Guys. November hit me like a ton of bricks. Since we have the week of Thanksgiving off, all of my professors have decided to double down on the amount of work they give us to make up for it, the weather can’t make up its mind whether to be warm or cold so my allergies have kept me in a constant state of misery, and my sweet little Squish is going to be one next week. NEXT WEEK. Luckily, I’m resilient and I’ve gotten all my schoolwork done until the first week of December, my allergy meds are keeping me on my feet, and I’m starting to get a regular reading rhythm again. So let’s talk about that.
I heard once that long-term isolation can have an effect most wicked on even the most competent of minds and seasoned mountain men, and also that guilt on its own is capable of ruin. By the time I met Henry the post boy in Crispin’s Peak while I was in for supplies with my pa, I’d experienced both, and my mind was eaten with rot.
I believe a part of myself may have died last winter.
“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.’
I said, ‘Are you a monster? Like Ursula Monkton?’
Lettie threw a pebble into the pond. ‘I don’t think so,’ she said. ‘Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.’
I said, ‘People should be scared of Ursula Monkton.’
‘P’raps. What do you think Ursula Monkton is scared of?’
‘Dunno. Why do you think she’s scared of anything? She’s a grown-up, isn’t she? Grown-ups and monsters aren’t scared of things.’
Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. “That’s why they’re monsters. And as for grown-ups…’ She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, ‘I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
GUYS. We *finally* made it to my favorite month of the entire year. I savor all 31 days and they always go by so fast (especially now that my Bean is here…he was born in October. And he is going to be four in 3 short weeks. FOUR. Where did the time go??)
Last year, I reviewed five spooky reads, one each week. This year, my brilliant sister came up with the movie/book comparison idea and I think it’s great! With the exception of this week, each week we will choose a movie and pair it with a book that we think is reminiscent of that movie. For instance, next week I am reviewing Frost by Marianna Baer and think it’s a good one to pick up if you enjoyed The Shining. I realize The Shining is also a book, but as Stephen King tells it, Kubrick didn’t do a great job adapting his book for screen. And I will agree, The Shining isn’t my favorite movie. It took my husband four tries to get me to sit and stay awake for the entire thing and I came out on the other side going “meh.” However, Frost was pretty good and there are similarities between the movie and the book that I will address next week. This week, I am going very tongue in cheek and saying…
If you liked the movie Coraline, you should check out the book….
Let’s talk about that.
I went over the wall.
When we were younger in the learning room, Eshan once asked why Canaan had a wall around it. Our teacher said that we’d forgotten what was outside Canaan, but that was exactly why we needed the wall in the first place. To keep us safe from what we did not know. What if there were insects that could sting or bite? What if you fell off a cliff or into a deep hole? What if there was no food, and you starved? What if, the teacher said, you were outside the walls and you forgot? You’d wander alone, forever, never able to find a way home again. We stay inside the walls because that is what we know, and where we are safe.
It made me wonder, does the wall protect us, or keep us in?
Today I found I’m not afraid of the unknown. Today I discovered that the unknown loved me, and that I loved it back.
Nadia The Dyer’s Daughter
Book 13, page 64, 11 years after the Forgetting
She peered back over her shoulder at Ari. “Master, what is this?” “The Sisterhood call it many different names: the Forest of Revelation; the Forest of Enlightenment; and the Forest of Reflection, are just three such given names,” said Ari. “It can only be seen at night, and it is the reason why I brought you out here.” “I don’t understand.” “In the years before I founded The Order,” Ari began in explanation, “if a Jaymidari had concerns about a Sanatsai in her charge, but those concerns did not yet warrant the binding of Zarantar , she would bring the Sanatsai in question to this place.” “Why?” “The forest provided a final opportunity for troublesome Sanatsai to guiding such a Sanatsai would send her charge into the forest to walk the path to the other side, in order to determine if the binding of Zarantar was the appropriate course of action.” Kayden was confused. “How exactly would sending somebody into the forest help a Sister make that decision?” “Walking the path reveals the path of the walker.” Kayden wanted to roll her eyes but settled for groaning on the inside. The cryptic response made no sense whatsoever―ergo, it was less than useless. She averted her eyes from Ari back to the dirt path ahead of her, disappearing into the forest. “If I am expected to enter the forest,” she said, resignedly, “I would like to know what’s in there waiting for me.” “I couldn’t tell you,” Ari conceded. “I’ve never entered the forest myself; it’s been almost a century since anyone has. But as I understand it, what lies within is different for everyone.” Kayden peered back over her shoulder at Ari again. “So what do I do?” “Just make your way to the end of the path; I’ll be waiting for you there.” “That’s it?” Surely it couldn’t be that simple. “Yes, that’s it,” affirmed Ari. “But I must warn you…” Kayden listened attentively. “It’s important you don’t turn back or stray from the path.” “Understood,” said Kayden, although she didn’t really understand. She returned her gaze to the path laid out before her and stiffened her resolve. Whatever obstacles may be lying in wait for her, within the forest, she would overcome, just like she always did. She marched forward purposefully―setting one foot in front of the other―initiating her journey into the unknown. The Forest of Revelation held no fear for her.
Hey! Long time, no see! As stated in the previous post, I’ve spent the summer soaking up the last days of “unbusy” with my family before school started. We ran trails, we camped, we took a trip to see family in Tennessee (and walked more trails there), we celebrated the 4th of July, saw one of our favorite bands in concert, Social Distortion, we had slow weekends at home where we camped out in the living room and marathon-ed movies and TV shows. It was amazing. And I read. I read so much! Let’s talk about that.
A dragon, as big as a minibus, its scrubbed hide a darkened magenta, was foraging for food in a large blue skip that sate just outside the school’s tall green steel spoke fence, the creature’s pointy snout rummaging through the various debris on offer.
As far as Ewan could see, the dragon wasn’t doing any harm, and if anything it was helping out by making the skip a little lighter in its load. He had puzzled a little, though, at the monster’s choice of foodstuffs, as the skip it was eating out of was sat on the street in front of a house being renovated, nothing more than bits of twisted metal and discarded wood and plastic inside. Despite this, the dragon seemed to be happily nibbling on the gleaming metal pieces in particular.
Ewan stared without blinking as the beast chomped away, blissfully un-bothered by the steady bustle of human traffic around it, all of whom clearly had no idea it was there. As Ewan finally chanced a blink of his eyes, he was further confused to see the dragon still in its place when his lids were reopened, initially expecting the whole thing to be nothing more than some twisted schoolyard dream.