#a mary oliver prayer for the new year
tenderfaery · 6 months ago
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— Mary Oliver, North Country
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lailoken · 5 months ago
For general healing, write the names of the blessed family (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) on a piece of paper. Take a candle from a church and drip the wax on the paper while praying for the hand of Christ to be on the person needing healing. Fold the paper toward you and bind with a red string in the name of the Trinity. Carry it as close to the skin as possible.
To protect from disease, wear a copper bracelet or ring.
Fix a penny heads up to the bottom of a white taper candle and anoint it with blessed olive oil. If the person needing healing is present, place the tip in their navel and pray for the disease to be drawn out and into the candle. Hold the candle over their left shoulder and light it. Set it up on a plate covered with “silver paper” (foil) and let it burn down. When the candle has melted completely, have the person spit onto the wax, wrap it in the silver paper, and either bury it at the roots of a tree or in the corner of a crossroads.
For burns, pass your hand over the burn, going away from the person or away from their heart. With each pass, say, “Three ladies came from the east, one with fire and two with frost. Out with the fire in with the frost! In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.” Do this three times. Afterward, you and the person shouldn't light, make, or tend any fires until the next sunset passes. This includes cooking over a stove or using a lighter.
Carry a walnut for rheumatism or arthritis—begin carrying it while it is still small and green. Once it is completely black and dry, toss it and replace it.
Place their photo in the Bible facing Psalm 23 and pray over it. Leave it there for three days, then take it out and put it in a jar of clear water. Add dirt from a hospital or mountaintop, a tablespoon of lard, a pinch of tobacco, and a pinch of salt while praying for their well-being and health, calling on God and the ancestors to “wash their name,” a term I heard Papaw use once when healing. Swirl the contents of the jar clockwise as the hand of the clock goes up to build up their strength and health, while still praying. Work this jar every Sunday until they are better. Once they are, drain the water at a crossroads and keep the strained contents; give these to the person in a bundle to hide in their home above their head. As long as it's there and stays dry, it'll keep their health up.
For breathing issues, wear a “greened penny”one that has oxidized, with a hole made through the chest of Abe.
Pass a white candle over yourself or another from head to toe three times while saying the Lord's Prayer. Set the candle down and let it burn completely. Spit on the remains and bury it at a crossroads.
Add to a bath of water 1 cup new blessed salt, 3 tablespoons white vinegar, and ½ cup hyssop. Take the bath before sunrise, washing downward only, while reciting Psalm 51:7. End the bath at sunrise and take a portion of the bathwater outside and cast the water toward the rising sun. To make blessed salt, simply pronounce the Lord's Prayer over it three times at sunrise, noon, and sunset. Do this for three consecutive days. The same is done with sweet oil for anointing. You can switch out ingredients with any of the following: a cap of tar water, a cap of ammonia, a strong cup of brewed coffee, a tablespoon of baking soda, or mud from a river after it has flooded (to further wash away your “debris”)—just make sure to use an odd number of ingredients.
Cut a lemon in half while holding two pennies (minted in the year of your birth) under your upper lip. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on each half, making an X, and insert the pennies in the center of each. Place the lemon under your bed to sleep over for three days, namely Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Remove the lemon and bury it off property on Saturday.
To remove conjugation or ill luck, wash your current change of clothes with salt and vinegar and then burn them. Take the ashes to a crossroads at midnight and scatter them when the wind blows.
For protection during travel, carry a rabbit's foot or a jack containing nine yarrow leaves, three pennies, and dust from the home.
To protect from the evil eye, get some red yarn and go to the oldest grave in a cemetery. Walk counterclockwise around it seven times while wrapping the yarn around your left wrist once for every turn while praying Psalm 23. You can also wear gold or silver, or embroider an X in the leftleg hem of your underwear. Don't forget to leave an offering for the grave in return for you doing the work there.
To protect from being conjured, carry in a sack a horseshoe nail, ground ivy root, and blessed salt. You can also sprinkle a mixture of salt, black pepper, and red pepper in your shoes or wear a silver dime on your right ankle.
To protect from illness, wear a bag of asafoetida, salt, and a copper penny.
Wear a rosary, cross, or other religious symbol.
To guard against roaming ghosts and other haints, my family would always get five sticks and bind them in such a way as to make a five-pointed star, called a “witch's mark” in Appalachia. You can still see these stars hung on the sides of homes and barns everywhere.
Court and Law
Take a silver spoon and gather dirt from the grave of a baby (because they've never been convicted of anything) and leave nine pennies behind in its place. Mix the dirt with sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Make a packet of brown paper with your name written on it and the name of the courthouse below that. Mark out all consonants so both resonate with their vowels. Carry the packet in your left shoe to keep the judge on your side.
To keep the law away, make a sachet with an Indian-head penny, tobacco, and moss from the foundation of a church. Bless it following the method given previously to keep all law enforcement far from you.
Carry items for good luck when going to court, such as a peep-stone, four-leaf clover, etc. You can also sprinkle new salt in your shoes to make you “slicker than glass” so you'll get by just fine. According to my mother, you should also take a toothbrush and a change of solid white clothes. This prevents you from going to jail because you're already prepared.
Love and Lust
Take two pieces of paper and write each person's name on them with their date of birth. Bind them together with red string and dust it with a mixture of powdered rose petals, flour, and sugar. Bury the bundle on the east side of a tree, preferably a willow, to bring them together.
To keep a lover from running around, make a sachet of mayapple root, rose petals, and bloodroot. Include some connection to them: dirty garments, hair, nails, or a photo. Bind it with a red string. Bless the sachet and bury it under the doorstep. Every time the lover walks over it, it'll keep them faithful. To “feed” the work, water it with your first morning urine once a month while calling their name out three times and telling them to stay as the River Jordan did.
For new love, give them wine or whiskey in which you've soaked your toenails for three days, from Wednesday to Friday. Strain it on Saturday morning. This will win over anyone.
To have a lover return, whisper their name when you wake up and when you go to bed for nine days. On the tenth day, cast three handfuls of salt into the fireplace and recite the following for each: “I charm you on your breast and sides, as the colt follows the mare; as the rain seeks the earth; seek and find me. By the voice that called the Virgin, I call you back to me.”
To have one fall in love with you, take a cloth, shirt, or other garment for them to wear. Wet it with your first morning's urine for three days. Then find two coupling animals (rooting snakes, mating dogs, etc.) and cover them with the cloth and then take it back. Give it to your lover to wear. Of course you can mask any possible smell with your preferred cologne or perfume.
To incite passion in a relationship, hide a turkey bone wrapped and tied in their unwashed garments under the bed. Take a “stray hair” from their head and one from your own; bundle them in a bag with honeysuckle blooms, sugar, and ground hard candy; hang this on the bedpost.
Money and Gambling
For sports, take a dish that was broken by accident and make three cuts on the chest and four on the back. Powder some dandelion root really fine and rub into the cuts. This is supposed to “toughen up” the person and bring success.
Bake the tip of a cow tongue. Take it to seven cemeteries and touch it to the oldest headstone in each yard, leaving a dime for each grave. Place the tongue in your mouth over your own and say your prayers for success in money or gambling. Carry in the left pocket.
On a full moon, take the left hind foot of a white rabbit to the oldest grave at midnight. At the headstone, pour some moonshine for the spirit of the grave, telling them to help you witch the foot under the eyes of the Trinity. Dip the toes of the foot in the same moonshine and trace the engraved dates on the headstone with the toes while saying, “As many days are here inscribed, the same for me will be lucky and safe.” Do this three times, then leave the rest of the moonshine and exit the graveyard following the precautions spoken of before.
To get someone to leave town or move away from your area, take a splinter of lightning-struck wood and place it under their porch steps or where they'll walk over it.
Alternatively, take dirt from their footstep or where they recently walked and fold it up in a brown paper bag. Dunk it in water and then burn it while saying, “Water and fire are at your feet. By the voice that chased Adam from the garden, get gone.” Repeat until it is ashes. Take those ashes and mix them with dirt from their yard and sprinkle it where they'll walk. To sprinkle it, walk backward an odd number of steps while saying their name and repeating the above.
Powder some dead spiders and mix with black pepper and salt. Sprinkle this in an X formation where the person will walk over it.
Take a spool of handspun yarn and pierce it with thirteen needles. Relieve yourself on it while saying the person's name and telling them to leave. Bury this where they will walk over it.
To stop gossip, take a photo of the person responsible and cut out their eyes so they cannot “give the eye” and cut out the mouth so they cannot “speak the eye.” Place this in a mason jar and piss on it while calling their name, praying for their tongue to draw, for salt and vinegar to be in their mouth. Add nine pins and needles. Every day for nine days, tap the top with a silver spoon while praying your petition. On the tenth day, bury the jar in a churchyard or cemetery.
An old trick for this is to “catch their voice”: get a string and begin to tie a knot in it. Call for them when you're around them, and when they answer, without them knowing, pull the knot tight. The more knots you can get before they come, the stronger the spell will be. Take the cord and place it in a bottle filled with vinegar, alum, red dust, and your first morning urine. Shake the bottle while praying for them to stop.
For Success/To Turn Your Luck Around
Catch your first urine in the morning in a jar and add a handful of salt to the liquid. Take it and walk nine steps out and away from your home. At the ninth step, stop and recite the Lord's Prayer, following it with a prayer for your luck to turn around and for all ill fortune to be chased off by the Holy Trinity. Take a step backward toward the house and do the same. Do so for each step, counting nine in reverse. At the doorstep, turn toward the house and wash the doorstep with the  mixture in the jar and without looking back, go back inside and think nothing more of it.
Sprinkle new salt in your shoes and you'll be “slicker than a slug” or “slicker than glass” in everything you set out to do.
Wave your hand over the burn going away from the person while reciting, “Two angels came and sat on a stone; one with fire and one with frost. Go away fire, come in frost! In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Recite it three times, passing the hand for each, followed by a breath blown on the burn directed away from the person.
Light a candle used during a wake or funeral and set it on the burn. Turn a clear glass over it to encompass the candle. When the flame goes out, fill the glass with water and pour this over the burn. What harmed you can cure you.
Wash the place with well water, stumpwater, or rainwater from Easter Sunday.
Wrap the limb with a strip of eel skin while saying the Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary.
Mama always said, “feed a cold, starve a fever.” Don't eat anything once the fever comes on. Wipe yourself down with an ice-cold washcloth while reciting the Lord's Prayer three times. Once the cloth is no longer cold, wring the water into a bowl and throw the cloth into the freezer. Place the bowl under the bed or couch and lay over it until the fever breaks.
Wear dirt collected from a church on St. John's Day in a bag about the neck.
Nightmares and Insomnia
Make a sachet containing three lamb's ears leaves, nine blackberry leaves harvested before September 29, and blessed salt. Sleep with this around the neck or under the pillow.
Sleep with a rabbit's left hind foot under the mattress.
Sleep under an authentic dream catcher, but never touch the feathers or the charm will be ineffective.
For bed wetting, as previously mentioned, give a tea made from corn silk. Sweeten to taste.
Place a Bible beneath the bed while saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as the waters of Jordan stood so shall the waters of [name].”
For sleepwalking, place a Bible at the head of the bed and a bucket of water at the foot.
Alternatively, take one of the person's shirts and tie a knot in it. Place it lengthwise on the foot of the bed at their feet so they will stay sleeping.
For sore hands or feet, soak them in vinegar, salt, and warm water for thirty minutes.
Let a dog lick the sores or wounds and they'll be healed in three days, as they were for Lazarus in the Bible.
Rub the wound good with salt and honey and then wash it in warm water.
Carry the boiled and dried tip of a cow's tongue around the neck.
Drink water from a cobalt blue glass.
Chew the grass that grows on a newly dug grave on a Sunday.
Wear a deer, hog, or buffalo tooth around the neck.
Wear a rosary.
Take the jawbone of a donkey and walk backward nine steps, then drop the bone there and leave it. This is preferably done somewhere you'll never see the bone again.”
‘11 — Pray the Devil Down: Folk Recipes and Remedies’
Backwoods Witchcraft:
Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia
by Jake Richards
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voirlvmer · 2 months ago
6, 12, 18, 24, 30 :3c
6. a traditional poem that you like
"décembre" by françois coppée
"Le temps qui s’écoule fait bien ; Et mourir ne doit être rien, Puisque vivre est si peu de chose."
12. a poem about love (romantic/platonic/self-love/etc.)
"ode to friendship" by noor hindi
"The night so warm I could fall in love with anything including myself. My loves. You are the only people I’d surrender my softness to."
18. a poem that gives you hope
"prayer for the new year" by rhiannon mcgavin
"I will see the moon and morning and hope."
24. a popular poem that you dislike
“the sun” by mary oliver
“do you think there is anywhere, in any language, a word billowing enough for the pleasure
that fills you, as the sun reaches out, as it warms you
as you stand there, empty-handed– or have you too turned from this world–
or have you too gone crazy for power, for things?”
30. recommend any poem you want that’s not covered by the above prompts
"winter field" by joanna klink
"What lights a world gone blank with despair? You were here once; you will be here again."
poetry asks
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96thdayofrage · a month ago
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Pearl Young, affectionately called "Pearly," was born in Alabama, where she still has family.
The Fayette native was many things: a mother, a wife of a pastor, a grandmother, a substitute teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools, a Sunday school teacher and a head of a local food pantry.
Young was among 10 people killed Saturday by a gunman who opened fire in a Tops Friendly Market on Buffalo's East Side in a racially motivated attack. She was 77.
When she was 14, Young began living with her eldest sister, Mary Craig of Tuscaloosa, and her husband. It was through Craig that Young found Christ. The two sisters were very close. 
"She worked faithfully in her church, she fed the people, the hungry, the needy she was always there," Craig told NBC15.
Young moved to Buffalo in 1967 after marrying her husband, Oliver Young Jr., the Buffalo News reported. For 25 years, she helped run the church's soup kitchen.
"Even if it was nothing but soup and bread, whatever she could do, she would just always avail herself to help the people," Bishop Glenwood H. Young, Young's brother-in-law said. "That's what she was noted for ... her life was full of giving."
A member of Good Samaritan Church of God in Christ, Young helped prepare and hand out food at the park for Saturdays.
Young's unwavering faith and loving personality propelled her through life. She was a licensed missionary who fed people through scripture and through meals. 
"She was always baking cookies, baking cakes, doing stuff like that, cooking spaghetti," Young told the News. "Whatever she could do for people, she did that."
Bishop Glenwood Young is the prelate Church of God in Christ Second Jurisdiction Western New York and has been for more than 20 years, the Rev. Dr. Devale Hodge says. Hodge was born in Buffalo, born in the second jurisdiction and now pastors in Connecticut, where the Young family is also connected.
He says the diocese, which has over 60 churches, is like a family, where everyone knows each other. Pearl Young was the Sunday School Field Representative for the entire diocese at one time he says.
"She would go across to all of the churches and she would visit to help the teachers within the churches to teach Sunday School and to train them," he said. "She was a very community-oriented person."
Hodge was one of the children who grew up in the diocese in Young's care. He remembers her cooking "the best" gumbo, he says with a laugh.
"She would fill it up with all kinds of nutritional goodies and just be happy about serving you with a smile on her face," he said. "She would say: 'Baby, do you want more? If you want more, I got more for you.' She was just that kind of person."
Young was good friends with Hodge's grandmother, and with Yvonne Bottoms, who was like a childhood mother to him. Though he has now left, Hodge says that he is still connected with the diocese.
"She was a devout person of faith," he said. "Loved God and did everything she could for her family and friends and community. Whatever that was, she was there."
The Church of God in Christ is Pentecostal, Hodge says, so worshippers dance, shout and run through the church as an expression of their faith. Young "really expressed her faith in a lively and joyful way."
"You could see her dancing and running down the aisles. Every time she came to church--there was never a time she came to church that she did not run around church and rejoice and shout. She was one of the loudest persons in church, that's just who Pearl Young was. She was just a vibrant, vibrant person — full of life and always an encouraging word," he said.
The last Saturday of Young's life in this world was spent attending a morning prayer breakfast. Afterwards, her sister dropped her off at Tops, where she was planning to purchase a few items and go home.
Damon Young, Young's son, told the Washington Post that he had been communicating with his mother while she was at Tops. She stopped responding — instead, his phone began buzzing with alerts about the shooting. He ended his Saturday communicating with police.
Jacqueline Wright, Young's niece who lives in Alabama, spoke to WBRC.
"She did not deserve this," she said. "She was an individual that just poured out of herself and of her substance you know to help anybody, and she as full of love."
Hodge agrees that, "a person like Pearl Young certainly didn't deserve to pass and die in this kind of way." He says he will never understand why it happened the way it did.
"She was a pearl, she was a gem," Wright told NBC15. "She was a precious gem, jewel, and it reflected her name."
Hodge says he is the person he is today in large part due to Young's influence.
"Her life and her memory speaks for itself. She was a Christian," he said. "You would have wanted to be a Christian by just by being around her because she exuded those characteristics and those virtues of love and grace and forgiveness and faith. That's who she was."
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txemrn · 11 months ago
The Missionary's Daughter
Ch. 1: "Meant to Live"
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Need to catch up? Prologue: "It's Over"
Chapter Song Inspo: "Meant to Live" by Switchfoot
Series Song Inspo: "Changed by You" by Between the Trees
Pairings: Drake Walker x OC (Margot Hughes); Liam Rys x Riley Brooks
Series Warning: 🛑 for mature audiences only (🔞); series contains angst, language, NSFW🍋 material; trigger warning: heavy discussion/depiction of drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, religion, mental health; please be advised and exercise discretion
A/N: When I say that this took a village, it would be the understatement of the century! Huuuuuuuuge thank you to all of my amazing sweet writing sisters that encouraged me and helped me pull this together, but especially to @charlotteg234 for brainstorming and mapping this out with me, @kat-tia801 for doing the same, but then having to deal with me incessantly asking, "Does this sound right?" and @chemist-ana FOR GIFITNG ME MY FREAKING AMAZING MOODBOARD! It's SO beautiful, and it literally puts me in the mood to write about my Druggy Drake and Margot! Thank you so, so much, friend! Most of the characters and some of the plot belong to our friends at Pixelberry.
A palpable crackle ignites the sterile air of the staff locker room. To say she was ‘nervous’ is a painfully severe understatement to the jitters that spark from her fingertips. But, rather than dance chaotically like cut wires on pavement, she is lightning, mesmerizing, lighting up the sky with excitement and power.
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Dressing for another Monday morning at her weekly volunteer job at the prestigious Cordonia Family OB/GYN, Margot Hughes swiftly shimmies a monogrammed ceil blue scrub top down her curves. Pulling her brilliant strands of autumn harvest into a high bun, she slips on her work clogs while nudging her locker closed with her knee.
Before leaving the changing area, she catches her visage in the mirror, the unflattering fluorescent lights casting more shadows onto her worried features. She can feel the rumble of her rapid heartbeat echoing in her ears; her chest constricts tightly as her breathing becomes shallow. Her eyes begin to sting with fear as the whites burn red, threatening with a glaze of tears.
Today is the day her entire life will change; everything she has ever wanted, everything that she has ever worked for will suddenly determine the course of her future in a single moment. Seeing the all-too-familiar terror in her eyes, Margot flutters her eyelids shut. Her fingers nervously trace along a simple chain around her neck until they finally grasp tightly to a dainty sterling silver charm: a cross.
“Take my anxieties, Lord,” she whispers with prayerful conviction, her sparkling blue eyes gracefully opening to look at her necklace. She exhales deeply. “Your will be done.” Margot stares at her reflection for a few more moments, focusing on her breathing to calm her restless heart. “You are strong, Margot. You've got this,” she affirms herself in a hushed tone, a bright smile breaking across her face. “This is your day--" suddenly overwhelmed with peace, a joyous smile paints across her face. Chuckling to herself, she glances upwards: “I'm counting on You.” Taking a deep cleansing breath, she eagerly exits the stillness of her thoughts, and joins the bustle of the morning's clinic appointments. Today is her day.
Halos of blurred auras bleach his vision as Drake cautiously opens one blood-shot eye. His tongue sticks to the roof of his roughly parched mouth as he massages his pained forehead. Clueless of what day it is--much less what he did last night--he is greeted with a sudden glorious sensation: a supple wet mouth on his hardened morning length.
His body relaxes back onto the dampened, disheveled sheets of his bed; he releases a pleasurable exhale as he blindly reaches for the head behind the lips. He strains to focus his view, but can only make out a foggy shape of a nude woman with long, tousled brunette waves.
It’s her. His love.
Drake smiles; delicately tangling his grip in her strands, he admires how even the afternoon sun catches her beauty perfectly. He quietly smacks his lips. He can still smell her on his stubble; he can still taste her on his tongue.
Had she told Liam? Were they celebrating that they could finally be together?
As she takes in the head of his girth, he arches his back, relaxing his body into her hungry touch. Closing his eyes, he offers a guttural groan deep in his chest as she swirls her tongue around his firm thickness.
“God, you’re incredible, Riley--”
Pulling out a pen, Margot reaches across the counter to grab a patient’s clipboard--that is until Iris, the front desk manager grips her long, manicured nails to the other side of the particle wood. “Miss Mary-Margaret,” she leans in conspiratorially, lowering her voice, “do we know anything yet?” Margot chuckles, shaking her head. “Child, you better come find me the moment you know!”
“Only if you promise to start calling me ‘Margot’” the young blonde jests, opening her client’s chart.
“How about I start calling you what we’ll all be calling you in just a few short years: ‘doctor’?” Rosy pink swirls splash across Margot’s face, warming her cheeks to the touch. She bows her head coyly at the mention of her dream becoming a reality. The thought that she will soon find out if a medical career is in her future makes the twenty-one-year-old’s heart leap with unbridled excitement.
For as long as she can remember, Margot has had a strong desire to serve and help other people. Much of that selfless attitude was instilled into her heart by her own parents. They were called to be Christian missionaries when Margot was only eight years old. After much planning, church fund-raising, and prayer, Roy and Mary Hughes left their comfortable home of Lafayette, Louisiana, and settled in the small Mediterranean country of Cordonia.
Many of their friends and family were shocked that the church would send them to such a beautiful area of the world. Typically missionaries humble themselves to serve the needy, the homeless, the lonely and the sick. They sacrifice the luxuries of home for the sake of loving humanity. They help people in war-torn countries, third-world countries, countries that don’t have electricity or running water. But, this country?
Cordonia itself is a lavish nation, rich in heritage and traditions. And funds. Thanks to the ideal weather conditions, the fruitful soil produces bountiful harvests and exquisite supplies for fine textiles that remain in high demand throughout the world. The Cordonian government, a monarchy, discovered a new opportunity to expand their wealth in the late 19th century: costly tariffs to international investors. Within the first ten years of increasing the taxes on exports, the national treasury was not only in the black, but their funds had exponentially increased every year. Farms were flourishing as the working class became larger, stronger.
But, the treasury began to dwindle quickly due to the extravagant demands of the royals. For the first time in the country's history, commoners were wealthier than some of the nobility. Disdain from the upper class quickly ensued until finally, in the early 20th century under the rule of William I, a new tax law was implemented to all of Cordonia: anyone involved with international exchange would have to pay into the treasury to handle such business.
Unfortunately, there were no limitations to this new tax law, and many farms floundered, property ownership being seized by the government. Families were uprooted; jobs were lost, and worse, assets were sold for even more money, filling the pockets of the greedy leaders. The people that once had a plethora of goods at their fingertips were now starving and unsheltered. And vengeful. The Cordonians were outraged by the gouging, many of them forming violent riots, banding together with outside influencers in hopes of overthrowing the government.
On the cusp of a civil war, King William I decided to rezone the country, providing a place for the displaced working class to claim safety and sanctuary, a place that would offer shelter, education, and more affordable options for goods. To appease the people even more, he named the project ‘the Core,’ paying homage to their greatest export, the Cordonian Ruby. It was also a way for him to forever express his gratitude for such a fruitful nation: they were the core reason the nation was thriving so richly.
Like many government-assisted programs, it didn’t take long for the cracks to show in the infrastructure. And with funding cuts over the years, the Core began to crumble, striking a sharp contrast from the rest of Cordonia. The Core, now often referred to as ‘the slums’, have become a breeding ground for crime, drugs, and prostitution. It is the blemish of Cordonia, its existence often not acknowledged amongst the elite.
But, according to the Hughes, ‘God saw the need’. They were sent to serve in the slums of Cordonia, starting up several free programs, including a nightly soup kitchen, afterschool programs to keep children out of trouble, and trade classes to help adults out of poverty. The people accepted the help and adapted quickly to the missionaries; but even more importantly, they embraced these Americans as their own, many of them forming important and lasting relationships with the Hughes.
But, still there was something missing, something that burdened the missionary’s oldest daughter: healthcare. Having good health and access to a doctor is still treated as a privilege in Cordonia, and time and time again, the curable were disabled or buried. A change needed to take place. And Margot, although unsure of how, knew she would devote her life in making it happen for the Cordonian people.
As she makes a few notes on her clipboard, an olive-complected arm stealthily reaches around Margot, gracefully grazing her sun-kissed skin before gently placing a cup of piping hot black coffee in front of her. Staring at the hand, she instantly knows who it is. And she titters, playfully rolling her eyes. “Tadd! Another coffee?” She grabs the coffee, twirling on the ball of her foot to face the clinic’s young ultrasound technician. "My tab must be over a hundred euros by now!"
"Oh, don't you worry about that," he chuckles, rocking on his feet. “Plus, I figured with your new gig at Bríki--” he jovially shrugs his shoulders.
“You figured what?” Margot playfully punches his shoulder. “That I could sneak you free coffee?” She gives a mischievous smile, raising an eyebrow. “I don’t think Mr. Pavlis would appreciate me offering free drinks, especially since I haven’t even started yet--”
“That’s right!” Tadd eyes widen. “Today’s the day--!”
“As if I didn’t already have enough to be nervous about today,” Margot’s voice becomes shaky, as she clenches her teeth in a forced smile.
“Hey,” Tadd’s voice turns into an endearing whisper. He shifts his head until his piercing jade eyes meet Margot’s baby blues. “You have nothing to worry about. We both know you did well on that American doctor test--"
"The MCAT," Margot stifles a laugh, rolling her eyes into an appreciative grin.
"Whatever," a crooked smile grows across Tadd's handsome features. "And as far as the coffee shop, you're a fast learner. And a hard worker. Plus, if they see what we all see in you--" he sighs, his gaze never breaking free from hers, "-- they're going to love you."
Margot looks down at her feet, hugging her clipboard tightly to her chest. Feeling her palms begin to sweat, she coyly looks back up at her dear friend. "Thanks, Tadd."
After a few silent moments of staring at each other, Tadd clears his throat. "So, um--" he starts, "have you heard anything yet? About the test?" Tadd changes the subject. Margot shakes her head as she takes a pull from her coffee. "Well, when you do, um, maybe we could, I mean, I thought we could--"
Suddenly an intercom buzzes overhead. "Thaddeus to exam room four. Thaddeus to exam room four."
Tadd furrows his eyebrows, looking to the ceiling before resting a kind half-smile back on Margot. "Duty calls," he nervously sighs as he bounds down the hallway. Halfway down the corridor, he spins around to face Margot. "Hey, um, come find me! Before you leave at noon!" He finger-guns the air before returning to his pursuit.
Margot awkwardly finger-guns him back before smacking her forehead with the palm of her hand. "Seriously, Margot?" she mutters to herself, turning her attention back to the central desk of the clinic; however, she realizes quickly that the attention is all on her.
"When are you two going to make it official, Miss Mary-Margaret?" Iris chokes in the midst of her belly laughs, nodding with other scrub-adorned coworkers.
Biting her bottom lip feeling her heart flutter, Margot straightens out her demeanor, becoming stoic. "I--I don't know what you're talking about--"
"Margot, isn't it obvious?" Chimes in a jolly intake nurse. "That boy loves you--!"
"Who? Tadd?" Margot feigns innocence. She fixes her attention to the chart as she scribbles down more notes. "It's not like that--I mean, we're not, um--" she sighs. "We're just friends--" An instant roar of laughter abrupts from the reception desk, making it impossible for Margot to hide her toothy-smile paired with her scrunched up nose.
"You say that now, baby girl--"
"That's right," chimes in another giggling co-worker, "friends for now!"
An older plump nurse places a tender hand on Margot’s hand, a knowing smile spreading across her face. "Some of the best relationships come from friendships, moró. Give it time. Let the love grow," she winks at Margot.
Margot fidgets with her pen, delicately licking her bottom lip. She then tries to form words with her mouth, but no sound is heard. Her pink cheeks reveal she is flustered. She quickly closes up the chart, pushing loose hairs behind her ear. "Have a good day, ladies."
Hearing the squeals of her coworkers diminishing behind her, Margot quickly escapes into an empty exam room. Closing the door behind her, she leans against it, looking up at the textured ceiling tiles. She can feel the butterflies in her stomach bouncing through to her heart as her legs wiggle with weakness like gelatin.
The idea of 'falling in love' excites Margot, an idea she has dreamed about ever since she saw Baby meet Johnny. But, so far in her young life, she has never experienced it first hand, let alone a romantic hand- hold. Was this love? All she knew for sure was today was not the day to figure it out.
As soon as Riley’s name escapes his breathless moans of ecstasy, a searing sharp pain instantly ignites around his hardened girth. And Drake sees red.
"Fuck!" He lets out a guttural roar until no sound comes out of his mouth. He gnashes his teeth, trying to breathe through the agony, but only froths at the corners of his lips. The veins in his neck and his forehead protrude violently as streams of tears roll down his face. Petrified to move, his face turns a deep ruddy color. Before turning violet.
A sudden sensation of relief washes over him as the stabbing sensation fades to throbbing. Drake nervously looks down at his softening cock, relieved to see his member in one piece. "Goddamnit, Brooks," he pants furiously, "you fucking bit me--"
The brunette quickly tosses her curls out of her eyesight right before her fist meets Drake's jaw. "Oh, shit!" The cracking of the joints in his face echoes around the room. Drake starts to gently massage his chin. "You're not Riley--"
She climbs off of his body, standing her naked body in front of him. "No shit, Sherlock!" She slinks her short black spaghetti-strap dress over her dangerous curves before hastily grabbing her clear platform heels and racing out the door. "Fuck you, Drake Walker!"
A heartless, cocky laugh pours over the phone speaker. "Shit, Walker. Just--" the baritone voice trails back into a fit of laughter.
"It's not funny, Leo--" Drake warns, accidentally shifting his weight in bed, stirring a soreness to his recent injuries. "Ow!” he sucks air quickly between his gritted teeth, “fuck!" he whimpers to himself, adjusting the cold packs on his genitals.
"But you actually called her a different name, bro. A different name! With her mouth on your salami, your pocket rocket, on your--on your anaconda--" Leo's words fade back into cackles.
"As if you remember every goddamn hook-up’s name--"
"Dude," Leo interrupts, "if she's going to go all hungry, hungry hippo mid-blowie, I'm going to remember her name."
Drake scoffs. "Bullshit--"
"What? I'm serious, bro" Leo's voice becomes sincere. "All of these bitches we meet are looking for one thing--" he pauses dramatically for his wounded friend to finish his sentence; but the silence proves Drake is clueless as to where Leo was going with this. "A connection, Walker!" Leo's voice drips with conviction. "These women don't want to feel like they're disposable, even though--" he chuckles to himself, “let’s be honest: we’re doing them a favor--”
"--’A connection’, Leo" Drake interrupts, urging the conversation back on track.
"Right! ‘A connection," reaffirms Leo, circling back to his point. "Now, okay,” he knowingly titters, “I can’t remember all of these names--”
“Ha! See?” Drake barks.
“--Which is why--” Leo enunciates over Drake, “I use a single pet name. ‘Girl’.”
"'Girl'? That’s your trick? You call them 'girl'?" Drake raises an eyebrow in disbelief.
“Hear me out,” Leo continues. “If you call them something like ‘baby’ or ‘sweetie’, it can be seen as patronizing, that you’re clearly looking to smooth-talk your way into their pants--” Drake rolls his eyes, moving the phone to his other ear “--but now, calling them ‘girl’, I’m showing I want to be a friend, that I just simply want to connect. And then when you’re having your way with her, call her whatever the fuck you want as long as you finish the name with ‘girl’. Good girl. Dirty girl. Naughty girl. Sweet girl. Or in your case, hungry girl--”
Drake clears his throat, stifling a laugh. “--That is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard--”
“Hey!” Leo interjects. “Who is wearing a bag of frozen peas on his one-eyed trouser snake?”
“Touché,” Drake sighs. “So, where are you right now?”
“With Jason up at his shop.”
“Who?” Drake lets out yawn, looking at his bedside alarm clock.
“Shit, Walker, you really were fucked up last night," Leo sighs. "Jason. You met him last night.” Leo’s voice lowers into a whisper. “He helped you get fucked up last night.”
“Oh! Right, right,” Drake rubs his head, “that was--wow, that shit was--”
“Good, right?” Leo finishes. “Hey, come join us at his shop. We’ve got coffee, and he’s got some new, um, product he’d love to show you--”
“Oh, Leo, I don’t know--” Drake removes the melting bag of vegetables from his lap. Gently lifting up on the waistband of his boxers, carefully inspecting his bruised parts.
“Does Liam have you working today?”
“No, no, it’s not that--” Drake hesitates.
“Oh!” Leo knowingly exclaims. “Does Riley have you working today?” He begins to chuckle. “You might need to let her know that you’re currently indisposed for --”
“Leo--” Drake warns.
“Then what's the hold up?"
Drake glances over at the mirror affixed to his antique dresser, but he doesn't recognize his own reflection. There's an emptiness in eyes, an inexplicable turmoil overcoming the man he once was. How did everything get so complicated? How did he get to such a place that it's better to be absent in life than to live it?
She was just a friend--at least that's what he convinced himself when Riley Brooks first caught his eye. Beautiful. Extremely witty with a fight he had never seen before. When they first kissed, he swore it was a mistake. Hormones. It had been so long since he had touched the delicate petals of a woman's lips.
But, this wasn't just any woman. It was her. And he soon would find himself wrapped up in her bedsheets, wrapped around her finger, wrapped in an awful web of lies.
And, all of his transgressions were against him, his very best friend, the man he regards as closer than a brother, his closest ally and confidant. Normally, Drake would turn to Liam in a heartbeat with any troubles, but this? How could he? How could he talk to Liam about his own devastation when the truth would devastate Liam?
It's been four days since that fateful night of Liam's coronation, four days since the love of Drake's life walked away from him, forcing his hand into harboring secrets from the crowned prince. It's been four days since Drake heard his own voice in his head, four days since he's been sober enough to even think. Even though he deemed the temporary escape necessary, the sudden twinge of discomfort in his groin makes him realize that taking another hit right now is the absolute last thing he needs.
"I think I better stay put," Drake answers, combing his fingers through his disheveled tresses.
"Suit yourself," Leo jovially retorts. "If you need any oxy for your boo-boo, hit me up--Oh, and Drake?"
"Her name is Whitney."
"Jaws? You know, the bitch who chewed on your Moby Dick?" Drake sighs heavily, regretting that he ever told Leo what had happened. "Her name is Whitney."
Drake furrows his eyebrows. "Now, how do you remember her name--?"
"Oh, bro, you don't forget WAP Whitney--oh shit, you probably haven't gotten a good look at your sheets this morning, have you?"
With a grunt, Drake ends the call. “Fuck me,” he mutters under his breath. He carefully gets up, waddling to grab his clothes before heading to the bathroom to get ready for the day.
In the middle of splashing his face with cold, soapy water, Drake's phone rings. Grabbing a hand towel he carefully saunters back to his room, answering the call without hesitation. "Just let it go, Leo--”
An icy chill shoots down Drake’s spine, freezing him in his steps. He knows that melodic voice anywhere, a voice that reminds him of early morning sunrises and late night silver moonlit paths. “H-hey, Riley,” he stutters, caught off guard. A brief awkward stillness falls over the conversation. “How are you--?”
“I miss you, Drake,” she interrupts.
Drake’s vision suddenly begins to spin as the air in the room becomes stagnant. Stiffening his bottom lip in anger, his breathing quickens as he reaches out carefully to brace himself against the wall.
“I’m here,” he chokes out. “What do you want, Brooks?” He can hear the tears in her voice, but he wills himself not to care, he wills himself to not even ask.
“Drake, I think I made a mistake--”
“No,” Drake barks out, “no, you can’t do this to me--”
“Drake, please,” Riley sobs, “I’m on my way to the doctor--”
“The doctor?” Drake’s tone suddenly changes. “Are you okay? Is everything with--um, you know--” he slaps his forehead with the palm of his hand, “--okay?”
“Yes--” she sniffles, “--no. I just, I can’t do this alone, Drake. I can’t do this--”
“Riley--” he roughly says her name to grab her attention, “you made your decision: you chose Liam. You want to raise our baby--my baby with him--”
“Don’t you think I want to have this baby with you? That’s all I can even think about Drake,” she takes a moment to calm down her shaking voice. “I love you, Drake. I want a life with you. I want you to be there when this baby is born, when this baby needs his or her father--when this baby needs you--”
“Riley--” Drake exhales with frustration, pinching the bridge of his nose, “--but Liam--”
“I know, Drake. I know--” Riley takes a deep breath, “Can we just talk? In person? Just so we can figure this out? I can come over there--”
“Brooks, I--” Drake stumbles over his words as he runs his fingers over his coarse, overgrown stubble. Of course, he wants her to come over. And to stay. But, has anything changed? Liam just proposed, and she made it clear what her intentions were. But, still, it’s possible she had a change of heart, and this was a second chance he may never get again. He sighs heavily. “Sure. Okay."
After finishing his impromptu conversation with Riley, Drake realizes he needs to make another phone call. He scrolls through his call history, and clicks the green send button.
"Did you change your mind, Evander Holyfield?"
"Funny, Leo," Drake sarcastically responds. "So, yeah, um, what's the address to the shop?"
“Does that--does that say what I think it says?” Margot nervously stammers. "I think I saw my score--oh gosh!"
“Here. Let me look--”
Margot quickly covers the computer screen with her hands, "No, Mrs. Iris!” Margot squeals. “I’m not ready--I’m not ready for this!”
“Child, you have been ready for this for months. Now, if you don’t get your hands out of the way--"
"What's with all the commotion?" A few technicians and nurses pile into the room, each giving an endearing rub to Margot’s back. Everyone begins craning their necks to see the computer, covered by Margot's arms. "Is it time? Have they posted the scores?"
"They sure have!" answers Iris before turning to Margot. She tucks several blonde wisps behind Margot’s ear before putting her finger under her chin. "C'mon, baby," she smiles encouragingly, "it's more fun celebrating than worrying."
"I'm--" Margot takes a deep breath, biting back her tears, "--I'm so scared--"
"--and the Lord knew you would be, baby." Iris wrinkles her nose at Margot, her voice becoming stronger. "That's why He called you to be courageous. C'mon."
Margot bites her lip, slowly nodding her head. Feeling the storm brew in her eyes as the weight of the world sits on her chest, she carefully peels back her hands. Her eyes scale the black and white on the screen, but nothing seems to make sense. A burst of silence overwhelms her hearing, time standing perfectly still. Her only company is the beating of her heart.
Take my anxieties...
You have nothing to worry about…
Your will be done…
Be courageous...
Like suddenly breaking through the surface for air, an abrupt roar of cheers fill the room, shaking Margot from her trance. "Our baby girl got a 519!" screams a tearful Iris, pulling Margot from her seat and into a tight embrace. Other coworkers join in, creating a giant group hug.
Margot remains speechless, shocked by her score. She always knew she was an excellent student, studying hard all through school and excelling in her classes. When it came to the MCAT, she was confident she would score better than average, a score of 500. But, to even be noticed by top medical schools, she needed to score in the top 5%, a score 517 or greater.
News swept like wildfire through the clinic, and shortly thereafter, Tadd and some other technicians filed into the breakroom with a decorative chocolate cake and punch in tow. "I knew you could do it!" Tadd cheers victoriously, offering a chaste hug to Margot. "Dr. Hughes," he swipes his hand in the air as if to paint an imaginary portrait. "It has a nice ring to it."
"I still don't understand why you put yourself through all of that," mentions an older phlebotomist. "Cordonia has a medical school right down the road--"
"Because Margot wants to go to one of the best medical schools in the world," interrupts a deeply demanding, yet sincere voice. “To Harvard. Like me.”
"Dr. Ramirez," Margot smiles brightly, jumping up to greet her mentor with a hug.
"That is, you are still looking at my alma mater for medical school--"
"Yes ma'am!" Margot's eyes light up with the thought that her dream of going to Harvard Medical School is becoming her reality. "It would be such an honor to go there, let alone to follow in your footsteps."
Dr. Ramirez pulls Margot in for another tight hug. "My word, Mary-Margaret, 519?" she presses her cheek to Margot's, "I am so proud of you."
"Thank you, Dr. Ramirez," Margot warmly responds, "thank you for taking a chance on me and helping me so much with my studies and research--"
"You know I did that for selfish reasons, right?" The practitioner stifles a smile while Margot squints her eyes with suspicion. "Cordonia needs more female physicians, and more importantly, physicians that will make a difference in its healthcare," she grips tightly to Margot’s hand, "for everyone. I believe you will lead this country in a health care reformation."
"I don't know what to say," Margot clears her throat as she fights back the tears. "I hope I make you proud--"
"You already do." Dr. Ramirez gently touches Margot's cheek lovingly before turning to exit the room.
"Oh!" Margot quickly chases after the obstetrician, “can I talk to you? Privately?” With a nod, Dr. Ramirez leads Margot into a quiet corner. “I know my work-study ends in two weeks--”
“I know. Don’t remind me, Margot--”
“Well, I was wondering,” Margot chews on the side of her mouth, fidgeting with her fingers, “if by any chance I could possibly stay on?”
“Oh, Margot, I wish I could. Unfortunately with budget cuts--”
Margot shakes her head. “No, no, Dr. Ramirez, I meant if I could stay on, shadowing my usual Monday and Thursday mornings, I mean, if that’s alright. Learn more? Keep up my skills?”
“You want to continue volunteering with us?” The doctor gives an inquisitive look. “Don’t you want to get a job to earn money before you move to the states next year?”
“I already got that covered,” Margot assuredly answers. “I just got a job at Bríki, the coffee shop past the square--”
“Oh my gosh,” Dr. Ramirez’s eyes light up. “Does Aleksi still own that place?”
“Mr. Pavlis? Yes! Him and his son run it together, I believe--”
“They have the best coffee,” she energetically smiles, “now I have another reason to stop by.” She kindly places her hand on Margot’s shoulder. “Of course, you can stay on as a volunteer. Whenever you want, however much you want. It is a pleasure to have you around.” With a squeeze of her arm, Dr. Ramirez turns to go to her next appointment, but stops halfway down the hall. “Oh, Margot? My nurse stepped away to make an important phone call. Do you mind escorting my next patient to the exam room?”
Margot dutifully nods with a grin. She twirls around, bounding for the front desk to grab the chart of Dr. Ramirez’s next patient, a new patient. After making a few small notes, Margot opens the door to call her back.
“Brooks? Riley Brooks?”
Tags: (this is my original tag list for this series; if you wanted to be added or removed, please let me know!) @alyssalauren @ao719 @bbrandy2002 @burnsoslow @charlotteg234 @chemist-ana @choiceskatie @forallthatitsworth @gkittylove99 @glaimtruelovealways @kat-tia801 @khoicesbyk @lovingchoices14 @lovelyladyk88 @lucy-268 @mainstreetreader @marshmallowsaremyfavorite @neotericthemis @nestledonthaveone @sfb123 @shannonwrote @shewillreadyou @sweatyrysconnoisseur @taniasethi @tessa-liam @texaskitten30 @thefrenchiemama @thegreentwin @twinkleallnight @yourmajesty09
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lightsonparkave · 11 months ago
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HAPPY TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO LIGHTS ON PARK AVE! 🎂🎉 In celebration of LoPA’s birthday (August 22, to be exact), all of the prompts from the previous year are up for grabs.
Round 24 will end on August 31, 11:59 PM ET (what time is that for me?).
As always, you’re free to jump in whenever you’d like during the round, a wide variety of work types is accepted, and there are no minimum work requirements. Unfinished works and works for other fandom events are allowed. You can find more information about Lights on Park Ave and the participation guidelines here.
Here are all 149 prompts. Go crazy and have fun! 🎈
A quote about being infinite in the present moment from The Perks of Being a Wallflower
“Vellichor,” the the strange wistfulness of used bookstores
“How long is forever?” dialogue from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“Time” - Hans Zimmer (Inception OST)
A quote and gifset from Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016) about the nonlinear structure of time
Agnès Varda’s portraits when she was 20, 36, and 80 years old
A John Irving quote about what time does to the people who matter to us
Ten traveling back to see Rose on New Year’s Day in 2005 before he dies and reincarnates in Doctor Who
Future inventions in 2015 as seen in Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future Part II (1989)
A quote about what time does for wounds
A photoset of various liminal spaces
Illustration of a black cat in front of a red-lit house with the caption, “They say no one is living here—but the lights come on, once every year”
A photoset of Victorian-era spirit photography, an art form that attempted to capture the ghost of a deceased loved one
Information on the famous Mojave phone booth, a lone telephone booth in the middle of the desert that received calls from all over the world
Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits Third Edition’s definition of “witching hour”
Illustration of a ghost train on an abandoned trestle bridge in the Pacific Northwest
A quote by Isabel Allende about spirits coming out at night in the library
Gifset of the spirit world in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001)
Illustration of a neon roadside sign of a motel that only appears at night by a long-forgotten highway
“Pacific Coast Highway” - Kavinsky
A gifset quote from The Twilight Zone (1959)
Scenery from Twin Peaks season 1 (1990)
A quote about something shifting into a strange, new place inside of a person from Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
A quote about being lost and found by someone special by Sue Zhao
A photo of the Mildred, wrecked off Gurnard’s Head, Cornwall in 1912
A quote about ephemerality and the beauty of it from Troy (2004)
Two paintings of people visiting ruins by Caspar David Friedrich
A quote about desire and loss by Lara Mimosa Montes
A photo of an overgrown, abandoned conservatory
A passage about what disappears and what remains in ruins from Suicide by Édouard Levé
Dialogue about gratitude for people who aren’t meant to stay in your life but shape who you are from BoJack Horseman
A scene from Fleabag where the Priest chooses God over Fleabag and gently tells Fleabag that her love for him will pass before they part ways
A prayer to St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things, people, and souls
Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, covered in lipstick kisses from admirers
Photos of a cemetery statue in Austria, wrapped in branches and dead leaves, holding a single flower
A gifset of Kevin on the phone, telling Chiron he’ll cook food for him from Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight (2016)
Buttercup’s monologue to Westley about how she would do anything for him from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Gifs of Merlin saying that he was born to serve Arthur from BBC’s Merlin
An excerpt about giving all of oneself to someone despite what it costs from House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
A gifset of various times Jaime and Brienne demonstrate their loyalty to and love for each other in Game of Thrones
A gifset of all the different ways Cliff is there for Rick in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
A gifset of Nadia deciding to be by Alan’s side no matter what in Russian Doll
“Devotion” - Ocean Vuong
A gifset of Bond comforting a traumatized Vesper in the shower in Casino Royale (2006)
A gifset of Sookhee refusing to leave Hideko, saying her job is to look after her in Park Chanwook’s The Handmaiden (2016)
A dreamscape gifset and quote about repressed thoughts in dreams and the Internet from Satoshi Kon’s Paprika (2006)
A gifset of Mitsuha and Taki finally meeting in their own bodies in a dream from Shinkai Makoto’s Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) (2016)
A quote by Tinker Bell telling Peter Pan where he can find her and where she’ll always love him in Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991)
The scene where Keating tells his students that poetry, beauty, romance, and love give life meaning in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society (1989)
An animated illustration of a storefront called “Hauntings” with a flickering “99¢ dreams” neon sign
Various dreamscape scenes and a quote about ideas being the most resilient parasite from Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010)
A quote about how all living beings must dream to survive reality from The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
A comic about people we love taking turns to visit us in dreams every night
Lovers and Sleeping Couple, two drawings by Egon Schiele
A quote about belief in a better world by Robert Frobisher to his lover, Rufus Sixsmith, in Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
A quote about the feeling of falling in love lingering when you wake up from a dream in Alexis Dos Santos’s Unmade Beds (2009)
A photo of subway graffiti by an unknown author insisting that they’ll never give up making the world a better place to live in
A scene about how to return a stolen kiss from Daniel Ribeiro’s The Way He Looks (2014)
A line about kissing someone the way a flower opens from “I Know Someone” by Mary Oliver
A gifset focusing on showing affection and care through hands from Park Chanwook’s The Handmaiden (2016)
A passage about two people leaving invisible marks on each other through the accumulation of touches over the years from A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Two conversations about never being touched before and only being touched by one person from Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight (2016)
Going from yearning to touch someone but stopping oneself to being allowed to touch them from Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy
Moving art of two bodies made of stars and the cosmos embracing
A quote about maintaining sanity by touching someone but being separated despite proximity from The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
A line about proving that one still exists and is real through touch from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Different touches between Villanelle and Eve expressing violence, threat, sexual tension, comfort, and companionship in Killing Eve
A juxtaposition of two scenes from Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (2000) of Su Li-zhen rejecting and accepting Chow Mo-wan’s hand
A compilation of marble sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Syd (Chris Evans) trailing kisses down London’s back in London (2005)
James Baldwin talking about how art helps you discover that people before you have experienced the same thing as you and you are not alone
Dr. Brand saying that love transcends time and space in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014)
Nadia and Alan meeting for the first time as they’re about to die and relive the same day again in Russian Doll
The loneliness of losing everyone by having a long life as expressed by Ten in Doctor Who
The doomed eternal time loop romance of Simon and Alisha from Misfits
A quote by Edvard Munch about becoming eternal through the flowers that grow from his body after death
Nagai Kei recalling the traffic accident that killed him and triggered his immortality, making him one of the rare persecuted humans to possess the power, in Ajin
A collection of moments from Jay Russell’s Tuck Everlasting (2002)
A quote by Mary Wollstonecraft hoping for something that lasts inside the heart
Various scenes with Jack Harkness from Doctor Who
Aya telling Asou-kun to live on and live forever as she nears the end of her life in 1 Litre of Tears
An excerpt about the immortalization of the self through love from “Love of the Wolf” in Hélène Cixous’s Stigmata
A collection of scenes from the Black Mirror episode “San Junipero”
Naoko telling Toru to always remember her and remember that she existed in Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Dom explaining to Ariadne that he uses the PASIV to dream as it’s the only way that he can be with his wife and children in Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010)
“I’m Going Back to Minnesota Where Sadness Makes Sense” - Danez Smith
A line about wanting to forget how much you loved someone and then actually forgetting from Bluets by Maggie Nelson
“Perhaps the World Ends Here” - Joy Harjo
“In Time” - W. S. Merwin
“By Small and Small: Midnight to Four A.M.” - Jack Gilbert
“Magdalene: The Addict” - Marie Howe
“Wild Geese” - Mary Oliver
“Morphology 2″ - CJ Scruton
“20″ from Moscow in the Plague Year by Marina Tsvetaeva
“To Hold” - Li-Young Lee
“I Loved You Before I Was Born” - Li-Young Lee
A poem about longing for someone through worlds by Izumi Shikibu
A gifset of Marianne and Héloïse falling in love from Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
“Make Me Feel” - Janelle Monáe
A quote about living in longing being better than realizing that longing from 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
“I Want You” - Mitski
Orpheus and Eurydice in Hades - Friedrich Heinrich Füger
Long definition of the word “saudade”
Definition of the word “hiraeth”
“Something About Us” - Daft Punk
Two lines about burning quietly from the poem “The Pillowcase” by Annelyse Gelman
A conversation about wanting each other after decades of separation from Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory (2019)
A Hanahaki disease mood board
“Shrike” - Hozier
Two lines about wanting someone to return from Herakles by Euripides
“Love of My Life” - Queen
“Eyes, Nose, Lips” - Taeyang
A screenshot of Kathy and Tommy holding onto each other desperately from Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go (2010) and a quote from Kazuo Ishiguro’s eponymous novel
“Perfect Places” - Lorde
A piece about realizing you’ll never be this young again, but it’s the first time you’re this old by Kalyn Roseanne Livernois
A conversation between Neil and Mr. Keating about Neil feeling trapped and unable to live the life he wants because of his father from Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society (1989)
An excerpt about being too young to know how to love properly from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” - Arctic Monkeys
Elio’s father telling Elio not to try to rid himself of his sorrow and pain—and with that joy—which he feels so strongly because he’s so young from Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
A quote about how everything feels final to young people because they’re experiencing it for the first time from Middlemarch by George Eliot
Lara Jean telling Peter that she had to make it seem like she liked him to deal with her love letter fiasco in Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I Loved Before (2018)
Rue and Jules dancing together and partying it up in Euphoria
“Le Plongeoir” by Laurent Roch
A quote about being pushed into adulthood and not being ready from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
A photo of a roller rink illuminated by pink and purple lights
Pastel photo series of Coney Island by Mijoo Kim and Minjin Kang
“Hips Don’t Lie” - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
“Young Dumb & Broke” - Khalid
Different moments accompanied by the letter to Mr. Vernon at the end of detention from John Hughes’s The Breakfast Club (1985)
Various scenes and a quote about growing up and realizing life isn’t like a fairy tale from Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Stills of the young lesbian couple in love from the music video of “You Know” - Jaurim
Lines by Effy about her emotional and mental struggles from Skins
Nathan chiding the group for not taking advantage of their superpowers as young offenders from Misfits
A passage about giving into passion and losing control from The Secret History by Donna Tartt
“Thot Shit” - Megan Thee Stallion
An aesthetic photoset of the Greek god Dionysus
A quote about living for ecstasy rather than balance from From a Journal of Love by Anaïs Nin
A photo of an anonymous person in nothing but a silk robe and lingerie
A photo of Donatella Versace lounging in a chair, surrounded by shirtless, muscular men sunbathing around her in Capri, Italy in 1994
An aesthetic photoset based on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The music video for “Heartless” by The Weeknd
A plea for summer to never end from Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
“Plastic Love” - Mariya Takeuchi
A gifset from the music video of “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, a continuation of the “Heartless” music video
“XS” - Rina Sawayama
A gifset from the music video of “Body” by Mino
Photos of people dancing at the legendary Studio 54
Photos and a description of the party scene at Studio 54
Chris Evans and Evan Rachel Wood hooking up in a car in the “Gucci Guilty Black” commercial
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dwellordream · 11 months ago
“…If the crusades were primarily military expeditions, and women were not expected to fight, we might first ask why they were present in significant numbers. What motivated their involvement? The answer to this question is not easily discernable since there were women from all classes of society present on crusade. Moreover, historians have no way of knowing for sure how many women and other non-combatants actually left with the crusading armies. The sheer length and size of many campaigns meant that for any medieval army to function effectively, it required many non-combatants – engineers, bakers, artisans, tailors, squires, prostitutes and so on – in addition to the presence of fighting men and their commanders.
Numerous women formed a part of this retinue; however, the vast majority of women were poor and, in comparison to the knights, foot soldiers and other male warriors who set out alongside them, militarily unsuited to the task of conquering the Holy Land. Many of these women came alone or unmarried, while others had left their homes to come on crusade with their whole family in search of a better life, no doubt influenced to some extent by the enthusiasm and excitement which greeted the whole concept of a holy war. Other factors probably also influenced their decisions to leave for with the crusade army. The fact that certain celestial phenomenon such as aurora and comet sightings around the time that the First Crusade was being preached auspiciously coincided with the end of a long French drought in 1096 may have prompted some women to leave with the crusade army, although it is hard to know for certain.
Moreover, there is also the possibility that, for those who wished to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the prospect of travelling with an armed force who could protect them all the way appealed to unarmed female (and male) pilgrims. One eyewitness to the preparations for the First Crusade, Bernold of Constance, even recorded that ‘innumerable’ numbers of women disguised themselves in men’s clothing, possibly because they wished to actually take up arms against the enemy. This suggestion is supported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which asserted that ‘women and children’ were amongst those who ‘wanted to war against heathen nations’. Furthermore, we cannot discount the spiritual incentive of simply going to the Holy Land, which undoubtedly would have also helped motivate the masses of men and women to leave on crusade.
In some cases noblewomen also left on crusade, usually in the company of their husbands or other male relatives. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Marie of Champagne, Marguerite of Provence and Eleanor of Castile are all well-known examples of women who followed their husbands on crusade to the Holy Land. Once again though, the motivations for noblewomen who went on crusade are not easily ascertained, although the length of the crusade expeditions (which could last for years) probably had something to do with it, especially for couples who wanted to stay together. Other women appear to have acted fairly independently: around the time of the First Crusade, Emerias of Altejas took the cross by herself, but was persuaded by the bishop of Toulouse to endow a monastery instead of leaving for Jerusalem.
Alice, countess of Brittany, took a crusade vow in the 1260s, and, after her husband died in 1279 without fulfilling his vows, left for the East – specifically the city of Acre – in the late 1280s. On a broader scale, Kedar has drawn attention to an extant passenger list of a crusader ship in the mid-thirteenth century that had 453 passengers on board, forty-two of which were women, and of these women twenty- two were travelling with no male companion. Whatever their motivation, the fact that certain lords and their wives had to consider such decisions at all helped differentiate the crusades from other, more localised military escapades fought on a smaller scale that did not involve the same prospect of spiritual reward or the same possibility for material gain (at least early on) in the form of land.
Clearly, then, there were women from a range of different backgrounds present on crusade, for a variety of different reasons. The support which they rendered to the fighting men, however, was primarily indirect and auxiliary regardless of their social rank, and included such tasks as washing, cleaning clothes, cooking, gathering supplies – even picking lice and fleas off the men’s bodies. They might also provide comfort to the men (through prostitution), or when new territory was conquered they could assist with and become a part of settlement plans within that territory. In another sense, however, women could provide spiritual support for the men, encouraging them whilst they fought and praying for God’s favour.
The medieval poet Baldric of Dol, for instance, in his account of the First Crusade, noted that women and other non-combatants were an integral part of the spiritual side of the crusade and prayed for the men whilst they were fighting. Although this may not sound like a particularly useful form of ‘support’ to those living in the twenty-first century, spiritual supplication was still important since the crusades were a holy war and it was believed that God was on their side. Prayer thus helped ensure God’s favour and consequently the likelihood of military success.
The provision of supplies to the fighting men, most notably water, was another basic but essential form of support women rendered to men on crusade. Describing the female presence at the battle of Dorylaeum, one anonymous chronicler at the scene notes how ‘[t]he women in our camp were a great help to us that day, for they brought up water for the fighting men to drink, and gallantly encouraged those who were fighting and defending them’. Likewise Margaret of Beverly, whose brother recorded her experiences in the Holy Land around the time of the Third Crusade, recounted how she put a pot on her head for protection and brought water to the men on the walls during Saladin’s siege of Jerusalem, being injured in the process by an enemy projectile.
Oliver of Paderborn, whose account of the Fifth Crusade is one of the most detailed and important sources available, also recalled a similar form of female support during the crusaders’ attack on Damietta in Egypt, when he mentions that ‘the women fearlessly brought water and stones, wine and bread to the warriors’. Not long afterwards, during a skirmish between crusaders and Saracens at a castle south of Damietta, he mentions women carrying and distributing water to clerics and foot-soldiers.
The Fifth Crusade also offers examples of how women might assist an army with other supplies besides water. Powell has documented how women were said to have helped grind corn for the Christian army whilst it was besieging Damietta, how they were in charge of the markets selling fish and vegetables to the crusaders, and how they helped attend to the sick and needy. Most notably, Powell notes that women even acted as guards in the crusade camp and were assigned with weapons to prevent desertions and maintain order while the army prepared for a fresh attack against the city.
Joinville too, in his chronicle of the Seventh Crusade, described women who ‘sold provisions’ raising a cry of alarm when the Count of Poitiers was captured at the battle of Mansourah (February 1250). These examples suggest that women could be of definite help on a military expedition, and whilst we should not generalise and assume that women fulfilled the same logistical roles in every crusade or medieval military campaign, it is important to be aware of the different ways they might have rendered basic support and provisions to armies on campaign.
At the same time, however, women sometimes did become much more involved with military actions and appear to have actually used weapons themselves on the enemy, though not specifically in hand-to-hand combat. During the second siege of Toulouse in 1218, for instance, women from within the city supposedly operated the mangonel or perrière (a stone-throwing device) that killed Simon de Montfort, leader of the Albigensian Crusade, just as a Frankish woman ‘shooting from the citadel’ with a mangonel was said to have destroyed the Muslims’ mangonel at Saladin’s siege of Burzay in 1188.
Acting in a similarly defensive manner were the women who helped repel the French attack during the siege of Hennebont in 1342 by throwing stones and pots of chalk from the walls onto the enemy at the urging of Jeanne de Montfort. Likewise, in 1358 women also played an important role in defending the French township of Senlis from an attack by French nobles during the short-lived but violent peasant uprising known as the ‘Jacquerie’. In this case, the townsfolk were forewarned of the attack and had their women stationed at windows ‘to pour great quantities of boiling water down upon the enemy’ while their men-folk fought off the attackers.
…Nevertheless, there are accounts of women who dressed in armour and who may have physically fought the enemy. In studying the evidence available, though, we must be very careful in accounting for possible bias in the sources, particularly in accounts where the author’s ulterior motive may have been to portray the enemy in an unfavourable light and especially when it comes to descriptions of actual female combatants. Hence we must treat as suspicious a passage by the Byzantine chronicler, Niketas Choniatēs, about mounted women bearing ‘lances and weapons’ and dressed in ‘masculine garb...more mannish than the Amazons’ on the Second Crusade. According to the modern translator, this passage was assumed by Steven Runciman to refer to Eleanor of Aquitaine and her retinue, despite the fact that her name was not specifically mentioned. While Eleanor was indeed present on this crusade, the passage makes more sense, however, if it is understood as an attempt to criticise the Franks as uncivilised and even barbaric compared to the Greeks, because they allowed their women to don armour and unnaturally fight as warriors.
In the same way, Muslim chroniclers’ descriptions of Frankish women who supposedly dressed up and rode into battle at the siege of Acre ‘as brave men though they were but tender women’, and who were subsequently ‘not recognised as women until they had been stripped of their arms’ – as well as another Muslim account of a Frankish noblewoman who allegedly fought at Acre alongside 500 of her own knights – must be treated with caution. As Nicholson has noted, for both Christians and Muslims ‘it was expected that good, virtuous women would not normally fight...in a civilised, godly society’. By depicting Frankish women as warriors, therefore, the Muslim chroniclers could illustrate the barbarous and heathen nature of Christian society and contrast it with the properly ordered Muslim society where women knew their place. Thus, while we cannot rule out the possibility that some women at Acre may have actually dressed up and fought, the Muslim accounts are certainly questionable.
Likewise, other accounts of female combatants and women in armour that do not appear to be influenced directly by religious bias must still be carefully evaluated. In France, Orderic Vitalis recorded how Isabel of Conches rode ‘armed as a knight among the knights’ during a conflict in 1090 between her husband, Ralph of Conches, and Count William of Évreux. Although Orderic remarked on her courage among the knights, he says nothing about her subsequent actions, and thus we have no way of knowing if she actually fought. In a similar vein, the English chronicler Jordan Fantosme, writing primarily of the rebellion against Henry II by his son Henry ‘the Young King’ in 1173-1174, asserted that the earl of Leicester had his wife, Petronella, countess of Leicester, dressed up in armour and given a shield and lance before the battle of Fornham in October 1173.
According to Fantosme, Petronella encouraged the earl to fight the English, but fled from the battle while it was in progress and then fell into a ditch where she nearly drowned. Fantosme, however, was the only chronicler to describe Petronella’s martial deeds, and Johns has argued that he was clearly trying to portray Petronella in an unsympathetic way in order to emphasise that women should not be involved in military affairs. Fantosme wrote to entertain, but also to instruct moral lessons and highlight divine law; Petronella thus served as an example against women’s involvement in war and the follies of accepting female advice. Nevertheless, Petronella must have been present or involved in some way since other sources do mention that she was captured after the battle along with the earl and that she was present with him on campaign in England.
Further afield, in the Holy Land, William of Tyre contended that in the first crusade army’s excitement at the imminent capture of Jerusalem ‘even women, regardless of their sex and natural weakness, dared to assume arms and fought manfully far beyond their strength’. His account, however, cannot be verified as no eyewitness accounts of this siege actually describe women acting in such a manner. Likewise, although the memoirs of the twelfth century Muslim nobleman Usāmah Ibn-Munqidh mention several female combatants – a female Muslim slave who rushed into battle ‘sword in hand’; a Frankish women who used a jar to try and help fend off an attack on Frankish pilgrims; a Muslim woman in Shayzar who captured and had killed three Frankish men – it is important to be aware that Usāmah was recalling these anecdotes sixty years after they supposedly took place.
…It is because of this need for more defenders that other accounts of female combatants may be considered more reliable. For, even though Muslim writers are our source for the story of a female archer at Acre who, in defending the city, ‘wounded many Muslims before she was overcome and killed’, it is quite possible that in the heat of battle, when manpower was necessary to fight off attackers, this woman was forced to draw a bow. Equally plausible are these same Muslim writers’ astonishment at finding women amongst the dead on the battlefield after a failed Christian attack on Saladin’s camp, though this revelation does not tell us that these women actually fought.
Then there is the case of Christian women who executed the crew of a captured Turkish ship at Acre. According to the Itinerarium Peregrinorum, ‘the women’s physical weakness prolonged the pain of death, because they cut their heads off with knives instead of swords’. Again, although the women were not actually fighting in battle, it is quite possible that this event did occur given that the men had been defeated already and the women were perhaps motivated by thoughts of revenge. As Evans points out, the passage still displays ‘a gendered approach to weaponry’ in that the Muslims’ death at the hands of women is emphasised as ‘humiliating’ and reference made to women’s weakness – implying that the women were acting in an unnatural way.”
- James Michael Illston, ‘An Entirely Masculine Activity’? Women and War in the High and Late Middle Ages Reconsidered
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atarahderek · a year ago
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Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell - a Wolfwalkers analysis
To follow up on my review of Wolfwalkers, I would like to discuss the villain in depth. This analysis will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to be spoiled, click or scroll away now. You have been warned.
The first thing one needs to understand about Oliver Cromwell is that he is a historical domain character. Cromwell was an English statesman, born in 1599, who held the official title of Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658. Some creative license is taken in Wolfwalkers, as while Cromwell did take over much of Ireland, including Kilkenny, by force of arms in 1650, when the film is set, it would be another three years before he attained the title and duties of Lord Protector. Cromwell was Anglican, and had been raised to hate Catholics (a bitter grudge held over from when Protestants were severely persecuted under the Catholic queen Bloody Mary). This led him to act with extreme brutality toward the mostly Catholic Irish, and to this day, the Irish see Cromwell as nothing but a monster. The remaining countries in Britain give him mixed reviews, though he’s generally perceived as a pretty good guy in England.
Cromwell being so hated in Ireland led to his character being given something of a historical villain upgrade in Wolfwalkers--depending on who you ask, of course. Undoubtedly, some Irish would say he wasn’t portrayed as evil enough. His character design is fairly true to life, though it does evoke images of Pocahontas’ main villain John Ratcliffe. His personality is reminiscent of Judge Claude Frollo from Disney’s adaptation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He sees his path as the only righteous one. It’s been done before, but with Cromwell, it’s taken to a new extreme. Cromwell deifies himself. It’s kind of brilliant, actually.
In the film, Cromwell’s name is never given. He goes strictly by Lord Protector. His insistence on being addressed only by his title reflects his real life actions, where he began to insist on being addressed as “his highness,” and signed his letters “Oliver P,” in the fashion of kings who would sign their names as “George R,” or the like, with ‘P’ standing for ‘Protector’ the way ‘R’ stood for ‘Rex.’ Cromwell habitually ends his orders and decrees with, “That is the Lord’s will.” Between this habit and his exclusive title, he begins to seem a bit blasphemous. And that appears to be the intention. When he proclaims “the Lord’s will,” he’s not talking about the will of the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth. He’s talking about the will of the Lord Protector; himself. He equates Lord Protector of the Commonwealths with Lord God, Almighty Protector, and elevates himself to that status. This results in a very cold, cruel, distant man who is baffled by the idea that a man would rather mourn for his seemingly dead daughter than follow his orders to the letter. Which is, honestly, very standard behavior for any man who thinks himself a god.
So does Cromwell give any indication of acknowledging a God higher than himself? Yes; all of twice in the movie. He’s seen praying once, but this too could be interpreted as talking to himself, as he again says only “Lord” and not “Lord God,” and he ends his prayer insisting that what he wants to do must be “the Lord’s will.” His prayer was likely to assure himself that he was still a humble man, so he could go out and continue to deify himself without guilt. At the climax of the movie, when Bill, who was bitten by Moll while she was trying to defend Mebh, takes on his new wolf form for the first time, Cromwell becomes genuinely terrified by the enormous wolf in front of him and cries out for the Lord God Almighty to protect him. It is the only time in the entire movie when Cromwell actually turns to a higher power than himself for help--and after everything else he’s done up to this point, it’s too late to curry any favor with God.
The climax ends with Cromwell’s death, as he allows himself to fall off a cliff rather than be turned into a Wolfwalker by Bill’s bite. The false god plunges to his demise, purportedly surrendering his soul to the God of heaven. This is more historical license, as the real Cromwell died of natural causes eight years after the movie is set.
Some viewers of the film have interpreted Cromwell vs. the Wolfwalkers as Christianity vs. paganism, conveniently forgetting that the Goodfellowes are Christians and gave no indication of converting at the end of the film. A look into Wolfwalker lore reveals the legend behind them; they were either blessed or cursed by St. Patrick (and one’s opinion on which it was depends on one’s opinion of wolves in general), who made a bargain with them. He did not want to force their conversion (this is true to the character of the real St. Patrick, who believed faith in God must be a personal choice and not coerced), but allowed them to roam free, albeit as wolves while they slept. Since Wolfwalkers are created not by choice, but by the bite of another Wolfwalker, it is well established that Wolfwalkers can be any religion. In the case of this film, exactly half of the Wolfwalkers are Protestants living in Catholic Ireland, with no indication that they’re going to change faiths, because they see no conflict between their faith and turning into wolves whenever they sleep. The presumably Catholic side character Sean Og even says that St. Patrick made peace with the pagans who became the original Wolfwalkers, and himself sees no problem with a Christian living as a wolf at night. He encourages Robyn’s friendship with Mebh, and cheers her on when she helps Moll escape. Cromwell alone sees conflict in the idea of a Christian Wolfwalker because he hates wolves and he hates anything that doesn’t basically worship him. Cromwell is the god of his realm, and if he says there will be no wolves or Wolfwalkers, then so be it. He will destroy every one of them, down to the last child. This is a story of a man who has deified himself going up against people who understand the difference between true faith and forced compliance. I think it’s safe to say St. Patrick would probably be on the Wolfwalkers’ side.
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piouscatholic · 5 months ago
Devotion of St. Therese of Lisieux
...As requested by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
These prayers are to be said on Sundays and the Holy Days of Obligation, publicly (if possible), and preferably before the Blessed Sacrament or before the picture of the Holy Face.
Dear Lord, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I (we) offer You these prayers in reparation for the sins which offend God the most in these modern times--the sins of BLASPHEMY and the PROFANATION OF SUNDAY and Your Holy Days of Obligation:
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
I salute Thee,
I adore Thee and
I love Thee, O adorable Face of Jesus, my Beloved, noble Seal of the Divinity!
Outraged anew by blasphemers,I offer Thee, through the heart of Thy blessed Mother, the worship of all the Angels and Saints, most humbly beseeching Thee to repair and renew in me and in all men Thy Image disfigured by sin.
O adorable Face which was adored, with profound respect, by Mary and Joseph when they saw Thee for the first time, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which did ravish with joy, in the stable of Bethlehem, the Angels, the shepherds and the magi, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which did transpierce with a dart of love in the Temple, the saintly old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which filled with admiration the Doctors of the law when Thou didst appear in the Temple at the age of twelve years, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which possesses beauty always ancient and always new, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is the masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Eternal Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is the ineffable mirror of the divine perfection, have mercy on us.
Adorable Face of Jesus which was so mercifully bowed down on the Cross, on the day of Thy Passion, for the salvation of the world!
Once more today in pity bend down towards us poor sinners.
Cast upon us a glance of compassion and give us Thy peace.
O adorable Face which became brilliant like the sun and radiant with glory, on the Mountain of Tabor, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which wept and was troubled at the tomb of Lazarus, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was rendered sad at the sight of Jerusalem, and shed tears on that ungrateful city, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was bowed down to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and covered with confusion for our sins, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was covered with the sweat of blood, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was struck by a vile servant, covered with a veil of shame, and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thy enemies, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which by Its divine glance, wounded the heart of St. Peter with a dart of sorrow and love, have mercy on us.
Be merciful to us, O my God!
Do not reject our prayers, when in the midst of our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thy adorable Face.
O adorable Face which was washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women and covered with a shroud, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of the Resurrection, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is hidden in the Eucharist, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will appear at the end of time in the clouds with great power and great majesty, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will make sinners tremble, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will fill the just with joy for all eternity, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which merits all our reverence, our homage and our adoration, have mercy on us.
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
Almighty and Eternal Father, since it has pleased Our Divine Savior to reveal to mankind in modern times the power residing in His Holy Face, we now avail ourselves of this Treasure in our great need.
Since our Savior Himself promised that by offering to You His Holy Face disfigured in the Passion we can procure the settlement of all the affairs of our household, and that nothing whatsoever will be refused to us, we now come before Your throne.
Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze from our guilty people whose face has become unsightly in Your eyes.
Look instead upon the Face of Your Beloved Son; for this is the Face of Him in whom You are well pleased.
We now offer You His Holy Face covered with blood, sweat, dust, spittle and shame, in reparation for the worst crimes of our age, which are atheism, blasphemy, and the desecration of Your holy days.
We thus hope to appease Your anger justly provoked against us.
The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; listen to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through the merits of His Holy Face hearken to Him when He intercedes for us poor miserable sinners.
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ojerusalem · 4 months ago
I love hymns.
I still sing hymns although I listen to Christian music.
There is often a story behind a hymn. Many hymns were inspired by God and as a result it moves our heart and soul
For example :
In the Garden (1912)
According to C. Austin Miles’ great-granddaughter, Miles wrote this song “in a cold, dreary and leaky basement in New Jersey that didn’t even have a window, let alone a view of a garden.”
In March, 1912, while reading the twentieth chapter of John, Miles had a vision of being part of the scene when Mary knelt before her Lord and cried, “Rabboni!” He writes:
My hands were resting on the Bible while I stared at the light blue wall. As the light faded, I seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed—hand clasping her throat as if to choke back her sobs—walked slowly into the shadows. As she came to the tomb, she bent over to look in and hurried away. John, in flowing robe, appeared; then came Peter, who entered the tomb, followed slowly by John. As they departed, Mary reappeared, and as she leaned her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing; so did I. I knew it was He. She knelt before Him, and with arms outstretched and looking into His face, she cried ‘Rabboni!’ I awakened in full light, gripping the Bible with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. Under the inspiration of this vision, I wrote—as quickly as the words could be formed—the poem exactly as it has since appeared; that same evening, I wrote the music.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
In 1844 a young Irishman, Joseph Scriven, had completed his college education and returned home to marry his sweetheart. As he was traveling to meet her on the day before the planned wedding, he came upon a horrible scene—his beautiful fiancée tragically lying under the water in a creek bed after falling off her horse.
Later, Scriven moved to Canada and eventually fell in love again, only to experience devastation once more when she became ill and died just weeks before their marriage. For the second time, this humble Christian felt the loss of the woman he loved.
The following year, he wrote a poem to his mother in Ireland that described the deep friendship with Jesus he had cultivated in prayer through the hardships of his life.
The poem was published anonymously at first under the title, “Pray Without Ceasing.” Ten years later, he finally acknowledged this well-loved text had been written by him and his friend, Jesus. In 1868, attorney Charles Converse set the text to a tune and renamed it “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Ken Osbeck tells the story in his book 101 Hymn Stories.
Instead of thinking God was punishing him, Scriven cherished God’s friendship through all of this hardship—a friendship he discovered in prayer.
May we learn that our relationship with God will grow the same way—in prayer. After I read this story, whenever I sign this hymn, my eyes are full More : https://katykinard.com/the-stories-behind-the-hymns/
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anonymoushouseplantfan · a year ago
Latest from Graydon Carter's "Air Mail",
Sussex Fatigue: Meghan and Harry are making the British yearn for the Queen Mum
During my first blush of marriage, I was rooting through my husband’s messy desk for an envelope and found a letter. It was dated December 1952, postmarked Windsor, and addressed to the Lady Margaret Dawnay.
The envelope was encrusted in seals and crests and was so crisp I could eat my dinner off it. I replaced the letter to my mother-in-law back in the drawer unopened.
Fooled you! No, I slipped the cream-laid page out of the envelope as if wearing white gloves to discover the sender was none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (who had become the Queen Mother upon the death of her husband, King George VI, a few months before).
The note was to congratulate her friend Margaret on the birth of her son, my husband, Ivo. (Ivo’s father, Captain Oliver Dawnay, was Her Majesty’s private secretary from 1951 to 1956.) And the point of her handwritten letter in blue ink was these four words: “Shall I be Godmother?”
When I read this, I sighed with pleasure, just as I sigh with displeasure now, after having plowed through two “new” and “big” books on the royals: Meghan Misunderstood, by Sean Smith, and Battle of Brothers, by Robert Lacey. (There’s also a third, the charming stocking filler The Windsor Diaries, about the war years of the young princesses Lilibet and Margaret, by their chum Alathea Fitzalan Howard, which, with a fair wind, could shape up to be this season’s best-selling Lady in Waiting, by Anne Glenconner.)
It was not so much the royal connection I relished, having read the note to my husband’s mother. It was the decorum and the good manners that this private letter showed compared with where we are now. (I’ll explain at the end, so keep going.)
As the seasons of The Crown have unspooled, I know why we drank in one and two (the ones with Claire Foy as the Queen), but in Season Three (Olivia Colman) not so much, and why writer Peter Morgan is going to pull stumps long before the Sussex royals depart the pitch. The more distant—and discreet—that members of the royal family are from us, you see, the more we admire them.
Let us dispatch the books quickly because of the Markle bio there is little to say, as there is nothing we don’t already know about her. There are precious few takeaways from this dialed-in delivery of royal fare. She apparently wanted to be president. She has read the motivational book Who Moved My Cheese. She did the calligraphy for the place cards of Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding. She called her Web site The Tig after her favorite big red wine, Tignanello.
I knew all that. For more than six years (2011 to 2018) I wrote a column for The Mail on Sunday. I can report from the inside of the belly of the tabloid beast that Meghan was manna from heaven. She was copy. And she wasn’t Kate. Which meant everyone—i.e., women columnists—was encouraged to play that game of comparing two completely different women and finding both wanting. I can say this as I did it myself, a period of my journalistic career I remain deeply ashamed of. “One was a safe, sporty and slim Home Counties’ woman and the other, an upstart, biracial, American divorcee,” Sean Smith correctly analyzes. “The former embraced royal protocol while the latter broke the rules.”
Rules? What rules? Let’s see. She wore dark nail polish … an off-the-shoulder number to the Trooping of the Colour … She closed her own car door … Her favorite snack was avocado on toast … Oh, yes, and she kept “touching her bump.”
All this obscures her only real offense, nothing to do with protocol, writ large on every page of the book. She was herself. She committed the heinous crime of being too earnest, too mindful, too grateful—she “journals,” for pity’s sake. And she speaks a language that the English pretend not to understand.
A word cloud of the Meghan book would contain terms like “journey,” “empowering,” “impactful,” “shine a light,” “connect,” “my power, my truth,” and “humble” in large font. But, still, she comes across as impressive, charming, and far too motivated, organized, and driven ever to have lasted five minutes as a silent, supportive jointed doll of a royal wag.
The Robert Lacey book about the rift between Princess Diana’s sons is more interesting. (And so it should be; he is adviser to The Crown and knows his stuff, and even wrote a whole book called God Bless Her!, about my husband’s godmother.) The new book was planned to be about Charles and Andrew until Peter Morgan made the obvious point that “they aren’t the princes that matter any more.”
Lacey writes that Camilla Parker Bowles was “a bit of a goer,” hitched to a renowned swordsman known as Major Andrew “Poker” Bowles, who started her fling with Prince Charles as a “revenge bonk” after her husband shagged Princess Anne. Lacey is very good on explaining the unfair narrative that had pinned the brothers like butterflies since Eton, until Meghan whisked him away: William destined to be king of the castle, Harry the dirty rascal.
There are some arresting details: Prince Harry was enraged when Prince William asked Charles Spencer, their uncle, to intercede with Harry’s rapid courtship of Meghan. That fight salted the wound that has never healed over. A revelation that lawyers pulled from the book, but Lacey has told interviewers, “Someone in the palace hated Meghan.”
It’s all so uncalled for. No wonder an updated edition of Mary Killen’s book What Would HM the Queen Do? is being released this month, a sign that the country is pining to bring dignity back, and courtesy in the national conversation, and a touch of old-fashioned manners. Which is where we return to the letter in the desk.
In 2018, there was a splashy royal wedding full of celebrities that could not possibly be old and dear friends of the bridal couple: Oprah, Posh and Becks, James Corden, et al., went to Harry and Meghan’s nuptials, and there’s a story doing the rounds that while Carolyn Bartholomew, Diana’s former flatmate, was waiting for the wedding service to start, she turned to the couple alongside her and asked how they knew Harry or Meghan. “We don’t,” the Clooneys answered brightly.
Remember that Toms Hanks and Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Mariah Carey all turned up to the funeral of Diana, too.
Yet, in 1952, the Queen Mother knew that my mother-in-law and her dear friend would never ask a Queen to serve as godparent, as that would be seen as pushy. No well-brought-up Englishwoman would consider such a thing. The Queen Mother therefore tactfully suggested herself for the symbolic role of my husband’s moral helpmeet, and signed herself, assured of a positive response to her gracious request, “Elizabeth.”
That, I tell myself, is how to do things.
In 2000, my husband and I, as the Queen likes to start sentences, were invited to the service of celebration and thanksgiving in honor of his godmother’s 100th birthday in St. Paul’s (and to her funeral in Westminster Abbey two years later). At the former event, she trundled into the cathedral with William and Harry as the band and fanfare trumpeters of the Coldstream Guards played a Bach fugue, and left with Prince Charles.
I don’t remember much more—apart from hoping my large petrol-blue trilby wasn’t impeding Patrick Lichfield’s (another godson) view of a woman I guessed was the Queen of Spain (both a crowned head of Europe and a goddaughter). I do recall the Old Testament lesson—clanging verses from Isaiah that echoed up and down the ages—which began, “Behold a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement.”
It is only now I see how presciently they were chosen, in hope and prayer, by the grandmother and great-grandmother of all the future kings lined up under the dome that day.
PS: I admitted I’d found the letter, and asked Ivo why he hadn’t told me the Queen Mother was his godmother, because I would literally tell all perfect strangers within five seconds if it were me, faster than if I’d got a First from Oxford.
He didn’t think it was that interesting.
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lightkeykid · a year ago
Single Father Seeking Sane Step-Mama Pt. 1
I started writing this as a prompt fill for @thekatesheffield but then the story got away from me. 
Read on AO3
Spring 1824
Phillip wondered what was going through his brain all those weeks ago when he made this utterly horrible decision. He must have lost his mind to do something this drastic.
First, he blamed it on his son Oliver. The last governess fled in the dead of night after his most recent escapades. Phillip would have survived if it was only the empty position. No, it was the blacklisting of Romney Hall from all of the local posting agencies. His children earned quite the reputation for themselves. If he was not their father, he might have admired it.
Phillip still heard the echoing rebuke from the last agency that declined to work with him. “Until you find a lady to rein in those children of yours, no one will work with you.” Never before had he wanted to throttle a woman in his life.
His children caused mayhem, but they were his children. Phillip Crane was not the best father in the world. He preferred his plants to people, and speaking to his children was just as difficult as adults. Still, he was all they had after Marina’s death. Even more, they were all he had left.
Even the lack of governess might not have led him here. That honor went to Amanda, his nine-year-old daughter.
One stormy February evening as he worked alone in the greenhouse, a footman came searching for him. “Miss Amanda is nowhere to be found, sir!”
The terror he felt at Marina’s passing was nothing compared to what he felt at that moment. Without a word, he bolted to the manor house. The staff was whipped into a frenzy, and Oliver, the poor child, simply wept in the foyer.
“I didn’t mean to yell at her Father. She usually yells back!” He cried.
Phillip wanted to comfort his son, but there was no time. They had looked for an hour for the girl, but when they could not find Amanda, they retrieved him.
“Amanda!” He bellowed. “Amanda!” Phillip needed to believe that she was inside. If she was not here, then she would be outside and lost in the rain. His heart constricted at the thought of his daughter in that weather.
He tore through the nursery, the library, and even made his way to his rooms when he saw the faint flicker. Had anyone thought to check Marina’s rooms? They had been closed since her death, but the adjoining door still working.
Phillip’s stomach clenched at the thought of entering the chamber. He had not been inside for close to a year. But if there was a chance Amanda was there, he would take it.
Despite his bravery, his heart almost broke at the sight he found. Amanda was curled up against the headboard, clutching a pillow in her sleep. Her tear-stained cheeks were red and blotchy. He rushed to her side and gently woke her up.
“Mama?” The hoarse croak jolted Phillip. Amanda had not called for her mother in years. “Where’s Mama?”
He could not answer her then, but he was determined to have her answer soon. The events of that evening caused him to take the most drastic of measures: looking for a wife in London during the social season.
To make it worse, with the Cranes’ reputation in Gloucestershire, Amanda and Oliver arrived in London with him. He luckily convinced their temporary nurse to travel with them, though it took a hefty bribe. The girl was terrified of what might happen to her in the city. He opted for a townhouse on Bruton Street. His wife’s cousins, the Featheringtons, lived nearby. If needed, he might call upon Lady Featherington for introductions.
True, it had been close to a decade since he had last seen them. Would they even help him?
Phillip did not have a long list of requirements. He was not looking for a Diamond nor did he want one. He did not need a massive dowry. He was not a catch by debutante standards either. Romney Hall was nothing to sneeze at, for sure, but it was no castle. Sir Phillip was only a baronet and a botanist to boot. With the twins in tow, he had his work cut out for the season.
And so, he rode outside of the traveling carriage to arrive at their townhome. Phillip could hear the arguments bubbling inside the vehicle and prayed for patience. All he needed was to find a nice girl who would enjoy a quiet country life. Someone to be a calming influence for the twins. Someone who would be on his side.
After his first marriage, he deserved that much, did he not?
Eloise Bridgerton peered out of her bedroom window at Number Five to see what the ruckus was all about. Naturally, she had the best view of the street. A traveling coach pulled up to the house next door, and a vaguely familiar man rode astride. He stopped and jumped off the horse.
All she could see was that he was large. Not as tall as Benedict, truthfully; no one was. Still, the man fit his coat well, even though it seemed a few years out of date. Eloise leaned closer to see if there was anything else she could glean. It was while she shamelessly studied the man that he looked up at her.
She jumped back from the window, hoping he did not think her a lunatic. The glimpse of his face struck a memory, but she could not name him. Maybe Mama would know. She hastily pinned up her hair and made her way downstairs.
“Mama!” She called out into the hallway. If not her mother, then at least Hyacinth should be around. Her younger sister was just as nosy as she. She stepped out to see if anyone was around their courtyard. A sharp whine caught her attention.
“Oliver, give it back!” A young girl’s voice could be heard.
“No, you had it the entire ride. It’s my turn!”
“Children,” an exasperated voice pleaded. Eloise figured it was a nurse or a governess. “Let us go inside without incident.”
“But Mary, he doesn’t even want it!” The child stamped her foot. “He’s just being a horrid beast.”
She knew she shouldn’t be spying on the new neighbors. Mama would be appalled to find her eavesdropping. Still, there was something about these children that drew Eloise closer.
A glance from their gate revealed that the gentleman was nowhere to be seen near the squabbling children. Where was their mother? Their disagreement grew louder. Well, then, Eloise thought. She had not learned at the feet of Violet Bridgerton to stand by in this situation.
“Hello!” Three wide pairs of eyes turned to stare at her. The younger children, a boy and a girl, looked as if they were twins. “Are you moving into the house next door?”
“Yes ma’am, we are.” Eloise was right. The girl was most likely was a nurse. A governess would have more restraint. Although considering what she heard and saw, Mary was at her wit’s end.
“My name is-”
A shout interrupted her. “Oliver! Amanda! Where are you?” The voice sounded as if it came from the courtyard next door.
From Mary’s reaction, it must have been the gentleman. “Is that your father?” Eloise asked.
The younger girl, Amanda, nodded. “He’s here to find a wife.”
Eloise stifled a giggle as the nurse hurried to stifle Amanda. “Come children. Your father is looking for us.” Mary tried to guide the children inside, but they were obstinate.
Oliver held his ground firmly. “Father knows where we are. He was riding beside the coach the entire time. It is not as if he could lose us.”
Eloise intervened before poor Mary needed to wrestle the boy into the townhome. She crouched lower to meet Oliver’s eyes. “If you two listen to Mary here, then once you are settled in, you are welcome to tea at our house. Even your father is invited if he wants to come. Simply come over and tell Wickham that Miss Eloise invited you. That is me. Eloise Bridgerton.” She held her hand out for an introduction.
Oliver solemnly shook her proffered hand. “I am Oliver Crane. This is my sister, Amanda.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Oliver. We Bridgertons have tea at half-past three. I hope to see you both soon.” And Eloise, who had her fill of nieces and nephews, spoke the truth. A fact that even she was surprised by, and with a promise of tea, the Crane children left for their own house.
“What took you so long?” Phillip sternly greeted them as they entered the house.
Amanda looked up at his face and smiled shyly. “We were talking to Miss Bridgerton. She invited us over for tea.”
Bridgerton… Why did that name sound so familiar?
He sighed. “Amanda, we cannot accept invitations from people we don’t know.”
“But we met Miss Bridgerton. She lives next door, and she invited us over to tea,” Amanda insisted. “Right, Mary?”
Phillip raised a brow at their nurse, who nodded reluctantly. “What prompted this invitation?”
Mary struggled with the words, but Oliver did not. “She expects us to be there at half three. Miss Eloise even said you could come.” He took Amanda’s hand and tugged her forward. “We have to get ready.”
He held back a smile at Oliver’s insistence. He gestured to a footman to lead the children to their room. “A word, if you may, Mary? Tell me what happened in the five minutes I was apart from the children. I cannot have them antagonizing the neighbors so soon.”
The nurse looked heavenward. She had not been long in this position, else she would have known that prayers did not work on the Crane family.
“Sir Phillip, nothing untoward happened. The children were uncomfortable after the trip, and they squabbled. The young lady introduced herself, and the children, well…” She trailed off.
Mary smiled for the first time since they left Gloucestershire. “They liked her.” With that said, she excused herself to see to the twins.
Phillip stood there in the foyer of 6 Bruton Street wondering what he had missed in those five minutes. Who was this Eloise Bridgerton? Why was she interested in his children? He thought back to the moment of his arrival. Was she the pretty woman in the window?
Pretty lady, he corrected himself. They were still in fashionable Mayfair.
“Perhaps tea would be a good start to our time in London,” he mused to no one at all.
Let me know if you’d like to be tagged in future chapters!
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mamaguru · 2 years ago
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Not my best look.
I’m having my own health crisis in the midst of the pandemic. Last week I had a low fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue. I thought maybe I had Covid, but there isn’t a treatment, so there’s nothing to do but rest, drink fluids, and bask in the sun.
But then I had some troubling neuro symptoms. Confusion, cognitive difficulty, a bizarre migraine that made me pack my head with ice because it felt like it was on fire.
A couple of years ago my son had a very mild case of a 24 hour flu. Two days later, he was hospitalized because that flu tripped a secondary infection and enzymes were eating his muscle tissue. If we had waited a few more hours, his kidneys would have been damaged.
With that in mind, I became worried that something was wrong with my brain. Perhaps a secondary infection. So I did the recommended route: doctor chat to office visit to urgent care for a head CT to the Emergency Room.
These are the tests they did: 9 blood draws, 2 urine samples, chest X-ray, lumbar puncture with 3 vials of spinal fluid, brain MRI (during a migraine-intense), EKG, EEG, 24 hour EEG with video monitoring. My husband was granted an exception to join me in the first part of the ER because I was in an altered state, but then I was on my own in neurology.
The good news is the scariest diagnoses were ruled out. I have a belated diagnosis of epilepsy (which apparently is not causing this problem?!?) and complex migraines. One of the drugs given to calm the inflammation in my brain also suppresses my immune system, so just like that, I am suddenly immunocompromised during a pandemic.
I am home now, but my symptoms are worse than they were when I went to the hospital. I could drive then (shouldn’t, but could). I can’t walk across the room with a glass of water in my hand right now. I alternate feeling kind of ok to feeling woozy and heavily drugged. I am only taking Excedrin Migraine. My husband is tracking down the neurologists today and I may end up in the hospital again.
My husband’s office hasn’t closed yet, but we expect it to, so he needs to work while he can. My kids are tweens and can bear some neglect. They get it, but it’s so hard. I have food, but I cannot boil a pot of pasta. I hear horror stories about supplies running out, but all I can do is sit in complete darkness and silence and try to heal my hurting brain. I try to remain calm because right now that can be my only job.
I went to the strictest, most well-respected hospital in Miami. There was a disturbing lack of hand-washing, glove-wearing, and disinfecting by the medical staff. I was not on the Covid floor, but still. Not good. I was not tested for Covid. I know my symptoms don’t fit exactly, but I fear they are missing data points by only following 1 set of criteria. There are some other Asian cases of coronavirus with neurological symptoms.
What I wish for all of us is that people would understand that it is your utter responsibility to manage your fear. A friend sent me the most panic-filled group text while I was in the hospital and it literally hurt my brain. She didn’t know what was happening, but that’s the thing. We don’t always know how our beloveds are doing, so we have to stop feeding the frenzy. Accept that we feel fear. Learn to sit with it instead of screaming about it. Chant the Serenity Prayer because that is the only path through this crazy time.
I wish my parents were alive so I could be a child for a couple of days. It would be nice to be taken care of. I do have a support system, but social distancing wiped them out. All I have now are Mary Oliver poems, but I think that will be enough.
Anyway, just a weird story about how quickly life can turn on a dime and a reminder to make sure that the energy you spread is healing, helpful, and loving.
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Me, leaving the hospital fabulously, to hide the glue covering my hair.
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justforbooks · a year ago
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Jacques Ellul was born on January 6th, 1912,  in Bordeaux, France. He was a French philosopher, sociologist, lay theologian, and professor who was a noted Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. A prolific writer, he authored more than 60 books and more than 600 articles over his lifetime, many of which discussed propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics. The dominant theme of his work proved to be the threat to human freedom and religion created by modern technology. Among his most influential books are The Technological Society and Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes.
Considered by many a philosopher, Ellul was trained as a sociologist, and approached the question of technology and human action from a dialectical viewpoint. His writings are frequently concerned with the emergence of a technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society. In 2000, the International Jacques Ellul Society was founded by a group of former Ellul students. The society, which includes scholars from a variety of disciplines, is devoted to continuing Ellul's legacy and discussing the contemporary relevance and implications of his work.
Étude sur l'évolution et la nature juridique du Mancipium. Bordeaux: Delmas, 1936.
Le fondement théologique du droit. Neuchâtel: Delachaux & Niestlé, 1946.
Présence au monde moderne: Problèmes de la civilisation post-chrétienne. Geneva: Roulet, 1948. Lausanne: Presses Bibliques Universitaires, 1988.
Le livre de Jonas. Paris: Cahiers Bibliques de Foi et Vie, 1952.
L'homme et l'argent (Nova et vetera). Neuchâtel: Delachaux & Niestlé, 1954. Lausanne: Presses Bibliques Universitaires, 1979.
La technique ou l'enjeu du siècle. Paris: Armand Colin, 1954. Paris: Économica, 1990 & 2008
Histoire des institutions. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France; volumes 1 & 2,
L'Antiquité (1955); vol. 3, Le Moyen Age (1956); vol. 4, Les XVIe–XVIIIe siècle (1956); vol. 5, Le XIXe siècle (1789–1914) (1956).
Propagandes. Paris: A. Colin, 1962. Paris: Économica, 1990 & 2008
Fausse présence au monde moderne. Paris: Les Bergers et Les Mages, 1963.
Le vouloir et le faire: Recherches éthiques pour les chrétiens: Introduction (première partie). Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1964.
L'illusion politique. Paris: Robert Laffont, 1965. Rev. ed.: Paris: Librairie Générale Française, 1977. La Table-ronde, 2004 & 2012.
Exégèse des nouveaux lieux communs. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1966. Paris: La Table Ronde, 1994 & 2004
Politique de Dieu, politiques de l'homme. Paris: Éditions Universitaires, 1966.
Histoire de la propagande. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1967, 1976.
Métamorphose du bourgeois. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1967. Paris: La Table Ronde, 1998 & 2012.
Autopsie de la révolution. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1969. Paris: La Table Ronde, 2008
Contre les violents. Paris: Centurion, 1972.
Sans feu ni lieu: Signification biblique de la Grande Ville. Paris: Gallimard, 1975.
L'impossible prière. Paris: Centurion, 1971, 1977.
Jeunesse délinquante: Une expérience en province. Avec Yves Charrier. Paris: Mercure de France, 1971. 2nd ed.: Jeunesse délinquante: Des blousons noirs aux hippies. Nantes: Éditions de l'AREFPPI, 1985.
De la révolution aux révoltes. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1972.
L'espérance oubliée. Paris: Gallimard, 1972.
Éthique de la liberté, 2 vols. Geneva: Labor et Fides, I:1973, II:1974.
Les nouveaux possédés. Paris: Arthème Fayard, 1973.
L'Apocalypse: Architecture en mouvement. Paris: Desclée, 1975.
Trahison de l'Occident. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1975.
Le système technicien. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1977. Paris : Le cherche-midi 2004 & 2012.
L'idéologie marxiste chrétienne. Paris: Centurion, 1979.
L'empire du non-sens: L'art et la société technicienne. Paris: Press Universitaires de France, 1980.
La foi au prix du doute: "Encore quarante jours . . ." Paris: Hachette, 1980.
La Parole humiliée. Paris: Seuil, 1981.
Changer de révolution: L'inéluctable prolétariat. Paris: Seuil, 1982.
Les combats de la liberté. (Tome 3, L'Ethique de la Liberté) Geneva: Labor et Fides, 1984. Paris: Centurion, 1984.
La subversion du Christianisme. Paris: Seuil, 1984, 1994. Paris: La Table Ronde, 2001 & 2012
Conférence sur l'Apocalypse de Jean. Nantes: AREFPPI, 1985.
Un chrétien pour Israël. Monaco: Éditions du Rocher, 1986.
La Genèse aujourd'hui. Avec François Tosquelles. Ligné: AREFPPI, 1987.
La raison d'être: Méditation sur l'Ecclésiaste. Paris: Seuil, 1987
Anarchie et Christianisme. Lyon: Atelier de Création Libertaire, 1988. Paris: La Table Ronde, 1998.
Le bluff technologique. Paris: Hachette, 1988, 2004 & 2012.
Ce que je crois. Paris: Grasset and Fasquelle, 1989.
Ce Dieu injuste . . .?: Théologie chrétienne pour le peuple d'Israël. Paris: Arléa, 1991, 1999.
Si tu es le Fils de Dieu: Souffrances et tentations de Jésus. Paris: Centurion, 1991.
Déviances et déviants dans notre société intolérante. Toulouse: Érés, 1992.
Silences: Poèmes. Bordeaux: Opales, 1995.
Oratorio: Les quatre cavaliers de l'Apocalypse. Bordeaux: Opales, 1997.
Sources and Trajectories: Eight Early Articles by Jacques Ellul that Set the Stage. Trans./ed. Marva J. Dawn. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.
The Theological Foundation of Law. Trans. Marguerite Wieser. Garden City NY: Doubleday, 1960. London: SCM, 1961. New York: Seabury, 1969.
The Presence of the Kingdom. Trans. Olive Wyon. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1951. London: SCM, 1951. New York: Seabury, 1967. Colorado Springs: Helmers and Howard, 1989.
Presence in the Modern World: A New Translation. Trans. Lisa Richmond. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2016.
The Judgment of Jonah. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971. Wipf & Stock, 2011
Money and Power. Trans. LaVonne Neff. Downers Grove IL: InterVarsity Press, 1984. Basingstoke, England: Marshall Pickering, 1986. Wipf & Stock, 2009
The Technological Society. Trans. John Wilkinson. New York: Knopf, 1964. London: Jonathan Cape, 1965. Rev. ed.: New York: Knopf/Vintage, 1967. with introduction by Robert K. Merton (professor of sociology, Columbia University). This may be his best-known work; Aldous Huxley brought the French edition to the attention of an English publisher, and thus brought it to English readers. Theodore Kaczynski had a copy in his cabin and said he read it several times—his "manifesto" addresses similar themes. See Alston Chase. 2003. "Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist," W.W. Norton & Co., p. 111, 331.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. Trans. Konrad Kellen & Jean Lerner. New York: Knopf, 1965. New York: Random House/ Vintage 1973
False Presence of the Kingdom. Trans. C. Edward Hopkin. New York: Seabury, 1972.
To Will and to Do: An Ethical Research for Christians. Trans. C. Edward Hopkin. Philadelphia: Pilgrim, 1969.
The Political Illusion. Trans. Konrad Kellen. New York: Knopf, 1967. New York: Random House/Vintage, 1972.
A Critique of the New Commonplaces. Trans. Helen Weaver. New York: Knopf, 1968. Wipf & Stock, 2012
The Politics of God and the Politics of Man. Trans./ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Autopsy of Revolution. Trans. Patricia Wolf. New York: Knopf, 1971. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective. Trans. Cecelia Gaul Kings. New York: Seabury, 1969. London: SCM Press, 1970. London: Mowbrays, 1978. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
The Meaning of the City. Trans. Dennis Pardee. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970. Carlisle, Cumbria, England: Paternoster, 1997.
Prayer and Modern Man. Trans. C. Edward Hopkin. New York: Seabury, 1970, 1973. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Hope in Time of Abandonment. Trans. C. Edward Hopkin. New York: Seabury, 1973. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
The Ethics of Freedom. Trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976. London: Mowbrays, 1976.
The New Demons. Trans. C. Edward Hopkin. New York: Seabury, 1975. London: Mowbrays, 1975.
Apocalypse: The Book of Revelation. Trans. George W. Schreiner. New York: Seabury, 1977.
The Betrayal of the West. Trans. Matthew J. O'Connell. New York: Seabury,1978.
The Technological Society. Trans. Joachim Neugroschel. New York: Continuum, 1980.
Jesus and Marx: From Gospel to Ideology. Trans. Joyce Main Hanks. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
Living Faith: Belief and Doubt in a Perilous World. Trans. Peter Heinegg. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
The Humiliation of the Word. Trans. Joyce Main Hanks. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985.
The Subversion of Christianity. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Wipf & Stock, 2011.
Reason for Being: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes. Trans. Joyce Main Hanks. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.
Anarchy and Christianity. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991. Wipf & Stock, 2011.
The Technological Bluff. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.
What I Believe. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.
An Unjust God ? A Christian Theology of Israel in light of Romans 9–11. Trans. Anne-Marie Andreasson-Hogg. Wipf & Stock, 2012.
If You are the Son of God: The Suffering and Temptations of Jesus. Trans. Anne-Marie Andreasson-Hogg. Wipf & Stock, 2014.
Ellul has been credited with coining the phrase, "Think globally, act locally." He often said that he was born in Bordeaux by chance, but that it was by choice that he spent almost all his academic career there.
On 19 May 1994, after a long illness, he died in his house in Pessac, just a mile or two from the University of Bordeaux campus and surrounded by those closest to him. His wife had died a few years prior, on 16 April 1991.
Daily inspiration. Discover more photos at http://justforbooks.tumblr.com
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chelsfic · a year ago
Devotions - WWDITS Fanfic - Nandor x Guillermo
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Sequel to: Maybe One Day, My Love
WWDITS Masterlist
 A/N: Quick note to let you guys know that I have been writing up a storm, but I’ve posted many fics exclusively to AO3. It is just so much work to format every story for Tumblr. AO3 is such a superior place to read and write. So, check that out to see what you’ve missed. Thanks to @sinaesthete​ for beta reading this fic for me!
Summary: Following a death in the family, Guillermo goes to the park for his weekly "visit" with his ex-master. After two decades of distance and one-sided conversation, Nandor finally steps out of the shadows.
Warnings: Smut, Religious References, Parent Death
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.” -Mary Oliver, Wild Geese
It’s nightfall once again.
       Guillermo de la Cruz clutches a prayer card in his fist as he strides down the familiar path for the appointment he never misses. Not even tonight. 
       Puddles dot the paved lane; he carefully avoids them, not wishing to ruin his patent leather shoes. He’s still dressed in the clothes he wore to the funeral: a dark suit and tie that make him look somehow older and younger at the same time. Like a little boy dressed up in his father’s clothes. His rigid soles scuff against the cement. The scraping sound grounds him in time and place, pulling him back from the vision of the gleaming white casket heaped with flowers. 
       It’s early spring. The night is still chilly, but the park has begun to transform with the new season. Green shoots of grass peek out between moldy fallen leaves. Crocuses emerge in the flower beds that line the walk. The branches hanging overhead are heavy with verdant leaves whispering in the light breeze. Guillermo breathes in the damp, mildewy scent of new growth. Idly, he wonders if the funeral arrangements have started to wilt.
       He rounds the well-known turn in the path, finally arriving at his forgotten little alcove with its dilapidated bench. The wooden slats of the seat give way to his weight as he sits; the wood is soft and worn. He recalls the hard, polished church pews and decides that this is a much more suitable place for worship. The laminated prayer card bites into the tender flesh of his palm and he releases it, taking his hands from his pockets and letting them rest on the well-loved bench.
       Night sounds fill his ears: crickets murmuring in the grass, distant traffic rushing on the highway, gentle wind blowing through the trees. No matter how carefully he listens, holding his breath and keeping perfectly still, Guillermo will never hear his master’s approach until Nandor wishes it. Instead he begins his vigil, communing with the night, with this place, the setting for his devotions.
  “Let us pray...
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever live and believe in me shall never die.”
       The priest’s words float back to him as if conjured by the night wind. Guillermo’s thoughts fix upon his lord. The one he’s worshiped since he was nineteen-years-old. He calls up Nandor’s image with ease, despite the years that have passed since actually seeing the vampire. Dark eyes ringed in fire, bottomless pits into which Guillermo has been falling for the last thirty-seven years. A body as cold and lethal as a winter’s night. Fangs that reap bloody sacrifices from his victims. Guillermo closes his eyes and Nandor is there before him--skin warm in the candlelight, lips relaxed in a rare smile, holding out his hand and beckoning Guillermo to come forward. In his vision, Nandor places his palm on the crest of Guillermo’s head in a blessing. 
  “Blessed are those who mourn,
For they will be comforted.”
       The snap of a twig announces him. Guillermo eyes snap open; he stares straight ahead into the trees on the other side of the nook. He senses Nandor in the darkness behind him, a guardian or a devil. Both. But he doesn’t turn to look, though every fiber of his being is attuned to his master’s cold presence; though he longs to lunge at him and hold him and never let him leave this place. That is not their arrangement. 
       Just this once, though, he wishes it could be different.
       Guillermo tries to speak; tries to perform their ritual as usual. But the words stick in his throat, congealing into a heavy lump that suffocates him. A shaky breath passes through his parted lips and becomes a sob. Suddenly there are tears spilling down his cheeks. He reaches into his pocket, removes the prayer card with Silvia de la Cruz’s beautiful portrait on it, and sets it on the seat beside him. 
       “She… died,” he explains in a shattered whisper, scrubbing furiously at his eyes with his fists. “Mi mam á . She’s gone, Nandor.” 
       For an instant the rest of the words stick in his throat: Guillermo’s not supposed to address him directly. That’s not part of their ritual. Now Nandor will leave; now he’ll never come back. But the grief soon scours away the fear of breaking their rules and Guillermo collapses down to his elbows, hanging his head and sobbing out his heartache and pain. 
       “It happened so s-suddenly, Nandor. I didn’t get to say good-bye or tell her I’m sorry.”
       Guillermo crosses his arms over his chest, hugging and rocking himself in a pitiful attempt to self-soothe. His sinuses are blocked; his face is flushed; his mouth tastes like bile and communion wafers and his t í a’s buñuelos. He’s desperate to get a hold himself, to salvage this evening somehow, but every time he nearly has the crying controlled his mind supplies him with a new torture. The stricken look on his amá’s face when he left home to work for Nandor. The smell of eggs and fresh tortillas in the morning. The sound of her clambering in the kitchen, cursing under breath. Her smile. Her hugs. The way she took him in, without questions, when he came back home covered in blood and hysterical after a decade of being a bad son. 
       Guillermo is so lost in memories, he almost misses the soft, hesitant touch on his shoulder. A hand--solid, strong, cold--closes around his shoulder and squeezes gently. Their first touch in twenty-six years. Guillermo’s breath stutters from his lungs. He freezes, terrified of breaking the fragile sanctity of this moment. He wavers on the threshold of action. Before he can summon the courage to cross it himself , Nandor does so  for him. The vampire’s hands are suddenly clutching, pawing at his shoulders and chest; clawed fingers dig into the expensive fabric of his suit jacket and haul him over the bench. He’s dragged through the spider-riddled bush and then all at once he’s in his master’s embrace. As if it hasn’t been decades since the last and first time they held each other. As if a whole lifetime of experience--sadness, joy, yearning, hope--hasn’t slipped through Guillermo’s mortal fingers. 
     Nandor wraps Guillermo up in his cape, the rich fabric and gold embroidery are clean and well-maintained. Guillermo finds himself wondering if Nandor has himself a new familiar, quickly deciding he doesn’t want to know. He buries his face in Nandor’s strong, broad chest and breathes him in. He smells like rose water, argan oil, and Tide To-Go Pens. He smells like warm candle wax and brassy, spilled blood. He smells like dust and animal pelts and frozen decay. He smells like home. 
  “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.”
       Guillermo never really left him, did he? Two decades spent building a human life, and with one simple embrace he is back on Staten Island, a nineteen-year-old boy knocking on a pagan god’s front door and offering himself in sacrifice.
     “Nandor,” he cries. It’s a plea, a demand, a tribute, a prayer. Once the name falls from his lips he can’t stop. “Nandor. Nandor. Nandor. Nandor. Nandor. Nan--”
       The vampire shushes him, bringing his hand up to cradle Guillermo’s head against his chest. That voice, rich and deep, rumbles through the fabric of the leather vest and into Guillermo’s tear-streaked cheek. “I am sorry, my Guillermo. Your mama… she was a good lady. She took care of you, kept you safe and happy after…” he trails off, clearing his throat uncomfortably. His arms tighten around Guillermo. “I am so very sorry.”
       Guillermo clings to him, hands fisting in the cape, tugging at the material until Nandor is forced to stoop down. Guillermo closes his eyes, terrified of opening them to find that this is all a dream. Some kind of religious vision that will dissipate in a cloud of smoke if he breaks the spell. Nandor’s face is so close, he can feel the vampire’s cool breath on his cheeks. Guillermo presses forward, nuzzling his face into the whiskers of Nandor’s beard, gasping at the soft caress of long hair against his face.
       “Is this real?” Guillermo whispers; his words are fragile, like moth’s wings fluttering through the air between them. “Master, is it really you?”
       “Who else would it be, Guillermo?” Nandor chides in the same old amused tone that Guillermo has preserved in his heart like dried flower petals between the pages of the family bible. “Who else but me? It’s always me, Guillermo.”
       Thumbs wipe away the salty, stinging tears from Guillermo’s cheeks and the human huffs out a sound that’s a laugh, a sob and a cry of joy all at once.
       “It’s always you, master,” he agrees and seconds later he feels the cool, miraculous brush of Nandor’s lips on his.
  “Almighty God, cleanse my heart and my lips that I may worthily proclaim your Gospel.”
       Guillermo’s eyes fly open. Dark hair and pale, luminous skin fill his vision. Arms--powerful, undeniable--wrap around his soft little human form. He melts into Nandor, all the strength in his limbs bleeding away until the vampire’s strong grip is the only thing keeping him from falling to his knees. He’s resplendent, overjoyed to give himself up to the predatory angel before him. 
     The grief--a hollow, aching hole in his chest--is still there. But with it is a new sensation, at once well-known and utterly novel: ecstasy, fulfillment, completion. To be united with Nandor finally, after decades of pining, feels unreal and yet meant to be. It’s everything he’s dreamed of and denied dreaming of for so long. 
       Nandor’s lips slide against his own, cool to the touch yet soft and welcoming. Nothing like the hard and forbidding marble he’d always imagined. Nandor’s mouth is pliant and giving; it’s not unlike kissing a mortal man… as if Nandor isn’t the untouchable celestial being of his dark dreams, but flesh and--yes--blood. Guillermo flicks out his tongue and traces his master’s full, pouting lower lip. Nandor opens his mouth at once, granting him the entry he seeks. How can this be happening? After a lifetime of longing and supplication?
       “Guillermo,” Nandor says his name like a plea, his lips brushing, the syllables melting into their kiss. “My Guillermo. You’re mine, still, aren’t you? Will you be mine?”
       Guillermo mouth molds to his master’s. Nandor’s beard drags against the soft skin of his chin and cheeks. He pulls himself away long enough to answer. “Yes, Nandor. I’m still yours. If you’ll still be mine. Oh, God , please tell me you’re mine, Nandor!”
       God. For the first time in eight centuries, Nandor feels no pain at the holy word. Instead it dribbles from Guillermo’s lips, melting into their kiss and tasting like sweet honey. Yes, he thinks, finally allowing his hands to roam down his human supplicant’s body. Yes, I am your god, little mortal. And you are mine.
       The words spark in the night air, a spell that will keep them safe so long as they don’t stop touching. “I’m yours, Guillermo. Forever.”
       They tumble to the earth, a tangle of grasping limbs, rolling hips and desperate, longing kisses. Nandor breaks their fall, landing in the dewy grass with a soft grunt and clutching Guillermo to his chest with reverent care. Guillermo is alight with sensation. Prayers fall from his lips, holy words that once would have sent his master hissing and flinching, but which now seem to feed him. 
       “Nandor, my god!” He pulses his pelvis with every repetition of the name. “God, I love you. I’ve always loved you.”
       Love . A word that should bring Nandor as much pain as the other and yet… Guillermo’s heartache, his abandon, his devotion have unlocked something inside of him. He lets himself free. His hands clench Guillermo’s backside and squeeze; he grinds their pelvises together in fervent desperation. Guillermo settles heavily on his chest, sinking his fingers into the vampire’s soft hair and raining kisses on his face. 
       “You will give yourself to me, won’t you?” Nandor whispers, an edge of uncertainty in his voice. “Finally?”
       The weight of ecstasy and sorrow on Guillermo’s soul leaves no room for the exasperation that he should rightfully feel at those words. As if Guillermo has not given himself to Nandor every day for his entire adult life. As if he wouldn’t have gladly killed to be in this position decades before. But here, in this holy place, in the communion of their bodies and souls, Guillermo doesn’t scoff. He presses a gentle, wet, lingering kiss to Nandor’s lips before answering. 
       “You already have me, Master.”
“ Take this... and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.”
       They lay Nandor’s cape out on the grass like a blanket. It’s almost completely dark in the shadowy undergrowth, but Guillermo still blushes as he shrugs off his suit coat and begins unbuttoning his shirt, aware of the vampire’s heightened senses. The darkness presses up against Guillermo’s eyeballs; he strains to see merely the faintest outline of Nandor’s powerful frame. His face is a dark blur except for his eyes. Nandor’s predator eyes drink in every bit of ambient light and reflect it back at Guillermo. They glow. Hallowed, fiery rings in the night.
       Guillermo is no longer a virgin. He feels a small, pitiful pang at the knowledge that he can’t give Nandor that part of himself. He’s slept with a few men over the years. But he’s never truly offered himself to any of them like he’s doing now. Guillermo takes off his shirt, his undershirt. He toes off his shoes and socks and undoes his belt. It’s cold and the cape is starting to absorb the dew and chill from the solid earth beneath, but he doesn’t shiver as he removes his pants and underwear. He lays on his back, nude, flushed, panting and achingly hard. He doesn’t feel the icy wind that raises goosebumps on his arms and hardens the pink tips of his nipples to little nubs. He is a sacrifice; an offering; a tribute. The cold can’t touch him now. Not with the fire of his lord’s eyes keeping him warm.
       Nandor’s hands paint ribbons of freezing flame on his skin. They brush lightly, teasingly across his belly, his chest, his thighs. The vampire drapes himself over Guillermo and the human realizes that he’s also undressed. They both gasp as their rigid, leaking erections bump against each other. Guillermo bucks his hips in uncontrolled desire and he feels Nandor sink his fingers into the ample flesh of his  thighs to hold him still. A huff of breathy amusement falls from the vampire’s lips. He grabs Guillermo up in another passionate kiss, nipping and licking his lips. A keening, vulnerable moan bubbles up from the vampire’s throat. He clutches Guillermo’s tender body against his cold,, cadaverous  frame. Tears--frigid and laced with blood-- fall down his cheeks and mingle with Guillermo’s. 
       “Guillermo!” Nandor gasps, pulling back. His hands trace patterns on the pulsing hot skin of Guillermo’s neck. The human waits and listens to his master’s labored breathing. A plea hangs in the air between them. “Will you give me this as well, Guillermo? Your blood?”
  “With faith in your love and mercy I eat your Body and drink your Blood.”
       For the first time, Guillermo wonders if Nandor comes here every week with the intention of offering worship just as he does.
       “Take it, Nandor,” he commands. His voice is strong, unwavering, loud in the solitude of their secluded grove. He reaches up blindly and takes Nandor’s face between his hands, guiding him down to the cradle of his neck until the vampire’s cool lips press against his skin. “Drink.”
       Nandor whispers something against Guillermo’s neck before biting down. The words are an unintelligible susurrous. He recognizes them as Al Quolanudarese. And though he’s incapable of parsing them, they feel like secret magic words. Words that finally pulverize the last brick in the wall between them. Guillermo knows their meaning in his bones, in his heart, in his soul.
       Nandor’s fangs pierce and bruise. His bite is brutal and honest. This is Nandor; no hiding, no subterfuge. He is violence and blood and frozen kisses. He is also the tender stroking of fingers along Guillermo’s tear-stained cheeks and the broken sob he makes an instant before the blood begins to flow. Guillermo’s eyes flutter shut and he fists his hands in the cape beneath him. Take me, take me, take me , he begs.
       Blood and body.
       He buries his hands in Nandor’s hair, cupping the crown of his head as nonsense prayers fall from his lips. He invokes every sacred symbol he knows. Nandor’s mouth; his tongue; his hands; his cock. The bedroom under the stairs. The candlelit crypt. The parking lot at the immigration office. The blood-stained robe from Celeste’s orgy. The ancestry reports. Wooden stakes and crucifixes. The claw-foot bathtub. Nandor’s hair oils. His coffin. Bubble gum and mason jars and flashcards and feather dusters and boot polish and ice chips and a portrait made from glitter: two men, impossibly hopeful, naive and in love.
       When Nandor finally retracts his fangs from Guillermo’s neck, he laps at the spilled blood, kissing the soft, torn skin with a grateful, remorseful, worshipful reverence. 
       “My Guillermo,” he cries over and over again, rocking his hips subconsciously and panting as their cocks slide against one another. When he draws up on his elbows Guillermo can see his blood marring those perfectly cruel lips and staining his full beard. His voice is thick with tears. “Your blood, Guillermo. It’s…”
       Guillermo nods, wiping Nandor’s cheeks even as his own tears fall into his hairline. “I know, Nandor. You’re mine now. Always.”
       The vampire bows his head, pressing his lips to Guillermo’s soft chest directly over his rapidly beating heart. “Your blood is rushing, Guillermo. So eager to give me your life.”
       Guillermo sighs, running his hands down the length of Nandor’s sides, squeezing his soft flanks and raising his hips to grind against him. 
       “And what are you eager to give me, Nandor?”
       Nandor brings his hand up to Guillermo’s neck and catches the blood that still flows there. He hovers over Guillermo, balancing on one elbow as he moves his other hand between them and slides his wet, bloody fingers into the cleft of Guillermo’s backside. Guillermo feels the slick of his lifeblood against his sensitive skin as Nandor’s fingers probe and press into his entrance. A shiver wracks his frame at the utter indecency, the absolute sacrilege. 
       “Fuck,” Guillermo hisses as the first finger breaches the tight ring of muscle and enters him. “God! Nandor, yes.”
       Nandor whimpers in gratitude at his human’s praise. He speaks absently, in the grips of religious ecstasy, “Let me show you, Guillermo. Please, let me show you.”
       Guillermo writhes and nods his head, arching his back as another finger joins the first. “Show me you love me, Nandor. Show me you fucking worship me.”
       A strangled growl fills the little grove and Nandor picks up the pace of his thrusting fingers, subtly rocking his erection against the tender skin of Guillermo’s thigh as he goes. His breath mingles with Guillermo’s as he leans in and presses their lips together in a slow, aching kiss. He inserts a third finger, stretching Guillermo out and swallowing the man’s groan.
       “Now, Nandor,” an echo of desperation and sorrow tinges his voice. Nandor scrambles to comply. He removes his fingers, kneeling between Guillermo’s spread legs and placing shaking hands on the insides of his generous thighs, steadying himself.  
       Nandor doesn’t speak, but the sound of his breathing might as well be a love letter. He’s panting, there’s a hitch in his breath, a tremor in his fingers. Guillermo feels the tip of him against his hole and he nearly sobs with relief and joy and loss and guilt and exasperation. Why now? After all these years? Why on the night of his mother’s funeral when he is ragged and raw? Why couldn’t they have had this when Guillermo was still young and so pitifully in love with Nandor that he was willing to tarnish his soul for the vampire’s convenience? He thinks these things with regret, with melancholy longing and wistfulness; but never with anger. 
       This is his Nandor and Guillermo will take him and cherish him until he is buried in the ground. Nandor presses forward, entering him inch by inch. Stars burst in Guillermo’s eyes and amidst the furious physical sensations, a feverish thought flits through his head. When Guillermo is dead he wants to be buried in this very spot, in the soil beneath their naked bodies, on the site of their long-delayed consummation. The idea should repulse him, or sadden him, but instead it just feels right. He pictures Nandor visiting his grave every Sunday for the rest of the time and cants his hips, taking the vampire deeper as the blood trickles from his neck and his cock smears precum onto his belly. 
       Their bodies move together in a rhythm that’s both familiar and wonderfully new. They cling, claw, grab and stroke. Nandor’s length fills Guillermo; the vampire’s fingers wrap around Guillermo’s rigid cock and pump him as he thrusts. The words that fall from their lips are a heady, nonsensical, sacred blend of Spanish, Al Quolanudarese and English. Love is only the beginning. This is yearning, devotion, allegiance, becoming, undoing, transforming. Nandor is god is Guillermo is Nandor. They are whole for the first time in their lives. 
       The climax takes them both at the same time. Guillermo sobs, fat tears rolling down his cheeks as Nandor roars above him. Nandor spills his plentiful vampiric seed inside of him as Guillermo’s cum shoots out in hot ropes that paint his and Nandor’s bellies. He lets his softening cock fall from Guillermo’s body as he collapses down, pillowing his head on Guillermo’s chest and gasping for air that he doesn’t need. Guillermo cards his fingers through his hair and weeps. 
       He’s crying for the boy he once was. The one who loved his amá and wanted to make her proud. The boy who fell in love with a demon. The boy who dreamed and hoped and prayed and was disappointed. He’s crying for Nandor, too, who has lived for centuries without ever allowing himself to acknowledge the soft animal of his own emotions. And he’s crying for his amá, whose heart he broke for a decade and who never, ever stopped believing in him even when he came home at the age of 30, jobless, soulless, and ruined.
       Nandor nuzzles his cheek against Guillermo’s sparsely-haired chest, pressing kisses into his sweat-slick skin and tracing patterns over his stomach with long, elegant fingers. 
       “I can hear your heartbeat, Guillermo,” he whispers. “Did you know I could always hear your heartbeat? It’s not usual. I mean, yes, of course vampires have super hearing, but we learn to tune all that out, you know? But never with you, my Guillermo. I listened to every beat of your little heart for eleven years. I was so afraid one day it would stop…”
       In the soft, sacred dark Guillermo can finally ask the question, “Then why didn’t you ever turn me? You could’ve had me forever, immortal. Why, Nandor?”
       Nandor sits up and his eyes glow as he looks down at Guillermo, a frown in his voice, “I didn’t want it to stop, Guillermo. I didn’t want to be the one to...make it stop.”
       Guillermo shuts his eyes and they are quiet for a long, long time. He holds Nandor in his arms. The chill of the night air finally affects him and he shivers once. Nandor grabs the edge of the cape and pulls it over Guillermo to shield him. They lay beside each other, touching, breathing, listening. Guillermo traces the outline of Nandor’s lips, letting his finger dip inside his mouth and feeling the sharp edge of his fangs. Nandor allows it. Of course he does. He could not deny Guillermo anything. Not in this place. Not anywhere else, either. The knowledge settles in his veins, flows through him like Guillermo’s blood.
       “Guillermo,” Nandor begins, drawing out the last syllable like he used to. “It is not too late…”
       It’s a statement and a question. Guillermo holds his breath, waiting for the vampire to elaborate, but Nandor remains silent. A moment later he feels Nandor’s cold skin pressed to his lips. There’s warmth there, too, borrowed from his body. He tastes blood as Nandor presses his wrist firmly to Guillermo’s mouth.
       “It’s not too late,” he repeats. 
“May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, bring eternal life to us who receive it.”
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promethes · a year ago
a hasty hazy short story written to sza
Oh shit! You’re dead. What are you going to do next?
Your eyes, you think, have been stretched like taffy and lumped back together again. Not that you can feel them, of course. Of course. You look around. Up. You think. You’re not sure. For now, you know your neck cranes and that’s enough.
You worry you’ve wasted the best of you.
The world (what’s left of it) is hazy and blue. Is this your own personal corner? Is this where we go? Sequestered into a space so vast you worry you’ll never find a place to rest. A space that is somehow smaller even than the cupboard you would squeeze into during childhood games. Then, the pressure was comforting. A wall on each side, the promise of being found. Knowing that you weren’t really hiding. That everyone else was well aware of your little hideaway. The inside was made of wood though the counter placed directly overhead was tiled in green. Your cupboard.
Here, you blink through eons of matter. You can’t even flutter your lashes from the weight. You close your eyes for a moment of peace. Your lids take years to fall.
You used to be silly with your friends at the grocery. Did you know that? Do you remember? Sneaking into the cereal aisle an hour before close. When you were younger and more reckless you’d tear open the boxes looking for grand prizes. You never found one, but by that point, it had become a sport to the four of you. Once you’d tire you’d plop yourselves down on the linoleum that was practically begging for a cleaning. You’d shake your bottoms. Get good and comfortable. The butt of your jeans have traveled further than most and have the dirty tracks to show it.
No one was better at solving those little cereal box puzzles. You would dominate the word search and crush the riddles with ease. Do you think that was your peak, those nights with the flickering lights and the free almost-expired-but-not-quite-yet milk? I don’t think it was your peak. I don’t think your kind has peaks. I think you just build on what came before. What I think doesn’t really matter though.
Looking back now you wonder. Why was there a close? It was a 24-hour store. Maybe no one cared. It was such a small town. They knew everyone’s routine. There really was no reason to have employees working at 4 am when the only people conscious were the first responders and the whisper-quiet man who lived down the street.
You worry you’ve wasted the best of you. I’m not sure I even know what qualifies.
Starting at the beginning, I think, is a waste of time. What is there other than an opening and a cry and a good hard slap on the behind? Maybe if you were born quiet. If you were born to some kind of tragedy. OF some kind of tragedy. No dice. So it’s a waste of time. 
Your mind still rests on the memory of your birth. I wonder if it’s because of the novelty of the whole thing; you were never able to access it before. It really was an average becoming. Belly, hospital, push, out. Nothing to it.
You replay the look on your mother’s face when she first rested her eyes on you. She must have seen something in you. It’s the only way to explain that look in her eyes. You still worry that you’ll disappoint her. You worry you’ll let her down. You worry that you’re wasting her worry. You want to succeed. For her.
Personally, I don’t see the point in all this ping-pong worrying. You’re already dead. The story has long since come to a full circle close.
I apologize, screaming here is a difficult task. If you can get in that breath of air (you can do it if you try, though you may struggle quite a bit), letting it back out is another animal to tackle. However, I see you are very determined to do so. Would you like to be provided a microphone to echo it out? If you can only do it once, I’m sure it’d be nice to have that once count. You wonder if you have enough substance left in you to make a wave in your hazy new blue home.
You have all this space pocket for yourself! Enjoy it. Drink it in. Look to your left. To your right. Here, you will find all of our various amenities… just a touch of humor there. We have no amenities. I’ve been at this a while and after the first few I get a little restless. You understand, don’t you? It’s only human nature to crack a few jokes when you’re feeling antsy. Well. I’m not quite sure about that first part. Maybe I should just say nature. No need for another identifier.
Worry worry worry. Do you have any other modes of being? 
What is your best, really, when you yourself have embodied so many throughout your life? I think (I know, it doesn’t matter what I think. However, we have all the time in the world, and really it wouldn’t hurt you to hear a little from me. Would you like to hear what I think?). 
I think that people are never their best. You worry that you’ve wasted the best of you. I say you do not possess your own best to waste.
You. You have been your mother’s best. Your sister’s best. Your teacher’s best. Your second grade best friend’s best, the one who would bring bright pink bubblegum tape to school to chew up and stick in her hair just below the level of her perfect haircut. You were her best. You people, you go through cherry-picking from each other and build yourselves from the bests of others. 
Let go of this thought that you had the power to misplace yourself. You’ve long since gifted that control to others. You are dead. I think your best lives on in someone else.
Oh? So now it matters what I think?
Your mind never seems to empty. From you, I learn why they call reminiscing “reliving”. Does it make it easier? Or is it your own special brand of self-torture? It’s no use doing that here. There is no bargaining.
 If time moved faster down here, I think a tear would be making its way down your cheek.
It is a bit of a blessing, this return of mind. You lose your life, but in a way, it comes right back to you.
You walk yourself through your first swing. Looking back, you wonder how you ever made that silly mistake. Now you know that fingers stay interlocked, wrists locks, head stays down as you twist your body back and hold your arms out. It’s all in the technique. 
You know you’re reliving the past. That it can’t be changed. That doesn’t stop you from saying a little prayer every time you revisit the way you’d swing down. That split second of letting gravity take over and releasing inhibition. That is our gift to you. It’s so vivid you can almost feel a beat in your chest.
I may have been right when I said your memories were your suffering. The energy you exert avoiding her is astounding. Subconsciously, you know you would give the world and then some to go back. Your will is not strong enough to avoid that. It may be cliche but that doesn’t stop you from replaying her eyes twinkling over and over and over. You watch her crack that smile until it makes you dizzy.
“I am, myself, three selves at least.” You don’t know who wrote that but it rests in your mind in that odd way that thoughts rest in your head these days. You never were one for poetry. You don’t know who wrote that. (I do. It was Mary Oliver.)
At present, you are maybe a quarter of a self. Half at most. Where have you gone? You ask the question as if I have the answer. You worry you’ve wasted the best of you. I worry you’ll never stop.
You live in the past. Don’t you know there is no past here, no future or present? Here, you just are. Is that enough? 
If you have wasted the best of you, comfort yourself knowing what you wasted it on. There’d be no use hanging on to it. It’d be of no use to you here. We have no best or worst. Was it really a waste of your best to have it be used in the one life you’re awarded? You may not be one for poetry, but I value word choice. Your use of “waste,” I’m afraid, will not do. If we are to spend Now together, that is my ground rule. I don’t have many. Careful with your words. They are all we have down here.
No, there is no poetry in the afterlife. You worry (again?) that you aren’t well-stocked. You did not take precautions. Made minimal preparation. You have only your mind and me to keep you company. 
You forget Mary Oliver rests on your brow. Here. I will give you a bit of a push. Don’t tell, now.
How I linger to admire, admire, admire the things of this world that are kind, and maybe
also troubled – roses in the wind, the sea geese on the steep waves, a love to which there is no reply?
Finally, the world goes dark. You’d almost forgotten the journey your lids were taking. Don’t open your eyes back up just yet. Take a step back. Get some air now. Let yourself rest. You have time.
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love-skincareroutine · a year ago
Jennifer Lopez Skin Care
New Post has been published on https://skin-care-routine.com/skin-care-routine/jennifer-lopez-skin-care/
Jennifer Lopez Skin Care
A. Everything You Need To Know About Jennifer Lopez’s Skincare Routine
That’s exactly how the triple threat maintains its coveted “JLo glow”. Few people have skin as fabulous as Jennifer Lopez. Her radiant and wrinkle-free complexion has been a source of admiration for the world for decades-and inspires fans to search Google for the answer to her beautiful naked face. It is complete and meticulous, but doable.
“People always ask about my skin,” Lopez told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford during a segment in 2014. “I must say that I have good genes. My mom and grandma had beautiful skin, so I was blessed that way. No I had plastic surgery … no injections, no filling, nothing. ”
In December 2020, the 51-year-old from the Bronx answered the prayers of those looking for Lopez’s skin care routine with the launch of JLo Beauty: a central line of products like sunscreen, eye cream and serum (available now) that help maintain Lopez’s charisma disease can achieve what “the JLo-Leuchten” was coined.
But what else does the star Hustlers do other than use their lineage religiously to achieve natural perfection? Read everything we know about Lopez’s skin care routine, compiling interviews over the years.
1. Jennifer Lopez uses SPF every day
Sunscreens are easy to discard because they are uncomfortable or boring, but the fact is that everyone with beautiful skin trusts them, including Lopez. It’s all about finding the right formula for you, whether it’s a high-quality formula that melts on your skin or moisture with UV protection added to it.
“I was never the type to sunbathe, which is why my skin was self-sustaining,” she told us Weekly for the January 2018 edition of the outlet. However, the icon of beauty does not always escape sunlight. “I like to sunbathe like everyone else when I go on vacation,” she told POPSUGAR Beauty in December 2020. “It’s not something I over-abuse, but that’s why a large part [of JLo Beauty] was sunscreen. . ”
“A dermatologist told me too young to use sunscreen and I asked myself, ‘What do I need sunscreen for? I live in New York. “But the truth is, that was an important part of my ability to look young, because I used it as a moisturizer every day. It helped me protect myself from the elements, and many people don’t understand that such a big part of looking young is wearing sunscreen every day. ”
2. Jennifer Lopez believes in this skin care ingredient
Interestingly, the skin care ingredient of the lonely island cast member is a staple of the kitchen: olive oil. “My mom used to say that olive oil is the panacea for everything,” revealed Lopez in a statement shared with GRAZIA USA. “And it’s a secret that I’ve used over the years because it really works.”
It is now an irreplaceable part of Lopez’s skin care routine. “Whenever my hair, skin or nails dried, I went back to the oil,” she said at a Zoom meeting with beauty editors, explaining that this is exactly why the main ingredient of her skin care line has become the JLo Beauty Contributes Olive Complex line: A mixture of four parts of squalane, fermented olive oil, extra virgin olive oil and olive leaf extract.
3. Jennifer Lopez always washes her face after exercise
The actress casually trains five times a week, so of course it’s not strange to be sweaty … often. “I always, always wash my face after training,” she said hello! in 2016. “It helps to keep my pores clean and my skin looking healthy.”
4. Jennifer Lopez never sleeps in makeup
No matter how much Selena’s student wants to end the day and go to bed, she never gives up on her nightly cleaning routine. “I never go to bed without my makeup on and use night creams to keep my skin hydrated,” Lopez told People in 2016.
And we should all take notes of Lopez when it comes to his consistent sleep schedule. “Ideally, I would like to sleep nine or ten hours,” Lopez told InStyle in 2016. “But, anyway, I always make sure to get at least eight.”
5. Jennifer Lopez takes care of her body
Lopez’s skin care routine is clearly solid, but she also pays attention to how she feeds her body from the inside out. “I don’t drink, smoke and I don’t have caffeine,” she said in Weekly in 2016. “It really ruins your skin as you get older.” What does not hurt the skin? Greens and H2O, which Lopez has in abundance. “We eat a lot of green vegetables, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale,” she told the establishment. And instead of wine, she drinks at least seven glasses of water a day.
In May 2020, her chef, Kelvin Fernandez, announced that Lopez likes to start the day with green juice. She is not a big fan of fruits, but will drink a mix of “vegetables like spinach, cucumber and celery”.
6. Jennifer Lopez takes it easy on her days off
If Lopez doesn’t like makeup artist Mary Phillips and hairdresser Chris Appleton, she is probably keeping things simple and relaxed. “I am very cautious with my daily beauty routine. I have to wear a lot of makeup to work. So, when I’m not working, I usually wear little or no makeup, ”hitmaker Jenny From the Block told Instyle in 2018.
7. Jennifer Lopez gets occasional treatment
No, it’s not botox or filler, but a facial treatment that adds a little more TLC to her skin outside of Lopez’s skin care routine. Before appearing on the 2020 Super Bowl break program, the famous beautician Toska Husted did a facial with Biologique Recherche products. She is also no stranger to Dr. Lancers Signature Placenta Facial, an anti-aging treatment that “promotes the production of collagen and elastin”.
  B. 11 Anti-Aging Tricks Jennifer Lopez Uses to Look Half Her Age
Jennifer Lopez’s impressive appearance at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show got everyone talking. Not only did her pole dance skills come to the point with someone-like an experienced professional-in her 20s, but her timeless beauty quickly earned her the nickname J. Glow.
So how does the star manage to make 50 look like the new 20 when it comes to flawless skin? Ahead of it is the A-Lister source with the secrets of youth care – from healthy habits to the exact anti-aging products in your beauty arsenal.
1. She gets her beauty serenity
Despite her busy acting schedule, new music, concerts, movie premieres, training with her fiance, outlaw Alex Rodriguez and the mother of her two children (Max and Emme), Lopez somehow finds time to sleep more than most countries.
“Tip number one is always to get enough sleep. I can’t stress enough,” she told InStyle in 2018. “I would love to sleep nine or ten hours, but either way, I always make sure I get it.” at least eight. ”
2. It hydrates and nourishes cleanly
Lopez believes that beauty starts from within. “Sorry, it’s true! I think drinking lots of water and fresh food with lots of fruits and vegetables (I always keep them with me) affects the quality of the skin,” she told People in 2016.
3. She doesn’t drink or smoke
You can see J. Lo outside the house from time to time, but you’ll never catch her throwing drinks back or blowing a cigarette. “She doesn’t drink, she doesn’t smoke. She lives a very clean life,” confirmed the groom in 2018, Harper’s Bazaar.
4. It also avoids caffeine
While Lopez is enjoying breakfast, she gets the decaf. “I haven’t had caffeine in years,” she told us in 2016 Weekly.
5. She has great genes
While she works hard to maintain her J.Lo shine, she also admits that she has a genetic advantage. “I must say that I have good genes,” she confessed today. “My mom and grandma had beautiful skin, so I was blessed with her. I am so happy.”
6. She meditates and uses mantras
In addition to his diet, Lopez believes that there is a connection between the mind and the body when it comes to beauty. “I definitely think that beauty comes from within – you need to keep your mind, soul, body and spirit in sync,” she told InStyle in 2016. “I firmly believe in meditation and when you are happy and have joy and love, you radiate beauty. ”
She also revealed to Harper’s Bazaarin in 2018 that she is a fan of daily mantras and affirmations. “I am young and timeless. I say this to myself every day, a few times a day. It sounds like fucking cliché, but it’s not like age is all in your head. Look at Jane Fonda,” she shared.
7. She washes her face after training
Lopez works – a lot! And after each welding session, she makes sure to refresh herself. “I always wash my face after training,” she told Hello! “It helps to keep my pores clean and my skin is healthy.”
8.    It also cleanses the face before sleeping
As tired as J.Lo is, she never neglects her skin care routine. “I never go to bed without my makeup on and use night creams to moisturize my skin,” she told People in 2016.
9. It protects your skin from sun damage
Lopez believes strongly in the SPF, she told InStyle in 2018. “I try not to spend too much time in the sun,” she added. In an interview with People in 2016, she also revealed that she uses sunscreen every day to protect her skin.
10. She uses glycolic acid to shine
Lopez also revealed to people that she regularly uses glycolic acid to “achieve a healthy glow and clear skin”. Her contact person? L’Oreals Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30 ($ 18; amazon.com), an affordable anti-aging moisturizer with SPF 30 to protect skin from the sun and glycolic acid, Vitamin C and Pro-Retinol to lighten and soften skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
11. It invests in anti-aging products for the skin
While she can spend hours in the makeup chair for presentations and special occasions, Lopez ensures that her skin can breathe. “I’m quite reluctant about my daily beauty routine,” she admitted to InStyle in 2016. “I have to wear a lot of makeup to work, so I usually do that when I’m not working.” wear little or no makeup. ”
While she tries to run out of makeup whenever possible, the star relies on structured skin care regimes to keep her complexion healthy and youthful-looking. She revealed Hello! Even some of her favorite skin care products. While most of her favorites aren’t * so * cheap, it’s worth checking out some of her proven products.
At the end of a long day, J.Lo relies on Lancer Skincare The Method: Cleanse ($ 55; dermstore.com) to remove excess oil, increase cell renewal and protect skin from future damage. She also loves the brand’s Lancer Skincare Eye Contour Lifting cream ($ 95; nordstrom.com) to help reduce dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness thanks to a powerful formula of caffeine, hyaluronic acid and peptides to brighten the eye area.
Her longtime makeup artist, Scott Barnes, revealed in a 2018 interview with Popsugar that the star bets on La Mer Moisturizing Cream (starting at $ 90; nordstrom.com), a popular cream that deeply moisturizes dry skin. “That’s the only thing that is in the makeup ward, no matter what,” he said.
And although she has an arsenal of luxury products, J.Lo confessed, in an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2014, that she was Dr. Hauschka’s rose day cream ($ 45; amazon. com) was a cheaper product. a friendly moisturizer that uses avocado and rosehip oils to hydrate, nourish and soothe irritated skin.
  C. Jennifer Lopez’s Nighttime Skin-Care Routine Is Just 3 Steps Long
All products presented at Glamor are independently selected by our editors. However, if you purchase something through our retail links, we may receive an affiliate commission.
In case you didn’t know, Jennifer Lopez has a new line of skin products called JLo Beauty and she wants you to use it! What better way to demonstrate the effects of That Jlo Glow Serum or That Fresh Take Eye Cream than to really show what she is doing under her flawless makeup?
In the post-New Year video, Lopez is still wearing her stage makeup from a recent performance that she describes as “a lot of makeup”. The pop star starts her nightly skin care routine in three steps with her new cleanser That Hit Single. She applies only a quarter of the size of the Pinky Pearlescent product to her face before cleaning her makeup with her hands. “Wash 2020”, she joked.
For the remainder of her eight-minute video, Lopez demonstrates the rest of her routine by passing on to her $ 118 That JLo Glow Serum, which she says gives her “more shine than if I were wearing makeup”.
Lopez claims that she sent the product back to the drawing board about 23 times before getting the “firming and instant shine” effect she was looking for. Lopez then closed his video with That Blockbuster Wonder Cream.
Jennifer Lopez recently announced to Glamor that she never tried Botox. “I’m not that person. I have nothing against who does this. It’s just not my thing,” she said during Zoom’s call with beauty editors. “I’m more interested in a natural approach to skin care. I think, honestly, it starts with who you are on the inside first and it shows on your face on the outside. That’s number one.”
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cindyvanwyk · a year ago
The 60 Books I Read in 2020
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If there’s one thing I did last year, it was read. 
While the pandemic was still a faraway threat, as my anxiety mounted, when we started working from home, as shelves in shops went bare, while the second wave was brewing... I was reading. 
Obsessively, voraciously, perhaps to escape more than I’d like to admit.
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of 20 books. My goal the year before had been 30, and I didn’t reach it. So I went the conservative route and lowered my expectations. By May, I’d smashed the goal and set another.
As the year went on, I kept upping my goal by five books at a time.
About half an hour before the clock struck midnight on 31 December, I finished my 60th read for the year.
I’m really proud of myself for smashing my goal three times over, and since I got through A LOT of books, I thought it would be great to make a master list with what I rated them in case you’re looking for something new to read.
While all these books are listed and reviewed on my Goodreads, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ve developed a little key.
The books are numbered in the order I read them, the best reads are in bold and the worst are italicised, while special mentions get a little star (*).
Simple enough, yes? Yes.
Let’s get to it, then.
1. On Writing - Stephen King Rating: 4/5 2. Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan Rating: 4/5 3. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy Rating: 2/5 4. Slow - Brooke McAlary Rating: 4/5 5. We’re Going To Need More Wine - Gabrielle Union Rating: 4/5 6. Freshwater - Akwaeke Emezi Rating: 3/5 7. Open City - Teju Cole Rating: 1/5 I want to say something positive about this book. A redeeming quality of sorts. But it was so mind-numbingly boring that I can't remember much beyond fighting the urge to fall asleep. The writing itself is good but there's nothing to back it up. Meandering, meandering, more meandering. Some random older woman sex that felt like it might have meant something but, in fact, did not. More meandering... An important occurrence in the 20th chapter that is completely ignored... A disappointment if ever there was one.
8. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life - Samantha Irby Rating: 4/5 9. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond* Rating: 4/5 Fascinating, well written and often heartbreaking. Well worth a read.
10. In The Dream House - Carmen Maria Machado Rating: 5/5  A dream, a nightmare and something else entirely, In The Dream House is strange, beautiful and quietly heartbreaking. So many times my throat closed up in memory of my own abuse, but it was beautifully breathtaking all the same. I will never be the same ever again. That's what this book does to you.
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11. The Beach House - Jane Green Rating: 3/5 12. Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance - Brenna Womer Rating: 3/5 13. Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo Rating: 2/5 14. The Sea Detective - Mark Douglas-Home Rating: 2/5 Albeit an interesting story with a solid plot, The Sea Detective is tainted by repeated fatphobia. One of the main characters is described as fat and ugly and plain and fat and ugly and fat about seventeen ways to Sunday. She apparently regularly cannot fit into chairs and thinks of sleeping with every man she comes across, but of course doesn't, because she is so fat and ugly and plain. It's all just so... Boring. This novel could have been brilliant. But alas. What a waste.
15. The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides* Rating: 4/5
A good, solid story, well-written, with a plot twist I couldn't have guessed in a million years. Would definitely recommend!
16. The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory Rating: 4/5 17. The Accident - Gail Schimmel Rating: 3/5 18. The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea - Mark Douglas-Home Rating: 3/5  19. Ayiti - Roxane Gay Rating: 5/5
Roxane Gay is a master storyteller, story crafter, magic maker. Sweet On The Tongue left me breathless. I'll keep coming back to it again and again.
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20. The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth Rating: 3/5 21. Still: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Motherhood - Emma Hansen* Rating: 4/5
Both refreshing and absolutely heartbreaking in its honesty, Still tells the story of Emma Hansen and her husband Aaron who lost their son, Reid, to stillbirth at 40 weeks. From stumbling upon her Instagram a year or two ago to reading the whole story in her memoir, the loss feels personal. Whether that's due to my empathic nature or Emma's writing talent or both, Still is so beautiful it hurts.
22. The Power of a Praying Woman - Stormie Omartian Rating: 5/5
Incredible. Powerful. Beautiful. A must-read for every Christian woman, The Power of a Praying Woman has 31 chapters, which makes it perfect for a month of growing in your faith and learning more about God. Definitely a book I'll come back to over and over again.
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23. Not That Bad - Edited by Roxane Gay Rating: 4/5 24. Bone - Yrsa Daley-Ward Rating: 4/5 25. Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness - Joy Beth Smith* Rating: 4/5
This book was so much of what I didn't want to hear. But desperately needed to know. It's changed my view on so many things regarding marriage and singleness and I'm bound to come back to the three million highlighted notes I made over and over again. I think the author could have been more vulnerable about her own experiences, though. She was open and honest but I still feel she could have gone deeper to really speak to the heart of every single Christian woman out there. Maybe in her next book. I hope there will be one. Would definitely recommend.
26. Felicity - Mary Oliver Rating: 3/5 27. Zimbabwe - Tapiwa Mugabe Rating: 2/5
There are a few great lines from this collection but most of it feels empty. Pretty, but empty. It also desperately needs a good editor, which made me cringe. Overall, I think Mugabe has talent, but not for poetry. I'd like to read a short story (collection) or novel by him.
28. Salt - Nayyirah Waheed Rating: 4/5 29. Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say - Sheila Walsh
Rating: 5/5
Real, honest and beautiful, Sheila Walsh's Praying Women gives you encouragement and the tools to become a prayer warrior, no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord. It's only 10 chapters, but this book is overflowing with lessons from both Scripture and Sheila's own experiences. Wonderful. Would definitely recommend
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30. The Mother-in-Law - Sally Hepworth Rating: 4/5 31. Thick: And Other Essays -  Tressie McMillan Cottom Rating: 2/5
Tressie McMillan Cottom's Thick is a collection of eight essays that centre black womanhood, race relations and body image. McMillan Cottom is many things. A writer, sociologist, professor. A speaker, podcaster, an author. A friend to one of the most incredible writers of our time (in my opinion, anyway), Roxane Gay. She is also an academic. As such, her writing is academic. And while that may and does appeal to many people, particularly intellectuals, it did not appeal to me. There were a few stand out moments in the collection, but for the most part, I struggled. I was bored. I sighed a lot. And when it ended, finally, I was both relieved and surprised, because night after night of reading, determined to get through it, it felt like it never would. I wish I could feel more warmly about these essays, but they were ultimately what most academic writing is to me. Unrelatable. Cold. And never-ending. With that being said, the topics covered are interesting and many of her points are enlightening, which makes Thick well worth a read if you're not put off by academic language. Overall, not for me, but I can see why so many people enjoyed it.
32. Look For Me - Lisa Gardner Rating: 3/5 33. Your Family, Your Body (Penguin Modern Poets #3) - Malika Booker, Sharon Olds, Warsan Shire Rating: 3/5 34. The Familiar Dark - Amy Engel* Rating: 4/5
A deliciously dark story that starts with the murder of two 12-year-old girls, what stands out most about the novel for me is how Engel crafts language into something raw and gut-punching and absolutely breathtaking. The use of language added another layer of beauty and enjoyment to this novel for me, something I quite rarely find in fiction, and I really appreciated that about it. I made SO MANY highlights on my Kindle, parts of the story where the language just blew me away. When it comes to the story, though, parts of it weren't very believable to me. I don't think Eve's character's grief was shown enough, and the ending doesn't quite fit with everything else we've learnt about her character throughout the novel. I'm also surprised that Eve's mother, often referred to as Mama throughout the text, didn't play a bigger role in the story. Her character was used more as a tool to develop the other characters and the story, but I think Engel missed out on an opportunity to make her a truly dynamic and well-rounded, albeit unlikeable, character. I also would have loved to learn more about Junie and Izzy’s characters before the murders, instead of just their loved ones’ accounts of them. Overall, I loved it, but I think the author could have done more with it to make it timeless
35. All the Names They Used for God - Anjali Sachdeva Rating: 3/5 36. Wow, No Thank You - Samantha Irby Rating: 2/5 37. Pet - Awkwaeke Emezi Rating: 4/5 38. One To Watch - Kate Stayman-London Rating: 4/5 39. The Death of Vivek Oji - Akwaeke Emezi* Rating: 4/5
Akwaeke Emezi's The Death of Vivek Oji tells the story of Vivek, of those who loved him and of how his death changed them, changed things around them, even in the smallest of ways. A heavy, complicated, beautiful story of grief, of forbidden love, of family - the one we are born into and the ones we make for ourselves - it's not an easy read. Even at the end, when all your questions have finally been answered, it doesn't neatly file anything away. The Death of Vivek Oji lingers long after you've finished the last page. Like Emezi's previous two works, it centres 'otherness' in a way that has become somewhat of their signature, but this novel stands head and shoulders above the other two for its sheer craft. The Death of Vivek Oji is so well thought out, the writing so beautiful, even with the uncomfortable subject matter, it's a story I'll keep coming back to. I love how the photograph metaphor threads through the entire story, how it comes full circle to show us who Vivek truly was. But I wish we saw more of that from Vivek himself, instead of so much of him being told from the people close to him, and I think the amount of 'background' characters was overwhelming and unnecessary to the story. I'm left with the feeling that there was too much crammed into this novel. It overflows, and I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing. There's so much of it, so many layers, so much to dissect. I'll think about it forever.
40. The Mourning Bird - Mubanga Kalimamukwento Rating: 2/5 41. Nejma - Nayyirah Waheed Rating: 3/5 42. Love Me Back - Merritt Tierce Rating: 2/5 43. The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory Rating: 3/5 44. My Dark Vanessa - Kate Elizabeth Russell Rating: 4/5 45. She Prays: A 31-Day Journey to Confident Conversations with God - Debbie Lindell  Rating: 4/5 46. Ten - Gretchen McNeil  Rating: 4/5 47. The Flat Share - Beth O’Leary Rating: 4/5 48. The Whisper Man - Alex North Rating: 5/5
After the death of his wife, Rebecca, Tom and his son Jake move to a quiet village to start over. Jake seems drawn to their new house and Tom can't quite figure out why, and he can't quite figure out his son either. As Tom tries to deal with his grief and find his feet, he can't quite shake the feeling that something's not quite right. And little does he know just how right his gut feeling is. "It always ends where it starts." There are so many layers to Alex North's The Whisper Man, so many twists I didn't see coming a mile away and so many viscerally terrifying moments. It's so hard to review it without giving anything away, but suffice it to say that this book is so well written, so well thought out and so incredibly engrossing. From grief to families reconnecting to the teeniest hint of a budding romance, there's so much more to this book than I ever would have expected. Would definitely recommend. 
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49. The Wrong Way to Save Your Life: Essays - Megan Stielstra Rating: 3/5 50. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - JK Rowling Rating: 3/5 51. The Bright Side of Going Dark - Kelly Harms* Rating: 4/5
One moment social media influencer Mia Bell is about to get married to her good looking fiancé, the next, she's tossing her phone off a cliff (literally!) and moving back in with her mom. Much more than a modern romance, Kelly Harms' The Bright Side of Going Dark touches on depression, suicide, grief, social media addiction and so much more. The characters were VERY typecast in terms of looks and some of the dialogue seemed... Unrealistic and sometimes awkward, but this book has a heart of gold. Would definitely recommend if you're looking something lighter that still packs a worthwhile punch. 
52. Beach Read - Emily Henry Rating: 5/5
Romance, deliciously steamy moments, friendship, family, grief... Beach Read has it all and then some. The title is the only thing even slightly disappointing about this book, and Emily Henry's writing is absolutely gorgeous. Yes, yes, yes. I loved this with my whole heart. 
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53. The Flight - Julie Clark Rating: 4/5 54. Make a List: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open Our Hearts - Marilyn Chandler McEntyre Rating: 3/5 55. Those Who Live In Cages - Terry-Ann Adams Rating: 4/5 56. [Dis]Connected: Poems & Stories of Connection and Otherwise ([Dis]Connected #2) Rating: 4/5 57. The River At Night - Erica Ferencik Rating: 3/5 58. The Petal Plucker - Iris Morland Rating: 3/5 59. The Switch - Beth O’Leary Rating: 3/5 60. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath Rating: 2/5
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Photo: TW Studio
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piouscatholic · 8 months ago
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Devotion of St. Therese of Lisieux
...As requested by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
These prayers are to be said on Sundays and the Holy Days of Obligation, publicly (if possible), and preferably before the Blessed Sacrament or before the picture of the Holy Face.
Dear Lord, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I (we) offer You these prayers in reparation for the sins which offend God the most in these modern times--the sins of BLASPHEMY and the PROFANATION OF SUNDAY and Your Holy Days of Obligation:
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
I salute Thee,
I adore Thee and
I love Thee, O adorable Face of Jesus, my Beloved, noble Seal of the Divinity!
Outraged anew by blasphemers,I offer Thee, through the heart of Thy blessed Mother, the worship of all the Angels and Saints, most humbly beseeching Thee to repair and renew in me and in all men Thy Image disfigured by sin.
O adorable Face which was adored, with profound respect, by Mary and Joseph when they saw Thee for the first time, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which did ravish with joy, in the stable of Bethlehem, the Angels, the shepherds and the magi, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which did transpierce with a dart of love in the Temple, the saintly old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which filled with admiration the Doctors of the law when Thou didst appear in the Temple at the age of twelve years, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which possesses beauty always ancient and always new, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is the masterpiece of the Holy Ghost, in which the Eternal Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is the ineffable mirror of the divine perfection, have mercy on us.
Adorable Face of Jesus which was so mercifully bowed down on the Cross, on the day of Thy Passion, for the salvation of the world!
Once more today in pity bend down towards us poor sinners.
Cast upon us a glance of compassion and give us Thy peace.
O adorable Face which became brilliant like the sun and radiant with glory, on the Mountain of Tabor, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which wept and was troubled at the tomb of Lazarus, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was rendered sad at the sight of Jerusalem, and shed tears on that ungrateful city, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was bowed down to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and covered with confusion for our sins, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was covered with the sweat of blood, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was struck by a vile servant, covered with a veil of shame, and profaned by the sacrilegious hands of Thy enemies, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which by Its divine glance, wounded the heart of St. Peter with a dart of sorrow and love, have mercy on us.
Be merciful to us, O my God!
Do not reject our prayers, when in the midst of our afflictions, we call upon Thy Holy Name and seek with love and confidence Thy adorable Face.
O adorable Face which was washed and anointed by Mary and the holy women and covered with a shroud, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which was all resplendent with glory and beauty on the day of the Resurrection, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which is hidden in the Eucharist, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will appear at the end of time in the clouds with great power and great majesty, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will make sinners tremble, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which will fill the just with joy for all eternity, have mercy on us.
O adorable Face which merits all our reverence, our homage and our adoration, have mercy on us.
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
O Lord, show us Thy Face, and we shall be saved!
Note: The Litany of the Holy Face above, and the same Litany in our pamphlets, is the abridged version, as the full version is quite lengthy. Here is the full-length Litany of the Holy Face.
Almighty and Eternal Father, since it has pleased Our Divine Savior to reveal to mankind in modern times the power residing in His Holy Face, we now avail ourselves of this Treasure in our great need.
Since our Savior Himself promised that by offering to You His Holy Face disfigured in the Passion we can procure the settlement of all the affairs of our household, and that nothing whatsoever will be refused to us, we now come before Your throne.
Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze from our guilty people whose face has become unsightly in Your eyes.
Look instead upon the Face of Your Beloved Son; for this is the Face of Him in whom You are well pleased.
We now offer You His Holy Face covered with blood, sweat, dust, spittle and shame, in reparation for the worst crimes of our age, which are atheism, blasphemy, and the desecration of Your holy days.
We thus hope to appease Your anger justly provoked against us.
The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth to plead our cause; listen to His cries, behold His tears, O God, and through the merits of His Holy Face hearken to Him when He intercedes for us poor miserable sinners.
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minervacasterly · 2 years ago
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One of the darkest chapters occurred with the hanging of Bridget Bishop at Gallows Hill in Salem, Massachusetts for “certain detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries" on June 10th, 1692.
To this day, despite the town’s openness to people of ever walks of life and being a safe haven for pagans and wiccans, the stigma of what occurred remains.
There have been countless analysis and retellings in the media about these witch trials. One (recent) theory that has gained a lot of traction is that besides fanaticism and want of attention, the girls’ hysteria was a product of wheat poisoning that was the result of a rye ergot –a hallucinogenic fungus.
The first person to offer proof of this was Linnda R. Caporael in 1976. Many historians have included her study in their assessment of this black chapter in American Colonial history. Among them is Stacy Schiff with her recent biography, “The Witches: Salem, 1692”.
A combination of mass hysteria brought about by this fungus and religious fanaticism is what culminated in the deaths of dozens of men and women falsely accused of witchcraft. Two hundred people were tried and close to twenty were executed –Bridget Bishop being the first.
Bridget Bishop was thrice married, first to Captain Samuel Wesselby from whom she had two children, then to a fellow widower, Thomas Oliver, from whom she had more children and finally to Edward Bishop, a prosperous sawyer. This last union produced no offspring.
Bridget Bishop’s accusers were five of the main afflicted girls: Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, Elizabeth Hubbard, and Abigail Williams two months before on the 19th of April. When she was brought before court, she was questioned by an equal number of men in whose eyes she was already guilty.
“The burden proof rested on the prosecution, but the prosecution enjoyed a few seventeenth-century advantages. An English trial of the time was inquisitorial, an informal, free-form, hectic, rapid-fire contest best described as “a relatively spontaneous bicker between accusers and accused.” Across the board, standards of proof were imprecise. A suspect had no idea of the evidence against her until she stepped into the courtroom, where she could be convicted of a different crime that the one for which she stood indicted. She had the right to defend herself but no guarantee she would be heard. Protests of innocence carried little weight …”
They wanted to hear her confession and reveal of other witches and warlocks. New England Puritan minister and science aficionado, Cotton Mather said in his later work “The Wonders of the Invisible World” that soon after the girls testified against her, other people showed up, presenting similar allegations. One of them was a middle aged man by the name of William Stacy who told the ministers that prior to her arrest, Bridget Bishop had told him that there were many in Salem who considered her a witch. Another man’s testimony followed his, accusing her of sending an affliction to his son.
“We know nothing of Bishop’s last words, of who tied her skirts around her ankles or her hands behind her back, who urged her up the ladder, placed the cloth over her head, or fitted the noose around her neck. Hangmen were not easy to come by. Sheriff Corwin may himself have delivered the push that left her suspended by the neck, thrashing desperately, twitching spasmodically, finally dangling, still and silent, in midair. She died by slow strangulation; the end could have taken as long as an hour. It was not necessarily quiet. It could be preceded by blood curling groans …
She died before noon; Corwin arranged for the corpse to be buried nearby, a detail he added to his report and later crossed out, presumably as he had exceeded his instructions. It is difficult to imagine who might have claimed the body. Bishop’s husband appears to have absented himself from the scene. From an earlier marriage, she had a twenty-five-year-old daughter, who could have kept her distance that season.
Across both Salems, villagers and townsfolk breathed a collective sigh of relief. They had dispatched a nuisance and a notorious sinner. Together they had engaged in a cathartic, calming ritual … such things were “painful, grotesque, but a scandal was after all a sort of service to the community.” The wise magistrates whose praises Mather sang in his charter-selling sermon … A decade earlier Bishop had pried a woman from her bed and nearly drowned her. The woman was thereafter insane, “a vexation to herself and all about her.” With Bishop’s arrest, her condition improved. And as Bishop swung from the gallows, the woman miraculous emerged from her decade of madness. The execution worked a spell of its own over Essex County, where –Mather would note- many “marvelously recovered their senses.” Accusations ceased over the next weeks, as did arrests …”
In the eyes of Puritan law, Bridget Bishop was beyond redemption, though there were those who still prayed for the good lord to bless their town and deliver them from evil. For a time, it seemed like God had answered their prayers but then the accusations resurfaced. The devil was still present and its agents hiding among them. People had to be vigilant and the ministers and judges act mercilessly against these offenders.
Source quoted: The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Image: Posthumous painting of Bridget Bishop.
For additional information about the Ergo fungus, here's a link to a good article that is pretty straightforward: https://uh.edu/engines/epi1037.htm#:~:text=In%201976%20Linnda%20Caporael%20offered,when%20they're%20actually%20stoned.
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