Lamentable circumstances can fall into our unsuspecting laps at any point in our lives, either with a sudden lightning streak bolt or, with a slow brewing scheme that might have slipped our attention at first but only to shriek into our faces later when it has festered to a noticeable size and it is too late. Bad things happen and such are these things that they are well versed in how to disable and paralyse the sunny disposition of even the most optimistic of spirits, wringing inner peace inside out until anyone passing by the person in question would find great difficulty in differentiating between the dark blob in front of them and a mummified prune!
My own life has seen a patchwork of gruesome and unfortunate attacks made on my Faith, a tiny but nevertheless bright flame that burns high within the forest of my soul. I can still vividly remember moments of isolation and rejection at school when I was singled out, by a few, on the basis of my skin colour and shipwrecked as it were on a deserted island, questioning the legitimacy of my identity. But, dear reader, I rose. In my teenage years, many girls pestered me to be like them, to develop tastes in fashion and make-up and that to see that I had no boyfriend was equivalent to the bubonic plague and, therefore, I needed to be ‘cured’. I shall not lie, it was a vicious battleground of cut-throat existence that serves to make me laugh when I reminiscence about it now. Did I give in to those girls? Nah, of course not! I was far too enthralled about the possibility of joining the local amateur astronomy club, spying on local neighbours with binoculars because I had strong reason to believe that they were defectors of the KGB and, marching off onto nature trails in my garden because in those times this oasis of unexplored greenery was my answer to the Amazon forest! As for the lack of boyfriend, the neat irony is that it was the boys that respected me the most and sought my knowledge on trains and Star Wars with enough enthusiasm to send a hot air balloon into space! Oh the wormy purple jealousy that rushed to the faces of those girls and so one day I turned around and told them in my casual candid style that they should not worry for the one I Love shan’t walk into the pages of my book until much, much later. Of course they thought my words taxingly strange however it was retorts of this sort that were to be the building blocks of a new-found respect for my eccentric mannerisms. Yes, dear reader, once again, I rose.
Do not fall into the fallacy that bad energies retire after repeated beatings from the unconventional deflecting tactics of the quirky mind! Not at all, dear reader. There is a ‘Baba Yaga’ witch out there who will always be on my case, the epitome of cruel badness, vowed to snuff out the light in my lamp with her dastardly spells as was so palpably present in the bully crowds that I had run into in my earlier years. She is the antithesis of what I am and stand for. We are all born with a shadow in life and destiny has assigned mine to take the form of a nasty old witch. If she were to morph into human form I would imagine she would be cunning enough to transform herself into a beautiful young lady, admired by a starstruck entourage of men and women alike. The sole indicator of her true self would be her parasitic thirst for adoration and adulation. Do take special caution if you happen to stumble upon such a fair maiden, she could be the offensive character to which I refer to!
On Halloween a most curious thing took place. I had foreseen that ‘Baba Yaga’ was hatching a plan of pure vileness to strike at my chest and rip out my beloved flame from within the encasement of my soul. Like the many times before, I sighed and shook my head in pity. When would she stop? So much in the way of sympathy arose for my ill-wisher that I wanted to seek her out and tell her that she need not be afraid of my Light. She was most welcome to sit under it. Wishful thinking one might say because as soon as these conciliatory thoughts took shape the witch disfigured into a more grotesquely ugly form – and believe me I was adamant that she had already capped the summit of ugliness! Boy, how mistaken was I! Without relent, the witch sent out her incantations, speeding through the air over thousands of miles, knocking the odd crow off-course and blowing out two telecommunications satellites before finally, like a slithering reticular python, her words slid through my window and under my bed covers until it rested on my chest. Yes, dear reader, I was fast asleep! Alas! My Light flickered inside, perhaps it knew that its time had come for all things are said to meet an end one day.
But it was not to be.
Just as the evil words had sharpened their pincers, ready to prise open my chest, something – or rather – someone had weaved a little magic of their own, summoning a protective shield made of the most beautiful ceramic around my tiny body. Where my heart and my Light should be was, instead, an ornate and opulent and sumptuously painted rose found nowhere on earth. The malevolent spell crashed against its solid petals and went bouncing off with such colossal force that it travelled backwards over the same course that it had taken to fly to me and, with a dash of poetic justice, splattered all over her ugly face! Humiliated beyond reckoning, she had not quite thrown in the towel yet and muttered the promise under her breath that she would take me down the next time.
“… someone had weaved a little magic of their own, summoning a protective shield made of the most beautiful ceramic around my tiny body. Where my heart and my Light should be was, instead, an ornate and opulent and sumptuously painted rose found nowhere on earth…”
I woke up with a start. I rose. The room was still and silent. Rubbing my chest, I looked out of the window into the blackness of the night and saw the silver crescent moon floating above the trees. He was smiling and spoke with the sweet lightness of swan feathers, “Thank you for having the Faith in my Light to help you this once…”
Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2014