a testament to human strength

Canon Arya Appreciation Week: Day 5 - Kindness and Compassion

I forgot yesterday! Shame on me!

But for this one, soooo many examples to choose from so I’ll sort by characters.


  • We’ll start with Jon - Arya’s favourite sibling. They are both the outcasts of the family, never feeling like they fit in but this isn’t the only reason the two of them are so close.
    Arya is the only person in Jon’s life before he left Winterfell to truly love him unconditionally. With everyone else, even Robb and Bran who he was also close with, there was always that barrier of them remembering his bastard status. With Arya, that didn’t matter to her even in the slightest. She has questioned what it is to be a bastard, wondering if her own difference from her family made her a bastard. She understands that Jon has a different mother. But to Arya, Jon is Jon. She doesn’t care about his parentage. Personally, because prejudice isn’t a trait Arya really exhibits, I don’t believe that discovering his true parentage will do much in the way of affecting their relationship. Except for them falling in love
    “Sansa sighed, “Poor Jon, he gets jealous because he’s a bastard.” “He’s our brother.” Arya said loudly.” - Arya, AGoT

  • Weasel - The little girl who Arya was annoyed by at first, wishing she would stop crying. But when the fighting starts and Arya sees the girl stood alone, she grabs her and drags her to safety. She is told by Hot Pie to leave her, but Arya only reacts by dragging the girl with her all the harder.

  • Jaquen - Despite the barn burning, despite Arya being a scared child herself, she gives the girl over to Gendry and sends him, the elder between them, to run away, whilst Arya goes back out of the barn, grabs the axe, then runs back in to give it to Jaquen so that he can free himself and the other captives. Arya describes the moment of going back into the barn as “the hardest thing she ever did”.

  • Sansa - When Arya sees that her sister is upset about having to leave King’s Landing, she tries to comfort her. Considering they’ve spent most of their interactions down each others throats, and Arya is still holding Sansa somewhat responsible for what happened to Mycah, this was a very mature and loving reaction from her.
    “It won’t be so bad, Sansa,“ Arya said. "We’re going to sail on a galley. It will be an adventure, and then we’ll be with Bran and Robb again,” - Arya, AGoT

  • Lady Crane - This isn’t in the books but I couldn’t not bring this up. D&D have fucked up Arya’s characterization to the point where they have her “threatening” to carve her sister’s face off. Some people see this as Arya just playing the game of faces. Some believe it’s all staged and they’re plotting against LF together. Whatever is going on, Arya would never threaten her sister and for D&D to have her use a line which sounded sickeningly similar to Ramsey Bolton, “let’s play a game” was just too far.

    But let’s look at one thing they did get accurate. Arya goes to the Faceless men because she wants to train as an assassin so that she can kill the people on her list who are still alive. But when it comes to killing someone who to Arya seems "like a good woman”, she isn’t able to go through with murdering her, and it’s this that provokes her into retrieving Needle and deciding she wants to leave the Faceless men and go home.

    This is so important. It’s a testament to the strength of her compassion and humanity that even when she’s gone through hell and back, even when she’s already killed without mercy, she’s still able to distinguish between good and bad. The world isn’t black and white and Arya knows better than most that anyone can die, and death doesn’t just come for the wicked, but that doesn’t mean she should or has to kill someone who she doesn’t believe deserves it.

    Remember, Arya has a list for a reason. To remind her of the people she wants to kill and why. She wants the people dead who tore her family apart. It may seem like playing God a little, but every one of these characters is guilty of that.

    At the Twins, she takes down the Freys but she specifically states that the people drinking are those who helped with the Red Wedding. She specifically stops the girl from drinking. She knows Walder Frey wouldn’t have involved the women with his plot and so she spared them.

    Then we have the Lannister soldiers. Arya may eye their weapons and initially look upon them cautiously, but as they are kind to her and offer her their food and drink, Arya befriends rather than fights them. It’s very carefully specified that these are Lannister soldiers, but Arya very clearly sympathizes and of course empathizes with their feelings of missing their families. These are men she should naturally consider her enemies, but her compassion is stronger than her bloodlust here.

    Arya maybe far gone, she has suffered and it’s twisted her up a little. But she still has her humanity, her kindness and her compassion.

She’s not broken, just bent. Yes that is a line from a Pink song.

There are so many other examples of her kindness; treating the Hound’s wounds, stopping him from killing the man they passed by, her ability to make friends anywhere she goes as she doesn’t look down on anyone for their station in life.

To be honest, Arya is one of the kindest characters in this series. And she’s barely in her pre-teens.

Professor Snape: Human Being

So. Over the past few months, I’ve read a lot of both anti-Snape and pro-Snape posts on Tumblr (all over the internet, really). I am personally a Snape fan, and yet, I’ve found that I have issues with both sides and their arguments. Normally I use this blog for social activism … but as these fictional issues relate to real-life issues, I’m going to say this anyway.

I don’t believe Snape was a bad person. I also don’t believe he was a good person. I believe Severus Snape was an incredibly human person, and potentially a lesson in cycles of abuse, human nature, emotional health, and long-term effects of trauma.

I could literally write several essays on this man, so I’ll stick to the points that seem to be brought up the most. There are other points, including Snape’s upbringing, growing up in Slytherin, being a Death eater, being a spy, and Dumbledore, but I’ll just deal with these three for now.

The Marauders: I fully, 100% believe that the Marauders were cruel, relentless bullies toward Snape. Does this make them evil? No. But having been a victim of bullying myself—for a shorter time and much lighter bullying than what Snape endured—I can attest that it deeply affects those who suffer through it, especially those with no support system (which Snape didn’t have). Even if the Marauders changed (and there’s still debate as to how much they did, but that’s another topic), that doesn’t change what they did to Snape. Snape still had to suffer for it. And no, I don’t believe that him fighting back makes it not bullying. That’s the same way so many schools operate today: that unless you literally stand there and let them abuse you (and sometimes not even then), you are just as guilty. The Marauders sought Snape out and attacked him, four on one (or at least two on one). This is bullying, and at least counts as verbal abuse, and probably some physical, with the flipping him upside down, stripping him, and choking him with soap. And what Sirius did? I don’t care if Sirius didn’t intend it that way: in Snape’s eyes, that was attempted murder (not to mention extremely cruel toward Remus).

Lily: J.K. Rowling has said numerous times that Snape truly loved Lily, and I agree, whether it was friendship or a romance. Was this the kind of love you would want in a healthy relationship? Not particularly. Lily was literally everything to Snape, and that doesn’t tend to lend itself to healthy relationships in the long run. He was desperate and lonely and had minimal social skills and didn’t understand a lot about how to be a good friend. But I do not think he harassed her. I do not think he stalked her (where did this one come from, really?). His way of speaking around her was awkward and sometimes rude, but definitely not as bad as the things James said (“I’ll leave him alone if you go out with me” and “Don’t make me hex you, Evans,” for instance). I think what he felt was love. He had just had far too rough a life to be in a relationship, at least at that point in his development. And though I do think he genuinely regretted the “mudblood” incident and sustained no racist prejudices in the long term, I think Lily had every right to end their friendship. He was getting involved in a crowd she could see was going down a very dark path, and Lily couldn’t pull him out alone.

Potions Professor: Okay, this is where I disagree with at least some Snape fans. I fully believe that what Snape did counts as verbal abuse, just like what the Marauders did counts as abuse (although Snape never dangled one of his students upside down and pants-ed them). At the very least, it was bad bullying. Snape had greater social power and took advantage of it over innocent children (who began fighting back, a bit like Snape did). Is his attitude understandable given his life circumstances, his trauma, his spying, his lack of positive role models? Definitely. But that makes it no less unacceptable. I am very adamant about acceptable ways of treating children, and Snape falls below the line by about a mile. Just as I’ve been bullied, I’ve also been treated poorly by teachers, even singled out, and not nearly as bad as Snape did to his students. It can screw you up. I don’t condone it, and if Snape were real and living, and if he was teaching a child of mine, I would march right into his office and lecture his ears off, then pull my kid out of his class so fast the chair would probably catch fire.

However …

He did wonderful things at the same time. He was a huge jerk to Harry, but also risked his life to save not only Harry, but many others who he had made no promise to save. Lily was dead, and eventually Dumbledore was dead, too: he had nothing to gain from serving the cause except seeing what she wanted in the world realized. And he ended up dying for the cause, even while believing that all he had done to protect Harry was for nothing. Without him, chances are that Voldemort would have won, and Harry very well may have died in first year. He is a bully, but he is a hero.

(And to be frank, a lot of the Hogwarts professors do things that are … rather awful, actually. McGonagall’s animal cruelty Transfiguration class and locking Neville out of the common room while Sirius Black was on the loose, to give two examples. So it seems like Hogwarts as a school condones student maltreatment, to an extent. Not to mention the blatant unfairness and favoritism of several professors.)

In addition to all of this, Snape’s character makes sense. What happens when you are neglected and possibly abused at home and no one saves you? What happens when you are tormented at school and only one person ever cares? What happens when you are nearly killed and your near-murderer is allowed to go free, while you are sworn to secrecy and your trauma brushed aside as a “childish grudge” or “overreacting”? What happens when you realize how badly you’ve screwed up with your life choices, try and fail to save the one person you love, and are then guilt-tripped into spending seventeen years making up for it? You become bitter. You become angry and vengeful and you take it out on anyone who ticks you off because you’ve never learned a better way. You believe that life isn’t fair and think that everyone has to deal with that fact. You can’t stand anyone who makes your job more difficult, because you’re constantly on the edge of losing it. Especially, you look at the people who remind you of yourself, who remind you of those who tormented you, and deep down, you’re still afraid. Afraid of the bullies. Afraid of yourself. So you take it out on them, so that they can’t hurt you. Because you hate them, and because you hate yourself.

Severus Snape is the cycle of abuse incarnate. He is what happens when we don’t help the victims of bullying and abuse. It. Keeps. Going. He is a testament to both human strength and human limits.

And … that’s my two cents.

9

Heaven Or Las Vegas

July 7, 2017

Gridding Las Vegas with orgonite has proven to be an even larger job than we thought. Portland, Oregon has now been dethroned as the city with the most cell towers we’ve ever seen. It just did not let up here for a second. We were constantly pulling over and making u-turns to bust towers. The land is already scorched and destroyed beyond belief, and the amount of towers ensures that it stays that way, until now.

This was our first step into the territory and today we conservatively busted 150 cell towers. The energetic impact could be felt more than seen at first. The skies were transmuting from the time we awoke even before we distributed anything. But as we went, the oppressive atmosphere actually lightened up. How do we know it’s working energetically? We feel better. It’s not something that can always be measured. If we can’t trust our own bodies and minds, who can we trust? Those who are not attuned to their own body’s energy, often are upset by the idea that orgone energy cannot be measured with an instrument. If you live without wireless technology and have a lot of orgonite around you, you’ll quickly gain the ability to feel what we feel every day.

The work was enough to attract four black helicopters, which were flying together in a large circle near where we were working in the late afternoon. It was slightly unnerving, but there wasn’t anything they could do except psych us out. At the end of the daylight, we completed our mission of gifting and blessing the Vanguard on Fremont Street, where Luis Campos was killed with one punch, completely unprovoked, by a mind controlled psychopath back in April. He was the husband of a friend we’ve known for years, who is left a widow with their two little children. When we arrived at the Vanguard, we saw several building top cell tower arrays beaming right at it. Immediately after the gifting, the black helicopters were back, and this time they flew one after another over us. At this point, it was getting dark and we were glad to call it a day.

The energy in Las Vegas is absolutely unbearable. I don’t know how human beings live here. It is pure death. The fact that anyone survives here is testament to the strength of the human organism. I feel that the nuclear blasts at the Nevada test site just decades ago have left their mark on this place, and with scorching temperatures that don’t even cool off at night, there is definitely a lot of healing that will need to be done in this wasteland. It remains a mystery how anyone can partake of entertainment and material delights here when the very environment around them is deteriorating beyond recognition. This was once a green land, with trees larger than we can imagine. One day it will be green again, and the parasites will no longer be able to harvest the negative energy of oppressed human beings.

The day ended as it always does, with spiraling vortexes of orgone energy, pristine, unpolluted skies, and pure white orgonite clouds. If this can happen in Las Vegas, then the entire Earth can be restored.

They say “Hope is a thing with feathers”
But this time they’d be wrong
It is not a thing with Angel wings
To lift us off the ground

Hope is construct of nerve and steel
A testament of our strength
A measure of human tenacity
In the face of our greatest fears

They say “Hope is a thing with feathers”
But we have never been so soft
Because Hope is a thing of bone and mettle
That keeps us standing tall

—  Stay strong, stay hopeful (for @thaliaai because elections)
8

Audrey has been in a historical fiction mood lately, so she thought it would be fun to go through our Goodreads page and pick out some historical fiction titles that sounded interesting to her. She will have to check to see if her library has these the next time she stops by!

Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery by M. Evelina Galang

Angel has just lost her father, and her mother’s grief means she might as well be gone too. She’s got a sister and a grandmother to look out for, and a burgeoning consciousness of the unfairness in the world—in her family, her community, and her country.

Set against the backdrop of the 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution, the struggles of surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII in the early 1990s, and a cold winter’s season in the city of Chicago, is the story of a daughter coming of age, coming to forgiveness, and learning to move past the chaos of grief to survive.

Caminar by Skila Brown

Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her… . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley

Cy Williams, thirteen, has always known that he and the other black folks on Strong’s plantation have to obey white men, no question. Sure, he’s free, as black people have been since his grandfather’s day, but in rural Georgia, that means they’re free to be whipped, abused, even killed. Almost four years later, Cy yearns for that freedom, such as it was. Now he’s a chain gang laborer, forced to do backbreaking work, penned in and shackled like an animal, brutalized, beaten, and humiliated by the boss of the camp and his hired overseers. For Cy and the boys he’s chained to, there’s no way out, no way back. And then hope begins to grow in him, along with strength and courage he didn’t know he had. Cy is sure that a chance at freedom is worth any risk, any sacrifice. This powerful, moving story opens a window on a painful chapter in the history of race relations.

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, “A Death-Struck Year” is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle

Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, HOW I BECAME A GHOST is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy. From the book’s opening line, “Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before,” the reader is put on notice that this is no normal book. Isaac leads a remarkable foursome of Choctaw comrades: a tough-minded teenage girl, a shape-shifting panther boy, a lovable five-year-old ghost who only wants her mom and dad to be happy, and Isaac s talking dog, Jumper. The first in a trilogy, HOW I BECAME A GHOST thinly disguises an important and oft-overlooked piece of history.

Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Graham Salisbury

Based on a true story, this World War II novel by Scott O’Dell Award winner Graham Salisbury tells how Zenji, 17, is sent from Hawaii to the Philippines to spy on the Japanese.

Zenji Watanabe graduates from high school in Hawaii and is recruited into the army as a translator because he speaks perfect Japanese. He is sent to Manila undercover as a civilian to gather information on the Japanese in the Philippines. If they discover his identity, he’ll be executed as a traitor. When captured, he maintains that he is an American civilian despite unthinkable torture. He also survives being lost in the jungle for months. Zenji’s time behind enemy lines is grueling, and his survival is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

This is the fourth book in Graham Salisbury’s highly acclaimed Prisoners of the Empire series, which began with the award-winning Under the Blood-Red Sun.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he’s not used to is white people being nice to him — people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’s home — will he still be his friend?

Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock ‘n’ roll.

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail, or worse.

The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise, and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be gay in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?

Based on real-life events, multi-award winning author Deborah Ellis’s new book is a tense and riveting story about a world where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent that it is punishable by death.

9

I spent the day doing some urban exploring.

Intramuros is the oldest settlement in Manila established by the Spanish Empire. It literally means Walled City, and it’s a neighborhood of rich history and beautiful architecture first built in the 16th century. During WWII, the city suffered relentless bombardment throughout the Battle of Manila, resulting in the destruction of nearly the entire city.

Most of the wall (and some of the original buildings) remain, but it is fractured and fragmented – a ghost of its former grandeur. What still stands is slowly returning to its wild roots, 500 years after it was first tamed. A few buildings, like Manila Cathedral, were reduced to shards and rubble but were painstakingly and methodically rebuilt.

If this place isn’t a testament to the resilience, strength, and stubbornness of humans, I don’t know what is.


I wandered through the ruins, scaled the city wall, gazed in awe at the stained glass, and sweet-talked my way onto a roof adjacent to the cathedral.

Two cuppa coffee day. Proud.

anonymous asked:

I was wondering, why do you like wonderbat (not trying to hate or anything) it's just like superwonder in my opinion, and Diana already has a love interest (Steve) in her stories why should we take that from her and make her a love interest in batman's comics ? Doesn't he have enough amazing girls to love ? Like Catwoman or even Zatanna ?

 (I really appreciate the nice way you asked this, since most people are like ‘are you stupid or something why do you ship [insert ship name here]?’) 

I like wonderbat for many of the same reasons that I like Clois. In truth, I still REALLY like Selina/Bruce or Diana/Steve. It’s just that I’ve grown to really like Wonderbat over time.

LONG reasons continued under a cut!

Keep reading

witchoil  asked:

hi there i just wanted to say thanks for that post. i've spent this holiday season w/ some v close-minded and judgmental family that puts a lot of qualifiers on what it means to be worthwhile and it's been kind of rough on top of my usual stuff, but that post just brought me back to center a little and somewhere kind of near tears. so thank you. what you have to say is super important and you are super important and thank you.

no okay that is wrong that is dead wrong you are great you are inestimable and just by virtue of being human.

like, even if you did nothing but breathe and also occasionally eat food and sometimes think about things??? indistinct and vague and unimportant things—and yet you are worthy; you are worthy beyond measure, you are inestimable, incalculable—and lots of other words meaning “beyond numbering” because the thing about humanity is that we are a lot of soft pink vulnerabilities in a universe of sharp edges and stone, and yet somehow we survive, we endure, we lift our gaze to the horizon and forge something resembling joy in the unfeeling furnace of the world. And that alone is extraordinary—that we can flinch, we can fold in on ourselves, that we can break and break and break again and yet still endure, still choose to sing—

it is a testament to our strength. to your strength.

as a human being, as a person who exists in the world, you have already done so much. You have survived bruises, scars, cold sores, broken hearts and twisted ankles; you have endured a hundred cutting words that should have bled you out but haven’t—you kept that life-renewing blood in your skin, or more has been forged on the anvil your bones. (it may surprise you, how good you can be at rebirth.) Your body renews itself and so do you, and the fact that hope still exists in the world, in your skin, is undoubtable.

by existing, you have breathed in the same oxygen that prehistoric plants once exhaled. By existing, you have been heir to whole tradition of philosophy—of ‘loving wisdom’—that has preceded you, that has articulated that aching of your existence, that has sought the pinnacle of humanity in your name. By merely existing you have defied the whole of statistics, of those unfeeling numbers that declare unimportant, unemployed, deadthe chances of a cognizant human being living in your skin, thinking your thoughts, weeping at your favorite piece of music, is so astronomical as to be ludicrous.

but you are here anyway. You breathe and weep and laugh anyway. In the cold, empty space of the universe, you find joy, you construct meaning. You dream of happiness, of something of more than this, than now, than here. And no one else will ever be your equal, no matter how many of your atoms they share, of blog posts they read, of  memories they know.In the entirety of the universe, in all of time, in all of space, you are wholly and entirely unique.

And if that if that doesn’t make you worthy—well. I don’t know what does.