Technological silence

When my phone is quiet

And Facebook sends no notifications

When Twitter feeds no new characters

And Instagram stops showing pictures

When there are no new videos on YouTube

And no news to be heard

When my laptop has died

And the radio makes no noise

When the lights have gone out

And the candles have burnt down

When my violin is broken

And my books won’t open

When the only sound I hear

Is your voice’s song

Then I’ll have found

Where I belong

Conversation on a train

When I was taking the train home a few days ago, I sat opposite to an about 17 year old guy and – I guess so at least – his mother. Opposite to them and thus next to me sat an exchange student who seemed to stay with the guy for the time of her exchange. They guy did not seem to be the best at making small talk, because they were discussing in quite a harsh way.

They were talking about a thought experiment where you had two people, one was handed 20 Euros and then that person could decide how much of that money the other person would get – the choosing person would keep the rest. The mother and her son argued that everyone would always keep the whole 20 Euros, and even if there was someone who would not that would still not say anything about his/her character or how (s)he would act in a similar situation in the real world, simply because following them, there was no situation in real life that resembled the one in the thought experiment the slightest. The exchange student tried to argue against them saying that the thought experiment was not useless – but she struggled with the language and was not capable of forming her thoughts into strong arguments as she kept explaining them in an abstract way where she had to stop every few words to search for the right vocabulary. The mother and the son on the other hand were repeating themselves, not even really listening to her I felt, compensating their lack of arguments with volume which intimidated the exchange student apparently, although she kept trying to argue against them.

That was the situation around me. I was listening to music on my headphones, but the music was quiet enough to hear what they were talking. And I felt awful for the exchange student next to me who was getting rolled over by the strength of mother and son. Now I don’t want to say either opinion was wrong or right, it was the way they argued against her that made me feel bad. And I thought about whether I should say something or not. On the one hand, it obviously was none of my business what they were talking about or how they did that – I only were there by chance after all, they could just as well have sat down anywhere else on the train or taken a different train. On the other hand, I felt like the mother and her son made the exchange student feel bad for what she thought about that experiment – and I think her opinion was not that absurd that it could somehow probably make up for their behavior – and I really would have liked to help and show her that her thoughts were not stupid like the other two said they were.

I still am unsure whether it was right to stay silent or whether it would have been better to say something, but I still think about that situation, although it only lasted for about ten minutes and since then a week has passed.

What would you have done? Would you have kept silent or spoken up – or would you not even have thought about them and just ignored them?

-Ben

Daily struggle

“I want to,
I’m sure I do!
Why would you
Ignore this truth?”

“Because I know my desire is wrong,
It doesn’t matter how strong.
I have to leave my comfort zone,
And today, it can’t be postponed.”

“But out there, everything is so hard,
A world of which nobody really is part.
Here is where you belong,
Why else would your desire be so strong?”

“I may be weak,
But I haven’t given up yet.
My decision is set,
Now I’ll get up on my feet.”

“Noooooo! Why would you move?
There still was some time to snooze.
How could you leave this comfortable bed?”

“That doesn’t matter now, because there’s no going back.
So I’ll get me a coffee and start my day instead.”

 


This has been written as part of writing 101. Today’s prompt was titled ‘Give and Take’ and can be found here.

I hope you liked it. (:

-Ben

Three important songs in my life

Today’s writing 101 challenge was to write about three (most) important songs in my life. So these are mine:

Time – Hans Zimmer:

Four notes and the theme is set for the whole song. The never-changing theme in an ever-changing surrounding. For me, this song is a memory, it captures the one year I have been studying in Canada: The friends I made there, the fear and uncertainty while flying there, the emptiness when going back and leaving everything from the last year behind, and the memories. The song starts with a single melody – a single person flying to a new country without knowing anybody there – And it ends with that same melody, alone again though somehow richer – the flight back. And in between, there is a lot of musical adornment surrounding the theme – everything that has happened while being there, from meeting new people to saying goodbye at the airport, slowly building up at first, but then ever going.

How To Save A Life – The Fray:

This song was shown to me by my dancing partner years back when I took a class in classical dance. I really liked it, but – as time went on and I didn’t keep in touch with her – it evolved to not only remind me of her, but of all the friends I have lost contact with due to time and/or distance. And the song also tells me to be grateful for the friends I have, because there is no way of telling whether they will be there in the future too.

Fake Empire – Ryan Lewis:

Because sometimes 7* words and simple, but great backing track is all that is needed to send a message – and to remind me to actually live.

I hope you liked it. (:

-Ben

*8 if you count “we’re” as two words

Reality

„Hey, what are you doing?” Toms voice comes from my right. “Have you done the Math assignment already? Any idea how to do number 4?”

“Yeah. Which one was that?”

“The series”

“So at what time do we want to meet today?” Nicole asks loudly from behind me.

“Ah, ok. I think there you have to multiply by one in the beginning. That way you can get rid of the fraction.”

Greg joins Nicole: “Around nine?”

“Ok, I’ll try that. Thanks.” He sits down.

“No problem.”

“Sounds good” I tell Greg and Nicole.

“Ok” Chris comes in as well.

Charlotte starts talking casually to me from the other side of the room, answering what I told her a few hours ago.

“I’ll look at that later.” I tell myself.

“K. And where?” Lia also joins the group.

I get two mails. The first one is from Lee: “Hey, here’s the summary of the last few weeks.”

“Irish pub?”

I take a piece of paper and quickly scramble a “thanks” on it, before mailing it back to him.

“The park?”

The second mail is from Dan. “Hi, I just finished writing the minutes from yesterday evening. Can you quickly look over it to make sure I didn’t forget anything?”

Suggestions for places keep flowing in loudly.

“Hey, how are you?” Elli asks, but I ignore it for the moment. I’ll answer later.

“Can you be quiet for a moment?” I ask them.

They lower their voices.

I skim over what Dan has been writing. I quickly write down: “Hey, I think it’s good as it is.”, and send the piece of paper his way.

“So where do we meet?” I ask.

“I got it now. Thanks again.” Tom gets up and leaves.


I look at my phone. “What was I doing again?”

“You were talking to me.” The girl next to me replies.

“Oh yeah, sorry Liz, you’re right.” I put my phone away. “So how was your day?”

 

 

This is my response to the Daily Post Writing Challenge ‘A Lost Art’ which can be found here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/a-lost-art/

I hope you like it (:

-Ben

Rain

I’m walking down a small cobblestone street. It’s pouring, I don’t have an umbrella. My shorts and my shirt are already soaked, and more and more cold water is hitting me. It was so warm just a few minutes ago.
I look at the girl next to me. She’s as wet as I am, smiling widely nonetheless. “Rain is wonderful, isn’t it?” It is. I’ve never minded rain and hopefully never will.
“Let’s look for a street musician.” She takes my hand and drags me forward, down the small alley. We pass old archways, half grown over by plants from the adjacent houses’ balconies. I follow her lead, a mass of wet brown hair in front of me, occasionally replaced by her smiling face. We cross a deserted square.
“Do you really think there will still be street musicians out in this rain? If I were them, I would have brought my instrument into safety.” I asked.
“I don’t know.” She said and walked on with determination. “I hope you didn’t want to imply that we should give up looking for one, but rather go home.” The rain got even stronger. The water already filled up all the spaces between the cobblestones.
“Never” I smiled. “Let’s turn right here, towards the market square.” We passed through a gate and ended up on the market square, a usually busy place with restaurants on the sides and a fountain in the middle.
“Look.” She pointed straight towards the fountain, in front of which an old man sat below an umbrella that was somehow held in place by his music stand and played on an accordion. We slowly walked over towards the old man and his music.
“Let’s hope this rain sticks around for a long time.” I said as we sat down in front of him, like we were little kids.
She smiled. “We’ll force it to last.”


 

This blog post was inspired by the Writing 101 / Daily Post prompt: “Choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?”

It turns out that for me that place is not really a place, but more a feeling the place I would like to be transported to would give me.

Hope you like it (:

-Ben