#VisDare130 Possibility

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You came, in this infinite solitude, on the edge of the lake. Last night I fetched you from the small town: you were dead tired, I had to carry you to your room.

And this morning, early, I saw you, standing in the silence, the calm, icy water half way to  your knees, the black shawl over your shoulder. For long minutes we were immobile, taking in the immaculate beauty of these shores.

No words are needed. It has been so long: I know now that you will stay. All these years I hoped, alone. Perhaps you did, too.

You are here. The world is reborn, the trees are alive, and black is the water at your feet.

Soon, Spring will come, and we’ll walk through forests so old we will have to relearn their tongue – but maybe, you, will remember.

I look into your eyes, deeper than the lake.

 

 

Nerve #TheDailyPost #WritersWednesday

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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We have known each other for many years. Perhaps we don’t see as much of each other as we’d like to, but every time is sheer pleasure. Her sense of humour is overwhelming, I never laugh as much as during our face to face chats.

Like me, she’s now older, but her beauty is beyond age: it reflects the superior soul behind the grey eyes and the still voluptuous lips. Yes, I used to be madly in love, I may still be.

We were in Paris, she meeting her publisher, I visiting relations. We took an hour to reconnect, Rive Gauche, in a café that evoked to us cherished, and ancient, memories.

“So, you have made up your mind,” she said, smiling: “You are going, breaking off with old Europe…”

“I don’t think I am breaking off, rather I am being rejected!” I replied, laughing.

“I see, now, let’s think: you dislike the politics, perhaps the economics, so… you pull your money out, and disappear… Where exactly?” – as her eyes scrutinised my face, looking for confirmation, and even an answer.

“Well, I admit the politics discourages me, but still, the main thing is the climate, and geography. I like my snow dry, like my vodka… and I like space…”

“Let’s drink to that,” she said, suddenly serious,”I can imagine you, with your four by four, in the deep forests, living in a log house, in the frozen Siberian winter, your hunting rifle above the chimney, writing. How does that sound?”

“Close to what I am going to do, dear friend, and by the way, there is a little airport nearby, and the eastern shore is not so far away either!”

“Aw,” she said seizing my hand, “Is this an invitation, lover?”

Image: Peter Allert – Those Days, via tauchner

Fight #TheDailyPost

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

 

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It took me a long time, to understand who you were, and how it was that you came to us now, reminding me of a nearly all forgotten past. Sarah and you are one, even if herself did not see that when you first came in our lives. It is a complicated tale for us humans to fully apprehend – and yes, I know you are as human as us, only ahead of us, the being we will one day become. Sarah’s happy, for me and for herself. We are reconciled with you, Melissa, and I am reconciled with my lost youth.

Of course I cannot follow all the mathematics, and even less the physics, although Gabrielle’s spent a fair time explaining the transforms to us. Sarah is a much better mathematician, and she does understand quantum physics far more than I do. You and her had a good time discussing the reasons for Lagrangian logic, or we would say, mechanics. Old Newton must be turning round in his grave…

As you recall I am an incorrigible romantic: watching the two of you, in Gabrielle’s old house, laughing and juggling with those exquisite slides, I kept dreaming. How similar you two are, and how beautiful. Gabrielle said I had nothing to fear: neither she nor you are pretending to be extraordinary, merely living at a level of complexity slightly away from us, but still it leaves us plenty of space and time to enjoy ourselves, with you. Sarah has bought into the idea that I am now able to visit you, Melissa, in Gabrielle’s world, and that does not involve any risk to my body. Still it is a little difficult for me to accept that simple reality: what travels are quantum of information, to use our archaic description, and this avoids the quantum electrodynamics limits of old very gracefully. So, for now, I have given up deciphering the equations, I just enjoy listening to you, the sound of your voice, the warmth you and Sarah have brought to my life. As a writer I am very privileged.

But will I be able to tell our story? That is without betraying the sweet secret: Melissa is immortal.

Originally posted as “What I see”

Envy #TheDailyPost

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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The fools, if only they knew! As we run along the path, near the canal, early in our morning routine, I see them, their eyes on you, on the golden girl, sometime on me… I can read their puzzled minds, jealous, tortured to see what must be a very happy, if odd, couple. Their imagination must run wild.

Our routine takes us all the way to the river. There we undo our running shoes, store them safely in our rucksacks, and we swim to the other side. Then we follow the time honoured path we have for so many years. Back along Unter den Linden, across the Tiergarten, and then down toward Kreuzberg and our small home, our shelter.

The first time we did this we were much younger, if this could make any sense. All around us were ruins. The conquering soldiers could not see us then. We hadn’t yet taken our present forms. Just ghosts, the pitiful remains of two lovers, victims of absolute war.

Why did we stay? Well, it’s our city, we have nowhere else to go. Here are our memories, our friends, hidden, deep in the ground, unlike us, who keep passersby intrigued by the sight of an athletic pair in old fashioned 30’s sport gear.

The Guilt that Haunts Me #DailyPrompt

Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?

Hamish Blakely I opened the door, the light came in, there was nowhere to hide. Was it fair to show you the way? Was it right to seize that instant, the beauty of that second in our lives?

Then, I wrote the story… As if I could find a reason, perhaps even redemption?

You said it was right: you said it took the two of us.

But I know who opened the door, on that day. Now, there can be no end to the dream.

Image: Hamish Blakely, via benbrahemb

#DailyPrompt: Literate for a Day

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Hat by © Crina PridaSo, you can read me now! I am so glad. I have wanted to tell you for a long time: you may hide, pretend not to exist, play this silly game: but it won’t work.

I know where you are, I can see your every move, even your thoughts you cannot conceal from me.

You see, I have eyes everywhere, and whatever disguise you chose, I know who is behind the mask: you cannot escape me.

If you were intelligent, as opposed to being what you are, a stupid demon pretending to be human, even beautiful at times, you would understand that time is up. But you are not, you still believe your evil master will save you.

Image: Hat by © Crina Prida

Two writers and a dark princess

This post continues my translation of Régine Deforges‘ interview of Pauline Réage, “O m’a dit”, started there

The interview took place in 1975. Régine died on April 3, 2014.

Portrait of a MarriageRD – You said: I long had hope to rebuild my life, in a certain way. In what way?

PR – Well, to have a life like everyone else does, with a husband and children. I long dreamed of living in the country, in a big house with plenty of kids, like women always lived. Apparently, this was not for me.

RD – Why is it part of the dream of women like you, educated women, who have the luck of exercising a profession they love? I happen to dream of jam making. Anything that preserves is so important in this feminine universe.

PR – I suppose that it is ancient nostalgia, the happiness of the home, the happiness of closed dwellings. We have seen so many images. A minute apartment, in darkness, in the evening, curtains drawn, a pregnant woman, sowing in the light of a lamp, a yellow light like that of oil lamps of childhood, silence, a table set for two, the closed world of happiness. But does it last?

RD – Of course it does not last. But it is still true that those feelings of plenitude, for a woman, reach you in those quite moments, when one is busy with small tasks, sowing a button, iron a shirt, sort lentils.

PR – The safety of home, the safety in waiting, a temporary loneliness, a wait without anxiety, it’s a common dream for all women, I believe. It’s just that some women miss their destiny.

RD – But you were not misled since you chose another, different, destiny.

PR – How does one know? Do we really chose?

RD – Can one love two men at the same time?

PR – Of course.

RD – Please explain why, how?

PR – And why not? I think you can be very attached to one man and have a lover you are much in love with as well.Why not? I have known a number of men who loved profoundly both their wives and their mistresses, madly both of them.

RD – Madly, yes, but is it the same quality of love?

PR – It may not be the same kind of love, maybe, but the same quality, yes. Quality may not be the right word, rather importance. Both matter, no question of leaving one or the other. You should read a book that has just been published , “l’Histoire d’un Marriage” (Portrait of a Marriage), I believe. It’s the story of Harold Nicholson and Victoria Sackville-West. It’s one of the most beautiful marriage stories I know of. A marriage where both partners loved deeply and loved other people at the same time. They were very happy.

RD – You said that you are not jealous, you don’t know what jealousy is. But if one is jealous, can one still love several people?

PR – I think one can. I may be a pervert, it’s possible, I don’t care.

RD – I’d like to love two people. It never happened to me, and it looks rather incompatible. We look to living under someone’s eyes, the one who can all permit, since he can punish, and since he can absolve. There can’t be two pairs of eyes, two gods, two men. Once there is one, one rejects the others.

PR – Definitely not. The threesome appears to me to be worthy, liveable and viable, to the contrary.

RD – I can say you are talking like a man, men say that.

PR – But it’s true, they are right.

RD – Of course, from their point of view, they are right!

PR – I am talking about a threesome, two women and a man as much as two men and one woman.

RD – I know of some; I don’t believe in them. I mean I don’t believe there is love there. The love I understand. There might have been, there isn’t any more, or very little. There are commodities. Or else, there is love for two out of the three, and the third one is duped, and suffers. You believe in this because of your generosity.

PR – I don’t see where there is any generosity. I imagine there is something for everyone. I would have accepted either case [two men or two women]. I happened to accept one, but the other was not found: I have known only jealous men, so…

RD – How did their jealousy manifest itself?

PR – By forbidding: “You have looked at that guy again. What on earth do you find in him?”

RD – When you said earlier that you had only met jealous men, you also added “as if I meant to.” Precisely, didn’t you mean to?

PR – To be locked up, like O? While shouting I wanted to be free. It may well be, but I did not know then.

 RD – How important is beauty for a woman?

PR – Oh! It is a great strength. Beautiful women are very lucky. Often they don’t always know how much. I once knew a girl who took my place in the heart of a boy I loved, and who was, at the time, an extraordinary beauty, a beauty that left me speechless, amazed: there is an echo of this in Histoire d’O. It’s impossible to resist that, and he was right. She was beautiful, she knew how to dress. I wasn’t, I had just a little charm, nothing more, I was poor as Job, I dressed as I could afford, without chic, I knew, I could see it, I could do nothing about it: I had no money to do otherwise, and of course I suffered from that. And I worried her!

RD – Did this please you?

PR – Oh! yes. I thought, it serves you well for being so beautiful. I saw the same thing with a boy who was one of my friends’ lover while rather preferring boys. He was one of the most handsome men I ever met. A kind of giant, with broad shoulders and narrow hips, a beautiful regular face, big grey eyes, black slightly wavy hair, a splendour, a marvel! He was humiliated, constantly, because people found him beautiful. “And then, I have some talent.” He had talent indeed, but was all the time humiliated by his beauty. And that girl had all she wanted, but was not interested. She was so used to it. It’s the story of Marilyn Monroe, who never felt safe despite her extraordinary beauty.

RD – I did not find Marilyn extraordinarily beautiful, but rather extraordinarily moving.

PR – It’s even better.

RD – It’s even better, but it is someone one always feels like protecting or hitting. You said of O that she was facile, facile with a loyal heart. But why does a facile body look to you as one of the charms of a woman?

PR – Because it’s congenial. The facility everyone mocks, I find congenial. Remember what was said of Madame, the celebrated Madame of Bossuet’s oraison: “Madame demanded the heart.” Facile girls, one treats with such contempt of “good girls”, care for others, often.

RD – And what better way to prove it than give oneself. But one can give oneself for many other reasons. To get rid of an annoying man, for example, to whom one has no longer anything to say.

PR – I would not have thought of that reason, as it seems to me rather encouraging.

RD – It depends. There is a way of saying, or to let understand: “Listen, if you really insist, let’s do it, show me what you can do, and then let’s forget it,” which is most discouraging and even insulting for a man, it seems. Often, they don’t do it, precisely, and one doesn’t see them again. Or they try to do it, fail pitifully, and disappear even faster.

PR – Ah! I wouldn’t have thought of that.

 RD – Does impossibility strengthen feeling? Is it true for you that not being able to join someone, to touch him, for reasons of etiquette, or others, strengthens your feelings?

PR – Not for me, no. I’ve had small affairs, falling in love with a boy who appeared to be in love with me, but refused to do anything because “it wasn’t done”. That “it wasn’t done”  seemed to me… He may have been right, but after all, if he hadn’t put up this obstacle himself, I wouldn’t have made things complicated. So, after fifteen days, once I understood it was hopeless, I gave up, and that was it. In that case impossibility did not strengthen feeling.

RD – If it’s impossible you give up.

PR – One does not force someone. A fist axiom is not to force anyone, and a second is not to besiege anyone.

RD – But there were passions when a man besieged a woman who eventually surrendered.

PR – He was well disappointed.

RD – He was well disappointed, he is angry with her, like Baudelaire when he wrote to the Présidente: “How come you surrendered, I don’t want to see you anymore.” Does that happen often?

PR – It happens. If you want another quote: “To be fulfilled is bitterer than being disappointed.”

RD – But why?

PR – I don’t know. Men are strange. I had a strange adventure. I was very young, was always in a difficult situation, and I was trying to earn some money  by giving French lessons to foreigners. I met an American, who happened to be a very rich American, a young man, but older than me. He presented well, intelligent. In total innocence I was giving him lessons, and then, one day he wanted to invite me to dinner. I accepted. Another time he wanted me to go out with him one evening. I declined, saying I could not. He asked me again, and again I accepted. I was vaguely aware that it was some way of courting me, and then, to conform with my own moral code, not to let people start, I explained that I was not free, that I loved someone! We had dinner, then I left. I was due to give him another lesson the day after, I went to the hotel where we met, rue des Saints Pères. I found a letter. He’d packed and gone, and had written a letter, a true declaration letter, saying: “Never do that again, never tell anyone what you told me.” I fell off my pedestal.

RD – What advice would you give girls to conduct themselves well in life?

PR – Oh! I don’t know. There is no morality in this domain. One can find maxims, that one may try and practise. I like this phrase of Luther: “Pecca fortiter”, sin with courage. It’s courage that matter, not sinning. Or that English saying: “Never explain never complain”. In Histoire d’O nobody ever complains. “All is fair in love and war” says another adage – which I find disputable, is everything permissible in war and love? And what are we to think of this  axiom of French law: “In marriage cheat who can”? It’s the manoeuvres that are painful, for both men and women. Morality has nothing to do with it.

RD – You refused to play that game?

PR – I would have liked not to play it, I played badly. I also had to manoeuvre, I am not proud of it.

RD – Did you lack coquetry toward men?

PR – Oh not at all!

RD – Yet it is coquetry to…

PR – Yes, but one shouldn’t lead people up the garden path, this is it. I used coquetry when I had intentions.

RD – So you are, as one used to say, an honest man.

PR – Maybe, but I was wrong.

RD – One expects duplicity from women.

PR – Yes, I know.

RD – If they don’t conform to the idea one has of them, men are lost, they no longer know who they have to deal with. And you liked seeing them lost? Or rather, you kept being yourself, which was more satisfying?

PR – One cannot do that to anyone! [being deceitful]

RD – Even if it is what is desired?

PR – I do not understand how one can desire being duped.

RD – But you know that it is what it is.

PR – Yes, I know very well. And God knows that most intelligent men are not exempt from that sort of weakness.

RD – It looks that way.

PR – To what extent they accept to be duped by these little women, when everyone sees how crude it is. But I think also they see it too, and maybe even are amused by it.

RD – Don’t you think there is something rather erotic in the “little woman”?

PR – Of course. Firstly because the man feels he dominates her more. Because, socially, he feels above her. Ancillary love has its price.

RD – I think there are also masochist men. Those who let themselves duped, trodden on, as they enjoy their humiliation. Its’ fairly frequent. I wonder also if some women, who have understood their power, stay deliberately “little women”.

PR – Then, those are very clever.

RD – Why would they not, they are absolutely right.

PR – Of course, but all that treachery is discouraging.

RD – I agree, but I did not always have scruples. Sometime, but not always. I have often been a dishonest man.

PR – But you are an honest woman.

[next]

November retreat #WritersWednesday #amwriting

DSC_0205The place suited them, him, and his owl. The owl too loved the wilderness, the immense skies, the many creatures who inhabited the desert.

They had their routine. Before their night visit to the mountain, he would dismantle his weapon, in total obscurity, a puerile exercise practised eons ago, in the academy. Then, slowly, his long fingers recognising each part without hesitation, he would clean and reassemble the gun. He took great care of the lens, the cherished lens.

Then the two of them would take the trail, which started in the foothills, and was a little remote from their home. Acquiring night vision, after he fell, had been one of the many wonders of his new life: a gift for a sniper. That, and being free. They moved slowly, listening to the minute sounds of life, admiring the rocks, the miracles of the desert at night. They would travel as far as the cascade, high near the snow, drink and bathe, his pale body hardly visible in the moonshine. The owl loved hunting there.

Rarely they met a wanderer. Once a goon had tried to shoot the owl. That was one early morning, many years back. Then he had stood, silent, waiting, his anger slowly receding. When the man eventually saw him he dropped his gun. That day he let the goon live, and run away in terror.

In the heat of the day they kept to themselves, hidden, perhaps asleep, he himself had little use for food. Once or twice in the year he drove down to town, far below on the plateau, to fetch supplies for their home, sometime new boots, and books.

Now winter was near. The desert would soon wear a veil of ice. He loved the melody of the desert, when the temperature fell, and the earth dreamed of a new year.

#VisDare 116: Vague #WritersWednesday

VagueI will never know if you remember, wherever you are now. It was already autumn, and the chill in the air reminded us that soon the cold winds would sweep through the plains and our city.

We stopped the car, I wanted to take a picture of you: I wanted to stop the clock, capture this second of eternity, your smile, the nice clothes you decided to wear on our special day…

In truth I should not be here to tell the tale, but this is what happened:

We kissed, a long, passionate kiss, I remember losing myself in that kiss, and I could hear my heart – or was it yours? Wherever you are now, you surely remember that feeling.

For soon I felt the pain, my skin being cut, so lightly, those sharp incisive, your beautiful white incisive…

Thus I became who I am now, and you are gone.