Do You Understand the Words Comin’ Outta My Mouth?

Daily Prompt: Express Yourself

 

They didn’t get it. I had been perfectly clear and explained it multiple times. But was met with uncomprehending faces.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

‘In order for the facade to have the desired effect, we need to angle the windows in order to create a repeating pattern that expresses the client’s vision. But the angle has to be such that the apertures remain of a consistent facing and there are no conflicting sightlines.’ I paused and looked around the architect’s office for inspiration. The project team had been working on variations of the facade design for a few days, and I had sat through the various presentations impatiently. I couldn’t follow what any of them were driving at, and was eager to simply present my proposal.

The uncomprehending looks didn’t change though, even after this last foray into clarification. Then finally, one of them spoke.

‘但是,我们不会作了.’

My turn to look uncomprehending. He repeated himself, pointing at a particular corner of the model. I nodded sagely and sat back down.

Two weeks working in China and I realized it was going to be a steep learning curve.

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The Memory of Beauty

I’m obsessed with beautiful moments. And beautiful things. I’m trying to stockpile them. Plaster the walls of my goldfish bowl with the imagery, so that every time I forget, I’ll swim around and see them again. It’s everywhere. The intro to a song that you heard once long ago, in a moment that made you incredible happy, and even though that particular moment has been lost to time, the feeling still lingers, transported by the notes of a song. Rain droplets coalescing and running rivulets across the window as you drive home in the evening. A child running ahead of its mother on the sidewalk. An elderly couple holding hands. The fern on a well-poured latte.

I think about seminal moments a lot. Those moments where you think, ‘Yes. This is what life is about. This is exactly where I want to be right now.’ And they’re not always the ones you’d think. Sure some of the seminal moments in my life include a view of the Himalayas at nighttime, or swimming next to a whale shark, or surfing at sunset. But they also include other moments. A joke told by a friend in a cafe. I don’t remember the joke, but the moment was perfect. Crying at the end of a book that really moved me. Watching the stars, without worrying what they mean.

And then making a wish on a falling star.

Everything Made Anew

That was the sign. That was the writing on the wall that I chose not to read.

‘What do you believe in?’ she said to me. And I’m drawing a blank. Call me a realist. Call me boring. Call me pedantic. And yet, and yet. And yet I’m still a romantic. Logically, I look at everything and say, ‘there’s a rationale behind that. There’s a reason that’s the way it is. That’s not magic. That can be explained.’ And then I go off and secretly believe in fate. Or imagine I’ve seen a ghost. Or fall in love with everyone I see.

Everything’s pure right now. The air smells new. Call it autumn. Call it the post-evening glow. But everything’s clean. Made new. Cool, fresh air wafting in to me over the green belt. The night is still, the trees are still, but there’s still the faintest of breaths on my face. Washing me clean. Breathe in breathe out. Start again. Recycled air. But recycled and purified. Born again. And god but it feels good to be alive.

Accidental Metaphors

‘Some things just don’t ever feel right,’ she said to me, and threw the stone she’d been holding into the Sound before reaching to pick up another one. ‘And sometimes, you can’t say why, but it just fits.’ She looked down at the stone in her hand, tossed it between her hands, and abruptly threw it into the Sound, where it landed in the middle of the expanding rings of the first. This all happened years ago. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I don’t think she even was. Accidental metaphors. Best kind. This is a metaphor for life I said to her. ‘A metaphor for dying you mean.’ Was that prophetic? Or was she just in that kind of mood?

Clean slate. Blank page empire. Square one. Everybody likes starting over. But not completely. Let me keep the good things, erase the bad, and we’ll, you know, build on it. See what comes. Two jumps in a week, and maybe next week we’ll make it three. Baby steps. One things leads to another leads to another. I woke up this morning in a cloud of fog. Help, help, I’m drowning! Ah wait, just a trick of the light. Suffocating quietly, surrounded by unbreathable air. Whaddaya know. Time for a change. Open your eyes. It’s the first step. I once, was blind, but now, I see. Take away the cataracts and we’ll call it golden. Milky blue turned to azure. Rains have gone. Sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight. What would you say if I said to you? No wait. I’ve just thought of something worth living for. And it goes like this…

Tomorrow Today

We went to Delphi. Climbed up to the Oracle to have her divine our futures. ‘This is it!’ she cried. ‘This is where the magic happened!’  Didn’t see that one coming! Then we hiked through the ruins, posed beside the fallen statues, took off our shoes and ran on the burning sands of the stadium. ‘My hair’s blowin’ in the wind,’ flowing streaming out behind, flickering, a flame in the sun, streaking along the floor of the arena. Then we walked the streets and steep staircases of the village, clinging there to the slopes. Stayed up all night, drinking red wine and ouzo. Stayed up all night, just to watch the sun rise. To watch the rosy fingers of dawn, creeping between the mountains. And as the mist spilled into the valley below us she fell asleep on my shoulder. Or did I fall asleep on hers? We woke and went south. Traded mountains and oracles for islands and sea.

Or maybe that never happened. Let’s trade on the things I’ve actually done. Not just re-imagined versions of what really happened. That’s one of our perks though isn’t it? The ability to re-imagine the past? To colour it, tint it, however we wish. That’s what we love about a storyteller. The ability to embellish. To tell it in such a way that even our boring lives sound exciting. Can you believe I did that? That was me! Or maybe it wasn’t. But I remember it just like that! Like it was yesterday. Yesterday or a lifetime ago. Same difference. Yesterday was the lifetime of a mayfly ago. A day in the life. A life in the day. The bright spark of existence. No time for regrets! One and done. Bam! No waking up tomorrow. Tomorrow? What’s that? You wanna talk Whorfianism? Try explaining the concept of tomorrow to a mayfly! You think they can conceive of that?!

Better luck next life.

Everything Fades

Dreams are fading. They have a tendency to do that. And yet we still make it a habit to build them up. When will we ever learn?! Better to live life on an even keel. Not look forward to too much. Not build it up too much. But where’s the fun in that? I’m gonna be the greatest. I believe that. And someday it’ll probably all come crashing down around me. We die a thousand tiny deaths as we stumble through this thing called life. A thousand tiny deaths, where we slough off the old skin and begin a second take at life. Act 2 Scene 1. Take 30. We’ll get there in the end. It’s not easy though you know?

There’s a cold breeze blowing. The warmth of the day doesn’t last long here. Sun goes down and there! No more heat. Sucked out of the air. Was it even there to begin with? Just a trick of the light. Just a rush of blood to the surface of the skin. Moths to a candle’s flame. And with a flash, another one bites the dust.

There was something important I had to say. I’m sure of it. Gone though. Like a dream upon waking. A butterfly on the breeze. A leaf floating downstream, and bam, over the cataracts we go.

Poof! It’s like a fairy tale. And everything around you disappears.

Person of Indeterminate Gender I Saw Dumpster Diving This Afternoon Day

Daily Post: Honorific

Today is to be officially named ‘Person of Indeterminate Gender I Saw Dumpster Diving This Afternoon Day.’

And not just because glitter seemed to float in a cloud around them. Nor for the sparkly mini skirt worn over hairy legs. Nor for the cheap plastic trinkets they were bejeweled with. No. Today is their day because they are seizing it. They saw something they wanted, and they went for it, damn the consequences. They’re comfortable in their own skin. They don’t worry about societal judgement, condemning them for scavenging. What do we have to say that they haven’t heard before? Who are we to decide the acceptable standards of modern living. To each their own.

Stand up and be counted. This day is for you.