MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “dailypost”

Escape boots

dadsshoesWhenever I wanted to get away…to escape from it all…from the mundane routine that was choking me, or bringing me down, I would put on these boots and go”. His voice was sore, as though it was suppressing all the pain he felt and from which he desired to flee from. The boots were a gift from a German friend. One with whom he would often go wandering in the mountains. It was the only way he could find some peace, some spiritual relaxation.

But now… If I could only remember where I left them”, he uttered almost in despair.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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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.

A shining star in a dim sky

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GV1XqVMta2c/V9OWt2dc12I/AAAAAAAAE2k/FynYSq2JkNMytbviNilB41CD2JSBpt7JgCLcB/s1600/shining-star.jpgThere is a story an elderly monk used to tell his young novices:

“There was a star born one night in the darkness. Its light was dim and it could hardly be seen in the night sky. No-one really even knew it was there. It existed unnoticed. The star was upset and disappointed. It felt invisible. But as time passed it was growing in size. Disheartened as it was with life, its shine was still absent. A dim star is one that hardly exists. Other stars gathered beside it, bigger or smaller, they were certainly brighter. The star – that was no longer little – became even more upset. It was discouraged by the competition. One night it heard a little girl point to the sky and shout in amazement “look at all the bright lights!”. The star felt for the first time noticed. And for this,  it wanted to make its presence even more prominent. So it tried with all its heart to shine the brightest. And suddenly the entire sky lit up. The sky was hiding its glow within it; over the years it had gathered so much light but failed to find a way to transmit it. Or rather, a reason to do so. It’s difficult to be a shining star in a dim sky. But you should never allow the fear of glowing too brightly from dimming the shine you have within you. And knowing that you’re bright all alone. No need to be compared with anyone else.”

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dim

An irresistible odour

http://www.emme-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/cc.jpgAs soon as he opened the door, it filled his nostrils. That sweet, delicious smell of homemade cookies. Christmas cookies. It was an odour that could soothe even the most anxious and aggravated of souls. He didn’t require soothing. He rejoiced in that some things in his life were the way he wanted them to be; at least most of the time.

Baking, or cooking, they say is an art. But the secret ingredient to every meal, dish or sweet is something that is not written in any recipe. It is the feelings you put into whatever it is you’re making. This is what makes your food simply irresistible (there is a relevant movie about this!).

Just like everything in life, we create through the emotions that build up inside us. We often also bring our own destruction by holding too many things inside. But we need to keep finding ways to turn those intense feelings into something creative. Something that will be enjoyed by all and will ultimately make us feel better.

This is what he wanted when he insisted so much on baking the cookies. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, he stated, and this meant doing fun things with the people you love. It was not a time for bickering, but one for laughter and joy. Isn’t that the point of it all anyway? To feel loved and be happy?

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Push the button

petergriffin - do not push buttonLife can change in an instant. It is at those moments you realise how short time is. How little you spend truly appreciating things that are important, and actually living. It is in those instants that you suddenly awake at the thought that you spend too many moments overthinking and worrying about things that won’t matter later on.

An instant is all it takes for the world to change.

In an age where technology has evolved to the extent that it connects people across countries, continents, oceans, time zones with just a click of a button, anything is possible. At any moment. In just an instant.

In our daily lives we are constantly pushing buttons. Some are in the form of switches, like the one you press to turn the light on or off. Some buttons start our cars, open doors, turn on the cooker / boiler, launch our computers/ tablets / phones. Things that we nowadays take for granted and happen automatically.

But what happens if we push the wrong button? If suddenly – in an instant – we mistakenly erase important data that we can’t recover? It is in that instant that time freezes. It is then that we realise how much power a simple button has, and how much we have entered an automated mode that we often do things – press buttons – without really considering the consequences.

We live life on full speed and when things get a bit out of hand we panic, we feel lost and desperate. It is not about the speed with which we do things. It’s about the buttons we push and the impact they will have on our lives. Even if it is just one button. The implications may be huge. Just think that a bomb – any type of – can explode at the simple push of one button.

A Platanus of history

IMG_20171029_135031_179

©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

 

The world and a star

https://www.dhresource.com/0x0/f2/albu/g4/M01/B1/40/rBVaEVb_gaWAKHKHAADUsZQWqqQ077.jpgThe footsteps in the snow were still there when he woke. It was the last thing she left him when she slammed the door the night before.

She was tired of fighting. She was tired of the sudden mood swings. She was exhausted that every time everything seemed almost perfect, something – the tiniest glitch – would come along to ruin it all.

And it was usually an action incited by another person.

With Harry’s consent.

Of course.

Because Bertha knew well that if he had not wanted it to happen, he could simply say no. He could set his limits. He could actually show his girlfriend that he respected her. That he heard her when she told him repeatedly that she was bothered by certain behaviour. That he was loyal to her alone. Things, that if were the other way round, Harry would not have reacted so calmly or tolerate it all.

Bertha tried to be the bigger person.

But sometimes, even the strongest people break too.

Because all a person truly wants, is the certainty that the person they love will choose them over everyone else, under any circumstance.

She gave him a choice.  She shouldn’t have had to.

But he did not choose her.

She threw away the balloons and the present she was to give him during the surprise party she had organised for him the next day.

It didn’t matter now.

He had not chosen her.

He had placed everything else above what she thought was something that would last through hail and storm.

She would have given him the world. But he was too stubborn to even give her a star.

 

When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman you tell her that she’s the one…”
                                                   (Have you ever really loved a woman – Bryan Adams)

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Loyal

The shape of love

hearty-bread

©Kelvin M. Knight

“Do you know how the heart symbol came to be?”  Her grandfather saw her gazing mesmerized at the unexpected shape on the sliced bread.

“There’s the belief that this drawing we use to symbolize love and all its associates is in reality two human hearts fused together as one”.

She looked at him, her eyes suddenly sparkling.

“Is that the reason we are constantly searching for our other half? To feel whole?”

“It may very well be”, he replied.

His wife came into the room. It didn’t matter how old they were, he still beamed every time he saw her.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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

Flowery secrets

flowers-and-packing-boxes-dale-r

©Dale Rogerson

So what did he do?

Huh?

The flowers. He must have done something in need of a cover-up”.

No. Not Matthew”. Erika’s smile seemed to radiate from inside of her. She gleamed as she reminisced of last night and blushed as she realised everyone was staring at her.

So you mean to say he brought you two flower arrangements for no reason?

Yes, that’s what love is”. She sighed as she sneaked a peak of the newly-acquired ring that shone on her left hand. It had happened suddenly.

His card this morning read “thank you for lighting up my life”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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