“Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Time for another short fable, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.
It’s been a while since i’ve done one of these. (See previous ones under Allegory.) I find that the brevity and symbolism have a unique way of getting at something i’m feeling or experiencing.
Most times when i write these, i have an interpretation in mind, although some meanings come about in the process that i didn’t consider at the outset. (This one began with the first few lines given as a writing exercise, but soon took on a life of its own. Alternate title: Beyond Doubt.)
Please do let me know ideas or meanings that come to you from this story. I also invite you to write your own continuations of the story in the comments.
As always, thanks for reading.
The Side Door
Out for her daily walk, lovely Dubia blinked twice and looked again. Could it be?… Yes, definitely, it was Paul — walking toward her. It had been several years since their last contact. Her hands trembled as she drew her jacket tighter against the cold wind. What was he doing here?
Here on the boardwalk along the river, where she had long ago tried in vain to connect with Paul, the odorless cold now hinted at the coming snow storm.
The present light dusting had not yet made her steps uncertain, but would soon.
Away from the elements and close to her body, she carried a shivering kitten. Pausing momentarily to unbutton her jacket, she reached in and reassured the tiny creature, then bundled up tightly again to protect them both from the bluster as she strolled.
Fishing shanties dotted one side of the wood-plank walkway. On the other was the river, lined with idle fishing boats waiting for their owners to take them to their winter storage places.
Most of the diminutive old buildings had been restored, now housing cafes and other shops. Just past midday, the clinking of cafe dishes paired pleasantly with the muffled clanking of chains that moored the few remaining vessels.
Just one shanty was shabby and still, apparently abandoned. The door facing the walkway was padlocked, but there was a side door someone had left ajar. Continue reading
(Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018)
I would add that any healthy relationship can provide a mirror that reflects as well the best of who we already are. Attention to both — to our underlying dignity, and to areas where we could become our better selves — can arouse in us the desire for personal growth.
I have this mental picture of a concert pianist about to set hands to keys… pin-drop quiet in the hall… adjusting the seat… lightly shaking the arms… digits hovered over the blacks and whites… the momentary pause to focus before the first note… And then flows the masterpiece!
Approaching my writing keyboard is nothing like that, of course. False starts, discordant notes and incomplete thoughts are what the writing process is composed of.
At a time when the calendar bellows at us that it’s time for a fresh start, many of us are reviewing the raw material of our past year, which perhaps is also characterized by false starts and discordant notes, and attempting to summon meaning and renewed purpose from it all.
For me, a repeating motif of this past year has been the occasions for tears. But wait — before you write me off as a downer, allow me to remind that tears flow in both joys and sorrows. Indeed, both are often mixed in the same tears. Continue reading
Looks like last year’s rhyme applies rather well again to this year…
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, i’ve been in contact a bit more than usual with other survivors. (Here’s one blog i particularly appreciate.)
I’ve learned through this correspondence that even though breast cancer is not one of my primary topics here, some readers might like to know my back story in that regard.
Here’s a detailed narrative for those are are interested…