09.26.18 Dream: In an enthralling pursuit, I was being chased by a dark shadow that terrified me. As long as the street lamps were on, the dark shadow could continue following me. I was running as fast as I could in a disorganized trailer park that was hardly resplendent. It looked run-down and almost dilapidated. Yet, it felt familiar as my feet knew exactly where to go. There were a series of trailers that had their side doors open. I would jump into each of these, apologize to the person who owned it, and kept running.
In one of the trailers, I recognized the guy. His dirty blonde hair draped over his pale-complected face. He wore a gray shirt, a pair of khaki shorts, and some brown flip-flops. I was temporarily shocked that I encountered this young man, the one I had meaningful philosophical discussions with in college. “I gotta go!” I screamed back at him as I kept running.
I eventually reached a grassy field that was lit up by stadium lights. There was a soccer match in the field. I noticed a barbed wire fence surrounding the edges of the playing field. I was worried that I was going to hurt myself by trying to climb it, but I was more worried about the dark shadow catching me. So, my hands latched onto the fence as I climbed and hoisted myself over the fence. The barbed wire slashed my chest covering my heart. My roommates were waiting for me there and they tried to protect me, but eventually I got caught by the dark shadow.
Suddenly, it was like I went back in time, and stuck in a time loop. I was running yet again, and I was aware of the fact that I already ran this trail. I decided to change my decisions. By the time, I reached to the trailer with the blonde hair man, I stopped and rested to the front of the trailer. I leaned into the bean bag trying to catch my breath.
I saw a rectangular tin box on the floor of the trailer, and decided to open it. I saw a black and white photo of a young girl her hair cropped short. She had a dainty smile as she mischievously stared back at the camera taking her photo. I asked him, “Is this why you talked to me in college all those years ago? Did I remind you of her?”
I woke up feeling a mixture of nostalgia and restlessness. This dream is a very complex one involving a lot of events in my life. Sometimes, I think we don’t always have closure on some things. However, I was thankful for this post I read on the Godly Chic Diaries this morning about “The Greatest Act of Grace”. She spoke to my heart today. I remembered when talking to this young man that my speech and my actions confused him. He would criticize me for things that he did not understand about me.
“Or maybe it’s them…Maybe they cannot love you because you somehow make them less than. They feel threatened or intimidated by you. The possible reasons are endless and no matter how much love you radiate into the world and into those around you, there will always be those who cannot see it or refuse to see it.”
“THE GREATEST ACT OF GRACE is forgiving them and being resilient even in the face of adversity…Don’t place value in the criticism of those who are neither constructive nor relevant”
– The Godly Chic Diaries
So with that in mind, if he was here I would say, “Hey David, I forgive you. Because of you, I got to explore some of the greatest thinkers, theologians, and philosophers in history that has penetrated my life. Because of you, I made new rewarding friendships and relationships that I never saw coming. So…. thank you.”
Good morning! I’m enjoying a cup of tea while listening to the song “C’est Si Bon” by Emilie-Claire Barlow in her album Seule Ce Soir in Pandora. I learned what a rhododendron was (try saying that five times fast!) on Cee’s Photgraphy | Flower of the Day. I love the intricate patterns on the flower petals. The flourishes reminds of the general shape of the fleur de lis. Here are more of the blossoms of another shade nearby my home. Have a wonderful day!
No date prefixed directs me in the starry rubric set. – John Milton
John Milton was a Protestant poet and a historian who is best known for his work Paradise Lost which was greatly inspired by his visit to a predominantly Catholic country, Italy. Imagine the culture shock the Milton experienced here!
While he was traveling in Florence, he encountered Galileo’s son who then introduced him to Galileo, the quintessential renaissance man, (astronomer, scientist, mathematician) who was pretty much under house arrest for his charges of heresy against the church. Galileo left an impression on Milton as evident in Milton’s tribute:
“Angel Raphael is granted a clear view through the heavens, “As when by night the glass of Galileo, less assured, observes imagined lands and regions in the moon”
Dr. Joe Moshenka, an academic at Trinity College, Cambridge, mentioned the purpose of Milton’s visit that resonated with me.
“He was not going there because it would be a comfortable, languorous wander through the Italian countryside. He deliberately wants to go somewhere which will be alien and different and ‘other’. Somewhere that will place an interesting pressure on the ideals he’s forming for himself”
Every time I go somewhere new, it seems like there is always a new rubric for approaching problems if any at all, and that’s always an exciting adventure for me.
So I recently finished Laura’s Maniac Monday post which is a lot of fun for me to blog about, but then after a quick jog in beautiful weather, I saw this blog post on Richa’s blog iScriblr and I want to travel back in time a moment and explore some of my favorites.
The challenge was created by Jenna Gee, the Sunshine Artist. Every Friday, she posts a questionnaire, photos, quotes and/or a poem on a specific “topic” taking us back in time. This week is about childhood books that take a special place in our hearts.
1 Thank the Selector and do not forget to tag/create a “ping-back!”
2 Select 3 Bloggers to Join in the fun.
3 Use the tag Fun Friday Flashback.
4 Volunteer Voyagers are almost welcome aboard this time machine!
This tag is open to all who want to participate. Please feel free to join in the fun!
1. Cam Jansen Series A red headed girl is gifted with the ability of photographic memory, and it helps her solve many mysteries. I was so fascinated by her, that I kept rechecking the books from the library. The librarians told me I was a regular with this one. This was the first book that led to my continued interest in the mystery genre.
2. The Royal Diaries of Anastasia Before ever watching the Disney film, I was really fascinated by Russia’s history at a young age. I really enjoyed this fictional account by Carolyn Meyer. It was written in as a diary which always interested me because of the first hand accounts of the world around them. You learned about the world they experienced, and I’ve always enjoyed that facet.
3. Gathering Blue This my initial introduction into the dystopian/utopian world of literature. I was very intrigued by the complex subjects that were conveyed in these settings. It led me to watch many critically acclaimed films, and even nurtured interest some of my research topics in college.
Morning mist disappeared as the afternoon rays of the sun shone over the festival at the university. Firecrackers were set off on the concert stage, and the drummer yelled into the microphone as the speakers reverberated out to the growing crowd, “ARE YOU GUYS READY TO ROCK?” The crowd shook their fists into the air. The drummer egged the crowd on, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I SAID…..ARE YOU GUYS READY TO ROCK?” The crowd gave a thundering applause of approval, stamping their feet, and yelling the band’s name in adoration.
The drummer began showing off his skillful technique juggling his drum sticks into the air as if they were batons. Suddenly, he struck his drums with precision and rolled away with a catchy beat. The guitarists soon joined in after their band mate’s impressive intro and strummed their guitars hitting an array of notes with fast fingers.
With the caffeine from their morning coffee running in their veins, the band was excited from the mounting adrenaline rush of the crowd’s enjoyment. Unable to resist the concert, the Renowned Duo put up a sign outside their booth, “We’ll be back in 30! ❤ Aileen & Ciaran”, as they took off their vermilion robes and made a bee line into the crowd until they disappeared.
Meanwhile, many curious parents walked with their children who were happily munching on some snacks and circled around the Pow-Wow dance that was taking now taking place in the grassy fields next to the pumpkin patch away from the band. Incense and smoke filled their air as the drums’ regular beat connected singers and everyone surrounding the dancers together. A lead singer with an opulent, feathered headdress passionately sung a traditional tune from memory.
A Native American historian set up her stand next to the haystacks outside the Pow-wow dance. The historian is also a professor that teaches Native American Studies at St. Kateri’s and will be promoted to head the department soon. Professor Aiyana Bellefeuille pushed her black frames up the proud ridge of her nose as she silently and incisively perused an excerpt from the authors of “Nothing But the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature” John Purdy and James Ruppert.
She glanced up to see curious individuals grabbing some pamphlets off her table who decided to ask about Kateri’s life. Aiyana spoke about how Kateri contracted smallpox when she was four years old which left scars on her body but the outbreak wiped out her family which then led to more questions. Professor Aiyana smiled at their level of interest and continued the discussion.
Unable to leave her spot due to the wave of incoming customers, Eliza watched the activities from her booth after she wrapped up the jewelry that the last customer bought. It was a bracelet with many charms of blossoms on it. It reminded her of one of her friends, Penelope, living back in LA. “She just wants to be beautiful,” Eliza thought to herself.
“GIRLS! GIRLS! IT’S SHOWTIME!”, the fashion show director called out to the models.
Penelope stood behind the curtain with the other models slightly nervous about her first time on stage in front of a large crowd. Oh, she don’t see the light that’s shining…yet. Despite her first time jitters, she craves attention. The music began to play, and she began to walk as the spotlight suddenly glared in her face. It didn’t matter though, the catwalk was ingrained in her through hours of practice.
Thanks to an invitation from Penelope, Eliza was seated in the audience in the front row outside of the runway. Flashes from the paparazzi nearby flooded the room. Eliza smiled as Penelope walked on stage amazed at her fearlessness and confidence. As Penelope turned and sashayed, her violet metallic dress swished around, and her bare backside revealed a brilliant tattoo of blossoms on a branch. Even though Penelope looked like she didn’t need it, Eliza was there for emotional support, and she was glad to be there. Eliza stood up and yelled, “No better time for your shine, you’re a star!!” Penelope looked back, winked, and gave Eliza her dazzling million watt smile.
Penelope and Eliza first met in the locker room after working out in the gym one gorgeous morning during the springtime. Blossoming flowers were budding on the trees in the median as bikers rode past the gym.
Penelope was training hard to meet the physical requirements that the modelling agency expected from her. She knew no limits and she was willing to do whatever it took. She has dreams to be an envy, so she’s starving because you know, cover girls eat nothing. “Just 10 more pounds, Penelope, and then we’ll let you go public.” her agent drilled into her. “Beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything. What’s a little bit of hunger?” Penelope told herself as her stomach was growling. She headed into the locker room.
Like most people, Eliza had some New Years resolutions and one of them included fitness goals. She was going to work hard to trim the weight that she gained from frequently indulging in the cooking recipes her grandmother gave her. Eliza just finished a two hour long boxing session and was ready to hit the showers. She grabbed a towel to wipe off her sweat and headed to the far stall, and pulled the shower curtains aside.
Eliza saw the faint shape of Penelope in the dark curled into a fetal position on the bench slitting her wrists with a shaving blade pried apart from a Gillete Venus razor. Her blood dripped from the bench, mixed together with the water that was dripping from the shower faucet, and swirled down the drain. Penelope sat there frightened in a daze. She tries to cover up her pain and cut her woes away.
Eliza was stunned. She saw an incredibly physically attractive young woman with golden tresses falling past her shoulders. Penelope’s sparkling blue eyes suddenly poured tears as she softly cried. Eliza instinctively sat next to Penelope, but decided not to ask anything. Penelope looked straight ahead and spoke to no one in particular, “I’m tired of being sculpted by a sculptor.”
Eliza looked at Penelope and thought to herself, “She don’t see her perfect, she don’t understand she’s worth it or that beauty goes deeper than the surface.” Eliza has swam in the depths of despair before and asked a simple question, “What’s your name?”
Penelope looked up at Eliza for the first time, taking in her pink hair and her delicate face, and sensed an inner strength there that she herself seemed to have lacked at times. “My name is Penelope.” Eliza carefully held Penelope’s hand. “Well Penelope, my name is Eliza. Whatever you’re going through, I just want you to know there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart.”
Penelope cocked her brow and looked at Eliza with skepticism, “What world does this woman come from?” Eliza suddenly took her towel and patted the Penelope’s blood dry.
“Why don’t you come over for dinner sometime later today? My parents are cooking from grandma’s recipe book. Trust me, you won’t regret it!” Eliza out of the blue invited Penelope to her family’s home.
Penelope weighed the pros and cons of eating a possibly high carbs, fattening family meal with Eliza’s family and decided to head over to her place. After all, she was grateful that Eliza was here at this moment in her life.
From that fateful day in the locker room, these two women became inseparable.
“Why don’t we get matching tattoos, Eliza? One of a blossoming tree to commemorate the day we first met?” Penelope suggested as they both waited in the lobby of one of LA’s finest tattoo parlors. Eliza peeked behind the counter and studied the expressions of another customer who was getting inked. “It looks like it’s going to painful. Maybe it’s going to sting a bit!”
Eliza shook her head. The pain was worth it. Their friendship was worth it. “Let’s do it!” Eliza showed a cropped picture of the morning blossoms outside the gym she took on her phone a few months earlier to the tattoo shop owner. The tattoo shop owner studied the photo for one moment and excitedly looked through her own portfolio and found something similar that she has been designing for some time. She invited Penelope and Eliza to the chairs, and began working her magic.
After she and another associate finished both girls, the tattoo shop owner warmly smiled at Penelope and Eliza, “Let me be your mirror, and help you see a little bit clearer the light that shines within.” The warm tones in their complexions brought out the liveliness of the bright blossoms that bonded both of them.
A little girl is yelling at her mom pointing excitedly at me. Surprised, I’m looking around me because I surely don’t have pink hair, but then I look down at my work vest. On my name badge I decorated it with some hot pink faux feathers that I found on the ground from the feather boas in the crafts’ area.
Feather boas are a fun accessory. It’s exciting to see various entertainers such as burlesque dancers, wrestlers, comedians, actors, opera & cabaret singers use it as part of their act such as Miss Penny Starr in the picture to the left. The feathers on my uniform reminds me to live large. Small as these fragments of the boa are, I dedicate these feathers to the memory of these entertainers.
Unsure of how to respond, I said, “Oh! Poppy got a haircut, and she donated some of her hair to me! She just wanted to spread the love. Poppy is a generous troll.”
This little girl made my day, and it led me to wonder possible sites for hair donation. My cousin told me to avoid “Locks of Love” for various reasons. Shannon Schmid wrote anaccount of alternative charities to donate her hair and even her pet’s hair.
A month ago, I watched a fascinating YouTube video about The Truth About Where Hair Extensions Come From |Shady|Refinery29. This video is a great snapshot and summary of the history of hair trafficking and exploitation. It demonstrates the lack of regulations surrounding hair and how wigs/extensions are made. It’s exciting to learn how ethical companies tackle the challenge.
I think about how one’s hair is an extension of one’s identity. I’m thinking of the story of Samson and how he loses strength when his hair is cut, and I think of how children feel when they receive a hair donation.
Many a peacock hides his peacock tail from all eyes –and calls it his pride. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Taken at the Quadrangle, Fort Sam Military Base, San Antonio, TX
Even though his tail wasn’t fanned out like the others, this encounter with this particular peacock was a fortuitous one. I took this shot on one of my birthdays. He’s carrying such a regal and dignified pose. Considering the location, I wondered if he subconsciously imitated the demeanor of the generals or lieutenants that walked around the perimeter of the Quadrangle daily.
One of my lifetime questions is one of the “Nature vs Nurture” variety. How will my surroundings influence me in the upcoming year? I constantly wonder about the things I expose myself to everyday and how it will change me and my actions.
I wonder if it’s strange to think that animals can imitate whatever surrounds them. I once watched a few YouTube videos of pit bull dogs being friendly with babies despite being listed as one of the most dangerous breeds of dogs. Is it truly based on how the owners raise the dogs or is it based on the genetics of the species?
I also wonder about imitation and respect that is earned or given. There’s that familiar saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I watched this incredible video of an interaction between a killer shark and a diver. The narrator tells other divers to NOT do this because many have died in their attempts.
The diver performs a power move similar to what the shark does to display dominance, and the shark respects him by giving him space. I’m just sitting on the edge of my seat in awe of how this shark does not tear him apart!
An earlier post of mine about acclimating to a new environment has made me wonder about gaining respect from individuals from a new town. Does it involve speaking the lingo of the natives? Dressing like them? Acting like them? It reminds me of a story my boyfriend told me about an interaction between world leaders Kim Jong Un and Trump. Anyway, all this talk of animal behavior makes me think of another question that is explored by another blogger, Kristen:
I also just finished reading an enjoyable murder mystery that was written in the style of Agatha Christie from Tales From the Mind of Kristian. Imitation in this regard inspires me to try to write in a style of my favorite author.