Mirror, Mirror

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Mirror 2

 

An ad I came across on the Internet got me pondering. Round mirror for sale, never used.

Once I arrived home, I confronted the hexagonal, guild-framed mirror hanging in my lounge, one I’ve had for a while. “Are you used? Your frame must be chipped and the glass slightly scratched, but that’s not what I mean.”

How can a mirror be not-used? Hasn’t the factory worker ever looked in it after coating the glass with a reflective surface? The framer assessed his work, as he raked his fingers through his hair? Hasn’t the seller peeked and winked at it while smoothing his tie? Or a female customer paused in front of it for a moment to refresh her make-up, and continued shopping. So it’s not wear and tear I’m talking about, it’s the functionality, the main task of a mirror that should count.

A mirror’s first duty is to create a perfect reflection of the person or an object in front of it. If we accept some of the above probabilities to be true, then we must conclude that the mirror has been used. Yet, there’s no proof because the mirror doesn’t have a memory. It doesn’t record anything. There’s no flashback, a rewind button, or any tangible evidence. In that sense, a mirror is inferior to a camera that produces printed or digital copies which people can later peruse and reminisce the moment.

So, my lovely looking glass of  thirty years, every time I glance at you, you reflect back my current state, but nothing from the past, when I was younger. Nor my late mother’s image when she stood before you and touched her hair, or any glimpses of my beloveds who are no longer in my life. You say the departed cannot be perceived with the eye because they become tiny specks of light. I agree with that, but I’m still here, so are the estranged ones.

I can’t remember when I first saw my own reflection in one, but I do recall watching my father shave before the bathroom mirror, his face covered in white foam. And my mother sitting at her dressing table and putting on lipstick, then dabbing it lightly with her finger.

Is it vanity, a narcissistic habit that we consult mirrors for approval each day? Or is it a self-destructive approach that gives us pain as we age? I don’t know when the attachment starts, perhaps with a shy peek during teenage years, until it becomes an addictive routine. I’m three-dimensional, though the image you project is two-dimensional, an illusion of how others see me, just like the photos.

Yet, when I look into you, I see other things than what you show me. I can search your depths and bring back visions from my mind’s eye. Maybe I should avoid you, stop witnessing my aging process, if not day by day, but from year to year. Perhaps, you’re being kind by not showing me the past. Telling me I should stay in the moment and not delve into the folds of time.

Sometimes I see my mother peeking back at me or my grandmother’s eyes in mine. Other times the radiant face of a young girl greets me with a smile and whispers, “What will be, will be.”

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Ripples on the Pond has received a #ChillWithABookReadersAward

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I’m thrilled to share with you some exciting news. Ripples on the Pond has received a Chill With A Book Readers Award. 🙂

 

Ripples in the Pond by Sebnem Sanders

A man infatuated with ivy. A woman pining for lost love. In a Turkish square, ancient buildings lament a devastating explosion. An unlikely friendship struck up with a homeless person. A journey to a magical place that once visited can never be found again. The camaraderie between the patients in a cancer ward. A writer who has lost his muse. A tragedy that leads to dementia.

These are just a few of seventy individual tales set in locations straddling continents, which portray war, love, hate, hope, greed, revenge, despair, humour, mystical happenings, fantasy, and so much more. Like ripples expanding on the surface of a pond to reach its banks, they converge in this anthology of flash fiction and short stories by Sebnem E. Sanders in her debut release.

Genre:  Short Stories
Approx pages:  247

Ripples on the Pond was read and evaluated by Chill’s readers against the following…

Were the characters strong and engaging?
Was the book well written?
Did the story / plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
Was the ending satisfying?

Would you recommend to someone who reads this kind of story?

 

http://www.chillwithabook.com/2018/04/ripples-on-pond-by-sebnem-e-sanders.html

Short Story Collections – Settle in and Read

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A wonderful blog post from author Diana Wallace Peach and a lovely review of Ripples on the Pond. Thank you, very much Diana. 🙂

Myths of the Mirror

Right about now, I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than sitting outside in the spring sunshine, nibbling on strawberries, and reading. (For those in the southern hemisphere, just turn it around, and contemplate those cool, comfortable autumn days of hot cocoa and swirling leaves).

Short stories somehow complete the picture, and I wanted to share my 5-STAR reviews for 3 short story collections that I enjoyed over the winter. All beautifully written, all with a broad variety of stories, all wonderfully entertaining. I hope one or two or all three appeal to you.

Global links to Amazon are below the books, and if you want to connect with any of these three wonderful bloggers, click on their names. ❤

Global Amazon Link

Ripples on the Pond

by Sebnem Sanders

Ripples on the Pond is a mesmerizing collection of short stories. I was swept into Sanders’ imagination from the very…

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Happy Easter! ************************* [in Just-] by E. E. Cummings

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Easter Egg Limoges

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Easter Eggs - Copy

Easter Eggs Various

 

 

 

 

 

 

—The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock — by T. S. Eliot for World Poetry Day

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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

 

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats         5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….         10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,         15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,         20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;         25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;         30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go         35
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—         40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare         45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,         50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—         55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?         60
  And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress         65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets         70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!         75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?         80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,         85
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,         90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—         95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,         100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:         105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”

.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
        110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,         115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …         120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.         125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown         130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

 

 

Source: Collected Poems 1909-1962 (1963)

http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

 

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/44212/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock

 

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/t-s-eliot

Seasons

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Seasons 1

 

A micro-fiction story of maximum 150 words, I contributed to Ad Hoc Fiction,  using the word “spring”.

 

Spring arrived early. Unprepared, I shed my winter clothes. In the garden, daisies greeted me, along with poppies and dandelions. I checked the seeds of hope I’d planted in November. Little green shoots displayed their leaves and tiny buds with pride.

Like my youth, Spring passed in a flash and became Summer, my middle-age. I didn’t mind the heat, though it slowed me down. Wearing shades under the canopy, I created shadows where I could enjoy the multi-coloured blooms of the Bougainvillaea. Attractive vines that thrive in strong sunlight, and need little water. I decided to imitate them, and protect myself with thorns against unwelcome visitors. But it was too late.

When Autumn arrived, I planted my seeds again, before winter confined me indoors.  A pessimist in darkness,  I asked myself, “How many more times can I do this?”

The hyacinth bulb by window answered, “Until you learn.”

 

http://adhocfiction.com/read/#FlashEbook

 

Future Love

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My take on the Prompt-Love from last week’s Flash Fiction competition at Scribblers.

 

Modigl,iani Young Girl Seated

Young Girl Seated
Date: 1918; Paris, France

 

Aurora stepped into the library and began to peruse the aisle market Classics. In 2118, paper books were only found in libraries. She liked to feel them, and turn the pages, instead of swiping the arrows on her digital appliance. The old worldly smell of the books fascinated her, and as she flipped through the yellowed pages, she wondered how many pairs of eyes must have read the words printed on these ancient tomes.

The title of the book said Sonnets, rhyming words that sounded like a lullaby. One word kept re-appearing, love, something she had to find out about.

The robot librarian approached her and scanned the tablet in his hand. “Aurora Ellis, your preferences show you’re into sports and inter-galactic thrillers. You must be in the wrong section. I’ll guide you to your favourites, away from these dusty antiques.”

Aurora fluttered her eyelids. “I’m doing a research on this ancient concept called poetry.” She pulled out her tablet from her backpack and showed the robot her assignment, signed by her instructor, Mr Shelby.

The robot studied the validation and replied in his monotone electronic voice. “I see. If you need any more help, I’ll be around.”

Aurora took a deep breath and silently thanked Basil, her classmate, for hacking into the school system to create a false assignment.

Love was a word from her recurring dreams that had begun to haunt her. It wasn’t a concept learned at home or taught at school. Mr Shelby talked about the poets from ancient times and how they composed an arrangement of words in a certain rhythm. Musical, with a set measure, that somehow stayed in her memory, like the lyrics of songs she heard on old recordings.

Why was love so important then, and not so, now? What was the difference between like and love? Aurora liked her friends, her parents, the books she read, and the games she played with or without her classmates. Did she like them all the same? She decided some were stronger. She liked her parents more than those of her friends’, and her friend, Alma, more than the other girls. Basil was her favourite among the boys.

She scanned the shelves and found a book titled Famous Quotations, inside which there was a section called Quotations on Love. She took the book to a table and began to read.

Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips. – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Bound”
We love the things we love for what they are. —Robert Frost, Hyla Brook ”

Aurora read for a couple of hours, trying to memorize the quotes and copying the longer ones onto her tablet. When she left the library, her head was full of love. Yet, she had to experience the warmth, the spark and the feelings the ancients talked about. Someone had said, “Love is the most profound human feeling.”

She ran to Basil’s house, and once inside his room, she quoted: “You are my North, my South, my East and West, my working week and my Sunday rest.” 1

“What, are you mad?” Basil said, rolling his eyes.

“I’m quoting from W.H. Auden.”

“You’ve been reading too much poetry. Get real!”

“I am real. I love you, Basil,” she said and planted a kiss on his cheek.

Basil pulled back and blushed. She could see the spark in his eyes and feel the warmth that spread throughout the room. Aurora giggled and rushed home.

Her mother met her at the door. “Where have you been, Aurora? You’re late.”

“I was at the Library, Mum. Reading.” Aurora wrapped her arms around her and whispered in her ear. “I love you, Mummy.” Her mother patted her back, lifted her chin, and looked into her eyes. Teardrops landed on Aurora’s face.

“I knew you’d find it, ” she said. “It’s our secret.”

Aurora experimented the power of love on her best friend, her pets, and on her father the following day. The results were the same. Sparks in their eyes, warmth and comfort. They shared her secret. She remembered a quote from The Little Prince. The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart. 2

No wonder the Leaders were trying to turn humans into robots. They were afraid of the power of love, but they didn’t know humans carried it in their hearts since the beginning of time, regardless of restrictions, and shared it only with the ones they loved. Shakespeare was right.

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark…
3

Aurora dreamt of love at night and the quotes that would guide her throughout her life. The secret she would pass on to the next generations for the most profound feeling humans are capable of experiencing.

 

References:
1 The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2 W.H. Auden, “Stop All the Clocks”
3 Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

#OMP #OneMillionProject #Thriller #Fiction and #Fantasy Anthologies are on Amazon

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OMP Photo

 

#OMP #OneMillionProject #Thriller , #Fiction , and #Fantasy Anthologies are on Amazon, in Kindle and paperback editions. I have contributed a story, #MummysTorchlight ,  to the Thriller Anthology, along with many other writers from around the world.

All proceeds will go to cancer research and homeless charities..

 

 

 

A gripping short story collection by 40 authors from around the world, who have come together to raise money in the fight against cancer and homelessness.

All OMP proceeds will go to cancer research and to homeless charities.

Help us to raise a little sunshine in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves through the power of words.

 

 

A fabulous short story collection by 40 authors from around the world, who have come together to raise money in the fight against cancer and homelessness.

All OMP proceeds will go to cancer research and to homeless charities.

Help us to raise a little sunshine in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves through the power of words.

 

 

 

A fantastic short story collection by 40 authors from around the world, who have come together to raise money in the fight against cancer and homelessness.

All OMP proceeds will go to cancer research and to homeless charities.

Help us to raise a little sunshine in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves through the power of words.