The Guardian

The warrior flew like a rock, straight down from the jagged heights. Eventually he plunged beneath a serene pool at the bottom. He had been watching it as he fell. From the high cliff he had had plenty of time to watch. To consider the quiet peace, which was as breathtaking as his plummet. The meandering fish in blurry depths. The warm sunlight infusing every leaf with satisfaction. Even the roar of the falls was lulling. His own gnarled form, streaming blood and sweat, tainted the scene.

A great blue heron twisted its neck to witness the hulking human as he fell like a black star from the heavens. He was an alien to this realm, that was certain. But the water bird appeared unconcerned.

Upon impact the man was encapsulated by icy, bubbling water. His eyes shot wide and his teeth gritted in a ferocious, far from amused, grin. Whatever peace he might have felt during the descent was shattered.

Punctuating the sudden, cold chaos were dark arrows slicing down around him. They drove into the water with angry speed, loosed from the spot where he had flung himself. Their message was clear and deadly. One bit deep into his shoulder, his body spasming in alarm and pain. He forced himself deeper, waiting for that black rain to cease. A thin curl of blood leaked up to the surface from around the shaft of the arrow, clouding the azure waters, sending a satisfying signal to the archers.

Then, for a few moments, there was silence. The fish renewed their silvery wriggling.

Then he finally rose, bursting from the skin of the frigid pool, lifting up like a frothing leviathan. He sucked down a giant gasp of air. Then with a muttered curse aimed at his shriveled testicles he began the swim to a rocky shore. Thick muscled arms, arcing in syncopated rhythm, drew him easily to the edge of jutting stone. He lifted his soaked mass out. Only then did he look up, back from where he had fallen … where he had jumped.

A multifaceted phosphorescence of emotions shimmered across his wet face before returning to stoic nonchalance. The high ledge was empty. The din of the falls overpowered any sounds for which he may have been listening. The world up there was gone.

A drag of the bedraggled head round to the surrounding foliage became a slow scan of thick greenery. He paused. His eyes narrowed. Then, with a creaking groan, his body sparked to savage action, lunging forward, striking out with a fist into the bushes.

A whimper, a snarl, then a vengeful spring of a dark, feline shape. An enormous panther sprang toward the man. For a moment there was the potential for raw battle between two ominous forces. But then the man turned on his heels and dove back into the water, followed closely by razor jaws snapping at those heels.

The beast slammed into the man’s back. A wild cry from both tore into the day as the shaft of the arrow in the man’s shoulder sank into the cat’s black chest and in the process progressed deeper beneath the warrior’s shoulder blade.

The man plunged deep, trying to get away from the arrow and the claws. Trying to get toward something on the bed of the pool. His fingers scraped against the item’s edges. The panther was bucking, trying to push itself free of the impaled shaft. In so doing it dug its hind feet into the man and pushed, tearing through skin of his lower back. The shove was enough to get the man close enough to grasp his prize. It was also enough to free the panther, who scrambled back to the shore.

The warrior dragged the item, gripping it tightly. There was blind rage in his eyes. There was blood filling up the water around him, trailing after him as he struggled to shallow water. When he could stand he raises the weapon high. He winced through his mass of dark beard and tangles of hair. The panther hissed, coiling itself for a spring.

“Enough!”

A woman’s voice, throaty and aged. Both creatures turned to regard it. Both witnessed the gray-haired woman clad in skins sitting astride a panther so large that it could not possibly be real.

That giant creature and its small rider were still, relaxed. There was something majestic and picturesque about them. They could afford to look that way, for power and authority exuded from them like the mist of the falls. Wisdom with strength.

The warrior was visibly taken aback. His hammer settled down to rest in the shallows. He spoke, his voice a rasping rumble. “Figures.”

The woman cocked her head to one side.

He continued. “Figures I’d fall all that way to be eaten by a giant Nifelheim cat. That’s just the kind of cursed day I’m having.”

The woman smiled, transforming her wizened features into something akin to kindness. ” Are you that hungry?” she asked her steed, scratching behind one of its oversized ears. “He doesn’t appear all that appetizing to me.”

The animal only licked its lips with a broad, pink tongue.

There was a soft saddle of fur beneath the woman. Attached to this was a bundle of long staves. The woman selected one, then lifted herself up in leather stirrups. She was aging but that did not keep her from wielding the javelin adeptly.

The man, experienced warrior though he was, had no time to react before the spear was thrown, whistling through the air with precision toward his face. Striking its target the man fell back into the shallows. Gentle ripples caressed his body. He had succumbed to the peace of the scene into which he has fallen.

The woman stared a while longer, features from, before finally whispering a word to her steed. They, along with the smaller panther, vanished into the foliage.

Night birds woke him. His hand drew up slowly to his forehead where he felt the obvious mark that had been impressed.

“A blunt stave. Or the butt end of a sharp one. Either way, she could have killed me. I always knew the thickness of my skull was a worthy attribute.”

He opened his eyes. Stars twinkled cheerily overhead, mocking this bewildered man and his obvious pain. He was convulsing with a chill, soaked in the shallow water around him. A little deeper and he would have drown. With a slight turn he noticed the arrowhead tip poking from the front of his shoulder.

“Impact shoved it through. Lovely.”

The man dug in his heels and shoved himself away from the water and onto smooth stone. The sound of wood splintering and scraping grated against the night.

He stretched his arm over and gripped the thing. With a roar he pulled, drawing out the arrow and flinging it into the water. Then he once again passed out.

The next time he woke it was to morning birds. The sky was smeared with a hint of peach. He lifted his head stiffly and turned toward the hole from the arrow.

He eyed the spot for a while then rested back down. Two deep breaths and then he hefted himself to elbows. He did not pass out. Two more breaths and he was sitting. Thin rays of light began to stretch their way beyong the tree line and trickle down into the small clearing.

“There should be more blood,” he said. “I should be more dead.”

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Lines in the Sand

You cross this line and you are Hitler to me.

That pretty much sums up the picture of American worldviews colliding. Doesn’t matter if its politics, religion, or the style of your hair. If you cross my line for what is right and decent I’m going to inevitably revert to a Hitler comparison. For instance “That haircut is as bad as Hitler’s!” or “Driving your gas guzzling car is as bad as Hitler’s gas chambers.”

Do not doubt me. Someone will find a way to compare you to Hitler if they are enraged enough by what you are doing or saying.

So why do we do this? I think pur view of what is wrong with the world is based on the lines of presumed righteousness we draw in the sand.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, believes a baby can be aborted at any time the mother doesn’t feel like being a mother. Line drawn … Sort of. Others would say abortions can’t be performed after the second trimester. Line drawn. Yet others say you should not inhibit even the flow of seed to egg. Line drawn.

In scripture some would say things can be interpreted loosely up to the creation of Adam, but then, baby, you better tow the line and know that Adam was a real actual person or you’re not a Bible believing Christian. Line drawn.

Everyone has a reason for drawing the line where they do. Everyone has a motive. Everyone uses some sort of Evidence. Kill, but only in war. Speed, but only if the cop doesn’t see you. Vote third party, but only if the nominee is Donald Trump.

Many times the rules are based on emotional responses. “I couldn’t believe in a God who could allow so much suffering.” Many times the rules are arbitrary. “I could never love an octopus with less than seven arms, but I would cherish a dog with only one leg.” Awww. Little brudder! (Obscure Homestarrunner reference)

What you end up with is a wide sea of sand crisscrossed every which way imaginable. Hard to follow. Hard to keep because they are constantly being erased and redrawn or smudged. No wonder most people end up saying “I’ll do what I want, you believe what you want, just don’t talk about it or make me feel bad and I will relegate all my negative energy to snarky memes.” I call this the Law of the Meme.

But there’s something deeper we have to get to. Literally and figuratively. Otherwise the world doesn’t make sense. If there is no deeper logic … No firmer truth … then the world fails to be more than an abstract art, interpreted based on “how it makes you feel.”

That’s why you have to blow away the sand. Yep, that’s right. All that sand is just the transient cover atop something far more solid. You thought you were looking at art but lo and behold it was just plain old dirt.The sand is all the puny human philosophy that gets carried all over the place. Messy. But underneath … Ahh … There are lines drawn there too, but those are carved in stone … Permanent. Organized. You peer closely and find that not only are they structured but they are meaningful. They are the distinct truths beneath all the indistinct musings of simplistic human minds. They may not all make sense, but instinctively you feel that that is your problem not theirs.

And so you have caught a glimpse of something greater than you … Deeper than you … Graver than any superficial groove you have been able to come up with on your own. You have tapped into a reasoned, purposeful plan … A map written the Creator we have come to call The Bible.

Don’t go back to the sands of time. Keep the timeless truth clean of your own thoughts on the matter. God’s word is truth. The truth. The way. It doesn’t need you. You need Him. Stand firm on what IS firm. And don’t get sidetracked by little Hitlers dancing in the sand with silly mustaches. Just sweep their sand piles away and show them that you stand on something greater than yourself.

That’s the only way to make a difference. Because there’s one more part to this analogy. There’s the magic part. The part where, looking at the glyphs of truth, you are transformed; the things engraved copied onto the flesh of the heart until you are a living, breathing copy of the eternal.

This is good for you. I promise.

I love (and by that I mean it makes me want to headbutt a unicorn) how our government just adores telling us what’s best for us. Here, come under the shadow of our bald eagle wing and we will give you stuff and make you compliant in our cozy feathers. Well I’m developing a slight allergy to eagle feathers because seriously, when did a government study or program actually know what it was doing or tell us anything that wasn’t politically charged? Like putting gunky corn in our gas. I don’t care if it helps the farmers, I don’t want to put stupid corn in my gasoline and then have to buy anti-corn to clean out all the idiot stuff the corn did to my engine! It’s corn, folks!

But its not just that they want to baby me with consensus science, (not) free health care, hope, and change. No. It’s not just that.

It’s that all these things they want for me are things they don’t want for themselves. It’s like, here, you have to wear this bunny suit to protect you from Easter egg cancer (which our scientists are 1000% sure is real but won’t show signs until you’re dead). Oh, you also have to pay one thousand dollars for it (for every percentage point of realness), and for the awareness videos we will put out on YouTube featuring Matt Damon as Little Bunny Foo Foo.

Oh awesome! (Not) free stuff that will protect me from stuff that studies swear on their computer model’s grave will kill me! But where are your special suits, government? Oh, you exempted yourself from the law because the bunny suits wouldn’t fit over your eagle suits? Makes sense!!!

Meanwhile we should have gun free zones at our schools but the president’s kids should be heavily guarded, we should get stinky imitation health care but Congress should get the Hugo Boss, we should be regulated on carbon emissions by driving around in cardboard boxes but Al Gore should jet around in private planes (powered by polar bear love), we should step up equality but foreign government donors can behead gays, and we should be taxed out of our wealth but Iran should be given billions.

I just want someone who will say, hey, I’m gonna be there right along with you. We’re going to tough it out together. I mean, Hilary Clinton says that, but in a tweet from one of her seven mansions. Hi up there, Hilary! Thanks for caring!

King David brought the Israelites to the height of glory and the people loved him. They loved him because he was a man of the people. He danced with them and fought with them. That’s what I love in a leader. One who can rejoice with you in good times and struggle courageously with you in the hard times. And to the best of my knowledge he never made them wear bunny suits.

Careless

Society is careless. Careless with love and sex, careless with the lives of babies, careless with health … Just overall careless.

We don’t want to figure things out. We don’t want to find out what’s true. We just want a narrative to follow and talking points to spout. We want to fit in as well as have something to hashtag against. And what we rail against is anything that keeps us from being careless. Anything with old school conscience. New school conscience is fine. That’s things like buying carbon footprint offsets and free range chickens.

Nothing illustrates this better than the latest Planned Parenthood leaks. First with the fact that they must now be leaked. Because a judge has said they can’t be released. Because, when it comes down to it, people don’t want to have to watch that stuff. It cramps the careless style. It sends pangs into deadened morality and that’s uncomfortable.

But the leak itself is an important announcement to those of us harboring old fashioned beliefs about the sanctity of life. The rest of the world has moved on to a whole other plane of existence. I urge you to watch for yourself.

I used to think the question was when life exists. And I thought that was a pretty easy question to answer. But it turns out we won that argument. They conceded the fact, as evidenced in the video, that abortion is murder. The problem is that doesn’t dampen their bloodlust. I think deep down everyone knows its killing. Time to make that part of the narrative. So the new phase of thinking is …

Yes, its a life, but why is a woman responsible for that life just because it’s inside her? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have had this argument used in personal conversation. A baby is a life, but it is wrong for men to enslave women into giving birth to that life. They, evidently, have no more responsibility for the child inside them than they would for a stranger in need. The thought is …

“You want to have the baby? Fine, that’s your choice to make that life your responsibility. But you can’t make every pregnant woman take that responsibility … Unless you are a man trying to dominate women.”

That is the epitome of depravity. I shouldn’t have to write anything else. That is carelessness at its peak.

This isn’t a parasite. It’s a human. And no matter how it got there, it is now there inside a belly … Alive. There is no one that can save that baby except the mother. That’s life. That’s the basic rule that we thought everyone realized. And they used to … back when they cared.

Academia Nuts and Bolts

I’ve been wondering lately what it is about academia which seems to breed liberalism. My roommate in college once asked me “How can you be a Republican? We’re in college! College is supposed to be full of Democrats!”

But it isn’t just Republicans and Democrats. Its a way of thinking which naturally leans toward liberal politics because of … What? What is the permiating pull away from conservative thought?

I think it’s because education in general breeds a wide variety of ideas and interpretation of ideas. In a literature class I took we discussed the many guesses into what an author was trying to say through his or her work, most of which seeming to deal with messianic symbolism or sex. In an anatomy class my professor once discussed the possibility of aliens having created the human race.

Now ideas are great. I’m an idea man, but academia is like a think tank on crack.

In general, academia goes something like the flowing:

The word “the” which I have already used twice in this sentence can be pronounced with a shwa or a long e at the end, depending on its place in the sentence and the speaker’s background. It is known as an article, which reminds me of an article I once read about the word “the” suggesting that such a word is much to definite and would do well to learn from its cousin the “A” in that, for one an a leaves much less of an inky footprint and for another, is much less close-minded. An idea is much more palpable than the idea, which carries connotations of haughtiness. How dare it presume to be THE way when it is actually only one of many ideas. And besides, T and H blending to make a new sound is disturbing in that the T and the H both lose their identity.

I could go on, but you get the idea. By the time the students leave the classroom half have no idea what just happened and the other half consider themselves the authority on the scandalous word called “the” and create a hashtag denouncing any radical right-wing fascist insensitive enough to dare use such a word.

Unfortunately this example is closer to truth than some might think. The point is that literally anything can be expounded upon in a 20 page dissertation and most importantly anything can have a thousand different viewpoints and each one must be given equal respect.

Which means when conservative individuals spouting dogmatic things like “killing unborn babies is wrong” or “the sky is blue” academics will do their very best to dogmatically proclaim how much they have to learn about science and consensus and humility.

Because who is anybody to hold to anything strongly when there are so many possibilities out there?

That’s appealing to me actually. Because it means we can all get along in our not knowing for sure and it means we don’t have to stress over whether we’re right or not. Because hey, believe what you want. I’ll believe what I want and you believe what you want and we’ll all judge conservative wackos for being idiots all our born days.

And therein lies the rub. A mind full of a myriad philosophies and ideas as a mind ungrounded. And a mind without roots is a mind that can easily be manipulated. For instance manipulated into thinking there’s such a thing as consensus science or that a baby isn’t a baby until its been in the womb for a trimester or two.

The Bible says not to be like those who are carried away by every wind of doctrine or cunningly devised fable. That’s because the pressure of the academic mindset infiltrates the church on a daily basis. A preacher I heard recently said it this way. “Maybe we don’t know persecution like in other countries but we sure know compromise.”

It is a simple statement but with resounding, sometimes horrifying, truth.

So learn. Listen to ideas. Be ready to accept something beyond what you know. But also hold fast to your faith and be like a tree planted by streams of living water. Be discerning and be critical of the academic mindset, not letting it keep you from standing firm or from using the word “the” every now and again.