Short Story Archive for Happiness:

Journaling…mulling over certain words…

August 16, 2017
Lillian Hellman : Julia
“Old paint on a canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent. When that happens it is possible, in some pictures, to see the original lines: a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea. That is called pentimento because the painter “repented,” changed his mind. Perhaps it would be as well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again. That is all I mean about the people in this book. The paint has aged and I wanted to see what was there for me once, what is there for me now.”
..
these words quietly resonated as I rolled word Pentimento on my mind’s tongue while enjoying the sound of it … upon retrospection correlating events “as is” when they occurred and my reaction then and now after countless years… and underlying reason’s big “why” for my reactions at that point in time being in the very heat of the moment …..like Pentimento I wonder about the underlying reasons now and my resultant state of bewilderment admixed with anger and my unforgiving state despite my inner serenity ….have there been subtle changes in my views as I’ve weathered and juiced life to the nth degree enjoying it’s rollercoaster ups downs accepting all for what’s it’s face value and/or intrinsic worth..
have I changed my perspective in retrospect?
… some words simply grab mind’s throat and make you confront your pet peeves…
Let yourself be drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray
~ Rumi
..
he’d said : I feel the sea in you and I rather liked it
color blue being my favorite color as my adored Blue Krishna is my soul’s sky with it’s delightfully pervasive blueness leaches into the sea spread that is my being
I further mulled over this thought “my being a sea”
rolled it on my tongue…
took tiny sips of it with my morning chai…
bit into it with my dunking tea biscuits …
a daily ritual
……
and then I remembered sea glass
shiny iridescent pieces of glass thrown by passing ships and beachgoers and as these manmade bottles smash into pieces …nature takes over in shaping and crafting them…
the waves sometimes angrily and other times gently nudge and heave over these pieces smoothening out the sharp rough edges and in conjunction with time gradually soften and round them into things of beauty …
tis a role reversal in a way … bottles to sea glass
At first.. bottles are crafted by man and in their second avatar it’s glass pieces are crafted by nature … unlike fully nature made wonders…often undone by man….as in environmental catastrophes..
now am wondering about the kelp and seaweed and the shimmering awe inspiring life in sea’s belly and it fills me with the wonder of it all…
I quite like being called a sea… thank you …
I’d even be happy being just a piece of sea glass found by simpatico beachcombers and lovingly cherished in their home on the mantel as one of their many personal favorite objets d’art
..
images : google

my three little friends

I simply adore the three little friends I’ve made on my street
Simon (his name is pronounced as Simone-the latin way) – he is half Latin half Jewish and same age as my 6+ grand-daughter – we do have animated conversations whenever I run into him. He knows me from day one -you see
Then Gabriel- (three plus) he is half Korean and Half English – he is too darn cute and now has a lil sister named Maya. Gabriel’s llittle girlfriend Georgina was in Italy for a few months but is now back and Gabriel is on cloud nine.
Gabriel- loves to take Ganesh’s name over and over- guess he likes the feel of it on his tongue.
Lucero is almost three -fully Latin with a crown of curly brown hair, and dark brown eyes and my heart completely melts whenever I see him. He now shyly replies to all my queries.
they are my treasures as they make me deliriously happy
Image is of Gabriel as a baby
lastly as I’ve lived on this street over fifteen years – the little boys from before are now entering college or already in college – these kids are unfailingly polite and courteous to me and a couple of them have offered to even help carry my stuff as I huff and puff up the slope as we do live in Park Slope and the slope is very much there !
one little Chinese girl Bailey who was adopted is very friendly to me whenever her adopted parents are looking elsewhere – they are rather reserved even though the agent who sold them their brownstone is a friend and introduced me to them !
guess it takes all sorts…

Vows – 55 word Micro Fiction

Carved hearts by childhood’s pudgy hands patiently waited for love’s caress.  Destiny had other plans.  Time brought them face to face at same airport.  Sluggish veins gained momentum.   Linked by facebook they recognized each other easily.  Both now unencumbered in sunset years, flew to Las Vegas to fulfill old vows.  Next revisited childhood’s favorite tree.

A surrealist masterpiece, René Magritte’s 1928 painting, The Lovers, (via google images )

The Wishing Tree

 

Every winter the story teller came south to a heartwarming welcome.  His advent was eagerly looked forward to the whole year by both the children and adults.  His spun tales enchanted everyone.

 

He began, “Today I am going to tell you about the Wishing Tree.  It is a true story.

It was an exceptionally warm day.  Everyone was trying to cool off with flavored ices and frequent showers.  Rains had been plentiful that year.

We were a ten strong group and moved everywhere in unison.  Two brothers in our group were catholic and attended the localchurchofVirgin Mary.  It was Sunday evening and we had congregated at our favorite spot near the town park’s swings.  It was a sticky hot day and we had cleaned out the sweetened crushed ices seller of his ices.  He had left for the evening.  It was then that the two boys blurted out something that startled us all.    Both of them had seen tears streaming down the face of the Virgin Mary during morning mass.  They had spoken to no one but invited us to verify for ourselves.

We  rushed to experience this phenomena for ourselves.  We took our cues from Johnny and Tommy and knelt in the pews and stared hard at the Virgin Mary.  I can still feel goose bumps even now in recollection.  We all saw the tears stream down.  We decided to ask the church pastor about it.

So far only our group had seen this miracle.  The pastor came and verified too.  He was all excited and kept making the sign of the cross again and again.  In exuberance, he had the church bells rung to beckon the believers.  They all came and marveled too.  No one knew what to make of it.  The bishop was also informed.  After a week, the tears stopped.  Thereafter, within the church complex, a dead tree stump suddenly came to life.  It was as if the tears streaming down the face of Virgin had brought it back to life.  Soon it grew to its full height with strong branches laden with healthy green leaves.  It was the holy *Peepal tree, much revered by us Hindus.

A worried mother, wrote a note to the Virgin asking her aid in healing her one and only very sick child.  She tied this note to the tree branch.  Within a week, the child was healed.  Soon others wrote notes to the Virgin asking for help.  The church coffers filled to bursting and on hold repairs were finally undertaken.  Then the Virgin appeared to the church priest in a vision night before Sunday mass and said that everyone whose wish is granted must untie one note from the tree and help that person as pay it forward and she would help through that person only.   Next day during mass, the priest shared his vision and thus the town started helping each other through the notes tied to the Wishing Tree.

One day an agitated neighbor came and knocked our door.  My father was theKrishnatemple priest and much revered among the Hindus.  His advise was often sought to settle petty disputes. The neighbor had sought help from the Wishing Tree and in return had brought back a note which had shaken him to the core.  He wanted advice from father on how to go about fulfilling this wish.  The note said, “Dear Virgin Mary, I live in the orphanage and long for a mommy and a daddy of my own who will love me.  I was left at the church steps when I was very little.  Since I am nine years old, no one will adopt me as everyone says I am too old.  Please help me.  –signed Rose Da Cunha.”

Mr. Shiva Sharma was a devout Hindu and it would be very hard for him to fulfill this wish even though his own had been met by the Wishing Tree.  He looked at father for guidance.  Father suggested that he talk about this note at home and ask for everyone’s opinion.  Since the family wish had been met, they were honor bound to pay it forward as desired by the Virgin Mary.  It had been very easy to ask help of the Wishing Tree in the church ground but very hard to cross the bridge of religious differences.  Sharma family was divided.  The Sharma children were open to sharing their home with Rose as their adopted sister but their mother would have none of it.  She had a hard time managing her own brood of three boys and two girls and now a sixth one and that too a possible meat eating Christian would be too much for her to handle.   She stayed adamant.

It was early morning time and Mrs. Sheila Sharma was busy performing the daily prayer rituals and had lit the lamp before the deity.  Suddenly, the image of herKrishnaidol became that of the Virgin Mary and she beheld tears streaming from the idol’s face.  Mrs. Sharma rubbed her eyes to reassure herself whether this was real or not.  Her belovedKrishnaidol had morphed into Virgin Mary!  She had a change of mind immediately and agreed to adopt Rose as her sixth child.  She realized that the inner divine is the same in all religions.  Rose was rechristened  *Roshni Sharma as she had brought enlightenment into their lives.”

The storyteller then dropped a bombshell.  He said his wife’s name was Roshni.

Notes: Roshni means light and Peepal tree: The Sacred Fig, Ficus religiosa, or Bo-Tree (from     Sanskrit  bodhi: “wisdom”, ” enlightened.

Timepiece

The heirloom, an antique timepiece was the family’s prized possession.  It had been given to their distant ancestor in recognition for gallantry by Empress Catherine the Great herself.  He had been a Cossack in the royal guard.  It was also a reminder of their Russian bloodline.  Names like Nicholas, Peter, Ivan, Anton and Alex were often given to their newborns either as first or second names.

The revered heirloom had to be kept within the family and not sold.   The four brothers had no solution for the only condition in the will.  This became a real headache as they lived world’s apart managing the family’s vast foreign holdings.  How to meet this condition?

Their beloved housekeeper came up with an ingenious solution.

She said,   “Each of you should keep it for a year and a week before the time runs out, you should gather here in this family home for a vacation and then hand it over to next in line.  This will keep you all closely connected, even your children.  Consider it as a yearly family vacation.”  Everyone loved the idea and it was at once agreed upon

The Cossack patriarch beamed in satisfaction from his portrait above the fireplace.

 

 

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