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Whispering Silences

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The rain of fate

ted-struts-in-the-rain

©Ted Strutz

They had planned this trip for weeks and they were determined not to allow the weather to change anything. They had packed everything and filled up the car, persuading themselves that they would have the time of their lives.

The rain evolved from tiny drops to thunder and hail.

They were told to turn their lights on and be extra careful at the harbour, particularly when entering the ship.

The sea itself became restless.

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea?” Matilda already began to worry. Perhaps destiny did not want them on that ship.

It’ll be fine,” he replied.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The cat on the pier

http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/view-of-cat-sitting-on-pier-picture-id565807123?s=612x612Hannah was surprised to see it there. It appeared silently right next to her. She didn’t even realise it came. But they always seemed to appear when needed the most. It was usually a dog that care around bouncing all happily without a care in the world. That she expected. They always had a way of cheering you up. Just by looking at them and the way they run around wagging their little tails. Some even look like they’re laughing. It was just impossible to stay mad or upset at the sight of them.

But this, this was strange.

The little cat sat there, straight up, tail wrapped around its front legs. It was fluffy white and seemed indifferent to everything that was going on around it. People tried to call it, but it listened to none.

Then it turned its little head, its small, round, golden eyes reflecting the setting sun’s rays. And it met her gaze. Hannah was dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe it was ever possible to feel such serenity through a simple gaze, and indeed, from a four-footed creature. The cat tilted its head sideways as it continued to stare into Hannah’s eyes.

Hannah took out a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped the tears that were still dripping from her eyes. The cat slowly got up and moved towards her, arching its back and beginning to purr. Once close to Hannah it began to brush against her, asking for some patting. Hannah touched its head with the tip of her fingers. With a single move it rotated its head around her hand and moved ever closer, its purr now reverberating on Hannah’s body. It was soothing. The cat managed to divert all of her attention on it that she soon forgot the reason she was so upset.

They sat there for a while, the cat purring at her side, and Hannah patting it, relaxed and calm. They watched the sun set into the sea, and then the cat suddenly got up, stretched and disappeared, as silently and abruptly as it had arrived.

The disorder of having everything in order

http://wallpapercave.com/wp/3SmQ4wC.jpgThere is a thing with overthinkers – they usually feel everything too intensely too. And worse – perhaps – of all, they need everything to be in order. They are people who like to have a programme and as much as possible stick to it. They need to know how they want their day to pan out, so that they can try to do as many of those things they can. They are the people who fill their desks with post-its and when they strike out one task add another two.

But these are also the people who can’t stand the uncertainty of not knowing. Of not having a schedule and of being victim to a “wait and see” mentality. They might even panic in the face of this ambiguity.

They are people who usually suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) of needing to have an order in their life for calm to prevail.

At the same time, these are those who have the deepest emotions. The ones who tear up from a line in a movie, from a surprise of a loved one, from a simple thank you for something they did well. In fact, this latter is what touches them the most – the demonstration of acknowledgement, appreciation and gratification that they are, they do, and they try, at the best of their abilities. It’s nice to tell those that matter that they do, and to these specific people, sometimes the simplest of words may mean the world.

Overthinkers may seem insane, but the world was never changed by sanity.

Maintaining excitement in a habit

https://www.google.gr/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwallpaperswide.com%2Fdownload%2Fsunshine_ocean-wallpaper-1920x1080.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwallpaperswide.com%2Fsunshine_ocean-wallpapers.html&docid=WNfqtZR1VjNxJM&tbnid=373bY1gb-WukrM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiQ7-L17brUAhXDtBQKHXF2D9o4ZBAzCD4oPDA8..i&w=1920&h=1080&bih=554&biw=1252&q=sunshine&ved=0ahUKEwiQ7-L17brUAhXDtBQKHXF2D9o4ZBAzCD4oPDA8&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=1080&imgdii=kuvntzjULNNgWM:&vet=10ahUKEwiQ7-L17brUAhXDtBQKHXF2D9o4ZBAzCD4oPDA8..i&w=1920We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”, said Aristotle. As such, the quality of the life we live is found in something we do routinely. Without thinking, without pondering too much over it.

Consider this: the majority of the things we do every day is simply habit: the ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ greetings we exchange; checking the mailbox when we leave/enter our house; even checking-in on social media or taking a daily selfie. They are all things we do often unconsciously. Things that we find natural.

Entrepreneur Jim Rohn said that “motivation is what gets you going. Habit is what keeps you there”. Having a healthy breakfast; working out often; reading a book once in a while; devoting time to rest and de-stress – they are all things we include in our lives after we do them over and over again.

But the one thing about a habit is that often – even the things we say – occur so automatically they sometimes lose their very essence. We need to ensure that we still mean what we say, no matter how many times we utter it; that we are still as excited as the first time we go on a run; that the breakfast we eat every day is as tasty as the first time we had it. If we can keep that excitement, enthusiasm and enthrallment alive, we have found the road to happiness. Even if staying on that road has become a habit.

Searching for that lost…thing

motivation catWhen your personal trainer tells you “good job” you’re motivated to last a little longer, to try a little harder, to take your limits a bit further.

We all need that encouragement. It’s a boost to reach further than you think you can.

But, similarly, we all need the acknowledgement of a job well done. A recognition of your efforts, be it in the form of a verbal gratification, a written thank you or a monetary compensation.

We need the demonstration of feelings to be satisfied with our own selves. Because just as we often cannot hide what emotion is overwhelming us, in the same context, we would like to be shown that we are admired, sympathized, liked, loved, or even despised. But we want to be clear of what we have to face.

Once in a while, it happens to all of us, though. Losing your motivation or will to do anything creative. And no matter where you search for it, one thing is certain: you’ll never find it unless it comes from within you. Unless you start to do something that’s yours, that expresses you and fulfills you.

Remember, you only fail when you stop trying.

Un-wilting

un-wilted rose

©MCD

The rose had entered her home on an anniversary. She was delighted because she didn’t expect he would remember, or more, that he would bring her something to celebrate. Instead, he surprised her with a beautiful crimson rose and a romantic dinner at a beachside restaurant.

Although every girl loves flowers, there is the downside that they don’t last too long. And unless you allow them to dry up so you can keep them a while longer to remind you of a lovely memory, most flowers simply wilt away after a few days. If you’re lucky, they may last a couple of weeks. But that’s pretty much it.

But this rose was different.

Five months later it was still there. Standing firm and tall in its square glass vase, not having dropped a single petal. The only thing that changed was that it’s colour had become darker.

She was amazed at how it persisted. And she boasted about it to her friends, secretly hinting that it was a sign of a strong and loving relationship.

He was happy to see her eyes glow every time she looked at the un-wilted rose. But he reassured her it did not mean that others wouldn’t follow. It was just that where they come with deep emotion, they survive for longer.

That’s usually the case with most things. When you take care of them they endure.

The off-course bus

http://ttvalueinvesting.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/route.jpgIt arrived on time and appeared just like any other of its type. It had four double doors symmetrically situated across one end, large windows, and an advertisement painted across both sides. From its exterior, it seemed like a normal bus. Even inside, it did not differ from others – it had enough space for passengers to be seated or standing and it was in great condition. Almost new. But there was something that made this bus special. You couldn’t tell at first. And most of all, you never expected what would come.

You would stop the bus at the stop and get on, maybe even find a seat. You presumed it would take you to your destination – the city centre – relatively quickly. But half way there, the bus would suddenly change course. If you were too distracted in your own thoughts it would take you a while to realise you were off course. Others would acknowledge it as soon as the bus took a “wrong” turn. Some passengers would react. Others would stress that they would be late for their appointments. Some others would simply remain silent, waiting to see what would happen. The driver would not respond to any.

After a while, you would realise the bus was not going to the city centre. The passengers that reacted intensely would soon tire and be quiet. And as the bus took an unknown route, almost all passengers would begin to plan scenarios in their head of where they would end up. These ranged from a serial killer bus driver that would throw them off a cliff, to a surprise destination where a millionaire would host a party to advertise a new acquisition. You would conjure in your head whatever you wanted, but you would be well aware that expectation was always the root of all disappointment. So you would try and pretend that you didn’t care where the bus was going.

After a long while, the bus would return to its course and, taking double time, would end up at the city centre, where it was supposed to be going in the first place. But, during that route, all passengers would have calmed down and, lost in their thoughts, dreams and mental to-do-lists, would not realise they had arrived. That was the point of this bus – to make you understand that what matters most is the route and how you get to your destination, not so much your final point of arrival.

The surprise bomb

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0031/8592/products/Mystery-box-Black-closed-David-Blaine.jpg?v=1493223671Don’t touch that!” The fire chief yelled as he ran towards Levi. The latter raised his glance in fright and froze in place. Wasn’t this what he was trained to do? To prevent bombs from detonating?

The fire chief raced to Levi’s position, gasping for air as his glove-covered hands passed over the black box. His fingers barely came into contact with it, but he was already trembling as if the lives of thousands of people who worked in that building depended on it.

All residents and employees of the tower had been evacuated and for the past twenty minutes, it was only the fire fighters and bomb squad who were found within those walls. They could feel the time ticking menacingly away and with every second that fled, they felt their breath grow shorter.

This was the fire chief’s ultimate act. He was going into retirement the very next day. This was his last mission. But it was Levi’s first. As experienced and as calm as the chief was, Levi was exactly the contrary, trying to masque his anguish and fear through a calm demise.

The fire chief opened the box with fingers shaking and sweat dripping from his forehead. He didn’t know what to expect – it could be anything, from a ticking bomb to a mere post-it informing of a prank. He wished it would be the latter. But instead, inside the box he found a smaller black box, and inside that, another even smaller. His temperature began to rise as his cheeks flushed. Levi looked on with eyes wide open. He could feel his heart pumping eager to beat out of his chest.

The fire chief took the smallest box in his hand and with a move worthy of a surgeon carefully opened it. Inside was a cupcake. That’s right. A small muffin-sized cake with icing on top. He examined it on all sides and was assured that it was a harmless dessert. That is when he finally lifted his gaze.

His men were standing around him, giggling and waiting for his reaction. It took him a while to figure it out. They had surprised him with one last adrenaline-rush. But all this was, was a farewell party.

Levi smiled. If only all bomb detonation missions would be as easy and happy-ended as this one.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Detonate

The blue ball

sad_blue_eye_by_emilyeggplantImagine the sensors inside your head as a small ball that light up according to the emotion you feel. Think, for example, that when you’re excited, happy, positive, the ball lights up yellow, shining brightly and illuminating your entire brain and thus essence. But when you’re sad, that ball becomes blue.

Although associated with serenity and calmness, blue is also often linked to sadness. And when the ball in our head turns blue, that is usually when the waterworks begin, when the tears fall sometimes even without you truly knowing why.

It is much harder to change the colour of the blue ball into something else than any other colour transformation. But often times it is necessary to offer yourself some sense of reprieve. To allow yourself to get rid of the blue ball and its negativity that brings you down.

We need the colour in our lives, to enable ourselves to change moods for our own psychological sanity. It is not often easy. But balls are made to roll.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Reprieve

Something ugly for something prettier

http://www.magic4walls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/water-drops-on-a-white-daisy-after-the-rain-close-up-photo-694x417.jpgIt usually starts quite suddenly, without warning. Clouds settle in, skies darken, lightning strikes and thunder rattles the ground. And it begins to rain. Ranging from light splatter to downpour, when a storm comes it is never pretty.

The good thing about rainfalls, however, is that they give life where it is most needed. Everything seems more refreshed, more rejuvenated, more revived after it rains.

The thunder and lightning may be scary, but the rainbow at the end makes it all worthwhile.

Life is like that too. With its ups and downs; its days of sunlight and days of rain. What matters is that you survive through them all. With people who will stand by you through all the good and the bad.

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