The Pardon’s Wife

Triste  — Photographer Mukti Echwantono

 

The Pardon’s Wife
100 Words Only


When days are long, nights longer, there thrives a predictable chaos to everything that walks silently behind her. It hides beneath her shadow of certainty, which she prays to righteously and religiously. It smiles as she makes missteps, finding glee in the lessons. It frightens her in the dark, having no hands to hold. It lies in wait as she becomes ever more unsure as
to her purpose and direction. It casts a net of paralysis over her will and determination. When she reaches the point of wretched indecision, it reveals itself as a familiar stranger, an unwelcome friend, Fear. 

 

“It was my own fear that allowed me to keep a safe distance from myself.”
― M. L. Lurie, The Lost Journal 

Banks – “Beggin For Thread”                                                             Dilemma     Panic

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119 thoughts on “The Pardon’s Wife

  1. Recently, “The Economist” magazine commenting on speeches at the UN quoted Winston Churchill who reportedly said “A good speech is like a woman’s skirt. Long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” I thought that quote worked for writing as well as speeches, and you have created a perfect example with your 100 words on fear. It’s an excellent short peace that very well covers the subject, darkly, yet colorfully expresses emotion, leaves much to the imagination, is thought provoking, and creates interest in how people react to fear. Unfortunately, I’ve known people who were paralyzed by their fears, and it’s so sad when one’s life is ruled by fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Timothy for a wonderfully insightful comment, you’ve made my day. The Churchill quote is excellent, I agree with you, it is perfect to apply to writing as well. I think no one is immune, fear is readily available all the time, it’s what you do with it. It can be a powerful motivator, or as you stated beautifully, some can become “paralyzed by their fears”, true, this is very sad.

      Wishing you a terrific Monday. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you are right about no one is immune to fear, but often it’s a sense of vulnerability (emotional , physical or both) that really brings fear to the forefront.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mr. Cake for your kindness. Delighted to read that you love the murky photograph, Mukti Echwantono is very talented. I think this particular image captures a lot of emotion, creating a much self-dialogue, and self-talk.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed it is an arresting image, you have an excellent eye and the aesthetic is outstanding on your site. If there was a serious award for best aesthetic on a blog you would undoubtedly win. A great piece, I had a little nap and somebody was following in my dream. A queasy sense of inertia overtook me and I waited. Nobody appeared but the anxiety grew. Your writing appears in my dreams I can think of no higher compliment.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Mr. Cake, let me do my best to make this brief. Please feel free to disagree with me. If you click on the image, you can then enlarge it to huge!

            The chair is the focal point in this photograph, even though our eyes are drawn to Francesca in the background. Because the photograph is untitled, we can only speculate as to the meaning, so we must take into account other things about the artist, to come close to the intent.

            The photograph represents the crucifixion of Jesus. The chair lets us know there was an audience. Now the chair is empty (except for a shirt) and is turned away turned away from Francesca, letting us know that Jesus is dead. We can also surmise this by the position of her head. If you look closely you can see a note tacked to the left door panel. What’s on the note, “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum”, would be my guess. The shirt on the chair would represent the shroud used in the descent from the cross. Here is where we should examine the artwork to the right of Francesca. Many of the symbols are religious in nature, the equilateral triangles represent the trinity, and the praying hands well… you get my drift.

            The photo’s composition is brilliant, genius. I think it should have been titled, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

            ~ Miss Cranes

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Miss Cranes I apologise for the delay. I read your comments and wanted time to think them over first. It is a brilliant analysis and explains several things about this striking and haunting image. I had earlier remarked to someone else about the prominence of the chair, the cut off painting, in my post I said that every object in the photograph seemed to possess a coded significance. Later on in the comments I mentioned that I didn’t have the key to the code, you have supplied that key. Thank you.

            When I first saw this image, I had never heard of Francesca, I was unaware of her history, her body of work. When I opened the book, and it fell to the page with this photograph I was immediately struck and my first impressions were: the sculptural, sepulchral body, the posture of the crucifixion, the chair. My first thought was that it a recreation of Christ crucified and also a tableau for a suicide and an image of a soul maybe an angel ascending to heaven. Conflicting thoughts I know. I left the information of her suicide to the end so that if anyone was unaware that they wouldn’t read into the image the idea of suicide.
            Again for some reason I am reminded of Mishima, who in his suicide note lists famous examples of previous suicides. Top of the list is Jesus Christ so maybe my first conflicting thoughts aren’t that far off. My God, My God why have you forsaken me? Mysterious words for the Son of God to speak don’t you think?
            Also I was thinking about Betty again who seemed to think that Francesca’s art was purely concerned with formal aesthetic questions, only grudgingly acknowledging that all artistic products contain a grain of autobiography, but only in the sense because you produced. Now I can appreciate what she is saying to a certain extent and sometimes I think viewers and readers can read to much biographical meaning into a piece of art, but it is impossible to look at Francesca’s work and think that it’s concepts are solely formal, she is saying something more than just this is the nature of the medium.
            Sorry for trying you patience with this lengthy and rambling reply, as I could have just said thank you for enlightening me. Thank you Miss Cranes

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Thank you, Mr. Cake for a lovely reply. I wanted to be as objective as possible in my comment, without introducing suicidal ideation. I don’t think it’s possible to look at the body of work produced by Francesca and ignore the underlying theme, death. Even in this image her face is hidden behind her arm, does this suggest shame? Not only can you analyze the composition of the artwork, but also the artist. I believe Francesca felt very forsaken.

            I agree, all creative outlets contain more than just a grain of autobiography. I think when you spend more time with Francesca’s work, soon the empathy you feel for her will be overwhelming, her emotional turmoil is present in every image. At times it will stare you down, other times it will be more subdued, suggestive of wide emotional swings.

            Interesting reminder, Mishima. His method was indeed shocking. I have to say the same about Francesca, most unladylike. Even in her last moments she makes a huge statement.

            P. S. Your question about the Son of God and his utterance is a great one, and one of great interest. I could write a great deal on that. I think it would get more than a few excited, upset and even angry. Such a hot topic, but I can certainly go there. Let me know. ~ Miss Cranes

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I said in a previous comment about the image lying in wait for me which reminded me of Mishima’s comment about St Sebastian. Did she think about Jesus the same that Mishima did? Mishima’s suicide was definitely not caused by depression, it was an event he had looked forward too, planned and rehearsed. It was the defining moment of his life. He took Nietzsche advise that it is important to die at the right time seriously. If you take the crucifixion as event of that nature then you could say that Jesus knew what he was about, it was very much the right moment. Urica Zurn, Hans Bellmers doll also jumped from a window, the same way her heroine died in her novel Dark Spring. This is a morbid conversation even by my standards.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Miss Cranes I hope you know that I would never take this matter lightly, it is a subject that bedevils me to be honest for many reasons. What does it mean when a person says the ultimate no? And what does it mean to the family and friends of that person, what kind of re-evaluation takes place? Why would anyone decide to end a story, not with a full stop but with an exclamation mark or a question mark?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rob for you comment. Fear is an equal opportunity offender, there is no escape from it. You can run and you can hide, but it finds you. Fear surely challenges us, and hopefully we find out what we’re really made of. Wishing you a Happy Monday! ~ Mia

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  2. I like the use of paradoxes: predictable chaos, familiar stranger, unwelcome friend. Everything cast into confusion by fear. When harnessed – the ultimate motivator, when succumbed to – paralysis and ‘death’. Excellent, excellent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Meg, very pleased that you enjoyed this. You surely got it right! I’m laughing now, growing up we were not allowed to let fear stop us, it was, and still is “the ultimate motivator”. I can hear my mother now, best not to complain around her! My favorite line that she still uses, “you can rest all you want when you’re dead”. Wishing you a wonderful Monday! ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Always outstanding with your articles, in words and images.
    Fear could also be the engine that drives us to move forward in life and overcome difficulties.
    I remember when I had to ride a bike the first time with the fear of falling or when doveve knowing how to swim to take the airplane 🙂 🙂
    simple life examples. 🙂
    I also go for fear of Pluto so my destiny is to die at least I do a nice hahaha space travel.
    My great Mia wish you much love and joy. ❤

    Soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Soul, thank you for a wonderful comment. Agreed, it fear is an engine that drives us forward. Ha-ha, I still don’t like to fly! 🙂 Same with going to Pluto! Space travel once, and only once. 😉 I’m so glad that you like the image that I selected, Mukti Echwantono wonderfully dark and evocative photos. Wishing you much love and joy this Monday and always. Love, Mia ❤

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh, how wonderful for mild temperature, yesterday it was 106 degrees here. Frying eggs on the asphalt.

            Thank you for your beautiful words, wishing you the very best too, enjoy the rest of your Tuesday. Love. xo

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Mia, Your piece of short fiction is well written and beautiful for its dark content.I like the words “predictable chaos to everything that walks behind her.” It sets the tone for the whole piece. At first, I wondered perhaps, a demon chases her outer or inside herself. In a way fear acts that way. She is always afraid whatever she does.

    I’m trying to figure out why she has this “fear” because its not something you have unless you’re doing something or hiding something. Perhaps, it is her in-authenticity, “praying . . . religiously” and “righteously” but there is no faith behind her words. I think whatever it is that bothers her, which causes this Paralyzing fear and indecision, she needs to make some choices. Admit to herself the truth at least and go from there. Try to be real, to mean what it when she prays, whatever she does; she needs to decide.” Indecision” maybe is her biggest problem.

    Cheers Mia, Enjoy the rest of your week and your Monday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mandi, thank you for your marvelous and insightful words. Honestly, I played with this all week, ha-ha, finally I decided to leave the ending ambiguous. I just letting the reader know that she was dealing with her own fear. I’m super speedy, huh?! 🙂

      I want to believe that we all experience fear to some degree, hopefully we use it as a motivator to move forward, and don’t get stuck. You’re right, decisions and resolutions need to be made, no more praying to the false “certainty” she thinks is her truth.

      I think fear can change our perceptions of things, the less we acknowledge the fear the greater it can become. Being in a place of indecision, is difficult, admitting that fear has a grip on us is also difficult, but a step in the right direction. 🙂

      Mandi, I’m so glad that you read this, liked it, and shared your thought with me. It means a lot to me. Cheers, here’s to enjoying the rest of the week. I hope you had a great Monday, have a wonderful Tuesday. Please take good care. ~ Mia 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I get lost in your words soul. Fear is powerful, as is uncertainty and vulnerability. You capture these and so much so well. The imagery is wonderful, but the way you weave together words completely astounds me again and again.

    I hope you are having an amazing day Mia.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for a very lovely comment and much kindness. It’s wonderful what we can see with our minds and the direction that creativity can take us, thank goodness!

      I did have an amazing day, I hope you did as well. Please have a wonderful Tuesday, enjoy!

      Take good care. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve had the neck/headache from hell lol! Thankfully, I think it is finally dying off. Had it since yesterday. Prob just lack of sleep, stress, exhaustion…all that fun cocktail of things mixing together for the pain train! Xp

            You are an amazing friend as well. I hope you have are having an amazing Wednesday and that you have an even more amazing Thursday.

            Cheers! ^_^

            Liked by 1 person

          2. SDS, that’s dreadful news. I hope you’ve made your way back from Hell. Ha-ha, dying off! Quite the cocktail, kind of line train surfing, or better yet trainspotting. I hope you are feeling better.

            It was a good Wednesday, hot as hell still. Oh yay, an amazing Thursday in store for me! Wishing you a wonderful evening and a F A B U L O U S Thursday! 🙂

            Ha-ha, which name do you like better, “Liver Control” or “Sofa Kings”?

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          3. I’m having a completely amazing day! Thank you so much and I am glad we agree about “Sofa Kings”! Xp

            I hope you are doing quite well and yeah, like a totally cliche I use writing as an excuse to drink. It’s ironic because I never drink before writing. I only do it when I have absolutely no writing going on and won’t be writing for enough hours to be sure I’m sober when writing.

            Wine is yummy. Now that I’ve gone way out there with the rambling. I hope you are having an amazingly awesome, stupendous day!

            Cheers! ^_^

            Liked by 1 person

          4. SDS, thank you for a wonderful reply. I passed the votes over and let it be known that “Sofa Kings” was the one! I’m happy to read “amazing day”. I hope that will continue all the way through the weekend! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful words, Mia. Fear seems to be a popular idea right now- I have read poems about it and wrote one the other day. It’s funny when that happens in this little WP world. We get onto the same frequency or something. 🙂 I agree that we all experience fear and that we have to find our ability to overcome it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vic, for your kindness. That’s fascinating how that works, when I read your comment I started to wonder if it had something to do with the change of seasons. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing, trying to reconcile some of life’s questions. 🙂 Please have a wonderful day, enjoy. Take care. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hate fear. Who doesn’t, right 😉
    My husband doesn’t let fear take control of him. He’s afraid of heights, but if he were given the chance, he would bungie jump, or skydive. Simply because he won’t let fear have the upper hand.
    I wish I was like that.
    Great piece Mia. So different then what I’ve seen from you before. Have you done much prose in the past?
    Take care and have a wonderful rest of your day.
    🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Staci, thank you! Right, who likes to deal with their fears, a necessary evil I guess. Wow, I admire your husband. I’m afraid of heights too, but there is no way I would do either of those things, ha-ha, I’ll just live with that fear.

      I know it is different for me to post something like this. I’ve only posted one other piece. If you want to read it, no obligation: https://coppercranes.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/and-so-it-is/ I think I posted it while you were on your break. I usually don’t put them up, because they seem to be ideas that may only have meaning to me. Who knows, maybe I will include more of them. 🙂

      Have a wonderful and creative Wednesday! ~ Mia 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Mia, hahaha. I’m right along with your there. I would just live with that fear too.
        Thanks for sharing the link with me. I have opened up to it and will read it a little later.
        Yes, you should post more of them. That would be great.
        You have a great weekend Mia and take care.
        🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Mia, wow. I see this everyday with students. Fear is certainly a tool of paralysis. I wonder why it gets that way for some and others seem to thrive on uncertainty. I wish that it was easy to figure out so fewer people would be stopped by their “predictable chaos.” Be well… Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, young and impressionable students, I hope your students are still impressionable. I picture you being the “cool teacher”, the one with all the wonderful insights, and willing to share them with your students. I don’t know why some people struggle with this more than others, is it a nature vs. nurture type of dilemma? Thank you, be well too. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “…a familiar stranger, an unwelcome friend.” I almost always find a turn of phrase in your work that is captivating and thought-provoking, and you’ve done it again.

    (The idea of paralysis reminds me of the quote that is mentioned several times in the movie “Strictly Ballroom” – A life lived in fear is a life half lived.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Matt, I’m pleased that you liked that phrase. Thank you for sharing the quote from, “Strictly Ballroom”, sadly it’s so true. Please enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a terrific week ahead. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am finally catching up with your amazing writing this weekend Mia!! I love the line, “there thrives a predictable chaos to everything that walks silently behind her.” Chaos can be quite an addiction in it own right and fear is such a fascinating topic. I really loved this!! Fear not, the weekend isn’t over yet!! I hope you are enjoying yours!! – Lola 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lola, for a lovely comment. I agree,while it’s not for me, some enjoy the adrenaline rush from chaos. Fear is a fantastic topic, how we handle it and the outcome is most interesting. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday along with some spectacular sunsets. ~ Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Lola, I just left a comment for you on your post, “Potion — Ten Words”. All of my comments are going into spam, please release my comment. If my memory is correct it read something like this:

          Lola, I adore your Ten Words. Isn’t that how it is? The Nin quote and the image are perfect. Please enjoy the rest of your week, take good care. ~ Mia

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Really, your words are like threads that somehow will pull me through a sea of feelings so effortlessly…you do amaze Mia, and this is some smart and evocative writing. “It smiles as she makes missteps, finding glee in the lessons…When she reaches the point of wretched indecision, it reveals itself as a familiar stranger, an unwelcome friend, Fear.” It is a poetic, accurate description. I like the way your mind works ~ enjoy the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Randall for sharing a beautiful comment and your wonderful thoughts. I think maybe there are moments in our lives, as cliché as this sounds, that we take an invisible inventory of our beliefs,and attempt to reconcile them. Likewise, please enjoy the day too.

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  12. Mia, as usual your writing and featured image are wonderful! This piece in particular is so haunting and really like it! A fearful walk in the shadows of our psyche is something we can all connect with along with the difficult struggle to illuminate that darkness. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael, thank you for a wonderful comment. I agree, we all share this struggle from time to time. I want to believe that dealing with our fears, helps to define our character. 😉 Thank you, I hope you’ve had a great weekend too. 🙂 Take good care Michael. ~ Mia

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mia, as I read your reply I had moment of clarity, I believe I have spent most of my life battling my darkest shadow (my mother’s suicide) in a counter-phobic reaction…immersing myself in what I fear most. I’m in a good place now though and write with a happy heart.☺️

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