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( First posted in Portuguese,  in March 2011,  when J. was 5  years old) For my niece, Jessica Long ago when animals used to sp...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Golden Key

           Once upon a time there was a pretty ballerina who lived in a music box. For a long time she was happy. Every day a dear friend of hers would open the box and watch her dance to the sound of The Dance of the Damsels of the Court. At the end of her performance her friend would tell her what her day had been like – sometimes the stories were funny, other times they were rather sad, but even then her friend would say, ‘Everything will be all right!’
           Of late, however, the little ballerina had noticed how her friend seemed to be fading away: she had a painful smile and her eyes lacked the delightful sparkle she used to detect when her performance was over. What could the problem be? Soon the mystery was solved: her friend told her the story of life and death and how some people are fortunate enough to live a long life of joys and sorrows, hopefully many more joys than sorrows…that she had lived a good life but now her time had come to part this world and head back home. She would no longer be able to watch the little ballerina perform but she needn’t worry for they’d always be together in the memories they shared. Of course, the little ballerina was sad. She didn’t want her friend to go…and what would happen to her? Who would open her box every evening and let her dance? Would she be thrown into some old mothball-smelling chest and forever be forgotten? But her wise friend soothed her worries and told her that the end was just the beginning, everything would fall into place…that like herself, the little ballerina would also find her way…
           Her way? What way? Where to? So many questions left unanswered! If only she were an ice-skater, she’d be free to go wherever she pleased. Instead, she was trapped in the box with no one to applaud at the end of her dance. But she was a wilful little ballerina, she was. The more she thought about what she’d do if she were an ice-skater, the more she believed it could happen: Closing her eyes, she would picture herself skating on a beautiful icy lake and the picture she created in her mind was so intense that one day it actually happened. How? It really didn’t matter to her. She was on cloud nine!
           What happened in reality was that the image she had created of herself on that icy lake was so powerful that a whole bunch of events were drawn together to make it happen. This is what people mean by synchronicity. In this case, following the wishes of the old woman, her belongings were saddled onto a pick-up truck and taken to the Salvation Army’s store. And because what must happen is bound to happen sooner or later, a bumpy road would lend the music box a helping hand to jump off the truck, and the steep hill below would let it slide down its slope and take it onto the frozen lake.
           But none of this mattered to the little ballerina. All she cared about was the fact that she was there now. That she could now move her legs freely was of no importance to her either. It was her dream come true!
           For a very long time she skated on the frozen lake, oblivious to everything she had been through…until the day she remembered her friend’s last words, ‘You, too, will find your way…’ All of a sudden, the lake seemed too small for her. So she skated into the thick woods, overwhelmed by the new smells, noises, and the few odd creatures that had ventured out on that cold winter day. That wonderful new world distracted her for a while until she realised she was actually skating round and round in circles. She was determined to find her Way, so up a tall slender tree she went in her pretty pink tutu…
           Once she reached the top she was first dazzled by the brightness of the winter sky and then amused by the friendly clouds. There was one cloud in particular that seemed to be enjoying her company. It would sail around her head in a teasing way and, then, when she least expected, it would grab her face in its chubby hands and smack a loud kiss on her rosy cheeks. What fun! She almost forgot why she had climbed up there in the first place. As soon as she remembered, she placed her hand on her forehead right above her eyes like a sailor trying to sight land and started looking for something that might look like Way. That is when, on the far right on the horizon, she saw a beautiful crystal palace. ‘That’s it. That’s where I must go.’ she said aloud. But no sooner had she uttered those words than, from the corner of her left eye, she caught sight of a winged being waving at her from a rugged cliff. She looked straight at him and the warmth that filled her heart was such that she immediately knew that that was where she was meant to go. She climbed back down and glided across the frozen ground towards the cliff.
           The cliff was not as rugged as it had seemed from afar: it was covered in the greenest of grass and the sun was so warm it made her feel safe like when she lived in her music box and she could still enjoy the company of her lovely friend.
           Temperance, or at least she thought that was what she had heard him call himself, held out his hand, and welcomed her. ‘I’ve been waiting for you. I knew you’d find your way here’ he said, inviting her to sit on the soft green grass. They both sat down, legs crossed, clasping each others hands, eyes tightly shut while listening to the beat of their hearts go tha-thump-tha-thump-tha-thump . All of a sudden it was as if there was nothing else around them, no sounds, no colours, no scents, just the tha-thump-tha-thump-tha-thump of their hearts beating in unison. Then a beautiful thing happened: They started levitating in a very slow, spiralling, upward movement.
           ‘Open your eyes,’ Temperance said with his soft musical voice. ‘See what you’re capable of doing! You are beautiful! You are lighter than a feather! And you’re ready for the gift you’re about to receive.’ From a pocket in his white robe he takes out a small box wrapped in glittering golden paper and tied with a silver ribbon. The girl’s eyes twinkle in delight as she pulls at the ribbon. The box bursts open and out flies the playful cloud, smacking another of its kisses on her rosy cheek. And then, from the middle of nowhere, as if performing a magic trick, it pulls out a huge gold key and hands it to her. At that very moment a million and one books start sailing around her. There are huge books, small books, tiny books, books of all sizes and colours. Without anyone telling her, the girl knows the key will open the lock on one of those books only. She must choose wisely. The key is so big that surely it would only open one of those enormous colourful books. Instead, she’s drawn to a medium-sized, brown, leather book, and like magic, it’s the perfect fit. The lock clicks open and a sudden gush of wind opens the book on a page with two messages:

           1-You are beautiful and you can do whatever you set your mind on. Just close your eyes, see it, feel it, and it will come true.

           2-You’ve just reached the starting line: you may now choose to go back to any world you please in the form of any child, animal, plant or stone…

           Still floating in the air, the girl closes her eyes and sees in her mind that she’s …
           Well, it’s such a powerful experience that only you who are reading or listening to this story can access the girl’s mind and see what she is seeing and feel what she is feeling…Go ahead, close your eyes, listen to your heart go tha-thump-tha-thump-tha-thump and experience what the once-ballerina-once-ice-skater has chosen to become…but don’t keep it all to yourself, say it, write it, draw it or even, sing it, just let it out for only then will her life start again.


- COPYRIGHT/Registado no IGAC



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4 comments:

  1. A positively lovely story.

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  2. Absolutely true dear but I have one suggestion for your blog posts. You are rocking with these posts as what I feel but there is a lack of visual content.

    So use good quality content in every post you are publishing and then see the difference of your audience.

    Mohinder Paul Verma
    BloggingFunda - A Community of Bloggers
    http://goo.gl/mBg7cB

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your insightful input, Mohinder. And I couldn't agree more with you: I too wish there were more pertinent visual aids to brighten up the written words of my posts. However, and to my bitter disappointment I was born without the artistic drawing gene. I also feel ill-at-ease posting the sometimes wonderful pictures that can be found on the internet, if only because it's not always clear what is copyright or not.
    I do have one story (A Question of Colour) which is fully illustrated and ready to publish. Those illustrations were perhaps more expensive than I had envisioned, though definitely worth every cent paid. Unfortunately, life has got in the way and I have failed to push hard enough to have it published the traditional way and not as a self-published writer.
    So, until I wise up, I'll have to stick to what I know and can do, i.e to being a blogger that wishes more than anything to be read and who has several stories but very little visual content to give them a bit of sparkle.
    As usual I've got a bit side-tracked - thanks again for reading and taking the time to share your ideas.

    http://thoughts-dreams-tales.blogspot.com.es/2011/01/a-question-of-colour.html


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