Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Imprisoned Moon © by Irina Serban

“There are wounds that never heal!”

“You have to learn how to live while bleeding!”

“There are circles that can never be cut!”

“You have to learn how to live freely while being imprisoned! For above all, there is that ounce of living that makes all the difference.”

The stone circle protected her. She wanted to protect the Moon. The obscurity that ate it always disturbed her. Not out of some weird, unexplained superstition, but because all her senses became disproportionate at such times. Shadow and light, torment and peace mingled until forming the primordial chaos.

She held high the torch as if trying to give a little bit of its light to the Moon that slowly turned paler and thinner. She couldn't feed the darkness anymore! She needed light even if as feeble as that of the Moon!

"What do you see when you look at it?" the stones whispered again. "Do you see freedom? Do you see it gliding, pulling the dark curtain embroidered with stars and think: 'That's Freedom!'? Do you long for what it owns?”

The Moon was the prisoner of its own fate: without light but that stolen from the Sun, without the greatness and splendour of the stars, yet detaining a hidden power capable of moving worlds.

"Do you think it is aware of its strength?"

No, it wasn't! It did what the invisible threads of the Universe pulled it into doing. Everything was an illusion!  We put the burden of our beliefs on the shoulders of the Moon’s destiny. For it was free within its confined circle exactly because it did what it was destined to do without pondering on its greatness, or usefulness, or miserable fate. It was free!

"I can be free, too!"

"Yes, you can!"

Everything was an illusion! A painter puts a splash of colour on the blank canvas and then, adding different nuances over it, he transforms it into a fluttering wing. The feathers are not there, the wind is not beneath it, but you still see them, and you seem to feel the wind and watch the bird fly on the canvas. Illusion! As illusive as her try to cut that circle that strangled her, maddened her. Nothing helped: prayers, rites, wishes uttered in the middle of the night! That circle snapped back in place every time she thought she won over it. It was indestructible! She couldn't cut it! There was always something pulling her back in the middle of it. As the Moon, she needed to live freely inside it. It was vaster than she thought, filled with possibilities. It could actually feed her freedom, for it taught her how to fly in order to surpass its confinement.

She looked at the Moon reappearing in all its reddish splendour. She put out the torch and smiled.

“There are wounds that never heal, and circles that can never be cut. We are not the same as before after stepping inside our circle, so, we lose our ability to live outside it. We find something else, something greater, for a circle has no beginning and no end, and it is as wide as we let our souls expand. There are no limitations! It’s only the magic of the circle we closed and allowed to imprison us. That magic can teach us to live freely even if bleeding. If we set it free, it sets us free!

So amazing what an imprisoned Moon can teach you!"

© Copyright Irina Serban. All rights reserved

Friday, 20 March 2015

Isa - The Ice Sorceress (fragment) © by Irina Serban

"They’re like nestlings fluttering their useless wings, screeching as they’re waiting eagerly for their mother return. They’re helpless, prisoners of their nests. Their bellies are rumbling with hunger, hunger that transforms them in monsters. They feed on me! Unfortunately, lately, I cannot feed myself! I cannot put back the pieces of flesh they've been tearing apart. I stopped believing! Not in magic, in rituals, but in what I preach. I stopped believing that what I do really helps them. I don't even know how to explain it to you because every word is as absurd as my feelings. I feel like an empty, abandoned vessel! I hear only the echo of my own chaotic thoughts. I drag myself each day from one place to another. I don't know where I'm going and why. I go where I’m called. I don’t own myself anymore! They became my masters! Here it is! This is the closest description I could find to make you understand what's eating my soul alive."

The fire burnt, and in a game of shadow and light, it continuously drew shapes on the walls of his home. As usually, he would sit by her right and watch closely the lines of her face. As usually, she would talk gazing into the fire as if all she needed was not his presence but only a silent place where to unravel her feelings.

"It's just the curse of your name!” he said. But that curse is also your blessing, and you know it! You already know that when ice surrounds you, crashes your bones, you have nothing left to do but dive deep in the freezing waters of your soul. You did it many times! Each time, you came out even more luminous! You’re perfectly aware of that!”

Isa held her breath for an instant. Ulfr always knew how to make her discover new things as he reminded her what she had already learnt. This time, instead, nothing seemed to touch the dark waters of her inner chaos and make way for light.

"Perhaps I'm just tired! Or scared!"

"Of what?"

"Of humans! Of their darkness! Of their pretence! Of their continuous running, of their not listening, of their shallowness. You know I was there, too! You know I helped the darkness of some prevail over the light of others. I saw myself as a hired warrior, a warrior of the unseen with powers over the unspoken. And I did it: I took my payment, and I didn't care! One day, when the same ice strangled me, I cried heaps of snow and spread winds of regrets and despair. I was becoming them!"

"And now, are you afraid of your own light?"

"I'm afraid I can't fight their darkness!"

Ulfr caught Isa’s gaze and looked deep down as if touching the abyss where she felt so lost. He rose, put his hand on her shoulder and said briefly: "That's not your war!"

She rose, too, understanding that their conversation reached the end even if she felt the need to pour out more of herself. She lowered her gaze into the flames of the fire that crackled unaware of its power over humans.

"Just be good, and let that light of yours shine!” he added heading towards the door. What if that fire you're staring at so much would say one day: 'What's the use? I cannot warm them enough! I cannot cook their food as I should!', and died out? We are the ones who throw wood on it to keep it lit. We are the ones who throw snow on it to put it out."

She finally dared raising her gaze onto the old man's face. She could tell by heart how the wrinkles of his face drew his traits. Yet, every time she looked at him, a cold sensation crawled up her spine at the thought that, one day, that door would never open again, that fire wouldn’t be lit again. One day, he would answer the call of Odin and leave her lonely in a world that only needed her, and in which, she was not allowed to need anyone.

The gelid wind called her outside. She smiled at the sound of the squeaking hinges of the old wooden door, and at the usual Ulfr’s words upon closing it behind her: “I'd better grease those old forsaken hinges!”. And he never did it!

© Copyright Irina Serban. All rights reserved 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cascading Sky, Curious Water © by Irina Serban

There are many miraculous places in this world, but the most astonishing are the ones we imagine.

What if sky and water were one and the same? What if the sky was cascading into the water, whereas the water reached the sky? What if Creation itself strolled at the threshold between vaporous beauty and watery rage? What if a voice said:

"I'm water! And I'm laughing now because you certainly imagined a crystalline, placid spread beautifully mirroring the fiery colours of the sunset, or the pale face of the moon. You pictured its banks shaking with emotion at the sight of lovers murmuring eternal words into each other's ears. Instead, my peaceful appearance is deceitful for it hides in its depth ancient turmoil, which gave and is still giving birth to abrupt cliffs, which eroded and is still eroding all-mighty stones until they become dust in the wind. Yes, I am angry!

This peace you see walks hand in hand with nurturing destruction—I destroy to let new things spring into life. Yes, I am a creator!

This placid tranquillity shelters hunters and weak creatures nurtured by me only to become the hunters' food. Yes, I am ruthless!

I steal treasures and lives to hide them in the deep never to be found again. Yes, I am a criminal!

The storms I have inside raise waves taller and more feared than the mythological giants. Yes, I am boastful!

I am all that you imagine and all that you don't, all that you see and all that you don't. I am even more than that! Aren't you the same, human? Probably, after my confession, you’d grow to despise me, but remember this: I am Love transformed in water, for in the end, I chose you to enchant your days with my beauty and faults. Aren't you the same, human? You have to! You are water! You enchant me! Otherwise, I wouldn't be that curious about you!" said the Ocean pushing a last wave gently under her bare feet.

She took the seashell washed ashore by the wave and saw in its mother-of-pearl the cascading sky where Creation strolled on the bank of a raging cloud. Maybe, It, too, heard a voice!

© Copyright Irina Serban. All rights reserved   

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Universe © by Irina Serban

     The silence of the Universe has the sound of the reeling planets, of dying stars, and of repetitive clash.

The voice of the Universe has the silent wisdom of millennia of creation and destruction.

I heard both of them, once, when I was watching the leaves dance in the wind.

"What are you?" the Universe asked.

"A part of your vast unknown."

"Who are you?" the Universe asked again.

"I am the detainer of so many secrets, of so much knowledge. I am the one who can shape the surroundings as I wish, who can change the course of a river and give birth to a plain where  hills were once. I can laugh. I can cry. I can wish for more. I can feel! I am human being!"

"You are only a speck of dust on a tiny stone clinging to my mantle in a fragile balance!" the Universe answered back laughing and laughing. 

     I think I felt its breath in the gust of wind that broke the tree in front of my house as if it were a twig. Or maybe, it was only the wind, whereas the Universe was silent.

© Copyright 2015 Irina Serban. All rights reserved  

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