MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “forest”

The real home we have

Her flat was beautiful, albeit small. Her parents had invested almost all their savings in securing for her a place of her own. In return, she gratefully ceded to them most of her income so that they could live a respectable life without needing to make more sacrifices.

But one day, the bank transaction went all wrong. She fell victim of a phishing scam that she could not revoke, and almost all her money was gone in an instant.

She could have done two things: either let it break her completely, delving into desperation; or allow it to make her stronger, changing her entire lifestyle.

She decided to do the latter.

With a sense of almost relief, liberation and excitement for the new adventure that opened up before her, she moved into the heart of the forest.

Using the little money she had left, she managed to build a wooden cabin based on an idea she saw in a viral video.

She retreated into isolation, knowingly and fully conscious of the huge alteration she was imposing on her life.

Yet, she was happy. And more relaxed and self-aware than she had ever been.

Her company was the woodland creatures that seemed to have emerged from a Disney movie.

She would spend hours observing them and witnessing the small traits each had; how their behavior was kinder, softer and more genuine than that of humans; how they treated one another without harm; and how they took care of the environment in which they lived and did not destroy their own habitat.

The forest was almost secluded in winter, as the paths would turn into swamps and crossing them became difficult.

But she did not mind.

Summer was the most social of seasons, when campers would disturb her isolation. She would exchange lifestyle habits with them, but it only served as a reminder that she was better off in her remoteness, away from a world in which she felt she did not belong.

In the end, it didn’t matter where she lived; what was important was feeling well inside her physical and spiritual home – her own body.

“You can live in a house, but your real home is inside you” – Leonard Jacobson

The Archer

https://lh5.ggpht.com/l9mykkNXAk5GQA2yRa3ml5CrenDBghDsjINP5cjEvy0WuPFIb4oJ7ZB1w9MLURSBp-hk=w300The bowstring tore his cheek as the arrow flung to hit the hanging branch. He was trying to outrun the voices behind him, and every few paces he would turn and try to find deterrents to block their way. It was already getting dark and it was easier now to get lost in the woods. That served to his advantage. No-one knew the forest as well as he did. It was his home.

They called him The Archer. All they really knew about him was that whatever he stole, he would replace with something else. So, for example, if he stole a loaf of bread the one day, the next he would repay with a couple of fresh apples. He didn’t want to be considered a thief after all. And he always signed his name with a capital “A”.

But no-one had ever seen him. Despite the fact that he moved among them daily.

His mother was an Amazon, tamed by a Lord. Their marriage was a demonstration of how powerful love could be. But also of how profound. For when she got sick, he drunk his fortune away, and with it his son’s future. The boy was soon orphaned and left to fight for his own survival. All he knew how to do was use a bow better than anyone. He was very young when he was forced to discover the world, and the people of the village looked upon him with a mix of pity and fear. They would give him chores and various errands to run if they had any, but the pay was minimum, if at all, and the boy could not survive on that alone.

No-one seemed to care how he managed or where he lived. That was private business, or what they described as “personal issues”.

So the boy often disappeared as quickly and as easily as he appeared.

But no-one ever associated him with The Archer. He had become a legend, a sort of myth that made the forest and the nearby village an attraction. He became the terrifying story parents threatened their children with to make them behave. He had become a ghost despite still being alive.

He carved his own bows and arrows, made his own home, and by now knew all the places food could be found in plenty. He lived poorly but managed to gain all the necessities life handed abundantly and was satisfied with how well he fared. What he hated was the look in the villagers’ eyes. As The Archer phantom, he saw fear, prejudice, and loathing. So many negative feelings for a being they hardly knew. And as the boy, their eyes reflected sorrow, shame and sometimes compassion. But that is not what he wanted. All he desired was some kindness, someone to invite him into their home and share a warm meal with him. The boy, just like The Archer, simply wanted to be accepted. But in his own eyes, that was the most difficult feat of all.

This title has been hoarded too

Hoarding1Roger decided it was time he attended an H.A. meeting when he reached the point when he could not even find his bed anymore. He was one of the lucky few who had a home in one of the biggest trees in the forest so the situation he was now in was more than just “a pickle”.

He had heard about Hoarders Anonymous (H.A.) from his Aunt Sara who in turn had heard it from a cousin of a friend of someone else and it just got too complicated for him after that to follow the timeline of who found out about it first. The point was, however, that they existed and they promised to help.

Roger was a compulsive hoarder, but not a severely obsessed one. He could restrain himself, something that could not be said about some of the other participants of H.A. One of them had even gathered all the teaspoons that were set out with the coffee and tea that was offered during the meeting. And when wooden sticks were brought out to replace the vanished spoons, he even gathered those too!

Roger began hoarding as a baby squirrel. He was born in a drought and his family was always afraid they would never have enough acorns to survive the winter. So he too was infiltrated with the mentality that more is never enough: it was better to have the option of having something, than not having it at all in the first place. Having grown up this way, he couldn’t help himself now. He, like many other of his H.A. ‘co-sufferers’, assigned too much value to all of his possessions, seeing things in them that other people didn’t, and thus making it difficult for him to get rid of them. He believed that things may prove useful in the future or they simply reminded him of something, some moment or some person and thus he became emotionally attached. So, slowly, Roger’s nest began accumulating stuff of all sorts. He was very organized so he did manage to keep his home quite tidy. You couldn’t even tell he was hoarding so many things. Until that week when he became too busy, too tired and too lazy to arrange things. So they just kept piling up. And piling up. And covering furniture. To the extent that one day he couldn’t even find his bed, and that is when he decided radical action was necessary.

At H.A. all participants struggled with their hoarding obsessions. They knew it was unhealthy and very often costly in many ways other than money. But at this point it was something out of their control. Listening to the other participants speak, Roger knew he was better off.

One of them stated that she couldn’t sleep at all, not only because she couldn’t find the bed, or the bedroom for that matter, because everything was covered under heaps of stuff, but because whenever she closed her eyes she saw nightmares that she was stranded in the fourth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno. This was the one reserved for the “hoarders and the wasters”, where hoarders spend their lives acquiring wealth and material possessions—represented as giant boulders—and are forever doomed to push the crushing weight of the rocks against the opposing force of wasters. She thus had panic attacks added to her list of obsessive-compulsive traits. Another of the H.A. participants said that he became a hoarder when he found out that his idol, Andy Warhol, was also a hoarder and that his four-story Upper East Side town house was so jammed with items that the only rooms with paths through them were the kitchen and the bedroom. In fact, when Warhol died, in 1987, he left behind 610 cardboard boxes that he called time capsules and this fan wanted to live up to that.

Roger was now certain he was not the nutter anymore. When it was his turn to speak, he got up and said “I’m a hoarder and I know it”. They all gasped at his certainty and self-confidence. Roger had something these others didn’t. Self-restraint. He knew what he had to do. He just had to decide what was truly worth keeping and what was not. And if that didn’t work, he would just find another tree bark he could use as a storage room!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done!

A snowy escape

Five-Snow-AngelsNickie was excited. She had spent all week waiting for the weekend because that is when it would take place. A road trip to the mountains! But when Saturday came, she woke up to a cloudy sky with the sun losing at hide and seek. She was despaired, fearing that the trip would be cancelled especially as it suddenly began pouring with rain, accompanied with loud thunder and flashing lightning. She dreaded when the phone rang. She picked it up, while her heartbeats increased to a hundred. “Hey girl, don’t forget to put your boots on and dress warmly! I’ll be there in ten minutes!” That was it! It was still on. Nickie pulled on a warm fuzzy sweater, grabbed her woolen cap and mittens and rushed to the door.

Akira pulled up in ten minutes. Jennie and Edmond were already in the back seat with a huge smile on their face. They were all enthusiastic, despite the rain that was coming down harder now. Akira was a keen driver though and they all felt safe with him behind the wheel.

The town seemed grey and gloomy. There was hardly anyone walking around, not even driving for that matter. People preferred to stay indoors rather than give in to the howling winds outside. It was as if a blanket of depression had fallen over the city, transmitting that very feeling to those underneath it. That is why Nickie was so happy when they were now passing through a forest. The green of the leaves that had not fallen conveyed a sense of freedom. There was tranquility found in the forest, one so different to any other emotion felt anywhere else. It was so peaceful. It almost felt as if this acted as a shield to the hailstorm from which they had just escaped. The rain was significantly less here, and Akira could finally slow down the windscreen wipers, which so far were frantically jumping up and down.

But the magic really began when they reached the mountain. The winding climb up was not Nickie’s favourite. It always made her stomach turn, so every driver she was with knew well to slow down and be particularly careful. The first signs of what awaited for them at the top appeared from the white dots that appeared on the green leaves of the wild plants growing at the side of the road. Slowly the white glimpses overtook the green and the road itself began to be covered by snow. Snow!! Nickie felt the adrenaline rushing through her veins. As soon as the mountain peak appeared and she saw the entire slopes and valley covered with in snow, she placed her cap on, flaps covering her ears. Jennie and Edmond laughed but they too put on their mittens. As soon as Akira parked and said OK, they all ran out, like a herd finally gaining their freedom.

Nickie ran to the middle of a snow-covered plane and fell onto the snow. She loved this feeling, of a fluffy white blanket onto your back, while staring at the cloudy sky above and the snowflakes falling from the trees. She had always seen actors in movies doing this and she finally got to do it too – a snow angel! She felt so liberated, so carefree, so alive!

The four of them spent an entire day up in the mountains playing with snow, to the point where they didn’t want to leave. Akira had a surprise lined up though – they would stay at the mountain cottage tonight a bit further down, so they would have one extra day to play in the snow. Before they left, Nickie and Jennie began building a snowman. Akira and Edmond at first laughed, but soon began filling up the snowman’s belly. He was a cute one. They even placed two big stones for eyes, a twig for a nose and a lien of pebbles for a smile. He even had two larger twigs for hands. It was almost as if he winked and waved as they headed to the car, satisfied at a day away from worries and troubles. As if the snow had lightened up their gloomy moods. “This escape was so necessary”, they all agreed as they made their way to the cabin.

A spark in the forest

light in forestIt was the midst of the night, in a dark, humid and particularly unwelcoming part of the forest. Night owls were perching on the trees with their eyes gleaming like crystal stars among the emerald leaves. Suddenly he stepped on a fallen branch and the crack awakened a whole swarm of tiny birds which screeched such a deafening noise in chorus that all Patrick could do was fall on his knees covering his ears.

“Someone make it stop. Please,” he begged, as he sunk his head deeper into his chest and crawled up like a caterpillar on the floor of an enormous forest.

He sat there for what felt like half an hour. His shoulders were already tense and his neck started to hurt. Where on this planet was he anyway? He took out his compass. That was no help at all. The needle had gone crazy, spinning around with no direction, making it completely useless.

Antisios the prophet had told him to enter the unknown in order to find light. So what did that mean?

The only thing unbeknown to Patrick in the area was that forest. And now he was at the heart of it. Still not knowing. And it was so dark he could hardly see his feet moving. Who knows what was even crawling, sliding, or marching beside him!

As the birds disappeared amidst the trees, silence was restored. Now it all felt too quiet. So much, his breathing sounded as heavy as a trumpeter’s sighing. He walked on a little further. At the edge of his right eye he caught a rapid movement and froze on the spot, turning only his head to see a bear-like creature run with the speed of a leopard until it reached a thick-barked tree and then climb up it with the agility of a koala.

“This is a weird place,” thought Patrick as he resumed his quest.

He was already feeling tired. As if this journey had worn him out, both mentally and physically. If he did not succeed now, he would not bare it. He could not stand to lose once again. Defeat had torn him up and the very little energy he had left was feeding on his hope that this time would be different. This time he would find it.

He approached an opening among the trees, when he suddenly saw a gleam of light creeping into the darkness. It was still dark, so it couldn’t be sunlight. As he searched, he found that if he lifted up this large eucalyptus-like leaf…

Light burst like a balloon popping in his face. He was blinded for a second and forced to jump a step back. When his sight was restored he saw a shadow before him, an image of a young maiden. A girl with golden curls trickling down her side, wearing a white dress with an orange trimming. She was walking towards him. He was startled.

And lost for words.

“I knew you would find me,” she said, as she fell into his arms.

“I was ready to die trying. My Juliette,” he replied, as tears slid down his cheeks. He had found her at last. She was his light in the darkness. And now they were together.

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