What’s inside of YOU?

What am I avoiding? What are we all avoiding? Fear? Yes. The Unknown? Of course, all are. But what is it really? What is it that lurks deep within, releasing horror deep through us all. The shiver in your spine, the hair raised to attention on your neck. What is it that, though very much a part of us, causes even our own demise?

evil cat

The beast. The primal nature within all of us that just shrieks to be released. To be feral for a day; just to be bad for the sake of it. Would it be horrid? Or would it frighten you more to find that you relished every moment of it. What will happen if we DON’T avoid it is, I fear, the real question here. So what would happen? We lose our sanity altogether.

Lycanthropy. Most people outside of horror writing communities and Hollywood studios don’t consider this term often. The ability to shift into a beast, unleashing that primal nature has appealed to people for generations. Why? What causes this innate fascination? The beast. All of us wish to let it out, whether we know it or not. We all want to see it, to feel it, to allow it to envelope our very consciousness. The idea of being consumed with this primal power excites us. And for good reason.

Why don’t we then? What keeps us from unleashing this evil upon the world with all it’s horrors? Why shouldn’t we let the beast rule? Our humanity perhaps?

But what is it that makes us human? Our logic? Our reason? No, that’s not it. That’s not ALL I mean. What makes us human is that deep within all of us, sitting right next to that awful beast, is a sense of moral accuracy. Love, life, joy. What is right, what is wrong. What is evil, what is good. The yin-yang of life, if you will. Love, life, joy. There are, indeed, two natures inside each of us. Which one will you choose? As for me, for now, I choose life.

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Swearing: The Social Debaucle

Cussing is a cultural ordeal in my opinion. For instance, in Germany, swearing is considered everyday speech, whereas here in the US, it’s considered downright immoral and improper. It’s a social debate. Society says, “Do not swear,” therefore, swearing is improper. Speech and language in itself is not a harbinger of evil; it is how you say what you said that makes the difference between life and death.

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A Haiku, For You

A haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that was originally written with 17 moras (a sort of pause), with 5, 7, and 5 moras in each row. Typically it was written with a kigo (or a seasonal reference) and a kireji (an audible pause that serves as a break in a verse or poem). It was written in Japanese as one line downwards, and was adapted as three lines in the English form. So here is my somewhat feeble attempt at a haiku about the 5 Japanese elements.

An Adjoined, Elemental Haiku:

Ka (fire) is all alone,

None else are as powerful.

Except for lightning!

Chi (earth) is very strong,

Immovable, rock can be.

Why do you try so?

Mizu (water) flows with ease,

As a fool’s mind, it changes.

Unsteady she is…

Fu (wind) blows everywhere,

It is raging all over.

Then it is quiet…

Sora (void) is empty,

Yet it is always active.

How can it be tamed?

————————————————————-

Thank you for reading,

It has brought joy to my heart.

Now I go to eat!

Acceptance: What does it mean to be “Christian?”

Why is it that people are so close minded? Christians especially. Now, I’m not saying we should be so liberally open-minded that our brains fall out, but for crying out loud people have some common sense. This is exactly the kind of thing that causes wars, starts hate crimes, and sparks racial and sexual inequalities. People just don’t take time to really understand and it literally slays me. Why is it that as a Christian you can talk about sending people to hell,  but yet the second you talk about love and grace and forgiveness people actually get offended?

Take electionism for example. “We are the only ones going to heaven, if you aren’t like us then you are going to hell, and we don’t need Christ because we are already saved so we can’t possibly go plant seeds in others because that’s God’s job alone and if you aren’t already ‘elect’ then you’re just screwed.” No. That’s close-minded, and just plain wrong! I just want to beat people upside the head for that kind of behavior; Oh wait! I can’t, because then I’d be going to hell. Darn. Doesn’t that suck. There is a dying, lost world out there that don’t even want to listen to us because there are so many “Christians” that give Christianity a bad name. Last time I checked, Jesus didn’t minister to the Pharisees. He spent most of His time with the dying, the lost, the sinners, the tax collectors, and the prostitutes.

What does it mean to be a Christian? To snub those that we don’t like, simply because they aren’t the “perfect image of Christianity?” This is why the world hates us. The Bible says, “as they hated me, they will hate you,” but we’ve given the world a horrible reason to hate us. Because we hate them. And the worst part is, most of us just don’t care.

Most Christians just want to live their pretty, sweet Christian lives and condemn those even in the church because they got their feelings hurt from a bit of conviction. “The high call is not to live a pretty, sweet, Christian life, it is to walk with God!” (- John Beverre)  “Well brother, I don’t like what you’re saying because it’s too true for me.” Last time I checked, the Bible says to convict your brothers and show them their wrongs. Not the sinners. We show them love and hope not death. Beating people with the bible and scaring them into the Kingdom is not biblical.

What does it mean to be a Christian? To be like Him and show His love to this ignorant and lost generation. The reason they don’t live the way they should is about 80% of the time because they don’t know any better. But we aren’t exactly helping now are we. No. The only thing we show them is that we are no better. They don’t want to be like us, because the only difference between us and them is that we condemn their every move. The word Christian means to be Christ-like. It doesn’t mean go exactly against everything He fought so hard to gain! He died that we may live, and we deny that very freedom to any one we don’t consider worthy. But think on this:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe through Him.” – John 3:17

Food for thought.

What is “Impossible?”

I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like being told that “it’s impossible” or, “you can’t do that” so anytime I can beat the odds or go against what’s supposedly “the norm” I’m going to do it. It’s just in my nature.

That’s probably one of the reasons that I don’t like the saying “there’s nothing new under the sun.” You know, the one from Ecclesiastes? I mean, granted I know it’s from the bible and all that, but first off it was written 3,000 years ago. I mean really guys, that’s way to long of a time to say that there’s still nothing new. On top of that, Solomon was in a depressive state and was simply tearing down the fallacy of humanistic logic. He said “what has been done will be done again,” not “what will be done has been done before.” Big difference. By saying the latter, you impose that nothing will ever be new, because it will have already been done. By confessing the former, you acknowledge that what has been done in the past will most likely be done in the future. Which is true. Think about the fact that the sixties are coming back. Woodstock, the Summer of Love, Rock and Roll, “Hippie” ideologies, they’re all returning. Nothing new. But think about this: Death metal didn’t exist in the 1940’s, let alone the 50’s or 60’s. Come to think of it, I don’t think it even was an idea till the 80’s, during the rise of punk rock, which, OH BY THE WAY didn’t exist until the late 60’s through 70’s. Tell me that’s not a relatively new idea. I mean, how many people walked on the moon before 1945, and how many were hit by an atomic bomb before the 60’s. None. Exactly.

By saying there’s nothing new in that context, you’re saying “give up, it’s useless, it’s already been done, so there’s nothing you can do about it.” Yes there may be similar ideas, and who’s to say that classical wasn’t the original rock music. Beethoven and Mussorgsky could have been the original Van Halen or the Clash. But by taking it in the wrong context, and saying, “well just stop trying because there’s no way that hasn’t been played before,” you destroy all hope of creativity. I mean, God is a creative God, and as such He is constantly creating. Can you imagine if He stopped all creativity and newness of any sort? It would be hell for people such as musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers and the like.   That kind of attitude kills all creative inspiration.

Food for thought.

Chains, Bubblegum, and a Yo-yo.

So I was walking through the Wal-mart ™ the other day and I get another spontaneous urge (as if I didn’t get enough of those). Now, I’m typically a pretty random guy, but this time I noticed a pattern in my odd shopping list. I realized I’m a complete 80’s child! Yeah, really. Now, I was born in the 90’s, and I love the 60’s, 70’s; even the 40’s and 50’s! But I never really gave a second thought to the era of the Eighties. I mean, the music of the Woodstock era, the birth of Rock and Roll, and the smooth, jazzy age of the Chicago mob always caught my attention, but the 80’s never really sparkled to me. I realized that this was because I have no idea what happened in the 80’s. I don’t know about them because I wasn’t there, and I never learned about them because I really didn’t care. But ladies and gentlemen, today I bring you my favorite bits of the 80’s.

Item #1- Bubblegum is delish. End of story. It’s amazing to chew, great for passing time, good for exercising the jaw (as if some of us needed any help) and as the name suggests, is fun to blow bubbles with! But even though the origins of this sticky morsel began long before the 80’s, it’s popularity grew significantly during that time. Names like Hubba Bubba, Bazooka, Bubble Yum, and (my favorite) Bubblicious still survive, but the older brands such as Care*Free, Freshen Up, and Binaca Blast outlive all in the childhood memories of those that lived through it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to get sentimental about gum, but those folks that actually made it through their childhood think it’s some pretty darn good stuff.

Item #2- Yo-yo! Probably one of the most enjoyable toys ever played with by the likes of man, and perhaps one of the longest lasting. The origins of a yo-yo are highly debated and was said to have begun as a Filipino weapon in the 16th century where they tied a cord to a rock and threw it at their prey. The cord allowed for easy retrieval upon missed attempts. This is considered to be an urban legend (but it sure makes for a good story!) However, the true origins of the yo-yo are said to have been around 500 B.C. where it was made from terra-cotta as a child’s toy in Greece. When the child came of age, the toy was “offered” to the gods as a symbol of the child growing into man/womanhood. Regardless of it’s beginning, the place it ended up is probably the most outstanding. Nowadays yo-yo’s are made with metal and take-apart bodies, automatic clutch transaxles, ball-bearing axles, and crazy body designs that are the envy of any professional yo-yo fanatic. Rising to it’s popularity peak in the 50’s and it’s re-birth in the 80’s, the yo-yo is a pretty entertaining piece of plastic, and deserves some mad props.

Item #3- The rise of the Punk era. From the music to the fashion, it was a time of anti-establishment and anarchist ideals where the superior whim was creativity and a DIY attitude. It started off in major cities like New York and London and was borne on the backs of groups like The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. The thing about it’s music was that it wasn’t so much about skill as it was about the desire to express yourself through the music. The voices were characterized by a more nasally tone with lack of pitch or volume shifting and the lyrics were typically shouted and screamed as opposed to the conventional singing. The music wasn’t usually prone to complex guitar solos or difficult riffs, which were considered to be more of just “fluff” and not really necessary. It wasn’t necessarily the best music out there, (my parents [mom] called them “wimpy, rich-boy, wannabe posers who just wished they were the big names”) but the raw passion and emotion makes it that much more enjoyable to listen to and even be a part of.

Now I know what you’re thinking: The things you picked aren’t really relevant (or weren’t really a big deal in) the eighties, but to me these are the little things that cause me to think about them good ol’ days when rock wasn’t necessarily king, but it still rolled just as hard. The days when bubblegum wasn’t just a hobby, it was a lifestyle. When yo-yo’s weren’t toys, but obsessions wrapped up in string and plastic. The Cold War raged and politics weren’t choice, but these years were essential in the addition to our interesting and fantastic past.

Comments? Did you survive the 80’s or barely make it through? What are some of your favorite childhood/80’s memories? I want to hear your story, so tell it here.

The Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick

So as an Irish Christian on St. Patrick’s Day (a day late, sorry), I feel like it may be a good idea to share the Prayer of St. Patrick. The prayer was supposedly written by St. Patrick in preparation for a journey of some sort, and perhaps was written as an “anti-charm” of sorts, as it was much in the style of the Druid charms. That would make sense considering St. Patrick was well known for his fight against the paganistic ways of Ireland back in the day, and began to instill many Christian beliefs into the Irish people. There is a legend in which Patrick expelled all the snakes from Ireland. Although it is just a legend, it is assumed that the snakes represent the “evil serpents” of the pagan and druid cults. So without further ado, here is the Prayer of St. Patrick (with a little bit of explanation into the meaning of some of the terms).

The Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort, [i.e., at home]
Christ in the chariot seat, [i.e., traveling by land]
Christ in the boat [i.e., traveling by water]

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Questions…

Ok so, today I am sick ( 😦 ) which totally sucks because I am missing church. Which I love. So I figured instead, I’d lay on the couch sucking down soup and hot tea, popping cough drops and Theraflu ™ , and bring you lovely people a new blog post. So here are some thoughts on life, or a sudden lack thereof, from my perspective.

What if you didn’t have a name? What if you couldn’t tell anyone what it was? Where would you go if you couldn’t go home? Would it be cozy? Would it be easy to get to? What if you could tell anyone anything, or even everyone one thing? Would it be harsh? Would it be acceptable? Would it be sweet or hard to swallow? What would you do if you could do anything? What if you could do everything? How about if you could do nothing at all? Would you go mad with anticipation, or rest in the peace of the moment? What if everything you did was a lie? What if it was too real? How would you sleep at night if you knew you did something you shouldn’t? What would you wear if it was your last night on earth? Would it be comfortable or stylish? Where would you go, what would you do? Who would you choose to spend your last few moments with? Would it be your friends? Your family? Your closest loved ones, or the one you chose to spend your life with? Would you be alone? Would you want to be if you were? Would you seek out companionship with strangers, or opt to leave this earth by yourself, a lone wolf to the end? Would you choose me? Would you choose her? Or even Him? Would you choose God? Or do you even believe He cares? Would you keep yourself living in a nightmare or try to wake up? Would you die whole, in body, spirit, and soul? Would you even care? Would you try? Or do you believe that it’s even worth the effort? Would you hate yourself for being this way, or try to find a better path to take? Even if you had a thousand years to dwell in the presence of Humanity and the nature they posses, would you try to make it right? Better, even? Or do you even care to give it even one last shot, before you find yourself slipping slowly into the destructive, waking nightmare of madness that your very soul has lain before you? Do you want to find out where that path leads? Or would you find a new way? Would you try, even if you knew you were going to fail? Would you give up, even if you knew there was no way you could ever fail?

Snow.

Any place can be magical in the snow, even your own backyard. Normally my backyard is pretty dull, with patches of grass, patches of dirt, and even a hill and some trees. But there’s something special about a Georgia winter that’s covered in snow, I mean real snow. Not many people who are natural-born Georgians can say that they’ve even seen snow, much less seen the entire ground smothered with it. Granted, most of us have seen sleet before; even ice and hail too. But a white day in our state is an unnatural and special ordeal.

Walking outside of my house, the first thing to notice is the cold. It was practically freezing! But when you finally get over the icy breeze, there’s a tranquil feeling that passes through you, as if the snow itself has decided to run through your veins. Just looking at the ground makes you feel out-of-place. The low hanging trees bending from the weight of the snow, and the icy fences highlighted from the wintery background added to the surreal effect of the morning. Blissfully you are drawn to walk off the patio and into the drifting snow that looks so crisp and light, almost like sugar set upon the stony walkway. However looks indeed deceive and you immediately sink into the wet and clinging blanket. But that does not faze you, for the magical excitement overwhelms and you find yourself running through the blank canvas that has been laid out during the night. Footprints leave their mark and the atmosphere dares to play as a child, giggling with glee once again. The snowballs will fly, and angels caress the snowy grounds. The amount of snow is ridiculous! As you romp it seems as though it will never run out.

Later in the day the ice sets in and it tempts you to slip and slide across it as you frolic across the drive. As night comes you return indoors to the warmth and cozy in with a blanket and a mug, reflecting on the day. The family eagerly talks over one another, creating a delightful cacophony of excitement. As you sit by the window, you look outside for one last glimpse at the beautiful cloak of snow, seemingly undisturbed by the wreckage of today’s events. A warm chill runs through you as you once again smell the cold air, feeling as much a part of the scenery as the snow itself. It has been a good day. All in all, the snow this weekend was a spectacle to see, almost like stepping through a wardrobe 😉

A few thoughts on Goth…

So lately I’ve been really interested in sub and counter-cultures (Goth, Punk, etc.) and even deeper into sub-subcultures (such as cyberpunk, rivethead, steampunk, and Victorian goth). Therefore, being the curious, infomaniac I am, I have been doing a lot of research on the subject. But the one thing I have realized through all of this is that a lot of people misunderstand “Gothic” individuals. I mean think about it; what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think “goth.” Darkness? Evil? Satanist Paganism? So again, I did some research and I realized why: Gothic culture is very shaded. Most of the people that know the most about Gothic behavior and beliefs are Goth’s themselves. The stereotype that most people have accepted is that everything associated with Gothic culture is that by accepting this culture, they accept evil and demoniac likings, which is true to an extent. See, the thing I realized is that every culture has it’s bad eggs. Every people group, or clique, or whatever has people that are Satanists, or Pagans, or Wiccans. I mean, everywhere you go there is much diversity among peoples. There can also be Buddhists, Hindus, and even Christians as well.

Being Goth is an attitude first and foremost. Though there is a clearly defined aesthetic (black attire, dyed hair, piercings, fishnets, combat boots, and whatever else you decide to “integrate”), those are only things that, to the eye, define what goth is. Goth is about having your own style, doing things your own way, being an individual. BBC posted an article that said this best: “They are usually intelligent youngsters who have rejected the idea that teenagers must fulfill certain criteria.” 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But wait,” you protest. “Doesn’t becoming a Goth put you back into an acceptance of criteria?”

“Labels!” You cry, “It’s all about labels!” But that is that sad bit: Most people do put themselves back into labels with Gothic culture, and that is what saddens me the most. But really, the labels are only put there by those who aren’t goth. Those that are reject them entirely, which indeed puts them in a bind. But to find out more, let’s take a trip back to how “goth” got started shall we?

According to dictionary.com, the word “goth” means, “being of a genre of contemporary fiction typically relating the experiences of an often ingenuous heroine imperiled, as at an old mansion, where she typically becomes involved with a stern or mysterious but attractive man.” What does this mean? Well I’m glad you asked. It means that Goth was originally a fictional writing style. It was characterized by the large castles, creepy characters, and “damsels in distress” within them. However, this is not the only place goth came from. A website called Goths for Jesus (awesome, I know right?) defines goth this way, “Goth is an underground music subculture. It is a community that is centered around shared musical and clothing tastes. Goths are those who listen to Goth Rock, which sometimes includes Post Punk, ‘Deathrock,’ and New Wave music.” So what does this mean? Well it means that in the early 80’s, goth was about music. So therefore, “goth” is someone who is interested in art, literature, and music, and though it was originally about goth rock and fantasy novels, it is about whatever taste you like. So back to BBC we go:

“They are refined and sensitive, keen on poetry and books, not big on drugs or anti-social behaviour. They are also likely to carry on being goths into their adult life. They have an ability to express their feelings and are believers in romance rather than one-night stands, it says. In fact, the only things dark about them are their clothing and their sarcastic sense of humour.”

So what have we learned today? Say it with me class, “Goth’s are friends, not food.” What? Exactly.

If you want to read more of the BBC article, or would like some other resources on Goth Subculture, you can find them here:

BBC article

Goth’s for Jesus

Goth.net

Gothic Types*

*(A word of Caution: this is more about the different “stereotypes”; not 100% accurate but informative nonetheless. Wouldn’t take all of your information from this site, but it helps give you an idea of the different subcultures. I’d be willing to bet that if you do get all your information here, you will probably get yourself labeled a shallow poser, by no fault of my own I might add. A.k.a. Disclaimer Here. That is all. 😉 )

Comments, thoughts, all welcome.

Until next time,

-Nocturne out.

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