Category Archives: Sylvanians – The illustrated stories.

Episodic stories about the Sylvanians, my miniature figures, living in Avonlea, a fictional suburban town somewhere in the western hemisphere.

Fellowship of the arts

img_0622

Music has such a charm; it makes bad good and conjures memories of the places and faces of the past with nostalgia in a magical way. It’s a kind of mind teleportation, artistic time-machine, which takes you from the rut of life to anywhere you can dream about. So much so that ever witty and lively William Shakespeare said: “There’s nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.” Just as reading makes the reader pass over to the literary world of imagination, listening to music carries the listener over to the auditory feast of melodies and rhythms, wonderfully harmonized, all in the mastery of fine musicianship inspired by the Mousal, the music muses, which is demonstrated by the fabulous  Biltmore Trio.

img_0621

Biltmore Trio consists of Ben Lion (Piano), Claire Whitecat (Violin) and Julie Tigress (Flute). They are fine amateur musicians who get together two days a week to play music together for reason none other than being aficionados of music, especially of the Baroque music. All of them have full-time occupations by which they earn their livelihood: Ben is an associate professor of history at Avonlea Community College. He is also an established writer for various magazine and short stories. Claire is a free-lanced book illustrator primarily for children’s books. Julie is a legal secretary working at a busy litigation law firm that would not function without her presence. They are good friends from childhood and share their love of music, books and other interests that pique their intelligent minds with scintillating curiosities. Hence, Biltmore Trio is a musical manifestation of their fellowship in the Appreciation of the Arts and Altruism of Humanity based upon the idea that the beauty of art is for everyone, not a prerogative of a few select. It is important that the public has a right to art because as Oscar Wilde attested, “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can sure the senses but the soul.” How true it is!

img_0623

With such tenets of art in mind, Biltmore Trio’s free lunchtime recital of Frederic Hendel’s “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” at the eponymous hotel lounge fills the hearts of the audience with mirth and merriment and frames their minds with beauty and alacrity. The trio’s fine musicianship becomes even more brilliant with their milk of human kindness that benefits all regardless who they are and what day do.

secret fountain

 

They find the secret fountain and love the sounds and scenes of the pounding water. 

Fran Frogg and Brenda Beaver are especially happy at the sight because of their aquatic proclivities. Kate Cat is listening to Handel’s Water Music and enjoying the moment of pleasure to herself.

Pleasure and mirth fills their mind.

small simple sweet

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.

Things can only get better

IMG_3984

Getting ready for work

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.

IMG_3866

At home

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?

thanks-for-reading-Rok-Hardware

Heart of Gold

image (2)“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.

image (2)

“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.”

photoPatricia’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.

thanks-for-reading-Rok-Hardware