Apr 24 2012

U is for The Last Unicorn

            My favorite
children’s movie is The Last Unicorn. I watched it so much that the tape wore
thin. (There was once a thing called the VCR, and it used videotapes, which
wore out. They also required one to rewind the movie all the way back to the
beginning before playing it again. Rewinding- there’s a word that probably only
had a function for three decades.)

            I recently
acquired this movie on DVD. (How many years before I have to come back and drop
a history lesson on what a DVD was? “Once upon a time, movies didn’t just
stream to us, and they weren’t stored in clouds.” It’s going to be an interesting
future.) It’s different watching this movie now. The subtle themes and
symbolism are more evident.

            Could you
be someone else for the one you love? Would you give your own life for the one
you love- perhaps by standing between them and a flaming red bull? (In this
case, not a drink. Ha ha.) What would you do if you could never really touch
the one you love again?

 

            And now to
draw a parallel because it amuses me to do so:

 

            Could
Xavier be someone else for Gwendolyn? Yes, for a while. Would he give his own
life for her? Yes, he would. What would he do if he could never really touch
her again? He would stop living.

            Would
Xavier let Gwendolyn be someone else for him? No. Would he let her die for him?
Not if he could help it. Would he let her go, knowing that he could never
really touch her again, if he thought that was what would be in her best
interest?

            READ THE BOOK.

Apr 24 2012

U is for Unless

This message brought to you by Jun of the Existence series.
Photobucket

Apr 24 2012

U is for Urania (Existence series character)

(The following phone call is mentioned in Fractions of Existence. This is how it seemed from the other end.)

            What is that buzzing? Oh right, that’s my
phone.

            “Hello?”

            “Good
morning, Urania! I didn’t wake you, did I?”

            “No,
of course not.” Seriously, why would
I be awake this early? Wend always asks me the dumbest questions.

            “My
friend from New York
is in town. We’re going to get together to exchange gifts and chat
for a bit.”

            “Oh
how lovely for you!” Fake smiles
translate, right? Why would she wake me up to brag about hanging out with some
other friend? Maybe an invitation is coming. I don’t really have anything else
to do today.

            “I’m
sending you his picture now.”

            “Okay.”
His? It’s a guy? Is she setting me up?
Oh, there it is. Oh. My. God.
“Is he single?” Please say yes, please say yes, please say
yes.

            “We’re
just meeting up for a few minutes. It’s not a big deal.”

            “Does
he have any single friends that look like him?” It’s not possible that my only friend in this country just called to
wake me up to tell me about her exciting plans with a mega hottie who she isn’t
dating but has no intention of passing along to me.

            “I
don’t think he really knows anyone else out this way, Urania.”

            “What
a shame.” I could fly to New York. For a chance
with that guy, I’d pack up and move to New
York
today.
“Did you want to bring him over
here?” Or drop him off over here
perhaps. Leave us alone for a bit. I’ll light some candles, make some food, and
put on some slow music. Please Wend, tell me that you’ve woken me because you
want to drop my future husband off. Or my future one-night-stand.

            “I
have to go get ready. Thanks for being my friend, Urania. I’ll talk to you
tomorrow.”

            Did she just hang up on me? What was that?
Ok, going back to sleep. Maybe I can at least meet that guy in my dreams.

Apr 23 2012

T is for Two-thirty-seven

Photobucket

            In “The
Shining,” Jack investigates Room 237 where he encounters the
ghost of a dead woman. The house number was 237 in the film Saw II. The list of
places that this number creeps up is astounding! Or is it as much of a crazy
coincidence as the number 23 in the film of the same name?

            (237…
2+3+2=7… Where’s Jim Carrey?)

 

Photobucket

            I have
several examples of how this number appears in my own life. (Addresses, phone
numbers, hotel rooms, license plates, identification, etc.) I have even dated
someone that was employee number 237.It’s appropriate that this blog post should appear on the 23rd at 7:32 am.

            Humor?
Obsession? Coincidence? It doesn’t matter. 237 is the number that most amuses
me. How about you?

Apr 23 2012

T is for Tirza (Existence series character)

            “Daddy,
you sent for me?”

            “Yes Tirza,
come in. I am sorry that I missed your twenty-second birthday celebration. Did
you have a nice time?” Mr. Higbee asked as he pulled a chair out for his
daughter in front of his large oak desk.

            “It was
wonderful, thank you Daddy.”

            “Good
good, glad to hear it. Your mother tells me that you have made the deans list
again.” Mr. Higbee let out a small grunt as he settled into his large
cushy office chair behind his desk. His daughter nodded and smiled. “Only
a few months left of college. I think the time is come that we discuss your
future.”

            Tirza
raised an eyebrow. “My future?”

            “Yes.
The plan for the next phase of your life. The one you put off after high school
so that you could spend a small fortune at college. I agreed to give you four
years. That time is nearly at an end.”

            “I
haven’t begun a job search yet. Are you offering to help me write a
resume?”

            “Tirza,
enough. I am a patient man, but you have reached my limit. The next phase of
your life is not about employment. It is about marriage and procreation.”
Mr. Higbee flipped open a file on his desk. “Here are five men that I
believe would make suitable husbands. Select one please.”

            “No!”

            “This
is not the time to be defiant. You will select one, or I shall choose for
you.”

            “Daddy,
I’m not ready to be married. And even if I was, I would not marry someone from
a folder! That isn’t how it’s done.”

            Mr. Higbee
watched his daughter for several long seconds. “You have one month.”

            “What?”

            “You
have one month. During that time you may narrow down these five choices, or
present another one to me for consideration. At the end of that month you shall
be engaged or disowned. This discussion is closed, Tirza. Good day.”

            “Daddy!”

            “I
said good day.”

Apr 22 2012

Earth Day thoughts from Heath (Existence series character)

Earth Day thoughts from Heath (fictional character of the Existence series)-

http://www.earthday.org/ 

           The Earth
has been around longer than you have. It sustains you. It keeps you from becoming
little tiny specs of nothingness that float around in the giant vacuum of
space. The bottom line is that you need the Earth far more than the Earth needs
you. Some people talk about the end of humanity as being the end of the world.
I assure you that it would not be. The world would go on. The end of the world,
however, would be the end of humanity. (Even if a few made it onto ships which
supported life for generations, mutations would occur to the point that the
humans remaining would hardly be considered human.)

            Why does
this matter? Consider the other relationships you have. If you treated a spouse
as a dumping ground, poisoned that person’s air, cut out little parts of that
person, and put your needs and desires always ahead of your spouse’s, how would
that turn out? Hopefully in a divorce. Possibly with you waking up to a butcher
knife entering your chest one day. My point is that it probably wouldn’t be
pretty. Maybe there would be an intervention of some kind. A few people might
show up who would try to help, who try to make a difference, and who try to
create a change before it’s too late.

            The truth
is the change can only happen if you choose to make it so. Perhaps it’s a
little change, like walking the extra two steps to throw a glass bottle into
the recycle bin instead of into the trash can. Or maybe it’s a slight effort,
like remembering to take reusable bags into the grocery store or at least
making sure the paper and plastic ones get reused or recycled. It could be
something that starts a conversation, like bringing your own reusable coffee
mug with you to the coffeehouse. (The throwaway cups all look alike! Yours will
be unique. Save the Earth and possibly score a date all in one.)

            Or perhaps
you’re the ambitious sort. You could decide to clean up your place a bit. Donation Town helps you to recycle, turning your
junk into someone else’s treasure. Once you’ve freed up the space that those
old magazines were taking up you could run out and get a few plants. (Bonus-
When a date comes over and sees how well you care for plants, your date might
connect it to how well you’ll care for them, making you even more desirable.)
Then get a little container going for kitchen compost. The egg shells and
coffee grounds you were going to toss out will soon become food for your new
plants. An earthworm or two in there will help the process along. Keep your
watering can in the shower so it can fill up with the drops that were going to
be wasted. You know those new plants you’ve got? If one is basil and one is
tomato, you are half way to dozen tasty treats! (Another bonus- Show off your
culinary skills to a date; even if it’s just adding some mozzarella, dicing,
chopping, and throwing it all on a cracker.)

            It’s Earth
day. My gift to you today has been knowledge, a lot of which could get you
some. You’re welcome.

 

– Heath

Apr 21 2012

S is for the Strangest (place you have ever brushed your teeth)

What is the strangest place that you have ever brushed your
teeth?

 

            The
strangest place that I have ever brushed my teeth is in the backseat of a car
two blocks away from where I was headed to meet a date. I used the free
toothbrush and travel size toothpaste the dentist had given me, which had been
deposited into my glove box and forgotten about until that day, and a cherry
cola to rinse with. While in the backseat I had also changed my clothing and
combed my hair. I highly recommend tinting rearview windows in the event you
should ever find yourself in a situation such as this.

 



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Apr 21 2012

S is for Sariah (Existence series character)

             Sariah Fowers
was raised on a farm in Utah
by her Mormon (FLDS) parents. She has six brothers (two older and four younger) and
two older sisters. As a child she wished every night to have her very own dairy
cow. When she became a teenager, she put away her childish bovine wish in favor
of praying three or more times a day for a suitable husband. She watched as her
father arranged marriages for both of her older sisters to respectable twin
young men who were returning missionaries.

            When she
received a diploma declaring her a high school graduate (she was home schooled),
she begged her father to offer her hand to someone as a gift. He refused,
telling her that he had not found a proper suitor yet. Obediently she continued
to work on the farm, not asking her father again, continuing to wait for her
first date.

            On Sariah’s
twentieth birthday her mother declared a worry that her youngest daughter would
become an old maid. After much convincing, Sariah’s father finally agreed that
he would set out to find a suitable husband for his remaining daughter. Fifteen
days later he returned home with Elijah Wright. The two were married a week
later.

Apr 20 2012

R is for Reading now

Fiction books I am presently reading / Where my book marks
are:














Apr 20 2012

R is for Rhubarb (Existence series character)

            Rhubarb is
the nickname of Wend’s sister Danielle’s husband, Hedwynn. The story of how he
got this nickname goes back to their first meeting. Danielle and Hedwynn had
both entered a “Better Breakfast Bakeoff” held at a local fair. Danielle
felt certain that her Potato Egg Nest recipe would win, but alas she was
defeated by Hedwynn’s Rhubarb Spice Pancakes. She walked over to introduce
herself to the winner and ask him his name. Simultaneously a man asked him what
the finely diced pieces were in the pancakes. In the confusion, he answered the
questions backwards, telling the man that the pancakes had Hedwynn in them and
telling Danielle that his name was Rhubarb.

 

 

Rhubarb Spice
Pancakes

2 cup sifted all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup finely diced rhubarb

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Cook batter on a hot buttered skillet in rounded portions. Serve with
(optional) pancake toppings and a side of mandarin orange slices.

 

Potato Egg Nest

1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

6 eggs

4-oz. grated cheddar cheese

2-oz grated Monterey jack cheese

2-oz. crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup milk

2/3 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Prepare 6 custard cups with butter (or the like). Pour in mashed potatoes,
creating a dip area in the center. Break an egg into each. Place in broiler 6
inches from heat. Cook for 6 minutes until eggs are set. Meanwhile, in a
saucepan blend cheese and milk until heated. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce,
salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly over each cup. Return to broiler until
cheese is lightly browned.

 

 

Apr 19 2012

Q is for personality Quiz

 

The Loyal Friend

Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful &
practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a
person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely
loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those
who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your
friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is
ever broken.


——————————————————-

http://www.personalityquiz.net/profiles/index.htm

Personality type= ESTJ

 

Extroversion directs your energy outwards towards the world.

You prefer to process information through your five senses.

You prefer logical analysis (Thinking).

You prefer making plans and keeping to schedules(Judging) to
order your life.

 

“Is the glass half full or half empty? Hey! Whose job
was it to fill up this glass?”

 

Interesting facts:

Born leaders. “Take charge” people who get things
done.

Score high on measures of resilience.

The consummate organizers.

May make decisions too quickly.

Most likely of all types to achieve academic success.

Extremely hardworking.

Report very good job satisfaction.






Do you have an inspirational personality?



My Quiz Result: You have an inspirational personality. You take pride in your motivating skills and your friends and colleagues generally look up to you. You consider yourself a successful person and display the traits of an individual who has a very inspirational personality.





What choices do you make in life?



My Quiz Result: For you, variety is the spice of life. You enjoy excitement and are ready to take risk to enjoy life in your own way. You make your own decisions irrespective of norms, and are capable of charting out a new path.

Apr 19 2012

Q is for Devon Qwilleran (Existence series character)

25 All About Me Questions Survey

 

Name: – Devon Qwilleran

Birthdate: – September 15

Birth country: – United States

Current location: – Elizabeth,
NJ

Eye color: – Blue

Hair color: – Dark Golden Brown

Height: – 5’7″

Right handed or left? – Right

Favorite food? – Lobster Bisque

Favorite season? – Winter

Your perfect pizza: – Lobster, red peppers, garlic,
tomatoes, and basil on a thin crust.

Best physical feature? – Eyes

Thoughts first waking up in the morning? – It’s a going to
be a good day.

Single or group dates? – Single dates

Do you smoke? – No

Do you swear? – Rarely

Do you want to get married? – Someday

Do you want kids? – Yes

Do you think you are attractive? – Yes

Do you like thunderstorms? – I love thunderstorms.

Rainy or sunny? – Rainy

Have you drank alcohol in the past month? – I’ve had a
glass.

What about been on drugs? – Nope

Have you ever been called a tease? – Yes

Number of tattoos: – One

Number of piercings: – Three

Apr 18 2012

P is for Productivity

Question- Do you write more productively with people around
(such as in an office or coffee shop) or in complete isolation?

 

My Answer- I am more productive in complete isolation. I
prefer to separate myself from distractions, seeking out others only when I
need a break or when I am in the editing stages. I prefer to have silence
around me, so I can better “hear” and “watch” as the story
unfolds in my mind. Nothing is more frustrating than when I start typing
dialogue from the television or a song instead of the words in my head which I
had meant to put on the page. 

Apr 18 2012

P is for Patrick (Existence series character)

October 13, 1963       

 

Admissions Committee:

 

            It gives me
great pleasure to recommend The Honourable Patrick Doyen to you. I was formally
introduced to this young man in the spring of 1961 at a charity benefit for the
remodeling and beautification of the West
Landing School

for Boys. Although he was not a student there, he was more ardent about the
project than any of the selected speakers that evening. His wit and charm
coaxed me and several of my dear friends to put an additional zero at the end
of the checks we wrote out that night. The evening was coming to a close,
leaving behind only those of us who were polishing off our brandy and cigars,
when the ceiling collapsed in on us. There was darkness, dust, chaos, and blood
everywhere. Patrick managed to free himself from the debris. Rather than run
for safety, he stayed in the petrifying room of rubble to help everyone he
could, myself included.

            Patrick
Doyen will be a tremendous leader. He will bring strength and honor to your
school. He is bright, dedicated, and motivated. The combination of his sense of
fairness and his rare ability to convert emotional reasoning into logical
interpretation is what led to that first meeting of ours. As I said, he was not
a student at West Landing; he was, in fact, a student of their rival school. He
felt confident that he would lead his team to defeat their rugby team, but he
did not wish to have his win tainted by those who would claim the advantages of
Patrick’s financially superior educational institution were the sole cause. He
desired to level the playing field, so to speak, before the school year began.
As I am certain you know by his application, he did indeed win that match as
the rugby team which Patrick plays for has remained undefeated. I do not
usually concern myself with the trivialities of youth sports, but hearing about
this young man on the field is reminiscent of what it must have been like to
hear about the Battle of Cannae. They say that he does extensive research on
rival teams, yet his analytical thinking skills combined with his flexibility
give him the edge to defeat even those who employ new strategies in their
failed attempts at victory.

            The second
time that Patrick and I met formally was at a fundraiser to build a proper
museum in a small town which was quickly growing into a big city. I had
expected the evening to be merely another obligatory event which my wife had
agreed to cart me off to. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in
the midst of the most enjoyable evening of my life. (Please do not mention this
to Lady Stewart.) The topics being discussed that evening among the guests were
current and informative, provoking our intellectual curiosity. As I mingled
about, enjoying these intriguing conversations, I began to ask how my peers had
gotten on to such subjects. Each time I was told that a fascinating young man
named Patrick Doyen had brought the topic up. When I finally made my way to him,
he greeted me warmly and offered me my favorite drink. I asked him if he knew
who was responsible for the brilliant and insightful idea for the museum this
fundraiser was meant to support. He told me that it was his, as was this event.
He had independently taken the initiative to organize this. His hard work,
dedication, and research had led him to all the resources he needed for such a
monumental task to be undertaken. His persistence and charm had gathered all of
the right people in the place, and his creative, innovative, and curious mind
had brought out the very best in each of the guests. Patrick saw the way things
were in that town, and he also saw the bigger picture of where things were
headed. The class, culture, and tourism revenue of the museum he intended to
build would help to sustain the growing metropolis. A visit to the fair city of
Olivebourne
will prove beyond any doubt that he was correct in his assessments.

            Presently
Patrick has become a sort of apprentice of mine. He shows a keen interest and
knack for finance and politics but is eager to listen to the other lessons
which I have to offer him, even those which most would consider tedious or
downright boring. He is able to perceive the meanings of what I say, even when
my words appear too unclear to members of my own staff that have been under my
employ for years.  He grasps concepts
that most that are saddled with youth are unable to. I almost regret writing
this letter for it likely will result in his leaving for a proper college in
less than a year from now, and there is a part of me that wishes I could keep
him here with me instead. But Patrick is not meant to remain my apprentice or
assistant. I am duty bound to offer this young man to your educational
institution of higher learning because I firmly believe that one day the world
will call on him, and he will need a fuller and more rounded education than I
can provide on my own in order to be ready to answer. When you admit Patrick
Doyen, you shall be admitting not just another student but a future world
leader. For these reasons, I highly recommend that you accept Patrick’s
application.

 

Sincerely,

Lord Henry Stewart

8th Earl of Autumnton,
Ireland

Apr 17 2012

O is for Omnivorous


            I choose to
be an omnivore. That choice isn’t for everyone. Thousands of animals are killed
every year, chopped up, and put into packages at grocery stores. The stores
order this meat. They order it in a slight excess of projected sales because if
they run out, their customers will be driven to their competitors. (That is
just a fact of business.) The result is that many lives are wasted.

            Shortly
before the “sell by” expiration date, many stores will put a discount
sticker onto the meat in the hope of selling it. If it doesn’t sell, it is
thrown out. The life is wasted. An animal has then died for nothing. It has not
given its life to be someone’s dinner. Instead, its body contributes to the
trash problem.

 

            If I buy
that package of meat and eat it, I have honored that animal’s spirit by giving
its death a purpose. Its death has fueled my life. (And yes, if you were about
to ask, I am an organ donor. I hope that my eventual death will fuel someone’s
life.)

 

            The real
issue that I have is with those who would kill a healthy animal and not use
every possible part of it. To me, that is offensive. That is a violation of my
beliefs. I’m sure that it upsets the “fur is murder” groups, but my
ancestors wore deer skin. They ate deer meat. They had tools made with deer
tendons. Deer tallow was used as a wood oil. This is the way that it should be- finding as many uses as possible rather than being wasteful.

 

            Do I
approve of the treatment of animals that too many slaughter houses use? No. The
convenience of pre-packaged meat at grocery stores is probably a much larger
problem than someone eating a steak for dinner. But America is no longer a land of
hunters and gatherers. We are no longer a nation of people who can make our own
food, clothing, and shelter from a fallen tree and two deer. The point I am
making here is that, while vegetarianism is fine choice, I do not believe that
it is a solution to the problem of animal cruelty any more than banning
everyone from swimming in the oceans would be a solution to prevent the sea level
from dropping (because, technically, there’s a little less ocean when one comes
out dripping wet).

 

            I am not
asking people to agree with me or to change their life-style. I am simply
stating what I believe. 

Apr 17 2012

O is for the color Orange

Xavier’s favorite color is orange. Here’s a look at what
some pages on the Internet have to say about that:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/favorite-color-personality.html

Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the
flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people
may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are
generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and
vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength,
fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness. “


http://www.careerpath.com/career-tests/color-test/

Welcome Xavier

 

Best Occupational Category

You’re a CREATOR

KEYWORDS

Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive,
Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on self-expression.
They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and
constantly learning something new. Areas of interest are far beyond the
expected fields of art, drama, music, and writing. There are many occupations
that allow creators to express, assemble, or implement ideas and maximize
resources.

 

CREATOR OCCUPATIONS
Typical “Creators” function best in occupations where they have the autonomy to
be original. It’s essential. In fact, your best career is mostly about your
workplace environment. For Example, Educational careers, Corporate Trainer,
Author, Editor, have constant demands for new perspectives or better methods.
Without flexibility, however these careers are a not a good fit. Careers that
typically have these qualities, but not always, are Advertising Executive,
Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or
Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter,
Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect,
Photographer, Medical Illustrator, , Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and
Package Designer.

 

CREATOR WORKPLACES
Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with
this free-spirited type. Ironically, professions that appear to be “Creative”
can inhibit self-expression. Those that seem overly structured like Tax
Assessor can actually offer the latitude to make a difference. Most enjoyable
workplaces allow for self-expression with the capability to improve the status
quo.

Don’t be befuddled by the word “Creative.” Creator
workplaces are much broader that the “Typical Creative Careers” like interior
decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions
that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. In order to see your
best recommendation, check out the Color Career Indictor 4.0 for actual
occupational listing.





Your Favorite Color Says You’re Cheerful


Joyful — Enthusiastic — Optimistic
Outgoing — Accepting — Confident
Loud — Unruly — Impulsive

Apr 16 2012

N is for Northern Lights

A favorite desktop background of mine is of the aurora
borealis, or northern lights, over a snow bank. I have never had the pleasure
of seeing this phenomenon in person, but I would like to someday. Such
fantastic beauty, art, and entertainment are provided for free to any who are
fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. A reminder of all of
what nature has to offer us. 

Apr 16 2012

N is for Nancy (Existence series character)

A shy waitress from the town of Rock Island

Saves for dreams no one understands

A guitar and trap set

Tour bus and small jet

As the bassist for her punk rock band.

 

-By Lyle (Friend, editor, and all around great guy)

 

 ————————————————————

There once was a gal from Rock Island

The blonde waitress Nancy Wyland

Packed up her bonsai

and said her goodbye

to take off for the Scottish Highland.

 

– J Lenni Dorner

————————————————————————


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Apr 15 2012

Xavier’s Easter Essay

((The following is an essay which Xavier, a main character
of the Existence series, would have written. It is actually written by me, J.
Lenni Dorner, of course; but the viewpoint is that of the fictional
character.))

 

“What Easter Means to Me”

By Xavier Doyen

 

            Sitting
under this oak tree in The Yard with my peers discussing this essay has proven
to me that Easter has become a generally misunderstood holiday. Of the five of
us sitting here, Roark and Tim are atheists, Eli is Jewish, Kate is Buddhist,
and I am the lone Christian in this group. While grumbling about the unfairness
of this essay as they research a holiday that they have never celebrated, each
of them continues to turn to me with questions that they expect “the
Catholic one” to have the answers to.

            The trouble
with this begins when they dig into the books and sources outside of the
Christian religious material. “What’s the deal with painting eggs? That’s
not mentioned in your Bible. It appears to be Pagan!” Four sets of eyes
focus on me after Eli’s revelation. This, apparently, is supposed to be the
moment where I set them straight. Where I pull an answer out from a memory
where my Bishop would have shown up to clarify at some point that painted eggs
are a symbol of the markings on the heavy stone that was in front of the tomb
where Jesus has been laid to rest or something. I’m expected to have answer
that would conform to the boundaries of my faith.

            I do not.

            I could
explain that the painting of eggs is a very old tradition that started in Babylon, with the story
of a giant egg from the sky which landed in a river and hatched open to give
birth to the Goddess of Fertility who would later be known by countless names
and worshiped in every corner of the world. I could draw a parallel between the
Goddess and the Virgin Mary, but it wouldn’t be popular or well-received. I
could explain that she is love and that Jesus is love, so it makes sense that
they are worshipped at the same time. Or I could explain that the celebrations
which were once meant to honor the Goddess were converted into celebrations to
honor Jesus instead as the crusade to convert the world to Christianity failed
to come with instructions that clearly commanded people to toss out their old
decorations.

            Then there
is the question that they won’t ask me. “How do the formerly worshipped
Gods feel about having their holidays, celebrations meant to honor them, turned
into Christian events about Jesus?” I think that would be a better
question. The answer to that question could actually lead me to answering what
Easter means to me.

            It comes
down to choice. No one is forced to celebrate Easter. Once one is old enough to
think for oneself, worshipping any given religion is a choice. Before being
able to think like that, there is no actual worshipping taking place- merely
living dolls that follow along because they have yet to figure out what choice
is and how to apply it in life. The Gods which were once so widely accepted
throughout the world must have had a choice. Jesus was not one of them, he was
not what they were, and he did not serve the same purpose that they did. He
came for the people, for the humans, to guide them on a path which had not been
laid out clearly enough before so that they could one day leave Earth and go to
Heaven. The Gods love the people. They want what is best for them. They gave up
being worshipped, so that the people could follow Jesus and His teachings.

            Easter is
the celebration of what Jesus gave to the people. He suffered and died so that
they would be forgiven. He did this for all people, even those who do not
believe in Him, because He loves everyone equally. Three days later His spirit returned
to His body, and He was alive again. He promised that all the people who
believed in Him and asked to be forgiven for their sins would be saved and
would one day join Him in Heaven. This took place in the early spring, which is
why Easter is celebrated shortly after the Vernal Equinox.

            Spring is
the most fertile time of year. Most animals are born in the spring. Life is renewed
in nature in the springtime. It only makes sense that a time of so much life
would be when people once celebrated the Goddess of Fertility. Then
Christianity came along and dictated that, instead, people should worship Jesus
and celebrate the life that will come after death. The people were confused.
Figuring out how to celebrate the life and fertility that was clearly appearing
all around them was not very difficult. Eggs were a natural symbol of life, and
painting them in beautiful colors was an obvious way to showcase the beauty of
nature as it blossomed around them. Rabbits could be seen breeding the most
frequently, so they also because an easy symbol to include. Sweets, chocolates,
and special breads were passed around as aphrodisiacs to encourage humans to
mate. But how does one decorate for life after death? What sort of craft
project could children get involved in making for something which they could
not even fathom?  Herein lay the problem
faced by people who loved to celebrate and decorate but were given no real
ideas as to what to use.

            And so
decorations were recycled and repurposed, not to offend Jesus, but to worship
Him by people who were unclear as to what better alternatives there might be.
This answer is offensive to many people. It seems that deeply religious people
tend to assume that two millenniums ago, the world should have been filled with
Martha Stewarts. Perhaps if it had been, everyone would have thrown out their
old decorations and started following patterns to make new ones. This also
assumes that everyone back then could afford to make new decorations. Eggs were
inexpensive. Dye was generally homemade. The people stuck with what they knew
perhaps because Jesus taught about faith and love, not about how to increase
financial wealth in order to afford new decorations for the holidays which
would pop up after his death.

            So what
then does Easter mean to me? It means a time of confusion when people argue
over how to properly celebrate something they have yet to fully understand,
often forgetting the real reason for the holiday and using it instead to
compete with each other to find out who can locate the most hidden eggs or be
the finest dressed at a church service that talks about a man who kept His
fashion simple and practical because it didn’t matter. It means listening to my
mother and my sister as they argue over the proper filling for baskets. It
means that a professor will assign an essay such as this one, where I will be
expected to provide a solid answer which I can back up with facts from sources
that can be cited.

            And
that is why, unfortunately, I cannot explain in an essay what Easter really
means to me. The whole truth of what it means to me isn’t something that the
world at large gets to know about. I could discuss what it means to me with
Heath, Jez, Caleb, or Jun, because it means much the same to them. But I cannot
honestly answer this question in an essay that a professor or a classmate might
read. And so, as I sit here under this oak tree, I know I will have to destroy
these pieces of paper and start over. I will have to meet the stares of my four
classmates who are waiting for me to come up with an intelligent answer that I
can back up with one of the information sources which is here before us. The
essay that I will ultimately submit will not really be what Easter means to me,
but rather it will be a well-formatted thesis filled with words that can be
backed up by information that those around me here will be able to comprehend.

Apr 14 2012

M is for Magazine

            My favorite
magazine is Entertainment Weekly. This light and colorful periodical keeps me
informed of the latest trends and keeps me from missing out on great books,
movies, and television series that I might not have discovered otherwise. Recently
they have given more attention to their book review departments and also had a book
on their cover.




             I am also a
fan of Writer’s Digest and the Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Really,
there are so many great magazines out there. What’s the best obscure but available
at a reasonable price magazine that you’ve ever read and enjoyed?

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