Source: august blogust.
Gray and more gray. This is what the sky looked like the last time.
You could say, this is just the normal sky color in October -in Belgium- but not everybody agrees with that; especially our friend the painter; who can not stand this gray, messy sky.
He took a huge bucket of blue paint -purchased in an outlet shop- and went to the top of a little hill, carrying a ladder and the bucket of paint.
He painted all day long without even a break for lunch or just to have a drink.
Later in the afternoon, he was finally ready and backed off to see his finished work: the sky was all blue to the horizon where it met the green-grey ocean. He reached in his pocket for the marker he carried with him to highlight his pocket calendar. He added a little tiny line of green-yellow to mark the border of the two worlds.
He was going home, singing while walking with the ladder and the empty bucket, when someone called him. “Sir, Mr. the painter, what about the sun? In a blue sky there should be the sun, right?”
The painter looked up “Yes, you’re right. The problem is, I don’t have any paint to paint the sun. I have only bought a lot of blue paint and that is all you get, a blue sky.”
He went away mumbling within himself “It is never good, they always want more.” He was not singing any more.
I figure we should be happy with the gray and wait for the sun to show.
He went further…
THE FARMER AND THE MELON
Mr Martino used to keep his stories inside his hat. When asked to tell a story he would take his hat off, look inside it, shake it, and eventually he would fish from the hat a piece of paper where the story was written. (In reality the stories were all in his head, but he liked to play games. Once in a while, he would say” See? The hat is empty.”
The kids were disappointed and went away with long faces. This happened not very often, he did not like to disappoint the children. Sometimes, he would run and all the children would run after him.
‘The tale is running away; I have to catch it.’ He screamed. The kids loved this.
When the kids asked him to tell them more stories, he would try to get them to go away, but in the end he would sometimes fish a story out his big hat and tell them. Most of the time, they loved the story. Sometimes they didn’t understand what he was talking about.
“Once upon the a time,” was always the starting point of the tale.
“Once upon a time, there was a farmer. He had chickens, rabbits, pigs, cows, and sheep living on his farm. He treated them well, but – there is always a but- he would occasionally eat them. You know: roasted chicken, bacon and so on. They tasted great but if you are a chicken or a pig, you would not be very happy about it.
One day they decided that they had had enough, and they started a kind of revolution. When the farmer went to feed the chicken he got eggs thrown at his face. The cows tried to charge him with their horns to gore him..Even the roses try to hurt him with their thorns.
All the animals in the farm were carrying banners ‘Don’t eat chickens, ‘Don’t eat eat pigs,’ and so on.
The farmer was very much shocked. He treated all his animals well. He kept them clean. He gave them food. He was surprised to see this happening and could not partake of any food for days. For breakfast he went for eggs and bacon and saw the chicken and the pig protesting. He could not eat any more and was very quickly looking very emaciated and weak.
The animals thought they were winning the battle. They thought they could take charge of the farm and be happy and free for the rest of their lives.
The farmer sat in denial with his hand rifling in his hair, and didn’t even dare to look at his farm; the land he had loved all the time that he had been on the planet.
The cow told him, ‘No more meat. ‘ The chicken told him, ‘No more eggs.’ The rabbits told him, ‘No more fur or meat from us.’
All the animals and the plants were telling him to get lost. He would not get anything any more.
He was desperate, and then a little voice awakened him from his nightmare. The voice came from a round, fat faced melon. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘Sir, I know they are all against you, but I think that without you I never would have been in this world. I would never have grown up the way I am now; all sweet and fat inside my skin.
Please, Sir, eat me. I would be very happy to serve the purpose I have been made for. I would love to be eaten by you than to become rotten and be eaten by …whatever.
Only one thought, I ask of you. When you eat me, take the seed out my body and sow it again in a fertile land. Grown the little plants like they would be your own children.
That is my wish.” The farmer was very touched, and he took the melon, embraced him and kissed him.
We don’t really know if the farmer ate the sweet melon or not, but the animals when they heard the story, started thinking. ‘Without him we would never been born at all. He is very kind to us.’
Their protests were forgotten and the farm’s animals and plants went further with their lives as it always had been.
The cow told him, ‘Sorry sir, I understand; I got carried away. Would you please be so kind as to forgive me for my behavior. I would – however – ask not be eaten as a young animal and because I can furnish you with my milk, I would to sign a contract. I give you milk and you give me food, and shelter and protection. Veterinarian’s health care and school for my children’
The farmer agreed with this request of from his cow.
The chicken said more or less the same. Eggs for the farmer and assurance not to be roasted on the oven.
The pigs had a bad time not knowing what to offer the farmer other than the bacon and pork cops, but they were a minority and they had to make a deal too, even if it was not a nice one.
That was the tale for the day.
Mr Martino put his hat back on his head and went away wagging like an old goose wearing a hat.
Mr Martino’s birthday story is a curious one; I would dare say it is unique.
Mr Martino missed out on a lot of things during his childhood – many things now taken for granted by modern kids – going in vacation, having parties with friends, having nice clothes, and birthday parties.
Mr Martino had never even heard of such things, and later when he went to school and started reading books, he was astonished to read about and look at pictures of children playing together. Once he saw a child blowing out the candles on a huge tart (cake).
Mr Martino was very small then, and books became like windows to a new world; a much extended world. He saw television, trains, planes, and mountains with snow. As a young boy he never got enough of browsing in books.
He knew how old he was, but not the day of his birthday. One particular day, he gathered all the courage he had and asked the schoolteacher, “When was I born? All the class laughed , but the teacher – even though she was very surprised – looked in one of her papers and answered him.
After that day, he was very excited and filled with the expectation of celebrating his birthday. He didn’t realize there would be no party or gifts for him. It was not enough just to know the date of his birth to receive presents, it was needed that there be someone who did these things; such as plan the party, buy him gifts, make a tart and so on.
He was very disappointed when his birthday arrived, and wished he would never have a birthday ever again. During the long year, he became afraid of having another birthday with nothing. As a young boy Mr. Martino didn’t want to look at books with pictures of parties ever again.
One evening when gazing at the sky filled with stars, an idea flashed in his mind.
“The stars,” he thought. “The stars are the candles on my tart, and the sky will be my birthday cake.”
So said so done. The day of his birthday little Martino – who later would become Mr Martino –
waited for the day to end, and turn to darkness. When all stars were lit, he took a very deep breath and he blew all the stars out! Only the moon was still alight. Since that day the moon has a surprised look on her face.
Of course it is easy to imagine the consternation of the people being left without stars in the firmament. They didn’t understand what had happened. Many of the people were calling this event, the end of the world and were asking everyone to repent for all the sins they had possibly committed. They always do this, just as in starting again to sin, as soon as the situation is back to normal.
At first young Martino was happy, but then he didn’t see the slices of cake coming closer and he could not figure how to cut the universe into slices. He asked the moon for help, but the moon kept silent in her surprise and started to feel very lonely in this dark universe.
Not knowing what to do, Martino told the people what he had done and thought at first, they
didn’t believe him. Later they began to believe what he said, and they asked him to relight all the candles in the sky. He would have liked to do that, but he didn’t know how.
“Perhaps, if I had a match or two,” he said. To ignite a fire or light a candle, he would first need to light a match. To give a boy matches is always a risky thing to do – as everyone knows – but they were desperate and they handed him some matches.
No-one knows how and they will never know, but the sky started burning with red flames at dawn.
The next evening when the sun went down under the horizon, all the people of the village were kneeling in prayer and in despair that the stars would ever come back again. When the first star started blinking in the twilight the people screamed and danced all night.
The child Martino went to hide in his bed with his head buried in his pillow, and never wanted to have a birthday again.
Mr. Martino and the sand worm are now close friends. They spend lots of time telling one another stories.
Mr. Martino is now known as Ma, as sand worms don’t like long names, and especially don’t like titles. Ma decided to call the sand worm U. Originally he was called U-EL, taken from Samuel, but this took too long and it was shorted to U. From now on I will call them U and MA.
The very last story that Ma told U is the next one I shall relate to you: According to Ma, people went to stay – at one time or another in their lives- in different places or planets. To be honest, I think Ma just invented his stories to impress his new friend. U; he believes anything.
The story of such a place, Ma shared with U. He said, ‘it is actually a planet, but not in the usual way one thinks a planet is or should be. It is filled with trees and the trees carry something that on earth could be called fruit, but they are not real fruit, but are more like balls of light; lamps. These lamps are full of energy and we could just get whatever we need from them.’ He related to U that the taste was incredibly sweet, and the light-fruits were neither cold or warm. The trees carrying them were all different and of various colors; even the roots were made of vibrant colors.
People that took their food/energy needs from the plants, could never take too much, just enough.
There were not only people, but all kinds of other creatures living in this planet. Dogs and cats but no fish, as there was no water nor a need for water. Fish had another planet all their own covered entirely by water, but that story will be for a next time.
U was listening and he just shook his body in sign of approval. He would liked to be in a place like that. He didn’t like to be eaten by fishes of by birds.
‘People’ said Ma ‘were much lighter than people living here on earth, and they had small wings attached to the back of their feet, so that they could float in the air, the same way fish float in the water.
There were some small clouds, hovering above the plants, but they were not made of rain, but of such matter that reminds one of wool, fluffy and light. It was such nice feeling to be get on these clouds and hang around.
‘I have been there only once – in one of my dreams really – and please don’t ask me to explain what a dream is or I will never be able to finish this story. I know sand worms don’t dream, but you’ll have to do with my explanation. Well! I can assure you that I wanted to stay there longer but the rooster crowed me awake, and that was it. The light planet dissolved in thin, golden, morning air.’
U was listening but wasn’t sure if he had to say something. He didn’t know if the story – if this ever was a story – was finished or not. He liked it though.
March 4, 2015
OLD MAN IN THE FOREST – PART II
I went back home but I could not forget the old man in the forest knocking at the tree trunks.
Like a old film, this cartoon like image keeps coming up to my mind.
It reminded me of a time long ago; memories of my time as a young boy. Seems strange when you see an old man walking, to imagine him as young boy… or an old woman as a young lady but, everybody knows that it is so. Every old man has been once a boy, young man, middle aged .
One day I was sitting under a tree, an olive tree, if I remember correctly. You know, in those days – when the sun was so hot that it could have made stones explode – people used to sit under the trees. There was no air-conditioning in then, but the trees were better than air-cool to refresh you.
I was sitting under that tree, when slowly my mind dozed away and found myself in a dream world. Don’t remember exactly what the dreams where, but I remember then, that I felt like the roots of the tree were softly surrounding me, like the arms of a mother gently hugging me in a slow movement.
I have no idea how long this situation kept me mesmerized, but I thought I was waking up and when I tried to stand, I realized that my feet were in the soil, together with the roots of the tree. While I was sleeping, my feet and arms became like the roots of a tree. I had become myself a tree. An olive tree.
I could hear the noises inside the tree trunk. Probably rabbits working in their burrows. I could hear the chattering of birds. I could hear the sound of the wind caressing the leaves. I could feel the rays of the sun hitting the leaves and invading the entire tree, going to the roots and creating new energy.
It was very strange, but I was not afraid of this. Actually, I found the new situation very relaxing and felt happy.
Of course you already know that this was only a summer day dream. When later, my feet were just normal feet again, and the tree was just a normal tree and no roots were around my chest hugging me, I felt a little bit sorry that it was only a dream….or perhaps this was not a dream after all?
I could have heard the soft murmur of the tree’s leaves. Something like a gentle laugh…a smile.
I wonder if the old man had the same kind of experience like this, which made him act the way it did.
I made up my mind then, to go back to the woods and see if the old man was still there looking for his God.
In the old days, people living in small villages knew each other, and everyone knew about one another. If one was missing or ill, others would be informed right away. There was no space to disappear – not even to die – without the neighbours knowing it. Nowadays everything is changed and people don’t know each other, especially in this village where I am living. Here the people come and go, and no one has an idea of who they are, where they go, or where they come from. They go shopping, they go to restaurants, they go to the beach. One day they disappear and nobody cares, like leaves leaving the trees.
Not so very long ago, someone disappeared while walking on the beach, and has not yet been found. No one knows who he is or was. He just could have gone back home or have been taken by a giant squid. Maybe he walked into the ocean, trying to reach the light at the horizon during sunset.