“The Village” and “The Church”: An Analogy Worth Consideration

M. Night Shyamalan made a movie a while ago entitled “The Village.”  I love that movie and I love it for a very personal reason.  It reaffirms why I left “The Church” in the first place (I’ll take the real world over a made up one any day of the week) and it also conveys the truth of the idea that evil exists within each of us, not as some outward demon.

The story line to the movie goes like this a bereavement support group, whose relatives are victims of violent crimes, decide to escape modern society into a walled sanctuary.  They live a Luddite lifestyle cut off from the world. Modern conveniences such as electricity and motors are shunned, they make their own furniture, live off the land, and are completely oblivious to anything outside the four walls they so carefully built.  Theirs is a peaceful lifestyle, where men and women know their place, children are loved and coddled, and everyone knows everyone else (the narrative is nicely wound around a love story, and a very sweet one, I think).

Since the proprietors of  The Village were challenged to invent a way to keep their offspring from wandering too far and perhaps discovering that they were cut off from an entire civilization, they invented a story consisting of monsters who lurked in the forest beyond  (The Village was an isolated settlement set upon a huge, and privately funded, land reserve) . The monsters were known simply as ‘the others’ and children were indoctrinated at an early age concerning the dangers of crossing the designated borders.  Apparently an agreement exists between The Village and ‘the others’:  if the Villagers don’t cross into their territory, ‘the others’ won’t cross into The Village.  A popular game for adolescent boys is to stand on a rock just at the border and tempt ‘the others’ to come get them, of course no one showed up, but the occasional howl of a coyote or wind was enough to give life to the story, reinforcing the narrative and instilling fear.

The elders were quite detailed in the shenanigans they were willing to engage in to keep their children in fear of the forest and ‘the others’. They didn’t stop at merely demarcating a physical boundary between good and evil.  The color red for instance, was labeled ‘the bad color’ for that was the color of ‘the others’.  In one scene a pair of tween girls came across a flower in their yard with ‘the bad color’ and with haste they both dig a hole and cover it up. Offerings are made to the forest to appease ‘the others’. Occasionally we are given the glimpse of a wooden box, tucked away in a corner, looming with mystery.  The box contains memorabilia of the outside world: newspaper clippings of murders and robberies of family members, pictures of their lost loved ones. It serves to remind the elders of their decision to leave the evil world behind.

And yet, evil springs up from within ‘The Village’ despite the elders’ attention to detail. In the opening scene of the movie we watch as a grief stricken father weeps at his son’s graveside.  The implication is that the son might have lived were there simple medicines available to give to him, but in their complete dedication to remain isolated, they sacrifice life.   At the feast following the service, it is noted that, despite even heartbreaking moments, they must remain committed to their cause.

A moment of compromise finally occurs however when a young man is stabbed by a jealous autistic Village member.  This strapping male is recently betrothed to the blind daughter of the very man whose idea it was to found The Village.  She begs her father permission to transgress their rules and travel to the lands beyond in order to get medicine to save her beloved’s life.  Her father bends to her pleas and allows her the freedom to go. Before she leaves however, he tells her of the ‘invented’ monsters, shows her the elaborate costumes complete with a row of sharp fang thingys and coarse fur.  It was apparently worn as a sort of ‘coat’ by village elders at times when a visible reinforcement of ‘the others’ was needed (I am reminded of Dawkin’s observation in ‘The God Delusion’, recently read, that  “…the horribleness of hell…is inflated to compensate for its implausibility.”) These home- made monsters were a bit intimidating, and made all the more so since we are put in Ivy’s place of having to discover them through touch only since she is blind.

Armed with the knowledge that nothing really exists to harm her, Ivy is allowed to breach the sacred boundaries and embark on a quest to find medicine to heal her only reason for living.  There’s a slight caveat given in order to keep ‘the others’ well alive in the mind of the rest of The Village. Ivy is sent with two companions, all three robed in a special color as a signal to ‘the others’ that they mean no harm and pass in peace.  The trio is even given a bag of ‘magic rocks’ for protection as well…which Ivy promptly dumps out once her companions abandon her for home out of sheer terror.

Our blind heroine finds the road, is met by a compassionate stranger (she notices “a kindness” in his voice that she “did not expect”) and obtains the lifesaving medicine for her soul mate, returns safely, and they live happily ever after.

Except, that is,  for the parents of the jealous autistic perpetrator who must live with their son’s deviant actions and subsequent death.  The autistic youth who stabbed Ivy’s beloved in a fit of envy was found to have escaped his isolation room.  They found him later, dead,  in a pit he’d fallen into whilst following Ivy into the forest,  wearing  one of the costumes of ‘the others’.  Alas, the final lesson of the story is that evil exists within, no matter the lengths we might go to keep it out.

As I watched my sons grow up alongside a myriad of children at church, and watched those children who were home schooled compared to those who were not, I noticed a bit of a difference.   It was my opinion that my boys will be going out into the world to make their way and it was my responsibility to make sure they were prepared to survive and contribute positively to society.  If I kept them home, shielded from the realities of the world in which they were born, then not only would be unable to thrive, they would live in it timidly – afraid of others and their motivations…I could already see the beginnings of some of these traits with the children who were more isolated from society.

They are grown now, for the most part – and  I took them out of The Church when I left because I myself had enough fear mongering and conspiracy theories. The eldest has been on his own these past three years now and just landed a great career job, if he decides to make it that.  The other two show great potential as well, comfortable in any sort of crowd, able to converse with just about anyone, and each possess a quick witted humor that makes me proud.   I have every confidence that my children will do well on their own, out in the scary big world because, well, we’ve taught them how to survive in it and they aren’t afraid to listen to new ideas or question old ones.  I feel I’ve done my job as a parent.

As parents we are burdened with the responsibility to raise our children to be independent of us, to live separately from us and thrive in the real world.   We do them a great disservice when we isolate them from the realities of life and coax them into a fearful world full of made up demons and monsters.

We do ourselves a disservice as well.   No matter how big those four walls of any church are, evil exists within it as well as without.  One doesn’t need to peruse internet headlines for very long to see that greed, adultery, gossiping, homosexuality, and child abuse is as alive in the church as it is out of the church.  This truth must be recognized if we are to move forward and progress.

We humans have a history of inventing gods and their demon counterparts as a way to explain our lives and purpose on earth.  It also allows us to blame some demon for a downfall rather than take responsibility for our mistakes ourselves. Evil exists within, and no  matter how elaborate the story we make up, no matter how high the walls we build, no matter how far away we can leave the outside world behind, we will always be confronted with it.   As for me and my house, we will choose the reality of life over man made stories, there is much more peace and freedom to be found living thus.

Peace comes with understanding….it does not pass it.

 

Frankie

 


A Super Bowl, An Election, and An American Horror Story….

We LOVE our Superbowl!   If you haven’t noticed, the last two weeks have been full of Superbowl everything:  Pepsi halftime hype, Arnold in a wig shilling beer, media day, another media day, and all kinds of speculation over who’ll win.  We place our bets, whether big or small (I myself will be forced to make my specialty dessert if my team loses), wear our team colors (I never knew so many Seahawk fans lived in NorCal), and stock up on beer, chips, and salsa (let’s not forget the layered bean dip).  We joke about calling it a National Holiday and secretly thank the work gods that we have Sunday’s off.   We plan where we’ll watch the game (the friend whose house has the biggest flat screen), and  today,  we’ll spend four fretful hours rooting for our favorite team…blissfully happy if they win, miserably humiliated if they lose.

Lets go back in our not too recent memory of another national pastime:  our last presidential election.  Sure, the process is longer, we spend months instead of just weeks hyping up the big day, we wear our team colors with pride and argue with friends about whose offense is best.   We decorate our yards with signs, our cars with stickers, and our national conventions are circus wonders (have you seen what some of those people wear?). We listen to talking heads on the t.v. make this or that prediction, their predictions and analysis disturbingly similar to the conversations studiously churned out by the NFL network .

In his book “Griftopia,” respected columnist Matt Taibbi makes this very comparison between our obsession with a sports event and its eerie similarities to our current election process:

“We get a beautifully choreographed eighteen-month entertainment put on once every four years, a beast called the presidential election that engrosses the population to the point of obsession.  This ongoing drama allows everyone to subsume their hopes and dreams for the future into one all-out, all-or-nothing battle for the White House. a big alabaster symbol of power we see on television a lot.  Who wins and who loses this contest is a matter of utmost importance to a hell of a lot of people in this country.  But why it’s so important to them is one of the great unexplored mysteries of our time.  Its a mystery rooted in the central horrifying truth about our national politics…..Which is this:  none of it really matters to us.  The presidential election is a drama that we Americans have learned to wholly consume as entertainment, divorced completely from any expectations about concrete changes in our own lives.  For the vast majority of people who follow national elections in this country, the payoff they’re looking for when they campaigning for this or that political figure is that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when the home team wins the big game.  Or, more important, when a hated rival loses.”

Think about this while you watch the game today and consider our mentality towards our politics.  This past election did we revel in our victory or did we pout in defeat?  Did we choose our candidate carefully based on his past performances instead of what the media presented to us?  Did we research to find out the team histories:  which has a better record with national deficits for instance?   If our candidate lost, did we find it in ourselves to at least rally around the one that did since obviously the majority of our compatriots thought he was the right one –  or did we choose instead to miserably accept the outcome and wait for the next big game, uh, election.  Did we buy into the losing team’s excuses or did we hold them accountable for their failures?  If our team won, have we blindly followed them to the trophy house or do we call them out if they overstep the bounds of privacy and drone use? This is exactly the mentality that Taibii examines and it’s effect is damning. He goes on:

“Their stake in the electoral game isn’t a  citizen’s interest, but a rooting interest.  Voters who throw their emotional weight into elections they know deep down inside won’t produce real change in their lives are also indulging in a kind of fantasy.  That’s why voters still dream of politicians whose primary goal is to effectively govern and maintain a thriving first world society with great international ambitions…  What voters don’t realized, or don’t want to realize, is that that dream was abandoned long ago by this country’s leaders who know the prosaic reality and are looking beyond the fantasy into the future, at an America plummeted into third world status.  ….Our leaders know we’re turning into a giant ghetto and they are taking every last hubcap they can get their hands on before the rest of us wake up and realize what’s happened. …In the new American ghetto, the nightmare engine is bubble economies, a kind of high-tech casino scam that kills neighborhoods just like dope does, only the product is credit, not crack or heroin. “

Let’s think about these words for a second “America plummeted into a third world status.” There’s our horror story:  From top to bottom in just a couple of short centuries.   We need to wake up.

We need to pay attention.  We need to realize (myself as well) that we get so caught up in the game that we forget the stakes are high, a matter of life or death to our nation.  We need to do our research.  On a weekly basis I encounter two or three conspiracy theories on my Facebook feed, full of fear mongering, conservative anxiety, and meant to keep me distracted from the real issues.  ARE there FEMA camps throughout the U.S.?  No, but our congress is allowing Wall Street to write legislation, effectively making us a plutocracy.  IS there Fukushima radiation in my milk?  No, but I do know that the NRA is mostly funded by ….. gun companies and so their interest in gun legislation is certainly monetarily based, not second amendment sanctions.   Did Phil Robertson have his constitutional rights violated?  Not in the least, but our voting rights are being carefully restricted in thousands of counties.   Does the ACA have an exception for Muslim believers?  No, but I do know that those states whose governors have  chosen not to enact the law have millions of Americans who are without medical coverage.  We interrupt the news because a celebrity was arrested but few people notice the signs that another financial bubble is already starting to arise.  Are you getting it yet?

We always have a choice.  We have the choice to make a difference or ignore the evidence and await disaster.  Either way, the burden falls to us to dispose of our cheerleader/spectator role and become well-informed citizens who vote not because we want our team to win, but because we desire a nation that functions for the people, by the people instead of for the corporation, by the corporation.

Enjoy the game today kids, but as we watch, let’s keep in mind Mr. Taibbi’s comparison with our game mentality towards elections.   It is my sincere desire that we learn from this lesson so that we may build a better nation to leave our children, and perhaps avoid a true American Horror Story.

Choose truth…however hard you must dig for it….

Frankie

Taibbi, Matt.  Griftopia: The Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2011.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can also read Matt’s blog at the following address:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog


Must Read from Bill Gates – if you wanna have hope for our future, that is….

I found this on my twitter feed the other day and it lends more hope and insight than anything I’ve read in a while. Takes a few minutes to read, but the information is dynamic and honestly too important to pass up. Mr. Gates confronts three prevalent global myths and deftly proves them wrong with a slew of data and success stories…For instance, here’s what he has to say about the first myth he discusses:    Poor countries are doomed to stay poor.

“So the easiest way to respond to the myth … is to point to one fact: They haven’t stayed poor. Many—though by no means all—of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. And the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990.”

I don’t know about you but I am astounded that we have eradicated the very poor by half in just two decades. THIS is a HUGE achievement!

The second myth Mr. Gates contends with (and its a big contention) is that “Foreign Aid is a Big Waste”. He pretty much makes the ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bath water’ case here, but he adds a great deal of proof to back up his argument, namely our overall health in global terms has increased substantially in the past half-century -

“Let’s put this achievement in historical perspective. A baby born in 1960 had an 18 percent chance of dying before her fifth birthday. For a child born today, the odds are less than 5 percent. In 2035, they will be 1.6 percent. I can’t think of any other 75-year improvement in human welfare that would even come close.”

Foreign aid, coupled with private donations, enable the most indigent of us with vaccines, food, schools, contraception, mosquito nets, and start-up money for national investments. Mr. Gates mentions that foreign aid really creates an overall synergistic environment and that most of those countries who have received aid in the past are now self-sustaining or require less aid than before. A healthy population leads to a healthy economy.

Since  survival rates have increased, it seems logical that perhaps we would need to be concerned with over-population. Mr. Gates carefully draws from demographic data to demonstrate that this thought too is a myth.

“Given all the evidence, my view of a sustainable future is much more optimistic than the Malthusians’ view. The planet does not thrive when the sickest are allowed to die off, but rather when they are able to improve their lives. Human beings are not machines. We don’t reproduce mindlessly. We make decisions based on the circumstances we face.”

“When children are well-nourished, fully vaccinated, and treated for common illnesses like diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia, the future gets a lot more predictable. Parents start making decisions based on the reasonable expectation that their children will live.”

He’s turned me on to a new term as well, something called the ‘virtuous cycle’…

“The virtuous cycle is not just development jargon. It’s a phenomenon that millions of poor people understand very well, and it guides their decisions from day-to-day. I have the privilege of meeting women and men in poor countries who commit the small acts of love and optimism—like going without so they can pay their children’s school fees—that propel this cycle forward. The future they hope for and work hard for is the future I believe in.”

In other words, any investment we make in our future, big or small, global or local, makes a difference. Let us all be willing to do our part to make our future one we can believe in.

Choose Hope Kids!

Frankie

http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/?cid=bg_tw_ll1_012317/#section=home


“None of Your Effing Business!!”

Anna knew the minute she found out about the cancer that she wasn’t going to have any chemotherapy.  She was terminal anyway, the treatments they offered were ‘experimental’, and she wasn’t willing to put something in her body that made her even more sick.  “Keep me comfortable, let me enjoy my friends and family till the end,” she thought.

And yet….there was the agonizing wait until the next doctor’s appointment when she would actually have to have that conversation with her care provider.  There was a waiting period you see, required by some law or another, and it forced Anna to wait two weeks before she had to give her final answer to the doctor.

She never wavered from her initial decision.  Anna had actually thought about the situation long before it presented itself to her.  Before she knew she had cancer, before when she was young and considered these things, she decided she would  forego the torture of modern medicine and leave her body to its own devices.   She’d seen others take that road and in her observation their misery was only increased.  The sickness induced from the side effects of chemo along with the infinite number of doctor and lab appointments took their drain on even the strongest human spirits.   “Thanks, but no thanks,” she thought to herself, “If I have to make that decision, I’ll just cut my losses and call it a day, so to speak,” and she went on with her life until one day she found herself having to live up to her decision.  It remained unchanged.

Anna wasn’t afraid of death.  She lived her life knowing she only had one shot and she made each day count for herself and those around her. Her husband supported her life view and even agreed with it himself, so the issue of Anna’s remaining days required very little discussion.  They would celebrate each moment, keep to their friends and family, and avoid doctors and hospitals as much as possible.

They actually spent the past two weeks in a flurry of plan making.  A couple of short road trips to Anna’s favorite local spots were scheduled.  Family was coming in from distant places.  A few close friends were scheming up a big farewell party for her.  They found just the spot for her memorial service, she helped him pick out an urn and they cried together while doing so.  She was all set to live the rest of her short life and to Anna it seemed that this appointment was some sort of demarcation between her life, and its last days.

They were both nervous as they sat in the out office waiting for them to call out her name “Anna Wilson!”  She had been fairly healthy most of her life and so doctors offices were not an environment she was accustom to.  Their matchy-matchy furniture and stale magazines were always a source of discomfort to her, they always seem surreal, like she was in the ante-chambers to an “Alice in Wonderland” story and nothing made sense.  Today the ambiance was especially disconcerting as her nervousness over having “the discussion” with her doctor threatened to override her sanity…she was light-headed, her stomach was knotted, her hands were clammy.

Finally they were called back to the inner chambers of private conversations where another tortuous wait awaited them.  A sweet nurse asked all the right questions and then wondered if they had any questions about the chemotherapy procedures that were discussed last time. “No,” they both mumbled in unison, adding a slight shake of the head for emphasis. “Great, the doctor will be right in,” she lied and left them to a sterile room that defied them to talk.  They didn’t.  Instead they held hands, and each remained strong for the other.  Anna’s memory drifted back to the long dissertation they both endured just two weeks earlier, in which the doctor explained the full context of mixing a new drug with proven chemotherapy as an experimental means of treating her illness. There were two such options available to them since there were two new drugs developing to fight her particular kind of cancer. On the upside she would possibly live another year, on the downside there was a list of side-affects two pages long and none of them were better than what she was already experiencing. She remembered how she listened to the doctor’s professional tone and smiled condescendingly inside “Keep on with yer spiel honey, I’ll have none of that.”

The short tap-tap-tap on the door brought Anna back to the present and there was the doctor she was just thinking about, wearing the same tie as last time she noticed.  Pleasantries were exchanged, as were the latest readings of blood counts, thyroid output, and tumor sizes.  It was all just foreplay until he finally asked the question he had to ask “So, what have you decided about the chemo options?”

Before the question could settle in the air, Anna announced that there would be none.  She went on to explain in short bursts of nervous narrative her reasoning for such a decision.  The doctor listened with a practiced expression that exuded empathy and patience and waited a moment after she finished before dropping the next question on her “Okay then, I am required by law to ask you one more question.”

“What’s that?” she responded, wondering what in the world could follow next.

“I need to ask you if you plan on taking your own life.” he stated in a monotone voice while staring directly into her eyes.

Something in Anna’s head exploded right then.   It was true that she and her husband  spoke about a time when he might go for a long drive and leave her with a bottle of gin and all the pills he could find.  She didn’t want to wait until those final days when she was stuck in subconsciousness and her care was left to others.  She had no interest in living through goodbyes she would never hear.   She didn’t want to rack up a hospice bill that would deplete their savings.  Those were all Anna’s personal preferences and decisions and she was taken aback by the insensitive pry into her sacred and deepest thoughts.  This was the most pathetic thing she ever heard of, a law that forces a doctor to ask a question that is none of his effing business.

That’s what she replied as well, except she used the real word instead of the euphemism. The doctor stuttered a bit and stammered a few syllables and finally said he needed a yes or no answer.  Anna took a deep breath and said “That’s the only answer you’ll get from me,” she announced that they were now leaving and stood up as she said it to prove her point.  She shook the doctor’s hand, and left the room without looking back.

They took their short road trips and the weather cooperated nicely.  Pictures and new memories were created when family members visited.  She let them prattle on, cried with them, and smiled knowingly with each click of a cell phone, her image frozen in time for them to draw strength from when she left. The friend bash was everything she hoped for, filled with laughter and hugs and a million unspoken goodbyes. By then end of four months, Anna’s was losing her appetite and needing increased pain management.  On one of her good days, she looked to her husband over a cup of broth and asked him if he’d mind picking up lunch from her favorite sushi place.  “Of course,” he said right away, happy in the thought of a cheerful day.  “You can also swing by and pick up that bottle of gin if ya don’t mind,” she added.

It was a long time before he answered.  He wanted to make sure his voice was steady, without trepidation.  “Of course,” he said again and met Anna’s eyes with a smile.  They took a deep breath together and he went off to run his errands, making her requests his command, knowing he was providing her last meal and hearing her last words. He dutifully deposited the efforts of his outing and left right away again.   They talked it all over before and had it planned exactly.  There was no need for words now.  He gave her a long kiss on her head,  they breathed each other in for a last time and he left town for the rest of the day.

It was late when he came back. There was Anna, on the sofa, and not breathing.  He rushed to her, keening so loudly the neighbors came and called the ambulance and the whole thing took on a life of its own. In the aftermath, one of the neighbors found the document the doctor’s office sent months earlier.  She was supposed to mark it and sign it, acknowledging that she had the ‘suicide’ talk with her doctor.  On principle she refused to send it back and it sat on their bill desk like a specter.  There it was now, on the table beside her, with her scrawl on signature line….”None of your fucking business.”

 

 


Keep Writing

Wanna give up? Don’t. Wanna shred that manuscript outline? Don’t. Wanna cntrl-alt-x those thousands of words you’ve entered? Do…Not…

SUCH is the life of a writer…we mist be some of the most tenacious individuals to exist, considering our propensity to stubbornly carry on and wrestle with our art the way we do.

Here’s to the weekend…May we find our desire to write overwhelming….Here’s to not giving up….

Frankie


Two Quick Book Reviews (Frankie Style)

craneheller

Amazingly, despite being….older, I’ve not read either of these until just recently.

Crane’s depiction of battle, especially his use of analogy inspired me :  “The guns squatted in a row like savage chiefs.  They argued with abrupt violence.  It was a grim pow-wow.  Their busy servants ran hither and thither.”   Does anybody write like this anymore?

Although the story is short, it takes its reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions from the absolute disgust of cowardice to the brilliance of bravery and heroics, all within the same character.  Crane’s ability to pack a wallop of a read in such a short amount of pages left me reeling.  His raw narrative of battle puts the atrocities of war in the forefront of the reader’s mind and one can’t help but wonder at the madness of our propensity to engage in such an act.

Heller, on the other hand, comprehends the madness of war and translates its insanity without shame in Catch 22.  Colorful, bigger than life characters learn to cope with war in not so sane ways because, well, war is not a sane activity we humans partake in.   Heller’s complete abandon to the mind and soul of his distraught characters is a great inspiration to this writer…let not our imagination limit us in any way….

Go read a book, any book, and be inspired!  Peace Kids…

Frankie

 


Sunrise story…….

Image

This beauty appeared a couple of days ago, when I see clouds on the horizon in the morning I know I’m in for some color and I was not disappointed.  I have a funny story about another gorgeous sunrise …. I work as a front desk clerk at a hotel and so my job in the morning is checking guests out.   One gentleman, big guy, booming voice, seventies-ish, mentioned the sunrise and that “Jesus must’ve gotten his paint brushes out this morning.”   Being an atheist, these  comments always put me in an awkward position….I must be respectful, but at the same time I don’t want to perpetuate theism…I have to come up with some way of stating the truth without  offending or condescending.   I chose silence at first, hoping we could move on somehow, but the question begged an answer and the six or seven people standing around all heard it and were awaiting my reply, probably a bit vexed at my silence.  He repeated the question again in some variant form and the best response I could come up with was, “Well, I’m a science kind of girl so when I see a sunrise like that I think of the clouds of water molecules that are reflecting the sun’s light off of them which gives them the colors we see.”   I didn’t include the fact that I also wonder incessantly at the idea that we, of all animals formed from the dust of the stars and living on this earth, can have the conscience to notice such beauty, and that I have this moment and this day to make my time count for something.   I think it would have been overload for him.  As it was, he coughed and muttered and shuffled away as I said in my
kindest voice, “Have a great day!”   We all breathed a few moments as the tension passed and then, to my delight and surprise, the woman behind him came up to check out and said to me in a low whisper “I’m with ya on the science thing.”

Have Peace Kids,

Frankie


the lasting effects of reading….

This new study from Emory University demonstrates the way a good, well written book can literally affect our brains…for the good.  Check out the article below, and may it be a good reminder to us writers to create not just entertainment, but food for our readers’ brains as well.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270640.php

Choose Peace and Excellence,

Frankie


Let’s make each mile count, shall we????

happy new year


You Love Me Like XO: the story of the power of a song ….

They fought when he visited her on his lunch break….he was in a completely different place than she, feeling physically fatigued and being mentally frustrated with banks and credit card companies chipping away at their meager earnings….she made the mental note that it was her responsibility to make sure they had weekly conversations about finances to avoid these kinds moments “get with the program gurl” she said as she scolded herself…she let him rant, giving him copious amounts of grace because she knew he had been sick, they both had, it’d been a week since sex because of it, and well, he needed to get it out…he finished up, they chit chatted about their mornings, the mood lightened and when he got ready to leave she asked him for the debit card…”why?” he said…”because I want to buy my sister in law a card for making it through her first christmas without her husband that died a few weeks ago…” …”It’ll only be about three or four bucks” she mentioned, she was still on the clock so her professional, down to business demeanor severely contrasted with his recent rant over money and he couldn’t believe she wanted to go off and spend some….suddenly there was a fight, they departed on angry terms and there followed a flurry of furious texts back and forth “I felt like you didn’t hear me” “we only had a minute and I had to ask for the card, I didn’t mean to be insensitive”…..they spent the afternoon in misery, wondering how they’d be in the evening, hoping they could just both brush it off as an off moment and not turn it into a full on fight….they felt each other out in later texts over the afternoon…”got a ride home with so and so, won’t be waiting for you to pick me up”, “ok :p”, “need anything from the store?”, “yeah, thanks! “……”whew, they might’ve escaped a bad time of it,” she thought….at home she took advantage of her time by taking down christmas and cleaning house, she listened to the newest release of so and so, thanking the technology gods for digital music….the song was played repetitively on her iphone whilst learning the lyrics on her laptop, the beat was catchy, the lyrics simple, the depth endless ….she knew music, having sung in her a cappella choir in high school and spending years on the worship team at a small church, she knew how to pick out instruments, listen for the key changes, all that stuff….the song wasn’t particularly complex, she detected a slight bent from one of her favorite bands, so and so, which pleased her…she noticed that it was one of those songs that could go on forever in a set listing, a tune that lent itself the ability to go off in random impromptu musical anthems, taking crowds on a surf ride of music…she went on many such surf rides as a singer on the worship team, she knew their power and their ability to bring a person to a moment of mental and emotional openness…such was the case now as the new song sunk in and she connected words to music to beat….she thought of her husband, how she’d do nothing to hurt him, he was her equal and fighting killed them both….she thought about her determinedness to make this relationship work no-matter-what-goddammit…she loved that man with every cell of her body, they fit together perfectly in every way, and though things weren’t right now, she’d work it out with him precisely because she loved him….she knew  the difference, she knew a life lived with a man who didn’t fit even though he was the father of her children, she knew the pain of trying to love someone, the disappointment of realizing such a thing can never be forced…she chose the torture of a divorce over the dreary future of an unhappy marriage, a boatload of guilt and a few years later she met him and instantly there was chemistry ….the happiness she found in him made every day of hell worthwhile and even when they were fighting, his face was all that she could see, there was, simply, no one else….she thought of the treasure she had, that such a love really comes but once in a while and not everyone gets it….she thought about the temporariness of life, a lesson she learned all too well recently with the passing of her brother…we never know when our time will run out, and those words struck home to her as she mopped away to the beat of the drums, living in the moment….in a bit of a mental lull, a wave of music came in and sent her memory reeling  further back and her mind into deeper thoughts….like the comparison to relationships earlier, she compared her life now as an atheist to her life then as a christian….here, she had no regrets, only thankfulness to be out of the confines of the four walls rank with conspiracy theories and fear….she thought of her time on the worship team, hours and hours, she recalled the moments of surf rides, the small amount of dancing she could do….now she was free and danced without restraint, allowing herself full expression of her body as it interpreted the music …an earlier thought came to mind and she marveled again at how similar the sounds of music were inside and outside the church, that we all catch the same creative waves, they just get funneled differently …. as she compared inside versus outside, she saw once more that outside was real, raw, and now….a new thought came to mind as she considered all those moments spent chasing a ‘perfect’ supernatural love, coming away unfulfilled, and being told “that was the nature of the thing, we are supposed to be kept hungering”….now, she realized, after discovering deep, true, perfect love in the flesh and she concluded “of course an invisible lover will remain elusive”,  she thought of her lover, that he was her heart’s desire, that they seemed to be made exclusively for each other, that he met her needs in every way, and yet……her heart ached for him to get home so they could embrace one another and forgive each other a thousand times over with a wordless, passionate cuddle…..”yeah,” she thought, “an elusive lover that keeps a girl chasing is ridiculous, in reality a girl can be completely satisfied and wake up the next morning wanting even more, in heat and craving it as if it’d been years,”….”you love me like XO…..” he does, and she does, and it is real and ever so temporary…. she was reminded that her decision to leave religion behind for this moment, for the acknowledgement of reality and true freedom, was the right one…..the house was nearly back to normal and clean, the song fairly memorized, another confirmation of her decision to be free of religion’s chains were all achieved by the time he got home….they spent a quick moment of checking each other’s eyes to determine if everything was okay and the long anticipated hug made everything right again….words and music bounced around in her head as they went about their evening until they finally rendezvoused in the bedroom….tender, apologetic kisses turned to lustful craving quickly and in the end, a new day came round and their love was even deeper, their passion even hotter…..she would hear the song again in years to come and just like any good tune it’ll take her back to that brief moment and remind her of the thoughts she had, the emotion she felt, and the freedom in which she basked…this is the story of the power of a song and the healing virtue of music…..

Peace Kids!  and happy new year…may 2014 be good to you….

Frankie Wallace

ericandi

 

 

 

 

 


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