Reading my favourite blogs

29 Mar

Sometimes the best way to go on with the project is to resort to the pages you like and flick through them somewhat aimlessly, it might seem like a pointless activity but only from the first sight, our brain needs some time to process all the information we load it with. Friday… is the day when I am processing before continuing with my writing projects of which I have many, they keep me busy and happy and give me something to talk and write about. Not a fruitless activity altogether as while discussing my writing projects I can see their strengths and weaknesses. 

Paging through my favourite blogs, is itself a writing adventure. Inspirational, relaxing, thought triggering, time well spent. It is like picking berries or going through old books at a flea market. It might take some time but the search itself inspires you. 

Finishing this book http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/books/a-cat-a-hat-and-a-piece-of-string/, meeting the old characters and feeling like I want to carry Alice Munro’s stories everywhere I go http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/alice-munros-writerly-wisdom-short-stories-arent-small-stories/283744/. “Whatever happens in the kitchen, no less than whatever happens at sea or in the palace or on the battlefield, is part of history’s grand march” makes me think even more that all the stories are important and they want someone to tell them. Just the other day my professor has been talking about it, about collecting stories and relying on them, referring to them. All of this might seem like a big jumble puzzle to a reader of mine, who by this time is getting impatient to know what the story is about. Just like O’Henry said, never begin a story in a usual once-upon a time way and never mislead your reader by annoying him with long introductions and unnecessary conclusions. The heart of the story is to have a story and tell it. Find it, look for it everywhere, under every rock, under every leaf, under the table cloth, pillow or any other place where it might be hiding. I have always believed if you put your hand under the pillow you will find your dreams there, they are also stories, aren’t they? So, I keep looking. Sometime the very search bring the necessary motivation and excitement. So this is my story, the search, the journey through the waves of pages, one after another, the joy of discovery and sometimes the joy of being lost. Just looking at the last post by Erin Morgerstern who happens to also be searching for something even if her map is without treasure as she claims http://erinmorgenstern.com/blog/, I believe she found much more than she expected to.

My friend Adrienne, has been blogging for some time now http://poptsar.blogspot.com/2014/02/i-used-to-live-alone-before-i-knew-you.html?zx=3acc0ae385811e51, it is always a feeling of home and return to familiar which surprises. It feels like you have never left, so are our meetings, it feels like we saw each other yesterday, even if we haven’t seen it other for a while.  It was her who introduced me to A Way to Blue, the most inspirational page of them all https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Way-to-Blue/257096124426022?fref=ts. 

 So it goes…

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Socks. A Sunday Sketch.

16 Mar

 

 

She started knitting and the reflection of the needles looked like a giant spider was going up the wall, I was scared.

 

 – Grama, I am scared when you knit. 

 

 – What’s that? Socks for you, – she said. 

 

I inched closer to her.

- I am afraid when you knit, look at the wall. 

She looked at the wall through her thick glasses.

- Don’t imagine things.

 

It is very difficult to follow this advice as my grandmother is always the one coming up with stories and telling me to believe in them, with all my might and with all my heart. They are never scary stories though, so if you do not believe in anything scary it means it does not exist? That did not sound right to me, the spider was still on the wall, knitting his web as my grandmother was finishing the sock.

 

 

She and I traded glances, I shivered and she putting her knitting aside went into the kitchen to make some tea. A thread was following her which got stuck to her skirt and the ball of yearn was slowly turning round and round, it was colorful of blue, yellow and red, it looked like the Earth slowly turning around the Sun. I felt like I have discovered something important and this wisdom has a special afterglow, illuminating the edges of experience when nothing else can.

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My socks, Rachel’s sketch, Sunday belonged to both of us.

Spring and the Spirit of Flânerie aka wondering and wandering

15 Mar

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painting by FRANÇOIS GALL

My mind is paging through the storage of pictures taken in souvenir shops, sepia postcard-like cafes, streets of different cities, tiny bookstores where books are warm from the Sun as if they are just out of print, galleries where the colours of paintings could be names of desserts: vermilion, titian, bisque, puce, smalt. Associations like a photographic developer makes laten images in your memory visible. Who would have though bittersweet is a colour. Flânerie is in full swing, associations take you from one street to another, from park to park, from bench to bench, from page to page. Spring is uncontrollable, like unruly curls which are always in your eyes. As you are strolling, you are experiencing the city in a million different ways, sometimes  being unaware of it. Yes, it is idling but it is also the time when your mind absorbs, digests, organizes the changes brought by spring. Even if it happens every year, it seems we tend to forget how green, green can be, how deep navy-blue sky is, how warm the sun feels, how fresh the wind smells. We need time to observe and be reminded of these changes, we need time for Flânerie. “The gastronomy of the eye” and all the senses, I am sure, Balzac would agree with me extending his thought. As the spring is taking its toll, flânerie flourishes. I am not particularly found of spring, its chaotic nature resembles me too much, I catch my reflection in the melting snow and somehow me and the spring get along.  March, April, May. They give plenty of time for stories, for being outside, seeing how the ice cages of winter melt and set the spring birds free and the soft catkins curl up on the branches of trees we don’t know the names of but so happy to see every spring. 

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painting by Yoshiro Tachibana

For the book club participants, who made all the sessions from Winter to Spring possible. 

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Spring stories for strolling

Springtime a la Carte by O’Henry http://www.classicreader.com/book/1752/1/

On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning http://www.spaldinghigh.lincs.sch.uk/media/Haruki%20Murakami.pdf

Kathy Page The Second Spring after Liberation, Kathy Page’s blog http://www.kathypage.info/2013/03/short-sharp-sweet-on-saturdays-in-april/, if you would like this story, you can see it on the facebook page Ready to Read https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-to-Read-Book-HUB/275639965873606?fref=ts

Grain by Grain

28 Feb

After living in Tallinn for 6 years, I say with candid admiration that I have never seen exactly the same view of Tallinn as from Kiek in de Kök.

From the top looking at everyone without being seen, as if  you are wearing a cloak of invisibility and red rooftop tiles create a shield to protect you against anything the sky might come up with.

The reason for this visit was to see the exposition of manor houses. It was a pleasant discovery to see that among manor houses displayed I have been to some. Hõreda, Palmse are Sadagi are among them. Hõreda, however,  would feature in this story this time as there I had an opportunity to witness history unfolding in front of my own eyes.

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I have been thinking of adding a caption to this picture for a while now

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and was not sure how to put in  just few words a big chunk of history and someone’s personal story. It seems to be unfair to reduce it to a mere caption. The reason of my fascination is simple enough, as the picture of a man and his dog about to go hunting which can be seen on this wallpaper, has been sent to me by e-mail as if history was on our very fingertips. A picture of a picture, a story within a story.

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 – Why? That’s one of my relatives and I have the actual picture of him, the exact same one which you see on the wall as part of this reproduction,- was the answer.

For people whose job is to uncover history on daily basis, this might seem somewhat insignificant but I never claimed to be Columbus or Magellan, and my discoveries always make me happy.

A flower opening its petals can be experienced very differently  from  just seeing a flower in its full blossom. It is always fascinating how history unfolds in front of your own eyes. The realisation that history consists of small events makes the experience even more precious.

While thinking about the caption for the picture and I have decided to resort to a simple phrase : “small events are grains of sand in the sand clock of history”.  The grains are falling and you cannot hear them, you can barely see them, time is passing by.  Being aware of it can be terrifying, taking control can drive you insane, submitting to it will make you unhappy, wasting it makes you demotivated, observing it makes you a bystander of your own life, plunging into it makes you exhausted and overwhelmed, learning about it makes you patient and sometimes desperate.

 Putting these two pictures together, made me think that history is being put together  grain by grain and  then the clock is turned upside down again.

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To my dearest friend Georg von Stackelberg for having a power over time.

On Colour

23 Feb

Cheryl was the first name which popped into my mind. It was her first name.  I think of red whenever I think of her. Bright, scarlet juicy colour. Cherry red, glossy lipstick red, silky to the touch. She smiled and did not do anything special. I never knew what she really felt or wanted. She was lost and I was lost with her. I was just afraid that one day her sugary smile would melt in my black coffee. She would vanish into a grey morning. I would only see her red trench coat disappearing into the mist. So many things I missed.  She was a forgetful type and unfortunately I was forgettable.

Sometimes, I felt like she gave her body to a spirit and she has become invisible to everyone but me, I doubt she could see herself. It is and old and terrifying legend. A spirit looking for a body to dwell in, having no home, knowing no warmth, always alone. It is roaming around, howling with the wind, in the empty chimneys, hollow yards, abandoned houses with black eye sockets for windows. It is a legend which chills me to the bone, I am looking at the fire but it does not look red enough to keep me warm.

I don’t like my own reflection in the mirror so  I leave my flat. As I am walking down the street, there is a girl with a poster:”Will write poetry. Cheap and fast”, – it read. I was standing there, thinking how fast is fast and how cheap is cheap. I expected her to speak in rhymes, witty short comments being somewhat bleak myself, I would love some colour, that’s why I was thinking about Cheryl, she added colour, the only problem she only used the same colour, no matter what the situation was, it was always red.

She liked sepia photography and preemptive irony. She was always free. I was thinking how I can just come up to this girl and ask her to write a poem about me,  I was thinking of asking her for a coffee, I was thinking whether I liked her, I was thinking why was she standing there, I was thinking many things and nothing in particular. I wanted to ask her about the legend, I knew she would not be surprised, she would understand. I was almost certain, I had to confine in someone how my life had been drained of colour, it is black and white and grey and green, blue and purple, orange and yellow but never red, never red. I dream in red sometimes but I do not remember what about. I knew Cheryl’s dreams are mixed with stories by Munro and Byatt. She smells like cinnamon and autumn leaves even in spring.

May we all find what we are looking for and never rest.

The heart belongs to him who knows it best.

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I have committed these lines to memory but from time to time I still question my ability to recall them correctly, was there a ‘never’ in the second line? Resorting to an old cliche, everything is good in its time, these lines will never find Cheryl. I am not sad, I am not nostalgic, I am just a bit lost, I lost a colour.

To  Hans Tiismus as a thank you for adding some colour to my life with his art.

Tell Me a Story and I Will Know Who You Are

9 Feb

After talking about not being able to find contemporary literature from different countries in Europe and the world, I went back to my story collection to look what I have, here is what I have found.

The Laughter by Heinrich Böll

Here is a review by my fellow blogger http://englishisme.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/review-on-the-laugher-by-heinrich-boll/

“The Laugher” by Heinrich Boll, is a short story about a man whose profession is to laugh. He laughs at night clubs when comedians perform, he laughs in movies and TV shows, and at any other occasion that needs his talents. Although he is very good at laughing, he detests the fact that his laugh is fake, and when not laughing, he has a very solemn disposition. The Laugher is written in first person, which allows readers to understand the narrator – also the main character – and his thoughts on his job. The underlying message that is brought across through the laugher’s story is to never do something you detest. The laugher was in a position in which he detested the work that he did, and came to be annoyed with others when they wanted to laugh. It is quite saddening for readers to hear the laugher talk about how he never actually heard his own spontaneous laugh, but rather, only heard the fake, boisterous laughter that accompanied comedies and movies. The story is short and to-the-point, allowing the content of the story to shine through, instead of having to search for the meaning. The Laugher is an excellent story able to inspire people to do what they want to do, and what they enjoy doing. The Laugher is an interesting story, whose themes should be considered thoroughly. Being stuck in such a position as the main character is no laughing matter.

and here is the story.

http://www.101bananas.com/library2/laugher2.html

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Here is another one by Dino Buzzati 

The Falling Girl

    Marta was nineteen. She looked out over the roof of the skyscraper, and seeing the city below shining in the dusk, she was overcome with dizziness.

    The skyscraper was silver, supreme and fortunate in that most beautiful and pure evening, as here and there the wind stirred a few fine filaments of cloud against an absolutely incredible blue background. It was in fact the hour when the city is seized by inspiration and whoever is not blind is swept away by it. From that airy height the girl saw the streets and the masses of buildings writhing in the long spas`m of sunset, and at the point where the white of the houses ended, the blue of the sea began. Seen from above, the sea looked as if it were rising. And since the veils of the night were advancing from the east, the city became a sweet abyss burning with pulsating lights. Within it were powerful men, and women who were even more powerful, furs and violins, cars glossy as onyx, the neon signs of nightclubs, the entrance halls of darkened mansions, fountains, diamonds, old silent gardens, parties, desires, affairs, and, above all, that consuming sorcery of the evening which provokes dreams of greatness and glory.

    Seeing these things, Marta hopelessly leaned out over the railing and let herself go. She felt as if she were hovering in the air, but she was falling. Given the extraordinary height of the skyscraper, the streets and squares down at the bottom were very far away. Who knows how long it would take her to get there. Yet the girl was falling.

    At that hour the terraces and balconies of the top floors were filled with rich and elegant people who were having cocktails and making silly conversation. They were scattered in crowds, and their talk muffled the music. Marta passed before them and several people looked out to watch her.

    Flights of that kind (mostly by girls, in fact) were not rare in the skyscraper and they constituted an interesting diversion for the tenants; this was also the reason why the price of those apartments was very high.

    The sun had not yet completely set and it did its best to illuminate Marta’s simple clothing. She wore a modest, inexpensive spring dress bought off the rack. Yet the lyrical light of the sunset exalted it somewhat, making it chic.

    From the millionaires’ balconies, gallant hands were stretched out toward her, offering flowers and cocktails. “Miss, would you like a drink? . . . Gentle butterfly, why not stop a minute with us?”

    She laughed, hovering, happy (but meanwhile she was falling): “No, thanks, friends. I can’t. I’m in a hurry.”

    “Where are you headed?” they asked her.

    “Ah, don’t make me say,” Marta answered, waving her hands in a friendly good-bye.

    A young man, tall, dark, very distinguished, extended an arm to snatch her. She liked him. And yet Marta quickly defended herself: “How dare you, sir?” and she had time to give him a little tap on the nose.

     The beautiful people, then, were interested in her and that filled her with satisfaction. She felt fascinating, stylish. On the flower-filled terraces, amid the bustle of waiters in white and the bursts of exotic songs, there was talk for a few minutes, perhaps less, of the young woman who was passing by (from top to bottom, on a vertical course). Some thought her pretty, others thought her so-so, everyone found her interesting.

     “You have your entire life before you,” they told her, “why are you in such a hurry? You still have time to rush around and busy yourself. Stop with us for a little while, it’s only a modest little party among friends, really, you’ll have a good time.”

     She made an attempt to answer but the force of gravity had already quickly carried her to the floor below, then two, three, four floors below; in fact, exactly as you gaily rush around when you are just nineteen years old.

    Of course, the distance that separated her from the bottom, that is, from street level, was immense. It is true that she began falling just a little while ago, but the street always seemed very far away,

     In the meantime, however, the sun had plunged into the sea; one could see it disappear, transformed into a shimmering red dish mushroom. As a result, it no longer emitted its vivifying rays to light up the girl’s dress and make her a seductive comet.

    It was a good thing that the windows and terraces of the skyscraper were almost all illuminated and the bright reflections completely gilded her as she gradually passed by.

    Now Marta no longer saw just groups of carefree people inside the-apartments; at times there were even some businesses where the employees, in black or blue aprons, were sitting at desks in long rows. Several of them were young people as old as or older than she, and weary of the day by now, every once in a while they raised their eyes from their duties and from typewriters.

    In this way they too saw her, and a few ran to the windows. “Where are you going? Why so fast? Who are you?” they shouted to her. One could divine something akin to envy in their words.

    “They’re waiting for me down there,” she answered. “I can’t stop. Forgive me.” And again she laughed, wavering on her headlong fall, but it wasn’t like her previous laughter anymore. The night had craftily fallen and Marta started to feel cold.

    Meanwhile, looking downward, she saw a bright halo of lights at the entrance of a building. Here long blacks cars were stopping (from the great distance they looked as small as ants), and men and women were getting out, anxious to go inside. She seemed to make out the sparkling of jewels in that swarm. Above the entrance flags were flying.

    They were obviously giving a large party, exactly the kind Marta dreamed of ever since she was a child. Heaven help her if she missed it. Down there opportunity was waiting for her, fate, romance, the true inauguration of her life. Would she arrive in time?

    She spitefully noticed that another girl was falling about thirty meters above her. She was decidedly prettier than Marta and she wore a rather classy evening gown. For some unknown reason she came down much faster than Marta, so that in a few moments she passed by her and disappeared below, even though Marta was calling her. Without doubt she would get to the party before Marta; perhaps she had a plan all worked out to supplant her.

   Then she realized that they weren’t alone. Along the sides of the skyscraper many other young women were plunging downward, their faces taut with the excitement of the flight, their hands cheerfully waving as if to say: look at us, here we are, entertain us, is not the world ours?

    It was a contest, then. And she only had a shabby little dress while those other girls were dressed smartly like high fashion models and some even wrapped luxurious mink stoles tightly around their bare shoulders. So self-assured when she began the leap, Marta now felt a tremor growing inside her; perhaps it was just the cold; but it may have been fear too, the fear of having made an error without remedy.

    It seemed to be late at night now. The windows were darkened one after another, the echoes of music became more rare, the offices were empty, young men no longer leaned out from the windowsills extending their hands. What time was it? At the entrance to the building down below– which in the meantime had grown larger, and one could now distinguish all the architectural details—the lights were still burning, but the bustle of cars had stopped. Every now and then, in fact, small groups of people came out of the main floor wearily drawing away. Then the lights of the entrance were also turned off.

    Marta felt her heart tightening. Alas, she wouldn’t reach the ball in time. Glancing upwards she saw the pinnacle of the skyscraper in all its cruel power. It was almost completely dark. On the top floors a few windows here and there were still lit. And above the top the first glimmer of dawn was spreading.

    In a dining recess on the twenty-eighth floor a man about forty years old was having his morning coffee and reading his newspaper while his wife tidied up the room. A clock on the sideboard indicated 8:45. A shadow suddenly passed before the window.

    “Alberto!” the wife shouted. “Did you see that? A woman passed by.”

    “Who was it?” he said without raising his eyes from the news paper.

    “An old woman,” the wife answered. “A decrepit old woman. She looked frightened.”

    “It’s always like that,” the man muttered. “At these low floors only falling old women pass by. You can see beautiful girls from the hundred floor up. Those apartments don’t cost so much for nothing.”

    “At least down here there’s the advantage,” observed the wife, “that you can hear the thud when they touch the ground”

   “This time not even that,” he said, shaking his head, after he stood listening for a few minutes. Then he had another sip of coffee.

Translated by Lawrence Venuti


Adults sometimes say, “This is the best time of your life, and you don’t even know it.”  Imagine that an adult in your life made this comment. Respond using thought-shots and an analogy.

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This is a story I like and it has stayed in my head 

How to Avoid Traveling by George Mikes 

‘Travel’ is the name of a modern disease which became *rampant in the mid-fifties andis still spreading. The disease — its scientific name is travelitis furiosus — is carried bya germ called prosperity. Its symptoms are easily recognizable. The patient growsrestless in the early spring and starts rushing about from one travel agent to anothercollecting useless information about places he does not intend to visit; then he, orusually she, will do a round of tailors, summer sales, sports shops and spend three anda half times as much as he or she can afford; finally, in August, the patient will board aplane, train, coach or car and proceed to foreign parts along with thousands of fellow-sufferers not because he is interested in or attracted by the place he is bound for norbecause he can afford to go, but simply because he cannot afford not to. The disease ishighly infectious. Nowadays you catch foreign travel rather as you caught influenza inthe twenties, only more so.
The result is that in the summer months (and in the last few years also during the winterseason) everybody is on the move. In Positano you hear no Italian but only German (forEngland is not the only victim of the disease); in some French parts you cannot getalong unless you speak American; and the official language of the Costa Bravo s isEnglish.
What is the aim of all this travelling? Each nationality has its own different one. TheAmericans want to take photographs of themselves in: (a) Trafalgar Square with thepigeons, (b) in St Mark’s Square, Venice, with the pigeons and (c) in front of the Arc deTriomphe, in Paris, without pigeons. The idea is simply to collect documentary proof thatthey have been there. The German travels to check up ‘ on his guide-books: when hesees that the Ponte di Rialto is really at its proper venue, that the Leaning Tower is in itsappointed place in Pisa and is leaning at the promised i angle — he ticks these thingsoff in his guide-book and returns home with the gratifying feeling that he has not beenswindled. But why do the English travel?
First, because their neighbour does and they have caught the bug from him. Secondly,they used to be taught that travel broadens the mind and although they have by nowdiscovered the sad truth that whatever travel may do to the mind, Swiss or German foodcertainly broadens other parts of the body, the old notion still lingers on. But lastly —and perhaps mainly — they travel to avoid foreigners. Here, in our cosmopolitanEngland, one is always exposed to the danger of meeting all sorts of peculiar aliens.Not so on one’s journeys in Europe, if one manages things intelligently. I know manyEnglish people who travel in groups, stay in hotels where even the staff is English, eatroast beef and Yorkshire pudding on Sundays and Welsh rarebit and steak-and-kidneypudding on weekdays, all over Europe. The main aim of the Englishman abroad is tomeet people; I mean, of course, nice English people from next door or from the nextstreet. Normally one avoids one’s neighbour (‘It is best to keep yourself to yourself, ‘Weleave others alone and want to be left alone’, etc. , etc. ). If you meet your next doorneighbour in the High Street or at your front door you pretend not to see him or, at best,nod coolly; but if you meet him in Capri or Granada, you embrace him fondly and standhim a drink or two; and you may even discover that he is quite a nice chap after all andboth of you might just as well have stayed at home in Chipping Norton.
All this, however, refers to travelling for the general public.

If you want to avoid giving the unfortunate impression that you belong to the lower-middle class, you must learn the elementary snobbery of travelling:
1) Avoid any place frequented by others. Declare: all the hotels are full, one cannot getin anywhere. (No one will ever remark: hotels are full of people who actually managedto get in. )
2) Carry this a stage further and try to avoid all places interesting enough to attract otherpeople — or, as others prefer to put it — you must get off the beaten track. In practicethis means that in Italy you avoid Venice and Florence but visit a few filthy and poverty-stricken fishing villages no one has ever heard of; and if your misfortune does take youto Florence, you avoid the Uffizi Gallery and refuse to look at Michelangelo’s David. Youvisit, instead, a dirty little pub on the outskirts where Tuscan food is supposed to bedivine and where you can listen to a drunken and deaf accordion player.
3) The main problem is, of course, where to go? This is not an easy question. The hoipolloi may go to Paris or Spain, but such an obvious choice will certainly not do foranyone with a little self-respect. There is a small international set that leads the fashionand you must watch them. Some years ago they discovered Capri, but now Capri isteeming with rich German and English businessmen, so you can’t go near the place.Majorca was next on the list, but Majorca has become quite ridiculous in the last fewyears: it is now an odd mixture of Munich and Oxford Street, and has nothing to offer(because, needless to say, beauty and sunshine do not count). At the moment I mayrecommend Tangier; Rhodes is fairly safe too. The year after that, who knows, Caprimay be tried again.
Remember: travel is supposed to make you sophisticated. When buying your souvenirsand later when most casually — you really must practice how to be casual — you referto any foreign food, you should speak of these things in the vernacular. Even friedchicken sounds rather romantic when you speak of Backhendl ,
It is possible, however, that the mania for travelling is declining. I wonder if a Romanfriend of mine was simply an eccentric or the forerunner of a new era in snobbery.
‘I no longer travel at all’, he told me. ‘I stay here because I want to meet my friends fromall over the world. ‘
‘What exactly do you mean? ‘ I asked.
‘It is simple,’ he explained. ‘Whenever I go to London, my friend Smith is sure to be inTokyo and Brown in Sicily. If I go to Paris, Dupont is sure to be in London and Lebrun inMadagascar or Lyons. And so on. But if I stay in Rome, all my friends are absolutelysure to turn up at one time or another. The world means people for me. I stay herebecause I want to see the world. ‘
And he added after a short pause:
‘Besides, staying at home broadens the mind?

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 I will continue this story hunt as you can see from my previous posts. Have fun reading!

Christian Schloe - Austrian Surrealist Digital painter - Tutt'Art@ (97)

 

 

One more story found. Tobermory by Saki.

http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_tober.htm

 

A pair of opera- glasses, pianola, machiato machine and a polaroid camera

24 Jan

34 Pikk

January, 24th.

Dear Tatyana,

How have you been? It seems like you have been busy and I am not surprised if you are nodding while reading this letter. I have been understanding I suppose, no hard feelings but of course I missed you. I missed our informal chats and sharing of random information, music, pictures. It is always a pleasure to learn something new from you and to tell you something in return.

So how HAVE you been? Besides the usual busy. I believe you are reading this letter thinking in many directions at once, planning what to write and at the same time waiting for that perfect moment when you sit down with a cup of tea and write all day, how often does it happen? I hope it happens sometimes because you deserve it, you deserve to have time for everything you want. It always makes you so happy. To do what you like, when you like. This time try not to wait for that moment of wittily expressed thoughts when all words arrange themselves elegantly on the page, your letter to me might not be the best piece of writing you have ever produced but I will be very happy to receive it and read it nevertheless.

Are you listening to Breakfast at Tyffany’s full album? Are you drinking coffee? Are you at the bookstore? All of the above? Then I am happy I know you.

I know I am just your blog and it is not like we have a special agreement or anything but I would love to see more of you, just for a bit, to talk about our shared memories, to recall what we have done and where we have been, to plan for the future. I will give you more ideas for the future project, hopefully, and you will fulfill them with ease and style only you can master, winter will change into spring, spring into summer and then into autumn and I will be here with you, guarding your ideas against snow and cold winds and scorching sun, so you can always rely on me for more ideas and support. Always remember that! I am trying not to overuse the exclamation marks, I know you do not like that much and consider it bad writing but let me stress my point just this once. Thank you!

So what have you been reading lately? Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman? Roald Dahl, Byatt? Maugham?  They are all very inspiring and they make your brain think in this relaxed way without extra effort you can imagine the picture so vividly. Keep on reading.

Have you seen this picture? I thought you might like it.

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Byatt in front of Patrick Heron’s portrait of her. Heron is quite fascinating. What do you think about this one?

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Any  stories you’ve read? I found this last one by Ray Bradbury very interesting and a bit scary, you know not terrifying but creepy in the way when a small voice inside your head is constantly telling you:’it might as well be possible’ or maybe I am reading too much into it, either way it is call ‘Marionetts Inc.’ have a look, let me know what you think.

So, what else is new… mmmm, nothing much, so I will cut this letter short on this note hoping to hear from you soon.

Wishing you inspiration.

Yours,

Blog.

P.S. if you feel like you are missing something at the moment, refer to the title of my letter even thought letters don’t really have titles but this one does.

Stories that Change

25 Nov

A couple of days ago, I started putting this list together, I believe it will take me some time to collect all the stories but it is a pleasant occupation. I am also happy to add some of the stories from the Halloween book club and some links about the authors presented last night at the book club session Meet the Author.

Fernando Sorrentino  “There’s a Man in the Habit of Hitting Me on the Head with an Umbrella”Translated by Clark M. Zlotchewhttp://www.alb-neckar-schwarzwald.de/autores/sorrentino/bio-e.html

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Ray Bradbury “Un-pillow Talk”
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Edgar Allan Poe “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”
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Michael Anthony  ”Sandra Street” http://www.unz.org/Pub/Encounter-1960may-00044?View=PDF
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Kathy Page  ” I Like to Look” http://www.kathypage.info/2010/03/i-like-to-look/

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Also Joanne Harris, there are some similarities in style, I am sure you will enjoy her blog as well http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/v3site/blogs/index.html
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Illustrations by Charles Santoso which I find absolutely adorable http://www.charlessantoso.com/

Gods of Crossroads

13 Nov

- Elephants jump when they hear something. 

Little girl. 

I stopped and prayed, to no one in particular, to the open air, to the whole universe, to all the Gods of Crossroads who make their decisions about us but without us. They are all sitting under a story tree. 

“They string histories and myths and fancies and fables together and hang them in the branches of the story trees.

The garlands of tales catch the light and shimmer in the branches, half-hidden in the leaves.

If you listen closely, you can hear fragments and quotations repeated by the wind.

They add new stories and old stories and retellings often.

Daydreams and nightdreams and wishes and lies.

Fairies rub story-shoulders with murderers and innocents and lawyers.

Happy endings lead to new adventures and lost loves and never-there loves and new loves and back again.

There are always more stories to add.

But the branches are strong.

There is room for them all.”

http://erinmorgenstern.com/2013/11/flax-golden-tales-the-story-trees/

They are all waiting for you to stop at the crossroads and ask a question, without knowing what to do and where to go, you are there alone, lost and tired and they are looking at you from the branched of the tree, winking at each other, thinking how many times they have seen this and how many more times they are going to see the same. They are slightly surprised ever time they hear the same questions, don’t they learn? don’t they observe? don’t they read? – I am sure that’s what the Gods of crossroads are thinking every time I am about to ask the same question, every time I am heartbroken, every time I am lost. They look at each other rising their eyebrows their mouths perfect Os. And then they help, they answer, they direct, they bring some instincts of adventure, experiences long forgotten. knowledge long lost and yet being kept inside you all this time, they bring it out and show you the way making you feel as if you have chosen it, encouraging you in your choice, accompanying you and cheering as you walk down that road with a spring in your step. They smile, they nod, they did a good job, shaking hands, one more victory. Gods of crossroads… how little I know you, how many times I have met you, have I never learnt or I just enjoy your company too much? Don’t desert me, please stay on the story tree and direct me from there, don’t you ever leave, don’t you every disappear. We all need crossroad as much as we need the choices, they make us happy, they keep us alive, occupied, busy making us think and feel more acutely, not to give up but walk on, knowing that you are there to look over us. 

hecate-1

Ideas Picked up from the Attic

11 Nov

 To move, to breathe

To fly, to float.

To gain all while you give.

To roam the roads of lands remote.

To travel is to live. 

Hans Christian Anderson 

 

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France Mayes ” A Year in the World”  http://www.francesmayesbooks.com/books/ and I am sure  other books created a feeling of seeing deeper and experiencing more, communicating with the world, opening the window and letting the world in. I am sure what I read has a stronger influence on me that I expect. All in all it was a good idea to celebrate my Birthday as my father put it “on wheels”. I have experienced freedom,I am tempted to say freedom of movement but do not want to sound too much like the EU although there is nothing wrong about that, I did experience the freedom of movement. 

 

In her book France Mayes is traveling around the world, I managed to reproduce something similar only in miniature, taking time and resources into account, although I am thinking about it now as I am writing, I did not think about time and resources really, I took three days off and went. I bought tickets at the spot, I was not sure about my destination till after I had reached the bus station. You can find adventure in everything. Be it a small city or a big town, a cruise or a short crossing by ferry. The world is everywhere, carpe it! 

Traveling always inspires me so what is it exactly about? The need to explore and move, the feeling of the unknown, curiosity… no need to go on, it is the feeling of exploring the world and brining your world with you.

Looking at the sleeping city from the window that is cutting the wall horizontally I am looking at some roof tops of the city I don’t know. 

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http://www.nicholashelyhutchinson.com/

He looked very displeased, I am still not sure what the reason was. I gave him 20 cents but he refused to take it maybe I insulted him by giving too little expecting too much. He did not turn, did not walk the rope, did not do the flips, he kept sitting motionless looking even  more displeased. Was there any way I could help him? Maybe just by setting him free and tearing him away from the ball. He shook his head as if saying then I would lose my purpose in life. I considered putting him on a different table but he rightly noted that the view won’t make much difference. He still swallowed the 20 cents but did not react in any way. There was no mechanism inside him to trigger any feelings, he was permanently glued to the ball with a permanently glued annoyed impression on his face.

 What’s your problem? The weight of the world is too heavy? He held my look as if he was trying to pass this weight on to me. But you are not holding it on your shoulders, you are sitting on it, that makes a big difference. He did not respond. His position made him important and his role gave him privileges, that’s why he had a right to be annoyed because of all the work he has been doing, without any break and without thinking about his own needs. So you are not happy about your purpose? What is it anyway?  Do you know? 

 I guess he did not have to answer all the questions or maybe 20 cents could pay for only two answers. I didn’t put more money in and I did no ask more questions counting on his generosity to answer, after all work is work.

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They brought me here to catch mice and now they are complaining that I sleep all day. As if they have never seen cats before!? and by the way, mice are out only at night, so when am I supposed to catch up on my 23 hours of sleep?! Nonsense!

- Do you think it was a good idea to get that cat after all? It has crazy eyes and a cat in a church? 

 – We need it for practical reasons, let’s not attribute any holy qualities to that cat. It is just there to catch mice. That cat is just a cat, it will sleep and catch mice and we will not even notice it. 

- It is difficult not to notice it, it stares at me and when it does not, it sleeps which is all day anyway. 

I hear them talking about my sleep patterns again. Do I stare? I am rather observant  but I never stare, it is rude and people have never really learnt any manners. 

That night as the cat was out in the garden, the life of a little Italian church on a hill fell into its usual peaceful state of mind apart from the disruption created by  tiny squeaky noises that could be identified as mice.

- It is no good, we need to let him behind the altar otherwise we will never get rid of mice. Let’s just put him there and close him. Then a day later let him out and hope that all the mice are gone.

- You want to leave a cat behind the altar? What if it makes noises during the ceremony, you know that the big holiday is on the way and a lot of people will come, we cannot have a priest giving a sermon and a cat mewing in the background. 

- Yes, that will not be proper. But we need to try it out at least.

- All right, let’s try it out tonight. 

The closed me in a closet tonight thinking that mice knowing I am there will run around jumping into my mouth. Instead they went into the kitchen and created havoc there, of course. Stupid people. I fell asleep on the grain and in the morning they looked at me and just let me be. 

- This does not work, now we have mice in the kitchen, should we get more cats, so if they are everywhere they will be certain to catch them all. 

- And turn our church into a farm? 

- You have heard  that the priest  is thinking of getting chickens. 

Chickens? That would be nice. Those I think I will hunt and eat first and then go for a mice desert. 

So the holiday was approaching and the mice were still in the church. I did not have any desire to do much and no one pressed me, after all how much can you ask of a mere cat. 

The whole town was there and the church looked festive and beautiful in the holy yellow light of the sun rays. 

They did bring more cats and now there are five of us wondering around with no particle purpose apart from eating and sleeping. 

The altar was the place where mice liked to gather the most so smart as it maybe they put us there. The sermon has begun. At first it felt like the priest has mistaken his notes for the grocery list but it was passionate nevertheless. Who am I to judge, I was listening only with half ear. My outmost concentration was focused on how to get from behind the altar and enjoy my freedom. So I scratched and mewed a bit and scratched some more. Later on I heard that the parishioners were terrified by the sounds the priest was making saying that he was either mewing like a cat or barking like a dog. I am sure the sermon was memorable. We escaped later though the back door and for once they were happy about the fact that the mice were gone for at least a week but they had to put us back in. Of course to repetition of the same sermon was something everyone wanted to avoid. Conveniently, they cut a little hole in Holy Virgin’s robe so we can walk in and out as we please from behead the altar. No one complained about my sleeping habits anymore as I have been regarded as a holy cat who can balance piece on the outside and inside of the altar.

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Joanne Harris has a story which can be connected with the one written above http://joannechocolat.tumblr.com/post/52540193752/the-pied-piper-of-hamelin-i-posted-this-some

 

 

 

I love museums every room has a sounds of a rustling page of history. How curious it is to look at some museum items in one place while they are still being widely used in a different place. History leaves some places behind and some advance faster, is that it? Maybe some places are more particular about their history than others, can that be? I do not want to leave too many unanswered questions, after all setting out to wrote one has to answer at least some. 

The train of history does not wait for its passengers, as a matter of fact you are always on that train, if you get out, you get picked up by another. You are always a traveller, looking out from your compartment window sipping tea. Some people get on and some go off, you might do the same and continue traveling in a company of different people. The view outside of the window changes or have I seen that before? I do not want days to blur, so I focus on what I see, I look at colours, shades, lights, words, shapes, angles. I look at people trying to place them. I do not want my scenery to pass by. I snapshot it and photograph it, I catch it, I put it between the pages of books and countless notes that I make, I phrase it in words, emotions, writing. 

Railroad museum did not seem a lonely place from the inside as it seemed from the outside. It was cosy, it had an atmosphere which made you want to stay and travel in this company until the next stop at least. 

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I do not make jam or pickled cucumbers but with the same skill and passion I preserve sounds.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0dRjdpepEW4

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1FiGxSVUUnk

http://vocaroo.com/i/s05N7b2ABgBK

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0s8Y19WJxBP

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