- My Lenten reading fast is going... well. I'm craving a little Harry Potter and there are a bunch of books I won these past couple months that I would very much like to read, but it's nice to purge the ol' system of God-less books and read something where He is as much the focus as He should be. Not that I've had much time to read lately, though...
- Because my Confirmation kids are being Confirmed by the bishop TOMORROW. I can't believe it's here already. FYI: I'm a Roman Catholic and a catechist, basically a Sunday school teacher, at my church and help teach the Confirmation class, which are the 9th and 10th grade kids who are (were) preparing to receive the last Sacrament of Innitiation (there are 3: Baptism, which all Christians have in common; Confirmation, in which we are strengthened and sealed by the Holy Spirit; and Eucharist, which, as the Body of Christ, is the regular nourishment that a soul requires, etc.). Anywhoodle. Please pray for them and all the confirmandi that they will receive with open hearts and willing spirits the strength and Gifts that they need to live bravely their Christian vocations. Thanks!
- I volunteered at my local Humane Society animal shelter last Friday, and I highly reccomend that y'all do the same. I went with my Confirmation kids as part of a service project they decided to do while on retreat, and, seriously, it is so rewarding. All we did was walk and wash dogs and love on some kitties, but that's all you have to do! The animals just want to be out of their cages and with people, and giving them the exercise and attention they need is a lot of fun. The staff were saints, I mean, to be able to love and care for that many animals, and they were all so well cared for even though the shelter was run down and underfunded. And I just want to say: whatever stigma you may have about shelter dogs, about them maybe being mean biters or that they're there for a reason, is wrong. Those were the sweetest dogs and cats, and they just wanted love. So, next time you're looking for a family pet, go to the shelter! Oh, yeah, and the dog I walked was a basset hound/ labrador mix named Snicker. He was the sweetest thing with the stubbiest legs! I called him Embassidor Snicker. Get it? Bassit labridor? I crack myself up.
- Spring has sprung! Not really news (especially if you live up North and have seen neither hide nor hair of the elusive spring), but I'm just so happy! I wore shorts this week. Shorts! Jubilation!
- And lastly, an example of what happens when I try to write an essay about zombies. But first, a brief explanation: On Random Buzzers, the site where you earn "buzz bucks" to buy Random House books by doing challenges, there was one such challege where you had to write a 200 word essay about what you would look like as a zombie. Everytime I began writing, I became carried away and wound up writing something along the lines of this:
I am on fire.
I am drowning in fire.
I stagger on, breathing heavily and colliding with trees, their bark rough beneath my leaden fingers. The earth pitches beneath my feet and I sink to the leafy floor like St. Peter in his moment of doubt. I land hard on my seat and the impact causes me to bite my tongue. My mouth is flooded with the metallic sweetness of blood, but the pain is no worse than anything else I am feeling. Or maybe there is no more pain. Maybe I’m beyond pain. I know now that I am beyond help.
I think of my family piling into the car as the cacophonous, collective moan of the hoard drew nearer, of my mother screaming as a lone figure rounded the corner of our house and lurched toward us with the inevitability of time.
When I finally did move, it went all wrong. I was not used to wielding blunt weapons and I did not know how to take a person down quickly—or that it was better in some instances to run. He got inside my swing and—and…
My family left me.
I am glad they did.
Looking down at my hands, because I cannot lift my head anymore, I see that my fingers have turned ashen, the nails are bruised and blue-tinged. The toothy wounds no longer bleed; I can see the whiteness of my bones beneath. I try to wiggle my fingers, but they do not want to respond. My mind is playing a riff from a song I can no longer name, but the deadened flesh will not move.
I want to cry.
I want to scream.
I try to do both but the only thing that escapes my lips is that dreadful moan. It scares me so badly that I quickly stop. I listen hard for a second—or a minute, who knows—sure that the noise came from something else, but it was me. I know it. I know what I am becoming. What I nearly am.
I want my mom.
I want her to hold me and say that everything is going to be okay.
I want her to lie to me, and I want to believe it.
My head lolls onto my shoulder and I see the gleam of still, cool water. I want it. I am on fire.
Somehow I manage to drag my dying body to the edge of the pool and prop myself up on my numb elbows. Looking into the sudden depth of the water, the leaves shimmering around my head, I see myself for what I have become. I am grey with dark bruises beneath my eyes. There is blood dripping down my chin; my own blood, I know, but it seems more like a vision of what will be. My hair is matted with sweat and leaves and there is even a blue feather stuck in there. I marvel at the beauty of it, contrasting so perfectly with the red of the blood and the green of the leaves. Then I meet my own gaze.
The primal, animalistic, throat-rending cry tears its way out of my mouth and it will not stop. I cannot stop screaming after seeing the dull, hateful hunger in my own eyes.
I am horror.
Finally, my arms give out and I am silenced by the coolness of the water.
The string that attached my soul to my body, fine as spider silk, snaps with a soft sort of feeling. It is almost a relief to be free of the fire-ridden, heavy body.
For a moment, I see myself from above, lying face-down in the water. I feel a tug from behind me, but I want to see what happens next. The tug is insistent, though not threatening in the least, but it yields to my curiosity. I float for a moment longer watching my body. It does not move, and relief floods my soul—for that is all that I am now. A soul.
The body in the water is not me anymore. So I know that it is not my will that causes it to stir. Not by my will does it raise its dreadful head and rise to its uncertain feet. Not by my will does it turn back toward the town I fled from hours ago, back toward the neighbors and families I loved too much to endanger by dying on familiar ground.
The teeth that were mine gnash the air. The fingers with which I played music grasp at the victim which is not yet before it.
I turn toward the warm, tugging Presence behind me, tired of this world and its endless suffering, and am taken Home.
This happened several times. The essay-turned-story, I mean, not turning into a zombie. Obviously. Zombies can't type. Anyway. I finally just took the shortest of the "essays" and butchered it down to the mandatory 200 words. It is nowhere near as good as it was, but it fit their requirement. Will I win the signed Carrie Ryan books that were the grand prize of this challenge? Probably not. Could I have if they had let me use all 500 or so words that I wanted? You tell me.
and i rather detest