Story time

“You’re very good at telling stories, grandpa.”
“Thank you my child, it is very kind of you to say so.”
“Do you enjoy telling stories, grandpa?”
“I suppose I do. I don’t think I would be telling them if I didn’t.”
“Is it hard to tell stories?”
“It gets easier with practice.”
“What’s the hardest part about telling a story?”
“You are a curious one, do you know that? But then is it not the role of children to be curious?”
“Very well! Let me think… I should say the hardest part about telling stories is to know where they begin and where they end. Stories are curious things, much like you; they are quite unpredictable. They are alive, weaving and waning, like the flowing of a river. Those who tell stories only tap into this flow as it makes its way to its destination. The hardest thing to learn is where to tap into it and where to leave the flow, for the rest will pour out by itself.”
“You’re very wise, grandpa.”
“I wish your grandmother held the same opinion. Now, enough of your little interrogation. It’s time for bed.”
“Ok grandpa. Thank you for the story.”
“Sleep tight.”
“Goodnight, grandpa.”

“What does interrogation mean?”

A short

There once was a man who was travelling across a foreign country in order to get to the land of his father. He had left many years ago as a promising young man with many plans for his life. The world, however, turned out to be a far harsher place than he had first envisioned. He trusted too easily and believed too naively, and eventually found himself cheated out of all his assets, his wealth, and his dreams. Left with nothing, he resolved that he would return, with great shame, to the man he left so many years ago. One day he was travelling through a very dense wood. It was around twilight, the path was very narrow and the light poor. He was afraid he would not find shelter for the night and feared bandits in the area. All of a sudden he heard the voice of a man. He had been travelling alone for weeks now and the sound of words carried in the wind pricked his ears. Whoever this man was, he was further along the path, and he was singing. The timbre was rich and burly, conveying the idea of a large man, probably bearded and wearing a large checked jacket (as that's how these things go). Despite this grand image, the melody was soft and gentle, sweet almost, as if the words floated effortlessly through the air to land upon his grateful eardrums. He rounded the next corner and lo and behold, a large bearded man in a checked coat stood before him, lamp held in one hand and walking stick in the other (he was always good at guessing these things, it was a gift of his). The man noted the traveller's presence and seemed weary of him at first. Lifting up his lamp he gave him a good look through furrowed brows. Deciding that the young man was both too young and too scrawny to be a threat, he flashed him a big cheshire cat grin. They struck up conversation and the young man was amazed at the aura of this enchanting man. He was well into his fifties by the look of it, but he carried himself with such grace. It was like watching a hippo take part in the royal ballet. As they talked, the young man asked the elder why he was singing. The answer came "I sing to the trees. Every day I go for a walk at dusk and sing to them." It turns out that the elder's wife had had a beautiful voice. They had no children and she had no one to sing to except him. Every night while she cooked in the evening she would sing beautiful songs, and he would sit in the porch after a day's work, just listening to the sound of her voice before he went into the house. Then twelve years ago she died and he was left alone. He said he never realised how quiet the world is until he had to live every day by himself. So he began to sing on his walks before the darkness came every night. "But why do you sing to the trees? They have no ears to hear you, and there is no-one else out here to hear you. Do you sing for yourself?"
"No. I do not sing for myself, nor do I sing for my wife. I know she is with me, every day. I need not sing to feel her presence. I sing for the trees. These woods used to be full of her singing, and when she passed they fell silent. But I am still here, I am still alive. And if I am still alive why should there be silence in these woods? We are creatures of the light. We weren't made to blend in. We're made to stand out in the darkness. Like song in the silence."

Excuses and Lines

I've neglected the blog for months. No excuses, things just took priority in life. That said, it'll get more attention come October I expect.

A friend asked me to write a little thing for him to help with his MA final project. The subject was the various social/religious/sexual/physical lines and barriers that exist and what happens when we cross them. He suggested I share it here, so here it is.

They say there is a fine line between love and hate.

To cross it is to go beyond a boundary held in the highest regard with friends and family.
To cross it is to abuse of a power freely given.
To cross it is to betray trust.
To cross it is a horrible thing.

But it is a line which can be crossed in more than one direction.
And to cross it back again is called repentance.
It is called forgiveness.
And it takes love to cross back.
It necessitates the action of the one who has not crossed the line, as well as the one who has.
If one cannot cross back, well, then there is no love.

It is a curious thing that one needs love to arrive to love.
But if love is real, then it will be. It will endure.
If love is real, perhaps that line cannot be crossed indefinitely.
If love is real, perhaps that line does not exist at all.