ODD

I am an odd fellow,

You may not think it

For I hide it well.

I’m an expert in camouflage,

Blending in with you,

And you,

And you too.

Yet I have a lower view,

I see beneath the hedges,

Through the grass,

The world upside down.

Try as you might,

You will never see my world

For it is as inaccessible to you

As yours truly is to me.

Yet I try to fit,

And make do

With you.

One day I shall strip

And astound you all,

And you,

And you too,

For the subterfuge is tiring

(My effort is degrading)

And you will see me

Standing with no shame

Shining in my oddness

Glorying in my imperfection.

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Woman

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Blood red bond

sister to sister

across the void

digging down

into solid dirt

tangled

in the roots

across the ages

through the stars

 

stare with me

across the void

find the answers

cut the branches

rip apart

pain and tears

bare soul

staining

 

sister to sister

shouting

through the mist

and thesterness

blood soaked

hands held

praying chanting

peace

 

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Freedom?

That’s the beauty of life isn’t it? You write a post about robots, then you end up watching a film that very same night which is full of them. It was ‘The World’s End’ written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the third and perhaps last in the series of the so-called ‘Cornetto films’. It was a good film and I enjoyed watching it, however I am not about to write a review you will be glad to know, it was simply the fact that Science Fiction had yet again prompted a response, a thought, an opinion. And that is one of the best things about Science Fiction, don’t you agree?

 

The scene that prompted this post was near the end, the denouement, if you will.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I4OTV5cIQg

 

By the way, look familiar?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf4YINfjQaQ&index=8&list=PLAb-P6yFAcdmnEp8ysn9jZqTgB86R6sno

 

(Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

 

It prompted me to consider just what we may consider freedom to be. The main character, Gary King, played by Pegg, shouts, “We are the human race and we don’t like being told what to do”. So is that the limit of our definition and ambition of being free? Simply to not be told what to do? And in that kind of freedom is the human race so noble and so wise that we have lifted ourselves from the barbarism of mere animals? It seems to me, from the film’s point of view, that that is not what we should wish for through our ‘freedom’ but that it is simply the freedom to be selfish.

 

It also made me wonder if this is also how many people wrongly see God. As some sort of over-bearing alien who wants to ‘control’ humanity, make us all into clones, in his image, yes, but a bland sheep like image that has no mind, no uniqueness, no identity. And to be honest, most churches I have come across do indeed perpetuate, no matter how much they may speak about God loving our uniqueness, this need to put people in little christian boxes. Which is why I do not attend a church any longer. For most churches do not seem to really be able to embrace true individuality.

 

And you know, really Pegg has it right, God allows us to fail, to be fuck-ups. He loves us just as much whether we seem ‘perfect’ or not. And he really does give us the true freedom to be ourselves. For most see freedom as the freedom to be able to ‘do things’ rather than to ‘be’. God gives us the freedom to ‘be’. In wholeness, without guilt at our failings, fractured into the images that society would have us believe is the way to freedom, the striving, the getting, the having, the me me me. God’s freedom frees us to be love.

 

But it still does seem that the world and humanity in general finds freedom in violence. That Christ’s sacrifice was in vain, his message misunderstood, that we still see a God of violence. We see him in our own image and not the other way round. We view him with our limited capacity to truly see the revolutionary nature of Christ. The world is hurting so very badly, bleeding from it’s very soul, tortured and twisted. This is what ‘our’ freedom does. Violence has become our God. Doesn’t it make you weep?

 

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More Than the Sum of its Parts

 Another theme found recurring in Science Fiction, is the artificial. The synthetic, the replicant of ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘Screamers’ (both of course from stories by Philip K Dick), the androids of the Alien series, the Asimov robots and their three laws, Data from Star Trek Next Generation and so on.

 I was reminded of this last night while watching the pilot of the series ‘Almost Human’ (Executive producer- J J Abrams). Borrowing heavily, in my opinion from both Blade Runner and I. Robot the series has as its main character detectives a ‘synthetic’ and a human, who however, through injury now has synthetic parts (a leg I believe). How we write about these things and how we respond to them tells us much about not only how we view what it is to ‘be human’, but how we view disability, and our spirituality.

 The synthetic, Dorian, has been programmed to have emotions (like Data when he has his emotion chip in!), so he then becomes a kind of superhuman in our eyes. Easily recognisable as human and yet, with the added bonus of the kind of things that computers can do. The best of both worlds? Of course the title ‘Almost Human’ really refers to the human, Detective John Kennex, traumatised by his injury and the loss of his ‘team’ and coming to terms with no longer being fully human. Coming to terms with being less than human?

 So being different, either as Dorian, or as Kennex, is not on. There is a desire to ‘be human’. To fit, belong, be the same as. It is seen in many films and books through the desire of the synthetic to become more human or to despise what they are, to find themselves disgusting, to want to improve, to prove they have a soul. Just as people with a disability have to prove they are more than they appear to be, striving for some sort of equality that is always slightly out of reach. Why? Because we are less than human and we must either fit, or try to fit. Not be ourselves, not just be. The sum of all our parts. No, that is not enough. We must either be superhuman (Dorian) or we must ‘come to terms’ with our ‘limitations’ and try and be as human as possible, like everyone else (Kennex).

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So, a soul? To be more than the sum of its parts? I will admit, this often confuses me. For in most Science Fiction to question the ‘meaning of life’ through synthetics is the quest for the soul, for finding the soul is the ‘proof’ of humanity. With Philip. K. Dick, he looks at this through memory, with others it is the capacity for emotions, compassion uppermost.

 But this is what puzzles me. For in the main, Science Fiction does not deal with spirituality, does not search for God, not without pulling it down, refuting, mocking, seeing it as pagan, proof of a lower intelligence, a lower evolved species. And yet, by default, most Science Fiction, especially through the use of synthetics, actually does the opposite, actually says, we are more than the sum of our parts, there is something apart from physiology, biology that makes us human. There is a soul and there is spirit. But that is as far as it goes.

 For me, it was easy. As a disabled child, in a body that was different from all my peers, that couldn’t quite do physical things as well as they, I knew I was more than the sum of all my parts. I knew that there was a part, separate, but a part that also connected to the world in a way not everyone could see. A part connected to the divine.

 All of these thoughts can of course be explored in much more depth. But it’s just a taster. How much there is around us that can be viewed from a different perspective. Maybe this view you have seen yourself before, maybe not. It is simple, but it is mine.

 

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Liefie.

My gorgeous girl saying hello to you today, just for fun!

Liefie.

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Parasite

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Invaded by a presence that screams in through my veins with vibrations that sing a song of wanting more more of me

cannot leave me alone

cannot leave me done

cannot escape

under my skin

and infecting my brain

shouting your song of need

needing my attention day and night

shooting bolts of anger

through my still body

through into my itchy soul

scratching your nails

through my hyper hyper nerves

demanding more of me

than I can ever give

never satisfied

always hungry

greedy greedy

cannot have me

you are not me

I am

more

than your need

refuse to feed you

will

let

you

go

go

go

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Delighted to Support Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge

jakisan:

A set towards peace…

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

We’re humbled to bring you this interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu about their new Global Forgiveness Challenge as well as HumanJourney.com, a platform for transformational ideas that Archbishop Tutu is co-founding with book and media creator Doug Abrams. WordPress.com is delighted to be a partner in this initiative.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved!

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved!

What is the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge?

The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.

How does the Forgiveness Challenge work?

Each day, participants receive an email from us that directs them to a new post on the website that presents an important insight into forgiveness and that offers them…

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