News Flash: It Ain’t About Them

I hope you enjoy this reblog from Mariane@the side of the road.

along the side of the road

I would like to pass along a riveting piece of advice an dear elder of mine in AA shared with me some years ago.  She didn’t share it nicely but she did share it with love and good intention.  The love was to propel me to be honest with myself and the intention was to shatter a false reality I had lived with most of my life.  Her missions were accomplished and then some.  I have never looked at the type of thoughts and behaviours in question the same since then, and have been able to change many of my actions around them because of her.  For that, I remain forever grateful.

News Flash:   People Pleasing Isn’t About Them – It’s About You

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Nature does it best

The autumn evening show was about to begin above the Village Green, just as it happens every year, no one knows the time exactly but they were ready for it .  All day people had been coming from near and far in cars,  caravans, trains, on bikes and on foot.  There were tourists filling the hotels and Hostels as well as the Bed and Breakfast places.  A roaring trade was going on for the Airbnb company as householders were prepared to camp out so they could make a bob or two.  Many friendships were made.

The Village Clock Tower emitted the sound of the chimes as the clock struck  at 6 p.m.  This was suddenly followed by a low murmuration  which increasingly got louder.  Heads turned and eyes looked upwards to see more than 100,000 starlings in their phenomenal acrobatic dance and loops.  This went on for a good long time and all took photographs of this magical entertainment, nature had given the starlings the spotlight.

The Wedding of the year

The bride and groom walked towards each other nervously because they hadn’t seen each other since the night they arranged with their cousins to be chaperoned, meet and talk.  This was frowned upon by the older members of their families and they were strictly forbidden to meet again.  The funny thing, they work together at the hospital, even the workplace they were watched and talking of anything else but their jobs was difficult.  They were in love and were prepared to go through this for the two weeks before their wedding.  A compromise had been made and theirs was a traditional cum modern marriage, it was not totally arranged.

Luckily the preparations for the wedding was gathering pace so this kept everyone busy.  Each day presents kept arriving to the bride’s parents’ house.

Meetings for the smooth running of this event was taking place among those delegated with roles to manage specific areas.  Of course, the hard work for the wedding of the year was compensated by the excitement it was creating in the whole town.

Nervous

Silence is broken

The desolate island had a secret, the intimidating rocks surrounding it made most people keep away from it. Its centre was like paradise. Of course, there is always one adventurous person who would go where no one dare go.  He was Commodore C. Hgou, who recently had his Battleship decommissioned from the Navy.  His desire to find some place where no one else would be paid off.  He needed to have distance between him  and human contact.  Well, the thing is he forgot to turn off his high tech mobile.  The silence he so wanted was broken by rock music ringtone.

>Desire

Happy winners

How would you like it, if you automatically get entered in every competition you set your eyes on?  Wouldn’t that be so funny?  Actually it might be frightening too because you would think it is almost science fiction. The number of people  reading newspapers and watching television are numerous,  and if every one was entered in the competitions there would be many surprised winners.  Happy winners nonetheless too, as everyone likes to be a winner.

Automatic

Panoply of Chinese Art

My visit to the library always involved me going to the little art space where a donation by a generous citizen formed a panoply of Chinese Art.  These consisted of items from The Ming Dynasty.  The ceramics, plates, figurines and many other choice well made antiques was a gem to have here, especially when you didn’t have to go far to see something that would normally be in National of Private Museums.

I suppose it was good while it lasted because they were sold off.

Panoply

Tell me a Story: The Crested Golden Eagle of the Three Kingdoms

 

NB: A monthly ‘Tell me a Story’ is going to be told over three days, starting 10/08/2016 and I shall continue to write each month’s instalment in groups of three posts, to create a better flow of the story, rather than separate them.  It’s a trial run, let me know how you find this method.

THE CRESTED GOLDEN EAGLE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS

Copyright 2016 Susanna Dziworshie

PART ONE

From high, high above the clouds The Crested Golden Eagle rides the air currents on its way to the warmer climate of the western lands of Africa. Soaring with a seven-foot wing span, its probe -like eyes took in the whole of the Three Kingdoms with the Volta River running through, in its north to south journey to the sea.  The mysterious bird knew the land well, the north with The King’s Palace built on and into the solitary hill set between its two water sources.  These joined together to form a mighty river running through lands of savanna grass, shrubs and isolated clumps of trees.  The river’s journey met forests, rapids and waterfalls in the central part.  Then the south was a water playground and source of fresh fish and food.  This place where its ancestors made a yearly visit to, where the genial birds had been accused of stealing children, now it felt like it was the only one of its kind left.  In this vastness, its only friend was one of the human kind but where would he be right now?

Susu-Le was a lad when he found the young eagle with a broken wing in the North Rivers Kingdom.  He was on his first trip with his merchant father Dugi, travelling from the South River Kingdom through the Central one to the North Rivers Kingdom with its dual sources.  He tended to the bird and nursed it back to health, then trained it with the aid of music from his drums to fly until it was free to come and go with the seasons.  Susu-Le was now  in the North River Kingdom because it’s was presently the time between the rainy and dry seasons; activity in the three lands was always at its highest and busiest because everyone would be trading, harvesting or just travelling.

Part Two   (11/08/2016 at 22.20)

The Market Square was quiet for siesta, men in their smocks of blue, brown or black stripes with a white background matched with a baggy cotton trousers.  Their hats, quite modest in comparison to the women’s.  In separate groups they sat and the women in colourful and cool flowing dashikis in pastel colours or prints and headgear sat drinking coffee and tea with fruits and sweets.  Next to his bales of silk, Kente and other hand-loomed cloths as well as Gold and Cowrie jewellery and other wares like Desert Salt, Susu-Le sat playing a soft gentle tune on his drums.  This filtered to Princess Ayaya and it also reached the sensitive ears of The Crested Golden Eagle high up in the sky.  The latter swooped down  frightening a few people along the way and landed on Susu-Le’s shoulder.  Susu-Le was so happy to see this old friend that he was laughing, dancing  and his drumming grew louder.  Soon others joined in and the Princess got curious too.

As she leaned over the balcony to see better, Susu-Le saw her and was captivated by her beauty, except there was one problem.  After many years of waging wars against each other, the Kingdoms now had a happy relationship but one rule was still set in stone.  The lawmakers would nor budge about marriage. This could only be between people of the North Rivers Kingdom because break-ups were discouraged.  The punishment for disobeying was banishment or time in the dungeon prison.  Susu-Le just could not bring himself to think there was no chance of marrying someone he had heard so much good things about and she was beautiful too.  She had also seen him and wondered who this handsome young man was.

On an impulse he wrote a note and waved it in the air and pointed to the Princess, it was a cue for the bird and it took the note in its beak, flew over to the Princess and did what everyone thought was a mid -air bow.  This amused Princess Ayaya and she giggled and took the note lying by her feet.  It read, “It would be an honour to meet you at the Harvest Drumming and Dancing Festival today.” The Event was attended by many tribes including the elusive Nomads. A time of feasting, sports, reacquainting with family and friends and entertainment had arrived. A climax to the hard work of many months.  However, the eyes  of Elder Xe, the evil meddling Chief Treasurer had watched all the interaction between these two young people.  For years he had been looking for any opportunity to kick the King off the throne.  His mind was made up, “This is the right time.” he said to himself.  He reported the Susu-Le and Princess Ayaya to the King and extra guards were posted around the Princess.  It was a surprise to the people that poor Ajaxo, the Gatekeeper, became a scapegoat in this matter for talking and being friendly with Susu-Le.  He would prove to be well suited to be an ally in the future.

Part  Three (12/08/2016)

Elder Xe had made some trumped up charges that Ajaxo had been plotting with Susu-Le, for the latter to get acquainted with the Princess.   However, this could not keep Susu-Le away from the Drumming Competition because he won last year and he has to defend his title. Preparations were in full swing for the Festival, the inhabitants and their guests were making their way across the Bridge to the Palace Arena.  It was so noticeable that Ajaxo was not at the Gatehouse, instead The Guardsmen lined each side of the Bridge.  There was an air of easiness which was so usual in this Kingdom.  When the King, the Queen and their daughter Princess Ayaya entered the Arena there were loud shouts of joy and cheering of support.  The Announcer of Events called out the Drummers and they came out each with his choice of Talking Drum.  They were truly skilled  and the audience couldn’t help but dance.  The judges had a very difficult job but in the end, their choice as well as that of the audience was Susu-Le.  His price was a dance with the Princess, there would have been an uproar if the King had changed this age old prize.  While Susu-Le and Princess Ayaya danced they made a plan to meet secretly.

This was a very dangerous step with risks of severe punishment of loss of all status, all property and banishment too. Months passed and having had several of these meetings they agreed to elope and made a meticulous plan of their escape route. Ajaxo became their go-between taking messages and getting their supplies ready. Whenever other merchants wondered why Susu-Le was still around, he told them he was waiting to be paid.  The Chief Treasurer  would not pay him the 2000 gold cowries he was owed for the goods he supplied the Palace, including the best rock salt crystals to be found anywhere.

As they had planned, on the night of their escape Princess Ayaya went to the private pool to swim as she would normally with her Ladies-in Attendance.  When everyone had settled in for the night, she got back to the pool and dived to the secret passage and out to one of the chambers behind the naturally neon coloured stalactites where  Susu-Le and Ajaxo were waiting.  These places were used to keep the women and children safe during the wars. To get a head start they booked the biggest and sturdiest canoe with competent sailors to transport them across the fast flowing river so they could reach the forest in the Central Kingdom and make their way south.

To be continued

Part Four  10-11/09/2016 23.00

By the time the dawn call of the Palace Cockerel was heard the Chief Lady -in- Attendance had noticed the Princess had disappeared.  Never has such a commotion been heard in the North River kingdom.  The King was facing a revolt led my no other than Elder Xe, he demanded the King step down at once and all his family line would suffer the same punishment.  He made sure a Council of Elders was called to vote for dethronement of the King and war against the Central and South River Kingdoms but no one would get involved.  Most of the inhabitants who had only known peace in their lifetime liked and supported the King but were also afraid of Elder Xe, they did not know what to do but did not want a turbulent future.  Elder Xe did not only want the throne but to take over the Safari lands over across to the East.  His greed was beyond belief because this was a place where a special relationship existed with animals, there was an understanding between man and beast.

The King sent his Guardsmen to stop Susu-Le, Ajaxo and his daughter the Princess and bring them back.  He offered 2000 Gold Cowries to anyone who could give information on the runaways.  Unknown to the King, his arch-rival posted spies among the Guardsmen and had released the crocodiles from their cages into the river to attack the couple.  These crocodiles who naturally were unusually tame because of an ancient folklore have been trained to be fierce  and defend the Palace against attackers by starving them.  Princess Ayaya, however used to secretly feed the crocodiles.  So when the crocodiles came upon their boat and tried to knock it and sink it, her voice calmed them down except for the biggest, scarred and evil-looking one belonging to Elder Xe.  Surprisingly the rest of the crocodiles set upon it, sank their jagged teeth into its flesh and and killed it.

Meanwhile Susu-Le’s clever plans was working, his network of drummers were beating the Talking drums and sending false messages to confuse anyone trying to detect their whereabouts.  The Crested Golden Eagle had been flying high in the clouds, keeping an eye on the Guardsmen who were giving chase.  The great bird noticed something gleaming and by instinct picked it up, despite the thick canopy of the tall trees of the rain forest of the Central River Kingdom.  The small clearing near the cocoa, banana and mango trees gave this opportunity and it swooped and picking it in its beak , carried it to the Princess.  When she opened it, she exclaimed, “This is unbelievable, Our Great God is looking after us, see what he sent us.”   The others looked into the pouch and were shocked and speechless.  In the meantime the Guardsmen discovered the money gone, they frantically looked everywhere with no avail.

12/09/2016

Having made it out of the canoe into the forest and with the help of the elephants they rode through the dense forest faster than their own legs would have carried them.  As they went on, Susu-Le became mesmerised by the beauty of the Princess.  He thought she had such an inner beauty of courage that he was willing to take any risks for her sake. The pouch of money had come at the right time even though it was not quite enough ,because he intended doing the right thing by the Princess and sending a Royal Dowry to her father, The King.   Such worries, such apprehension filled his mind that he did not realise the elephants were treading water.  Their roly-poly  movements stopped as they lowered their body and trunks,  and commenced swimming in what seemed to be a an island of water in a sea of trees.  When they raised their trunks out of the water, out shot gold cowries with the water they had sucked up, the gold cowries landed on to the banks of lake.  It was a spectacular and unbelievable sight.  They had solved the Mystery of the Gold Cowrie Lake or the elephants had.  Susu-Le, Princess Ayaya and Ajaxo laughed, jumped and danced around happily.  This was the first time they had felt happy since leaving the North River Kingdom.

Suddenly out of the forest stepped Elder Xe and his henchmen with their swords and guns drawn.  Princess Ayaya spoke first, “Where did this man appear from and what do you think he is up to?”

The evil man overheard and replied curtly, “You’ll soon find out.”

One of his men uncertain about what was impending said, “She is the Princess and we can’t do that to her.”

Elder Xe shouted, “Throw him down the cliff as well. Tie them up”

Susu-Le lurched forward at one of the men who grabbed the Princess but he was immediately overpowered by some of the men.  He felt the butt of the gun to his head, he fell down and passed out.

Elder Xe was in for a surprise, they all turned together on hearing the drumming, it got louder and louder as more joined those who had first arrived.  Elder Xe and his henchmen were now surrounded by warrior  drummers who had been helping the couple and their friend.  Ajaxo had heard about the ambush plan Elder Xe had made and that of destroying the Animal Lands, so he arranged a counter attack.  Ajaxo managed to get drummers and strong men from the Three Kingdoms and they did not disappoint.  The strongest of them were the regiment from the South River Kingdom of which Susu-Le was the Chief Clan Warrior.  They freed the captives and used Elder Xe’s own chains to bind him and the henchmen.   Together with the henchmen were taken back to the North River Kingdom where they were tried and banished never to be heard of again.  His evil deeds were discovered as a result the rule stopping marriage between people the North River Kingdom and other Kingdoms was cancelled.  The children Elder Xe said were taken by the birds were found beyond the Animal Lands and he had been the culprit, taking them there to work on his planned dam.  The elephants, gorillas, wildebeests and all the other animals led by Mane Lion decided to leave to the lands named Safari, on their request the Crested Golden Eagle had found it for them.

The whole group of drummers and warriors followed Susu-Le, Princess Ayaya and Ajaxo to the North River Kingdom where he asked for the Princess’ hand in marriage.  Celebrations were held in each of the Kingdoms to thank them for their help for in keeping a peaceful existence in the land.  There was never again seen in the Three Kingdoms such pomp  and happiness as on Susu-Le and Princess Ayaya’s wedding day.

The End