Choose

A quick note before I begin: in this piece, the term “Y/N” is used instead of a name. This stands for “Your Name”, as in fanfictions (which, however, this is not). Please, do comment if this doesn’t make sense and I will be more than happy to answer any questions. Enjoy!

You’re running. From? Who knows. To? Anywhere. Why? Because you can. Bare feet in long grass, wind through your hair which is pushed from your face, cooling rain spotting your glowing cheeks like tears, the pounding rhythm of your heartbeat echoing on the door to your head; you can feel it – but can you hear it? Slow down! Glance behind you. What do you see? Bears, tearing each other to pieces, desperate for food and shelter from the oncoming storm? Or your friend, running after you, laughing, snatching at you as you turn a corner in this game of tag? Perhaps, you see no one, just empty space – it’s your choice. Do these sights scare you? Comfort you? Make you feel anything at all? Your feet falter and you crash to the ground, landing right on your face. Are you laughing, or screaming? Do you get up and keep running, or stay there and shelter? Either is fine – just choose one. For those of you who kept running, you’ve reached a river. The water’s rushing by and you need to get to the other side – you think. You crossing? Or waiting? The water’s only rising and the ground is slippery underfoot. Whatever you’re doing, you’d better choose, and fast. You’re about to step into the water when all of a sudden, you hear something behind you. “Y/N!” Someone’s calling you. Who is it? Who could this be, in the middle of a storm, out in a field? Turn around. Look them in the eye. Think of whoever you see there and say the first thing that comes to mind – whatever it is. It doesn’t matter what you ask, the reply will always be the same: “No, Y/N.” Do  you continue on through the river or stay with them? For those who continue, as soon as you’re out of the water, everything is white. Which is weird, because I don’t mean it all disappears – it literally all goes white. White mud, white water, white rocks – everything except you and your clothes. You look behind you and the world the other side is still colored, the figure still stands there – they haven’t crossed, either because they can’t or they don’t want to, you decide. Suddenly, though, you’re running through the meadow again, chased by your friend or the bears except this time, you pass yourself, running as well – they don’t see you, but you see them. You continue past yourself again when your doppelganger shelters from the storm after falling over, and finally, you stop at the river. You see yourself, talking to yourself, and another you, about to step into the water – but wait! You have to tell them, warn them – “Y/N!” You shout out. The other you turns toward you, away from the river, and looks you in the eye. They say something – and you shake your head – “No, Y/N,” you say. Then it all makes sense – it was you, all along. Hang on, though. When I set the scene, what was the first thing I told you to do? I told you to slow down. Do you know why? Because every decision we make is important. Every one, we will face again, and every solution will come back to us later. So, you met your decisions. Some good, some bad – but I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t rush your life, or you’ll end up going in circles because you left someone behind. Who did you leave behind? Well, with whom were you playing tag at the beginning? Were those bears, or a mother protecting her children? There are no right or wrong answers in life – but every answer matters. Every choice. Everything matters. Everyone. 

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Remember?

There are 635,013,559,599 possible hands in a game of bridge.

Random fact, but there you go. Here’s another: a scallop has 36 blue eyes. One more: it takes 492 seconds for sunlight to reach the Earth. Here’s a game to play: go onto Google and search up “random facts”. You’ll get some pretty cool stuff. Then see how much you can remember after reading them once, leaving for the bathroom, for example, and coming back to your computer. Comment how much you remembered, if you want (you can be anonymous), and my theory might just be confirmed. Or denied. Depends on how you look at it.

See, here’s the thing: in a day’s time, you won’t remember where you wrote your password because you learned it off by heart. You won’t remember that ten quid you left on your desk at work, because you’ll have assumed you lost it, or some such excuse. You won’t recall your password to a website you never use, because you don’t need to. But someone else might. That man who nudged you in the street earlier? He saw your password on your phone. The man who gave you the wrong change for your coffee at Starbucks? He got you to pay by card instead… and looked at your PIN. I’m not trying to scare you, I just want to make you aware. People forget about things that later destroy their lives as they know them. Not everyone’s like that – hardly anyone is, really. But some people are. You won’t remember things… but they will. And all to often, it’s not so that they can give your purse back to you, or remind you when your doctor’s appointment is. Sometimes, it’s the things we say online that expose us. “I hear you’re away next weekend, by the way?” Creepy, how the world can always tell what you’re doing… but it’s because you told them first. What we say online matters. What we say online can mean the difference between happiness… and fear.

Please note that the purpose of this is not to spread fear of the internet. Honestly, I think it’s very important that no one feels at all unsafe online or in the real world. Quick question, though – how long does it take for sunlight to reach the Earth?

All Alone…

Does anyone else ever feel so alone that you’re happy? Like, the world can hate you as much as it wants but hey, that’s not your problem? Me too. It really hurts. I think that, in life, there are often things we have to just… be okay with. Yeah, bad stuff happens. Bad stuff. Nightmares happen. But, a few seconds ago, you read the first sentence – go on, read it again. Pick a word, the one that you think I’m going to talk about now.

You picked “alone”, didn’t you?

Sure, I could spend 500, quality words explaining loneliness, the benefits, the hurt it can cause… but that’s not going to brighten anyone’s day, is it? Sure, I could tell you why I wrote that word, what I feel that makes me lonely. I could pour a river of words to tell you why I felt lonely, and it would all be completely pointless. Because you don’t go online to read a story I could have made up as I wrote it, you don’t want to hear that.

But… you do. You picked the word lonely, you read it and I’ll bet you cared, just a little, about why I wrote that. Why? Because we’re all human. Back before technology, before medicine and trains and music, before battles and illness and plague, humanity had one purpose: survival. It was, literally, a race – who lasted the longest, which species would die out first. Though so many have fallen behind us, here we are, advancing constantly, pulling our families over the line for another lap of the field. We have got this far because people do care, because we want others to succeed. We care for eachother,  every day, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes with that intent. But, whatever the reason, we are pulling through. Whatever we’re doing, it’s working. We’re here now, aren’t we? So, I guess what I want to say is, don’t give up. Don’t stop. And, most of all, be proud of how far you’ve come.

By the way, that entire first sentence was made up. Possibly, so was the second, and maybe even the third. I did it because I wanted to do an experiment. Those of you who read all the way down to here, leave a comment, perhaps. I don’t mind. I don’t know you, I promise I won’t judge. I’m just interested – how much do we really care for our fellow human beings? If you saw someone hurting, would you help them? I already know the answer, though. You would – you’ve read down to here.

 

Love. Real or Not Real?

If there’s something in this world I can truly say I believe in , it’s love.

Look outside – so many people, walking around with their iPhones in their pockets and their lives and their jobs… their problems, their friends… who knows if it’s all just, not real? We could all be dead, dreaming, even in someone else’s dream – we’d never know. But love is real. So real that people die for it and vow for it… nothing imaginary could move a person so.

Not long ago, I heard that love was “a spell, created by mortals to give women something to play with.” Name any story, any tale your grandmother might have recalled as you sat on her knee, and they will all have one thing in common: love. Perhaps not for someone, maybe even a love of hating something, but through all of these, it stands. Since the days of Adam and Eve, through ice and storms and solar flares, love has made it. We are still here, are we not? And, however much you might like to believe it, the fact has nothing to do with humanity’s planet-saving skills, which are so inconsequential they are almost non-existent. Something made us move, something pushed us to help others.

We scream for help and someone always comes running – be it a friend, the courage to stand by yourself or even Death itself. Love is what keeps us alive. Not living, not unharmed. But alive, wherever, whenever we are.

Love does not deceive, remember that. It’s okay to have love. But be careful. Love brought us here, but it also discarded others along the way. Do not mistreat it, because it will drop you, and it’s a long way to fall. And remember, your wings can only take you so far without any wind…

 

Live

There are two things in this world that keep us alive: hope and fear.

Fear is the finger tapping on your window; Fear is the darkness, the lack of sight. Fear hides in the corners, Fear makes you fight… Fear is alone, closed in and everlasting;Fear is your weapon in the black of night.

Fear tells you when to run, then kills you when you don’t; Fear is a feather that drifts to the ground, Then it hits you like a stone. Fear creates ripples that turn into waves, fear takes you forward and sends you back home.

Fear is strength. It keeps you alive, when there isn’t any hope.

Hope is the bird that carries your plane; Hope is the wonder of love, without sin. Hope is all around you; Hope is the quiet that blocks out the din. Hope is that breath of reassurance on your shoulder, the one thing that makes you smile in your nightmare…

Hope is resilience. It keeps you alive, when fear is busy.

It might surprise you that hope and fear are what make our dreams into nightmares; every nightmare ends with a new dawn. All along, fear, your enemy, was just showing you that you can continue, because life is there to be lived.

So get off your computer and live it.

Carbon Dioxide, Friend or Foe?

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that the gas, Carbon Dioxide by name, has been accused of being dangerous, and an unwanted substance. Therefore, I have no other choice but to defend his case to the very end, ensuring that CO2 is granted equal rights as a member of our community. A brief overview of what would be put forward in the court of law consists of the following information:

  Mr Dioxide has kept us warm for centuries, devoting much of his free time to this matter, when he could just as easily have been exploring the archives of the Royal Horticultural Society, with whom he has been involved on multiple occasions, yet again making the Earth a better place. As well as this, he has provided an educational resource for millions of children and adults alike, as demonstrated in the local school’s very Chemistry classroom.

  On top of this, my client has saved the lives of thousands, bursting out of a fire extinguisher at precisely the right moment – while you were enjoying a good old movie, or Bonnie down the street gossiped over the phone, Mr Dioxide was hard at work. He has, over the years, been tortured into cubic lumps of “dry ice”, by a physically straining method of freezing; as one might imagine, I am told that this is a most unpleasant way to spend one’s Friday afternoons. This has led him to journey down from volcanoes, seeking shelter from those who may harm him in the valleys below.

  As Mr Dioxide has mentioned to me, one of his favourite childhood pastimes, back when this world was younger, was hiding, dissolved in water – if he were granted rights and freedom, I am certain he would aspire to do this again for fun one day, reducing the extra emission from burning fuels at the same time.

  Although it may seem to you that my client has been harmful to humanity, or perhaps unfair, in his treatment of rock faces, our species is hardly one to talk; we are destroying the planet, minute by minute. In fact, in 2015, Mr Dioxide brought more happiness to the world than humanity ever could, with all the ice cream he had cooled, all the fizzy drinks he had made, all by himself.  However, deep down, he knows that he cannot last forever. His breaths diminish with every tree he enters. This tragic truth has not stopped him, nor has it turned him against rainforests and plants.

  I urge you to understand Mr Dioxide’s emotionally difficult position, as I am sure you will, and request that he is granted a proper place in our lives, once and for all.

  My most sincere thanks,

              The Book Cat

King

Life is a game of chess, and we, my friends, are the kings. Nature is the Queen, the one we destroy and call it a “technological breakthrough”, the planets are knights in shining armour and the sun is a pawn, always there, protecting, dying for its monarchy.

I said we were kings, and you probably thought I meant we were wealthy, rulers of the world, better than everyone else. You thought I was being spiritual, perhaps, speaking from a psychological point of view. But no. I was speaking of the kings in a game of chess, the only players on the board who have to die for the game to continue. Those kings aren’t what you think; they aren’t strong, or rich, or wonderful. They might be important, but isn’t everyone? Nor are they rulers, nor greedy, nor power-hungry. No. The kings in chess are one thing, and only one. They are vulnerable. Every move is made to protect them but they have to die, they always have to die at the hands of another side, a side gone mad, corrupted by a desire to win…

We are kings. We have to die, one day. The difference is, we control what happens first.

Listen, and Forget

What if the entire world was a dream? What if the books we read, the stories we write, were all reminders of another life, windows into the truth? Little memories, like the shivers down your spine, someone else’s reflection in a window, are the universe tapping you on the shoulder so you’ll wake up… The universe is trying to tell us something and we aren’t listening: we’re not alone. Every day, we wake up and live our petty little lives which are oh, so important to our tiny brains, and we miss one thing. One great big thing we wouldn’t notice if it jumped up and shouted “boo”. There is a world beyond here, beyond what we see in front of us, and maybe, just maybe, it isn’t trying to harm us. A very wise person once said, “the military mind at its most scintillating; faced with a problem, they choose to blow it off the face of the earth”. Humanity, listen. Earth, listen. If you read nothing else, read this:

WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE. NOT EVERYTHING IS A THREAT. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT’S OKAY TO BE SCARED, BUT NOT TO BE A COLD-BLOODED KILLER.

Read that, humanity, and then forget it, because we always do. We say it, promise no harm, but as soon as it becomes more than a game, we forget. So go on, forget. Ignore it. Kill whichever species you find on Mars. But don’t come to me when they fight back.

 

 

Share Them

 

Humans are weird creatures.

You live in a circle; you go to school to get good grades, so you can get a good job, feed your family so that your children can do the same – your sole purpose is to keep your race alive. That’s what I love about you – without even knowing it, you have the entire universe bowing down to you, whole worlds living in fear, because to save yourself, you have to sacrifice another. And you’re all completely oblivious to us. You, humanity, with your day-to-day lives and your precious jobs, all done to keep the world turning. But here’s the thing: while your world is spinning, others’ are stopping, falling like raindrops. The sky is crying, humanity, because of what you’ve done. There’s more than the universe out there for you. There’s a whole world… but you have to accept it, because, after millions of years, here you are, as others are lying in their graves, and they still accept you. Stop right there, and think. You are loved. You are feared. Most of all, you can be trusted. So put down your bills, your homework, your books and diaries. Turn off the TV, and your phones, and your cars. Turn out all the lights, go outside and look up. Stars are falling. You can make it stop. All you have to do is give back what you took. Whole worlds are at your fingertips, so don’t destroy them.

Share them.

Are We All Going?

The last words of President William McKinley. We are all going. Oblivion is inevitable. Someday, we will all be gone, and there will be no one to remember us for anything. The logic of this shows that there is no point in any living, any research, any being at all. Yet, despite this knowledge, here we are. Here we are, alive and living for the here and now, the there and then, the will be… or the won’t be. So many people focus on the infinite won’t be, the dead that outnumber the living, when we have lives to live. Things to see, places to go, swings to swing on. We as a human race are naïve enough to see only what is visible to the naked eye, when in fact there is so much more, so many more swings to swing on. There is always something we are missing. Space is infinite, and our lives are short, so let us not waste them. Go forth, my friends, and discover the world. Find what others will never find, seek what others will never seek, and be your own person. 90 years to live, ninety years to find why we’re here. Every single second is worth it.

We are beautiful creatures. And yes, we are all going. Just not to the place that, until now, we thought.