A city by the sea

BoKaap (Large)

 

It was a city of 3.74 million ghosts, all living on auto-pilot. Life was a routine, a reaction to emotion and the senses. Each ghost was more important than the other, in a competition to be more alive. The competition eventually became another routine, squeezing the life from its form, leaving the shell to walk the earth as it desperately sought day after day the connection in once had with life.
Now the city is filled with varying degrees of a somnambulist society, silently screaming for a life that is not ready to exist until evolution decides the time is right…

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Benedict

He was a seagull named Benedict. He was the one who woke me up. He sat perched on the open window sill. His tone was casual as he asked “Sleep well?” he paused as I rubbed my eyes and slowly sat up in my bed. The air was icy and my feet felt frozen. I pulled open the duvet and saw snow on my feet. I blinked hard as my eyes tried to focus.

“You dream anything?” Benedict asked.

“I…um…just woke up from visiting a badger who lives in a tree trunk buried in snow…But I thought I…”

“Exited your dream?” casually interrupted the seagull. “You know, an exit is just an entrance to another place. Any threshold you cross is both an exit and an entrance, it’s all about perception. You didn’t exit that dream, my friend, you entered into another. Another realm you might say.” Benedict went on to scratch his back with his beak.

“What should I do then?” I asked.

“Well, since you have met the badger, there is someone else you must meet. Everyone calls him ‘The Watchmaker’, a fantastic, gem of a being. If the badger spoke to you, then you are ready to meet ‘The Watchmaker’. Follow me.”

Benedict jumped off the window sill and floated to the floor. He waddled out the bedroom door and down the passage, which seemed longer that it usually did. “Where are we going now?” I questioned still half asleep from my previous dream.

“We going to meet ‘The Watchmaker’, but we need transport.” He stopped at the bathroom door turned and faced the toilet. “There’s the transport.” he said staring at the porcelain throne.

“Uh, that’s my toilet.” I said in an obvious tone.

“Yes, well done. You will find everything you need behind the door. Make sure you put everything on and flush yourself down the tubes, mmkay? I won’t be far behind.” He gave me a smile that only a seagull could give. He must be enjoying this.
Behind the door I found flippers, snorkel, goggles, water-wings and a swimming cap with peacock feathers attached to it. Without question I put on the attire and looked at the seagull.
He gave out a shrill but hearty laugh that only a seagull with seagull humour could express.

“I feel stupid.” I said looking down at my ridiculous traveler’s uniform.

“Ah, but after some words with ‘The Watchmaker’ I can assure you, you will feel slightly less stupid.” He gave me an honest seagull smile and I couldn’t help but return it with my honest human smile. “OK.” I said hidden behind an uncertain, forced laugh.
I stepped awkwardly into the toilet bowl. I felt the water around my feet and gave a half grimace – half-smile to the seabird.

“Wait, I almost forgot” said Benedict. “Here, you will need this.” with his beak he pulled from out the shower, a kick board.

I held it in my hands and stared down at it in disbelief. Before I could say or question anything, Benedict was already next to the toilet, “OK let’s go!” And with that, I was flushed down the toilet like an expired gold-fish.

 

Rogerick

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Eleventy seven minor eons ago, there was a being named Rogerick who sprouted from an onion seed…

Rogerick was a brave, wise being – a chipped teacup being, born of the unsprouted onion seed whilst the identity of his father is unbeknown to him. After being spawned from his onion seed mother, he was taken in & cared for by an old scryer woman till she passed away & Rogerick was left to care for himself.
And because he was such a unique being, he was often overlooked as he was not everyone’s cup of tea…

The trees taught her how to love

This is somewhat of a part two to yesterdays post, “The truth about love”. Hope you enjoy…

It lay heavy on her heart and occupied much of her thoughts. It had been nearly three weeks since she left. She needed to escape the maelstrom life was dealing her. She had been staying with her sister in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of the suburbs. The area was lush and beautiful. This is what she needed. Some time away to clear her mind and bring some kind of focus back to her life.

It was a Sunday and she had laid in bed the entire day staring at the ceiling. The time on her phone said 16:23. She forced herself out of bed and into the shower. She stood under the warm water, allowing it to cascade over her entire body, wishing it would wash away all her troubles and worries.

She decided to at least try enjoy the last few hours of sunlight before Monday came. She climbed in her car and drove. She drove in silence, appreciating the natural beauty of the area. The late afternoon sky glowed a warm yellow, making the trees and plants seem even more beautiful. She smiled. She could still see the beauty in times of chaos. Her eyes fell on her hands on the steering wheel and moved toward her wedding band. She began feeling the sadness well up inside her. She saw an open field with one big tree standing tall and decided to pull to the side of the road and get out. She could feel the tears wanting to escape.

She walked over to the big tree standing gloriously in the afternoon light. There was a slight breeze causing her branches and leaves to dance. She could feel the life the tree possessed, even though it stood in an open field with only dry grass as company. She looked upon the big tree and wept. She sobbed silently as her tears fell to the dry grass.

Further down the road there was a man riding a beat-up old bicycle. The stranger saw her standing in the field, staring at the big tree and decided to stop and join her. The stranger walked up next to her with his bicycle at his side, but kept his sights fixed upon the tree.

Beautiful, isn’t she?”

She turned toward the elder stranger and nodded with tearful eyes and managed to force a smile. The stranger must have been in his fifties. He wore a brown coat and fedora and rode an old rusted bicycle. The stranger never once took his sights off the big tree. He stood there beside her, gazing upon its greatness.

The tree’s beauty is certainly worthy of your tears. A tree can tell you the most beautiful story of love, yet can also tell you a sorrowful story. Perhaps you weep for its beautiful love story, or maybe you weep for its tale of sorrow. Either way, each story is a face of love.”

She stood silent, looking up at the tree while her tears streamed down her now rosy cheeks. She didn’t say a word.

I don’t think you weep for the tree’s beauty, I think you weep for love. Love and its different faces are important to learn and experience. One of the greatest teachers of love are the trees, they can teach you how to love, you know.”

The stranger paused. She smiled through teary eyes.

Love can be confusing, and when there is too much confusion it is harder for love to flow. The trees stand proud in love. They love unconditionally. They provide shelter for many animals and insects out of love. The animals take of their fruit and still, season after season they provide shelter and food. There is a sorrowful side to a tree’s love too. The trees love so much so, that they provide all Earth’s life with oxygen. The trees love us enough to give us breath of life, and how do we return the love? By cutting and felling them for our use. By demolishing forests to make way for malls, houses and any other way we like to show off. Despite all the pain we cause, we still breath. The trees show dedication, devotion and sacrifice to all life on Earth. May we all love like the trees.”

The stranger didn’t so much as make eye-contact with her as he turned his bicycle around and wheeled it back toward the road. She stood there staring at the beautiful tree as she thought about what the stranger had said. The tears rolled from her eyes, but the sobbing had seized. She glanced down at the wedding band on her finger, and although she still felt a certain sadness, she still smiled. She tried to appreciate this particular face of love.

Before she walked back to her car she looked upon the big tree one last time. She was thankful the tree practised dedication, devotion and sacrifice. Because of that, she had breath in her lungs and she realised that it was those things that gave breath to love.  

The truth about love

He spent the night before in a drunken stupor. The pressures of life was getting too much. Every choice he made seemed in vain. He had the best intentions for everything he did, yet his decisions and actions had consequences that panned out very differently to what he envisioned.

He could still taste the alcohol on his breath as he forced himself off his couch. He caught a glimpse of the photograph that sat on the shelf. Such happy times, he thought. Funny how so much can change in several months. The photograph brought a sadness and a yearning for the past, but he shook it from his mind as he downed a glass of cold water.

Since she left he hardly cared to keep the fridge and pantry stocked. Hunger caused his stomach to ache. He hadn’t eaten properly for three days, and his binge the night before didn’t help. He brushed his teeth, changed his t-shirt and left his house.

The restaurant was small and it’s atmosphere relaxed. He sat at the table in the corner, by the window. There were a few conversations happening at surrounding tables. At a table across the modest room, there were a group of girls who sat silently, each in front of their laptop tapping at their keys. They looked foreign.

He then noticed the waitress. She was beautiful. She seemed to radiate a certain energy, which caused him to smile. His eyes moved down to his hands and rested on his wedding band. His smile slowly faded.

The waitress walked over to his table and asked if she could take his order. All of a sudden he noticed he was slightly nervous, as he pulled his gaze from his hands. Their eyes locked and he couldn’t help but smile at her, and she did the same. They shared a fraction of a second of a moment, but a moment nevertheless and he felt so certain she felt the same. She didn’t have to write down his order. She smiled as she assured him his meal wouldn’t take long and casually walked back toward the till. His gaze remained with her and although he couldn’t see her face, he hoped that she was still smiling.

A stranger all of a sudden sat down on the chair opposite him. “She is beautiful, isn’t she?”

The stranger must have been in his mid fifties. He wore a brown coat and fedora. His skin was brown and worn by the sun. His beard seemed somewhat dirty and unkept and the smell of cigarettes clung to him.

Taken by surprise, he asked if he could help the stranger and kindly said he wasn’t looking for company.

The two of you shared a moment just then. Not many people get to share moments like those too often. It’s in moments such as those when you can tell if someone was meant for you.”

He was taken aback and felt incredibly confused with the stranger, but gave the stranger enough respect as to remain silent and allow him to continue.

I know love and its different faces when I see it. I saw it just then between you and the waitress.” The stranger paused. “And I also saw it in your sadness when you looked down at your wedding band. Love has many faces and many effects and all of them should be cherished.”

He was surprised at the strangers words but couldn’t falter him. He remained silent but with more interest as he let the stranger talk.

Many have misplaced the truth about love. Do you want to know the truth about love? The truth is, there is no one person just for you. There is no one soul-mate out there for each of us, there are many and each wears a different face of love. The truth about love is, we can fall in love with anyone. Anyone we choose, we have the ability to love them. What really makes love flourish is the dedication and devotion to that one you choose. With that dedication and devotion comes sacrifice – to see their happiness over yours, which ultimately should be yours, and by investing your devotion, dedication and sacrifice makes that person you chose to love, the one. The special one, who is unlike anyone else in the world, because they have your unique love. That, my friend, is the truth about love.”

Before he could say a word the stranger stood up, tipped his fedora, took a toothpick from the table and walked out the restaurant.

He sat there perplexed at the strange encounter, of which no one else in the restaurant seemed to take notice. Just then the beautiful, radiant waitress brought him his order. He smiled more care-free now as he thanked the waitress. There was a look in her eyes that made him feel love and he wished to be able to return it.

As he ate he thought about the stranger and his words about love. The stranger didn’t necessarily say anything he did not know before, but it felt as though this arbitrary encounter with him brought a bit of clarity to his life. It didn’t make things easier, but he just felt a little more enlightened.

He shared one last more moment with the waitress as he paid for his meal. Her smile made him feel love again as he thanked her and left. The rest of the way home he thought about the stranger, the waitress, his life and of love, but three words resonated within him; dedication, devotion and sacrifice.  

The Visitor

He was a loner. A traveller from beyond many people’s imagination and beliefs. He was not from earth. A being similar to man, but more evolved. He understood more about the nature and interconnectedness of life which permeated the universe. He was well-travelled. A visitor to many a galaxy. He witnessed many sunrises and sunsets with different hues. He followed many stars and the innumerable forms of life it birthed. Life for him was about experience. Experiencing all life’s offerings in all its infinite possibilities – an endless curve of learning which eventually spirals but never ends.

His journey brought him to the milky way, to a sun and its solar system. It was unique and special, just like every other solar system he visited. There was one planet that stood out at him upon first glance. The third planet, which glowed a beautiful blue and green had caught his attention and he decided to explore it last.

The other planets and their satellites were beautiful and extraordinary, their life forms too, were most impressive and he was in awe at all these expressive possibilities. Yet all the planets in this solar system paled in comparison to the blue planet.

His transport hovered above the planet’s atmosphere as the visitor drank in its sunrise. It was beautiful. He felt there was something different about this world, as though it vibrated differently. The visitor descended silently and was swallowed by the atmosphere. The scenery became more fantastic the lower he descended. He saw the buzzing of organised life, which he was not overly surprised to see, but was still excited by it.

He observed that there was an abundance of a particular species, which he noticed was not too dissimilar from himself. He assumed the species to be somewhat evolved as they made use of technologies in everyday life. This was nothing new to the visitor. He had observed countless planets and had been witness to many species at different stages of evolution. He had visited quite a few planets similar to this, but at the same time all very different.

He discovered the dominant species communicated vocally and different inhabitants of different areas used their vocals differently, but generally they referred to their planet as Earth.

Earth itself was beautiful. It had such variety, brimming with life. The visitor felt for earth to be a happy planet as it expressed itself in such a beautiful way. It felt like a creative world, and because of its creativity, felt more evolved than the other planets of this particular solar system.

The visitor learned that it was the humans that earth favoured at this point in her evolution. They had such great ability and even more potential that what they possessed as a collective. The humans could affect their environment most amongst the species of Earth. They were aware of this. And because humans displayed such an awareness, they were able to rise to the very top of the food chain. They were able to cater for their needs, and others of the same species. The humans showed the visitor they were able to work together for the benefit of the collective. Although the visitor marvelled at how Earth created humans, among the countless other species, and how she moulded them with evolution to arrive at this point, he couldn’t help but feel some sadness. He observed how earth’s creation steadily turned against her, editing her very nature.

The closer he observed the humans, more flaws he started to notice. The visitor drew the conclusion that life had no meaning for humans. What should have been considered an invaluable gift had been squandered. The visitor noticed the inability for balance in the human collective, and that imbalance had such a profound effect due to such large numbers of humans.

Because of the similarity in form between the visitor and the humans, he had a fondness for them. He soon realized his fondness was for the human as an individual, but as a collective they disappointed him to the point of sadness.

There were so many of them scattered on all the lands of Earth. The visitor began seeing them more like insects and pests. During the days he saw them hard at work like ants, running about carrying out their function. When the sun had traversed past sight and dark filled the land, the visitor saw the humans like cockroaches – scuttling about scavenging for their favourite past-time and indulging in their leisure as an escape from their over-complex worker life. It saddened the visitor that such a similar form to himself allowed life to become so complex, that they live in complexity and very seldom interact with the simplicity of life.

The visitor saw the extent of how much the humans could affect their environment. The humans no longer effected their individual lives, but also that of other species, including that of their own. They were even able to effect and infect the life of their planet, the one who gave rise to them and chose them as her keeper. The humans no longer looked after Earth, their interest lay with themselves. They continued to use the Earth for their gain, even though they could gain no more than what the earth provided. So many humans fighting each other and different species for gain.

The visitor had seen enough. It was a projection of a projection of a projection. He felt it was an important time on the evolutionary scale of Earth. There was still much more humans needed to learn, and thus still needed to evolve. The visitor understood this, and truly hoped for the best. He ascended past the clouds up into the stratosphere and gazed for one last time upon the sunset of the blue and green planet. His transport slowly ascended and he remained fixed upon the earth’s curvature. Once he had left the planet’s atmosphere he wished the planet well for the last time, and moments later disappeared into the vast expanse of space. 

Words of a stranger

The stranger was ignored by all. They would give small change and food out of pity, even though he never asked for anything. The man had seen the stranger for decades, wandering the streets in dirty shabby clothing with a limp in his stride. The stranger was nearly always in conversation with himself, yet very rarely spoke to others. The stranger sat in the shade of the large acorn tree, giving his troublesome foot a rest. Even sitting alone he was deep in conversation with himself mumbling words, which to others, seemed unintelligent.

The man walked past the homeless stranger, giving him a smile and a nod. As the man walked by, the stranger unexpectedly spoke at the man, “Do you know what I think is wrong with the world?” queried the homeless stranger. “People have allowed their environment to dictate their personalities, instead of discovering themselves and developing their own personalities and through this slow process, eventually creating an environment suitable to their personalities. Most people have no idea who or what they are.”

“Interesting.” said the man with surprise. Never before has the homeless man stopped him, not for money and certainly not for conversation. “What about in your case?” asked the man. “Does your environment not affect and dictate your personality?”

“Yes, but I spent many years discovering myself – who I was, who and what I wanted to be and who and what I didn’t want to be. I decided I wanted to be free. I know who I am. Many see me as a homeless bum, but I never beg for charity. I walk the streets of the city, like a ghost. I see people for who they are. I see how they treat one another and speak to each other and much of the time I don’t like it. I prefer holding conversation with myself. I see the poison that spews from some people’s mouths and how it infects others, I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to live everyday a slave to work earning a concept that has no meaning in man’s survival. I decided years ago to remove myself from society, because I saw the direction society was taking. I now live free, free from the baggage of material possession. Free from useless fads that are alive no longer than a blink of an eye. My only concern is living, because I know who I am.”

The homeless stranger got to his feet and looked at the man. Although his clothes were dirty and he smelled, his eyes radiated an intelligence the man didn’t see too often, even among his educated colleagues. “Don’t let your environment dictate the person you are. Know who you are and dictate your environment and what elements surround you.” said the stranger with a smile.  He turned his back and continued to talk to himself as he limped away. The man stood in the middle of the road and watched as the stranger took to the streets once again talking gibberish to himself and wondered if the stranger was as crazy as people perceived him to be.