Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Hands are High, My Feet are Low, and This is How I Pop-See-Ko!




Two days ago it was warm enough outside to hang around in the sun without a sweater. A couple times last week I even wanted to take off my shoes. 

Now there's snow on the rooftops and frosted trees on the street.

Snow No.

Snow YES.




Oh Well. Such are the Spring times in Tahoe. Fufu! It looks pretty anyway. This was my view as I went up to get my nieces from school so they could stay the weekend. More on that in a mo. 

I'm poor. Why am I poor? Well A.) my job isn't the best, and B.) I am a full on Anime freak and I can't get enough of it. My shopping spree last week went something like this: Me on the Computer. Me on Amazon. Me on Barnes & Noble Website. Me seeing a manga/anime that I love. Me.... I'll just take that. It's really bad. I bought Three Manga last week, two anime soundtracks, and added an anime series to my basket so I could buy it when I got my next pay check. 

Bella, No.

Bella, YES.

Bella YEEEEEEEEES.

I'm not even ashamed. I needed Manga comfort. Grimm betrayed me. N/dalind is a retarded ship that should never have been give sails let alone wind to blow it, and that's all I'll say about the matter. 

I also barely slept last night on account of my nieces being very talkative and having a weird dream about flying a Rose-Truck in London. With an alien that had huge eyes and no mouth, filling up the screen of the ship and repeatably telling me to scoot over. (Courtesy of Sammi Toink.)

It was a weird dream.

My little nieces are up for the weekend and I spent a couple minutes trying to take terrible selfies: As seen here. I want to post more pictures on my blog but I take bad pictures! 8-( Sorry, faithful followers. I did try.



Someone Photo-bombed my left hand picture. Sisters. *sigh*

It's been fun seeing Chloe and Sammi again. We spent most of today singing "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes - WHAT ARE THOSE???" and "Pop-see-Ko."

This is Pop-See-Ko



You're welcome. Now that will be stuck in your head the rest of the day. Like a child I participate in this nonsense. Tonight at teatime we even got Mahri and Gavin doing it! And Kat, and Treskie, and Amy.... it was great mayhem.

Then I sent Tiny a chat (cause she's visiting my sister Gina and her family) and I was like HEY TINY.

Tiny participated like a child too.

This is going to be a thing. Maybe I'll teach all the Day-Care kids to do it to.

HEY KIDS!

HEY WHAT??

ARE YOU READY? 


FOR WHAT??

TO POP!

POP WHAT?

POP SE KO!!!!!!!!

Fufufu! Drive everyone I work with crazy.

I'm working on a longer blog post, and since I'm about to pass out I'll leave you now. 

HAPPY PALM SUNDAY!




*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Friday, March 31, 2017

It's Spring!


Stoop and feel it, stop and hear it - Spring!"


Spring has finally arrived! The giant eight-foot berms have melted down to mere inches, and grass is finally peeking out from the earth. The world feels vibrant. It makes me want to adventure. So yesterday I took my backpack, my notebooks, and my books and took a walk down to the meadow in town.

Oh my gosh! The meadow was so, so alive! It was flooded with water. All the paths were streams, and little brooks ran through the grass all bubbly and happy. I could hear birds everywhere, and wind catching itself up in the sound of running water and the smell of fresh, budding air. It was like I stepped into a fantasy world. It was so freaking beautiful guys. I navigated through the water, hopping and zigzagging through dry land like a squirrel, and found a lovely tree stump on dry land, just feet away from a gently flowing stream. I perched myself on the stump, pulled out my notebook. I scribbled down ideas, I listened to the water, smelled the wind, and watched the birds. It was such a lovely time. It helped me wind down from my crazy month and just relax. I was too busy enjoying myself to take many pictures, so I think I have like, four. And a video.

Look at how pretty the Meadow looked! It's like, half glacier, half marsh.



It was a path once.....


(See the water on the left? 8-D )


Water. Water everywhere.

The further you walk out the less snow there is. It looks like winter still, but I swear there is grass out there!


Lalala, my selfies suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.


It was so fun you guys. I got to rest and have some quiet time just for me. It was good to be outside. Nature helps your mind readjust and think, If God handles all this, He can definitely handle me. It helped me feel more calm, happy, and at peace. I even got some writing/plotting done, which hasn't happened in a while since I've been so busy. I think it was wonderful of God to give us such a soothing thing as nature. Our world could have been dull, but God made it interesting and beautiful. And man, it helps to be out in that beauty - and to realize you're a part of it.

Spring might be my favorite time of year. Everything is blooming and coming back to life. The air smells fresh, crisp and exciting. The wind rushes about in a great hurry, bringing all the scents and feels of Spring along with it. The trees are vibrant. Even if they aren't actually blooming yet, you can see this glow in the branches. They are brimming with life. All the little animals start coming back, the birds come home from the south - everything is so new and exciting! And right in the middle of all this new life and growth, we get our reminder of the the greatest Resurrection, the most powerful renewal of the dead. Easter Sunday, The Day Jesus Rose again from the Dead, vibrant with Glorious Life. With His new life He gave the whole world it's Spiritual Spring. He brought to life all that was dead in the world of men. With His Resurrection He poured grace into the world and made our Souls anew. He saved us from our Spiritual Graves of sin and desolation and, like well-tended seeds bursting through the earth, He showed us the sun. It is no accident that God chose this time of new life to give humanity their New, Glorious lives. It is no accident that Easter falls in the season of new hope, new chances, and new growth. God wants us to remember that, like the young buds, we have only just begun. Every year we grow anew. Every year we are given a Spring to start again. I think that's beautiful.

I love Spring.


With that said, what are your plans for this Spring season? What are your plans for Easter? I'd like to hear all about it!





*swings around cape and leaps off stage*





Bella

Monday, March 20, 2017

In which I want to post but I have no idea what to post about.


Yo people of the internet!

Guess what today was!

Well yes, it was the first day of Spring. It was also the day Catholics celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus Christ. (His feast day was yesterday but because he's such a big Saint, if it falls on a Sunday the Church gives it it's own day of celebration.) This means we got to have a little relief from the Lenten penitence. For me and my sisters this involved the skipping of a meal so we could partake of tea-cakes and coffee at eight thirty at night.

We DeLallo's sure get crazy with our feasting. Lol. We all worked late so that was about as much as we could manage.

I've no idea what to post about guys. I am sooooo tired. I was on a energy high last night and didn't get to sleep 'till some creeping hour after midnight. I got a little writing done though, and that was excellent! Life goals and all that. I had so many goals this year. *siiiiiiigh* My goals are not working out. Granted, it's only March but as far as 2017 goes I've gotten off to a rough start, creative-wise. It's especially annoying when I actually try to be creative and my creative juices won't flow. I think some of it has to do with how sick I've been these past few months, and not sleeping well. No rest means no creativity. Unless it's 3:00 AM. Then your mind wakes up sure and steady!



I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but do you ever get super excited about a certain story and you can see the whole finished product in your head like a beautiful masterpiece, but when you start work on it you think that maybe you can't actually write this beautiful story?

That is what's been happening to me. 8-P

JUST GET IT DONE BELLA.

What I want to do is take a long walk with my notebook. I want to sit in nature until my mind remembers to what creative is. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. It's been too long since I've climbed a tree. Now that Spring is here I'm feeling much more friendly toward the wilderness. I'm more of an outdoor person in the warm months than in the cold. Call me whimpy if you want. There isn't a lot to do in the snow. Once Spring sets in I'm like "YAAAAAAS. TREES! ROOFS! LIGHT! SUN! LIFE!"

I want to go swimming, but it's not quite that warm out yet. Sadly. 8-( I think swimming would help my back. It's been acting up lately.

With that random bit of information out of the way, here is a Japanese* song I've been obsessed with these past few months. I'm trying to learn it for singing class. Unfortunately the only copy you can find on Youtube that isn't pitched is the one performed live. The guy who sings it is a bit weird so feel free to ignore him. Don't judge until you read the lyrics. They're sad. 8-(

*Yes I said Japanese. It's was one of the opening songs in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I love it.



READ LYRICS HERE:

 My favorite line is in the fifth verse: 

You, who gave me a new start by your consolations,   and the hateful and cowardly me.
It’s about time… Fumbling, my troubles spill down my tired cheeks

There is something beautifully sad about that line. It reminds me of a person who has tried his/her absolute hardest and had it all backfire on them. It also reminds me of that feeling you get when you've succeeded but at a heavy price. Like Frodo at the top of Mount Doom, knowing the Ring is destroyed but he will never be the same. It make me more determined then ever to write good characters who face intense moral dilemma's and painful sacrifices, but they still do what's right. However scared and weak they feel, they do the better thing. The noble, hard thing. Being a good person doesn't make your decisions any easier. Usually it makes them harder. I want readers like me to have more characters to relate to. Not just morally grey people who sometimes do the right thing, but actually good people sticking to their values, however hard. Contrary to popular belief, Good doesn't mean Flat. It's much harder to be Good than Grey.

Sometimes Japanese lyrics are deep and they help me write. I need to draw inspiration from wherever I can get it. I don't even care if it's weird. This song is beautiful. 

Ooooh. Now I have an idea about a song review. Or analogy. Or talk? Something like that. A "Lyrics in relation to the writing/inspiration" thing. That's sounds interesting.

On that note, I'm off. It's almost eleven here and I have to get to bed.





*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I have come back ... TO LIFE!


OH HEEEEEEY!

Literally the last three weeks: Life: - You want to blog? You want to write? You want to be creative? HAHA! TOO BAD! YOU'RE TOO BUSY CHASING YOURSELF TO DO ANY OF THAT!!!!


For real though.

I wanted to be a better blogger this year but these few months have been a whirlwind of craziness and I am not holding up on that effort too well. It's like the fates are against me or something. I just can't catch an easy week! Lol. The start of this year has been rocky to say the least. To say the most....


*thrashes like a slimy squid in a hot soda pop*


Yep. This has been my 2017 thus far.


2017. 2017. 2017.

I had such hopes for you. How could you betray my tiny trust?


But hey! I'm blogging now.


Despicable Me


I was supposed to be doing a Musical Link-Up but do to lovely life craziness I totally missed the whole thing. This is a little sad for me, but I am sure I'll have other chances to vent about my musicals. For now; Life Update!


1.) I am almost done with both my Piano class and my Acting class. Piano has been fun, but it's more of a crash course than anything else because we had so many snow days we had to play catch up. Even so, the teacher is great and the class has been interesting. I'd like to take it again, when I'm not so sick.


The acting class has been much more fun than I thought it would be. I hadn't done much Improv before so it was fun to get my feet wet in something I was unfamiliar with. With Improv you get to play a lot more. I can definitely see the appeal of creating characters from scratch and having almost boundless options with your character, your scene, and your whole story. It's great fun. I like scripts a little better, but Improv has it's perks. I can see myself taking it again.


2.) My clarinet was finally found at my brother's house and brought back to me. This is super exciting for me. I am totally out of shape with mouth position and playing for any length of time, but wow! It's great to have my instrument back! I plan to start playing around with melodies again, try to give some of my musical numbers more than just acapella. That should be interesting! Actually, that's why I'm taking piano. I plan to keep practicing even after my class is over. Piano helps with musicals so much! 8-) Also, Base Cleff is trippy guys. Trippy. All those low notes and high notes look the same!


As an aside I don't like being a beginner. I want to immediately know all the things and make beautiful music without doing the months of practice. Is that too much to ask? I'm impatient, guys!





3.) I officially had the worst Fat Tuesday in Fat Tuesday history. LOL. For real. My family (and myself) were so busy running around meeting each other leaving that we didn't have much time to celebrate. But we did get nice ice-cream so that was great.


4.) I got headbands from Treskie and I look freaking adorable in headbands. Just sayin'.


5.) I finished the series Pandora Hearts last month. It was absolutely brilliant. The best story I've read in a long, long time. The character development was excellent, the story was superb, the plot was layered and complex (if that's a strong enough word...) and the whole emotional pay off was excellent. I loved it. I loved it so freaking much.



Xerxes Break


YAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!


I might do a blog post about Fantasy Manga/Anime in the future. Why? Because there are lots of suffering bookworms out there who can't find anything original when it comes to the fantasy genre, (and books in general) but I've found a number of good manga/anime that have captured my attention. Manga can be really beautiful. It's true. The ones I've read have been so good* that I might even see if some Japanese fantasy books are good too.


*I know there are bad ones too. Of course there are. There are good and bad manga, good and bad anime, good and bad books. That how the world goes.


6.) My Mom and some of my sisters have gone off on a nice long vacation at my brother-in-law's house. Mom is going to help with Laura's new baby, and since she only lives a couple hours from my other sister Gina, they're all just going to hang out their for some weeks. I'm happy they get to have a vacation - they haven't had a proper one in ages - but it was sad for me to stay behind. This is why I hates jobs. 8-(


7.) In the past three to six months anime/manga have hit me with so many emotions I'm slightly ashamed. Though not ashamed enough to stop. ANIME! MANGA! GOOD STORIES! AAAAAAAAAH! I will say that when Hunter x Hunter makes you want to cry you know things are getting crazy. What was that season five arc? WHAT WAS IT?



My relationship with Anime.

8.) I want to go hiking in the snow. Then I don't. Then I do. Someone should force me to go with them. *Squints at Jim* Why am I hesitant? 'Cause I know myself, that's why. A hike in the snow sounds like an adventure, but knowing me.....






Maybe I'll try out reality when I'm well. I'll have to get proper snow boots and a coat. I should also bring hot cocoas.

See??? NOW I WANNA GO AGAIN.


8.) I want to hang the Catholic Flag outside my house. Just cause.


Look how pretty it is! How cool would it be to have that flying outside your window? It would make you feel like you had your King's banner hanging above your Knightly headquarters. And let's face it. That's basically what it is!


9.) I'm going to make something DELICIOUS for desert this Sunday, because why the heck not? It's Sunday. I freaking can.


10.) I want to buy a nice dress for Easter this year. Wish me luck with that!


I am all out of things to say. I'm going to try and go back to posting regularly! I want my blog to be centered around light and happiness so I'm trying to figure out exactly how to do that. Maybe I should just do more "happy thoughts" posts. Maybe I'll even make a Happy Thoughts Day. (Every Saturday???)


I don't know. If you have feedback I'd be glad to hear it.


Peace out y'all!




Bai Bai!



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Friday, February 17, 2017

10 Favourite Musicals Link-Up!


Christine Eyre over at Overflowing Mind and Pen is doing a Favorite Musicals Link Up on her blog, and invited me to join. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. It's a musical Link Up! I can't say no to that.

Anyone can participate in this. It runs until February 28th. The Rules can be found on Christine's blog, HERE.

She had a cool little Button, but for some reason it won't show up on my blog. 8-(

Here are my top ten favorite Musicals:

1.) The Phantom of the Opera
2.) A Tale of Two Cities
3.) Ghost
4.) The Secret Garden
5.) Finding Neverland
6.) Jekyll and Hyde
7.) Newsies
8.) Jane Eyre
9.) Les Miserables
10.) Mary Poppins

 You can post about as many or as few as you'd like to per day.  Which is awesome! By this point I'm sure all of you know exactly why I love TPOTO and ATOTC so much. I've posted about both of them enough times to relay how I feel about these beautiful musicals.  So today I'm going to post about TPOTO and Ghost. If you want you can skip my thoughts on Phantom and jump down to Ghost. It made make it more fun for you.

Reasons I like The Phantom of the Opera.

This is easy. I grew up on The Phantom of the Opera. I don't remember when it wasn't a part of my life. I think by  the time I was four years old I was already familiar with the music, and by the time I was eight I was singing along with most of the main songs. It was a big part of my life. The musical that played when a big sister did my hair in the morning. The songs that blared out in the car when we drove down to Barnes and Nobles. The songs we sang together when we did dishes or chores. Yeah. It was everywhere, and I got attached to it fast. The older I got the more I loved the music, the composition, and the characters. It was obviously worth the fame it had.

He welcomes you to his Opera House, and requests that you continue to keep Box 5 empty for his use.

The Phantom of The Opera is still my favorite musical. In the past few years I've become even more in love with it. One of my favourite elements of Phantom is the love story between Christine and Raoul. There are plenty of arguments made against this beautiful pairing, some being that Christine should be with the Phantom, (ew) others being that Raoul didn't deserve her, or vise versa (what?) and some being that they barely knew each other so they couldn't be in love.

That last point is silly. Yes, when the musical first opens Christine hasn't seen Raoul in years. They were best friends in childhood but it's been a long time since either of them have spent time together. There's obviously still a spark between them right off the bat, but it would be a bad call to say they still knew each other after so much time had passed.



HOWEVER. Between the time that Raoul proposes to Christine at the end of Act One, and the Phantom taking control of the opera house and presenting an opera in Act Two, six months pass. The two characters have plenty of time to date, to catch up, to learn each other all over again. And it's pretty obvious at the beginning of Act Two that they are happily engaged and very in love. So, the argument that they don't know each other is invalid. I'm just saying. Throughout Act Two they are together as often as possible and fiercely protective of one another. Especially Raoul. He's like, You hurt Christine, I'll smash your face. It's precious how much they care for each other.




Anywhere you go let me go to.


Of course the other brilliant element of this story is the Phantom himself. His character is beautifully written, layered, and tragic. He's creepy and insane, he doesn't seem to grasp right from wrong, and he is obsessive with what he wants. Yet there is a sadness in him that is hard not to empathize with. He had a rotten life. He was driven to insanity because of his deformity, because the world hated him, because he was a genius with absolutely no outlet. That's sad. He's sad. your heart bleeds for the poor fellow. It doesn't excuse how disturbing and cruel he can be, but it does add some depth and tragedy to his character. That's one of the reason I don't like it when an actor plays the Phantom too angry or harsh. There needs to be that underlying element of tragedy or the ending isn't as powerful. You need to see his vulnerability early on. I really love how Michael Crawford breathed that trait into his performance. Dave Willets also did an excellent drop balancing the insanity and cruelty with vulnerability, and from the bits I've seen of him John Cudia did a good job with it too. I like the Phantom to be creepy, crazy, and obviously the villain, but also have that gentle unexpected side that can love. That side is his redemption and it needs to be seen throughout the story.

The Phantom of the Opera is such a unique story, full of love, sacrifice, and redemption. It's timeless, it's interesting, it's full of gorgeous music that brings you right back to the Opera House in 1881. The vocals are incredible, the characters are well written, and the whole story is worth listening to.

Ghost.

Ghost is a new musical that I've only recently discovered. The music is a lot more modern than I usually like in a musical, but Ghost pulls it off. I listened to the OBC in September and fell in love with the story on the spot.

*Spoiler* I'd never seen the movie Ghost and I didn't know anything about it either, so I had no idea what to expect. I was upset and horrified when Sam was killed. I cried right along with Molly when she lost him. I was just as shocked as Sam when I found out who betrayed him. I was so freaking into this story! It was the first musical I'd found in a while that actually made me cry. *End spoiler*

If there's anything more I can do, I'll do it and find my way back to you.


I don't know how closely the musical followed the movie, but the story was rock solid, emotional, and stirring. The characters were great, well-written, and strong. As usual I liked the Original Cast best. The newer casts are a bit much for my taste. The original's balanced power with a soft undertone and that is really important in a musical like this. Caissie Levy did an excellent job in the role of Molly Jensen. She embraced the loud and vibrant music without becoming too brassy or obnoxious. She would belt in moments of intense anger or regret where it was obviously meant to be so, but she always brought her voice back to a gentler, softer tone. She never went over-board with her belting or her vocal power, and she balanced the anger with deep sadness and pain so that it never overwhelmed the character. I loved her portrayal of Molly. Richard Fleeshman did just as well in the role of Sam, bringing power and the modern sound to his role, but keeping a more vulnerable tone whenever possible. He got loud and sharp but he never stayed that way for long. That's why I like the Original Cast best. I don't usually like musical with modern music because it's too loud, brassy, and annoying. The vocalists sound like they're trying to out-belt each other, the tones are overwhelming and heavy... it's just too much noise and not enough technique or beauty. The Original Cast of Ghost were very aware of their power and made sure not to overdo it. They made the volume and capacity work. The newer casts aren't always so careful. Most Mollys' sound like they were Elphaba in their first life. I think a lot of them were. 8-P It's like Girl. Stop yelling.

But yeah, this musical is really emotional, beautiful, and powerful. I would definitely recommend it. I believe there is a scene near the beginning between Sam and Molly, but besides that it's pretty clean too. It's an excellent story with incredible lyrics and solid music. It's wonderful.


Oh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch.


Here ends my first official day of the Musical Link-Up. 8-) This was fun! Hope to see you all again soon!




*Swings around cape and leaps off stage*





Bella


Thursday, February 2, 2017

I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don't feel so bad.



fmab

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you're just kind of sad? Like, you're not depressed or anything, and maybe you don't even know why you're sad, but you are and you feel all melancholy and blue, and you want to curl up and look at the wall forever?

Yeah, I've had those weeks too.

A sad week is no fun. A sad day is no fun. It's never fun to have any sort of sad time. And I know sometimes it's easier to be blue and gloomy than to be happy. It's okay to have alone days where you hide, watch Netflix (or read) and eat chocolate. It's completely acceptable to have hermit days. It's healthy even. However, I thought I'd give a list of the top ten things that make me feel better when I've had a bad day, a bad week, or a rotten few months. For anyone going through a rough patch, or just having a tough time of it. 8-D

1.) Color

Adults Coloring books are an excellent form of therapy and relaxation. Even if you can't get the actually coloring books, getting a piece of paper and drawing huge flowers/and or shapes and coloring them in is very soothing. I color a lot. Usually I'll listen to a special playlist while I do, with a bunch of my favorite songs in it, and some relaxing, pretty instrumentals to help me calm down.

2.) Listen to Music

Music works for me every time. No matter what is happening, it always cheers me up. Whether you're cleaning, studying, or taking a break and resting at home, music is a great way to lighten to mood and ease stress. For sad days I usually listen to pretty music, like Mumford and Sons, Josh Groban, Il Volo, my favorite musicals, or I just look up, "Pretty, calming music" and play instrument for a while. I'll also listen to more up beat songs, like How you get the girl by Taylor Swift, or Have Mercy on Me, by Shawn Mendes. Or It's Always a Good Time by Owl City. Whatever it is, listen to something you love. It helps your mind to relax when it listens to something it doesn't really have to focus on.

3.) Watch your favourite movie or an episode of your favourite TV Show. Preferable a movie or episode you know really well. 

My go-to shows for sad days are Doctor who (preferably and episode from the first five seasons) Psych, Hunter X Hunter, My Little Pony and sometimes Leverage.  Watch a show that provides you with comfort and will ultimately make you feel better; even if it makes you cry. Sometimes crying over fictional stuff can help you deal with real problems.

4.) Take a walk.

The world is a beautiful place. Take a walk in the forest, wade through streams, smell dirt and grass. If you live in a City with tons of buildings and hardly any trees or rivers, I would recommend going to a public park and just hanging on in the grass and walking around, listening to the wind. It helps to be outdoors. When you see the trees and how much they've survived, or feel grass in your toes, or see the light making patterns in the leaves, or see the giant sky above you and how infinite it is, it helps you clear your mind. A wonderful God made all these things and somehow they are doing okay. Maybe your problems really aren't so overwhelming after-all.

5.) Step outside at night. Stare at the moon, the stars.

This goes hand in hand with taking a walk. Stepping outside to witness the beauty of our world can really help stabilize your mood. There's few things as lovely as looking up and seeing thousands of tiny lights shining down on you. You go inside feeling better and more at peace.

6.) Wrap up in a warm blanket, have tea or coffee, or your favorite drink. Maybe read a book. Relax.

Warm blankets and a good drink make everything a little easier. If it happens to be the middle of summer and it's too warm for a blanket, find a patch of sunlight to curl up in, or a stuffed animal to cuddle. Trust me. It helps.

7.) Pray hard.

God is awesome. He knows your struggling and He will always be there for you, no matter the time, the place, or the circumstances. Go to Him. He won't let you down.

8.) Spend time with your best friend or family member.

Time spent in good company usually means good memories, and a good day. A best friend, or close family member can also help you relax and feel better about life. They are also there for you if you need to talk. Don't be afraid to visit.

9.) Write a list of everything you're grateful for. Only positive thoughts. 8-)

This is something that can be hard to do, especially if you are emotionally drained, but make a list of things you are happy or grateful for, and things you enjoy. That way you can go back and read the list whenever you are feeling down, and add to it as needed.

10.) Go out and do something nice for yourself.

Buy an ice-cream cone and walk by the lake. Go to the library for hours. Find a bakery and buy yourself breakfast. Sit at the booth and drink coffee and take in the moment. Lay out in your back yard, close your eyes, and rest. Suck a lollipop on your deck. Buy a new outfit. Climb a tree and feel the wind rock you. Do something nice for yourself. There is no crime or sin in seeking the simple pleasures of life. In Christ experienced simple pleasures. He was, after all, human. And God built our world so we could enjoy it. It would be rude of us not to take advantage of this.

I hope this was helpful to all y'all! I'm sorry it took me so long to get it up. I got really sick last week. A terrible fever, which resulted in a flu. 8-( It sucked.

 
*swings around cape and leaps off stage*




 
Bella

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Giver: The Importance of Life


I first watched The Giver back in August.  I was all alone in bed at 12:30, and I was an emotional mess because that movie rang with so much truth.

I watched it again on my Birthday, January 12th, and the whole message about the importance of life and the raw beauty of it touched me just as deeply the second time. With the March for Life taking place this month, I decided to do a post on the Giver and how it shows us that all life, not matter how big or how small, how flawless or how damaged, is important and valuable. All life is precious.

For those of you that don't know, The Giver is a dystopian story about a society that has rebuilt itself after some global catastrophe. They've built a world of happiness and contentment where everyone is equal. There is no war or suffering, no hate, no anger. In fact this world seems downright perfect.

However, as the story goes on the perfection of this painless world is called into question. In this society, each man and woman is placed into a specific line of work after graduation which they will pursue until they retire to Elsewhere. The main Character, Jonas, is placed into a critical position: He is the receiver of memory. Even in a world where emotions are held in check and the history of our world is no longer passed down, the 'Elders' (AKA Governors) sometimes need to consult past mistakes to better plan for future laws, decisions, and problems. This means that there has to be someone who does remember the past, who does know what the world was like before everything changed. This person is The Giver. From the time our New World began there has been a Giver, one person in the hundreds who knows the truth of our past and heeds it. The Elders need this Giver, but is a delicate job as the memories and knowledge cannot be shared with anyone else for fear of causing a rebellion. People would get curious about the past, about their feelings, and eventually they'd want that back. The Giver holds the memories for the Elders, and passes them to the Receiver when his time is over - in this instance, Jonas.

But Jonas is not your average Receiver and as he learns about the past, about the emotions humans you to have, and the beautiful diversity of our lives, he realizes that a perfect society is not worth what we had to sacrifice for it.


What I loved most about this movie was the amazing Pro-Life message. Not just with children either, though I will get to that in this post. The whole movie was a message about why life is worth living, even if there is pain and strife and horror. Everyone deserves to experience the wonder of life. Whether they be young or old, weak or strong, deformed or beautiful, crippled or fit, slow or excelling, handicapped or ingenious - everyone deserves to live, and life isn't something you should take from anyone.  It had a beautiful message about how sadness and cruelty is worth the experience of joy and goodness. Knowing love is worth Enduring the hate that is bound to follow.  Happiness is worth the suffering. Where there is good there will always be bad, but that doesn't make the good any less wonderful or brilliant.

This is a very applicable message and story for us today. In our society, life is treated badly. The elderly aren't cared for properly. Children are carefully scheduled into a couple's happy marriage so that they don't have too many and aren't inconvenienced - that is, if they have any at all. Often babies are killed before they see life outside the womb. The Giver brought each of these problems to light, and many more.



In The Giver's world, individuality is gone. No one is allowed to be different from anyone else. There is no "she's smarter than me," or, "He's better at that than I am." No one is higher or lower than anyone else. Everyone is the same. Everyone has the same comforts, the same rules, the same teachings. Nothing is ever surprising, or hurtful. There are no fights. No passions. No private dreams or goals that might conflict with another's. Everyone has their path chosen and assigned to them from the government. There is no freedom of choice. You do what you're told, you obey the rules, and everyone is happy.

Our Society isn't as bad as The Giver's - at least not yet. But I can't help seeing some frightening parallels. For starters, "Precision of language." How many of us are really allowed to say what we want without some bad repercussions? You must be very careful to never hurt anyone's feelings by saying something too deep or too honest. In a way we do have to monitor our words.  Just think of how hard it is to say "God" or "Jesus Christ," in public. Or how about, "I believe in marriage between a man and a woman," or "I don't agree with this person(s) opinion, because my belief is such-and-such," or, "I think men are better at such-and-such a thing than women are."  And we do have to apologize for saying or doing anything even remotely hurtful or irritating to someone else. Heaven forbid you make somebody feel bad or *gasp* maybe think a little; about who they are, about what they do.

How about emotions? How often can we really express our interest/beliefs/feelings? Everything is very surface. We carefully walk on eggshells around our fellow humans to keep from upsetting anyone, or causing a problem. Society is teaching children some very strange things about feelings. Don't get angry if someone disagrees with you - that's there opinion. If someone is bothering you, maybe try to confront them with words and if that doesn't work, just walk away. If you're feelings are hurt, talk about it. You have a right to feel hurt. Experience it, express it. Have a hug. Go off alone and sit until you feel better.  It's all about you feeling like you are comfortable enough to go on. Face your feelings and figure out a way to get back to a calm balance. Does anyone else see a disturbing connection here? Let your feelings out and then forget about them. Don't dwell on feelings because then you can't be in a comfortable place.

Uhm. Life doesn't work that way. You are going to get hurt. You are going to grieve. You are going to be heartbroken. And that pain will last, sometimes a really long time. That is part of life and that is part of your development as a person. If you never have to struggle or fight, or face some hurt, you will never learn how strong, brave or resilient you are. And that's sad! Children don't need to be coddled, to identify their feelings, talk them over, and quickly drop them because really, It's Okay. Children need to understand that feelings grow out of emotions, and emotions are a good thing. Should you be in control of them? Absolutely; they're dangerous. But they are also necessary if you want to be a person of any character and depth at all.

Feelings are fleeting. They’re on the surface. But emotions, are deeper. They linger. - The Giver


Feelings are petty and altogether too much importance is placed on them. A feeling doesn't last long. You need to know that having your feelings hurt happens and to tough it up. How are you going anyone in life if you are so fragile that someone saying, No, you're wrong, or the like, is going to shatter your tiny comfort globe? That is a silly way to live. In the long run, feelings are fleeting and don't last long, they are just a natural instinct which stem from something much stronger. Emotions. However, emotions are almost disregarded, and beliefs and passions are looked upon with a most tolerant, almost mocking view.



This is what I loved about the Giver. How it looked at the facts of our world and brought them to light in all their honest fact. The pressure for children to behave just so. The pressure for adults to raise their children just so. The old being relatively useless. The young carefully modeled into perfect citizens. The rebels found and quickly silenced. Beliefs being okay so long as they aren't voiced too loudly or for too long; keep your opinions to yourself, thank you, and don't violate anyone else. It's an idea world where no one is allowed to quarrel or disagree. But that also means no one is allowed to form deep, emotional ideas, or have deep, emotional relationships because that's way too dangerous. Don't share unique ideas! That leads to conflict which leads to pain! Don't hold hands! Holding hands leads to caring, caring leads to hurt, hurt leads to anger, anger leads to violence... on and on.



The Community in The Giver acts as though it cares about each individual but really it only cares about the whole. The Community acts as though it cares about your ideas, thoughts or concerns, but really it doesn't. Your own feelings don't matter, you must believe and follow the ideals of the Community. They act as though they want everyone to be happy and live in comfort, but they force that false happiness and comfort upon you, so you have no choice but to live in blissful carelessness. The Community acts as though life has value, but they don't practice that. They kill off anyone too weak or inconvenient - Oh, excuse me. They send them to Elsewhere. *squints* Nothing must be violent or appalling, so even death is given a new name and painted as some type of reward, a peaceful retirement. No one mentions the ending of a life. That is too brutal. We simply no longer need this individual so we will quietly dispose of them. Sound familiar?



The Community can choose to get rid of whomever they want, whenever they want to. The old, the young, the innocent, the infants. There is absolutely no regard for the individuals life. Once there usefulness is over it is time to be rid of them. I liked how this movie showed that losing emotions and morality meant losing our respect for life. It rang with so much truth - especially when you think about the Pro-Choice activists in society today. Actually, one of my favorite things about this movie was the situation with the babies. How those infants the Community deemed "worthy" or "strong enough" got a chance at life, but those too weak or problematic got scratched off the list. It was painted as a Choice, a necessary action with no need for regret, but it wasn't necessary and it was horrible. Any baby they weren't sure they should keep was placed in "Uncertains," and if they decided that baby just didn't have the capacity to be in this world, injection, the baby was gone. Just like that. No tears, no mess. Just a dead baby, a box, and a trash can.

"That's death.[ ]He doesn't know what he's doing...? He killed him!" -Jonas.

It was all so familiar. It's what happens today, all over the world. Unwanted babies are treated like trash to be thrown out. Infants are murdered fresh from the womb. They're not even given a chance. There is a lot of talk about how life in the womb isn't life, but then why does "it" have a heartbeat? Why does "it" grow? Why does "It" suck his thumb? Roll over? Have brainwaves? At what point does this "it" decide to become a baby? Is a seed, planted and taking root, not alive because the flower hasn't grown up from it yet? Of course not! The seed will grow into a tree. The Infant will grow into an adult - if he is only given the time to do so. It is evil to destroy him before he even has the chance to break soil.

Jonas recognized the evil. He knew that the world no longer understood death, but he had the memories, he had the passions, the faith, the emotions. He did understand. And he was angry and hurt and confused. The baby was alive and then he was dead. For no reason! Didn't he matter? Didn't they care? I found myself relating to Jonas on a spiritual level. LIFE MATTERS. No matter what life it is, no matter how old, how young, how useful, how necessary, each life matters. Every life has the potential to be everything and anything in this messy world of ours. I loved that Jonas realized that and took control. He realized the last Receiver had been killed for not being able to complete her duties, that retirees were killed because they were no longer useful, that anyone deemed unworthy was sent to Elsewhere: AKA, murdered. But he only learned these truths when he saw the helpless, innocent baby killed without hesitation. That was when he realized what the Community really did. That was when he decided it was time for things to change. No amount of balanced comfort was worth the cold indifference mankind had acquired toward the value of life.

Once Jonas understood this, he understood two other things as well. He needed to bring back the memories, the right and the wrong, and he needed to save the baby, Gabriel, who was next in line for the injection. A baby his father had brought home from the hospital only a few days before in an attempt to make him strong enough to be able to 'live.' A baby who was now back at the hospital, awaiting death.



"He's my family."

I'm going to say right now, Jonas running in and saving an innocent infant from slaughter was without a doubt the best part of the movie. He broke all the rules, got himself marked as a criminal and hunted like an animal, all to save a baby. And when he took that life in his arms he ran. He ran to save life once and for all. He ran to save the value of life, to save the meaning of life. He ran to bring back the beauty of life, the wonder, the pain, the joy. He ran to save all life that the child in his arms represented. The lives of his friends, his family. The lives of the old and the young, the unique, the damaged, the different. The baby in his arms represented every life that had been lost because of empty cares and false comfort. That baby was the future. He was warm. He was beautiful. And he was alive. Not too weak. Not too problematic. Alive, breathing, and capable of so much more.

And in this way, a baby saved the world from an empty, cruel existence. It was the baby that gave Jonas the strength and courage to change the horror. To fix the emptiness. To bring back love. A baby brought back beauty and joy. A condemned baby, who should have been dead. A baby Society marked as inconvinient and uneeded. A baby that touched the Receivers heart and gave him the strength to go on when he was scared, cold and alone. It was the baby

Gabriel saved the world! He was a baby! And yet he saved the world!

It really makes you think, doesn't it?


"Gabe, there could be love."
- Jonas, The Giver



I will just leave this here; life matters. Even if you suffer, even if there is pain, every life is worth and every person deserves a chance at that life.



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*


Bella

Pile of good things

Pile of good things