Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Waiting For A Dream (9) © by Irina Serban

Painting: Working For A Dream 09 by Monika Mori

A.N. Dedicated to Monika Mori a great artist, a great human being whose light shines so humbly and strong that in her presence you cannot help noticing the immensity of her soul. One of the few persons I know who lives the meaning of 'unconditional giving' fully.

     Sometimes even the Sun is afraid. I know you see it as I do: as an omnipotent star tracing our lives silently, lives that are tied to its moods with a thin thread—an outrageous burst, and we’re gone. But rest assured that it feels fear, too.

      Maybe, you heard of those forests, which grew so wild and thick that no one ever managed to see their end and depth. The Sun didn’t either, and it’s their depths that it fears. That’s why it touches gently only the tips of the trees’ crowns, shying away from disclosing the land that feeds their roots. It knows that mystery needs the shadow of the trees to unfold.

      One such forest had always been the refuge of one human being who sought peaceful contemplation, who found in that forest a faithful companion to his worries, failures, joy, and achieved dreams.

It is exactly about this that I want to tell you: dreams.

I’ve heard that he had a special place, somewhere in that forest, where he used to go every time he needed. He knew that place so well, that even with his eyes closed he could tell where a certain tree was, what plants surrounded him, how many mossy heaps were there, so on and so forth. But something strange happened one day. Falling asleep under one of the hickory trees, he had a dream: the place where he was sitting became a meadow circled by the trees, and he heard a soft voice calling him. He startled, and upon opening up his eyes, the view made him panic: the hickory that he leaned against was part of a tree circle that surrounded a meadow, which wasn’t there before. He thought he was still dreaming. He wiped his eyes and looked again. The round meadow was still there, the trees guarding it majestically.

      This was not the end, they say. Every time he went there, a sudden weakness took hold of him inducing him to sleep and dream again, and again, and again. With every dream he had, the forest shifted and shaped accordingly. After the round meadow dream, he had another one with him in the middle of that circle, and the same soft voice calling his name. Needless to say that upon waking up, he was not under the hickory tree, but in the middle of the meadow.

A third dream followed, and this time, a strong and old oak tree sprang towards the sky right in the middle of the meadow. The voice again called his name.

In the fourth dream, night fell and engulfed the meadow in a strange silvery light, which source was invisible to him. The same voice called him again, giving him the impression that it was closer.

The fifth dream brought forth images of surreal beauty: it started snowing without an ounce of cold, without a pale of wind, without the snow covering the land or the trees. Only soft falling of white flakes! He felt the warm breath of the one calling him. 

The sixth time, the meadow became as silvery as the moon, with grey spots here and there, which he realized upon waking up that they were nothing else but stone slabs. A silhouette shaped itself out of the darkness as vaporous as the mist.

The seventh dream grinded the stone slabs into small pebbles and placed them in a sinuous line a few steps away from the old oak, thus cutting the perfection of the circle. This time, the silhouette whispered: “We’ll meet soon!” Who was he to meet? Who was that mysterious appearance? By now, he grew eager to come into the forest and see what dreams have in store for him.

The eighth time he fell asleep, a wide, peaceful lake spread its crystalline waters up to the sinuous line of pebbles. The voice was silent. The misty being was absent. He realized he didn’t care about all the shapes the scenery took. His soul wanted to meet the one that woke him up every time, the one whose voice resounded in his heart even when wide-awake.

      Thus, he entered the forest for the ninth time, somewhat disappointed and not so eager as before. What if it was all an illusion, what if there was no creature to be materialized by his crazy dreams? He waited and waited, but this time, sleep refused to make his eyelids heavy. He looked around at the circle of hickory trees, at the old silent oak, at the never-ending silver night, at the soft snow flakes, which continued to fall in a somewhat resigned dance, as it seemed to him now, at the sinuous line of pebbles, at the unmoved mirror of the lake. He was still standing by the oak tree that guarded his dreams since it appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the meadow. He was still gazing at the river when the stones rose, melted, became translucent, swirled around a silhouette tore from water, with water instead of hair flowing on diaphanous shoulders, with eyes as silver as the night of that place, with face as white as snow. She was half water, half being. He could not tell if she really emerged from water or the water was part of her.

      “I was waiting for a dream!” he said, more talking to himself than wanting to disturb that presence with his wishes.

“The magic of 9!” she smiled. She was holding two spheres in her hand: one spreading a grey light, the other one a bluish, iridescent light.

      “Choose!” she said.

      He did one step towards her, when she stopped him with a shake of her head.

      “You mustn’t touch them! Just choose!”

      (This is what the Sun fears, they say: if it sends its rays as a reckless proof of his almightiness, it might touch the lights, and who knows what that can bring forth in his infinite realm.)

      Instinctively, he closed his eyes trying to visualize the two lights, and he chose. When he opened up his eyes, the whole forest was spotted with blue, iridescent orbs. One was floating in front of him as if encouraging him to touch it. Upon doing so, a thread of light of the same colour sprang in the direction of another orb, which in turn did the same until a path of light unfolded in front of the man.

      “Do you think you’re dreaming?” she asked him.

      He looked at her with astonished eyes. How could he say ‘yes’ and offend such an appearance, be it in a dream? How could he say ‘no’ and seem one who lost his reason?

      “Is this a dream within a dream?” was all that he managed to utter.

      “This is a painting within a painting. The canvas of life is not an empty canvas, but an enormous canvas of possibilities. Why? As on any painting both light and dark shades are employed to give consistency, shape and meaning. This is how we live, too: sliding between darkness and light, choosing one over the other. It is like a forest where you see numerous grey lanes spotted here and there by small lights. If you choose light, you tend to go on searching for the next spot of light. If you choose greyness, you tend to ignore the presence of light. But both are there all the time. What's the third and most important element that keeps the painting hanging in the vastness of the universe?” she asked again.

Whenever he used to hang a painting on his wall, he was the one choosing where and at what height.

“Our capacity to choose freely!” he answered.

“Yes! Life is nothing but a painting made with the three primary colours: our own light, our own darkness, and our own capacity to choose freely one over the other. The nuances are infinite, and the canvas of life is limitless. As a skilled painter can create a masterpiece with only three basic colours, so can we by harnessing the three important elements at our disposal: light, darkness, and free will. As with painting, accidents can happen, and mistakes can cause damages to the canvas, we get lost, or fall into some seemingly never-ending pit, or maybe, the colours don’t mix well. But out of mistakes, out of misfortunes, we gain better insight on which to choose and in what quantity. Some are lured by silvery greyness, others by iridescent blue. In the end, they all have to learn to use them both, and when they learn to use the darkness in order to make the light grow, then, the path of light unfolds, and darkness becomes only little specks of dust trying vainly to annoy the traveller.”

She ended abruptly by calling his name again while disappearing in the blue realm of water.

He looked around, and all he saw was his beloved forest in the distance, the snow falling gently, the flames dancing in the fireplace, and the unfinished canvas on the easel.

“I was right!” he said smiling. “It was a dream within a dream!”

He took his brushes and approached the painting. On it, he saw a small drop of bluish paint exactly above the forest lake he had been painting. To its left, there was a grey one. He decided to use them both, and out of a mistake, he started tracing the lines of the beautiful silhouette of the Lady of the Lake.

© Copyright 2015 Irina Serban. All rights reserved  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Random Thoughts On Random Facts © by Irina Serban

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Silence, Dust And Cobwebs © by Irina Serban

"I used to be the centre of his home. Every thought of his, every intention would gather in front of me, and sometimes, when darkness veiled the corners of the wide living room, I would heighten my flames to give him the necessary light. I would give him warmth when cold winds blew outside, when no arms were there to hug him. My rhythmical sound would induce him to dreaming with eyes wide open, and he would smile when something in my flames took the shape of his hopes. He used to murmur to me: "Let's leap again like the dancing flames!" and we would dance and dance with the speed of the reeling planets. Now, there's nothing left but silence, dust and cobwebs."

"Don't worry! Someone else will buy the house and lit you again!"

"Who said I am a fireplace?"

A long sigh pierced the night, and the voice went on telling its magical story.

"He would take with him his suitcase filled with clouds and would open it in front of me searching for the right shape, the right colour, the right shades. I would tell him: 'There is no right or wrong! A cloud is what it is, as beautifully imperfect as yourself, as all-encompassing as yourself.' He would smile—I love seeing him smile!—and would pick one randomly, throwing it on the canvas of his life. The infinity of possibilities thrilled him: it could rain, or only thunder, perhaps, it could only be a cloudy day. Yet, somewhere hidden, in one of the corners of his canvas, the Sun always waited for the right moment to push the cloud away. And he knew it, and that’s why he would always smile. I felt like a child discovering and seeing things as for the first time! His hand painted frantically one canvas after another, one possibility after another. Now, there's nothing left but silence, dust and cobwebs."

"Don't worry! Someone else will use you to paint their stories!"

"Who said I am an easel?”

The voice stopped for a while letting the darkness of the night fall even deeper. Then, it resumed:

"He loved nature! He would spend hours watching the murmuration of starlings crossing the sky, and he would send me to fly with them, too. Oh, what an adventure! He would record every instant on his camera, which worked with lightning flashes. And I would fly and fly until I felt as light as a feather, until I saw him smile. Now, there's nothing left but silence, dust and cobwebs."

"Are you a bird, then?"


"What are you?"

"His heart!"

"Don't worry! He hasn’t gone! He’s resting his sad days for a while! He will hear you again! Keep beating, little heart! No one grows deaf to your music! Sing his forgotten song to him!" answered the Moon and continued sliding on the dark sky, shining even brighter than before. 

© Copyright 2015 Irina Serban. All rights reserved  

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Climbing The Kindness Ladder © by Irina Serban

Four years have passed since you're here, by my side, in this writing journey. This day, four years ago, I posted my first writing online after so many years of completely ignoring my calling. 
This day, every year, I write a few words not only for celebrating that beginning, but also for assessing all the lessons the past year offered to me. 
At the end of 2014, I choose to speak about kindness, aloneness and finding the inner strength to overcome hardships, disappointment, loss. I feel these lessons were the core of every happening in my life for the past year. 

About Kindness

Sometimes, it's hard to be kind. The dark side is always easier to make your own because it comes hand in hand with so many excuses: ‘she forgot my birthday’, ‘he never helped me when in need’, ‘she doesn't understand me’, ‘he doesn't care, why should I’, etc. Yet, kindness always pays off!
I think every one of us is born with the need of and thirst for light, and that thirst is quenched only when we are kind. That's when we feel at peace, and we go to sleep with a smile on our lips irrespective of the pits surrounding us, or the negative feelings luring us. By choosing kindness over the so-easy meanness we tilt the scale in favour of positive feelings and actions and reactions, for nothing we do or think goes unnoticed or without effect. No, it's not mumble jumble! It is true! Have you noticed that when something bad happens it seems as if it comes with a suite of other fastidious happenings? I'm sure you did! We all call them bad luck, bad day, bad month, bad year, but in fact, it's only bad thoughts and actions on our part. We don't know how to or are resistant to changing things in our favour, to choosing positive thoughts and to walking hand in hand with hope.
There's always an invisible force that sets things in equilibrium. Like attracts like! Many have talked about it in many forms: 

1. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” (Isaac Newton - physicist)

2. “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson (transcendentalist essayist, poet, lecturer)

3. “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”  ― Herman Melville (novelist, short story writer, poet)

4. "All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold." - The Three Fold Law (Wiccan Rede)

So, why not choosing kindness? It does good to one's soul, and it comes back one hundred per cent. I know it for sure! I felt it, too, especially this year. Out of nowhere, people from all corners of the world, people I never met in everyday life, sent me gifts for Christmas, a special time of the year for me.  Through their gifts, I read a kind note from the Universe: “Be good! Don't let the incidents of life transform your heart in stone!” Noted! And acted upon accordingly! Who am I to contradict the universal law? Again, I realized that—I know I obsessively say this in my writings, but it's true!—we’re never lonely!

About Aloneness

Aloneness is not the same with loneliness. You are lonely when no one is with you. You are alone when your soul is meandering in the vast world inside searching for answers, or floating through the sceneries outside letting them speak. When alone, we aren't necessarily unaccompanied. 
Some people shun aloneness, constantly searching for company. Yet, there are situations when we have to be alone, liking it or not liking it. I for one enjoy it, search for it and need it. Yet, this year, I realized that, maybe, in the life of each of us, there comes a time when we'd rather not be alone, but we have to. What do we do then, when we have no one to comfort us, to hold our hand, no shoulder to cry on, no one to help us pick up the pieces not because there's no one there, but because they cannot live the experience we're living, they cannot feel what we're feeling, they cannot even understand what we're going through. What if we're living an experience that is similar to, let's say, going through surgery: you're alone in the surgery section, you have to find a way of overcoming your fear, a way of fighting the side effects of drugs, a way of healing and gaining forces on your own. No one can do it for you! And in life there are many "surgical" moments. What do we do then? We need to find the inner strength!

About Inner Strength

When we love life, the inner strength is easy to find and to bring into light. When we love ourselves, again, it's easy. When we love others (friends, family, pets), it's easy. So, you see, inner strength is not something that should be educated or trained into being. It is there, shining, waiting to be accessed whenever we need it. It never dies out, it never gets weak! We get lost and don't know how to find it. And the answer is so simple: through Love. 

Be kind, my friends, climb that ladder of kindness resting assured that you're never lonely, and let your inner strength help you through whatever hardships you have to overcome right now! 

Thank you for being part of my journey for four years!

Happy Holidays!

© Copyright 2014 Irina Serban. All rights reserved  

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