Instinct.

Last night before I went to bed, I was on Tumblr (obviously) and one of the last posts that I reblogged haunted me all throughout today. This is the post I’m talking about, but here is the content and gif in case you’re lazy and don’t want to follow the link:

Many classic horror icons and other disturbing creatures share common characteristics. Pale skin, dark, sunken eyes, elongated faces, sharp teeth, and the like. These images inspire horror and revulsion in many, and with good reason. The characteristics shared by these faces are imprinted in the human mind.

Many things frighten humans instinctively. The fear is natural, and does not need to be reinforced in order to terrify. The fears are species-wide, stemming from dark times in the past when lightning could mean the burning of your tree home, predators could be hiding in the dark, heights could make poor footing lethal, and a spider or snake bite could mean certain death.

The question you have to ask yourself is this:

What happened, deep in the hidden eras before history began, that could effect the entire human race so evenly as to give the entire species a deep, instinctual, and lasting fear of pale beings with dark, sunken eyes, razor sharp teeth, and elongated faces?

The last paragraph really got to me. My first instinctual thought was “aliens”, I’m not gonna lie. Or aliens to us now. I turned on all the lights last night before meditating, when I went to get water, and when I woke up this morning, it was the first thought to flood back to me. I think the question of what happened in the depths of our humanity that scarred us instinctually is not only valid, but extremely important.

I’m watching an old Ancient Aliens episode right now, and they’re talking about the origins of Satan throughout the cultures of the world and what he was represented as (reptilian-like, similar to the description in the above Tumblr post). I think this is related. I need to ruminate on this subject further before I come to any solid, concrete theories of my own. But I think it’s a great question to ask and an even greater journey of speculation to discovering something important about our past.

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Answers

Today I went to church looking for answers to all the stress and anxiety and negative feelings I’ve been feeling lately. I was in a very good mood for about 10 minutes after I woke up while I was getting dressed. Then I went and asked my dad if I could take my mom’s car since hers was in the way and he rather rudely told me no and I should take my car. SOOOOO, I was going to just put her car in the street, as it was the most logical and easiest option (my car is always in the garage) and my dad followed me out and said he’d put HIS car in the street and then I could just move my mom’s car in his spot. Honestly this pissed me off even more. He didn’t have to get up from napping because it literally would’ve been so fucking easy to just put my mom’s car in the street instead of moving two cars. Just. Fucking ridiculous.

So I got myself to church. I rushed. There was no reason to, as always, as the whole standing up sitting down making crosses over oneself thing was still happening for a solid 20 minutes after I arrived at like 11:10. As I said, I went searching for answers. I got none. I couldn’t quite hear what the pope was saying (as usual) and the guys in the foyer where they sell candles were being loud as fuck and talking and banging shit around. It only aggravated me more. However, I did notice while trying to recount how many times Jesus is painted on the walls (18 last time I remember) that the painting of him that is right above your head as you walk into the church – he has a triangle (pyramidal if it were 3D) halo around his head. It’s the only one like that. I found that highly interesting and spent quite a bit of time pondering why only that painting was done like that and why it was done like that at all. 3 is a very powerful number, that’s for sure. I have a multitude of theories about it, but I’m not going to expound.

So while I didn’t get what I wanted in church, after hitting up Meijer, I decided I’d go to Ferndale to the Boston Tea Room because it’s always calming in there and I generally feel at peace. I was hoping I’d find some new stones to add to my growing collection. Instead I found a pair of sterling silver bee earring studs (for only $6.25!) that I attempted to use as nose studs but found the gauge to be too big. I also decided to buy Buddhist mala prayer beads made of cherry quartz. So in a way, I did add new stones to my collection. I’m still a bit bummed I didn’t pick up the ombre citrine set while they still had it. I’m half tempted to go back and get the lavender jade set, but I need to be conserving my money, once again. This was a spiritual thing. I bought them to find peace. I don’t need more.  Although I will probably get more in the future, I’m sure. In a way, I made my answers today.

I still feel discord and I’m trying not to let it get to me. Inner peace and tranquility brings forth outer peace and positive energy. You are what you think. Etc etc.

Poetic Life Lessons

In preparation for pre-NaNoWriMo-blogging-month aka October, I’ve decided tonight I want to share a few of my favorite poems. The first comes from Langston Hughes, whose entire poetic works I own (and have not yet read, shamefully) in a book I bought off Amazon a few years ago. I “accidentally” flipped to this poem the night that I was backing out of my driveway and hit my passenger side mirror against the side of our house, knocking it clean off my car, after which ensued my dad’s fiery wrath of anger and Romanian profanities. And when I say “accidentally” I mean I really don’t believe it was an accident that of all poems, this was the one that I opened the book up to.

Acceptance
Langston Hughes
God in his infinite wisdom
Did not make me very wise –
So when my actions are stupid
They hardly take God by surprise.

The second poem, I’m not sure how I ran across, but it’s among my favorites because it’s touching and I find that it rings true with my spiritual beliefs and how I envision “life after death.” Rather unfortunately, I was able to use this poem in remembrance of a friend of mine who I wrote about last year, named Missy. She tragically died of a heart condition soon after New Years 2012. I was her Secret Santa just a month earlier. And so, in memoriam once again, here is Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Lastly, I’d like to share a poem I discovered in 10th grade English class while reading a short story in our English books. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the poem was included in Ray Bradbury’s short story by the same name, but the poem, There Will Come Soft Rains, is by Sara Teasdale. I really enjoy this one because like the last, it touches on my spiritual beliefs, especially about life and nature and importance, or lack-there-of of the human existence in the grand scheme of things.

There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Messages

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that my brain has this tendency to unearth Romanian words in place of really simple ones like car trunk. Earlier, a group of four very tall siblings walked into my store and the first thing I thought wasn’t wow they’re giants, it was wow, they’re uriaș – the Romanian word for giants. I have no idea why this happens, but it happens quite often. It’s like I simply can’t remember the English word for whatever it is I’m trying to say, but then I automatically remember it in Romanian.

Anyway, I don’t remember how exactly I had planned on transitioning this post, but I recently altered my body in a permanent way. I’ve been oscillating between loving it and feeling a horrible sense of regret and guilt. So much so, that the day after was conveniently Sunday and I went to church seeking answers. Thankfully, I got them.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s very hard to hear at my church cause it echoes. However, what I did hear, I firmly believe I was meant to hear: that we all have our crosses to bear and that God forgives all sins. Honestly, this made me feel way better about my decision because I take it to mean God doesn’t really care what I do to my body.

Funny thing is, like I said, I keep oscillating between loving and kinda hating it. The next day, I was painting and thinking about life and my recent decisions while listening to traditional Romanian music. While I was in a “I can’t believe I did that, why did I do that” phase, the following lyrics played: “păcate sunt pe pământ” which translates to “sins are of the earth”. It’s not necessarily that I go seeking these messages, but that whoever is watching out for me is sending them to me to make me understand that what I did isn’t the end of the world and isn’t something worth being condemned over. And it is such a relief every time.

Earlier I was feeling negative about it again. I sat down and scrolled through my Tumblr dash and found this: ”
Our culture teaches us about shame—it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren’t born craving perfect bodies. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us—from the messages and expectations of our culture. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate.”

I swear someone is looking out for me. I have to believe that because it can’t just be chance that these messages are hurtling themselves my way. Also, somewhat ironically, this recent body change has brought me closer to God. Or perhaps broaden my spirituality. I’m okay with that.

Church.

So this morning I was woken up around 8 in the morning by the sounds of someone HAMMERING for TWO FUCKING STRAIGHT HOURS. Up until about half an hour ago. So like 5 hours today, hammering, coming from a neighbor. I wanted to hammer their face for that long to see how they liked it.

On the bright side, I woke up around 9:30 and had time to get ready to…dun dun dun: GO TO CHURCH. That’s right. I’ve been wanting to go to church for about a year. Literally. Since I got Netflix and watched Mr. Bean episodes where he’s in church and I was like, I kinda miss the smell of church.

So I went today. Got there at 10:40 thinking I was close to hearing the sermon. Nope. Fifty minutes later, after being enamored as always by the amazing and beautiful art all over the place and the massive 6 tiered chandelier hanging from the center dome, I finally got what I wanted. And I literally, literally, only understood one phrase from the entire thing: Prayer is the gate that opens us up to God. In Romanian, of course. But most of the reason why I only heard that is because everything echoes in the place and the pope doesn’t speak like a normal person. Like, it’s still sing-talking but less singing.

That’s the thing about Romanian Orthodox churches and priests. You get this like 2 hour ritual thing with the pope walking around talk-singing, doing stuff up there behind the altar – presumably cutting Jesus bread and pouring Jesus blood wine into a gold goblet – then occasionally coming out with a pimpin’ crucifix and waving it and then everyone does the cross on themselves. I crossed myself more times today then I have in like, this entire month so far.

Depressingly small photo of the church I don’t really go to.

And then there’s the whole business of sitting down and getting up. When the altar gates are open, we all gotta stand up. And vice versa. I was in the very last row, because I like watching people, and I was like oh god every time I saw these old people getting down on their knees and legit praying. I just feel like, it’s not that serious people. Also there were a few cute toddler kids there as well. And my friend’s mother’s ex-manfriend. Or maybe current. I’m not sure what that situation is.

Also, I’m annoyed with myself for being too scared to whip out my phone and take a picture of that giant chandelier. I mean it is literally the biggest chandelier I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and I can’t remember if it was there 6 or 7 years ago when I was last in the place. It’s like the size of my car and maybe like half a smart car. 

I also want to mention that the entire time I was there, I felt dizzy (I’ve been dizzy lately, not sure why) and I couldn’t stop thinking of aliens and the things I learned in art history about saints and architecture. And the church is celebrating 96 years next month. It was built in 1916!

This makes me want to go to temple again. In high school, my Indian friend Vishesha took me and Krista to her Hindi temple. It was lovely. I felt very welcome. And I got to eat white raisins.

And On Thirsty Thursdays, We Drink Miller Lite.

I came home today to find that the light in my room was acting wonky, and upon trying to turn it on, I apparently turned off the light in the bathroom while my mom was in there. My dad decided to attempt to fix the circuitry while I started watching the last episode of The Tudors, and I had to pause 10 minutes in for about half an hour. He didn’t manage to fix it, so the lights in my room and the bathroom do not work.

But that’s not what matters. What matters is that the last episode of The Tudors WAS SO GOOD I CRIED FOR 10 MINUTES STRAIGHT. Uncontrollably. As if Henry was my dad; I even caught myself saying “daddy” while I was in the bathroom washing my face and crying at the same time. It was simultaneously hilarious and heart-wrenching and just continues to confirm my belief that I was Elizabeth the First in a past life. I’m not crazy, I promise.

I also came across this interesting article on AOL news about this video:

It has apparently sparked a lot of “controversy.” The article highlights about 2 comments from viewers on the video that are basically bashing this guy about what he said. Because of course that’s what’s going to happen. Because nobody can grow enough balls to say “yeah, that guy has a point.” Rather, they would tear him down and nit-pick his wording and whether or not he contradicts himself.

But I will be that person to say YEAH, THAT GUY HAS SEVERAL POINTS, ACTUALLY. (Although I should add that I do not agree with EVERYTHING he says.) And it doesn’t take much to absorb what he’s saying – just the willingness to do so. I watched this video thinking “Yeah man! I agree!” I am not a religious person whatsoever. I do not attend church. In fact, I haven’t been in a church in about 6 years because I believe religion is just brainwashing. I am, however, a spiritual person. I do not follow a religion – I follow my own beliefs and conceptions of what I want to believe and I don’t need anyone to tell me what I should believe. I have so many contradictions to my own statements and I could sit here battling myself back and forth about the stipulations, but I’m not going to.

Instead I’m gong to kill some brain cells and watch Jersey Shore. Don’t judge me.