Friday, March 30, 2007

Contentedness in Story

I've mentioned an idea here once before that I'd like to revisit and it involves story and contentedness and beauty. How does one write beauty? The struggles in life are the building blocks of narrative; rising conflict resolved in the end. Conflict is present in all good stories. I've been many characters here at Adventscribing, Ramandu, Black robe, the male house keeper, a dragon slayer, all pieces of me, projections of strength in difficult times. But who am I in pleasant times, in quite times? When I surrender and let God fight my battles? I am a whistler, a child of God, at peace.

Reading a bit from the Hobbit, I discovered that Tolkien touched on this idea as well. The dwarves and Mr. Bilbo set out for the treasure under the mountain and are confronted at once with difficulties, first losing a pony and the food he carried then when captured by the trolls, are nearly eaten for dinner. After all these adventures they finally make it to Rivendale where they eat, sing, and rest--simple pleasures. A span of weeks lodged in the elven city is captured in one paragraph. No struggle, no conflict, but merriment and peace--one paragraph. And the story would end there at happily ever after if it weren't for the long perilous road ahead of them.

I wonder, those people that tell their long stories of adventure, are they're hearts filled with conflict? Are they restless? I've spent nearly four years writing as Ramandu, sword fighting the beasts of youth: college, minimum wage, failed loves, challenging ideas. And I've finally come to the end of this road, to a place like Rivendale except real, full of peace and joy. I wish you were here with me. And while here I have nothing to write because I've been called to rest, for now at least. And so I fill up my pipe, pack a lunch, and meander up the hill where I lay in the grass and puff.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


There was this dog I admired today at the park. I don't know much about dog breeds but he was a short bronze colored brute with a very thick neck. He had a build that would lend well to guarding a scrap yard. He was wearing a leash and connected to that was his owner, a bipedal. Near the shore many people were gathered, smiling and nodding at each other while their dogs sniffed each others back ends. As the big muscular dog, I'll call him Brutus, spied the action down by the water he could barely contain himself. His tail started wagging like a maniac and he was choking himself as he tried to pull away from his master and go play with his kin. This big mean lookin dog was just a softy.

It got me thinking about humans. I think about this quite a bit, I'll admit, about what kind of pets humans would make to aliens that might take over the planet. Humans rarely let others see the kind of excitement that Brutus showed and when one does (get overly excited) they are considered weird or eccentric. I guess I admire that kind of naked lovingness that dogs have. Most of them aren't trying to be cool, or seem more intelligent or interesting then they really are. They sniff a butt and that is conversation enough. Then they are great friends. Humans are so intelligent that they are foolish, I think. I would be embarrassed of my species if we were domesticated by aliens and when taken to the park on leashes, refused to have any fun choosing instead to show off or exclude some because they weren't the right color or sort. What kind of pets would we be if when we showed up at the park, instead of playing with our fellow man for the delight of our alien masters, we just sat in a glum circle asking each other about our days at work?

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I'm outside before bed. It's late and I can't sleep. I'm wearing my pajamas with the banana peel print and a t-shirt. The breeze is warm and for the first time in a long time I don't feel cold.

I look up at the sky, the white clouds are moving slowly against the black of space. The stars appear then disappear, reappear. There are frogs out tonight. What a miricle: my ears! I notice also I'm under the flowering plum tree he's pink and sweet, exploding with life. It's late. Where is all this color coming from? It's spring, it finally came and I smile in this realization. The stars, the clouds, the plum blossoms. It is too much. I want to share it with someone. I'm alone under the sky and want to share this moment.

Maybe I'll stand here forever--my joints getting stiff and creaky and my skin rough like bark. My arms will rise to the heavens and my arm hair, all ready standing up, will grow and stretch and burst at the end in flowers.

The clouds speed up, the stars streak across the sky. The sun rises and falls, the moon chases...waxing, waning. Seasons of earth...Seasons of the sun. All creation alive, pulsating, praising God. I'm lost in sky. I'm not alone.

What is it to be born again, you've asked? Look, look, it is all around you! In the trees and the moon. Spring is here at last!

Friday, March 16, 2007


How did he arrive at this point in life. The dark circles under his eyes were visual symbols for the depravity in his heart, the dull black poison of addiction. He sat in the corner arm chair, the stubble on his cheeks growing ever so slowly. He'd been sitting there for weeks. "Pass it here, man. Come on bro, I need a hit. Duuude."

His buddy, no buddy at all, giggled sickly and sunk into the greasy couch. "The walls are moving, man. They're moving." The buddy passed his laptop to the whiskered guy in the corner chair.

He stared at the computer screen inhaling the light deep into his eyes. "Woah man,the walls are moving."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Cup Runith Over

It was sixty five degrees as I walked through the city at night. Pausing at the water falls, I leaned against the rails and watched the moon shadows dance against the cement overpass. Oh, to fall in love with the Creator of the universe on a warm spring night! Yesterday was a gift to us that have endured a perpetual winter sog. (10 points for the creation of a new word!)

On a different subject, I look at my education mostly as an opportunity for personal growth, an experience I am blessed to have had. But it is also an investment. And just as stocks can fluctuate based on consumer reports and media attention, let me say that my stock just went way up! For those employers out there that may be reading this, hire me; it will soon be trendy to have English majors discussing theory and criticism around the office water cooler.