Avenue #writephoto

Avenue

avenue

 

Under the bright green canopy we do not feel the heat of the day, nor do we venture in the full light. You and I merely enjoy the peace, the remoteness from the living. Far away, we hear children playing, perhaps even the notes of a violin, invisible, beyond the orchard.

We have lived nearby, in a house full of memories, ours and many others’, who may have forgotten us. For we have escaped time, as we replay those cherished moments in silence, our puzzled, ethereal ghosts haunting this land forever.

Splash #writephoto

Splash

splash

 

We loved the sound of the big stone falling into the clear water, we loved the endless ripples, afterwards, in the little pool. The light reflected on the sharp green ferns, the fresh grass, as the whole nature spelt: Spring!

We were young, we got wet, we looked at our reflections, as if our future would suddenly appear, as the water surface went back to a calm mirror.

Sometime we saw shadows, behind our smiling faces, as if ghosts awaken by the splash had come up to check who dared disturb the peace…

Footprints #writephoto

Footprints

footprints

 

We love the long walks, along the shore, the closeness of the sea, the flying birds, the wet land and the immense skies. I watch your steps, the wind blowing your hair, I see you as one with the earth, the waves, the clouds.

I know we will be tired at the end of the day, and yet, we stop and watch: the reeds spelling their ancient story, the cries of seagulls, the bright colours of sand poppies.

For we know: once, long ago, we came from the sea, and our footprints in the wet sand just remind us of that long love story.

On the threshold #fivewords

Weekly Writing Challenge #136

cropped-dsc_0323.jpg

 

As he stood on the threshold, he sensed how brighter the light was, on the other side. There lied all the secrets, the rich treasures of the past. He took one more step.

There was a faint taste of wood smoke in the dry, vibrating air. In his mind one question lingered: would he find his home?

Photo: ancient village in Northern Arizona, © 2015 Honoré Dupuis

In the Land of Ago

A reading of 11.22.63 by Stephen King

3-front-quater-top-up-sunliner

 

How often do we think: “If only I could change this”, or, in whatever form, “if only I could have a second chance, go back, and do something different”? Going back, erasing, and changing the past is an old dream, the subject of countless tales and fiction works. Of course there is a second law of thermodynamics, to keep things simple, that says “no-can-do” – but still…

But imagine one could go back, reverse entropy, and travel back in time, would it be possible to change anything? Or, is the past resistant to change, obturate enough to stop, or at least oppose, a time-traveller interfering with what was, and, maybe, should be? And, even if the time traveller could change the past, what would be the cost? Perhaps more ominously: what would be the consequences?

Changing history is a special case. History, they say, is written by “the victors”, whoever they may be. It can also be rewritten, and this without, perhaps because of (not), going back to the past. There is the “official” version, and the “conspiracies”. A long-lasting, and still sinister, such story is that of the assassination of President Kennedy.

Jake Epping, not a crying man, is an English teacher at a high school in a small town in Maine. The year is 2011, and this is the end of term. Jake is, unique among his school colleagues, the customer of Al Templeton, the proud owner of the fat burgers diner. More than just a customer. He’s soon someone with whom Al is about to share a deadly secret. At the back of Al’s diner trailer is an anomaly: a fissure in time. Al has a mission, one he cannot complete, for he is dying of lung cancer. He wants Jake to take over, as he has identified Jake as someone who could, who will, bite at the bait. So Al teaches Jake, explains how this could work, and Jake listens. There is a first trial, then another. On the other side of the fissure it is Spring 1958, and America is young. Jake likes what he sees. He enjoys the fresh taste of root beer, the sweet air. Jake also has a personal objective: to prevent a domestic tragedy and help his friend Harry Dunning. The first leg of the story is there: the killing of Frank Dunning. Jake, armed with Al’s mission and notes, as well as dollars of the time, embarks on the journey.

Saving the Dunning family will take two attempts to get it “right”, or so Jake thinks. Then his personal odyssey will start , on the road to Dallas. For Al’s, now Jake’s, aim is to prevent the assassination of President John Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, nothing less. Jake has five years to adapt, plan, live, and, finally, execute Al’s mission.

Jake follows a route of nostalgia: an all-American Ford Sunliner, overnight stoppages in motels, drive-in cinemas, finally a small town, and an equally small school, in Texas. Later, much later, there will be Dallas and the horror. For a while it is (almost) paradise, his class, football, friends, a girl he falls in love with, America’s early 60’s: (almost) perfection.

Jake decides to stay, he won’t go back to 2011. But, in the end, he does. For fulfilling the mission has unpredictable consequences. When, on the threshold of his desperate return, Jake faces a dystopian 2011, he finally understand what Al had missed: that interfering with the strings of time has a price, and this is proportional to the change.

The novel concludes on a note of hope, an ending for which Stephen King credits his son, Joe Hill, at the end of the book.

11.22.63 is a great novel, to read, reread, and cherish. It is also a book to meditate on, seriously, listening carefully to the voice of its author.

Photo: Ford Sunliner 1958, via eclassicautos.com

 

The triangle #fivewords

Weekly Writing Prompt #132

Monastery_Garments-Cistercian

 

Francis wanted to capture the dream: for the third night, he had read the name of a place he had known, and, now, wanted to build into the story. There were three, at equal distance from each other, the monk had said. The last day, his stare fixed on some old manuscript he had dug out from the loot of a raid, years back, he’d looked for clues. In the morning, like today, he could not recall the names. Long ago, he had travelled, feverish, and briefly lived there, at the vortices of the triangle, carried away by the rage to discover the truth.

Where he was now, near the small park, in the city he loved, was one of those places, he was certain of it. He tried to lift his arm, and discovered he was almost unable to move: he would have to go back to his therapist. He had to work, look again at the archives.

In the park, he had met the shadow of an old monk, one night. That was before the first dream. The monk had spoken in an old, forgotten, language, and Francis had only understood a few words. Where were the other two places?

Picture source: Monastery Garments

Dark #writephoto

Dark

dark-hills

 

Perhaps it was how it had to be:

The landscape reflected his soul, deep in sorrow,

For mourning was now the only feeling left…

Yet, through the clouds,

A sun ray could be seen,

Reflected in the calm water of the lake.

He thought how deep that water was,

Time would tell if he would find again

The warmth of a happy summer.

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