what if THE closest i get to the BEST I’LL ever be IS NOW

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By nature, I enjoy comfort, for example, exposure to the cold is something I struggle with (those who know me are very familiar with my often incessant talk of the cruelties of these arctic temperatures).  I work best in the heat of the day when the sun hits me and I can feel the burn on my shoulders as I walk under its rays.  A water bottle in hand to quench the dryness; the beauty of the shade of a tree or a passing bus; the wind that blows and is warm, the rain that falls and doesn’t sting with ice…that is what works best for me.  But this….this?  No,  It is just too much.  Too much frost, and radiators turned up to the highest on the dial.  Piling on layer after layer to shield myself from the brazen weather.  Has it no shame?  Will it not let up even for a moment?  Winter; I find least comfort in you.

I have also found, that, by nature, I tend to be that of the type that no matter what happens, I keep moving forward.  Sometimes that forward movement is painfully slow, so slow that I’m convinced I’m stood still, until hindsight kicks in and I realize I’ve come further than I ever thought.  Sometimes that forward movement is at the pace of light speed…although these moments seem rarer than the former.  But, every so often (probably more often that I admit), I have this thought “what if I never get further in life than I am now? What if the closest I get to the best I’ll ever be, is now?”  And that scares me.  It scare me because, most of the time, I cannot even fathom how things in my life will change for the better, or why they even should.  Why should things change for ME?  Am I special enough to have special things happen?

I ponder on the concept of Grace – this whole thing of undeserved favor.  I’ve never really felt like I deserved much-yet ironically, I have great dreams for myself.  I am talented and creative, that I will give myself, but so are so many others.  Why should anyone notice me?  Why should I be picked amongst the crowd.

I am no saint in any way.  Sometimes I don’t understand why I do certain things that make me cringe.  Why did I say this to that person?  Why can’t I keep my mouth shut?  Must I always act before I think?  I am convinced some people must think me actually crazy with the way I go back and forth with decisions.

At this moment, I am single.  It’s not something that bothers me really, but what I do find myself battling with are thoughts of if I’m the sort of if person that someone would ever want to love.  Weird eh.  I wonder if other people think that about themselves.

All this deliberating means I get tired easily.  Emotionally, I’m exhausted.  I am therefore grateful for those around me who are in my world.  Great friends to laugh with and who make the journey of life worthwhile, because you know, I find life to be quite heavy sometimes.

Earlier this year, I went on an awe-inspiring trip to Southern India.  There I encountered a tropical climate that permeated my being.  I felt so free and energized, made new lifelong friends who I pray will be with me for all time.  This was something new for me.  Can a place really do that to someone, it certainly did for me.  I had none of those above questions galloping through my mind.  It was my utopia; my perfect moment.

But right now, right here, I ask myself where my perfect moment is.  Why does life seem to unravel when you think it’s being knitted together in a way that makes you want to smile at life again?  And who is doing this unravelling anyway?  Because, whoever you are, it’s time you stopped.

Is this the best I’ll ever be?  I am hoping that it is not, I am sure it is not.

I will keep moving forward in life, doing my best to enjoy the journey.  Learning from my hurts (oh how I’m broken down by these hurts) and forgiving others (including myself) as I go along.

So, onward and upward I go with this adventure of mine, and maybe one day I’ll look back and realise that this moment, where I am now, it was just the beginning of the most beautiful story that will one day be told.


A PARTIAL work OF fiction: goodbye / HELLO

PART 1

Are you remembering anything now

“Huh?”  She looks at the man coming toward her.

Are you remembering anything now?

She looks down at her hands.  She always had delicate looking hands.

“A while back, years back, I was in a car, seated on the passenger seat and looking through the window on my side.  My hand is on the window.  It’s raining and the car is beginning to steam up.”

Where were you being driven to?

She doesn’t answer that.  She just carries on from where she was last.

“I didn’t let any outside air in to let out the steam.  It was already too cold in the night to do that.  I was happy watching the red, orange, and blue lights reflect off the raindrops.”

What happened next?

“Has anyone ever told you….”

What happened next?  What did you see?

She looks down at her hands once more.

No I won’t.  I won’t think you’re crazy…no more than usual anyway.

He smiles.  She smiles.

“I guess you can be lighthearted after all”.

She breathes in and out slowly and deeply a few times.  He closes his eyes and leans on the wall behind.

He opens his eyes and looks at her; his expression questioning.

“You see”, she continues “I was looking through the side window in the car.  I was looking at the raindrops and the passing scenery.  Those words…”

Trust me

“Yes, “trust me”.  They appeared right there.  It was as if someone had written on the misty glass with an invisible hand.”

And what did the others in the car say to this phenomenon?

“Nothing.  Only I could see the writing.  It was as if the message was written just for me, and I knew it.”

PART 2

Tell me more – those words; why did they appear to you?  What do they mean?

She looks up at him.

“There was a time when I was so confused about life, my life.  I was a teenager then and I wanted everything to be over.  When I saw those words on the car window, they changed me.  Each time life became hard, I would think of those words and new energy would spring up in me.”

And so life is better now?

“Well, that’s a hard one to answer because sometimes I feel like I struggle more now than I did then.  Sometimes I wonder how I made it this far.  I often feel I wont make it to the next day.”

Who do you think wrote those words?

She pauses for a moment.

“I’m not sure if I should say…you did.  You wrote those words.”

But I wasn’t in the car, was I?

“No, not physically, but still, I think you’re everwhere.”

And why is that?  Who am I?

The moment she says this, everything goes dark.  She can not see anything or make out what is around her.

PART 3

PART 4

The darkness fades, and she begins to see her surroundings.  She notices she is no longer in the room, but in a car.

“Is this some kind of joke?”

It is the car from all those years past; the very same one.  The only difference is herself; she is no longer the teenager in the passenger seat.

“What am I doing here?  How did I get here?”

She is scared.  She senses something is coming; something ominous.

The car moves faster and faster.

“Oh God, help me.”

God does not arrive to help.

The car stops at no obstacle, not even at the fence that separates road from cliff.

“Wait, no.  This isn’t what is supposed to happen.  STOP. GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?”

He is no where.

The splash is a hard one.  The car hits the water and goes under in what seems like an eternity, yet at the same time, it happens so fast, she is amazed by it.  Water fills the compartment.  Soon there is no air.

“Im drowning.  I’m dying.  Why God why?  Why am I dying?”

He does not answer.

She floats around in the car as she is nudged by the water.  The door opens and she drifts upward, her body forming the shape of a curved mushroom.

Her mouth opens and water begins to enter her being.  She doesn’t fight the inevitable.  She is too tired.  She manages some final thoughts.

“Life has killed me after all.  I thought I could break through.  I thought I could win.  Maybe I could have, but I just didn’t know how.”

She breathes in the water.

“It seems I do not have tomorrow after all.  Goodbye world.”

She opens her eyes to take in her surroundings for the last time.  She sees the car continue to make its way to the bottom.  Her eyes catch something.  The passenger door is open.  But that isn’t what she notices, it is what’s on the window.  Those words.  Those words that only she can see.

“God, is that you?  My Maker, are You here?”  She thinks it so loudly, it nearly deafens her.

In reply, she hears the words whispered back to her: “Trust Me”.

Her heart is filled with emotion.  She begins to struggle and fight.

“My Maker is here.  He is here.”

She looks up and sees the light of the sun breaking through into the water.

“I must live.  Oh my Maker, help me live”

She swims as hard as she can; the pressure on her lungs gets greater.

She reaches the top and bursts through the water to the surface.  Everything is going to be alright.  “HELLO WORLD”


there is bEaUty WITHIN me

I was seated on the train, with my bag on my lap – always on my lap, never on the floor – when a man comes into the carriage.  A man I never would have noticed if it weren’t for the other passengers.

They shifted their stance, covered their noses, looked in the direction of the floor.  The few that knew each other, whispered unheard words to each other.

I smelled something also, something pervasive.  It was then I looked up, and it made sense.

He was really tall; very thin.  I noticed his thinness more than his tallness.

His clothing – or more appropriately, his rags, because that is what they were – was brown in color.

As my eyes moved up his body, they stopped at what he was holding.  A polystyrene cup that looked like it had been mauled by those tiny rodents that live on the train tracks.

He didn’t say anything, but just shook the cup.  It jingled – or rather, what was in it jingled.  We all knew what that meant.

He started to walk down the carriage.  The whispers subsided.  He stopped in front of me, his cup lowered to my eye level.  He had seen me reach into my purse.  In went £2.

“Thank you”, were his words to me.  A smile was my word to him. He carried on walking.

I never once directly looked him in the eye.  I got as far as his chin when he said “thank you”.  I know he smiled back at me, but I never really acknowledged him.

I could feel the thoughts of the other passengers: “he’ll only use that money for drink.  It’s all a scam”.  Well, maybe, but at that moment, my hope was that I see him again, for then I will look him directly in the eye as I smile to him.  I felt I really wanted him to feel valued in some way.

On the bus, deep in my own self absorbed thoughts.  Dwelling on my issues, my problems.  Oh how I wish they would disappear.  I have learned enough from them now.

Someone gets on at the next stop, and in that instant, I forget my thoughts.  What is it about this person that has me engaged?

She walks toward the back.  Her gait is unusual.  Not quite limping; not quite walking steadily.  She is very slow.

She walks past a window that allows the sun to shed more light to her face.

It is disfigured.

It is disfigured in a way I have only ever seen once before; in a child; and that child was the survivor of a fire.  This woman looks so similar, she could only have gone through that same trauma.

She has no nose.

Her head is held high; humble.  Her eyes ever so subtly look around, as if searching for acceptance.  She walks past me.  She sits somewhere behind me.

I have felt drawn to these two people and have thought of them often.  To want to be valued, but feeling self conscious at the same time.  Self conscious of how one looks, how one will be accepted.  Self conscious of ones standing in life.

Now, I could be totally wrong, they could be thinking something very different.  They may not even give a rip about anyone else; but, that is not the feeling I got.  It was in the eyes.  The searching eyes.

I think that, were they to hold a banner over their heads, it would say, “I may not be beautiful on the outside, but there is beauty within me.”

I am on the train.  This time I am standing.  My bag on my shoulder – always on my shoulder, never on the floor.

The now familiar man steps on.  The whispers and looks begin once more.

He walks down the carriage without a word, just shaking that cup.  He is close by now, I can smell him.

My hand is in my purse.

He stops and waits for my coins.

“Thank you” was his reply.  A smile was mine.

He gets off the carriage and moves onto the next.  It is then I realise, my eyes never made it past his shoulders.  I never saw his eyes.  I barely acknowledged him.


there is bEaUty WITHOUT me

It’s snow day and I slip on my bright red boots.  Well, slip on makes it sound easy – it is not.  I am wearing so many socks and layers that my foot size has grown significantly, and just putting on these boots is causing me distress.  But no matter, I have determined to wear these particular ones, and wear them I shall.

I open the door to go outside.

Keys? check.

Jacket, scarf, gloves, sweater?  Check, check, check, and check.

I step out cautiously and slide my feet on the floor purposefully.  They don’t skid and glide.  Yup, these boots were made for walking; I will not tumble today.

Walking down the road, my fingers are numb.  I know they are there, but must still check, you know, just to make sure.

My toes?  Well, they are screaming torture.  But I can’t stop, I am armed with my camera in hand, and I will take some photos today.  Sorry toes.

I walk until I see some trees and a park ahead.  I stop and begin snapping.  I get a few close ups of mundane twigs and have a look what I’ve got.  These humdrum and normally uneventful shrubs suddenly take on a new beauty when covered in the snow.

I forget the pain in my feet and stay where I am for a moment to get different angles of what I see.   I do this until my toes decide to raise the alarm of suffering.  I listen, and hobble my way back home, while looking at what I’ve captured.

Beauty outside the uneventful; beauty without the unremarkable.


GOODbye

Goodbyes are a peculiar thing, don’t you think?  I believe they are.  Well, actually, “peculiar” is just one word to describe it.  Others would be, “relieving”, “refreshing”, “painful”, “heartbreaking”, “bold” and so on and so forth.

I guess it’s fair to say that a goodbye begins with one word, morphs into another through the process of time, then ends with something completely different to what it started with.

Here’s what I mean:

A person dies, for example, and we are forced to say farewell.  Initially, the word for this may be “trauma” or “scared”.  As time goes on, this transforms into “anger” as we blame them for leaving us.  Given even more time, and the right circumstances, this may eventually move to “acceptance”.  Three words to describe one.  And the cycle is complete.  Of course, each cycle is different for each person.

Personally, I don’t know what’s worse; a goodbye that is forced upon us through something like a death, or a goodbye that we ourselves are forced to make due to a situation not turning out the way we want it to.  It may be easy to think that the former would be the worst, but maybe the unrelenting disappointment of a hopeless situation could also rival that.  I’m not sure.

You may be wondering why I am choosing to write about this – or maybe not, considering my work can be quite abstract.  But let me just say that the emotional roller-coaster I found myself in last week has prompted this. It has also caused me to reflect on a couple of other goodbyes of last year.

The first reflection:

A death:

I thought of this not because of the death itself, but because of the experience of the funeral.

There was a group of 5 of us rushing and sweating in the sunshine to make it in time to the funeral hall.  We got off at the correct station and someone says the words: “So who has the address of where we are going?”.  This prompted the looks of horror and “you have got to be kidding me” from the rest of us.  No one had remembered this one vital piece of information.  We had travelled all this way, and were now stuck at this random station.  Luckily (if you could call it that) someone else pointed out that they were sure the street name had the word “church” in it, and that once we find said street, the funeral hall will be right there, because it will be the only one around.

In true modern style, we all got our iPhones out and indeed, there it was…a street with the name “church” in it.  We had nothing to lose.  Once there, the place was filled with crematoriums and church halls.  “Which one is it?”

Just as we were about to enter a second phase of panic, we saw a crowd; we followed the crowd.

We said our thank you’s at the door of the hall everyone was heading to as we were handed the order of service booklet.  We inconvenienced an entire pew as we pushed our way to the only empty seats at the far end. “I’m really sorry…so sorry.”

We sung an entire hymn and had begun the first verse of the next when we all decided (it would seem practically simultaneously) to flip through the booklet.  We saw the picture of the departed; a woman in her 70’s with gray hair.  I knew what we were all thinking, but it was voiced by someone else “eeerrr, that’s not Keith”.  Yes, our person was male with black hair and in their 40s…so who on earth is this?

We stop singing; we conferred (reverently); we decided that actually, it might not be the best idea to stay and cry with the others while pretending we know this woman.  So out we came.  We inconvenienced the pew once more “I’m sorry…really I am” and handed the order of service back to the man at the door; “thank you…really great service”

The word to describe this goodbye: quietly humorous.

The second reflection:

A second death:

Not long after the above, I got news of another passing.  This one was on my mind because his end was sudden and so my corresponding word for this goodbye was “shocker”.

When I think of the funeral, I see people standing around the grave in silence looking straight ahead at each other.  Falling autumn leaves littering the floor to produce a crisp crimson.  No one shedding a tear because the weather is too cold, but then, no tear is needed because each facial expression tells it all.  Each quivering lip says, “if I could cry now, I would”.

Of course, I know that is not how it happened at all.  I wasn’t at the funeral, I didn’t make it.  I was told what happened.  He was cremated, there were no leaves, and the weather wasn’t that cold.

And so, this leads me to…

My GOODbye:

This one wasn’t forced upon me.  It falls under the latter category.  The one where I myself choose to say goodbye.  The one where unrelenting disappointment has prevailed.  I don’t want to wave a farewell to this.  God knows I desperately do not want to, but for a situation where I have tried over and over to change the outcome, and everything goes against me…well, what other choice is there.  I am finding it hard to shrug my shoulders and declare “c’est la vie”.  Those are not the words I want. “C’est la vie?”  What I want is “joy”, “surprise” “elation”…not goodbye…oh God please not goodbye.  But I am torn…as much as I want to hang on, and just because I can, it doesn’t mean that I should.  I must let go.  For the sake of my own sanity, and the sanity of those around me, I walk away.

The picture above is more symbolic because no one has passed away this time.  The hat on the stone…on the cross, I just felt it was appropriate.

So what does this mean to me?  What word do I choose to chronicle this moment?  I have more than one.  I have a mixture.  I have sentences:

A lump in my throat.  A knot in my stomach. An ache in my heart.

That is where it starts.

But where does it end?  I am not sure, but I can imagine that the word “release” will feature somewhere down the line.

But for now, my final word is…GOODbye.


THE key

I’m sitting by the kitchen table.  In my hand is a hot cup of coffee.  It’s bitter.  It’s lacking something.  Cream liqueur; that’s what it’s missing.  I never have my coffee without it.  Yup, that’s better.

I look out the window.  It’s dark.  Really dark.  But then, it’s just gone midnight.

My eyes, they are burning.  They are tired.

The coffee is now cold.  Why?  Oh I see, it’s approaching 1am, and the cup hasn’t even touched my lips.

I get up and head off to bed.  One last look outside.

Nothing but darkness.  Real darkness.

They didn’t come.

I open the front door.  It’s morning.  My goodness, it’s chilly.

The floor mat, that’s what I want.  I look under it.  It’s still there, where I left it.  I wish it wasn’t.  I was sure it wouldn’t be.

I’m at the kitchen table.  Looking out the window.

You’re not still waiting for them are you?”  That’s my roommate, walking in.

They’ll come.”  That’s me.

She sits down, takes my cup, and drinks my coffee.  She knows I don’t like her finishing it all.

They’ll come.”  That’s me.

It’s morning. I lean against the front door.

Have you been outside?That’s my roommate.

I nod.

Was it still there?

I nod.

They will come.  I know it.”  That’s me.

My roommate sits opposite me.  She holds up a key, the key to the house.  My roommate says,

HOW will they find you?  You leave the key under the mat each night.  But they don’t know you live here.  They don’t even know you’re looking for them.

It sounds absurd, but I think this is the way to do it.  It’s the way to reach them.That’s me.

Just call them.  Pick up them phone and call them.

I shake my head.

They can’t know I’m reaching out to them.

We both hear a noise outside and rush to the door.  Open it.  It’s just a fox.  We both let out a sigh; her’s from frustration; mine from sadness.

Just leave the key out will you.”  That’s me.

She looks at me, and I know what she’s thinking.  Of all the crazy people she’s met, maybe, just maybe, I am the head of them all.

You didn’t check under the mat today?”  That’s my roomate.

I didn’t need to, ’cause I “accidentally” bumped into one of their friends.

And?

And, he will tell them, and they will come.

What if he doesn’t tell them?  What if he doesn’t know he needs to?  Does this friend even know who you are? Ooorrr, what if he tells them, and they laugh at you?  They will think you a fool.

She looks at me again, with that same look.  Why must she always do that?

I really hope they’re not laughing at me.

I close the front door and come back indoors.  It’s morning.  It’s cold.  It’s chilly.

Did you check?”  That’s my…well, I think you know who this is by now.

I nod.

Did they come?

I shake my head.

No, but I know they will.  I feel it so strongly like I’ve never felt anything in my life.

She stands to the side of me, silent.  She has no words.  Before she can give me the look again, I say

They’ll come.

Inside I’m praying they are not laughing at me.  I’m praying they answer my call.

I know they will.”  That’s me.


one BEACH, ONE very simple CONVERSATION, one PERFECT guy

“It’s really peaceful out here, don’t you think?  And I don’t even mind the pebbles so much.  Even the cool breeze isn’t bothering me.  I’m sure you’d disagree though.  Don’t you Debby?”

“Huh?  Yea, it’s a bit too cold for my liking.”

“Ha.  Why am I not surprised.  WOAH, check out those waves girl….

Do you know what I think of when I see them?”

“No.  What?”

“I see us riding the waves of glorious experiences and great chance.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“It means, dear Debb, that great things are coming our way.  I can feel it.  It’s in the air.  It’s in those waves.  Ooohhh, I can even smell it.  Breathe it in Debb.  Breathe it in.  Aaahhh.  There it is.”

“You’re crazy, that’s what you are.”

“Well, better to be a tad crazy than moody.  What’s with you today?  And what’s that?… That paper that is about to fall out of your pocket….Yea, that one.”

“Oh.  It’s nothing.  Just a photo of…someone.”

“Of him?  It’s a photo of him isn’t it?  Let me see. Come on, let…me…see.  Oh my oh my.  He’s gorgeous.  No, he’s more than goregeous, he’s…he’s…he’s eatable.  You sneaky girl you.  And why have you never told me his name?”

“That’s not important either.  And give me the photo back.

“So, what’s he like?”

“Really nice.  The sort of person any girl would want.  I feel so privileged.  I like having his picture near me.”

“Tell me more.  I am indeed intrigued.”

“Well, it just sucks that we’re not in the same country.  But he did say he’d call.  I’m giving him space to do just that…see if he’s really interested…you know.”

“Oh totally, you gotta be sure he really wants to be with you.  So, did he call? Oooohh, you’re smiling.  You haven’t done that all day, that must be good news.”

“Well, I was sitting at home, minding my own business the other day, when the phone rings.”

“I couldn’t believe it.”

“You couldn’t believe that the phone rang???”

“It’s the house phone.  It never rings.  Anyway, sshhh.  I’M telling the story here.”

“I just love how excited you are.  FINALLY, something..or someone…has perked you up.”

“Anyway, I didn’t believe the phone was ringing and..”

“You said that already”

“AND..it occured to me that this is the number I gave him and that it was possibly him calling. But I’d by now been thinking for too long, because the phone stopped.  It went dead….OUCH…what was that pinch for?”

“For making me think there was more to this story.  Instead, all I get is, the phone rang…much to my utter surprise, and I didn’t pick it up.”

“Ssshhh.  The phone rang once more.”

“Guess who it was?”

“It was him.”  “It was him”

“What?  It’s not rocket science.”

“We spoke for such a long time.  Dare I say we spoke for hours.”

“I think you dare.”

“It was such a magical moment.  With the perfect guy.  hmm, I can’t believe I’m nearly crying just remembering it.  I just felt so special…you know.  He made me feel special.  I haven’t felt that way in such a long time.  It’s indescribable that one person can do that to another.  Are you happy for me? I’m so happy for me.  You know what he said to me..he said…”

“Debby?”

“Deebbyyy”

“Huh?”

“Did he call?”

(Pause)

“No…no, he never did.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.  I just thought…well, with the picture and all….”

“Yea.  I know.”

“It’s slipped out of your hand…the photo.  It’s being blown toward the sea.  Look, I’ll go get it for you yea.”

“No.  I don’t need it.  I shouldn’t have kept it.  Let it go where it goes, and we’ll sit here together.

Tell me more about those waves.  I want to hear.”

“No you don’t.  I can see it.  It shows in your eyes.  He may still call.  You never know.”

(Pause)

“Ok, I’ll tell you about the waves.  You see that one over there coming our way, that’s good fortune, auspiciousness.  And that one to the side of it, that’s wellness…and that…”


2011/2012 – a parAphraSe, aN eXpeCtaTion

2011

Our inner beings are funny things aren’t they.  They cry out for answers.  They want to be rescued from disagreeable situations and scenarios.  They are stubborn.

This inner being is really us.  It belongs to us.  It is a part of us.  When we cry out, it cries out.  It is a simultaneous act.

We remember the past; some call it, “the good old days.”  Our inner being forces us to grin at the recollection of former pleasures.  But then, it is this recollection that also renders us feeble, weak.

There was a time that good fortune was near.  Good fortune?  Love?  Delight?  Remind me, what is that again?  Things I once embraced.  Will I embrace them once more?

The former pleasures now turn to rejection.  Rejection from deliverance…or…rejection from the one who can bring this deliverance.

Why, oh why, inner being do you cause me to remember?  Yes, me, for it is I that stands here, alone, yet amongst many, on the eve of the new beginning, the new dawn.  The eve of the place called…

2012

Ten

But my inner being perseveres in reminding me of the “wonders of old”.  Again I ask, why?

“To alter perspective”

Nine

And then I start to change.  Something shifts in me.   I begin the movement that leads to a smile.  Yes, it is true, things were good once.

Eight

I’ve been through much, but here I stand, able to share my life.

Seven

Indeed, it’s good to remember.  After all, that’s what gives us hope for the future.  It happened once before, it can happen again.  My inner voice smiles and nods.  Yes, that’s right, circumstances can change.

Six

I will be delivered, and my deliverer is here, in this place.

Five

I smile more now.

The drums are crashing in anticipation of the next few moments.  There’s a tremble in the air.  The sound of thunder beginning near the clouds.

Four

Three

Two

I see a path ahead, not a whole one…a partial one.  Unseen footprints lead the way to my future.  I know they are there, I can sense them.  They will lead me forward.  2012, here I come, to experience those wonders of new.

One

HAPPY NEW YEAR:)

Psalm 77

(I hope you enjoy a few of my pictures chosen for you.  I hope to share my 2012 journey with you)


wHo arE YOU?

“Are you a ghost?  I mean, like the one that appears to Scrooge?  Are you here to show me my past?  I already know what I’ve done.  I’d rather be spared the shame of reliving it.  Leave me alone.”

“I am not a ghost.”

“Are you going to show me my past?”

“Do you want me to show you your past?”

“No.”

“You sound afraid.”

“I’m not afraid.”

“You also sound lonely.  Are you lonely?”

“You haven’t told me who you are?”

“You haven’t answered that last question.”

“No.  I am not lonely”

“I am only here to help you.”

“I didn’t ask for your help.”

“Then why am I here?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t need you.  You haven’t done anything to help me.  You rarely talk to me.  I call out to you when I don’t know what to do, or when I’m confused, and you refuse to answer.  But here you are, out of nowhere, speaking to me like you suddenly care.  Why now?  Even when I said I was leaving you, you remained silent.”

“I thought you didn’t know who I am.”

“Of course I know.  I just don’t understand you.”

“Not many people do.  Come.  Walk with Me.”

“Where are we going?”

“Just walk with Me.  Look over there.”

“I don’t see anything.”

“Keep looking.  Do you see now?”

“I see myself.  I see myself as I was last night.  On the couch watching TV.”

“But you are not really watching.”

“No.  I’m thinking.  But, my mind is also blank because I don’t know where to direct my thoughts.”

“Do you see who is beside you?”

“…Yes…that’s…that’s you.  You’re by my side.  And…and you’re crying.  Why?”

“Because you were unable to shed any tears on your own.  You wanted to, but couldn’t.  You think I don’t listen, but I do.  I chose when to speak, and in some instances, like this, I weep when you can’t.  In other instances, I laugh with you in your happiness.”

“I don’t know what to say.  I don’t even know if hearing that makes me feel better.”

“Do you trust Me?”

“I don’t know.”

“Walk with me.”

“Where are we going?”

“On a journey.  You’ll see when we get there.”

“You’re not mad at what I said?  About me not being sure if I can trust You.”

“No.  I cherish your honesty.  I can handle it.”

“May I take Your hand?”

“I already have you in My arms.”

“Yes, You actually do.  Wow… Well… going back to what you said earlier…I guess I am a little afraid….and lonely.”

“I know.”

“Will you stay with me?”

“I never left.  I have been with you since before the beginning of time.”

“May we start again?  I would like us to start again.  My name is Debby.”

“I am Immanuel”


a PaRtiaL wOrK oF FiCtioN (2): LaW & oRdeR

1. The accusation, The accused

I take a seat on a hard wooden chair that is surprisingly comfortable, given the splinters that poke me as I lean back.

I notice a girl sit in front of me at roughly the same moment.

“good, you’re on time.  That is very satisfactory indeed.  I don’t like wasting my time with late comers.”

The girl has what seems to be a worried look on her face, but is silent.  I continue on:

“well, let’s see here” fumbling with the papers in front of me, “so, to confirm, you are the accused, and the accusation: extreme cowardice.

The main light flickers on and off.  This is very bothersome to me, so I switch it off and lean forward to turn on the side lamp instead.  It is just about adequate.  I notice the girl once more, although not as clearly as before.

She is leaning forward, her arms crossed in front of her on the table that separates us both.  Flawless skin and inoffensive countenance.  A look well below her age.  Will she be able to handle the indictment?

We must begin.

2. The informal trial

“How do you plead?”

“You have to answer”

“If you do not, I can hold you in contempt.”

“Very well, i can see you are scared and alone.  I can only assume that, were you to speak, your choice would be “not guilty””

“Now let us look at the evidence.”

“You were blaming others for their weakness to stand up for what they believe in.  What have you stood for?  You were heard using such words as “yellow-belly”, “sell-out”, “push-over”.  You even used the very word of which you are accused “coward”.  Is this so?”

(Pause)

“I will keep on going until you decide to say something”.

“Your revulsion toward the layman is very apparent, even though you yourself are a layman.  You chose to reprimand them for not doing anything better with their lives.  Your cowardice is so well embedded in you that you wont even venture to voice these views.  They remain silent opinions.  In fact, let us add “hypocrisy” to the charge.  I’m sure you wont protest.  You haven’t raised any objections so far.”

“Let us move onto the final.  The bringing down of your friends because you were too stubborn to see that everyone makes mistakes.  You wore them down with your taunts and jeers, never once looking inward to see if you were qualified to pass these judgements.  In fact, let us add “pride” to this charge.”

“Now what do you have to say?”

(Pause)

“DAMN IT, SPEAK UP”

“SPEAK UP”

“DO YOU DENY THESE CHARGES?”

Her mouth is open, as if to say something, but I don’t let her.

“COWARD…HYPOCRITE…PROUD…IS THIS YOU?”

“SPEAK UP?”

once again her mouth opens, but I interject.

‘I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND YOUR ARROGANCE”.

My hand hurts as I slam it down onto the table while standing up.  I point at her, but cannot see her because the shadows from the lamp don’t allow me to from the standing position.  But I can tell she is afraid.  It puzzles me that I can sense this, but I don’t give it much thought because of my outrage toward her.

“I am ready for my verdict.  You stand accused.”

3. The verdict

GUILTY

4. The accusation, The accused

I am satisfied with this verdict.  It has released the strain of the trial.

Just at that moment, someone passes by. “I am a great admirer of your work” they say to me.  “Would you autograph this picture of yourself for me?”

Filled with a sense of great importance, I take the photo and hold it to the light.  Something is wrong.  This can’t be me.  But I’ve seen her before.

My blood becomes chilled within me as I now begin to understand why I was aware of her feelings.

I sit back down, she does the same.  The once comfortable chair now distresses me.

I stretch out my hand and it is stopped by an invisible screen.  Our hands touch at exactly the same points.

I am her, and she is me.  I touch my face, she touches hers.  Our skin, wrinkled.  Out countenance, worn.

Our synchronised movements are only now becoming clear to me.

She stands accused, and so do I.

our accusation: cowardice, hypocrisy, pride

The accused: Me


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