News

News: Since April of last year I have managed to accomplish several monumental things in my studies, but I update you now to tell you that three nights ago I had the best sleep since I last visited my aunt's house (years ago) and probably will never have another good sleep like it for years to come *nods sagely*.

--12 March 2017 --

Quote: I really dislike how glasses slide down your nose impetuously when you're glaring down at your unfinished work. -Me

The Fellowship

April 30, 2012

Thoughts on Dreamland and Such

Lately I've been reading through some of Edgar Allan Poe's works. I'm quite sure we're all familiar with his classics such as The Raven and The Cask of Amontillado, at least, those are the two most studied pieces in highschool. 

Anyhow, I've come across a rather charming poem called Dreamland. I find it to be an intoxicating piece of literature. The imagery and rhythm bring back memories of texts on the shadowlands, Dante's adventures in the seven circles of Hades... pretty much anything to do with the underworld (which now brings to mind thoughts of The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, of which I'm sure you are also familiar; remember the old BBC version of that? I shall take one moment of laughter. Merci). 

As I was reading through this piece, I came across several (to be exact, two) terms that I was unfamiliar with. The first is eidolon and the second is thule. Are those even English? I thought they looked rather like Greek terms (in fact, I believe they are). 

Being the way I am, I figured I'd discuss these two terms with you :P that is, if you don't mind (if you do, you can stop reading, ya know? :P). 


First is eidolon. Poe uses this term in the third line, stating: 
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
[lines. 1-4]
 From the context of the material, it's quite obvious that the term is referring to some sort of being -- taking into mind that we're discussing "NIGHT" (which is clearly not a real, tangible being...more of a personified idea), it appears that eidolon refers to some sort of ghost-like, inhuman concept that's somehow coalesced into reality upon the attainment of semi- or unconsciousness.

According to the dictionary:
Eidolon (noun):
1. An idealized person or thing
2. A specter or phantom
...in Greek...
 (Greek εἴδωλον: "image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, ghost") 
Well the dictionary fleshes out this idea a fair bit, but I wanted more information on this, particularly if the term is Greek (which it is) then there's bound to be mythology behind it (which there also is).

Essentially, an eidolon is (and this is kinda creepy, o.O) the spirit-image of a living or dead person. BUT! Before we have a freak attack, thinking to a more familiar text, such as Bryan Davis's Echoes from the Edge series (*pause* ads;fljk I LOVE THAT SERIES SO MUCH!! *ahem* *resume*) we deal with characters capable of traversing the dream realm while still physically immobile on the Earth. Kinda sounds like an eidolon to me, minus the use of the term. All in all, we've got dreamers.

Another point is that this being-thingamabobber is a shade or phantom look-alike of the human form. That means it could be good or bad. It could accurately represent the real it or it could inaccurately represent the real it. Okie dokie.

Turning back to the text, we see we're dealing with dreamland, right? So it's not real. We've got ourselves a specter/phantom/crazy-thing called NIGHT sitting on his/her/its high-throne, which just happens to be black, above all the land (*let me interrupt a moment* doesn't this remind you of the evil Witch-King of Angmar? *shudder*). Secondly, NIGHT is not real, it's only a phantom of the real thing. Sooooo, what's the real thing then? I'm guessing it would be a literal "night" complete with darkness and the awakening of all lovely nocturnal beasts (like owls!), however I could be wrong.

The term comes up in several notable authors' literature (mainly Greek). For instance, Homer and Euripides discuss Helen of Troy's eidolon. Homer also uses this concept in the Odyssey. Walt Whitman also experimented with this concept in his poetry.

On a more amusing level, I'll point out that eidolon is also a genus of bat containing two species of fruit bats, both of which are located in Africa. I don't think there's much relation between the bats and the Greek concept though :P

Well, now perhaps you've read through all that and, as I have, become slightly more educated as to this Greek term...shall we turn to thule? Charge!!



Second is Thule. Poe uses this term in the sixth line, stating:
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
          Out of SPACE- out of TIME.
[lines. 5-8]
Unlike eidolon, when I came across this word I had no clue what it was referring to -- best guess? A place of some sort. Surprisingly, my best guess was correct :P.

The term ultima Thule was coined by Virgil in Georgics, 1. 30, in reference to a land that was very far off...or symbolic of an unattainable goal.

Geminus of Rhodes (a 1st century Greek astronomer) stated it was referring to "the place where the sun goes to rest".

In classical European literature, the term referred to a place in the distant north. Some suggested it was Iceland, Greenland, Norway, the Orkney Islands, and so on. However, it has been made fairly clear that the ultima Thule refers to "beyond the borders of the known world".

While there are many interpretations of where Thule is or what it's symbolic of, I believe Poe is using the symbolic definition. It is hinted at this by the eighth line which states "Out of SPACE- out of TIME", thus essentially referring to an unattainable region. What is out of space and time that we can reach? Nothing, indeed...except dreams.

I originally had an issue with this interpretation, seeing as it appears the traveller is coming from the "ultimate dim Thule" to "these lands". However, upon checking the text out a bit further, it's becomes apparent that "these lands" refer to being awake. Reality. He's coming from dreamland to reality, and the greatest portion of the poem is spent giving body to where he's just been.

For those of you who dream (and we all do, it's just that some forget their dreams more often than others), we're quite familiar with the experience of an exceptionally realistic dream becoming more and more unreal as the day plods on. While you're in the middle of the dream, everything seems so real and you have no clue that it's not -- when you wake up, that sense of reality fades and morphs into a true sense of reality as you begin to come to terms with the fact that your dream was simply that: a dream.

Thule is beyond the borders of the real world. It's a place that is truly out of space and time. When we dream, we have no concept of space or time. I've had dreams where I've walked through walls and travelled the world (or galaxies even) in less than a blink of an eye. I've had dreams that seem to last for hours within a period of 15 minutes and I've had dreams that seem to last but a second over the period of 3 hours. Time and space don't obey rational rules in dreamland (aka. Thule). Thus, Thule is truly beyond the borders of reality. It's that place where anything can happen and, while it's happening, it'll make perfect sense...until you're jolted away from that place beyond the border of the world, back to real life.

It's very intriguing, is it not?

***

Here ends my discussion and personal thoughts on eidolon and thule, and Poe's poem Dreamland.

Signed with many sparkles (because they're so awesome),

Squeaks.

April 26, 2012

Seaside Memories (A Tale)

The following is a very very short clip from the life of Claire. I shall say no more with regards to that. Please consider listening to the audio provided as you read the story -- I feel that it enhances it :) 


Image from Tumblr




***

Forever (Acoustic Version) by Fireflight on Grooveshark


A wind blew in off the coast, slipping around the rough edges of the rocky cliffs until it managed to escape over the top and rush dangerously through the forest until it hit the small town of Prithburgh, eliciting salty memories.

Claire sat on those very cliffs, not caring that the wind breathed through her blonde hair, tangling it together affectionately before rushing off to caress the folds of her cotton sweater. She wrapped her arms around her jean-clad legs and buried her fact between her knees. Her face was warm with salty tears that threatened to race down her regal face.

A blast of icy wind from the ocean rolled over her shoulders, making an unwanted shiver crawl up her spine and curl around the base of her creamy neck. She let herself look down at the breakers that crashed far below, spraying plumes of salty water against the sides of the century-old cliffs.

The foam swirled in little eddies, curving around the sharp rocks that jutted out of the surf. They spun violently as though dancing some sort of macabre two-step with the wildlife of the ocean, until it entirely dissipated and became one with the ocean once more.

Claire drew her hand inside her sweater and wiped her face. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying for so long.

Loneliness gets so old, she thought to herself as she crawled to the edge of the cliff, like she used to do when she was a little girl. She let her body press against the chilled granite as she hung her head over the edge and looked down.

There was nothing new to see; just the same old view that had greeted her adventure-hungry eyes for many years.

But last time, I shared this view, she thought. The uncontrollable feeling of exhaustion and sadness rose up inside her and pooled within her eyes, slipping down her cheeks. She rested her head against the rock and closed her eyes.

I’m so sorry, my love. Her left thumb absentmindedly stroked the ring on her finger as it had done many times. Her chin trembled ever so slightly. She opened her eyes and gazed far off into the distance, where ocean met sky.

If only it had been me, I would have taken your place any day. But now I am left here, without you. She blinked twice, clearing her eyes. The wind continued to brush against her and the surf never ceased its silent thundering.

Please understand. I can’t go on living without you. You mean, she shook her head and a sob escaped her whitened lips, you meant…the world to me. And cursed be the day that sought your life so cruelly.  
We shared so many memories. So many. The waves sprayed up against the rock, sliding down again to drag more fragments of the past to the watery depths of the sea.

I have to let go. Forgive me. I will never forget you.

She pushed herself to her knees, dirt had smudged her face and clothes, but she didn’t bother to brush it off. Biting her lip, she pulled the ring off her left hand, swallowing hard as the small diamond glinted at her, as though smiling. She clutched it to her heart for a moment, then without allowing herself a moment for second thoughts, she drew her hand back and flung the ring out to sea.

New tears poured down her face.

 I will never forget you. She swallowed hard and exhaled, letting her warm breath mingle and dissipate amongst the winds. 

***

Signed with the four winds, 

Squeaks.

April 25, 2012

If There Is Any Good Thing + A Fictional Tale of the Farm & Freddy

This shall be my random, splurge writing post for the day. Cease your wondering and sit down.

*** WARNING: The rest of this post is entirely nonsensical and purely imaginative -- thus please do not speculate that this is truth...well, it is in a fictional sense (the truth of the characters)***

I had a dog named Freddy.
Freddy smelled horrid. Golly, if I could have put that dog through the wringer without making a sausage of him, I would have. The darn thing was so smelly he made my grandma's nose hair stand up...and that's saying a lot, seeing as my grandma lost her sense of smell when she was a teen.

Grandma lived on a farm with lots of pigs and cows. Her main job was mucking out the barn, which is why I fear she lost her ability to enjoy the great wafts of delight that often come upon one in the country. Might also be the reason her pies are always just a tad off. Don't tell her I said that.

Back to Freddy. That ugly little mop of knotted fur and burs came running up to the front porch one day, all whining and whimpering and generally causing such a ruckus that the baby woke up. I really don't like screaming babies. So while momma was taking care of one noisy rascal, I decided to deal with the other.

"Freddy. Gosh darn it you old mud-rag! Go on, git outta here!" I slammed the front door, resulting in a sudden wave of screaming baby noises to follow me out of the house like some furious tsunami.

"KALE!! DON'T SLAM THE DOOR!!" Mother's yell was loud enough to make the eardrums of a pig start wobbling off their normal curvature, or whatever happens when something loud disturbs that sense.

"SORRY!" I hollered back as I grabbed Freddy's scruff and dragged him off the porch, "C'mon dog, gosh darn it you're such a mess. Jest look at yer paws. Git those filthy things off the porch now." I gave the big mut a little push with my boot.

Freddy turned his head just slightly, looking back over his shoulder and up into my eyes with his large, liquid brown globes.

"Don't gimme that now. Git!"

The rascal dropped his gaze and proceeded to trot off happily, probably heading off to bathe in the water-filled pot holes on the driveway, now quite muddy from sitting in the post-rain environment all day. Or better yet, I snickered to myself as I turned my attention to the great red barn, maybe he's off to roll in manure again. 


Pa always said manure was the best lotion for the skin. I kinda always doubted him, seeing as he was more than happy to wash off the grime at the end of the day. Chris and I always used to tease Pa, saying he should sleep in his dirty clothes if manure was that good for you. I remember that time like it was yesterday. Pa's retort was a pretty good one, I dare say. He looked us both in the eyes and, with a huge grin plastered on his face, he picked up a wad of cow dung with his pitchfork and threw it at us.

I guess I got pretty mad...yeah it was a joke and I sure as heck deserved that, but see, Chris was supposed to take me to the midsummer dance that evening. We never ended up going, cuz both of us smelled rank, even after using grandma's lye soap. Golly did my skin burn.

"Hey Kale! Go close that gate over there! Whiskey Bucket's gonna get loose again!"

Grandpa Travis' voice shocked me outta my reverie.

"On the double!" I replied.

The large wooden gate beside the big red barn had been swung wide open. Sally Lu, that little rascal. I gotta dump that kid in the water bucket...better yet, the pig trough. What a brat!

My younger sister could be blamed for everything. It was always Sally Lu this or Sally Lu that. One time she let all the chickens get loose in the yard before bed time. No one noticed until the next morning and that's only 'cuz the cat dragged in a wing for breakfast. My golly, the carnage was amazing -- it was like the Alamo all over again (even grandpa said that!); wasn't a darn chicken left alive. I'm certain it was Freddy's fault, but Momma insisted the coyotes came through in the evening. I still don't understand how no one heard that ruckus.

After securing the gate on the side of the barn, I popped my feet up on the lower bar and leaned myself over the top, letting my arms hang down and swing back and forth. Whiskey Bucket nickered at me and plodded over to nuzzle my hair and nip my ear. What a rascal.

I Am Alive (I Think)

Good day, reader. My name, or such as you shall call me henceforth, is Squeaks. I'm terribly sorry to be such a stranger in your life. You see, I fear I have utterly neglected this blog -- I shan't be disappointed if you have all forgotten who I am.

What have I been up to lately? Well, I've finished the last of my university exams (huzzah) and am now fervently praying I will pass all of my courses with good grades. I still have 2 more years of this drab left, but for now I can look forward to 4 beautiful months of summer. I intend to do plenty of reading; however, I can't say nearly so much for writing.

Shall I discuss my turbulent feelings concerning writing with my readers? Ah, let it be so.

I seem to have lost my desire to write. Was that an audible gasp? Well, nevertheless -- I've heard it said that once a writer, always a writer. I hope this is the case. Even now, I cringe as I pen these sentences: my grammar has taken a terrible hit, my choice of words no longer portrays my true heartfelt intentions, and altogether the flow of my prose is poor. I despise my writing (perhaps that word was rather strong, but it does convey the emotion).

I wrote an English essay a month ago on the significance of Christ-like characters in several Victorian novels. While I did manage to get a B on the paper (and my adopted grandma proceeded to tell me that was quite grand for a fourth year university English course) I still felt as though I'd done a terrible job. Well, perhaps not so terrible as it was unsatisfactory. Had I not been bogged down with the thousand other assignments due, I believe I could have written a far more successful paper.

All thoughts of formal writing aside, I still feel as though I won't be able to write any good prose for a long while. Foremost on my mind is the fact that I simply have a poor knack for conversation interchange. Back-and-forth banter between characters has always played out perfectly in my mind, but to transfer that to paper is to script horror. The comments simply do not flow the way I want them to flow.

I currently feel as though I am Jane Eyre bickering with some sort of Rochester/St John/Darcy - esque figure.

This shall be all for now. I will return later. I feel a calling to some sort of movie...or perhaps another book. Yes, maybe a book -- I'm quite ravishingly hungry for literature...perferrably fiction or fantasy :P

God bless, dear readers!

Signed with musical notes & a plethora of squashed leaves,

Squeaks.
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