Story: Gran’s Wise Words – 30/08/19

“Sometimes, in life, you have to cut some people off,” explained Gran, as we sat by the hearth of the warm winter’s fire. “I know it will hurt you, and the discomfort of the paining will be present probably for quite some time, but don’t ignore that yearning. For the sorrow that accumulates from the loss of that friendship, which needed to be ended, for whatever reason or reasons, you will experience it deeply, you will know it. Acknowledge and cherish your fond memories with that person or persons but know, inherently in your bones made you feel that this is right path to take, that it is so, they should be forgotten.”

“But what about if they attempt to make amends, to come running back to my arms?” I asked. “Surely I should think of forgiveness, allow them another chance?” Gran shook her head sadly and replied, “No, darling, no, these people have continually let you down in recent times, they’ve forgotten your worth, your liveliness, your place in their lives, only thinking of more important others, you don’t want to be a second fleeting choice. Everyone around you is building up, or has built up their lives, and it just so happens that you are no longer privy, no longer permissible, or worthy, to view what is in their lives now, their interiors, their insides. And don’t feel disappointed or saddened, this is simply a method of their thoughtless abandonment, and cannot be helped, others’ actions you cannot control.” I sat there, stroking my chin, thinking to myself, how wise is Gran, how much of the world she must have experienced and seen, because but minutes before I was sobbing into my cupped hands, wondering why it was that I was being cast aside by certain people in my life, who no longer seemed to care.

 “These people, your former friends – for that is what they’ve gone and labelled themselves as – may have been there for you in great times of distress. When your heart and mind were aching, needing support in many forms, they were there. They held your hand, they guided you, cared for you, but it was not one sided, so too were you there for them, too. You provided a capacity all of your own, maybe different in nature to their support but you were always there, willing to listen, of your positive intents the others had known.

But with time some friendships wear away, grow thin, like overworn fabric they become thinner and thinner still until you can view the weft, you can see the structure, and with gaps in places, the result is a saddening picture. Still, you can try to use this, this barren group of threads, but soon there will be a tear here, a tear there, then falling apart between your fingers will the weaves as you sadly stare. That’s much like a friendship falling apart, if I do say so myself, but really, try to cease your concerns, lessen your care, protect your heart.”

My bottom lip began to waver as I remembered a certain memory, of us sitting by a lake by the pond, as I consumed my skinny vanilla latte so freely. And with the other sitting by my side, we chatted about many things, this was my friend, so close to me, now far away, I’m ignored so obviously. What point was there in listening to the strings of my heart when they were aching, to think about my friend or friends when they were never contacting or calling, we have grown apart, I’ve been cast aside on the shelf, and there was nothing to do that would repair it to how we used to be, clever together, and birds of a feather. Now we were worlds apart, and I resented this, greatly so, it made me angered, and suddenly hot tears began to flow. I thrashed around, punching the carpet with my bare fists, hurting myself in the process, but Gran grabbed me and begged me to think.

“Do not hurt yourself, do not allow them, in their absence, to hurt you. There’s nothing further you can do, you’ve contacted them with no reply, not even a simply goodbye, a formal adieu. You weren’t even afforded the respect to have the friendships ended because, it’s easier for someone just to drift away, and think, ‘Well, we just grew apart, we’re all busy, blah, blah, just because.’”

I ceased my sobbing and became stronger, firmer, sat up straighter and made my eyes bright and alert.

“You are right, you have always been. This is my test, to be strong and not to feel hurt. I can allow myself to over feel, I allow myself to be affected negatively, but now I really must deal, these facts are blatant and true, they don’t want me as a friend, and neither do I want them, too. It’s good that I know how they feel, portrayed by their silences, fleeting methods of contact, or simply nothing for months, nothing at all. At least I know where I stand, and I choose to stand away from them, I will feel good this day and every day. They will not dampen my spirits or will.”

And so I pulled out my photo albums, going through the pages one by one, removing them from my visual memories, until they were neither here nor there, there wasn’t a remaining image, not a single one. In my heart and in my mind I decided to wipe the pains away, and lock the happy memories away, hide them behind a cast iron door where I couldn’t view them easily again, doing what they had done to me, easily casted me aside.

“You’ve done well, my darling,” my gran said, her hand rubbing my back, ever so calming. “You’ll know soon that you’ve made the right decision.”

“I already know so this second of the day. My will along with your know-how, has helped me greatly today.”

© Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved. 

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Story example: Leo the Astutely Observant Monkey – 28/07/19

Leo the Monkey had much to say about this world. He was vocal, he was damning, but oh boy, wasn’t he utterly disarming? With his short, cute stature, and scurrying little legs, one could not be blamed for siding with the opinions of Leo more than absolutely less, accepted wholeheartedly instead.

What Leo was most passionate about was using windmills as turbines, to create free, electrical energy for his jungle city, why, if they survived on that, wouldn’t the future of the world alter from dire to exceptionally happier and incredibly pretty? Another topic he was fond of spouting and educating to others at length, was his ability to straighten one single head hair each time with the warm air from his nostrils, of this none other held a skill to compare. And a third trick he was prone to sharing was leaping into the sky and performing skipping ropes with his arms held together, arching around and around, with Leo the Monkey his opinions and actions were not always of a serious tone.

While playing loop-de-loop with his arms as Leo in the jungle was ambling, whistling to himself, whilst thinking the effects on global warming by humans were incredibly damning, he bumped into Jodi the Baboon, his favourite coloured butt friend, he high fived her in greetings excitedly, his mood was now focused, joyous, less angry and sad.

“Jodi, how have you been?” he implored. “How is your lovely husband, your shared life?” Once Leo was away from his thoughts, he was able to focus on others as a means to listen attentively and of their words he’d bounce back and reassure.

“Oh, you know,” she said, with a flippant, dismissive gesture, “Peter is well, Peter.” She chuckled nervously, and looked to the ground. Something about this situation was making Leo the Monkey uneasy, he wasn’t quite sure what the problem was with Peter, but he suspected it was not a picture that would be painted prettily. He was known in the jungle for being loud and domineering, what occurred behind closed doors with Jodi, when no one was there for the viewing?

“Please, come for a cup of tea one day,” Leo implored. “You’re most welcome on any given day.” And with the reassurance that this invite was the case, it was correct, genuine and true, Jodi and Leo went on their merry ways. But Jodi never appeared, he never once saw her at his door, it was though she had vanished from the jungle for many days, hidden quietly away. Weeks later, he spotted her at the Money Tree General Store, where she was trying to surreptitiously nurse a bruise around her eye that was concealed with heavy makeup, it was still as obvious as a thumb that was inflamed, throbbing and sore.

It was then that Leo pledged to alter Jodi’s situation, she knew that Peter, her husband, was a fond follower of his ideas behind wind turbines and their use as a positive result and situation. It did not help though, that he was a slimy character, and weaseled his way out of responsibility for things he shouldn’t be allowed to.

The very next day, Leo turned up at Jodi and Peter’s door unannounced.

“Yoo hoo!” he knocked and called out. In his hand he held a platter of cucumber and grubby bug sandwiches, they would please Peter, most certainly indeed. With a feeling of ominous wariness, the door slowly creaked open, behind it was meek, frightened Jodi, poor baboon lady, he wanted to hug here right there and then. But he knew that Peter would not approve, despite the fact that he and his wife’s relationship was only platonic, they were certainly only dear close friends, no point causing Peter jealousy and anger if he could help it. At his request, Leo was shown into Peter’s private study room, where he was sucking and puffing on a baboon cigar.

“My dear friend, how are you?” Peter asked, surprise within his shiny, beady eyes. “I’ve not seen you since your last seminar! It was great, by the way,” he added, as though his approval was a classified secret.

“Thank you,” Leo replied stiffly. He loathed having to be fake, so disingenuous. He was here for a reason though, to discover why Jodi was so skittish, was Peter maltreating the baboon who was now his queen, and years before his precious princess? Yet direct the hour long meeting and conversation did he toward feelings, emotions, understandings of life and how to treated your loved one, a beloved wife, it was no use: all Peter wanted to do was speak of turbines. With a shake of his head, Leo decided to draw the attention and concentration of Peter into one straight, obvious line.

“Do you mistreat your wife, my friend, dear Jodi?” he spurted out. “Enough of this talk of windmills being constructed in the nearby city. What I want to know is: why the black eye? The sudden meekness? Her shaking, trembling, frightened looks like she’s about to cry?” Peter dismissed Leo’s accusation, and sent him on his way that day, from now on there would be no future interaction, Leo would have to perform his own actions in order for Jodi to be saved.

Leo pressed and pressed Jodi until she cracked, raw nerves of steel altered, after the fact, and gushing forth with all the information of abuse, share did she, it made Leo cry and whimper, at the emotional abuse she was required to experience daily. What kind of world was this when a baboon could not trust her lover, to love and cherish her, accept her wonder? Years of hidden suffering, obvious signs that she was about to crack, and all it took to distinguish the behaviour from hidden existence was a friend who only  meant for her goodness and a desirable life to boot, to be had.

So he convinced her, how courageous she would be, if of this Peter, questionable, rude abusive character, that she should up and leave him. Together, her and Monkey  Leo could start a new life, in a far reaching corner of the jungle universe, they’d recommence with style. And as for the evil one that she would leave behind, why, he could have many years to assess his behaviour and of this deeply contemplate. He would be alone forever, until the dawn of the world’s new time.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

If anyone in Australia needs to speak about their issues with someone confidentially, the number for Lifeline is 13 11 14, Beyond Blue is 1300 224 636, and Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800.

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