Empty #writephoto

empty

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt, 23rd March

I woke up in the open: behind me the sun was setting, and I could see, on the ground ahead of me, the shadow of a large tree. Some old wreckage appeared half buried, atop a small tumulus, and beyond it I could see the reflecting mirror of an estuary. In my mind some vague memory was floating, telling me that I knew this place, and I knew its significance. But I had forgotten what that was, who I was, and where I was.

Images were flashing in front of my eyes: a beach, a river, a bridge, a garden, a stream… Then there was the cave, something had happened there. When? I did not know; what? I did not want to know. Was I still in the same time, in the same world? Was I supposed to be looking for someone? Was I a fugitive, or a predator?

Once I had read a novel, a story about a non-Aristotelian world. There, time had another meaning, the hero was killed, was reborn, and killed again. The forces against him seemed invincible, and yet he kept coming back, brought back to suffer another death. Was I caught up in one of these loops, surfacing in another place, not knowing for what reason, or for what purpose: was I being manipulated, or was I the manipulator?

I looked around: I was on the edge of what may have been a cultivated field, some time back, but now, there was no trace of whoever had lived and worked here. When did I have last seen another human being? Then, it struck me: was I still human?

Afrikanische Straße

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I leave the lutheran bells ringing clear, behind, the sky a dull lead blanket, but soon I see the green shoots: Nature, the knowing lover, is holding them back, in this chilled Sunday morning, as if to moderate our impatience. She knows how to prolong the foreplay, make us wait, nurse our lust, dream of future ecstasies.

The park is silent, even the birds talk in polite, muted voices. A few runners, the dog walkers, I must be the only tramp. The lake lies still, its waters not yet enticing: the beach is deserted, but for a couple of philosophical ducks. An old crucifix stands, alone, reflecting on a better, perhaps even, glorious past. Yesterday’s winds have covered the ground with small, brittle branches, it may rain soon.

The cool bier goes down so well, a not-quite-Spring treat, solitary pleasure. Some youths walk past, so quiet, survivors of some late Saturday’s party. I take my bulk further north, to the limit of the park; on the other side of the motorway lies the airport. The grumble of sparse traffic can be heard, faintly. The sport grounds are busy, with the serious shouts of enthusiastic soccer players. More dogs are entertaining their mistresses, bored, probably wondering about the human mind . The rain has started its cool morning exercise.

There are two small ponds before the street: I am back in Africa now. I follow Afrikanische for a short while, turn left on Transvaal: where else could I walk in a few minutes across thousands of miles? When I cross over Togo, the pavement is shiny with rain. Soon I find Kameruner: I am home. Girls are walking back to their nests, carrying bread.

Back to my space, I carefully recycle the beer bottle. Bless this city, and its inhabitants.

Image: Samuel Araya, via aeszaaesza.tumblr.com

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

 

Original tales

“If such things creep quietly and unnoticed into our work, then perhaps that is not plagiarism but homage.”

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

A picture is worth a thousand words by HikingArtist

I was writing late last night and, on re-reading what I had written became aware of an odd juxtaposition of certain words. They took me straight back to a book where a particular passage had left its mark. There was no thought of copying; no intent to re-use or appropriate the work of another writer, and what I had noticed was no more than three words long. Perhaps it was the context rather than the phrase that had been the reminder. Even so, it got me thinking.

With all the words that have been written by the human hand over the millennia, are there any that have been left unsaid? Can we ever write without plagiarising, consciously or unconsciously the work of another who has gone before? I remember reading once that Shakespeare had summarised every human emotion in his work. That is open to debate, of course, and the…

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Deep #writephoto

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The marks on the sand were intriguing, and I followed them. Of course I had plenty on my mind: what had happened to the wreckage of our craft, why had my skin changed colour overnight, how was it I wasn’t hungry after three days and nights without food, sleeping in the open?

Those were obvious questions, there were others. Where was I, what time was I in? Where were my companions? There was no point in losing myself in conjectures, I was alive, somehow, and exploring this world.

The tracks seemed to be of those of heavy objects being drawn through the dunes, and they led to a rocky band of land slowly rising away from the shore. I must have walked for about an hour, and I had by then lost the tracks, but somehow felt compelled to continue, toward what looked like a group of bigger boulders, standing like sentinels over the swampy hinterland.

There, between the two larges rocks, partly masked by brambles and short, black pine shrub-trees, was the entrance to what I guessed to be some cave, well hidden from view for anyone walking along the beach. The ground was damp, the sounds of the shore now far away.

I looked around: there were only rocks, the boulders, the short vegetation, sand, and further away, the shore. The opening of the cave was narrow, and appeared to go down fairly quickly. I took a few steps, crouching below the rock. After a sharp bend, the path widened, the light turned a dark reddish colour, as if projected from a source deeper in the cave, the sand gave way to a slippery surface that, at first, I did not recognise.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of water: I looked up, the walls of the cave and the ground were damp, a few steps further I saw the stalactites: I must have walked down underground longer than I thought. This place was deeper in the earth than seemed possible. I guessed the temperature must be close to freezing, although I did not feel the cold. Above me, ice and silicates adorned the cave’s roof. I walked for a little longer: I liked the cave, the silence was only troubled by the crystalline ringing of flowing water, the air was as pure as it would have been on a high mountain in Spring.

Now the floor was punctuated by rising stalagmites, some reaching almost to the roof. I estimated that these formations were century, if not millennia-old.

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt 

Instinct #WritersWednesday

The source of all wisdom…

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You are away, the old instinct is awake, the walk in the park, a chill wind playing with dead leaves: my soul is hiding, without you… Crocuses shine, defiant, as clouds mask the sun.

You are away, I bathe in solitude, hunter no more, guessing at the dance in the skies, sacred world, surrounded by such beauty, sinner, well on his way to purgatory, or worse?

You are away: instinct prevails, the blank page stares at me, provoking, icy-cold.

The lake is alive, it’s just me: half way there, between heaven and hell.

Photo: Rehberge, Berlin

Record

The Prompt

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The interrogation went on for hours, as he answered the questions, seemingly endless and random, but he knew, designed to catch him lying. He would not lie. There was no point. The truth would be denied, of course, but someday, what was on record would be known, and his innocence recognised. Some day.

Photo: Münster, Lamberti Kirche, die Täufer

 

Abstract #Prompt

The Prompt

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The rain falls over the City, cleansing the ground, rendering a soft glow on the coloured roofs; people walk, attentive, checking their steps to avoid puddles. The sound of traffic is muted, the jackdaws fly higher, in deep reflection. It is as if time was slowing down, as if the City was pausing, observing, maybe wondering what this strange abstract picture of our lives really means: is the past catching up, melting our present into the unfathomable future?

The rain falls, and we become part of the painting, already absorbing the bright colours of Spring.

Image: M.C. Escher, Puddle, 1952. Woodblock print. Via: http://szobel.tumblr.com/

Horizon #writephoto

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I had to know, and I thought obscurity would help me to hide, retrace my steps, and find the wreckage. If they were any other survivors, someone might have left a message there?

From the walled garden, in the dim light of sunset, I followed the river, past the bridge, then on, along the bank to the estuary, and, finally, the beach. It was low tide, hesitantly I walked, from memory, toward the wreck. There was nothing, only the sound of small waves crashing on the dark rocks, and the far away cries of sea birds.

I paused, I may have walked too far, or, perhaps, the poor remnants of our craft had been washed away by the tide? I knew it was not plausible. After all I had been away only for two nights – or was it three? For the first time in days, I looked at my wrist, my watch had stopped, of course, it must have been the impact. The impact? Yes I remembered it well, the shock in my heart, the sudden spark of bright light…

I looked again around me, and I saw: something had changed, I had now perfect night vision, I could see the details of the shores, the small pebbles, the shells… I could hear too,  the small noises of the early night, voices…

I looked at my hands, at my arms, there was no trace of injuries, not even scratches, just the pale skin… Pale skin? But I had been on holiday, sun-bathing every day, how could I be so pale now?

I looked at the skies, soon the moon would appear behind the clouds. What time was it in this world?

Inspired by Thursday photo prompt – Horizon #writephoto

 

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