New #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

new-day

 

Overwhelmed by sorrow, he called for his guardian angel. She came at once, and took him to the cliff to watch the sunset, just the two of them. All at once calmed, reassured, he looked up to her smiling face: then she said: “I know, you feel lonely, but in truth you are lucky, you had more love than most mortals, and maybe you did not always deserve it…”

“Now is time for you to give grace, for your life, for the children you were given, for this sunrise… And for me to come to you, as I saw your distress.”

He felt on his knees, but she insisted he stood, side by side with her, and he felt her searching his mind, destroying the demons and the false hopes.

“Of course you will die, when your time comes. For now, look at the star rising, feel the warmth, feel my hand on your shoulder, and don’t wallow in self-pity. I will come back when it is your turn…”

He felt her lips on his, her presence, and then she was gone. Alone he watched the dawn of a new day.

Looking back… #Iamwriting

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Last winter, there was ice on the windows… Perhaps, now, we miss that cold edge to the air?

The long walks along the river, the parcs, the lakes. A cold Sekt on a bench, long rides in the vibrating forests, the discovery of ancient sites, the monuments to deep history…

The storm. Each day counted, a boat trip on the lake, an hour in the museum, Luther, Sans Souci… Ruinenberg…

Yes, some short stories, but the novel is still beached, going nowhere. Does it matter?

No, it was a good year. Each day counted, 1937, a look into a recent past, and, wrapped in mist, a further away time: what ghosts roam in those older streets?

Discoveries: characters to make alive, tales to tell, dreams to repeat.

Inspiration: each new dawn, nature fighting back, art… The dark Muse.

Books? Turing, Wittgenstein, The Plot Against America, Silk Roads, Musil…

We are grateful for every morning, in the City of Faust: a Moveable Feast…

Photo: Air-raid shelter in Berlin at the Reinhardtstraße. At the present it is used as a private museum for contemporary art of art collector Christian Boros. On the top of the shelter is a reproduction of the Barcelona-Pavillion.

By Times – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3950214

 

A witness in the night

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Acknowledgement lucastorquato27.deviantart.com

I wasn’t at my best, hot, bothered, coughing, feeling sick. But that’s the time she chose. We hadn’t had a real talk, the way she wants, for a while. Evidently, I had been working, making progress, trying to move forward, damn.

The shimmer around her was an omen of what was to follow: the bitter complaints of a very dissatisfied lady, or rather ladies, since she was wearing all their faces, at once. I could tell she was furious.

“You have been at it again,” she said, as I was trying to focus on her shape in darkness, almost frightened, “yes, don’t play the innocent, it ain’t working, Monsieur le littérateur, de mes fesses, you are! First you set me on with a couple of robotic morons, and in uniform, just showing what a lamentable case I am, in your words, Sir!”

What the heck was she talking about now… It must be about the story, the girl… “Yes,” she resumed, pointing a vengeful finger at me, “You know perfectly well what I am talking about. No respect for anything. The last thing I know I am described, hopeless, as a sort of female predator, but, just a minute, not only that, an immoral kinda despicable spy. Yes Sir, no denying please! And once again, no discussion, no consultation with me: to hell with your feelings, girl!!”

I was speechless, which was probably best. I urgently needed the loo, but she was in the way, less than a meter from the bed. I had a sweat.

“Besides, you are now setting me up, again, as a complete idiot, a kinda pussy cat, ready to roll over for that distinguished, and rich, of course, lady. I assume you modelled her on your wife! YOU are, Sir, the despicable character in this story…”

There was a pause. Her shape was getting a little vaguer, was she going? Bad luck, she must have been thinking.

“Just one word of warning: don’t, just don’t set me up to become her lover! This is not me, I am not like that! I…”

I risked a word, to my peril,

“You mean, you don’t like women?”

“You, innocent you, you know perfectly well this is not what I mean, I am a human being, I have feelings, I let you know! I am not someone you, or that slut, can pick up in a club, and then pack up like, like…”

“This is not what I…”

“Shut up! You don’t even know what you’re doing. You use creatures like me as if they were your slaves, no respect, no real understanding, is this what you call writing?”

Another pause. I was by then desperate, but she gave no signs of wanting to move on.

“I am not going to have this. Not again. You never put things right. You start something, you don’t finish. And I, am the victim! I had enough!”

I attempted conciliation.

“I’ll rewrite those scenes. You know what work in progress is, don’t you?”

She was laughing, how beautiful she was in her anger…

“I despair. Your punishment will be your own readers, I mean the few who risk approaching that… well, pretend story! I am going home, where you cannot touch me!”

I felt confused, abused, abandoned. As she disappeared I could hear her laughter down the dark corridors of my imagination. I was alone, morning was still far away…

 

Image: Warrior Angel – 23-06-12 by Lucastorquato27 on DeviantArt

Of a lost character named D

Wittenberg

On Reformation Day he reflected on the times, the church’s door in Wittenberg, the theses, the peasants revolts, the rivalries, the spies, and yet, the hopes. Lost in the pages were smaller stories: people’s own struggles, love, and death. How he associated D with those times is hard to tell. He had not thought that much about her in recent years, but she was not totally forgotten. Walking in the pale light of October, his steps muffled by the thick layer of dead leaves, he must have recalled other autumns, other storms, and tried to invoke her supple form.

He saw her at first as his alter ego, the sister he never had. She was wise, she had lived many lives, she knew about rites long forgotten. As he wanted to write about her, he sought the right places, the right times. He discovered Q, the long story of what happened after Wittenberg, of Münster, of Venice. She had many disguises, even more lovers. Often he changed her name, often she rebelled: she was not his thing, but a much alive being, even out of his own world. Later, he sought her shadow in the darkened streets of the old city, trying, even in dreams, to remember her scent.

He concluded she was lost, to him. He would have to reconstruct, to follow his steps, back in time, through forgotten paths, hidden from view, away from the living. He would have to read, and understand. Perhaps he would have to become D?

 

On a far away shore… #5words

Inspired by the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing prompt #109

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Some time ago, when I was still convinced I’d win the battle for that first novel, I wrote a scene, on a distant planet, with my hero standing on the shore of a violet sea, as she comes face to face with a human being, as she, but travelling on a stretch of time merely parallel to hers. Writing this was a treat, as otherwise I was struggling in attempting to finish the story. It just flew effortlessly, from a mixture of memories of youth, and ancient reading. Unfathomable mysteries of inspiration…

Image: Fair use, Link – front cover art for the book Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale written by Ivan Yefremov. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, Foreign Language Publishing House, or the cover artist, N. Grishin.

Turning the page… #amwriting

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It has not been a productive year for writing, so far. In the depth of last winter there were good intentions, even some actual work (!) then it all melted away, washed out by the rain. A few sunny days were not enough to rekindle the fire, there was too much distraction.

In part, the problem is with location: too many ideas got swallowed up, shredded, transformed by the magic of a city, a provinz, steeped in history. A few steps from the touristic centre, and there it is: an uninterrupted lineage, from Friedrich der Große, the napoleonic wars, the liberation, the revolution, 1871, straight down to the Sleepwalkers, two world wars, the occupation, and then now… As we ride around the Döberitzer Heide, we look at the vastness where der Alte Fritz had his army drilled before the Seven Years war (1753), where the imperial armies trained for the Kaiser’s African dreams, where the Red Army camped and vandalised the obelisk that commemorated the event, taking the metal with them (1992)…

So, it’s back to the beginnings, for writing about an uncertain future we must above all emphasise with the past, we must patiently listen to the ghosts.

Photography: a young European bison bull in the midst of the NSG Döberitzer Heide (Dallgow-Döberitz, Brandenburg) ©2017 Honoré Dupuis

Le grand homme de la nuit

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The park is immense: we leave the car near the house on the lake, where the couple lived, and where, we can imagine, Hélène planned her acquisitions. We walk around the house, a structure that inspires solid wealth, and a longing for a bygone age. The sombre bricks reflect in the water, children have left their bikes against the steps that lead to the wide terrace. We follow a narrow path that serpents on what must be, in winter, a very wet land. The ground is soft but almost dry, despite the recent torrential rain. The path takes us to a square building, in the style of the house, which encloses a well. Nearby we leave the main track to circle around a small pond covered with lilies: a beautiful toad meditates on one of the larger leaves, impassible. But we want to see the museum and the famed arboretum. Most visitors are cycling and we feel somewhat ashamed of driving.
The sculpture garden closes at four thirty, so we decide to go and see the Van Gogh gallery first, then visit the garden – a museum of modern sculptures and installations. Hélène had good taste, and a large (they say “unlimited”) budget. She bought Van Gogh both before the painter had achieved fame, and later. His early work is astounding: Van Gogh painted peasants in his native land. The Potatoes Eaters show the rugged faces and hands of a poor family, lunching under the light of a small petrol lamp. The beautiful Dutch white coiffes contrast with the dark garments. The profiles are almost medieval. The collection is an amazing treasure trove. We recognise some the best known paintings, the postman and his wife, the village main square at night – the stars in the Mediterranean sky! – the light of Provence. Hélène bought many avant-garde paintings, Seurat, Picasso, Monet, Mondrian… An hour goes by and we haven’t seen more than a third of the museum. You say that we ought to visit the garden, and then come back to see as much as we can before closure.
This is an enchanted place: the sunlight bounces across the green lawns, and lits the sculptures scattered over open spaces, reflecting in small basins, or part hidden in the trees. You guide us through the maze, and we watch, mesmerised, the variety of inspirations and forms. There is la femme accroupie de Rodin, there the columns of the Sacred Grove

Later, you walk back to the museum, as I continue to explore the garden.
I retrace our steps, and discover more hidden treasures. It is there, a little away from the main path, that I sense him. He stands, in the shade of a large tree, on a block of stone so that his small size is not immediately evident. As I look up the reptilian face, taking in the short arms, terminated into powerful triangular wings, and the cruel hooves, the sun disappears behind a dark cloud. The face is inscrutable, the enormous penis, half erect, exudes menace. I dare take a first picture that turns out blank, then try again, this time more successfully. I read the legend, “Le grand homme de la nuit”, and the name of the artist, Germaine Richier (1904-1959). I can no longer hear voices, nor the laughter of children playing on the grass. I feel the malevolent presence, and ask myself, was Germaine his victim? Suddenly I feel the need to move away from le grand homme.

I walk back to the museum, and look for you. “Did you see anything interesting?” you ask. “It’s a delightful place, and we must come back for another visit…” I reply cheerfully.

Inspired by a visit to the Kröller-Müller park and museum, near Arnheim, Netherlands

Germaine Richier (en français)

Knackered #TheDailyPost

Today’s Prompt

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He trains everyday, like a champ. Each exercise is a proof: that he’s survived, will survive. This régime would sink a younger and bigger man. Yet, from dawn to dusk, he forces his body to comply, counts his heartbeats, listens to his breath.

He’s very ill. He will soon die, but simply refuses to surrender and wait. Stubborn, you may say. Yes, that, and also… knackered.

Image: via http://misterdoor.tumblr.com/