Thursday, January 06, 2011


 "Oh, well, that's it" I thought.  I closed my eyes, sat back into my car seat, relaxed, and waited for what I was sure was my inevitable end.

"Did your life flash before your eyes?" asked the kind motorist who gave me a lift home after my car spun on black ice, and landed it and me in a ditch. "I can't remember"...."I said a prayer",  I fibbed......"Then I came along" he said.  I smiled and said "Yes, thank you ever so much".  He and his companions were so caring and concerned, I was keen to please.  There are some very kind and thoughtful people about.


Vincent said...

Are you sure that you fibbed? In my experience, prayer is an involuntary cry of the soul, that doesn’t need words. Nor does it need a conscious belief in God.

ZACL said...

I am perfectly sure I fibbed Vincent. My expectation was my end, and that was that.....except it wasn't my end, as it turned out.

Unfortunately it is not the first time I have been in life-risking situations. I clearly remember, if and when I want to, (and I choose not to) the thoughts that went through my mind on those occasions.

I don't fear death itself.

Anonymous said...

whether you feared it or not, i'm glad the end wasn't quite as nigh as you expected.

thank heavens for good Samaritans!

ZACL said...

Hello Ax,

Thanks for your kind words, they are much appreciated.

Some worried motorists who saw events stopped to ask if I was alright, could they call someone, while I was wandering around on the road in shock. They drove on when I fumbled around for my phone, (still on the road...)and produced the phone. It was only then, I realised what I was doing and moved off the road, by my car, but, on the verge of the ditch.

Yes, there are some really humane and helpful people around, which, I for one, am truly grateful.

keiko amano said...


I'm glad you're okay. Icy roads are dangerous. I hope spring comes soon.

About fibbed, Japanese dictionary does not have the word. But even after searching for it in Oxford dictionary, I'm confused. Under verb, it says "tell a fib." And under noun, it says, "a lie." It doesn't sound you told a lie. Is it related to your religion?

ZACL said...

Safe roads and a kinder season cannot come too soon Keiko.

Regarding 'fib'. It's a form of untruth, it could be interpreted as a gentle lie. Using this intransitive verb is all about expressing a particular kind of nuance. A fib is not as hard and blatant as lying. I guess, in relation to adults, it could also be referred to as a white lie. Another nuanced explanation of lying, but not as harsh as a straight lie. In my case, I felt I had fibbed rather than told bad lies or bad falsehoods of any level or hue.

My OED & Thesaurus (1995) states as follows:

Fib = noun a trivial or venial lie. v.intr (fibbing,fibbed) to tell a fib; fibber.n. fibster.n Possible etymological source = fable nonsense. Also

(Little) white lie, tale, fairy story or tale, untruth.

Anonymous said...

Spinning on black ice like is a heartstopping experience, as I well know.
I'm thankful that you're okay! Flighty xx

keiko amano said...


Thank you for explaining about fib.
I wrote about lie before. I wish I knew that word.

It's been very cold in Southern California. It's unusual. I thought we were facing with the global warming.

I'm sending you a warm thought.

ZACL said...

Dear Mr F,

Thanks very much for your kind wishes.


ZACL said...

You're welcome Keiko. Knowing about the various nuances (for effect) in any language is not easy. English has myriads of them.

I heard parts of the USA were colder than usual. Are we faced with global warming, or global cooling? To us, for the last two years at least, it has felt like the onset of a mini ice-age.

I am enjoying your warm thought.

John Myste said...

"I don't fear death itself."

I fear my death and the death of some others. I would not say I fear death, though. That would be a little extreme.

This post reminded me of "Impressions" by Oscar Wilde, especially "Les Silhouettes."

Your tale did not rhyme, but it had the same effect. You place someone on the scene without warning them ahead of time that they were invited.

As for Vincent's comment that started the comments section off, I think it was a very profound observation. To stay with the Oscar Wilde theme, Dorian (in a Picture of Dorian Gray") did not have to literally raise his hands to a deity in order to pray for eternal youth. He merely had to hope for the improbable with an earnestness that seemed like supplication to something unreal.

If you were to publish your essay, I think "The Prayer" would be an excellent title.

ZACL said...

There is certainly significant difference in not fearing death itself and, as you say, fearing how death comes to you. Speaking for myself, my observation on this is that once there have been life-risking experiences, there is a blanking of the fear of 'how'. It is something I have minimal control over. Why minimal? Because I choose to live not kill myself. We are all exhorted to use our lives healthily, according to the philosophies of the time. It may make some difference, it may make none.

Those who offer to put themselves in the front line of risk to health and life, will have many other thoughts and experiences on this subject, but I suspect, not until the reality of what they have offered has impacted in some way upon them.

Every day presents its charms, its risks and unknowns for all of us.

I am curious about the 'edit' of my title to "The Prayer". In the circumstances it is paradoxical, perhaps that is why you proposed it?