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Holding Back The Silence

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War Memorial Park – Coventry, United Kingdom

I tell the story of an English boy named Sage, who happens to be living in Coventry City. His oration is a paragon. The short story will reveal how he was enlightened and how he was lost again. His words were told so often in his dreams, and are about to be taken root momentarily in the Coventrian minds. Sage knows fully well that retold tales have a special place in everyone’s heart. They are as true as Coventry blue or grey like the city’s skies. There are no in-between.

The people of Coventry may assume that Sage’s nature is a parable; perhaps they would take meaning from it and interpret their own lives into it. In any case, Sage started to say…

“What if patience was a lie? What if this ever-lasting virtue became a love affair with the state of denial we are in?” Sage said, while a series of fast-moving, softly rounded clouds headed into the West Midlands. It was positively a gentle reward from the English Channel to everyone spending their time out in the open particularly in the War Memorial Park. “What if a quick soft-footed procession into the centre of change – the centre we all call the ‘Self’ – the centre with outer harsh walls but inner cool gardens where our fountain of endless thoughts played – began to hear the singing of caged birds.”

“Those birds represent our inhibition,” one of the several strollers in the park said. The rest admired the specks of clouds flame high in the industrial city’s sky, while an early butterfly fluttered its winds out to find the spring of blooming bulbs of the crocus.

“Precisely,” Sage said. “What if we become people that pushed against the closed doors to let ourselves through? Wouldn’t patience become a lie then?”

“Supposedly,” another Coventrian said.

“Maybe when we view this rutted path to freedom and have our neighbours snake their arms around ours singing the music of love in a steely tone. Maybe then, will we be able to numb that stinging pain of the ‘patience’ bites away,” Sage said. “But for now, let’s just remain obedient, respectful, cheerful and patient. All the more fragile. Let’s hang that sign on our door – Do not disturb.” Sage said sardonically. There was no need to reconsider what he just said. It had become a habit anyway. “This sign is passed out among your neighbours now – they stand close-packed in your little backyard behind the brush fence,” Sage continued to say as if the listeners were the students of his words going into some form of silent confession. “Shush now – be patient, you tell them,” Sage said as his face broke into a smile and magic flared in his eyes. “They repeat it among themselves. A memorable thing, a wonderful thing, they say,” he scoffed good-naturedly.

Some of the Coventrian’s stomach jiggled with strenuous pace. They knew that Sage came from a world of thought, magic and dreams.

“Deep down, you know yourself. You stood fatigue and hunger better than anyone else. In this life, you are a strong individual. Now do the most surprising thing, do it now!” Sage exclaimed.

“Why should we?” The gatherers said. The sun rose quickly, but most tipped their woolly hats to cover their eyes from the glare. They assumed that this morning was like other mornings, yet its sublimity among other mornings was unfolding right in front of their eyes. “This is a city of stone and plaster. Have patience,” they said. “This city’s secret gardens belong to a church. Now let’s all pray for patience.”

Sage gazed at the ground momentarily, and then he said, “let’s.”