How The Fates Fell Out

“So, as I said to Avery, the sisters got tired of all that spinning, weaving and cutting… and quite frankly they were sick of each other. Imagine spending all your time in your living room – all day, every day – never going anywhere?”

[Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from The Year of the Numen.]

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The Three Moirai – by By Johann Gottfried Schadow

“Hey, if it’s story time, tell Avery to call the shuttle, then we can all hear about it together.” Steve [the shuttle’s driver] said as he turned on the shuttle’s phone system. A minute later, they could all see Avery on the screen above the front window looking down on them.

He held up his coffee mug to them and said, “Live from New York…”

Hello, Avery!” everyone shouted at the screen.

“Quiet down, everyone,” Steve called out. “Olivia is going to tell us a story about the Fates splitting up.”
Continue reading “How The Fates Fell Out”

The Cosmic Flower of Faith

 

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Is there a transcendent reality to our existence? Is belief in such a reality an illusion?

We live in an age where people find it difficult to discuss the supernatural at all. One of the reasons for this is that our words are changing. Definitions are being shorn of their supernatural meanings.

Take, for example, the word “cosmic“. The Merriam-Webster dictionary (online) gives us the following:

Definition of cosmic
1 a :  of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone  – cosmic radiation
b :  of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas – cosmic wisdom
2 :  characterized by greatness especially in extent, intensity, or comprehensiveness – a cosmic thinker – a book of cosmic significance

However, the Bing (search engine) gives us this:

cos·mic
[ˈkäzmik]
ADJECTIVE
of or relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth:
“cosmic matter”

synonyms: extraterrestrial · in space · from space

inconceivably vast:
“the song is a masterpiece of cosmic proportions”

Notice the supernatural meaning is stripped from the definition. And it’s happening in other words, too. Some people think “soul” is now a person’s personality or character. The word “mind” is preferred over “psyche” as people accept that there is nothing more inside us than a mechanical brain that responds to external stimuli due to evolutionary conditioning.

For many people there is no God, no heaven or hell, no angels, no spirits at all – just the mud of the earth we are made of. When we die we decay into lifeless molecules and are absorbed back into that same Earth. It’s no wonder that the atomizing of society follows this philosophy of the atomizing of the individual. What point is there to family, religion, community if it all ends in dust? Why should we adhere to bonds between souls when the soul is a figment of the human imagination?

There is no proof we can offer that we will exist beyond death or that there is more to us than our physical bodies. However, there are arguments that point to something beyond this material universe. And this is what we call “faith.”  But, it is difficult to hold onto that faith. We may study the best arguments of humanity’s finest philosophers, but the dominate culture of this age rejects these arguments summarily.  And yet, isn’t the possibility of life after death appealing? Should it be rejected simply because it can’t be put to scientific analysis?

Faith is fragile – even for those who feel certain that God exists. First, it is hard to maintain faith in a vacuum.  Secondly, it may be that whether one believes or not in the supernatural depends on one’s personality and circumstances.

But my point is that whether one is a believer or not, the transcendent is worth spending some time studying and discussing. All references to  this (potential) aspect of our existence should not be wiped out of our vocabulary.  The difficult truth is that we will not know the truth of our existence until the moment of death. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, we will not know whether the fragile flower of faith is based on reality or not until that moment. It will be the most critical moment of our existence.

So, isn’t it worth spending a little time, while we’re alive, contemplating what our flower looks like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Writing Life is a category on this website where I muse about life in general and writing in particular. You can find this group of posts here.

 

 

 

 

 

Texas – Eclipse on Monday, Hurricane on Friday…

We’ve been preoccupied with the sky lately. Slowly, things are returning to normal around here.

Fortunately, we’re safe. My family is safe. Most people I know are okay. Still, so many are not tonight. Pray for Texas!

WORDS: Aisling (Ash-ling or Ash-leen): Vision or Dream

 

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Aisling is a word of Irish origin and is interesting for both its lyrical qualities and as an inspiration for writers.

The heavenly image of a woman appearing to warn people of impending disaster appears in many cultures. The Aisling is a form particular to Ireland.

According to Wikipedia it was a popular poetic device in centuries past.

Aisling (Wikipedia)

“In the aisling, Ireland appears to the poet in a vision in the form of a woman: sometimes young and beautiful, sometimes old and haggard. This female figure is generally referred to in the poems as a Spéirbhean (heavenly woman; pronounced [ˈspʲeːɾʲ.vʲanˠ]). She laments the current state of the Irish people and predicts an imminent revival of their fortunes, usually linked to the return of the Roman Catholic House of Stuart to the thrones of Britain and Ireland.”

Unfortunately, the word “Aisling” is behind the paid wall at the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, but Wikipedia provides some interesting insights making the word as a name.

Wikipedia: Aisling (name)

“Aisling is an Irish language feminine given name meaning “dream” or “vision” and referring to an aisling, a poetic genre that developed during the late 17th and 18th century in Irish language genre poetry. Aisling was not used as a given name before the 20th century.

“There are many variant forms of the name, including Ashling, Aislin, Aislinn and Aislene.[1] Pronunciation of the name also varies, with the most common pronunciation being /ˈæʃlɪŋ/ ASH-ling; other forms acceptable to Irish speakers are /ˈæʃlɪn/ ASH-lin and /ˈæʃliːn/ ASH-leen.”

The first Wikipedia entry above goes on to say that this type of poetry was so popular that it eventually became a subject of satire and parody. It seems to me that most supernatural or paranormal stories these days fall into that category. The TV series Supernatural and movies like Michael come to mind. In this age, we tend to camp up our supernatural stories because our cultural is uncomfortable with ideas of life beyond death. And yet, a good portion of humanity today believes strongly in supernatural visions of a woman (Marian Apparitions).

For a writer, there are worlds, both psychological and spiritual, to explore and expand on.  😉

 

For more WORDS for Writers, click HERE

All The Lonely People, Where Do They All Belong?

We all have a desire to belong somewhere. But, where we think we belong has changed.Eleanorfinal1nobordera

Ah look at all the lonely people
Ah look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
In the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face
That she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong…

“Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles

In ages past, people tended to identify themselves by family, tribe, religion or class status. “I am Tom’s mother.” “I am a Catholic.” “I am a New Yorker.” These used to help form a picture of a person’s identity.

Populations are now on the move. The idea of the nation or place of residence as an identity is not as strong as it once was. There is a growing social stigma against all religions. Families break up, reform, break up again. Indeed, many people are choosing to be childless, so they are not going to find themselves in their progeny.

In the past, shows like “Friends” and “How I met Your Mother” were shows where friends met on a daily basis well past their school years. The popularity of these shows was based on our desire to belong to a group that wants our company. These were unrealistic scenarios as most people have hectic schedules. Also, the fact that people move around a great deal make it difficult to continue school friendships beyond graduation. And while we have social media, such as Facebook, these are a poor substitute for the physical human contact friendship provides.

Populations are aging, people are alone more hours of the day. I recently read an article that most adolescents spend more time alone on their phones and only leave the house with their parents. This is called the “atomizing of society” and it is a trend that I believe will continue to grow and be a cause of concern for the mental health of individuals for many decades to come.

These trends and the desire to belong is why many popular TV shows and books today focus on character over plot. Not knowing where to turn, we look for our identity in our stories. That is, we are looking for story characters to be the place where we fit in. We “belong” in someone else’s story. Whether that is wise or not, it is happening in our culture.

So, who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? Where do we all belong?

 

 

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The Writing Life is a category on this website where I muse about life in general and writing in particular. You can find this group of posts here.