Dear Cigarette,

you stink.

Once, I enjoyed when we were together. You were a good friend in times of need – always relaxing, always understanding, but for me, these times have long since come to an end.
Over the years, I have grown tired of you – but no matter how I try to show you the door, you still refuse to leave.
I will keep trying… and maybe one day, I will be strong enough to kick you out once and for all – for you, my former friend, are an unwanted guest.

Sincerely,
The Addicted

Six Days

On the seventh day, he woke to the sting of tears, panting.

The image of her perfect, pouty lips as she had flung those horrid words at him remained etched in his mind; not even the unexpected, yet dreadful gift of a few hours of sleep could keep his thoughts from going back.

Six days.
It still tore at his guts.

Drenched in sweat, wiping the tears from his cheeks while reminding himself to Be A Man, he looked around the room, bleary-eyed. The pillow to his right was abandoned, the blanket crumpled and on the floor. The girl, last night’s ‘bump & grind accomplice’, seemed to have fled the building, along with his watch and wallet, which he remembered to have put on his nightstand a couple of hours ago.

Shit.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
What was her name again? Sarah? Sandra? Oh, hell…

With a grunt, he sat up. He could still taste WhatsHerName on his tongue; the faint, yet lingering stench of cigarette smoke and cheap perfume completed the mental image of her – writhing underneath him. Wincing, he pinched the bridge of his nose, hopelessly trying to keep last night’s memories from conquering his mind. The first tendrils of a splitting headache licked at his temples, a perfectly infuriating addition to the already painfully present mix of guilt and shame.

Six days.

Absent-mindedly, he reached for the half-emptied, half-forgotten beer bottle on the floor and took a hearty swig. Stale and disgusting – but it would have to do, until he could get his legs to do his bidding and carry him over to the fridge.

It had been six days since She had left him.
Six days since the words, “I never want to see you again.” had sprung from her lips and driven their dagger-shaped intent into his heart.
Six days since his heart had been cremated.
Six days… since he had buried her remains a little way off the beautiful riverbed of Camlyn’s Creek; the exact spot where they had made love for the first time.

He stared at his trembling fingers, still clutching the beer bottle, and felt his stomach convulse.

Her words would haunt him forever.
She would haunt him forever.
That, he was sure of.

bampw-black-and-white-lips-lipstick-mouth-Favim.com-109778

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photo credits: favim.com

Pay your religious fee… today!

I am not religious.
I am no atheist either.

I am spiritual.
The ‘entities’ I believe in do not matter here, so I will keep them to myself.
What I do believe, is that we were all exhaled by a divine source, no matter which name it bears. Our souls – our sources of energy – are a divine gift. That’s how I see it. We all are sparks of divinity, spread throughout the universe – and I, too, believe that after our deaths, our ‘sparks’ will return to its origin… the source of all being.

The subject of God is always a touchy one – many different beliefs bump into each other when we set the table with bowls full of religion. I try to keep an open mind towards other belief systems, but on this day, I was challenged.

I witnessed a great display of faith today. Of believing in God and religion. It was marvelous in itself, yet, it was tainted… it frayed around the edges. What I am talking about here, is the connection between religion and submission. Quite a few religions demand submission to God – as a gesture of true belief.
This is where my confusion kicks in.

The Bible, for example, says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

Facing religion, if we are mirror images of God, if we all inherited this divine spark, does that mean we have to submit to one another?  Does that mean we have to crawl around on all fours all day and kiss the feet of hundreds of passersby in our city malls, our parks, our pedestrian areas?
It would seem so, wouldn’t it?
If we are all sprung from the same divine source or, in case of the Christian belief, ‘created in God’s image’ we should all submit to one another. It is simple logic.

Frankly, I do not understand why religion, belief and submission are connected.
Belief is something beautiful – religion and submission (in my eyes) are both tainted and corrupt.
I am sure the concepts of religion sprang from beautiful minds… from thankfulness for all the beauty in the world, from gratefulness for our own lives and experiences. How come it got so tainted throughout the decades?

Belief is beautiful.
Faith is beautiful.
Religion could be beautiful, too – if it would go back to the original version, the first idea blossoming in the first brilliant mind.

Why do our knees have to “dust the floor”, why do we have to submit to divine sources to show our appreciation and thankfulness?
Why does mankind let rules and restrictions influence its ways of believing?
Does money in the collection bag really pay for our salvation? And, if so, the more money in the bag, the better our chances to not roast on a spit in “hell”?
Do the right terms and phrases matter, when we address a divine source?
What does “holy” mean? Does it mean “divine”? And if so, if divine equals human, does “holy” really mean “human”?
Why is religion always (ALWAYS) connected to guilt?

Why does religion have to be based on the degradation, the humiliation of Self?

It all does not make sense to me.

Belief is beautiful.
Belief is pure and true.
Remove the “shackles” of submission and our modern ‘concepts’  of religion – and marvel in true belief once again.

I am sure, if we all would reflect on what we truly believe in; if we all would live up to our own beliefs, the world would certainly be a much, much better place.

insomnia

It was the fourth night in a row without sleep and his hands were unsteady.

He had entered the realm of insomnia unwillingly, yet knowing there was a reason for his uneasiness. The calm of night felt pressurized; as if the air was too thick and doughy to breathe.

His last cigarette had died, forgotten, on the rim of the overcrowded ashtray on his coffee table. Ash had scattered in a wide circle, surrounding it, as if it felt the need to abandon ship. He smiled, lazily, and reached for another.
Time to contribute once more to his trashy piece of art.

The TV provided necessary background noise. Meaningless faces telling meaningless stories – live and in color. Just about the perfect amount of mediocrity to convince night’s eerie silence to be less haunting.

The last sip of his beer tasted stale and more like spit than alcohol. He wouldn’t have minded the taste, had it not been his last bottle, running empty.

Perfect.

With a sigh, he fished his sneakers out from underneath the couch, slipped into them and stood.
The dizziness wafting through his head was moderate and his legs were still steady. With slightly trembling fingers, he reached for his keys, checked his wallet briefly and grabbed his jacket on the way out, puffing on his cigarette.
The door swung shut behind him, leaving Late Night TV to entertain the still life of his apartment.

They found his body early the next morning, empty eyes staring at a shattered beer bottle on the sidewalk, in the alley behind the local gas station.
The TV was still running when his landlord opened the door for the police.

After two days, his name had faded into the background noise of the busy city.
The remnants of his life were waiting to be packed away.

a new dawn

she woke with the taste of blood and bile in her mouth, the crescent moon standing silent watch on the far side of the stained window.
she had survived her eclipse – her taste buds proved that much.

running shaking fingers over her damp face, she sat up, slowly. the stench of vomit and cold cigarette smoke filled the air, making her gag yet again.

resurrected, only to stare at a world of shit.
perfect.

she could hear him snoring to her left.
the sound made her convulse, made the faint taste of blood flare up, sharp and demanding. her tongue snaked out of her mouth, carefully exploring the cut in her lower lip.

again.
he had done it again.

he had promised, eyes pleading.
it had lasted a day.

slowly, she stood, careful not to make any noise. the hard, wooden floor felt cool beneath her bare feet.
silently, she gathered her clothes, her shoes, her bag… her life – still in pieces.

and to the watcher’s soft, comforting light, she closed the door behind her; bare feet leading the way to newfound opportunities.

Born from Negativity

How do we expect to feel good, if we moan and bitch all day?
How do we expect to feel light as air, if we carry the Weight of the World on our shoulders?

Positive things don’t happen just because we want them to, because we feel like we ‘deserve’ them – we have to invest  to make them happen.
We have to believe.

Not everything we see or go through on this planet inspires us, makes us dance with joy. The News are filled to bursting with daily horrors, inviting us to burden our minds and lose faith.
The question is: Will we give in and surrender to the sadness; stop fighting and struggling, and just give up? Bow our heads and tell ourselves that everything will always be shitty?
Or will we muster up enough courage to keep looking for sunnier days?

I choose to believe in hope.
I choose to believe in change.
If I believe, I still have a chance to see beauty heading my way.
I refuse to drown in negativity – because nothing good can (and will) be born from its treacherous womb.

Why We Write… The Revolution of the Written Word

“A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.
The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”
~Charles Peguy

Why do we write?
This question has been on my mind ever since I picked up the virtual pen and started blogging.

Do we write to express the turmoil inside of us?
Is it because we want to be famous, to be known for creating something the world won’t forget?
Do we want to share our experiences and thus help others, who experience the same, to be more informed and prepared?
Is it to prove to ourselves (and to others), that we can construct something, a piece of art people will admire?
Do we write because it’s therapeutic?
Do we write to inspire?

For me, it’s probably a bit of everything – and I am sure we all fit into these categories… more or less.

letter writing skillsI started writing because I felt the urgent need to organize my thoughts, to sort through the chaos in my head and make it palpable – one outburst at a time. It felt so good to have found a way to express myself – and it still does.

Sometimes the spoken word fails.
We can’t say what we think in public, because it might be inappropriate, hurtful or otherwise improper. We can’t say what we think because it just hurts too much to hear it spoken out loud. We can’t say what we think because we fear that others might judge us – unjustly.

This is where the written words comes in.
When we write, there are no boundaries.

I have always been drawn to Poetry – and that’s exactly where I started. I admired poets for expressing themselves and their art through this ‘reduced’ form of writing, was fascinated how raw emotion and deep thought could be compressed in such a way and yet be so utterly powerful – and, to my surprise, I found that writing poetry worked for me as well. Slowly, I began to see that I, too, had a voice… and that it was worth hearing.

After writing a couple of poems and publishing them on WordPress, I discovered that people actually liked what I had to say. This led me from writing for purely therapeutic reasons to experimenting. I branched out, joined a Poetry Prompt Site, started writing in form – just to see what I could do.

I read.
Read… and wrote some more.

For a while, I was content with writing and reading poetry, but soon I got curious to find out what else was in me – what else I hadn’t uncovered. I started writing stories and essays, fictive and non-fictive pieces… and to this day, I am still developing, eager to conquer new frontiers.

ideaIt is truly astounding how people can spur you on… inspire you, encourage you to broaden your horizon; to step out of your safe hiding place – just by sharing their work. You see something… a word, a sentence, a paragraph – and an idea gets born. It takes hold of you, captures your every thought, until there is nothing left but to write it down; to see how it develops on paper.
You breathe life into sterile thoughts and let them unfold, disentangle.
You let them take over… and the process in itself is beautiful.

We live in a world full of restrictions and rules.
Freedom of Speech is still a delicate subject depending on where you give voice to your opinion – it shouldn’t be, but it still is.
I encourage you to enter a world free of bonds, where your imagination has no limits.
I encourage you to get to know yourself, and see what you can do.
Write – and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to ignite a spark in others.

I write because it helps me sort myself out.
I write because I love to see what I can do, what I can accomplish.
I write because I want to inspire others the same way I was inspired.
I write because I can get to know my own voice.

How about you?

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photo credits: british-legal-centre.com; aucegypt.edu