How Not To Be Happy

Someone was telling me the other day that she wasn’t happy because she couldn’t find at least half an hour each day to reflect on the possibility of being happy – certain people in particular and the world in general were plotting to make her miserable, while she had nothing to do with it. I will refrain from any comment on this person’s choices and lifestyle (sometimes I’m actually able to choose my battles), but I will say this much, it made me think of my own issues with happiness. Continue reading “How Not To Be Happy”

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Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 75

Theirs was the kind of security that can only be reached when two persons have no deep feelings for one another, yet they still choose to be together, to share a common part of their lives and not to ask for more than the other one is willing to offer unconditionally. Neither one of them wanted to say it out loud, but they were both aware that things would most likely continue in a similar manner, unless Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 75”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 74

“Last time I saw her, we went to a concert. It was winter, freezing cold, and the concert was outside. Guess what band was playing! I envy you, you’re still at that age, when you can bear the cold of a winter day in the mountains just to be close to a particular person, because that’s all you need to make your blood boil.”

“I am? Was I ever at that kind of an age?”

He wasn’t listening to her. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 74”

A Splash Of Snow By The Sea

I shouldn’t play favourites, I know, but out of nature’s elements, water is the one I prefer. I may have already mentioned it once or twice. So when Patti from Lens-Artists suggested “Splash” for this week’s challenge, countless stories flooded my mind. I have to agree with her when she says, “water is magical. Its beauty, power and persistence are unsurpassed.” So is its ability to surprise and amaze, I was reminded today, as I was struggling with my feelings towards the first snow of this early winter. Continue reading “A Splash Of Snow By The Sea”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 73

“My daughter saw me crying. For the first time. I don’t know if she was scared or just disoriented.”

Robert turned up the volume. The sound of old rock music, songs of his youth, songs of her early childhood, covered everything else, the noise of the street, the noise of her thoughts, the noise of his sadness.

“He died, did you hear about it?” Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 73”

Those Doors…

Be open to new experiences… be open to trying new things and meeting new people… open all the doors you find in your way and something good will always come of it… and if you cannot open the doors yourself, do everything in your power to find some way or someone who can do it for you… have your doors, much like your arms, open to everybody, nothing bad can come of it… How about knowing when to close those metaphorical doors Continue reading “Those Doors…”

November Night, Artistic Light

We rushed into the restaurant just as a cold November drizzle started to dampen the cobblestone. It was warm and inviting, a waiter smiled at us and the plates he was carrying looked promising. I chose a table by the window. I wanted to see the square outside. I also wanted a drink, I thought to myself, taking in the place, as I was warming up, sitting comfortably with a menu in front of me. Not too bad, even if touristy. But how else would it be? After all, it was Montmartre… I just hope the food is good. Continue reading “November Night, Artistic Light”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 71

“I’m so sorry… I know how important she was to you.”

The words and their emptiness reverberated against the white walls. White noise… That’s the best I can do. Because I can’t understand, I can’t feel anything like that. She finally tried to look him in the eyes. My words are false, I know that, but I can at least have enough respect for him and look at him while regurgitating empty words. He hadn’t moved, he was still staring at the written pages. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 71”

Blend In And Stand Out

None of the other children are going, so you’re not going either. If everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you join them? Why can’t you be more like everybody else? You need to be better than everyone else. Look at them, they’re not causing any trouble, so why do you have to go about attracting attention? You need to stand up for yourself. You have to let go. You need to get involved. Why do you have to care so much? You have to study and be the best at what you do, that’s the only way you’ll make something of yourself and become an independent woman. Continue reading “Blend In And Stand Out”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 70

Other people’s emotions are often a burden, so one tends to avoid them as much as possible, one chooses to look the other way and to invoke various reasons that might account for an obvious change in their behaviour, since anything is better than acknowledging such situations, assimilating them and forcing oneself to live through such experiences together with another individual. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 70”

Fun To Be Had

From dancing on tables to reading a good book, from walking aimlessly on a sunny day to carefully planned journeys, from teaching a child how to write to taking pleasure in others’ misfortune or even causing it, from being high on life to getting high to bear life, there certainly is fun to be had out there. Now, now… let’s not be too judgemental. After all, much like sorrow, “fun” is a terribly subjective concept. What hurts me, might not touch you – but that won’t diminish my pain. What you find extremely entertaining might not appeal to me, or might even be beyond my power of comprehension, yet it doesn’t mean you’re not having fun.

How many of us can honestly say they’ve never had fun in a less than moral, socially acceptable way? Continue reading “Fun To Be Had”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 68

Stories about their past and present experiences with other people had become a very significant part of the relationship: he desperately needed to share them with a woman who would have a different view than that of admiration coming from his male friends. But he also found a perverted kind of delight in hearing about her own adventures, comparing himself with others on various levels, often not knowing whether he’d come out a winner or on a detrimental second place. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 68”

Constant Change… or Throwing Away Thackeray

Promises are made to be broken, they say. Well, this one certainly was. There I was, standing in front of my bookcase once more, trying to make room for my latest purchases.

Sigh… I promised myself not to do this anymore. Living in a small flat, being a person who hates clutter, I am painfully aware that if my shoes don’t kick me out to get more space for themselves, then my books just might. And I hate throwing away books… or shoes…

I’m aware of my limitations, so I know I am beyond redemption when it comes to shoes, Continue reading “Constant Change… or Throwing Away Thackeray”

Open Window

“I wasn’t supposed to open the window, she told me… so I didn’t…”

I see the old lady hasn’t lost the ability to intimidate people, especially her daughter.

“If I absolutely had to have fresh air in my bedroom, she said, I was to open the bathroom window and leave the doors open.”

She was the reigning matriarch and no one was going to contradict any of her nonsense.

“Was the window broken or what? Did it not open?” I ventured curiously, not really understanding what and why was going on.

“I don’t know, I didn’t even try… Continue reading “Open Window”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 66

She could see the fast burning flame about to disintegrate and take both of them down; and she wasn’t naive enough in order not to separate shallow infatuation and sexual ecstasy from real feelings. Robert was allowing himself to be carried away by this new, odd and exciting woman in his life, but Amalia knew better than to leave to chance even the most remote possibility for real feelings to spark. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 66”

Last Day of Summer

It’s not the last day of August. I’m not thinking of the autumnal equinox either. There’s this one day every autumn when I get the distinct feeling that’s the end of summer. Sometimes it sneaks up on me; other times it goes by unnoticed and later I regret it. But when I do notice it, I have my little ritual…

It’s often enough to look up from your computer, your desk or the countless other things that clutter your life, and you notice it… you feel it. Of course, checking that weather app on your phone to figure out for how long you can leave some flower pots outside might also prove helpful… That’s what reminded me that I could put off bringing in the plants, but I can’t “postpone” that final hot beautiful summer day of the year. So it was time for one more barefoot walk on the beach. Continue reading “Last Day of Summer”

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 65

Life provides us with certain summers that can be blissfully filled with freedom and peace, open space and open souls, antithetical experiences that mark our memories, in spite of their mundane, insignificant character. Those are the summers we long for and those are the scarce moments of a particularly brief time in one’s life, which cannot be allowed to slip through our fingers unnoticed. Continue reading “Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 65”