who stays awake so you can sleep. Who goes over and beyond her abilities at times, simply to please you. Who places you above all else, even herself. She is the one who carries you inside for three quarters of a year and then outside for a lifetime. Who holds you up and teaches you how to survive, although you can’t imagine doing it without her. Who watches you often prioritise your father who may love you equally as much but did not go through the same to bring you into the world. She is the one who will help you even when you don’t ask or when you think you can manage on your own. Who always knows what to say and is somehow always right even if you don’t realise it at the time and acknowledge it in retrospect. Who no matter how much you scream at, yell at or push away, always comes back because she doesn’t know how not to. Who shows you you are never alone because her love is unconditional and endless. Who hurts twice as much when she sees you suffering and is unable to do something to relieve your pain. Who can feel you just as you can feel her too. She is the one who personifies what Mother Theresa had once said, that “in this life we can not do great things; but we can do small things with great love”. Who makes sacrifices for you but speaks nothing of them. Who you hold as a model of strength, kindness, elegance and grace. Whose shoes you tried to fill ever since you learnt how to walk on your own. Who makes you feel (helpless) like a child again when you acknowledge how much you miss her, regardless of how independent and strong you (think you) are. Who, no matter how old you are, will always be the one you call to at any time for whatever reason and she will always respond. Whose hug and smile makes every problem disappear. Who you love to surprise and shower with gifts because you know she would do the same and more for you. She is the one who is not appreciated enough but never stops caring or trying any less.

A mother’s love is the most powerful cure in the world and the greatest gift we receive. It is priceless.

Tell her you love her. It is not said often enough. Remember you’re the only one who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.

 

* Mummy, I love you.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Priceless

Snowed in

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© MCD

There is something truly wondrous about waking up to snow. Pulling the curtain and opening your window to find everything covered in white outside. Regardless if it is literally freezing cold. At that moment, you just don’t care. Because it’s magical and you want to draw it all in.

It becomes even better when you get snowed in. It’s not your fault. You can’t control weather conditions. But you can enjoy them to the fullest. Because there is nowhere really you can go, other than outside on that white carpet to play. To forget for a while all the things that bother you, your troubles and worries, your stress and concerns, and just…play. Build a snowman, start a snowball fight, lay in the snow. Become a child again.

Perhaps that’s where the real magic of the season lies: in allowing yourself to act like a child; to view the world with wonder and excitement and let your mind be free. To have faith that everything will work out exactly as it should and be positive that the happiness will last.

So, go, go outside and live every moment of the present. Let yourself indulge in all the small things that make life so great and be joyous. Trust that everything will be all right. And wish that the next year that is waiting around the corner will be even more superb!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Renewal

Swinging high, risking much

SwingWhen Pacey was a little boy, he feared two things – marshmallows and swings. There is a saying that you usually fear what you don’t understand. And with Pacey this was exactly the case. He couldn’t understand how marshmallows were made to be so white and so soft, and more than anything so addictive. He just could not get it into his head that this “treat” was considered a global favourite. So he preferred to stay away. As for swings. That was a whole different story. Because every time he sat on one he kept looking up, but not at the sky like most kids his age did while swinging high; no, Pacey kept looking at the hinges holding the swing in place. He was afraid that at any moment, the swing would unhinge from its bars and it would throw Pacey crashing to the ground. And he was afraid.

His parents tried to convince him that he was missing out on the fun things of life by avoiding these two things. But Pacey would not change his mind. Kids can be stubborn. Even more than adults usually are.

Pacey’s father even told him a story about how swings were created in order to draw out the fear from the human soul. He said that if as a child you could dominate a swing, if you could experience that feeling of flying, and if you would constantly want to swing harder, to fly higher, then as an adult you would know how to be ruthless, and how to go after what you wanted; you would know how to take risks and cease the opportunities that come your way.

It did not convince Pacey.

He barely sat on a swing during his entire childhood. And whenever he passed by the park and saw all those kids lining up to sit on one, he would shake his head and simply move on.

Even as an adult, he could not understand children’s addiction to these simple (yet, “unsafe”) objects. He could not even understand his own daughter’s obsession with them. Whenever she ran and sat on one, his sight was constantly glued on the hinges.

His wife would laugh at him. She told him that he needed to relax. To stop living his life in so much fear. Falling off a swing was as random as falling off a ladder, as tripping on a pavement, as pretty much anything as could happen.

When he heard his daughter’s pure, heartfelt laughter whenever she was swinging over his head, calling out that she would catch the birds, that is when he began to understand the meaning of these swings. It all became clear, when his daughter came up to him and explained why she loved them so much: “because swings liberate you. They make you feel like you can fly. Like you are invincible. And if I can’t let go and feel that now, then when am I going to do it? You adults are so uptight!

Santa run

santa-claus-is-flying-in-a-sleigh-with-reindeerThe white-haired man with the white beard and big belly that had an abnormal affinity for red suits was once again spotted around the park. He was looking at all the young children playing carefree on the swings and in the playground and appeared to be checking a list that he drew out of his side pocket and seemed to have no end. What on earth was he doing? This could take a very ugly turn.

And it did.

Marissa was an old lady who couldn’t hear very well. She couldn’t see very well either, despite the fact that she wore glasses with lenses as thick a piece of gammon at Christmas lunch. She also used a cane to walk, which she would also occasionally use as a weapon lest any “young rascal” would try to steal her bag. She would take her young grandson to the park every afternoon and sit at the bench watching him (or at least someone who looked like him from afar) enjoy himself in the playground. She had become acquainted with the other children and parents who spent their time there too. Therefore, whenever a “newbie” arrived, everyone would notice. They were as easy to recognize as a fly drowning in milk.

The past few days, however, ever since the beginning of December, Marissa noticed the frequent presence of a rather fat and peculiar old man. He was oddly jolly with everyone and was very fond of children. Perhaps too fond, according to Marissa. And he was always there. From the moment she and little Everett arrived, to the moment they left, that old man was sitting on the adjacent bench taking notes.

A week later, after Marissa had ran through her mind all the possible things this man might be noting – all of which were remarkably anomalous, no matter how you looked at it – she decided it was time to take action. She did consider walking over there and whacking him on the head with her cane, then grabbing his list and running to the police to file a report against him as a pedophile. But there were two problems with that: she couldn’t see very well and due to the holiday season more and more people began to draw a liking to red clothing and she might thus end up hitting someone else; and then she couldn’t run very fast, so by the time she had made her way out of the park, he might regain consciousness and chase after her. So, Marissa decided to do the only proper and responsible thing she knew: she would call the police.

Her report said that an old man with white hair and beard, dressed in a red suit that was unflattering for his age, was constantly roaming around the park, observing the kids and making notes. Just to be sure that the police wouldn’t make fun of her, she did send an instant message from her tablet (that had a big enough screen for her to be sure she had captured at least part of the man in question).

It didn’t take long for the police to arrive. The German Shepherd dog accompanying them was already growling, but for some strange reason it stopped the minute its eyes located the old man. And surprisingly it sat down and refused to go near or attack, no matter how much the policemen were yelling. The old man did not even budge.

Yet, all of a sudden, chaos broke out. Seeing that the dog had no intention of chasing or attacking the suspect, the police officers decided to take matters into their own hands. They began to scream, whistle and shout – if there was the appropriate music, it would even seem that they were trying to do the Twist.

And then began the run.

The old man, seeing a handful of unusually frightening young men in police attire racing like raging bulls towards him, got up and began to run too. The kids, thinking this was some sort of festive game, thought it would be fun to join in. And the German Shepherd dog decided it was time to get a move on too. The parents, afraid the dog might attack the children or the police might fire a shot that may reach an unintentional target, raced like mad and white as ghosts, behind the mob. It was complete havoc. And on the side, Marissa was taking photos on her tablet – you know, for evidence.

The old man ran into the forest-y area of the park where a wooden shed was located, he rushed in before the police closed up – the dog was for some reason being intentionally slow at catching up.

And then…

Police, dog, children, parents, the kiosk-owner who had approached out of curiosity, the candyman who was looking for kids to sell his produce to, and Marissa (who was still taking photos), all looked up at the sky, rubbing their eyes. They could not believe what they saw. A sleigh. Yes, a sleigh, a red one with a small turbo engine at the back and a dozen reindeer – yes, those horned animals that look like deer – pulling it along. It all disappeared before the bedazzled crowd managed to take a second blink.

The police stormed the wooden shed, with the dog barking happily beside them. There was nothing in there apart from some hay – most of which appeared to have been consumed – and some firewood. Nothing else.

So where did the old man dressed in red go? And did they really see what they thought they saw?

When the police questioned Marissa, she told them she had photo evidence. But when they confiscated her tablet to see for themselves, all they found was funny-looking selfies of a befuddled old lady in the park.

Surviving without the Net

mac-internet-sharingThere is a child in a pram holding a tablet. It can barely say two words but it knows how to swerve its fingers in order to play a virtual game. There is another one which needs a screen in front of it depicting moving images, so it can eat a spoonful of food. Then there are the older ones that have a smartphone stuck to their hands as if their life depends on it. There is a man who enters the swimming pool with a digital gadget in a waterproof case. And these are not unique cases.

We spend our days fixed onto a screen; a digital depiction of reality, while real life passes us by. We are so deeply addicted to this new-age “disease” that we cannot even imagine life without it. Without a smartphone, a tablet, a computer, or simply put, the Internet.

So much, that when you are found in a location with no Internet access, you immediately classify it as an uncivilized place – because, really, who in this day and age does not offer free Wi-Fi!? – and then you struggle to survive a few days without the one thing that has become an intrinsic part of your day. You can feel the withdrawal symptoms already kicking in in less than 24 hours. You desperately try to find a Wi-Fi network anywhere. Simply to log-on and surf the web. Just open a browser onto any page. To view anything. Simply to feel ‘safe’ that you are online, even for 5 minutes. To sense that you are in familiar space, no matter if that is virtual.

By the end of day one, your hands are already itchy. You are even considering knitting. Simply to keep yourself busy.

We have become so addicted to the Internet – that place where you can find literally anything – that surviving without it seems like balancing without a net. And as we become all the more connected and digitally forward, we become socially awkward network junkies. All the while, reality continues to pass us by, without us even noticing.

Cops and Robbers

kids_playing_029_01A very popular children’s game, especially for the younger ages, is cops and robbers. The rules of the game are simple: one group plays the robbers, the bandits having done something bad, most probably robbed a bank for example, and the other group plays the policemen chasing after them in order to bring them to justice, i.e. prison. The game is based on the commonly acceptable rules of how society works.

But when did the cops suddenly become the bad guys and the robbers the good ones, the ones who are actually supported and justified by everyone else? In the violent riots that have broken out in countries facing the ruthless measures of austerity, where their people are brought to the brink of exasperation and suicides and crime have seen a dramatic increase, why are the police portrayed as the bad guys? The ones who attack and strike without reason. Who throw tear gas and pin commoners to the ground with unjustifiable causes. And the robbers, those that run amuck, looting and destroying private property are rationalized by public opinion. But most of all, why is it that every group of people is generalized? That all policemen are bad. And all robbers justified for having resorted to stealing?

In Greece, Golden Dawn, an extreme nationalist and right-wing party is gaining ground faster than you can say its name. It is after the robbers. But it is no police. At least it has no authority like that mandated by policemen. Its members take matters into their own hands, simply because the police – being dubbed as the bad guys – are no longer able to act, out of fear they might be persecuted themselves. And going back to the generalization trend, Golden Dawn targets immigrants, because it declares that all immigrants are bad for this country and that they overstay their welcome. It might be true that the more frequent robberies, looting, stabbing and killings are the “work” of immigrants but maybe, just maybe, not all immigrants are bad. Of course nobody considers that. Because when your child, your relative, your friend, is out for a walk one evening and ends up being stabbed by immigrants in an attempt to steal, then you end up understanding the reason behind Golden Dawn’s anger and begin yourself to feel a despise for these immigrants that have turned your country into a purgatory. But not all robbers are immigrants. Just like not all immigrants are robbers. And Golden Dawn certainly cannot be justified for targeting them all.

But you see, that is the problem with games. You never quite know how they will turn out in reality. If the cops and robbers – the good guys and the bad guys – reverse roles, what happens? And yes, there also are Cowboys and Indians, but who is the good and the bad there? For the Conquistadores in South America were the ones who plundered and took over by force the land of the Indians leading them to near extinction. Good and Bad are in the end theoretical terms. And it remains up to the perception, understanding, principles and ethics, of each individual to give them meaning.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Toy Story

Help in need and in deed

charity1It is often said that you never truly appreciate something until you no longer have it. And that is true for a range of things: from material possessions to life itself. It is only when you are found at the needy end of the circle of life when you really even begin to understand the importance of having, of giving and of helping each other. Charities understand that well. And acknowledge it for that matter. And it is why people should learn to appreciate them more, to help them and to contribute in whatever way possible. Because they not only need donors but also volunteers. People who have the courage to deal with these situations on a daily basis. And who will assist such operations. To help them help others. Because that is what they do. Usually without bureaucracy or administration. No added burden. Just aid. In some way, it is like something Lincoln said (in a different context but still applicable): help from the people, by the people, for the people.

It is stunning and quite tragic at how countries that for so long projected to the outer world an image of prosperity, affluence and plenty have now resorted to charities, appeals and pleas for help in order to feed and clothe their people. And when you witness the poverty, deprivation and hardships that exist, you consider yourself lucky you have clothes in your closet and food in your fridge. When people go ashamed, with tears in their eyes to ask for help, when they feel their pride being trampled over by a state that doesn’t seem to care, you consider yourself fortunate for all you have.

Help is needed much more than it is given. And those in need greatly outnumber those that offer help. Not those that can, but those that will. For the rich that would donate to the poor are often few and usually for their own selfish gains. But there are some that do go out and buy things simply to give them away to the less fortunate. With no gains and no self-interest in mind. Just the satisfaction of offering a helping hand. It is people like these the world needs. People who will help their fellow citizens no matter what the cost. Who acknowledge what it means to have nothing and to alleviate the suffering caused by factors beyond their control. To see the faces of children light up as they receive a toy, even if it is used. After all, isn’t that what the world should be striving to save? The future? Our children? Our hope?

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