A Reflection on Horror and Hope

This is Werewolf Week here at Vampiremaman.com

I’ve been posting stories of Werewolves, in relation to Vampires, the modern world, friendship, and the never ending quest of trying to understand each other.

It has also been a week of horrors that nobody can explain or understand.

Over the past few years I’ve written too many posts about how to try to explain to my children, and talk to my children about mass shootings and other unbelievable acts of violence. Sandy Hook was the hardest. You can’t explain why, or anything else. Nothing about it makes any sense. No good can come out of something like at, or any shooting. Even a day after 9/11, my two year old looked into the sky and asked, “Mommy, where are the airplanes?” We’d always looked in the sky where I pointed out the planes that flew over our home.

I don’t know a soul who isn’t still shaken from what happened in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

My friends in Las Vegas are deeply shaken. One is painting a mural in honor of those lost. I’ll post photos. The community has come together to help, and heal.

A few weeks ago I received a text message from the college my daughter attends about a gunman at one of the locations. I went cold. Nobody was hurt. No shots. The asshole was caught. Still, it chills even me to my bones.

With the three terrifying storms, and now the Las Vegas shooting we are numb, but also we are called to help. Unlike in a lot of movies, when things go bad people help each other. People mourn for those they have never met. We are one in our humanity, at least most of us are.

Nobody will ever know why a man decided to kill people at a music concert. Nobody will ever know why he decided to murder people who were parents, high school students, friends, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, good people…

I find myself without any original words, only sorrow and the feeling that I’m going to cry.

Nobody can understand that kind of evil, in a world that seems to be so full of evil and hate. Nobody can understand that kind of evil in a world so full of goodness and hope.

I write about the paranormal world, those who are Werewolves, Vampires, Ghosts, etc. I don’t try to horrify but write about the day-to-day existence of such beings in the modern world. I write about what it is like to be a little different, or unique, or strange compared to everyone else.

For example – Werewolf myths and stories have been around as long as humans and wolves. Some cultures believed that all it took was a wolf skin belt to make one become a Werewolf. Some said it was a form of witchcraft. Snopes worthy Werewolf stories have abounded for centuries.

In the Old English Werewolf means man-wolf. Sometimes the Greek term Lycanthrope (wolf-person) is used to describe someone who changes their shape from human to wolf, either by full moon light, on demand, or by some other sort of trigger.

There is also a condition known as Hypertrichosis in which a person is covered with hair – face and all. This is a genetic condition that has nothing to do with shape changing. It is just excessive hair (as far as I know.)

If you look at the history of Werewolves, and especially Witches you’ll find a world of blame.

Nobody could believe that someone would kill fifty-nine people for no reason, or injure more than five hundred so they explained it away with accusations of shape shifting and witchcraft.

They burned people alive, tortured them, and locked them away in the name of godliness. There was horror on both sides, with more innocent people caught in the middle. Ignorance and hate for some reason always seem to come up on top. To be crass, shit floats to the top along with dead things.

We can’t blame the modern horrors here in the United States or elsewhere in the world on Werewolves, Witches, Demons or Ghosts. The horror is human. The horror can’t be explained away.

The fact that people are trying to make all of this political has to stop. Yes, there are going to be assholes who are going to say and even do stupid things. They need to feel important. They aren’t. They need to blame and hate because that is where they find their power. They are broken. Stay good. Stay true. Keep your heart on healing and love.

The true monsters are those who kill, who hurt the weak, who subject women and children to slavery like conditions and keep them from their God given human rights, and who prevent others from the freedom of thought, religious belief, and prevent others from loving who they love.

About the love part. Why do people prevent same sex people from loving each other? Why do they force young people into loveless marriages? Why are transgender people beaten and murdered? Why do people abuse their spouses, children, and the elderly? There is no reason for it, except for monsters who are really human. It is control. It is evil and the cult of ignorance and control. It is every dystopian story ever written come true.

As Pogo said, “We have me the enemy and he is us.”

pogo

Then again, little possum, there is hope. There is always hope, because there are always those who hold the hand of a dying stranger, who wait in line for eight hours to give blood, who donate to build homes for people they’ve never met, who adopt shelter animals, who comfort those in need, and who feel in their hearts for others.

I’ve been writing for a while but I still don’t think I’ve come up with the right words.

Hold close to those you love, and keep your love light burning for all to see, especially for those who are in their darkest days.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

jojo the dogfaced boy

Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy, aka Fedor Jeftichew. The most famous example of someone with Hypertrichosis.

Standing on the Edge of the Earth

I close my eyes and I can hear the waves hitting the beach…

I often write about the beach, but yesterday I was there. My daughter Clara and I escaped for a few days and drove three hours to Santa Cruz. We went down the old River Road, past the home of Tellias and Eleora (the ancient Vampires), down through the old Chinese town of Lock.

We went over draw bridges and past sloughs, and vineyards, through small towns like Lock and Walnut Grove that seem to still have a foot in the 19th Century, then through the rolling green hills surrounding the Silicone Valley, and on to the coast.

It was a long drive, and we talked the entire way.

While I drove, Clara looked up information on her phone. We discussed Alexander Hamilton and his interesting life. We discovered that he has a son who died in Sacramento. I never knew that. We might go look for the grave tomorrow.

We talked about music, we talked about the election, we talked about the history of the areas we drove through. We talked about college.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Santa Cruz was go to UC Santa Cruz. The campus is spectacularly set on a hill overlooking the ocean and rolling hills. The buildings are set among the redwoods, almost more like a National Park than a university. Yes, she would like to go there. They have a stellar biological science program with human biology and biochemistry studies my child is interested in pursuing.

I needed to get away for a few days. I still need to get away and clear my mind. Our children are often surprised that parents still have their hopes and dreams, both for their children and aside from their children. As I drove along and shared thoughts with my daughter, my mind split off to my own thoughts of people I used to know, dreams I used to have, lost love, lost opportunities, and then back to the present. In my one hundred and fifty six years I’ve been through so many worm holes, forest paths, warehouses full of nightmares and cobwebs. I’ve felt the sand between my toes and the waves on my legs, warm kisses on my neck, and cool sweeter kisses on my lips. I’ve read, and traveled, explored, discovered and created. There have been countless books, and discussions into the wee hours of the mornings. I’ve walked so many paths, driven so many roads, and waited in so many airports and train stations.

And now, I’m not sure where I’m going. It all seems to have stopped.

The calico cat is sitting in the window next to me, watching the rain.

I can hear the math tutor with her lovely accent talking about when she grew up in India, a Muslim girl going to a Catholic school, learning math and science. Yes, the politicians who preach on TV to all who will hear, are so far removed from real life and the wonderful people who populate real life. They give me a headache and a heart ache.

My children send me pee your pants funny political memes night and day. At least I have my sense of humor to laugh everything they show me. You have to be able to share all of the insanity with your teens.

On Wednesday morning we sat outside as the storm came in having coffee and laughing about how much sand we had in our hair, blown from the beach as we walked by. Again we talked, about Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and Lord of the Rings. I don’t like the movies and told the child that she must read the books. My copies are almost worn out. The stories aren’t of battles and war – but of friendship and finding one’s way, and one’s true self. I told her to read it just to see how much her mother is like Pippin.

We talked about ideas and war. We spoke of World War One. It was the first modern war and a horrible war for those who returned, just as it is horrible for the men and women who are returning from war now. Clara told me about learning about Eugene V. Debs, a socialist who ran for office in the first decades of the 20th Century. He was imprisoned for speaking his mind, then released. Debs was forgotten, and now people are starting to remember. We spoke of women who fought for the right to vote and be considered equal and not property. I told her of times when women were not allowed to go to college or have certain jobs. I told her of brilliant women who were held in contempt and subjected to open hostility for using their God given brains. We both still find it surprising that so many people have been denied rights over the years, or held in contempt because of their religion or the color of their skin. These are smart people – good people.

We talked about surfing and seashells. We talked about music and coffee and my mind kept going to gray and fuzzy places. We watched birds and otters, and dogs playing on the beach.

We talked. Actually, I mostly let Clara talk and I listened. We laughed a lot. We found horrible songs on the radio and I sang along.

Clara said the kids in her math class all think she is smarter than she is. At the same time she thinks the kids in her AP classes thinks she is stupid. She feels trapped in between, yet she has no doubts about college.

She shouldn’t have any doubts and I refuse to plant any into her brain. I’ve told her to ignore anyone who does.

I haven’t slept since we returned, sitting alone in the night, listening to the storm.

History if full of negativity. That is why we need to keep it out of the minds of our teens and young adults. For once, lets creative a world that is positive and full of wonder. I want them to have a world where all things are possible. I want them to have a world where they always find joy in discovery and are challenged in good ways.

My friend Adam once said, “I could spend my time thinking about howling at the moon, or I could spend my time understanding the moon, then it isn’t so scary.” The wisdom of a Werewolf.

I love the energy of youth and the determination of those who dream. Let us make sure we never do anything to try to stop that.

May all of your adventures be good ones. May you learn something from all of your conversations with your kids.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Point Plesant

 

 

Musings Over Coffee with a Ghost

This morning, around 4:00 am I sat at my computer, a cup of coffee. All in the house was silent excel the ticking of the clock on the mantel and my keyboard. I spied a motion at the corner of my eye and saw a slender white hand sticking a finger in my coffee cup.

“Would you like your own cup?” I asked the question of the ghost sitting across from me. Her ashen lips turned red with a small shy smile. “Mary dear, all you have to do is ask,” I told her as I poured another cup of coffee and set it in from of the ghost.

She cupped her translucent hands around the cup and took in a deep breath. This little ghost never tasted coffee when she was alive but she loved it now. Back when she was alive was the early 17th century in London. Like many ghosts Mary was murdered by someone she knew. He was the man she was to be married to. She changed her mind so he brutally killed her. Another man was blamed for the crime and hanged. The innocent man went to Heaven. The murderer ended up in Hell and Mary ended up at my table in California 400 years later.  After all these years the human race is still a vile and violent group of creatures. There is the knowledge and understanding to stop the tragic and stupid behavior but they don’t want to change – at least not enough.

So in the wee hours of the morning a Vampire and a Ghost had coffee and pondered the issues of the day. It was easy for us to judge. We knew the history. They didn’t seem interested. I always wonder why so many people refuse to see where they’ve been. If you know where you’ve been you’ll know where you’re going.

Of course I’d be a complete snot if I said Vampires and Ghosts haven’t had their share of stupid behavior but it can’t compare to Regular Humans. Believe me we have – just read this blog.

Our conversation went back to our men. Her’s is a ghost named Nigel, a man who died in 1986 but acts as if he’d been haunting the world of the living for centuries. Mine is a Vampire named Teddy, who like Nigel, used to be counted among the living men of the world. That said, for centuries women have talked about their men over coffee. It is what we do.

Mary speaks in a quiet musical and odd old accent that most people now living wouldn’t understand. I have the flat California voice, slightly sultry and a little bit soft like Mary’s. We don’t need to be loud. Loud is a trait Vampires and Ghosts will save for Regular people and Werewolves and actors in the theater and politicians and trolls and ministers.

I told Mary some funny jokes that made her giggle. She fades in and out when she laughs. It is really cute, sort of like someone flicking a light switch on and off really fast.

So we sat and chatted until the sun came up. I sipped the rest of my coffee while Mary took in the vapors of her cup. The cats mewed for food, the dog begged to go out and the birds and squirrels started their morning circus in the trees outside. And as the sun came into view Mary vanished back into the night to come.

It is good to have friends who are different. That is a lesson for our children, and a lesson for Humans as well.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Be inspired!

Be inspired!

 

Those who dream. Those who do not.

http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/a-song-of-sahel-sos-calling-for-submissions/


those who have; those who have not
those who dream; those who do not
those who consume world resources; those who have nothing
those who complain about rain; those who die for rain

 

To find out more click on the link above.

 

Our children are our future, as are all the children of the world.

 

From Niamh Clune founder of Plum Tree Books

 

How do we show solidarity for a mother who, on dying breath, reaches for the child she will leave behind to whisper love’s last comfort?

Do we tell the children of Sahel that the world cares, or are we too wrapped up in our own business to spare a thought for them?

Do we, in the face of all the horrible things presently occurring in the world, maintain our Humanity and show compassion when many of us are struggling ourselves to sustain a livelihood?

We do what we can. We use what is God-given and free. We use our talent.

Children cannot eat words. Blinded by starvation, they cannot see pictures. I wondered at the incongruity of this.  Talent  has value.  It raises awareness. It inspires giving in others. As the Founder and CEO of Plum Tree Books, I put out a call across social media for artists, poets, writers and photographers to join me in a Song Of Sahel.

Song of Sahel, an anthology of poetry, fiction, music, art and photography, will be launched worldwide on September 15 on Facebook. Published by Plum Tree Books as a multi-media kindle and available on Amazon, the proceeds of the sales will go to SOS Sahel, an NGO working in the Sahel region of Africa.

Song of Sahel, brings together artists from all over the world, including the UK, US, Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Canada, South America, India and Australia to one platform in the hope of raising awareness of the plight of the people living in the Sahel.

Join us on September 15 at https://www.facebook.com/events/455785594445002/  for the event when you can meet some of the artists involved in the project. Listen to music composed especially for the event. Hear live readings of some of the poems submitted. Listen to a radio broadcast. The event begins @10am GMT and continues around the clock until 10am the following day.

Join now. Submissions are open until 15th August.

Contact US Via www.ontheplumtree.wordpress.com for further details on how to make a submission or how to link with us.