Ch 6: Waking up

How long did I sleep? I look out the window, no light shines in. I wonder about that. The forest outside was so entrenched that not a droplet of light shone through. I wonder how it is I can see…some light is coming through, but it looks like nothing more than a misty glow.

The candle has guttered, I look at the wick and feel sorry for it.

I should get dressed, but I instead go to the hall, the back of my neck prickles

“Hello? Are you there? Its me, Pri….”

Was that a sigh? Cautiously I look around…nothing.I start to walk down the hallway…trying to keep my elaborate robe tied on, but the silk seems to slip. What is the use of clothing if it can’t stay on I wonder? Frustrated I see the rope for the curtains. Determinedly I grab it and tie it on.

Amazing how small victories can give you confidence. Feeling better, I slip down the rooms seeing what seems to be a study, a ballroom, a music room with many instruments.

Nothing is as well lit as I would like, and nothing feels inviting, so I continue on. Counting the curtains, exclaiming to myself over the decorations. Trying to keep my spirits up.

Oh look, a kitchen!

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Ch 3: Shadows

I tried to leave quietly. And as I left, I lit a candle and left it in the hallway…out of sight, but giving shadows.

I don’t think she cried.

At least, not while I was nearby.

What does crying sound like anyway….

What would it feel like to cry? I think back on my howls, on my stompings, on my running, running, running through the yard. Even angry and lost, even when I was sad, I still was trying to break out, to bust out of this cage. To become free. I am not just my body…

But if I’m not my body? Who am I?

I left her in the shadows, alone.

So alone, like me.

At least I didn’t leave her in the dark.

Ch 1: Eyes

I can see her eyes.

She is squinting and trying to look at me. I slowly turn my head from side to side. No light. I don’t think she gets much. She has to feel my breath though, she has to feel how close I am…I am in no way small…I make an effort not to hunch, it won’t help any. She might not see me, but she is going to sense where I am.

I’m just lucky that I have such good night vision.

It frustrates me though, I can’t tell what color her eyes are. They look….darkish? Perhaps. In all my years here I never imagined what she would look like. I don’t think I’ve seen a human in years…the man who was here looked so fragile.

I want to ask her what her name is, I can’t remember it.

I snort a little bit in my frustration…she jumps, but not violently. I thought this would be the beginning of the end. I thought that I would start to feel freedom, that I would be able to look towards the future.

I feel more trapped than ever.

I don’t remember humans, I don’t really know how they look or feel, I can’t even remember the woman’s name. And I don’t know how to ask.

I can’t ask her. her name.

I don’t even know the color of her eyes.

Hunger Games: Female leads, Love Triangles and a tiny movie review

Katniss Everdeen is not a typical girl! (this article was written after my blog)

1. When I first read the first chapter I wasn’t sure if Katniss was a girl or Gale was a girl…..

2. She can’t lie: Notice how she’s always the last to know about the real plot (wait Peeta is actually in love with me, I thought we were just pretending is the first book, and a whole host of things in the second one I can’t name). Stereotypically

3. Katniss is not in a typical Love Triangle…I feel like the girl is usually caught in a direct competition where the ENTIRE plot rides the triangulation….Katniss says she’s too busy to worry about being in love…and I think she’s right.

4. Love Triangles don’t exist for boys in books, usual for Men there are two equally viable possibilities and sorting it out is more about what kind of life the hero wants to live (i.e. quiet and nerdy or fast and exciting). For girls its about who is the “RIGHT” boy…I think Hunger Games is more about the possibilities of living with Peeta vs. Gale as opposed to one being “right”

5. Katniss is a dunce about others but she is very self-aware…I like it

6. She grows (always important to me)

7. Every time you think you get how deep the plot is, it gets thicker

8. Its a study on PTSD

Tiny Review of Catching Fire (spoilers ahead)

Catching Fire is intense, people who are not familiar with the book tend to be surprised.

There is a lot more kissing than in the book (as I remember Katniss kisses Gale and Peeta once (for real) each…)….still I found myself taking it into stride

The “feel” is right: This is important because the pacing and details have to change some (the books are mostly introspection, which doesn’t translate to the screen”) however, I think the changes they did were (mostly) sensible for onscreen, and I have no doubt this is because Suzanne Collins has experience writing for TV as well as books

Finally! ending was interesting: I won’t give it away, but they uncover something that is a major mystery in the third book…wondering how they will handle this in the next movie….

Missing Link: I wish they did more with the minor characters, part of what is engaging for Katniss (for her audience and for us) is how she connects with the other characters, they missed that some with nuts & volts as well as the morphlings (who were barely onscreen)….also Peeta connects more to them and is particularly good with the morphlings which we completely miss…a regretable loss….

PS Cinna is my favorite character, I wish they gave him a couple more minutes of screen time about him “putting all his emotion in his work”

Overall: A great adaptation of the book…however ALWAYS read the book

Nanowriting and other musing

Culturally I am very interested in how the arts are playing out for millennials. 

I mean we’re mostly broke, so maybe creativity will abound? (this is my hope)

Let’s review

Couch Surfers

Open Source Computer Programs

Etsy

Carshares

and now I’ve re-discovered nanowriMo: National Novel Writing Month(which I’ve heard of briefly last year): in which you set yourself a goal to write a novel through writing about 50,000 words by the end of November

What I love is, you are really doing it for you….the website is (to me) like a self-determined excercise program where you count calories…no wait I mean words 🙂 on your own time and set goals for yourself.

I probably won’t keep up with the word count…but (partially inspired by avidly reading Robin McKinley’s KES) I’ve decided to give it a try…..I will definitely be farther along than I have been so far, I’m four short chapters in already 🙂

GO CREATIVITY! 

YAY BOOKS!

 

Talia: Chapter 4 #nanowriMo

“I don’t know if I’d call this a sword mother…it looks more like a…knife, a curvy-knife”

My mother shrugged, “All I know is its yours. Someone gave it to me about three years ago, you know, when everything……started, and it whispered your name…so I’m giving it to you” at this my mother grinned impishly, completely belying her age.

So I set off, trudging determinedly towards the unknown…

And it got pretty boring. I tried to spot pixies in the trees, but the glitter I caught was too fast to be identifiable. I walked a steady pace, but soon found it to be…..too quiet.

One day from home, and I already miss conversation, I’m not used to being quiet. My mother and I can talk as merrily as the day is long (as the poet says). Plus, I don’t limit my conversation to just my mother. The cat and I often have long in depth observations together….Ripp never says anything out loud, but of course I know better than to believe that she is not participating in the conversation…..in her own cat way.

Then of course there are the childlings, most of whom can outtalk me, but still the oft chatter of the young ones does fill the space around us pleasantly.

I think the real problem is I’m always talking. Its just sometimes I talking in my head, sometimes I’m talking to the text I am reading, and sometimes I’m talking out loud! But I’m always talking.

Towards the end of the day I find a brook, which, although it doesn’t talk, does burble loudly, with pink bubbles mysteriously rising out of the depths of the places where its almost still. This confuses me as I meditate on it, wouldn’t magic work like ripples or splashes off the stream? Conversely, does the very running of the water serve to break apart the magic…making it more likely to need a release in its more still areas.

Liking my completely unschooled opinion, I decide this must be it. I am nothing if not confident, true I didn’t have magical training, but I figure that common sense and the willingness to do hard work will serve in almost any situation, so I don’t tend to dither or worry the way other girls might. (Although, sometimes I wonder if the dithering is because a lot of girls can use it as an excuse to get a male opinion on something. How boring would that be to always have your opinion told to you!).

Moonrise comes (so to speak, as I said before the moon is no longer visible, but it doesn’t change the time of day it is, so we in my village at least, continue to call it moonrise). I decide that I have spent too many nights awake, and that I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep if stop anyway. So on I go.

Alone.

Queer Creation: A synchroblog!!!

Queer Theology Synchroblog 2013: Queer Creation

May thanks to my AMAZING sister who wrote this essay in response to my questions!!!!

What is your favorite series to read? How does it relate to your real life experience? Does it help to inform who you are/want to be?

TORTALL_d_original

Well any week that you ask me this I’m likely to have a different answer, but right now I’d say I’m really fond of the quartets that Tamora Pierce has written. There’s a lot in there about strength in yourself and through friends, and showing strength in different ways. Alanna is fiery and forward, Keladry is more reserved and protective. Daine is compassionate and driven, Aly is resourceful and wily. But in the end, they each have some strength that pushes them forward and towards great heights. I identify with each of these women, in part for their strength and in part for how hard they fight. I’ve faced my own challenges, and I have learned to never stop and don’t accept defeat.

What can I say, my sister has great taste in books..what is interesting about all of Pierce is that all of her characters “Come Out” Alanna as a girl (can’t imagine how my sister relates), Daine as a wild Mage and Aly as a spy…Their coming out is natural, it is a growing into themselves and their strength, and what I appreciate about my sister’s answer’s is that its these gifts and strengths that are highlighted, the fact that they are women to look up to….that and HOPE and PERSEVERANCE which are traits that I find to be essential and what should be what we love about the Bible as much as fantasy and PS is why I read fantasy….

As Joss Whedon notes, this shouldn’t be noteworthy (Query: why do you write strong heroines? Whedon: because you keep asking me that), but it is! (PS Favorite book is a totally cheating question, one I can never answer, can I pick a favorite star in the sky?)

The story God gives us is that we are both female and male in God’s image. Do you experience yourself as being in God’s image? (I like to think that transsexual’s have a more (w)holistic sense of what God’s image is)

So there’s this weird conflict here where, on the one hand, God must be both genders- and some representations of the Holy Ghost/Spirit interpret that as female. But I can’t view God that way- because there’s distinctly more than two genders. If the purpose of the question is to establish that God shares their gender with everyone, I think of it like this. Jesus was pretty clearly male- to the best of our knowledge, he’s the son and had no issues with his body in that way. (Which is an entirely different conversation one could have, but that’s not the point here.) So if the physical manifestation was male, then to me the logical next step is that the part we cannot grasp or understand is, as the physical manifestation’s natural opposite, female and comfortable with that. Well then, what is God, both? No. God can’t be both. God must be all. Male, Female, Trans* Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Bi-Gender, Agender, Third Gender (I can’t possibly list all of them…) They must be all of them and thensome. Part of what makes me uncomfortable in most churches is the interpretation of God as Father, Christ as Son and ignore the Holy Spirit completely. What, you mean it should all be male? God and Christ don’t understand women, and have nothing to share with them? Because sometimes that’s what it feels like. And the more a church focuses on Christ as son and redeemer, the less attached I feel to the words they’re speaking, because they’re only speaking from one viewpoint and ignoring the rest.

I will try not to rant here, but there are all kinds of mistranslations of the Bible that slant God towards masculine, when God isn’t. The word for Holy Spirit (Ruach) in Hebrew is a feminine word. The word Almighty in Hebrew means the God of many mounds (i.e. BREASTS to feed all of her children) etc. etc. This is a problem most females have with Christianity, that my sister has a VERY perceptive and unique focus on. God MUST BE ALL (which I bolded above), God is all, and its too much for us to understand so we compartmentalize so our little brains can handle it, but really, God must be all! PS I have always been a Kinsey 1-6 scale advocate, where completely straight is 0, completely bi is 6 and most people are 1-5…not a gendering issue, but still brings in the issues of God, Sexuality, Gender and Sex. Hey if we can’t talk about our embodied experience, why the heck are we even worrying about religion, am i right?

Image

My son drew God, because he wanted to know what God looked like, he said that God is both a boy and a girl and not a boy in a girl and….”I think God is very big, because God takes care of everybody, and I think God is a rainbow, because God likes all colors. See these dots? These are all the people, they are all different kinds too…” ..and a child shall lead them, anyone, anyone?

How important was naming yourself as female? How did the naming effect the embodiment? Or how did the embodiment effect the naming? Was there an order to it, or did all come together?

Okay, there’s a lot of questions to this question and I just have to address them one at a time.

Hehehehe, I told my sister I wrote only 4 questions, but of course I cheated, layering question upon question, luckily my sister is brilliant (really brilliant she is the smartest one by far in my family) and she was able to pull apart my meaning…good thing she has practice, being related to me and all.

Naming myself as female changed my whole world. It was about comfort and knowledge as much as anything else. I collect stories, including those I experience, and there was always something wrong with the story of me as a male. It would be like reading Harry Potter but instead of the proper ending Voldemort kills all the muggles and takes over the world. It’s still a pretty good story, but it’s not right. It’s not the way that the story should go, and we know that somewhere in us. In a similar way, being male wasn’t ruining my life. It just wasn’t right, and somewhere within me knew that. So the naming and identifying put me back to the right story, and changed…well, everything to some extent. As for the naming/embodiment dynamic, I’d say it was (and still is) a pretty consistent back and forth. I’d look at my past- realize that I’d been skipping around in skirts at age 8 and pinning down my arm movements since age 10- and see how I’d been living it my whole life. Then I’d start doing something and the driving feeling would be “screw it, I feel like doing x-y-z because that’s what my gender says is comfortable, so I will.” In the past, I was still learning what made me comfortable and my physical actions in the past helped guide that. As I look more toward the future, and being a woman is an unshakeable part of my identity, I’d say the balance is more towards the naming- I chose this title and this gender and this life (well, I chose to act on it, anyway) So I might as well embrace the parts of it I like.

YAY! I love how the “naming” piece of my sister’s identity has brought her more into SELF….I can’t add to this

What questions and wonderings do you have about God or the human existence that are informed by your being/experience/embodiment on earth?

I have a very important, unanswerable question that involves only one word. Why? Why put people through rigors and trials? Why challenge people in ways that they sometimes cannot handle, or cannot handle at the time? Why love, why hate, why trust, why lie? In short, my question out of all of my gender and sexuality struggles, out of dysphoria, out of watching my friends and my family is the most basic and most complex question of all. Why do it? Why was I born into the wrong body? What did I need to learn or understand? What did I gain? What did I lose? Was it worth the cost? I have no answers. I’m left with just the resounding question, sounding a bit like a petulant five year old. Why?

Shepherd: What are we up to, sweetheart?
River: Fixing your Bible.
Shepherd: I, um.. what?
River: Bible’s broken. Contradictions, false logistics.. doesn’t make sense.
Shepherd: No, no, you can’t..

River: So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels
already there. Eleven, important number, prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times but always comes out one.

River: Noah’s Ark is a problem.
Shepherd: Really?

River: We’ll have to call it “early quantum state phenomenon”. Only way to fit 5,000 species of mammal on the same boat.
Shepherd: Give me that. River, you don’t… fix the Bible.
River: It’s broken! It doesn’t make sense.
Shepherd: It’s not about making sense, it’s about believing in something and letting that belief be real enough to change your life.
It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River, it fixes you.

See we are related! We love tough questions….My sister has a great quest ahead of her. Of course, I don’t have an answer…its just too good a question.

Here’s what I think, I know its not all bubbles and sunshine (though I wish that were the case–to see a bubbles and sunshine version of events read here). But I am honored to witness to it, I hope that I am deepened by it, and I am SO proud of her! I think she is an amazing, strong, brave and resilient person who NEVER GIVES UP already, and she’s 10 years younger than me. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

 

Read the Other Queer Synchoblog Posts!

Queering Our Reading of the Bible by Dwight Welch

Queer Creation in art: Who says God didn’t create Adam and Steve? by Kittrdge Cherry

Of The Creation of Identity (Also the Creation of Religion) by Colin & Terri

God, the Garden, & Gays: Homosexuality in Genesis by Brian G. Murphy, for Queer Theology

Created Queerly–Living My Truth by Casey O’Leary

Creating Theology by Fr. Shannon Kearns

Initiation by Blessed Harlot

B’reishit: The Divine Act of Self-Creation by Emily Aviva Kapor

Queer Creation: Queering the Image of God by Alan Hooker

Queer Creation by Ric Stott

Eunuch-Inclusive Esther–Queer Theology 101 by Peterson Toscano

Valley of Dry Bones by Jane Brazelle

Queer Creation: Queer Angel by Tony Street

The Great Welcoming by Anna Spencer

Queer Creation by Billy Flood

The Mystery of an Outlandishly Queer Creation by Susan Cottrell

We’ve Been Here All Along by Brian Gerald Murphy

God Hirself: A Theology by T. Thorn Coyle

The Objectification of God by Marg Herder

Coming Out As Embodiments of God Herself by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

An Interview by Katy

On Creation and Belonging by Andrew Watson

Creation by Liam Haakon Smith

Practically Creating Practical Queer Theology by Talia Johnson

Inspired Possibility: Opening the Gift of the Queer Soul by Keisha McKenzie

Oh What A Difference A Pope Makes! by Hilary Howes

I’m Really Angry by John Smid

Focus on the (Chosen) Family by Brian Cubbage

The Goddex by Thorin Sorensen

Epic Fantasy @kateElliotSFF

Epic Fantasy @kateElliotSFF

A good definition of epic fantasy and why it doesn’t have to be sexist (I agree with the Kate Elliot note, who is my current favorite high fantasy)

“epic fantasy is also high fantasy and allows the author to write stories that operate at the mythic and legendary level of storytelling, in the same way as the epic sagas such as theIliad and Parsifal, for example;

also a good definition of Why I don’t like high fantasy most of the time: sexism with little character development is NOT my favorite, but as the article says, neither of these are necessary for epic fantasy to take place!!

 

Talia: Chapter 3

“I have no idea where I’m going” I mutter these words to myself and hear my mother step outside just behind me.

One day I’m home, and the next I’m here, muttering to myself.  I’m on the dirt-sort-of-pathway that leads into a field and purportedly, eventually, to the forest, but I’m not really sure if that is true. Besides which my mother is standing there, watching me. She isn’t really saying or doing anything, she’s just waiting for me to stop running around in circles (literally) and to leave. For about a week I’ve been busying myself around the house, until this morning, when I awoke (after yet another almost sleepiness night) realizing that I had left nothing left to do today.

Blast and Bother.

Guess that means its time to go.

I’m happy, maybe. Its hard for me to tell. I know that I’m nervous, because my stomach is upset and my eyes feel kind of glare-y. But I think mostly I’m excited. I stare down at my hands, looking for dirt to wash off, but nothing gleams off of my slightly golden skin. I look at my mother’s hair, as dark brown as her nearly black eyes, and see my own in my mind’s eye.

Now I know I’m just stalling. Forcing a smile, I give my mother a hug.

She immediately beams at me “it’s time, isn’t it?”

I nod.

“Good” she says briskly “I’ll go get your sword”

“My what?” The door bangs shut, she’s already inside to find it.