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Never before had Sam noticed how time is so much like water; that it can pass slowly, a drop at a time, even freeze, or rush by in a blink. The clock says it is measured and constant, tick tock, part of an orderly world; the clock lies. The past three days had passed like thousands of camera frames per second shown one at a time. In this slow time-bubble the birdsong was louder, coldness was colder and colours were brighter. All the while his insides felt as if there was nothing there, nothing to need feeding, nothing to have need of anything at all.
The candle had rested upon the wooden mantle for many years, unburnt. It was pretty, the colour of sea-waves in storybooks, conjuring sea-dragons in pastel shades to Elise's imagination. She noticed their tops, pale after so many warm summer suns, the whiteness of that natural wax making an imperfect halo. She let her finger run from the edge to the wick, still as perfectly smooth as the day it was made, ready to fulfil its purpose. Martina struck the match and she stood back just a little, watching the new flame flicker its golden hue into the early morning. This was right, as it should be, no more waiting, no more unsung songs or candles collecting dust. Life is for living.
They used that umbrella in rain and shine, that navy blue fabric adorned with flowers protected them just the same. It was small, humble I guess, perhaps that's why it suited them so well. There was a time I bought something larger, more expensive looking black fabric and an ornate curved handle. They had laughed in a way that felt cozy, welcoming, even as they shook their heads. Then uncle said, "Under something so large, what would be my excuse to cuddle up to Jenny?" I grinned, letting my eyes find the knots on the wooden floor, each plank made beautiful years of sunlight.
The leaves were green arrow heads, as translucent as the finest paper, their stems quills that waved in the warm summer air. How they came together, wind and foliage, neither taking, yet both giving and receiving just the same, both an intrinsic part of "the now."
The gate was open on one side, yet was so wide anything could pass. So despite their tallness and the strength of the metal, it was a simple stroll to the other side. Paul let his hand touch the ambient metal, no longer hot from the day nor cold from the soothing effect of evening air. It was as if it could vanish, as if the atoms themselves could choose to be free, to be something new.
Our art is our joy, our god-given pathway for natural healing. It is not a thing to judge or measure by imaginary yard-sticks. It is the seeds of our minds that grow and help us navigate our way toward happiness and health. It is our right to be as free as the wind and the bird who plays on the wing. Pain may come out in a painting, or the toll on our being be told in a story, dancing and weaving in the metaphors of dreams. Or it may come as fluid movements that are a song of emotions. Yet this is how the mind unites and creativity becomes a bonfire to illuminate our way.
Ted really lived is anger, almost as cartoon characters do, so lost in that moment and the torment his brain was in. I'd see it first in his eyes, then a tension of his muscles, an inability to think clearly soon followed. The rational Ted was offline and the primitive Ted who reverted to his old habits was in the room. Suddenly his liberal opinions were gone, his ability for nuance and emotional generosity were gone too. His fists would stay firmly by his sides, yet his words did more damage than they ever could. But we agreed a while back to use a dog training technique when he got mad, one to remind him that anger is born of pain and sadness, that he needed to calm himself, find himself, ignite his feelings of love and protectiveness in that moment of anger. So, when we saw those flickers of fire we blew him a kiss, and instead of saying, "God damn it," he learned to say, "God love me," through that gravelly rage, and I'm telling you, when he managed it, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Edward's talk gives away his thought patterns - egocentric like a child. All of his pains are front and foremost and Lucy's are nothing at all. He doesn't care to talk of what ails her, only seeks the quickest escape from the conversation. It is as if Edward decided long ago that it was her task to soothe him and the role reversal was unacceptable. And so the usual things happen next, he becomes colder to force her back into nurturing him, not happy until she's pouring out the empathy that she had so badly needed for herself.
The queen, in person, is much like the king. In our kingdom we have no ideas such as the queens of your fairytales; our history is one of egalitarianism, strong leaders with a sense of duty, sacrifice and protection. So, she had better role models I suppose, athletic women, all capable of taking command. We find your role models for women worrisome, so much psychological battery to starve and be weak, together with well intended calls for strength bringing cognitive dissonance - psychological torture en mass. With healthy role models, children learn easily what a lifetime of school cannot teach. They see our queen - a healthy, strong, decision-maker, freely cooperative not subordinate - and they become it too. Surely you know how natural learning works? We do.
Thus, we know the importance of having the right queen, not by blood or birth, but by who her spirit shows her to be, by her authentic self. Our queen is loving, empathic, clever, artistic, spiritual, practical, athletic, motherly and devoted to the service of others. She is honest, forgiving, compassionate, joyful and grateful. She is a humanitarian, an environmentalist and full of life. Our queen is a scientist, a writer, a philosopher and athlete. She is brave, giving and nurturing. She is all these things naturally.
Your monarchy has been entitled, unhappy, dysfunctional, aloof, unfit - obsessed with wealth, power and status... and look what you got. On our planet, we have a healthy society because we learned basic biology better than you, it's the foundation for everything. Natural God given leaders provide the north on your moral compasses, they are as the stake to the tomato vine, the anchor for the nation. A queen will have both great wisdom and a child's heart. She can live in modest homes, sleep under trees, eat ordinary food and still have the respect of nations. I wish you had leaders as such as ours, to heal yourselves and your planet... but perhaps you do, can you find your queen?
It was the giggles that were the sails upon our boat, the laughter, the smiles. We saw the funny in everything and that was our bond. We could be serious too; we loved deeply of others more than is generally accepted... so I guess the humour was how we let out the tension that kind of love brings. In those silly moments, we were perfect, and they are the sweetness I need in rough times. That's what a friend can do... it's the love that makes doors in emotional brick walls, the love that makes everything possible.
The amygdala is a button they push, an ancient part of the brain triggered by fear. They scare us with so many things to make us easy to control - yet that also brings aggression, societal problems and reduced creative intelligence. So, if you truly want to drive your own brain, to feel its true power and potential - cut out the media, cut out stuff that scares you and replace it with sport, meditation, serenity. It'll feel odd at first and you might even feel an urge to watch a scary movie to bring the familiar feelings of fear back, but you'll be okay. So, come join the living... have the courage to leave the zombie state...