Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mi Amiga

Brillas como un diamante, porque
El amor del Seňor llena tu corazón,

Y la luz alcanza al cielo
En una fuente de
Plata y oro.

Cuando estoy lejos de ti,
Puedo ver lo.
Y mi espíritu canta con la tuya.

La bendición de tu amistad
Me da paz durante la tormenta,
Y luz en la oscuridad.

(This poem was written for my two good friends. Translation and explanation posted soon.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pilgrimage - Part 3

This is a continuation of a children's story I started last year. Here is part one, and part two.

Maximus began the long walk out to the edge of the White Thing, for it quite covered the den, and stretched some bit further as well. It was enormous, and it had steep, smooth sides that seemed to be dripping with water. In fact, there were a few goose feathers stuck to it, and good bit of mud.
Maximus was too worried to think very clearly, and he was an ant, after all, but this is what he muttered to himself, very quietly.
“It came from the sky. I saw it. So I can see why it might have water on it, because water comes from the sky. And of course, I can see why it might have a goose feather or two, because geese often come from the sky as well...but how did that mud get up into the sky?”
Thinking about this curiosity helped Maximus get out to the edge when he might otherwise have been too frightened because, as everyone knows, it's hard to walk when you're very scared, but it's hard to be scared when you're very curious.
Soon, Maximus reached the edge of the umbrella, but of course he didn't know that. It was tipped over on its side, so that for the last inch or two it was almost touching his antennae, and he almost forgot to be curious, and he almost forgot his name was Maximus. But a fellow named Maximus cannot run from some big White Thing, however gigantic and curious it might be, so he marched the last little bit with every ounce of courage he could muster. (Ounces seem much bigger to the little ants than they do to us, you know.)
So, this was the White Thing. It looked quite crazy all tilted up like it was, very undignified. (The umbrella, when he realized he was being observed, was a little bit embarrassed, so he stuck his stick up into the air in an especially proud and haughty manner. Sometimes when we are embarrassed we pretend that we don't care at all, you know, which is silly, but so it goes.) Maximus saw that the White Thing was round, and had metal bones to give it shape, and had one big, strong leg with a curvy foot that it seemed to be using to point.
At first, our little ant friend could not think of anything at all, for he was still very frightened, but soon his natural cleverness began to return. Maximus really was very clever, he just hadn't used his cleverness much before because he was too worried about looking strong and important. His cleverness whispered to him and said, “It looks like it is pointing. What is it pointing too?”
And Maximus, who didn't realize that he was still talking to himself, said, “I don't know. I can't see beyond all this grass and the edge of this big water.”
He walked to the part of the White Thing that was lying flat on the ground, and he touched it...carefully...carefully...with just the tiniest tip of his tiny antennae. It didn't move. It didn't really feel very scary. It felt soft and smooth, like the world's strongest flower petal. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that this must be exactly what it was - a flower!
Well, flowers are simply not scary at all, are they? No one is really scared of flowers. We might be scared of the bees that visit them, and we might be scared of all the sneezing we will do when they start blooming, but no one could really be scared of flowers. Why, you pick them for your Mommy when she is sad, don't you, and you would never do that if they were scary?”
Maximus suddenly felt a surge of boldness, because there is nothing that will give you courage like discovering that there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place. Without another thought, he placed his little foot upon the Flower, and the other five feet just naturally followed, because they didn't want to be left behind. He walked along the smooth white petals, and then he found that the big metal bones were even better for walking. Soon he reached the thing which he had foolishly called a leg. Anyone could see that it was just a stem – a huge stem that had been broken off and curled over at the tip from lack of water. Maximus thought how silly he had been to be afraid, and he was very glad that no one had been there to watch him.
He began to climb the stem, because ants are not scared of climbing straight up the sides of things. He climbed all the way to the very top of its stem curl, and he shaded his eyes with his two front legs, and looked out in the direction that the flower was pointing. He strained his eyes to see as far as he could see, and he looked especially heroic, and he wished, now, that there was someone to see him.