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Alicia is an artist. She had just rented a new studio, bright and airy, with an adjacent storage space. Clearing out cardboard boxes and other remnants left by previous renters, she came upon a small, burgundy jewellery box, dented and discarded. On an impulse, rather than tossing it away, she opened it. Inside, on a cotton pad, sat a tiny clown, a gold harlequin no more than an inch long, with moveable limbs and a funny hat. A stamp on the back confirmed its value in carats. Surprised at this unexpected discovery, Alicia placed a note in the stairwell of the building, reading: I found a gold figurine pendant near here. If you lost it, call me! A few days passed by, until one morning, arriving at her atelier, Alicia noticed that someone had added a comment on the edge of the note: If it’s a little clown, it’s all yours (followed by a smiley face). It now sits in the drawer of her long wooden table, hidden inside the little box together with its mystery.

NB: This is a true story.

…the world wrapped in a gray cloud, bursting with light like a lost god seeking shelter in the dark, groping blindly with a lightening rod…angry, throwing sound bolts into the frenzied air… air and water, water and air, one and not one, an undulating watery net torn by wet buildings… wave after wave, a pattern of sensations… the earth melting, flowing… and then suddenly, light, calm light, wide and soft, soothing the now-tired god, gently pushing his anger beyond sound… he retreats mumbling, wrath turned to forgiveness.

©aother

Art: Far Shore

By Daniel Barkley

I spoon the memories of my childhood into a bowl, the scent but a fragment of a mosaic, an ever changing kaleidoscope of images, I am here and there all at once, the plums sit in the bowl, meaningless in themselves……

©aother

Art: Painting by Dina Podolsky

There are moments, when what was suddenly is no longer, and it ranges from the loss of illusion or naiveté, to the more tangible loss of a friendship or love.

Such moments have been visited upon me in the past year, and a text that had been sent to me by an old friend – and one, may I add with joy, who still maintains a thread of communication – feels very apt.

***

To my special people:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. 
 When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a 
need 
you
 have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, 
to 
provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, 
 emotionally or 
spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. 
 Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient 
time, 
 this 
person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an 
end. 
 Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up 
and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need 
has
 been 
met, our desire fulfilled, their 
work is done. The prayer you sent 
up
 has 
been answered and now it is time to move on!

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn
 has 
come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace 
or 
make
 you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it 
is 
real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you 
must
 build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job 
is to 
accept the lesson, love the person and put what you 
have learned to 
use 
in 
all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that 
love is
 blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life, 
 whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

(Anonymous)

 

©aother

For my part, I would like to quote from The Beatles, and There Are Places I Remember:

There are places I remember

All my life though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

Some have gone and some remain.

All these places have their moments

With lovers and friends I still can recall

Some are dead and some are living

In my life I’ve loved them all.

(…)

Between moments

Nothing

That may remind me

Between moments

The wet nose of a dog

And a soaring gull

Fragments of sleep

Dreamless

Between moments

The full moon negates reality

Between moments

I speak words

Instantly forgotten

Between moments

Cat love

Given, to me

Between moments

Written pages like

Paper bandages

Between moments

I breathe in, and out

Walking

Between moments

There are birds in the morning

Dark clouds behind the sun

The promise of a storm

Between moments

I think I am alive

Between the endless moments of

Missing You…

©aother

Image

In the lonely depth

In the sinking sun

With a silent movement

Moth wings against the night.

A shadow falls like a dry leaf

And the earth sighs

A kiss of death on her lips.

Shrouded mirrors beg for light

Lost images scratched on silver

With a silent movement

The end announces a new beginning.

©aother 2012

Cat eyes

Where do we go

When we go

Cat eyes

Freeze frame

Eternity

and Grace

In the sudden turn

of the head

The Sphinx departs…

©aother

This moment, I am…

Felled. Felled by too much of it all. Felled by struggling against it.

Felled by the day and my inability to harness it. Felled by time.

Felled by people who need me and for whom I cannot be there.

Felled by how little I can do for those I love.

Felled by the imminence of change and the vastness of it.

Felled while lifted to new heights.

©aother 2012

Art: Zilon

“One puts off the biography like you put off death,”

“To write an autobiography is to etch the words on your own gravestone.”

Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes was one of a group of Latin American writers – they called it “Ibero-American” prose where I came from – whose names read like a pantheon of literary geniuses: Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, and my idol – Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Weavers of magical realism that seduced me with its metaphysical realm…

… and Fuentes enchanted me with his dark tale of “Aura” (see below); a wisp of a book, to be devoured in a minute, but one that remains under the skin for a long time.

I brought it with me to my new country, together with a dedication from a friend wishing me all the best on the threshold of a “Great Voyage”.

Fuentes gave a lecture once at a university I attended, and I waited for a long time in a tight line up of eager students to show him my tattered copy in a foreign language. He must have been very tired at that point, and other than his face and an acknowledgment, I don’t recall much more.

It was a long time ago…

When I came down to the kitchen that morning, the door to the garden was closed and blocked by a chair. Thinking Mum was tidying up and had shifted it there, I made myself a cup of tea and started reading the day’s paper.

The chair remained propped against the garden door, and I finally asked Mum if I should place it back by the kitchen table.

It was then she told me about the rat.

We had seen it before. It was I, in fact, who had spotted the small creature a few days ago.

“Look Mum, a mouse!” (sic)

“Oh, no!” The reaction was one of horror.

“It’s a rat.”

And so it was, but I still found it hard to look at the creature with anything other than endearment. Mind you, from behind the glass.

There it was, scampering just beneath the window, lifting one of its hind paws painfully, as if someone had just stepped on its toe.

“We’ve got to get rid of it,” was the unanimous decision of everyone else.

I felt rotten. I had ratted on a rat. And now it was to be done away with.

“Let’s hope the cats get it,” they said.

I hoped they wouldn’t.

And, it seemed, Mr B. and Sybil had not done their job, for there it was now, right outside the kitchen door, dangerously close to the cats’ trap door, only its tail visible from our vantage point behind the glass pane.

The rat was not moving. Neither did we, as the morning wore on, sipping our tea and watching vegetable peels pile up in the sink. We dared not step outside to toss them on the compost, as long as the rat’s tail remained within view.

Sybil was the first to be ushered out to deal with the rat. She would have nothing to do with the motionless rodent, and promptly returned to her patch of sunlight in the corridor.

“Where’s Mr B.?” Mum asked. It was the indignant tomcat’s turn to be carried outside unceremoniously to dispose of the intruder. After a sniff, the undisputed ‘master of the house’ took off in another direction.

“Oh, my,” said Mum. I kept quiet.

“Perhaps it’s ill,” I ventured finally.

That would explain why the cats wouldn’t touch it.

“Maybe it’s dead.”

It was time for the dog’s walk. We left by the front entrance, the kitchen chair still against the back door.

I tried not to look at the prostrate critter as we crossed the lawn, heading for the fields behind the house, with Tills bounding ahead in anticipation. I picked flints and striped rocks, kicking spiky chestnut casings that looked like tiny hedgehogs rolled into a ball.

Back home, the rat waited for us, lying motionless on the wooden step outside the kitchen door.

“I’m getting the shovel,” Mum ventured as we approached the house.

Gingerly lifting the rat, she tossed it into the garden.

“Maybe the fox will eat it.”

Oh, it was dead of course. A bite on its neck testified to a job well done on the part of one of the cats. No wonder Mr B. looked offended.

©aother 2012