I open at the close; Death and sacrifice

I open at the close.

I still remember the first time I read those words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and had to work through the idea that Harry was going to die.

I remember feeling disbelief, rage, disbelief again and finally despair.

I had been through so much with Harry, and even though it infuriated me that it had come to this end, I had to accept the outcome because, after all, this wasn’t my story.

Luckily for me Harry ended up surviving, and all my emotional tumult was wasted. Yet even though I have re-read Harry Potter dozens and dozens…and possibly dozens more times since I was a child, every damn time I get to that part in the book I get super emotional. I realized a long time ago that it wasn’t about the fact that Harry would die(seemingly!), but more so that he was ready to make that choice. For someone that young to choose to die so that others would simply have a chance at a safer life was truly a beautiful ending for someone who had given all(albeit for nonsensical reasons due to the fact that half the stuff in Harry Potter is plain stupid, and I say this with deep love for the books!).

Self- sacrifice to something bigger than yourself is a difficult concept for many as we all live in such a narcissistic bubble these days, but it is the foundation of most hero stories and is what draws us to many of the characters in well known books and shows.

The idea of the hero is so pervasive because it touches upon a core issue for many of us, which is to push away that deep biological drive to save ourselves.  The hero does not want to die, but she believes that the responsibility to aid others is paramount and is worth dying for.

I think the world would be a very different place if each of us had something we felt was worth dying for, because it would give a deep sense of purpose to our lives.

In the end, death is the final chapter. Whether hero or villain we all must walk through its doors in the end. The reality of death pervades all life, sweetens it and terrifies the shit out of us.

The question is whether at the end of it all, we can look back upon our lives and know that, at the very least, we tried to stand by our beliefs.  Tried to figure out who we wanted to be, and strove towards those ideals.

And if you are one of those great souls who gives their lives in service to whatever your ideals are, hats off to you.

I will leave off with this little story pulled from the book bird by bird by Anne Lamott, because I believe innocence and the heroic many times go hand and hand.

20190919_101634

Writing a book is weird

I have been a voracious reader since a very young age.

My brain is packed full of fantastical stories, and I am quite confident that is why I have almost zero capacity to remember things in my life, as my hard drive is obviously full, so don’t blame me when I forget your birthday..or your name.

Recently as I have been traveling through south-east Asia(currently in Vietnam if anyone wants to meet up!) I decided to buckle down and actually make an attempt to write a book.

I have had 3 major book ideas filtering through my head over the last decade, but I never bothered to try to write anything because the idea of trying to create dialogue just confused me immensely. Even 4 chapters into the book now, I still feel utterly weird writing out people on paper talking to each other, yet it has been a fascinating experience as well.

Really delving into who I want a character to be, whether or not the action they just took makes sense with who they are, the detail I want to give to the environment they are interacting with is all so exhilarating and utterly frustrating. It has definitely helped me appreciate the incredible effort and creativity my favorite authors put into the books they wrote.

I am thinking to post each chapter at some point, once it’s been edited a bit, to get peoples feelings on how the story is and where I can improve things that don’t make sense.

We are at over 200 followers now, which is so weird to me to think that 200 people take time in their days to read what I have to say( I am truly grateful, I love you all!),  and I would love to be able to interact with you all more and know what you’re thinking about all this.

So I am not sure when I will be brave enough to share the first chapter but it will happen eventually, until then this is a shout out to everyone out there writing a book and struggling to not burn it and hide away in a corner crying.

Be strong.

Words worth hearing Vol.5

There is so much beautiful wisdom hidden within the pages of novels and I find they are simply not shared enough.

The stormlight archives by Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite series, here are some great quotes from his characters(A.K.A himself:D)

“The most important words a man can say are, “I will do better.” These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.

The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says “journey before destination.” Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.

But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.

I’m certain some will feel threatened by this record. Some few may feel liberated. Most will simply feel that it should not exist. I needed to write it anyway.”

-Dalinar Kholin

Expectation wasn’t just about what people expected of you. It was about what you expected of yourself. Someone has to start. 

-Shallan Davar

Words worth hearing Vol.4

These are some lovely definitions created by that treasure trove of new words the dictionary of obscure sorrows. I have always been a huge fan and these are some of my favorites.

Ambedo

n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.

 

vellichor
n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.

Do you wish you had a superpower?

I cannot recall the first moment I decided I wanted to have superpowers. I must have been very young, as I began reading fantasy at quite an early age. All I know is that ever since that moment, I have lived with a mild pang of sadness at the thought that I will never know what it is like to wield power beyond this normal human shell.

Imagine being able to whisper to the very air and have it lift you high up into tendrils of the clouds and soar across the world, a cloud walker.

Or to feel your bones and muscle tighten with such strength that you could lift a whole building, or perhaps even simply remake the very substance of life into anything you wish, fusing your very own creativity into reality.

Ah the dreams I have had all my life, the stories I have told, only to awaken again and again to this damn normalcy. But at the same time I am quite grateful, because I recognize that it is being this normal guy that has pushed my imagination to its limits(with the help of copious amounts of books and games created by other inventive folk)  and allowed me to imagine world upon worlds of magic and wonder.

If Humans have one true superpower it is our ability to create within our minds an infinite universe of possibility, to bend and twist the fabric of reality into anything we can think up, and we can do this again and again until the moment we leave this Earth.

Creativity is our gift to ourselves and those around us.

It is quite wonderful when you think of it that way, isn’t it?

Your body is more than just click bait

There are many training methods vying for dominance in the world. With the rise of social media platforms such as instagram, it’s become easy for people to use their bodies to push ways of training that MIGHT get you to look good naked, but most definitely do not build a healthy mindset towards movement and fitness.

For obvious reasons, aesthetics have been the primary concern of most people looking to get in shape, and although there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to look good naked to attract a partner, when coupled with social media, it starts to create problems for those who want people to train intelligently and with a broader view so that goals go further than just losing weight or gaining muscle.

For those of us whos interests tend to lie more with books and games and the finer things in life( YES, BOOKS ARE THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE!) , this can be especially problematic.

When you spend most of your time in your own head instead of deep within your whole body, you lose connection and the capacity to move as well as you should. It is very easy to push aside this need to move and say it’s stupid or useless or just for jocks, and seeing the social media crazed “look at my body” attention seeking we see all the time, it makes it even easier to just consider it not worth your time. 

Couple that with a general lethargy from sitting on your ass so much, and you have a bad combination if you want people to take care of themselves. It gets even more difficult when the large majority of people who do start to care about their health, tend to get all their examples of fitness from people who are just focused on looks, instead of the dysfunction we create in our modern society. Excessive sitting, phone usage, and an overall lack of knowledge as to how our bodies should work has created a group of people who move like sick, elderly people. 

We need a paradigm shift, one where we care about how good we look naked, but as a subset of our overall focus on being able to move well, be strong, and  age in a way that allows us to live as optimally as possible with the least amount of problems. 

Learn to enjoy your body. Explore it, develop it just like you would your mind, expand it’s horizons, get comfortable with it and grow into a better, stronger human that won’t be limited in any way.

And look damn good naked while you’re at it.