a little bit of summer

anonymous asked:

What if Stiles and Derek's first kiss is post-nogitsune? Would he feel like a thief? Would he mourn the body that Derek never held? Would each brush of fingertips or kiss to his temple be a betrayal? They'd probably talk about the scars too. Derek would understand-- to an extent. But he grew up not without his history on his skin so he'll never understand how it feels to have that ripped away.

Their lips brush and Stiles turns away a second later, breaths shallow, hands twitching against the folds of Derek’s shirt. There’s warm breath on his cheek, the ghost of beard still so close and all Stiles can think is that he wants this. He wants this. And…

It’s wrong.

Those fingers, twitching against Derek’s shirt, smooth and uncalloused. The scar that used to live above his third knuckle just a burn-hot memory in his mind.

Everything still feels off in his body, out of balance, and he remembers the way Derek used to look at him. All tension and frustration in ways he couldn’t start to make sense of. And now Derek’s lips are in reach, a short turn away, and he’s murmuring out “Stiles…?” and all Stiles can think is…

“Do you want me?”

He can feel the stall in Derek’s thoughts like a physical reaction, and he wonders if there was a subtle tell or if… if he’d just felt it, inside, the confusion a flicker of chaos in Derek’s chest. Can he do that? Feel chaos? The Nogitsune drank it in and Stiles…

“Stiles,” Derek breathes again, a quirk of amusement in his tone. Thumbs smooth down his hips and Stiles fights the urge to rise into the contact. “Thought I’d just answered that question.”

And Stiles could leave it at that, asked and answered. Except…

There should be a scar on his hip, long and thin, from a fence he’d scaled once and dropped down five times faster. Derek should be feeling that right now, that piece of Stiles’ history, that stupid ten year old adventure laid out across his skin. But the skin’s smooth. Blank slate.

He shivers, gripping tighter into Derek’s shirt.

“No, I––” He can’t think of how to explain it. The thoughts are a choked feeling in his throat, a twist in his gut. Something like guilt and fear and he doesn’t even know what answer he wants when he leans back enough to find Derek’s eyes and say: “Since when? Did you… I mean, before…”

He’s not sure Derek knows what he means, but there’s a hint of flush under that dark beard suddenly, and Stiles gets a little bit lost in the contrast.

“Last summer.”

“Last––?” It pulls Stiles back, his eyes startling up. That was… most of a year, that was before…

A sick lurch sets him falling back out of Derek’s grip. Too-smooth fingers (uncalloused) slip too easy from Derek’s chest. His sneaker-covered feet might as well be walking over glass and he’s being dramatic except that he’s really not. Because if Derek wanted him last summer…

“That wasn’t me.” It sounds wrong as he says it, stupid, because… he was there that summer. He remembers every moment spent with Derek, researching the Alphas, searching for hints of Boyd and Erica. Charged smirks and snark and quiet moments that felt more comfortable than they should. He remembers the moments before summer too, when the thought of Derek made his heart pound and his body thrum in a way that could have only meant fear, except it hadn’t only been fear. He’d been scared of the Alpha too, and the hunters, and that coil of electric heat only sparked through his gut for Derek. He remembers that, like he remembers the scars that aren’t there anymore, and he can’t help running his too-soft fingertips over the smooth flesh of his knuckle as he breathes out, faint and lost, “…Was that me?”

There’s a too long pause while the question burns back into his throat, buzzing through his limbs like a current until he realizes he’s shaking from them. Was that him? Helping Derek track the Alpha pack? Helping Scott learn to control his wolf? Sitting by his mom’s hospital bed, watching her lose the long war to her illness, pieces of her flaking away like old scars, like a whole identity, like––

A warm hand closes over his, large and gentle, grounding.

“It was you,” Derek says, simply. Like there’s no question, like nothing’s changed. Like Stiles hasn’t changed. 

But that’s wrong. He’s not the same person he was before the Nogitsune, and he’s not talking in the experiences change you, huh kind of way. He’d had scars before. He’d had… a whole life written on his skin. And then he’d crawled out from inside his possessed body’s throat, spawned out like some alien parasite or… clone and––

“My body died, back there.” Four months past, and he still can’t wrap his head around it. That he’d watched himself bitten and impaled, spasm and cracking and shatter to dust.

The scarred body. His real body.

And he was left in… this.

Long fingers uncurl, stretching out slow. Thin, pale digits fitting strangely perfect between Derek’s, and Stiles can only wonder what it would have looked like before.

“…What if I’m not real?” He watches Derek’s fingers twitch, barely perceptible, tightening like they’re fighting to hold onto him. And Derek’s lost enough in his life, too much. It’s a dick move to say this, to take anything else away from him, but… “What if the guy you wanted last summer… what if he died inside the Nogitsune, and I’m just––”

No.”

The sureness of it has Stiles’ throat clenching. He tilts his head, challenging. Finds Derek’s eyes again.

“You don’t know that.”

“I know you.”

Which is just… it’s stupid how that makes Stiles’ heart jump. Flutter around like it’s fighting to leap the distance between them and plaster itself all up against Derek’s stupid, muscled, secretly sweet as hell chest.

Which… yeah, that’s nearly a gross enough visual to stomp his fondness boner in the bud. He sets his jaw.

“Did you know I used to have a scar on––”

“Your right hand? Just above the third knuckle, a burn.”

Stiles’ argument stalls out. He blinks, finger shifting to rub over the space, but Derek’s is already there, soothing the phantom mark over his skin.

“I… was eleven.” Because silence has never been safe for him. Because noise distracts from the too-easy pleasure rippling up his arm. “First time I tried cooking dinner for me and dad. Mac and cheese, it… didn’t go great.” He wets his lips. Looks away “Or… the other me did, I don’t––”

You did.” And Derek still sounds so damn sure. Stiles wants to believe him. He parts his lips, can’t. Because––

“Stiles, I’ve never had scars on my skin. I… can’t relate to what it’s like to lose them. But the things that have happened to me… they’re not any less real because I can’t see them. Every bullet, cut, punch I’ve taken…” He might sense the wince forming on Stiles’ face, and shakes his head, shrugging that off like it’s not important. But that’s an argument for another day. “Every scar life gave you… they’re still there. You’re still carrying them, inside you.” He flits his eyes down Stiles’ frame, then away, finger soothing over the ghost burn. “There are plenty no one would have ever seen anyway. But they made you. Who you are, and who you are…” He shakes his head, looks back to meet Stiles’ eyes squarely. “You recognized me when I was a teenager. That’s the same person who recognized me in the preserve.” Stiles feels his face heat because… even knowing Derek’s a werewolf now, he’d never put together that Derek would have heard his fangirl moment to Scott after Derek had walked away.

Before he can speak up, though, Derek’s going on. “You tracked me to Mexico. Faced down the Calaveras to save me. That’s the same person who stared down the Argents, drove a Jeep into a kanima, who hit an Alpha with a wooden baseball bat––”

“Two Alphas,” Stiles cuts in, because props, ok? “Two, that were…” His free hand mimes squishing, and Derek’s lips twitch.

“Two,” he agrees, and Stiles can’t not smile back. Just for a second –– fond, helpless –– then he’s ducking his head. Derek sighs, catches his chin. Guides it up until their gazes lock again.

“That was you,” he says, so firmly Stiles can’t help believing this time. “Was the man who clawed his way out of his own possession. Followed Scott’s howl back to the real world. And whatever happened to your body, whatever… magic gave you a new one, Stiles came out with it. Your scars are still there, just…” His fingers trail to Stiles’ chest, and something thumps out eagerly to meet them.

“Inside,” Stiles breathes, and the way Derek’s eyes warm makes him shiver with a proud ripple of pleasure.

“Inside,” Derek echoes. Runs a thumb light along Stiles’ lip. “You could have come out of the Nogitsune looking like anything. Wouldn’t change who you are.”

And damn, Stiles has fallen for a goddamn poet in a grumpy wolf’s body. …But then, Stiles is pretty sure he’d known that already.

His fingers go up, curl gently into Derek’s shirt.

“But… you like this body,” he prompts, and Derek gives an exasperated huff, pulling him in.

“I like this body,” he confirms, and it doesn’t feel wrong to hear that.

When Derek kisses him this time, Stiles doesn’t pull away.

Summer Solstice Celebration!

Hello my lovelies! 
Only one week left until the Summer Solstice and I am just beaming for the upcoming celebration! I decided to make another post like my Spring Equinox celebration one since you all seemed to like it so much. I do plan on having a bit more of a ‘proper’ ritual and celebration of the day since that Monday I have off from work, but here are some other low-key ways that I am going to celebrate the day. I’ve split it into two sections of day activities and night ones because the Summer Solstice can go all night long and I plan on doing a whole cycle’s worth of things. 

During the Day:

  • Greet the sun! I know it’s going to be an early sunrise, but if you’re there to greet the sun, you’ll be starting the day off on the right foot! You can either just lay in bed and watch the sun rise from your window or head outside and do a sun salutation, both will give you energy!
  • Wear your favourite summer clothes! Shorts, tanks tops, t-shirts, sun dresses- even flip flops if you can get away with it! The colours associated with Liltha are reds, oranges, yellows/golds, blues, greens and white! 
  • I’m going to be setting my citrine, clear quartz and peridot stones absorb the sunlight throughout the day- other gems that would love to be out on the Summer Solstice would be fluorite, sunstone, agate, carnelian, and any stone that is green or yellow in colour! But you best check to see if it’ll fade in colour before you set it out all day. If that might happen, then the moon light will work just as well. 
  • For lunch, enjoy a summer salad filled with summer berries like strawberries and blueberries, apples, leafy greens and a sweeter dressing! The berries are a great way of celebrating what the summer will bring for you. 
  • Get outside! I don’t care if it’s for five minutes at your lunch break or an hour long hike like I plan on doing, but get outside and live in nature! Breath in the fresh summer breeze, feel the sun on your skin, meditate and be with nature. 
  • There are so many ways to drink summer in- literally! Lemonade, iced tea, fruit juices, herbal teas like chamomile, rose or lavender will be such a great way to get just that little bit of summer in you. 
  • Today is also a great day to try and interact with the faeries and fae folk. Leave a small offering of milk and honey (or a honey cake!) outside in your garden, in a park, on the outside window ledge, and the fae will appreciate the gesture! Who knows- that could be the start of a relationship between you and them. 

At Night:

  • Have friends over or go out to dinner! If nothing else, the summer solstice is about celebrating with friends and family! It’s about being thankful for what you have and getting excited for the summer, so get together and discuss your upcoming summer plans! Who knows what might come out of it?
  • Listen to music- your favourite music, and sing your heart out! The god Apollo (the Greek god of Light, Sun, music and poetry) is one of the many gods who will be thriving off the activities of today and you can honour them by just enjoying music and art. 
  • Light candles- or your barbecue! Traditionally, this sabbat is celebrated with a balefire (outside campfire), but if you’re like me and lack an outside fire pit, then lighting up the bbq and cooking up some veggie or meat kebabs will be a good way of making a feast and substituting the ‘real thing’. No BBQ? No stress- light up some candles and watch it glow. Bonus points if they are coloured or scented to match the holiday. 
  • Make a craft for the summer- a flower crown, a bird house, a sun catcher. I know I plan on making a flower crown and perhaps painting that day, but so long as you create something, spell or not, it can honour the day’s celebrations.
  • Watch the sunset- like watching the sunrise, watching the longest day of the year come to a close will be an amazing way to celebrate the whole of the Summer Solstice. 
  • Are you of legal age? Have a drink of summer wines or berry ciders- just remember to give either the first or last sip to nature, the faeries will find it! 
  • Decorate your home for summer and for the summer solstice by incorporating some common symbols as decor- seashells, fresh flowers like sunflowers, daisies, carnations, and peonies, little statues of birds, deer, faeries, feathers from birds, and shining crystals. The summer decor, beach house look is always a popular one during June and July so you’ll bled right in.

So this is the rough outline of what I plan on doing during the Summer Solstice! I am going to do a spell that day I think, but I haven’t decided what just yet. I’m thinking a motivation spell or a creativity spell, so I can charge up my summer and all the writing I plan on doing. All I know is that it’s going to be a great day! I hope that I have inspired you to celebrate, regardless of how busy you may be that Monday. 

I hope you have an amazing week and a fantastic Summer Solstice! Love you all and sending all my good vibes out to you for this summer.

-Faye xx

its been a while since the last time I messed with oil pastel 

that and my gross clumsy hand doesnt make for good work on small canvas what am I even doing 

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some louden swain/swaingel/tsb sketches i’ve posted on my twitter the last couple of days! i’ve taken a pretty long break from digital as to give my eyes a much-deserved break, but i’m getting back into the swing of things!

➵ to read

since I am still quite busy these days, I decided to compile in one post all the stories that have caught my eye and that I plan on reading as soon as I can. I encourage everyone to check them out with me! I also recommend to keep an eye on this post as I will probably continue adding more to it. | updated on 21/06.

(also, quick thanks to @gukvory for giving me the idea of making this post in my fic rec blog. I hope you don’t mind me blatantly imitating you for this :’D)

Keep reading

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if intelligence were the only criteria then i literally wouldn’t need a psychiatrist, would i?
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The Music of "When You Believe"

One of the most powerful songs I ever have heard comes from “The Prince of Egypt”. It has brought me to tears on far more than one occasion (such as now, oops), and no matter how often I listen to it, the song maintains an incredible force that makes it, to my eyes as a working music composer myself, one of the greatest songs throughout animation.

The strength of this song comes from the combination of well-written lyrics plus the musical choices accompanying those lyrics. The composers (Stephen Schwartz and Hans Zimmer) very intentionally, very successfully aligned the deep emotions of the words with equally powerful music. By exploiting the effects of instrumentation, the shape of the melody line, musical key, and the lyrics, listeners are taken through a deep, emotion-wrought narrative of the Hebrews beginning the Exodus.

In Darkness

The start of “When You Believe” is very dark, moaning deep in the cellos and other low voices of the orchestra. For indeed, while Moses has just learned the Hebrews have been freed of their slavery from Egypt, it comes at an enormous price: the death of many Egyptians including his nephew, as well as a break in the bond between himself and his brother. There thus is a darkness to the music and the animation on the screen to match that dark event which is occurring in Moses’ life.

But even when Miriam begins to sing, the cityscape is still dark and the music retains its rich, dark ambiance. The instrumentation is mostly strings, especially the lower to mid-range. All is thick and solemn. On top of that, the melody is within the minor mode, a musical scale that is known for sounding more somber and sad than the major scale. This use of minor adds a weight and sadness to her words, continuing on that sense of darkness.

There’s a symbolic reason to cast that sense of aural shadow. Miriam’s words in the first verse sing of a darkness, too, within the Hebrews’ lives. “Many nights we prayed, with no proof anyone could hear,” she begins. There is a sense of hopelessness and darkness in her words, and the music likewise provides the sense that the lives of the slaves were cast in psychological powerlessness. The melody even drifts downward over the first line of the verse, the pitches descending with the line, metaphorically depicting downcast spirits.

If the music had been brighter and more upbeat, it would have emphasized the fact the Hebrews prayed vigilantly; however, with the deep strings and minor descending melody, audiences understand the oppressive hopelessness that crushed the peoples’ existence.

There are only slight hints of hope in the within the first verse, especially at the start. The first twinkle of hope within the darkness comes in the second line, “In our hearts a hopeful song we barely understood." 

Notice that the music rises before sinking downward again. The words peak on the word "hopeful,” in fact, with a dramatic leap up to the final syllable. There’s a sound of a song in that peaking interval (a fourth) which is associated with many types of folk musics from around the world, and that jump upward is a notable spark of hope to the ears. The song might still be cast in a dark minor melody, and that “hopeful song” might fall again to lower musical pitches in the rest of the musical line, but that little spark nonetheless is very aurally noticeable and depicts that little spark the Hebrews clung to themselves.

Increasing Brightness

There is an increasing brightness as the verse continues. It aligns with the growing hope in the lyrics as well as the brightening colors animated on the screen. The third line of the melody is the same as the first, but it’s orchestrated differently. The clarinet and the flute enter, warming up the texture of the music in the accompaniment, corresponding to the much more optimistic lyric, “Now we are not afraid.” This time, when the pitches fall at the end of the line, “even though there’s much to fear,” it gives a sense of determination rather than hopelessness.

And then the fourth and final line of the verse pulls forward an even greater transformation.

We have another symbolic rise - through a technique called “text painting” - in which the word “mountains” is musically described through the upward jump of pitches. The word “mountains” is a peak in the musical line, just as a mountain is a peak in the landscape. Corresponding visually, the viewers see pyramids and other grand Egyptian structures. These might not be mountains, but the enormity of those monuments is indeed something incredible to move. Suddenly, then, the Hebrews’ lives of slavery are not just torment and despair, but a demonstration of the strength of the people.

And look above at that final note in the verse. It moves upward, leading to the chorus, and showing an enormous growth of hope.

There Can be Miracles

Suddenly, there is sunrise. And Miriam is smiling. And people are coming together. And hope blossoms. And the music in the chorus sings it all: “There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve? When you believe, somehow you will. You will when you believe.”

The song changes keys to equate that shift in mood. The verse is in e minor, a very dark key orchestrationally that makes the music sound incredibly weighty and somber and allows composers to frequently use some of the lowest pitches the instruments can play. But then this song shifts to G major in the chorus. This is one of the brightest keys an orchestra can play (There are lots of “open strings” in this key, meaning that the strings in the violins, violas, cellos, and basses reverberate a lot more and sound very bright and rich). G major and e minor all use the same pitches, but to very different effects. In the same way, there is a shift from the content of the verse to the chorus, even though the material Miriam discusses is similar. It is a shift from unactualized hope to the experience of a miracle. And thus a shift from darkness to lightness occurs both within her words, within the sunrise of the animation, and within the change of mood in the music.  

The melody itself is very hopeful. Every single line of the melody, beginning with, “There can be miracles,” moves upward. The pitches always rise from start to end, showing enormous optimism.

Text painting also happens again; that is, the music shapes itself in ways to symbolically correlate to the meaning of the lyrics. The word “miracles” has an enormous rise in it, just like the words “hopeful” and “mountains." 

The word "believe” similarly receives a climactic high pitch, showing its greatness and importance.

The word “frail,” by contrast, is sung with an enormous drop downward in pitch, aurally creating a sense of weakness.

Even when the syllables occur in the music is very well placed and gives a sense of optimism and determination.

There is a sense of pulse in music. Some pulses are a lot heavier than others, and these are called “downbeats.” If you look at the pictures of musical notation I have, the “downbeats” happen with the first and third black notes of every measure (a measure is a chunk of music that is separated by those vertical lines). Every time you hit a downbeat, then, there is a sense of more power. And notice what words hit the downbeats in this music. Words like “can” and “hope”. In the line, “it’s hard to kill,” both “hard” and “kill” receive the musical metrical emphasis. What does this do? It emphasizes the greatest of what happened, shows that miracles can and in fact just have happened. It brings confidence to the lyrics.

The dotted rhythms create even more confidence within the melody line.

Altogether, then, the entirety of the chorus screams hope.

Continuation of Narrative

The second verse returns to the dark minor key that audiences heard in the first verse. Zipporah is speaking of the Hebrews’ experience of slavery in the lyrical narrative, thus requiring a thicker atmosphere to the music. We hear a little bit of song again in the rise of pitch with the words “summer bird,” as well as that fall of hope when subsequently she sings “too swiftly flown away.”

Paralleling the first verse, a similar growth from dark to light again occurs with the lyrics and the music in the second verse. And thus we move from despair to cheer as she sings: “In this time of fear, when prayer so often proves in vain hope seems like the summer birds, too swiftly flown away. Yet now I’m standing here, my heart so full I can’t explain, seeking faith and speaking words I’d never thought I’d say.” When Miriam adds a duet, a further sense of hope grows, for the people are coming together to begin the Exodus, traveling to freedom.

The second chorus is even musically bigger than the first, the visuals brighter, the hope more powerful. We see the Exodus happening now. There are people leaving. The miracle is here, it is happening, and the growth of music augments that.

The Children’s Song

Children begin singing, showing such a sense of hope as can be equaled by nothing else. The Bible indeed speaks of a child’s faith being great - not to mention the association with children is very positive and bright. The music is still in happy G major, though it also uses some pitches like C natural that never have been used before, making the music sound even brighter. The melody dances, and so do the people.

It is even more powerful when you know what the kids are saying.

It is part of a poem actually in the Bible seen in Exodus 15: 1, 11, and 13. Not only are these Hebrew lyrics actually in the Bible, but they are recorded as the song that Miriam and Aaron themselves sang when they were leaving Egypt. This is the song, guys! The legitimate words they sang in this event.

אָשִׁירָה לַה’ כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה 
מִי כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה’ מִי כָּמֹכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקֹּדֶשׁ 
נָחִיתָ בְחַסְדְּךָ עַם-זוּ גָּאָלְתָּ 

Ashira laadonay ki gao gaa 
Ashira laadonay ki gao gaa
Mi chamocha baelim adonay
Mi kamocha needar bakodesh 
Nakhita vekhasdecha am zu gaalta 
Nakhita vekhasdecha am zu gaalta 
Ashira ashira ashira

So that’s all well and good to see the text in another language, but what does it mean in English?

Check it out:

I will sing unto the Lord, for He is highly exalted 
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the mighty? who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness 
Thou in Thy love hast led the people that Thou hast redeemed

In another translation that sounds a bit less archaic:

I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.
Who among the gods is like you, O Lord?
Who is like you - majestic in holiness?
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.

This song is one of being saved by God and thanking him for the miracle. And the music expands and everyone begins singing and an almost giddy happiness results when the song spins faster and faster.

The Power of Belief

The final chorus explodes in full choir. It is the voice now of the entire Hebrew people belting out faith and awe at what has happened. Not only that, but the music rises in pitch, bursting to A major. The music reaches an all-time dramatic high in terms of sheer force of musicians playing in singing, in terms of the highest pitches sung, and in terms of volume. 

The music climaxes in power - to the full power of belief. To the full glory of this miracle. What has happened has just changed millions of lives. Millions of lives are free and singing praise.

It is hard to believe now that the song began in such a dark corner, sounding so futile and depressed and hopeless. But through the incredible narration of sound and lyrics, everyone by the end of the song understand - understands full well - “There can be miracles when you believe.”