Tag Archives: writings

The Chocolate shop. Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Word count 100

The chocolate shop was hidden in an alley. It advertised in newspapers and men’s magazines so fathers and grandfathers would spend a little to spoil the child without a frowning female’s disapproval.

Chocolates were displayed in barrels behind glass and on the shelf behind the attendant’s head; their bright coloured wraps gleamed under the orange light. They were scooped and weighed, set in a box with a ribbon, awaiting an astonished child to untie.

Grandfather presented me with such a gift, which I duly shared with him, smiling on the swing under the apple tree, where grandma could not see.

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Note. I am writing 40 one hundred word short stories using the minor characters of Nabakov’s Despair. I have 3 days till submission is due. This was warm up for them.

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William Blake’s Book of Job Plates.

The plates that Blake made for the Book of Job are very descriptive and fairly true to the word of the Bible. I do like his interpretation in pictures what is written in words.

For this blog entry, I am concentrating on the first and last plates of the book. I intend to point out various aspects of the plates and try to explain just what Blake was trying to get at when he engraved these images.job-1last-job

In Plate 1, the day is ending, and night is coming. If we think that Light is good and dark is bad, you can see that this is a forewarning of the doom to come. Life in Plate 1 is “nice”. Job is content with his life, surrounded by his pious children and his loving wife. the open book, representing the word of God sits on Job’s lap. the family is wealthy. The flocks of sheep are deep around them and beast and man alike are content. In the background we see a church and also a town or community. Does this signify that these things, although present in Job’s life, do not take priority over his flocks and family which are displayed further in the foreground?

We see too, that it is a passive scene. Everybody, and all the beasts are at rest. The musical instruments are hanging in the tree like ornaments. Did Job take his faith for granted? Was he passive in his faith?

The Book of Job in the Bible tells the story of a man of faith. Faith that could not be broken. The Devil then goes to God and says, ” I can cause any man to stop following you, and follow me instead”. (this of course is a Dave’s paraphrase and not a literal translation). God answers Satan saying “You wanna bet? Consider my servant Job. You wont break him”. God gave Satan permission to try Job. He told him he could do anything he liked to Job except not take his life.

The book of Job tells of the trials that Job goes through. He loses all his family and flocks. His friends ridicule him and give him bad advice. They mock him and say “Listen, you follow God, but still all this bad stuff happens to you. Curse God and live!”

Job answers “Go away, what should we expect, that only good should come from God, shouldn’t we also expect some troubles?”

The whole story is depicted in 21 plates engraved by William Blake.

Plate 21 shows us the story after Satan has given up. God has won the bet. Because Job was faithful, God allowed him to live another 140 years and see 4 generations of his family following. His farm prospered and again he was highly regarded amongst his friends.

Look closely at Plate 21 (above). We can see that the night or darkness is ending, and day or good times are coming. The flocks again lay at the feet of the family. But the family itself, Job included, is not passive in their worship of God, or their spiritual life. Where before, in plate 1 the family were all seated and at peace, this new family is active in their worship of God. They are all on their feet, worshiping, playing music to God. Job himself is depicted not only holding a harp, but has his hand raised in worship to God.

Blake was telling the story of Job through the plates, but I also think he was trying to tell the believers who followed not to be passive in your life with God. If you do that, disaster may strike. Are you ready for it? Be fervent in your following of God. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”. It is the prayer and worship of God that will help us to overcome the hard times. “Even though  I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I fear no evil. The rod and thy staff, they comfort me”. The Rod represents the punishment or correction of God, the staff of a shepherd is used to keep the sheep on the right path.

Blake quotes on the top right corner of Plate 21 ” Just and True are they Ways, O thou King of Saints. Job is telling God that he knows that God was with him through all the trials. God did not desert him and so Job, will not desert the True and Just God.

I loved seeing these plates in person in the Art Gallery of NSW. I would have loved some extra time to study them. Thank God for the internet. I can look into them all I desire.

Sometimes, I think we can all relate to Job. There are times when we think that God may have deserted us. Recently, I had a fall. My health was bad. The bank made a mistake that meant I was without money. My car started to fail. But I held on. I am glad I did. My health improved, the bank issue was sorted in my favour, I bought a new car and sold the old one… I was not expecting to get money for it. I won a national photo competition, I am getting good grades at Uni, and in November, I am going to Rome to sing with my choir. So hang in there, it does get better.

Dave

 

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Stiff

Another short story that was lost in my tablet, that I have recently refound. Hope you enjoy… Stiff.

Dave

Stiff

I have only been this cold one time in my life. I enjoyed it then. I was standing on the top of a mountain surrounded by white. The sky was grey overhead and snow was falling fast but gently to the ground. My partner was a ski instructor, but being allergic to pain, and fearing the stereotypical broken leg, I refused to let him teach me to ski.

This time being so cold wasn’t a pleasant thing. Although again I was alone I wasn’t in a place where I could meditate amo ng the nature on a winters day. I was working in a service station. One of my duties on the night shift was to go to the freezer to retrieve the pies to cook ready for all the hungry tradesman requiring breakfast on the way to work. The door to the freezer had closed, the lock activated and the fan started  again to bring the temperature back down to minus 23.

If I intend to spend a long time in the freezer I use a heavy jacket and gloves provided as part of “PPE”. I did not intend to spend more than a few minutes collecting the pies. However the box split and pies rolled all over the floor. I bent to pick them up, slipped on some ice and came crashing down. My knee damaged and limited space prevented me from a hasty retreat from the freezer.

I sat on the freezer floor, my knee aching and my skin producing goosebumps and shivering in an attempt to keep warm. My eyes hurt and were filled with tears, and snot ran freely from my nose as i contemplated my fate.

Drivers picking up a pump and getting no response from the console, would hang the nozzle up again and drive away. The locked door policy which the company had, would prevent customers, suppliers or anyone else entering. Deliveries of newspapers and bread would be left at the door, and customers would help themselves, sometimes leaving the correct money for items taken. The deadmans alarm activated after 15 minutes of no movement within the store. The alarm company would firstly try phoning the store for a response and if there is no rsponse would phone the area manager.

Mostly when the alarm was triggered it was a false alarm. I was hoping that the usual complacency would be absent tonight and someone woukld come to my rescue.

I couldn’t feel my toes now. Maybe thats a good thing because they are no longer hurting. I kept rubbing my hands together and rubbing my cheeks hoping to get blood circulating and get some warmth to those areas. To no avail though, my fingers, nose, ears and eyes were stinging. I was feeling weary. I must stay awake, I must.

The store manager, having been woken by the area manager, arrived along with the police. All was peaceful and calm. You would naturally expect the place to be deserted at 4am on a friday morning. There was no sign of the staff member who was supposed to bring in the dollars for the company however. Using a special key the store manager was able to override the electronic door lock. He looked around the store and couldn’t see anything out of place. He opened the drawer to the register to find all oney present and seemingkly correct. He checked the safe and the cigarettes and finding everything in order, dismissed the police suggesting it was obviously just a case of a worker deserting his post. It wasn’t the first time someone had decided they just didn’t want to work anymore and left a position. The next calls were made to the area manager to relieve her mind, and to another staff member to start work early.

There was no thought of pies or sausage rolls until the first hungry tradesman arrived just after 6am. When Ransme opened the freezer door to get the pies out she screamed. The store manager ran from his office to see what all the raucous was about. There on the floor of the freezer lay a very dead, very frozen Gary Bradfield.

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The Winter Gathering

I’m Unsure if I have posted this short story before. I just found it on my tablet, so thought I would post it. Hope you enjoy.

Dave

The Winter Gathering

We gathered around the crackling fire reminiscing of times past. Brad was missing from the group of course, but nobody mentioned Brad anymore.

Instead of coffee or hot chocolate, Brenda, with her health kick, had decided to serve them warm Blackberry juice. It was a welcome change to milk based drinks. Henry’s wife always served honey in warm milk. But then Sharon wasn’t here either was she.

The eucalypt smoke whirled up the chimney, but some of the aromas escaped the flue and ruminated around the room. It made eyes water and noses sniff, but it was pleasant and warm in the little chalet.

Henry was trying hard to bring up memories to share with this close group of friends. But every time he thought of something to share, he recalled it included Sharon, which made his eyes fill with tears, or Brad and it made his head fill with rage.

It was hard being around this group of friends and not think of the two. Henry rose from the armchair, and all chatter ceased. He placed his cup on the coaster provided, and turned and walked from the room.

“Henry,” I quietly called, but he ignored me.

He walked towards the door, opened it and stepped outside. Some snow swept in on the icy wind. We let him go though. Soon Charlie would follow him with a jacket. But for now, we just let him go.

“He still hasn’t got over her death has he”. Bobby said.

“Well, would you?” Megan bit back. “I feel guilty just for being here”.

“It’s not your fault” Brenda said “you shouldn’t have to feel guilty for marrying that bastard. You didn’t know he was screwing her, and you certainly didn’t know he would kill her”. “You are as much a part of this group as Henry.”

We heard Henry roar forth his grief from under the pine tree. It echoed around the snow filled valley. We should never have come back. Yes, it was tradition, but this is one tradition that should have been broken after past events.

This will be the last time we gather as a group. I think that is a good thing. Nothing good can come out of us gathering again.

“Brenda, I think it would be best if we go.” suggested Bobby. Brenda nodded. She quickly gathered the bags and put them in the car. Bobby wheeled over to the sink and washed the cups, leaving them on the side.

“Talk soon” he added as he pushed his chair out to the car.

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Life Observations September 8, 2014

On the train I sat across from an elderly Chinese couple. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying but it was obvious from their interactions that they were still very much in love. The gentle touches, the smiles, the laughing at the quick wit each displayed to one another. It made me smile inside.

As I walked up the hill to my home after completing an early shift, I observed a tractor mowing the grass in the reserve. The ground was still moist from recent rain so the tractor left deep divots in its wake, but the smell of freshly cut grass was superb.

On my way back down the hill to the station later ( I had to work another shift), above the noise of the train I was supposed to catch leaving the station, I heard many different types of birds all enjoying the good weather and singing about it. It reminded me it is now spring… mating season.

The bright gold of the Wattle against the deep green of the foliage and the rich red of the flowers on the coral tree           (Erythrina crista-galli), were other reminders of the new season.

I saw a large black long haired Labrador have tremendous faith in the ability of its owner to throw the ball farther than the head-start it received after dropping the ball at her feet.

I saw a very large bra lying abandoned in the middle of the street and trucks running over it. The bra wasn’t there when I went past the same spot 3 hours previously. It made me wonder at the story behind it.

Due to my car being at the mechanics, I am forced to exercise, walking to and fro the train station or bus stop for my journey to work,. Today, a record for me, over 17,000 steps!

The things we miss when we drive to and from work, in traffic. The absence of a personal vehicle is a blessing in disguise.

I wearily drag myself into the shower and appreciate the hot water soaking into my muscles. As I relax on my bed with the doona pulled up high, I know I will enjoy the 5 hours sleep before I have to do it all again. Sweet dreams.

 

(no photos sorry, living life through my eyes at the moment instead of through a lens)

 

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Game rules

Upon reflection, these rules are my rules to the game which we call Life.

1. Have fun

Enjoy whatever it is you are doing. If you don’t, STOP. You have broken the rules and need to start over

2. Be considerate of others

Don’t stop others playing their own game, 

3. Help others play the game

Smile at them, share beauty, invite, pay for those who cant pay for themselves.

 

Thats all.

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Happiness and Purpose

A wise man recently shared with me that his understanding of what makes us happy is

1. Someone to Love

2. Something to Hope for

3. Something to do

Someone to love does not mean EROS love, as in sexual, but PHILO, a deep understanding and admiring. This is a love which when all else fails, that is there.

Something to hope for… what is your purpose in your life?

Something to do… How do you go about achieving your life’s ambition?

I once believed that I needed to surround myself with beautiful things to be able to be happy. That is not now the case. I think now that to be happy, you need to be able to see beauty, when beauty is hard to find. In a world full of horror and ugliness, see the innocent, the sweet, the pure. I have seen and possessed both beautiful things and ugliness. I can now discern the difference.

My life’s purpose now, has become to share life’s beauty with others. To share love, where there is hate. To share comfort where there is pain. To share colour, where all around is grey or black.

I have been given the gift of creativity. I have the ability to create beautiful things, whether that be art, or photography, or writings. I can create an atmosphere of peace and love by my attitude and personality. This is my “Thing to do”.

Sometimes, especially when I am suffering from depression, I can lose focus of my goal, I can NOT do the things I ought and do things I ought not do. It is during these times, I call on the love of those around me, to encourage me to live true to self; to achieve what I set out to do.

My hope for you, is that you too can find happiness.

“Seek and you will find”.Image

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News from within

My news is I suffer greatly with depression. Only getting out of bed when absolutely necessary. I continue to put on a smiley face mask and sometimes attend art or writing classes and groups. I work one or two shifts per week.
Safe in my room I paint, draw, write, eat and continue to increase in size.

I am waiting patiently for uni to recommence. My hunger is not only for food but also for knowledge, information and social interaction with those who also seek it.

Like chooks we gather at the coop’s gate awaiting the farmer to reach into his bucket, to throw, scatter words and thoughts for us to hurriedly eat.

I have 3 paintings in an exhibition at an art gallery. Tonight is the gallery birthday party which I must attend.
I am working tomorrow from 6am so it won’t be a late night.

I leave my safe haven, dressed in the colours of my melancholy. Blue representing sadness and black, bleakness. Or could I also be mourning the demise of the great soccer team with whom I once belonged. The Broadway Bruisers whose colours were… exactly, need I say more.

I attended the birthday party of the gallery, which can not blow out candles and eat the cake that we shared. But it stands proudly displaying the finest art that ever adorned its walls (I have to say that, I am exhibiting there). The place was packed, and as a somewhat recluse, or even a person who sometimes suffers agoraphobia, it was a battle to be there. But I smiled. “Oh how nice to see you again”, while all the time I was screaming inside “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”. I endured an hour on the arm of a dear friend who accompanied me. Then I escaped and returned to the prison cell of my mind.

The world is safe

and I am too

secure inside

are the black

and the blue.

Here endeth the ravings of a mad man.

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