Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘A Short story’

Mary…a story about gifts.

Ever since she was a child, Mary could see the gray people.  She always wondered why they never answered her, when she spoke to them.

One day, she was sitting on the porch with her grandmother, when her grandmother said, “You see everyone, don’t you, Mary?”

“Who is everyone?” she asked.

“Those who have lost their color.”

“Oh, yes,” Mary said, nodding.  “They never say hello.  Sometimes I think they’re going to, but then they just move away.”

“You have a gift,” said her grandmother.  “Not everyone can see those who are gray.”

“Why not?”

“Because you have to have something special to be able to see them.  Our family has a…long line of women who are…”

“Able to see dead people?”

Her grandmother laughed.  “How did you know they were dead?”

Mary shrugged.  “I guessed.  I mean they aren’t real, like we are, and they never talk to me.  But some see me, because they know I can see them.”

“It’s better if you don’t look at those who notice you,” said her grandmother, the smile slipping from her lips.


“Because it’s never good to have the attention of the dead, while you’re alive.”

“Okay,” said Mary.  “I saw a dog once and he wagged his tail when he saw me.”

“Dogs are fine, just don’t look at the people who look at you.”


“Promise?” asked her grandmother, holding out her pinkie.

Mary giggled, and placed her finger around her grandmother’s. “Are we witches?”

“Yes.  But it’s better if you don’t tell anyone.  People don’t understand about those things.  They are afraid of magic and people who aren’t like them.”


“Are you ever afraid of the gray people?”

“No,” she said.  “They seem really busy, always rushing about.”

Her grandmother smiled at her.  “If you’re ever afraid, or if you have any questions, you come to me right away.  If I’m not here, go to your mother.”

“I will.  I promise,” said Mary.

Her grandmother hugged and kissed her, then took her into the kitchen for ice cream and cookies.  Mary’s mother was at the sink, and when Mary’s grandmother nodded at her, her mother paled, then reached for the ice cream dishes.

As an adult, Mary still sees the gray people.  She has never seen another dog.  She feels that animals go to a better place immediately upon crossing and have no need to stay tied to the earth.

The gray people don’t bother her, because Mary keeps her promise to her grandmother, who is no longer with her.  After all, a promise is a promise, and that’s one she’ll never break.  Never look at the dead, if they are looking at you.


Photo:  Llya Bronskly

Catching the breeze…a wee story.

“It’s a wonderful day,” said the pelican,to his friends.  “Blue sky, nice breeze.  Pretty much perfect.”

They all turned and stared at him.

“What?” he asked.

“It’s like this everyday,” said another bird.

“Yeah but this is today and I’m telling you it’s great.”

“It’s not Chicago,” said a pelican, who was thinking about fish.

“Or New York,” said another one.

The pelican sighed. “Guys, you’re missing the point.  It’s a perfect day, right NOW.  It doesn’t matter what tomorrow will be like, or what yesterday was like.  Right this very moment, we are living in perfection, standing on a sign in the sunlight, right by the ocean, where our food lives.”

“Okay,” said a pelican. “I can see what you’re trying to say.”

“He’s such an existentialist.”

“A philosopher for sure,” agreed another bird.

“Still, he does enjoy his life.”

“Yes, he does.  Look at him, just sitting thee with his eyes closed, communing with all there is.”

“Mmmmm, indeed,” sighed a pelican.  “I’d rather think of fish.”

“Me too,” said the other bird.

Without opening his eyes, the philosophic, existentialist pelican whispered, “You don’t know what you’re missing.”


Photo:  Deborah L. Carlson

The wild tree…a short story

green-leaved tree

I don’t know why I’m all alone.  Not sure if a seed accidentally planted me where I am, of it was intentional.  I  suppose it doesn’t matter, since I am where I am, and there is nothing I can do about it.

The birds who sit on my branches tell me stories about great bodies of water and fields of flowers and sand.  They can go almost anywhere, because of their wings, and the fact that they don’t have roots.  I love listening to them.  They bring their babies around in the spring.  The birds tell me that I’m beautiful, and they should know, since they see a lot of trees.  Unfortunately, my branches aren’t the kind that hold their nests, so they just come by to visit.

A robin told me that in the forest, trees fight for light and space.  Some of them never reaching their full growth.  She said it was a hard life for trees.  I told her I had all the space in the world and all the light too.  She told me there were other trees who looked just like me, so I guess I have a family.

But truthfully, I’m not lonely.  I don’t know any other kind of life, but the one I have.  And the one I have is wonderful and wild.  I see all sorts of animals, and the clouds are so beautiful.  The wind tickles, when it ruffles my needles and the stars are more sparkly  than I can ever say.  Thunder can be loud, but the rain feels good, and I can always use a nice drink, especially in the summer.  I have everything I need to be happy.  Everything.  I’m a lucky tree and who knows, maybe someday a seed will land near me, and something else will grow and love their life as well.


Photo:  Seoyeon Choi


Magic man…a very short story

He never made a fuss.  He simply pulled up a chair and started to play.  He sang softly, words of truth and awakening, words of valor and friendship, words of smoke and mirrors, peace and harmony.

As he sang, the people around him began to changed.  Their shoulders dropped, the tension in their faces disappeared, and their eyes lost their look of fear. They seemed lighter, younger, more at peace.

Once the spell had been cast, he got up and walked away..

No one in the crowd would remember him. You see, most people don’t believe in magic…even when it’s right in front of them.


Photo:  Hamid Tajik


Another Christmas Story…a short story (rerun)



I have known joy and laughter, parties and love.  I was well cared for, admired, beautiful.  People ran their hands over my banisters, marveled at my staircases, stood gazing out of my windows into the rose gardens that surrounded me.  I remember the patter of feet running up and down my stairs, the giggling, as children spied on their parents and their guests.  I was awake at night for sick children and early morning feedings.  I watched over my charges and kept them warm, dry and safe from harm.

Most of all I remember Christmas.  Trees in every room, lights, brightly wrapped gifts and the sound of carols and gratitude drifting through my rooms.  Guests would arrive, bringing gladness and good cheer.  Fires roared in my fireplaces and delicious aromas filled my kitchen.  Dogs barked and chased each other, sometimes gouging my shiny floors, but no matter, that was just life and I was a part of it, holding those I loved close, enveloping them in my love.

But things changed.   The children grew up and moved away.  My people fell on hard times.  There were fewer and fewer parties until finally, there were none at all.  I was cold, and my fires were rarely lit.  There was no laughter, no joy, no warm and delicious aromas in my kitchen.  Few words were spoken, my windows were foggy with grit and dirt, my banisters dull and dry, my gardens dying and filled with weeds, my roses a thing of the past.  But I continued to protect my loved ones, as best I could.

My mistress talked to me late at night, telling me how much she loved me, how grateful she was for all I had done.  She reminded me of better day and laughed about hiding in my closets, as a child, to avoid seeing her dreadful aunt when she came to visit.  She said that she knew how much I loved her.  She apologized for letting me down, for being unable to protect me and care for me as she should but she said she was old and poor and didn’t know what to do.

I held her tightly, sang to her, as I did when she was a baby, rocked her within my walls and whispered that everything would be alright.  I told her that I understood, that it was a gift to have her live within me and raise her children in my heart.  I told her it didn’t matter that I was worn and in disrepair, my job was almost finished.

She sighed, and sat on the floor by the French Doors, as she did when she was ten, watching the crows roost in the tree.  She told me that I was beautiful, she said that she loved me and would never forget me and then she closed her eyes and left.  I saw her blinding light walk through the doors and into the garden.  She stopped, turned and blew kisses at me, as she had done for years.   Then she waved and was gone.

I’m still here, but no one visits anymore.  I’m considered a beautiful ruin but that’s only on the surface.  In my heart and walls, I’m alive with memories of wonderful times and people who truly loved me.  In spite of my condition, I’m happy.


Moral of the story:  Never take your house/living space for granted.  Love it, care for it, thank it, tell it hello when you come home and goodbye, and when you’ll be back, when you leave.  Your house loves you and should be part of everything you do.  Houses are alive, they have spirits and feelings and we need to be grateful for all that they give.  No matter how large or small, our houses are a part of us and we are a part of them.  Love them, be grateful, they are beautiful and a reflection of you.


Photo:  Pixabay

Tony…a short story

Tony went in search
of the Meaning of Life
he crossed deserts
the middle of America and
pretty much the entire globe
he talked to people of all ages
he talked to holy women
the sick, the rich, and the needy
he communed with animals
and Nature Herself
he read
he wrote
he was a Seeker
but in the end
the only answer he could find
was that there was no meaning to life
other than the ones people made up for themselves
surprised by this conclusion
he went back to his log cabin
put up a christmas tree
adopted four cats
two dogs
and a small white bird
then he settled in
opened a bag of cookies
poured himself a cup of coffee
and decided to believe that
there was no point to anything at all
so he may as well sit back
and have fun




Photo:  Sergey Vinogradov

Jerry…a story.

Man, Patio, Rain, Lonely, Sad, Alone

Jerry didn’t want any friends, he enjoyed being by himself.  He loved looking at the night sky, wondering where he was from.  Besides, he was never truly alone.  His shadow never left him.

His parents loved him, but he didn’t think he had much in common with them.  He told his mother that very thing, while they were eating chocolate chip, banana, pancakes one morning.  She looked surprised.

“How could we not have anything in common?” she asked.  “You came out of my body, you have my genes inside of you.”

“I have stardust inside of me as well,” he said.  “But that doesn’t make me a star.”

“You realize you’re not making any sense, don’t you?”

“Maybe,” he said.  “The pancakes are good.”

“Why don’t you want a dog?”

“Too much work.  I’ll have to walk and feed the dog, pet the dog, talk to the dog, play with the dog, and the dog might want to sleep with me and then I’ll be awake all night.”

“Fine,” said his mother, eating a pancake.  “I love you.”

“What does that mean?”

“What does what mean?”

“What does it mean that you love me?”

“It’s hard to explain.”

“Shouldn’t it be easy?”

“Maybe.  But it’s not,” she said.  “Anyway, I love you, so I will do anything to keep you safe and happy.”

“Okay,” he said, wiping at his mouth with a napkin. “But I thought you said people had to make their own happiness.”

“That’s true, but the people around the person can add to the happiness a person feels.”

“Or make them feel worse,” he said, frowning.

“Yes,” she sighed.  “That too.”

“What star do you think we’re from?”

“None.  Stars are too hot.  Stars are suns.  Maybe we should think about which planet we’re from.  Which solar system.  Which universe.”

“Do you know which one?”

She shook her head.  “No.  I don’t.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Nothing in life is fair,” she said, pouring more orange juice into his glass.

“That’s what I was afraid of.”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of.  You make up your life as you go along.  Tell me what you want to be when you’re big?”


“Good choice” said his mother, grinning at him.  “That means you have to figure out a way to make enough money to do whatever you want to do.”

“But making money means that you’re tied to a job, doesn’t it?” he asked.

“Not necessarily.  You can be an artist who becomes famous.  A writer, or…”

“That could take forever, and so few really make it.  Most don’t get famous until their dead and I don’t see how that’s helpful at all.”

“You can invent something.”

“I could probably do that,” he said thoughtfully.

“I don’t doubt it.”

“That’s just because you’re my mother and see me as special.”

“You ARE special.”

“No one is special.  Not really.  If everyone is special, then no one is special.  It’s just simple logic.  Parents want to believe their kids are special.  They aren’t.  That’s a hard thing to face, I guess.  I’m not having children, so I won’t have to think about it.  Kids are more work than having a dog.  Look at all you’ve had to do for me, and I’m still a kid.  Your life revolves around my life.  It’s like the planets circling the sun.  You can’t escape.  Did you know that would happen when you had me?”

“We didn’t think about it that way.”

“You should have,” he said.  “You’d have tons of money and you could do whatever you wanted to do and never have to think about me.”

“We wanted you.  We will always want you.  We wouldn’t give you up for two seconds, for any reason.  Ever.”

“I don’t think you and dad thought it through,” he said, rubbing his nose.  “I don’t think you realized that I’d be here forever and all of your time and resources would go toward me.”

“Getting back to a job,” she said.  “If you love what you do, it’s not like work.  Think about becoming an astronomer.  You love looking at the stars and…”

“I could sit and stare at a screen for thirty years waiting for a blip, or a dot to move across the shadow of a planet.”

“So, that’s a no then.”

He nodded.


“I could get stuck somewhere and my oxygen could run out.”

“Okay, so no astronaut.”

“I think I want to be a hippie.”

“Hmmm,” said his mother.

“That’s what you and dad are.”

“Well, yes, but we’re more than that. And being a hippie isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle.  Your father is a geneticist and I’m a surgeon.”

“I know, but when you’re not at work, you look at the stars too.”

She smiled.  “I do.  And I always have my shadow.”

“I might do something with that,” he said, smiling.  “With shadows, I mean. Maybe, I can make them more independent and alive.”

“Scary thought,” she whispered, “but maybe you can.”

“It’s something to think about,” he said.  “Or robots.  I might like to work with robots.”

“Wonderful ideas to explore.  I mean the shadow thing is terrifying but, hey, have at it.  I’m getting cats.”

“Cats?” he asked.

“Yes,” said his mother.  “I can’t stand being without them.”

“How many?”



“As soon as we’re finished talking.”

“Can I name one of them?”


“Why are you getting them?”

“I can’t live without them.  I can’t breath when cats aren’t here.”

“Those are really good reasons.”

“Thank you,” she said.

“Can I pick out the cat I want to name?”


“Okay.  That works for me.”

“I’m glad, because it would have happened no matter what.”

He nodded, picked up his books and said, “I understand that completely.”

“Have fun in school.”

“That’s not the slightest bit possible, but thank you.”

She hugged him and covered his face with kisses.  “I have to get the cats and operate on two people, so see you later.”

“Later,” he said and walked out the door.

Jerry’s father walked into the kitchen.  “I heard part of that conversation.  Is our kid weird?”

Everyone is weird, my love.”

“Okay,” he said.  “Just checking.  See you tonight.”

“You can name one of the cats, too.”

“Already planned on it,” he said, walking away.






The Flower Seller…a short story

Lucia, sold flowers in her wonderful wedgwood blue, converted camper, which was adorned with large twinkle lights.  She didn’t make a lot of money, just enough to get by, but she was happy, doing what she loved, and that was all that mattered.

Her flowers were magical, and her love for them was so strong, that people were drawn to her shop because of the feelings of passion, that floated on the air around her.  She sang to the flowers, spoke to them, and listened to them.  And she never sold a flower to a person, if the flower didn’t want to go.

Lucia belief that flowers made life worth living. She knew which ones would heal a broken heart, give joy, love, and celebrate a special moment, a new life, or mourn the ending, of someone who had moved on.  “Flowers make memories,” she always said.  She knew that flowers were also friends with bees and wildlife, nature, the earth, and the sun and wind.

Those who knew her, and recognized her special gifts, believed that Lucia had a flower growing, inside her heart.  She brought comfort and love to those around her.  But when asked about her life’s work, she always said, “I’m just a Flower Seller.  Nothing more and nothing less.”  Whenever she said things like that, the flowers always tried not to laugh too loudly.



The God floated above the dark planet.  The native life forms thought he had to be a God, since there was a halo above his head, and although it may have been a neon halo, it was still a halo and besides, he was floating. That had to mean something, after all.

Some of the beings immediately got together and decided, then and there, to make a new religion.  They set up rules, deciding who would have power over others and who would enforce the rules, sending people to bad places if they broke the rules they were currently making up.

And costumes.  They had to have costumes.  Without costumes, no one would know they were working for this very special God, and should be worshiped as his minions.  After all, they would be the ones telling others what the God wanted them to do.

And buildings.  They had to have special buildings, so they could show how important their God was.  How important THEY were, since they were the God’s mouthpiece, so to speak.  Their word would be law.  Naturally, some people would be left out, that’s just the way things worked.  And everyone would have to pay them, because writing laws, making costumes, and building things, didn’t come cheap.  Besides, they would be holy and, therefore, deserved to live in luxury.  Servants were a must, good food, so they could stay healthy to carry out their God’s orders.  And special times would be set up for celebrations and worshiping.  All the planet’s resources would be theirs.  God’s need gems, and precious metals.  I mean a God’s a God and should only have the best.

So the new religious leaders called the others together and told them of the new God, and the new laws, and how much it was going to cost each of them.  It was then that the new God, pointed at the new religious leaders, and burnt them to a crisp.

Obviously there was a large gasp and then everyone watched the God touch down onto the small planet.

“Hey,” he said.  “I’m from earth.  We kill things.  I just saved you a lot of misery.  Never listen to anyone who tells you there’s a God and they work for it.  You’re welcome.

Then he shot away, since his oxygen was getting low and he had to get back to the ship.


Photo:  Cash Macanaya

Simon…a short story

Horror, Book, Woman, Girl, Reading

Simon stayed up late
reading horror stories
and was too afraid
to go to bed
his mother told him
he was just a cut-out
and the worst thing
that could happen to him
was to get wrinkled
or thrown away
Simon asked
if that’s what happened
to his dog Spot
and his mother said
Spot was living on a farm
in Wisconsin
with all the other paper dogs


Picture:  Pixabay

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