Category Archives: Blogging

Why I Won’t Be Finishing “Wild Child”

I won’t be finishing “Wild Child,” a short story I was writing about a mother and her child who live in nature, and what happens to them when they encounter civilization.

The reason why is: I realized I was writing for the wrong reason.

To explain:

3 years ago, I dropped out of university.

And this fall, I enrolled at a community college, in order to pick up where I had left off; in order to receive an education that would allow me to put bread on the table.

And in all that time, I feel like I’ve been running away.

I’ve been trying to escape from my struggles. Even if I know that, ultimately, my struggles will make me a better person.

And, I found my “escape” in fellow blogger sunshine lou.

Her writing about being naked in nature is what gave me the idea for “Wild Child.”

Her writing awakened a longing in me. A longing to be, in her words, “Naked and free.”

I didn’t want to just be free from clothes and out in nature — I wanted to be free from the struggles that were sapping my love for life, and get away from a mindset (“I’m a failure because I dropped out of college”) and an environment (college) that were causing me to hate myself.

And, I’ve realized: That’s no way to live.

What I mean when I say “That’s no way to live” is:

Through my writing, I shouldn’t try to express an experience (being a woman naked in nature) that is not my own because, ultimately, my words won’t be authentic.

I’ll never be Lou, and I shouldn’t try to be.

I need to learn to not hate the struggles that have made me the person I am today. I need to love myself for all that I am.

And that won’t happen if I keep on wishing I was someone else.

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Wild Child — Update

Upon reflection, I believe that Part 7 of “Wild Child” is not up to the standard I’m setting for myself. One reason why being: Part 7 illustrates the drawback of writing a story on the fly.

To explain:

I have a vague idea of the story’s plot points, but “Wild Child” has essentially just been me writing whatever part of Thorn’s story I wanted to write next; me writing the first words that come to mind whenever I think Wild Child. And Part 7, I believe, shows that more than any of the other parts.

To go into more detail:

Part 1 sets up that this story is Thorn telling her mother, Skye, how she found herself in possession of a scarf, and what this contact with civilization means for the two of them.

But: Part 5 is written from the point of view of Skye. Something that Thorn would know nothing about since she is off in a castle and Skye is in their cave, wondering what to do. So, Part 5, in the context of Part 1, currently makes no sense.

So:

Over time I’ll be revising what I have already written and doing a better job of planning exactly what I want to happen in this story.

Thank you, everyone, for reading.

May it be a story you enjoy.

And: Feedback of any kind is always appreciated.

One more thing:

Despite this being a story about a naked little girl and a naked woman — a child and her mother in nature in their natural state — this isn’t a “dirty” story.

What I mean by that is: If you’re reading this story in order to think lewd thoughts and then do lewd acts, you’re in the wrong place.

Yes, there is nudity.

Yes, there might be sex. (Haven’t decided yet.)

But: My goal with all of it is to move the story along in some way. Not to put it there just for the sake of being there.

For example: Skye is naked, and she raises her daughter to be naked, because she doesn’t want anything to do with civilization anymore. She wants to put her old life behind her. For a reason that will be made clear later in the story.

A Catholic Responding To An Atheist Responding To Lutheranism

Excerpts from A Look At Luther’s Small Catechism by The Closet Atheist, and my thoughts:

“And make it very plain to [parents] what an awful harm they are doing if they will not help to train children to be pastors, preachers, clerks . . . and that God will punish them terribly for it.”

So every child must be a pastor, preacher, or clerk?

I understand being a “preacher” in the sense that one is willing to share their faith when the circumstance calls for it. After all:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
~ 1 Peter 3:15

Otherwise: Being boxed into three roles feels, for lack of a better word, limiting. A child can’t grow up to be, for example, a writer?

I was raised to believe that… trans people were disgusting, and… should be avoided.

Hmm. What does Jesus say about avoiding others and seeing certain people as “disgusting”?

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
~ Matthew 25:40

In case, after reading my post that deals with total depravity, you didn’t believe that there are Christians who really believe that we are “worthy of none of the things for which we pray” and “deserve nothing but punishment,” well, here is your proof.

*raises hand*

I believe.

This probably disgusts me more than anything else, especially when we are still urged to pray for what we want, even after being told that we don’t deserve to have our prayers answered. At the same time though, this teaches that no matter how bad we are, God will still give us everything we pray for (because of grace)…

What’s so bad about not deserving anything, really?

If I told you that I had told my girlfriend “I deserve sex,” you’d (probably) justifiably think This guy is a misogynist.

Granted, that is an extreme example.

But my point is: When we go around saying “I deserve ___,” that can lead one down a dark path…

Despair3
Photo by Pavel Tereshkovets.

Regarding praying for what one wants:

Not all prayers will be answered. And even if they are, not always in the way that one wanted, or in a way that is immediately clear.

Why? Because:

Ideally, a prayer isn’t a person saying “Do ___, ___, and ___ for me and I’ll continue to love you and serve you, God.”

Ideally, a prayer is: “God, please do ___, ___, and ___ for me. But, trusting that you see what I cannot, and trusting that you have the best interests of humanity at heart, not my will, but your will, be done.”

…we’re told to do good unto others, when, after all, we can’t be good, only God can. So why try?

We “can’t be good” in the sense that, despite the good we do, we will always, to some extent, fall short.

No one is perfect.

Which is why there are signs like this:

Sign3

Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I can’t still strive for perfection, though.

To bring up my girlfriend again: Just because I can’t see the world from her perspective — just because I can’t be her — doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try and empathize with her.*

I am reminded of a quote:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
~ Michelangelo

1:55 — 3:01:

“What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.”

This is just gross and weird. I don’t have anything else to say about it.

Hmm. To give my two cents:

In the desert, God gave his people bread to eat.

Since Jesus is one of the three aspects of God, eating his body is the evolution of that act: No longer are people eating bread that God sent down from Heaven to sustain their life — now people are eating God himself, who has come down from Heaven to be the bread that will sustain them.

I am reminded of the starving passengers in Snowpiercer (2013). Running low on food after scrambling to board a train that is the only hope for survival, the passengers, in their hunger, eventually resort to cannibalism. One of the passengers, seeing that a baby is about to be eaten, cuts off his own arm and says “Give me the child. If you’re so hungry, eat this instead.”

What Jesus is saying when he offers us himself is:

“Do not eat yourselves. Eat me instead.”

The hunger Jesus wants to satisfy is not physical, but spiritual.

*I actually don’t have a girlfriend. 😥

Why “Prayer Shaming” Doesn’t Bother Me

Thank you to The Closet Atheist for bringing this to my attention.

Excerpts from her post and my thoughts:

In my case, I’m more concerned with whether or not you are doing more than that, or if you find thoughts and prayers to be sufficient. How helpful is it to send your thoughts and prayers to the God that allowed (or caused) it to happen instead of sending money or giving your time?

Well:

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
~ James 2:14 — 17

And:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
~ Philippians 4:6

The students in the video dub this phenomenon “prayer shaming,” using examples such as athletes who are judged for showing their faith or college campuses where students are discouraged from public prayer…

Weird. Because, Jesus said this about prayer:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
~ Matthew 6:5 — 6

My point being: Why are Christians getting all bent out of shape about not being able to pray in public when Jesus said “Don’t pray in public”?

Jesus also said this:

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
~ John 15:18

And this:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
~ Mathew 16:24

Speechless

I deleted my previous post, “10-Word Story: Moment Of Calm”, because I felt like it didn’t measure up to the standard I have for myself. I don’t know what my standard is, but I know what it isn’t.

When it comes to my 10-word stories, I usually write them fast. I see a beautiful piece of art, and the words pop into my head in no time. But for “Moment of Calm” I spent over an hour thinking of what to say.

The piece of art was so beautiful. I felt I had to say something. I was going for something serious, sensual, or erotic, but settled for something semi-humorous: One child asking another what his mom is doing sitting naked at his dinner table. How awkward might that conversation be?

But, after giving it more thought: The woman in this piece of art deserves better than that. She  deserves better than I can currently give her.

She literally leaves me speechless.

Woman

The closest words that I can currently imagine doing her justice are these lyrics from “Always With Me” from Spirited Away:

Though the road is long and lonely and the end far away, out of sight
I can with these arms embrace the light

As I bid farewell my heart stops, in tenderness I feel
My silent empty body begins to listen to what is real

On another note:

Recently, I had a conversation with fellow blogger Love Alchemy about nudity and nature. In it, she said:

I remember most vividly bathing in streams and walking through what I would call forest for lack of a better term. It was a place of tall trees, uninhabited, serene and being naked was just so, a be’ing. Though quite young I recall those moments fondly and feel edified to hold any remembrance of beauty.

And I realize that, since that conversation, I’ve been trying to help her “hold any remembrance of” the beauty of, for example, bathing in streams. That’s one of the reasons for posts like “10-Word Story: Revelation.”

And I’ve also realized that, ultimately, I am not Love Alchemy. No matter how hard I might try, or how hard I might want to, I cannot see the world through her eyes. To put it another way: Ultimately, only Love Alchemy can tell Love Alchemy‘s story.

I wasn’t trying to “tell her story” because I thought she was not able to tell it herself.

Like with the work of art that left me speechless, I just wanted to say something; do something to help Love Alchemy hold on to the beauty of her past because I could not accept doing nothing.

Why could I not accept doing nothing? The answer to this question goes back to one of the driving forces behind this blog:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:14 — 16

Where do I myself go from here? I don’t know.

But, I believe the best thing that I can do is, to quote “Always With Me”:

listen to what is real