Flash, next-door’s Alsatian, looked up in surprise as Jason turned his battered Holden ute on to his concrete driveway and screeched to a sudden halt, only a hair’s breadth short of his treasured Manuka tree. Without so much as a glance at the dog who he usually greeted with much affection, he leapt out of the car, slammed the door shut behind him and stormed into his backyard. Jason was seething.
The Offspring – Feelings
On the move, he picked up an axe that he used for his work, and continued determinedly towards the uncompleted kauri wood sculpture that lay horizontally on two trestles.
“AAARGH ... !” he roared with hatred in his eyes, as he lifted the axe up high and sent it crashing down on to the sculpture.
The blow came with such force that it left a deep cleft just below the sculpture’s face and sent splinters flying through the air. This was only the beginning. Jason went mental. He pulled the axe out of the wood and swung it up high.
“Shane … !!!” he shouted, frothing at the mouth, “I’m gonna fucken kill ya!”
Again he let the axe sink into the wood, deepening the cleft. He repeated this over and over again, all the while shouting abuse at the sculpture that, in his eyes, represented Shane, the client who he had had a falling-out with only half an hour ago.
When he had taken out his anger on the sculpture, Jason let go of the axe and dropped to his knees in the damp grass, breathing heavily. Then he looked up at the wreckage before him. A wry smile appeared on his face.
“What have I done?” he sighed.
What had been well on its way to being transformed into a fine work of art, was now an assortment of wood in all shapes and sizes. A huge waste of high-quality timber, not to mention time and effort. With the destruction of the sculpture that was intended for his client, Jason could now forget any hope of reconciliation that he might have harboured. With a groan, he got back on his feet and took one last look at what was left of his sculpture. He then turned around and started walking towards the back door.
“You can get rooted,” he snarled at the old Maori sculpture of a face sticking out its tongue, that was standing to his left by the ferns.
He wrenched open the screen door with such force that it broke from its top hinge and hung pathetically by the remaining two. It did not bother Jason, though. He opened the lock on the back door, yanked it open and made his way to the fridge, where he grabbed a ‘long neck’ of Lion Red. He opened the bottle and downed the ice cold beer on the spot.
“Ahhh ... I needed that,” he sighed and grabbed another two bottles.
He sat himself down at the kitchen table and began drinking his second bottle, only slowly this time.
The beer helped him to cool off, literally and metaphorically. As he began to calm down, he reflected on the way he had blown off steam only moments ago. He realized that the anger had very little to do with Shane. It was anger that had been boiling up inside him for a long time now. Now he thought about it, he saw the analogy to Mount Ruapehu, the active volcano that was located less than 200 kilometres as the crow flies to the south. Over the past few days, there had been several reports of an increase in volcanic activity.
“Ha,” he chuckled, “maybe the old girl ‘ll explode just like I did ... haha.”
However, as he took another sip of beer, his mood changed. Seemingly out of nowhere, tears welled up in his eyes. A sign that told him sadness had just taken self-ridicule’s place.
George Benson – The Shadow Of Your Smile
“Jase, are you okay?” a woman’s warm voice inquired.
Jason looked up to see his twin sister Sheryl standing in the doorway. One look at her brother’s tear-ridden face gave Sheryl the answer she had already sensed a couple of weeks ago. He had never been able to pull the wool over her eyes, and in a way he was grateful for that. No one, not even their parents, knew and understood him better than she did. What’s more, Sheryl always showed up at exactly the right moment to support him. Now was no exception. She walked over to him, gently laid her arm around his shoulder and kissed him on his forehead. Jason tried to speak, but his face twisted as he began to sob.
“Let it all out, bro,” Sheryl whispered, holding him in her arms as she leaned over from behind.
It hurt her to see her beloved brother break down like this. At the same time, her heart rejoiced for the healing effect that Jason’s tears brought about.
When Jason stopped crying, Sheryl gave him some tissues for him to blow his nose in and then pulled up a chair and joined him at the table.
“Feeling better now?” Sheryl asked with a loving smile.
Jason drew a deep breath before answering.
“Yeah, thanks sis,” he said with a smile, “God knows I needed that.”
Sheryl placed her hand on Jason’s right hand by way of reply.
“I really need to learn how to deal with my anger before it gets the better of me,” Jason said with a concerned look on his face. “Did you see what I did to the sculpture?”
“Yeah, you’ve got yourself some beaut firewood there,” Sheryl answered, dryly.
Jason burst out laughing and Sheryl joined in. Jason felt the last bit of tension flow from his body. He had not felt that good in ages.
“Remember when we used to go ballroom dancing, Sheryl?”
“How couldn’t I. I reckon my toes are still black and blue from all the times you stomped on ‘em.”
“Hahaha,” Jason laughed heartily. “Well, maybe we should give it a go again sometime. Then I can give you lessons,” he said, flashing his teeth in a broad grin.
“Ha, you’re on, mate”.
“Why am I here?” the young girl asked with that look of innocence in her big brown eyes that only children seem to have.
“Because of your pureness,” a gentle voice whispered deep within.
The girl listened open-mouthed, attentively taking in what was being said.
“You fear nothing,” the voice continued, “and welcome everyone and everything into your heart. The world needs this. You understand, don’t you?”
The girl did not speak, but nodded her head, smiling the sweetest of smiles.
“Be joyful as always and shine your light into the world.”
Vangelis – L’enfant (the child)
The soft glow of twilight filled the kitchen with a sense of pureness as Jason woke up, lifting his head from the kitchen table.
“Sheryl?” he called with a husky voice, knowing full well that Sheryl would not reply.
Frowning, he slowly realized that his conversation with her had been a dream, as she had passed away exactly 26 years ago.
Then his gaze was drawn to his left. Wide-eyed, he stared at the doorway. There stood Sheryl, shining so brightly that her light flooded the kitchen and enveloped Jason.
“Jason,” Sheryl said, smiling radiantly at her brother.
Tears of love rolled down Jason’s cheeks.
“Do you remember what Grandma Maia used to say to us when we were little?”
Sheryl’s question produced a broad smile on Jason’s face. At the same time, he slid his hand under his shirt and felt the greenstone hei-tiki ornament that hung at the same height as his heart. Maia, their Maori grandmother, had given it to him on his twelfth birthday.
“Let anger flow before it can grow,” he whispered.
“That’s right, brother. If there’s one thing I learned later on in my short life, it’s that feelings are meant to be felt. They are signs that guide us so that we can make decisions that suit us well and make us happy.”
“And anger,” Jason added, “is a sign that I am not doing things that make me happy.”
“Exactly. You always were a fast learner. With the exception of dancing lessons, of course,” Sheryl said, teasingly.
“Thank you, sister. I will never forget you.”
In loving memory of my ‘sister’. Thank you for your kindness and understanding, and for the light of joy that you shone into the world. X
Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)
‘New Zealand’ by Patrox on Pixabay
‘Carving’ by Falco on Pixabay
‘Tango’‘ by Watje on Pixabay
‘Sunshine’ by Jill Wellington on Pixabay
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