MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “melancholy”

Change in the silence

Change - leavesYou can hear it in the silence. The change that is coming. You can feel it in the air around you. You can sense it In that cold breeze that causes your eyes to water.

Changes are often unpredictable. They are a fundamental part of life. And we are usually the ones we’ve been waiting to change.

But sometimes, just some times, those changes are strange. Not that they are not welcome. On the contrary. But in that they seem to affect everything we’ve ever known up to that point.

It is when you see people who have inscribed their names into your heart, now being with someone else.

Or when you see loved ones being happy. With others.

It is that melancholic feeling of witnessing the change that is happening around you. Without you. Despite of you.

It is that feeling of trying to make sense of everything, but no matter how much you try, or how much you think you’ve managed to sort out everything, there will always be that small “issue” in your life that you can never understand.

There are some things in life that no matter how much everything else changes, those will never do. They usually involve feelings. Ones so strong, they can break down every single defense you raise against them.

But at times, regardless of how hard you fight, resistance is futile, because maybe some things are just not meant to be. At least maybe for the time being.

Perhaps in a year or so, you’ll look back at it all and wonder what you were so worried about. Perhaps it is all just a matter of time. And faith.

But like Alan Watts said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

That darn Monday

i_hate_mondays_womens_dark_pajamasWhichever way you see it, Monday is the day the “work week” begins, the one that abruptly wakes you up from your Sunday slumber, the one that flinches on every fibre of your being drowning you into pessimism, depression and melancholy. It is usually on Mondays when your existential dilemma takes hold of you. When you decide to start a diet that usually only lasts until noon. That you realise that nothing truly ever is wonderful.

In many languages and traditions, Monday’s etymology means “day of the moon”. As if we needed yet another reason to go “luney”. Combine this with being a young woman, with trying to settle in and being hindered by all the constant moving around, and with it being “that time of the month” and there you have it. A hormonal, over-agitated, nervous wreck that can get ticked off with the slightest out-of-tune chirp.

It is difficult surviving Mondays. You know you have at least another four more days to go. Plus the looming threat that in just seven days you will have to go through it all yet again.

Heck, Garfield is a cat and he so ardently declares he hates Mondays. What should the rest of us say?

The absence of time

stars in night skyIt is the one thing we all complain of constantly. Of not having enough. Of passing by too quickly. Of not moving along quickly enough. It is what we anxiously count down with, what we nostalgically look back to, and what we constantly fear will run out too soon.

Time is both a friend and a foe. For the latter it is obvious – it is always the one to betray you. It is never enough to do all the things you want; to enjoy all the hobbies you keep yourself occupied with; to saturate your memories and your heart with the people you love. Time will always take something away from you.

But on the other hand, time is your friend. There are people who state that all they have is time. Moaning that days never pass, that everything seems endless. In unpleasant situations, this is the predominant feeling. For if you are having fun, time indeed seems to fly.

Sometimes you need time to yourself. To simply sit in silence and be. To, in a sense, meditate. To listen to what it is you truly desire at the moment. To heal. Even if they do say time heals all wounds, it is not always true. For some wounds never truly heal. People don’t wound you. They leave marks, memories, imprints, maybe even scars on your soul and these cannot be washed away with the passing of time. They may be pushed back into the distant drawers of your mind, but they are never truly forgotten. These are the moments that you cannot explain with words. Not because you lack the vocabulary. But because the words to adequately capture your sensations for them do not yet exist. It is moments like this when you feel a flood of emotions stream through your veins, when all you can do is stand still and surrender to the trickling of tears down your flushed cheeks. It is moments like these, however, that you will remember forever, because these are the ones that feel like an infinity in a predetermined expiration date.

Time is not to blame for the mistakes we make. For the relationships that end, for the choices we didn’t take. We may blame the circumstances, the synergies, the timing, the lighting, or anything that we may easily accuse. But like Cassius says in Act I, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…

We live in a shattered world. One from which we constantly try to hide. In the illusions that things are not so bad as they seem; in the allusions that people are better than we deem them to be; in the desperate need to believe that everything will be all right in the end. Even if we are racing against a ticking clock.

Because sooner or later we will learn that nothing lasts forever. People leave like ocean currents. There is no truth. There is no time. All there is, is now. And what we chose to do with it.

The tunnel

TunnelShe first saw him on a sunny day, in a field strewn with golden hay. He gazed into her eyes with a smile imprinted on his face. She blushed and smiled back, eyes sparkling like diamonds in the sun. He came closer and let his fingertips brush against her arm. She chuckled and lowered her gaze.

Ahead was a tunnel. It mystified and intrigued them at the same time. It was one none had traversed before and it conveyed a sense of foreboding inside them, of exploring the unknown. It made them feel excited, sending shivers down both their spines and rapidly increasing the beats of their hearts. Their hands locked and they entered. Together.

The tunnel was as mysterious and unnerving inside, as it appeared from the outside. It smelled of roses and lilies and offered them food and drink and luxuries to fill their heart’s desire. At first. For later, no-one was to expect what would ensue.

It was surprisingly brightly lit for a tunnel. They realized only too late that it was their own glow that provided the light.

When the first storm came they had nowhere to hide. The tunnel had only one exit and that lay straight ahead. There were no sidesteps, no alcoves, to shade them from the wrath of a suppressed storm. Yet they never let go of each other’s hand. Even if they held on by a finger, they still held on.

After the storm, peace and calm soon followed. And everything seemed to return to the bright, tranquil path in which they had commenced their journey.

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.” This was the first thought both had, grateful they still had each other.

But they soon grew tired. Of walking. Of waiting. Of expecting. It seemed that they were looking for a way out that never came. It was not yet even in sight. And the storm returned. Heavier and more forceful than the first. Everyone told them to be aware of storms and the lightening, but no-one ever warned them of the thunder that came along. For the bangs were deafening and shuddered the very center of their hearts.

They survived yet again, but it was not the same. Something had been broken inside and they could no longer enjoy the tranquilities after the rain, as they first did. Yet they still held hands. Even as the tunnel darkened more and more.

Three years, seven months and 19 days they spent in the tunnel.

When they finally found the exit at the other end, they felt the last winter snowflakes splash onto their nose. It was a pleasant coolness from the humidity from which they emerged. They smiled, but it was a crooked smile. One almost forced. The melancholy released from their prolonged sigh wafted in the air around them. And in the second blink of an eye, the sun appeared from behind the clouds, restoring its light on their darkened eyes. But it could no longer retain the glow of their souls.

They had surfaced from the tunnel seemingly unscathed, but inside, they would never be the same again. They were not the same people they were when they entered. He looked in her eyes and searched for that initial sparkle, but it was gone. And she could no longer fix a smile upon his face. They could not recognize each other anymore.

And that is when it happened.

Their hands unlocked and drifted to their respective sides.

The pain in their heart was more than they could ever bear, but all they could do was struggle to go on.

Yet they always vividly remembered their tunnel journey with its memory forever engraved in their souls.

The tunnel experience made them stronger, for it too made them wiser in the ways of this world.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

Snowy pearls

snowy snowmanSomewhere around the globe, where the snow had already spread its unblemished tapestry, a young boy was still waiting for Santa Claus. He hoped he would bring him a New Year that would be radically different from the one that was just days from becoming history. This one had simply not lived up to his expectations.

Frederick was a strong young man. He had learned to survive the hardships and no matter what life struck him with, he would rise stronger. Until now. This year had broken him. He was forced to deal with loss, with pain, with anguish, with unemployment, with being broke, with disappointment, with having his expectations built-up only to have them crushed, with break-ups, with heartache, and it just seemed to be getting dimmer. There was no light at the end of the tunnel anymore and that was what hurt him the most.

It was snowing outside. The temperature had fallen to below zero already and you could feel the cold nipping at your nose the minute you stepped out of the door. Frederick decided to stay indoors, with the fireplace lit. He was sitting on the small couch by the window with a hot cocoa in hand, staring at the snow spreading like a white fluffy carpet outside.

He could feel the melancholy gripping onto him. It was this time of the year when he felt more alone, when he pondered on what he wished his life was like, and realized what it was not. He wanted so much more of life itself – a partner, a family, wonderful moments to share and people to experience them with. It all meant nothing if he was simply stuck in a dead-end. He wrapped the red fleece blanket around his legs; the cold was creeping in as the sun set.

Frederick wanted to believe that this New Year would be different. That it would finally be the year when his life would improve, when he would manage to realise his dreams and achieve his ambitions. He wanted to be happy and at least look back and be content with the life he led.

That is what he wanted Santa Claus to bring. A new year that would have things go his way, or at least in the same direction he would like them to. He knew it was a difficult thing to ask, but nonetheless he believed. He had to believe in something after all.

He fell asleep there, wrapped in the blanket, with the fire glazing inside, and the snow silently falling outside.

When he woke up the next day, the fire had already extinguished itself and the sun was trying to peek out from behind the clouds. There was a snowman staring at him outside his window – complete with two thin sticks for arms and a carrot for a nose. He even had pebbles formed in the shape of a smile. Frederick smiled. Maybe it was the kids in the neighbourhood who had created Mr Frosty. Either way, it was a very welcome and very pleasant surprise.

But that was not all.

Right in front of the fireplace there was a little blue box. Frederick could swear that was not there before. And he was certain all the doors were locked so no-one could have gotten in without being heard. He got up and picked up the box. It was feather-light. He opened it slowly – who knows what could jump out.

In the centre of the velvet interior was a white pearl. And at the back of the box cover there was writing. “A pearl of wisdom because every year that passes, no matter the pain, the heartache and the suffering, will always make you wiser, more mature and more knowledgeable. Life will hand you many such pearls, it is up to you what you will decide to do with them. Never give up.”

It was not signed.

Frederick’s pulse raced. Could this be the sign he was longing for? The optimism that he needed for a favourable new year?

To him it was. Because sometimes, all it takes is the smallest of things to remind you that what matters most cannot be seen.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mystery Box

A different kind of crisis

Xmas BirthdayGetting snowed in on a day when your to-do list is over-piling, that may be considered a crisis. Dripping donut jam on your clean shirt the minute you step out of the baker’s just two steps away from your office, that may too be considered a crisis. Losing money at a casino fun night, is well maybe not so much of a crisis (unless it is all your savings). We all face different crises in our lives and we all view them differently.

The third-world crisis of lacking food, clean water and a home is far more severe than the first-world crisis of not having matching shoes for a new outfit worth hundreds of dollars. It is all a matter of perspective. But perhaps, with just a couple of weeks before another year passes, we can take a second and rethink…everything.

The holiday season is one to rejoice, one to spread the love and show you care. But it is also one in which you are silently prodded to make amends, first and foremost with yourself.

The most intense period of crisis one can face is when this joyous season coincides with their birthday. That is when a crisis certainly hits. Because you begin to feel all the more intense about the fact of adding yet another year to those that have past, of becoming so many more years young (because you try and avoid the word “old”). You may finally believe the compliment that you are like wine, it only gets better with age. But deep down you do feel the melancholy strike, because there are very few people who achieve exactly what they want at the precise time in which they so desire. It is hard feeling incomplete. As though you are nowhere near where you’ve dreamt to be. And it is all the more difficult when you know that another birthday is rapidly approaching, signifying that time is still flying and there is nothing you can do.

Apart from one thing.

Continue to dream. Change what you can, and leave aside what you can’t. Rejoice in the warmth of the season and learn to appreciate the good of what you have. Maybe next year things will finally come your way. But, however it may be, you’ve already come a long way. You’re still standing and that it is the most important of it all.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Getting Seasonal

The day the lights suddenly went out

Rainy daysIt happened on an October morning. It was strange because October was always the month that made her more melancholic. It may have been the eventual setting-in of autumn with the cold and rain becoming the daily weather trend, but it may also have been that another end of year was rapidly approaching and it made her contemplate on everything happening in her life as she became another year older.

Anyhow, it happened that morning. The sun was shining brightly outside, despite the fact that it was raining heavily all night. She couldn’t have seen it coming. She had felt weak for days but blamed it on the psychological impact of the particular month, the full moon, the zodiac signs, anything other than what it really was: fatigue. She was clearly overworked and underfed. But she just didn’t stop. She didn’t know how, and didn’t really want to. Because if you stop, you need to face reality. And that was just something she didn’t want to do.

She had asked her mother that morning to draw the curtains because the sunlight was burning her face. Her mother did so, unwillingly, as she really needed this Vitamin D so freely offered that day.

She didn’t have the energy to get up, not even sit in bed. She didn’t have an appetite either. All she wanted to do was remain curled up under the covers. Couldn’t she just vanish?

But alas, nature called. And she was forced to get up. But that was when it happened. All she remembers was washing her face in the bathroom and enjoying the coolness of the water on her scorching forehead. But then everything went black. And she remembers nothing.

Fainting, also known as “passing out” – medical term: syncope – happens when you lose consciousness for a short time because your brain is not getting enough oxygen. It is usually brief, lasting from a few seconds, to a few minutes. Yet, she couldn’t tell how long she was out. It is as if she simply disappeared for those moments. Just as she had wanted to.

All she remembers is feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy before everything “blacked out”. There was nothing more. She didn’t know where she was or if she was somewhere at all. All she knows is that for those brief moments she was calm, carefree, and invisible.

She opened her eyes to her mother gently slapping her cheeks. She looked up and saw her mother as pale as a ghost – not that she had ever seen a ghost, but she was white as a sheet. And that scared her. She mumbled that she was fine. But she could not imagine being on the other end. Of having to pick up the person who fainted, of not really knowing what to do, of trying to bring them back. It took a few minutes before she could sit up and return to normal, as much as possible that is. But the incident was one she would never forget. Even if there really was nothing to remember.

That night she had soup, slid under the blanket and fell asleep to the rain growing louder outside. She loved being in bed when it was raining. It made her feel safe, because no matter the hailstorm that was going on out there, she was untouchable under the covers.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Finding ghosts

MemoriesThere is a saying in Asia that if you see a person who looks remarkably like someone you know then it is likely it is his/her double or “mythical twin”. Supposedly it is linked to a belief that when people were created they were split in half and that is why you sometimes find look-alikes. However, the feeling that overwhelms you when you meet someone who looks almost astoundingly like someone you know, knew, and loved, cannot be described. Even if that person resembles a four-legged family member. It is like running into a tangible ghost.

Emotions flood into your veins, causing an adrenaline surge, cold sweat to trickle down your spine and an unfounded hope that it is truly the person you thought you saw. It is a surge of feelings alternating in seconds and bringing back memories, moments that were and can no longer be. As if you are given a second chance to obtain another memory. But you know it will never be the same. A copy is never as good as the original. Nonetheless you still want to believe that it is almost the same. That for a while you were granted some extra time with someone who meant so much but left too soon.

It is similar to that feeling that surrounds you when you visit a place that held memories and experiences you created with someone you loved but is no longer at your side. It is a sweet melancholy that acts like an anchor on your mood, bringing you down. Because some things cannot be forgotten or replaced. No matter how much you try to create new images, the moments in life that were so deeply and profoundly engraved in your soul can never be overwritten.

Wishing you were never gone

3257245001_dc974d126eI still miss you.
I still look for you in the corridors,
On the furniture,
In the corners of the house.

I still fight the urge to call your name
And look out for you running
From the most unlikely hiding place.

I still dream of you
As if you were never gone.
As if I’ll wake up to find you peacefully sleeping at my feet.

I wish you were still here.
To look into your hazel-golden eyes
And just know that everything will be fine.

I love you
And that will never ever change.

Call me Rain

rain windowThe rain started pouring down heavily now. As if the skies suddenly opened and a bucket of water was swung out forcefully. The only sound that could be heard in the room was that pit pat the drops made as they smacked the freshly cleaned windows and trickled down leaving a curvy life-line path behind them. “Why does it always rain when I clean the windows?” thought Miranda, as she sat on the window-side pouf listening to the rain.

She loved sitting inside when it rained. There was something magical about being engulfed in the warmth of your home when outside the gods of wind and rain were lashing out their wrath against nature and mankind.

But above all, she loved the melancholy that came with the dark rainy days. It was a period that made you think. That made you reminisce on your life and consider what you are doing, where you are going. The ‘what could have beens’, the ‘what still can be’, the ‘what ifs’. And it all spread inside an emotion of sweet gloom. One that caused tears to well up in her eyes.

Watching the rain coming down outside and gathering up in piles all the dirt off the roads and sidewalk, Miranda was also filled with hope. That the rain will pass, as will the bad times in her life. That her soul will be cleansed and she will come out stronger. Just as the clouds will pass, so the good times will return.

A doleful smile formed on her face as she let herself fall asleep wrapped up in a fleece blanket, to the lullaby of the gentle tapping of the rain…

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