By Heart

He who binds to himself a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

William Blake

 

Thinking about today’s daily prompt, I remembered the poem from William Blake that I learned by heart in school. It’s a short poem that reminds me to enjoy a moment without trying to hold on to it. (Selfishly) holding on to things of pleasure is useless. They pass, things change. That’s a fact of life. You shouldn’t be sad about things that pass, but cherish the good moments you have and once had.

 

 

Posted in response to Today’s Daily Prompt: By Heart – You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

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Second Hand Story – Latin Lover

Last week I heard a story about an Italian man. This latin lover is pursuing women in an expat community. He’s smooth: when dropping his children at school in the morning, he makes contact with the stay-at-home-mums in the playground. He starts chatting them up and, so far, there are at least two victims.

One of the women realised she wanted to end the affair and got back together with her husband. The other woman is still dreaming of a future with her latin lover. He will probably never leave his wife though; they seem to be in an ‘open marriage’.

I don’t know why this story kept going through my mind all week. I am appalled by the impudence of this guy. It feels a bit like he is preying on women at a vulnerable point in their lives. But I also wonder why these women risk so much: their marriages, their family life and possibly their children’s well-being. They risk it for a man who won’t commit himself to them; he will probably be a latin lover (of the unfaithful kind) for the rest of his life.

I know I am judging without knowing all the facts. I probably shouldn’t, but I am trying to make sense of this. I do understand that when you’re in an unhappy marriage, this sort of affair may feel like a great adventure, making you feel alive again. But isn’t it a bit too much to leave your husband and family for a fling? Don’t let being in love blind you. Get to your senses and hurry back to what you have and hold dear. The grass isn’t always greener at the other side of the fence.

Today’s Daily Prompt: Second-Hand Stories – What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all. 

Early Morning

Mist hangs over de river. The haze is blurring the view of trees and dykes in the landscape. In the distance, the bridge has a faint red colour. The dark night withdraws, while the day arrives cautiously.

The early morning train will take me to the airport. An exiting day ahead. I have a lot of preparation to do, but it’ll be worth it.

After shopping and tidying the house, I will prepare the food. My fridge will be filled with drinks, the wood stove will burn and we will gather in the drawing room. Enjoying each other’s company.
Four friends, long lost, but found again. A lot of talking, sharing and catching up. There’s definitely going to be tears. Possibly some due to sadness, but probably most will be tears of joy.

Daily Prompt: Trio No.3

Halloween

She’s seven now. This year, her mam told her she can be whatever she wants to be. They are browsing the sewing magazines. So many costumes, so many choices. HeMaud, Lady of the Englishr mother points out the costumes she likes. A nurse, a fairy. “What about a bumble bee, that’s cute!” Her mom adds. And there are so many princess costumes. “Do you want to be the prettiest princess in school?” Maud doesn’t like the costumes. She doesn’t want to be a princess. Maud wants to be the queen.

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt: Masks Off

Reverse shot – Meeting Me

Today I met a woman. I think she was in her late thirties. She’s a little short, not too thin, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. She had short hair, I think it’s dark brown.

We met at the hairdresser’s and started talking while waiting for the colour of our hair to sink in. It was a wonderful encounter, one that surprises you a bit. I don’t know why, but I was inspired by her.

I thought she was nice and friendly and truly interested in the people around her. We talked about life, work, family and friends. She was living an interesting life, not very extraordinary – like somebody who would travel the world to fight for human rights – but more in a way of how she put everything together. She told me her husband is working abroad, while she has a job in her home-country. They travel a lot to see each other every few weeks.

She appeared to be an independent, intelligent, kind and good-natured woman. Self-conscious about how she lives her life, making choices that enable her to maintain a career, while not neglecting her husband and friends. They seem to have a relation in which they encourage each other to be the best person they can, both in their work and to each other, their families and friends.

Although I think it’s a bit hard to live away from your husband and travelling so much to have it all, she told me it was definitely worth the effort. We had a great conversation and I think we could be friends. Next week we’re meeting again for a nice cup of coffee.


Today’s Daily Prompt: Reverse Shot – What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.** I couldn’t think of an early memory, but was inspired by the prompt to write about what someone else would think when meeting me for the first time. It turned out to be a mixture of who I am and who I would like to be. This twist of the daily prompt ended up being an interesting exercise in thinking about how I see myself and how other people may see me. Enjoyed it!  

Unequal Terms

Today is Blog Action Day and this year it is about inequality. Inequality is a big issue. All over the world, people are not treated equal, just because of their faith, the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation or their descent. I know it is (unacceptable) reality, but I still can’t understand why we would judge our neighbours by their ethnicity or how they were born.

HeForSheCI know inequality is everywhere, but I must say that I feel most strongly about gender inequality. There are still so many people with amazingly old-fashioned or even archaic ideas about women. Fortunately, a lot of great worldwide initiatives try to address the issue, such as the HeForShe Campaign as well as Malala receiving the Nobel Prize this year.

Closer at home, I am sometimes most amazed about how women are treated in these so-called modern West European countries. My husband works in a male-dominated organization and everybody there just assumes that I do not have a job. They organize all spouse activities during working hours, which I can never attend, and there are even allowances based on the assumption that the partner does not have a job. But maybe I am the odd one out and are both the organization and most members a bit old-fashioned. Because the other spouses can attend these meetings, can’t they?  But still. It is 2014, people!

Anyway, my annoyances are nothing in the greater scheme of things. Let’s encourage all our male family members, colleagues and friends to take action at HeForShe.org.

Today’s Daily Prompt: Unequal Terms

#inequality #heforshe

Twenty Five Seven

Today’s Daily Prompt: Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

An extra sixty minutes, one more hour in my day. Wouldn’t that be bliss! I knew straight away I would spend it on sleeping. I usually get only seven hours of sleep every night and I’d love to make eight-hour nights during the week. I think I would be much more active and thinking faster if I did. But you know, life gets in the way, and I end up going to bed a little too late.

It sounds great, doesn’t it? This gift of an extra hour. However, I expect that you will get used to it very quickly. And you forget that you wanted that extra hour for sleeping and you use it instead for catching up on some work, doing the laundry or cleaning your house. And then you only have your seven hours of sleep, but your day will be one hour longer.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is, that no matter how many hours in a day, we will plan our days accordingly. And if you can’t manage your time in a 24 hour day, you won’t be able to do it in a 25 or 26 hour day.

To leave on a more cheerful note: it would be interesting to see how many of the daily prompt writers have chosen ‘sleeping’ to use their extra sixty minutes. Probably many of them!