Hello Humans.

One of my favourite things to do is to make up lies and write them down. Then I like to see if there is any truth to them, and if so, share them with the world.

Here you will find the writing I thought showed a little (if only a little) of something true. 

Thank you for reading.

Benjamin Embers

Life, Fate, Sailing and Storms

A snippet from my next novel.

‘Fate, and Free will, little lass, be just like sailing. You have your ship, and she has the way she likes to sail, the way she leans and cranks, her best rate of knots. Everyone is different, and everyone has certain ways they sail best. Some are sprinters and resters,  quick with the wind, but can barely move in a breeze. Others are the turtles, the slow and steadfast in almost any weather. You can change your boat, with hard work, but its hard to both move forward in the world as well as fixing your boat, and a full re-haul can take time and resources a sailor just don’t have. Whatever the case, at any one time, you only have the ship you have, and she will forever have her say in your direction, and your pace.

Then you have the currents… There are currents all over the world, in cities as much as seas, in the roads and regions, in the ebb an’ flow of the prosperity and decline, pushing people one way or the other. At any part of our lives, we will be in a current. And like in a current, it is natural and easy and unnoticeable to travel a long distance if you let your fate: the easy path for the person you are, take you there. You sail against the current, to change your fate, to change who you are, but it will be slow, hard work, and many people will tell you you are crazy, that you are going the wrong way, and that, combined with the ocean moving against you, can make turning around all to tempting.

Then, there is the wind… the wind is the people around you, the ever shifting drift of your social surroundings, pushing and pulling you over the surface of the currents and waves despite everything else. It the expectations of your society, and some of these winds can blow very strong indeed. We can sail wherever we want in the world, but that doesn’t make it easy, and the world was made by men who realised they could control the whole thing if they created a system dependent on a trade which encouraged everyone to sail with the winds.

Finally, there are the storms. Those tempestuous moments of life where your feet fall out from beneath you. The moments when all direction is lost, when your destiny disappears, and your only fate becomes a shallow grave on the ocean floor. They can strip your sails, break your bones and your weatherboards, they can throw you off course, or send you back the way you came, and sometimes, they can sink you completely.

They are the moments of change, the pivotal points of all lives… And who we truly are; stripped of the influence of our past and fate of our future; stripped of our stories and our masks, and all the things we like to think and say we are… who we truly are, in the raw and unadorned now, can only be seen in the make and break of life’s storms.’

Life, Fate, Sailing and Storms.

A snippet from my next novel.

‘Fate, and Free will, little lass, be like sailing. You are a ship, and every ship has the way she likes to sail, the way she leans and cranks, her best rate of knots, how much cargo she can comfortably take… Everyone is diff’rent, and everyone has certain ways they sail best. Some are sprinters and resters,  quick with the wind, but can barely move in a breeze. Others are freighters, slow and steady in almost any weather. You can change your ship, with a lot of hard labour, but if you want to keep movin’ forward in the world, you can only ever do it piece by piece… a full re-haul can take time and resources a sailor just don’t have. Whatever the case, at any one time, you only have the ship you have, and she’ll forever be havin’ a say in your direction, and your pace; your decisions, and your fate.

Then there be the currents… There are currents all over the world, in cities as much as seas, in the roads, rules, and the religions, in the ebb and flow of the prosperity and decline, pushing people one way or the other. Wherever we are, we are always in a current. And, like sailing in a current, it is natural and easy  to travel a long distance unnoticed, if you let your fate – the easy path for the person you are, in the world you live in – take you there. You can sail against the current, but it will be slow, hard work, and many people will tell you you are crazy, that you are going the wrong way…  and that, combined with the ocean constantly moving against you, can make turning around all too tempting. The world was made by men who realised they could control the whole thing if they created a system dependent on a trade which encouraged everyone to sail with the currents.

Then, there be the wind… the wind is the people in your life, the shifting drift of your social surroundings, pushing and pulling you over the surface of the currents and waves despite everything else. It is the expectations of your society, your friends, your family, and your lovers… and they can be some strong winds indeed. 

Finally, there be storms. Those tempestuous moments of life where your feet fall out from beneath you. The moments when all direction is lost, when your destiny disappears, and your only fate becomes a shallow grave on the ocean floor. They can strip your sails, break your bones and your weatherboards, they can throw you off course, or send you back the way you came, and sometimes, they can sink you completely.

They be the moments of change, the pivotal points of all lives… And who we truly are; stripped of the influence of our past and fate of our future; stripped of our stories and our masks, and all the things we like to think and say about ourselves… who we really, truly are, in the raw and unadorned now, will always be revealed in the make or break of life’s storms.’

 

Faith.

A snippet from my novel in progress.

      ‘In all my years of travelling the wretched archipelago – which those who haven’t sailed it foolishly call ‘earth’ – seeing the worst and cruelest of men’s actions, most at the hands of the ‘holy’ and ‘pious’… I thought I was as far from being a religious man as you could be, without actually having a foot in hell.

     ‘But denying faith is just another of men’s many ways of lying to themselves. We all have faith. Faith is what keeps us waking up every morning, keeps us taking another step, and another, through the love and loss and struggle of life… The world gives us no reason to believe that things will ever get better, and so, to maintain such a foolish course of action such as surviving, can only be an act of madness, or an act of blind, stupid faith.

    ‘Every one has something in their hearts, something they hope for, against all reasonable hope… something around the corner which could change everything. Only when that lantern is snuffed, does a man take his own life. Everyone who is still breathing, still living, has something they have faith in. For some men it’s sex, or power, or money, or any other false synonym of success… For some man it’s perfection in their art, in their most curious, peculiar, and beautifully useless devotions… For many different men, it’s many different things.

    ‘For me, it was her. She became my religion, every facet of my faith. The things she’d said to me were the scripture, chiseled, word perfect, into the stone tablets of my memory, the laws by which I lived… and others died. She was the Preacher, and the Choir… and in my ear I heard her speak and sing and chant in the infinite range of tones that can fit in the silence of a lonely life. She was my messiah, the one of whom I asked ‘what would *she* do?’, that I might not only follow her on her path, but walk in her footsteps too. But mostly, she was the Goddess, the only one who was always there. Always… In every second of every day. In every stony shore and cliff, in every desert and field and forest, in every plant and beast and bird and oddity that walks on this world. She was there. In my darkest, loneliest moments, she held my hand and cradled me in her arms… and in my most brash, foolish and selfish hours, she was there to scold me. Finally, she became heaven. Somewhere, that if I was good enough, brave enough, I might come to be, forgiven, absolved, and saved in reward… or if I wasn’t enough, I would be never reach her, and her absence would be my eternal hell. I called myself an atheist for a long time, and lived a wonderful, passionate life, full of all the things a proud atheist does, but I was a fool to believe that I didn’t believe… I always had my faith, always had my Goddess…

    ‘She just happened to be real.’

The Day The People Smiled

While sitting in the silence of another homeward bus,
I cried – There’s something fucking wrong with this,
This silence, every one of us,
commuting to our homes alone,
estranged and nameless neighbours,
living near, but not together, in exactly the same time and place…
Evading one another’s gaze,
while searching for an empty seat,
how bittersweet that we’d prefer to people-watch than people-meet…
And if the blood that runs within our veins is just the same,
if we share our fears and hopes and tears and smiles and life from which we came…

Isn’t it a little strange we think each other strangers?

That we hide our eyes from contact,
safe from conversational attacks,
with laptops, phones and tablets,
as we poke at so-called ‘social apps’,
lest somebody speak, and show us things we don’t already know,
in case someone we’ve never met realise that we’re not perfect yet,
in case somebody might see through the mask that we’re just human too…

But we all feel lost and lonely,
and sometimes I think if only
someone on this bus would just stand up and have the guts
to yell out ‘Hello People, I’m a Person, Nice to Meet You, Lets Converse!’
that it might work…
and sure, at first, of course it would be awkward…

But then we’d all start talking…

…and then we’d laugh, and maybe cry, and say a nice goodbye…

And then as friends we’d go away and say to everyone we knew,
‘Talk on busses, talk in queues, just talk! And talk to strangers too!’

And all across the planet, on the busses, planes and trains and trams,
at coffee carts and paper stands,
we’d smile and greet each other,
knowing we all had a mother and a father and the farther
that we strayed into these social wilds we’d all be reminded
every one of us was once upon a time a tiny child,
and with every conversation made and each new friendly face,
we’d all stop placing so much salience on nations, creeds, and races…

And the more we talked and walked towards our common plans
with hands in hands and hearts in hearts,
we’d see how silly, simple little starts
could take us places never been,
and show us things we’ve never seen,
and we’d all stop, and really stare into this mirror of society,
and violently we’d vomit up each one of our anxieties, and biases,
and pious hatreds in a giant pile a mile high,
and humankind would finally be so reviled
that we’d burn the pile to embers and the day would be remembered
as the day we all connected…

The Day the People Smiled.

But no one smiled.

No one spoke.

No one said a single word.

They all just sat and stared away, as if they hadn’t even heard…

The silence burned.

The bus rolled on.

…and one by one they disembarked.

My stop arrived, and without words, I stepped into the dark.

Now Consider the Fantail

It has a tail in the shape of a fan… This, however, says less about the fantail than it does about how good we are at naming things. The fantail, were it to come across a fan, would probably ponder that it looked rather like a tail.

The Fantail, according to the stories, is a guide, a friendly helper through the forest. And indeed, when it appears in the bush as if summoned and flits erratically around ones head in a seemingly pointless path, many are struck to believe that the Fantail, if not a guide, is clearly just having a lot of fun.

This also says little about the fantail and a lot about how we see fun.

Other, more critically minded folk, wishing not to anthropomorphise the creature, look closer at the fantail’s flight. They notice the bird’s acrobatics are in fact guided to the miniscule insects that we people kick up when lumbering through the bushes, and say – ‘No! There is a purpose to it! The fantail is surviving, like all other creatures, and this is not ‘fun’!

The Fantail of course, cares naught for these debates. It is too busy having fun catching bugs.