A merry heart goes all the day, warding off evils of everyday existential life. The Bard said, “Frame your mind to mirth and merriment, which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.” Which also strikes the biblical chord of “Refrain from anger. Turn from wrath. Do not fret; it leads only to evil.” It all fits Sally’s way of fulfilling demands placed on her daily tasks in life and enjoying small pleasures in the simple and sweet novelty of it all.
Author’s note: with my new iPhone, nothing is impossible 🙂 I hope to make a short film, using a series of stop motions, in future.
Patricia has been recently working as a legal secretary at a personal injury law office in the city, the job she secured through her former boss Alfred Petersen, Esq., a high-profile defendant insurance lawyer at a powerhouse Gothic City law firm. Patricia, a principled, intelligent, and discreet character could have found a position commensurate with her ability and experience in the city had the hiring managers in the HR departments been understanding of a nine-month lapse after her resignation from the position of paralegal at a boutique real estate law firm in downtown last year. The reason for her leaving was that the field of law did not turn out to be her best match, pace her previously held naive anticipation that it would require of her less contentious meeting with demanding clients and less leg work that would push her to be out of the doors most of time. Besides, she did not get along with her boss, Susie K. whose whimsicality flitted though the ebbs and flows of her melancholia and in the weather of her sanity with all too frequent paroxysm of hysteria. Patricia wanted to keep her sanity and dignity rather than to succumb to the incivility of an irreparable solipsist. Hence the lapse in her work experience.
When Patricia needed a helping hand to secure her employment with a B.A. degree that would leave you either overqualified or under-qualified in this ever volatile job market and the inglorious gaping period in-between employment history, she could not help but think of Mr. Petersen who was a lot like the empathetic boss of Bartleby the Scrivener in Herman Melville’s eponymous short story : that intellectually brilliant, characteristically benign, and professionally equable epitome of a “good” boss. Likewise, when Mr. Petersen whose heavenly blend of moral character and intellectual gifts endeared him to many of his admirers got email from Patricia out of the blue, he was willing to cast her a life jacket on a perilous sea under the aegis of his perennial benign influence. Since Mr. Petersen knew that Patricia was a good person who had not only the intellect but also the heart, an angelic admixture of humanity, he phoned one of his best lawyer colleague in town and connected him to her by sending him her resume via email for review and consideration that did not de rigueur need afterthought; it was the job to be had for the asking.
So far Patricia has been well adjusted to her work routine in the new office and the work style of her new boss who’s fair and magnanimous. She only secretly wishes that the current state of things will remain unperturbed because she feels that she’s worthy of such reward after what she went through while being the subject of the vertiginous treatment that knew no reason and stratagem at the expense of her wailing spirit smothering in the existential daily duties and responsibilities. Isn’t it a crime for anyone to yearn such a continuation of equilibrium?
“Anything new in today’s newspaper, Seraphina?” asked inquisitive Patricia, who arrived at Cafe Jolie, her and Seraphina’s “third” place after their homes and workplaces. “Yes, there is very shocking news connected to our neighbors in Avonlea!” Seraphina was excited by this one-of-kind news involving her beloved town that was seldom covered by any major newspaper unless big wigs in corporate world or bureaucrats in political arena visited the town with no other reasons than canvassing for “likes” of the good people of Avonlea, all for their dominance of popularity over the populace. So what made her flushed with rare effervesce? Patricia was by all means curious about it and wanted to dig out the whys and wherefores.
“You know the Magoo family who owns the mini mart down on the Merton Bowley Road? While Mr. Priam Magoo and his two other children Tony and Tracy were on their fishing trip to Bella Vista, their bedroom ceiling completely collapsed to the ground all of sudden on Friday morning! And the thing was that Mr. Priam’s wife Helen and their infant son George were in that bedroom! But by the grace of God, she and the baby were unscathed by the falling debris because Helen, with her innate athletic feats accelerated by her maternal instinct, covered George’s tiny body with hers and escaped the scene as swiftly as she could. Both the mother and the baby fled to the Collies, their next door neighbors to calm their nerves. Until Priam and the other children would return home tonight (a drive to Bella Vista takes about two days.), Helen and George would stay at the Collies.”
Patricia’s heart became laden with ebbs and flows of emotions, erratically setting in motion a convolution of sadness, indignation, ebullience, longing, benevolence, and then pathos with a detritus of the news about the unfortunate incident befalling Helen and George she had just heard from Seraphina. So much so that her eating at the cafe with Seraphina made her feel indulged in some sort of sybaritic activities with a phantasmagorical display of the scenes in which both the mother and the baby were frightened, taking a flight to their neighbors until the return of other family members played stereoscopically in her metal theater. While her friend Seraphina just matter-of-factly discoursed the news as if it had been one of those articles in a provincial bill posted on a public board in a park, Patricia took it to heart and decided to visit Helen and George at the Collies after the brunch. Just as the great Roman historian Pliny the Elder aided the refugees of the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius with all his might, Patricia was willing to offer consolation however small it might be to the mother and the baby.
It’s a dewy one Saturday morning after the nightly rain that cooled off the fiery flame of the sun. Thanks to the abundance of flora in Avonlea, the process of transpiration by which leaves of plants release moisture into the air that results in rain on earth, the land of Avonlea is hardly parched, and the atmosphere always fresh and fragrant. That is why Helen induced her husband Priam to move to Avonlea a year ago from Roanoke, where humidity and mosquitoes ruled in autocracy; it was an unsavory place to live, let alone to start a family. The rumor had it that the nondescript town was later set ablaze and ravaged by a man driven to madness by such a torid ambience of the toil. In the background of all this, Helen cannot be happier than now, while listening to one of her repertoires, “Downtown” by Petula Clark on her iphone. In fact, she feels as if she and her George were flitting on her aerial bicycle in the blue sky.
Meanwhile, Sally and Bonnie are cooing Alfred, a baby son of their neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Redfox who are on holiday to Prince Edward Island. Their vivacious daughter Judy is at a parochial summer camp in Thousand Silvers. The Redfoxes are scheduled to return home tomorrow afternoon, so it’s not too much of onerous task the two ladies have to tackle, straining themselves over how to pacify a crying baby, what to do in case he becomes sick out of the blue, and when to change his diapers, etc. Fortunately, Alfred is so mildly-tempered and easy to take care of in the bargain that it is actually a pleasure attending to the toddler without feeling stressful. Sally ponders if such equilibrium in temperament would be a manifestation of solidification of genetic composition. In a minute, Sally and Bonnie are going to take Alfred out for their usual morning promenade.
“Look, Bonnie. Alfred’s got a cute mole on the right cleft of his lips! So adorable! I wish I had it too!” “Let me see. Hmmm… I had not noticed it until you told me so. Don’t you know that his sister Judy’s got the same mole on the left cleft of her lips? And so does Mr. Redfox? It seems to be a genetic trait of the family. Definitely. Funny that a man like him has got it, while his wife has dimples. But then the dimples are more precious and feminine and more desirable than a mole, no?” In fact, Bonnie secretly wishes that she would have the same attractive dimples around the corners of her lips that would make her face prettier and perkier. But it is just one of those innocent, muliebral wishes of a lady who doesn’t think that she’s pretty enough to be wooed and sought after. But then who can blame Bonnie for vanity when a gentleman likes a pretty lady? But let us put all the convoluted thoughts and tangled emotions and untamed emotions aside for this bright Saturday fragrant with fresh petrichor. Forget all the worries just for Today and Tomorrow, which is Official Holy Rest Day, and let’s just pretend to have million dollars in our bank accounts for the weekend.
She writes, and speaks to a soul in many sorts of music. She sometimes invokes inspirations from her favorite Muses: Kalliope for epic poetry; Clio for history; and Euterpe for lyric poetry. In fact, she feels most ecstatic when the divine inspirations become one with her body and soul creating the ineffable rapture of the body and elevating the excitement of the soul in zenith. She is no less a dilettante of amateur music aficionado and an apprentice of alchemy of literature and history than Seraphina by herself.
She also has a secret: that she practices her secondhand acoustic guitar she bought from a traveling troubadour who with his finely cultivated artfulness of sweet talking laced with a streak of medieval chivalry, tempted her to possess it three years ago at a reasonable price of $100. And it turned out that the crafty troubadour was a nice sort of reprobate who could make your otherwise bleak life a bit more cheerful and jovial to live because Seraphina loved the guitar at first blush and has played it since the farewell of the sportive wayfarer.
Seraphina is an Aquarius, and therefore an independent beauty. She is an autodidact and is at best when she’s least self-conscious and left alone. She has been teaching herself to play the guitar in hope of playing the songs she loves flawlessly by changing the chords swiftly in keeping up with the rhythms. One of her repertoires for her guitar practicing is “As Tears Go By” by Rolling Stones – not the version of Marianne Faithful – It is another secret that Seraphina sings the song while playing the guitar in her room, and she loves the moment of doing it because she feels like a Jane Birkin or a Joni Mitchell or a Francois Hardy.
Kurt Vonnegut once said, “To practice any form of art, however good or bad, is to make your soul grow, so do it.” In accordance with such supportive tenet of art, Seraphina thinks that it’s all about unlocking the artist from within. Surely, not everyone of us can’t make our names marked in the world, but then each one of us is something of a creator of a life. In her ideal firmament, being an amateur artist means being able to create her own artistic world unsullied by the material demands of life that often yield myriads of existential vertigo. But then who would know what might bring Seraphina into changing her weltanschauung in future? After all, we think we know what we are, but know not what we may be. In the brevity of life, Seraphina thinks to herself, ‘Sweets to the sweet: Farewell to worries!’