Tunnel

Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com

“It’s a matter of patience: there is light…”

“I believe you, but it seems so far away, almost beyond the horizon.”

“Have faith. I am here, I will guide you.”

There is a pause. Outside the rain stops. He can only hear her calm breathing, sense her scent, a presence that for him spells peace, love, infinite patience.

“We will go out now,” she says at last.

She takes his leash, push him gently through the doorway.

Outside he blinks, shakes his shoulders, then follows her, as he always does, all the time admiring the lightness of her strides, the elegance of her silhouette.

Low Tide

“Another few hours and the sea will reach the beach: a small drop of time, the beat of an eyelid… Yet we have to wait, and even then we will not know much more, about us, about life, not even about death…”

“My dear, you are philosophical this morning. I know how to cure this! And we will wait for the tide together, afterwards.”

Her smile lits her suntanned face: they walk slowly up the hill, find the right spot. They could be alone in the entire universe. By now, they might be.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adamsfjord,_low_tide.jpg,

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Clouded #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

low-cloud

 

“It was written: now they are coming…”

Her voice was calm, and her friend understood she was merely stating a fact. She too had thought of the omen in the last nights, as they both laid, enlaced, on the soft land, under the moon.

They looked at each other, in silence. Evolution is about that, she thought: we live, we prosper, we ruin the land, and then we have to accept: someone cleverer than us will take our place. In a cloud, without a word. Gaia is always right, in the end.

Moi, Gabrielle, historienne #WritersWednesday

I wrote this back in 2014 as I was working on the beginning of the novel still titled “The Page”. This work carried on over the following five years, and should have been completed here in Berlin, but was not. Some 40,000 words later, it lays still, unfinished and unedited. Should I take another look? There are so many inconsistencies, and plenty of confusion about characters. In this post, one of them, the historian Gabrielle, who, at the time, was central to the story, accuses the author, and other character, Julian, of being an amiable fool, and a fraud. Indeed it felt like a personal accusation.

I then moved on to write “Viktoria Park”, inspired by Berlin, and events further East that are still unravelling today. “Francis’ story” should have followed but was abandoned quickly, as I found myself under increasing pressure from a variety of sources of inspiration. The bulk of my production has been, from then on, short stories, and even flash fiction. I am pondering now what my writing priorities should be.

Sisyphe sur le Rivage

A la fenêtreJ’ai donc choisi ces colonnes pour m’exprimer, plutôt que le blogue de notre auteur. Ce n’est pas que je me méfie de cet homme charmant, mais, ici, je me sens plus libre. Mais, d’abord, permettez-moi de me présenter.

Je m’appelle Gabrielle, qui est le nom qui, je crois, autant qu’on puisse s’assurer d’une ressemblance à telles distances, est le plus proche de mon vrai nom, dans une langue encore peu parlée dans votre monde. Je suis historienne, enfin, l’une de plusieurs spécialistes, dans cette partie de votre galaxie. Mon secteur particulier, ou, comme il est peut-être plus précis, mon intérêt propre, c’est l’histoire du vingtième siècle. À ce titre je suis restée dans votre voisinage, disons, pendant quelques années. Mais, me direz-vous, pourquoi ne pas nous dire les faits tels quels sont? Eh bien voilà: je suis arrivée chez vous un peu avant la guerre de 1870 entre la France…

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Fantasy #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

fantasy

 

As they prepared to leave and go home – a long way away – they started fantasising… There would be an island, a secret garden, a view over the old church, new colours and space for dreaming and loving. Perhaps even a shortcut to the lake from their porch?

They would have to invent a way to travel easily to the island, and there build a shelter. But would a shelter be needed? Wasn’t their place already basking in an eternal summer?

Silver #writephoto

Thursday writing prompt

silver-1

 

“I am glad you brought me here, Paul,” she said in a whisper, “I have never seen water on this scale. Even here, this small pool. And the wet sand…”

The boy looked back at her, his young bride, as through her veil he saw the blue in blue eyes. “This is Caladan, a water world. Eighty percent of the globe is oceans. I was born here. You can imagine how I felt when I came to Arrakis…”

They were both silent. A small displacement of air signalled the arrival of their transport. Soon, at the top of the dune, their escort appeared in the traditional long robes.

“M’Lord, your transport is ready when the Princess and your Lordship are.”

“We are, General, we were admiring the silver reflection in the lagune.”

Inspired by Sue’s prompt on Thursday, and thoughts of Caladan. I must say I look forward to Villeneuve’s Dune.

A tale of two worlds

Recently I have indulged in some fantasy. This is the story of a man who appears to live in two very different places, with the same companion.

Dakar_Senegal_-_Looking_North_(5274051599)

 

He sensed she’d moved out of the room and must be in the kitchen, making coffee, as every morning. Here, in the city near the sea, their routine was fixed: rise at six, coffee, gym, shower and swim, breakfast, then work for four hours, which normally took him till about four in the afternoon. The rest of the day was a matter of mood. May be a walk in town, another swim, followed by a drink by the sea, in one of the many little bars of the harbour. Some other day it was sex, and then dinner in one of their favourite fish restaurants, under the stars.
That morning he reflected on the last night’s dreams. Slowly he got up, put-on his lose kimono and walked to the kitchen. She was there, naked, as he liked to see her first in the day. Coffee was brewing. She came to him with the usual words, a miracle of sensuality and attachment. The dreams had taken him, and her, far away, in a world he did not recognise, but knew was, would be, had been their world. There, like here, his special talents and knowledge had made him, them, indispensable. There, like here, she was his guardian angel, his indispensable alter ego. She asked him about the dreams, and listened, her face showing a profound attention. He told her he did not know where the planet was, and she said she would try and find out when he was asleep.

Image: By Jeff Attaway from Abuja, Nigeria – Dakar Senegal – Looking North, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73952615

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Gallery #SixSentenceStory

Wednesday’s Six Sentence Story Challenge #4

computer earphone figurine furniture
Photo by cody berg on Pexels.com

 

He looked back at the portraits of his ancestors, on the walls of the dusty gallery, and wondered.

What would they think of him, this ruin of a man, this wreckage?

There is no trace of glory for them to see, merely the shameless face of a sinner, a deluded thief.

But then, he is here, still, and they are long gone, ashes and dust, forgotten.

Sic fugit gloria mundi, he thought…

As his skeletal hand rubbed his polished, fleshless skull.

Causeway #writephoto

Thursday writing prompt

causeway

 

This is where we started, in these shallow waters, that erased our steps:

the slippery seaweeds, the smooth rocks, where we dreamed of another shore,

by the violet sea, hidden by parsecs of space,

on the planet of the five stars.

We saw the small waves, at the feet of the goddess, we felt the warmth of the blue sun.

This is where we started, inspired, led by this causeway to the universe,

soon living our dream. So far away, from our world…

I came back, you stayed, and now,

I am forever searching for you, excluded from your paradise.

On the second paradox of Zeno

Zeno_Arrow_Paradox

The people Marcel loves are people in motion. Like Albertine – always speeding off somewhere on a bike, on a train, in a car, on a horse or flown out of the window; like Marcel’s mother, perpetually on her way up the stairs to kiss him good night; like his grand mother, striding up and down the garden every evening for her constitutional even when it’s pouring rain; or like his friend Robert de Saint-Loup, whom we first glimpse scampering along the top of the banquette in a restaurant to fetch a coat for Marcel, who sits huddled and shivering at the table. Marcel is the still centre of all this kinetic activity, he is like the flying arrow in Zeno’s second paradox, which is shot from the bow but never arrives at its target because it does not move. Why does Zeno’s arrow not move? Because (this is Aristotle’s explanation) the motion of the arrow would be a series of instants, and at each instant the arrow fills that entire space of that instant, and this (Zeno would say) is a description of stillness. So if you add all the instants of stillness together you still get still. No one would deny that Proust’s novel streams with time, and with arrows shooting in all directions. But you could also think of the whole novel in your mind as one big stopped instant, since it takes Marcel the entire three thousand pages of the story to get around to the point of beginning to write it. On the last page he shoots his arrow but he does Zeno one better, he shoots it backwards, since you have just finished reading the novel he is proposing to write. It gives me a bit of a headache to think about Zeno and his paradoxes for very long, although I enjoy his deadpan delivery. Here is a shot of Zeno-antidote from that devoted Proust scholar, the filmmaker Chris Marker (Sans Soleil): “That is how history advances, plugging its memory as one plugs one’s ears… [but] a moment stopped would burn like a flame of film blocked before the furnace of the projector.”

From: The Albertine Workout, Copyright ©2014 Anne Carson, New Directions Poetry Pamphlet #13

Image source: The arrow

Sans Soleil

Anne Carson