Kintsukuroi – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wed… oh dear… it’s past midnight!  So, good Thursday, my friends.  Today’s Friday Fictioneers had me stumped somewhat.  Well, I knew where I wanted to go but the words eluded me.  Nothing like taking a step back and letting it swirl around, hoping to make it somewhat coherent…

Thank you, always, to Rochelle for keeping us wanting to come back week after week.  And this week, thank you to Sandra Crook for this wonderful photo.

Do join in by clicking on the blue frog below and adding your own interpretation.  It’s fun!

 

Add the Frog to your Blog

Kintsukuroi

He stood there, stunned, chunks of his heart strewn about like shells tossed back from the ocean.

He bent down, determined to pick up the pieces, when a wave of anger overtook him.  He balled up his fist, prepared to slam it down and destroy what was left.

He felt two hands wrap themselves around his fist, stopping further destruction.  Surprised, he looked up and found her there.  Her intense gaze kept him prisoner as did her hands.

“Kintsukuroi,” she said.

“What?”

“It’s not over.  What seems permanently broken, is not.  Let me be the gold that makes you shine.

**********

I don’t usually on these posts, but Hey Rosetta has a lovely song that just fit…

 

Don’t Dismiss (or Diss) the Kiss

La beauté n’a pas d’importance. Quand on est un homme aimable, on finit par avoir une beauté dans le regard, dans la manière d’être en vieillissant.¹

— Charles Aznavour

The lyrics, in both French and English, are here Qui Who

Il faut savoir, coûte que coûte, Garder toute sa dignité Et, malgré ce qu’il nous en coûte, S’en aller sans se retourner Face au destin qui nous désarme.²

— Charles  Aznavour

Helluva preamble to my post, eh?  Lemme explain myself before I continue.  Yesterday, the world lost the fabulous French/Armenian singer, Charles Aznavour – also known as the “Frank Sinatra of France”.  You can’t really feel bad.  The man was 94 and had a most prolific life.  If you click on his name, you have access to a wonderful article on his life as well as a link to his most famous English song “She”.

But I digress…

Because of his passing, I ended up on YouTube to listen to my favourite tunes by him, such as “La Bohème” and “Emmenez-moi” (the latter being, by the way, IMPOSSIBLE to sing along to in a Karaoke session.  Trust me.  I’ve tried) and left YouTube to do its thing and play whatever it felt like… well.

Along came Cesária Évora and her sultry voice singing “Besame Mucho”.  My Spanish is so-so but passable enough to know that Besame had to do with kissing.  So, of course, the Google came into use when I searched the English translation of the song for confirmation.  While I continue blathering on, g’head, enjoy the late great Cesaria…

 

I started thinking about kissing.  And how much I love it.  And miss it.  I think we don’t spend nearly enough time kissing, to tell the truth. I’m not talking about those pecks on the cheeks or those chaste, dry, barely-there touches of lips, unless those are just to lead up to the real thing.  I’m talking about those deep, long, slow kisses that turn your insides to liquid mercury.  I’m talking From Here to Eternity beach kiss scene…

Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.”
David Levithan

When you first start dating, you spend so much time just kissing:  while taking a walk, while doing dishes, while sitting on the couch.  It doesn’t matter where but you sneak them in  wherever and whenever you can.  You can’t seem to get enough.  And it’s not automatically a foreplay of foreplay, either.  Not saying that it can’t be, mind you… You kiss just to feel connected to your partner.  You’re getting to know them on an intimate level.  The dance appeals, you keep on dancing.

“If we’re going to kiss, it has to be book-worthy.”
Colleen Hoover

Now, what I write here is my own personal experience and I am totally generalising but somehow, I am sure many can relate.

After a while, your relationship falls into that long term category.  Kissing is still very enjoyable but the spontenaity has decreased.  As has duration of most kisses.  They are not so deep and long.  You may still find yourselves kissing for kissing’s sake but let’s face it, it is now more of a foreplay to foreplay.

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.”
Ingrid Bergman

Years pass and you are happily coupled – married or not, same diff, to me…  Kissing somehow has taken a backseat.  No matter how much love is between you, those long, slow, deep kisses are now reserved for the bedroom as foreplay.  Or maybe they start in the living room or kitchen (if you’re lucky) but they’re still an invitation to make your way to your love nest.  And they don’t last that long anymore.  Mind you, my circumstances made that I didn’t get a chance to find out what happens when the children leave the family home… Does your kissing game go up a notch?  Do you do like those silly movies and transform your son’s bedroom into a “play room”?  I sure like to think so.  I like to imagine that you rediscover that freedom you had when you first met.

I’m not saying some couples don’t kiss and kiss often.  But do they last more than a few seconds?  Rarely.  But hey, they are still good.  Kudos to the couples who have kept up their kissing game.

“Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.”
John Keats

One last thing.  Another reason I decided to write this post it this:  I never thought to find myself back “on the market”, so to speak at my age.  Thanks, Mick.  Dammit.

That said.  I will TOTALLY judge you on your kiss.  If you don’t try to kiss me on our first date, that might be okay, depending on how the date went…. then again, it will show me you are not that into me.  Cool.  We move on.

If you do kiss me?  I will decide then and there if we move on to the next stage.

 

——————

¹ Beauty has no importance.  When we are a lovable man, we end up with a beauty in our gaze, in our way of being while growing older.

² One must know, no matter the cost, how to keep one’s dignity.  And, despite the personal cost, to move forward, without looking back and face the destiny that disarms us.

Weekend Writing Prompt #74 – Brandish

I mostly need a nudge of some kind to write something. Thank you, Sammi!

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Brandish

Challenge

Some feel it necessary to brandish their good deeds about

Like a Dolce & Gabbana logo splashed across their chests

A scream of “Look at me! Look what I did!

Can you see me? Are you impressed ?”

Yes, the deeds are appreciated for what they are

A meal, a ride, a giving of things

A kindness not echoed in the eyes nor resonating sincerity

All about appearances.

Requiring zero investment in self

Along you come

Not seeking a return on your investment

Not drawing attention to your deeds

Not wanting other than to show your love

Giving from the heart with sincerity

No questions asked

You do get a return

Love

What Determines Beauty?

“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Three years ago, at a get-together of eight former classmates (and a few spouses) I met Tania Cong.  Tania is married to François, not only one of the said classmates, but the one who organised our reunion.  It was a wonderful happening and one that I felt extremely privileged to be a part of.  You see, I only briefly hung out with but a few of them back in the school days and yet, I was included in this, what turned out to be, fortuitous event.

Class of ’81:  Marc H, François, Tania (welcome intruder), Chantal, Martin, me, Sylvie. Marc G., Dany

This first get-together gave birth to a desire to keep it going and not lose touch.  We have reunited, minus or plus a few, depending on people’s schedules and health, many times per year since then.  François and Tania were part of quite a few of these.

You know that image of a smiling, laughing little Oriental we have been fed through TV and the movies and various other media?  Well, you cannot help but add Tania to that image.  Please note I am by no means denigrating this lovely lady at all when I write this.  She is a beautiful woman, born in Vietnam, who has found her way into François’ heart and thereby, into our circle.  And we are all blessed for it.  I have yet to see a frown mar her pure face.  This little video I taped in error shows that…

While I have met Tania a handful of times over the past three years, this past Saturday, at Giselle and Dany’s annual BBQ, we really got a chance to chat more than usual.  Or rather, she was even more talkative than ever.  It just so happened all the women were at the same end of the table and subjects morphed from one subject to another.

Sonia, Deirdre, Linda, Tania, Gisele, Caroline, Me

Other than that youn’un Sonia (who’s I think, not even forty), we are a mighty fine looking group of fifty-somethings, don’t ya think? 🙂

Talk turned to twins – Deirdre has twin girls – and we learned that Tania is a twin.  She was saying they are so connected that when her sister gave birth, she felt her sister’s pain.  We marvelled at that.

Talk turned to Tania’s wedding to François about ten years ago. For the first time in her life, Tania was being coerced into putting make-up on her face.  We all looked at her in disbelief.  No way!  “Yes,” she said in her very heavily accented English.  She was informed she needed to get a facial and have her brows plucked and her ‘stache waxed and for heaven’s sake, put some lipstick on! She said that stuff felt weird on her lips and she was made to feel that maybe she was not enough.  And she resented that.  And refused to look at herself looking like this.

She then shocked us even more.  She informed us that she never looks at herself in a mirror.  Ever.  As a matter of fact, other than the one in the bathroom – which she won’t use – there are no mirrors in her house.

Stunned?  Not strong enough to describe our reaction.  Dumbfounded.  Astonished.  Stupified.

Surely, she was joking!  She shook her head. “I don’t need to look at myself when I wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair.  Although I wasn’t sure with that make=up on how to remove it!”

Yes, but….We clearly, all six of us, still cannot comprehend.  It is beyond us to even contemplate the absence of a mirror in our lives.

“Why would I look in a mirror?  What will I see?  Will I find fault with my appearance?  Will I think I am not good enough?  Not beautiful?  No.  I don’t need to look in a mirror.  François tells me I am beautiful.  So. I believe him.”

Happy birthday, Tania!  You are a beautiful light to all of us who have had the privilege of meeting you!

 

 

Ridiculously Optimistic or Foolishly Delusional

“See me for who I am, and then you’ll see the real me.”
Anthony T. Hincks

I have had many adjectives assigned (allotted? thrown?) to/at me over the years.  Most, I believe, are positive:  athletic, strong, caring, generous, beautiful, smart, intelligent, cultured, interesting, resilient (why do I cringe with this one?), open, accepting, helpful, talented, optimistic, realistic, honest, funny.  Some, I know, are negative:  bitchy, cold, heartless, naive, disorganized, lazy, delusional, ridiculous, foolish, sarcastic (on the fence on where this one belongs) – there are surely more but why focus on the negative?  And some fall somewhere in-between; or rather, I know they are not necessarily negative per se, but when they were thrown at me, were not meant to be complimentary:  eccentric, weird, different.  Many, as you can see, are contradictory because perception is, well, what you perceive.

One day I will get to the point in my life where I can say this is my philosophy as well.  I am working on it.  I like to think I’m a good 75% there.

What has this got to do with my title?  Everything.  And nothing, to tell the truth.  I am, and have been, at various times in my life, every single one of the adjectives above – and more.  And will again in the future.  Because that is who I am. What you see, is what you get.  No one is all good, all the time, no matter what people say or think (ridiculously optimistic)?  Nor are they all bad, all the time either (foolishly delusional)?

I’m blathering.

Because I have been thinking lately about friendships and romance.  And won’t lie.  Have been rather frustrated and kinda lonely at times.  Maybe I’ve been thinking too much!

We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.

And, much as I say I have no expectations, it’s really hard not to have at least a little…

Friendships:  We form all sorts of friendships with people.  Some are surface-type and of lesser import and others go much deeper.  With the deeper ones, we like to think (and can’t help but expect) the other feels the same way about us as we do, them.  It is heartbreaking when you realise that no, you are not on the same wavelength at all.  Sometimes the other plays along to your tune to make you happy until they finally admit to themselves that this is not what they wanted in the first place and slowly drift away or immediately cut ties.  You are left standing wondering what the hell you did wrong and why the music stopped.  The truth is, you did nothing wrong.  And neither did they.  The other had different lyrics in mind.  To be fair, it goes both ways.  And to be even more honest, there rarely is malicious intent (this may be naive of me but I’ll keep that trait, thank you very much).  Of course, it would be wonderful if each communicated to the other their desires from the get-go…

“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Romance/Sex/Love:  This one is a hard one.  I can say all sorts of things but losing Mick put me in a position I was frankly not that interested in finding myself.  I remember telling him once that I would prefer to keep the devil I knew then to find myself out there on the “market” again.  Thanks a lot, Mick.  What’s a woman to do? 51, working in her own kitchen, all her friends (mostly) are coupled…  How are you supposed to meet people guys?  So I signed up for a couple dating Apps.  Yes, those ones.  And I won’t lie.  I had a lot of fun.  And a lot of headaches.  I was not looking to become part of a full-time couple – not permanently, anyway and not at that particular time 😉  I wanted to go out, do stuff with someone, date.  Not that I have a problem with taking myself to the movies and such; but let’s face it, it is much more enjoyable à deux.  This dating shit is not for the faint of heart, lemme tell you.  I could write a book.  Point is, I go off and on these stupid sites every time I get fed up of being alone and in the hope of meeting someone who wants to do more than have a one-night-stand.  That old optimism thing.  Which I quit again.  Was exhausting.

“…sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I get bored. And sometimes all I want, more than anything else in the world, is to go on a freaking date.”
Kiersten White, Paranormalcy

I shall call this my little rant.  It shall pass.  It always does.

 

Forever – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman is in Resolute, NU, Canada. Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the image supplied in the prompt or snag your own. Both streetview and photospheres are available in this location.

Once your piece is polished, you can share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ stories is part of the fun.

Thank you to Karen and Josh for hosting this most interesting of challenges.  I really enjoy stretching myself…

Soooo… I cheated and totally did NOT go to Resolute.  But I went to Pangnirtung, NU – same Territory, just further east.  And I went there in memory of Joanne Nakashuk, a beautiful little girl from this region.  Born less than a month after Austin, her mother, Margaret, and I formed a bond as only mothers who live through something similar can.  No obligation, but if you want our little story, you can click here.

Forever

Why is the glow brightest and more colourful on either side of darkness?  Yellows to oranges to reds fill the sky with breathtaking beauty, oft-times leaving you holding your breath or sighing deeply.  Between both spectacles you have the blues that turn to indigo, to black — a beauty all it’s own, sprinkled with sparkling stars, yet, too often, unseen.

So then, why so bright?  Because, dear heart, when the moment comes and you find yourself in that dark place, and cannot see the twinkle of the stars through your tears, remember the light is coming.  The light that was my time here on earth.  The light I am now sharing with you from the other side.  And know this, I would never have been able to shine so brightly without the gift of your love.  I know, it wasn’t enough. But now we have this, forever, I shall be here.

**********************

Joanne Nakashuk June 16, 1995 – March 24, 2008

Woodstock – Fare Thee Well – You Rocked Us

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Last one in my little Woodstock series… Time to wrap it up and move on to the next adventure… Since I didn’t really share any pictures of the official town of Woodstock, I thought I would here as a fare thee well…

Thursday morning came way too soon.  The end of our little getaway-from-reality-and-live-in-the-moment escape was almost over.

We – okay, I – made one last breakfast using whatever leftovers from our little grocery expeditions:  smoked turkey, peppers, cheese, bread, and made a variation of a high-end grilled cheese.  B, of course, had a couple extra crêpes as well.  Any leftovers were going home with him and since I had made a ridiculous quantity, he was sure to have himself another breakfast back home; and, if his daughter was lucky, she might have some too!  (I did learn later that he did share…the pancakes but not the garden vodka!)

We had to pack up and be out of the Airbnb by 11 am so, after breakfast and a shower, we packed up and loaded our cars.  Then, loathe to part so soon, we took one last drive into the town proper, parked the car and strolled, while we chatted and I snapped pics.  We marvelled at how easy our three days had been.  We had become friends on line and our three days together just solidified that friendship.  We had found our beat and went with it.  A suggestion here, an idea there and we were in total cahoots. So very glad I can never say I shoulda, coulda, woulda.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

The town really does have a nice artsy vibe to it and shows how it has been, not just a hippie town (though, of course, it still is) but a town that welcomes artists of all kinds.  They still hold various festivals to this day.

You have the requisite head shops because, you know, Woodstock!

And there are lovely homes and buildings of all sorts.

As well as really funky joints and places to sit.

Though this sign explained the reason for the sad state of the flag, it was the car that drew me.  I had the feeling the car has been there as long as the flag has in memory of 9/11.

One last one before I go…  A lovely stream goes through part of the town, so I had to capture it.

There was still much to see but no more time to do so.  B drove us back to my car, we hugged and kissed and went our separate ways, basking in the memories we created.

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again”
Jimi Hendrix

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3