as I leave my marks
on the sand grinded by invisible teeth
I am followed submissively
by the force lying there underneath
do you know what amazing stories
the sea has told me last night?
of sea horses and drifting wood
and of death holding me tight
dancing madly in a waltz
of rippled lace, dragged back and forth
it gently caresses my ankles
slapping me suddenly from south and from north
roaring like an angry monster
that wants to engulf the whole modern time
embracing my being
in a moment where it belongs to nobody, but is all mine.
100 Words, Memyselfandela/Adela Galasiu 2015
Photos, Adela Galasiu, Isle of Wight, UK
The “Three Little Pigs” is a fairy tale that has become very popular in our culture. It was originally written in England, the earliest credited story version being written by James Orchard Halliwell in 1849. The story appeared in a book titled “Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales.” It is not known if Halliwell, who later used the name Halliwell-Phillipps, created the story himself or has simply passed it down from his previous generations.
Halliwell was credited by Joseph Jacobs when he adapted the story for a book titled “English Fairy Tales.” Jacobs made changes to appeal to a younger audience. In the original story, the “Big Bad Wolf” was boiled in a pot and eaten by the three pigs. Rather than end the fairy tale in such a horrible manner, Jacobs adapted the tale, so that the “Big Bad Wolf” came down the chimney and burned his tail. In the Disney interpretation, the wolf lands in a pot of boiling turpentine, but runs away in pain through the chimney.
The basic story of “The Three Little Pigs” is a tale of three little pigs who each builds a home. The first one takes little time in building the home out of straw and spends the rest of his time playing and relaxing. The second little pig builds a home out of sticks, which takes a bit longer, but he too values relaxation time. The third little pig chooses to build a home out of bricks, which requires a great deal of time and effort. He values more taking the time to build a home properly over relaxation and recreation. When the big bad wolf comes to the homes, only the third pig’s house stands up to the pressure applied by the wolf.
The moral lesson learned from “The Three Little Pigs” is that hard work and dedication pay off. This idea that taking the time to perform a task the right way has been widely adopted by many teachers and parents of children for generations. It has became extremely popular in the United States with Walt Disney’s adaption of the tale.
Here you can find Disney’s adaptation:
In 1933, Walt Disney released an eight-minute animated film of the “Three Little Pigs.” According to the Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts, this short film has inspired many Americans through the Great Depression. Just as the three little pigs were able to overcome adversity through hard work, many Americans believed that their hard work would eventually lead them out of the Great Depression.
But starting from the Disney version of the story, the cinematography has continued to adapt, and it is really interesting to see how the story has been changed in time, in different moments in time and according to different trends, into:
a musical version
a reality version
an unhappy ending version
or an Italian Mafia style version.
The story has , like all fairy tales, a seed of truth hidden deep inside. And it can also mean something completely different to different people. The moral of the story nevertheless inspired generations to work hard for success, with the hope that one day the hard work will lead to success and happiness.
Yet, no matter how you look at the story and whichever your favourite version may be, enjoy it. 🙂
Memyselfandela, July 2015
In a far away land there is a city with hundreds of wise houses. Each house has a roof, a soul and an attic with two windows. Eyes scrutinize the birds that get back to their nests late at night, the grannies that bake homemade bread, the blatant children playing outside, the flowers raising their heads in the sun, the cats that purr in hidden corners, the dogs hiding their precious bones, the women that dream of the return of their husbands and the husbands dreaming of other women.
Every day opens a new color, a new hope, ends a life and begins others. Every evening sends to sleep all the rippled memories of the day, all the children and cats and birds and wives and husbands. Some of the grannies will sleep longer, other babies will get born out of the dreams of past nights. Some of the flowers will grow seeds, others will bloom, the stars will seem to rotate on the sky awaiting the rays of the same sun that has opened the eyes of all the children and women and cats and husbands and grannies and birds.
When morning comes the smell of coffee invades the streets. It fills up the sky and the staircases of all houses. As eyes open life vibrates, noises clash in the air, birds sing again, cats lick meticulously their paws and wash their furs with slow movements on the edge of wide open windows, dogs inspect every corner of their territory, children moan instead of waking up, wives pack lunch for their husbands, husbands go to work hoping that the day will be better that the other days. And even though life seems the same, it is always different.
In the city where houses have eyes life can still flow in unexpected patterns. Houses have eyes in Sibiu, Romania.
Intr-o tara indepartata exista un oras cu sute de case intelepte. Fiecare casa are un acoperis, un suflet si un pod cu doua ferestre. Ochi privesc cu mare atentie pasarile care se intorc la cuiburile lor noaptea, bunicile care coc paine de casa, copiii galagiosi care se joaca pe afara, florile care isi ridica frumosul cap in soare, pisicile care torc in colturi ascunse, cainii care isi ascund mult iubitele oase, femeile care viseaza cu ochii deschisi la intoarcerea barbatilor lor si barbatii care viseaza la cu totul alte femei.
Fiecare zi deschide o noua culoare, o noua speranta, sfarseste o noua viata si incepe altele. Fiecare seara trimite la culcare toate amintirile ondulate ale zilei, toti copiii si toate pisicile si toate pasarile si toate nevestele si toti barbatii. Unele bunici vor dormi mai mult, alti copii se vor naste din visele noptilor care au trecut. Unele flori vor face seminte, altele vor inflori, stelele vor parea ca se rotesc pe cer asteptand razele aceluiasi soare care a deschis ochii tuturor copiiilor si femeilor si pisicilor si barbatilor si bunicilor si pasarilor.
Cand vine dimineata aroma de cafea napadeste toate strazile. Umple cerul si casele scarilor. In timp ce ochii se deschid, viata vibreaza, zgomote se ciocnesc in aer, pasari canta din nou, pisici isi ling meticulos labele si isi spala blana cu miscari foarte tacticoase pe marginea ferestrelor larg deschise, caini inspecteaza fiecare colt al teritoriului lor, copii gem in loc sa se trezeasca, neveste impacheteaza pranzul pentru barbatii lor, barbati merg la lucru sperand ca ziua va fi mai buna decat alte zile. Si desi viata pare la fel, este mai totdeauna diferita.
In orasul in care casele au ochi viata poate inca sa se scurga in tipare cu totul neasteptate.
Casele au ochi in Sibiu, Romania.
300 words / 300 de cuvinte,
Story and Translation / Poveste si Traducere : memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu October 2013 / July 2015
Memory. One of the strongest muscles in our being. It can contract and ruin your life crushing you underneath or it can gently lift your soul in the light, no matter what life throws at you.
When I was a child my grandmother used to have in a corner of her garden a columbine that used to grow again and again every year. I remember how fascinated I used to be as a little girl by the filigree shape and the delicate yet robust structure of this flower. I could study it day after day when it bloomed or when it’s petals were falling. I used to be very caring with the flowers. And when I say flowers, I mean beings, living creatures that I respected deep in my child’s heart. It never ceased to amaze me and make me happy whenever I saw it, because only there, in that corner of the garden, hidden in shadow under a lilac tree one could have found my columbine. There were no others, it was unique and the neighbours had none. It’s incredible how simple things that adults don’t even notice can be such an awesome thing for a child.
Many years I grew up with the beautiful columbines, studying them as they opened their purple-blue flowers. Columbines meant holiday, freedom and childhood. Not in so many words, but with a warm cosy feeling deep within. Words meant nothing then, only the heart was full of feelings and of a light that an adult is losing somewhere on the way.
This year I was contemplating my bare garden, frozen and with no trace of life. Then suddenly an incredible invisible force, a singular touch of grace has awaken the life in the sleeping buds and wrinkled flowers that rose their heads and stretched their beings in the warm sunshine. Then mesmerised I have discovered hundreds of columbines.
Is it God’s message that life is beautiful and full of diversity on a multitude of layers at the same time? Or is it just a cosmic coincidence? No matter what it is, it has brought back to me that warm cosy feeling in the midst of a busy life full of stress. The morning when I saw the columbines bloom I felt how one must feel when they win the lottery. To others this means nothing. To me it means the return to innocence.
400 words, memyselfandela, June 1st 2015
Photo: Adela Galasiu, May 2015
She had not written for many days, weeks, months, it felt rather like eons. Struck by a fierce silence, she didn’t find the words any more. Painful silence, coming from deeper than the words can say. From deep within where thoughts do not have time or do not dare to descend in normal days that gallop worst than wild horses. Life seems to have stopped and unfolded in front of her eyes with a sort of cruelty that she did not know how to swallow. Cruelty or acute sarcasm. As if life itself would have smiled at her with half a face and smashed her badly with a slap coming from the opposite side.
Yes, life is sarcastic and unfair. Who told you that there are happy ending stories? There may be many fairy tales, but not many real happy endings. She did her best to make things happen but at some point she understood that she has no power over life itself, that life is a far bigger force than she can even understand with her mind and that all she can do is to accept with humiliation that in some ways she has lost the battles long before they have even begun.
Shredded often between her beautiful imagination and the cruel reality, she had learned that the most powerful thing one can do in this life is to survive. And the most crazy to dream. She has never dared to lay on paper all her thoughts, out of fear that if she would have done so, maybe the whole reality would have cracked over her. Yet in moments when nobody noticed her, she has dared to close her eyes and without a word to imagine a parallel world where everything was different than in this one.
There was in the end no lesson she could have cascaded on others. No great wisdom and no big prise. She had only learned that she knew nothing and as such, she stopped talking about life. She stopped complaining and equally she stopped rejoicing. She had reached a state of acceptance that was similar to the shell of a tortoise, trying to keep the very core of her far away, deeply hidden from any pain.
In an untold resilience her spirit has lost many other souls, even the ones she has loved the most. Their voice has faded just as sudden as it has made itself heard. Their presence has stopped shining a warmth of goodness and joy in her existence. Yet she was adamant she did not lose them completely and she will once again have the blessing of meeting them all. In her fantasy at least.
On the corner of a little table hidden in a tea room where nobody stopped today because of the horrible weather, she broke her silence, but allowed the secrets to remain in the deep hidden corners of her soul, brewing there, unknown to others, yet ready to emerge one day, truly full of magic.
500 words, memyselfandela, November 2014
She is still on the bed… White and still like the water of the deepest lake in the most peaceful morning…
Light flowing, dripping from behind heavy curtains… cool air caressing her face, entering her nostrils… sunshine touching her shivering eyelids… his hand on her back, his breath on her hair, his strong perfume floating, his voice, his sweet voice lingering in her ear…
She opens her big eyes, tries to sit on the edge of the bed, tries to keep her back straight and sighs, gasping for more life…
She closes her sad eyes… He left only a memory.
Greek story photo – Predrag Pajdic
There was once a little fox that got rescued from a fur farm…
Little scared soul with red fur and a fast beating heart…
She grew up being loved and she became playful like a cat…
Vixey is a beauty… Her wonderful fur , her tenderness and the way she plays make her adoptive family very happy…
This is one of the very rare real happy-end stories. 🙂
There were once two feet.
Two feet refrigerated wrapped in soft and fluffy slippers.
Two feet who remembered the cold creeks, sand grains rolling over the waves between their toes, the sun warming them on the stones and the lovely sound of cicadas calling for a nap.
Two feet that were about to seriously consider buying a big light therapy box, two meters by four. And Prozac. In quantity!
A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:
‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.’
So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’
She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’
The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’
She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.
Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.’
The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!’
‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.’
The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.
He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same.
Love says, ‘I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person.’ Abortion says, ‘I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself.’
I am so used to see discrimination in all aspects of life, so today, when we, Romanian Orthodox celebrate Easter, I will tell you a true story. It is not only a simple life story, it is also a lesson.
This happened on TAM airlines.
A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man.
Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.
“What’s the problem, mam?” the hostess asked her
“Can’t you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him. You have to change my seat”
– “Please, calm down, mam” – said the hostess
“Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”
The hostess left and returned some minutes later.
“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seat in this class- economy class.
But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn’t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”
And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued
“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.
However, given the circumstances, the Pilot thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sitting next to an unpleasant person.”
And turning to the black man, the hostess said:
“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”
And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.
One hot day, a thirsty crow flew all over the fields looking for water. For a long time, he could not find any. He felt very weak, almost lost all hope. Suddenly, he saw a water jug below the tree. He flew straight down to see if there was any water inside. Yes, he could see some water inside the jug!
The crow tried to push his head into the jug. Sadly, he found that the neck of the jug was too narrow. Then he tried to push the jug to tilt for the water to flow out but the jug was too heavy.
The crow thought hard for a while. Then looking around her, he saw some pebbles. he suddenly had a good idea. he started picking up the pebbles one by one, dropping each into the jug. As more and more pebbles filled the jug, the water level kept rising. Soon it was high enough for the crow to drink. His plan had worked!
One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging
wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the
edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and
powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought
there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.
This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked
up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the
stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals
watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, “Don’t bother,
it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you
can’t put out this fire.”
And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless
and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a
mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or
losing a beat, looked back and said,
“I am doing what I can.”
Love… the “climb any mountain, ford any stream” love… the shouting in undying passion for his love kind of love… that sweet and sticky kind of love…
Why was this significant? Well, he was a love-hater just merely half a year ago. He was that person who would roll the eyes at someone like him now, and just say: “Get over it already!!!”.
In fact, he did. He definitely said that very loud to real people in public. Worse yet, he said it to some of his closest friends. His utter disdain for public displays of affection was both ferocious and adamant. Romance felt like a construct rather than an extension of emotional expression. Love seemed like an obligation, a constant game of one-upmanship where the stakes just get higher. Love. What the hell is love, anyway? It’s just a word.
What was it, you might wonder, that turned him into such a bitter curmudgeon at such a (relatively) young age? Same old story, I guess – he’d been in a good number of relationships, many of which left him so heartbroken it was hard to pick himself off the floor. After a particularly bad year, it was enough. He removed his heart from his sleeve and tossed it. It just wasn’t worth it.
Sure, since then he had other rendezvous. He even said the big “L” again, though it was more calculated, measured, and guarded. Love was something that could be rationalized. Marriage was something that could be brokered. Everything occurred in its due course, was controlled, and was expected.
Everything… except this.
He was in a rather deep denial over how badly the last relationship had hurt him and proclaimed, nearly the next day after the breakup, that he didn’t give a damn and that he was over it. The breakup, while not his idea, was just the due course of the relationship. Though he had plotted it differently, he rationalized it would have ended eventually, and she had been gracious enough to do him a favor. His love and him, they connected then, while he was stoically broken and when he still thought he knew all the answers. He dismissed her, back then, since he would need to grieve for the prescribed time (mathematically, it is half the time you were with someone, but he figured that he should be good in about six months, give or take). He told her that it wasn’t going to go anywhere. He saw other people. He even ended it with her. It just wasn’t in his logical and methodical equations. He explained to himself the significance of the break. Over those many heartbreaks, he realized that using “let’s break up” as fighting ammo just isn’t cool. To combat this, he’s implemented the “a break is a break” rule, meaning that if she breaks up with him (or vice-versa), then there was a damned good reason to do it. No looking back. A break is permanent.
So, when he ended it with her, he really had no intention of ever seeing her again. Ever. But something odd had happened. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. But there was so much fear. So much fear that something would go wrong. Well, he called “fear” “reality.” After all, she was German. He was American. She – here for just a few more months. He had a job here in Chicago, with no potential to transfer elsewhere. Where the hell can a relationship with limited time go? To the short-term-no-commitments bin, and that’s where he tried to keep it.
Maybe she found him at just the right time in his personal quest of self-exploration. Maybe they were so compatible that everything was just what love is supposed to be. Maybe, just maybe, there is no explanation, because that’s what love is, something irrational that just kind of happens. Whatever it was, it was as though his heart melted – literally. He hates such cheesy metaphors; he would apologize for all those cynics out there – don’t forget, he was you!). It was as though he’d put his heart in a cryogenic freezer and then took it out, just in time to be warmed by this beautiful and amazing woman.
Regardless of what it was, he couldn’t stay away from her for long. He invited her to the L Stop launch party, where he had convinced himself it would just be a hook-up. At Thanksgiving, he specifically skipped out on plans elsewhere to cook her a traditional meal, convincing himself that it was just that he was showing her a true American T-day. No, there wasn’t a possibility that he actually liked the girl. What’s done is done. No looking back.
Something, though… something was different. He felt his pulse quicken. “Breathe, breathe, get it under control,” he thought. Her perfume lingered in his car after she left and his pulse raced. His thoughts wandered off to her during the day. His heart beat uncontrolled within his chest, it felt like anxiety. But it felt so much better than anxiety. Damn? What the hell was going on with him?
Fortunately, though, he was too intoxicated with her to think straight. He had blurted out things like, “Why don’t you come over (again) tonight” before he could think them through. His poor roommate had to listen to “Why the hell do I like her?” over and over again while he picked at the teeny tiniest minuscule faults wherever he could manage to imagine them. This eventually morphed to, “Why can’t I STOP liking her” and eventually an all-out, “Oh GOD, I think I’m in LOVE with her”.
All the reasoning in the world couldn’t rationalize this away. In fact, despite their separate nationalities, there was no legitimate reason holding them apart. He could always move to Germany; she could move here, she had an in-demand job that could always warrant her work visa, maybe no marriage needed. She was smart, funny, gentle, and crazy hot – what the hell was there not to love?
Well, after leaving behind his own hangups, and letting it just all unfold with no plan…it turned out there was nothing not to love. Was it…was it that he was just too scared to try love again? Scared? Him? But, it turns out he was. He kept thinking that this wonderfully amazing woman would just walk out of his life (and really, he had given her plenty of reasons to).
But he let it all go and decided to put it all on the line. Instead, with a shaky voice, while they snuggled on the couch, he leaned over to her ear. Just as much because he was scared he’d mess it up in German as he was scared to say it out loud, he whispered:
“Ich liebe dich”.
1100 words, Adela Galasiu 2012