MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Mid-court

©Dale Rogerson

They had first met there, at the picnic table in the middle of the basketball court. He had offered to share his sandwich with her. She found it an over-generous gesture, given the fact that not many people share their food.

Since then they shared their lives with each other too.

Every Friday night they would meet at the same place so that they would never forget where and how they began.

But lately he started running late and then cancelling on her.

She would still wait for him.

Sitting alone at the table, wondering where he prioritised his time.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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Letters unsent

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The world was still asleep. Daylight had not yet broken the night.

She woke in her sleep as if an alarm clock went off inside her. She got up, sat at her desk with a pen and paper. Traditionally. She preferred it to the digital typing of a keyboard. Her pen was rushing across the page, trying to keep up with the words that were pouring out of her mind. She needed to record them all now that inspiration called, otherwise this wave would fade out during her sleep. Expression came at strange hours.

Time was the most precious gift you could devote to anyone. Even to yourself.

She scribbled down all that her heart pounded to say but couldn’t. Those words left unsaid that you always wonder if they would make a difference. He, on the contrary, didn’t have a way with words. He would only reply if forced to. But she wanted to let him know. She wanted to assure herself she had done all that she could; all that was possible on her part. The ball was then in his court. And she was obliged to accept his decision.

She wrote it all. The stubbornness they both had in communicating, their obsession with not letting go of things from the past, their inability to manage their feelings, the wanting it all and getting nothing in the end.  She wrote of how she was holding things to surprise him with, she dreamt of sharing with him her accomplishments and was eager to boast about his development too. But something broke along the way. And it kept breaking.

She concluded her letter stating that it was what he used to say – that they had found the winning lottery ticket – but somehow they had now lost it or simply let it go.

The letter – just like so many others – was left unsent.

The heart is a delicate thing. It hurts even when you’re convinced it won’t.  And the worst of all is when you say you can’t do anything about it. Because that ‘can’t’ has a “don’t want to” underneath. And that perhaps is the most painful of all.

A building of ideas

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The first time he entered into a museum, she was holding his hand. He had no idea what he was entering.

He looked around astonished at how time had obtained a different meaning in those walls. It had suddenly transformed into space and it had teleported him somewhere else, to another era.

It was in there that he learnt how to search for the beauty, truth and meaning in his life.

She held his hand throughout the entire visit. Whenever she could, she shared some trivia about a famous painting or sculpture and the artist behind it.

It was in there that he saw more to the empty hallways and exhibits on the walls. It was not the artefacts he saw, but the ideas behind them.

He discovered that art is what Edgar Degas said: “art is not what you see, but what you make others see”.  

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt

Know your value

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In a packed lecture class, a professor held up a €20 note and asked his students who wanted it. Everyone in the room lifted up their hand. The professor then crumpled it and asked again: “is there anyone who still wants this bill?” Everyone in the room raised their hand again. He then threw the note on the floor and began to kick it, jump on it and make it as dirty as he could with his shoes. He then picked it up, crinkled, muddy and stained. He asked again: “Who wants this crinkled, muddy and stained €20 bill?” Every single student again raised their hand.

“My friends”, he said, “today you will receive a great lesson. No matter what I did to this bill, you still wanted it because it hasn’t lost its value. It is still worth €20!”.

“Many times in our lives, we are trampled upon, struck hard, thrown down and stepped upon…by both people and circumstances”.

“Do you believe that this reduces your value?”

“Your true worth does not change in the eyes of those who really care about you”.

“Even at our worse, our value remains intact…as long as we ourselves don’t forget it during both our good times and our hard”.

Know your worth. Stop giving yourself to people and situations that don’t deserve you, that don’t chose you and place you as a priority always. If you don’t appreciate your value, no one else will.

Parallel lines

In life, we go through a series of relationships. People come and go, leaving their marks on us and changing us for the better or worse.

Some are like parallel lines: we have a lot in common with them, but no matter how close they get, their lives will never coincide with ours. Then there are others with whom we start from different paths, our lives meet once, but then we drift apart again forever. Both versions are sad. They represent something unattainable. Something that either won’t happen or won’t last.

And the truth is, no matter how strong we want to appear, we’re all searching for a happy end that has the duration of a lifetime. We want that person who will come into our lives and prove why no other relationship worked. That one with whom we will form a partnership. The person who will inspire you to become a better version of yourself because you bring that out in them too. The kind of person who you won’t be afraid to fall because you trust they will always be there to catch you even with eyes closed.

It is difficult to let go of the stories and perceptions we create in our head. It becomes harder as we gather experiences and become more reserved, cautious and demanding of life itself.

But we can’t lose hope at any time that whatever happens has a reason for it, and that something better lies ahead.

Remember, “there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” (C.S. Lewis).

Conserving the summer vibes

©MCD

It isn’t really the return that hurts the most. It’s the crash landing that you feel you subject yourself to when the holiday ends. Because now you have to return to everything you were trying to escape from, to hide from, to pretend they don’t exist. You have to garner the strength to face it all. The reality, the routine, the “normality” you allowed to fade away while you were enjoying the sun, the sea, the fun, the new relationships and experiences the season brings.

We easily fall into depression when the summer ends and we are forced to return to our “ordinary” lives with whatever that entails. Because “normal” has a different definition to each person.  And we strive, at least for the first couple of days, to maintain that optimism and joy the sunlit weeks brought upon us. We struggle to maintain not only the memories of the most enjoyable season of the year, but the mood it brings along. We hope it won’t fade as soon as our tan-line does.

But the thing is, every season has its perks. There is something to enjoy every month of the year – every day, even. We simply need to have the determination to put all those dreams we make when we’re relaxed into concrete actions at any time. Our goals aren’t really seasonally. We can dream and make plans and set targets all year round. And if we’re decisive and courageous enough to take the risk, we can make them happen. We may even be able to conserve that summer optimism and cheerful mood.

The difficulties of detachment

The reality is this: even when on holiday, on a leave, on a short getaway, we feel the need to be connected with the world digitally. We fear we’ll miss out otherwise. That something life-shattering will occur and we won’t know about it and we’ll be the only ones feeling we’ve been living under a rock simply because we don’t know of the latest trending topics.

So we spend our entire lives – without break – constantly attached to a digital world we are paradoxically trying to escape from.

We can’t turn it all off and disappear, although we know that would be the ideal.

We are unable to disengage, to discharge from the social media stress because we’re constantly thinking of our next post, our reaction to someone else’s post and so forth.

We’re caught up in an unhealthy antagonism of who’s having the most fun in the better place, and we waste time like this instead of actually having that fun and enjoying ourselves with the people physically next to us.

We find it almost impossible to distract our minds, to unplug from it all and simply relax. It’s as if we can’t not do anything. By now, due to the radical rhythms in which we live our lives, something still and tranquil is considered by our systems as abnormal. As something we are almost physically incapable of doing.

We are so dependent on our devices, we cannot enjoy the reality of doing things without flaunting them.

And in the end, we forget to chase our dreams because we’re busy chasing after the acceptance of people we hardly even know. For no apparent or useful reason.

It’s good to – at least try – to detach from it all for a while. To remember what it was like without the intrusion of social media in our lives. When everything – even our relationships – were so much simpler. And we weren’t all so constantly agitated and stressed that we are perpetually on the verge of a burnout.

The three faces

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“There is a Japanese saying that every person has three faces. The first face is the one you show to the world. The one you pretend to be, you sometimes even force yourself to present to others. The second face is the one you show to your close friends and family. It’s that side of your personality you only allow those near and dear to you to see. The third face is the one you never show to anyone. It’s the secret thoughts and fears you only keep to yourself. But this is the truest reflection of who you are”.

Uncle Kim had spent many years in Japan. He had a completely different mentality and world outlook to everyone else.

He understood when his nephew was disappointed or tired or sad and knew how to distinguish between the times he needed support or simply to be left alone for a while.

People strive to show others they are OK, they are fighting through anything that is bothering them. We more often than not put on a show to deceive ourselves more than everyone else. We want to appear as perfect as we idealise everyone to be. Or as near to that as possible. Then we chose a circle of our closest people and let them in a little closer to our heart and mind. We share with them some of our own thoughts, dreams and anguishes. But there is always one part we only keep to ourselves. Those things we never tell because often we don’t want to hear them out loud. We don’t want to admit to thinking them.

The truest form of who we are is the only face we see. But isn’t that a shame that we constantly live with masks on? So no one really ever knows one another.

Holding Hands

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Love means never letting go of each other’s hand no matter what,” read the note he left her that morning.

They had spent the entire night in the park watching the stars sparkling under a full moon.

In an outpour of romance then, she had told him an observation she had, that the spaces between her fingers were created so that his could fill them.

As a child, she usually disliked when her parents or relatives or caretakers held her hand. She felt constrained, as if they were limiting her actions or her room for movement. They were holding her hand to keep her close.

But as she grew older, she began to seek the intimacy of this physical gesture. She saw more into it. That it made her feel safe and loved.

Couples hold hands to show each other off. To make each other feel secure and demonstrate that they are there for one another.

Holding hands releases oxytocin in your brains, boosting that special, romantic bond you share with your partner.

In times of need, we want someone to hold our hand. To make us feel that we are not alone. To diffuse some of their strength into us when we’re lacking it.

Like and Love

©Randy Mazie

The outer part of their house wasn’t very appealing, to keep the ‘bad eye’ out.

Their relationship was almost perfect. At first sight, they didn’t really seem compatible, yet, opposites attract. You don’t always choose who you’ll fall in love with, but sometimes you just fall with full force. And it lasts forever.

At their wedding, she remembered a phrase from her grandma: “you like someone because of some of their qualities, and you love them despite some of their qualities”.

Buddha said: “when you like a flower, you pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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