December 23, 2017: Communal
With their fists in the air and swords in their fists, the Mellijeens stormed to Holy Rock. Word came that the Willenish were seen at Holy Rock just two days after the Artuans announced their crusade to the same sacred stone. Tensions were at their highest in the Land of Lorde.
For around sixty years, these three communities grew further apart. Born on the same soil and under the same sun, they shared common hopes but different claims over the Holy Rock. The Mellijeens, the eldest of the three tribes, claimed Holy Rock as theirs and only theirs. It is where their hope in life began — where the miracle of Misa took place. The Willenish believed that they knew better. They believed that Misa’s purpose was to inspire Eban to hold a mirror to the Mellijeen’s conscious and lead the reformers to a new light, a light that shone brightest from Holy Rock. Meanwhile, the Artuans saw themselves as the gatekeepers of Holy Rock. To the Artuans, the Mellijeens and the Willenish were too consumed with each other. It was the first Artuan, Tovul, who ascended to the heavens from Holy Rock and brought back down the direct word of Lorde. The Artuans took it upon themselves to safeguard the Holy Rock and to spread the Word to all lands.
And so, the historic Clash of Lorde began over the right to Holy Rock. The Mellijeens, the Willenish, and the Artuans stained their hands with each others blood for hundreds of years to come, at the foot of the communal Holy Rock.
December 18, 2017: Compass
In only 24 hours, we compassed the world. It was hard to see exactly what was happening 30,000 feet below, but we knew when we were above Ghana, India, the Black Sea, Turkmenistan, and all other pockets of the world. High in the sky, we heard their stories that had drifted into the clouds above them. Above the Nile, we met all-powerful gods and goddesses. Above China, we danced with dragons and filled our bellies with the splendors of cuisine. Above the Pacific Ocean, we flew among pterodactyls and swam with magnificent whales. Twenty-four hours later, we descended back to land. I hailed a cab and gazed out the window onto the city streets, then up again at the world above.
September 12, 2017: Disobey
Not one comrade disobeyed the order. The order was strict, non-negotiable, and without exception. Yet, the guardsman could not hold on any longer. He collapsed. His friends did not even watch, the rules did not allow it. So, the young man lay there, unconscious, with his comrades by his side, obeying orders.
September 11, 2017: Sympathy
They called it soft, we called it sympathy.
They called it weak, we called it strong.
They knew no other way, we knew no other way.
So, we lent a sympathetic hand.
September 10, 2017: Peculiar
Jaromir was not the most handsome gentleman around, though a gentleman still. He had a strange face – very small forehead, very large eyebrows, super small eyes, a razor thin nose, a fat upper lip and skinny lower lip, very long cheeks and a triangle chin. Chessa was his love, and he was hers. Chessa was slightly taller than Jaromir. She had a symmetric face and warm brown eyes. Chessa did not love Jaromir despite his physical peculiarities, but partly because of them. They helped make Jaromir who he is, a gentleman with a range of loving, charming and caring personal peculiarities. They make him as resilient and hopeful as anyone she has ever met.
September 9, 2017: Overcome
Stan’s stutter often stopped him from realizing his potential. He would watch his classmates in the debate club argue over issues that mattered to him. Issues of justice, equity and social welfare. He watched from afar, resigning his own participation, held back by his stutter. He stuck to listening, passively and helplessly. When his friends would talk about girls, Stan would timidly step back, knowing that his stutter added too much pressure for his courage to handle – approaching her was already hard enough.
When he saw his ideological opponent win the debate competition, when he learned his friend asked out his crush, and when he realized his life would only continue this way, Stan set out to make a change. He began to meditate. He began to practice speaking more often, despite the laughs and awkward looks. He began to accept himself. He slowed his thoughts down.
He practiced day and night, night and day until he overcame. He still stuttered, but not like before. The difference for Stan, he realized, was that he was not at peace with himself. He wanted to be like the others around him. In the end, Stan overcame his stutter by being himself.
September 8, 2017: Crescendo
As she came in through the window, was the sound of a crescendo.
He came into her apartment, left the bloodstains on the carpet.
She ran underneath the table, he could see she was unable.
So she ran into the bedroom, she was struck down, it was her doom.
Annie, are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?
Dag gone it !
From Michael Jackson: Smooth Criminal
September 7, 2017: Finite
Between 0 and 1 lies an infinite amount of numbers.
Among 88 keys exist an infinite combination of sounds.
Inside one’s brain hums infinite thoughts.
Within one glance lies an infinite truth.
The infinite lives in the finite.
September 6, 2017: Anticipate
In some sense, it was better for her not to anticipate anything at all. Ashleigh was coming up in the world, ready to take it by storm. She left her loving community for the big city, far far away. When she arrived, Ashleigh could not hold back her wonderment. Sky high buildings, flashing lights, beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, and everything she imagined it to be. After settling in to her new, humble abode, Ashleigh was ready to live the life she dreamed. It did not take long for her wonderment to turn to confusion, anxiety, and disillusionment, however. The way the world worked outside her corner of it was much different than she anticipated.
Commitments, responsibilities, personal relationships, romantic relationships, politics, international affairs, racial relations, injustice, historical inequities. All these things merged with love, hope, creativity, ambition, inspiration, the new and exciting.
It was a lot for young Ashleigh, all at once, but she has a strong heart. She began to write to herself. She began to think for herself. She began to take the world as it is.
She began to let go.
September 5, 2017: Elevate
Ready, set, go! They were off, on a race to the bottom. They were on a mission to win, no matter what. The winner, they believed, would be the fastest. The fastest, they believed, would be better than the others. The best, they believed, would be revered, respected, and righteous. Little did they know, of course, that the better person is not the fastest or the best, but the wisest. The wisest, they believed, is the smartest. Little did they know that this was not so. In fact, the wisest is who elevates others. This way, she wins because they win.