#SoCS: Rite of Passage

Have you ever misjudged or misinterpreted a situation so badly that it leaves you reeling? Or maybe you misunderstood someone’s motives- assumed good intentions where none existed, and you now feel that you can’t trust the person, and maybe can’t trust your own judgment in certain situations. Poor judgment and misunderstandings can happen to anyone, but they have a way of knocking our self-confidence and can even leave one in a really difficult position…

He was running at me now, picking up speed as he got closer, his right arm raised and bent at the elbow, the ball in his hand. My eyes were on the ball, my feet firmly planted, bat raised to strike. I saw the ball leave his hand, and as I swung at it, I immediately realised my lack of judgment. My angle was wrong- I had swung into the gap, and there was no contact. Instead of that clean smack of bat to ball, there was the heart-sinking sound of the ball hitting the wicket, and the tumble of bits falling over as they hit the ground on impact. I heard the fielder nearest me to my left shout out in glee as he clapped his hands, “Bowled him!” and from the corner of my eye the long white sleeve of the umpire lifted slowly towards vertical, his index finger pointed, his face deadpan. There was no argument to be had here- as I slowly removed my visor and gloves, the fielders and the bowler were already huddled together, patting each other on the back and exchanging high fives. Amidst the loud cheers of excitement from the spectators and the celebratory music that had now started up in the stadium, I heard a strange sound, a low hum followed by a deep clear voice coming from nowhere that I could see. “You’re out. It’s time to leave the playing field.” “Yes, I can see that,” I muttered to myself, beyond irritated at having the obvious pointed out to me by someone or something that I couldn’t even see. I was now headed towards the players’ change rooms, anxious to escape my humiliation with the comfort of a hot shower. But the entrance to the change room was now blocked off by a locked gate, and I found myself being ushered down a long passageway- a different route to the change rooms, I assumed. I heard the sound again, the same voice as before, this time: “That route cannot be opened for you. Please make your way down the passageway.” I continued to walk down the passage which now seemed to stretch further in front of me with each step, and I realised after some minutes that I could no longer hear any sounds from the stadium above. The passageway was dark and soundless, barring the crunch of my own footsteps. I sensed my irritation growing, and I thought about turning back. I stopped and shouted into the void in front and behind me. “Hey! What’s going on here? I just want to get to the showers, guys! I’ve just had a really crappy game of cricket, and I’d like to get out of here right now, please!” Again, that low hum, closer than before, followed by the voice, so close now that it seemed to vibrate from inside the passage walls: “Well then someone didn’t properly explain the rules to you, unfortunately. That was not just a game of cricket. That was the game of life.”  

#SoCS Writing Prompts, Sat 22/10/22: “Bowl.”

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

#SoCS: Eureka! What have we found?



20/03/21: Starts with Cal…

So what is ‘callousness’ without an O? It’s having a hard lump growing on the side of the foot. Oh wait, ‘callusness’ doesn’t make sense. ‘Callusless’ makes sense, sort of, as in being without a callus. It reminds me of that joke: what do you call a man with a shovel in the side of his head?- Doug. And a man without a shovel in the side of his head?- Douglas. But whereas that joke may bring on a bit of a chuckle, ‘callusless’ is not funny. It does not hit home, let alone hit the funny bone, because it doesn’t mean anything. It’s not in the dictionary. Although maybe it could mean something. Maybe even something profound. Remember that part in Forrest Gump where Sally Field says to Tom Hanks, “If God intended everyone to be the same, he would have put everyone in legbraces”, or words to that effect. And wow, it’s just dawned on me that leg braces have a ‘proper’ name: Calipers- Which is also a ‘cal’ word! This feels like a Eureka moment, although I don’t know what it is I have found, if anything. Is the universe trying to tell me something? About calipers? That feels a bit far- fetched. Maybe the universe is just reminding me that sometimes we would be better off if the exception could be the rule. That things like quirkiness, kindness and creativity (I didn’t plan that alliteration by the way, it just came out like that) should maybe be the norm, the default position, the basic standpoint for all of us. What a beautiful and interesting world we could create…..

Prompted by Linda G Hill at 
Stream of Consciousness Saturdays #SoCS: 20/03/2021






#SoCS: The path to enlightenment is a slippery slope…



06/03/21: Butter

Don’t say But, she repeated.

But… he started.

She rolled her eyes. There you go again. Why can’t you just be decisive for a change. Assertive. Focused.

I try, he said. Maybe I just lack those qualities.

I don’t think it’s that, she said, I think that things just stick in your throat. Stop you from speaking your truth. From saying what you mean. So instead, you’re a Butter.


A Butter. You skirt issues by not addressing them. You don’t get to the point. You keep saying But. So that you don’t have to go there.

Where do you think I need to go?

Only you can answer that.

Except I can’t.

Here, have a teaspoon of ghee, that might loosen things up for you.

The teaspoon was silver and with it she scooped up a golden spoonful from the small bucket. It glowed, warm and yellow and shiny. His mouth watered.

But…. he began again, looking doubtful, anxious even.

She rolled her eyes. And there you go again. Don’t be so fearful about everything. It’s only clarified butter you know.

What will it do?

With any luck, it will loosen your tongue for you, make you sing your own song. Speak your truth, so to speak. In India when people go down to the river, to the Ganges to sing and pay homage to their god and to nature, they swallow a spoonful of ghee to loosen the throat, to add sweetness to their voice.

He opened his mouth. He leaned in, and swallowed.

Seconds later, he opened his mouth again. Then, Ommmmmm.

On no, I’ve gone from a Butter to an Ummer, that’s even worse.

No, that didn’t sound like an Um to me, that sounded like Om.

You mean, Om as in Om Shanti?

That’s exactly what I mean! I think you’ve become Enlightened!

He frowned. I don’t feel Enlightened. Not that I would recognise it. I don’t think so anyway. I kind of feel the same.

That’s ok, ‘before enlightenment chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment chop wood, carry water’, and all that.

Okay. He sounded doubtful, still frowning.

Well, maybe it was just an Um, and that’s fine by me too. Anything’s better than listening to you go ‘But…’ all the time. Here, have another spoonful, just in case.


Prompted by Linda G Hill at 
Stream of Consciousness Saturdays #SoCS 






#SoCS: At Home with Biggie and Piggies



27/02/21: -Sty:

Years ago we lived near a pig sty, my family and I. Not in the pig sty, just next to it. My father added on a little step so that I could stand up and just see over the top of the wall and watch the pigs being fed. The piggy smell was rich and gamey. I felt very at home looking down at all that glossy muddiness, the pigs caked in it, grunting in satisfaction as they tucked into their leafy greens and slops. Directly opposite my prime viewing spot was a tall bale of hay, where our black and white cat, Biggie used to perch himself sometimes from where, like me, he could enjoy the spectacle below.


Years later I sometimes wonder what happened to the pigs, and the farm. I do remember what happened to Biggie though. Last I saw of him, he was miaowing unhappily inside his cage, packed and ready to be taken away to his new home. I remember my mother explaining to me that we were going somewhere very far away, and that Biggie would not be able to come with us, but that he would be moving in with some very nice people right here in Crawley, and that they would take good care of him.


I remember saying goodbye to Biggie, but not to the pigs, or the pigsty, but I probably did say goodbye. Four year olds are like that. And I think they prefer closure rather than false promises, and I think they understand words like ‘emigration’ when truthfully explained.


Prompted by Linda G Hill at 
Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS