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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt - The Windless Echo by Oliver Kaufman



The Windless Echo
Author:
Oliver Kaufman
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Date Published: January 20th, 2017

Book Description:
The Windless Echo is a collection of stories that delve into the minds and feelings of characters as they struggle to resolve, understand, and uncover the realities of their experiences.

Joy and emptiness, rest and effort, meaning and madness - these and other themes weave their way into the tales and the problems these characters seek to unravel.

Contents: 18 Short stories, 178 6''x9'' pages, ~62k words.

Preview on Amazon contains the first story, "The Ashen Heart", and 3/4 of the second, "The Woodchopper's Son".

Buy Links:
Amazon US ¦ UK





EXCERPT

“Where is this life going?” one might ask, along the way from here to there...
I... will answer no such question. I will keep going from here, and...
What will there be?...
I know not...
My breathing is heavy
What has become?
Of this, or of that?
The world is upside-up... And what are we to do about it?
Shall we shiver in shawls made of wool and linen, talking about the good old days,
Or shall we merely shiver and shake, enduring the passing moment like weary travelers intent on their next step, yet still ragged and uncouth?
What do we do...?
When all the world's possibilities begin to close in upon us – no, everything is quite – just alright. It's fine. It's good. Everything is fine. What is it that we're doing? Go away from this scene of plenty, this magnificent array of “good fortune” - down the alleyways, away from noise, and entertainment.
Away down there, away past everything we once knew, we know the place where heart resides,
Where simple joys once filled us with meaning, but
Where now, things are uneasy, and strange...
Why is it like this now?
We kneel down beside her – our heart, holding a heart of ash.
We do not understand why – we do not understand what.
We see it there, we'd like to write it off, and perhaps leave it for consideration another day. But joy-
Joy is one thing we...

And, what of the ashen heart? Why is it like this? Who caused it to creep away into disrepair? What negligence have we endured? Why are things so bare?
And yet, we look in on our heart, and take the ash, and smear it on our face, and on hers.
She paints our face in return, and we look at each other, not knowing what to do.
Shall we plant the dust, and lay it down to rest,
So that some sprouting plant may one day find its way out from its ashes?
And what has burned the heart? And what has fooled the joy, and created a sorrowful remainder?
What of it, here, that lays in our hands, and moves so easily with our coaxing?
It is not solid, but dust.

And yet, have we made our heart out of ash? Or have we connected to the dust?
Have we, in all our longings and yearnings, made of ourselves something... crude? Dusty? Dry?
What is this thing that we seek to return to fullness?
What is this thing we wish to have a greater sense of life?
We call it “heart”, but what is it?
Why is it so downtrodden?
We have valued it – or so we thought – and yet, it cannot be coaxed out of its shell.
It cannot be goaded into serenity.
We'd like to wake it, like to... cheer it up – but what can we do?
Should we merely lament? As if that would do any good?
No, industriously, it feels to us, we must apply ourselves. We must coax it back to life – but how?
How indeed? Such a mysterious thing. If only it could respond to our plaintive cries, to our longings and disappointment.

Grow again, dear treasure.
Grow again, be freed.
And where would you wander, if no expectation was placed on you?
Would you climb under the covers, and huddle with yourself for warmth, staring blankly towards the wall?
Would you go about your daily chores, awaiting some spark to reignite that fire for which you yearn?
What is it you wish for? Where is it you'd feel you belonged?
With vacant eyes, you stare ahead, unconvinced, placid, yet ill-eased.
Still yet you do nothing, as we wait, watching to see if, perhaps there is some chance, some way, some yet unlearned thing, to teach us the answer to this strange riddle.
Within what sadness you seem to dwell – within what melancholy...
And shall you wake with the harp's refrain?
What fire-filled days do you dream of?
Or is fire no ally to you?
When all things burn away, is all that you are left with, a distant sadness,
Nestled in your heart for untold years, centuries?
You hold your heart in your hand, and see it crumple into dust.
Yet you must carry on.
A bold new future, perhaps, lingers on, somewhere in possibility.
Perhaps, for you, there are encouraging words, somewhere, even if you haven't heard them yet.
Perhaps for you, a silent melody waits for you, to be heard.
And what then will you hear it? Will you forget your melancholy? Will your preciousness be fulfilled?
The comfort of a time gone by, the return of the present to the future, and the future to the past...
Times blend together, as you sing a mournful note, meant to be cheerful – yet you stay abreast of the misery. You stay abreast of the downfall.
And so it goes – when all miserable things fade away -
And only brightness remains.
Shall you look up, inactive but joyful?
Hearkening to some unheard tune?
And what then? Shall you listen forever? Or, floating towards it, will you then,
Find yourself lifted from your common place, and into a floating place of light?
With everything shining on you – comforting, beaming...
It gives us hope in times like these,
That...

You listen all the most closely.
To the gentle, star-like melody.
Its beauty is serene,
And demands no tribute.
Here, your heart no longer falls apart – and you wonder if it has turned to gold -
So solid is the piece.
Running your finger over your heart, you reflect,
Yet your thoughts are vacant.

Closing your eyes,
You drift into an easy sleep.


About the Author
Oliver Kaufman is an author and the founder of theworldwithin.org, a website dedicated to self-awareness, self-healing, growth, and the exploration of one’s own inner, conscious world. He currently lives in Redmond, Washington, in the US.

Author Links:






Blog Tour Organised by:
Reading Addiction Blog Tours

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Alecia for posting this excerpt from my book!

    I'll be around in the comments if anyone wishes to discuss this or ask any questions.

    ReplyDelete