Its morning. The light from the sun shines through the glass doors. I race down the stairs eager to start the chase. I think about yesterday, I almost had him. Here comes mom down the stairs. She’s the best. Mom always watches her footing as the steps are always booby-trapped with Legos or action figures. She’s getting closer to the door. I need to devise a genius plan for the hunt. Wait. What’s that???!!! I SEE HIM! He is menacingly sitting under the bird feeder. Mom calls him a Chipmunk, I call him breakfast! My plan is to walk slowly when mom opens the door and sneak up on him quietly. Okay, she’s reaching for the lock. Click. Now slide it open mom, but quietly so we don’t scare him off. Ok. Ready, set RUN!!! BARK!!!!JUMP!!!DESTROY MOM’S GARDEN!!!DESTROY CHIPMUNK!!! WHERE IS THE CHIPMUNK!!! Oh no. I did it again. That elusive chipmunk always makes me look like an idiot. Tomorrow we will meet again.
The heart is the essence of all that lives. Red waves of spirit flow through its veins. It tears but it always finds it way back to together. Sometimes it wanders from all it knows and loses its way. It is swallowed up into the darkness. The darkness wrapping its fear around it, asphyxiating it. With each passing breath, the red waves slowly drift away. Be still my heart the darkness whispers. Heart beats no longer heard. But the heart, ever so elusive, breaks free. Run. This is not the end.
You have all heard the story of the five little pigs.
This little piggy went the market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.
What many do not know is that there were actually six little pigs. It’s a secret that has been kept for hundreds of years.
This is the story of the sixth little pig. It was written by a Queen long ago for her son.
Long ago there lived a pig in the quaint kingdom of Porcetta. His name was Norbert. He was a little different from the other pigs in the town for he wasn’t pink like the other pigs. He was born magenta. The other pigs laughed and pointed at him. It made him feel terribly sad. Norbert wanted so very much to have a friend. It was something that he felt in the depth of his little piggy heart. He wished they could see past his exterior and realize that he was just like them. He played ball like them, and loved to sing like them. He even swam like them. But they never gave him a chance.
One day Norbert went for a walk through the woods. He heard a someone whimpering. It was a little pig. He rushed over to the piggy and asked, “What’s wrong little piggy?” The little piggy responded, “I was trying to find my way to the market but I got lost.” Nobert took the piggy by the hand and said “Don’t worry. I’ll take you there.” Norbert walked him all the way to the market. The piggy was very grateful. Then he hugged Norbert. Norbert had never been hugged before and he like it very much.
Norbert continued his walk through woods. He heard a soft whimper again. It was coming from a house that was set deep in the woods. He walked towards it. There he found a pig dressed in a suit. This pig looked like he meant business. Norbert walked up to him and asked him ” Why are you crying?” The piggy replied “I have been working for a year straight and I am very tired. Today is my wife’s birthday and I wish I didn’t have to go to work.” Just then he came up with a brilliant idea. “Why don’t I go to work for you?” he said. The little piggy jumped up with excitement and said, ” That is a tremendous idea. My wife will be so happy! Thank you.” Norbert went home put on his best suit and went to work. Everyone at the office was amazed at how quickly he learned the job. It was a great day for Norbert.
Lunchtime was Norbert favorite time of the day. He was on his way to his favorite restaurant, Le Pig Pen. On his way he saw a poor hungry piggy sitting on the side of the road. He felt very bad for this piggy. Norbert went into the restaurant and ordered his meal. He ordered French onion soup with a side of strawberry pie. It was delicious. Right before he left he asked for one more thing: a side of roast beef. He paid the bill and headed outside towards the hungry piggy on the side of the road. “Are you hungry?” he asked the piggy. “Yes”, replied the piggy. Norbert pulled out a small container with the words LE PIG PEN written on it. “Here you go. Enjoy” said Nobert. The little piggy grinned from ear to ear. “Thank you. You made my day.” Norbert felt that it was his day that was made. He was just happy that he could help.
On his way back home that evening, he saw two pigs that had been arguing. He went over to hear what all the bickering was about. One pig was arguing because he had no money. The other pig, it seemed, owed him the money. They both had none. They yelled at each other. One of the pigs became so distraught he ran home crying. Norbert followed the pig who went wee wee wee all the way home. When he found him he asked “Excuse me. I don’t mean to be nosey, but I overheard you arguing about some money. How much money do you owe the other pig?” “Twenty dollars,” he replied. Norbert said “Why don’t I lend you the money to pay the other piggy? You can pay me back whenever you want.” The piggy stopped crying. He grinned from to ear to ear. “You would do that for me?”, he said. “Sure,” replied Norbert. The other pig quickly took the money to the piggy who had none. They became friends again.
The very next morning Norbert heard a knock on the door. Who could be knocking on my door? he thought. He opened the door. There they were, the five little pigs he had helped the day before. “Can I help you?” said Norbert. They all replied, “We just thought maybe you could use some company.” Norbert was thrilled to have visitors. “Yes. Come on in.”
Norbert was very happy helping everyone. That night he went to bed thinking about all the smiles he put on everyone’s faces. Even though sometimes he felt like an outsider he was an honest friend and was truly needed by everyone. The five little pigs and him all remained friends till the end of time.
The Queen who wrote this story had a son who was born with polydactyly of the foot or as we know it, an extra toe. She created the six little pigs to help him accept his uniqueness.
And they all lived happily ever after.
There you were, all dressed up. Your family came to pay their respects. But I was the one who saw you in your final days. I fed you. I tried to take care of you. Although I hadn’t seen you since I was a little girl, I still felt close to you. I remember you being an incredible woman full of life and energy. But when I came to visit you in your final weeks, I saw how mistakes you made in your life caused your body to become frail. You tried to hold on. Your husband being your only support. Your children were nowhere to be found. No one made sacrifices to come see you.
They dressed you in a pink bow and a pink dress. You looked beautiful. You were at peace. But I was not. I felt that you died with a broken heart. Your children were your life. You raised them and took care of them. But they did appreciate any of it until you were gone. How tragic. Now they morn.
There is a line in song that says:
GIVE ME MY FLOWERS
WHILE I YET LIVE
SO THAT I CAN SEE THE BEAUTY
THAT THEY BRING
Cherish everyone as if this might be your or their last day on this planet. Remembering someone after death is not the same as making memories with them while they are alive.
The flight the night before was long. My mother, although not very fond of the beach, accompanied me on this trip. I convinced her that she needed to get away. She didn’t know how to swim but she figured she could lay on the beach and read a book or chat it up with the locals.
We were tired and were glad to finally reach the island. The air was humid and dense. But I welcomed it. It was nice break from the blistering cold back in the states. We got to the apartment we had rented and unpacked a bit. We settled into our beds and fell asleep.
The light of morning woke us up. The only alarm that was set was the one on the coffee maker. We were officially on vacation. I walked outside onto our deck. It faced the beach. The wind was blowing warmly into our apartment. The sounds of the waves hitting the sand near us was hypnotic. This was paradise. My mother had never experienced a real vacation. Her vacations involved my brother and I in some silly amusement park, mostly fighting. Our first day here would be one we would never forget.
My mother and I got dressed in our bathing suits. I hadn’t seen my mother wear one since I was a little girl. She hated the water. That included pools. They scared her. She decided to dip her feet in the water. When she had enough she sat under a large palm tree and read her book while I went for a swim.
I was about 20 yards away from the shore. The ground began to shake. People began to scream. I swam back to the beach and ran to my mother’s side. The ocean began to rise. We didn’t have any time to escape it. It swallowed the beach as we stood on it. I cried for my mother. She couldn’t swim. I tried to stay calm so that she wouldn’t panic. We managed to stay afloat together. The currents became stronger. I held as long and hard as a I could. Why is this happening? Is the world ending? I couldn’t believe all the devastation that was happening around me. My arms were slipping from under my mother. We screamed. Then she was ripped from my grasp. I watched as the water took her in. She was gone. I can’t believe it. Tears run down my face. I try to look for her. I’m yelling for her. I then wake up. It was a nightmare. Something that I have dreamed about many times. I know my mother is at home in her bed. Far from the thing she fears the most. This is not the first time that I have had this dream. This is reoccurring and it’s always with different people. All of us drowning. Unable to help each other. I am relieved to be awake and alive.
“We have nothing to eat. I’m so sorry,” I tell my son. My heart is breaking. I brought him into this world to nourish him, take care of him. Have I failed him? I feel defeated. Starvation and turmoil surround us. The streets are filled with garbage from looters, and the homeless. Fighting erupts amongst people desperate for food and water. What has become of our village? Our life? The beauty that surrounded us is now gone. I remember picking mangos from the trees in our yard. In the afternoons we would listened to musicians while we danced on the street. All a distant memory drowned out by a reality of shattered dreams.
We are nearing the border. My son wraps his arms around my neck. “We are almost there. Hope is over that hill my child. We will find it,” I tell him. We reach the top of the mountain and up ahead we see it. Our salvation. We slowly approach the soldiers standing guard. They allow us to pass. I hold my son’s hand tighter. Hundreds of us march across the border. We were uninvited guests in a new land. But we had no choice. Die or flee. We chose life. As we crossed into this new territory, the villagers stood waiting for us. They knew what we had endured and welcomed us with open arms. They gave us food and water. I looked at my son as he ate and I was at peace. We were safe. This would be our second chance. This would become our new home.
I think back to the day of the great flood. My family and I slithering through the currents. Freely flowing as we maneuvered through debris from cities long forgotten. This was our paradise. The world was at peace.
As time passed, the waters changed. They began to recede. We were no longer swimming as we did. Everything around us was dying. Our food was scarce. We understood that the world was coming to an end and we had to accept it. Our time here was done.
It was my last day. The water around us had disappeared. We laid there in the hot sun. It burned and dried my flesh. There were small puddles of water under us. I struggled to breathe. Each gasp for air became shorter and painful. My emotions began to take over. With each inhalation I thought about my life and my children. But I tried not to let the fear set in. I had to be strong for my family. We listened to the wind and to the bits of air flowing through us. I closed my eyes and with my final breaths I struggled to say some comforting words to the rest. Nothing came out. They became part of the desert, as did I.
For decades you have helped mold our country into what it has become today. We live our days cowering in fear. The fear you have caused by your redundant whispers of danger. They are trickled subliminally into our minds each day. Throughout the years the acceptance of your weapons has been funneled down our throats and now we are all gasping for air. You have kept silent because that’s what you do best. But the sounds of the weapons you provide will one day haunt you in your dreams. Thank you NRA for the false ideas you keep pushing. Thank you for not taking responsibility and being the cause of the horrific nightmare we keep reliving. Keep up the good work.
Halloween is perfectly magical. It comes around one of my favorite seasons of the year. Something about the crisp air and the smell of the autumnal leaves reminds me of school as a kid. My son, now 3, adores Halloween. Last year he was dress as the Hulk and I was Black Widow, both from the Avengers. Two years ago he was Yoda and I was Princess Leia from Star Wars. Pretty great times.
Halloween wasn’t always so much fun for me growing up. When I was about five years old, my family converted from Catholicism to Born-again Christians (look up its differences). Being a born-again christian basically sucked the fun out of everything in life. Secular music now became the devil’s music. TV shows were now a form of brainwash to get you to forget about Jesus. But one of the things that broke my heart as a child was not being able to celebrate Halloween. Yes, as a born again Christian I was not allowed to celebrate Halloween or as they called it “the Devil’s Birthday”. One Halloween I was pulled out of class and sent to the principle’s office. The reason: The second grade Halloween Parade. How can a religion twist something so innocent and simple? I felt deprived and like an outsider among my friends. I really wanted to be like the “cool kids” in school with their costumes and buckets for candy. I would have settled for any costume. I wouldn’t have been picky. But there I was sitting in the principal’s office with a cupcake to make me feel like I wasn’t being left out. It sucked.
It only got weirder as I got older. We eventually switched churches. This church was a bit more liberal but still slightly on the crazy side and really into christian rock (listen to some POD when you get a chance). Halloween was still considered the devil’s holiday. But instead of banning it, they held their own costume party at church. We played games there and had candy and even got to wear a “bible-themed” costume. I was the dressed as the Virgin Mary. I’m sure God was pleased with my attire on the Devil’s birthday.
The origin of Christianity, the bible, and many christian beliefs come from places that Christians don’t even know about. I am glad that I have educated myself enough to know that there is no such thing as the Devil’s birthday and that Halloween is a holiday created by Christians themselves. As an intelligent and non-God fearing adult I am glad that I was brave enough to dip my feet into the darkness. I feel like I have to catch up to all the years of not partaking in the “diabolical” festivities. Last year I watched my son walk at his first Halloween parade at school. His class even put on a musical number. He sang his little heart out while he flexed his Hulk muscles to all his friends. It was fantastic.
I was guilt-ridden by religion fanatics for so many years. Every little thing was seen as a sin and it guaranteed you a one way ticket to Satan’s bubbly cauldron in hell. I think that if you live a life of helping others and contribute to society you really have nothing to worry about. I now have what I call freedom from religion. My mother, on the other hand, still locks her door and hides inside from trick-or-treaters. She’s come a long way from the days she used to pad lock the front gate and display a sign outside stating that we didn’t celebrate Halloween (embarrassing). I guess you can say she is getting better.
When I was about 12 I saw a picture in a magazine of bedroom with clouds painted on the ceiling. I loved it. I really wanted my room to look like that room. Magical and peaceful. A serene setting just like it was painted in that picture. So, I bought some paint, brushes and sponge. I researched how to paint clouds on ceilings as best as I could (there wasn’t any google back then). First I painted the ceiling blue. That was actually the easiest part. It was the perfect blue. I let it dry a bit and then went on to my cloud preparation. I poured some white paint into a paint tray and dipped my sponge in it. Then I slowly began to make circles that took the shape of clouds. They looked extraordinary. They looked real. Then I just got carried away and made way too make circles and swirls and the clouds just looks like a mess. I try to fix it but painting is so exhausting. I stopped, and realized this needed to stop. I left it as it was for a few weeks. Then I decided to paint over it. I used the blue paint and began to paint the walls and the atrocious clouds that I had made. As I was finishing up my paint job I ran out of paint. Good thing I decided not to move any of furniture in my room. I came up with a genius idea. Paint around the furniture. I know. Terrible. I was 12. Words of advice… Painting clouds on your ceilings is never a good idea. Painting around furniture might oddly be brilliant.