Art and Heart

This is a story for Friday Fictioneers, which is hosted by Rochelle. Every week over here, you are challenged to write a 100 word story based on a photo.

For this week’s photo, thanks to Kelvin M. Knight, and Rochelle for hosting the challenge.

This is my first story at Friday Fictioneers after a long break. I hope you enjoy the read and thanks for reading and visiting.

“Mom! Look at her. She is again playing with food.”

“George your sister isn’t playing. She is making art. Don’t trouble her. She is an artist in the making.”

One year in art school — Vanessa learned all about art and heart.

Two years in art school, and she aced in love… by making a run for it.

 

 

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Call from her

Barbara Beacham is the kind host of Monday’s Finish the Story. Every week a photo and the first sentence of the story is shared and the challenge is to finish the story in 100 – 150 words. Thanks Barbara for this week’s photo and the challenge.

Finish the story begins with:  “Arriving at the beach, she reflected on her life.”

“Why am I here? What am I doing here?” she said.

She took out her cell phone.

“My sweet baby. Why did you leave us and go? I should have protected you from everything. I’m your mom.” she said.

With a heavy heart she started walking towards the sea. She stood deep in it. The dark blue water first ate her body and then slowly swallowed her head. Her eyes… now closed.

She was happy; she was running after her little baby.

“Don’t go away Jamie. Come to mommy.” she screamed loudly.

“Are you alright, hon?” asked James.

“Oh! It was Jamie. I so wish that I never wake up from these dreams. It is the only time that seems real to me.”

James took her in his arms as she cried the whole night.

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Copyright – Barbara Beacham

A great thanks once again to Barbara. Thanks to all my readers for their time and comments too.

Criticism: Builds Stronger Bones in You

There are certain things in life that you don’t ask for and yet you receive them. One such thing is – criticism. Does it matter if someone criticizes you in the kindest of tone or brings agonizing pain in every word they offer.

If you have said or done something that attracts criticism then you should be happy about it for a simple acts will not gather much attention. The words or actions – good or bad are to be decided by the people. Each will receive it differently, according to their taste in belief, values and attitude.

If your actions or words bring criticism then beware of your friends and enemies. For it is only the friends and few who would be gentle in their criticism; they are not to be worried about. It is the others who would rip your heart out using words as sharp as shards of glasses. This will only give them pleasure. They will smile, as you cry in pain wounded by their words. It is these people who are worrisome.

If you are good with reasoning skills; you can buy “the friend type” or the gentler ones but not “the enemy kinds”. The hard ones or the enemy kinds would want to listen to your reasons, but be sure that they are only listening to bury you deeper in their criticism. Their sole aim would be to insult you – your understanding – inflict you with pain. They are the same people who would want to see you cry, as they speak, and would be satisfied by bringing defeat to the idea for which you stood up. They will make sure that they’ll crush your bones and leave you crippled so that you don’t ever stand up or stand against them.

Criticism brings great opportunities and greater responsibilities with it. Opportunities, that people’s voice will stick with yours for one cause or a true cause. Responsibilities would lie in your actions as you will need to protect the ones that follow you, not to mention yourself and your ideas too. But all this will come later only if you survive the stage one criticism.

What is stage one criticism, then? Well, if you are able to survive the insulting lashes and suppress your pain – you have survived stage one of criticism. Then comes stage two which is playing reasons. Although, be sure that reasons will not win the hearts of those who are already criticizing you. This is a crucial stage as there would be many others and these others would want to flock their feathers for you – depending on the reason you give.

Therefore, if you decide to bring criticism onto yourself – be ready. The kind ones would not hurt you – much – but the ruthless would. So for these ruthless build a stone heart which is impenetrable and a steel body which conceals your emotions or feelings.

Don’t let it affect you

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Yes, that’s right “don’t let it affect you”. This is a new mantra that I fumbled upon recently. I keep on reciting and repeating this until my mind is at ease.

When I was young; I was naive and new to learning many things. At home and office no matter what or how I worked I ended up getting long lectures from my mom at home and from boss at office. And then, just like everyone I used to throw questions at myself. The normal regular questions like: “Why me?” “Why did this happen to me?” “What did I do wrong, what is my fault?”

Of course! This used to be tiring and at times proved depressing. When in a state of depression not only your mind but your body also shows signs of how hard you are taking things. Your mind is easily penetrable through small and big instances (you can’t even take a joke for a joke). Your body becomes lazy and lethargic.

I’m a different person now and I’m armed with the mantra “don’t let it affect you”. Earlier I used to be easily affected by small and big situations like: when I didn’t get through to the college of my choice, when I didn’t get an apartment of my choice, when somebody else in the family or neighborhood proved to be a success story that I was not even close to. Oh! The classic one, when my best friend or even a possible acquaintance got married before me. The interrogation process began without any delays.

Then it just occurred to me that why am I bringing pain upon myself. Then I started rectifying questions; instead of “why me?” I asked, “Why not me?” Instead of asking “Why did this happen to me?” I asked “Why did this happen for me?” I believe in nipping the problem at its root and by using these two questions I was doing just that. When things didn’t happen as expected I started asking these two questions and other why questions didn’t bother me much.

Hours of moaning were now lost in contemplating as I posed these two questions in front of me. I analyzed the situation with a bigger picture in view. I looked at the smaller picture but it didn’t trouble me because I was looking at the bigger picture. I was looking and thinking about other options.

When I lost my job due to recession, I didn’t know what to do. Then asking the rectified question I thought what else can I do. I started freelancing and then I looked for more options. It was only at that time that I realized that I could express myself in words among many other things that I do.

It so happens that in order to reach at the bigger picture or have other options you need a clear head. It turns out that the two most important parts of our body i.e. head and heart are always at a tussle. During the interrogation process (asking the why questions) the head is the ruler, however, during the contemplating process (asking the rectified questions) the heart becomes the ruler.

The head plays sly games by presenting logic to us and it becomes difficult to rescue the heart. The reasoning’s of the head doesn’t let your heart to express itself. What we need to do is look at logic but believe in whatever the heart says. So, if the heart says “let it be” then be it so. You’ll be able to think only when the head rests and makes itself clear of the foggy thoughts. During a foggy day it’s best not to drive. Similarly let the foggy thoughts settle down because as soon as it does, you’ll be able to look at the road ahead of you. Clear road and safe driving is only possible when the fog has settled.

Price of a heart

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Long had I waited to seal a deal

Long was he gone; and long was I sad.

Someone came along the way,

Asked me,”how good is your heart?”

Less did I know it was a trap.

Weakly I answered it is good to go.

“How far will you go for your loved one”, he asked.

I guess further than he has gone.

He showed me the picture of my loved one.

He asked me, “What would you do to be a part of the picture?”

How clever was he, dressed in disguise.

I mistook him as a slave, for he was the master of the world.

I promised him my heart for the love of my soul.

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The master had played the trick well.

Only later I found, the soul was no longer his.

My baby was no longer innocent,

He was just a slave to the master.

Treacherous, deceiving, conniving master had taken my heart for his soul.

I deserved what I got the soul for my heart.

The master smiled at his victory;

My priceless heart had now become painless too.

 

The poem tells about a lady who has lost her baby. The devil comes with a deal and asks for her heart and promises her the soul of the child. It seems to her that her baby is happy; and she seals the deal with him. When she actually meets her baby she finds that he is no longer innocent but turned like the master (for he was staying in his world and has learnt his traits). Now she can’t complain as she got what she had asked for. Thus she understands that her priceless heart had now turned painless too as she is not affected to see her child change being something/someone different.

Art is where the heart is

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I found myself gazing at a wooden frame which was at a display and had amazed the art lovers. It was not a work of some world famous artist; however, the novice artist had managed to gather some appreciation for his work, locally. The artist had played very well with the colours and made the canvas come alive.

The colours were playing in the garden of canvas as the children would play in the school play ground; each with a unique character of its own breathing the life in the wooden piece of canvas. Like others I found myself staring in admiration at this beauty. And as awestruck I was I just uttered, “What a piece of art”.

So, what is art?

Is it a mere canvas on a wall or only the work which is respected and paid in hefty amounts?

And, who is an artist?

Well, I simply believe that anyone and everyone have an artist at work within themselves.

Art doesn’t have a specific address. It can be born anywhere: on the streets, at shops, at homes just anywhere. I also believe that an artist can be born when true dedication burns in one’s heart.

A mother is a dedicated artist; she is the only one to take care of her children without wanting anything in return. Since the day she becomes aware of the fact that a life is being nurtured in her, she becomes an artist. Every day she might paint a picture of how her child might be. She gives an identity to her child by not only naming her but from now on she would dedicate her life in the upbringing of this child; the child who is her creation.

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A confectioner is really patient and passionate about the sweet delicacies that he makes. Ask me, how?

In the greased canvassed tin he would gently lay the sweet children of cookies. After years of perfection (or maybe he would still be new to the business) he would inspect each cookie, and then he would decorate it with rubied cherries. Finally giving them a gentle brush with egg glaze, which would give them the perfect smile for the baking photo shoot. At last when they march out, he would gently powder them with a little flour dust. Thus ultimately he has created an art.

I can see art and artists everywhere; the only thing is sometimes we are aware and the other times we are just oblivious of the fact that we are creating an art.

The truth is, everyone is creating an art form: from a simple gardener to a cook; from a school teacher to a copywriter; from a sculptor to an architect all are busy creating art.

If you ask me, “what is common between these renowned artists and disguised artists as common people?”

To me “the passionate heart” sounds as the only answer. A true artist would never worry about the returns (monetary or non-monetary). He/she would just create from the core of his/her heart. Driven by crazy ideas from the mind but fuelled by passion and dedication from his/her heart.

Hence, I believe that art can be found anywhere and everywhere. All the things that we see reflect some form of art;as a creator would have created it with a true dedicated heart.

Smile an everlasting smile

Smile an everlasting smile

“Smile an everlasting smile…” these are not just words from a song. I’ve always thought why is it difficult to wear a smile. Although sometimes it appears on our faces without any hesitation and other times it is equally burdensome.

I know of someone whose life is not going uphill in terms of career or personal life and she is very depressed. I remember her; she was the same person who used to enjoy life to the fullest. I can sense the sadness in her tone. So one day I asked her, “Why don’t you smile?” And she said,”I can’t”. I told her but you should at least try. She said,” I don’t know, I can’t. It is very hard. Even if I try to, it is very difficult.”

This dialogue with her made me thinking that is it possible not to smile. Can it be so difficult to wear a smile? People say “laughter is the best medicine” and I truly believe that. You can’t laugh all the time and so I’m a big fan of a simple smile. Nothing else will brighten your day like a simple smile.

One of the things that I like to do early in the morning is walk up to the mirror and simply smile at myself. Unlike my friend even I was not doing great in the two quadrants of life: career and relationship.  All of a sudden I could feel that my heart had gained weight and it was sinking and corroding me from inside. I don’t know about looking but I used to feel that I was five times older than usual (of course! without any experience or my actual age being that old). To be honest I didn’t like this new version of me. I think most of the people would agree to my condition because there are times when things do not go your way and this is exactly how someone or most of us would feel. So I started to find ways to pull myself back to the old me that I had known for so many years.

I started reading motivational books, watch motivational CD’s I also started tracing steps of influential people who withstood hard times; but nothing was helping me much and I kept going back to the gloomy me. I realized that I was spending most of my time inside the house, so, I decided to move out. I made it a routine to go out in the park at least once in the day.

The park not only used to fill me with a new refreshing energy but it pleased my heart as well. I used to sit an enjoy the children playing and laughing, the dogs taking a walk with their owners, youngsters and old walking and exercising  to keep themselves fit and healthy. I couldn’t stop myself from going to the park. But there was still some sadness in my heart.

As one day I was sitting in the park bench a small child came up to me, and she simply smiled at me. I couldn’t stop myself and returned her smile. In that moment something had changed and I could feel that I was not trying to smile but genuinely smile at her. It was a miracle moment for me because my heart was also smiling with me and I felt light as a feather. I kept smiling that entire day.

The next morning when I got up and was accidentally standing in front of the mirror I could see a faint smile on my face. I could see the change in me and around me. That smile had not only brightened my day but also brought a new and better version of me.

From that day on wards I decided that the first thing I’ll do after getting up would be to look at my reflection on the mirror and smile. It has almost been one year and I’ve kept up with this routine till date. I think it is just a way of greeting me and wishing a great day ahead. I would agree that sometimes when the life doesn’t go my way I become sad but I’ve found out a trick to keep smiling and keep myself happy. I just have to remember the innocent smile of that girl who walked up to me in the park, and I have a smile on my face (Sometimes I think what if the smile of that girl fades away from my memory what will I do then. Simple I’ll look for another innocent smile; the world is big enough to find one).

I’ve realized that a smile is just like a flower; the freshness and the fragrance of which spreads from your heart to your face. But when times are difficult you could just wear a smile and your heart would bloom with joy (not to mention that you would look younger).