Thaw #writephoto

Thaw

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He remembered: in his youth, this landscape would have been covered with snow, frozen, for several weeks, even, on a colder year, for months. Now, the thaw had come before Christmas. They’d had two snow storms, and, perhaps, it would be all for the winter…

But he knew. Despite all the speeches, the pledges, the politicians’ grand gestures, nothing really had changed. Nature, the Earth, would wait. It had happened before, long ago, before the great flood. It would happen again.

The old man resumed his walk. The late December sun rays were warm on his skin.

“Suspicious, but still benign…”

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When they left the S-Bahn station a thin drizzle was falling on the deserted sidewalks of Wedding. It was about 1:30 in the morning, there was hardly any traffic, dawn was still some hours away. They were tired of carrying their luggage: it had been a long journey, all the way from the other side of the other capital… But home was now very close!

On the plane they had celebrated with a half-bottle of half-cooled champagne, just happy to have made it, through the grid-locked roads, the late and overflowing trains, the idiotic obstacle course through duty-free (!) at the airport.

As usual, they felt happy to be back, under a sky that meant, for them, peace and love.

And then there was that diagnosis: something not right, but not so wrong that they should worry, for now. They were not going to, as they had long learnt that being suspicious was an attribute of free people. And so it went for these cells inside him, and their mysterious behaviour.

As she opened the door, they kissed. This was not their last trip.

Picture: ancient bell, Invaliden Friedhof, Berlin Mitte, ©2017 Honoré Dupuis

Controversy #SaturdayPrompt

Inspired by https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/controversy/

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“No, you won’t do that, and as you well know, if you did, you’d be on your own!” The statement sounded pretty final, so I stayed silence: from then on I’d have to demonstrate I understood where I stood, in the order of things.

And I did. So we are, in a state of cease-fire, neither war, nor peace. I have made-up my mind of course, but I won’t risk a return to this controversy: I value the silence, the long lazy mornings, the quiet evenings. Is this wisdom? Or is it cowardice?

Picture: Orange, Helsinki, 2015, via osmaharvilahtiosmaharvilahti.tumblr.com

 

Clean #amwriting

The Prompt

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Each day some words appear on the page, tentative, surrounded in mist,  as if those words emerged from a cloudy landscape, as yet unformed. Summoning a clean page let the characters know: they are not alone, more life is being breathed into their world, a genesis.

Their impatience is a testimony to their precarious existence: until the work is complete, they don’t know for sure that they will survive the latest twist, those nightly revisions, the dreaded editing. For words may disappear, and with them, the reasons for those fragile beings to be born.

Each day, for us too, is a clean page, to be written with care, and attention to detail: for the number of pages is finite, and the Book has many characters.

From the mist #WritersWednesday

 

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They emerge from the mist, slowly, their shapes and faces only taking colours once the first sun rays appear: they look hesitant, perhaps a little shy. They are not alone, small nebulae surround them: their memories, their secrets, their hopes, often encrypted, not yet readable. They don’t speak, they appear to listen, to sounds we cannot hear, to melodies long forgotten, or voices of others, far away.

Sometime, one of them comes into clearer focus, surprised, but determined to find her way. It is then our turn to listen, attentive to the moves and gestures of the newcomer. It is as if she wishes to communicate with us, a few words at a time, often names. Eventually we know her name, and, later, that of people who matter to her. It is then the start of a journey of discovery. Where does she come from? When was she born, and where? Who were her parents? Who was her first love? Or, if there was no mercy, when did she die?

If she’s dead, already, then she may be coming, from that distant past, on behalf of someone else, her living self, or an old lover, or a child she lost, somewhere. She may be here to denounce some falsehood, some slander she was victim of, some lies people told about her life. She wants justice.

When she starts talking, we are surprised, how young she sounds, how present she is, and we want to hear more, of her life, of her story.

If we are lucky, she will tell us enough, about her life, her loves, her world, for us to write about her, to make her live again.

Photo: Christian Daniel Rauch, Danaide mit aufgelöstem Haar (Danaid with dishevelled hair), 1842-1846 – Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

Filthy #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

Today’s prompt

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“Of course, you have to explore their past: those characters of yours have a past, hidden from you, so far. You need to discover it, understand it, get into some of the less palatable truths about them. Don’t just see them squeakily clean on the blank page! Look, look for the filth, the deplorable, the inexcusable.”

She spoke, in this charming but imperative voice my muse has, when the rain falls, and I am stuck in getting the novel back moving again. She’s right, she always is.

“And, by the way, if your discoveries, what they were once up to, the skeletons in their briefcase, lead you to question their virtue, don’t hesitate! The hero is less than perfect! Good! In fact he is a coward, or was, or might be again: lovely! What will attract the attention of a discerning reader is, is precisely what makes her that little better, more adjusted, thus a touch sexier, than that character of yours!”

I will follow her advice, much work in perspective, and maybe, by digging through the filth, I’ll find the gems?