Friday, 28 April 2017

Butterfly's Dream - 12 free sample chapters!

Twelve free sample chapters from "Butteefly's Dream" are available for download and reading as epub, mobi and pdf. No sign in or subscription required. Please enjoy them:

Butterfly's Dream - Sample - EPUB
Butterfly's Dream - Sample - MOBI (Kindle format)
Butterfly's Dream - Sample - PDF

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Winning against the cold



It’s over. I can’t move anymore. Sitting on the cold floor with my legs crossed, I prepare to meet my Maker. My numb hands are resting on my knees and I wait. If I have to die, I shall die in peace and with dignity. The cold is piercing my face and chest with thousands of needles. It’s sinking deep into my lungs, like the claw of a giant ice dragon. I decide to ignore it from now on. Obedient to my final wish, the pain fades away soon and is replaced by a comfortable numbness.
I start dreaming. I hear a voice telling me to sit on a higher stone, set my ankles over my thighs and let my knees touch the ground. If this position is too difficult to maintain, it can also be done by putting the ankles on top of each other. The voice also suggests to keep my back and head straight, my hands in the center with the left on top of the right and have the thumbs touching each other. This whole body posture looks a bit unusual to me, but what do I have to lose? With my last powers I find a flat stone and sit on it the way the voice from my dream indicated. Like in a dream, I adjust the position of my body, as suggested. I don’t care at this point anymore if the voice is real or only coming from my imagination. It makes me feel that I’m not alone and that is good enough for me. It’s always easier to have somebody near you when you die than to fade away from this world alone.


 ♣ [...] ♣


    I’ve lost the count of time. I’ve lost the sensation of cold. I’ve lost the information about who and what I am. There is nothing else, only the Universe outside and inside me. That’s all that ever is, all that ever was, all that ever will be. The Universe, the real one, is not in the world of manifestations. Everything else, including myself, is an illusion. My body is burning like a flame. Life is an illusion. Death is an illusion. Pain is an illusion.

 (excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A new Alice in the old Wonderland and a physics textbook

“Mr. Sham and Mr. Hem, I believe,” said the King. “Very able professors, both. And so is Mr. Jappet, but I don’t see him.”
“What do they teach ?” asked Alice.
“How should I know ?” said the King.
“Whatever there is to teach, I suppose.”
He seemed for some reason to be a trifle displeased, and, opening a book he had, turned over the pages in silence for some minutes, making odd grimaces to himself.
“You might care to look over this,” he said, at last, to Alice.
“Thank you,” she replied. “It isn’t your Memorandum-Book, then? I thought it was.”
“I should think not, indeed !” he answered, loftly. “I found this book on the end of the bench here when I sat down. I fancy it’s his.” And he turned his head with a nod towards the owl.
Then he laid the book on the bench and strolled away. Alice thought it was rather odd she had not noticed any book when she sat down. There was nothing at all promising in the appearance of it nor in its title, which was “College Examinations.” At home she would not have opened it, but she knew that a book which belonged to an owl in Wonderland must have something worthwhile in it. She opened at the preface, which was in very large print, and had the long words in it divided by hyphens, as in the “Second Reader.” It was addressed to “Col-lege Fac-ulties who ren-der knowl-edge un-at-ain-able by the mass-es,” chiefly it appeared because of their neglect to furnish answers to the “vex-a-tious and spite-ful ques-tions” contained in examination papers. The author stated his belief that many of the professors were not themselves aware of the proper answers, and in this case his present work would be a “boon alike to teachers and taught.” The first chapter in the book was “Test Questions on Physics,” of which Alice read a page or two:
1. What was formerly the theory concerning Physics?
Physics was formerly supposed to be a name for medicines. When it was gradually observed that Physics did not cure the sick, scientific men made investigations with a view to discover their true nature and use.
2. Did they succeed?
They did. It was discovered to be useful stuff for school-books.
3. What are the chief properties of Physics?
Dryness and hardness.
4. What is matter?
Matter is a variable quality depending for its existence on circumstances.
5. Explain this, with diagram.
Take the case of A and B. If A should fall heavily from the platform C, landing suddenly on the ground at D, it would be NO matter to B. Likewise, if B should fall heavily the same distance, it would be NO matter to A; though it would be equally matter to A and B respectively.
6. What is momentum?
The force with which anything strikes you at the moment.
7. To what is momentum always equal?
It is always equal to the occasion.
8. Give an instance.
If a ball propelled at a given moment should strike the head of a professor of Physics, the resut would be more momentuous – i.e. have greater mamentum – than if a similar ball at that moment should strike the head of a very small boy.
The momentum in each instance would be equal to the occasion, plus the square of the difference in importance.
9. What is as lever?
A species of stick.
10. How was it discovered?
Two workmen were once endeavoring to lift a heavy boat. Not being able to do it, one of them cried, ‘Let us leave her!‘ ‘Lever! The very thing,’ said the other. And he took up what was formerly supposed to be only a crowbar, and moved the boat with surprising ease.
11. What is a porous substance?
One that you can pour water through, such as sieves, colanders, strainers, etc.
12. Are tea-pots, pitchers, and jugs porous?
Only partially so.

Alice, although she did not know anything about Physics, could quite appreciate the absurdity of the owl’s book. There were several pages more about Physics, followed by an examination in Chemistry. But just then she heard the loud ringing of a bell, so she immediately shut the book and put it on the bench, looking round at the owl, who still sat blinking on his perch without appearing to take the slightest notice of anything.
(“A New Alice in the Old Wonderland” - Anna Matlack Richards, 1895)
More about the book plus the link to a free digital copy on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_New_Alice_in_the_Old_Wonderland
A free Librivox audio version is available here: https://archive.org/details/new_alice_in_the_old_wonderland_1603_librivox

Monday, 9 January 2017

Sometimes the mirrors can break

















When you can hear your heart, you are the mirror, when you can’t, you are the reflection. Yet, don’t forget: sometimes the mirrors can break! When this happens, you shall see that the ego itself is an illusion, an illusion within an illusion. And when you reach this level of wisdom, you can become anyone you like.”

Seraphios (c. 605 – c. 513 BC) - Dialogues at the Edge of Time

Monday, 26 December 2016

Recollections


   While I’m waiting and the sky is sinking into twilight, my thoughts are drifting, reflecting shadows from my own past. Meanwhile, a second pair of eyes seems to be watching me from behind. Yet, they are also my own eyes… I feel like living two parallel existences at the same time. I’m here, but also in a remote location, sailing over stormy waves across the ocean. I can even experience for a moment the salty smell of the sea water. How can my body be in two different places at once? Then, as quickly as it came, the strange sensation of being connected directly with another person and place is gone.




  Swimming inside the fuzzy memories of my childhood, I pick up self reflections from old times. They are materializing into the outline of a shy kid, fascinated by the nebulous, mysterious worlds hidden in the Earth’s thin, rocky crust. Back then, I would often spend long hours searching for caves in the ridges covered with the green-blue shadows of the pines and spruces that surrounded my village in a giant, still embrace. Year after year I would find little caverns, some only a few steps deep, others extending for tens of meters. Most of them were dug in lime by temporary water streams, born after millennia of hidden work from summer rains or hatched by the periodic melting of the snow in the spring. The never resting water was the invisible architect for all.


(excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

A portrait


   A few moments later we are both inside a store full of elegant garments from China, painted in vivid, intricate patterns of red, green, and blue. A long bench is lining the right side while a massive mahogany counter dominates the room on the left. A couple of tall, arched windows, mark the back wall. A large painting hangs above the counter. It’s the portrait of a beautiful young woman holding a rose in her hand and smiling. Long black hair is spread behind her shoulders, framing a beautifully oval face with pale skin, arched eyebrows, big dark eyes, full lips, and a delicate nose. I have the feeling I have seen her somewhere before, but I cannot recall where exactly.


(excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea) 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Butterfly's Dream

   Timeless and mysterious like a beautiful woman, the Island lured and enchanted the imagination of many nations. Her main urban center, dominating the sea from the high slopes of a rocky shore, displayed the elegant and stern style of the Greek cities from Antiquity. The locals, almost all looking young and handsome, lived in massive buildings two or three stories high, made of blue and pink marble blocks, decorated with Doric columns and often wrapped in green ivy tendrils. Streets paved with hexagonal blocks were intersecting each other at right angles, dividing the city in regular segments.

    At well defined intervals, plazas with silver wells and exotic trees filled the space with even more color and diversity. Tall ivory towers, made of an unknown type of stone, guarded the metropolis at its fringes. Yet, more than anything, the gold, available in unbelievable quantities, attracted, like a powerful magnet, people from everywhere. The gold, in various alloys, made up the roof tiles, the doors and windows frames and hinges, the plates and cups, most tools, some weapons, and pretty much everything that needed to use a cheap metal on the Island.

   In spite of having this place being called in one way or another by different cultures who entered and left the center stage of the history, the names faded away under the relentless flow of time. The only name left was the simple, even trivial appellation of “The Island”. You are not going to see the Island on any map, be it old or contemporary. When setting sail across the vast rough seas, people only knew her approximate direction and no one could say exactly how big or how far she was. Still hundreds of kilometers away from her beaches, the ships’ compasses would start spinning quickly, the constellations would appear completely changed, and the Sun would seem to rise and set every day from a different direction.


(excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea)