I saw you approach cautiously, undoubtedly a result of those nasty stories you’ve been hearing about me. You seemed to be 7, a child yet to know the world, a life spent in sheer joy at every waking moment. I once knew a little girl like you, she’d bring her friends over and we’d have a splendid time playing hide and seek.
Gone are the days when art conveyed a crisp image of the perfect stick figure, with straight lines and a plump, round head. Now every cloud, every scrap of discarded paper and pencils too short to use are all masterpieces to eyes tired of a bleak image, that the world radiates, facilitated by greed and […]
Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought. ― Yip Harburg
With every word I pen down, I see how your innate melody distorts them to fall in line with the tune you were born with. In all its splendour and glory, I see your music seeping into the hearts of the grieved and happy. The music whose essence I create. As I write and scratch off words, I see you in the distance, giddy with the impatience of not being called sooner. I see you held prisoner at the threshold of the paper that shelters your would-be lyrics while I struggle to find that perfect word that sends pangs of warmth and sorrow flying to every listener, kind enough to lend you their ears.
My heart grieves with every syllable I give birth to, on this magical night, knowing they won’t be mine after you enslave them to your tantalizing beauty of rhythm. I can feel myself running out of ink while my metal nib continues to write and scratch words over and over. Oh, how I wish I could make them sing for me like you will.
Through parchment after parchment, you sit and watch as I grow wearier and wearier exhausting myself to hunt for that perfect word we both know doesn’t exist yet. Word after word, syllable after syllable, period after period; oh how we toil through the moonlit night! I’m at the last verse now and I hear your heart flutter with the joy of completion as I admire my handiwork.
“Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?” ― Bob Marley
I find myself letting out a long, sad sigh of relief as I put that period at the end of the last word of the final verse. I survey my piece of work and watch as you soar into the words, breathing life into every nook and corner of every word. I take my place on the chipped wooden box reserved for me and listen as you’re sung, every word falling into a place of its own. I listen as the music drifts and drips down my soul, seeping into my heart and enslaving my mind forevermore.
My soul twirls to the rhythm of the song, you make the skies sing tonight.
Oh, dear song, how I wish I could write you all over again.
Perhaps it is how we are made; perhaps words of truth reach us best through the heart, and stories and songs are the language of the heart. ― Stephen R. Lawhead, Merlin
Thoughtfully yours, Introverted Thoughts aka D
Quick note: My friend, Diamond @ Build A Bears Furever is hosting a photostory contest to observe her fourth blogiversary! The best part is, you get to choose which of her bears play your characters (if you want) and believe me when I say, she’s got all sorts of bears with different outlooks and personalities! I’d absolutely love it if you could check out this post and participate!
Take a seat and watch As the rich, burgundy curtains are drawn.
On the dais is seated An ivory, porcelain cup.
As the light dims and time warps, The past comes by, to whisk you along.
* * * *
“She was a lonely porcelain, On a faraway shelf, did she spend her youth.
Love at first sight is a myth But home was she brought.
Many a tea-times did she host And secrets did she drown, in tea and coffee.
People came from far and wide, to my humble abode For nothing but tea, from the lovely porcelain.
My little porcelain was broken and bled on By a human of 4, with regret so little.
With gold and silver was she stitched up But my love was never the same again.
She was returned to a shelf where She played host to flowers and yarn.
Oh, my trusty porcelain! Many a sewing needles did she keep safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, The gorgeous porcelain cup you see
With wisdom so shallow and sight so blind. Has lived a life, masked by the mediocrity you impose.”
* * * *
And just like that, the burgundy closes. All is quiet until an exploding shatter is heard A split second and monotony reigns again.
Thoughtfully yours, Introverted Thoughts aka D
Hidden in Plain Sight is a blog series I’ve had in mind for a while. It’s going to be an irregular series unlike most of my blog series which I tend to make weekly or monthly. The basic idea behind this series is to show simple, everyday objects in a more dramatic and romanticised manner. (The Puppet Heart was supposed to be the first but I forgot to mention it there). A Porcelain Story was more of an experiment and I’m rather unsure of it but viewing this blog as a space for free experimenting, I decided to go ahead and post it on here!
He found her on the roadside, many thoughts ago. Like a flower frozen in spring was she, with blond ringlets and stark blue eyes. He could see her story the moment he laid eyes on her. She had been brought into a home loved, she was used and finally discarded with. His mind was penning her destiny as he inspected her, rotating her ever so slowly so he could get a good look at her features.
He took her home, cleaned her and changed her into clean clothes. She looked 6, but neglect had taken years off the fragile child. He set her up on ledge and shone a soft amber lamp on her dainty face. As the bell tolled midnight, the man sat and toiled through the night to sketch her pretty face.
As the world was beginning to be bathed in the gentle glow of a new day, the streets saw a lonely man and his newly acquired treasure walking barefoot, plastering posters on walls high and low. He was charging a penny per person but it had been weeks since he had had a meal or a drink.
He held on close to the broken doll and prayed children would want to know her story as badly as he wanted to be the one telling it.
Into a little shed were they seen going into, a box and a princess came out, a man almost lost under the huge box shuffled stolidly and set the box on the street where children were known to stop for a popsicle or two. Into the box did the princess go, the man on the floor and the show was off to a start with an audience of a thrush and two early worms and one cat. The man distorted his voice to resemble that of a child to say:
“On winter’s death was this story birthed As a little human decided he was in need of a daughter. Needles and fabric were summoned, Blue buttons and golden yarn. Silk frills and sapphire eyes were brought in.
Day and night did my father toil As the cuckoo sang on the second morning With a child’s touch, was I brought to life. Days and years did I live to be Her sole advisor and friend. On nights when thunder rattled the earth, I held her in my arms and And sang her to sleep.
The child fell prey to an evil I was safe from. On growing up, she lost sight of life And I was dumped in the shed I was created, Only my father was no longer there to breathe new life.
On streets and foster homes, did I die the rest of my life For the world sees not the heart of a puppet But it’s beauty that age takes away.”
Here, a gentle whisper, unlike the forced childlike voice that spoke till now was heard.
“For the child that said heaven is a toy store, Bless you, darling. I shall welcome you home And hold you close till your heart breathes in peace.”
As the overhead sun bore witness to the little souls dropping their precious pennies and waiting to give the puppeteer a hug, the angel of death had just finished a song of his own making and watched as the poor man nodded off, to a slumber, not of Earth. The little child clung to his hand as his soul went in search of what dreams called home.
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
This was inspired by a stuffed monkey that’s been laying around our house for a good while. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write but it ended up being a tale that (hopefully) portrays a puppeteer’s tender love towards an abandoned doll he found on the roadside. I didn’t want the ending to be tragic but it just seemed fitting that telling the girl’s story after all she went through, set the story-teller free of all earthly obligations and seemingly breathed life into the puppet girl as well. I’m not sure how this comes across in general but I hope you enjoyed reading!
Speaking of love, I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day! Love comes in all shapes and forms; be it for a person, a pet or a toy, love is making the bright side of life shine stronger!
I wrote this poem for the Winter Writing Workshop hosted by Reese @ Blogging with Reese! The prompt was to write a winter poem in less than 125 words. It was inspired by Coco Cola’s 2020 commercial. Watch it below! It’s a lovely commercial!
Picking up where I left off last week, we’re back to another semi-history post because I couldn’t include reindeers or nativity scenes in the last post.
Welcome to the second part of Christmas Cafe! Today, I’m going to be sharing a little more about the day we have all come to associate with joy these days! Akin to the previous post, I’ve included a few Christmas themed (*ahem*) sketches as well! I think they turned out slightly better than the previous ones. Hehe.
Known by different names like Christmas ornaments, baubles, “christmas bulbs” or “Christmas bubbles” or Christmas “ball balls, these are typically made of wood, blown glass or more commonly, plastic. It is also quite interesting to note that apples, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers were used as ornaments to decorate trees initially.
Christmas baubles first originatedin Germany inspired by the red apples that were used to decorate the ‘tress of paradise’ for miracle plays which would take place on Christmas Eve. First invented, by local man Hans Greiner in Lauscha in the mid-16th century, the first baubles were fruit and nut shaped glass, eventually turning into a more spherical shape. Interestingly, these baubles were considered expensive as they were handcrafted and purchased only by the wealthy until affordable plastic versions were introduced.
Showcasing roots in German mythology and folklore, elves are considered to be humanlike beings with supernatural powers capable of both helping or hindering people. They have a rich and fascinating history in a plethora of cultures and various countries. It was William Shakespeare’s, AMidsummer Night’s Dream, that popularised them as small, impish beings.
Christmas elves however, a relatively recent notion gained popularity in the United States. Elves came to be to be first associated with Christmas presents in the first half of the 19th century with the Tomte and Nisse( mythological creatures from Nordic folklore today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season) in Sweden and Denmark respectively.
First introduced in literature by Louisa May Alcott around 1850 in a book she never published, a parallel was drawn with Santa Claus in the 1823 poem by Clement Moore, which describes St.Nicholas himself as a ‘jolly, old elf‘. Their position as Santa’s helpers was popularised by Godey’s Lady’s Book, whose cover illustration showed them in a workshop. The folktale, The Elves and the Shoemaker also played a role in supporting their image as Santa’s helpers. The elves names are Alabaster Snowball •Bushy Evergreen •Pepper Minstix •Shinny Upatree •Sugarplum Mary • and Wunorse Openslae.
According to Wikipedia, “The first reference to Santa’s sleigh being pulled by a reindeer appears in “Old Santeclaus with Much Delight“, an 1821 illustrated children’s poem published in New York.” Santa Claus is believed to have nine reindeer, since the mid-20th century.
Of these nine reindeer eight are known as, Dasher • Dancer • Prancer • Vixen •Comet • Cupid • Donder (also called Donner) • and Blitzen. These are based off the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (commonly called “T’was The Night Before Christmas”) by Clement Clarke Moore, which is also recognised as the basis of the reindeers’ popularity. The ninth reindeer, Rudolph, a young reindeer who was teased by the other deer because of his large, glowing, red nose was the creation of Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store in America.
Rudolph, well- known for his bright red, glowing nose for which he was made fun of by other reindeer, came to Santa’s rescue by leading the sleigh with the light his nose gave off on a foggy Christmas Eve!
The Nativity Scene
Taking its inspiration from the accounts of the birth of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, setting up a crib also known as a manger scene, nativity scene, crèche or in Italian presepio or presepe, is yet another widely observed Christmas tradition. It is specifically an exhibition of models of both humans and animals who have gathered to pay their respects to the infant Jesus. Apart from Mother Mary and St. Joseph, an angel, a donkey and an ox are typically depicted in the scene, with the Magi and their camels, commonly included.
According to Wikipedia, “Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 in order to cultivate the worship of Christ to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. He himself had recently been inspired by his visit to the Holy Land, where he’d been shown Jesus’s traditional birthplace.”
Nativity scenes are often set up around Christmas time in both churches and homes. While manger scenes with human participants are common, statues are used more frequently to keep cribs throughout the month. Speaking of the animal components, the ox traditionally represents patience, the nation of Israel, and OldTestament sacrificial worship while the ass represents humility, readiness to serve, and the Gentiles. Pope John Paul II inaugurated the annual tradition of placing a nativity scene on display in the Vatican City before the Christmas Tree in 1982.
And that was all for today! I find it quite interesting how rich a history every single Christmas element has; I didn’t know elves had such a wonderful and rich history where they weren’t associated with Santa. I haven’t mentioned it all here but check this out when you have time!
Speaking of time, seems like it really is flying; there is just 1 week till Christmas!! Can you believe it’s Christmas next Friday?!
And a quick reminder that my feedback form is open all throughout December! If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing so here! I’ll be compiling an acknowledgement post with all your lovely responses in January!
Welcome to the first part of Christmas Cafe! Today, I’ve compiled a little list describing the origin and history of several elements of Christmas with a Santa and a Christmas tree drawing (painting? sketch?). Getting into it now! so it doesn’t get longer than it already is
#1 The Date
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a confirmed fact nor is it mentioned in the Holy Bible that Jesus Christ (whose birthday is celebrated as Christmas) was born on December 25. Most scholars think that Jesus was born between 2 BCE and 7 BCE, possibly in 4 BCE. In fact, the first recorded event of a December 25th celebration was in 336, during the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. Orthodox and Coptic Churches that still use the Julian Calendar celebrate Christmas on the 7th January, and the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on the 6th January.
It is also believed that Mother Mary was told she would bear a baby on March 25, an event observed as the Annunciation. So, December 25th (9 months later) was arrived at, as the birth date.
Hanukkah, The Jewish festival of Lights, starts on the eve of the Kislev 25 (the Jewish month that coincides with December). Jesus was Jewish, suggesting this could be another reason why the Church chose to celebrate his birthday on December 25.
#2 Santa Claus
Santa Claus, the portly, jolly man we have all come to associate with Christmas is also known as Father Christmas, St. Nick or Kris Kringle. The progenitor of the modern Santa, St. Nicholas was a GreekChristian bishop, born in Patara, near Myra, in the Mediterranean.
Did you know the name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas)? Known as the patron saint of children, protector of children and sailors and noted for his piety and kindness, he lived during the Roman empire in the third and fourth centuries.
Wikipedia describes Santa Claus as “a portly, jolly, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, red hat with white fur, and black leather belt and boots and carrying a bag full of gifts for children.”
As to how this popular image came into being, it is believed that the poem, ” ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as “a jolly old elf” with the ability to travel through chimneys. This poem, originally titled “An Account of a Visit from St.Nicholas” was written by Clement Clark Moore, a minister, for his daughters in 1823.
#3 Christmas Trees
There is a very interesting legend revolving around the Christmas trees we use today. Here is a short version:
Once upon a time, there was a Scandinavian village and there was a tree in the forest. The tree, a thunder-oak was considered to be the Norse God, Thor’s altar and the heathens who lived there sacrificed humans and animals at the altar as offerings to Thor. The tree which was believed to have grown from blood, was so forbidding and daunting that no one ventured out to it, animals or people. It also had mistletoes hanging from its branches.
So, one Christmas eve just before the winter rites were about to begin, St.Winfred, arrived with his people, went to the tree, took out a shining, golden axe (yes, it was golden) and hacked the tree at its base. The priests who supervised the offerings were clearly shocked that he was ruining the mighty Thor’s altar. Soon, the tree finally fell backwards. But then, they noticed a young fir tree behind the thunder oak, untouched by the gigantic fallen tree.
The saint then said to the people, “This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the tree of peace, for your houses are built of fir. It is the sign of endless life, for its leaves are forever green. See how it points upward to heaven! Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather about it, not in the wildwood, but in your own homes. There it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness. So shall the peace of the White Christ reign in your hearts!”
He further told them the tree was worthy of being holy unlike Thor’s tree which required blood to be holy. He then went on to emphasise on the usefulness of the fir tree which included it being used widely to build homes. The tree’s spire pointed to the skies and heaven, by extension, prompting the saint to declare it a ‘Child of Christ‘. The fir symbolized love, kindness and sacrifice. Fir also represented endless life and hope as it is an evergreen tree.
He told the people it should be kept inside homes, sanctified with love and compassion. He also introduced the idea of sharing gifts under it as a sign of sharing love and joy. The fir tree also stood for peace, youth and strength. When Saint Winfred introduced the fir tree to the heathens, it was accepted as the holy tree of Christmas. Since then, the heathen folk accepted fir as the symbol of good will and peace and welcomed it in their homes every holy Christmastide.
A Christmas carol is a song or hymn based on Christmas that is often sung on Christmas or during the Christmas season. Did you know that the popular Christmas song, Jingle Bells, wasn’t originally intended for Christmas? In fact, it was first sung on Thanksgiving and came to be associated with Christmas when it was sung in in Ordway Hall on September 16, 1857.
The first known Christmas hymns may be traced to 4th-century Rome. They were sung throughout the subsequent centuries but rose in popularity after the Reformation in the countries where Protestant churches gained prominence due to reformers promoting the singing and use of carols. Publication of carols’ books in the 19th and 20th centuries were yet other factors that catapulted carols to the public eye resulting in more frequent and popular use. Carollers assembling in public spaces was a 19th-century phenomenon. It is also vaguely accepted that one of the first Christmas carols ever to be recorded was the 129 AD ‘Angels Hymn’.
It’s incredible to read about how human perception has evolved over the centuries. It’s funny how little we see and eventually believe when there is an incredible amount of information we seem to overlook.
And a quick reminder that my feedback form is open all throughout December! If you haven’t taken the survey, please consider doing so here! I’ll be compiling an acknowledgement post in January!
With a pace quicker than light, Leaving memories dark and bright, Time goes on and on Like a river in flow.
Unaffected by the evils of man, A master of its own lane. Oblivious to love, hate or greed Always present for those in need.
Perfect and pristine in its path, Time goes beyond math. Even after death, Of time, there will be no dearth.
Time will go on and on Like a river in flow.
How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss
It’s incredible that it is December already. I feel like I was in a trance for much of 2020, never quite getting time to digest what was happening all around. I think while the virus has had a drastic impact, this year remains one of the most authentic accounts of our adaptability. It was definitely encouraging to see law enforcement officials, health workers and teachers adopting the required norms just as fast as the times called for it.
They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite. ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
Since December is often considered a festive season, I’ve decided to start a new, weekly Christmas series! Given below is the logo for the Christmas series, named Christmas Cafe!
That brings us to the posting schedule for December: Mondays for regular posts which may or may not be Christmas themed and Fridays for Christmassy posts! Also, Haley @ My Life Of Faith will be doing a guest post this month! She’s writing a book review which I’m excited to read!
P.S The poem above was one I wrote a few years ago. I wanted it to rhyme and ignored a lot of things which is why it sounds quite cringy and bare.
If you have a few minutes to spare, I’d highly appreciate it if you could fill out this feedback form!
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.― Thomas A. Edison Written in memories of oldAre stories of stars once told.For by virtue of their resilienceDid they make the most of their silence.Bruised souls and bleeding scarsFacilitated them in going past the bars,Society once imposed on them. Once lost in the valley […]