MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “symbolism”

Cracks in the dark

©J Hardy Carroll

It was pitch-black when he found the unlocked door. He hurried in without considering anything. All he could think of was to escape the cold and rain.

He didn’t need much to survive anymore.

He had nothing else left to lose.

When he left his home on a dinghy-boat, he had witnessed his co-passengers, many of whom he knew an entire lifetime, drown. In seconds, they simply stopped existing.

The only thing he noticed in the room was a crack in the ceiling.

 It was only in the morning that he realised that was from where the light came in.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Whisper it Seven

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Seven is a special number. It is considered lucky because we have an affinity for it: most people consider seven their favourite number or choose it when asked to pick a number between one and ten.

Seven is prevalent in our daily lives too: seven days in a week, seven continents, seven oceans, seven vertebrae in the neck, seven colours in a rainbow, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven deadly sins. In fact, some researchers argue that human memory works best if it remembers up to seven items.

Seven also features strongly in the religions of the world: in the creation story of the Bible, God made the world in six days and rested on the seven, thus scholars believe it represents perfection or completeness. In Judaism, there are seven heavens. In the Islam’s holy book, the Koran, Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca walk around the Kaaba seven times. In Chinese culture, seven represents Yin and Yang combined with the Five Elements (water, fire, earth, wood and metal), while in Confucianism this combination is believed to represent harmony.

Seven is, therefore, an important number and most often a lucky one.

Seven years pass by in a flash.

I have written a lot during these seven years (794 posts on this blog) and a lot has happened. It is enough time to reflect, to grow, to mature, to experience new things, to change the way you react to situations, to learn how to deal with life especially when things don’t come the way you plan or hoped they would. It is time that allows you to become stronger and more resilient. And one way of doing this – for me – is through writing, right here. By making my own experiences and observations into fictional stories. By writing motivational stories that I would really like someone else to tell me. By drawing optimism and positivity from the words that fill a page on a screen.

Seven years may be many or few, depending on how you look at it. But they are part of what makes us who we are and a chance to reflect on where we are, according to where we want to be.

So here’s to many more, with the wish to never run dry of inspiration and creativity!

The signs we choose not to see

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In everyday life we are surrounded by all sorts of signs. Not only literally, but metaphorically too. In most life-changing decisions we take, we unconsciously look for signs to reveal to us we are on the right path, or to help us choose which route to take, what move to make.

However, no matter how many signs are thrown our way, we usually only see what we want to see. Often we ignore even the warning signs that things are not going well, the ones that serve as precautions, as awakenings trying to draw our attention to something, calling us to change.

We choose to ignore the signs that try to help us because we don’t want to see them at that moment. We want to believe in something different and we refuse to accept that sometimes things don’t always turn out the way we hoped or planned.

That is until one sign hits us hard like a slap in the face and we are forced to see what we’ve been pushing aside for so long. It’s a sign we can no longer ignore, revealing that a cycle has been closed and we need to find the courage to close the door to it and move on.

 It’s only when we’re ready to see the signs that we accept their presence. We just have to be brave enough to let them guide us, but not dictate our next moves.

The meaning we give

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was on the dining table. A constant remind of the feelings that characterised that house. Passion, love, caring, sensitivity.

Inundated with colour, the crystal vase featured seven gold-tipped roses. Perfectly stemmed, with petals opened just enough to demonstrate their purity and elegance; the roses were a gift from the heart.

They enclosed a memory of a day overwhelmed with emotions, happiness and optimism. Of a day that brimmed of hope for what was to come. For a future full of colour and love.

They were an everyday cue that love is just a word until someone gives it meaning.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Enclosed in rose petals

©MCD

They are the ones that give colour to the flower itself. The ones you anxiously wait to grow, to bloom, to open up and reveal the others hidden inside. In a rose, it’s the petals that give it its essence.

The petals, just like the rose itself, are full of symbolisms. They represent the destination at the end of a long journey. They are what makes the climb up from the thorny stem worth the pain of it. They are what constitute the beauty of an otherwise ‘aggressive’ flower. For if you can’t grasp the thorns, you are not worthy of the flower. The petals are what accentuate the value.

Like William Carlos Williams wrote, “the rose is obsolete” for “it is at the edge of the petal that love waits”.

Flowers are symbols of love, of adoration, of caring. But they are soon doomed to wither, their petals opening up and eventually falling off. But even loose petals are symbols of love, of passion, of romance. They are the ones that hold the memories of the initial rose. Of the moment in which it was delivered. Of the emotions that overwhelmed the giver and the receiver, and of the instants that ensued.

It is not accidental that the best decoration potpourri usually include flower petals. Because they enclose everything the flower once was and everything it still remains. It reminds us that no matter how closed up we are, we can always bloom, let others past our thorns, and persist, maintaining our beauty unaffected by time.

Hidden thoughts

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We all have hidden interpretations of things others don’t see. And it is usually the ones that cause a conflict. Because people find it hard to see with others’ eyes. We can’t put ourselves in others’ shoes, nor interpret things their way.

There are symbolic meanings to everyday behaviours. Meanings that are affected by our own perceptions of the world, by our prejudices, by our mentality, by the way we were raised, by the things we read, by our own experiences and thoughts.

It is these very perceptions that give rise to our hidden thoughts. They may be misinterpretations of certain incidents. But they become so rooted in our minds that to us they are established as the reality we see.

We refuse to see a different perspective, an alternative view, because it seems illogical, irrational, in total conflict to our own. And in essence, we are too stubborn, head-strong and selfish to do something that requires empathy on our part. It requires setting aside our own beliefs to comprehend what makes others react or act in certain ways.

Such absolute perceptions and hidden thoughts make our relationships dysfunctional. They cause us to become defensive even hostile. But worse of all, they lead to disappointment when we realise that our expectations are not met.

The mind is like a parachute: it only works when it is open.

The jar of colour

©Priya Bajpal

It was always on the table. Ever since it was set there in a ceremonial style by the two of them.

No matter what happened after that, the fights, the disagreements, the shouting, the heartbreaks, it was there. Left there as a constant reminder of the good times.

Because the bad tempers would pass. And the light would be restored.

The glass jar of coloured papers represented exactly that. The positivity of our lives. The need to realise that it is not all black and white. That there is colour. The one we create and we are responsible for maintaining.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

That morning chime

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-N-xUOWikPkE/U-1H94SMqtI/AAAAAAAAFUI/S4hatweMUvA/s1600/1011121_595395180537127_2018289007_n.jpgThe first day they met she had been woken up by the sweetest chime she had heard. And just outside her window, sat a blue-necked sparrow, as if waiting for her to lift her hand so it could chirp its way right on to it.

She was a farm girl and proud of it. She found comfort among her four-legged farm-mates and was extremely content with simply roaming across the fields, either on horseback, in the mini-truck, or on foot. There was always one animal or other running alongside her and she felt that they could completely understand what she was saying or even feeling. She had yet to feel that with a human.

Until that very day.

It is strange how life throws things at you, just when you’re ready to accept them. Even if you don’t realise that at the time. Because that very morning, she thought nothing of the sparrow’s visit. It was only after weeks, that her mind recalled the symbolism.

That morning she rushed to catch the train to the nearby city. She was tasked with obtaining supplies ahead of the long weekend. Her stalling to admire the little bird, however, meant she lost the early train, which she was supposed to have travelled with. So she took the next one.

He was on that one.

He sat opposite her, mesmerized by the innocence radiating from her eyes.

But she paid no attention. She was still thinking of the sparrow, while staring out of the window at the morning dew.

He coughed, dropped his phone by accident and they bumped heads as they both moved to pick it up. That was all it took to get her talking. Her laughter resounded in his ears for days later. And she was enthralled by how alike they were. He was the son of the neighbouring landowner. They had the second largest estate in the town and she found paradise in his property and in his heart.

The sparrow never returned. At least not until today.

It had played its role. Now it was their turn to keep things moving. A little effort is all it really takes.

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

Regal at heart

Crown of King of SpainWith the proclamation of a new King in Europe, the question of monarchy or republic is once again brought to the forefront. But truth is, people like these royal traditions and pompous ceremonies. They bring an air of glamour, of majestic pride, of fascination and of elegance to an otherwise dull, boring and sometimes even pessimistic routine.

Kings and Queens in the modern world are more of a symbol. One of national pride, which also provides a sense of stability and continuity in times of political and social change. The system of constitutional monarchy is seen to bridge the discontinuity of party politics. And despite the corruption scandals of both democratically elected politicians and hereditary monarchs, people love to fondle over where the royals go on vacation, what they are wearing, and where they live. In essence, you would be more interested in a glimpse in the life of a queen for example, than of a Member of Parliament. The former simply has more prestige attached to it, if only by title.

Nonetheless, we are often left to wonder what the point of a monarchy is nowadays.

It is all about the symbolism.

And the innate desire of every human to have a bit of royal in themselves. We all wish to be king or queen (or even prince or princesses) of something. Getting some ideas out of the lives of people who officially bear the title never did any harm.

“In the past, people were born royal. Nowadays, royalty comes from what you do.”
– Gianni Versace

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