Friday, November 5

This is NaNoBlogMo!!! National Novel Blog Month, that is. The challenge: write a 50,000 word novel by midnight November 30th! Am I going to try? You bet! Am I crazy? Of course!!!

My story can be found at PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE critique it! Anyway, please critique it once I get my comments up and running....

Thursday, November 4

Some time ago, in my roommate's English class, the prof was talking about the idea of the sublime, and said that some things, such as elephants running off a cliff into the sea in a rainstorm, could not be sublime. Liz, of course, took this as a challenge, and had our writing group write scenes in which that experience is sublime. Here is mine:

The problem with being granted a sign is that quite often, you need another sign to explain the first one.

So it is with the sign I have been given. I have no doubt that it is, in fact, a sign: it has unmade my thoughts and my heart is aflame. But what the sign signifies is beyond my ability to grasp.
It was a day ripe for signs, an apocalpyse contained in a rainstorm. The air was heavy and pregnant with moisture, yearning for release. The wind was cold and damp, heavily scented with the smell of the sea and rains from distant lands. The clouds hung heavy, barely clearing the ground, and lightning flashed in the distance.

I stood, with the ocean on my right and the trees to my left, looking out along the coast, and admiring the brief reflections that the lightning cast on the water. The waves rippled in the wind, as restless as the air itself. Suddenly, as the storm drew closer, an arc of lightning dashed out from the stormfront and cast itself into the water. The air was full of steam, and my nose prickled with a scent unlike any I had ever smelled. If anyone had been around to see, they would have seen my hair standing around my head like a halo, practically shimmering with electrons. It was then I knew that I must wait, for a sign would be granted.

I'm not sure how long I stood there, the incense of fire and water wafting around me, but it could not have been long, for the steam was still rising from the water when I began to hear it. At first, it was indistinguishable from the thunder. Then it was part of the thunder, a deep rumble in the land. Finally, it become the source from which the thunder rolled, crashing about my head.

As I turned to the trees, I saw them. They moved out of the trees as if they did not see them, and I am not at all sure that they did. I would say that they moved through the trees like ghosts, but it would be more truthful to say that the land and all that was in it were like ghosts in their presence. As they moved across my line of sight, I could see the water in their eyes. It called to them, as it had to me, but they alone knew how to answer the call.

To this day, I do not know whether they were called by the water, or the lightning, or by some force of which both were merely a symptom. But on they came, the lightning reflected in their tusks, ears blowing in the gusting wind. They were silent giants, except for the thunder of their stampeding feet. They did not trumpet to herald the lightning, nor to mourn their passing, but accepted it in a way that I cannot. For as they reached the cliffs that overlooked the sea, they did not slow, nor did they turn to the left or the right, but simply went over the edge of the cliff, into the water. Perhaps my hearing was damaged that day, or perhaps I simply was not listening, but I did not hear a single splash as they entered the water. The size of their bodies should have made a terriffic impact, but I heard nothing. Nothing, except the thunder of their feet, thunder beneath the waves.

I do not expect you to believe that this was a sign. After all, what could be significant about a herd of elephants running off a cliff into the ocean, in the rain? But this was my sign, my grail, and I do not know what it means. But to this day, when I hold a seashell to my ear, I hear a dim thunder beyond the rushing sound of the sea.

Tuesday, November 2

At a certain Halloween party, we were honored by the presence of Pope Gregory the 1st, Martin Luther, Catherine of Siena, two Joans of Arc, Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis, St. Clare, the Nicene Creed, and the Council of Trent. (also known as: Tim Motte, Kevin White, Joi Weaver, Rachel Robinson and Kate Saunders, Joel Britton, Tim Bartel, Ashley Romero, Erica Carl, and Nathan Hagberg.) As you can imagine, some interesting quotes resulted...

"Can somebody safety pin my chain mail?" ---Joan of Arc

Aquinas, to Luther: "There are two ways of committing heresy: one by thinking, and one by drinking."

"The Nicene Creed is about to get hit by a car!" ---Catherine of Siena

"I am necessary and sufficient for salvation!" ---Erica Carl (i.e., the Nicene Creed. But it sounds funnier coming from Erica herself)

"Let's see if Mr. Luther is as slow a driver as he is a thinker." ---Catherine of Siena

"It's a little weird to look back and see the Pope holding hands with Joan of Arc."

Catherine: "I see that although Mr. Luther preaches freedom from the law, he still stops for red lights."
Aquinas: "Yeah! Zoom on through by grace, Mr. Luther, and let's see how long you last!"

Catherine: "I'm Catherine of Siena."
Francis: "Oh! I saw her head!"
Aquinas: "He's having visions again."

Luther: "You, though you be dressed in the garb of greatness, are the greatest of sinners!"
Francis: "Your mom is the greatest of sinners!"

"Dang, Luther just stole from the Pope!" ---Catherine of Siena

"Quiet, you French harpy!" Luther to Joan

Luther: "Well, I---" *chokes on cupcake*
Joan: "He was about to say something positive, but it couldn't make its way out of his throat."

"The trick-or-treaters are the poor, unless they're dressed as demons, in which case they're Protestants."--Aquinas

Luther: "I've never died in obedience to Rome!"
Aquinas: "I've never died in it, I live in it!"

Clare: "I never killed anybody either!"
Luther: "Elitist!"

"Hey Joan, I think Francis' hand is falling into sin, would you cut it off?"---Clare

Nicene Creed: "Tim, move, your mitre's in the way of the TV."
Catherine: "If we position him right, we might get better reception."

Kevin: "You know, opening a door for a woman is a sign of opression."
Joi: "In that case, bring it on!"

"Who is your favorite creed?"--Clare

"Hey, I didn't get an anathema! Oh wait, I agree with you."---Clare

You know, it's amazing how much Luther-angst a group of Protestants can have. Most of us like Luther and largely agree with him. But when Luther is present, you just gotta bash him, because it's SO much fun. I wish Calvin could've shown up, though.