Archive for the ‘Life and philosophy’ Category

Are you a new reader of the Tales from the top of the hill? You might want to read them from the beginning here!

Lady Winter

"Please bring me back silence from your far away kingdom, where no one wanted to live"

My arms were still hurting from today’s labor and I was already headed for the top of the hill, unable to wait anymore for tonight’s event. There wasn’t anything particular going on today but this was now part of my routine and I was always looking forward to it. I started to ponder what I would do if she decided not to come. Would I still watch the starry sky alone? I didn’t think about it for too long since I saw her from a distance, already lost in her thoughts, leaning back on her arms. I climbed the hill and silently took place next to her, assuming a similar position as her. We waited quietly until the nightfall, I was sometimes rubbing my arms to ease the pain and before the sunset, I could barely feel it anymore, Just as the first star lit the cloudless sky, she slowly opened her eyes and spoke.

“The winter is coming faster this year isn’t it?” she asked. I couldn’t agree more, we barely dived into autumn and we already had signs of an upcoming new season. My father and I have been working all week to make sure that everything would be ready to welcome the winter. “We’ll definitively have an early winter, it’s too bad… I kind of like the color scheme that autumn has. It feels warm even if it’s a bit cold sometimes, the way I like it!” She giggled to herself as she was completing that complicated description of the season we were in.

“Yes, it is for sure coming faster than expected but I think we’ll still be well-prepared for it. Do you think we’ll be getting any snow this year?” I asked, hoping for some spoiler that she could manage to predict. We weren’t really lucky with that, we had freezing winters but uncommon were the years we could even see an ounce of snow so we had a saying that told that if it would snow during the winter, the earth would be happy and grow larger crops when spring came. The immaculate flakes would then rejoice more than one when they fell. It was also some light of hope for those who relied on the earth to feed their families, helping them through this hard and demanding work. Even if it wasn’t true, they believed it so they would feel like they’re were working together with the ground to make things grow. She laughed a bit at my question before replying on a frivolous tone.

“Not if we kill Palsye!” she thought she was funny but she took a semi-serious face when she saw that I didn’t understand or knew what she was referring to. She proceeded to try and explain to me. “There’s a legend that was quite popular when I was young in my hometown. It was the one of a young girl named Palsye, that supposedly lived a few leagues from the place I grew years ago. She had skin white as snow, short pale blue hair and blue eyes. From the outside, she almost looked like a little angel but she wouldn’t talk quite often, she always seemed depressed and sad. The story also says that she would be staying in her room during the day and sometimes wander around in the town during the night, her parents shut her in because everyone felt uneasy in her presence. If you stood in the same room as her, you would feel a deep chill run down your spine and even tough blacksmiths would be shivering. Needless to say that she was lonely in this world where most of the people prefer when it’s warm so it was probably the reason why she was so depressed. As the years passed, people of the village would start to hate her, they blamed the rudeness of the winter on her and said she was a witch or a demon that brings bad luck. To add to her behaviour, people who met her during the night said that they were scared to death when they got stared by Palsye, receiving a glance from her as cold as the cruelest winter. Her parents loved her but didn’t really know what to do with her, she wouldn’t probably ever get married or have children and she might not even want to anyways.” She took a pause, giving me a rest, some time to assimilate what she said and even ask a question if I ever had to. Since I’m a good listener I made her a sign to keep on.

“One year”, she resumed, “the winter was really strong and harsh, it came so early that people from the village didn’t have time to collect food and wood before it began. Everyone was having their own difficulties and they all felt the need to blame someone else for their laziness. They blamed Palsye for the early and violent winter, for the snow drowning their vegetables and the ice covering the lake where the fish was caught. Her parents tried to defend their daughter, telling everyone that she was only a little girl, she couldn’t do such things but the people of the village wouldn’t want to hear anything. They really had a strong hatred towards her and they wanted to let her know. When some of the townsfolk barged in her room, they started yelling at her, they plaid they would all die because of her. Not once the little girl looked at them, not once her mouth opened. Her parents were also being targeted and made accomplices of the town’s foreseen demise so they kept quiet, while being killed deep inside.” She took another pause to breath and immediately started storytelling again.

“I’ll skip the details but the townsfolk decided to kill Palsye in order to save the village. They thought that the winter would stop, that their misery would end by killing this girl. Weeks after, the winter was still raging and many villagers died from famine or cold, it was a terrible year for this little town. It was also the last year this town ever saw snow falling down the sky, the winter would still be cold, as it is here, but many people thought that Palsye’s death was the reason why they wouldn’t get snow anymore. She had many different names through the years, I think the most popular one is Lady Winter, it’s a pretty poetic name and many writers wrote tales of her, being all alone in her kingdom of silence, where no one wanted to live.” As she finished her story she rested a bit in the tall grass as if she was extenuated from talking. I think she was happy to have been able to tell me this story.

“Well that was a pretty interesting story, a sad one for sure, I wonder if it’s also the reason why we rarely get snow too.” I started to think about Palsye, how would have she been if she actually spoke to people and what would have happened if they accepted her even if she was different. I also thought that the cruel winter that fell on them was probably a punishment for them being selfish and blaming someone else for their mistakes, that’s somewhat pathetic. Do people really hate cold that much? I understand from a biological point of view that humans tend to stay at the same body temperature so they can function normally but I think that cold is also part of the nature and of the seasons. Why not try to live with it, I can only see good things happening. She has remained pretty silent so I decided to end it so we could be thinking by ourselves without having the awkward feeling to have to say something.

“I wonder how it would have been if I lived in the same town as her. I would probably try to be friends with her, I kind of like cold and mysterious girls, they’re my type.” on those clever words, we stared at the stars for a good moment without saying a word and then I decided to head back by myself. As I was stepping down the hill I looked behind me to look at her, I think she was looking back at me but I kept on walking down the hill.

Edit : A little bonus, this is what inspired me for the title (and a bit of the story too). It’s a song I wrote, performed by Winterfall (I’m playing the piano!). The name of the song is “Hymn for my dreams” but the former name was “Lady Winter”. Click here to listen to it!

Beyond the stars

"I wonder how far they are"

It was one of those nights where I was lying in the grass at her side. The ground itself was still a bit wet from the afternoon’s rain so we brought one blanket each keep moist away as we stared into the dimly lit sky. Those nights were usually pretty quiet at the start since we believed it was a bit disrespectful for the stars to begin talking about life and philosophy while they were still asleep. Under those circumstances I would occasionally take the time to think about useless things and make peace with my mind. As the first stars began to shine in the darkness she spoke.

“I wonder how far they are”, she said with a melancolic tone.

I wasn’t certain of what she was talking about but I still asked in a semi-certain voice “The stars?”.

She didn’t reply yet, bit I still got a confirmation when she raised her hand to the sky, trying to grab something. “When I was younger”, she said, “my parents would call me their ‘little star’, but as far as I know stars are probably a few more times larger than the planet we live on!”.

I was a bit surprised at this statement for a topic starter tonight, we usually had easier conversations to warm up our brains, but she seemed pretty confident and serious about this so I decided to let her continue, giving an approbative silence.

“I learnt today that stars are the biggest things in the whole universe! How awesome is this? One amazing thing is that thew somehow all fit in our sky. Another amazing but sad thing is that not much people care about stars these days. This is what I don’t get.”

I was still confused about where she was leading this monologue but I still kept quiet, I wouldn’t really know what to say anyway and she looked like she had a pretty good starting idea, well maybe it was only an illusion but I felt she had some strong feelings about this. She still paused, as if she waited for me to say something to give her a chance to sort her thoughts but when I finally decided to open my mouth to talk she proceeded her one-sided conversation.

“Everyone tells me that the big things are the most important in my life, that I should be thinking forward to them, like getting married, having children, school, work. I get it that those are big chunks of my life but if the big things are the most important, why are we ignoring the stars? What’s the impact of a town girl not getting married early versus two stars colliding with each other, creating some kind of new world and maybe even life?”

This felt hard for me as I was taking my time to choose every word before saying it, not to get misunderstood and derail the conversation somewhere we both didn’t want to go. Still gazing at the constellations, I answered her on a (I think) convincing voice.

“Even if everyone wants to focus on the big things, we all tend to care more about the little things. It’s like trying to find a little bit of happiness in everything so in the end you’re happy whatsoever the result you get, right? If you work twenty years without ever smiling once, there isn’t any end to this that will justify the sadness you would have been through, do you understand?”

I asked her a question, but I kind of already knew the answer so I kept on talking before she could even try to say something.

“Big things like stars are too far from us, too gigantic to grasp like it’s nothing. Sure they look really tiny from here, this hill that has been host of many discussions about life in the past and probably for the future too, but even if you try and reach out your hand to them, you won’t catch them like that, it’s not the way it works, you don’t have to stretch your arm every night in hope that someday your arm will be long enough. I believe it’s how life works and people who care too much for things they can’t even get a glance of yet are fools who cannot appreciate enough the present time and are eager to be something they aren’t. That’s how I see the whole thing, I prefer getting every feeling and memory from the present and enjoy it than wait for later, like those nights spent with you under the stars, talking about useless stuff. That’s how life should be.”

I finally turned my head at her to see her reaction, I was expecting either a confused face or a boggled mind. At the opposite, she rolled herself in her blanket up her nose and was looking directly into my eyes with hers being wide opened. I felt a bit uneasy and shy about this turn of events. I wasn’t the only one.

“W-why are you blushing?”


Posted: March 25, 2011 by yanenrogne in Life and philosophy, News

Like the song that owns this post’s name, my so long yet pleasant road is coming to an end, I’m done with school for now and my “internship” will start soon enough (next Monday to be precise). I can’t wait to get along with everyone and start to work on something I like but I’ll probably miss a lot everybody from college. I will be working at Logiweb in Montréal, the people I’ve seen so far seem sympathetic and nice but I can’t wait to see more, I will be working mainly on programming and building servers so I will be able to post more advanced stuff on this blog, to my few readers’ delight! (I hope so… oh wait, is anybody reading what I’m writing here anyways?)

Before we go on, I noticed I talked about a song at the beginning of this post, it’s from Lynyrd Skynyrd, if you plan on reading this until the end, I would suggest to listen to it at the same time, it’s about nine minutes long.

I said I was done with school but I still have my final project to finish, we’re not done yet and still some people take the time to procrastinate over their duties. We’ll probably have time to finish it in due time though, I’m not really anxious about this, I’m just a bit sad because I thought I wouldn’t have to work on this project while I would be working at Logiweb but I guess it’s fine to have side-projects.

Talking about side-projects, I was talking to two of my friends that were actually working with me on Mangasheaven’s project last year and we thought we could take back and work on the website this summer (mangasheaven is a project I started with two friends, it’s about reading mangas online and where “underground” mangakas could send their original works so they could easily get known, but the project is currently on-hold because… we had other things to do!) I’ll keep everyone on touch when we’ll be starting working again on it!

To wrap this up, I’m getting quite excited about everything that is happening to me right now, I’m sorry if you came here with hope to find answers to your PHP needs, I wrote a bit about myself tonight because I felt like it and everything needs diversity before it gets redundant, if you know what I mean.

Oh also, if you’re an average reader, the song isn’t probably done yet, I apologize! It actually took me more time to write it than somebody else to read it, I might as well try to read it myself (and maybe find some grammatical fallacies, who knows) while listening to the song (again…?) to make sure I wrote enough so both can end at the same time, it would be wonderful. Actually it might not be happening since nobody reads at the same pace I do and since I try hard to make the song and the text fit, I will probably cheat a bit and unwillingly slow down my reading speed to make them match!

I’ll still be re-reading this text, deal with it.

Oh, it’s a seagull…

It's a seagull