May at alisonearlsALOUD brings two new stories to the site. “A Cranky Man” has been specifically written as a companion piece to last month’s addition to the ‘children’s stories‘ page, “A Quiet Man“. If the two stories were ever to be published, I think they’d probably work well in one volume because they illustrate the different approaches and personalities of two men who find themselves in similar situations. As a child, I never considered the lives of my retired neighbours and I don’t expect these stories to alter the intrinsically self-focussed outlook of any child. However, I thought it might be worth giving the under 8s a few minutes insight into the daily routine of those old people they might encounter in their street and add a few suggestions as to why they might be the way they are.
For the more mature reader/listener, “Cottonmouth” has been added to the ‘short stories‘ page. A story of growing isolation, the alarmingly familiar trajectory indicates that the challenges that others in our community face can ultimately impact us all.
So it seems that the theme for May is Other Peoples’ Lives. Whether we’re 8 or 80, in a world where we can find ourselves so busy with our own tasks and struggles, any amount of time we can think beyond ourselves is probably time well spent. Understanding might be something that few of us will master but making the effort just might get us a little closer to the peace and harmony we all aspire to.
I hope the stories take you out of your own lives for a few moments before you have to get back to the daily grind. As much as themes and messages might provoke thought, there are unfortunately always things to clean, repairs to organise and food to prepare. So hopefully a fictional interlude can provide a short break from the mundane aspects of your day!
Thanks to all for reading/listening!