A Thousand Pitfalls a Day


Today I received an 'old-fashioned' letter which I read several times at the Café Rousseau. The village is immaterial: the letter isn't. The message is beautiful and haunting. A letter accords a sense of the individual which an email, a text, a phone call, or a face to face meeting can ever hope to express. Tonight I shall sleep with the letter beneath my pillow as the moon lights up the rooftops in the village, and lazily watch my chest gently rise and fall as tranquility fills the room. 

I feel stronger than I did yesterday, and, indeed, the day before. Sometimes, thinking is worst than physical pain. I'm thankful, however, that bleak thoughts can be sweetened by satin words from a fresh-faced, beautiful - not necessarily, attractive - young woman. What do I fear? Perhaps drowning in my own thoughts, when frightening memories wash back and forth, and overwhelm my strength and spirit.

I recall watching a cow giving birth. And how the mother tenderly licked her calf. I was seven-years-old. The grass in the field graced my father's knees. His face, normally hard, was covered in a shiny coat of sweat. I could sense he was content, happy. For a moment he stood motionless, glanced at me, and smiled. I thought, 'It's so beautiful. The newly-born calf is so beautiful!' I had witnessed the birth of a new life.
'What do you want?!' a shrill voice exclaimed. A boorish waitress with a red face and pink arms stared down at me. 

'A coffee, please.'

'We don't have any!'

'Tea ...' I felt like a hunted animal.

'There's nothing to eat or drink! Don't you know there's a war on!' she said frostily.

The main shopping street was busy. Everything seemed normal. The coffee shop was full of people. I looked at them, one by one, through pale eyes. What were they thinking about? Some sat with their eyes closed, as if asleep.

'What war?' I enquired. The dazzling glare of the lights made me giddy. Everything that seemed simple a moment before now seemed complicated.  'What war are you talking about?'

The waitress came close to me. Her mustard breath tortured me. 'You must be a foreigner! What war?! Look around you! There has to be balance in nature between good and evil, love and hatred, murderers and bodies, or all hell breaks loose!'

To change the subject, I expressed interest in the coffee shop, and its customers.

'Don't they all look sad?' she asked, without waiting for an answer.

At such moments I wait for my thinking to produce words to lighten my heart and mind. It's strange how individuals and groups can cultivate fear. They trade in life and death, and can penetrate the strongest ceilings and walls. Their eyes shine in the darkness as their claws dig deeper and deeper into the bodies and souls of victims. The scent of death is never far from all things beautiful.

Reflections: It is not possible to identify yourself in someone else, dream their dreams, or to enter their soul. We are alone, finite, prisoners of our own egotism. Each one of us face 'a thousand pitfalls a day.'

Each second on this earth a person's mouth quivers with contempt and hatred of fellow human beings. They live in a restricted world of unceasing conflict. Such individuals may breathe copiously but they are already dead: they feel no sense of love, compassion, sadness, or loss. The one thing they cannot tolerate, above all other things, is life.


Susan Deborah said…
We are alone
We are unique
We have our own dreams
And our own souls
Inspite of all that
we listen to other's soul
partake of their sorrow or happiness
this makes life
more special.

Joy always,
Ronnie Kerrigan said…
Hi Susan,

Description of violence, war, etc., is sometimes fruitless. Only when one is confronted by fear, violence, starvation, extinction, will one find out one's reaction.

The soil beneath each part of this earth is full of the bodies of men, women, and children, who sought help and compassion, only to be denied by fellow human beings.

Those who seek self-preservation - at all costs - lose their soul in the process, if they had one in the first place.

Why do I write this blog? Primarily, to delve into my thoughts and feelings. It is not for therapeutic reasons. Each post contains, hopefully, a subtext which addresses facets of life, growth, feelings, love, loss, death.

From somebody I will become a nobody, like everyone else.

Lisa said…
Ronnie, what piece of music is playing?
Lisa said…
Ronnie, I must know what that piano piece is! I can't get it out of my mind and I can't get your blog to play it again. Please tell me what it is! Thank you.....
Lisa said…
I found it...the hysteria is over. Thank you. Just so you know, I am as enthusiastic about your writing as I am frantic about this piece. :-)
Ronnie Kerrigan said…
Hi Lisa,

I've just logged on. I'm delighted you identified the music you find so enthralling!

I tend to listen to piano sonatas or concertos when I'm thinking or writing my blog. Sometimes, I just listen to the profound melodies and don't write a word! A blessing, perhaps ...

Although the music playing is looped, it contains:

1. Erik Satie - "Trois Gymnopédies"

2. Erik Satie - “Gnossiennes: Nos.1,2 &3”

3. Beethoven - “Pathetique” Piano Sonata No. 8, Opus 13 In C Minor, Part II, Adagio Can

4. Chopin - “Nocturne Op.9 No.2” (Arthur Rubinstein)

5. Ravel - “Piano Concerto in G major”: (Second Movement) Adagio assai

I'd be interested to know which piece of music you found captivating?

With best wishes,
Lisa said…
Ronnie, it is Gnossienne No. 1. Something about it sends slow waves of heat through my brain. Thank you. You've introduced me to two things beautiful...your writing and this song.