Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Before I start my posting on sanctuary, I wanted to share my piece that got published a few days ago: A Matter of Identity.  So have a read and your comments are welcome of course, either here or on the site!

Yesterday's writing prompt was entitled sanctuary. It made me think about what it means in various contexts. There was the traditional sense of the home or the people you love. But I also thought of it from the point of view of any living being. A child, an animal, a flower, a bird. There was also the sanctuary of thoughts. The sanctuary for professions. The sanctuary for writers and the sanctuary of a community. The word just gives a feel-good notion and a comforting feeling. And after what seemed like ages, I found myself writing this fictional piece:


Kenzy had been walking for days. It was the most alien and unwelcoming land she had ever seen. A combined terrain of desert and coarse rocks, she would be climbing on jagged ends one moment then sinking into soft pockets of deep and silky sand the next, without warning. It felt like she was experiencing an oxymoron to the mind and even though, the scientist within her wanted to stop to try and logically make sense of this strange place, she knew that stopping would be a means of surrender to exhaustion. One more mile and then she would reach her destination, or so the book said.

She had read of this pristine place where only a numbered few had set foot. It had seemed like a beguiling account of yet another lost Atlantis. Yet curiosity had surrounded her and dreams of this strange land invaded her sleep every night. As far as she was concerned, the decision had been made for her. Nothing this strong could be ignored despite the many rational explanations she had attempted to give herself to stop herself from embarking on such a crazy expedition. Alone and without telling anyone, even Jay, her partner in science and life. But she just had to find out for herself.

She brought herself back to her current surroundings and noticed how now there was less of a rock-desert terrain and instead, a growing vegetation around her. It only took her a few more steps to realise how she was slowly leaving the harshness of her journey behind. It felt like an explosion to the senses. There was colour. There was smell. And there was even touch as tiny flying creatures brushed past her shoulders and cheeks. Her eyes just did not know where to look. There was too much to take in. And then there was the sound of a soft trickle of water coming from afar. She found herself inadvertently walking towards it. It did not even feel like she was walking anymore, more like floating, just like she had been in those recurring dreams. She was drawn towards it and before she knew it, she found herself in the midst of a piece of paradise.

Captivated as her senses were by the happenings around her, she forced herself to dig up the book from her backpack, her motions inexplicably slow and unforced. She read the title of the book that she had analysed for a year, a dreamy look in her eyes, and in an instant its true meaning was revealed. It was a title that summed up what had she had tried to understand with the mind of cynic but which only now, perfectly explained everything. Sanctuary. She was standing in the midst of it and knew that her life would never be the same again.

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