certainty of change

Yours, Castiel

Anon Request: Could you do a Reader x Cas where Cas makes creative use of one of his feathers?

Word Count: a little over 2k

Warnings: this is some CHEESY SHIT, FAM. also there’s some language. but basically just a fluff overload.

Originally posted by yaelstiel

You slowly walked into the map room and rubbed your eyes, still weary from sleep. You were surprised when you opened them and saw Castiel sitting at the table, furiously writing something with…a feather?

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It has been said that for every person who “wakes up”, 1,700 more also “awaken”. Energy expands exponentially throughout the entire Universe. Know with absolute certainty that YOU are changing the very fabric of the cosmos. And you are essential to the evolution of absolutely everything.
There is no such thing as permanence at all. Everything is constantly changing. Everything is in a flux. Because you cannot face the impermanence of all relationships, you invent sentiments, romance, and dramatic emotions to give them certainty. Therefore you are always in conflict.
—  U.G. Krishnamurti
We dream the flight but we fear the height. To fly one needs to have the courage to face the void. The flight can only happen in the void. The void is the space for freedom, the absence of certainties. But that is what we fear: not having certainties. That is why we change the flight for cages. Cages are the place where certainties live.
—  The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
To understand Doom

There is only one universal truth
Everything must die eventually

There is a sort of comfort in this law
Death is one of the only certainties


All things are shifting, changing, moving
But your fate remains perfectly still

You can’t see the importance of that
But someday soon you will


You’ll go past the constraints of life
And find strength in certainty

You’ll find power in doom and fate
And in the endless black green sea


Though the end might be scary
Never turn your back on it

It is harsh, unyielding, firm
But only hurts the unfit


For the universe is sensible
It knows what it’s doing

It has contingencies
It knows what it’s killing


It has structures and
It has it’s own plans

So study well, dear Mage
You’ll soon have command

For when pressed to the border
They find it’s true power

For they have already experienced,
Life’s darkest hour

With fate and hexes
With plagues and death

They know the strings,
They know what comes next

- - -

The universe makes sense
For those who know doom

The Mage understands consequence
They’ll be in control soon

anonymous asked:

so you're analytical and very good when it comes to talking about jerza, what do you think erza means when she says it's complicated? I can understand they can't just act like they were when they were children all of a sudden, but for years many people in the fqndom discussed how afree jellal was redeemed he would be by her side. Now that he's free, now that she can see him whenever she wants, 2 people who have been in love for nearly 20 years, I expected them to marry pretty quickly?

Thank you! 

I believe it has more to do with Jellal. Taking this into an analytical route, I don’t think it’s completely unexpected considering that Jellal just went through the biggest change of his life, going from being a fugitive for years to finally being pardoned.

It makes sense for him to need more time than the others to adjust. Jellal’s concept of living has really changed over the years, and it was never perfected. Everything that happened during his first seven years living life as a fugitive with Ultear and Meredy is still unknown, but after seeing him reunite with Erza on the beach, we at least know how Jellal had felt about Crime Sorciere and how depressed and confused he had been the whole time. That’s seven years wanting to believe he was doing the right thing while struggling with the idea of his own existence. The three of them set the goal to work towards being redeemed, but to Jellal it wasn’t so much of a reason to live yet. Before Erza slapped the shit out of him and gave him something to wholeheartedly continue his journey for (translation: her), that goal of theirs was more empty and felt more like an excuse to him than a proper reason. Jellal never quite thought he would ever get to the point of being redeemed, not even when this last arc concluded. But what matters from that encounter is that she gave him an incentive to start hoping, even if it still felt far-fetched, that he would.

And in the final chapter, he did get pardoned. 

And not one of them expected it. It’s unreal. Consider how Jellal’s certainty of his own role changes over time. These changes occur in multiple places, a significant point being his introduction into the war against Zeref and Acnologia, but his development then still did not seem quite whole. Choosing to fight from a different place isn’t the same as accepting oneself, which was what he needed to do for the full development of his character. In the war, Jellal’s focus wasn’t so much getting his sins redeemed or earning forgiveness either - it was defeating Zeref and protecting Erza. If I had to make any judgement, getting redeemed was the least of his priorities, despite it being one of CS’s core principles. As seen in the fight against Neinhart, Neinhart still managed to faze Jellal for a brief moment by taunting something along the lines of “are you sure you want to kill Simon again?”, despite already knowing that the Simon they were seeing was merely an illusion, indicating his existing hesitations. Throughout the arc, Mashima also makes the point of emphasizing how much of a motivation Erza is to Jellal, which again feeds into the idea that Erza is Jellal’s main reason for even trying. So, there’s no bullshit regarding how much he loves her. He does, and all we needed was a big enough battle for him to accept himself so he could stop holding back.

But that’s the thing. We never got to see him accept himself. 

There’s a lot for him to consider. By expecting him to finally act on his feelings once the arc ended, we anticipated a fight big enough to alter his mindset enough to do so first. Unfortunately, Jellal never received such a fight in the last arc. His fights merely reinforced his ideals and left room for his character to grow, so it appears that day of full self-acceptance will come at a much slower crawl instead and we won’t be there to see it. Accepting oneself requires more than just accepting what’s in front of you. He has earned his redemption but Jellal’s final line in the series is “live…” and he has an expression as if he still doesn’t know what that really means yet. By being granted freedom, Jellal has a new opportunity to go and figure it out. He had a proper reason to start truly hoping that the future would one day accept him and his guild back into society, but he probably never thought about what would actually happen if he had enough good graces to ever reach that point of getting forgiven, no less by the Queen of Fiore herself. 

Personally, I always thought that Jellal would need time to adjust and get to know Erza better before officially becoming her lover. There’s years worth of emotional and mental pain built up inside of him, and I’m not surprised that Hisui’s words would take longer for him to absorb than anybody else. That being said, I didn’t expect for a year to pass and them to not be in a relationship yet. I didn’t expect the 100 year quest. It sucks because I really wanted them to have just one panel together, and they didn’t even need to be married. But I’ll be positive here and tell everyone that there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be together. 

Because Erza loves Jellal and he loves her. Those factors of time and distance have always been very important to their relationship. As a fandom, we all expected Jellal to accept himself right after the war, but that just didn’t happen in front of us. Erza understands Jellal and is giving him the time that he needs to settle down and really find his way back into society. He doesn’t seem ready. We don’t know where he is, but just because they weren’t at that party together doesn’t mean they’re not communicating. And although Team Natsu is taking a 100 year quest, it doesn’t mean they won’t ever see each other again. They’re just not together… YET. 

As frustrated as I am…I’d like to take the time and appreciate that panel of Erza brushing her hair and it being implied that she was brushing her hair for him. Our girl’s just patiently waiting for him.  

That’s a sign of hope. “It’s complicated”, but it’s really not. 

favorite books → waiting in the wings by melissa brayden

“This was the happiest I’d ever been in my entire life and I laughed out loud at the irony. If someone had told me at twelve years old how thrilled I would be to lose the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, I would have declared them certifiable. But life’s a tricky thing. It throws you curve balls. Sometimes, it is in the pursuing of one dream that you realize another. Adrienne, and our life together, is that realized dream for me. She’s the truest thing I’ve ever known. And while it took a long time for us to come together, I can say with utmost certainty that I wouldn’t change a moment of it. It’s our story.

sehnsucht

AU. She rather had him with her against his will, than never being able to see him again; this are her thoughts as she claims to be engaged to the ex rounin, Uchiha Sasuke, who is about to be sentenced to exhile.

AO3 || part one >> part two

She had been called to the Hokage’s office a week after they returned to Konoha. And both Naruto and she had been waiting in their best effort to be patient and not interrupt any meeting involving the kages. They had been worried sick to know what would happen to Sasuke now that he had returned with them.

It hurt to see him being treated as a criminal despite putting the best of this effort to help them retrieve their peace, but even they knew this was bound to happen before some negotiations were made. It didn’t make the sight of him being taken away by some Anbus any less painful, though. As soon as they stepped near their collegues, two pair of Anbus knocked him out, and the fact that Sasuke could have easily avoided such harsh treatment did nothing but make them feel hurt, because even the former avenger knew what would happen to him next, and he had the best intentions to cooperate, but their people did not know that.

And now, as she ran from roof to roof to reach her destination, she couldn’t help the fastening heartbeat and her rushing thoughts. Thinking of the worst case scenarios did little to calm her nerves, but she had long decided to keep her cool; being the former Hokage’s apprentice had taught her to know displaying emotions did little to gain the council’s vote.

However, a little part of her hoped Naruto will be loud enough to speak for both of them. No matter how impertinent the blond got, it was a given everyone held the loud ninja in their best regards.

She knocked once, and the door was sprung open, letting her sight appreciate Kakashi standing behind the Hokage’s desk. Sakura sensed Naruto at her right, and she took a few steps so they were at the same level. The door shut behind her.

“So as you had been told, I called you both here to let you know that his sentence has already been decided” their former sensei stated, voice even and collected. Sakura liked to think of that as a good sign, but soon remembered he was not standing before them as their teacher, but rather as the person who lead their village, so she gulped.

She needn’t to turn her eyes to notice Naruto was just as expectant as she was.

“He will be on observation indefinitely at Snow Village”.

While she stilled, Naruto rushed to his desk and slammed his palms on it.

“No!”

Worst case scenario: not being able to ever see him again.

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spymastery  asked:

#13 for shepard/kaidan or ryder/liam? whichever you're more interested in writing right now!

  1. “The way I feel when I’m with you…”

this was an evil choice I’m just sayin

Kaidan’s hands are warm at Shepard’s shoulders, pressing against the knots in his muscles with practiced ease. He hums as he does it, and Shepard’s dozing off comfortably when Kaidan stops and wraps his arms around Shepard’s waist, resting his head on his shoulder.

In the quiet, low-light of the cabin, it’s easy to shelf what’s going on in the universe for later. To be able to forget. To have five minutes of sanity.

Shepard reaches down, puts his hand overtop of Kaidan’s, and leans back into him, breathes him in and relishes in the time between them, because not long from now, his alarm will chirp and it’ll be back into the heat of things.

For now, though, this is good. The gentle light, the calm swimming of the fish in the tank on the other side of the room. The press of Kaidan’s lips behind his ears.

“Shepard,” Kaidan says, nuzzling his nose against Shepard’s neck. No urgency in his voice this time. Something akin to a prayer, maybe. No demands, no requests.

Fuck, he’d missed this. He’s not sure they’ve ever really had it, in such a concrete way as this, but everything between them feels comfortable, like a natural progression from all those years back on Eden Prime. Like they’d known each other inside and out from day one. Talk about a turn on, Shepard thinks, craning his neck so Kaidan can kiss along his shoulders.

“Hey, be careful. Don’t want your neck to go back out.”

“This’d be a hell of a lot easier if you’d let me turn around.”

So Kaidan does, lets him straddle his lap, rest his arms over Kaidan’s shoulders. His hands are warm up his sides, too, trailing fingertips leaving goosebumps as they go. Kaidan offers a smile. To it, Shepard says, “See something you like?” all bravado, acutely aware of where Kaidan has stopped his hands, across one of the scars from cybernetics.

“I love you, Shepard,” he says, in a breath, and Shepard feels his heart race. The things he’s seen, what he’s been through, and Kaidan still gets his heart racing. A different kind of beast, love. Shepard’s never gotten to experience it as viciously as he has with Kaidan.

Shepard runs a hand through Kaidan’s hair. “Yeah, love you, too.”

Kaidan ducks his head, his eyes darting back and forth from hand to hand as he thinks. “You’re an incredible man,” he says, pressing his lips to Shepard’s chest, his collarbone. “Unbelievable, what you’ve accomplished.”

“I’ve got a good team behind me,” Shepard says, by means of explanation, as though it’s so simple. Maybe it is. Without them, Shepard wouldn’t have made it past Saren. He wouldn’t have made it back from the Omega-4 Relay.

He wouldn’t be sitting here, the love of his life beneath him, playing with the hair at the back of his neck, resting in the glow of a successful mission on the road to almost definite hell.

“You’re quite the leader, Shepard,” Kaidan continues. “An inspiration to all of us, out there.”

“Now you’re just flattering me.”

“No, I’m being serious. The way you make me feel is…” Kaidan says, then pauses, hesitating. Shepard brushes his thumb over the skin beneath his ear, drops a kiss to the top of his head, a silent encouragement. “You have no idea what you do to me, do you?”

Shepard smiles, not quite as devious as he would normally. “I think I have some kind of idea.”

Kaidan laughs. “Don’t be so modest. But I’m serious, Shepard, you—you…” He shakes his head. “I’m not sure I have the words.”

A million one-liners run through his head, but Shepard doesn’t—couldn’t—say any of them. “I know,” he says, instead, because he does. It’s hard to explain, Shepard thinks, their bond. Like soulmates, if Shepard believed.

Kaidan makes him want to.

Shepard opens his mouth to say something when his alarm starts beeping—a call from Anderson downstairs. He sighs, and starts to pull off Kaidan.

“Just a second,” Kaidan says, pulling Shepard down by the back of his neck for a kiss, capturing his lower lip between his own, and Shepard melts against him—moves with him, rocks his hips on Kaidan’s lap, gets lost in the sensation.

He opens his mouth to say, “Kaidan,” and his alarm chirps again. He closes his eyes. Urgent, then. Shepard really shouldn’t put it off.

“Duty calls,” Kaidan says, but if he’s disappointed, he doesn’t let it show. He taps Shepard’s hip and lets him go, this time. Just before he gets up from the bed, Kaidan reaches for his wrist and says, “Come back to me, after.”

Shepard knows, with the Reapers, a lot of once-certainties have changed to unknowns, complicated by the war against an ancient race of machines that refuse to quit. But he’ll be damned if, after the dust has settled and the Reapers are finished, he’s not holding up his end of the bargain.

anonymous asked:

aren't you even angry?

Hi anon yes I am angry…but not for the reasons you probably think.  I am angry that there is a section of this fandom who is intent on making other people feel as miserable and belittled and inadequate as possible.

I am angry that people I call friends are now being called out with hateful messages in their inboxes just because they happen to have differing views/hopes/scenarios on certain subjects.

I am angry that good people are being made to feel like they are bad.

I am angry that people feel it’s okay to tag Gillian on posts telling her what a horrible person she is.

I am angry that  the Gillian/David ship - a ship that has existed for DECADES - is suddenly the work of the devil and is something to be ashamed of.

I am angry that many assumptions are being made about what Gillovny actually means to people and that everyone is being portrayed as obsessive snoggers with no lives.

I am angry that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change those perceptions.

Am I angry that GA chooses to date PM? (Because that’s why you asked, right?)  Nope.  That particular titbit affects my life not one iota.  Everything else though does.

To see great bloggers and decent people - @xfile-cabinetx  @justholdinghandsok @becksndot5 @funtasteec @megsandroses to name just a few, feeling the need to defend their actions makes me incredibly sad and to see others struggling to make sense of what exactly their place is within the fandom now also makes me sad.

I never intended to make my blog a Gillovny blog but over time it just naturally happened as I have shipped them since XF time began and I can honestly say that I have never met a finer, funnier, more passionate, invested and supportive group of people in all my years in the fandom.  And my anger at what is happening here on tumblr will fade because I know with absolute certainty that nothing will change with regards to those people because we are a fandom family and no amount of crappy anon fucktard hate will ever destroy that.

Good morning! Today is about Certainty, Possessiveness, Resisting Change

Tarot of the Day: Four of Pentacles

This Four basically represents holding onto people, things, money, emotions, situations, or relationships, longer than is best for you. Are you living within self-created limitations? Do you feel the need to be in control? Is fear of change keeping you from moving forward or do you wish to move forward but the situation still requires you to continue being practical and tenacious?

As with most of the Pentacle cards, the Four tends to be involved with money and/or other tangible possessions. If you are in a relationship, house, job, etc. because of money or possessions, then the Four is telling you that the time has come to review what you are holding onto and why.

At work, you are likely doing something you don’t like or is even having a negative impact on your life simply to put food on the table. The Four signifies a time is coming when you will be able to change your situation. Research your options. Be brave and informed to make a decision for your higher good.

If your relationship is your focus today, then the Four signifies that one or both of you are fearful and hanging on too tightly. Relax your grip and allow things to flow naturally. Love will not grow or even survive in a stranglehold. Talk to each other, allow each other the space to be yourselves and things will be better.

If you are holding onto old clothes, old hurts, or old patterns, the Four says it’s time to review the reasons and relax your grip.

If you are stuck in a pattern, place, or situation that still requires you to remain, review options to change it - you may find a way to begin to ease out of it. It’s time for needed change, even if it’s small so, take a deep breath, trust the Universe, and start where you are.

Peace out, Lovelies…

Engraved

She doesn’t notice when Draco leaves. But she knows when he comes back – can feel his weight settle beside her on the green silk of the bed sheets, can hear the rapid shuffles of his breath. And she turns over, torrents of ice spiking her veins as she takes in the pale of his face and the circles under his eyes.

Things are different now.

He doesn’t have to say it. But there’s an unnatural redness creeping from beneath the cuffs of his button down shirt and a glassy look on his face and she knows with a terrible amount of certainty what has changed.

Her hand creeps out, inching towards his forearm. “Did he…?” She sucks in a breath, watching as he tentatively rolls up his sleeves, fingers shaking.

It’s stark. A black skull etched onto white skin.

It’s a thunder strike. An ink snake curling through the skull’s open mouth.

It’s a death sentence.

Sublime Madness of the Soul

A small contribution for Barricade Day 2015 stemming from an article I read yesterday when I read the phrase:  Reinhold Niebuhr, as Cone points out in his book, labeled this capacity to defy the forces of repression “a sublime madness in the soul.”

Summary: In the quiet of the night before Lamarque’s funeral, Enjolras and Combeferre talk by the window of the Corinthe.

The sky was bleeding already.

Enjolras stands by the open window in the back room of the Corinthe, hand resting on the ledge as he looks out. The sun sinks lower, casting shadows streaked with gold across the rooftops of Paris, red streaking the sky and dripping down at the edges, the mixture turning the sky a shade of burnt orange. There is a hush before him and a silence behind him until he hears footsteps cracking through it, determined but decidedly friendly. He feels Combeferre’s presence beside him before he even looks over, and when he does, the sight of his dear friend’s face stills his trembling heart.

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4

The Laudatio Tauriae is an inscription by a Roman husband about his wife, ‘So great was her sense of duty that, when the marriage proved childless, she offered divorce to allow her husband to seek a more fertile partner. His response speaks volumes: “…What desire, what need to have children could I have had that was so great that I should have broken faith for that reason and changed certainty for uncertainty”’ - Gwynn, David M. The Roman Republic A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2012)

Yeah, Doctor Who has parallels with Ancient Rome

Enlightenment, awakening, liberation, nonduality—so many fancy words to confuse us. So many different conceptual formulations or pointers: “You are not the body,” “There’s no self,” “All is One,” “Nothing is really happening,” “Everything is Consciousness.” So many different instructions to try to follow: Be here now, Stand as Awareness, Identify as Awareness, Stop thinking, Let Go, Rest as presence, Pay attention, Do nothing, Relax, Surrender, Be mindful, Give up trying to be mindful, Meditate, Don’t meditate. It’s easy to get confused. The habitual way of tackling all of this is to try to figure it all out and “get a grip” mentally by thinking and analyzing and trying to understand it all, and/or by trying to have some special experience other than the one that is happening now.

But this is all so simple. Whatever is happening right now is happening by itself, effortlessly: reading, thinking, hearing, seeing, breathing, digesting, moving, sensing, awaring. Can we pause for a moment and simply notice this happening right now that is going on effortlessly? Even what we experience as “our own effort” is happening effortlessly by itself. Can that be noticed? This eternal present is one whole undivided happening, even though it has many different colors and shapes and textures, and even though thought can identify many different and apparently independent objects: chairs, tables, people, dogs, cats, clouds, stars. But look more deeply, and it can be seen that none of these objects exist independently of everything else in the universe, and that all of these different things are ever-changing appearances in (and of) consciousness. They show up as one whole moving picture, one seamless happening. Don’t take that on as a new belief, but give attention to the living reality Here / Now and see for yourself how it is.

Thought can label this happening and all the different things that appear here—we have stories and theories and beliefs about cause and effect and how things happen and what they mean—scientific stories, religious stories, all kinds of stories. And these stories and theories and beliefs can all be questioned and doubted, and different people will hold conflicting beliefs and give differing descriptions of “the same” phenomenon, and over the centuries some of our apparent certainties may change. The flat earth turns out to be round, the earth goes around the sun, and so on. But the bare happening itself—before the labels and the stories about it—that is beyond doubt.

And this awaring presence that is right here beholding it all—this knowingness of being here now—this is also impossible to doubt. We can doubt our ideas about it, but not the bare actuality of being here, being present, being aware.

We may think that we are a person who is aware, that awareness is a function of the brain, that we are looking out at a world that exists independently of us, but the more closely we look, the more this deeply conditioned story about the nature of reality doesn’t actually hold up. What exactly is this person? Where are the boundaries? Is this the same person that was here 60 years ago, or even 5 minutes ago? What exactly is “my body”? Where does it begin and end? Does it stay the same from one second to the next? Is there an actual boundary between “me” and “not me,” or between inside and outside? Can any such boundary be found in direct experience? And if it seems that we’ve found such a boundary, how solid is it and where exactly does it begin and end, and what is beholding it? Doesn’t this body appear in awareness along with the chairs and tables, the dog and cat, the sky, the trees, the whole universe? Can an actual place be found where awareness ends and the body (or the cat, or the sky, or the tree) begins, or vice versa? Is there any actual boundary or division between subject and object, seer and seen, or is the reality undivided seeing-being? Don’t answer any of these questions from belief, and don’t rely on what anyone else says, but explore all of this directly for yourself. Look and listen. Feel into it. Discover for yourself.

That’s what true meditation and true inquiry (as I use the words) are really all about—not sitting in the lotus position trying not to move and concentrating on our breathing or asking ourselves over and over, “Who am I?” – but simply BEING Here / Now – looking and listening, questioning, wondering – not by thinking, but by paying attention, by being aware, by BEING awareness.

Is it possible to be here in this moment without an agenda, without needing to define what’s happening, without seeking something different, without judging what’s showing up or trying to control it any way—just being here? What is that like, to simply be here?

Is it possible to explore Here / Now without knowing what might be found? Can we simply feel this presence, this aliveness? Can we explore directly what we are referring to when we say “I”? What do we mean when we say, “I am”? Superficially, we are referring to an apparent person—this body, this mind, this personality, this “me” that has a name, a gender, a race, a nationality, an age, a story. But more deeply, if all of that disappeared, what would remain? Is it possible that the “I” to which we all refer is—at its depth—exactly the same I, the same boundless awaring presence?

Can we feel the spaciousness, the openness, the fluidity, the freedom that is Here / Now?

And if we can’t, or don’t think we can, then can we simply be with whatever IS showing up, just as it is? And whenever the sense of being separate shows up—when we feel hurt or defensive or angry or victimized or upset or misunderstood or overwhelmed or attacked or afraid or lacking or unworthy—can we explore directly what is going on? Can we hear the thoughts without being totally seduced into believing them? Can we recognize that they are a conditioned commentary and not an objective report on reality? Can we find the “me” who seems to be thinking these thoughts, the “me” who seems to be angry or lacking or who feels insulted or misunderstood—or is that “me” simply a bunch of changing thoughts, sensations, memories and mental images? Can we feel the bodily sensations without judging any of it or trying to change it in any way? Can we question our beliefs, our assumptions, our certainties, our stories about ourselves, about others, and about the world? Can we simply be here in the midst of a tumultuous storm of emotion-thought, being and beholding it all, in the same way we might behold a thunderstorm, without taking it personally or giving it meaning?

We are this storming, it is inseparable from what we are and all that is, and we are also that which beholds the storm, that which remains when the storm has passed, that which is untouched by the storm. And if the thinking-seeking mind is now about to go out in search of “that,” trying to figure out what “that” is—can that movement be seen for what it is? It is an old habit, to seek what we already are, to try to grasp what is ungraspable, to try to find wholeness as an object—trying so hard to get to this place Here / Now that we have never left, and then trying not to try. Instead of following this old habit, is it possible instead to simply be here as this undeniable awaring presence and this undeniable present happening, however it is? Not forever after, but right now, in this moment: hearing, seeing, sensing, awaring, thinking, trying, tensing, relaxing, contracting, expanding, breathing, storming, calming, opening, closing—BEING this whole seamless happening, beholding it all. Discovering the openness that is open enough to include being closed, the freedom that is free to be limited, the vastness that is vast enough to include specificity, the oneness that appears as multiplicity, the timelessness that includes all of time—THIS—Here / Now, just as it is.

What is it? Any answer we give is just a sound—a word—a label. But THIS—the direct, living reality itself—is effortlessly and undeniably presenting itself. Explore it, enjoy it, BE it. And recognize finally that there is no way not to be it. It is all there is.

—  Joan Tollifson
2

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
Release Date: March 7th, 2017

Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne. 

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change. 

Damn. These covers are radiant.

Looking for certainty
we asked for promises,
lover’s knots, pledges, rings,
certificates, deeds of ownership,
when it was always enough
to let your hand
pass over my body,
your eyes find the depths of my own,
and the wind pass over our faces
as it will pass
through our bones,
sooner than we think.
—  Erica Jong, from “Middle Aged Lovers I,” Poetry (October/November 1987)