No Martyrs Please

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When I was fourteen, a missionary visited my school and gave a little talk. Although I can’t remember what she said, I do remember being impressed with her as a person. I couldn’t put it into words but there was something special about her. It might have been the calm look in her eyes even though, from what she said, her life was far from calm. Certainly, I recognised a very unselfish attitude and she seemed happy without trying to convince anyone that she was.

After the talk, a student that I didn’t know approached me.

“I think you are going to be a missionary,” she said unapologetically.

I was surprised both by her comment and by her bothering to tell me. At that age, I was shy and introverted. There was nothing for her to gain by telling me but nor was she trying to hurt me.

“No,” I said, “I don’t think so.”

It seemed to me that even if one did want to be a missionary, it wasn’t the sort of thing that one would admit to. Although the girl didn’t appear to have any intention of repeating the conversation, I was well aware that the teenage world can be brutal.

“I saw the look in your eyes when the missionary was talking,” shrugged the girl by way of explanation. “I was watching you.”

I must have been so absorbed in the missionary’s talk that I didn’t notice her watching. What the girl said was surprising and thought-provoking but it wasn’t frightening. However, the next thing she said was frightening.
Continue reading “No Martyrs Please”

Commonality of Thought

Although we each believe our thoughts are specific and personal to ourselves, in fact, our thoughts, fears, and desires are normal to all egos and are commonly shared. In this way, it is relatively easy to read the thoughts of most humans with just a few subtle cues. Thoughts tend to run along the same worn tracks leading to the same worn conclusions. Combining this knowledge with an understanding of the types of thoughts that individuals at different levels of consciousness will gravitate towards will, with experience, lead to becoming a most astute mind reader. Continue reading “Commonality of Thought”

Pittown: Repeat or Delete

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Chapter 15: The Audition

As the students were on holiday, Ben took the rare opportunity of sitting alone in Tom & Hardy to look through the recently published, Eighty Years of The State Ballet.

“You in that?” asked Tom.

“Yep,” said Ben pointing to one of the later pages in the book.

“Impressive,” said Tom. Ben didn’t reply. “Can I have a look?” asked Tom pointing to the book. He opened it and searched the first few pages. “Found it,” he said. “That’s my grandfather there. He was one of the corps de ballet in the early days. He wasn’t really a ballet dancer. He was a self-taught ice skater but, back then, the company was desperate for male dancers so they took him.” Continue reading “Pittown: Repeat or Delete”

Pittown: Dirty Dancing

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Chapter 13: Dirty Work

Merlyn could hear the cafe music as she approached a distinctive blue door on which the words Tom & Hardy had been freshly painted.

I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah
I don’t wanna do your dirty work
No more
I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah

“Hi Merlyn,” said Tom. “Glad you came to see my new place. Take a seat anywhere.” Continue reading “Pittown: Dirty Dancing”

Pittown: Love of Life

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Chapter 11: Names

Pittstop, the cafe near Merlyn, had been in the same family since it was a country stop for truckies, thus its name. Sometimes, one of the owner’s cousins worked in the cafe. They were nothing alike. Months ago, the cousin, Tom, decided that Merlyn should know his name.

The next time he saw her, he asked, “Can you remember my name?”

Merlyn usually didn’t remember names well. She remembered people’s energy exceptionally well.

“Yes,” she said hesitantly.

“What is it?” asked Tom unapologetically.

He wants me to know who he is, thought Merlyn. He must want to be friends. Continue reading “Pittown: Love of Life”

Pittown: Moving On

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Before anyone can improve their life, they must get the idea that change is possible, that life can be different and better, and that it is worth the effort it takes to make it happen.

Chapter 8: Different and Better

Although there were nicer shops a suburb or two closer to the city, Merlyn made a point of shopping at the Pittown ones. It seemed to her disloyal not to use them. Besides, she found the people interesting. Not infrequently, someone walked past her and turned their head to give her a second look. They looked like they thought they knew her but then decided that they didn’t. Sometimes, they looked at her quizzically as if they were thinking that she didn’t belong in Pittown.

Merlyn had grown up in a similar suburb to Pittown although much water had flowed under the bridge since then. She knew what life felt like in a place like this. The thing that most struck Merlyn about the average Pittown resident was the dulled look of acceptance that sat in their eyes. It wasn’t the acceptance of a peaceful mind. It was the acceptance that shouldn’t be accepting; the acceptance when fire is needed. Fire to educate oneself, to create a better life, to move and not come back, to do something. Before anyone can improve their life, thought Merlyn as she walked along the main shopping strip, they must get the idea that change is possible, that life can be different and better, and that it is worth the effort it takes to make it happen. She picked up some rubbish which had blown in front of her and put it in the bin. Since moving to Pittown, Merlyn was forever picking up rubbish. Continue reading “Pittown: Moving On”

Pittown: Firsts and Seconds

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The friendship retained its purity of intention unhampered by the complex motives of couple relationships.

Chapter 7: Edgars Lake

Edgar was not only named after the famous clairvoyant, Edgar Cayce, but he was also named after his great grandfather, Edgar I, who lived in Pittown all his life. Those days, Pittown was an agricultural area. Later, it became a residential and industrial area. Edgar I built a concrete weir and dammed the creek running through his property creating a lake for wildlife. He bequeathed that part of his property to the people of Pittown. It was aptly named Edgars Lake. It was the lake at the bottom of Merlyn’s street. Continue reading “Pittown: Firsts and Seconds”