Temple of Artemis

Ruins of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Dutch wordpress log) Source:http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.in/
Ruins of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Dutch wordpress log)
Source:http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.in/

Flat lands lay in sweet surrender
In memory of splendour
Artemis lived here

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Above in response to Carpe Diem Haiku: This challenge is to create a haiku to “Temple of Artemis”

Coming To America

Source: Commons Getty Collection Galleries
Source: Commons Getty Collection Galleries

I pressed my face against the glass as we moved, steaming it up while trying to catch a glimpse of Sally. Papa drove fast, quickly leaving the caftan clad groups behind as they waved goodbye to us. The men and women waved and waved, while the children chased the car, I watched the dust cover them as their figures became softer. I pushed further and further, wishing I could rescue Sally, her beautiful lacy dress dragged on the dusty soil behind her new owner. Sam and Bill bickered behind, oblivious to everything happening outside. They did not care about their toys which had been distributed. I pressed myself into mama’s bosom and began to sniffle.

“Don’t cry nne, when we get there, we can buy you a prettier doll, Mary will look after Sally.” Mama said.

I dissolved into loud noisy sobs, breaking now and then; like the pirated CDs Papa favoured. It was a noisy drive; the bickering increased and my crying became louder as we drove towards the phantom of prosperity and freedom.

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Word Count: 175

Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

“…a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth : phantom
Remember:
Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
The word itself needs to be included in your response.
You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
This week’s word is phantom.”

Should Men Pay All The Bills?

I am fascinated by relationships, by our very human need for love and companionship, and everything in between. I am also a hopeless romantic, so everything about relationships to me, is beautiful. But we all know that this is not the reality and lately, the more I speak to people, the more it seems to me that the basis, the foundation, the crux, the soul, if you wish, of most relationships, is finance. It makes or breaks relationships, partnerships, marriages. If you are looking to find a husband or a wife, you better be ready to discuss finances I think.

Photo source: www.clipartof.com
Photo source: http://www.clipartof.com

So without further ado, my big question really is; is the man responsible for taking care of the woman financially, whether they be boyfriend/girlfriend, partners, husband/wife? Should a man pay all the bills in the home should they be married and have children? Is the man responsible for paying the bills, whatever they may be? I spoke to men and women alike and what an interesting mix of responses.

Almost all the women I spoke to told me that they wanted to be with a man whom they were sure could take care of them. Women told me that the man had better be ready to pay for a trip to the salon, a vacation abroad, meals when they were out, gadgets including mobile phone credits, and shopping sprees. One person asked me of what use the man was if he could not provide for her?

“I equate love to gifts, if a man gives me stuff, then he clearly cares about me.” Another woman told me.

It depends on the relationship, if a man is wealthy, then it would not be a problem to provide for his woman. However, if he were struggling and earning a certain income like the woman, it may seem unreasonable to expect him to cater to everything. Someone said to me that men are providers, and feel much more happy and in control when they are able to provide for the people in their lives without having to ask the woman to contribute. But doesn’t it also depend on the relationship being shared by both parties? If both people are in a partnership built on a solid foundation of friendship and equality, then naturally most responsibilities will be shared fairly depending on income bracket. In this part of the world though, that seems far fetched, as most relationships are still very traditional, with the woman expected to be submissive to the man, the man is in control and is not necessarily accountable to her for his actions.

In order to maintain this position, a man is required to pay all the bills and occassionally give a monthly allowance to his woman. her responsibility is to take care of him and the home front, prepare the meals, raise the children, respect and honour him, and defer to him, even though she has a job. To women, when a man takes care of the finances, it makes it easier for them to submit and revere him as tradition/society requires. A friend once told me that she often found resentment in her heart, because her husband did not play any active role in the house, except grudgingly bankroll stuff. She had a job as a teacher which did not pay much, however, she was on her feet all day, and was exhausted by the time she got home. He insisted on freshly cooked meals, and would never get up when the baby cried at night.

source:annechia.com
source:annechia.com

I spoke to some men who told me that they could never be with a woman who makes more money than they did. This to them would be too dicey. Women can be quite mouthy and unable to control their emotions. More money would give a woman a big head, and she would very quickly slag off her husband and be disrespectful.

“She can keep her money, I will provide for my house. I am the head of the family.” Someone told me.

Again it depends on the situation, if a woman kept all her money and spent all the man’s income (if he’s not rich), will there be resentment at the end of the day on the man’s part? Will he wonder what she did with the stash she earns? A former colleague once told me that he was married to the most selfish “nuisance” (yes he called his wife that) on the face of the earth. Apparently, she refused to tell him how much she earned, but she knew his’. He could tell that she made quite a bit of money, about 10% less than he did, he knew because he determined the average salary of people on her grade level. Not only did he not know how much she earned, he paid for everything in the house including her personal items and “grooming” including brazillian hair which cost him as much as $1000, and which she proceeded to weave unto her scalp. He was nagged for months until he saved and paid for the fake hair. She would go off with her girlfriends and buy really stunning jewelry and beautiful shoes, and then ask him for money for food for the house and toiletries too.

Source:sodahead.com
Source:sodahead.com

It made him resentful because he could not treat himself much, as he was down to zero at the end of the month. On the other hand, some men require that their wives hand over their salary at the end of the month/on pay day. He then gives her what she needs from it. That shows that a woman is respectful of her husband and is submissive as stated in the good book. There are also scenarios where the woman pays for stuff and would do it through her husband so that he does not feel like less of a man. For example, there are casual workers who have come to fix the plumbing or the fence, she then gives him money to pay them. The dynamics of relationships are always very interesting.

I spoke to a few men and women who are quite progressive and told me that both parties must share all responsibilities; whether they be financial and/or domestic, if both parties have jobs. That way, everybody feels like they are part of the relationship and nobody feels used, or feels like a freeloader. These progressives believe that the two parties should split the bills if they are living under one roof. Two salaries/income streams are certainly good and can provide a better lifestyle for the couple and their family. With two incomes, it may be easier to live in a nice house, or perhaps take a vacation or buy a home. One person should only have to pay for stuff all the time should the other party be laid off from work.

source:elitevirginhair.com
source:elitevirginhair.com

Are women really golddiggers? This is the vibe I got from speaking to people. Men here say women are consistently nagging them for stuff. You take a woman out today, you are not even sure you want to see her again, and the next day, she’s calling you and trying to get you to buy her brazillian hair, or a new iPhone. Women on the other hand, say men are selfish and are consistently playing with multiple girls on the side, and that although they do not admit it, men like the power of wielding their wallets and get very intimidated once a woman wants to pick up the bill. If she does, she is arrogant, will never make a good partner in a relationship and is “showing herself”. I personally, will attempt to contribute on a date, and will look out for body language. If a man says no, I will never ask again, but will do other things like buy tickets so both of us can see something, or get dessert. It’s a path to be threaded carefully.

What do you think about finances in a relationship? Should a man pay all the bills? Have the times changed at all? A part 2 has now been written for this post. Read it here

“Halloween Night”

Source: randompoemblog.blogspot.com
Source: randompoemblog.blogspot.com

Halloween night —
the fisherman
dressed as a scarecrow (Garry Gay)

Knee deep in cloak and bait
he stumbles in darkness and soot
till dawn seduces him (Anne Chia)

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Above in response to Carpe Diem Haiku: This challenge is to create a second stanza to Gary Gay’s Haiku “Halloween Night”

Glory And Brilliance

He did not say much, never did. In all the years the teachers and students knew him, he never said more than was necessary. He was known for some words which he spoke in exhilaration as his students blossomed under his direction.

“Glory, glory. The brilliance, the brilliance.”

Source:comments20.com
Source:comments20.com

So it was appropriate that when his coffin was brought into the auditorium on that day, his students and colleagues gave a heartfelt performance of his favourite piece by Bach. At the end, he was bid farewell with fervent goodbyes.

“Glory, glory. The brilliance, the brilliance.”

He would have liked that.

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Word Count: 99

Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page, to be exact. From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post. (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.) And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.

Day 2: My Journey Towards Finding Inner Peace

Yesterday, I found that I was fidgeting quite a bit. I may have fidgeted on day 1, I just did not notice. I was fidgeting because my neck was beginning to feel stiff from sitting in one position for an extended period of time. That broke my rhythm just as I was beginning to get used deep breathing and stillness. I tried to focus a lot on deep breathing, relaxing the individual muscles of my body one by one, starting from my face, as I tend to clench my teeth generally and stick my tongue on the roof of my mouth. I also noticed that my shoulders did not necessarily relax, they were slumped more than relaxed. All these areas I plan to work on tomorrow. On day 1, I thought about gurgling babies and that made me feel warm and happy as I tried to let go. So yesterday, I tried thinking about a waterfall shaded by beautiful thick forests as that is a happy place for me. At that point, I began to feel more relaxed. I did not get that floating sensation today, will try again tomorrow. I am generally an anxious person, so I need this to work, to settle me and calm me down. I got my anxiety from my mum, she is a worrier. There is nothing lovely, or interesting about worrying and anxiety. Yoga helps, but meditation I hear, really sorts it out. I am yet to connect with my centre, and I am willing myself to be patient. One day at a time.

Source:annechia.com
Source:annechia.com

During my two meditation sessions so far, I really enjoyed the feeling of making time for myself first and foremost. I also enjoyed how I felt afterwards. I feel that I am improving and getting closer to my quest with every new meditation experience, especially with the information available to me. While meditating yesterday, I wondered how to find my centre and what the centre actually is. Looking at the Meditation Insight video, I feel that it is basically a focus point at the centre of one’s body, the focus that causes you to first, think about solely IT, and subsequently about NOTHING, emptying your mind. It seems really tough, sounds simple, but quite tough to actually achieve. I will start with focusing on a peace circle, an imaginary object in my centre. When I meditated on day 1 and yesterday, I rushed into it. I now understand that I should have prepared myself for it, created a nice space, found the ideal sitting position, and possibly placed a pillow under myself to keep my shoulders straight. I am thankful for this video I found, and will be ready for tomorrow. Three key areas of focus for me: creating a nice environment for meditating, preparing my body for meditating, and focusing on my centre.

I had a discussion about the concept of Peace in+ Peace out = Sustainable peace with someone, and he thought it was much too simplistic. Hey it is simplicity that gives you peace, we have become so complex and sophisticated, that’s why the world has a kazillion problems. I do agree though, that inner peace will not be enough to create peace in society and the world. For sustainable peace in the world, the right combination is certainly important. Peace in for me means finding inner peace for myself, becoming more accommodating, listening better, understanding the meaning of stillness and using my words wisely. It would mean being selfless and taking the 5 self discipline points seriously. That way, I am creating an environment for the people I connect with to thrive and find their peace. It will mean raising children in an environment where they would be a beacon and light to their community. It would mean being part of a community that encourages peace and its benefits within my workplace, neighbourhood and/or family and friends, and the list goes on. That influence and extension of my inner peace, is what I regard as peace out and what could potentially bring about sustainable peace, if there are millions of people looking towards this same goal. A tree cannot make a forest, but we can start by planting those trees, one at a time.

Fiery Stillness

Credit to: Chris Lofqvist
Credit to: Chris Lofqvist

As soon as we began the drive to the dam, I began to sing along to the song on the radio and everyone joined in. We hollered at the tops of our voices, often times completely out of tune. Everyone sang, except John, maybe because he was driving? My eye caught his’ in the rear view mirror and he looked away. The road to the dam had several potholes in it, throwing us up and down and sideways as we bumped along. Suddenly, the national anthem came on, it was Democracy Day, and every station halted regular transmission at noon to bring the President’s national address. Our singing started again, it was different, this particular singing. It was sung with pride and ease from practice, and this time, John joined in. The radio did not stop after the first stanza, it played the second, and the singing stalled then. There was embarrassed laughter, we did not know all the words to the second stanza, it was neither intoned at the school assembly all those years ago, nor at the stadium before the games. But John kept going.

“…direct our noble cause…and lead in just and truth….”
“Someone co-wrote the anthem o” Leila teased him and we joined her.

He just mumbled something under his breath and kept quiet. We made it to the dam, and began the slow drive on the gravelled path, towards the foot of the hills. The car was quiet as we all drank in the beauty all around us. In the silence, I could smell jollof rice and pepper beef, maybe the cooler behind was halfway open. The elevated path on which we drove was flanked on both sides by grassy banks, stunning water and low hanging clouds, there was beauty in three different tones of colours, lush and rich. As soon as I brought out my camera, the heavens opened up and fat rain drops pelted us. We ran back into the car, and took shelter. John, however, left the car, and began to walk in the rain towards the hills. The wind whipped his shirt behind him as he climbed the hills, while we watched in fear, fear that the wind would pull him down, fear that the ground under his feet would become too slippery to hold him up. But he climbed to the top as we watched, spreading his arms and turning his face towards the skies when he reached the top.

“Well atleast somebody is enjoying the view, you said the weather forecast said no rain” Leila began, looking at me accusingly.

I did not respond, it was too risky, I wanted everyone to enjoy the moment and not bicker and argue. But just as suddenly as it started, the rain stopped and we sat on the wet grass and began to eat. John joined us, his wet face glistening in the sun that was gradually coming out.

“I joined the army two months ago. I travel to Nnmi in a week with the rest of the squad. ” He spoke almost inaudibly, chewing on a piece of beef with far too much concentration. He said it with a finality that spoke of no negotiations, a process already begun. Many things began to make sense to me, his absence, his new routines, the brooding.

Mum began to rock herself back and forth on the grass. I recognised that gesture, and knew that I had to say something.

“Look how stunning it looks over there.” I was winging it.

But over there, the sun was indeed beginning to set so beautifully. It was as though someone had painted fiery stillness over the water, and let the painting hang low. It was soothing and stunning all at once. We were quiet for a long time, drinking paradise in. Then we began to discuss his plans in low reassuring voices peppered by exclamations of how beautiful the scene before us was and clicks of camera shutters.

So now everytime I think about John making that committment to serve our country, everytime I miss him, everytime I worry about his safety, I remember with pride what an incredible gift he was giving to us, and the amazing gift nature gave us, the beauty of the sunset on our last day together.

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WRITTEN FOR PICTURE WRITING CHALLENGE #15

The ONLY “rule” is that you use the picture I’ve posted here to make the story (or poem (yes yes ill allow poetry:) (although I don’t get poetry myself so I may not comment on your entry), That’s it. I know that there are a good few writers among you and I think that I would be really interested on other angles.

You don’t even have to do a story as such, it could be a thought, a memory or a feeling that you get from it, something deep and profound or funny and whimsical.

Basically anything involving words or audio or a combination of both.