Thorns and Roses: two sides of beauty

July 22, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that has a shift in perspective. It can be a transition of one character or a change between character points of view. Go where the prompt leads, either technically or creatively.

Charli Mills, in her weekly post here,  has been gaining  a new perspective on her home, her pets, her friends and life in general.

We, the Textiliste and I, have journeyed to the Outer Hebrides. Part of the United Kingdom, it is at the other end of this long straggly, craggy country of ours. The same yet different. It throws out conundrums aplenty – road signage in Gaelic, for starters.  The images are universal, the descriptions impenetrable. Something familiar in an unfamiliar setting.

We visited a ruined chapel one day.

2015-07-01 12.58.18

and on it goes

We looked through this long abandoned window to the next and then beyond. It was cold, the wind bit into our necks. About were many houses, once homes, now left to rot. A scene of resignation, of lives meandering meaninglessly to eventual repatriation. It was easy to admire nature, to lust after the stunning beaches, to breathe deep of the saturated Atlantic air and ignore the human cost. Youngsters wondering at a future that the TV and Internet promised them but not here, not on these islands. At times it felt as if we were at a wake. À la récherche du temps perdu. In search of lost time, Marcel Proust’s definitive work on love seemed an appropriate text somehow. We were looking back at their future, longing for something now long gone it seemed.

But, and here’s the thing, when you look through a window you don’t see the whole room. Your perspective is limited. Here, superfast broadband is becoming a reality. The Harris Tweed industry booms, courtesy, in part, of the egregious excesses of First World High Fashion. There are growing opportunities. Beyond those lichen encrusted window arches are the most fabulous of wild flowers. Beauty, hope, budding there if only you take the time to shift perspective. Don’t come burdened with your preconceptions.

2015-06-28 12.22.14

As Proust said,

If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time

We need to dream to widen our perspectives, to open our minds. Travel can be as much a limiting experience if all we do is carriage our baggage with us. Put it down, look up, smile and embrace the unfamiliar. It’ll change your perspective for the better.

 Mary is now a mother again; her new born is healthy and she is home. Here’s the next part of her story.

Refracting one life through the prism of another’s

‘This is my niece? Beautiful.’ Rupert smiled, his smile clearly genuine.

Mary hesitated then held out her arms. Rupert took the child expertly. He put a gentle kiss on her head. ‘Thank you, Mary. Sharing your family means a lot. I…’

She put a hand on his sleeve. ‘Shh. It doesn’t matter. Not now.’

He fumbled in his pocket. ‘I’ve been through father’s journals. I found a picture of you and…’

Mary raised her face to him. ‘That doesn’t matter either.’

‘No, not to you. I get that.’ He turned and said to himself. ‘But it does to me.’

If you want to catch up the previous episodes are here.

And the title to this post? Abraham Lincoln inspired it thus:

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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13 Responses to Thorns and Roses: two sides of beauty

  1. Ali Isaac says:

    Ah our Geoffle… What a beautiful piece of writing. I am in awe. You so often try to hide behind your jokes, but you are really a thoughtful, sensitive soul, arent you? In case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed it! Although I’ll be honest, the snatch of Mary’s story left me baffled… I guess you had to be there at the beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have always loved that quote. Amazing photo and great flash. A soft moment in the intense drama? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    What I read in this flash (as character development between Rupert and Mary) is that they can be both thorns and roses to each other. It is about perspective and what each is feeling is reflected in that. Beautiful post from your travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. julespaige says:

    Everything matters to some degree.
    Especially the wonderful angles of your photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. roweeee says:

    Abundant dreaming could explain a few things around here!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Shifting Perspectives « Carrot Ranch Communications

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Well the outer islands have certainly inspired ypi Geoff these post though full of sheep are beautiful, touching and truly interesting. Not to mention Mary’s story which has me captivated!

    Liked by 1 person

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