This is Your Life #DailyPrompt #faith

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

Charles Marville - Porte sud de la Cathédrale de Chartres

I do not need you to learn about the past, and I do not trust you.

As for the future, you are the great Manipulator, of events, of souls, of us, poor mortals. So I won’t be fooled, I’ll make my future with my friends, those who love mankind, and share my faith.

Keep your lies, there is only one Book I trust.

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Charles Marville – Porte sud de la Cathédrale de Chartres, 1854, via photos-de-france

New project, another city #amwriting

We look at the maps, we search for the ideal nest – a place where to love and write… So we are in planning mood, drawing budgets, counting miles, making lists. Much to do in-between, we don’t want time to fly too quickly.

We want to walk along those streets, retracing our steps, pausing at the corner where memories linger. For in that city our souls roam, unwilling to depart: the summer of our discovery. We shall go back, for a few short months, retrieving our youth, opposing the onslaught of winter.

#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.

#VisDare 113: Limbo

Is this rock my last prison on earth, is this solitude my punishment, this rain my future?

LimboThe rain won’t stop, as the poet once said: it rains in my heart as it rains on the city, the city where we once lived…

This deluge is not only for me: it is for all those lost souls, those dying of a dying love, the ghosts of paradise, paradise lost…

Where are you? In what part of this glorious world are you now? And which one of us now looks after you? Is the sun bright and warm where you are now? Do you still listen to the chorus, each dawn, as you once did, nestled in my arms, eyes closed?

Pointless questions, I know this grief cannot reach you, my wings are clipped, those poor clothes are drenched, I can no longer  pretend

To be anything but a fallen angel.

Of Fred and Sarah, #quote from Julian Barnes “Levels of Life”

Sarah Bernhardt photographed by Félix Nadar 1865The next evening, he watched her performance, came to her dressing room, and saw many of the same faces. He made sure to pay proper attention to Mme Guérard: having been in foreign courts before, he knew to recognise the power behind the throne. Soon – much sooner than the fiercest optimism could have imagined – she came across, took Barnaby’s arm, and bade her coterie goodnight. As the three of them left, the scrimmage of Parisian dandies took care of not to appear put out. Well, perhaps they weren’t.

From Julian Barnes, “Levels of Life, On the Level” (© Julian Barnes 2013)

Image: Sarah Bernhardt photographed by Félix Nadar 1865

#FiveSentenceFiction: Bubbles

BubblesIn the silent house she sits, and thinks of you, writes a letter – which you will never receive.

Long ago you met, and you loved, in the silent house – and then you left.

Her, in her poor, wounded heart, she cannot leave – she lives in the bubbles of her memories, for you long forgotten.

Such is the law of love, a much asymmetrical feeling, one party always staying put, while the other floats away…

Away from the bubbles, gathering dust, and tears, in the silent house.

Blackwidow #WritersWednesday #mourning #fifty

We were here, together, not long ago, and you said you liked the place.

Restful and quiet, you said.

And now, watching the fresh grave, my eyes dry, I am wondering if you really left.

And she, silent, black-clad, is already in mourning, perhaps your true widow, unlike me, faithful…

#Promptbox: Clouds

OdetteSince they’d settled in the city, by now he has almost forgotten when that was, he rarely thinks of the old town. Only in Spring, as the resurgence of colours, the clothes of women in the street, and the smiles on children’s faces, made him long for a past of peace and smallness, when himself was a kid, and the world was still vast.

In his study of Neukölln, surrounded by pictures of their travel, through Europe and North America, and portraits of his wife, Sarah, and of his one-time lover Melissa, the girl from Köpenick, sometime together, once or twice in a trio with Helga, his therapist, he continues to write, now on his second novel, now richer than ever, but still a disturbed soul.

This morning, Sarah’s out with Melissa, on a shopping expedition that may also take them to the haven of the Gendarmenmarkt apartment, and the renewed complicity of their mutual affection. His mind, unconcerned, at peace with heir present life, is floating away, to narrow streets, to medieval lanes bordering overgrown and haunted gardens, to a busy street where pedestrians wear old-fashioned clothes, and where he, alone, for a while friendless, seeks answers to questions that will elude him for ages to come.

There, behind clouds and the sharpness of an ancient Spring, he’s looking for her, near the old school, not far from his parents’ house, perhaps even along the river where his mother walks to admire the kingfisher. The sounds are low and a little hesitant, blurred by the silence of his room, and the low notes of jazz drifting from the lounge: this is an imperfect journey, as if he were reluctant to go all the way, resisting the call from these years of solitude and longing, from his childhood.

He’s near the church; he sees the pharmacy on the right, next to the barber where his father and he have their haircuts on Saturdays. The wide square has recently been redesigned, and the rubbles from the war cleared, and replaced by an elegant parterre of flowers. To his left he knows a short walk would take him to the bridge, over the little river. To the right is the main street, and somewhere, half way to the town limits, is the house with the courtyard.

He can see her now, a young girl, naked like him, and bathing in the old stone tub, near the fountain, at their feet the rounded stones reflect the sunlight: she’s laughing and throwing water at him, her face that of sheer pleasure. House and yard may be the oldest in the town, at the back is a workshop: her dad’s working space. Her face upturned to him, she sees their future, no doubt, and her smile fades. She starts crying, small tears keep flowing on her rosy cheeks. He does not understand, he thinks she’s angry with him, he holds her hands in silence. Calmer, she kisses his cheek. Her mum calls them both inside, to get dry and clothed.

At night, in his room, or rather the corner of the house where he sleeps, he can hear the rats running inside the hollow walls. His mum says they are as old as the house. He’s no longer there, time must have passed, he’s now bigger, stronger, but he’s still looking for her. He cannot remember, there is a small lane, near a nightclub: he knows this is important, or it will be. Some shadows obscure his vision: Helga did say he should not attempt to go there. A crime was committed there, not by him, he was far away then.

This is it, he was far away, and he should not have been: Julian knows the truth, he betrayed his childhood love, he is inconsolable. No amount of work, of success, no therapy, can ever change that fact.

#VisDare 87: Elite

EliteThe ferns have grown around it, without knowing it is there, it must be difficult to find.

In the midst of the forest, our beloved world, where we were blessed by our human love: it is a small monument, to that that could not survive us,

Except once we changed,

Into the ghosts that now haunt those woods:

Forever inseparable, so discrete, so silent, that the most attentive walker would not notice us.