MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “writing challenge”

Blissful

https://www.soulseeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/stairway-to-heaven.jpgBeauty is whatever gives joy” (Edna St. Vincent Millay). And what is joy? It “is a net of love with which you can catch souls” (Mother Theresa); “it is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are” (Marianne Williamson).

Sometimes – too often – we allow ourselves to be carried away by our anxiety, stress, anguish and worry to truly see all the things we should be grateful for. Our good health, our homes, the loving people around us.

There comes a moment when you feel you are drowning in engagement, in evergrowing “to-do-lists”, in increasing obligations that you persuade yourself to believe that something is wrong. But if we just stop, take a deep breath and look around, we see that there is a different perspective to life. One that is calmer, brighter, and a little more blissful.

Sometimes it takes a surprise, a gift, an escape journey to make you see it.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls” (Joseph Campbell).

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Bliss

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Light up, light up

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©Sandra Crook

In daytime, it seemed like a simple street lamp with its metallic surroundings and a white exterior. It was nothing special. At least that was what the majority of passers-by thought.

But one little girl believed differently. She saw in that lamppost a fairy tale. The first time she saw it, she said it reminded her of her father’s bedtime stories.

When night came, the lamp turned on; but in different colours. And when the first snowflake fell, the lamp turned itself into a lit-up snowball encasing Santa’s house.

Magic was there. You just had to want to see it.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The Elegance of Grace

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/53/7b/8c/537b8cd6f9d98304e7b90a1308e2009d--la-dance-dance-photography.jpgShe grew up in a bedroom that was as big as some apartments she later saw during her rent-hunting period. She had always thought that was the norm. That all children were brought up in loving families that looked after their every need and sacrificed (themselves) for their own welfare. Finding out the truth hurt.

Elegance, her mother had always told Grace, was something that you learnt to impose on yourself to the extent that it came out as natural. It was like the pain a dancer felt, but to the audience it seemed like blissful gliding. That was the essence of elegance. To appear to have everything under control, without worries, stress or agony. It was not easy.

As she grew up, Grace lost her temper a lot. She was often nervous, allowing her agitation and fear to overcome her. Uncertainty did not fare well with her. She wanted things to be organised so that she could feel that she had the ability to impose some order in the chaos around her. But that wasn’t always possible.

It was only when she returned to ballet that she remembered. It reminded her that not everything had to be forced. Some things needed calm and patience to work out well and everything took time. It all fell into place at the right moment with the proper strain. The elegance was knowing how to acknowledge that and be prepared for when that moment arrived.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Elegance

A shop of memories

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©Marie Gail Stratford

It’s strange how certain places, songs, things, are associated with specific people. Maira had that. Every time she visited the city, she would always drop by her favourite department store.

And every time it would bring back memories.

She had visited that store so many times with different people. All with whom she shared a special bond.

That bond was rejuvenated whenever she stepped through the big glass door.

Even if she was alone, she always felt that sweet melancholy of beautiful times passed.

And so, each time, she always bought something from there. As a reminder of the visit.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The box under the nightstand

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/2f/fc/0f/2ffc0f66ff6daa65af6bdfdd9de45066.jpgThere was a box she had in the open space under her nightstand. It was a usual cardboard box that seemed to be made out of wood and was beautifully decorated with colours and abstract figures. She treasured the box because inside she kept her happiness.

She had never shown the box to others. Sometimes, there are things you don’t share. Things you keep for yourself.

Those closest to her, who had the honour and privilege of entering her bedroom, always found that box under the nightstand to be a mystery. Because even when asked about it, she would simply smile, her eyes lighting up, gaze somewhere else, even blush a little, and respond with just a smile.

No-one ever tried to open the box. Because for some things you respect the other’s privacy. And often, a little mystery keeps your heart pounding a bit faster and your mind racing with all the possible scenarios of what it might contain.

The box under her nightstand was renewed often and she believed that as long as she would have something to put in it, life was good.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mystery

A Platanus of history

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©MCD

There is a quote that says, “imagine if trees gave free WiFi; we’d all be planting like crazy. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe”.

Trees are more important and vital for our lives than we believe or even give them credit for. They contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. They produce the wood we use to light our fireplaces in the winter, make our furniture, even the paper we write on. Yet, we cut them down without second thoughts.

It is no wonder then, that when we come across a tree that is centuries old we treat it as a wonder of nature. We stand before it dumbfounded, gazing at this stupendous sight. And it makes you truly feel small and insignificant.

There is a place in North Evia, Greece, somewhere along that nature-blazing road that has you driving among trees, on your way towards the Kyreas River, in between the villages of Prokopi and Mantoudi. There is this place where a sign will direct you to the “Great Platanus”. A plane tree that residents will tell you has been there for centuries. It is “a tree of huge dimensions”, as the sign reads, a “monument of nature”. A Platanus Orientalis. It is 22-23 metres tall, with its trunk’s circumference reaching 18 metres, its trunk diameter at 5.5 metres, the surface of its stem at 900 square metres, and its shadow said to be once stretching over 2.5 acres. Its age is estimated at 500-600 years, although some say that it exceeds 2,300 years! It is said that this is the most ancient Platanus in the Balkans, perhaps even the whole of Europe.

20171028_133927Its tree trunks are larger than what can fit in your wide-open arms. It stands imposing before you and, even though lacking in foliage and somewhat deserted and with broken branches, the vastness of this tree is not diminished. Rather, it is a refreshing site in a world full of asbestos and tar. There is also a huge hollow in its trunk, big enough for 10 or more people standing. In it, you suddenly forget all the problems that trouble your head daily. You take a deep breath and simply be grateful for being alive. For being there. And for being able to witness this. Just think about all the changes this tree may have witnessed. It was there before you and will probably remain so even after you.

20171028_133932As with all over-aged creatures, there are myths and legends surrounding this tree. For example, it is said that if someone falls asleep in its hollow, they will fall ill or harm will come to them, as goblins will come out and cast a spell on them. In another legend, if you are found at midnight under the tree, you will hear voices, music, violins and clarinets, and see fairies and goblins appear dancing at the shores of the river. In yet another, it is said that at midnight two large rams come out of the platanus and start noisily fighting each other. This tree is often associated with fairies and goblins as it was believed that, being over-aged, it was also haunted.

No matter the stories, however, the reality remains that this, like so many others, is part of our natural heritage and should be protected and preserved. We devote so much of our time, energy and funds to things that matter less, yet we abandon those that benefit us more.

N.B. All photos are mine, taken in North Evia, Greece, on 28 October 2017.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

Master your days

http://lemerg.com/967936.htmlEvery day is a new opportunity. You’ve heard it before. But you know it is true. Because you wake up each day having a new target in sight. At least you should. And you don’t know how much you’ll manage to accomplish, to achieve, to fight, to tolerate, and to accept, until the moment you re-think you’re entire day when you return to bed that night.

Every day teaches us to be stronger. It makes us see that we are worthy and capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. That if we set our minds to it, we can “move mountains”. We are richer in more ways than we acknowledge. And if we read a little bit more, open our eyes a bit wider and allow our minds to broaden, we will find that enlightenment will sweep its way into making our lives better.

Every day we realise that we need to constantly improve. That we won’t always receive what we give; not even what we expect. We see that we’re not always surrounded by people who want our best. In fact, there are so many hypocrites around us, filled with jealousy and envy. Everyone we meet is there for a reason. Those scornful of us are to prove that we are doing something right, being better than them. Life has a way of providing lessons, either through the people we meet or through the situations we face.

Every day is a journey. To find out how much further we can travel. How much better we can be. How stronger, kinder, braver.

Every day is a chance to make life better. Don’t waste it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Enlighten

The world and a star

https://www.dhresource.com/0x0/f2/albu/g4/M01/B1/40/rBVaEVb_gaWAKHKHAADUsZQWqqQ077.jpgThe footsteps in the snow were still there when he woke. It was the last thing she left him when she slammed the door the night before.

She was tired of fighting. She was tired of the sudden mood swings. She was exhausted that every time everything seemed almost perfect, something – the tiniest glitch – would come along to ruin it all.

And it was usually an action incited by another person.

With Harry’s consent.

Of course.

Because Bertha knew well that if he had not wanted it to happen, he could simply say no. He could set his limits. He could actually show his girlfriend that he respected her. That he heard her when she told him repeatedly that she was bothered by certain behaviour. That he was loyal to her alone. Things, that if were the other way round, Harry would not have reacted so calmly or tolerate it all.

Bertha tried to be the bigger person.

But sometimes, even the strongest people break too.

Because all a person truly wants, is the certainty that the person they love will choose them over everyone else, under any circumstance.

She gave him a choice.  She shouldn’t have had to.

But he did not choose her.

She threw away the balloons and the present she was to give him during the surprise party she had organised for him the next day.

It didn’t matter now.

He had not chosen her.

He had placed everything else above what she thought was something that would last through hail and storm.

She would have given him the world. But he was too stubborn to even give her a star.

 

When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman you tell her that she’s the one…”
                                                   (Have you ever really loved a woman – Bryan Adams)

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Loyal

In search of treasures

http://www.treasure-hunt-ideas.co.uk/site/siteImages/bg.jpgSantiago was in search of a treasure. Like all people, he was trying to find his place in this world. He read a lot and tried to travel even more. He longed to find where he belonged and what his purpose was. He was certain he had something exceptional to do.

But not every treasure is silver and gold. It took him a while to realise it.

For after travelling for years alone through sun, rain and snow, in lands that where not so welcoming, meeting all sorts of persons and seeing things he never even dreamt of, all he finally looked forward to was returning home. To a home that would be surrounded by the person who had stolen his heart from the very first time they set eyes on each other. Because life has a strange way of sending us signs for things that should happen. Falling in love is one of the strongest ones. And if you’re strong enough to fight for it, you are bound to find something amazing.

Santiago acknowledged after years of searching that his treasure was not material things. It was the knowledge and experience he had accumulated during his travels. It was the way his mind opened up and his spirit liberated. It was the push he felt inside him to constantly evolve, to want to become better for himself and those around him. It was the urge to become the exceptional person he believed he could be.

Treasures are first and foremost located in our hearts. We just need to first open our minds and souls to realise it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Exceptional

Circle of light

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©Ted Strutz

She loved full moons. She believed they represented completeness. And that light they emanated in the darkness was truly a remarkable sight. Plus, they never seemed to be the same: they differed according to your location.

Ever since the start of their relationship, he had always tried to make those full moon nights special.

Even now, fifty years later, he would still try to surprise her. And she somehow always was impressed.

This night he had rented a yacht in the marina they used to go for walks.

A candlelight dinner, staring blissfully at another circle of light. Love revived.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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