Two Statues Become One

The 1937 novel by Azerbaijani author Kurban Said titled “Ali and Nino” is a tragic love story between Ali who is a Muslim nobleman from Azerbaijani and a Christian princess named Nino from Baku on the Caspian Sea.  This is a very complicated affair in an era of inter-religion tensions that take place during the years 1918–1920 when the First World War and the Russian Revolution were going on.  It has been hailed as one of the most romantic epic novels of all time.  The two had to fight, hide and escape from country to country to hide their love, until they arrive in Azerbaijan as a symbol of peace.  They are torn apart by the turmoil in this grand love story, and Ali joins the defense of Azerbaijan from the onslaught of the Red Army, and Nino flees to the safety of Paris with their child, not knowing whether they will ever see each other again.

On March 3rd, 1918, Russia signed a treaty with the Central Powers ending its participation in World War I, with the new Russian government, now under Lenin’s leadership.  Vladimir Lenin was the head of the radical socialist Bolshevik Party which was later renamed the Communist Party and they took control after the Communist Revolution.  The tragic love story ends with Ali and Nino separated by the invasion of Soviet Russia.  This aggression has changed millions of real people’s lives, so the depicted drama might have really happened.  An 8 meter (26 foot) tall moving steel sculpture was created by Tamara Kvesitadze a Georgian sculptor to depict these lovers and it is located in the seaside city of Batumi.  The statues begin moving in the evening and make a complete separation and a revolution united in ten minutes.  The love statue begins to move every day at 7 p.m., merging for a short embrace, before leaving each other behind.  After 10 minutes the movement is complete.  The love sculpture was designed in 2007 but only installed in 2010.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 266, where today she gave us a collage and I chose the statues which are briefly united for a short time.

Atheistic Agnostic

You live in a world where no Gods exist, and we all live in the same world.  Many people like to believe that there is a God or some type of gods, because they feel like there is a grand plan that the universe should follow, and they want to avoid being sent to Hell if they don’t do things that please the God or gods.  People are taught religious beliefs and one of these beliefs is that you are never supposed to question God, because He or She knows everything, and that God was responsible for creating all of us.  I have found that the majority of religious ideas are partly or completely manufactured, as there seems to be flaws in every organized religion.  When people don’t understand things, they make assumptions that it must have been a supernatural cause, and this ends up with them being predisposed to religion more than seeking out the truth.  Religion is not the biggest cause of war unlike what some people have said, as most wars happen for economic reasons, but millions have died in the name of religion.

People have been trained since birth to believe in some type of god and they feel that if you are not a believer that your life has no meaning or purpose, but I like to think that my disbelief frees me from being indebted to some Divine Creator.  It is against the norm when you don’t conform to a religious system, but I believe in science, and I don’t have blind faith.  If religion works for you, I am happy, but it all seems hokey pokey to me.  I have read many parts of the Bible and I think that it contains a lot of good stories that can be used for a person to live a good life, but to me, they are nothing more than stories.  I feel the same way about the Greek and Roman myths, but their gods are much more ridiculous, and they are obviously just stories.

Most people believe in God out of a fear that this is what they are expected to do, but if fear is the reason that we have God, I don’t see a reason to believe.  People are driven by the desire to survive and reproduce and believing in gods was helpful for early humans.  I think that humans invented gods so they could try to understand the world better, but over time religion got out of control and I should be entitled to my own beliefs.  Most of the people who profess their belief in God are just whackos, in my opinion and I am happy not to be in that group.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 265, where she challenges us to discuss this sentence, “You live in a world where no Gods exist.”  Please realize that this is fiction and that I don’t want to discuss my religious beliefs or non-beliefs here.

Going Forward

Time changes everything, as when I was younger, I always went with the flow, and let life unfold on its own, but now that I see that my time on this Earth is getting shorter day by day, I have a very different outlook on life.  I had a live for today philosophy, not worrying about what happened in the past, or fearing what the future would bring.  I tried to live in the moment and enjoy what life gave me.  When I was young and healthy, all I ever thought about was having fun.  Life is full of surprises, and the only certainty is that one day we will all die whether we are healthy or sick, rich or poor, or happy or sad, as death is inevitable.

Recently I discovered that I am like a non-stick pan, which is a pleasure to cook with, but they must be taken care of, or else they will be ruined.  The nonstick pan is a time-saver when you are cooking, but they need proper care to keep the nonstick coating in good condition.  It doesn’t matter how much you pay for the pan it is the care you give it that will extend or shorten the pan life.  If you don’t give your pan the proper care its non-stick coating will wear down over time and then it will need to be replaced.  Nothing lasts forever, but if you take good care of something, nourish and provide for it, there is a much better chance for it to last.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 264, where she challenges us to discuss how we see our future, or at least that is how I interpreted it.

All Hell Broke Loose

Sudden pandemonium was all around after the Alien attacks, as a devastating solar storm caused an explosion in a nuclear plant, which was followed by Earth changing its orbit.  It was clear that there was no hope left for mankind and we were all going to die and even human birth in laboratories would not help us.  When the aliens started using their bioweapons on us, all hope was lost.  It was so frightening expecting to be killed any minute, and I just wanted it to end, so I put my head between my legs, and kissed my ass goodbye.  Destruction was all around, and I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t happening, so I had to face the music knowing that there was no coming back from this.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 263, where she gave us 6 phrases or situations from Baba Vanga’s predictions for 2023 for this week’s prompt which are: Devastating solar storm, Explosion in a nuclear plant, Human birth in laboratories, Alien attacks, Earth changing its orbit and Bioweapons, which we are to bass our writing on.

Color Your World

Color makes objects easier to see and it separates painting from drawing, bringing life and vibrancy to paintings and sketches.  Every color creates different emotions and feelings, and certain colors are associated with specific feelings like warmth and others with being cool.  Colors close to the red spectrum are warmer colors, and they include red, orange, and yellow.  These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from warmth, comfort, optimism and energy to feelings that signal danger or make you feel angry and hostile.  They can evoke higher arousal emotions, such as love, passion, happiness, and excitement.  Whereas blue colors like purple and green are inked to calmness, sadness, indifference, relaxing, soothing and healing.  These reactions are rooted in psychological effects, biological conditioning and cultural imprinting.  Color is a fundamental physical property of light that humans perceive differently dependent on the individual person.

Greek color theory started with Aristotle saying that objects consist of a mixture of elements with colors that reproduce said mixture and that colors have the capacity to cause themselves to be seen.  In the beginning of the seventeenth century, after the invention of new optical instruments people started to develop a better understanding about the nature of light.  The science of optics improved, because many distinguished scientists wanted to understand more about light, color and the process of vision.  Isaac Newton spent six years studding colors and he explained that a prism separates a beam of white light into the colors of the rainbow.  Newton went as far as conducting an experi­ment on himself, while probing the nature of color.  He stuck a bodkin, a long sewing needle with a blunt point, into his eye socket, to determine if colors were influenced by the eye.  He named the seven colors of the spectrum red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  These names have stuck, although the choice of seven should be seen as conveniently sacred, rather than a precise description of the visible spectrum.  Newton also described how each color of the spectrum merges gradually into its neighbor to give ‘hues’.  The first color wheel was developed by Sir Isaac Newton consisting of an arrangement of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet on a rotating disk.

Physically, there are two kinds of colors: pure spectral colors and mixed colors.  A pure spectral color consists of a beam of light that is a simple sine wave with a single wavelength.  The wavelength of the light is the color of the light.  Light is an electromagnetic radiation.  An electric field oscillates in both time and space along with a corresponding orthogonal magnetic field that oscillates with the same spatial and temporal periodicity.  The distance in space between the peaks of an electromagnetic wave determines its wavelength, and hence its color.  Francis Bacon thought that color was not capable of being seen without light and he said, “All colors will agree in the dark”, believing that reliable and valid knowledge can only be acquired through sense-experience or observation.  Color theory is a body of principles that provide guidance on the relationship between colors and the physiological impacts of certain color combinations.  The color wheel shows the relationship between colors and since art is based on combining colors, an organized illustration of the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors is essential.  Accurately combining colors, using the color wheel, and understanding how colors relate to each other are critical skills for artists, designers, marketers, and brand owners.

Most people dream in color, and about 12% will dream in black and white, but we forget the colors of our dreams when we wake up.  It is thought that many people dream according to what they see on their TV set, whether it is a color set or a black & white TV set.  Since most sets are in color now, more dreams contain color.  Experts don’t really understand why we dream, but most of them believe that our dreams are a way for our subconscious mind to communicate with our conscious mind.  We all have the ability to dream, but that does mean that we can control our dreams.  Lucid dreaming is defined as being able to retain some level of conscious control of the dream events, but since this usually happens spontaneously it can be a difficult skill to learn for most people.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 262, where she gave us a picture and a phrase, and she asks us to determine if the prompt is the words “Random Dreams” or the image of the paint brushes.

Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation

I am skeptical and I don’t believe in any of the major conspiracies that are being perpetuated on the internet around the world.  I do believe that there have been government cover-ups and becoming a whistleblower and shining light on the government is an essential part of accountability, but I think that sightings of UFOs, and hairy humanoids are ridiculous.  Donald Trump called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release information regarding alleged dealings between Eastern European oligarchs and Hunter Biden, but after Senate investigations, no evidence of wrongdoing was produced.  If Tom Brady could destroy his phone to prevent anyone from seeing his texts on deflating the footballs, then what is stopping Hunter Biden from doing the same.  Trump has more business dealing with the Russian oligarchs than Hunter ever had, so this is a lot like the pot calling the kettle black.  We will probably never know what classified documents and information former President Donald Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago.

A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.  The far-right alternative religion QAnon thrives on spreading misinformation and the dark corner that they forged on the internet is out in the mainstream.  Susceptible Christians are fooled into believing that George Floyd’s murder was a hoax, that Bill Gates is related to the devil, that masks can kill you. that the germ theory isn’t real and that Pizzagate was a real thing.  Apparently, Bill and Hillary Clinton helped a Washington, D.C., pizza joint to run a pedophile ring.  QAnon is still working to expose the deep state which controls the world, and many people want to believe in this.  More than 1 out of every 3 Americans believe in this cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, and that former President Donald Trump is the only person who can defeat it.  QAnon followers believe that the Deep State will be brought to justice during a violent day of reckoning known as “the Storm,” when the Deep State and its collaborators will be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay to face military tribunals and execution for their various crimes.  These same people still believe in the Big Lie that the election was stolen.

These people need to wake up and smell the coffee, or they should at the very least stop drinking the Kool-aide.  I guess that as long as we have social media and people become Followers this nonsense will continue to prosper.  I hope my post fits in with Reena’s cute poem.
The best and the worst
It’s time…
for the bubble to burst
If all of these conspiracy theories and misinformation that is out there doesn’t make your bubble burst, maybe watching this Justin Bieber video will do that for you.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 261, where she gave us a short poem.

Not A Great Year

2020 had its moments, but I mostly remember it for the pandemic, global lockdowns and people being out of work.  I guess the best thing that happened was that Trump had been voted out of office, although he didn’t want to leave, and all this election madness followed.  I need to mention the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd incidences that took place, and it is hard to forget the forest fires and hurricanes that we had.  The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement of 2020 brought racism into the forefront of everyone’s life and people started talking about defunding the police.  It was hard to watch the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota being shown on TV every day and I kept yelling at my set for the officer to take his knee off George’s throat and let him breathe.

Numerous wildfires were burning across California, Oregon, and Washington fueled by hot, dry climate conditions and fanned by gusty winds.  These fires caused over $19.884 billion in damages, and they were blamed on climate change and poor forest management practices.  Yep, climate change became a real thing, although some people are still skeptical, just like the election deniers.   The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season featured a total of 31 tropical or subtropical cyclones, making it the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record.  Since we don’t use the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z to name these storms, we had to dig into the Greek alphabet and name the last nine, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, and Iota.  2020 must rank right up there at the top, as one of the worst years ever, with most people wearing masks, everyone feeling the isolation, loneliness, and knowing that they still had to socially distance themselves to keep the virus from spreading.  Natural disasters and catastrophes, hit us one after the other and more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record with an average of 124 people being killed from gun violence every day.

2020 may not have been as bad as 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated and riots broke out.  It was better than the years when we were hit with the Black Plague hit Europe, as an estimated 25 million people, almost a third of the continent’s population back then were killed and I am sure that was not very pleasant.  For sure 2020 was a better year than 66 million B.C. when the comet hit and destroyed all the dinosaurs, but looking back maybe that was a good thing, as otherwise humans may not have evolved.  I read that 2020 was a good year for wine but since I don’t drink wine, it doesn’t matter to me.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 260, where she gave us a picture prompt.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Organization

Person A: How many children do you have?
Person B: Biological, spiritual, emotional, or legal?

Person A (let’s call her Alice) worked for The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) which is the oldest national organization serving vulnerable children, youth, and their families and she received a complaint that Person B (let’s call her Barbara) who had many different types of children under her care, may not have had their best interests in mind.  Barbara was a sarcastic person and she saw the world differently than most other people, so she answered Alice’s question with her own question.  Barbara was a hippie and she had seven biological children and none of them had the same father and many of them she had no idea who the biological father was.  Barbara believed in free love, but she was married twice, and both of her marriages produced offspring, but that may not have been from her husbands.  Barbara has three spiritual children who she referred to as Indigo children who she said were astral beings that were sent to her to help guide everyone to a higher plane.  These three children just showed up on her doorstep one day and it was like they adopted her to be their mother.

Alice was appalled by this story, and she told Barbara that she can’t take in children because they want to adopt her as this is not the way things are done.  Alice explained that since these three children were mot of legal age, that they would need to be put into the system and let the courts decide what to do with them.  Barbara told Alice that these children were happy, and it would be cruel to take them away from a place that they identified as home.  Barbara knew that these children would be fine wherever they ended up because they are highly intelligent with good intuition, they have healing abilities, and a strong spiritual connection with the universe.  Alice then inquired what Barbara meant by saying that she had emotional children.  Barbara recited the following poem.  “Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace.  Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go.  Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living.  And the child born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe, good and gay.”

Alice was confused again, so she asked Barbara what that poem had to do with her having emotional children.  Barbara said that seven children were left on her doorstep, and she took them in to provide for their needs and give them love.  She named them after the days of the week when she discovered them, and they all seem to be emotional different, so she calls them her emotional children.  Alice told Barbara that just because someone leaves a baby on your doorstep that this child does not belong to you.  There are procedures that need to be followed and they will need to find a tentative placement for all of these children, but for the time being they could remain in her custody till the state finds an appropriate foster parent.  Barbara gave Alice a dirty look and said, “I guess you are going to do what you are going to do, but what goes around comes around and these children all have a stable environment, and it is probably not a good idea to upset that by rocking the boat.”

Barbara told Alice that she also had three other children that she legally adopted and that she could show her the paperwork if she was interested in seeing it.  Alice said that wouldn’t be necessary at this time, but that she would be returning to straighten everything out.  Barbara asked Alice who the a-hole was that registered the complaint against her, and Alice said that she wasn’t allowed to reveal that information.  Barbara said that she had a good idea who it was and that she was going to make sure that they were sorry.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 259, where she gave us a conversation for a prompt.

Civilization

When man started establishing permanent settlements, they needed to develop way to dispose of human waste and originally, it was buried it in the ground.  Maybe the idea came from watching cats digging a hole and burying their waste.  Most early civilizations were established near rivers, which not only provided a source of fresh water for irrigation, but also a method for waste elimination.  The ironclad rule was to always dump downstream!  Cesspools were designed in areas that not connected to rivers and they would receive and hold sewage for human waste.  They were frequently placed under the floors of castles that were often made of wood.  A cesspool consisted of an underground hole lined with brick or stone and porous material.  Excrement sank to the bottom and liquids flowed out between the spaces in the brick lining.  The waste could not just be flushed away, so when the cesspool got full, somebody needed to empty it and take it to an appropriate dumping site.  During the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for people to urinate or defecate in a chamber pot and just throw it into the streets, or perhaps just forgo the pot and go straight onto the street.  Eventually rains would wash the waste away into a local river, and all is well.  Then came the plague and a whole host of other terrible diseases.  While people of the time had no concept of germ theory, they began to understand that filth bred disease.

In 1183, Frederick I Barbarossa (1122–1190) Holy Roman Emperor and Duke of Swabia held a Diet (legislative assembly) in the Great Hall of Germany’s Erfurt Castle, when suddenly the floor of the main hall collapsed, and the emperor his knights and many of the dinner guests fell thirty-nine feet into the cesspool below and drowned.  The meeting was in the room directly above the latrine and the wooden floor beams gave way, and the group of German nobility along with the flooring and beams crashed down onto the latrine floor.  The screaming nobility plus two levels of flooring and beams descended into the cesspit.  About sixty members of the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire died on that day, drowning in the liquified waste.  Emperor Frederick pulled through as he was able to grab on to the iron grates of a window, where he hung by his hands till he was rescued, but it was a while before any of his guests accepted another dinner invitation at the castle.

In 1326, Richard the Raker, a latrine cleaner, fell through the rotten boards over the pit at Newgate Gaol and drowned in his own excrement.  This pit usually took five days to clear out using a team of 13 men.  Most people didn’t want to deal with the sight and smell, so this was not a very glamorous job, but it paid well.  Cleaning out cesspits needed to be done, but it carried the risk of falling in and very few people were prepared to come to the rescue.  Cesspits or cesspools which existed in London for many centuries weren’t maintenance free, emptying them was grim work, this occupation was clearly one of the least desirable in human history.  People in this profession risked getting disease, but eventually every cesspool needs to be emptied.  This task was for the so called ‘night-soil men’ to do, who worked from 9 pm to 5 am, so the public wouldn’t have to see them.  Once they had gathered their stinky haul, the latrine cleaners would dump the night soil outside the city limits in enormous excrement dumps.  Eventually septic pumping systems replaced the need to hand shovel human waste.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 258, where she gave us the prompt cesspool.

Reprehensible Republicans

The United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Republican Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) both seem to care more about stopping any Democratic legislation than they care about doing anything good for our country.  If the balance of power shifts and they get control of the House and the Senate, they will be investigating Hunter Biden, trying to impeach Joe Biden, looking for ways to give tax cuts to the rich, putting more restrictions on voting privileges and abortions and ending democracy as we know it.  There is a good chance that Trump will rear up his ugly head again and continue with his lies, but since he is their man, they will be following him all the way to hell.  I don’t even want to mention Margorie Taylor Green or why anyone could be so stupid to vote for her, but Herschel Walker falls into the same category.  Matt Gaetz got reelected, but most of the people in Florida seem to have their heads halfway up Trump’s backside.

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge 256, where we are asked to find words that start with “re.”