MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life experiences”

Snow frames

© Dale Rogerson

He wasn’t the person who would delve into silence or let others see his feelings. It was something that bothered her, because she couldn’t tell what was going on inside him.

For the past couple of nights, he couldn’t sleep, as if he was waiting for the sun to rise.

Outside the window, not a single noise could be heard. The snow was still fresh, and the snowplough had cleared a path.

She loved snow; it transformed her into a child.

He missed that. That feeling of innocence, playfulness and excitement.

He missed the person he became by her side.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Dance away

https://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-3-4/Telling_a_Story_Dance

The first time he stepped into a dance studio, he felt his heart flutter, as if it left his body and was hovering above him. He felt almost embarrassed walking in with all those potential dancers staring at him as the door clinked on his entry.

But he was determined.

Strong emotions can do that to a person.

Just a week ago, he had been dragged to a dance soirée by his sister and her friends. He had fallen in love with a dancer. But it was not with a specific one. He had been blown away by the movement; the story that was told through the song and dance. The feelings that were conveyed; the expressions on the dancers’ faces. He could feel everything so deeply just by looking at them. Being a part of their troupe must be amazing. That was the thought that had captured his mind that night. Being able to communicate in such way must be a great relief. Dancing would be an excellent way to relieve the pressure of everyday life.

So, here he was, trying to learn how to do that too.

The motto on the studio’s wall was “every problem has a solution, so dance!

The life we dream and that we live

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He looked out of the window at the cloudy skies. He was physically in his living room, sitting on his couch. But mentally he was far away. Perhaps even on that airplane crossing the sky.

He had never been on an airplane.

He had never even left the country.

He was afraid to leave. To take a risk. He was too much a coward to change his life. He lost too many opportunities and people because of this. And all he had left was to dream. But even that was too much. Because he knew deep inside that those dreams of flying away would never be realised.

On that very plane, there was a girl who travelled all her life. She knew very well what it was like to change environments every now and then, yet longed for somewhere to settle. For some place and someone to call home.

She had just finished reading the romance Erotokritos, the rhymed verses themed around love, honour, friendship, bravery and courage. It was the story of a young man who fell in love with a princess and did whatever he could – even facing exile and sacrifice – to gain her love. But to the young reader, it symbolised more than that. It was an allegory that true love surpasses every hurdle encountered; that when there is a will there is always a way; and that it’s not about finding someone who chases you incessantly or who evidently ignores you, it’s about finding someone who never stops caring or fighting for you. It’s a story about someone who feels deeply and has no problem in showing it in every way possible.

Life is the sum of our actions. These are what make us who we are. What we have the strength to do and what we don’t. What we choose to change and what not. It is who we want to be and who we have the power to become.

Alternating circles

Birthdays, a good friend told me, are the perfect date to set new goals, to rethink your stance, to start anew, because it is on this day that your life began; that you began. It is on our birthday that we realise how many things change in a year. How different our lives are now from 12 months ago, or from simply one month ago. Time passes by rapidly and if we are not careful, life will pass us by.

It’s not to ponder on the past and forget to live, though. Strength comes from constantly moving forward, continuously evolving and wanting to improve every aspect of yourself and your quality of life.

Hope springs from standing in the dark and looking for the stars. It’s the pressure we impose on ourselves to never give up because better things are coming and the need to believe this is true.

We need to change habits every once in a while. It’s part of the circles that close and new ones that open. To find new people that will enrich our lives and make us better, who will match our level.

Unfortunately, not everyone who comes into our lives stays. And we realise that the people who we thought we couldn’t live without are no longer a necessary part of our lives. There are those who never fought for us, who could live without us first and who left on their own accord. Those who proved they were unworthy of all our love and devotion because they didn’t know how to appreciate or reciprocate it. Those who blamed us for their own inadequate behaviour and demanded things they themselves could not provide. Those who make us regret ever giving them a part of our lives, our world, our heart. Because in the end, those who matter are those who value us, who remain no matter what, who always remember you on your special day, who are there regardless everything else and who love unconditionally.

Each person is responsible for their own attitude and the way they behave – be it their reactions, their words, their actions or inaction, their decency (if any).

It takes time to realise things we were so used to overseeing. Because it takes time for the mind to change course, to alternate its circle of thinking. Time won’t heal your wounds, it will just make it easier for you to live with the scars.

Birthdays are a chance to evaluate where you stand in chasing your dreams and the life you desire. To set new goals, to get back on track with what you want. And what most people want are simple things: to be healthy, happy and loved.

A new birthday year offers 365 new opportunities to do that. To find our way again and make it a better year. Let’s do our best to make it worth it.

Travelling stories to tell

https://mentalitch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/6-Steps-to-taking-great-Travel-Photography.jpeg

When things got rough, they used to just leave. Together. They would travel to someplace new, to fill their hearts with adventure and their minds with enthrallment at how vast our world truly is. They believed that travelling – by car, motorbike, train, airplane, boat, whatever means available according to the destination – opened a person’s heart, broadened their minds and filled them with stories to tell. And they had many.

But lately, they became alienated from each other. And consequently from all the things they did together.

She was always excited when travelling with him, because he became almost a different person; someone more relaxed, more serious, yet thoughtful at the same time. He became the person she fell in love with. As if breaking the bonds that held him captive to his daily routine liberated him into becoming a better version of himself.

He loved travelling with her because it lit up a spark in her eyes; she let out a childish enthusiasm and reminded him all over why he fell in love with her in the first place.

Now, they travelled in different directions.

She went to places that were new to her, where they had never been before together.

He, on the contrary, went to all the same, where they had.

Because one wanted to forget. And the other to always remember.

Words left unsaid

https://reductress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/letter-820x500.jpg

He had walked out a month ago, but still had his keys. The keys to the home they built together, the one that would house their common dreams.

They hadn’t spoken since.

She didn’t know what he was doing, where he was, what he worked on, how he was feeling. She only had her viewpoint. And that was biased.

It was pitch black outside when she got up. Even the lights had all been turned off. It was the usual hour she felt forced out of bed, too tormented by nightmares to remain lying there trying to sleep.

She took a pen and paper, rarely nowadays abandoning her keyboard, and this meant it was too important to type. It had to be handwritten to reflect the emotion it contained.

At night, when I can’t sleep, I write to you. Letters, I’ll never send and you’ll probably never read. But it helps me calm down during the nights I’m tortured by the thoughts in my head. When the chaos inside me overwhelms and devours me. I write to tell you what you can’t seem to hear from me. I write in an effort to make you understand. To make you see that even a dragon hides a frightened mouse inside. That sometimes all you need is the reassurance and certainty of having someone next to you at all times, no matter what and above everything and everyone else. I thought that was you. Not to heal me. You wouldn’t do that. But to help me heal myself. Love won’t heal wounds. The feeling of safety and being loved no matter what, who and when, is what makes a person stronger. What helps them heal themselves.

You were supposed to stick around for the hard times too, not just the good ones.

We were supposed to grow stronger together, to grow with each other, helping one another to develop into the best person they can be. We were supposed to form a unit as one – a force to reckon with, a single corps against the world. We were supposed to be ‘us’. A power couple. We were supposed to be allies to one another. Not to demolish each other, ripping ourselves apart from the inside. We were supposed to close each other’s scars, not create new ones.

Yet despite everything – all the words said, all the actions done (or not) – I still wait for you. In the sounds of daily life, in the phone calls that ring, the doors that knock, I longingly hope it will be you. I see you in every single thing that reminds me of you. I still hope you’ll come into my darkness and turn on the light. The light that faded and is now lost. My light that I allowed to be extinguished.

Yet you never do.

That itself should be a sign. Just like all those things we didn’t do: the trips we never went on, the plans we never followed through. All signs. An answer to all the ‘whys’ that won’t let my mind rest.

Yet I still wait. Hoping even now for something to change. Because hope is all we have left.

In the morning, she booked a plane ticket and left. That same afternoon, he used his keys again.

People like handcrafted plates

https://previews.123rf.com/images/kasto/kasto1402/kasto140200033/25987982-traditional-arabic-handcrafted-colorful-decorated-plates-shot-at-the-market-in-marrakesh-morocco-afr.jpg

“Sit. Take this plate. Look at it closely. Examine it. What do you see?”

“It’s decorated,” Jill replied, her young age obstructing her perspective.

“What more?” her aunt pressed.

“It’s colourful. Artfully decorated. It seems handcrafted. And there are so many details. You need to look closely to see them. To appreciate them”.

“Good. Now throw it down”.

Jill glared at her aunt.

“What?”

“Throw the plate down”.

“But…but, it will break”, she uttered, scared.

“That’s the point”.

Jill let the plate go, reluctantly. It fell onto the ground and broke into numerous pieces of all sizes.

“Pick it up and try to place the pieces back together”.

Jill tried, but there were many smaller pieces that had fractured and were too small to find or stick back together.

“Now what do you see?”

“It’s broken,” Jill sighed, genuinely saddened.

“It’s not the same. It’s not as beautiful. You can see the cracks and even if it is glued, they will still be evident. And the colour seems almost faded because of it”.

“Isn’t it still the same plate, though?”

“I guess”. The little girl seemed perplexed.

“People are like this handcrafted plate,” her aunt finally explained the meaning of this exercise. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. You need to look closely to see all those details that make each person special. But people, contrary to objects, have feelings. If they are pushed aside for too long, like a plate on the edge of a counter, they will fall and break. And once they do, they will carry the scars within them. No matter how much they try to pull themselves back together, to survive and go on, the scars will remain, perhaps faded, but they are still there. Time won’t heal them; it will just make it easier to live with them”.

Jill stared, listening attentively to every word.

“Always be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know what scars each person hides. And treat people as softly and sympathetically as you would want to be treated. Not everyone sees the world the same way, but kindness is universal”.

Black shopping

https://cdn.bisnow.net/fit?height=489&type=jpeg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fcdn.bisnow.net%2Fcontent%2Fimages%2F2016%2F10%2F57f4df4b4dc15_8211477590_8381c9cf96_b.jpeg&width=717&sign=814-jKMdMEWC-5OA4Z7blpE3dVRa7v0An-LvnIsKZgg

He was racing with his motorbike on the highway even before the sun came up. It was still quiet in town and in the city he got to in less than half the time he normally needed. It was the calm before the storm.

That day was Friday.

But it was not just any Friday.

It was Black Friday. The day all shoppers go crazy, waiting outside stores hours before they open, then fighting each other inside for items they don’t really need but are misled into believing they are a bargain, and then standing in line impatiently in order to pay for them by maxing out their credit cards.

The worse thing about this day was that everyone found something they needed to buy. So the majority of people were out shopping at one part of the day or other, leading to increased tensions, rows, noise and an incessant irritation that seemed to be diffused in the air.

He set out early, exactly because of this.

He wanted to get in and out of a store he found a large TV he had set his eyes on for weeks now. He had saved money and done his research.

He was prepared.

But not enough for how the day would turn out…

The Scrooges of this world

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His favourite character was Scrooge. Either McDuck or Ebenezer, it didn’t really matter. It was the trait he admired. That of being stingy, a cold-hearted miser and filthy rich because of it.

He wanted to have it all. But all was never enough. There was always more.

He lost friends as quickly as he acquired them, because his arrogant style that undermined everyone else around him immediately became evident.

Yet, he didn’t care. People like that seldom do. Arrogance, it is said, is a camouflage for insecurity. People adopt a conceited attitude and raise their voice to be heard, no matter if they’re wrong. They try to dominate every situation to show they’re in control. But what they try to hide is their fears that they cannot conquer.

People cheat and steal from each other, attempting to demonstrate they’re cleverer and more astute. Paraphrasing what the ghost said in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, they wear the chains they forge in life. Yet, in the end, all they achieve is to create a society in which the truly smart people want to escape from, because they are the ones that see through the corruption and lies. They are the ones that read beyond the deceits and the feinted arrogance. They are the ones who distinguish between arrogance and confidence and the ones who understand when it is right to stand up for what you believe and when it is just necessary to go with the flow.  As long as the flowing river is one that leads to an ocean – a greater good – and not one that drowns everything along the way.

“The world is your oyster. It is up to you to find the pearls” – Chris Gardner

If you left…

https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/07/38/10/1c/boca-raton-resort-a-waldorf.jpg

You told me that if you left, it would be because something made you; some higher force pushed you through the door. But I don’t believe that is possible. I am convinced that the actions we do are the result of our conscious decisions. We are the ones controlling what we do. Our behaviour stems from ourselves, our thoughts and our inner peace.

You told me you were suffocating. That you couldn’t continue like this. I held you in my arms and assured you I was here, I wasn’t going to go anywhere, we would get through things together and everything would be alright.

You seemed like you believed me. Then. When you fell asleep in my arms and you woke up the next day telling me that it was the calmest sleep you had had for days.

You smiled and the whole room lit up.

I missed your smile. I still do. That cheeky, childish smile that transferred the glow into your eyes. You were genuinely happy with me once. We were genuinely happy.

I always thought ‘together’ would be our happy ending. I never saw anything different. In the planning I made for future endeavours, everything in my life included you. I thought the same was true for you. How could I have been so wrong?

And then you just left. And you took the pieces you broke my heart into with you. I never understood how people could behave so coldly. Perhaps because I could never bring myself to act as such.

And then I sat there blaming myself. I couldn’t understand if the problem was not doing enough for you or rather caring too much.

A few days passed and you returned as if nothing happened. As if you hadn’t broken me. You never told me what happened inside you, if anything. What had occurred during that time. What you were thinking of now.

But I can’t return to how things were. Because it is not the same anymore. Now I’m the one who feels suffocated by my own thoughts, my own unanswered questions. And you still refuse to say anything.

I never understood how someone could just get up and leave. Until now. Sometimes to save yourself you need to let go of everything dragging you down. I gave you my heart and you shred it to pieces. I can no longer feign that did not happen.

I’d never thought I would be the one to leave. But there seems to be nothing else left for me to do.

He left the note on her nightstand and walked out the door.

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