The Mental State

Okay, so, before we get into this, let me kind of explain.  I love being me… usually anyway.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t love being someone else for a while?  Just leaving things in their life behind for say… hours on end?

Imagination, blessed imagination.  It kind of ties back to writing and reading – can’t forget reading – books.  You write out the life of a character, and sometimes, you create them in ways that relate directly to what’s happened to you.  After reading books, watching movies/shows, and hanging around people, I just enjoy imitating certain aspects of the people I see/”see”.

Doctor Who, exactly?  If it’s not his accent, it’s definitely his crazy awesome way with things.  Totally like a child exploring the world, and that’s a good thing.  That’s a thing that makes him really cool.  Er… who else?  Oh yeah, when I worked at Camp, I hung around one of the other Camp Counselors and towards the end of the Summer season, I started to copy the way he talked, emphasizing some parts of my speech more than others.  Yeah… it was interesting, because I used it A LOT, and I wonder whether he noticed or not… Hmm…

Oh yeah, so mental status has always been fluctuating with me.  I might think I’m a knight one minute, and a pterodactyl the next.  It did get confusing when it happened the first few times, but I got used to it, and I could literally be multiple characters at once, whether real or not.  It did not have a very positive effect on me, especially when I needed to think straight.  I advise against taking on the personalities of multiple people at a time… not very healthy I think, but I guess it depends on who you become.

So yeah, on that note, we – er, I, bid you… uh… a goodbye in whatever language you can think of, preferably Sindarin [mostly because I’ve been forced to learn it, thanks to a friend who enjoys sending messages in that language (totally not complaining, it is a useful skill to have, I suppose)].

*Sigh* and here is another post I need to come back to with a better perspective… who knows… maybe we will…

Who In The World Am I?

Always, every day I just wonder.  This is the question that has been on my mind for who knows how long.  Well, I suppose that’s just normal for us youth, we’re always wondering what our personal destinies are.  Perhaps it’s a blessing, to have so many choices to make for ourselves, but it gets pretty overwhelming sometimes.  Paths are just super complicated I guess.

I mean, my vocation is really getting to me.  Am I meant to get married?  Or become a priest?  Or stay single forever?  It’s just frustrating to be where I am and have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with my life.  It’s probably tied in with the whole Eagle Life Purpose and Ambitions write up.  It gets me thinking, and sometimes I think so much that I feel trapped inside my own head.  That’s probably another reason I write everything out.  It’ll just get stuck inside and make me insane… er, more insane than I am currently anyway.

Futures… hmm… I seem to have lost my thought process…

I should really continue this in the future…

Ah well, I guess I’m just that sort of person.  There has got to be more to this, and who knows when I’ll continue it.  Maybe when I have a better perspective on it… maybe…

Who indeed am I?

The Balance Of Power

Stories.  Books are epic.  There is no way you could replace them with fancy e-books or stuff like that.  I have always preferred to pick up a good book whenever possible to using a computer to read.  Novels are just awesome that way.  Especially fiction.  You can’t go wrong with good fiction.

As G.K. Chesterton said:  “Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”  Yay fiction!  That’s the great thing about imagination.  Not just in books, but overall.  The author pours out his or her imagination, creating a limitless scenario from which comes anything they can think of.  Heroes, castles, great battles, and other worlds beyond ours.  Totally the best way to use imagination.  It’s just so focused into the pages that you can see it all happening in your mind’s eye while you read.

There’s always been something about books with the old traditional weapons that makes me go “YUS!  HE HAZ _________.”  Especially swords, those things are just awesome.  I always did like knights.  Not just their shiny weapons and armor, but also their solemn vows of chivalry.  To me, that has always been really cool.

Getting away from the good guys and stuff to do with them, every story needs a villain with a master plan.  They just make the book come to life in their own way.  I mean, come one, what’s the point of having a hero if he’s got nothing to conquer, rise above, etc. etc.

Why are there enemies in stories?  Why are they necessary to the plot?  And also, why do heroes have flaws?  Why are all these things needed?

So, we’ll start with the flaws of heroes, since I’d rather take longer on the enemy point.  I personally like heroes with flaws better because I can relate to them much more than some hero who has no weaknesses.  Creating the perfect hero takes away half the plot.  He has no room to mess up, no room to learn from his mistakes, and basically will be able to take out the enemy too quickly and easily.  It just makes him boring, and fortunately, I have yet to read a book with a “perfect” hero.  Sure, I’ve seen some where a few characters believe they are perfect, but fortunately they are proven wrong in a short period of time.  In many ways, the flaws make the character.  Plus, he becomes greater in the end right?

And villains…  you need them interestingly enough.  Every hero needs his opposite, every power its darker force.  All those stories using the figures of shadow and light duking it out have always appealed to me because of the author’s ability to take the common elements and build a different sounding story around it.  Does the hero always triumph in the end?  Yes.  Why?  Hardly anybody would want to read a book where he loses in the end.  Books pretty much always end with the hero winning.  What would happen if they changed it so that the hero lost?

That would be rather depressing I suppose.  Nobody creates a hero just to make him fall.  However, they each have a certain goal that they are set for.  Once that goal is complete, usually it’s happy ending and stuff right?  But happy ending in what way and for whom?

I’m getting off topic here [and yes I do that a lot, mostly because I have the mind of a butterfly (Ranger’s Apprentice reference, go read it, it’s an awesome series!)], maybe I’ll go back to it later.   Anyway, villains complete the mixture.  It’s like a puzzle to me.  You have to fit in the hero and as soon as you add him, you realize there is one left on the opposite side of the board that is unfilled.  Villains complete the heroes, and sometimes make the story more realistic.  They each have to win at some point in time.  It’s just needed.  Heroes that win all the time are… well, to put it simply, meh.  Shadow and light are not equally matched.  It might seem like the shadow is stronger at points where the hero is beaten down, but from that, he has to rise back up with a new strength unmatched.

Light/good always has to win in the end in some way.  That doesn’t mean that everyone survives, no!  In true warfare, there are always massive losses on both sides, but readers always want their heroes to be invincible to the point of things having no effect on them, or taking the hit, then regenerating or something.  Readers also hate when you kill off good support characters.

I do apologize if it appears that my thoughts are scattered all over the place, I just normally am this way even when talking in real life.  Just ask my friends about it.

One last note on heroes that doesn’t have to do with their “winning” in the literal sense, in the end.  Winning doesn’t always mean that they survive after they accomplish their goal.  Matoro from Bionicle never survived, but he saved the world from death.  Through his death, he managed to bring life for others.  He is one of my favorite heroes, and actually very realistic.

You see, there are these people called Saints…

One With The Music

I love music.  If I listen to a certain type of music for a period of time I begin to get affected and I get into the mood of the song.  There are many cases where that’s a good thing.  When I need energy I listen to an upbeat song and BAM!  I can take just about anything.  When I’m happy, that feeling is amplified by happy music.

I thought instrumentals were safe because well, it’s just instruments right?  But oh, those masterful composers.  They can convey darkness and light, moments of horror and peace, times or mystery and revelation, all through the instruments.

It really began when I started to listen to the Dark Knight soundtrack.  My favorite piece from that is “A Watchful Guardian”.

The piece, as you listen to it conveys this uplifting feeling in the beginning, then it grows contemplative and dark, and you start to feel like hope is almost lost.  The piano starts, and you feel like you’re at the brink of a cliff.  It grows quiet, and it’s like someone’s stopped breathing.  Then there’s a small buildup, and the bass.  It’s rising, and you’re climbing upward with it.  You feel a strange resolve and then it intertwines both sadness and strength.  You feel like you’re alone, but you also know that you can handle whatever’s thrown at you next.

Bass kicks in, and you realize that this is just the beginning of something new.  Darkness and light, then it abruptly stops, and you hear the rising theme of your enemy.  It keeps growing in pitch, then levels out… and stops with a mysterious finale, as if there’s more to come.

Maybe other people hear it and express it a different way, but when I listen to that piece, it’s usually when I have no idea what exactly I’m feeling.  While there are the awesome songs like that, there are also the ones that make you wonder what the artist was feeling or thinking of when he/she wrote it.

Those songs get to me and then I start feeling strange.  They’re always the darker themed ones.  They make me uncomfortable but at the same time they always sound the best.  That worries me.  It’s like the artists put much more into it than their other songs.

Imagine Dragons’ Demons for instance.  It got to me in a way that I didn’t like.  I kept getting drawn to it even though it was really a song focusing mostly on despair.  And then today, I found a song by Les Friction, a group that does both instrumentals and regular music that I discovered.  It’s called Torture, and I read the lyrics for it, and it made me more than a little disturbed because of what it seemed to say to me.  Phrases like: “You held my hand and pulled me down with you” and “Your soul so black and chilled”.  It felt like he was talking about being affected by someone dark.  Someone lost much farther than anyone would want to be.

I felt dark myself and rather cold after I listened to it, and then I wanted to go back and listen again!  It just feels really creepy that I would want to go back and hear a song that already disturbed me so much.  It has a meaning, and I doubt that it’s one of hope.  So really, if anything, I know to be much more wary of music than I have been of late.

You Experience Things

I began the summer, just a normal kid joining up with some strangers to form a greater unit of leaders.  Camp Staff.  I met people there who at the time were just so and so, just people I’d have to work with.  I never expected that I’d actually have to get to know them.

Through circles and name games; campfires and little gatherings;  I had no idea how much it actually affected me.  It was really towards the end of Staff Week that I started to get to know people a little bit.  And week 1 for the campers hadn’t even started yet!  Oh, I knew a few people there already, but only a little later, I was hanging around others, laughing with them, playing video games in tents, and sitting around one just simply talking.

Within the staff, I really connected with the CITs, or Counselors In Training for those who don’t understand the acronym.  Younger people I could really relate to.  It just felt amazing to be able to speak and work with all of them.  Throughout the summer, we got varying nicknames to suit us all.  Some were worse than others, and some stuck forever.

Camper weeks began and we all began to work with the kids.  I got to work in both Trailblazer and Aquatics.  Between teaching kids life skills for the future as well as boating safety to survive on the water, I managed to still hang out with my fellow staffers whenever I could.

But of course, nothing is without its challenges.  A lot of dramatic fights happened, but that’s about normal.  The important thing is we overcame them.  I remember one moment where all of us CITs were called out of lunch early to battle the aftermath of a storm together, which had caused a tree to crush a tent.  We argued, being young, rash, and very inexperienced at handling others correctly, but overall, I think we did pretty well.   Looking at the area after we had cleaned it up, we just had to applaud ourselves on how we had taken care of the situation.  It made for some pretty good bonding time I’ll tell you.

It was about halfway through the summer, when I had to leave for a week and a half for the National Jamboree that I actually realized the possibility that the summer could end.  It was painful, and I started to analyze everything that had ever happened in the past.  I needed it to stay forever.  I had grown so emotionally attached to the place that I was starting to crack when I had to leave it.

The end arrived, we had our last party, last goodbyes, last everything we could think of.  Pretty much all the staff left, and then I took hold of one last chance to prolong it for a bit more.  AHG week.  The smallest week ever.  No scouts, just a bunch of girls.  It was an entirely different experience, and maybe I’ll put it into perspective eventually, but suffice it to say, it took me entirely out of my comfort zone.

As I joined the others for the final gathering after the campfire on Friday night, I realized it really was finished.  All the things that had happened that were bad were unimportant, and all the joys I had shared with the others became magnified.

I took one last walk up Staff Row with one of my best friends and her younger sister.  It was terrible yet terrific at the same time.  Sharing the burden of having to leave made it easier on us both.

But really, we had survived, and that in the end, was what was important.