Tender is the night

I suddenly woke up as if an alarm was going off somewhere. A high-pitched noise drilling holes into the fabric of reality. But there is nothing. The silence is complete, definitive, almost painful.

I dreamt of you. Again. You were looking at me with that look of calm detachment. Not even disappointment. Not even resentment. Just coldness, as if you were looking through me, beyond me, to whatever else was there once I was out of the picture.

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Single Photo Stories: Autumn Sun

There’s something discreetly glorious in this lazy October sunset.

Backlit fallen leaves and mushrooms. The almost imperceptible breeze. The buzz of insects slowly rising through the forest like a mist.

I am sitting in a small forest clearing with the sun on my face. There’s nothing I can add to the scene, nothing that can be improved. I am only witnessing the moment.

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Borders

There are borders that are meant to keep people in. They prevent people from traveling to see how life looks on the other side. When you see something different, you compare and evaluate. Terms of comparison are threatening for regimes that are built on delusions of grandeur and uniqueness: “Why would you even want to go out? This is the best place to be anyway!”

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Single Photo Stories: The Oak Forest

It’s starting to get dark. All of a sudden, an evening breeze breaks the almost perfect silence of the forest. It moves millions of leaves and brings them to life. There’s a cosmic sigh carried by millions of voices. A long out-breath. A muffled voice trying hard to pronounce something.

I cannot understand what it says but somehow I know it’s something that concerns me. And you. And anybody.

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Single Photo Stories – new weekly series

I am starting a weekly series focused on stories built around single photos. I will keep all stories under 100 words. Being concise is a skill, probably one of the most difficult to acquire. Stories can be directly linked to the photo (how it was taken, what was happening) or they can simply use the photo as a writing prompt.

For today, I chose this grainy photo on a windmill in a small nature reserve close to where I live.

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Facing the wave

The tide is coming in like a tsunami.

The beach has been swallowed by the rising sea. There’s a storm brewing somewhere on the horizon. The waves keep getting higher and stronger. They splash against the concrete wall, creating foam tentacles descending upon unsuspecting passers-by.

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The reality of stories

In my native language, one standard formulation to start a folk tale is “There was, once upon a time, because if it weren’t we wouldn’t tell about it”. There are different versions of this formulation, some of them going on and on about a miraculous past and place where the events took place.

“If it weren’t we wouldn’t tell about it” is about the substance and reality of stories. Obviously, folk tales are not descriptions of historical events (although they may echo such events). But this doesn’t mean that they are not rooted in the real. They are “real” insofar as they condense and distill the lived experience of past generations.

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