Fall Semester Philosophy

Questions, questions, tell me why

Every day I see the sky.

Sometimes pink, most times blue,

But she won’t tell me what to do.

Rain, rain, never far,

Tell me of the sun, my star.

Does he know the hour when

I won’t be seeing him again?

Flower, flower, while you’re here

Sing to me a song I’ll hear

Through the night while I don’t sleep

Flower, tell me, will you speak?

Mirror, mirror, in the night

Who am I without the light?

When darkness creeps hard and cold

Tell me, will my soul grow old?

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A Puzzling Secret Message

As an avid reader and hobbyist writer, I’ve come to realized that my everyday life is mundane and extraordinary at the same time.

No, I don’t go on dragon killing adventures in Middle Earth in real life, but some days I escape lava, disable evil robots, and shrink to two inches high – while babysitting of course.

I’m not the heiress to an enormous fortune, nor am I in a poorhouse washing bottles.

A novel about my life would be downright boring, because I avoid conflict at all costs, and any good storyteller knows that conflict drives a story!

This December, however, my life became a little more exciting. A mysterious letter with two stamps arrived from my “Secret Santa”.

Now, I had signed up for a Secret Santa letter writing thing with some of my writer friends so I knew something would be coming, but the enchantment and mystery only increased from there.

When my first letter arrived, I filmed myself opening it, and I had to continue after that.

I have come to realize that I have very strange reactions when I am excited about something.

I guess it all started back when I was 10 (or at least that’s when it first was documented).

I opened what was at the time my favorite movie:

a recording of Stratford, Ontario Theatre’s “The Pirates of Penzance”.

I am known as a very enthusiastic person…if you haven’t picked up on that already.

The second time around for my puzzle letter, I had my friend and Mom help me out (with some commentary from Dad).

And then lastly we come to the end of my puzzling saga in which I whip out several musical and movie references.

(Those of you who know me personally know that 87% of my vocabulary is quotation. )

This was a wonderful pre-Christmas journey! My life doesn’t have too much excitement – except for the excitement I bring into it myself – so this was a fantasmigorical thing to look forward to!

Now, whenever I feel that my life is uneventful, I can re-watch my excitement and wonder.

I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

I’m sure good, old Bing had no idea how many children’s dreams he would crush with his long-beloved song.

Forget the dancing sugarplums, I dreamed up white fluff covering our minivan and sidewalk Christmas Eve.

Many a Christmas morn, I tore open my daisy curtains only to find dead, brown grass on the front lawn.

We occasionally get snow for Christmas, but we almost always have snow for Valentine’s Day. We even have snow on some Easters. So I guess it’s a question of whether we want snow celebrating Jesus’s birthday or the day He rose from the dead.

I know a lot of people who dislike snow. They may even use the word “hate” to describe their emotions, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Think of it this way.

Particles of hydrogen and oxygen are floating upwards and collecting themselves into an enormous assembly – also known as a cloud. That cloud gets cold and the hydrogens and oxygens huddle together.

Then, when the cloud just can’t take it anymore, the huddles start to flake off and hurdle down to the ground. The first brave ones dissolve into the dead, brown floor, but the next troops stand and bear the weight of the reinforcements.

Together they concenter, unifying with the association that – yes –

They. Are. Snow.

And together they reflect the sun as infinitesimal prisms, blinding eyes and warming hearts.

Isn’t that remarkable?

Wouldn’t you dream of that?

Lonely Postcard

{A dear, dear friend of mine gave me a story box as a graduation present. It has old books, miniature candelabras, baby sneakers, and among other things old post cards. My story box is for inspiration. Here is my first inspiration from my story box.}

postcard pillars

58 Pillars.

I’ve counted them hundreds of times.

Arches, arches, arches – plants in a walk-through garden.

I see the stark white sky and the deep darkness of the ribbed ceiling.

To the eye, the pillars shrink off to the deadened left side.

“Palermo – Chiostro Monreale”

I don’t know where it is, but I long to be there.

The plants rustle in the wind – or maybe the stagnant air presses down and one retreats under the pillars for shade.

I have held this card more times than there are pillars.

I glide my finger across the worn back side.

The blank side.

If I had any money, I’d go to “Palermo – Chiostro Monreale”

and send myself this postcard.

Listen

The whirr of blurred fan blades.

The shrill purr of cricket song.

A spontaneous call of a dog three blocks down.

The mesh of tire rubber on the brick street.

These are sounds that I’m hearing right now.

I also hear the clacking of black computer keys and a crunchy scratch on my head. I hear the whispering cloth of my clothes as I adjust my position in my seat.

A bug of some kind rattles outside.

Every sound seems to come alive and shows itself in the forefront of my mind.

They want to be heard.

The fan spins with purpose. The insects communicate with each other.

And if a tree falls in a forest there really is always Someone there to hear, because not a sparrow falls without His knowledge of it. Every hair on my itching head is numbered.

Stopping to think about sounds makes me ponder the wonder of noise.

Sound waves bounce or become absorbed.

Notes carry across bodies of water.

Silence is never really there because you can hear yourself breathe.

I am so thankful for noises.

Sounds.

Music.

And voices.

My voice.

My Mom and Dad’s voices.

My Grandpa’s voice I have recorded telling how he and Grandma met.

.

.

Just stop reading for a moment, close your eyes, and listen.

.

.

What did you hear?

.

Tell me.

.

I’m listening.

SC-LISTEN

Play is the Thing

When I was young, I used to pray,

“God, don’t let me ever stop liking to play.”

To you this request may sound utterly ridiculous, childish, and unrealistic.

It was.

But it also has been answered – so far at least.

Although I don’t take time to dress up my dolls, or build and un-build with my LEGOs on my own, I am not apposed to playing with kids.

Whether the kids are 5 or 55, I gladly take up a ball or doll to compete or make pretend.

In truth, I prefer playing to sitting around talking. I don’t consider this immaturity (though some may disagree); instead I deem it an understanding.

Most boring people my age (or frightfully younger) consider play stupid.

I take play seriously.

This is not to say that I am serious when I play, but that I treat play as kids do: seriously.

That stick really is a sleek baseball bat.

That doll really is an evil witch.

That hunk of play dough really is a masterpiece.

And that baby really mustn’t be carried upside down.

No, I don’t believe I’m delusional.

You see, most people think that childhood and adulthood are two separate worlds, but really they are intertwined and both very real.

Little girls pretend to be mommies. Boys pretend to be soldiers. And parents protect and direct their precious, miniature look-a-likes.

Some people stand and scoff when asked to play. If you are such a one, remember with me –

Long ago (maybe not too long ago) you looked up to someone you – well, looked up to – and asked for them to play with you. They laughed, sighed, or sneered – either way, it wasn’t kind – and told you something along the lines of:

“No.”

They probably weren’t even imaginative with their excuses like,

“I’ve already fought a dragon today.”

“If I play with you, I’ll not finish this project. And if I don’t finish this project I’ll lose my job and have to become a circus clown.”

“I am so tired that I could sleep in a den full of rattlesnakes.”

No, they probably just said,

“I don’t want to.”

And after you asked, “Why not?” They said,

“Because I don’t want to.”

Circular reasoning at it’s cruelest.

After several times of being turned down you thought (though perhaps unconsciously),

“Grown people just don’t like to play. It must be something you grow out of — how sad.”

And so, at some point you decided that playing wasn’t fun anymore.

Hogwash.

Maybe it’s just me.

Or maybe the majority of humanity is missing out on the beautiful magic of child’s play.

Now, I’m not saying that every single day I abandon my post of adulthood to squander my time playing with toys.

I’m saying that my eyes are open – for adventure.