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Thread: The Chosen Is in The House.

  1. #1
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    The Chosen Is in The House.

    My dear mother Lola died rather suddenly when I was still a lad in short pants. Until then she'd never ever complained of feeling ill. Well not while I was present anyway. I think I must have been about eleven going on twelve. From experience I'd hazard a guess that this was the time when a boy really needed his momma. Eleven plus years isn't a very long time in the life of a pre-teen lad to get to know his mother.

    I have three monochrome photographs of Lola which sit upon an old Oak Welsh dresser in my diningroom. They are the only images I have of her. One is a "coming out" photo of her aged sixteen, wearing a long dress and a rose behind her right ear. Another is a wedding photograph with several bridesmaids and flower girls, and of course my dad, in front of the Cathedral in which they were married. The last one is the most interesting of the three.

    It was taken on her birthday which is on 9 January. Lola is sitting in the middle of a three seater settee, with two of my sisters, Pamela and Rosemary seated seated on either side of her. I being the odd boy out, am seated on the rug at Lola's feet.
    Now we are posed before a large window and the photo was taken at night, shortly before her birthday guests starting arriving.

    Above her head is this bright light and it has a sort of spooky look to it. It looks for all the world like a ball of fire with wings.

    Okay, I know it's just a reflection from the flashgun on the Yashica reflex camera my dad was using. I mean what else could it have been? And hey, this is Jj the atheist speaking!

    But eighteen days later on 27 January Lola collapsed and died.

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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

    And speaking of Lola ... Sunday is Patriot day in my Homeland. It will be the anniversary of what has become known as 9/11.

    The last time I spent any length of time in New York was during the winter of 2005 and it was the first time I had returned home since 9/11. Of course I visited Ground Zero which at that time was just a big hole in the ground.

    Standing on the sidewalk shivering in a -2 degree temperature, I gazed down at this gaping hole where four years ago the Twin Towers had proudly stood. Suddenly I felt this rush of warm air against my face, almost as if a hot summer wind had sprung up. As quickly as it had begun, this warm feeling vanished and I was back in a sub zero New York.

    Later that night when I lay in bed in my hotel room in Manhattan, I thought about what had happened at Ground Zero.

    I recalled something one of Lola's sisters had mentioned at her funeral. My mother had been "born behind the veil," that is born with a caul. A child "born with the caul" has a portion of the amniotic sac or membrane remaining on the head.

    Apparently, and I guess this is just an old wive's tale, anyone born with the caul is usually psychic and has second sight.

    So was it Lola's breath I felt at Ground Zero or just maybe some hot steam escaping near me? I'll never know for certain, but she loved her homeland America with a passion.

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    Reason Not To Believe.

    I was raised in a Christian home and attended a Christian primary school. I was taught about god and Jesus from day one. Because I was told the bible was "the word of god", my childish mind figured that the invisible man in the sky had actually written this book and then given it to us earthlings.

    I was taught to pray; first the "gentle Jesus meek and mild" thing and later "our father." I believed that anything was possible with god and that if you were a good person and you prayed to him, he would listen.

    As kids we used to "cross our heart" with sticky, grubby fingers and add; "god can strike me down stone dead if I am lying." Such was our belief in this man who sat in heaven, that the bona-fides of any kid who swore this oath were instantly recognized.

    As I grew older I saw that even men and women who attended church every Sunday often did stuff from Monday to Saturday that wasn't right. The man two doors down from us attended church yet still kicked the **** out his wife every Friday night when he was drunk. The woman opposite us was collected by a guy in a big black auto every Saturday night after her husband had left for night shift at the factory. She went to church Sunday morning and evening.

    When my pet puppy drowned, I prayed and prayed to god to bring him back to life, but he didn't. When my best friend got knocked down by a car and broke both his legs the day before we were due to go to summer camp, I begged god to heal him, but he didn't.

    It took me quite long to lose my religion and I was already in college when I "saw the light" so to speak. I had given god a fair crack of the whip here - nearly nineteen years of my life - but now I was done with him.

    It’s not like I just woke up one morning and said: "Hey, from today I am an atheist." No. I read the bible from cover to cover, I studied many of the books and I read and re-read stuff written by both sides - Christian and atheist. I began to think for myself, to question and then to doubt.

    I think it was when I realized that man and nor god had written the bible that I stopped believing. That man had put in and left out whole gospels. Writings that did not suit the church, revelations that might make people question the role man had played and was still playing in their daily lives in and out of the church and calling it divine teachings.

    I know I shouldn't pre-judge, but I now find myself mistrusting people who can't seem to wait to tell me they are a Christian; to me it is almost as if they are hiding behind this revelation, using it as a shield so that I will look no further than their faith.

    I am well aware that there are millions of good earthlings in the world who believe in a god. Good for them; whatever floats your boat.

    But ... I am an atheist and I am spiritual. I am an atheist and I am quite happy. I have never tried to, nor will I ever attempt to convince anyone to become an atheist.

    All I ask is that they accord me the same courtesy.

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    The Witch-Bride

    A fair witch crept to a young man’s side,
    And he kiss’d her and took her for his bride.

    But a Shape came in at the dead of night,
    And fill’d the room with snowy light.

    And he saw how in his arms there lay
    A thing more frightful than mouth may say.

    And he rose in haste, and follow’d the Shape
    Till morning crown’d an eastern cape.

    And he girded himself, and follow’d still
    When sunset sainted the western hill.

    But, mocking and thwarting, clung to his side,
    Weary day!—the foul Witch-Bride.

    - by William Allingham

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    The Orchard _ I Love This Painting!

    The Orchard.
    Oil On Canvas - Franz Dvorak (1862-1927) - c. 1912.

    I love the colors in this painting!



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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

    "As I write this now, it occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minutes, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill."

    Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

    "This living hand, now warm and capable
    Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
    And in the icy silence of the tomb,
    So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
    That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
    So in my veins red life might stream again,
    And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
    I hold it towards you."
    — John Keats, “This Living Hand”

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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

    "She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon.
    You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood.
    She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here."

    Neil Gaiman, “Strange Little Girls”

    From Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

    "There was this little prince with a magic crown. An evil warlock kidnapped him, locked him in a cell in a huge tower and took away his voice. There was a window made of bars. The prince would smash his head against the bars hoping that someone would hear the sound and find him. The crown made the most beautiful sound that anyone ever heard. You could hear the ringing for miles. It was so beautiful, that people wanted to grab the air. They never found the prince. He never got out of the room. But the sound he made filled everything up with beauty."
    — Julian Schnabel, Basquiat

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    Re: The Chosen Is in The House.

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    Christopher Eric Hitchens died on Thursday at the age of only sixty two. I found him to be a very complex earthling, but his book "God Is Not Great" made very interesting reading.

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