29 December 2012

The Last Misadventure: The Hanging Tree

I KNOW! I'M NOT DONE YET! Just one more eh? I'll make it good.

As you might have gathered by now, we are a family of tree climbers. For people who have scaled trees equivalent to the Eiffel Tower, we have surprisingly few injuries. I've only fallen on my head once.

I don't want to talk about it.

Once my sister tried to slide down a tree limb.



Alas! She was so young...

Anyway, my latest tree injury actually fractured my toe and put me out of commission for five weeks. Are you ready for this? I call it "The Hanging Tree."

It started  one lazy summer afternoon. My two siblings had been at music camp all week. We came to watch and videotape their grand performance. The weather was dandy, and during a moment I found myself alone, I spotted a great oak tree.


LITTLE DID I KNOW that this tree had a very conspicuous and very sharp metal hook stuck in it.


I don't know what it was there for. Probably for hanging Christmas lights. Or people. Anyway, I didn't notice it going up.

And I didn't notice it going down...

However, I DID notice that my right foot had ceased to move in harmony with the rest of my body.

I decided it was serious.

VERY serious.

It occurred to me I wouldn't be dancing for quite some while.

So while I was busy painting the sidewalk red, some kind passing woman happened to notice me.

HER: Oh honey! What happened to you!?

ME: Well, I was being stupid...

HER: Oh, I'm sure you weren't! What happened?

ME: Well, I was climbing that tree...

HER: Yeah?

ME: Barefoot...

HER: Uh-huh?

ME: And there was a hook in it...

HER: Yeah, you were stupid.

I didn't want her to call the police, partly because I'm tough as nails and don't need medical attention, and partly because I was sure the copper arrest me for climbing campus trees. It was a good thing she didn't listen to me though, because shirt-tourniquet wasn't working too well, and Niagara Falls was coming out of my foot.

But when the policeman showed up, it was quite clear he'd done this a million times before. I kinda got the impression he wasn't all there.

When my mom showed up, she wasn't exactly surprised either.

MOM: Pretending to be a whale, Raymond?
ME: Be glad I kept my legs together.

And I was wheeled my off to the emergency room before you could say It Seriously Isn't As Bad As You Think, Mom.

In my life I have been in the emergency room three times. The first time I was charging a BB gun and it snapped on my pinky. The second time I was cracking rocks open with a hammer and it ricocheted  in my face. The third time is, well, this. Naturally, by now I know all the doctors by name.

You know what was REALLY hilarious? They told me I was their "bestpatient all day, because I had the most exciting wound.  Even doctors get bored sometimes. 

FAQ: Did getting a metal hook run through your foot hurt? No.  Getting anesthetics shot in my foot to numb the supposed pain was UNBEARABLE.

So somewhere in mid-August, my summer was over.  The doctors put me on crutches and antibiotics for a month in a half.  And the moral of this story is--I'm afraid--so obvious it's hardly worth mentioning. In the meantime, I got a huge kick out of all the attention.

"I was rescuing an old lady's cat."
"I got in a fight with a rattlesnake."

"I was assaulted by  monkeys."

And sometimes, on rare occasions, I embellish things.

Merry Christmas, friendos!
-The Minstrel Boy

16 December 2012

When it's time to be forsaken

I get frustrated with God when I find out I can't summon fire from heaven.

Sometimes it feels like God was so much more tangible and real in the Bible times. He flooded the world, He parted the red sea, He reduced Ninevah to ashes. He had prophets running around like nobody's business. And then when you get further down history, the number of miracles become more and more sparse, until you reach today and these stories are nothing more than a Sunday school lesson. Almost like God is slowly drifting away from us.

I mean, come on, I HAVE the faith of a mustard seed, I should AT LEAST be able to cause a hurricane or a  solar eclipse or something, right? Why did the disciples have the power to heal the sick and cast out demons? If my life is anything short of completely extraordinary, something is obviously wrong. Look at Moses. Elijah. Gladys Aylward. George Mueller.  They prayed for the most ridiculous intervention, and God ridiculously intervened. So what's wrong with us? Maybe we need to muster up more faith.

 Wait, THAT's the problem.  It seems that nowadays, Christians think that God will only work in us if we can thoroughly convince ourselves that He can. As if God's power was completely reliable on whether we have faith in it. It's like we're going all Jedi all the sudden, just "search your feeelllliiiinnggs" and you be able to make things float! This is the most deadly, stupid mistake the world could make.

Let's go back to a few Doctor Who posts, because they explain things so well.

Truth Number One: We're all just stories in the end.

I'm not trying to be whimsical or anything, I was being literal. When I tell a story, whether in competition or around the campfire, I have one rule: Know the beginning, and know the end. Everything else is freestyle. My stories are different every time I tell them, but the beginning and end is closed for business.

Truth Number Two: Time can be re-written.

In season 6, enemies of the Doctor schedule an event in time where the Doctor is murdered. The Doctor's friends try to prevent it, but the Doctor insists that his death MUST take place, or all of history will disintegrate.  Just because time can be re-written doesn't mean every time can be re-written.  His sacrifice is a fixed point in time, and nothing in all the universe can stop it.

Perhaps the surest sign of the end of the world is our unanswered prayers.  Back in history when time was more flexible, God re-wrote all sorts of things. But the universe is "hardening and narrowing to a point" like Lewis said, and "Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing."  There are more fixed points than there ever has been. There will come a point where we will plea with God like Jesus did in the garden, saying "is there any other way this can be done?" We will scream "My God, My God, why have You forsaken us?" and just like Jesus, He will not answer.  Not because He has forsaken us, but because these events MUST take place. The Ultimate Story has reached Act III, the wheat shall be separated from the chaff. It's not that God is becoming less real, he's become more real and more solid than He's ever been.  His final chapter is taking place, right now.  His spirit is moving on this earth, and He's not waiting for our permission. 

This is my warning to all Christians out there if you've even gotten to the bottom of this post. Times are getting harder. Literally--getting--HARDER.  This is where we face our final test, because it's going to SEEM like He's abandoned us (even though He hasn't). This is why "feelings" are going to be especially unhelpful right now. On the bright side, it's only going to get a million times worse.  Good and evil is becoming superlatively polarized, and the last battle has begun.  

So brace yourselves, warriors. It's time to be forsaken.
-The Minstrel Boy

11 December 2012

We're not stealing, we're borrowing!

Just saw The Secret World of Arrietty.

It's about pin-sized girl who lives in the cracks of floorboards.

So I woke up this morning and found THIS all over my bedroom.

And then I saw teeny weeny little footprints all over the banister.

At first I was like, "OHMAIGOSH SHE'S HERE!!!!" --and then I remembered I made it myself yesterday. But still....

30 November 2012

Fairy tales are real

I remember when I would feign leaving my room and hide behind the door to see if my toys would come alive and start walking about. I still always get that foreboding feeling that something is always moving in "the corner of my eye",  books, pictures on the wall, my creepy talking piggy-bank, you name it. If it's mundane, be suspicious.

Fact 1: People have always secretly longed for fantasy to be true.

When I was seven I sincerely believed I could fly.  After many meticulous measurements, I concluded that when I jumped out of a tree, I would land three inches farther with my Superman costume on than without it. When I finally resigned myself to the fact that it did not make me fly, I tried everything from umbrellas to cardboard wings to life-jackets (hey, they worked in the water!) After I had succeeded in nothing but breaking a good umbrella and bruising my tail-bone, I stubbornly settled for having dreams about growing dragon wings.  I would be surprised if ANYBODY didn't have a dream like this at least once.

Fact 2: Nobody can create something out of nothing.

We pride ourselves in having invented Superman. No you didn't, you just took a Man and stuck a Super in front of it. I see what you did there.  Remember, we don't come up with ideas, we find them. All these fairy tales...do you think they just appeared??

Fact 3: Every desire we have corresponds with some real object that satisfies it.

"Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water." -C.S. Lewis

If people long for fairy tales to be real, the most logical conclusion is that fairy tales are real.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. The Minstrel Boy has spent far too much time in the laboratory mixing chemicals together and scribbling incantations on the walls. But I'm not saying there are such things as actual elves and pixie dust. But Superman came from Man, so Elves had to come from something like elves.  People didn't invent these mythological creatures because they thought they were cool.  We are programmed to believe the supernatural, and it may be that these ancient pagans actually understood more about the universe than we do. Just because a fantastic thing can be explained does not mean that the fantastic isn't real. I just explained the atomic structure of Edila, so science really confirms the existence of the supernatural rather than disproves it. The truth is reader, magic and science are one in the same thing.

But fairy tales are also made up of evil things. Hags, werewolves, wizards, witches...the Roman Druids, ancient priests who dabbled in demonic arts. We say a magician's show is "all done with smoke and mirrors", but G.K. Chesterton says, "when we speak of things being sham, we generally mean that they are imitations of things that are genuine.  There may be turnip ghosts precisely because there are real ghosts. There may be theatrical fairies precisely because there are real ones. There may be sham magic and real magic also."

Beware, dear reader. If it's mundane, be suspicious.
-The Minstrel Boy

28 November 2012



AND IT'S GOT RUSSEL CROWE AND ANNE HATHAWAY!! And Hugh Jackman, whoever the heck he is, but he's gotta be the ultimate Jean Valjean.  AND COSETTE! SHE BREAKS MY HEART!! This trailer is so enthralling I want to inject it into my bloodstream and let it pulse through me all day. It's just killing me!!

26 November 2012

Viruses...they're from Satan

By now I've only been talking about the Good Eldila, whose atomic structure is so dense we are nothing but ghosts to them. But demons are opposite. In fact, they're so gassy they need to use humans as a crutch.  Like sound waves, they require a medium to travel through. For example, "in space, no one can hear you scream" because without air for the sound to oscillate through, it just dissipates into thin air thin nothing.

In Biology (the next year, which I really enjoyed but I think I got a B in it too) I learned that there are FOUR criteria any organism has to meet in order for it to be alive.
  1. All life forms contain deoxyribonucleic acid, which is called DNA.
  2. All life forms have a method by which they extract energy from their surroundings and convert it into energy that sustains them.
  3. All life forms can sense changes in their surroundings and respond to those changes.
  4. All life forms reproduce.
You can plug these criteria into every single organism in creation and get the same answer, except for one: the virus. 

Haha, it totally looks like an alien....wait, it IS an alien.

A VIRUS ISN'T ALIVE.  For one thing, it doesn't need to extract energy from its environment because it doesn't need energy. Secondly, it can't reproduce. It's DNA isn't even real.  Without YOUR help, the virus can't hurt you!  It gets in by pretending to be a good guy. When a virus enters your body,  it disguises itself as a poor old woman with a basket of apples. It knocks at the door and says "little pig, little pig, let me in!" The cells, being the young and naive little princesses that they are, let them in. Then the viruses plugs in it's DNA program into the nucleus of the cell. In the nucleus is a molecule that's a DNA factory, which takes DNA strands and makes copies. The DNA factory looks at the virus program and its like --"grandma, what big eyes you have!" --but never really catches on. Basically, the DNA factory does the reproduction job for the virus, and if they're not stopped, they grow until they take over your body.

But how do the viruses know what to do? They're not alive, but they can't be dead either. It makes you think...why would God create an organism that's neither alive nor dead, that can't "survive" without a living host, and only purpose is to infect? Is it really merely another once-perfect species corrupted from the fall, or is it something else entirely?

The Virus must have come from the devil himself. 

Remember when Jesus cast demons out of those men, and the demons asked to be cast into the herd of pigs? That's because they were wraiths--without something to move through, to latch onto, they couldn't exist. They NEED to posses people, they feed off of YOU, because YOU are more real than THEY are!

The thing is the devil can't create anything alive. He can only twist things before you can use them. Evil isn't a force, it's perverted good. Satan is eternally falling, and it's all he can do but pull you down with him

This was EXACTLY what Tolkien was trying to say with the Ring of Power. A Ringwraith is something neither dead nor alive, but only a darkness, a black hole that sucks things into it forever, like a serpent that still coils around like a living thing after it's head is cut off.

"A mortal, Frodo," said Gandalf, "who keeps one of the Great Rings, does not die, but he does not grow or obtain more life, he merely continues, until at last every minute is a weariness. And if he often uses the Ring to make himself invisible, he fades: he becomes in the end invisible permanently, and walks in the twilight under the eye of the dark power that rules the Rings."

The Dark Eldila fade in the opposite direction of the good--their atoms move away from each other until there's no realness left.

C.S. Lewis says it so well in The Great Divorce, "All Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world [Heaven] the Real World. Look at yon butterfly. If it swallowed all Hell, Hell, would not be big enough to do it any harm or to have any taste."

Oh Evil, you seemed so powerful last night, but you look so ill and pasty in the morning....

I ACTUALLY HAVE A PART 5, OHMAIGOODNESS. My next post is this: Fairy Tales Are Real.
-The Minstrel Boy

21 November 2012

Eldila: The sinless organisms of everlasting light

I think I got a B in physical science. I know, it was pretty heathen for a homeschooler. This was not because  I disliked science, or the teacher was bad (she was superb) and it was DEFINITELY not because I quoted poetry in my lab reports. I learned a lot that year--it just so happened that the things I learned weren't on the tests. Among these were angels and demons.

Not angels--eldila. The reason I call them eldila (you should read the Space Trilogy) is because I'm not talking about nativity scene dolls made from pipe-cleaners nor sexy devils with pitchforks in Halloween costume stores. This is what our culture has turned the Eldila into, and I'm sure the Dark Eldila are quite satisfied with their work. Better to put them next to fairies and Santa Claus then to know them for what they truly are--the elder gods, immortal beings, bigger than the world, and very real. More real than we are.

But back to physical science. First off, I'd like to remind you I got a B in science. I am not a genius. I'm just telling you what I learned.

Remember how I said that we're virtual?  I wasn't making an analogy, I meant that literally.  Here is the Bohr Model of a helium atom:

So the bubbly things in the middle with positive charges are the protons and the neutrons, which make up the nucleus of the atom, and the yellow bubbles are the electrons that orbit the nucleus. Never mind that, it's not important. But here's a thing: The Bohr model isn't accurate. The electrons are much smaller compared to the nucleus. Also, if orbit of the electrons were the size of a major-league baseball stadium, the nucleus in the middle would be the size of a marble.

Which means....matter is 99.99999% empty space.

Here's another story: According the gospel of John, after the resurrection, all of the disciples were gathered in one one room, and they had locked the doors because they were afraid of the Jews (John 20:19). Then all of the sudden, there He was. 

Jesus had walked through the door.

Of course, they thought Jesus was some spirit or ghost.  It makes me smile, because this was the most ironic mistake in all of history. Jesus wasn't a phantom walking through a solid door. He was an actual person walking through a phantom door.

So if the Eldila are so solid, why can't we see them? Why aren't they the most obvious thing in the world? Well, already know that humans can hear a limited range of sound frequencies. Animals like whales, dogs, and bats can hear sound waves with pitches either too low or too high for our ears to pick up. The same goes for colors.  Water evaporates into gas, which is matter that has "spaced out" to the point were we can't see it at all. Logically, we can conclude that there is also matter so "packed" that we can't see it either! :O :O WOOOOAAAAHHHH! MIND BLOWWWNNN!!!

At least, such is the case for angels. Next post I'm going to talk about demons. Coming soon on Part 4: Viruses are from Satan. DUUHHH DUH DUH DE DE DUU BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM DUH [Wayward Fancies theme song]

-The Minstrel Boy

18 November 2012

We're All Just Stories in the End

"When you wake up, you'll have a mum and dad.  And you won't even remember me. Well, you'll remember me a little...I'll be a story in your head. That's okay. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one eh? 'Cause it was, you know. It was the best."

Last post I made the absurd statement that we are re-writing history every time we make a choice. It may have sounded a bit sacrilegious, since it implies that we can defy predestination and God has no control over our futures.  I once nearly wasted an entire summer arguing with my friend about this sort of thing. She kept on saying "God chose us!" and I kept on saying "but we choose Him!!" and by the end I learned nothing other than that I should just stop thinking about it. But I say what I mean, and I'm going to explain exactly what I mean. I was going to title this post "Why predestination ought to make perfect sense depending on how you look at it,"  but I thought that would be too long.

In The Blazing Portal I said that we'll never cross the seams of the Universe simply because the Divine Program denies our access. So basically, the Universe is a great big video game: everything and everyone in it is virtual. So are we real people? Barely. We're just little writhing dreams, almost real but not quite. We're like Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter, just real enough to have her feelings hurt by the very fact that she isn't real. We're like the Almost People in Doctor Who, plastic flesh walking around who stubbornly refuse to believe that they are not alive. We're like Pinocchio, a mere puppet in the hands of the toy-maker but just real enough to rebel against the toy-maker. We're like the Velveteen Rabbit--when our owner has finished tearing us apart out of pure love, we're made into real rabbits.

We're just real enough to wish we were real.

I draw a comic-strip series called Almonds, about a guy who's tired of living in the comic strip world. He keeps on trying to pop his speech bubbles and jump out of his frame. Here's the first one I drew some three years ago:

Of course, it's funny because I'm the one who gave him that desire in the first place. I could make him stop wanting, become an atheist, or turn him into a plunger any moment I pleased. But why would I ever do that? I made his personality. Every choice he makes is ultimately my choice, but I would never make a choice that wasn't in accordance with the personality I made for him. There have been moments when I drew him with a peculiar glint in his eye that made me seriously think he was staring back at me. I let him run wild in the little universe I made for him. Sometimes he even surprises me with some of the things I make him do.

So how does it work together? Who's really making the choice?

Who cares?

If we're only in a virtual reality, does it have to make sense? None of it's the real thing! Heck, in a video game, you get ten extra lives!!! Has anyone considered that doesn't make sense at all? Anything can happen in a virtual world, there's no real logic--it's only the crude shape of true reality. And one day, when we cross the quilt of space-time, we'll look back on all this and say to ourselves,
"Oh I see now that it was all just a story in the end."

-The Minstrel Boy

15 November 2012

Time can be re-written

By the way, this whole Time thing is all coming from Doctor Who, which in case you haven't noticed by now, really tickles my fancy, only because it's got everything I've ever wanted in a story. It cracks you up, then sends your mind reeling, then scares you to death, then breaks your heart.  There are few works of art that are so true to the Ultimate Story yet so free from allegory, and Doctor Who is one of them.  If I were to tell this whole complicated tale in one breath, I would end up using two. So here's my best shot:

It's about a Time-Lord who's call the Doctor and comes from Somewhere Else and flies through the cosmos in a police box that's bigger on the inside than on the outside, and he can go ANYWHERE in time and space, regularly saving the universe on weekends. And it's all about this girl name Amelia Pond who's cute when she's little but even CUTER when she grows up who runs away with him and has adventures every kind possible. You see the header on my blog? That's the Doctor.

And just if that isn't enough, allow me to grace you with THIS little video because you can't really say it any other way.

I like this. It gives me that "take my hand, darling, because it will change your life" sort of feeling. And that's the best feeling.

(Oh yeah, and this part has spoilers, so maybe you shouldn't even read it at all):

Once upon a time there was a crack in a little girl's bedroom (her name is Amy) wall that turned out to be a crack in time and time-energy is pouring out of the edge of space like the waterfall at the Eastern End of the World in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Little bits of this girl's life is falling through and getting erased from history. When Amy was seven she had an imaginary friend who traveled in a magic box and called himself the Doctor. The doctor shot off and promised to come back in five minutes--but he didn't.

FLASH-FORWARD: The sun is going out, and the Doctor's looking at Amy with his nine-hundred-and-seven-year-old eyes.

"Amy." he says. "Will you trust me for twenty minutes?" Twenty minutes? This is the man who said he'd be back in five minutes and showed up twelve years later. Amy, you know that saying yes to that question will change your life. How long can twenty minutes be?

The night before her wedding, Amy (her real name is Amelia Pond) ran away with Doctor in his blue box called the Tardis. He told her he'd bring her back just five minutes after she left.

And you're all like, "Yeeeaaaah riiiight."

BUT HERE'S THE BIG IMPORTANT PART. After they're done having ALL their adventures, a very tired Doctor goes back in time to when Amelia was seven. So basically, everything they did together....never happened.

Time can be re-written.  We don't know it, but it's happening all the time. Every time you make a choice, every time you make a difference, you are re-writing time. You're altering what happened in the future. Because readers, we're not real! We're only characters in a story! Anyone who's written a story knows you're always moving things about, editing, tweaking, deleting this, all so it will all tie up together in an inevitable happy ending. When Adam and Eve sinned, God came down and wiped an entire future of sinless humanity off of history.  But since that bit of the story changed, God made ANOTHER revision, He altered the Story, and changed everything that ever happened and ever will forever.  Your eternal punishment....it never existed.  Remember reader, "we are never told what would have happened."

Trust me. I'm the Doctor.

To Be Continued on Part 3: We're All Just Stories in the End.
-The Minstrel Boy

12 November 2012

The Blazing Portal

The crack in the wall -- two parts of space and time that never should have come together...a tear in the tapestry of the universe that just HAPPENED to run through Amelia Pond's bedroom, was no coincidence.

There's always more going one than what we see. The apostle Paul said "we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Whether you watch Dr. Who or not (and you should) we ALL know there are monsters in our closets, and that wardrobe leads to Narnia, and that crack in the wall is no ordinary crack. If it's mundane, be suspicious.

But I'm going to take this whole "crack in the universe" off the deep end. Is the idea of "chasms between worlds" really that far from reality?

It explains the thick line of stars that runs across the night sky that we call the Milky Way...is it just a galaxy...or is part of the same crack? To parts of Space weaved together? YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK? I betchya the Universe is millions of patches of space and time all stitched together, like the seams of a quilt.

Didn't Einstein talk about time being a physical thing, like a pillow with planets being indentations, bending Time towards it, and Time moving slower away from it...never mind. That's not important. What's important is that Time is physical. Timey-winey wibbly-wobbly stuff. The Universe is made up of infinite separate pieces of Time. I'll get back to that later.

Anyway, if it's true, it also would explain why no astronomers have succeeded in detecting extra-terrestrial life. If there IS non-terrestrial life (which I have no doubt there is) then what makes them expect it to be in THIS patch of the Universe? And if exists in other patches, what makes them think they can cross over the seams?

You know when you play video games, you can only make your character move around so far in its' designated area before the program won't let you go any farther? What drives me nuts is that you always see  the video-game world continue to stretch on beyond you, but YOU CAN'T EVER GO THERE. I probably wasted the better part of my early adolescence slamming my character continually into the invisible cyber-wall. You had to break through, you just had too!!

That's what astronomers are doing, with their ridiculous big-budget satellite dishes sending radio signals into the void. They're slamming their heads into the walls of this Patch of Space, beyond which our divine Programmer never intended us to venture.

That is, not until our Time. Back to time now.

Paradise Lost, Book VII. After God finished creating the world, He returned back into heaven, and what else did He do but open that seam.


He through Heaven
That opened wide her blazing portals, led
To God's eternal house direct the way
A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear [referring to Adam]
Seen in the Galaxy that Milky Way
Which nightly as a circling zone though seest
Powdered with stars.


Yes, it must be. Often the Ancients referred to outer space as "heaven". They weren't far from the truth. Space is the outskirts of a Heaven, the gateway to what C.S. Lewis called "Deep Heaven." According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus was "received up into heaven" (Mark 16: 19). Received, perhaps, as the Milky Way opened wide her blazing portals?

So let's imagine this.  We often here stories of people right before they die. They often claim to see great, bright light, brighter than anything they've ever seen. Why? Because time and space is this great tapestry that drapes over our eyes and we call that the Universe. We live in LITERAL, REAL darkness. When that tapestry is torn, we are suddenly exposed to true, unprotected Light. We'll be all squinty, like when someone turns on the lights in a dark room. For a while we can't see anything but light, light, light. But then, our eyes adjust. We cross the seam. We cross Time.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."  -1 Corinthians 13:12

So what do you think? Can you imagine the Universe being a great, big quilt? Pieces of, maybe, Transultimate realities? Please ponder freely.

More on Part II: Time can be re-written.

"Not all who wander are lost."
-The Minstrel Boy

09 November 2012

Words that sound like castles

FBI WARNING: The following post may be a waste of your time. This is always a risk, since this blog is basically where I talk to myself. I am about to take you deep into Abstract-Land and back, and if I don't lose you somewhere along the way, I'm bound to lose myself. We're dealing with Wild Ideas here.



Read that last sentence aloud. Seriously, say it. I'll wait.

What did you just do? You saw a succession of symbols. Each symbol represents a certain sound that you can make with a combination of your throat, voice-box, tongue, teeth, and lips. Every single one of those sounds represents specific ideas and things, and all these ideas and things come together in a sentence with an even more specific meaning.

Also, I don't think it's a coincidence that the three main vehicles of articulation have an obvious correlation between the sound and it's meaning.

You need your tongue to say TONGUE.

You need your teeth to say TEETH.

You need your lips to say LIPS.

You see, language is not just a way to converse. It is the unity between sound and meaning. The closer the union, the closer you are to the origin of language, more specifically, the original language spoken before the fall of man.

This is my idea: When God confused the languages of the people in the Tower of Babel, the original universal language was destroyed. All the other languages after were deteriorated imitations of the original language. So when we move our mouths and vocal chords, we're actually not moving them in the correct way, or how they were originally designed to move. This is why we often struggle with describing things--sound and meaning has become increasingly polarized.

Have you ever read the Space Trilogy? If you haven't, allow me to pass on the torch of wonder. C.S. Lewis hit this head on, he called it the Ancient Solar Tongue. In the book, one of the characters actually speaks it.

"Dimble raised his head, and great syllables of words that sounded like castles came out of his mouth. Everything else in the room seemed to have been intensely quiet; even the bird and the cat were still, staring at the speaker. The voice did not sound like Dimble's own; it was as if the words spoke themselves through him from some strong place at a distance, or as if they were not words at all but present operations of God, the planets, and the Pendragon. For this was language spoken before the fall and beyond the Moon, and the meanings were not given syllables by chance, or skill, or long tradition, but truly inherent in them as the shape of the great Sun is inherent in the little waterdrop. This was language herself, as she first sprang at Maleldil's bidding out of a molten quicksliver of the star called Mecury on Earth, but Viritrilbia in Deep Heaven."

Owen Barfield (a friend of Lewis who wasn't quite as good at saying things but equally as genius) said the same thing in "Saving the Appearances":

"Languages seem to point us back to the old unity of man and nature, through the shapes of their sounds. We feel those shapes not only as sounds but also as gestures of the speech organs--and...those gestures were once gestures made by the whole body...when the body itself was spoken even while it was speaking."

I don't think it's merely subjective that languages like Arabic and Japanese are just downright ugly to listen to (aren't they?) while French and Spanish and ancient languages like Gaelic and Latin sound perfectly delicious. The more beautiful it sounds, the closer imitation the language is to language itself. And when it reaches language itself, you'll know the meaning just by hearing the sound. The words are so full of meaning that its essence is conveyed merely by saying it. Which means it would be near impossible to actually speak or learn the Solar Tongue in our fallen condition. Our voices are not solid enough. Plus, we'd practically be like babies again, because we would have to completely re-learn how to manipulate our mouths.

There. I've taken you into the unimaginable-but-not-necessarily-imaginary void that is my brain. How do you like it? Because I'm just getting warmed up....

03 November 2012

Why You Shouldn't Marry Me

Well lassie, most women would want to know what they're getting into before they run off with some man. A silly request, you know.  If you knew what you were getting into, you wouldn't be getting into it.  Before I ask the question "Will you marry me?" I'll ask you something else.  "Are you sure you want to?"

Your clothes won't always be nice.  We won't have a fancy car or a big house.  No expensive dates (really, don't be so picky) or SleepCountry mattresses. We'll have to make do with cold floors and stale bread sometimes, we'll drink dew drops and trade a meal for some fiddle music. Our roof is the heavens, our bed is the heather. Basically, it won't always be comfy. I'm not a comfort-first person. I'm more of a comfort-after-I-walk-through-Mordor-and-back sort of person.

Oh, and by the way, I'll protect you with my life. I would die a thousand deaths for you, but unfortunately I can only afford one. So when the flames are closing in, I may or may not come just in the nick of time. In which case you might just have to save yourself. Sorry.

Children are born with imaginations so that their adulthood can exceed whatever they could have imagined. People play pirate when they're kids and then they grow up and have a normal life. Don't you get that the reason we ever had imaginary adventures is because we are to have real ones later on? I grew up playing racecars, astronauts, and swashbucklers. If you think we're just gonna play "house" for the rest of our lives, think again.

We'll travel to ever niche on the Earth. We'll meet the oddest people, enter the darkest places of suffering. We'll paint the light in every corner of the Universe, honey, because that's what Christians do.

Oh, and the kids? I'm sure they'll get used to it by their twelfth birthday. We'll give them strange names, like the names out of a fairy tale--Alice, and Gareth, and Palamon. I've always liked the name Tabitha.

There might be some unwarranted drama. I may even fail you sometimes, because I'm not perfect. 

"I've had enough!" you'll say. "I'm sick of risking our lives every other Tuesday! I want a normal life!"  

I'll implore you to stay, I'll beg forgiveness for every time I screwed up, but you'll pack your bags and head for the States.  Good heavens, of course I'll follow you!  I'll show up wherever you go, like the runaway bunny in that children's book I used to read.  I'll be the mountain you climb and the wind that carries you. Eventually you'll fall into my arms once more, because a man who would chase you across seven continents just because he needs someone to talk to is worth having one more adventure with.

In other words, lassie, marry me at your own risk.

19 October 2012

A letter from the editor...

This is an e-mail I received from The Minstrel Mom to-day.   Saturday looks awesome guys.

This is your personal event coordinator (at no charge! Pros can cost you up to $150 per hour – you have a great deal!)  Because of that, you have no choice but to show up – however, you could pay me ($150.00) to NOT attend the afternoon session.  Here is your action-packed schedule:
7am – Rise and shine (get a good breakfast)
8am – Be at Azgaard for PSAT.  This should run till noon or so.  This is potentially your ticket to SCHOLARSHIPS for your further education.  It’s been “free” so far (however, your personal education coordinator has been working her tail off all these years for smiles and a few chores – notice there is not a trace of it left!  The tail, I mean), but you will need Big Money (along the tens of thousands of dollars) for a college education!  That is beyond my capacity to provide!  YOU NEED TO DO YOUR BEST IN THIS!!
1pm – I might consider feeding you.  Then, we head out to Radmorno for the Speech Conference.     Be a good sport and you might glean something useful from it!
5pm – I might consider feeding you again if you look completely famished by now,  Then, we head out to the Tenth Ave. North concert for complete relaxation and ear-busting entertainment.  Have fun!  I’m not sure how you will return your wearied soul to your cozy bed.  My job is done at this point.  You might have to walk home from Radmorno in the dark or get a ride with Grace and Hannah if you promise to protect them with your life.
Ain’t that a FUN-FILLED day!  All for (mostly) free!  Yippee-I-O!
Mom (and her invisible minions)

Locations have been slightly vague-ified to foil ax-murderers. WHAT NOW

16 October 2012

Summer [Mis]Adventures: Squirrel Jumping

So I want to tell you about Squirrel Jumping.

If you've never been Squirrel Jumping before, I strongly advise you against it. But I only say that so that when you try it ANYWAY I can't be held responsible for telling you it was okay.


There are only two requirements:

-Two fir trees


So our driveway has two young and springy young pines that grow closely knitted together right out of a neat little labyrinth of bushes.

So the rest of this game should probably explain itself. Simply put, you....jump.

If you jump just right, you will gracefully pummel down to the ground in one swish-swish-swish-THWOMP-ish motion.

But you can always get it wrong. Such was the case when I introduced it to my friend Jared. I also should mention he's about forty pounds heavier than me.

Oh yeah, and by the way guys...keep your legs together.
-The Minstrel Boy

10 October 2012

07 October 2012

Summer [Mis]Adventures: Death by Monkeys

(This misadventure has minimal illustrations, but since it is indeed an important part of the Story that is my life, I thought it necessary to include).

Last July I spent a week being a helper at a VBS.

I really can't wait to be a dad.*

*That was sarcastic

Overall, the whole thing was fantastic. The cheesy skits, the messy snacks, the catchy songs that you can NEVER get out of your head, the frenzied games, the hand-motions to the memory verses, I love it all. And when you get hug-tackled by over thirty kids after you've spent a week laughing, playing, and teaching the Word of God with, the feeling is intensely satisfying.

But there's a little something you should probably know. Take a good look this picture. What's wrong with it?

That's right, there's only one guy there. And that guy is me. Actually, I'm totally fine with this arrangement, but from a kids' perspective, a single male leader sticks out like a sore thumb. It can cause certain problems. Children attack on sight. Upon visual, the instant thought processes of little girls tend to go a bit like this:

"Hey look, there's a boy leader! Let's all climb on him!"

It seems there is always a small group of little girls who like to pick their own personal leaders to attach themselves to like barnacles. This makes games like tag extremely confusing, because they're supposed to be running away from you.

The boys have a similar approach.

"Hey look, there's a boy leader! Let's all beat him up!"

Fending off a score of rabid little boys is hard enough, and even harder when you're juggling three girls. 

Somehow I couldn't help thinking of Toy Story....


Punishment is easier for boys though.  Maybe it's because I understand their brain.

Kids these days. When I was a boy my papa made me bench-press TREE LOGS!

I tend to get a little desperate on the girls though. You know that whole thing about "girls are sugar and spice and all things nice"? Biggest lie since sticks and stones.

In the end, there are basically three different perspectives in the VBS environment:

That is to say, at the end of five days you're liable to have a mild identity crisis. Am I a human or a punching bag? I can't decide.

Love fiercely and laugh shamelessly friends.
-The Minstrel Boy