Tag Archives: story

swept away – chapter one

3334d704022e42fad10b32d8694af248It wasn’t love at first sight, really. Although one look at him would suffice to appreciate the principle of beauty incarnate in his statuesque figure, it wasn’t the tall, well-toned body that she fell for. It was the eyes that played upon her usual stoic inner world, sweeping it in the whirlwind of unquenchable longing, wanting, and yearning: big, brown, warm, passionate, soulful, and doleful, all the marbles of his spirit sparkled in the windows of his soul. The faculty of her mind worked with her imagination in the peculiar alchemy of infatuation and turned the rut of life into a theater of fanciful motion pictures about love. That was what made her go through her existential life. For she always had to be in love with someone fictional, nonfictional in the highest ether of her imagination. For that was what she subsisted on to give her burst of zest for life. What others would think of her was not her savior vivendi because she belonged to her class of her own, her own world of dreams and wishes, which was her own only in her muliebral meditation.

Alas, poor Iris! I know her, my dear reader! She was a descendant of Dido, a human-bred fairy whose lineage belonged to Clytie, who pined away for her unrequited love for Apollo and became Sunflower. For her own person, Iris beggared all description: tall, slender, beautiful, she was something of a Cassandra whose words were regarded as hallucinated riddles in divine madness as her punishment to refuse Apollo’s love. Maybe it was Iris’s cool, reserved aura from her being that held back romantic advances from men. But she was none other than a mortal woman with none other than woman’s reason, so she always found her love interest in men whose stars were high above in the nightly skies. Hence, she was invisible to any of them and existent to none of them like a wondering spirit, traveling the boundary of this world and the Netherworld at night. But Iris was content in that surreptitious way of unrequited love without a litany of woes and pains that relationship was fated to bring.

Always searching, always dreaming, Iris now found her Aeneas in him. But this time she wanted to manifest her beautiful self before his beautiful eyes because every part of her somatic existence ached for his attention and her spirit invoked a divine intervention to charm his anima. She did not want to be like Clytie whose echo was still haunting in Valley of the Lonely Hearts. That was why Iris went to a wise woman known for her witchcraft of love spells and pharmaka, the ancient Greek love potion believed to be invented by Goddess Ceres. Iris’s preferential choice would be a love spell, which she thought would fit her secret purpose in the most portent way. With this secret machination of love, Iris resolved to make a trip to Arcadia, where the witch was already waiting for her because she knew she would come to her.

Smell the Coffee and Smile

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“Holiday~ Celebrate~” with Madonna singing ebulliently in celebration of her holiday from the radio, Sally woke up to the tune and stepped into a hello brand new day. It was also a beginning of a three-day long Labor Day holiday weekend, and Sally was only glad to stay away from the city chockablock with rushing cars and the usually slightly ireful and forever impatient drivers as well as lumpish pedestrians with luggage, perambulators, shopping bags, and suitcases. So she decided to opt for a quiet leisure of her own comprising reading books she had ordered at the recommendation of the last week’s The Avonlean Book Review. But first, Sally had to have her morning coffee with a nice breakfast meal at Hush Puppy’s. Otherwise, she would be grumpy all day long, and that would certainly not be a way to make her day pleasant.


Her favorite coffee of a day was always hot hazelnut-flavored with half-and-half because it tasted very smoothly sweet without sugar. She thought that Hush Puppy’s hazelnut coffee was the best in town. But Ms. Long, the proprietor of the establishment had recently been worried about a low sales net of her famous coffee because the city council egged on by a group of hypochondriacs was going to put soon warning labels on coffee cups that would say “Acrylamide contained in this coffee may cause a risk of cancer.” Sally knew it from the articles in the Times and thought it was always the people like Ms. Long whose honest-to-goodness way of running business consorting with her moral character and faith that suffered the waves of unfair backlash from the public. Indignant at such injustice, Sally wanted to cheer up Ms. Long in any way she could do within her ability and measure.

IMG_3995“Ms. Long, your hazelnut coffee is one of the best in the town, and I told it to all my friends and colleagues at work and suggested them they come by here.They are not hypochondriacs or bombastic health freaks at all. I mean what can coffee possibly do harm on people? The eminent Baroque composer Bach once said without a cup of hot coffee, he would be like a grilled goat. and as far as I am concerned, I have never heard of any one who has died from drinking too much coffee.” There was a flicker of smile flitting in the gracefully aged face that shinned with her incorruptible beauty from within. Ms. Long had never felt more comforted and warm than ever in her long life as a spinster. “Thank you, Sally, for your caring words. I will continue to make the best hazelnut coffee just for you.” There was in the air something that filled the whole of Hush Puppy’s at the moment. It was wonderfully conflated with the aroma of Sally’s hazelnut coffee that Ms. Long had just finished brewing. Sally’s spirit was flitting in the loveliness of the ambience, soaking herself in the moment of happiness coming from within. It sure was a pleasant morning for Sally.


Bicycle for Two


Philippa is pushing through busy Main Street on a sunny Friday afternoon with her son Fred in the backseat of her bicycle by dint of solicitation and fortitude of the valorous McGreen family.  Fred, an orphan abandoned at the age of two weeks on the step of her gingerbread lookalike house, is her de facto son, the middle one between Alfred, the eldest son of herculean feats of athleticism and the youngest, Philip, “Phil,” who, on an account of the solidification of hereditary traits of the adventurous family, goes for jocular adventure. But Fred is a different soul, he is a sensitive soul with a great mind and a tender heart. And today the foundling of Philippa is very ill that requires a doctor’s immediate attention; hence the mother is forcefully working pedals to Dr. Hobson.

image (4)The mother and the son is also escorted by a trusty entourage of Phil, who is also concerned about his dear brother. Small as he is, Philip is all bravery and cheerfulness. He wants to make sure all’s well with Fred, who always reads him sweet bedtime stories by his nightly bedside as well as other illuminating stories about ancient Greek heros and the gods and goddesses of the Parthenon, great historical figures, and oeuvres of fine writers throughout the western civilization.  Fred to Phill is what Yoda is to Luke in the Star Wars. Philippa is pleased to see her sons bound by Charity, Hope, and Faith, the three theological virtues, not by dint of mere blood relation that is often devoid of the virtues by default.

image (2)When the McGreen trio arrives at Dr. Hobson’s office on Kingsbridge road, they are amiably accosted by  Helen, one of the prettiest and kindest ladies in Avonlea who is married with three children to a grocery proprietor Priam, who fell in love with her at first sight by thinking, ‘She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed. She’s a woman; therefore to be won.’ Helen and her three-old son George are pleased to see her neighbors there and wants to know what has brought all three of them to this far. “Fred has been in agony for two weeks due to a serious case of abscess on his right shoulder,” says Philippa, “But Fred did not tell me and his brothers until this morning, enduring all to himself only the gruesome pain that stymied his everyday activities, such as eating and working. In fact, the pain even prevented him from reading a book!”

image (3)Helen does not understand Fred’s reason of silence that was broken this morning, so she ventures to inquire about the cause. “Fred, why did you not tell your mother when it began to hurt you? Had you told her about it earlier, you would have been cured.” Fred is absorbed in all the dialogues between his mother and Helen and  forms the most honest and provident answer to the lady’s inquiry. “At first, I thought it would go away because it had happened before. But although I tried myself applying to a topical ointment and taking doses of pain suppressant and high hopes, it just became worsen… What’s more, I did not want to worry mom because she was always very busy with running the restaurant and the household all by herself. Now I am in great pain now, which has compelled me to alert mom about it.”

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Upon hearing such stream of heartfelt soliloquy of Fred, Philippa’s eyes are welled up in tears and with an insurmountable gushing power of pathos and charity (which actually means “Love” as its original meaning of Caritas,) she hugs her dear son Fred and tells him tender words that can only be true if carried out by the one who possesses such spirit and soul: “O, my dearie Fred! You really shouldn’t have worried about my work and myself because I am your mother. A mother is ascribed to attend to her child with unconditional love, and it is an immutably, intractably, cardinal duty of Mother, who is also endowed with magical power to endure anything. So you do not have to worry about me, ever, Love.” Feeling the heartbeat of Fred against her own, Philippa reminds herself of her mother’s advice that it is a wise mother that knows her own child. All the more, she believes that love’s reason’s without reason, especially in the family.



Modernization of Fishery is no about-face

RE: July 30th 2018 article of “A Fight over Amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act” by Robert F. Bukaly of The Los Angeles Times

photo (4)Ever a voracious reader of good books and sensible, informative articles of The Los Angeles Times, Paul Collie is immediately steeped in a headline of today’s newspaper; that is, an article he has just read in the Times about a fight over the present fishing laws. It is reported that some amendments were made to the laws, which are called “The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act”, a 42-year old rules regulating over-fishing of New England Sea Scallops and Bering Sea Crabs, and that they were approved by the House of Representatives on Monday. Subsequently, these changes have stirred a projected friction between fishermen and environmentalists mostly consisting of researchers, scientists, and radical natural/animal conservatory activist whose viewpoints are normally out of touch with realities.

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As Paul is perusing  the article word for word as if he were tattooing it on the cerebral globe of his brain,  Paul’s thoughts are embroiled in a swirl of agitation and indignation that begins to brew a collection of words in a form of cogent opinion. ‘The amendments were favorable to many people and will promote business growth, especially commercial and recreational fishing groups that need to hire many more people.  The changes relate to a provision of managers with flexibility and refocus of the Act on sound science. It’s all about modernizing the management of recreational fishing! But those recalcitrant opponents who know nothing or little about dealing with constraints of daily task think that it is a rollback of the landmark law! There is no risk of over-fishing delaying the re-population of depleted fish! Logical Fiddlesticks!’

Paul has cogent reasons for his argument for the amendments to the Act: the purpose of the changes is to remove unscientific time frames that unnecessarily restrict access to fishery, which encompasses an revocation of a requirement for annual catch limits for certain fish species as aforesaid as well as amending rules about requirements to rebuild the stocks. He strongly believes that reauthorizing of the Act seems and is believed to be long overdue. As a matter of fact, Paul cannot help but link the article with The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley that he read last year with relish. In it, Ridley tries to enlighten the reader about the necessities of changes as part of cultural evolution for the betterment of mankind and the world itself. However, Ridley lays bare the the pressure of militant environmentalists who are evermore against any changes made to the agricultural as well as fishing industry. To Paul, their flagrantly truculent opposition to any such changes is a luxury disguised in the package of humanity/nature that only pampers their far-flung elitist attitudes that disregards or overlooks the need of everyday life.

Such is Paul’s axiomatic opinion on the article that he feels strongly. It’s not because he has a means of business, nor is his conservative tendency, nor his hereditary solidification of genes in the Proud Scottish Collie Family; but because the Act was unnecessarily binding the hands and feet of independent fishermen and other proprietors of the business tied to and related to fishery to overtly harsh conditions in which their households suffered under the strains of financial hardship. Which also brings Paul back to Act I, Scene 2 of Hamlet that illustrates the the hypocrisy of environmentalist dogmatism:

The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes?




Eleusinian Craft of Lady Alchemist

IMG_3985She 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!’