Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Avonlea Story – Existential Episode on the Collies and Ms. Cubert

IMG_3732It has been almost over five good years since the Collies have immigrated to Elysia from Scotland. By now the family has well settled into the ways of life in their adopted home country, especially their beloved town of Avonlea, which has become their hometown. After all, anywhere can be anyone’s home as long as it feels comfortable and peaceful, if not exactly welcoming. Besides, if the customs and languages are similar to those of your native country, the process of acclimation is comparatively smooth without Herculean challenges. So in this respect the Collies have lucked out thus far.

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The Collies live in Avonlea, a suburb of Charlottetown where Paul Collie, the head of the household works as a manager of the Food Department at Diamond Trading Corporation. His resourceful wife Laura Collie works at home as a part-time seamstress, making and altering clothes, curtains, and tablecloths on order from her clients who all have heard about Laura’s finesse in sewing and knitting and crocheting from the grapevine of Avonlea and even Charlottetown.

In fact, Laura owes her craftsmanship to her great Aunt Meena in Edinburgh, Scotland who used to own her own embroidery shop until her death six years ago. It was also this embroidery store where Paul and Laura had met together for the first time, which led them to walking down the aisle of the Church of Our Lady in Danube three years later and taking a marital vow of faithfulness, love, and understanding. There were moments when both Paul and Laura adhered to what they thought infallibly right but the sacred promise before the altar always won. Their faith always won. Moreover, Paul and Laura are always happy to work hard for their darling Lana, a dainty bright seven-year old girl who is always eager to help others in need.

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Recently, Lana has taken up a piano lesson under the tutelage of Ms. Brenda Cubert, a spinster who is finely conversant in classic literature, impressionist paintings, baroque/classical/romantic/ancient Greek music, and European history. Ms. Cubert thinks that Lana has a musical talent because of her quick sense of rhythm, aptitude for improvising melodies without musical notes, and her unalloyed appreciation of beauty of music and the Arts in general.

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But this is what Ms. Cubert thinks to herself; she keeps everything to herself in fear of jinx, for she believes that if she says something good about anything, about herself included, things will suddenly turn sour and belligerent against her… To dismiss it mindless superstition of a spinster is a great injustice to her fine quality as an individual of deep intellectual curiosity and as a woman of sophisticated sensibility and delicate disposition. Such brooding inclination rather arises out of her  empirically shaped mode of thinking due to her eggshell sensitivity. Notwithstanding all of this intricacies of her mind, Ms. Cubert is all intelligence, all beauty, and all kindness.

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You can get used to just about anything.” In certain cases, the adage seems to be in effect, such as in the case of the Collies whose life as a family of immigrants is quite smooth and placid. To them moving into Elysia, in this cozy town of Avonlea is akin to moving to a commonwealth of The Great Suhsland under the reign of Queen Stephana  whose sovereignty also includes Scotland. Whether or not it is this cultural similarities or affinities that facilitates their adjustment to the new land, the Collies will always remain a strong family bound by responsibilities and duty and love and understanding as Paul and Laura promised to each other in the matrimonial ceremony before the altar. Sempre fidelis, that is.

*Extra Feature

This is my very first experimental video featuring the panorama of the diverse residents in the town of Avonlea. All of the cast and setting are decorated and posed by myself. For those of you who have already read one of my short episodes about these folks might be familiar with them. The purpose of this video is to convey the leitmotif of the episodes I sometime write about these little residents vividly in combination with music which I deem humorously fit the whole idea of the story itself. In future, I plan to make a series of short stop motion animated films on these figures.

The Birth of Humanities: Mythology by Edith Hamilton

MythologyMythology by Edith Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The essence of myths is threefold: it is a branch of natural science, trying to explain what humans saw around them. It is also a genre of pure classical literature. Besides, mythology is religion, the deepening realization of what human beings needed in their gods and goddesses. That is, mythology is a way to show us the way the human race thought and felt untold ages ago. Through mythology we are connected to the men who had close relationship with nature, who had no real distinction between the real and the unreal, unchecked by reason but with the spirit. In this light, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology breathes life into the Greek, Roman, and even Norse myths, which are the bedrock of the western civilization – the stories of gods, goddesses, and heroes that have imbued the humankind with multifarious creativity from time immemorial to present.

The aim of this book is to produce knowledge of the myths that had been recorded by ancient writers and poets. In fact, the myths as we know now are the creation of great poets, one of which is the Iliad by Homer. Unlike the Egyptian, the Greeks made their gods in their own image and breathed them with their emotions and feelings. It is uncertain how the genesis of the Greek mythology came into being; however the earliest Greek poets arrived at a new point of view which had never been dreamed of in the world before them. It was at this point that mankind regarded itself as the center of the universe, intent upon producing the beauty of human, which was the very consummation of reality.

According to Hamilton, what distinguishes Greek mythology from others is it’s foundation on the factual reality. The nonsensical took place in a world, which was essentially rational and matter-of-fact. For example, Hercules always had his abode in the city of Thebes, save when he took of a journey to accomplish his twelve labors; Aphrodite’s birthplace was just offshore from the island of Cynthera; Pegasus’s comfy stable was in Corinth. There was a sense of reality in the mythological world but no place for magic.

Mythology is not a tome that requires of modern readers perquisites for scholarly knowledge of academic languages, intellectual superiority, or historical knowledge of the ancient time. It is an anthology of entertaining and inspiring tales of gods, goddesses, nymphs, and mortals who fell out of favor with the divine, written in plain English; it’s like listening to a very well-read story-teller. In Mythology, we meet all from the mercurial gods and jealous goddesses on the Mount Olympus even to Norse gods in Valhalla. We are fascinated with tales of Cupid and Psyche, Odyssey’s Golden Fleece, and forlorn Clytie whose love for Apollo pined away. We discover that Paris of Troy used to live with a nymph called Oenone before deserting her for Helen of Sparta. Also, we listen to the legends of constellations of the stars as well as many other references for literature, paintings, and music that have been deeply inspired by Greek mythology.

Mythology is the most comprehensive and lucidly accounted tales of mythology based upon Hamilton’s extensive collection of the sources from great ancient poets and writers. Of all other books on mythology of the western civilization I have encountered, this book is by far the most excellent in providing readers with both entertainment and knowledge without academically esoteric approach or literary pompousness. Mythology succeeds in  offering education and appreciation of art that has been passed down to our present time for thousands of years. For this reason, Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a touchstone for books on mythology.

 

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A view from the Window on a Snowing Day

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Snow Scene In Paris Painting by Eugene Galien-Laloue courtesy of fineartamerica.com

 

Looking thru the window, what do I see?
Snowflakes softly falling down from heaven,
Smiling faces of little children,
Neighbors shoveling scoops of snow away.

-  'tis in one scene of Winter Play.

Thinking to myself, is everyone happy?
Doing what they've been doing thus far,
Fulfilling demands placed upon their 
life is a surety of simple security?

-  'tis in a script of Life Play.

Bluebells

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“Bluebell Haze” courtesy of ArtTudor Store

The tears of dryads in forest, naiads in waters 
over the death of their beautiful prince
morphed into the flowers of dainty bluebells
vowing to the constancy of doleful remembrance
of the once fair face of their beloved with kisses.