Stone Soup

Trifecta: Week One Hundred

PHANTOM (noun)

1   a :  something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence :  APPARITION

b :  something elusive or visionary

c :  an object of continual dread or abhorrence

2 :  something existing in appearance only

3 :  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal

She sat beneath the maple tree digging a hole. So intent was she that the rest of the playground didn’t exist for her; a perfect phantom of focus. Sitting, perfectly stable, on a wooden beam placed on the ground, she added the perfect pebble, and then some more; caught a stray maple seed as it flew down from the tree, neatly broke it into bits, shredded the wings, and emptied it into the hole. She took a pinch of the fine, light brown dirt, and sprinkled it into the hole as well. A leaf lying on the ground made the cut, as did a small fragment of bark. Plodding on, with only the words of a story running through her head, she smiled as the little hole reached three-quarters-filled.

“Stone soup.”

And then, getting up, she dusted herself off and wandered back to the tarmac; recess was over.

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Ender’s Game Shaped Me

I read today that Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, is under fire because of his anti-gay marriage statements. Yes, they were slanderous. Yes, they were intolerant. Yes, I understand the urge of the LGBT community to boycott the franchise. No, I don’t believe in subjecting the entire cast and associated crew to the disapproval caused by the opinion and behavior of one man. And, you know what? Even if it’s hateful, he still has a right to his opinion. God knows we all thought marriage was between one man and one woman until we learnt more about other forms of sexuality.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” -Evelyn Beatrice Hall [illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs]

While reading more about this, I came across a very insightful comment: that this problem didn’t exist while only readers were involved. The conjecture is that readers care only about the world created in a book and its content, and less about the metaphorical cover. That made so much sense to me. In fact, it’s my personal mind-opener-of-the-day.

thought of the day

thought of the day

I’d never thought of that before. But it’s true – all the hype and judgement only really started once the movie was talked about. I had to make a conscious effort to not fly off the handle every time Card was vilified. I understand why this is happening, and I’m pro-equality, so I was hurt by his comments as well. It’s just disappointing really, because the book played a big role in shaping me. And to me the guy was a hero. And to find out this is like an idol failing you. Not his fault really. It’s just ironic and sad that a teacher of tolerance is intolerant.

Ender's Game

Ender’s Game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And at the end of the day, I’m still indebted to Card and thankful to him, because he gave me Ender, and made me the person I am today: confident, tolerant, pro-equality, and pro-justice.

*NB: This blogpost was excerpted on an Ender’s Game fansite! They’re pretty amazing, so if you’re a fan, you can go check this post and others out at: http://endersgamefandom.net/2013/07/11/enders-game-controversy-turning-into-battle-school/

I Didn’t Choose the Nomadic Life: the Nomadic Life Chose Me

Daily Prompt: Rolling Stone

July 7, 2013

If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRAVEL.

The attraction of nomadic life is coincidentally the exact same reason why books with adolescent heroes are so popular. I read somewhere a few years ago that adolescence represents to us the best, most carefree part of life; a time without liabilities; a time when passion and energy are enough to move mountains; a time, in short, when there are no restrictions and anything is possible.

Nomadic life offers much the same – freedom from all your worldly cares. Just think for a moment: if you didn’t live in any fixed place, would you be worrying about the size of your neighbor’s house? about “keeping up with the Joneses”? about getting that dude back who parked so appallingly you had to wait an hour to get out of your spot? Would you even, I venture, worry about government? about whether you fit in? about why the latest celebrity-outcast decided to get a new hairdo? about whether your butt looks big in this?

No. I’m guessing we’d all be more concerned with our families. Maintaining relationships with those who matter; showing love. Appreciating (and treating with respect) nature. Doing whatever makes us happy, whether it’s touring that ancient city, climbing that mountain, starting a business, or learning to do that stupid thing that everyone thinks is a waste of time, but you’ve always wanted to do.

We love the idea of the nomadic way of life because it frees us of the unofficial constraints of society. Although we don’t live in Jane Austen’s world of mile-long lists of etiquette requirements and (miles-longer list) social faux pas, we still feel an obligation of sorts to deny ourselves happiness and instead plod along like everyone else; to deny ourselves happiness because others are too afraid to grab theirs, and sneer us into guilty inaction. Being a nomad would mean that we would have no obligations or responsibilities towards anyone or anything we didn’t wish to be held responsible to. Oh, and yes – you’d figure out how many of your Facebook friends you care about enough to actually stay in touch with. Har har.

Also, while on topic, I want to share an amazing photoblog a friend happened to recommend – it’s about a couple and their daughter who live like legit nomads. If you have a minute, check them out at http://www.theroadishome.com/.

Shaken awake in semi-darkness

My bleary eyes focus on light

Fighting into my room

And blinding me

Through the crack between door and carpet.

Parents’ voices, low and urgent,

Frantic with pre-travel panic

Yet strangely soothing:

I want to go back to sleep

But mom’s saying get up,

You can sleep in the car later.

Brush, shower, dress

Grab a pillow and your carry-on;

Let’s go.

I remember that plane rides are fun.