December 16th, 2003

surya

Loads of fun stuff. . .

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My LiveJournal 12 Days
My True Love gave to me...
12 autumnfeys a-smiling.
11 bean_druis a-kissing.
10 hearthstones a-bowing.
9 beautycorrosions a-wiggling.
8 hekatatias a-staring.
7 raherakhts a-swallowing.
6 ladyoceanstars a-grinning.
5 orange mlleelizabeths.
4 drumming jadewaterflames.
3 Scottish rhiannon76s.
2 turkey sarah418s.
And a vampyrecandy in a apple tree.
Get gifts! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.


Crazy little thing. It's definitely amusing, though :)

Tina and I hung out last night at Half Price Books. I almost made it out. Alas, a book caught my eye: Peter Pan. I had to purchase it. If nothing else, we have to remember that "Peter Pan would understand his dreams, schemes, and ploys." I also picked up Pressfield's novel on Alcibiades. I've been looking forward to reading that since I finished Gates of Fire.

Oh, and I got a copy of Sir Walter Scott's letters on demonology and witchcraft. Mucho cool.

I finished several chapters in C.S. Forrester's The Gun last night. It's really a very good book, and I'm very impressed with it. I highly recommend it. It's the story of a gun, an 18-pounder, in Spain during the Napoleonic wars. It talks a lot about the nature of men and leadership. The gun is the main character, the others just passing through its life as it changes hands.

There will definitely be a total of three Christmas presents this year. One to my cousin (whose name I drew for the family gift exchange), one for Tina, and one for Brian. I simply can't afford anything more. And the reason I can't? It stems all from one person. One singular person. And I am not happy.

On the bright side of life, I'm getting responses to the announcement for Saturnalia. Everyone should come.

I found this in the dictionary today:
WORD HISTORY The word fornication had a lowly beginning suitable to the low moral status of the act to which it refers. It ultimately comes from the Latin word fornix, "a vault, an arch," which by extension also referred to a vaulted cellar where prostitutes plied their trade. This sense of fornix in Late Latin yielded the verb fornicari, "to commit fornincation," from which was derived fornicatio, "whoredom, fornication," the source of English fornication.

Bet you didn't know that.

And thanks very much to those who wrote me a story. Perhaps next time it'll be a contest :)
surya

Ancestors

It was a beautiful day. The clouds had rolled in around ten that morning, and the rain began to fall around noon. Now, at three PM, the sky had opened up. It was as if some vengeful God had it out for me, hurling lightning bolts from his high seat atop the sky.

I'd never seen anything so perfect.

I was alone on a ridge overlooking a small valley. I wasn't worried about the lightning: I was sitting on a rubber mat with my backpack 30 feet away. I set my back against an old oak tree and pulled my hat down a bit lower.

I closed my eyes for a minute, ignoring the trickle of water that slipped under my collar. I listened to the rain on the trees, the wind tearing through the valley below, the drops hitting my hat, and the approaching thunder.

I withdrew a wad of pipe tobacco from my right jacket pocket. From the other pocket, I produced a box of matches and a metal plate. I turned my back on the view of the valley, and set to work in a hollow in the tree. I placed the tobacco atop the metal plate inside where the ground was moist, but no rain or wind entered. I struck a match and began to burn the tobacco.

"This is an offering to you, Ancestors. I remember you and honour you. Protect me and guide me in my life. Hold me close to your breast that I may learn from you."

I struck another match and continued to burn the tobacco.

"Know that I do not forget you. Know that I hold you dear. Know that I respect your ways and your wishes. Know that I listen."

I struck a final match and burned the rest of the tobacco. I removed the plate, leaving the charred remains of tobacco in the tree trunk. I again placed my back to the tree, and I looked out again over the valley. The winds were still howling, the sky still crashing, but the storm was no longer violent.

Through the rain, far below, I could see a cemetery. I could see no road leading to it, and I could not find it on my map. In my mind's eye, I could read the headstones. Each was a grave of a family member, each was well kept and the inscriptions were renewed to keep them clear after erosion had begun to take its toll.

I began to recite the names of ancestors. I began to remember them. I called out, asking their blessings. I remembered their deeds: battles fought, loves declared, enemies defeated.

The storm eventually blew itself out, and the sun set under the western clouds. I knew it was time: not only must I speed home, but the dead must as well. When the sun's rays no longer illuminated the valley, the cemetery disappeared. I packed my backpack again and began my trek down to the next shelter for the night.