Tag Archives: writing

Facebook: Disconnecting people

30 Oct

Photocredit: businessboombolton.com

When the first phones came, Nokia was connecting people. Now, Facebook is disconnecting them.

You know what I’m talking about. When was the last time you saw two people out together, both staring at their shiny Blackberries? The only chatter that could be heard was the constant blibs of Facebook chat, of notifications and retweets. They didn’t look at each other once.

And it’s not like it is just them. It is me too, and you, and us all to some extent. Think about it, what is the last time you ‘added a friend’ to your life with the click of your finger?

How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many do you follow on Twitter? And how many, out of all those people, do you actually connect with? Yes, you might like the post on their wall (unless it is one of those that embraces the new openness of social networking a bit too fondly, describing their breakfast, and then their bowel movements after said breakfast, in detail.)

But do you actually talk with them?

And how is it possible, in this age of internet and the whole world on our screens, that people still grow lonely?

Might it be because we live to tweet and tweet to live? Because we are too busy posting a photo of  “me and my mate at Starbucks, having fun” to actually have some fun?

Photocredit: theartofeverydayjoe.com

Yes, I recognise the irony. It’s not like I’m phoning my best friend now. I am typing this, I am using the internet, I even have Facebook open on the next tab. But guess what?

I am not there. I am here, writing this, in the hope that I find someone like me, someone who still has Snake on their phone. Someone who loves reading real books, those bulky and awkward items, instead of the only hard back on their shelf being Kindle. Someone whose mother was on Facebook before them.

I am here, because I know I will find others who love books, art and the adorable glasses of John Lennon.  I am here because blogging is bringing the ‘social’ back to social networking. I am here because I know I will find laughter, quirks, beautiful writing, wisdom and inspiration. Because those are examples on things that connect people.

Examples on the opposite, on the other hand, would be ranting over the neighbour’s yappy dog on your wall or calling someone ‘a waste of organic tissue’ on Youtube because they didn’t share your music taste. After all, we can now talk to our beloved iPhones, but there is a reason why we don’t get married with them, why we don’t dance with them, why we don’t put the kettle on and cry over biscuits and tea with them.

So, who is the person you would want to do that with?

(Crying not compulsory, biscuits yes, they’re yammy.)

Go on, call them or write on their wall and plan a real catch up. Because social media is good for planning get-togethers but not for getting together.

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Romantic Monday: Rebirth

29 Oct

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Light your candles and start smiling with your head in the clouds, it is time for another Romantic Monday! If you want to take part in the celebration of everything romantic, or just find many lovely reads, visit here.

My contribution today is a short story. Without further ramblings, enjoy the words and the love that’s all around! Wishing you a lovely, romantic Monday!

Rebirth

As he lies paralytic in his bed, in an emotional comatose, he can nearly hear the spine of the night cracking. Slowly and painfully, one thoracic vertebra at a time, darkness is snapping apart to make room for new light. Dawn, the most loathsome part of any day, will soon rise and stretch its rays everywhere, bragging and bombastic with god-given, fresh radiance. The morning light, that soft and transparent yellow, is a new beginning for some. For him, it is the epitome of unforgiveness, revealing everything tainted in  his life to be peered at, gobble-eyed and scrutinising.

But the dawn is not quite here yet. He still has time. It is this jolt of hope that wires him up, after every sleepless night, and sends him bolt-like searching for all that was lost. There is still time. There is still time. It is this pleading mantra that he repeats to the empty rooms, to their bed that has hardened from all the tears, to the stubborn table that still bears no note.

And when there is no answer, no sign for the superstitious, he sinks down drained out of will, out of change and out of hope, and falls back to the familiar numbness.

– Why? Why did she have to go?

The sobs penetrate and choke him. His lip trembles pitifully and child-like.  His padlock fists close around his face, jailing him into loneliness.

His life has turned into a nightly ritual of apathy, tears and black coffee. Sometimes he forces himself to emerge from his house however, if only to raise suspicion and disapproval. If only to revel bitterly in his self-pity and hover over the happy couples, a vulture ready to tear apart the pieces of shattered hopes and  suffocating wedding rings.

But this time, to his surprise, he finds the streets crawling with better entertainment. He passes unnoticed in the midst of Halloween costumes now abused by alcohol, sweat trips and escaped mascara. It is late, and in delight he witnesses the wasted monsters rolling out of bars. They are all laughing with the shot glass glaze wailing their eyes. Spirit flows in their veins and the air is noisy from fight and emotion as all barricades are dropped aside and secrets shouted out. Ah, the freedom alcohol brings. They are all blinded, making vows of eternal love to each other, confessions of passion that will be washed away tomorrow with a wet-wipe and an acid-like hung over.

Don’t drink and love, unless you can face the morning after or forget the night before, he thinks and, for a moment, feels nearly superior. But soon the evil voice of guilt sniffs out his wittycisms and reminds him of the more potent dangers of drink-driving. There is a loud bang in his ear, a sharp light and a scream sinking into nothingness. To escape this torturing scene unravelling again in his mind, he throws himself into the surrounding bliss and daze. Weirdly, with the bars closing and people passing out against each other, he feels in sync with the world. The monsters inside him are silenced, staring in awe at the cheap recipe of love, the illusion created by too much Tequila and old clichés.

Then suddenly, there is a girl against him. He flinches under her heavy, warm weight as she lets herself slip against his chest, relying her whole being on him. And somehow, she manages to see past his ragged clothes and hollow chest, his gargoyle-like posture smeared with grief. She raises her gaze to meet his eyes and the words tumble out of her, arresting both of them in surprise. She mentions a broken leg but steers clear of mentioning her broken heart. She calls him with a name he does not know, the name of someone lost. She describes his eyes, his walk, his silly habit for boring people with pointless facts. His smart, gentle hands. The rows over a coffee cup and the day there was no more of them. The everything of her life, gone away and gone bad. She gives words for his feelings, pins them down and scrubs them clean.

At that moment, watching her drunken trust, he can feel something leaving him. In her frankness and tipsy confessions, everything unuttered takes fright. And though his mouth does not find fitting words, his heart answers the girl. And so he succumbs, if only because she looks a little like her, lost and puppyish, if only because they have both seen the graveyard of love. He pushes his lips hard against hers, pressing to find boundaries. She answers with same desperate passion, and in that kiss, he finds it, the love for the fresh morning light.

The city wakes up around them and meets them with astonishment and raised eyebrows. But to them, it does not exist. They stay with their eyes closed, clinging to each other, out of breath. And so the light accepts them in its embrace and envelopes them in golden hue. It sews them into one, into a seamless skin of loves lost and found. There they remain; both hopeless but starting to hope, both fumbling but now lost together, to be found anew.

The faithful (Romantic Monday)

24 Oct

I first got pulled into this company of lovers and romanticers and great writers by Hastywords, thanks for finding me!

I think turning Mondays from gloom to celebration of romance and love is one step in making this world a better place, so I’m glad to take part! Other gorgeous Romantic Monday posts can be found here, as well as the rules and the man who we get to thank for this great idea!

This idea inspired tingling words in me, and I know my poem Illogicalities of being in love was already listed, but I just had to write another one, a new one. The Illogicalities was posted on Tuesday anyway… and there can never be enough love in the world, right?

So here’s to Monday romance.

(Edit: Some of you might be confused as to why this was posted here today. The thing is, I was totally under the impression it was Monday…  I should obviously spend a bit less time daydreaming and more learning the calendar days. No wonder I’m always late. Oh well, time is relevant right? So have a romantic Mond.. err Wednesday! Hope you like the poem!)

 

The faithful

 

I promise you this,

I will stay by your side.

The moon can move oceans

but not me.

 

I will be the solid pebble, grounded

and unmoving in every tide’s turning.

I will accept your absence and welcome

the sea’s caress like it was you.

 

So go, my bird boy, fly

and see if it’s lonely up there where

only wind plays with your feather hair.

Forget my fingers and lips, my hips

that beg for your skin, your kiss.

 

Go, my dove, go now

because I can see your flutter and shake,

your quest, your curious gaze

that tiptoes across the Andromeda

and meets the first snowflake

with fresh wonder of the explorer

The pearl chaser, the lover of all

 

Go and I promise you this,

I will let you jump of cliffs

if you wish, let you wear

all the growth rings of this life.

And when you are gone

I will kiss the horizon

keeping me level, make love

to the seas and the skies

 

And I will not miss your love

Because your love flows in the air,

it is the jingle of the spring

in every tree, it is the universe,

it is all around me

So go,  let your shallow bones

make you light, take care

of you in your flight

and lift you higher, to sit on the moon,

to crown you the groom of the stardust,

the gardener of the night sky.

 

Go and balance there,

in the nook of the crescent

and know this:

I will wait here

Until all the shores are abandoned,

until salt mummifies the ships

and sinks my heart.

 

And still then, I will wait

in the bottom of all oceans. I will

weave the waves into a soft blanket,

stitch my tears into a parachute.

So if you fall off the thinning moon

I can catch you, save you,

the way you saved me of bruises

when I first fell

 

For you.

What makes a good book?

20 Oct

I think there are as many definitions for this as there are readers… and writers:

I agree with Oscar Wilde above. I think a good book is one that changes with you, not one that you grow out of. One of these for me has definately been the Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupéry. As a child I enjoyed the mystery of the Prince, the boas and wild planets and Bonsai trees and definately chuckled at the mockery of adults, and now that I’m older I notice: I still enjoy all of the above, and can never get enough of the wisdom behind them.

Maybe a good book, then, isn’t one that just changes with you but also one that changes within you. One that gives you lines which you can twist into new thoughts in your head, endlessly, and into new stories. Maybe the best stories are the ones that don’t finish when we finish the book but live on, to be finished by us in our own time.

But I also think that, while there are those books that we return to over and over again, sometimes what defines a good book is simply giving it a second chance. I know there are many who would beg to disagree with this, arguing that good writing makes the book good straight away, on the first read. But I think that, above all, what makes a good book is that the good writing doesn’t just sit there, between the covers, but that it is experienced. That it reaches the reader. Or more crucially, that the reader reaches for the writing themselves.

I realised this recently while I was waiting on some books I had asked to be ordered in to our library. Impatient, I grabbed few books from my shelf that I had already read but weirdly, not properly formed an opinion about. They were The Great Gatsby and The Bell Jar.  Both of them had remained totally ambiguous in my head the first time round, but now that I picked them up the second time they transformed from sort of good into amazing. But the books hadn’t changed, the dots hadn’t danced around and the words hadn’t been swopped while they rested on my bookshelf. I had changed, as a reader.

So I think, what is needed to make a good book is both a devoted writer and an open-minded reader.

And an advice I have found helpful, when I’m struggling to write because my heavy expectations on myself weigh me down, is this: To write something good, you first have to write something.

What do you think makes a good book? What books do you think are good or even, the best?