Nothing Is As It May Appear

Lies, unless challenged, eventually become the truth, and truth is history or history is truth from some perspective.

I seem to remember many things, so many things, but each memory brings with it its own baggage. There are some words that I have to use a bridge to bring them to mind.

Some words need a bridge to bring them into my conscious mind, and I have had to construct those bridges over the years. And with each bridge, so constructed, come other bridges or words and thoughts that carry with them their own baggage of memories and words. I fear the confusion that arises out of certain words, yet none fills my mind more painfully than the word: lilac.

“Now that lilacs are in bloom.

She keeps a bowl of lilacs in her room.”

To bring it to mind I have to resort to the bridge I constructed as a child when I learned the name of the sweetly smelling tree that filled the hot air with heavy scent in the West Australia of my childhood. The Cape Lilac tree that hung heavy with blossom in back gardens and yards. The Cape Lilac that hung over the grey picket fence at the back of our garden in Redfern Street. And in the back garden, the hammock that swung below that lilac tree. And Paul the Cocker Spaniel who lay in that hammock. Nobody ever saw him get in. Nobody ever saw him get out, but he loved that hammock. I never saw him climb or jump into that hammock; and I was his constant companion; and he was my constant companion.

Sleek headed, Blue Roan Paul. Most beautiful of dogs… Black head, black body; speckled with white on his legs and tummy; Those doleful, soulful eyes; deepest brown; deep as his love for me. Paul never snapped, never complained, spent every waking hour with me if at all possible… and when he slept he ignored his basket if it had been placed too far from my bed. The trellis that followed the line of the side of the house, had one darker patch in the untreated jarrah slats where his face had pressed, looking down the drive, hour on hour; waiting for my return.

Paul, you were a Prince.

The September he was taken from me, I hadn’t the heart to take down the hammock. I felt that by some magical process, if I were to leave it where it was, that Paul would somehow be returned to me.

And it filled with water, and the leaves from the Cape Lilac tree fell into the hammock, and the dead blossoms fell into the water. The lilac blossoms were no longer the dark purple of their youth, and soon the water turned brown. The hammock viewed from the side became fat and round. Distended. Fecund. But all it contained were dead leaves. Dead flowers. Dead water. And the memory of a dog. And the memory of a dead dog. Even now I cannot admit to myself that Paul may.......... but it doesn’t matter. I would prefer to believe the story that was pedalled to me:

“I took him to the vet, and a kind policeman was there, and he took Paul to live with him in the country”.

Ah, most famous and enduring lie told to children when a beloved pet is taken from them

And then when my heart seemed less broken, I tipped the hammock over, but neglect had torn the hammock, rot had presented me with a fait accomplis.

I would never lie on my back and look into those clear blue West Australian skies.

Paul would never lie on his back and look into those clear blue West Australian skies

All words carry baggage.

All words carry baggage.

Miss la Suiffe, my biology teacher, explained that the leaves of the Cape Lilac are not true leaves, but philodes. False leaves. False truths.

“It’s an easy one to remember,” she said, “Just think of a friend called Phil, and then add ode...........a poem! Phil-odes Philodes!”

Oh, what a bridge. What a prop. Fifteen year old boys, in a hot summer classroom. I wonder if Don and Brian had ever heard of an ode. I suppose we should have. But should and did don’t always go together.

We all looked to the back of the classroom where Phil sat. Phil always sat at the back of the classroom.

Phil. Phil! I can’t remember his other name, but he was much more mature than the rest of us. They said he could make sperm long before the rest of us. I can’t remember his name but I remember that in the showers after games I had seen him, and it must have been true that he could do what they said. He was so much more mature than I was. He was so much bigger and grown up than any of the other boys. I had felt my face redden, and although he looked at me, he didn’t seem to notice. It didn’t seem to bother him.

But are these memories or should my face redden now if I were in the showers with him?

Memories are what was, or what could have been or what should have been.

“Now that lilacs are in bloom.

She keeps a bowl of lilacs in her room.”

Thanks, Thomas Stearns, we share a birthday, you and I.

More by this Author


Comments 83 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Beautiful pictures of your best friend. He was a prince. Your friend could make sperm before the rest of you all? I laughed out loud. Awesome reflection, hope you can share more.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Boyhood memories. Great Hub!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, today is the first time your work has been presented to Daniel. I read it out loud as slowly and clearly as I could. No, it was not a punishment, but after the long day that has been spent in fierce battles with my son over the value of learning, education, knowledge, effort et cetera, I could bear it no longer. I asked him to read his own book - anything that has a story versus this ridiculous Pokemon stuff (I think it is a shame to push it on children).

He did not. He kept staring at my screen. I said: "Fine, if you want to read adult's stories - there's one..."

I stopped in the middle of the first story and asked him

- Are you listening?

- Yes.

- What is it about?

- Lies and truth and history.

He stayed only for Part One and it is an accomplishment.

In my understanding, history is always a mixture of truths, lies and inexactitudes that eventually it is not the truth, it is a perspective. An agreed-upon vision.

Or disputed visions. Creative writing.

Your childhood memories are no doubt vivid and some bridges even though may be seemingly have burnt, but there is no such thing...

There is always something, that brings it all back... Words, images, but especially smells... They have the strongest power to wake up memories...

Your writing style is elaborate and meditative as usual. I am sorry for your loss, it is much more painful to lose a friend for a child. Again it is another perspective. Everything seems bigger, more important, more dramatic... There is an expression "When the trees were taller..." referring to the child's vision - trees were the same, but when one is small, they are taller, one is grown-up...

The second story, even though is connected through lilacs to Phil, I sort of lost track.

I am not going to ask you what is so special about men in the showers. I am afraid I have been told only recently that the ultimate places for insecurity for men are gyms or showers.

It has never occurred to me before. Despite women's obsession with beauty and sizes and weight and God knows what, they seem to handle it better. Maybe I completely missed the point.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Beautiful! Paul was a true friend. Love his pictures in the hammock. My own dog friend is not well these days, and it makes my heart break. Lilacs - heavenly scent.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Good Morning Ian,

This was really beautiful in everyway. I thought about my black cocker I had when I was five. She also went to the country..sad memories of our best of friends gone. I love that breed of dog so much..Their eyes reach to the soul.

The bridge was so perfect to explain how we get to our past memories..I am finding many lately too..This was perfect and I enjoyed this hub very much.

God bless my friend..

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

A.A. I appreciate you remarks about Paul. He was a Price indeed, and although it is a very long time since I lost him, the pain is still there.

And thank you for the laughing out loud; pubescent angst was always a good target for reflective prose. This, as you might have realised is but a part of a (never to be completed) whole.

Thank you again.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Will, Master Story Teller of Hub Pages.

Much appreciated visit, Sir.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, it was a slight departure from the direction of a short story. or a Novelette in chapters where there is a theme and a definite thread.

As I suggested to A/A. Zavala. it is a part of a (never to be completed) novel, so it is thematic, in a more literary manner.

Pretentious? Perhaps, but my conversations and life have always, as my friend Steve maintains, is a series of incidents in parenthesis.

If you would like a story for Daniel to read, I have written a story about a dog named Zoki. My children in all the classes that I taught, loved it and couldn't get enough of it. Then again. they had met Zoki in the flesh.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Sally, read several of my hubs and you will see how much I love dogs. I hope your guy gets better and you have years more loyalty and friendship from him/her.

And I agree, lilacs have the most heavenly scent. Right now I have Philadelphus in the garden and that scent is pure heaven also.

Thanks for your visit, my friend.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Good Morning Ian,

I was thinking once more about your hub and bridges..I am always amazed how things in our life are forever changed from bridges we have crossed. If I had not come to hub, I would not have met you my friend, and had such a great time writing with you, learning, and just meeting a great person..Again awesome hub. Must complete this novel..:)

Sunnie


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

One thing is certain, that place in the country that became home to our dogs is completely cleared of rabbits. Your reminiscence of the sights, sounds and shining sun of your youth have been painted with the lightest of pastels. Your writing style is flawless.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Pretentious? Did I say pretentious?

Daniel has only one preference for reading - funny stories - you should hear him laugh - he is blessed with having an absolutely infectious laughter.

When he was three months old - he laughed when I was pulling a onesie over his head - the laugh was the same as now - so I pull it over his head and back, again over and again back - and he laughed and laughed and laughed.

Today he called me from our landline phone on my mobile and when he saw his mistake, he found it funny and started calling me time and time again. What was so funny? It does not matter, as long as he laughs.

Of course, you did not intend your story for a child, but I think children should be exposed in small doses to something that is higher than their level.

Even if the only line that stayed -

Truths + Lies = History.

Don't you see, these are the same bridges being built? Then he might wonder, who was the person who told him that history was always questionable at best. Or it will become axiomatic.

- What is your profession?

- I am a historian.

- You must be excellent at creative writing, then.

Historians "write" their characters just as writers write theirs. The difference - it is much harder, the research and making it look plausible. But have you noticed, how many times historian slip into "assigning" thoughts to historical characters?

Napoleon thought:

Have you been inside his head? No, so, who knows what Napoleon thought? If Napoleon himself remembered only half of it.

Sorry, Ian, I veered off ...

And to comfort you on the account of Phil - it's not the speed, it is the quality. Quality of what? You tell me (better not). Besides, those claims, who is the fastest are never checked. Speaking as a scientist - if he claimed anything - then there should be a contest.

And if anyone agreed to such a contest, then I would question their sanity or intellectual prowess. It usually goes in diametrically different direction.

There was a girl in my class that told me that she had a whole casket (? wrong word? - a small jewellery box) of love letters. I envied her. Then I realized that to get even one was hard enough at that age, but the whole box?

Unless she wrote them herself. Another writer. Creative writer.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Sunnie. I am glad you liked it and on more than one level. Yes, they were magnificent dogs and bred as working dogs... Paul was a big guy.There are many Cockers now and the dogs look as big as the bitches used to be.

It's true too. tastes. words, snatches of music... they all provide bridges; some of them painful and some of them sweet.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Mck, I'm going to write this large in my book of quotations... "Your writing style is flawless".

Thank you for coming and thank you for your support and friendship.

You are most appreciated.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hi, Sunnie. I don't know about completing the novel. It's the journey that matters, not the destination. I just like writing; you know that.

Scribble, scribble, scribble.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

And why shouldn't Daniel prefer funny stories. The world, he will soon find, as not very funny. He must learn to find the humour in things that surround him; it's never written on the lid

"Open this box and it will make you laugh. I used to love it when the children I taught were "entertained" by the lessons I gave. I never played to the gallery, but when the bell went for playtime and we would be in the middle of a maths lesson (for example) and they would say, "Aww! Do we have to go?" that was amazing.

I have always been a child, and I think that was my strength as a teacher... being able to see things from a child's perspective.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

By the way, Svetlana, I should have pointed out to you yesterday the number thing, because:

I had 147 followers (3x7x7),

77 hubs (11x7),

have been on HP for 7 months.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I have a feeling you were a kind of a teacher that made a difference. You made a difference in my life.

What surprises me (it should not, but it surprises me nonetheless), recently I was thinking about numbers because I wanted to write an article dedicated to my six months on HP.

I do have 146 followers, but the interesting one is the Follower #142 - Southern Muse (no less), it gives plenty of room for my word/number/allegory plays.

I have been here for 6 months, 42 = 4 + 2 = 6

But what amazed me in my statistics, of all my 37 hubs (some I intend to un-publish due to their sub par quality), today at 00:42 I had 5,742 viewings in total

with the best article "Am I Beautiful?" having exactly 1,000 (since June 5th). It is truly a hit.

The statistics as of now

1,042/533/324/195...57

From the best to the worst article. The second best is "Kim Il-Sung".

Your numbers seem nicer, and my statistics may be meaningless (correction, they are meaningless), but there is a difference that HP made in my life.

Maybe it(?) only perpetuates a delusion. It - my belief that I am getting better.

I have to stop now, I think I am quite out of focus - I have such a grandiose idea that my mind goes in 360 different directions.

It is a blessing to see the world from a child's perspective. Yes, perspective is everything.

Stopping now - I have an attack of creativity - the pain of inability to put my thoughts together and inability to drop it altogether, get some rest and enjoy other things (not writing).


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Don't unpublish anything unless you are really ashamed of them. And I don't think you need be ashamed of anything that I have read of yours. Everything was written in a time frame or published in a time frame, and therefore they are all relevant.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Thank you, Ian, for the advice. I will leave them for now - I thought about removing "Armando Stories" (six in total), they are really unpalatable, but maybe later I can rework the material into some comedy for "Men are Buses." (one story instead of six).

But then I looked at other hubs, the ones I wrote at the beginning - you can see that I improved and I now I want to edit those, but it is so much work.

To write something new? Or clean up the old?

The only thing that bugs me - if a reader comes and picks one article to read and it turns out to be the worst, he will never come back. On the other hand - I have about ten regular readers and the rest? -- ghosts from my Followers List.

In any case, to un-publish - it will take about five minutes, so it can wait.

Thanks again,


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I know the feeling. Do I unpublish and then lose the comments... good and bad?

Do I edit and refine? Then the comments may not be relevant any more.

Do I unpublish and completely rework and then publish again under the old title (Very difficult, hub pages being what they are).

Hmmm!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, we are either on the same wavelength as it often happens, or I may have told you

I am working on an article based on comments.

Going through them is very difficult, yet they are more illuminating than any writings.

I was joking that I may have intended the "Comments Hub" for the 6th month anniversary, but it might be ready either for Halloween or for Christmas (it might take me as long as six months).

You mentioned that you want to keep "a comment in your book" (the one about flawless style) - it is not such a bad idea to keep such a book - "The Best Comments".


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yay! And what about the comments from people who obviously haven't read anything except the title.

You've written an interesting hub about "Llamas being used as Pack Animals in the Andes" and your follower says that he/she once made a treck from Pakistan to visit the Dalai Lama in Andover where he was a refugee, and how much they enjoyed the cream teas there.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Andover is a town in Hampshire, England. Not really noted for cream teas.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, I have a very good question in the "Q&A" section about "fake" comments, but you don't really have to look it up.

I loved the picture "My fake plant died because I did not pretend to water it."

If the comment that makes no sense comes, you can moderate it into "non-existence".

I asked the question because I felt that someone did not get past the title, but after I cooled off - I thought - "What is all the commotion?"

Delete. Forget.

It does not work for a person who leaves a fake comment in the long run. Actually, it is counter-productive, you may never come and read their work. Credibility is tainted, respect is ruined, the interest has died before being born.

There is something strange with HP and it is annoying -

I don't always get notifications when a new comment comes on the hubs where I left my comments. You wrote a response and I did not know. I came to tell you something.

Along came the Follower #147 and I thought even if for one day we (you and I) are even in our cult numbers.

My 147th follower has 42 followers. However,

I came and I saw that you are two followers ahead, and I laughed.

And another thing, following my convoluted logic about comments, I looked up your hubtivity and I was looking for a hub where you left a comment (I wanted it to be neither yours, nor mine), so I stumbled upon "Sodomites."

I wrote a comment, but I did not think that comments might be "swallowed" - the author moderates them before displaying - you see there is another option.

I liked my response, but I am afraid, the author did not and I lost my "masterpiece". Of course, I can repeat the heroic act, rewrite and publish it as a mini-hub, but I thought...

Do I really want it?

Comment, comments, comments.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Ian, white lies, although perhaps well meaning, sometimes have a habit of turning out to be darker and longer lasting that black ones. Certainly in this case. This was an exceptional piece of writing, not just for the wonderful devotion you displayed concerning your beloved Paul, but in the way your words evoked an hypnotic, peaceful, idilic meander through that treasured time and place. Brilliant my friend, simply bloody brilliant!


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

As Keith just said, this was an exceptional piece of writing. Really, a novel that won't be completed? That's a real shame, because you know so many of us would read it. Your memories are an absolute joy to read, and not least because you are able to convey so much with your excellent writing: smells, sounds, heat, seasons, colour, personalities, and so on, and so on... Very evocative.

Svetlana said this: 'There is always something, that brings it all back... Words, images, but especially smells... They have the strongest power to wake up memories...' And it's interesting to me that she said this, because I was talking to my son about the incredible power of smells to conjure up long-forgotten memories instantaneously. I told him that I'd just been outside and smelled my childhood, and he was intrigued and wanted to know what I meant. Someone was burning wood in their garden, and I was flung back in time to the big old bonfires and firework displays that we used to have around here when I was much younger. I can remember people checking the bonfire for hedgehogs before it was set alight. Of course, we can't have big bonfires anymore, because they're too dangerous! (I never knew of anyone being hurt - but is that my memory playing tricks on me, or is it actual fact?) My sons notice smells a lot, and often say that they can smell a certain person, or the house we stayed in on our holidays, and so on. I just hope we're helping them to build some beautiful memories that they will cherish in years to come.

One other thing I thought of was the way we deal with the deaths of pets in our house. I don't know whether it's a result of my upbringing (I remember watching as my mum or dad flushed our rather old, dead, goldfish down the loo!) or because kids are just so much more matter-of-fact about death anyway these days, but we haven't made up any little stories about pets going to live on farms, or wherever. We had two cats, and they got killed in the road. The kids know all about that. They had a hamster, who died, as hamsters do, as the very grand old age of 2, and we all were there when he was buried in the garden; lately my eldest son has been asking if we can dig up the hamsters bones!

Anyway, excellent hub. And I didn't get around to reading the Magical Victrola as I promised I would, because I got busy with some paid work! But I haven't forgotten, and I will read it as soon as ever I can :)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you so much for this comment... this little hub in itself. Believe it if you will, but for many weeks I have been looking for a short description of a couple of incidents when I was in India in about 1946, and it ties in so nicely with your son wanting to dig up the hamster bones.

"Looking for" is exactly the term I need to employ. I have some friends who came to stay for a night; several months agar and have come back and forth ever since, leaving more and more bits of their life here in my front sitting room. Under some of their detritus, I have a very old folder containing a couple of pages of Foolscap paper on which there is typed a story that starts: "When I was a child in India..."


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Keith. It was a lovely era to write about and to live through. There were so many changes just about to explode into our lives, and yet, in Perth, anyway, we were still living in the late Edwardian era... and suddenly propelled into the Second Elizabethan age.

One of the benefits of being Old, Keith; looking back over a long life, and (says he arrogantly) being given the gift of being able to share it with friends.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

And will the stories of these incidents be turned into hubs for our delectation? Or are you saving them for that book that I want to buy and read??

A story that begins 'when I was a child in India...' promises something very special.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

One more thought on you comment, Linda, concerning smells evoking times and incidents.

The smell of frangipani when I pass it in a street, hidden in a hedge, in a hot country, and I am transportes back to Perth in the years I lived there or back to Dehu Road Cantonment when I was a little boy.

And then, as I have said in both my 'Krishna' hubs, I am a little boy again, with tears on my eyes.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Actually, Linda, I am the laziest person on this planet. For the first five months on hub pages, I hardly wrote anything new, Just delved into stuff written years and years ago... long before you were born in many cases.

But now I am dragging stuff out of my memory banks and I feel that HP is a sort of a kick up the bottom, because there ate new bits being written. Perhaps I will collect them all up and whack them into a book... I have a couple of novellas which are both unfinished, but already long enough to fall into that category... perhaps I will just bung them all together.

I wanted to write a picaresque novel, but the laziness bones are too strongly in there.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

This comment section has become a long meandering conversation between old friends.

I’d like to ask how you settled on the title of this

Hub.

And a picaresque novel or even short stories, by T.L. would make very compelling reads.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

That laziness doesn't have to be paid any attention, you know? I'm lazier than you - yes, I am - but HP has been giving me a kick up the bottom lately too, and I've surprised myself, pleasantly. I'd be pleased as owt if you did put all this wonderful evocative descriptive beautifulness in a book to read, and I would certainly not be the only one, as is plain to see.

Might as well bung it all together and see what happens. Maybe you'll surprise yourself as well :)

Lx.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The theme of "Nothing is as it appears" seems to go like a thread through everything that I write. Maybe I look on life as being ephemeral... maybe I am using the right word. I just feel that that is the way of all things.

"Lies, unless challenged, eventually become the truth, and truth is history or history is truth from some perspective."

When I chose Abdul Haq as my name when I became a Muslim... or when I realised that I was and always had been a Muslim, my oldest friend, and possibly the friend who knows me best, (also a Muslim) said, "But you are the worst or best liar who ever lived"... and you have chosen Abdul (slave of) Haq (Truth).

What writer or poet does not lie? That is her/his craft.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I see, that I did not read your Hub with a keen eye, otherwise my question would have been answered. Life is fleeting is what they say, rather than ephemeral.

The writer, they record, sometimes what they see, sometimes what they are told - but the poets, they are interrupters. Poets cannot lie, unless of course there is a woman near.

“But you are the worst or best liar who ever lived”, that may be the ultimate compliment.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

From this lady, Mck, it was a compliment. She is a published and very respected writer on many important matters, including Islamic Issues and Women's Issues, and if that sounds dull, she writes with flair and humour and deep insight.


Becky 5 years ago

I enjoyed your memories of your dog and another time. I think that the matter of whether your pet goes to live somewhere else or dies, depends on your parents. Mine were farming people and had known death comes. They told me that what death is. I never doubted it, I never became used to it, but I accepted it. I do not believe in telling children a story like yours did because as you know, children have an infallible logic. They start asking questions that we don't want to answer.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 5 years ago from Australia

I totally enjoyed reading this, as well as the comments that have been written. there are so many things that so many of us can relate to here that it easily ensnared me for a while... thankyou


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wonderfully sensible and articulate comment from you Becky. Thank you for that, and thank you for reading my stuff, I really do love your visits.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you nighthag for that. yes, I have a very few readers, but their comments are always so entertaining and intelligent... little hubs in themselves.

I'm glad you enjoyed and could relate to what I wrote.

Great to see you visiting; Thank you.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

words are paths to our memory, bridges to our heart and soul.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

So very true, Nikki. Thank you for visiting and thank you for your sensitive comment.


SilverGenes 5 years ago

Your writing captivates me. Lately, I have been meandering along my own paths of which Nikki speaks and now find myself enchanted by those that run through your memories.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for the complement. I love writing, but I am a very slow writer and I read every bit as slowly, hence a small output and seldom get around to do much reading myself.

Captivating??? Wow, thank you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi ! I found you by way of going through the forum, looking for info. But one topic was on favorite hubbers and you were mentioned. So I found your beautiful prose here, and found a new wonderful writer. The depth of feeling and the way you use words is compelling!


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dolores, thank you so much for finding me, and thank you also for that amazingly kind comment. I think I know the person who mentioned me on the Forum, and if it is he, then you should know he as an amazingly adept writer himself.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Nothing is as it may appear" - you see, Ian, you were under the impression (first I used "unhappy") that your work was not seemingly being read. But it appears to be otherwise.

And you know that you are a good writer. I just have encountered someone quite the opposite and I am completely mad.

I was told that my style was wonderful in my hubs (did she read all of them?), but not in my comments, unfortunately. Well, you see, "despite me she is a linguist". Unlike being seemingly educated, unfortunately, it appears that she has no feeling for the language.

And even in Russian she remains largely unaware that words have meanings. She asked me to use sarcasm. I did.

There is no absolute truth, or so I was informed.

I beg your forgiveness for my unfortunately clumsy comment which lacks non-existent absolutism of truth.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It is so true about some comments not being notified. I have commented on things and then seen that someone has written something really interesting and i have not been informed. I have virtually nothing to do with forums and the like... It takes me all the time to read and to give the briefest comments on stuff.

I hope I don't upset people, but my typing and reading take soooo long. You knew I was a retard, didn't you?

Of course you did. We've known each other long enough for you to work that out.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, some of my work is being read right now, and I have a whole new lot of people who have come from recommendation and "other places" and I am enjoying myself.

I seem to have found many people who want to discuss the style and not the content, and I really like that.

But I am still trying to write, and I am so very, very slow.

My mind is so quick, but my fingers are lazy little buggers.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, you have a way with words, very few people have. I am sorry I cannot indulge in reading your hubs, I have drowned in the project that has to be finished or I will be hospitalized for insanity.

It is not how slow or fast you type or anything...

The best anything is the happiest anything.

The best singer is the happiest...

The best dancer is the happiest...

The best writer is the happiest...

If he/she is the happiest then nothing else matters. Even whether being read or not... Being read brings a lot of joy.

I don't mean you. I generalize.

But you have a lot to offer - both content and style and intellect (both - count to three - I am telling you - a break is needed).

I get sometimes frustrated with people I should not even talk with. And I should not have read that c--p in the first place. But it was about Russian names - so I was naturally drawn.

Never mind. I am so happy for you that you find pleasure on HubPages. It is what it should be. Otherwise, what is the point?

Enjoy the process and take care of yourself.

Don't forget to smell the roses. Or what are your favourite flowers? Those.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

I also tweeted this and the link to that poem on my twitter account. lol


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for the link, Nikki. That is so kind if you.

Yeah! Splash me about, I love it.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

This is incredibly good reading, Ian. Interestingly, I read all the comments to date BEFORE I read the hub. I think it may be a good thing to do. The hub then shines as such a fresh and pure light, soaring above and surpassing all the comments! So I'm going to skip too much comment about it, rather than sully it by adding another word about it. Just know that it touched my heart.

So, then, Ian, you're a first decanate Libra! I should have known!

See if you don't relate to it:

"If you were born between September 24 and October 3:

This is the first of the Libra Decans and is ruled by the planet Venus.

The first Decan Libra personality is characterised by cleverness, imagination and romanticism.

You are both clever and imaginative which makes you capable of many great things. If you can combine these assets with your impressive communication skills you can rise to the heights of many careers including fictional writing, film direction and the creative arts. Your creative flair and sense of style combined with your love of beauty ensures that your surroundings are aesthetically pleasing.

You are a true romantic and love to be in love. When you do commit to just one person you are extremely dedicated to your partner and keep the romance alive with thoughtful gifts and surprises. You work extremely hard to achieve a balanced and equal relationship with your life partner.

In all your relationships you are careful to promote harmony between you and don't like to rock the boat with heated arguments or debates. You prefer peaceful, considerate and caring relationships."

:-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wow! That is so very true. I have heard this from many people; either from a book or the astrologers themselves.

I do not believe one iota about predictions from astrologers, but conversely, know that many, many people fit very nicely into the pattern for their sign.

I am a perfect Libra.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Yes - you are a perfect Libra! I agree about the prediction value of Astrology - I don't put stock in it. But the personalities of people fit well into their signs, especially if one knows their complete "chart" showing the connections and relationships of each of their "planet" positions. These usually explain the many differences in individuals born under the same sun sign.

The overriding sun sign identity is modified by these other sign-effects in the chart. And as this mentions, which decanate of one's sign in which born has a bearing, as well. It modifies and pinpoints the main characteristics of the sun sign for an individual.

I'm a middle-decanate Aquarius. I haven't really investigated what that says about me. Actually I looked yours up to demonstrate how cleverly I'd ascertained your birthday from the little subtle clue you left. tee hee


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana sent me the name of a book that deals with numerology (Or something) It was quite uncanny, but I have to look through the comments on hers and mine to find out what it was. It also was so precise I almost decided to buy it.

No it wan't it was concerning every person born on every day... hence 366 entries; all in great depth.

Fascinating!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Yes. During my days of relative isolation when I read everything that wasn't nailed down, it included seeing what all the fuss is about in various occult areas of interest, including numerology.

I see its possible application in a the universal sense in which regularity as well as chaos is apparent. But as a system created by humans to serve human purposes, numbers seem somewhat arbitrary and fail to quite connect the dots among universal purposes and designs. I do love the "language" of numbers and see many values in them, though.

So it is fascinating, though there seem to be other more natural and more esoteric things to consider as meaningful for and beyond human application - even palmistry. Tea leaves seem a little less satisfying to me, too, though the pure-chance element involved is interesting. So are the way leaves fall off trees and the way raindrops splatter.

Call me silly. I'm not sensitive about it - much. haha. It's just that some ideas ring more true than others, but it's all subjective perception isn't it? Mine is no better or worse than someone else's except that it's the one I HAVE! :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

This is making me think that I may put down in words a real, true life story, that I could relate concerning my mother and a couple of other people, It is nasty, it is brutal, but it is (or was) true.

I would entitle it something like... not, "Have You Seen a Ghost?", but "Have You Heard a Ghost?"


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

OH - that sounds intriguing! "brutal", "nasty", "hearing ghosts" - all too mysterious and irresistible! What are you waiting for? I now you, who? If not now, when? :-)

As someone recently told someone I know well, "Don't just think about it - do it!" (Or words to that effect). Think what a golden example and encouragement you'd be to such a person, Ian!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I must be losing my marbles. I had forgotten that I had even contemplated this story. It will take some work, but you know how slow and methodical I am.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

And now i have been in the kitchen getting something to eat, and planning (subconsciously) in my mind, how to write it, and the thought has just struck me that perhaps I should not write it after all. Some people might be annoyed,,, there are one or two details which "some people" would be worried about if they were disclosed, Even if I changed the names.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Of course, Ian. You alone know what elements are involved and how it might impact you to share them. Any doubt about it should be heeded. I suppose you could write it without intended to publish it on here, though? Perhaps it is something NEEDING to be written for your own personal resolution? No requirement to share it. . . . But this, too, is totally up to you and your sense of it. Certainly your own pace and methodology would benefit it, especially if it is written mostly for your own sense of - whatever - closure, stuff like that!

I understand. There are facts and details in my own trove of family history I might prefer to not share, especially if any value in doing so fails to justify any risk or uneasiness. One thing about these things: unsaid can be said. Said cannot be unsaid.

Hugs - and I'm for you, whatever you decide about it.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hmmm! Thinking about it. I seem to have opened a can of worms or a Pandora's box; I'm not sure.

Olygochetes, I like, but the inside of a plaything of some greedy little Pandora, I'm not sure of.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I have been reading your latest comments and I thought

my favourite expression of all times:

"It's been so long ago so it is no longer true."

Nasty and brutal are value-judgments and opinions - those are never true. Writing... is never true.

Nothing is true because it is always only partially true and partiality makes it false.

But the purpose of living a life is in living it

and the purpose of writing a story is in writing it.

I hope I did not ruin your meal.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

At least you are reading our latest comments, Svetlana, It would be even nicer if you got around to reading my hubs. I have missed our conversations and your erudition. There are stories to be read that do not need judgements; simply a "This is well written and evocative" or "What a load of crap, I could have spent my time more gainfully" but at least they would indicate that you are reading a friend's hub and not writing enormous critiques on those of others.


Becky 5 years ago

I thought I would stop in and say hi. I don't want you to think I have forgotten about you. I have just been busy with Dennis and running him to the Dr. for check-ups. Trying to get my Katy's school program set up because she is home-schooled is also taking a good bit of time. She doesn't want us to pick her books but we have to approve it and then get the authorities to approve. I will read something you have written when I get the time as I do enjoy your writing so much.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hi! becky. Nice to see you again.

Without being arrogant (Who? Me?), could I just suggest a few books for reading and to have read to her. It doesn't matter at all about her age might be, but these are absolute classics.

http://hubpages.com/literature/Can_You_Read_One_of...


Becky 5 years ago

She has read most of those and the Bronte sisters. She is really into books and had me searching the library for Grimm's Fairy Tales a couple of months ago. It is really hard to find. I finally found it in young adult. I figured it would be in children's or Classics but nooo. I also have a Kindle and can get any book written prior to 1936 downloaded from numerous sites onto it free. The copy write is expired on them. She reads about 8 books a week. And I don't mean little books either. The books I am having to worry about right now are math, English, History, Geography, and that type.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, it is 3 a.m. - don't worry I will get around to reading your hubs - the fact that I don't does not mean that I have forgotten you, Ian.

There are no enormous critiques - "the linguist" gave me a push in a direction I had to go.

There is a lot to be read, but to tell you the truth and it is quite embarrassing - there is a lot of house maintenance that I don't do - I am neglecting my responsibilities at home. Not good. I was making fun of the guy who wrote about doing "dirty laundry", but I really have to do my laundry instead of writing obsessively on HP.

I have to look for a job as well. But I have no idea what kind of a job and drive me into despair.

I am a slow reader and writer just as you are. I am trying to get some "crap" out of the way and speaking of the "crap" - my latest masterpiece is about it precisely.

Don't feel offended - it is just my lack of time. I read part of your story about Italy(?) - it was really good - but because it was only a part - I did not want to make an ass out of myself - leaving a comment like other people "Great!"


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Welcome back to the fold.

Why not try for a position in the Media. i am sure you are cut out for it. Print Media, I am sure would be right up your street. You know it, Nellie knows it, and your followers with brains (and yes, that commodity is available on HP) also know it.

Nothing ventured; nothing gained!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wow! Becky. Wow!

I am a very slow reader, and the thought of reading that many books a week stuns me. My best friend is also completely voracious and reads about as many, or perhaps twice as much when she has the time. And she also gardens and runs a lovely country home and blah blah blah.

Being an ex maths teacher, I can't imagine what books are appropriate in that subject, but things move on so quickly.

It takes me all my time to read hubs on HP and I am finding that I just have to leave those which fall short in spelling, meaning and punctuation. Unfortunately there are too many of those, but there also are writers of stunning capabilities.

Take care, and happy book hunting.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ian - your mention of love of math and the dearth of readable books associated with it reminded me: George loved math, as well, and I am sure he had a respectable collection of books on the subjects involved in it. I just glanced at the bookshelf nearest where I'm sitting and spotted a couple of interesting titles: 1) "Secrets of Mental Math" - subtitled "The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks" by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer and 2) "Number Freaking" - subtitled "How To Change The World With Delightfully Surreal Statistics" by Gary Rimmer. Those titles alone could awaken a sleeping giant in someone's drowsy brain! They are both good quality paperbacks - one was $13.95 and the other was $16.95 when we got them several years ago.

Actually these are frothy compared to many of his books about math (upstairs somewhere in that room I laughingly call an office, which is crying out loudly for me to get on with its reorganization!) But these two are a couple he chose from among some of the offerings in the "Scientific American Book Club" to which I subscribed for awhile. I can certainly not vouch for them, but they do have rather amusing titles and premises which might be engaging for a "mathemagician"? I love that term! I have a late-blooming interest in math and surprised myself to discover an affinity which lay dormant for many of my early years. I find I have a calculating mind, which surely counts for something! haha ;->


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

". . . counts for. . . " - Get it? hehe


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I had to read you pun about three times before I got it. Poor me.

I think my love of Mathematics is closely associated with, and probably stems from, my OCD. Counting everything and rearranging things in my mind must have sharpened some of my concepts.

When I was teaching, the Mathematics in London were (was?) very adventurous and one could base a lot of work on "investigations". Investigational Mathematics blew me away. I loved it, and of course, if the teacher loves something, if the teacher is well loved, then the children love to too. This form of Maths teaching, however, depended on the teacher understanding the concept of numbers, and there were a lot of teachers who didn’t and made a real hash of it.

Remembering that I was in charge of Mathematics in my school, can you imagine my horror, when, at a staff meeting one day, when one of the teachers said, "I don't like Maths and I can't understand Maths. So I don’t teach it. I just trust that the next teacher will be a good Maths teacher, and the children will catch up".

I joke not. This conversation really occurred. And when I told her she "had to", she just refused point blank and said that she loved games, so she though that would fill the gap.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I just read the last comment before going back to my misery:

We had trouble with foreign language teachers. They taught the subject, but they could not speak the language well enough to talk to the guests from abroad without translators.

How embarrassing! I lost all respect.

Ian, it is not uncommon for teachers not to understand the subject they teach.

There is a saying

"People who can do, do. People who cannot do, teach."

I had excellent teachers and I had horrible ones. So...

Nothing is as it seems or nothing is as it appears.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Your expression is so correct. Was it a translation? It is an international concept.

"Those who can; do. Those who can't; teach."


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Yes, I translated it from Russian, the way I know it - it is the same, only the original version is more concise and elegant.

Don't worry, in every profession there is at least one expression that is not flattering

Doctors are believed to try to cure things that not even there.

"Shall we treat the patient or simply let him live?"

(I don't know how clear is the meaning: he may live longer and happier without any medical "help").


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

That really made me laugh. "Shall we treat the patient or simply let him live?"

I certainly don't mind the "Those who can; do. Those who can't; teach."

There are so many teachers who fit that mold, perfectly. Most of my teachers when I was at school were crap. I was basically left to flounder most of the time, just because I had a natural understanding of things, but until I went back to school when I was nineteen, I don;t think I ever had a decent teacher. The guy who taught History, Economics and English was exceptional, and there were three at Teachers' College who were wonderful.

One of them was incredibly old (and really loved me in the nicest possible way) and we used to hang out together in his rooms overlooking the campus and talk and drink coffee and tea and talk just enjoy each other's company It was so much like the basis for a really sensitive novel about mentors and all the rest of it. He was wonderful.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

YES - The glaring contrasts between great teachers who love teaching, their subject and the student - and those with mediocre ability, indifference to the material and bare tolerance for the students is so totally obvious.

I was blessed with many of the former and only a few of the latter. I also knew some of the former kinds in my own homes. I was one of those myself during my brief semester of practice teaching. It was a joy for all concerned.

My worst calibre of teachers seemed to be the Math ones from early grades. I was too young to be in the grades I was in, anyway, and along with poor eyesight, & being relegated to the back of the room, due to my lack of shining grasp of it, being back there, where I could barely see the blackboard and feeling defeated, I found it nicer to gaze out the window at the clouds and trees. So each year I was losing the kind of background needed as foundation on which the next year's maths will be based. The one math course in which I shone was geometry; - it made sense and I could work it out with common sense and good visual abilities. I was always good with seeing relationships in things with visibility. I "make things" mentally before ever embarking on the actual projects. I even did well in chemistry -both inorganic and organic, in which acuity with quantities and relationships is needed.

Then something happened along the way. When my own kids were studying math, it was being taught more like you taught yours, Ian! Also there was a newly introduced concept of "New Math", which was more available through native understanding and comprehension, less than being totally dependent on what previous math knowledge one brought to it. In helping the kids study, I discovered a whole 'nuttier world of math in which I fit! Wow.

In my college courses other than Trigonometry, including design and pattern drafting - even in cooking classes, I also found the 'applied math' intrinsic in them, needed and for which I had affinity. Later in my work in the Engineering Department, and its links to Accounting, etc. I found that even some of the "lost" maths of my youth became available as they became applicable and needed!

Math is FUN! Thank you for your inside-look at it, Ian.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

When I was at school, I was so badly taught that I thought that the theorems in Geometry were to be learned rote fashion. It was only about three weeks before my "Junior" Examination (Taken at about 15/16) that I realised that it was logical. Almost too late, but I managed to pass.

I have been "tested" since and apparently my mathematics concepts are particularly high, but because I was so badly taught, and because I therefore hated the subject, I didn't proceed with them. It was only later that I developed a love for the subject, and went on to gain the Maths Diploma.

So in future, you may address me as Twilight Lawns Dip.M.

Only joking, of course... Ha ha ha ha!


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 5 years ago from Scotland

Nice Hub Twilight

Thanks for writing that. Takes me back to my childhood dog. Best of friends forever.

Cheers


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

And thanks for coming and reading. This was a case of self-indulgence, and I make no apologies. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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