Letter to Emily

West Oak Lane 1018

May 13 1886

Lost Bird Ave. 2222

Mrs. Dickenson.

Dear Mrs. Dickenson, you are possibly my favorite poet, and author of our age. You seem to capture things how they are and never sees to amaze me with your effortless messages that you effortlessly bleed from your heart, into your hand, into your pen, onto the pager, and into my heart. Your writing style is one that I deeply enjoy. In your poem “A Word,” you write something short and simple. Yet it delivers a powerful thought provoking message that kept me awake for many nights as I thought about the words I so carelessly spoke, in this case, murdered, or gave life to.

In your poem you talk about how some people say that a word is dead when spoken. But you say a word just begins to live. I think depending on the word and the context it is used the word’s life span can vary. What I mean is if I were to say “I love cookies,” while petting a dog, the word love will only live for that brief moment that it is spoken, then it dies. But if I were to say “I love you,” while looking you in the eyes while watching the sunset, the word love will live on much longer than the previous use. For the meaning of it and context is now different and the meaning will live on and stay with you for much longer there for the word just began its life, and lived a full life.

What I have just said is me getting excited about simply one of your poems. But I have a feeling you are hoarding thousands of poems and stories behind the closed doors of your bedroom, and that only your death will allow the public eye to see them all. Now I must admit if it were up to me I would live in my room and not leave ever too. People are not quiet my fancy so I understand your decision making. But I do wonder what led to you not wanting to leave, were you hiding from something? You are a brilliant writer, but I believe your work suffers because if you were in the world you could get much more inspiration from life of the earth, but, it is not my place to judge. Your writing is still flawless to me and your view of death is quiet realistic. Now I do not wish to do everything that you do, I mean that in a humorous manner. I do not think parents would be very comfortable with a man lowering cookies down to children from his room. So I will leave the neighborhood baking to you Mrs. Dickenson.

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Letter to Poe

West Hill Ave. 1321.

5 August 1845.

West Ave. H4 1861.

Dear Mr. Poe.

Author, poet, artist. You are a man of many talents that all revolve around writing. I am writing to you to explain my appreciation I have for your writings, and the concern I have for you as a man.

You are perhaps the author that I have grown to be most the found of. Your outlook on this world and the messages you have conveyed through your works of the pen have left me always wanting to read more. Your gothic style of writing I have found to become my favorite style of writing. Your writings of mystery and horror are where I find the most excitement when it comes to reading. I know this comes from most people in your life dying prematurely, causing your interest in the afterlife. But In each of your stories I have found you always find ways of delicately, methodically placing signs, meanings, and metaphors, into your works of literature in way that the readers will see it right away and need to be truly reading in order to see them.

The tales of mystery and horror that have been bled unto pages from a pen that has wielded by your vast intellect have taken me to places that only words ever could. But as I continue to read your literary works, which are brilliant, they unfortunately are still only about horror and mystery. The reason this arouses a feeling of concern in my mind and soul is that you seem to have a dark train of thought. I am not sure if this is due to your father leaving you, and your mother dying when you were three years old. Or when you gathered debt in school and you were forced to join the military because your foster father who was having affairs on his dying wife refused to help pay your debts. Or your fist love dying when you were fifteen years old .To have a train of thought of darkness is to have a darkness of the soul. To have darkness of the soul is to have lack of light and, the greatest light of them all is the light of Christ. Your writings have given me no inclination that you have a desire to. This concerns me because your sole may be accustomed to dark thoughts in life, but it will not be able to become accustomed the eternal darkness and flames or total damnation that you now face with your lack of faith. I would like to extend to you my prayers for you, in that you may find more joy in life, and the light and love of Christ. I want you to know that life is not all mystery and horror, but joy, love, friendship and time spent with God.

I hope this letter finds you in good health my friend. May you live a long life full of happiness for both you and your wife.

Trumping Sin

Whoever rules on earth, I’ll honor God.

To honor Him is to not break the law.

We are here to show His love through the fog,

 

not running the streets with a noble façade,

We must accept earthly rulers with flaws.

Whoever rules on earth, I’ll honor God.

 

To make real change, we must persist and prod,

And constantly pray that cold hearts will thaw.

We are here to show His love through the fog.

 

To fight, we should use faith, not rocks and rods,

no matter how much the devil may claw.

Whoever rules on earth, I’ll honor God

 

We should never put our faith in false gods.

Political rivals should never brawl.

We are here to show His love through the fog

 

of these dark times–no matter how odd.

We must always run to God, never crawl.

Whoever rules on earth, I’ll honor God

We are here to show His love through the fog.

Avocado Limbs

Avocado Limbs

When a pencil touches paper, it leaves a mark. When food is consumed, it is digested. When water mixes with dirt, it creates mud. These are a few effects certain things have on other things. What causes these effects?. Pencils leave a mark because the graphite in the pencil is scraped into the paper; food is consumed because a person is hungry; and water reaches dirt from rain which forms in the sky over time. There are innumerable things that cause effects every day. One of these things is something that is rapidly spreading and very dangerous. It is called “lymphedema.” Lymphedema is a swelling in either one or both of the legs and arms that makes them look like avocados. But like most things, lymphedema is caused by something, has an effect on something else, and can be stopped or controlled if its causes and effects are understood.

So what exactly is lymphedema? There is a system in the human body called the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is like the cleanup crew of the body. It flushes out the body with lymph fluid, which has lots of proteins in it. What this does is gather all the bacteria and bad stuff in the body and flush it out. Then, once all the bacteria and bad stuff are gathered, it is filtered by anti-virus cells known as lymphocytes. Lymphedema is what happens when the lymphocytes cannot properly flush out the bacteria. It usually occurs in the arms or legs.

Lymphedema is caused when the lymphatic system cannot properly flush out bacteria and other bad things from the body. There are visible side-effects of this. So, what does all this compiled toxic lymphatic fluid do to the body?

The effects of lymphedema are swelling of either the arm or leg, depending on where the lymphedema is taking place. If it is taking place in the arm, a numb, swollen feeling will spread to the fingers, and the arm will have a swollen heaviness. The swollen limb will have a memory foam quality to it so that when the swollen area is pressed, there will be an indent left from the pressure after the pressure is relieved. If left untreated, the limb will continue to swell, the swollen area will lose hair, the skin will get hard and thicken, the skin might develop a rash, and the affected area of skin is more susceptible to infections. Cuts and open wounds on the affected area will not heal properly.

Since the problem is swelling and expansion of the limbs, the answer is to compress. If a leg is the affected area, then the person must wear compression shorts and/or compression socks. If it is an arm, then compression sleeves and/or gloves should be worn. The skin of the affected area must be protected by using sunscreen, lotion, and other skin treatments to keep the skin healthy, hydrated, and protected from damage or infection. It also helps to exercise to keep the fluids moving. The final measure to take is to go to a specialist and to get a therapeutic massage to help manually drain the lymphatic fluid.

Every single thing that happens in the world and in the human body is made up of a relationship between causes and their effects. The medical field focuses on understanding the causes and effects of everything having to do with the human body and how to engage with, manipulate, and heal those cause-effect systems. Lymphedema is caused by a failure of the lymphatic system to flush out bacteria from the body, affecting the area where the toxic fluid is pooled in by swelling, hardened rash-prone skin that is more susceptible to infection. It can be treated with compression clothing, exercise, proper skin care, and manually draining the fluid. The only way to understand how to treat something is to understand the cause and effects of the medical condition. The potential for the medical field and the whole world to provide treatment and healing depends on the study of the cause and effect relationships.

The Survivors

So many people, so many styles, so many things, and so many differences. But not just differences, similarities as well. There are many differences in this world, people are different than one another, styles are different than one another, and movies are different than one another as well. Some movies can have completely different stories and ideals but some are more alike than others. Two movies of interesting comparison are the 1982 version of First Blood, and the 2002 The Bourne Identity. In both movies, the reasons the protagonists are being hunted, how the protagonists reacted to their situation, and how they resolved the conflict are the same, yet the movies are notably different films.

The conflict in First Blood is how the protagonist, John Rambo, a retired Green Berea, is chased into the forest near a small town and fights off an army of police and rangers. He is forced to use all of his survival skills to stay alive. The conflict began because when he entered the small town to visit a friend he knew from the Vietnam War. After finding out that his friend was dead, he starts walking into town to eat. The sheriff notices how he is dressed (a tattered military coat) and says he will give Rambo a ride. Instead of dropping him off near food in town, the sheriff drops him off on the edge of town and tells him that he does not like drifters. When Rambo starts making his back into town anyway, the sheriff arrests him. Back at the station, when the sheriff and other deputies start abusing Rambo, they trigger a flashback of Vietnam and his experiences as a prisoner-of-war. So Rambo panics, fights off the deputies, and escapes into the forest – where the conflict escalates.

In The Bourne Identity, the conflict is that the protagonist, Jason Bourne, fights off a constant barrage of assassins that believe he is going to release details about the CIA to the public. The movie starts with an Italian fishing boat finding a man (later revealed to be Jason Bourne) floating in the water. They pull him onto the boat and discover three gunshot wounds in his back. While they are stitching him up, he awakens and has no idea where or who he is. He jumps off the boat, swims to land, and slowly makes his way to different locations that he has no recollection of but just feels he must go. It does not take long for the CIA to spot him. They thought he had been killed since he was missing for a few weeks (the time spent on the fishing boat). The CIA thinks Bourne faked his death to elude them, and they begin to pursue to kill him so that he will not pose a security threat with his extensive knowledge of their workings. The trauma of being shot in the beginning of the film gave him amnesia, so when he is attacked by the CIA assassins, he automatically reacts with high level fighting skills – but he does not understand how, because according to him, he is just a regular person that has forgotten their name / recent memories. Eventually, certain CIA memories start to come back to him and he embraces his skills to fight off the assassins more efficiently.

The movies are similar because both protagonists are pursued by law enforcement organizations even though they are innocent. Although Bourne does have to fight off a small army like Rambo, his conflict is not limited to just the forest. He is constantly on the run, fighting in suburban landscapes and intense car chases. The two protagonists differ in that Rambo was a retired Green Berea, while Bourne is an active member of a special CIA project known as “Tread Stone.” In both movies, Rambo and Bourne are extreme survivalists and very skilled fighters/sharpshooters. Both men single handedly take on small armies and skilled assassins. Where they differ is how they reacted. Rambo reacted with his skills but because he felt forced into fighting back. He was simply visiting a friend when the police started to harass him and he fought back after war memories were triggered. Rambo fought to survive. Later in the movie, it is revealed that Rambo was specially trained as a high-ranking military survivalist and assassin. Bourne, on the other hand, also fights back to defend himself but he does not know how he is able to do so due to the amnesia. Both Bourne and Rambo fight off their attackers with skills they have acquired through extensive training: one man does so out of his own conscious choice and reason while the other does it out of instinct without understanding how.

Like all conflict, it has to end at some point. Both men are skilled soldiers and fighters, they both fight off small armies single handedly, and they both find a way to solve the conflict. How they do so, is different. In First Blood, the conflict is resolved when Rambo makes his final assault on the sheriff station, resulting in a shootout with the sheriff that started it all. Rambo wins and is about to kill the sheriff when he hears the front door open. It is colonel Trautman, one of the men who trained him as a soldier. Trautman tells Rambo to surrender and Rambo tells him how he can no longer handle going back to normal life in the city; how he was once entrusted to take lives and now he is not even trusted to park cars. Trautman tells Rambo that he can not fight forever, Rambo agrees, they exit the building, and Rambo is arrested. On the other hand, Bourne did not leave a building quietly. He also engages in a shootout, but after regaining some memories, he finds the man that has ordered him to be assassinated and tells him that he will let him live if he stops trying to find him. Then Bourne leaves the building and the country.

Both Bourne and Rambo were skilled soldiers, both were hunted, and both fought back. How and why they did so differs, though. Rambo was hunted because the sheriff did not like his “drifter” look. Bourne was hunted because he was believed to have gone rogue and had to fight for his life while having no memories to understand the context of his situation. Both of the men resolved the conflict, but Rambo did so by surrendering and going to prison while Bourne did so by forcing his hunter to leave him alone and leaving the country. Some movies, like First Blood and The Bourne Identity can have similar plots but still be totally different stories in setting, mood, and ending. That is what makes going to the movies so interesting and addicting.

Patrolling

Normally on Sunday morning, I go to my church. There are two church services on Sundays: one a nine o’clock, which is the one I attend, and one at eleven o’clock. I usually volunteer in the café during eleven o’clock service. When I do, I make all the blended drinks – normally. But two weeks ago, as I was leaving first service and getting ready to serve; the woman who runs the café told me, “I’m sorry, but we don’t need you right now because all our blenders are broken.”

I wasn’t the only person she told this to either. Three other volunteers and I simply sat in the café not knowing what to do since we were not needed behind the counter (It is hard to go elsewhere in the church since every ministry is like a job – you have to have some training before you jump in.). My dad volunteers in security; and since he saw I was just sitting there, he invited me to go on patrol with him. By “patrolling” I mean that we drive around a golf cart to check on the rest of the campus, see if people need assistance, or help another security person. It is a cool opportunity to see the church from a different point of view. So when my dad asked me if I wanted to patrol around with him I said, “Of course.”

To which he replied, “Woo-hoo!”

The golf cart looks old. The church logo on the front of it is faded and cracked; the backseats are faded and cracked, as well. The wooden backs of the backseats are faded and cracked, too – faded and cracked seemed to be the theme of the golf cart. Though it is old and looks worn down, it still runs like new. My dad gave me the keys and moved the cones in front of the cart out of the way. It turns on silently and does not go more than ten miles an hour. The pedals can be touchy; but once you get the hang of them, the drive can be smooth.

The other part of patrol is dealing with lots of different people. Security is like a filter for people coming into the church. They make sure dangerous and intrusive people do not get into the sanctuary. What I mean by “intrusive” are people who come to the church just to look for things to steal. Most of these people have been caught before, so security has a picture of them. If they show up and do not attend service, security can check on them. This happened last Sunday.

My dad approached an older man who security knew was not allowed on campus and asked, “Excuse me, sir, is there anything you need help with?”

The man replied, “No, I’m just trying car doors to see if they’re unlocked.”

I was surprised that the man just said it as if everyone is allowed to do that. At that answer, my dad calmly asked the man to leave. Thankfully, he did so without complaint.

Other ways that security acts as a filter is when there are people walking in drinking beer or smoking marijuana. Security tells them that they have to leave while they are using those substances, but are welcome back anytime they are not doing those things. The last person we asked to leave that day was a homeless man. He was very polite and not being disruptive; but unfortunately, he was drinking on the church campus. He was a tall, thin man, probably in his early forties. He had long, white hair and wore a baggy, brown sweat shirt and faded jeans. As he was leaving, he said goodbye and waved. Security does not just ask people to leave, though. If there is an elderly person walking through the parking lot, security gives them a ride to the car or to main sanctuary. Sometimes, security wishes they could filter out rude people, too, but that is not a possibility since it is a church that welcomes as much as is safely possible.

The whole church looks much different when driving around than walking around. When I am just walking around the church, I only notice the tall sanctuary building on my left and a parking lot on the right. But when I go driving with my father, we will sometimes park all the way in the back of the parking lot; and from there, I can see an ocean of cars – all different colors and sizes and shapes. I notice the morning breeze swaying the trees that are scattered throughout the parking lot. When service is over, all the people flooding out of the sanctuary look like happy ants crawling toward their cars. I like the silhouette of the two sanctuaries bookending the courtyard at the other end of the parking lot. Both buildings are tall, tan, and have square windows in the front framed in brushed grey metal. The main sanctuary is on the right, and the café and youth sanctuaries are both in the left building. The courtyard is in between the two buildings and is where everyone hangs out and talks after service. The courtyard floor is made of tan and brown bricks that always make the campus feel warm, no matter the weather.

In the corner of the courtyard is the baptism pool. When baptisms are not happening, three spouts in the center shoot the water up like a fountain. At the far end of the courtyard, on the right, is the children’s area. It is a much smaller, shorter building, but it is longer than either of the sanctuaries. The whole front of the children’s building is floor-to-ceiling windows that let in sunshine and showcase the rainbow mural in the front hallway. The whole church has tan, brown, and grey colors that almost reflect the kind of people inside – warm, polite, and happy to be there.

Usually, I only encounter people inside the church. But for the past three weeks, I have encountered all the people outside and around the church. I have met nice and rude people and driven a seasoned golf cart around. Doing so allows me to appreciate how wonderful my church is. I have enjoyed doing this and have decided that I want to serve in security, too.