Saturday, 28 September 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep calm and carry on
When the world around you crumbles 
Wrap your cloak around you a little tighter
And stride across the shambles

For the world has many a way of
Sorting itself out and once again standing tall
So you do your bit as you march on ahead
Through every step and fall

You think they will need you
But no one is truly indispensable
So let them clear the rubble, you go on
Make way for something new

Little good will come of it
Should you stay behind and hope they’ll heed your call
So keep calm and carry on
Through the irony of it all 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tricks From My Hat: The Light by The Window

The Light by The Window - Image courtesy of Rumi Quotes on Facebook

The house must have been over a hundred years old, fraying at the edges, corners crumbling quietly when no one was looking. 

Every time we walked past, the sorry sight of the dilapidated home would grab us by the throat and our eyes would scan the ramshackle building for the vestiges of the happy home that had disintegrated into debris. At the same time something equally terrifying would make us quickly look away.

Nobody ever stepped into the grounds of overgrown weeds that circumscribed the house, but if we happened to walk past it at night-time, we could sometimes see a little warm globule of light shining warmly in the opaque blackness of the night. 

People in the village mostly thought it was a little orb of a long-forgotten spirit. Better avoided than confronted, they said. 

It was useful, that light, even if the sight of it meant we had to walk away from it, and not towards it. 

I sometimes like to think it served as a beacon for lost souls.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Man who fell in love with The Moon

The Man who fell in love with The Moon - Image courtesy of Laurent Laveder

“Legend has it that the man was banished to the moon for a crime he did not commit,” Grandpa began, in that deep mysterious voice of his that made fidgety children sit still and listen to the story with rapt attention, even if they have heard the tale countless times before.

“Why Grumpa?” curious little Pippin piped up as always. “Why was he sent to the moon?”

“Because,” Grandpa said slowly, “people are afraid of unknown, unfamiliar things. No one had been to the moon. Back in those days, she was still a strange, distant, unfamiliar land. People saw her only at night-time, and no one knew where she disappeared during the day. So they thought it was a lonely, terrifying place where unspeakable things could happen to you even during the day.”

Grandpa wrapped his shawl a little tighter around him and huddled closer to the fireplace. A little shiver ran down our collective spines as we momentarily wondered about the unspeakable things that happened on the moon.

“But good things happen to good people,” Grandpa assured us. “So when the man went to the moon, imagine his wonder when he found that the moon was in fact a lovely, little lady. A misunderstood lady, as she liked to refer to herself,” he chuckled.

“Why Grumpa?” curious little Pippin piped up again. “Why misunderstood?”

The other children shushed him but Grandpa waved a hand to quieten them.

“Well, people have always believed it is the moon that drives people mad. They have always accused her of causing werewolves to emerge from hiding. The oceans turn restless at the sight of the moon, they say. They also claim she steals the light of the sun and calls it her own. And to this day many people continue to accuse the moon of all these wrongdoings,” Grandpa huffed.

And then, as if some faraway memory had suddenly returned to him, his face creased into a million wrinkly smiles and he said, “But of course, it doesn’t matter what people think. Because the man who went to the moon saw her for what she really was and fell in love with her.”

“Did they marry, Grampa?” it wasn’t curious little Pippin this time.

“Of course they did,” Grandpa beamed.

“Did they live happily ever after, Grompa?” another not-Pippin chirped.

“Of course they do,” Grandpa said. “But that is not where the story ends. Because you see, the man was banished to the moon for only two decades. When his sentence was over, he was summoned back to the earth. He pleaded with her to come with him to the earth, but her abode was in the skies and she begged him to not leave.”

“But she is still up there in the skies,” another little voice piped up.

“On most days, yes,” Grandpa said.

“Does that mean he left her behind?”

“Yes and no,” came Grandpa’s reply. “It is true the moon couldn’t leave the skies and the man had to make his way back to the earth. But when the man returned to earth, he brought back with him a small part of her. And he promised to visit her every night, which he did, and each morning when he returned he brought back a little part of her with him.

“With each passing night, the moon waned in the sky, a part of her having made its way to the man’s abode on earth. So when it was new moon and the moon disappeared from the sky and the world barely gave a second thought as to where she had disappeared to, no one knew that the moon was playing in her lover’s backyard unknown to the rest of the world.”

And this is how Grandpa always ended his story.

Sometimes one of the kids would ask him how he knew all this. And if it were a new moon night, Grandpa would take us all into the backyard where the lovely moon would play with us until bed-time. And in the cover of daylight, she would return to the skies, bit by bit, sliver by sliver over the course of a fortnight until she was a little globe of dreamy white again.

But what the little kids do not know is that Grandpa also leaves behind a part of him on the billowing moon after each visit. There isn’t much of him left on earth anymore. One day he will be gone for good. And it will be up to me then to tell the children to look for him not among the stars but to seek out the man in the moon. I know the little ones will believe me.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Day a God was Reborn

Here is our little altar of worship, 
Where the Gods reside 
When they feel the need to step out from our hearts 
And wander about a bit. 

Finding their way in the dark 
By the light of a flickering lamp,

And their journey is made a little brighter 
By these happy, yellow flowers strewn all over their path,

And in the soft glow of fire and light 
They make mischief with the shadows and the night.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Whimsical Dance of Snowballs in Transit

The Whimsical Dance of Snowballs in Transit - Image courtesy of Cornelia Konrads

The snowballs flutter above the piles on the ground. 

To a casual onlooker, it would appear as if they were rising from the ground, defying gravity, flying towards the skies. 
Another would think the snowballs were falling gently, returning home, coming to rest on the piles below.

The little boy says the snowballs arch into a portal to another land.
His sister, the younger one, says she has seen fairies living inside the snowballs. 
The elder sister says it is something like a mistletoe. You have to kiss your partner when you walk underneath the white archway, so you better be careful whom you choose to accompany you on a beautiful night.

Their mother says all her children are blessed with very active imaginations. Truth be told, she says, it is simply a creative’s imagination, an artist’s creation. If you look closely enough you can see the blue-black threads of steel on which the snowballs are suspended. (But of course I won’t go looking for them threads. You knew that, didn’t you?)

The wise man asked me what I made of it all. To me, I said, it appears like a moment frozen in time, caught between breaths, the snapshot of a dancer in motion. Difficult to say whether they are still or in motion. If in motion, whether they are rising or falling. Perhaps if we watched long enough, I imagine we would see the little globes of white floating up and down in little, gentle motions like the rise and fall of breath under the skin of our chests.

The wise man cackled with laughter and said that the snowballs kept up their whimsical dance to keep us trapped in our imaginary illusions, so we remain sufficiently distracted from the mischief that goes on beneath the harmless looking piles of snow, right under our noses.


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