Love comes in different forms. It may develop unexpectedly, or it may rush into you like a hurricane. There is no single word to describe it, because the feelings it affects are endless.
Love is more than just a word. It’s how it makes you feel: the comfort, warmth and safety it embraces you with; the gratitude, fulfillment and joy it causes to overwhelm you; the inexplicable smile, positivity and sunshine that it helps you radiate.
Just like Eskimos have fifty-two names for snow – because it is so vital for them – love may not have as many names, but there are many ways in which to experience it.
Love, is “a tremendously important realm of feeling” (Robert Johnson). It “is the greatest refreshment in life”(Pablo Picasso), because “it is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves” (John Bulwer).
We love in different ways, but we can offer an endless supply of love to various people for different reasons. It is so abundant that it itself is capable of offering life, energy, value, support, the more it is spread. You think of love and you can only evoke positive emotions. Sometimes there is no real reason why you love someone or something. You just do, because of the way it makes you feel. And that is an emotion that is hard to forget.
* World Love Day is celebrated every year on December 14th. The purpose of this day is to put aside all negative feelings, thoughts and words that have been said. To think only positively and the reasons we love our people.
Every time the smell of leather filled his nostrils, he remembered that incident on the bus. He was well aware why he had associated this pungent smell of processed skin with a means of transport. It was all because of the new leather bag the woman sitting on the front seat held full of pride that so dominantly inflicted its scent onto his subconscious. Whatever the case, despite the churning of his stomach every time that smell encountered his nose, he could not help but smile as he recounted that particular episode.
It was a day he was heading off for the airport for a business trip. He had scheduled his parting time from the town promptly, in order to arrive at the departure lounge with plenty of time to spare. There was always some unexpected adventure to happen on the way. It was bound to occur with his peculiar strand of luck.
And it did.
Once on the bus, he presented the driver with 1.5 times the amount for the ticket, as he did not have the precise change. The driver searched his pockets, his fanny pack, his side-lockers to find the right amount of coins to give back. All the while, our traveler waited, trying to hold on and not go sliding down the bus aisle due to the clumsy driving that was taking place at the same time. That is right where the woman with the pungent leather bag was sitting. He remembered it precisely because she wore a huge black hat with a black feather sticking out on the right side, and he recalled wondering what on earth was in that bag that could actually fit the crocodile out of whose skin it was made.
The bus reached the next stop and the driver was still frantically searching for change. He turned round and asked the passenger sitting behind him if he had some cash. Then he asked the traveler for some too. The traveler remained dumbfounded. If he had the cash, would he not have given the exact change needed in the first place and avoided this commotion?
Change was finally found and deposited in the traveler’s hand. Now all that remained was the ticket.
“Hold on. It’s not that simple”. The driver seemed confused and in disarray. So was the traveler. What on earth was going on?
At the fourth stop since the traveler had embarked, the driver got out of his cabin, took a ticket, validated it in the machine, tore it in half and gave one end to the traveler and the other to the old man sitting behind the driver. “I’ve run out of reduced-price tickets, so you’ll have to share one,” he said as he calmly returned behind the wheel and continued his shabby driving, satisfied he had sorted it all out.
The traveler gazed at his half-ticket in amazement. This was a first. But, he simply took his bag and moved a bit further down the leather-smelling front to finally sit down for the rest of the bumpy ride.
Even after disembarking from that bus, he could still smell the leather bag right until he entered the shower later that evening at his foreign destination. He had also kept the half-ticket. Just in case no-one believed him when he recounted this story.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Smell You Later
She suffered from being too organized. If that ever was a sickness, she was the number one patient. Victoria was obsessed with having everything in order. She felt it was the only way she could control whatever life threw at her. That is why she succumbed to a panic attack when she realized that afternoon that she had lost it.
The ring Danny gave her.
She never took it off her finger, unless she was washing clothes by hand. Then she would place it on the little shelf under the mirror on top of the marble wash-basin and she would stare at it, daydreaming, as she scrubbed the delicate clothes clean. Once she had hung the clothes to dry, she would return, soften her hands by rubbing on cream, and replace the silver ring to its rightful place on her finger.
But today, something went wrong. She realized the ring was missing from her finger when she reached for a piece of cake during afternoon coffee with her friend Emily who had come over to share some gossip. What ensued could only be described as havoc, as an anxious Victoria stormed the bathroom and then paced nervously around every room of the house, re-tracing every step she had made – and which she remembered – in order to find the lost jewel. Emily could do little to console her friend.
It’s hard being a perfectionist. You can never take anything lightly. And never let anything go. Not even when Danny said the ring could be replaced. But for Victoria it would never be the same.
It was a beautiful afternoon in the park and Vincent had taken Buster out for a walk. The golden retriever basked in the sun for a few minutes, then sprung to its feet and called for a game of Frisbee. Vincent loved this game as his dog always made the most unaccepted leaps, catching the Frisbee in his mouth, no matter how far it went. So he always tried to throw it as far as possible; for him this was also a very good way to make new acquaintances. And Buster was on his own so adorable.
The Frisbee was heading for the lake when Buster made a leap worthy of professional jumpers, and caught it with his teeth glistening in the sunlight as he fell in the waters with a grand splash, cooling everyone who happened to be around the scene. Vincent ran to apologise to the surprised onlookers, when he saw something small glistening at the edge of the pond.
It was a silver ring.
He picked it up and read the inside engraving “I will love you forever, Danny”.
Someone must be very concerned this is lost, he thought. But on the other hand, what if it was intentionally thrown away? What if this was a love story gone all bad? Sometimes love doesn’t always head in the direction the heart wants, he pondered, as Buster joyfully bounced to his side requesting another round of Frisbee.
She had done this for ages. It was a profession carried on for generations, for as long as she could remember. Her mother had taught her how, and she was in turn trained by her mother and so forth. They roamed the country practicing it and she had learned to read people better than she read the cards before her.
People came to her seeking a glimpse into their future. They wanted to feel the illusion of being able to control what would arrive. The majority never really believed the fortune-teller and they all thought that she was just taking their money in exchange for a few positive words that had no reasonable basis. Yet they still went. People are like that. Silly and gullible.
Yet they are also longing and hopeful. And this is what the fortune-teller relied on.
She only remembered the cases that most strongly made an impression on her. And there was this one couple she could never forget. Not even five years later. She had felt their aura since before they had entered her tent at the local fair. The young woman had convinced the man to go see her. She had said it would be fun. They were newly-weds and you could tell by the sparkle in their eyes, by how they gazed into each other so lovingly, by how in love they appeared.
The first thing the fortune-teller noticed when they sat before her was the silver ring on the girl’s finger. There was something about it. It had brought them so much love and happiness, but for some reason it would also bring them so much pain and suffering.
She pretended to look into the crystal ball and began to tell them that they would have a long and happy life together. The couple smiled and squeezed each other’s hand. But the fortune-teller was not telling the truth. It was one of those rare instances that she looked into the ball in her hands and felt a déjà vu. She felt her vision become misty and could almost see what the couple’s future would be – it was cloudy and grey, shadows had creeped over their rays of sunshine, and it was all caused by a small circle, a loop, a ring.
“Hold on to each other, but not too tight, or else you will lose one another forever,” she said as the couple walked out of the tent. The girl looked at the fortune-teller as she turned to leave. She said nothing, although her smile had faded.
The fortune-teller looked back into her crystal ball and saw a reflection of her own dark complexion staring back. Fate was never something anyone could ever foresee. Or control.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads
The leather couch used to squeak whenever he would slide down onto it. It didn’t anymore. You could even feel the small dent in the middle caused by all those people it had accommodated over the years. He could proudly or shamefully (it depends how you saw it) proclaim that he had grown up right there on that brown leather couch. In that down town office that was as modern as could be, with white walls that were repainted every five years and modern, funky furniture that invited the waiting patients and offered the illusion that they would take their troubles away.
That was the first word he heard every time he sat on that couch. It was Mr. Waterman’s job, though, to say so. He needed his patients calm so that they could pour out their soul to him during the next hour and he could attempt to provide some solution, consolation or advice to their problems. And these were many and varied. But over the years he had heard a lot. Just not from one particular patient. This one had proven to be an especially difficult case.
Brandon would simply refuse to speak out, to tell the professional sitting across him what troubled his mind, what made his heart ache, where his eyes wandered when he stared at the horizon out of the window. Whatever the exhortations or appeals Mr Waterman would use, discreetly or not, Brandon did not want to speak. He simply sufficed to say that he had nothing to say. Mr Waterman even tried to entice him with milkshakes and chocolate, but that didn’t work even when he was a young child, let alone now.
After around twenty years of therapy, Brandon still had nothing to say. Yet, he was as confused and tormented inside as he had always been. A storm was still brewing inside of him. It was just silent to the outer world.
Brandon was a child that kept to himself. He became quite the introvert as a young man, although he loved to socialize and go out with friends. But when he returned home, he liked to stay in his room doing his own thing, whatever that was – reading a book, listening to music, surfing the web. And just like he disturbed no one, he himself did not like to be disturbed. His upper class parents believed he was a troubled child. They described him as “emotionally unavailable” and “awkward” and pleaded Mr Waterman to “fix him”. So Brandon grew up in the office of a shrink. Only none of them knew about it.
Mr Waterman watched Brandon grow from a quiet boy into an unsuccessful rebel, into an elegant and well-educated young man. From the few things Brandon had uttered in his office, the professional understood that the boy felt misunderstood, that no one could comprehend what he felt or thought and that is why he preferred to stay silent. So the hours were spent talking about culture, the news, and well, anything other than himself. The latest thing that made Brandon’s eyes gleam with excitement was a photo book of the most amazing places in the world that should be visited. The first-page inscription –a quote by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for” – was what mostly inspired his heart to sing. But Mr Waterman knew that the storm would finally break out; he could see it the young man’s eyes, his gaze was looking further than meets the eye. It was obvious that he was in search of something out there that was not immediately visible.
And the storm arrived.
It came in the form of a hand-written letter and a tidied-up room.
I run because I no longer want to hide.
Because there is so much more out there to explore.
Because I want to move on with my life and do something substantial.
Because I feel I cannot reach my true potential if I am locked down here, without facing any real challenges or the endless possibilities that seem to be out there.
Because I want to be somewhere where people know me for me and not because of who I know.
Because I want to be heard without needing to yell and fight.
Because I want to rediscover the joy of Fridays and looking forward to the weekend.
Because I want to live and see places and not just hear about them from other people’s past experiences.
Because I want to find a house that is mine from the start, that I decorate and organise to fit my needs.
Because it is part of growing up and independence is a powerful thing to have.
Because I don’t want to waste time anymore, waiting.
Because I want to finally find and taste at least one happy ending.
I run because I am not running. I simply want to live.
To say all women are bitches is a very broad generalization. And we shouldn’t generalize as much. Because women can also be kittens, cats, tigers, even lionesses at times. It is safe to say, however, that all women have an animal inside.
There have been many many things said about women. Ever since the beginning of time, a woman is considered “the weaker sex”, but at the same time the complicated one, the controversial one, and the emotional one (exhibited in every sense). In modern times, women have become all the more empowered, emancipated and confident. Something that leads to the derogatory term that originated in the 14th century and suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a (female) dog in heat. However, today, the range of meanings has expanded in modern usage and in a feminist context, it can indicate a strong or assertive woman. It is also reminiscent of the fact that if you treat a woman right, you’ll have an angel for life, but be warned “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.
It is is a common saying that behind every successful man, there is a brilliant woman, or as John Lennon put it “there is a great woman behind every idiot”. The Ancient Greeks described the world’s three evils as being “fire, women and the sea”. It is no wonder why women are seen as such diverse creatures (being one I can testify first-hand). Women have to fight with mood swings that catch everyone by surprise, even themselves at times. They have to bleed once a month and deal with the consequent PMS that comes along with this. They are more jealous than the queen of the alley cats and are willing to get into extremes simply to mark their own territory. Women rarely embroil in “cat fights”, however, preferring the more effective sarcastic and fake compliment-offering instead. In fact, this is also a huge difference with men – how often have you heard of men quarrelling being described as a “dog fight”? Men actually pride of being called a “dog”, contrasting the equivalent situation for the female gender.
Women bedazzle men and other women because more often than not they do not know what they want, but they expect others to know. They want you to understand without them having to explain. You need to know and anticipate their every move and desire, and most times you will never get it right either way, whatever it is you do. Perhaps this is why men discovered the phrase “Yes, dear”, most effectively said with a condescending nod.
Females of all species are indeed hard to understand. They need constant courting and attention, unless they don’t. So go figure. They are too hard to understand, almost impossible. But at the same time it is this constant mystery that enwraps them that makes them so attractive, so provocatively intoxicating and so difficult to live without.
Let’s face it, Adam could not live alone without Eve, even if she was the reason they both got expelled from Paradise. So let her complain, let her moan and nag, let her shout and cry, it will all pass. Wouldn’t you want to be there for the good times? The sweetness, the generosity, the surprises? She will definitely make it all worth it. Women have that ability. To make up for everything in the end.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Unsung Heroes
Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. When they came of age and were ready to move out of the house, their parents told them that they should build strong houses to protect themselves from the big bad wolf who roamed the country and was constantly an imminent danger to them. So, to cut a long story short, the first little piggy built a straw house that was blown down by the wolf in seconds. The second little piggy built a wooden house which was also destroyed instantly by the wolf and they both ran to the third piggy who was smart enough to build a brick house which was almost impenetrable to the wolf.
“Couldn’t he get a power drill to break it down?”
“Why? Are you on the side of the wolf? He’s supposed to be the big and bad one. It’s the little piggies that you should root for!”
“Yes, but everyone deserves a fair chance…Maybe he just wanted to talk to them and be friends because he was lonely and his aggression was the only way of outing his suppressed feelings”.
“OK, Jack, let’s move on to the next story. That might put you to sleep.”
So there was a prince that the whole kingdom was proud of. And yes, in that time, such people still existed. When he became of marrying age, his father decided to hold a ball to find him a suitable princess to marry. So invitations were sent far and wide, and all the fair maidens excitedly began to prepare for the biggest night of the year.
“Oh, I know what happened! A wicked witch came the night before the ball and cursed the prince into a wolf. He had to find his princess by midnight or he would forever remain a wolf!”
“OK, that’s an interesting twist. So this Wolf Prince, then…”
“Wait, why not Prince Wolf?”
“Well, because that sounds like barking more than anything else.
So this Wolf Prince started to panic. It was a full moon that night and the King began to fear he would start to howl too. So the Queen placed a cloak over the Prince’s head because terror would ensue if people saw his real (cursed) face.
Maidens stormed into the ballroom and began their frantic attempts to conquer the heart of the Prince. But it was not easy. Especially given the mental and physical state he was now in. But it was only a few minutes before midnight, when the doors of the ballroom opened wide and a bright light came flooding into the room, causing many to cover their eyes. The Prince was mesmerized by the white figure that stood in front of the spotlight. It was a young maiden, dressed in a sparkling white ballroom dress and as she elegantly descended the steps, he saw the crystal glass slippers she was wearing. Her blonde hair, golden as the light that was accompanying her, fell gently around her shoulders. When she looked into his eyes, he knew instantly that she was the one. He had a few minutes left. So he took her hand immediately, stared into her eyes and told her “I’ve been waiting for you”, to which she softly replied “sorry I was late”.
At the sound of midnight, the Prince’s wolf form magically changed back to his charming self, as his cloak dropped while he was dancing with the new Princess of the realm. And from then on, they lived happily ever after.
Now you should go to sleep. I’ve told you two stories tonight.”
“OK, but what happened to the witch?”
“Well, nothing really. She probably went to find the wolf so that neither would be lonely anymore and they could control their evil tendencies”.
“That’s nice”, the little boy said with a smile as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
It was windy that day. Barry remembered it well. He lost three feathers in that whirlwind that took his town by literally a storm. It was the pain from the third feather being ruthlessly plucked out from his tail that made him take the decision. He was going to go to the city.
Life in a big city was not easy for a pigeon. It was not easy for anyone actually from what he witnessed. He had to fight off human scavengers near the dumpsters in search of food. And no matter how slowly you closed up onto someone sitting on a bench somewhere, they would for some reason “shoo” you away instead of throw you a breadcrumb or something. People in the city were rude. That is what Barry figured a few days after he took the giant flight to move out of his tiny town.
Expectations of course are not always met and Barry found himself in a situation quite different to what he had imagined. In the city you always risked being run over. By cars, by bicycles, motorbikes, rollerblades, even by these ‘people’ on foot. They didn’t care that you were trying to munch away on that big piece of bread you found lying on the floor, or that you were in a hurry to gulp it down before some other big pigeon of the ‘Goodfeathers’ clan came and grabbed it from you. No, all they cared about was that you were in their way. Half the times they didn’t even pay attention to you.
Of course the fact that Barry was quite small compared to the fat pigeons of the city, did not help his case either.
Barry found it rough in the city. There was too much noise, too many people, too many pigeons, and not enough food for all of them. And they were all too egocentric. He had been in the city for a week and had made no friends. Hardly anyone would talk to him at all. Instead he had been pushed over a branch he was sleeping on one night for ‘trespassing private territory’; he had a close encounter with a motorbike helmet; had an ‘unfortunate accident’ on a shiny car top that was parked underneath the tree he was taking a nap in and got violently yelled at; and had to wrestle for his daily crumbs with a whole bunch of pumped-up pigeons.
That night with the owl hooting under the full moon and the car horns filling out the silence that should have been, he decided to put an end to his city expedition.
Living in a city was exciting. But you had to be rough to endure life with such high adrenaline levels. Barry preferred the breeze of his town; the gossip he exchanged with his friends every morning, the fact that the neighbor had named all the pigeons that resided in the tree in his yard; and the silence that came together with nightfall. He would return to the city every now and then; everyone needs such a reality check, simply to appreciate the wonders they already have. “Better be great in a town, than ignored in a city” he thought as he made the flight home.
Grizelda, who also went by Grizzie, was one of those girls that gave “bitches” their name. She was tall and sturdy, almost manly in some light. But she was also a femme fatale when circumstances called for it. She was determined to get what she wanted no matter the cost, and rarely cared about what other people think. She had one weapon in her purse and never failed to use it: her rich father’s gold credit card.
Cindy on the other hand was exactly the opposite. She did care what other people thought and felt, often too much. She put the good of others before her own and that led to many a heartbreak. But she lived to love life and not money. She wanted to succeed on her own and refused to live beyond her means. She worked hard and strived to accomplish her ambitions in life. Her weapon was her dreams and the strength she mustered in her soul to fulfill them one day.
Cindy was the type of person many would see as a “push-over”. But in reality she wasn’t. She fought for what she wanted and stood up to others no matter their rank or status. Even to Grizzie.
You could never tell these two were sisters. Let alone twins.
They were nothing alike.
Cindy learnt life the hard way. She would take the bus and metro and train to work. She would work an unending shift, go home, cook, clean and engage in an attempt for a social life, while she tried to balance rent, necessities and fun on a meagre budget. She would count her savings at the end of the month and plan ahead if she had the luxury to go on a short trip somewhere nearby. Yet life taught her to be organized, to take into account the fact that other people are busy too, to set priorities, to comprehend when something is urgent, to foresee circumstances and to always be prepared.
But Grizzie was not like that. She seemed to be living in her own little world that was not even close to reality. She drove to work in a car that was cleaned and fueled by someone else. She worked at the family business, hence had her own office, title and paycheck without truly even knowing what the company was about. She ran around with her friends, was constantly wired up on all her e-gadgets, and could not care less that some people had to work for a living. She was the type of person that left everything until the last minute, or until it best suited herself, not caring about what that may cost the other. In fact “the other” simply did not exist. Life was for her to live and enjoy; not to worry about everything else. She couldn’t fix things anyway, so why bother?
Cindy learned a lot from observing Grizzie. She learned that she never wanted to be like her. And she felt sorry that there are so many people who are so similar to her in this world. People who spend their lives drifting, but never truly absorbing anything. People who look around but don’t really see anything. People who exist, but don’t ever live.
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing” – Oscar Wilde