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Kraggh's Works ♫♪



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Schindler's List Theme

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Sep 26 2013 · 46 views
John Williams

 
:kaukau: When Steven Spielberg approached his longtime partner John Williams to compose Schindler's List for him, John Williams said he would need a better composer than him.  "I know," said Spielberg, "but they're all dead."
 
For one, it's interesting to hear John Williams, composer of all composers, to say something so humble.  I've put him up on a pedestal before, and I continue to do so, but then I'm reminded that there are things in life bigger than one person's greatness.  For example, saving a person's life.
 
Perhaps someday I will find the words to explain what this movie means to me.  Until then, I can only express myself with the music readily available.  Perhaps that's all that needs to be said - nevertheless I would like to have the appropriate words to accompany it.
 

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On Suicide

Posted by Kragghle , in Wisdom Sep 21 2013 · 25 views

It was never a temptation I struggled with.  The fear of death and of the unknown always outweighed the fear of life's struggles.  It was a permanent "solution" to a temporary problem.  Suicide was an escape route that never seemed worth the price of admission.
 
Somehow, other people struggle with it.  I don't fully understand; I will never be in their shoes.  My personality is just different that way, because I always had the drive and the stubbornness never to give up.  Yet, some part of me deeply understands, because I have known the trench warfare of life's battles and the shellshock that leads to it.  I have known hopelessness and despair.  I have felt the whole world abandon me and desired to respond in kind - I wanted to abandon it as well.  I was no longer needed, so I turned inward to a soulless life of loneliness, and the only thing holding me together was the common grace of a God who wouldn't give up on me.  That I have never desired to take the ultimate step in abandoning the world is a blessing I can take no credit for; I am merely lucky.  The thought never crossed my mind and I don't know what would happen if it did.
 
As plain as day, the struggle with suicide is real.  It is a real tragedy that affects real people.  It becomes more than just an idea or a temptation, but an actual decision someone commits to.  They actually do it.  I don't know how.  To me, it's unnatural, unthinkable, and for that it's all the more tragic.  It should never have happened, but somehow it sneaks like a thief in the night into the lives of hurting people and whisks them away.  I try to imagine what it must be like, to not just think of that infinite blackness but to know it, and the theatre in my mind descends into a place that's dark and perverse, to a basement that's pure evil.  This basement is like the one that spooked me out when I was a little kid, where I was afraid I would meet a haunting ghost or a malevolent shadow, or Satan himself.  My mind must create images of personified evil in order to comprehend the experiential knowledge of this irrevocable decision.
 
Every once and a while I hear of people committing to it, and I try to comprehend how it could happen.  To me, it's not just sad but horrifying, because it is so completely unknown to me, and Man fears that which he does not know.  Still, it is sad above all, and I mourn the losses.  I mourn for the suicidal, their family, and their friends.  Part of me even mourns for the sake of all creation.
 
One of the first suicides I knew of was during my junior year in high school.  A kid from a nearby school was gay and got bullied.  Out of the blue, he solved the problem.  I was very sad when I heard about it.  He and I had never met, and I would have never heard of this person had he not died, but I grieved anyway.  He was young.  Too young.  How could death come to a boy who hadn't even begun to experience a mature life and all its promise?  In no fashion was an understanding of their family's grief even comprehensible, and I could hardly grieve on the behalf of specific people.  Yet, I grieved for all of creation, because all was wrong with the world.  If one person had died, then the universe had died.  Death can only exist in a dead world.
 
Someone, her name being Hope, trivialized the whole matter.  She thought he had it coming, because he was gay.  I thought this was in bad taste, and it hurt me that she responded to tragedy with hatred.  She never knew him, but she had murdered him.  He needed more love than what he received, and think we were all to blame for not living in a loving enough world.  If the world was loving - truly loving - how often would people give up?
 
Hope should have given her neighbor more hope; this I cannot deny.  Yet, I cried for her as well.  She hadn't just hated and judged this person, because she had done the same to me as well.  I knew a thing or two about her that made me feel very guilty for my ill-will toward her.  She had a chip on her shoulder, and some vague history of family problems.  I had overheard her talking once about how she had to go to counseling.  If I just stopped and paid attention, it was obvious that she fostered a world of insecurities and some pains of her own.  If suicide is an evil, and her hatred was an evil, then I really had to mourn for her affliction.  Both vices are forms of murder.  Both robbed someone of their good humanity.
 
This was several years ago and I could have forgotten that suicide was real, except it happened again this August.  I went to a meeting amid church youth counselors.  We talked for a while, covering a number of relevant topics, until someone asked one of the elders, Alan, how things were going.  He mentioned several things about his family, and ended with an aside that his nephew had decided that life wasn't worth living anymore.
 
I failed to comprehend.  It was, as I said before and will not hesitate to say again, unnatural.  Alan told the story of his nephew, and there seemed to be no visible, discernible reason for him to give up on life.  He was a good man, seemed happy, and worked exceptionally hard on his job.  He put all that effort into everything.  He was loved and valued.  Why couldn't he see that life was worth living?  He apparently had a temporary problem, but chose a permanent solution to it.  It was far more than what was merited.  How could he have possibly been tempted?
 
At times like these, I realize that all is wrong with the world.  I realize what's inherent in all humanity, and what I'm capable of.  I can defy natural order, spit in the face of all that is good, and destroy myself with evil, even when everything would have been infinitely better if I lived exactly as I should.  For whatever reason that defied all sense, I constantly mess up.  I don't mess up so bad that I prematurely destroy my physical existence, but at all times I am, somehow or other, exhibiting some sort of negative potential.  I share the DNA of the humans who commit suicide.  The alleles might not be the same, but our spiritual genome is equally human in its corruption.  Any small error on my part is a reflection of the greatest errors possible.  If one person commits suicide, then so have I.  For me, it's just by some divine grace that it kills me in less literal ways.
 
So why haven't I taken it to the greatest extreme?  Why haven't I ended myself, if that's my nature?
 
There's always hope.  Always.  I hope that there's something redeeming about my existence as a human being, and I believe in that hope because I have seen evidence in it.
 
That same August, a few days before I learned of Alan's nephew and suicide was far from my mind, I received a random message on Facebook from someone who was a friend of a friend, but to me a complete stranger.  "Jesus loves you."  She paused.  I smiled, touched.  It was cute and I really appreciated it.  Then: "I wish he loved me."
 
My heart sank.  I didn't know exactly what she was feeling, but I had an idea.  She felt that she was loved less than other people, that she was less of a person.  I have no idea why she was feeling that, but it was the obvious takeaway from such an expression of emotion.  I had compassion.  Without even thinking about it, and certainly without thinking much of it at the time, I messaged her back.  Of course Jesus loved her.  I told her exactly why, because I believed it with all my heart.  It wasn't an essay, but pure human communication in its simplest form.  Something told me that she carried some sort of deep shame, that she doubted herself and her self-worth.  Yet, it didn't matter what type of wretch she was.  She was beautiful.  Even the bad things in us and in this world would work together to the benefit of our beauty.  Jesus loves her.
 
She told me thanks, that it was exactly what she needed to hear.  Then she realized that she had accidentally messaged the wrong person.  I shrugged it off, because it seemed to minor and inconsequential at the time.
 
A week ago, she messaged me back.  She remembered me, and apparently what I had to say meant so much to her that she had to tell me about it a month after I first talked with her.  She said that she had almost committed suicide that night when she first sent me an accidental message.
 
I looked up from my computer and around the library, astonished.  Was anyone looking?  Where in the room was God?  Who could I turn to?
 
The other suicide victims were people I had never talked to, and I had most certainly never had any direct involvement in their suicides.  Nobody I knew ever struggled with it, or at least that I knew of.  Suddenly, some simple, innocent young woman comes to me and tells me that I had helped save her life.  I was overwhelmed.  I felt unworthy of this supposed righteousness, because I wasn't even helping her with some grand intention of saving her life, and I wasn't on some saintly crusade.  I was just being a regular nice person who was content to fix small problems.  I never needed to know what my comforting words had done or how much of a difference I made.
 
For some time, I let her talk about her feelings and how far her life had come in just one month.  She had struggled with some serious doubts about herself and had beat herself up a lot.  I understood this pain, for I and many of the people closest to me have struggled with the same issues.  My breath was taken away that this came so close to ending with a tragedy before grace saved her.  It was a time for celebrating, and I cried tears of joy.  Still, I couldn't rejoice, for I was too overwhelmed for that.  I had just witnessed a miracle, begetting a happiness I didn't even know how to feel.
 
Instead, in shock, I told an old friend about it, Monica.  At first I poorly communicated what had just happened, and she believed that someone was still considering suicide, and she found me later to tell me she was going to get a pastor we both knew.  I had never seen her so sincere before.  When I talked with the pastor a few minutes later, I was numb.  I couldn't explain myself, or all of it.  We both agreed that it was, in the most literal sense of the word, awesome.  Someone had been lost and yet was found.  She was alive, and it was all because she knew that she was loved, that the world had not abandoned her.  The pastor and I prayed, and I went about the rest of my night a changed man.
 
Evil can exist within us, but we have the mark of love upon us.  That's the hope I need.
 
I wish the story ended there, but it's not so simple.  She had been spared, and death did not take her away, but her brother had ben seized that very night.  An hour after she told me about how she had survived, she got news that her brother committed suicide.  She didn't understand it.  I didn't either.  I didn't know how such a thing could happen, especially when someone's life was just about to go right.  I went and I talked with another pastor, and he didn't have many answers.  He did, however, know how to listen, and he taught me that what I needed to be at that moment was a good listener as well.  This young woman needed someone to talk to, to listen to her as she sorted things through.  She needed someone to mourn with her, but also to be distant enough to provide the necessary objectivity.
 
I still wonder what my obligations toward other people are, and how all things are working together toward an ultimate peace.  We're not there yet, but I still often hope for it, and for all those who are still living - the only people I can talk to - I pray that they never give up hope, either.  I've seen that darkness, and I've seen the brightness.  One is to be acknowledged, while the other is to be believed.  Shadows cannot exist without light, and so it is that the very reason we should mourn the loss of loved ones is because we haven't lost sight of what we love.  And on my soul, may love never fail.
 

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The Man

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Sep 15 2013 · 23 views
John Williams

 
:kaukau: For some time my favorite Johnny Cash song was "A Boy Named Sue" until in 2010 my history teacher introduced me to this.  Mr. Lehman wasn't a very sentimental person, but he was very sincere about a lot of things.  Behind all that cynicism was a man who cared a lot and, in spite of his low opinions of everyone, valued them dearly and believed in doing the right thing.  In a similar way, I balance an ongoing disappointment with humanity with a belief in its fundamental worth.
 
I wrote a story a while back.  For those who haven't read it, I won't advertise, but basically I made indirect reference to this song in some of the dialogue, particularly through a character who was supposed to represent me.  I realize that sometimes there's a time for ethics and philosophy, but depending on your point of view you either have to take a step back from this or step in a little to take a good look.  In any case, sometimes in order to see things as they really are you have to stop examining it, and you have to stop trying to feel it.  What you need is to simply believe in the whole point to morality: to care and to love other people.  In order to understand it you have to do it.  Don't try to experience it - act on it.
 
Perhaps I'm fortunate to have grown up in an unsentimental town, filled with stoic Iowans sitting silently in their Calvinistic pews.  We weren't looking for an experience.  Of course, you could say that we didn't act on our ideology either.  Then i went to a Pentecostal church where people were huge on experiencing righteousness, but their supposed good deeds ultimately didn't come out of love and I ultimately had to question whether they were loving people.  I would like to come to the defense of my cultural background and say that the Iowa Gothics have it right and the Armenian hippies had it wrong, but I can't quite say that one person was more loving than the other.
 
If anyone got it, it was Johnny Cash.  I like to call myself a Johnny Cash Christian.  If you don't believe in the things I believe, fine; call me a Johnny Cash American or Johnny Cash human.  I prefer to attach his name to my faith because that's what's most important to me.  In any case, I'm a person who's lived in a lot of silence and has gone through some rough times.  There's another song that described it quite well, one I will write a completely different essay for later, that really explains the internal decay we share in common.  What I understand about John is that he's a person who went through rough times, and he saw the ugliness of the world.  For whatever reason, that's what it took to also see its beauty.  Here he is, a broken man, and by seeing his brokenness and neediness and helplessness, he managed to see it in others and had compassion.
 
Growing up, I suffered depression.  I still do.  It's never gone away, no matter what I've tried to do.  Even when it all seems okay, my positive feelings stand in front of a backdrop of profound sadness.  Things went horribly wrong in my life, and I tried and failed to fix them.  Some of that was out of my power, some of it was.  I'm not sure which is more despairing.
 
I have found this to be somewhat of a truth: true sadness cannot exist without having known true happiness, and true happiness cannot have existed if not for true sadness.  They are both necessary, in order to know either one intimately.  So perhaps I have been blessed, because I am not depressed for no reason.  Rather, I have never lost sight of what constitutes for true joy.  I have never taken it for granted, and joy remains precious and real to me, even if it is distant.  At least I can be still and know it exists.
 
Now, having known this darkness, and having looked left and right and realized that in the humility it brings the world seems much bigger all of a sudden, I cannot look at others without feeling some degree of compassion.  I want the best for them, better than what I have for myself.  Perhaps they don't suffer depression like I do, but I want them to all know true joy.  I want what is right for them.  I waited for a long time, hoping for someone to come along and hold me when I was not enough, but there came a time to put that waiting aside.  Since I know what joylessness feels like, I cannot wish that upon anyone else.
 
This isn't a grand exposition of morality and ethics.  I'm just, for a moment here, being completely human, and sometimes it's difficult to find the words to express that.  Morally speaking, it's very simple: Do unto one another as you would have done unto yourself.  Somehow, though, I don't say this in moral language.  I just know what I want done for me, and I realize I can't have it, and in order for there to be something right in this world I have to give it out to other people.  Pretty soon my pain becomes not my own, but that of the others I want the best for, who lack the best.  I'm not thinking of whether or not it's moral, and it isn't an experience.  I'm a slave to grace.  That makes sense, somehow, but I'm still trying to figure out what that means.
 
What matters is that I'm sincere.  No, that doesn't matter.  It's important, but it's secondary to the real thing that matters.  What reallymatters is that other people hurt, too, and we should all be a little more selfless and sympathize with their wounds.  We have to deliver on the promise of a better world, and not out of some blind idealism, not because we're preaching morality or because we want to be better people.  I don't care how good I am.  I'm not looking at myself.  Helping others doesn't make me feel better, and at this point I've stopped caring about how I feel.  What do I feel?  Variations of depression, my only real friend.  It's unfortunate, but I've learned to love myself in spite of it, whether I succeed or not in helping others, and whether my failures are within my control or beyond it.
 
Love.  It's really that simple.  There's a stoic way of saying it; that's intellectual.  There's a hippie way of saying it; that's emotional.  I just want to see the doing done.  I want to see genuine love come from a person's spirit, even if it's imperfect.  Love everyone; yourself, in spite of your flaws that you know all too well, and others, even when they don't live up to your standards.  Don't even think about standards.  The only reason you should apply them is because it's for the food of the people you hold them to, and they will be healthier if they act lovingly as well.  Not everyone's life is going to improve.  That's okay; it's all the more reason to love them.
 
To the people I love dearly, who mean a lot to me, who I have been praying for and hoping for, to the people I have had to comfort, and to many others who are hurting and not even knowing it, I'm on your side, and I dedicate this entry to you.  I will never give up on you.
 

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Star Wars Episode VII

Posted by Kragghle , in Movies Sep 02 2013 · 65 views
Star Wars
:kaukau: One Thursday evening, the exact time and date being 5:30 PM, October 25, 2012, I saw headlines on the internet about something called Star Wars Episode VII.
 
Preposterous.
 
Well, after I saw enough headlines, thinking for a while that people were running off of some sort of joke, I realized that something was up.  I had always thought this was impossible.  Star Wars was done.  The trilogy was complete.  Nothing more needed to be added.  I had witnessed the completion of the saga within my lifetime, and Revenge of the Sith wrapped up the end of an era.  it had never occured to me, not even once, that the trilogy might expand.  It had its place and time, and it would continue on in timelessness to persist into the present without having to have anything added on to the body of films, since it had an unstoppable momentum in all other facets of culture, from books to comics to video games to anything else you could think of.  It would be kept alive through pop culture references, mainstream culture osmosis, and the way it shaped its way into our very identity as a society.  We are a society of Star Wars fans.  There are Yankee fans and Minnesota Twins fans; Green Bay fans and Vikings fans; DC fans and Marvel fans; Republican Party fans and Democratic Party fans; but almost everyone is a fan of Star Wars, and since its release it has become part of our common heritage as a global culture.  Since it's completion is has become the great epic of cinematic culture, and with its six episodes in place it became the biblical canon of all that is wonderful and good with the big screen.  It had become the alpha and omega.  It had nothing left to prove.
 
Then I looked more carefully at the headlines and it dawned on me...well, I really can't describe the feeling.  What I can say is that, quite simply, it was the biggest announcement since the first film came out in 1977, when it changed everything.  Since that film came out, the completion of the first six films was inevitable, and thus was hardly news.  Building off of something so big and monumental seemed impossible.seemed unlikely, and I anticipated that future generations would respect their legacy for what they were and let them be.
 
Yet, it was like seeing the second coming of Christ.  Everyone expects Christmas; it comes every year.  But this was different.  It means that I truly don't live in the times that I thought I lived in, a post-Star Wars culture.  It's still with us, still going on, and the best way I could describe the feeling of realizing this was to cite the exact time and date that I heard this news.  For good measure, I could have also shared with everyone what I was doing at the time, too.  It was one of those moments.
 
So, the Star Wars continue.  This was unexpected.  And like its first arrival, this changes everything.  There have been a lot of popular culture announcements going on lately, but they now all take place within the context of a cinematic culture with Star Wars in it.  Star Warsis the face of the big screen, the main player in its narrative.  It's the cultural common denominator that unites and binds moviegoers.
 
Naturally, I had my concerns, but Disney is stepping up their game lately and making a comeback from their decade of lukewarm sitcoms.  They have shown that they are willing to innovate again, perhaps not in the same way that they did in their Renaissance, but through power players such as their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Marvel, and Pixar, and with Star Wars under their belt the pressure to innovate, get things right, and recapture the magic of the big screen is upon them like never before.  In a way, they are both restoring each other, like a match made in Heaven, and I wish them the best.  My only regret is that it is unlikely I will hear the 20th Century Fox fanfare before the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" materialize on the screen with their calm blue hue.
 
There were some other natural concerns.  I am not a fan of the Expanded Universe post-saga.  I like some of the concepts, but ultimately I felt cheated that the Sith were depicted as returning, and Sideous even came back as a ghost when that didn't make sense with the rules established within the films and novelizations.  Anakin was the Chosen One and I wish for future films to respect that, and I wish the finality of Sideous's death to remain final.  So my hope for this next story is that the writers find villains other than the Sith to work with.  To my understanding, Disney is actually honoring some old ideas of Lucas's, which I am quite pleased with.  People may be upset with his directing, but he is an excellent producer and ideas person, and the philosophies he ultimately has that governs what Star Wars is are the ones I trust the most.  So here's hoping that the main villain is a bounty hunter or crime lord, or some prominent figure within the galaxy's "wretched hive of scum and villainy."  Many of the wrongs set by the Expanded Universe can be set straight and Star Wars can truly force a new path, while at the same time gliding easily on the ideas and concepts established by writers who pioneered before them.
 
Good news also came to me when I learned that J.J. Abrams was directing.  He essentially made Star Trek into a space opera and single-handedly made the genre cool again, and his style is completely inspired by Star Wars, so I trusted thus decision.  In fact, I trusted this far more than almost any director casting I have ever seen.  His main inspirations were George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, the latter being someone he has worked with personally.  He also knows exactly how to take a beloved franchise that began to get old and revitalize it, and do so lovingly by honoring everything about the source material.
 
My only concern was that he might use his usual collaborator, Michael Giacchino, to direct the score.  It would have been a fare match, especially since Giacchino strongly resembles a certain supernova among film composers in style, but somehow I didn't want to see that happen.  There was one last thing I needed to see confirmed to be completely content with the direction these films were going.  I didn't need to know any other details, anything about the plot, or anything about the casting.  I have not been looking at any Star Wars news whatsoever, because I don't need to know all the news that's coming out, since I'll watch it anyway regardless.  I know what it is.  It's Star Wars.  All the things that this entails would come together on their own, but there were only three elements that I needed to know.  The first was for the continuing saga to respect the inclusive narrative of the original movies, that the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, permanently brought an end to the Sith through his death.  The second desire I had was for a director who had the same style as George Lucas (though perhaps a better ability to work with actors).  The third was that the film score had to be amazing.  If those bases were covered, everything else would fall into place on itself.  I am very optimistic for these movies and I know that they will be good.  It's Star Wars. There's no way it can't be.
 
My optimism, if not sheer joy, jolted up to eleven yesterday night.  My question about the composer was answered, and the friend who broke the news to be made my day, nay, my entire month.  I ran out screaming, jumping up and down with joy, and I ran back to him to give him a giant bear hug (to his girlfriend's shock).  It's now down on my calendar, the date and time.  The time was 10:00 PM.  The date was a Sunday, September 1, 2013.  It also happened to be my cousin's birthday.
 
It is also such great news that it deserved a reflection all on its own.
 

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Flying

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Aug 29 2013 · 53 views
John Williams
:kaukau: At the insistence of Tekulo, I present to you this music for the day:
 

 
It's okay, BZPower.  It's perfectly normal if you all start feeling like children again.
 

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Summon the Heroes

Posted by Kragghle , in Music Aug 27 2013 · 46 views
John Williams
:kaukau: Some music for the moment:
 

 
I know, awesome right?
 

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My Opinion of Velox

Posted by Kragghle , in Humor Aug 24 2013 · 49 views

:kaukau: Tomorrow (perhaps even tonight) you will skim the blogs and see this title.  Your name will stand out to you, and you will feel compelled to click the link that leads to this entry.  I could speed up the process by sending you a message to check out my blog, but I would prefer to let this happen normally.
 

 
 
This is my way of saying I love you.
 

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Where-wolf!

Posted by Kragghle , in Humor Aug 23 2013 · 119 views

1. 


Posted Image

 
:kaukau: Oh wait, you see where I'm going with this, don't you?  Fine, fine, I'll just go ahead and skip the rant so you can see the next picture.
 
2.
 
WHERE ARE THEY?
 

Posted Image

 
 

. . .WERE ARE THEY?

 
But wait, there's more...
 
3.
 

WHERE'S THE TRIGGER?

Posted Image

WHERE

IS
IT?

 
Now, a recent announcement was made, oh, a month or so ago, that Goyer and Snyder intend on expanding upon Man of Steel with a Superman vs. Batman kind of sequel, and since this whole expanded DC cinematic universe is essentially being created in honor of Nolan, there are some tips of the hat that simply must be made.  Ergo, I present to you the one line that simply must be in the next movie:
 
4.
 

WHERE....................IS....................HE?

 

Posted Image

WHERE'S WALDO?

 

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New Math

Posted by Kragghle , in Nerd, Music Aug 20 2013 · 129 views
youtube, Controversy!!!
:kaukau: If I am going to set precedent and post a video on this blog, there is one and only one video on all of Youtube worthy of being the proverbial golden spike.
 

 
One day, I promise, I will write a song stylistically similar to this dedicated to the derivation of the quadratic formula.  And I will use it as a love song to flirt with the woman of my dreams.
 

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My Worst Nightmare

Posted by Kragghle , in Relationships, Life Aug 15 2013 · 181 views

:kaukau: Last night I suffered my worst nightmare.  This is no figure of speech; I just had my worst nightmare, far exceeding any I have ever had before and eclipsing any I am likely to have since.
 
My grandmother is a lovely lady who has been providing and comforting me for a long time.  I'm very sad that I often do things wrong around her, that I often mess up her place and act immature around her when she wants the best for me.  I hate myself when I don't succeed in my life because I know that she wants me to be happy.
 
She doesn't have the favor of my sisters.  Being an overprotective neat-freak never helped her out a bit, and her quirks are naturally old-fashioned.  They don't get her and can't communicate with her, so they don't even bother.  I always wanted things to be better between her and them.  I also want for my future wife to be able to meet her.
 
If I could tell you all that she means to me, of all the goods and the evils of our relationship, then perhaps I could make you understand.  This might seem like any generic sob story, any generic nightmare, and the emotional pain might on the surface appear simple, but within the prism of my world, the trauma was both as simple as a block hole's singularity and as complex as the human genome.
 
The day was today, or so I thought it was.  I was unaware that I was dreaming.  What I was aware of were the events of yesterday, the call I had with my mother about making sure I sent in the forms for my job, a concern both she and my grandmother shared.  We had also talked about making sure that I got back on my anti-depressants, which I neglected ever since I partook in my independent RAGBRAI attempt.
 
I remember the words of my treacherous friend.  I still love him, but he refuses to accept that we're both in the same boat and eternally wretched people.  I remember how much it hurt for him to tell me that a real Christian would never suffer depression, and never feel a lingering sadness about the past.  What gave him the authority to claim I had no right to feel depressed?  What gave him the right to judge my past without knowing it?  He couldn't understand, so I did not tell him.  I do not know if I will ever tell him about my depression, or reveal to him just how broken I am because of it, for in my life I have rarely known happiness.  That unhappiness has officially become part of my story, part of who I am and what has identified me.
 
My mother heard the story of this friend.  Her support for me and her criticism of his bizarre claim comforted me.  What I did not tell her was what the woman in my life told me.  She was the only person outside of family I had ever told about my anti-depressants, for I had accidentally told her the moment I first met her.  I told her the truth again, that I went off of them.  What was her exact response?  Have I erased it from my memory?  Have I taken it from my past and cast it out among the stars?
 
"God will provide."
 
And I believed her.
 
It was so sweet, so encouraging.  She has a power over people, being social in just the right way that she can contagiously infect anyone with a sense that they must live up to her encouragement.  I regret that I was one of her victims.  I would never have biked fifty miles every day if it wasn't because she told me to "Go for it."  I would have never done RAGBRAI if she didn't tell me "Go for it."  I would have never biked three hundred miles from my mother's house to my father's house if she hadn't told me "Go for it."
 
This last venture I did without informing my mother, and I broke her heart and hurt her dearly when I called late at night to let her know I was not coming back from my bike trip.  A permanent wall went up between us, because she knew she could never trust me anymore.
 
So I never told my mother that I forwent my medication because that woman in my life believed in me.  Her belief worked for a time, while I was on an emotional high, but now that it has worn off, I find myself completely unproductive and incapable of focus, and now in my loneliness and despair I only know to make regular calls with my mother, who I choose not to tell of the woman's involvement, and my grandmother, who must see me hurt myself.
 
After my dream cycled through my memories, matters of mere fact, it began to invent the events of the next day, or today as it appears to me right now.
 
I was on the phone with my mother, taking out the trash in the garage.  As the garage door opened, my grandmother spotted me from the spot she sat attending her garden.  She came over to me, walking in the frail, careful way she walks.  I was still on the doorstep that bridged the garage with her kitchen, the step that she had often fallen off of and caused me great alarm.

 
"You went off of your anti-depressants?" she said.  What was that tone in her voice?  Was it confusion?  Concern?  Disapproval?  Disappointment?  Anger?  Fear?  My ear picked up what could have been each of these, which tells me that they were probably all there.  In any case, I knew one thing for sure, that I had hurt her, and that she was distressed.
 
It was plain by the look in her eye.  She saw for herself that her grandson, who she wanted to see live happily and whose love for him he would never even begin to fathom until he was sixty, who she protected and guided, to whom she had offered everything, had scorned a life of happiness, and with it, her love.  Suddenly I knew that this was something far greater than myself, and I felt black shame.
 
"No grandma, you don't understand," I pleaded.  I removed the phone from my ear.  My mother could wait a minute.  She would understand.  "Grandma, just let me explain.  Come here, Grandma, I'm fine.  I've been talking with Mom about it!"
 
As I approached her, I tried to give her a hug, but in an attempt to demonstrate my earnest intentions, I reached out to pad her shoulders with my hands.  "Grandma!  Grandma!  Grandma!"  Everything was not all right.  Everything was not all right.  Then, as I reached out to touch her, though she did not resist me, she was not prepared for my energy.  I did not violently push her.  It was not, strictly speaking, the physical act that drew her back.  I am sure that it was my blood that did it, the blood filled the veins in my hands, and it traced back to my imperfectly beating heart, which was as hard and heavy as stone.  With the density it gave me, something unstoppable - inevitable - happened, and I drove another nail between me and my precious Garden of Eden.
 
It was an accident, I swear.  Or was it?  Could it be that this was fully and entirely my fault?  Did I not just say myself that this was inevitable?  No, it wasn't like that!  We were walking toward each other, and all I wanted to do was to tell her that it was all right, that I was truly sorry and I would stop hurting myself like this.  I had wanted to tell her so bad, and if only I hadn't wanted it too much.  We were shaking, out of balance.  It was like taking a wrong step in a complicated dance.  Some sort of energy passed between my grandma and me, something that came from my heart.  My blood, my hands.  Nails, Eden.  My actions were gentle, but my state of mind was not.  In my soul, I was frantic, desperate.  What had I done?  What had I done?  What had I done?
 
She fell backward.  In my slowness, I failed to react.  I was too busy selfishly pitying myself to make the connection in time.  By instinct, I knew, long before it actually happened.  With my emotions, with my intellect, and with my soul, I knew.  If only I knew it with my body.  Had my soul been healthy, would it have made any difference?  Would I have reacted sooner?
 
I tried diving in time, but something was wrong with my coordination.  In the last split second, some heightened awareness informed me of vibrations heading through the air as her head cracked against the pasty white concrete, and I could acutely determine that her fragile skull received a shock wave along its length, causing it to flex and sway subtly in the way that mankind's greatest architectural achievements were designed to, but an old, weary human head was never meant to.  With even more precision still, I detected further, even subtler vibrations coming from deeper within, even as they passed through the trembling mass of her crown.  I knew in intimate detail, subconsciously, that a large vein in the back of her head snapped, and that the sickening crack that I heard was the sound of irreparable damage done to the most important organ of her body.
 
Nestled against her final pillow, I fell over her.  Too late.  She was still alive - I could feel it in the palm of my hand as I picked up her head -  but just barely.  She wouldn't hand on long enough for an ambulance to arrive.  Nobody could save her.
 
My lips kept on uttering the word "No!" even though it ceased to have meaning in my mind.  At first I said it at a frantic pace, as if I had done something wrong that I could take back, as if saying it enough times would cause my past self from two seconds ago to hear me and change this most damning present before it even happened, or had I said it soon enough and fervently enough I could bring my grandmother's forgiveness, which would magically undo the damage she received.  Then, when the truth settled in, I screamed it.  It would have disturbed my cousin from where she sat sewing in the house, and the neighbors and the morning joggers.  Let them hear.  The rest of the world didn't matter.  The stars could be blotted out, the voices of the angels silenced, the greens of the field burnt, and the solitude of the churches torn down.  They didn't matter anymore.
 
"It was some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead."
 
How, then, shall I comfort myself, the murder of all murderers?  What was more loving and more deserving of love than all I have ever known has bled to death in my hand.  Who will wipe this blood off me?  What water is there for me to clean myself?  What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall I have to invent?  Is not the greatness of this deed too great for me?  Must I myself not become God simply to appear worthy of it?  There has never been a greater deed, you know, and whoever came after me when they heard my cries, having witnessed the deed, will have seen a man more precisely aware of exactly who he was than any philosopher could ever dream.
 
I did not wake right away.  This nightmare continued to burden me throughout the night, seeping into my other dreams as if it was an actual memory, continuing to define the narratives of my other phantasms.  When I woke up, it was nearly noon, and I had slept twelve hours, just as I did when I first needed to go on anti-depressants.  Later that day -  as I wasted my time away, lacking all focus and sense of time, discovering only that my depression restored my ability to write, just as John Forbes Nash discovered that his mathematical genius was at its brightest when he dealt with his schizophrenia head-on - the haunting words of Friedrich Nietzsche came to me as I looked back upon my worst nightmare.
 
"I have come too early; my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves."
 
 




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Me

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Username: Emperor Kraggh
Real name: N/A
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, 25% Hungarian, 12.5% Swedish, 6.25% German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Smallville & Arthur the Friendly Aardvark
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, politics, drawing
Political party: Republican
Religion: Christian
Language: Not English, but American.

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