Friday Thoughts: Heroes

In recent years, Marvel has produced movies and series of humans and beings with great powers and abilities. DC has done its best to keep up. Some were born. Others were given a choice. And some were forced.

It is interesting to think that Marvel and DC are merely the latest in the long line of hero worship. From the ancients and their demigods and humans blessed with powers. Great epics are based around individuals who are cursed with abilities or granted them. But why do we have such an interest in the heroes? And why do some of us have an interest in the villains?

And I wondered, why humans have such an obsession with heroes?

Than I heard the song Something Just Like This. If you haven’t heard the song, it is basically a man saying that he doesn’t feel like a hero. His girlfriend turns to him and basically says that she isn’t looking for a superhero.

Now granted a love song does not explain the whole hero-love we have.

But it does touch on a hidden desire. We all want to be the hero. That person who doesn’t need anyone else. That rushes in with powers. That person who is more than average. Special.

I know I have at times wanted to be the hero.

Two things though that proves to me that we don’t need powers to be the hero.

One

First. By being alive, you are impacting people’s lives. Regardless whether you want to impact others or not. You will influence them. Your actions and choices influence the path of the person next to you. Not just at the dinner table or at work. But on the train. In the grocery store. At the next gas pump. Most of the time our presence will have a very little impact. The results of just being strangers. However, your reaction to someone. The way you talk to the other person. Or a kind act versus a cruel act. Each person you meet might be on the brink of breaking. Of falling apart. But your choice can give them a little more hope. A little kindness to bring them hope.

Two

We can’t move through life by yourself. No one can. We need at least one other person to help us get through the rough spots. For my closest friends and I, we share our burdens. Some days I help them. Other days they help me. Heroes are also who give of themselves. A few years ago, a bomb was detonated at the end of the Boston Marathon. As the chaos ensued and the injured began crying out, what did the participants do? Did they run? Did they say, “No. I don’t have the energy”? Some probably did. But others did not. They stayed and helped. Other heroes are people who choose to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. The police. The firemen. The father defending his family. The mother working long hours to put her children through college.

So I will leave you with this:

Heroism comes not from one’s abilities but by their choices.

Why

Why?
Why is the question we often ask
Why?
Why is the sky blue
Why does the world turn
Why does the stars shine
And why does the grass grow
These things we ask
As children seeing the world

Why?
Why is the question we often ask
Why?
Why do we seek to impress others
Why do we compare ourselves
Why do we want another’s talent
And why do we fall in love
these things we ask
As adults going forward in this world

Why?
Why is the question we ask
In the dark of night
Or at the end of the day
Why move forward
Why try again
Why why why
Is it the life we live
Or is it the life we want
Why should we live ourselves
Why should we live for others

Why?

The Sky and Me

cornfield with clouds overhead
What I see when I look out my window now.

Take your cities
Take your stores and theaters
Take your histories and markets
I’ll take the open sky
Where I can see
The sun rise and moon set

Take your cities
Take your events and ease of living
Take your things to do
I’ll take the open sky
Where the stars are

Here the woods are still wild
Where the hawk flies and wolves hunt
Where the sky is a canvas
And the stars are bright

Take your cities
Take your wonder and opportunities
I’ll take the sky
Where I can stand and breathe
Where I can hear my thoughts

Take your cities
Take your crowded streets
Take the stench of cars and trash
Where the city is always abuzz
Leave me where the air is free
And the hawk cries

Just leave me be
Where the sky stretches
And the world seems large
And I feel the wonder again
Just leave me and the open sky

The Morning Breaks

blue sky and sliver of a yellow sunrise

The morning breaks
Silent and still
No bird to hear
No traffic sound
Bare feet
Upon wet grass
Cold to toes
Yet sweet on lips
A strange smell
Upon the morning air
To make the mind wonder

The morning breaks
Full of wonder
The only sound
Is the heart that pounds
As the sun awakes
The morning coldness
Chased away
By the warmth
Of the coming day

The Morning breaks
Slowly at first
Till bird sings
And wind stirs
Then the magic breaks
And the day hurries in
The darkness flees
And the light rushes in
Till the signs of dawn
Are swept all away
My heart will cherish
The silence of the day

Monday Stories: The House – Chapter 6

“What are you talking about?” Val growls impatiently, “I am getting sick of this stupid plan of yours. I knew I should have stayed home but no, I had to let you talk me in.”

“Look!” Mike says and he points towards the wall.

The teens crowd around the hall. Mike pulls out a flashlight and shines it on the lower part of the hallway just before the stairs. Barely readable in the weak light are the carved words “Seal it. Free me. Undo what was done.”

“Oh wow.” Jacob mutters, “That makes so much sense now.”

The brothers glare at the taller boy.

“What? I didn’t do this!”

“So you claim.”

“Would I do this? Seriously?”

Without warning the house shudders. A great creaking noise fills the air. Cracking of noise accompanies each teen as they disappear out of sight. Dani’s wheels her arms as the floor beneath suddenly shifts. She lands on her back as the floor seems to move away from the others. She turns back just to see Val and Mike slide down the stairs. Anthony is swept into a room by a door. Her sister disappears through a wall. In an instant, Dani finds herself alone and in the dark.

A moment later, weak lights appear in the distance.

She winces in pain and checks herself for injuries. Save for a few scrapes, she is unharmed.

“Chloe!” She yells. Her voice oddly muffled in the thick air, “Anyone?”

Only silence answers her. The air seems heavy. It lies on her like a thick blanket. Carefully, the teen stands to her feet. In the distance, a lamp flickers on. In its light, a red desk is revealed.

Dani pauses, debating whether to follow the light or not.

“Well.” She mutters to herself, “I always say to the people in the movies and books don’t do that so I’m not going to do that.”

The light of the lamp is enough to walk down the hall. Like before, the walls are worn and dust lies heavy on the surfaces. But there are no doors. Only a cross section. With a sigh, Dani takes the right hall.

Once out of sight of the lamp, she is left in total darkness. Slowly she feels her way along in the dark. Occasionally her hands brush across the hard shell of a bug.

She turns away and wanders down the hall. She feels around with her hands. She rounds a corner and is suddenly blinded. She blinks her eyes as spots float before her.

After a moment her vision clears. At the same time, her heart drops down into her stomach. It is the same lamp that she turned away from. The same red desk. The teen turns around and looks back where she came from. However, only a closet stands open.

Slowly, the teen turns back to the desk.

It is unremarkable save it is extremely old. Like any desk, it has a surface to write on and drawers to keep things. There is no chair.

Dani turns away from the desk but the doors slam shut, even the closet. The light flickers for a moment.The young teen steps back from the desk. The darkness grows thicker and she feels an urgency in the thick air.

X

The ground suddenly moves and Chloe feels herself being thrown across the hall. The blonde teen braces herself to slam into the wall. To her surprise, she passes through the wall. She notices the very boards bending as she passes by.

She turns her head and Chloe can see her sister being dragged away.

“Dani!” She screams as the wall shuts in front of her. The ground drops out from below her and she rolls along. With a sharp pain, Chloe slams into a cold wall.

The girl slides the floor with a groan and she rolls onto her back. A naked light bulb burns overhead. The walls are made of stones with wood rafts overhead and cement flooring. The girl sits up and tries to get her bearing. She peers through a nearby window. The teen finds the world still dark and that she is facing the empty backyard. Chloe tries to open the window but it refuses to open.

With a sigh, she turns around and begins looking for the stairs.

The basement is simple in design with stone pillars holding the ceiling up. Like the rest of the house, there is dust and cobwebs lying on everything. Her steps sound strange to Chloe as she wanders through the room.

After a few moments, the girl finds the old boiler and the place where the washing and dryer once stood. Confused, she looks around the basement again. She counts the rooms and looks for unique markings in each of the rooms.

Four rooms. Four minutes. No stairs.

“What is going on around here?” Dani mutters to herself, “Hello? Anthony? Dani? Can you hear me? Anyone?”

The house rumbles and dust fall from the ceiling. One portion of the wall crumbles and a chest falls to the ground. Chloe stares at the ceiling. Fear fills her. The house shivers again and the ground moves. In a blink of her eyes, the chest and the teen are side by side. Another shiver and the walls close around her, trapping her with the box.

For a moment, Chloe stares at the chest.

To Be Continued…

Friday Thoughts: Things I’ve Noticed

Like many of you, I enjoy going to see a movie in the theater. Or binge watch a show on a weekend, or weeknight. But I have noticed something that disturbs me greatly. From trailers showing a man acting as a terrorist is the hero. Or how rebellion is herald as good while authority is both mocked and taught to be distrusted and disrespected.

Sexual acts, be it shown or hinted at, has become a mainstay. That any relationship must either include sex or they are objectified in some manner. Either as a scantily clad individual or a mountain of muscle. That to be in love means you must share your body and your bed. I have not seen a movie where there was not some innuendo about sex. In addition, the fact that people can hop from one relationship to another, from one bed to another, and not have some sort consequence shown disturbs me. What of the emotional harm from having such intimate relationships for a shallow a reason as sex? Or the number of STDs that come from those relationships? What happened to stories where people had to get to know each other before such intimacy? Where did the depth of relationship go in today’s world?

Likewise, humor has changed since the days of the Thin Man or I Love Lucy. Where Bob Hope and his generation used wit and cleverness to bring humor, this generation seems to rely on innuendo and crude humor to bring laughter. The jokes of today also make light of such subjects as porn or adoption. Today’s humor also shows fathers and authority as jokes. Either as fools or things to rebel against. In other things, people themselves laugh at strange things. For example, in the recent movie Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, Yondu kills a ship’s worth of people. Not defending himself or killing those who stand between him and freedom. No, he killed them because he wanted to. Because he could. And the people laughed at how he danced and smiled.

This brings me to my final point: blood.

Today’s shows and movies are violent things. Some more. Some less. Some for good reasons. Others, not so much. There are war movies where the battles of war need to be shown as gruesome. Other times though, it is sheer entertainment. Games and movies make light of these bloody battles. They walk among the bodies without comment. Or neglect to note the sheer loss of life. The series Transformers is a great example. Entire cities are laid to waste in the battles but no one mentions it. Even more disturbing is how today’s shows treat the “killers”.
Tweens Harry Potter, X-23, and Eleven all kill without much regret. Harry kills a teacher by touching him. X-23 kills quite a few, including decapping one fellow. And Eleven snaps the neck of several with her mind.

Granted each had a reason why they are murders but very little shown about how they kill others. Whether they show regret or remorse. Or even if they understand. Harry goes on with his education and his teachers are “yep, he killed a colleague his first year”.

The Glory of the West

landscape, gold clouds, blue sky

From age to age
From day to day
There have been some
Who stood and watched
The same setting sun
From ages past
From around the world
There have been a few
Who stood upon the hill and stone
And looked out across field and tree
With a silent vigil
Have they seen the same sight
A million eyes have seen the same fire
A thousand tongues have spoken of it
Yet each is alone in their thoughts
Yet each has watched that same sun
A thousand generations back
And a thousand more to come
All have seen and all have watched
That same setting sun