More than a feeling

Flash Fiction


Al was a gifted Daf player, he had spent his entire life immersed in playing this Iranian cultural drumlike musical instrument with chains that beat rhythmically, intricately against the skin. He also played the Dayareh, and pretty much anything that could be tapped in the sequences that played through his mind even when he wasn’t playing. He even drummed in his sleep, his grand children teased him about it one night when he woke them up by sleeping through rousing pattern of thumps and tumps. Not wanting to harm him, having heard all the urban legends about waking sleep walkers, they danced wildly about as he played and once finished, he put down the drumsticks, returning to bed and having no further recollection in the morning.

He was disappointed, none of his three sons showed the remotest signs of interest in playing. As his eldest Jab said one day recently, they never thought they could ever be as good at drums, when they were all so good at other things. Jab was good at talking – he was a criminal lawyer that never lost a case, Bel was good at cards and fast women and lived a single life his father almost envied, and Zed was a cunning businessman. It was a little disappointing to think that they would never really change the world for the better, or contribute much to the world’s offerings, but they’d married well for themselves and the grandchildren made up for it almost. His daughter Mol quite liked playing the drums. Strangely enough this annoyed Al more than anything his sons had ever done. She wasn’t good enough to be allowed to continue. There was a limit, and Al couldn’t have her practicing drums poorly being heard by the neighbour.

Some days you wake up and wonder if today is the day you’re going to die. From the age of about sixty, that was what Al found himself wondering every day. And so, he lived his life as if his last day was today. He played his drums. He picked a flower in memory of his recently passed wife – just in case she was waiting on the threshold of the afterlife – he didn’t want to give her something to complain about. He found that he’d missed the complaints more than he’d thought that he would before she died, considering it was incessant, the silence had been a shock. Yet, he didn’t want to give her cause for complaint.

And so Mol continued learning the Daf, and the Drums, eventually discovering that she quite liked the Iranian flutelike Ney instrument, and as it turned out, she was quite good at it. Being pretty, she’d made a good match and her husband let her get away with playing her music, as long as it was discrete. For a select group of friends, Mol was allowed to play.

Then one day Al woke up and he was correct. It was his death day. He wondered, as he always wondered, and he played the Daf, the Dayareh, and a few other instruments he’d always played. It was his daily meditation after all. As he was preparing to go to his youngest grandson’s piano recital, he slipped down the stairs and was rushed to hospital instead. The wounds were extensive, but there was just enough time to get the family gathered around to say their teary goodbyes before he slipped down the tunnel of light to the great beyond he’d spent every day of his life wondering about. He told Jab that he was proud of him, he told Bel to settle down and father some legitimate children with a proper name, he congratulated Zed on having steel nerves and heartless dispassion that led to wonderful financial rewards to the tune of trillions, squirreled away all over the planet. Moreover, to Mol, he said, “If you are blessed to have a son, please name him Al, and if it’s a girl, you may use your mother’s name.” And nobody thought it was weird at all because within their family, this was perfectly acceptable behaviour.

So Al tootled up the hill of white light, his life flashing before his eyes. Some realisations started coming clear with all the haziness of confusion dissipating. He could see his daughter didn’t seem as upset as his sons. It didn’t bother him, she was just a girl, she was living God’s will for women since Eve disobeyed God’s direct order.” He saw his late wife, she was also called Eve, she didn’t move toward him, she simply stood for a while before disappearing. He didn’t much like the look on her face.

And then he was in a white room. Nothing surrounded him for quite some time until a figure appeared. It looked exactly how he’d imagined God would look. He held up a hand to prevent Al from bowing down before him and instead said kindly, “I see you had a large family. You played Drums very well. You accumulated a lot of wealth…” and in a process indescribable within 3-D terms, gave Al a perspective of himself as told from each and every person that Al had ever come into contact with. As you can imagine, by the end of it Al felt wrung out, and desolate. Every poor decision had been inflicted one upon the other, until he could just watch with the dawning realisation that the things that he’d considered victories in his living life, were actually failures in the greater scheme of things. That he’d had so much faith that he’d lived his life according to the rules, without stopping to consider the wider implications of those rules, and whether or not a benevolent being like the God he worshipped would hold with the more nasty rules, the ones he cringed about following once he realised what they’d meant.

He also discovered by means impossible to describe that his daughter was almost about to be pregnant and that God had him in mind to be the baby. Al wasn’t happy with that, but he was informed that the alternative was a random place in the middle of nowhere with a low vibration related leg of his family that required some intellectual upliftment. This time he would get it right, this time he’d stick to the way, this time he’d take his drumming places and be the best drummer in the world.

He entered the slipstream to birth, perfectly calculated to engage maximum conception, and entered into the warm fuzzy pink glow of foetal development.

“What will my name be?” he found himself wondering… and resonating deep within his arms as he tapped out the familiar drumbeats he’d played everyday in his life as Al, was one word.




George Bernard Shaw Study

George Bernard Shaw Study

Visited Shaw’s Corner recently and connected with the mind of a deep thinking man. He wrote in a shed in his garden, but this was his home study. The lady from the National Trust informed me that since he left his house to the trust, it remained largely unchanged.

He was an interesting man, I suspect (though it’s not fully documented, because according to history, nobody before the 70s ever had sex and all their affairs were platonic) that he was a ladies man – ladies obviously liked his beard.

His one true love seemed to be the socially inaccessible actress Mrs Pat Campbell – they wrote many letters to one another which had to be heavily edited before they were published (to help an impoverished Mrs Pat) to spare his wife’s feelings (she was rather upset by it all). It’s also stated that he and his wife had a purely platonic marriage, although they were the best of friends.

I tried talking to the walls, but they remained tight-lipped about the whole affair.

Through my own observation, intuition and looking at the collection of sculptures, pictures and the ornaments, I felt able to connect with this influential writer-dramatist. It really brought the history alive.

I’m not all that familiar with his work, just many of his quotes have struck a chord and having done some research, there are so many things he wrote about that I agree with – I’m starting at his unpleasant plays – and I agree with his outlook. The only thing I disagree with is his stance on eugenics, but I don’t believe in eugenics (or transhumanism – certainly not with all institutions betraying public trust). In my opinion, eugenics was incongruous with his stated beliefs that everyone should be given a chance regardless of their class.

But I’ve never been one to have to agree 100% with someone’s thinking before I can take the rest of what they say with any merit – ideas evolve over centuries, minds, and generations.


Top 10 George Bernard Shaw quotes 

  1. We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
  2. We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
  3. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
  4. No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
  5. Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
  6. Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
  7. The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.
  8. The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
  9. A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.
  10. Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.


© Nicola Kirk
All Rights Reserved

Persistence of Vision

Life in motion

This picture was taken along the main road between two neighbouring towns, along a road designed to reduce congestion and cutting between the farms blanketing the green belt.

Persistence of vision is the phenomenon where something becomes clearer when the foreground moves. Sometimes we need to see past the rushing activities of everything coming at us in order to uncover the grandness of the bigger picture beyond.

The joy of being a passenger is participating in the scene.

Persistence of Vision

Journey’s window
Destination waits.
Feathered foreground frames
Grand underpainting
Engaging and dividing
Field and road wind

Free to be free

Susurrussing Silver Birch leaves
twinkle greetings
Laden sycamores
weigh full in heady bloom.
While whispering Hawthorn and Holly,
strewn in remnants of consumption callously discarded,
are the wisest of them all.

life upon Life

© Nicola Kirk All Rights Reserved 2014

Photo Challenge:

Grains of Sand

Grains of Sand

Like grains of sand
Settled in sea,
We rise and stand,
Over millennia we rub up
And down
The coastline,
Tumbled around
Some wash along the ocean currents
Grabbed along by the
Tumbling out to sea
Some settle, sucking down
Embedded by anemones
Roots and
Home for however long
It takes for tectonic removal
To strip bare ridges
And you’re left
Mingling around the waterway
Always free
Yet yearning for
conditional stability

© Nicola Kirk, All Rights Reserved, 2014