"There is no such
thing as perfection. 
Each step is a step
towards the next step."
~C.F.

 

Thankyou to my lovely,
smart sister Susan Fisch
for helping to edit my writings
in both English & French.
She does a great job.

Archive
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November (1) December
January February March April (1) May (1) June (1) July August (1) September October November December (1)
January February March April (1) May June (1) July August September October November December
January February March April (1) May June July (1) August (1) September (1) October November December

Welcome to my Blog. 

I will try to write thought provoking stories and articles. 
Although I can't promise to not include a few rants... LOL

 

While you are visiting my Blog...
Please visit my Home Page  by clicking on the "HomePage" menu above.

For even more artworks,  please visit the other pages as well :
 • FREE POSTERS • RELIGION • QUOTES+POEMS ~above menus.

Elements & Principles of ART

September 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

ELEMENTS & PRINCIPLES

OF DESIGN

The vocabulary of Art

Charles Fisch © 2001 

Design Layout is the division of available space.
Objects &/or text can be placed into the various areas of space
in a satisfying way, using the Principles of Organization of elements.
It is like arranging things in a room for practical reasons & aesthetic
reasons depending on the purpose of that room.

Type is an example of objects in space.
Areas of text create areas of tone. Areas of bold type look darker 
—have darker value— than areas of plain text. Type with spacious leading
& tracking
, has lighter value than tight leading and tracking.
Leading is the space between lines of text; Tracking is
the space between individual letters. Alternating
Bold & Thin type creates rhythm.

“Some things are more important than other things.”
A “Hierarchy of Vision” helps the eyes to make sense of things.
What is largest is seen 1st — & meant to be seen 1st— such as a Title
or a pictorial focal point. Of secondary importance are SubHeads
in bold font to focus attention to sub-topics in the text, and also
to guide the eyes around the page. Similarly, objects
of secondary importance may be smaller. 

Elements of Design
• Line • Shape • Value • Texture/Pattern • Space 

Line

The path of a moving point that is made by a tool,
instrument, 
or medium, as it moves across an area.
A line is usually made 
visible because it contrasts
in value with its surroundings.

Line defines shape • Separates • Gives direction

• Edges of objects create lines
Contour (edge) / Cross Contour (across)
  often changing: thick to thin, dark to light
Hatching / Cross Hatching (shading lines)
Implied LineNegative line
• thick • thin • dotted • curved • jagged • dark • pale
A swan’s neck, a flower stem, a piece of string,
tree branches, edges of buildings, chem-trails
—all guide the eye & create a sense of motion.
Lines can separate areas of a page, connect information, define or outline a shape.
Curved lines/edges are elegant, sensuous, calm;
Jagged lines/edges are scary & dangerous.

Shape

Shapes underlie every object, drawing, painting, architecture, or graphic design…Unusual shapes attract more attention than square ones.

• Actual shape: areas clearly defined
  by edges or lines 

• Implied shape: a shape suggested or
  created by psychological 
connections of dots,
  lines, areas, or their edges, creating 
the
  visual appearance of a shape that does
  not physically exist. Our brain creates shapes.

• Biomorphic shape: (organic): irregular shape
  that resembles 
the freely developed curves
  found in live organisms.

Geometric shape: a shape that appears
  related to geometry (circle, triangle, square)

Value

The amount of light reflected by a surface
An area of Tone

Local Value: natural value of a shape
  regardless of lightsource

Highlight: 10% brightest spot in the
  lighted area of an object

Shade: the absence of light
  on a side or surface of an object

Cast Shadow: a dark image/area caused by
  an object blocking 
light. The dark area takes
  the shape of the object (absence of light)

Chromatic Value: the lightness or darkness
  of a colour

Achromatic Value: no colour —grayscale
  lightness or darkness

Decorative Value: a two-dimensional pattern
  of light and dark 

Gradation: gradual change of value
  from light to dark

Texture & Pattern

The surface character of a material, that can be experienced through touch —or the illusion of touch, through sight or sound.

Texture is produced by natural forces, such as:
the growth of 
cells, or erosion by weather, drying,
freezing, or the mixing of 
certain chemicals.
These forces act to raise or depress the surface 

of any living membrane, material or object
creating shallow 
elevations and/or depressions
on their surface.

Pattern: in the form of repeated shapes
&/or lines provide an 
imagined sense of touching
a surface. This creates feelings of 
richness &
depth, especially as backgrounds.

Colour

Colours affect the emotions & physiology,
create moods, imagery; invite or repel 
Colour Symbolism is based on physiology:
Red: blood, danger; ripeness (fruit), 
Blue: calming, water;  Violet: spiritual
Colour detirmines the foods we choose to eat
Out of Context Colour: catches attention
eg: Blue bananas, Blue area on a human face…

Colour Harmonies (The Colour Wheel )
Analagous: 3 related colours side-by-side
Complementary: opposite colours = 2 colours
   180° accross the Colour Wheel
Split Complementary: colours on both sides
   of the opposite colour = 3 colours
Triadic: 3 colours  @ 60° angles
   equal distance from each other on the wheel 

Space 

Space is the container for other elements.

Lots of space around an object, brings focus
  to that object. Such as leaving spaces between
  words…Leaving space around groupings of
  objects, such as dining table + chairs
  Eyes/eyebrows are separate from hairline 
Reduced space between objects creates
   visual 
c o n n e c t i o n s between them,
   such as “kerning” of space between letters.

Crowding: Not enough space: Over-crowding
   can create a feeling of discomfort.

Space has *SHAPE*  It forms “Negative Shape”
   
of the objects it contains.

 

Principles of Design ( Organization )
• Contrast • Proportion • Emphasis • Repetition
• Movement • Rhythm • Balance • Variety • Unity 

Contrast: high contrast & low contrast 

Contrast = difference of: • shape • value • texture
• colour • size & proportion • crowding/emptiness
• ideas • moral values

High Contrast: a great deal of difference • black/white
Low Contrast: a little difference • shades of grey
High contrast increases visual activity, excitement
& drama. 
Low contrast subdues the mood. 

Use contrast to: • Compare • Emphasize something 
• Subordinate something • Exaggerate something

Proportion Comparative Relation )

Appropriate or inappropriate size & measures of
elements compared to other elements.

Proportion gives the reader a sense of size of
an object to its environment & to other objects
or a part to the whole. Size of an object or space
compared to human size.
Measurements: height/width, size, area, degree
Ratios: 2/3 to 1/3 GoldenSection, Rule of Thirds

Contrast 2 elements –large & small– to express
an idea, such as a child compared to adult’s size.

Hierarchy of Vision: The largest element will
be seen first and will seem to advance in space.
Unusual or inapropriate proportions create focus.

Emphasis

What stands out the most gets noticed 1st*
Hierarchy of Vision of pictures & text: large to small
Focal Point: created by contrast, size, value,
  texture, colour, location, space, Bold text, italic…
• Rule of Thirds: a device for creating a focal point

Repetition

Repeated elements create Eyeflow & Rhythm.
Eyeflow: Our eyes recognize similarities
in elements & skip from one to the other
Pattern: repeated elements create Rhythm

Variety
Use of varied elements to hold the viewer’s attention.

Movement

How the viewer’s eyes are guided through a
composition by Design Principles. The objects in
the composition are not moving. It is the eyes of
the viewer that are moving: Eyeflow, Gaze pattern

Rhythm

Created by repeated elements which may be similar 
in: form, size, value, 
colour, contrast or proportion
— or are somehow visually related
They make the eyes move from one to another.
Eyeflow: how the viewer’s eyes are guided  
throughout the composition by design principles
Variety: To keep rhythm active, Variety is essential

Regular spacing (intervals) causes smooth rhythm
& relaxing 
mood —like Baroque music.
Abrupt changes in size (loudness) shape or
spacing (silence) 
makes a fast lively rhythm;
an exciting mood (Jazz, Heavy Metal)

Balance

Weight distribution of elements which creates
equilibrium in a composition.

Formal Balance: symmetrical, centred, horiz/vert
  equally weighted between 2 sides of a composition
  —dignified, stately, rigid composition 

Informal Balance: asymmetrical, felt or imagined
  balance through manipulating weights of
  elements and directional axes or lines of sight.

Diagonal movements of elements, eyeflow or axis
  create a modern, open & more musical feeling.

* People with low abstract thinking capabilities or
  unstable lives, 
may be too challenged by diagonal
  movements. The predictability 
of perfect horizontals
  & verticals is more comforting to some.

Harmony & Unity
& Text Integration

Harmony: all the elements are placed in a
  logical way & work together in a satisfying way
Unity: all the elements fit together in style

Text Integration: visuals & text empower
  each other in meaning & style
  (eg: rounded text for round shape objects)
Continuity of style helps Unity 
   Film/video: continuity of elements in scenes 
   props, hair, costumes, lighting, locations… 
• Too much Contrast destroys harmony.

__________________________________

Layout Devices

EYEflow Golden SectionEYEflow Golden Section


BABIES

August 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

BABIES
by Charles Fisch

A baby was left at Marie’s door.
She stumbled over it as she rushed off to work in the morning.
This was a miracle! A gift from God!

Marie and her husband Nathaniel had been praying for a child for the seven years they had been married. God answered their prayers —but maybe not in the way that she was hoping. She wanted to fulfill God’s highest calling for a woman —to be a mother— and desperately wanted to keep the baby left at their door, at all costs. Yet she had a nagging, eerie feeling that she may have to fight to keep it. But Marie was used to fighting for things that were important to her and to God.

Marie’s childless marriage had made her very angry with women who didn’t want their babies. She had been writing letters to governments to criminalize abortion. Over the years, her anger had spread to issues of child sex abuse —even though she had never been sexually abused…nor did she know anyone who had been.

Her letter writing had proliferated to TV and radio stations and newspapers. She had joined a church group of mothers against abortion, even though she was not yet a mother herself. She went to meetings and baked cookies and pies for fundraisers. She marched with placards in front of abortion clinics and tried to convince women to keep their babies. She and her friends hunted down men facing court dates over child abuse —guilty or not— as well as those who had served their time in prison and had been released. They paraded in front of the men’s homes with placards. Her whole life was consumed by abortion and child abuse issues.

Since graduating from highschool nine years ago, Marie had been working at a small-town WallMart on the order desk. The daily arguments with her co-workers about abortions and abused children had made her less and less popular and more and more alienated at work. Newspaper clippings chronicling abortion and child abuse issues were posted all around her cubicle like a battlefield of mud and dead bodies. She had been reprimanded on several occasions for talking about her issues to customers on the phone. Everyone was so glad to hear her announce that she was leaving to take care of her baby. All the staff at the office turned up with joy to finally say good-bye. Marie saw this as kindness and was considering staying after all. But she finally decided that her baby was more important. They could survive easily on Nathaniel’s managerial income at the Bible printing shop.

The baby never cried.  She was a lovely girl with brown hair and blue eyes, who just stared vacantly into the depths of her new parent’s souls. The doctor said that she had fetal alcohol syndrome; but with some extra care, she could grow up to be a healthy, normal baby. They named her Amy, which means Beloved in Latin. Marie proudly showed off her new baby at abortion protests and bake sales and at the mall. She was finally a mother!

Over several months of caring for the baby, Marie’s anger seemed to subside. She instinctively started to cook and bake more, and wrote fewer letters. She tried out new recipes and always had a scrumptious meal ready for Nathaniel when he arrived home from work. They both gained even more pounds around the middle.

Interestingly, Marie saw abortion as murder, but she did not equate her daily serving of chicken or pork or beef as a similar taking of life, or the killing of animals as somehow unjust. Her understanding of the Bible was literal. And in the Bible, animals were killed for food, as well as for sacrifices offered to God. Although, in Leviticus it states that lame or sick animals, deformed animals, even those missing one testicle, cannot be offered to God. If Marie had had the intellect to understand symbols or metaphors, she may have made the association between imperfect animals not worthy of being offered to God, and her new imperfect Fetal Alcohol Syndrome baby not being wanted by its own mother. Oblivious to Biblical nuances, Marie never bothered to ponder if God thinks less of disabled people, or if they will ever be able to get into heaven.

Marie was smiling and even chuckling with delight at the baby's gurgling and newly waving of her arms and legs. The feeling of joy and laughter in her heart made her feel alive again. She had not laughed in years.  Laughter was not part of her family heritage.  As such, she never really understood jokes or humour.  But, with her visibly happier disposition, some of the neighbours seemed less afraid of her and started saying Hello —albeit somewhat warily.

Marie and Nathaniel also grew closer. They seemed to talk more and look into each other’s eyes more often. Nathaniel had never been physically affectionate, which is something Marie had missed in their marriage. Maybe this was because he had a low sperm count and low sex drive; or maybe because of his Biblical beliefs that sex was only for the purpose of bringing a child into the world. So Marie, twenty years younger than him, was often thwarted in her daily eagerness of trying to conceive, and had felt guilty and shameful that she often felt desirous. When their efforts failed over and over again, year after year, they gave up trying to conceive, and therefore, having sex. One night, Nathaniel suggested trying again to have a baby of their own union. His suggestion of sex was very welcome. They made love, all-the-while praying that they would conceive. They fell asleep in each other's arms like young lovers. They were happy again for the first time in years. They were hugging and kissing again at breakfast like newlyweds. It was now the beautiful and happy marriage that Marie had dreamed about as a young girl. They already owned their own humble home, with a baby's room that they had slowly decorated over the years. Now they had the baby and their rekindled love. God had truly blessed them.

As Nathaniel was rushing off to work, he stumbled over another baby at the front door. They did not expect their prayers to be answered so quickly. Now they had two children. The second baby was also a girl, with dark eyes and southern hemisphere features. But this baby was not quiet. She was very needy and cried constantly, day and night. The doctor said that she was healthy, but seemed to have been traumatized. She would need a lot of care and love to make her feel secure. They named her Laraine, which meant Sorrowful in Latin. They did their best to give Laraine all their love, and to hold her and rock her and feed her and clean her; but she just cried relentlessly. When Laraine started crying, sometimes Amy got scared and started to cry as well. The loving, peaceful calm which had until now cradled Marie and Nathaniel's home was now filled with sleepless nights and tension.

As Marie was going shopping one day, she literally fell over another baby at her front door. With bleeding knees and palms, she brought the new baby into the house. There were now three crying babies in her home. Supper was not ready when Nathaniel arrived home from work. He rarely showed emotion, but the new baby visibly startled him. He tried to smile, but the smile muscles on one side of his mouth seemed to quiver slightly. Marie noticed. She explained to him that God was testing them with a rough patch, which would evolve into the loving happy family with three children that they both had hoped for at one time. This was a blessing in disguise. Nathaniel took care of the babies while Marie ran to the store to buy dinner. He finally had a son, even if he was black as coal. They kept the third baby and named him Korbin, which means Raven in Latin. 

 

The dark thoughts that Marie was now entertaining towards the crying and pooping babies, once again turned into volleys of letter writing about child abusers. The current news of the baby that was starved and shaken to death for crying, by the mother's boyfriend, made Marie especially furious. Even the thought of hurting a baby was a crime, she thought. Such thoughts could never even enter her head. Her letter writing became once again relentless. Although, her new letters were not as meticulously composed as before…Her primary duties were to care for the babies and to have dinner ready for Nathaniel.

Their friends in the Pro-life movement really admired Marie and Nathaniel Klassen for adopting children who were so unlike themselves. Even their standoffish next-door neighbour offered to help out if Marie needed some light baby-sitting. As the story of their altruism spread around the neigbourhood, more of the neighbours started to warm up to them. They were now accepted into the community and got some help taking care of the babies. The newfound friendships and help gentled them.

The quaint small-town scene of loving home and sharing community was short-lived, however. More babies were arriving on Marie and Nathaniel's doorstep each week —at last count they had seventeen. The babies were all shapes and sizes and colours and races, and most of them were somehow damaged. There were several crack babies with withdrawal symptoms.  One had signs of mental retardation. Another one had a club-foot.  Some had other special needs.  One had jaundice and had to be quarantined. They had to hire help to take care of them all. The humble white-picket-fenced home became a day-and-night care centre. The chorus of crying babies could be heard around the block, and the neighbours were getting pissed off.

Family Services knocked on their door early one morning. The stout big-breasted grey-haired social worker was horrified to see so many babies, and all so different. She demanded to see the birth certificates, or the certificates of adoption. As Marie could not produce any documents, and all she could offer were the babies-at-the-doorstep stories, the woman called the police immediately. The house was ransacked and the babies were taken away. The Klassens were held in detention pending a hearing before a judge. They were released the next day, but without their babies. They returned home to the mess, but didn’t have the courage to clean up. The house was now too quiet and so very empty. A sadness fell over Marie and Nathaniel. For several days, they sat together after dinner in silence, and then went to sleep.

The Klassens were summoned to court to answer charges of running a child theft ring. It was all over the news on every TV channel, magazine and newspaper to which Marie had written letters. Those letters, which until now had never been published, suddenly appeared to have implications in the case, as reported by the news anchors. The Klassens now had inferred connections with the bombing of the abortion clinic and murder of one of the doctors. As no children were reported missing, the charges of child theft were dropped. But they were under suspicion, as the media had stirred up a devil’s brew with their insinuations. The investigation continued…

Where had all of these babies come from? As the news circulated, more and more babies kept coming in. Finally, the Sheriff posted unmarked patrol cars to watch the house. They apprehended several teenage girls in tears, as they were trying to leave their babies on the doorstep. Over the next few weeks, they apprehended more teenage girls attempting to leave their babies. It never stopped. The girls and their babies kept coming. It was an epidemic.

The girls were interrogated. They came from the local town and several outlying regions. They were young prostitutes or drug addicts, or highschool students who had gotten pregnant and had been left by their boyfriends. Some had been raped. None of them wanted their babies. After the local abortion clinic was gone, the girls had no place to turn. They could not get an abortion, so they had their child; but they could not keep the babies. All the young women Marie had counseled not to have an abortion did not know how to take care of their babies.  Furthermore, they had no money to care for them. The schoolgirls would have to leave school, live in shame, uneducated and poor —and their whole life would be ruined. The victims of rape did not want to be reminded by seeing their babies. Some wanted an education and a career, and a chance to have a normal life when they finally met someone to marry.

The police discovered a flyer circulating with Marie’s and Nathaniel’s address on it as a place to drop off unwanted babies. Later, their name and address was published on the internet as the place to leave unwanted babies. Marie had indeed counseled girls not to abort, but instead to give birth to their babies, as killing an unborn child was a sin —but those were just words. After all the rhetoric, the girls were non-the-less stuck with babies, that they did not want and could not care for. Now that they were born, these babies had the right to a good home with loving parents. One 16 year old girl was adamant that everyone who counsels girls to not have abortions should be given those babies to care for, for the rest of their lives. Talk is cheap. Marie had asked for these babies and so she got them.

Marie and Nathaniel had to leave home. Police crime scene notices were placed all around the house, with signs posted, stating “Do NOT leave any babies here!,” along with 24-hour patrol cars outside the house. Eventually, the Klassens had to move away and hide out, like the abortion clinic workers whose names and addresses they had published on the internet.

Police investigations tracked down most of the mothers of the babies from birth records. Some gave birth at home the old fashioned way and could not be found. The babies were given up for adoption. The sick ones and the deformed ones could not be adopted. They stayed with Family Services, destined to grow up —or to die— in orphanages. There did not seem to be any Mozarts or Einsteins amongst them, but maybe it was too soon to tell.

Marie and Nathaniel legally adopted 3 babies. They chose the quietest, healthiest, cutest —and whitest ones.

 


SUPERHERO

July 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

 

SuperHero
by Charles Fisch ©2017

Sarah had always been a cry baby.
Ever since she could remember, in stressful situations, the tears
would flow. Now, in the middle of a bank robbery, bullets flying everywhere,
there she was —frozen in time and space. Saline rivers spilled down her face.
While the robbers, the police, the employees were crouched down, hiding behind
furniture for survival, Sarah stood tall, unguarded like a peace monument.
As her gaze found the leader of the gang, their eyes locked for an
eternal second —just enough of a distraction for the police
to jump him. The other thieves gave themselves up…

This was Sarah’s first assignment as a rookie. She certainly wasn’t expecting this crazy crying and freezing again, especially in the middle of a takedown. She had been sure that she was over it… Yes, Sarah had always been a cry-baby. That’s what she was called in school. When anyone tried to bully her, she would cry; and then they would… hmmm… sort of leave her alone. When her parents fought, she cried. They stopped fighting to check if she was allright. The waterworks seemed to work for her.

The tests for her entrance into the academy should have caught her weakness. Now, she would have to endure weeks of even more invasive Psych evaluations. She’d been handed the cliché that her lachrymosity was her way of coping with stressful situations… Duh! Of course it’s a great release! But it is also debilitating. Would she crack again on the job and get wounded, disabled, killed —or endanger the lives of others?

The doctors suspected her condition was some form of rare borderline personality disorder. For months they worked on strengthening her ego, so that she could do her job with less indecisiveness. Intensive martial-arts, take-down exercises and gun training were also calculated to boost her confidence. Since she was shy, they placed her into the new “Conflict Resolution” pilot program that the “bleeding heart Leftist” City Councillors were trying to introduce into the force. The department really wanted her to succeed. To get re-elected, the Mayor’s campaign had announced a drive for more female police officers. There was a lot riding on her success.

But eventually Sarah had to return to duty and her unit was soon called to a hostage taking. A soldier with PTSD, who had recently returned from back-to-back tours of duty in a warzone, was holding a knife to his wife’s throat at a kindergarten. She was divorcing him and taking the kids because they were traumatized by his despondence, nightmares and outbursts of rage. The government closed the veteran’s health centre nearby to save money, so he was left to deal with his own angst. Ignoring the “why,” police had surrounded the place with guns drawn, shouting orders at the man to put down his weapon. Several sharpshooters had already focused red laser crosshairs precisely on the centre of his forehead, while the mewling children were being slowly moved out of the room by staff.

At the most tense moment…that silence before the storm when everything is on the verge of exploding, Sarah could taste the salty liquid flowing down her cheeks. As her pleading countenance connected with the man’s frenzied, confused stare, he, too, wept. His whole being drained of years of wound-up tension and went soft. The knife fell from his hand. Instantly, 14 policemen emptied their gun clips into him. He became an epileptic rag-doll…a sieve full of holes spurting blood everywhere, as his corpse collapsed to the ground in paroxysmal stop-motion pixilation. Only a split second had been left to yank the poor wife out of the way.

Shock and grief fused with the smell of burnt gunpowder made the air viscous. As if they had been turned into pillars of salt, an eternity went by before anyone moved. Then in utter silence people started to wipe congealed blood from their faces. The carcass —what was left of it— was taken away. Sarah lost her job.

Her soppy blubbering had become a liability, which she was desperate to overcome. She became a cop to uphold the law in a humane way and to help people… Not to empty her gun clip into them, but to talk them down and ease distress. She truly believed that sometimes people simply experience a manic episode. They need help to realize that they are being driven by despair or by some form of euphoria —overpowering energies of which they are not even aware. They can usually be reasoned with and disarmed if they are not threatened and further antagonized. Her parents’ struggles with mental illness had taught her a lot about humanity. Guns should be the last resort —not the first! The police are not the law. They are delivery boys (& girls) for the law… Let the courts decide people’s fate —not poorly trained, scared, angry cops with uncontrolled trigger fingers.

So she applied to work at a women’s shelter, where she could at least be helpful while she gathered together her own pieces. Little did she know that she had merely entered a different kind of battlefield. Everyone was experiencing their own and each other’s crises in every sigh, in each held back whimper, as they shared their stories. Some of them continued to be bullied by cruel women with criminal records who were in a morose withdrawal from alcohol and various hard drugs. An omnipresent threat added to everyone’s terror. Sarah tried to mitigate the mood and the flare-ups with the conflict resolution techniques she had learned from police training while she worked on suppressing her snivelling…

One Friday afternoon, a man stumbled upon the shelter while tracking down his wife. Both were new immigrants from the Middle East. But the wife could no longer submit to her bushy-bearded Fundamentalist husband beating her and abusing her like a slave. She hated the Imam for not helping her and for condoning her subjugation. All this because 1400 years ago the Prophet Mohammed —peace be upon him— ordered women to be obedient to their husbands, even through years of rape and beatings, as the only way for them to get into Paradise in the after-life. How convenient for his fellow patriarchs… For now, a peaceful present life was her priority —peace be upon her. In a free country, she no longer had to accept her servitude. Ripping from her head and burning, the 7thC black mask that denied her identity was her 1st act of defiance —for which she got bruises. Having no financial or social resources, her only option was to escape to a shelter with her 5 children. Hearing her husband banging on the door and bellowing threats in a guttural baritone, the wife was unable to choke down her exploding panic. Her shrill screams echoed into the cosmos with the psychotic agony of a creature being murdered —revealing her presence. He rammed the door down.

As the enraged man invaded the sanctuary, Sarah was choking up, but stood in his way. He immediately raised his hand to strike, but as their eyes met, his muscles slowly lost tenseness and he became placid, yet bewildered. In silence, he now seemed to look inward —questioning— as shivers ran up and down his spine. The blaming, shaming and punishing ideologies that had been hammered into him since childhood were banging around in his head like running-shoes in a dryer. They no longer had power. As the police were carting him away, his tormented expression suddenly turned to a wide-eyed awe. With the deepest breath he had ever taken, came the awareness that he was now free. Everything had a new meaning. Colours were brighter… Instead of anger he felt pure love for his family and was already planning how to create a safe, welcoming home for them… A delightful place to live and grow up.

Luckily the police had arrived quickly. The manager of the shelter could be heard stomping down the hallway to get her grizzly gun, to shoot the guy dead. She hated men in general, so, did not approve of Sarah’s intervention, molly coddling and reasoning. Nor could she even consider the idea that some women also exploit men and damage them emotionally; even physically. Actually, that really pissed her off.

Sarah thought she would get fired. But instead, one of the shelter workers took her aside to thank her for her bravery. She had been watching Sarah since her arrival. The elderly white-haired woman with the soft-focus vision had been studying subtle energies for healing and explained to Sarah that her tears were a gift. Her sobbing attenuated the violence. It distracted people from the angry “App” running in their minds. The distraction helped them refocus to the present moment, to be able to re-evaluate right from wrong.

Sarah was starting to realize that her weepiness may not be a weakness. Looking back, she saw that it had been helpful to others during crisis situations. But she never thought of it as a gift. If it was truly a gift, then she must develop it; learn to master it; and share it. Though, she was still not sure…

For her own encouragement, she had to test her abilities. Looking for trouble in the most dangerous parts of town, she found it —and it found her. Shootings, knifings, robberies, rape, barfights, domestic disputes, left Sarah weeping every night for months, diffusing one gruesome situation after another. By now she had accepted that her tearfulness did seem to be a power; not a weakness. But she was exhausted and in need of a well deserved rest.

Before that could happen, she landed in the middle of an anti-Sharia protest between ExMuslims and Masked Islamists, whose dark ideologies glowed through the seams of their tenebrous shrouds. The newly elected Socialist Government wanted to incorporate Sharia Law into the Legal code of their democratic country, to accommodate Muslim immigrants.

It was obvious that the government didn’t understand that Secular Muslims, average Muslims, Fundamentalist Islamists, and Jihadists were a continuum of the same religion. The idea was similar to Christians who may be Secular, Liberal or Conservative, or Fundamentalist fanatics —such as the Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK, but more dangerous. As Secular Liberals hate Fundamentalist ideas, Secular Muslims hate Sharia and its costumes, headgear and masks.

ExMuslims who had barely escaped from severe Theocracies were outraged that a secular government would betray their Human Rights, by catering to Fundamentalists, who pray for the death of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Gays, in most mosques around the world!! They despised the oppressive Sharia that is practiced by Fundamentalists and Jihadist Terrorists! It was obvious that the government didn’t understand that Secular Muslims, average Muslims, Fundamentalist Islamists, and Jihadists were a continuum of the same religion. The idea was similar to Christians who may be Liberal, Conservative or Fundamentalist fanatics —such as the Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK, but more dangerous. As Secular Liberals hate Fundamentalist ideas, Secular Muslims hate Sharia and its costumes, headgear and masks.

As Secular and ExMuslims, they wanted to start a new life; leave their old clothes and old ways behind and to assimilate into their new country. So, they were even more offended when they saw Secular politicians dressed in Fundamentalist Muslim costumes at “Salafist” events, not knowing —or ignoring in exchange for votes— that those clothes were drenched in the blood of victims of Sharia. They were not “Fashion Statements” but “Faction Statements.” Salafists were the Muslims who wanted to convert the whole world to the ugliest, most severe form of Sharia based Islam, which promotes child-brides, honour killings, genital mutilation, killing of Gays, along with conquest of all nonMuslims. History had centuries of proof of their intent through scriptures, invasions, colonization, rape and slavery, and the wholesale denial of women’s equality over vast territories —even in present day. How could any well meaning human being ignore all that —and see only cloth?!

To the “Politically Correct” “Regressive Left,” the Niqab, Burka and Hijab represented all Muslims as one monolithic group. Anyone who denounced any of the 17 sects of Islam or their style of “expression,” were vehemently labeled “Racists!” Shunned. For ExMuslims and Secular Muslims, such ignorance threatened their life. Leaving Islam was Apostasy —punishable by death! They had been hiding out for years. How far would they have to run to escape Masked Islamists on their heels, as they invaded and seized democracies through migration? Ex-Muslims now living in a free country felt equivalent to Jews who had escaped concentration camps, only to have their Fascist guards in uniform move in next door in their new country!

The placards soon became bloodstained weapons. Sarah was busy neutralizing one vehement battle after another with her oozing brine. But it wasn’t enough. There was something missing. She had come to rely on a formula that had worked until now — cry and people realize their wrongdoings and walk away… But with this volume of hostilities, she needed to grow her power to combat crowd psychosis.  

She could now lacrimate on cue. But that was all on the surface. Empathy had to invade every cell of her body to trigger a supernova in her emotions. She had to crash past the pain threshold of her soul to find the essence of her power at its quiet centre. There she could channel the cosmic forces that have a balancing effect on living beings. As she delved deeper into heart-wrenching inner levels, her physical form finally succumbed to a coma, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of her passion. On the verge of death, a screeching ambulance whisked her away from an alley in the most wretched part of town.  Weeks later she awoke from her coma —her chrysalis— and emerged as a butterfly.

Then came her chance to show her Super Power to the world. A standoff was brewing downtown with protesters against police brutality. Thousands were amassing with placards. Whole battalions of police were armed with guns, truncheons, teargas and pepper spray. They clashed! Bone crunching savagery amid screams of agony… Everyone’s torment in the crowd was a cluster-bomb to Sarah’s psyche, that she channeled through her pores into her every molecule. Before, she would wail for self-preservation. Now, everyone’s afflictions en mass tortured her to anguished wailing. Her aura was growing to try to envelop all the conflict and to extinguish it.

Then it happened. Starting with the ones closest to her, people started calming —putting down their weapons. Like a vast radiating atomic blast, more and more people around her, then further and further away, were laying down their arms. The battle of wills became a somber mass whereby everyone —including police— realized the malevolence they had participated in and escalated. As the crowd dispersed, journalists were reporting on the miraculous event —with more questions than answers.

As she was packing a few humble belongings into a backpack, Sarah was finally inspired by her gift and vowed to use it to heal humanity. Hugging worried family and friends at the airport, she boarded the plane to her destiny…

Sarah was heading for the ultimate test of her powers. With all her faculties intact, soul naked, her compassion became a physical force as she headed heart first toward the Jihadist battlefields.

 

 


The RELATIONSHIP

April 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The AFFAIR

by Charles Fisch ©

They simply collided
while rushing off somewhere
Disarmed and thrust face to face
now oblivious to time or place

Both constrained
and fragile in their own way
each envisioned the other
as that worn out cliché
a Messiah who would
rescue them from the rubble
of failures rejections
inadequacies fears
all crumbling foundations
of unfulfilled dreeeams

After many fallow years
they now sprung to life
before the alarm clock blared
to dance through the day
and to party late into the night
bodies and souls entwined
in euphoric bliss

But they got too close too fast
or something or other
did not go their habitual way
They got scared
of getting hurt —again

Or was it some lingering trauma
like scraped knees
from pre-adolescent years
which interfered
as residual recurring phantom tears
or some idealistic fantasy image
which disappeared and magically
re-materialized as reality
—with flaws 
—eeou

They could have tried to compromise
as good relationships necessitate
or see this roadblock as a mirror
to introspect and evaluate the reflection
in their own stagnant pool of fears

Instead they ran away —again
reeking of blame and shame
in the safety and comfort
of their ingrained mundane routines
their predictably scripted rituals
each in the comforting smell
of their own lair
brooding in dark stale air
—licking childhood wounds…

 

 


Eulogy for Simone

June 08, 2016  •  1 Comment
KINDRED SPIRITSKINDRED SPIRITS<span class="large">The best place</span><br/> <span class="large">to meet Kindred Spirits</span><br/> <span class="large">is on the dance &fnof;loor<br/> moving freely </span><br/> <span class="large">in a stupor of joy </span><br/> <span class="large">smiling eyes embrace </span><br/> <span class="large">souls intertwine<br/> connections blossom</span><br/> <span class="large">without the need </span><br/> <span class="large">~for words.</span>

Eulogy for Simone

by Charles Fisch  June 6, 2016 

The delightful Simone is how I always thought of her…
She made a human connection in every conversation. Always present and benevolent…
A rare jewel of light in an age when people communicate
terse meaninglessness in 144 characters.

 

Simone was one of my students at George Brown College Graphic Design Program. And she made the Dean’s list… She was very proud of that. Her charming personality made her memorable immediately and throughout the year. Over the years I bumped into her at various venues. Recently she was showing her paintings at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at City Hall. She was delighted to see me. We hugged and talked for hours in the warm sunlit square amongst hundreds other wonderful artists in their tents. As always, I walked away feeling content. 

So it was a huge shock to find Simone at a PsychPrison of a downtown hospital. Her neighbours had taken her to the police station to get her help, because her words were not making sense. From there she had been forcibly drugged; sedated for over a week with anti-psychotic medication. By the time I visited her she had subdued her demons and was similar to how I had ever seen her before… Although looking very frail and trying to remember what happened… 

Simone asked me to not focus on her “Dis-Ease.” She didn’t want to be labeled or thought of as a sick person, but as a friend. She wanted me to take her to art galleries and talk about art. Of course…That is the same as I would want to be treated. But I never got a chance to take her to any galleries. After being released, she mysteriously died. 

I realized that Simone had suffered privately. Reluctant to show her inner struggles to the world, she tried her best to hide her condition. So many people hide their true selves, whose struggles seem to be out of the mainstream of “Appropriate Struggles” —as dictated by media or religious or medical myths. It is only in emergencies or tragedies that we find out how some people cope with their lives. 

Trying to hide one’s true self is not based on irrational fears. People don’t know how to handle others who are very different —temporarily or altogether. Most societies teach some form of “Othering” through cultural myths… There may be fear due to unpredictability… The stress of not knowing how to respond… Issues of reputation through association… The ones who see the pariah as their “mirror image” or resemblance are the most afraid of the connection! 

Some family members may be ashamed of relatives who are different and shun them —physically and/or emotionally— since childhood. That only adds to their misery. The labels become “Internalized Oppression” —self hatred. It often manifests in fear, low self-esteem, vulnerability, anxiety, depression, feeling ugly, incompetent and inadequate, fantasies of &/or attempts of suicide, even homelessness. Consequently, they may behave “unhappily” at times; even antagonistic… Which may make them more burdensome… But no one can keep it all bottled up consistently. 

The ones who develop psychotic episodes are probably AM radio tuners channeling the blame and hatred of society in the denigrating voices they hear. But it is through inclusion that healing takes place. In many traditional societies these same people may be revered as visionaries and mystics and honoured. I wonder if the voices that revered mystics hear are as hateful as those of imprisoned Schizophrenics in Religious Dictatorships, or those who are homeless in free Capitalist societies? 

About 20% of humanity has “brain circuit” or “Wiring Disorders,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is a more accurate term than the emotionally laden “Mentally ill.”  5% have it to a debilitating level. Anomalies of the psyche seem to be higher amongst creative people than the general population. Artist have had to deal with these issues through centuries, millennia…  Historical records of famous artists showed how they coped with their lives in spite of inner struggles and outer struggles —often caused by their conditions. So many creatives have lived through depression, alcoholism, drug addictions, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, etc. Yet in spite of it all, created beautiful meaningful works which enriched societies for decades; centuries. They mostly did not know how to understand, or cope with, or control the incredible alternate energies they were experiencing. Such things were not taught in schools. Maybe in Shaman school…

 

.

Some realized that their condition heightened their creativity. That is what artists live for. The initial stages of a psychotic episode for example, are said to be an especially creative time, which blurs the line between madness and genius. VanGogh painted his swirling masterpiece, “Starry Night”  during one of those episodes in a mental hospital. Apparently he expressed a complex mathematical theory about fluid dynamics, in that painting. Frances Crick said that he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape [DNA] while on LSD.” 

Saints, visionaries, shamans have taken drugs and fasted to increase the hallucinogenic processes of their minds. They wanted to suppress their ego consciousness, to access their unconscious mind; to become receptive to repositories of memories of humanity, which Carl Jung called the “Collective Unconscious.” Actually, all of us naturally produce LSD in our brains. We all have the availability of altered states to heighten our creativity. Sugar suppresses it. Sugar is poison…

Simone had explained to me that she has had this condition before and was taking medication for it, but it had blunted her 3rd eye. She was trying to control it through herbs. That may sound ridiculous to some… Not all of humanity would agree with the concept  of 3rd eye, but some of us would label it as “intuition” or “association skills,” which are another form of non-linear thought. A faster way of arriving at conclusions… Not having those skills is like an amputation of a part of one’s mind. A vital part of every creative person’s process —missing. Limping instead of flying.

Mind numbing “Medical Treatments” with “legal” pharmaceutical drugs or Shock Treatment, all with distressing side effects, is truly unbearable for many people —especially those who live by and for, creativity. If the cure is as debilitating as the disease, naturally they will want to try more benign treatments. A similar movement is happening with cancer drugs vs Marijuana, ginger as a blood thinner instead of Warfarin; ginger and turmeric also lower blood pressure instead of Statins, etc. Whether it be pharmaceutical or herbal, there is always experimentation needed with medication, either to get the right dosage or the right combination of medications. With some conditions there is suffering with or without treatment —only a matter of degree of difference. 

We all try in our own way to improve ourselves. It may not be evident too others on a different path in life, or to those who are in a hurry and think they can actually get anywhere fast… Every change happens one molecule at a time. If you rush by at 100miles an hour, you miss —or dis-miss— the finer details. But, it is what we learn along the way that also counts!

One of the side effects of suffering, after having overcome the bitterness associated with it, is learning compassion for the suffering of others. Buddhists say that it is during a time of suffering that we are most open to learning compassion. In Judaism, the Talmud/Berakhot-5 says, “God gave Israel three good gifts, and all were given only through suffering.” It is common experience that we have greater feeling and appreciation for things we acquire through suffering. In Christianity, suffering is a recurring theme and is considered a necessary ingredient for maturing spiritually and learning to overcome evil with good. Simone seemed to have learned those lessons well. I had only ever known her as a loving individual. That is how she was with me.

I will always honour Simone for her truly lovely spirit. As well she represents for me the struggles of all artists who strive to be creative.

I also realize that I have to re-prioritize my life. Many of us also need to make that adjustment. We need to make time for Kindred Spirits —before they leave their bodies and disperse back into the stars. These are the people we have to cherish…Spend more time with… Enrich each others’ lives with beauty and caring… Especially during their most vulnerable moments. We have to accept every part of them —as we have to accept every part of ourselves. We cannot expect others to live up to a concept of perfection that we cannot live up to ourselves.

Good bye for now, dear sweet Simone until we can dance together again freely as spectral waves; auroras of shimmering colours, painting the universe with starlight. 

 

 

 


TWEET POEMS

April 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Tweet Poems

by Charles Fisch © 

Vanishing Beauty

once upon a time
stalkers chased me
up and down the street
with sweet ravenous smiles
and offers of treats
a few wrinkles later
they look past me
at younger fresher meat

Beauty Piranhas

A handsome tall friend of mine
takes me for a walk sometime
all eyes on the street
devour his exquisite beauty
piranhas eat his flesh to the bone

as I just disappear

Useless Veils

Women hide in veils
as shields against
impure thoughts of men
but scents travel through cloth
arousing passionate fantasies
that mundane features
freely exposed may repel

Kindred Spirits

The best place to meet
kindred spirits
is on the dance floor
in a stupor of joy
eyes intertwine
bodies and souls embrace
communications blossom
without the need for words 

Don't Look–But Look

My eyes are up here
she roared with vehemence
but she'll be even more upset
when she grows older
and no one looks at her breasts
—anymore

Men are Pigs

if men are pigs
then women are sows
we are all born as animals
whether we end up wearing pants
or jewel-embroidered gowns

Abused Animals

Abused animals
— human or any other kind
will attack or run away
if approached directly
even with food in hand
they tunnel vision death
and feel only distress

Hello, Hello

I tried to call you on the phone
but your communication device
—was divisive
it trapped me inside
an insipid mindless greeting

an invisible jail
of utter nothingness

 


WINNER !

December 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Winner!

Charles Fisch©2012

TV news was really awesome tonight ~ custom made for adrenaline junkies.
Right here in town there were several wretched murders, a 15-year-old serial rapist,
a gang shoot-out at the mall and a squad of cops busted for selling confiscated drugs.
How crazy is that? Then, a dictator was psychotically butchered with machetes in the street…
While elsewhere, veiled suicide bombers swooped in like a swarm of black crows
to blow a temple sky-high ~ killing 57 people. Wow! Now the weather girl
was warning of a massive hurricane heading this way.

“Get off my screen!!!” Jerry yelled at the weather girl with a mouthful of hamburger, as he awaited the lottery results.

His vacation started today and the only thing he did so far was to max his credit card. The $100 million mega draw mousetrapped him into buying prize tickets worth several months of his salary. But this time he was really sure he would win. All his hundreds of quick-pick fantasies were signed and systematically laid out on the dinner table while he waited for the lottery show. As he relentlessly ripped apart greasy fast food with his teeth like a ravenous animal, orange ooze slimed down his neck and furry arms.

At long last the big-haired, tightly corseted lottery model reached for the balls printed with the winning numbers, as they dropped from the Random Number Generator like bird-poop. With effeminate mannerisms, she bent slightly at the hip to pick up the spherical objects one after the other. Each desperately coveted heartthrob in hand prompted her to take a deep breath ~ lifting her big fake “Silly-Cones.” After several teasing seconds of anticipation, the oracle of fortune revealed the worshipped numeric characters with her freshly injected swollen lips. “And the winning numbers are...3…5…8…13…21…and…34. Good luck!” said the flirty mannequin.  

Jerry had remembered those same numbers, from a long ago school assignment, which had gotten him his lowest mark ever. They were the Fibonacci Sequence ~ the ancient Golden Ratio. And, that set of numerals was glowing brighter than the others on his table.

He won!!!! Jerry just won a $100 million dollars!!  

Silence invaded the room. The TV blared lottery propaganda and cheery music, yet the cosmic quiescence drowned it out completely as Jerry stared vacuously at the screen ~ stunned.

As his breath slowly returned, an intense cold-warm shiver radiated from his solar plexus and enveloped him in a feverish realization that he was no longer a “Loser.” He was finally a “Winner”! Exploding from his seat like a grenade, Jerry was ready to grab the life that he had been cheated out of.

But it was Friday night of a long weekend. The lottery office would not open until Tuesday. He had to keep his treasure and himself safe until then. In a panic, he opened and slammed shut his cupboards and fridge in search of food and booze. Nothing to eat! Yet he must not leave the sanctuary of his home. Outside, a ten ton truck could flatten him. 

However...there were a few 8 year old bottles of fine booze he was saving for a special occasion. This was a very special occasion. Dancing nude in his living room, swigging a dusty bottle of wine, Jerry shrieked with blood curdling joy. His hirsute jelly-belly, man-boobs and whale-blubber buns, were bouncing in all different directions as he danced and kicked the air with pigeon-toed clumsiness and flailed his pudgy arms around ~ shamelessly caterwauling Lady Gaga songs. 

Three bottles of wine later, he was passed out on the floor. When he woke, the house was shaking from the gale outside. He could see the twister through the window. It was headed straight for him.

The walls were trembling. Wooden supports were cracking, shredding into splinters and crashing with a thud. Metallic beams were being twisted like melting cheese. Electrical wires became firecrackers of subatomic light particles as they were being mangled. Then it went dark!

 The house was imploding from the 150 decibel whirlwind. As part of the roof flew away, a pillar collapsed onto Jerry, trapping him under metal, wood and plaster debris. When the dust settled, he could see gloomy grey clouds churned by gusts of wind forming fingers, which clawed towards him. Rain and thunder relentlessly pounded the wreckage as he lay paralyzed. Frantically struggling to get free, he yelled for help but he could not even hear his own voice from the deluge. 

Any minute now a reporter with lights and camera crew would lift the house off him like superman, to interview him for TV. He would deservedly have his moment of fame... Trapped under the rubble, hungry, hung-over and bruised, Jerry waited to be rescued. But no one came.

 

     With no TV to distract his introspection, he realized that he was experiencing “news” the way no reporter could convey it ~ seeing and hearing, but also feeling, smelling and tasting the news. The television journalism that had so delighted him for decades, he now saw as an abstract cubist portrait of multiple noses, eyes and ears, hacked off, bleeding and collaged together —a continuous ephemeral barrage of horrid events, devoid of context and humanity. Each crisis was just a visual gulp of adrenalin; entertainment for hollow voyeuristic masses to momentarily feel something at a safe distance, remotely controlled, without having to commit to anything. 

As he became hungrier and weaker, he started to hallucinate. Lying in the crumbs of his life, he reminisced about memorable moments of his yet unwritten story. Since childhood he had wanted to become famous, but did not know for what. Flunking acting school dashed his hopes for celebrity. Design training was another embarrassment. His stubby fingers could not master fine skills. And, he was told by one snooty bitch professor that that his creative visions were irksomely mundane. 

At the theatre where he worked as a stage-hand, he memorized each new script and the roles of all the actors, hoping to replace someone who actually did “break a leg,” or anything else. He listened to each utterance and quality of breath. Every emotion of the characters had a visceral effect on his soul as he carried his props around ~ sometimes tearfully ~ backstage. He got into trouble once for whispering the lines to an actor who had forgotten the words. 

Love had also been painful for Jerry. At school he had been the fat mascot for bullying. Brown hair, brown eyes, bald by 25 ~ most people looked past him. But the ones who looked through him were the most hurtful. So, he was eager to please. He was obsessively compelled to gather positive reactions from everyone he met, with overwhelming attentiveness and annoying optimism. A quiet moment meant inevitable rejection ~ hence he worked himself into a frenzied Attention Deficit Disordered chatterbox around people. He was too much, yet not enough, all at the same time. On the rare occasion that drunks gave him a chance for sex or romance ~ they ran for their lives half way through the “date.”

But he now wanted to forget the past and dreamed of being held in a loving warm embrace…

Jerry became aware that he could not feel his legs and was starting to drift in and out of consciousness. Saliva was collecting in his throat, producing a choking, crackly “death rattle.” Then a final moment of lucidity.

Wanting to be rich and famous like the celebrities he saw in the media caused him to chase fool’s gold aspirations based on mass manufactured plastic daydreams. All his beliefs, lifestyle and goals had been clichés programmed by television. The nasty design teacher was right. It was time for a makeover. He promised himself that he would no longer be led around by the nose by mercenary propaganda. Discovering who he really was and what he really enjoyed would be the foundation for his new, intrinsically motivated life, if he could ever distil what that is.

With his last breaths, Jerry started to giggle. Like the Buddha, he was laughing at the folly of humanity ~ and his own. He recognized the irony of winning the mega prize just before he would die and could never use it, nor take it with him. Jerry loved irony, parody, satire and sarcasm. The idea that the cosmos would have a sense of humour was hilarious.

Rain drops on his face washed away all that was ever meaningful to him. Possessions, rejections, dashed hopes, even momentary delights became irrelevant. Nothing mattered. He saw everything, including himself, as just molecules ~ less dense and more dense conglomeration of molecules strewn about in space…temporary clumps of dust, to be scattered back into the universe by earthly, solar and galactic winds. Then his mind went empty. He had reached enlightenment!

Clutching the mega prize ticket over his heart, Jerry’s soul left his body. He died laughing.

On quiet days, echoes of his laughter ricochet amongst buildings, gleefully chased by children
~ oblivious to their mocking prophecy. 

   

 


Saturday Afternoon at the Opera

August 23, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Saturday Afternooat the Opera

Charles Fisch©Jan.10, 2011~July 2015

We rarely heard music at home on a weekday.
After dressing and feeding her small children, my mother dutifully disappeared
into her household chores. The usual sounds we were immersed in were water running, scrubbing, clanging of pots, food simmering and hours of tap-tap-tapping
of the antique foot-pedal sewing machine. 

Mom was generally attentive and tender, but lately she had been shrieking at my younger sister and me when she wanted something…Then there was “that silence” again. Sis and I tiptoed around, shushing eachother to avert “the wrath of Mom.” Apparently Dad was having another affair and Mom was consumed by the private thunderstorm brewing in her head. She was plotting something…We knew better than to interrupt.

          As children we were not taught to ride a bike or swim; but we entertained ourselves, as kids usually do. My sister played with her dolls on the front steps, the dog loyally lying beside her. Sometimes I helped to make dresses for the dolls, having learned to sew from watching Mom make our clothes.

          Curious by nature, I preferred to forage in the sunlit garden for interesting worms and bugs: iridescent green beetles, red spotted ladybugs, crickets, butterflies, fireflies, spiders...I had a whole collection in bottles with holes in the caps for them to breathe. With practice I figured out how to pick them up so they wouldn’t bite me ~again. Of course, my favourites were the horned stag beetles. Dad took us to the zoo once where the deer with great antlers reminded me of my beetles. Everyone seemed to tolerate my wide-eyed ravings about the similarity.

          My best friend and neighbour was born on the same day as me. But he was not as obsessively enamoured by bugs as I was. He liked cars better. Sometimes we would jump up and down in delight at the edge of the sidewalk watching the different vehicles that rolled down our street. We chased after our most prized ones and could often be heard screaming with joy when sports cars went by…or screaming with panic as the bigger boys chased us down the street. Our days were full of adventures and games with lots of giggling from dawn to dusk.

          When father came home from working in a factory all day ~exhausted~ we knew not to bother him. Supper was always waiting. In focused silence he swallowed his food whole, like some reptile. Although, he did have a soup-impediment…Giggling at his raspy slurping never got old. But this was the crucial moment of the day that Sis and I feared the most. If Mom attacked him with things that needed to be done, he often agreed impatiently, his facial expression implying that it could have waited until he had finished eating. If they were both silent, there was the tense energy-potential of an explosion ~of screaming and yelling. 

          Having finished eating, Dad lay down to listen to his treasured 33-rpm classical music and opera recordings. My frisky young-boy energy came alive to the music ~skipping, kicking, bending, twisting, leaping, twirling and frolicking around the house…sometimes breaking furniture. For my birthday, Dad had taken the whole family to a special performance of Swan Lake with the “Prima Ballerina Assoluta” of the Bolshoi Ballet. After that, my feet didn’t touch the ground for months ~more accurately a life-time… Dad sent me to ballet school when I was seven years old, hoping to tire me out. Secretly he envied my lithe elastic body type. He was born a bear.

          Every Saturday afternoon, Dad lay on his back on the couch escaping into Dostoyevsky’s dog-eared thick novels, which he held in his right hand close to his face, while his left hand waved in the air, conducting Maria Callas on the record player. His every waking and sleeping moment was spent fantasizing about the life that had been denied him. He should have been playing chess with the élite, arguing literature or politics with intelligentsia and applauded on stage along with Maria Callas. He had a voice. Everyone told him that he should have been an opera singer when he yelled at them. But I never actually heard him sing…

          A high-bred family had employed Dad’s 16-year-old mother ~our grandma~ as a live-in maid. But the head of the household got her pregnant, then discarded her along with her baby. Years of struggles awaited them as they both grew up on the streets. No welfare in those days…Unwed mothers with their “bastard” children were not called “single-moms.” Other degrading names were reserved for them…As soon as she could, she sent him to an orphanage out of shame. For an orphaned child it was eat-or-be eaten. Young Dad grew up to be a street-bully to get by.

          Then the war invaded everyone’s lives. Dad was drafted into the army and eventually ended up in a prisoner of war labour camp in Siberia; released only years later. He had now lived through 2 great wars, having been born in the middle of the first one. When he returned home, his survival instinct found him work as an upholsterer. Next, he set his goals on Mom ~a successful tailor and an independent woman.

 

 

 

 

  A confident cocky young man with a steady job, he courted her for years and would not take “no” for an answer. Yes, he was good-looking, and at times charming; but her intuition must have warned her that in the very least they had nothing in common. She told us that she finally agreed to marry him because so many men had died in the war or were never heard of again. Slim pickings…What she regretted most was not wedding the handsome photographer who wanted to take her to America just before the war began.

          Mom may have understood that physical and emotional injuries caused Dad’s impatience and angry outbursts…Or maybe not…But she was now stuck in a distressing marriage, with the statistically correct 21/2 children ~due to a recent miscarriage. In a bombed-to-shreds disaster zone of a city, rebuilding from rubble, and low on food and resources, there was no way out for either of them. They just had to survive.

          Muffled fantasies about missed opportunities and mangled yearnings were their only temporary escape. If their goals or fantasies had been compatible, it may all have been more bearable. But while he was forever searching, she was busy maintaining…Dad obviously overcompensated for having been thrown out with the placenta through the castle window. Not only was he belligerent and arrogant, but also his greatest aphrodisiacs were kitsch gilded grandeur and celebrities. The ultimate romantic, he was constantly ready to give up everything for a torrid affair, desperately seeking the love he never had from birth. Mom, on the other hand, was content with mundane nesting. A bland but devoted asexual accountant would have suited her better. Sex was another duty for her. She was “a virgin martyr,” according to Dad. The death of her father at age 15 was depressing enough, but she was further traumatized by the consequent arranged marriage that she soon escaped. They were both on a leash held by their past.

          Understandably, amongst other of Dad’s less than charming qualities, such as embarrassing Mom in public with his constant arguing with everyone, and dressing like the homeless, his chainsaw snoring could not have been a turn-on…It certainly woke me. Sometimes I was eyes-wide in the middle of the night, watching everyone sleep and listening to Dad’s abrasive noises erupting from under the pillow over his head. His snoring initiated my life-long sleep disorder, amongst others...

          At times they were affectionate towards eachother for short periods; a show-hug or a kiss performed for the children here and there; but never any encouragement or consoling. To acknowledge that they were both in hell together and would support eachother would have helped…But those subtle forms of affection were not part of their consciousness. They could not emulate what they never got or learned in childhood. Instead they constantly reconstituted the pain of previous disappointments and betrayals through belittlement and blame. The past kept flooding back as if it were happening all over again in 3D on a giant screen. Nothing was ever forgotten, nor forgiven…constantly in eachother’s faces, even in withdrawn silence.

          Mother was more difficult to barricade from my father’s bubble of subjugated daydreams than were his children…She felt especially domestic when Dad listened to opera. At the precise moment that “La Divina,” Prima Donna Callas, hit high C live at La Scala, Mom arrived with the vacuum cleaner ~nyiaaaaaahhhhhhh~ drowning out Maria’s spectacular crescendo. Dad would bellow at her with imperial indignation that regularly alarmed the neighbours. She would scream back at him…The children cried…The dog howled…It was literally a “breathtaking,” three-ring, operatic circus.

          Yelling was my parents’ “conversation style.” Sometimes it was scary, but the shouting filled the house. It felt more like home than the dense pregnant silences. {} 

   

 


Heavy Date

June 22, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Heavy Date

 

Charles Fisch ©Jan.11, 2011

My intuition squealed with distress…

The mother I had known and trusted my whole life was no longer herself. The house-broken wife in her usual shabby tent dress suddenly appeared as a crazed spy from hell! Shrouded in an old trench coat, kerchief and sunglasses ~emotionless, yet silently boiling with rage~ she grabbed me sternly by the wrist and pulled me behind her like a bewildered animal. We headed out into the night…As it turned out, I was going on my first date ~at age five~ the worst date of my life.

My mother’s intuition was more developed than mine. Somehow she knew that my father was dating her best friend. So, we all went on “his” date. Mother stalked them like a hungry carnivore, while dragging me along like a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. We hid behind buildings, fences, trees, crouched behind cars, as we followed father up streets and down alleys. When she ran faster than my tiny legs could keep up, my feet never touched the ground. At the slightest whimper I was shushed into submission.

We eventually caught them in the act in a most unexpected scary dark place. Mom shrieked out years of frustration. Dad bellowed back with indignation. The usual screaming match, but more psychotic. We slept at grandma’s house that night.   A restless sleep…The image of my father, naked with another woman in a grungy place amongst murky shadows and my mother screaming, left a Gordian-Knot in my stomach ~for decades.  

 

 

While dad was away at work the next day, her panicked girlfriends arrived to our darkened home. Their attention was beckoned by muffled crying, which led them to a candle-lit room with curtains closed ~where mom lay in bed. She rose decrepitly as if she were a patient in a palliative care unit and with arms raised to the sky, yelled, “KURVA !" (koor'-vah = whore). 

The gossipy confidantes kept telling her that her most beloved and trusted friend since childhood had betrayed her. Being loyal to a fault, she couldn't believe that Magda would try to steal her husband and hurt her. She needed proof ~and now she had it...

Mournfully, she recounted her tragic escapade from the previous day with Shakespearian skill, accentuating her soggy saga with furled brows, clawing fingers, throaty sobs and tears the size of eggs smashing to the floor. Her chorus of wailing women completed the morality play.

In the end, mom’s greatest outrage was that dad had sex with Aunt Magda in a patch of grass under a bridge ~he didn’t take her to a nice hotel.

The gossipmongers’ advice ~to withhold sex as extortion~ backfired on mom. Dad was a practical guy. If he couldn’t get it at home, he got it elsewhere…

Aunt Magda became a pariah. But there seemed to be endless neighbourhood “whores” who were enthusiastic about dad’s charms. Mom continued to hunt them down regularly. She could have been so much more than a housewife... Bounty hunter would be at the top of the list.

   

 


PREMONITION

May 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Premonition

Charles Fisch ©2011

A comforting warm bath was Jackson’s whole universe 
and timeless prison. He was trapped alive in a horizontal fluid-filled
glass pod, like a preserved specimen. Countless stacks of similar glass containers
with naked living human captives surrounded him
as far as the eyes could see.

Jackson had been sentenced to incarceration at the secret “LiquiCell Institution,” but not for actually committing a crime ~yet.
A fall in the street, which resulted in prefrontal lobe brain damage, meant that he “could” become a threat to society. Countless studies of dangerous offenders in penitentiaries showed that most of them had prefrontal lobe damage or underdevelopment. Many of them had tendencies towards impulsive, aggressive behaviour. Their inhibitions and ability to defer gratification were deficient ~all they knew was what they wanted in the moment. Without consideration of the future or consequences of their actions, these people did not have the ability of moral reasoning. Thanks to science, such sociopaths were now identifiable before they caused damage to living beings or property.

A recent crime-prevention law associated with public safety and security, allowed for people to be labeled criminals based on suspicion. The government was getting tough on crime. Regardless of his innocence or victimhood, Jackson was removed from society.

The new, classified, subterranean “LiquiCell” prison stored human cargo in slightly larger than body-sized clear glass capsules. They were filled with a warmed antiseptic bio-gel, which maintained hygiene. Every enclosed organism was connected to an automated neural network and all their bio-functions were monitored by the central computer. Cardiovascular, hormonal, immunological and neurological activities for each body were measured through wireless bio-nanosensor arrays ~miniature laboratories. Then the system automatically made necessary adjustments of medication through needle-free injection devices, to ensure optimal levels of biological functioning. Cordless stimulation electrodes interacted with various body parts, to elicit muscle contraction, to sustain muscle tone, to prevent blood from settling and to defibrillate the heart in emergencies. Calorie restricted essential nutrients were dispensed in liquid form through feeding tubes; waste removal apparatus was also connected. The only things the perfect homeostatic system could not control were hair and nail growth.

The new “correctional institution concept” secured financial savings for the government in the millions per year. Only one computer network operator was required for 1000 inmates per 8-hour shift, apart from a weekly maintenance crew. A medic perused the daily reports for anomalies and took care of emergencies. Real estate space, salaried personnel and food costs were greatly reduced; but added expenditures for rehabilitation, social programs, education, recreation, discipline problems, riots, or hunger strikes, were eliminated and replaced with thrifty soft restraints for wrists
and ankles.

Several pharmaceutical companies contributed capitol as corporate partners. Their tranquilizers, antidepressants and other medications enabled the success of the venture. Due to the large quantities of their products used daily, the projected returns on their investments guaranteed large profits. Free test subjects for experimental drugs were an added benefit. The mortality rate was not much higher than the national average for confinement facilities. Fatal medical complications were balanced out by the absence of the most common prison deaths: suicide, cardiovascular diseases, illicit drug overdoses and violence.

The bodies were sedated into a near coma state. Floating in and out of consciousness in an opioid haze, Jackson had forever to relive and figure out what went wrong, interspersed with memories of his family and friends and a life that he missed. Over and over again he asked himself how his own country could treat him like this if he had never committed a crime. How could this organization be legal? Had human rights become overshadowed by a fearful and obsessive need for security? Was his country mutating into a fascist state without anyone noticing? Would he ever get his life back? Would he ever see his loved ones again?

A one-way transparent flexible LCD screen was fitted onto each capsule above the eyes, to influence brain activity and rehabilitation through audio-visual means, as well as to block most of the view to the outside. Melodic music was accompanied by images of beautiful landscapes. Additionally, middle-aged female readers from every racial background, recited moral short stories and positive affirmation poems, with tender compassionate expressions. Listening to the soothing synthesized music was a welcome distraction from an underlying anxiety over a fate Jackson still did not understand, nor could accept. 

 

 

The trustworthy maternal faces and voices of the storytellers consoled him like his own mother, who had read to him before bedtime during his childhood. It was an ironic paradox that Jackson felt ephemeral torment, yet he floated in carefree comfort, with all his needs provided. He was not unlike millions of people in the world, who feel trapped in their routine daily lives, merely existing in unfulfilled comfortable comas, sedated with alcohol, antidepressants and television ~or religion.

The lighting was consistently dim; there was no day and night punctuated by light and dark. But after some time, Jackson recognized a schedule of waking with music, followed by muscle stimulation, then medication and movement of liquid in the feeding tubes, and readings. He counted units of time through his heartbeat, which was amplified in the liquid. At 60 heartbeats per minute, each musical piece lasted 5 minutes and each reading was 15 minutes long. During the day, readings were alternated with a set of 3 musical pieces, interspersed with movement in the feeding tubes and dosing of medication, ending with forced sleep. Then it started all over again ~presumably the next day. By his calculations, he had been subjugated for 726 days ~or longer...

As Jackson became accustomed to the tranquilizers, he regained some lucidity. He tried to send neural impulses back into the system through muscle contractions using Morse code —just a plain S-O-S of long and short intervals. Due to a glitch in the system, he eventually got back a faint Morse code reply. Apparently, there was another prisoner in the building who knew the code. They sent messages back and forth. Another man was also unfairly taken from his life and confined. There was general injustice here. Something had to be done about it, but they were trapped and useless, which caused them more despair.

Jackson’s neighbours caught glimpses of him and started imitating the Morse code messages, with nonsensical meanings. They intuitively understood the mechanism of sending messages and felt the responses, but did not know the language system of Morse code. Soon all the captives were trying to communicate in the same manner. It gave them hope to know that they were not alone. These were human beings who needed something meaningful to do with their lives, something or someone to interact with, other than to just lay there like living corpses. Before the supervisors could diagnose the irregular electrical activity, the wiring overloaded and burned out. The prison was no longer functioning. As the medication wore off, more and more people kicked their way out of their glass cells, ripped off the restraints and tubes and helped others escape. 

A thousand naked slimy angry men were marching down the highway towards the city. The scandal of the century was about to erupt in the news media…

Jackson awoke in the hospital in breathless bewilderment. The nurse tried to reassure him that he had been sleeping and was having a nightmare; but he was safe now. His wife and three children were sitting at his bedside waiting for him to awaken and greeted him with loving hugs and tears of joy. He had been in a coma for 3~months. During this time, his spouse, children, his parents, siblings and friends had been taking turns sitting by his side every day ~waiting and hoping. They entertained him with stories, poems, soothing music and informed him of what was happening in the world, knowing that he would hear everything. They also gave him daily massages to keep his limbs from atrophying. All his loved ones felt blessed to have him back. Since he could now eat by himself, the nurses happily removed his feeding tubes.

A doctor came in and explained to him that he had been hit by a car, which had put him into a coma. Luckily, no broken bones were found, nor was there any organ damage. Unfortunately, the results of neurological and brain imaging tests showed that he had suffered frontal lobe brain injury, for which there is no cure.

The physician also mentioned that while he was sleeping, the government had enacted a new preventative safety and security law. Jackson would have to stay at the hospital until he was well enough to travel. Then he would be moved to a new rehabilitation facility.

As the doctor was leaving, a security guard posted outside his room came in and handcuffed him. He was wheeled off to a segregated hospital wing, while his family was left behind crying in confusion. Awaiting his transfer to the LiquiCell Institution, Jackson’s nightmare was just beginning... 

 

 

 
   

 


Modern Muslim Fairytale

April 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

A Real Muslim Spring come true...
A Modern Moslem Fairy Tale 

Charles Fisch ©2015 

Tiny, frail Adilla had been crying and praying to God, to be freed from an atrocious misfortune awaiting her.  In one week, on her 13th birthday,
she would have to marry the village elder’s 47-year-old fat-bellied, bald son Abbas, whose rotting teeth and long, scraggly, grey beard smelled like a goat that
chain-smoked Gitane cigarettes. Abbas had never seen Adilla’s face without
her veil, yet he admired her with frighteningly lecherous stares
—which gave her churning indigestion. 

Everyone congratulated her on the great privilege of becoming his 4th wife. But their adulations merely reminded Adilla of that dreadful moment before the wedding, when Abbas’ ancient mother would test her virginity. To make sure her hymen was intact, the old witch would insert her coarse, shriveled finger with hangnails, inside Adilla’s “forbidden flower.” Her life would be worthless garbage without that tiny piece of skin. If that would not rob her of all dignity, then her son would, by raping her and ripping her open on their wedding night. She felt noxious whenever she thought of Abbas’ fat, hairy, putrid body lying on top of her, filling her with his toxic juices, crushing her and suffocating her with his bushy beard, slimy with rancid saliva. She imagined herself fully bloated, pregnant by him, her delicate bones fracturing under the weight of his demon baby. 

She had often voiced her opinion that a young girl who is married off to a middle-aged man was “legalized” child-rape. Surely a grown man who had sex with a young girl —who is not his wife— would be jailed in every country in the world for “Statutory Rape.” Why did marriage excuse the same act? Sex with a child —married or not— is rape!!

Her mother, out of fear and shame, tried to muzzle her with her hand each time she expressed such blasphemy —especially in public. Countless times her aunts told her stories about the blessed Mohamed who married his favourite wife Ayisha when she was only nine years old and he was in his fifties. The aunts insisted that whatever the holy prophet did was sacred. They further illustrated their approval with the story of Jesus’ mother, Mary, whose earthly husband was age thirty-seven when she was fourteen and honoured with the radiant child in her belly. It was urgent for them to convince Adilla that every young girl had to obey the beliefs of her religion in order to save her from eternal punishment and harsh retributions of other believers. Women’s most important roles in life are wife and mother —according to God’s laws.

Adilla always listened politely, but remained defiant. She had never forgiven the aunts for holding her down and cutting her private parts with a piece of broken glass on her 8th birthday. Apart from unbearable pain, she got an infection and nearly died. It could not have been God who required that horrific genital mutilation of children.

The forlorn child-bride-to-be, had been crying herself to sleep every night, holding to her heart the only solace available to her —magnets that fell from a military jeep that had rumbled through the village. She could not run after the jeep fast enough to return them. They belonged to her now.

Her brothers had once seen magnets at school and eyed these as prized toys. But Adilla had never been to school. Her father forbade it. To her, the magnets were some form of miracle. She could not understand how pieces of metal could pull each other close and alternately push each other away. She often wished she could do the same —push away hurtful people and draw caring people towards her. She especially wished that she could magically repel her younger brothers every time the mischievous boys tried to grab the magnets from her hands.

As the cursed wedding day approached, her family was in hectic and joyful preparation for the “blessed event.” Yet Adilla was becoming more and more despondent. Strange sensations loomed in her body and were becoming quite unbearable.

On the way back from the market with her brothers on Monday, Adilla’s heart started beating very fast. The stones under her bare feet were increasingly gouging her flesh. Her face was burning and she could not breathe in the veil that she was required to wear over her face in public. In a state of uncontrollable anxiety and tears, she ripped the cloth off her head and ran down the street with hair flying in the wind while scattering all the vegetables they had bought for the family supper. All the scowling men along the way appeared blurry —like shaking, overlapping images— as if she was looking at them through a kaleidoscope.

One of the men grabbed at her and seemed to fall in her wake. Another man went to slap her, but recoiled, yelling out in pain. A third tried to hit her with a stick and he too screamed —his arm was broken!!! Many of the village men seemed to be running after her, all the way to her humble home at the end of the road. Gasping for air, she made it to the house and bolted the door behind her, which they tried to break down. Her father fended them off with a gun.

The ferocious men complained that his daughter had hit them and had broken the arm of one of them. All the accusations seemed absurd to her parents. Clearly she did not even reach to their shoulders in height and weighed not much more than a hen. She was the shyest girl in the village.

But the men insisted that she was violent and contravened God’s laws by exposing her face in public. She must be punished! After much loud arguing and threats, they eventually left. Adilla’s house fell into an electrified quiet in anticipation of the troubles ahead…

News of the scandal quickly reached her husband-to-be, who was now banging on the front door, demanding to know what had happened. Adilla was still whimpering in a heap in the corner of the kitchen. Her sobbing intensified upon hearing Abbas’ angry voice and approaching footsteps. She began to scream that she would never marry him and ordered him out of their house, never to return!

Her parents were mortally embarrassed. This disaster would bring dishonour to the family. Her father tried to patch things up, but she kept screaming and would not listen. Abbas left, slamming the door shut on their future.

The Imam sent his brother to fetch Adilla. As prescribed in the Quran, four men had shown up as witnesses to her transgressions in the street the previous day. The Imam had no choice but to have her punished with 50 lashes in the public square. She was doomed.

Tearfully, Adilla walked to the square with her captors and obediently knelt, as instructed. An enormous bearded man brandishing a cane belligerently approached her upon a nod from the Imam. Raising it high in the air, the man whipped the weapon towards Adilla’s back, only to yell out in pain from being hit across the face, full force, with his own cane. Bleeding and enraged, again he tried to hit her, only to feel the strike across his own back. Abbas now ran up to Adilla with a malicious snarl and vehemently threw a jar-full of acid in her face —a customary revenge of jilted men. But the acid splashed backwards and flowed down his own face. It left a trail of bright red bubbling blisters as he shrieked with the same pain that those women experienced who had acid thrown in their faces.

Some of the villagers yelled that Adilla was the devil and began throwing stones at her —as they would at the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. But the stones flew backward in a u-turn and struck them on their own heads, leaving large welts. 

 

Then thunderous echoes of guns firing could be heard, as a gang of big bearded men with Kalashnikov rifles descended on the village square and started shooting at her. They also cried out in pain, pierced by their own bullets, as they dropped to the ground in agony, blood flowing down their arms, legs and torsos. Bellowing hateful threats at Adilla, they never considered that the prophet Mohammed would not agree with the shooting of young girls or any children

A few of the younger women defiantly tore the veils from their faces and surrounded Adilla to protect her and show solidarity against their oppression as women. Adilla’s shield protected them in turn, repelling the gunfire, bullet by bullet, back at the ones who fired on them. Grandmothers wrapped the fragile girl in their garments and carried her away from further harm as the rest of the villagers watched with anger and fear. Some knelt with heads to the ground and prayed to God to protect them from this devil.

Miraculously God had answered Adilla’s prayers. In some strange magical way, she became like her magnets, able to deflect hateful intentions and draw towards her gentle, loving people. 

Adilla realized that she could not stay in the village any longer. Although the men feared her, they would be relentlessly vengeful. These thugs would not give up trying to harm her and her family for seven generations to come. They had already sent for “religious police” from the capital city to investigate sorcery in their village. The punishment would surely be a humiliating torturous death. 

Friends helped her and the other young girls to leave town in the middle of the night. With the magic magnets in her hands and her new-found powers, Adilla and her gentle band of revolutionaries ventured down the village road in moonlight to start a new life in the big city.

Along the way, they were fed by kindly people in the many villages they passed through; but when they arrived in the capitol city, they were just a few of the many beggars who had nowhere to sleep and had nothing to eat. Soldiers herded them from one street to another. Bad men wanted to exploit them as work slaves and sex slaves. Other street people wanted to rob them. Adilla’s new powers came in handy to repel the marauders…Yet they often had to flee for their lives to avoid danger. One day became the next. Each day new perils loomed and it was a constant chore to find food and places to sleep. 

On a Friday after midday prayers, a group of young people were frantically running down the streets, yelling that they wanted freedom. Many others joined them with great jubilation. Soon their numbers swelled to thousands.

The army arrived and started shooting people. One of the bullets was turned back and shot the soldier who fired it, which prompted other troops to fire indiscriminately into the crowd. People were falling in the street. But with Adilla’s help, bullets fired back on the soldiers, and they also fell wounded.

Some of the enforcers located the source of the passive weapon as Adilla, encircled her and fired upon her. But they were consequently wounded and disarmed. Others came in pick-up trucks with enormous guns, but were no match for Adilla’s abilities. The trucks were torn to shreds by their own bullets and lay belly up, smoke rising from them.

Tanks rolled in, only to be demolished by their own artillery. Helicopter gunships and rocket launchers were aimed at Adilla and her friends, but they too were destroyed by their own munitions. Great explosions reverberated throughout the city as the helicopters spiraled to earth and blew up. Thousands of soldiers lay wounded amongst mountains of destroyed weaponry.

Adilla realized that, as God's vessel, she also had the power to heal. The ones she had wounded were then enveloped within a golden light of love. God was healing them…Amidst tender whispers of encouragement, numerous invisible angelic hands soothed and massaged away all their physical pain and life-long anger due to emotional trauma and unfulfilled aspirations. Soon they were revitalized in body and in spirit. Disarmed by tears of joy, the killers no longer hated anyone, nor did they want to hurt anyone. They joined the rebels who demanded freedom. The army was defeated. 

Thundering screams of joy exploded around the land. People sang, danced and played music in the streets. Women tore off their hijabs, niqabs and burkas and burned them in big bonfires in the streets, their faces beaming with smiles in the sun. Then holding Adilla high in the air with great reverence, the idealists marched to the dictator’s palace. A throng of voices that became one voice demanded that the tyrant leave their land.

The despot and his family and all the corrupt oppressors fled in fear, leaving a power vacuum. Fundamentalist extremists tried to hijack the country through intimidation and murder. Again they wanted to deny music, singing, dancing, education and human rights. They wanted to bully women into wearing degrading veils, to maintain them as faceless, powerless possessions. But neither men nor women wanted that anymore…Exchanging one omnipotent tormentor for another would be abhorrent!

These people wanted a better society, where everyone would be treated with equal respect, regardless of their social status, wealth, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ability…A place where all good people could thrive and fulfill life goals of their own choosing. In this new democracy, anyone could stand for office, or vote for a candidate of their choice in free and fair elections. Women would attend school and study what they wanted. They could work in any profession and could even become president…or a judge…or an Imam…and could drive or fly vehicles and walk alone in the street without fear of harm. There would be no hunger or homelessness. Everyone would be included to contribute what they could to their society and in the least, earn a “living wage.” In this haven, violence and killing would be considered an abomination. Weapons and their manufacturers would be banned. Suicide bombers would not be revered as heroes or martyrs, but despised! In their new nation, any two people who loved each other could marry —including Gays. Everyone would have the right to their personal beliefs, and the right to express them peacefully. They could question anything and anyone, even the president —even religion!!! There would be freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion, enshrined in the constitution.

And so it happened...With the revamping of the educational system based on science and Human Rights —not religion— Adilla and her gracious rebels did create a secular country that was admired by all nations. Once peace was established throughout the land, prosperity and wellbeing followed —for all, not just the rich…As it should be throughout all of humanity.

 


Adam's Dream

November 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Adam’s Dream

Charles Fisch©2011

Adam finally got his wish to see reality as it really was
—when he was struck by lightning and died.

Once resuscitated, everything looked the same as before, yet it felt different and unreal —as if he had landed in a parallel universe. The significance of everyday objects, events and relationships that he had known all his life elicited new questions. Adam now saw all of life with many possible meanings and outcomes. Even the simple act of eating toast became a mind-expanding experience.

“LightningBoy” suddenly became popular at school, further complicating the existence of the shy, average-looking teenager who had walked unnoticed down the same corridors and streets for years. Now, everyone wanted to know what it felt like to be struck by lightning. He was invited to speak at functions and asked to hang out by people who had ignored him before. His new popularity was enjoyable; yet at the same time, everything was too overwhelming for him. Then a few weeks later the visions started…

A library book aroused his curiosity and gave him some hope of understanding his condition. Excerpts from Christian and Buddhist scriptures stated
—without explanation— that we do not see reality the way it really is. Luckily, his Psychology studies offered theories of how we perceive it. After converting colour and sound from nature into patterns of electrical pulses —the language of the brain— we then re-interpret the signals thus created by “giving” them meaning. Yet, we are able to see, hear and smell only a small percentage of what various animals perceive. We are missing a large part of the world.

Did the scriptures mean that our incomplete perceptions —which we re-interpret based on cultural norms and past experiences— cause us to have a deficient, misconstrued understanding of our universe? If so, what is reality?

Adam’s perceptions began to change. He saw everything on a microscopic level, as clusters of molecules. Air was less dense and objects and living beings were more dense —conglomerations of molecules. Light separated into multitudes of colour waves, bouncing from object to object. There was no space…no emptiness. Everything was astir with brilliant chromatic waves and molecules. All living and inanimate objects were in constant motion, somewhat similar to a Van Gogh painting of stars —but much brighter, more detailed and more explosive.

Listening to Adam describe his new visions, people became suspicious of him. His parents were the most alarmed. They took him to various specialists, who labeled him Schizophrenic and prescribed medications. He refused them. They made him feel sluggish, like a zombie in a fog.

He was not suffering without the meds, but daily life required a great deal more energy for Adam to process and to understand. He could not screen out anything anymore. Everything was happening all at once, non-stop —sight, sound, smell, sensation, coming at him from all angles. He was afraid to go outside because there was too much to handle. Often he stopped while walking and stared into space, fascinated by what he saw.

Sometimes he fell asleep from exhaustion in the middle of a conversation. People were bewildered when he went into contortions and screamed with fright —obviously in an intense dream state. One of the doctors at the hospital recognized complex foreign language structures in his somnolent utterances —ancient Persian, Khoisan, Inuit and dolphin speech, amongst other unidentifiable languages. Specialists studied and prodded him with every possible scientific test, with no conclusions.

His dreams seemed to be revelations about social struggles that pitted harmony and justice against power needs and greed. The dormant visions involved fascinating people and creatures made of light, gasses, liquids, and materials other than flesh, such as bodies of subatomic particles with intelligence. Incredible energy weapons killed individuals and populations, while others harvested their life-force. The most advanced weapons did not harm —they healed people. Upon impact, life-forms felt orgasmic beatitude and were able to release all of their pent up fears, pain and indoctrinations.  Afterwards, they were able to make more benevolent decisions.

Adam was an observer in the dreams, but equally vulnerable to physical experiences. The visions were so real —every tiny detail in 3D hyper reality— that apart from sweating profusely, sometimes he had injuries when he awoke.

One day his anxious mother was examining his lesions as he tried to explain his new dream-life to her, when he fell asleep again. This dream seemed to take a different turn. Bacteria on his skin surface became visible to him. Then, he could see inside his torso, noting his heart, lungs and stomach moving at different rhythmic rates. He recognized cellular structures in his organs and he shrank to become the same microscopic size as the cells. Inside his blood vessels, he was carried off by platelets and digested by macrophages. Shrinking further, he then observed molecules as they interacted with organelles within his cells. His own DNA strands became a jungle-gym for him to swing about. This was fun.

Amongst molecules, he could see electrons whirling around the nuclei of atoms, with a great deal of space between them. The nucleus contained hundreds of subatomic particles, shooting, swirling, bustling, exploding, transforming from one into another in a bubbling stew. Further magnified, all the particles were made of various forms of light glowing brighter than Adam could withstand. He marveled that everything which existed was made of light. He finally understood the scriptures’ allusions to our illusory world —nucleic and electromagnetic forces created the semblance of solidity, while dieters would be happy to hear that weight is an illusion of gravity.            

Suddenly his dream changed. Adam was now full size and traveling at high speed in space; across our solar system, to other solar systems and through other galaxies.

The same pattern repeated itself from microscopic to macrocosmic. Planets orbiting the sun were like electrons circling the nucleus of atoms with an equal proportion of space between them. The sun was volatile like the atomic nucleus. Star systems grouped together to form galaxies like multi-branched molecules which form living cells. Super clusters of galaxies connected by filaments of Dark Matter were reminiscent of the cell clusters that made up organs of living beings. Everything was in constant motion
—rotating, expanding, exploding, contracting and transforming from one thing to another in a streaming soup of radiation and atomic particles.

On his journey, Adam saw planets with skyscrapers and orbiting satellites. There was life on other worlds and there were civilizations more advanced than ours that he recognized from previous dreams. Curiously, time slowed near sources of gravity. Planets seemed trapped in their own time bubble.

At one point, galaxies and nebulae started to dissipate. Beyond all the galaxies there was utter emptiness. As he was now far away from all matter, he could make sense of the structures of space that he had traversed. They seemed to be the cells and organs which made up a very large living being. He realized that he had been living inside an enormous entity and was part of its makeup, like bacteria inside another organism. The life form that he was obviously part of —and we are all part of— was floating in space and glowed with a magnificent multicoloured light, brighter than the sun. Only an indirect gaze at it was possible without pain. It resembled human form, but also had tentacles and exotic textures and patterns across its surface. The creature seemed to intermittently separate into many other similar individuals and then recombine into one, like an expanding and contracting universe and parallel universes.

Adam became aware that inside the creature he
had felt whole and satisfied, but outside the creature, he felt only void —utter emptiness. A sad, forlorn feeling that he had never experienced before, now weighed on him. It felt similar to a very deep depression, a feeling of disconnectedness, timelessness and hopelessness. But now, this feeling was magnified to its ultimate extreme. He felt like he was devoid of any life-force —dead!

 

For a long time Adam and the creature stared at each other. He wondered if this being was God. Are we all a part of God? Are we like symbiotic or opportunistic bacteria, or are we passive content, predisposed to “ITs” processes? If we are like molecules in ITs belly, is IT even aware of us?
Do our prayers matter? 

The creature began to speak, but the sounds that came out were too overwhelming and unintelligible for Adam to understand, or to even bear. It sounded similar to musical sounds of an immense contemporary orchestra playing a carefully composed cacophony of satisfying melodies. There were trillions of units of information in each phrase. Adam was inundated by the sound as if he was hit by a tidal wave. It carried him further away in space, tumbling head over heels.

At some point he began to understand some of the meaning on a purely emotional level. He could not put it into words or make out details, but he felt comforted. Then the creature grabbed at him with huge hands and drew him inside.  

Adam suddenly awoke, smiling and humming a tune. Apparently he had been in a coma for 2 years. His parents and friends were notified that LightningBoy had awakened. Everyone surrounded him in the hospital with great joy. They all wanted to know what he had experienced.

He recounted the story of his travels and of meeting The Creator in person, which imbued him with a contentment that he had never experienced before in his previous lives. He assumed that the image that he had encountered was merely a symbolic representation given to him so that he could have some tangible grasp of his experience. God, neither male nor female —IT— is expansive beyond our comprehension, not actually a creature that we humans can see or experience with our small limited minds.

Adam returned from his journey with a great amount of information that the Divine Being had placed in his mind, with the purpose of sharing his illumination with the world. He knew it would take him a lifetime to unravel it all. So he started writing a book of all that had been revealed to him.
This would be his life’s work, knowing that this “Book” was the most recent lesson or inspiration from God to humanity. The significance of messages in God’s previous “Books” had lost their value, as a large number of humans had now evolved past the need for threats and punishments to guide our social evolution.  

This new Book was called “The Invitation.” In this anthology, threats of eternal punishment did not exist. No hands or feet were cut off, nor eyes put out, nor any other form of mutilation practiced. There were no proverbs about shunning or expulsion or slavery, nor about stoning to death, nor turning to stone, nor poisoning, stabbing, hanging, burning, crucifying; and definitely no explosions, nor any other cruel punishment for breaking commandments —as there were no commandments. Neither were there plagues, nor locusts, nor rivers turning to blood, nor babies killed, nor requirement of animal sacrifice. Purity was associated with altruism and compassion, not virginity. Teachings of hatred against nonbelievers and incitements of killing in God’s name, or any form of reward for killing —on earth or in heaven—was discouraged. God, being omnipotent, did not need any puny creatures like humans to wage battles for “IT.”  

Adam recognized that God simply invited everyone to enter into ITs realm of love and peace. The choice to connect with The Divine was available to everyone when they were ready; and no one was required to wear theatrical costumes or masks or hats to signify that they were believers. There were no punishments for rejecting God. Understanding and believing in ITs Principles willingly, was its own reward.

By not following God’s Principles, humans will continue to create more poverty, disease, war and misery for ourselves and for other species. Hell is on earth… Heaven could be as well...

Those who embrace The Creator’s message to relinquish all aggression, adopt compassion and live by ITs Principles, will enjoy the energy that naturally flows throughout the universe. They will help to revitalize humanity. Those who have not yet understood, obstruct the free flowing energy of their own life and impede the life force of others. But they can try again and again in new bodies, until their essence is cleansed of fear, hurt, guilt, shame, greed, narcissism, power, hatred…and pure enough to want to open to God. True believers are not necessarily those who profess their beliefs in words —they purely express them through deeds and imbue others with joy. Those who call themselves atheists, but practice God’s Principles, can also pure of heart.

Adam wrote God’s words for all to read, based
on “The-10-Principles” which would enhance
life on earth:

1.   Fundamental rights of everyone to life
and the resources of life: 
  
security, healthcare, education, air/water/food,
regardless of citizenship

2.   Undeniable Freedoms: 
• Belief • Expression • Association • Intimacy
• Freedom to pursue life goals and to travel
• Freedom of information and communication
• Freedom of religion • Freedom from Religion
• Freedom from intimidation, cruelty, exploitation
• Freedom from political/social/chemical or mechanical/electronic control of free individuals,
groups and populations

3.   Equality, Respect and Dignity: 
fairness and justice for all regardless of age, sex, social status, ability, sexual orientation, belief  

4.   Inclusion: 
all individuals are members of humanity and need inclusion in society, social life, equal access to work/employment, education/skills equal access to economic opportunity, ability to run for public office

5.   Non-violence: 
• always seek peaceful solutions to problems
• No killing    • No vendettas or retaliations
• No psychological or social violence

6.   Contribution: 
all individuals should contribute to their community, 
or to the world, any way they are able

7.   Responsibility: 
• Societies are responsible for every person
• Each person is responsible for every other person 

8.   Self development: 
• Impeccability • Striving to live up to one’s potential  
• Lifelong Learning encouraged at school, home, workplace, to be made possible for everyone by governments

9.   Atonement and restitution for causing suffering or destruction:   • should be taught from childhood

10. Respect for nature: 
• non-polluting energy sources should be used
• Non-tampering with species through genetic
   modification or hybridization 
• Humane treatment of animals

Adam traveled around the world and taught God’s newest message to everyone who was willing to listen —and in their own language! Multitudes of lives were enhanced and redeemed by The-10-Principles. Where once there was dictatorship and war, people freely celebrated joyfully and danced in the streets. Where there had been poverty and famine, those who were able could work towards a fruitful harvest; and everyone had enough to eat. Where once there was loneliness and pain, people rejoiced together. Land that once was brown with drought grew vibrant green. The air was sweet with the scent of crops and flowers. Eden was reborn all over the earth.