The Lunar Eclipse

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Ninny Rhino – the Mini WriMo – day 15

Lovely Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror, has these Speculative Fiction Prompts once a month. I got tempted to join, and here is my contribution for March!

This is the first time ever, I write a story in a language other than my native one. I aimed for a short, short story, but got caught. It rather seems like a beginning of something!
– So, now let’s see how it goes! 

The Lunar Eclipse

I wake up shivering immensely. Still with my eyes closed, I lay my hand over my hearts. They are both beating. A bit vague and uneven, but enough to ensure me I’m still alive. I take a deep breath. The air is cold but clean and pleasant.

I open my eyes. Above me linger stars on a black background, and a faint light dwells from somewhere beyond. Around me are huge buildings, and I realize I am lying on sand. Icy cold sand. Slowly I rise to my feet. My head is pounding.

Scattered around me lies the transporting device. In thousands of pieces as it seems. No wonder I feel like a huge bruise, but a couple more than usual don’t seem like a big issue. After all, being here, where-ever this ”here” is, is a lot better than…
I don’t let that thought go further.

Where am I? How far have I been journeying? My head fills with thousands of questions. It’s obvious, this isn’t my intended destination. I gaze at the stars but can’t recognize any of the constellations. A wave of dizziness passes through me.

A bit feebly, I walk along the street and soon reach the corner. I turn and once again lift my eyes to the sky. A full lunar eclipse, the most fascinating I’ve ever seen, and I can see an entire universe behind. I stay in a maze for a long time.

I need to leave. To find water most of all. But also to find friendly people. This is a huge city, but it’s dead. I realize that. No sounds. No lights. No nothing. The streets are covered with sand and I see dunes that indicate rather fierce storms. I listen and I sniff the air, but nothing tells me a storm is near now. The only thing my senses tell me, is that the city has been dead for a very long time.
Then I turn around and start walking.

After what feels like ages, though my wristwatch tells me it has been just half an hour, I reach the outskirts of the city. In front of my eyes, a desert stretches out in the dusk, like the shadow of a hawk over its prey. Occasional bushes are spotted over the landscape, and I hope some of them hide a water supply. In the faraway horizon a mountain ridge is stretched out like a dead dinosaur. I throw a quick glance back on the city and the awkward lunar eclipse. I just can’t understand! Something is wrong, but what?

I’ve lost most of my belongings. In one of my pockets I find a small pen knife carved with my initials. JC. In the other a small box with safety matches. In my backpack there is a carton with biscuits and an empty water bottle, but that’s all. I recall having drunk that water sometime during the flight and never refilled the bottle. Stupid me. There are also a lot of holes in the backpack. Due to the crash, I guess. Not worth the while to be upset over what is. After all, I’m alive and walking.
The odd thing is, the lunar eclipse is still there! Exactly the same!

I find a small, almost round and fairly smooth stone, rinse it as thoroughly I can with my t-shirt, and then put it in my mouth. I suck it for a while and my throat doesn’t feel as dry any longer, and I manage to keep on walking. I aim for the largest bush I can see that isn’t too far away. I pray quietly for drinkable water.
Only about ten minutes later I reach the bush, and explore the closest possibilities to find some water. And I’m in luck! After digging away the sand like a dog at a couple of spots, I find moist earth and with the help of my penknife, I dig further down. Sweat is pouring down my forehead, and I can hardly see what I’m doing but I keep on struggling. I just got to get some water.

”What are you doing?”
The harsh voice startles me like nearby lightning in broad daylight.
”Do you think you’re a rabbit or something? You won’t find water there. Not enough anyway.”
In less than a second I’ve been dragged up in the open, and am standing on my own feet, panting and frightened. In front of me stands an old man with wild hair and a bushy beard. He grins at me, and hands over a bottle.
”Drink!” he says hoarsely.
I hesitate for just a few seconds before I drink, and may God forgive me, but this is the fucking best water I’ve ever had.

”You’re a tiny little one”, he says. ”Got a name?”
”JC”, I say reluctantly.”
”Jaycee? Is that supposed to be a name?”
”Well… kind of…”
”Okay, Jaycee. I’m Bill! Just Bill!”
He looks straight into my eyes while grabbing my right hand with both his, and holds it tight for a moment. They are huge, warm and rough.

”SO!” he grunts. ”Who are you, besides a Jaycee. Where do you come from and where are you heading?”
”I… I don’t know.”
”You don’t know who you are?” His eyes burn into mine.
”No no… I know who I am! But I don’t know where I came from… not exactly… there was some kind of accident, and somehow I landed over there. In the city.”
I turn and point backward. The city is no more than a silhouette in the dusk.
”Aha. An accident you say. Maybe it was that explosion I heard earlier today. You’re lucky to be alive then, I must say.”
He pauses for a while, then continuous.
”And you’re heading?”
”I… I don’t know. Just to find…something! Someone!”
I start to cry and I hate myself for it. It’s so girly. I don’t want to be a girl.

He looks at me and then he points at the city.
”It’s dead.”
”I know.”
”I reckon you do… but do you also know that the time is dead?”
I just stare at him. Is he crazy?
”Yes, also the time is dead. It’s that eclipse! It has taken over the city. It’s like a disease that finally kills. And it’s spreading. Did you stay there long?”
”No, I don’t think so.”
”Hope you’re right. Now let’s go.”
”Where?”
”As far away as possible from that city and the Lunar Eclipse.”

Fairy tales with a dilemma

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Ninny Rhino – Day 11

... a fairy tale... is a fairy tale... is a fairy tale...

Tuesdays and Thursdays forenoon, I usually spend a couple of hours at something called “Café Welcome”. It´s not a cafeteria per se. People can’t just drop in, buy themselves a cup of coffee, or a latte or something, sit there for a while and then leave.

Instead, it is a gathering place for women from different countries. We talk! We communicate!
We have a good time!

Tuesdays comes a woman from the main city library. She brings a book, she reads something – not anything long. And then we talk about the text and can express thoughts about it. On the whole, it’s supposed to train the women with other native languages to speak in Swedish, and increase their vocabulary as well as the courage to actually open the mouth and say something in Swedish! In a women-friendly surrounding, where everyone can relax and just enjoy the moment. And no one is forced to be here.

It’s just lovely! So much I’ve learned during the time I’ve participated in this! BUT! Nota bene! I don’t teach Swedish, like a schoolteacher! I’m just being there. Talking sometimes. Listening. Learning. Hopefully giving something positive back. Literally – participating!

This woman from the library, on the other hand, is supposed to give positive influences in talking and understanding Swedish. Not only the language per se but also the world around us. Our habits here in Sweden, our culture. And we get so much back about their cultures and habits, and their experiences before moving here and how it is now.

Today this Librarian had brought a book with fairy tales. A bit odd fairy tales. They are very short and ends abruptly in a dilemma. Actually – a really mind blowing problem. Then, we were supposed to discuss this dilemma. Which of the suggested solutions to the problem would be best? Or?

Before I give you a summary of the story, I'll just say we 
had a lovely, energetic, giving discussion afterward...

 

In the story, there is this young, poor man who lives with his mother. She is old, and not well at all. As a matter of fact, the son is taking care of here. Even feed her. That’s how feeble she is.
There is also a King who has a daughter. Well – there is a princess.

One day the princess meets the young man, and they fall in love – and get married.

(As I said, the tale is really short. Here we could have heard a loooooong tale about how they met, all the troubles due to she being a princess and he being a common and poor man. Even though he was also young and beautiful…
In that imaginary story (my imagination, thought about this part later), there was a revolution or something else really nasty occurring, the king was killed, the castle burnt down – and the princess fled from that blond, obese, egotistical and arrogant, small-mouthed conqueror with pig-eyes before he could lay his hands upon her – and he didn’t bother much despite the fact she was young and beautiful. There were lots of other young and beautiful women to chose from… )

In the librarian’s story; when married, the princess began to take care of her mother-in-law. (And where did the husband/son go?) But one day, while the princess was feeding her, the old woman bit the (former) princess in the hand! And kept biting her, wouldn’t let go!

The princess cried and screamed and tried really hard, but couldn’t get free. The people in the town heard her of course and came, wondering what was going on. Also her husband came, and he was thinking really hard on how to solve this problem. Since his mother refused to open her mouth and let go of the hand, he saw only two possible solutions. Either he had to cut off his wife’s hand, or break open his mother’s mouth.

He just couldn’t decide.

The old people in the city urged him to cut off the wife’s hand, and the young ones urged him to break open the mother’s mouth – and he could do neither. They asked a judge in the city for advice, but he was also unable to come to a solution….


Here ended the story, as with a big question mark.
What do you think? You, who just have read this all the way down the blog. Do you have a solution to this dilemma?

We, who sat there around the table with coffee mugs and chocolate toffees in front of us, had a great discussion – and one of the women, one of those lovely, intelligent, well-educated, humorous, gorgeous women, came up with a brilliant solution!!!

I might tell you tomorrow – if you want me to.

Monday evening – and Ninny Rhino

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We have had terrible weather this weekend. Maybe I exaggerate a bit, but it has been some really fierce winds. Storm, when worst. Friday was at least sunny so the fact I had to go out on my bike, wasn’t that bad after all. Was lucky too, didn’t have the wind totally against me.

Saturday, on the contrary, offered not only storm gusts, but also rain. I stayed indoors the entire day.

I let the vacuum cleaner chase dust rats, I did the dishes – but mostly I was watching old episodes of Dr Who and doing solitaires on the iPad. Napping, of course. I do a lot of napping nowadays. Sunday, the weather had cleared up a bit, and I went for a short bike-ride. Only 8,3 kilometer. Bought bananas too…

I confess! I haven’t written a word since the last blog post! But I have continued to clean up among files and folders. It’s crazy how many copies, and copies of copies, there are on the hard drive. Still not finished that work, but slowly getting at least some order in the mess.

Today, I had an appointment with my physiotherapist before lunch, and late afternoon I paid a visit to the painting-study-group. At least I, could need a bit of proper “studying”.

On the other hand, I think painting is really fun to occupy myself with; but it is painting with words, that is my real vocation.

The colorful one

Despite the fact a 7-year-old can paint better than I, the colorful woman I did the last time, now has got a sister.
The “teacher” didn’t say much. Just asked if I had copied some image of a sort. “No”, I answered, and realized he had totally forgotten about my colorful other.

Then he left me, and I kept on struggling with painting lips.

The sister. A bit more… punky! Ey? I wonder why I painted those red thingies on both sides of her… ??? I mean – the thingies in her hair, are supposed to be there. But the other ones???

As I said – a 7-year-old could do this better, but…

I. Don’t. Care!!!

… a girl just got to have fun…

Apropos the Ninny Rhino! I’ve decided to extend my commitment for the entire March, not only 9 days. I know I haven’t actually written anything, but it makes me land in a writer-mood. I’ve began longing for writing something more than occasional blog posts.

There is this prompt for March month that Diana Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror has on her blog. And I’m really tempted to join in.

Trial and error! And then try again!

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Monday, and time again for spending some time at the library. Painting time. On the whole, it’s nice. But today I was almost on my way to go back home again. Since it almost was about: “do as you’re told, ’cause that is how things should be done”!

For a while, I felt bored and a bit sad, but soon I got cheeky instead. Almost, but just almost, impertinent.

Last time, my first time in this group, I told the leader that I can’t draw. It’s nothing odd about that! I can’t put together a car engine either! Or speak Russian! It doesn’t say I can’t learn to do one or all of those things, but as it is now – I can’t.

Last time, I tried to copy an already existing painting of a lady in a big hat. It turned out to be an angry woman in purple. And it took me only about two hours to paint.

I got reprimanded for that. I did it to fast! I should work slower and more thoroughly!

For goodness sake, man! I’m an ADHD person! I can’t go slow and I can’t draw and I can’t do as you say just because you say it! That just isn’t in me!!! The slow thing, that is… (sometimes I can, it depends on what it is.) When creativity pops – IT POPS! AT ONCE! And when something is done and ready – it is!

TODAY!

I noticed I was a bit nervous and hesitant. I remembered the teacher’s comment, and after last Monday… well… I have to admit! I didn’t know what to draw and then paint. Yeah! I ADMIT! I was afraid of even put the pen to the paper! I knew I wasn’t able to do the sketching part! I know about painting! But my hands don’t!

I looked through my photos on the iPhone if there was something I could use. Nada!
He asked where my painting from last Monday was.
“At home.”
“Go and fetch it?”
I looked at him and felt a big question mark in my face.
“Go home and fetch it?” He said once more.
Now I understood. He wanted me to continue working on that one.
I shook my head.
“No! I can’t do anything more with that one!”

He came with some propositions.
Hastily he browsed a book with paintings in front of my nose.
You know… flip flip flip flip flip…

“Some flower perhaps?” He showed me an image of a cluttered bouquet in a clay pot.
I didn’t answer.
So a book with the softest, and most detailed aquarelle paintings. Maybe, could I…. ???

MY GOODNESS! Who do you think I am? A pale-painting Frida Khaloo??? I still can’t draw and at earlier trials with aquarelle, I totally screwed it up!

(I didn’t say that out loud.)

Then he showed me the photo of that woman with the big hat. The original actually looked like something that could have been painted by Degas. Except for that hat instead of ballet shoes and tutu.

I just looked at him.
“That’s the one I painted last week.”

“The flowers then?”
The clay pot showed up in front of my eyes once more.

Inside me, I drew a deep sigh. I could have done better with something by Picasso… even…

“Okaaaay!” I said.
Just to have at least something to start with.
And get him going somewhere else.

He went to the copy-machine and came back with a copy of the painting, and I found a pencil and paper. And acrylic paint, though there really is a shortage of color choices…
I got black, blue, ochre yellow, and white.

Then I just sat there…
With the pen in the hand…
His last words wobbling in my head…
“Now, take it easy. Work slowly and thoroughly…  ”

I felt like something down under.
And I don’t mean Australia.
Nor a kangaroo…

Did nothing but stared at the paper for a long, long time… glancing at the non-existing red, yellow, green etc acrylic colors, at the few possible brushes… stared at the empty paper…

stared…

felt…

heavyyyyy…

Moved the hand with the pencil, gently… gently… moved the tip over the paper surface… maybe…. almost… it could be… the pot… a thin line across the sheet…  some curves that perhaps and almost could be placeholders for leaves… for the flowers… gently… gently…

felt very heavy

wanted to go home

it wasn’t fun at all…
having to do what’s supposed to be the right way to do it when you can’t do it. (Gosh what a lot of nagging about “can’t”)

IT’S NOT MY WAY AND I STILL CAN’T DRAW OR SKETCH OR WHATEVER!!!

I didn’t want to go home either! I want these 2,5 painting hours every Monday, and I want them filled with fun! With companions! To feel inspired – like the last time… like when I DO my photos and PLAY with coloring images on the iPad… I want to lose myself in mindfulness and creativity…

NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS!

I like the women, I’ve begun to know! I want to be in this world, doing something I’ve longed for, for a long time. Not keep on sitting home alone! I want to have more friends, and here seem to be friends!

I decided to get the fuck out of the “proper” way. I lay the pencil aside, grabbed a rather thin brush due for acrylic colors, began to paint… and lost myself in good feelings.

In this case, I’d rather do it the “wrong way” and have fun and feel nurtured and satisfied, than trying to do it the “right” way – and feel awful about it. I’m going to work a little bit more on this one though…

The fun thing is, when the painting was done, I got several positive reactions. Even He said something positive – hm… what was it he said? It was kind of pale, compared with what the others said, but still…

I don’t like to call him a teacher, I can’t see he is teaching anyone anything. He’s there, he’s a really good painter himself, and undoubtedly he knows about painting! But he says “Hi”…  open the cupboard with the stuff… see too that we have something to do… and when we approaches the end of the hours, he looks at what we have done.

He is just a supervisor!!!

On the other hand – all the other woman are really good at what they do. I’m the only one who could use some tutoring. On the other hand – again – I’m clever enough to find out for myself. In theory, I already know quite a great deal about painting! And in reality! It’s just to keep on, trying, testing. What happens if I try this, if I do that? If I learn about brushes? When, where, how to use them and with which kind of colors?

Trial and errors! And then try again!

P.S.
Yes! I said something like this out loud: Since I can’t draw, I paint in my way, ’cause that way makes me happy!

Oh! My! God!

Image

This new blank page, totally empty – and demanding – it’s scary like hell…

“Now, now! Be strong, Thêa! You know you can do it!”

“I know… but… still scared…”

“See it for what it is, an old, untrue belief, then put it away.
Say: I’m good at this! I can do it!”

“Okay!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I’m good at this!
I can do it!
I can!”