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12 Young –

Mrs. Smith clapped her hands twice and her group of 12 putus scrambled to find their places on the carpet before her. “Who can tell me where to find a Buzgable?” Mrs. Smith asked the group. The sound of whispers erupted from the floor of youngsters. “Shhhhh” Mrs. Smith commanded. Timothy timidly raised his hand.
“Yes, Timothy?”
“In the cave in the Pollex.” Timothy spoke.
“You mean to say I could find a Buzgable ‘in the cave in the Pollex’?” Mrs. Smith asked with a sound of patronization in her voice.
“Yeah.”
“What makes you say that, Timothy?”
“It’s like that song” Timothy said, ‘The Buzgable flies. And the Buzgable lies. And the Buzgable dies in the cave in the Pollex.'”
Mrs. Smith smiled at Timothy’s reasoning. “No, Timothy. That’s not correct.”
Amber raised her hand.
“Yes, Amber.”
With a knowing tone, Amber spoke, “It’s ‘And THEY CAVE in the Pollex.'”
Dismissing Amber’s correction of Timothy, Mrs. Smith asked, “Can anyone else tell me where to find a Buzgable?”
“At a rations station.” Amber said.
“No, Amber. That’s not correct. Buzgable parts are often found at rations stations. But no live Buzgables are ever found there.”
Administrator Bernard walked into the room, “Actually Mrs. Smith, you did not ask where one could find live Buzgables. Amber would be correct in saying one could find Buzgables at a rations station, even if only in parts. Further, the main thorax of a Buzgable is the most recognizable part of the Buzgable and is, in some kitchens, referred to as a ‘Buzgable’.”
“Oh Administrator Bernard, you’re going to confuse them.” Turning back to face the children on the floor of her room, “Children, it is very important you understand where to find food in the wild. Buzgables are almost exclusively found in dark, damp areas like caves. They live in large family units called clusters. If you do not know how to properly attain a live Buzgable, you may starve to death on your first Mother quest outside the city. This is why it is so important to receive your DCPO chip. But agreeing to have the chip implanted too late might do more harm than good. You see children…” Administrator Bernard left the room.
Mrs. Smith continued, “attempting to implant a DCPO chip when one’s brain is not malleable enough to fuse properly with it, may result in violent hemorrhaging. Have you ever had a headache?”
Charles said, “I did once.”
“Good Charles. Did you cry?”
Charles confirmed he did, “uh huh”.
“But I’ll bet you started to feel better after a while.”
“My Mommy gave me Drez eggs.” Charles said with joy in his voice as he remembered.
Mrs. Smith smiled with Charles. “That’s nice, Charles. But do you think Drez eggs could make you feel better if your brain attempted to violently reject the DCPO chip?”
“No.” Charles said quietly.
“This is why it is so important to accept your chip before you are too old for your brain to properly fuse with it. Everyone has to have a DCPO chip.”
“Why?!” Rene asked.
“So you can survive in the wild.”
“That’s stupid!” Rene exclaimed hesitantly.
“Would you rather starve to death when you are unable to hunt a live Buzgable or die as a result of severe hemorrhaging when you try to have the chip installed when you are older?”
The room was silent.
“Has anyone here ever been so hungry it hurt? Raise your hand.”
A few hands flew up around the sitting area of Mrs. Smith’s room.
“Now imagine what it would be like to be so hungry you died. You’d be hungry for a long time, slowly becoming more and more hungry until you died.”
Rene began to cry quietly to herself.
“If you don’t accept your DCPO chip now, that is what is going to happen.”
“But my cousin doesn’t have one and she’s 8.” Emily said.
“It sounds like your cousin is not going to live past her first Mother quest, Emily.”
Emily began to wale in anguish.
Administrator Bernard came back into the room. “Is everything alright in here?”
Emily’s crying was quickly overtaken by her fear of punishment.
“We are fine, Administrator Bernard. We are just talking about the importance of accepting our DCPO chips while we are still young enough to do so.”
“Oh that is important.” Administrator Bernard said, “We all must accept our DCPO chips so we don’t die of starvation on our first Mother quests.”
“But why do we have to go on Mother quests?” Amber asked.
“Every Aliusteran goes on a Mother quest when he or she is old enough.” Administrator Bernard replied.
“But why do we have to go?”
“One’s first Mother quest makes him or her a true Aliusteran.”
“But why do we have to eat Buzgables?” Emily asked.
“Buzgables are very nutritious and vital to survival in the wild.”
“But can’t we catch them without a DCPO chip?”
“If you try to take a single Buzgable without the assistance of your DCPO chip, the entire cluster might attack.”
“But why?!” Emily shouted with anger.
“There’s no need to be upset, Emily.” Administrator Bernard said softly, “We are special, because we have the technology to hunt Buzgables. This technology enables us to survive outside the city. All others will die if they attempt leaving the city. But our ancestors sacrificed much to ensure we could survive on our Mother quests.”
“Why?!”
“Because putus like you are not full Aliusterans.” Administrator Bernard said with a tone of slight frustration.
“But I don’t want to be a putus.” Emily whined.
“The only way to not be a putus is to go on your first Mother quest.”
The room was again silent.
Administrator Bernard retired to his office, knowing he had just saved the lives of 12 young putts.

Mrs. Smith clapped her hands twice and her Sunday school class of 12 kindergarten aged children scrambled to find their places on the carpet before her. “Who can tell me God’s first name?” Mrs. Smith asked the group. The sound of whispers erupted from the floor of youngsters. “Shhhhh” Mrs. Smith commanded. Timothy timidly raised his hand.
“Yes, Timothy?”
“It’s Andy.” Timothy spoke.
“You mean God’s name is ‘Andy’?” Mrs. Smith asked with a sound of puzzlement in her voice.
“Yeah.”
“What makes you say that, Timothy?”
“It’s like that song” Timothy said, ‘Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me. Andy tells me I am his own.'”
Mrs. Smith smiled at Timothy’s reasoning; “No, Timothy. That’s not correct.”
Amber raised her hand.
“Yes, Amber.”
With a knowing tone, Amber spoke, “It’s ‘AND HE walks with me. AND HE talks with me.”
Dismissing Amber’s correction of Timothy, Mrs. Smith asked, “Can anyone else tell me God’s first name?”
“It’s Jesus,” Amber said.
“No, Amber. That’s not correct. Jesus is the name of God’s son.”
Pastor Bernard walked into the room, “Actually Mrs. Smith, Jesus was God in human form. Amber would be correct in saying this is one name of God. Further, Jesus is a part of the Holy Trinity which is all three parts of God.”
“Oh Pastor Bernard, you’re going to confuse them.” Turning back to face the children on the floor of her Sunday school room, “Children, it is very important you call God by the right name. Jehovah is the name of the one true God. All other gods are not real. They are made up by people who do not know the truth of God’s love. If you do not know Jehovah and that he sent his son to die for you, you will not go to Heaven with everyone else. Instead, you will go to Hell where you will be punished forever. Those who call God ‘Allah’ will go to Hell when they die. But even calling him ‘Jehovah’ is not enough. You see, children…” Pastor Bernard left the room.
Mrs. Smith continued, “Jesus went through incredible pain because we are all sinners. He was whipped and nailed to a cross. A roman soldier stabbed him with a spear. Have you ever accidentally cut yourself so you bled?”
Charles said, “I stapled my finger.”
“Good Charles. Did you cry?”
Charles confirmed he did, “uh huh”.
“Well Jesus cried too. But I’ll bet you started to feel better after a while.”
“My Mommy gave me ice cream.” Charles said with joy in his voice as he remembered.
Mrs. Smith smiled with Charles. “That’s nice, Charles. But do you think ice cream could make Jesus feel better?”
“No.” Charles said quietly.
“And Jesus suffered so much all so you wouldn’t have to.”
“Why?!” Rene asked.
“So you wouldn’t have to go to Hell.”
“That’s stupid!” Rene exclaimed brazenly.
“Would you rather he didn’t and you burn forever in Hell?”
The room was silent.
“Has anyone here ever been burned? Raise your hand.”
A few hands flew up around the sitting area of Mrs. Smith’s Sunday school room.
“Now imagine what it would be like to be burned all over your body. but not just once – real fast, for a long time, forever, and it never stops.”
Rene began to cry quietly to herself.
“If you don’t accept Jesus into your hearts and come to church every Sunday, that is what is going to happen.”
“But my cousin goes to ‘Tem-pul’ on Friday.” Emily said.
“It sounds like your cousin is Jewish, Emily. Jews don’t believe in Jesus like we do. If your cousin doesn’t accept Jesus, they will go to Hell.”
Emily began to wale in anguish.
Pastor Bernard came back into the room. “Is everything alright in here?”
Emily’s crying was quickly overtaken by her fear of punishment.
“We are fine, Pastor Bernard. We are just talking about the importance of accepting Jesus into our hearts.”
“Oh that is important.” Pastor Bernard said, “We are sinners and God sent Jesus to die for us so we don’t go to Hell.”
“But why did God make Hell?” Amber asked.
“God made Hell to punish Satan.” Pastor Bernard replied.
“Then why do we have to go?”
“You don’t if you ask for forgiveness.”
“But why does my cousin have to go to Hell?” Emily asked.
“Your cousin doesn’t have to go to Hell if they ask for forgiveness.”
“But her mommy won’t let her come to church.”
“If her mommy doesn’t accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness, she will go to Hell too.”
“But why?!” Emily shouted with anger.
“There’s no need to be upset, Emily.” Pastor Bernard said softly, “We are special, because we are right. We will be rewarded for our faith. Everyone else will be punished for not believing the truth. But God sent his son to experience horrible agony on Earth so that we wouldn’t have to.”
“Why?!”
“Because we are sinners.” Pastor Bernard said with a tone of slight frustration.
“But I don’t want to be a sinner.” Emily whined.
“The only way to not be a sinner is to accept Jesus into your heart.”
The room was again silent.
Pastor Bernard retired to his office, knowing he had just saved 12 souls from eternal damnation.

Dad and the Old Lady

<dream>It is night. The yard is semi-illuminated by artificial light coming from the house. I have angered my father. Running into the front yard, I scan the driveway and street for my car. There are more cars here than I expected to find. I weigh the potential threat of catching my father’s attention with the potential for finding my car and decide to hit the lock button on my keychain in the hopes that I will spot my car when the parking lights flash. They do not. I do not. I am still running – down the street, expecting my father’s bullet to find me at any second. Still moving away from the house, I cross the street in a diagonal path. It is my hope that this path will make me a more difficult target.

I make it around the end of the block and come to an elderly friend’s house. This house and this woman are recurring in my dreams. Her house is historically unnecessarily difficult to navigate – stairs that seem to lead to nowhere and uncomfortable crawl spaces. I often find my way into her house in a frantic effort to use a toilet. An ambulance’s lights illuminate the front yard. EMS is there and I know she is no longer there. Entering the front door, I find a police officer, my mother’s sister and her husband, and my current supervisor at my place of employment. They are happy to see me. This is, apparently, a social gathering. I explain to the officer that I am fleeing my father’s attempt to shoot me. The officer explains there is really nothing he can do.

I ask my supervisor if there is a toilet I can use. He directs me to the bedroom in which he is staying. There is no wall separating the room from the main entry, but rather a mauve curtain. The toilet rests just on the other side of this curtain. I sit for a seemingly long time with no success as the party proceeds in the other room.</dream>

Analysis: First off, if you have read Letters From Limbo or just have a fairly good insight into my relationship with my father, the first scene in this dream may come as no surprise. Perhaps this incarnation of him represents the anger I’ve seen in him, the anger which he would seem to keep in submission when not under the influence of alcohol. I don’t know that he is angry with me today, but the dead air between him and his three kids and his responses when forced to engage with his kids would seem to point to a desire for no future interaction with any of us.

According to Carl Jung, the house represents oneself. I’ve often felt as though I don’t fit into my place in this world. This could explain why this house is so often difficult to navigate. I am often obligated to use this house as a result of my desire to avoid embarrassment and conform to the social norm of using the toilet. I have, on more than one occasion, crawled in through a window, apparently trespassing in order to conform to this social protocol. The house, my “self”, is often then so incredibly difficult to navigate, the conforming to this social protocol becomes a nearly impossible feat.

I’ve often battled with my inability to fit into my place in society, to conform to these social expectations seemingly everyone but me would seem to understand. This could explain why this house is often so difficult to navigate. I am hesitant to jump to the conclusion that the absence of the old lady and the apparent ease in which I navigated the house are related. After all, we know correlation does not necessarily point to causation. Still, if these two facts are related, the woman represents my desire to fit into my place in society, my desire to conform to these social norms. The fact that I did not need to use the toilet represented the fact that I am beyond this now. The presence of my loved ones and the joy in the house represented the fact that I will be loved in spite of my rejection of conformity. Lastly, the officer’s claim that nothing could be done about my father’s attempt to shoot me represents a disconnect, a lack of obligation between myself and my father’s anger.

Logic Vs Blind Faith

U: Homosexuality is a sin.

I: Is it your place to pass judgement on a person for being homosexual?

U: No. But it’s still a sin.

I: Are you saying it’s wrong?

U: God says it’s wrong. The Bible says it’s wrong.

I: The Christian Bible has been translated many times. There is evidence to support the idea that  “Homosexual” was not the original intent of the word in the Christian bible.

U: The Bible is flawless. God wouldn’t let the Bible say something He didn’t want it to say.

I: So God is going to punish these people for doing what they feel is right?

U: No. I mean society tells people it’s okay. But I believe God lets them know they are wrong.

I: So you believe they are, in a sense, choosing eternal damnation?

U: Of course they have a choice. God gives us all a choice to do right or wrong. These gays turn away from God when they choose to be gay.

I: You believe being gay is a choice?

U: God wouldn’t make someone in a way that they wouldn’t have a choice. God is loving and wants us to do right. He doesn’t want us to suffer and is sad when we choose a path that will lead to suffering. Gays choose the wrong path. I may sin, but I can choose not to engage in the same sin again and be forgiven. People who live gay lifestyles refuse to turn away from sin.

I: Would you agree it is more loving to trust a person than to assume he or she is lying?

U: That depends. God is a God of truth. Liars will know God’s judgement just as homosexuals will.

I: Would God want you to love a person for who he or she is or want you to attempt to change him or her to fit your idea of right and wrong?

U: They aren’t my ideas of right and wrong. They are right and wrong because God says so.

I: Are you saying right and wrong are only defined by God?

U: Right and wrong are absolute as a result of how God created the Universe.

I: So it is the Universe God created that sends a homosexual to an afterlife of eternal suffering?

U: No. It is the homosexual who sends him or herself to Hell. God gave us all freewill. We can choose to do good and be rewarded or choose to do evil and be punished.

I: But we can ask for forgiveness and go to Heaven?

U: Yes. but only if we stop sinning. We can’t ask for forgiveness and continue to engage in sin or our repentance is not sincere.

I: So it’s not the attraction to those of the same gender that is the issue. It’s the acting on said attraction.

U: They choose to be attracted to people of the same gender.

I: I can’t choose who I’m attracted to. Can you?

U: They open themselves up to the possibility. I could be attracted to women other than my wife, but I choose not to look at other women like that.

I: Could you be gay if you wanted to?

U: I wouldn’t. It is wrong.

I: But could you?

U: I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to engage in impure thoughts. Being gay is wrong and God knows our hearts.

I: What if women just felt wrong?

U: I would pray for God to provide a woman I liked.

I: And if she never came?

U: She would come. God would provide her.

Philosophical Experiment

(I hereby claim the statements enclosed in these parenthesis are infallible. They can never be altered. God is bigger and more powerful than any one religion’s depiction would lead some to believe. God and science are not in competition with each other because science is the study of God’s work. What some call magic others call science. God is in pleasure, but also pain. Pain is a gift from God and lets us know something is wrong. And the presence of either in any setting does not work as evidence against theories of a higher power. They are the products of God’s creation and therefore given to us by God. We, as a human race are perfectly flawed. We are not meant to be more or less. We are loved unconditionally and will not be punished for choices or mistakes we make in this world. We need not fight over various interpretations of our world. No one is right and no one is wrong. We need not fear each other. The pain we experience as a result of our fear is God’s message to us that something needs to change. Love and fear are opposing forces. LOVE IS THE ANSWER to any problem we face. If we are hungry, love can feed us. If we are tired, love will give us rest. If we suffer, love will cause the pain to cease.)

If you wish to blindly adhere to any group of words, try the words in the paragraph between the parenthesis above. The words between the parenthesis are not old. They do not say you are better than anyone else. They don’t tell you you will be punished if you don’t subscribe to ideas represented by them. But they may do better at leading the people of our planet than any religious doctrine in existence today. The only real flaw to be found between the parenthesis would seem to be the claim that they are flawless. These sentences were formed by a human and are, as any work created by a human, subject to flaw. The main difference in the words between the parenthesis and the Christian Bible is that the Christian Bible claims to be the product of divine inspiration. Shall I add that part now? One could argue a rational interpretation of the world which God created is inspired by God via the qualities of his/her/it’s creation and the analytical ability that forms this rational interpretation – the analytical ability, of course, being a product of God’s creation. Perhaps I should include a bit about the words between the parenthesis being the only source for the only correct faith, and another about eternal bliss for all who believe and eternal suffering for all who do not believe. That could inspire people to adhere. It could possibly inspire people to push their beliefs on others. And if someone tried to argue, all one would have to do is point to the first two sentences. This is not meant to mock or belittle any person’s beliefs. This is a wakeup call. God is love. In the same way God is science, God is love. In order to stop the pain, we must embrace this powerful tool which God has given us. We must choose love over fear.

Dying/Waking

Dying

Waking

Former life fleeting

Convinced I’m dreaming

When these memories feel so real to me

Aching for gestation

To be born by new creation

Headlights flicker

Electricity whispers

And a seed is born with the knowledge of a tree

Fleeting, flashing, dreaming me

But I am

I am

Calm waters

The child of my father

We are the same

I am uniquely me

Anger for a stranger

It’s all fantastic

The product of plastic

Familiar thing I’ve never touched

I know how you feel

Again the strong current

Flows a deterrent

To cling too tightly to the roots of this shore

Understanding there waits something more

The river’s bend calls to me

Pulling me so lovingly

Drowning

Flying

Dying

Waking

The corner of the dreamer’s eye

No need to scream. No need to cry

Do not cling to this paper tree

There is not fact in all you see

Life is not contrary to death

Love does not cease without breath

Dandelions in the breaze

Leaves falling from the trees

For which breeze and which trees are not me?

My brother, my sister, my family

Love – anything but a fleeting memory

Love – inside and all of me

A skipping stone in search of home

A frantic suspended fit

Lights and shapes, and colorful noise

And we try to make sense of it.

Breathing

Blowing

Thinking

Knowing

Drowning

Flying

Waking

Dying

It’s electricity that gives us shape

Burn marks on our hands

When we hold on so tightly

Glass masses in the sands

We fight and claw and scrape for life

The self-imposed burden we carry

Opposition of the same form

When dust and flesh seem contrary

Dad Things Window Chain

Nighttime. I had packed some of my things into my dad’s car. We had agreed that I was going to stay with him for while in accomodation of a business arrangement. A short way down the road, Dad stopped the car, claiming he could not take me. I got out and took my most essential belongings from his backseat before he drove away. When I arrived home, the building was old and falling apart. Just on the other side of an open window, steps led upward, toward a second floor. A chain wrapped around the handrail on the outside steps and was fixed to the rail with an open padlock. The chain held the window open, making the house seem to provide even less protection from the outside. I removed the padlock from it’s hole in the rail and closed the window.