I had a dream yesterday where I got drunk and somehow all I could say was "pendejo" and "soy gay", which obviously resulted in some frustrating and also hilarious situations and honestly it's all I've been able to think about for the past day. But I live in a small all white Dutch town, have absolutely no Hispanic background, friends and know like six words in Spanish so really the only person I can blame this mess on is you
I came out to my family last Christmas. And after coming out, my grandma told me this story about her older sister. My grandma comes from quite a religious family and her older sister was a really pretty and smart girl, so everyone wanted to date her and she occasionally had a boyfriend. But when those boyfriends would come over, she let her family entertain them and she herself would go out with her girlfriend. Because she really wasn’t interested in men.
When she was older she moved in with a friend, she never told anyone, but eventually everyone knew they were more than just friends. Of course they would get strange looks at times, people weren’t used to two women living together, but she lived together with the woman she loved and that’s all she wanted. So during the 1960′s she and her girlfriend lived in this religious little Dutch town where they were active members of the town-community for over 20 years. And even though she was scared of coming out or just never cared for coming out, practically everyone was totally fine with it and accepted her and her girlfriend for who they were (or at least according to my grandma).
I don’t know why but this story about my grandmother’s sister always makes me a bit happier and restores a bit of my faith in humanity.
A sniper from “C” Company, 5th Battalion, The Black Watch, 51st (Highland) Division, in position in the loft space of a ruined building in Gennep, Holland, 14th February 1945.
The Reichswald and Gennep After the winter campaign in the Ardennes, the 51st Highland Division returned to Holland. The Battle for the Rhineland started on 8th February 1945. There was a sudden thaw and everywhere roads turned to mud. The Allies entered the Reichswald just across the Germany Border. The 5th Battalion The Black Watch was on the southern edge of the forest.
On 11th February the 5th Battalion The Black Watch was ordered south to take the Dutch town of Gennep on the river Niers. B Company took the bridge, church and hospital. C Company then got into the main street and took the right hand side of the town. There was fierce fighting.
I gotta tell you, I knew something horrible was going to happen the moment I saw Jack and Ashi getting dolled up for their wedding. There were still four minutes until the end of the episode, and I KNEW something terrible would happen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.
When Jack rode off alone into the woods, I thought for sure he was going to end his life, either sit under that tree until he starved, or maybe use a knife. His surroundings were grey, just like his life felt. All color had been drained from his world.
Then, a lone ladybug flitters onto the screen, landing on Jack’s hand.
See, the ladybug and its importance to Ashi is something Jack never knew. He was never shown in the series to have learned about Ashi’s mother squashing a ladybug, or knowing what an influence it was on Ashi when she saw the Samurai spare the insect. The ladybug that landed on Jack’s hand in the finale should have held no meaning to him, and yet when it blinks, the audience understands that this is Ashi.
What happened next was as sweet as it was symbolic. The ladybug flew away, and Jack stands to see rays of light illuminate the foggy land, gently turning it brilliant shades of red and pink. It’s as if Ashi is giving Jack permission to be happy, sending an okay for him to move forward in his life. She reminded him that there would be more in his life past this struggle, and just like Jack was there when Ashi was trying to fight Aku inside herself, she would be there for him.
“The hope you gave me saved my life!”
Even though the future as we’ve seen it in the show is now gone, it doesn’t mean the characters or their influences will have disappeared forever. Teens may still rave in the dark woods on the outskirts of a Dutch town, white apes may still teach a man to “jump good.” A certain Scotsman may even try to feed scrawny warriors “SHEEP STOMACH STUFFED WITH MEAT AND POWER!!!” Who knows? But the future is bright, colorful, and though it may not be visible at first, it is there.
Ashi taught Jack to have hope, just as he taught us, so move forward. Reach for the light. Fight the darkness of the world. And most of all, believe.
A Town Gate in Leerdam. Jan Weissenbruch, c1868 - c1870. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
“Weissenbruch was partial to small Dutch towns where the 17th century was still palpable. The degree of detail in this townscape suggests that he painted it from life. However, because the exterior of the gate was more interesting, he simply turned it around. Moreover, the moment he portrayed was not chosen randomly. The sun shines brightly again after a rain shower, bathing everything in a crisp light.”
Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek - Ships in front of a Dutch town - ca. 1820
Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek, (Veere, 17 August 1778 – Amsterdam, 9 January 1851) was a Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was the founder of a dynasty of Dutch painters that lasted 4 generations into the 20th century.
Vanitas Still Life with a Statuette of an Antique Athlete and a Print of Michelangelo (1675). Edwaert Collier (Dutch, c.1640-c.1707). Oil on panel. Dyrham Park.
Among the objects on the table are musical instruments, a celestial globe, a watch and a sword. A statuette stands near the back and a print with a portrait of Michelangelo hangs down from the table. The book, open on a page describing the Dutch town of Haarlem, is propped up on a skull, which, together with the hourglass in the background, is a reminder of mortality.
Draft of a letter to Leonardo Donato, Doge of Venice, August, 1609, and Notes on the Moons of Jupiter, January 1610
Description: University of Michigan Library
University of Michigan Library “This single-leaf manuscript is one of the great treasures of the
University of Michigan Library. It reflects a pivotal moment in
Galileo’s life that helped to change our understanding of the universe.
In the summer of 1609 Galileo received
a description of a telescope which had been developed the year before
in the Dutch town of Middelburg by an optician, one Hans Lippershey.
Applying his knowledge of optical science, Galileo built such a glass or
telescope for himself, and in the draft letter shown below offers his
new “occhiale” to the Doge of Venice, pointing out its potential use in
warfare. The final letter, revised from this draft, was sent on August
24, 1609. It is in the State Archives in Venice.
The lower part of this sheet shows the use to which Galileo put this
optical device a few months later. As he viewed the skies on successive
evenings in January, 1610, he had noticed several bright objects around
Jupiter that changed position from night to night. On this page, he
plotted their positions over the course of one week and, when he drew
the diagram in the lower right imagining how these movements would look
if they were viewed from above Jupiter, he realized that the objects
were moons of that planet. This was the first observational data that
showed objects orbiting a body other than the earth.”
Most Serene Prince.
Galileo Galilei most humbly prostrates himself before Your Highness,
watching carefully, and with all spirit of willingness, not only to
satisfy what concerns the reading of mathematics in the study of Padua,
but to write of having decided to present to Your Highness a telescope
that will be a great help in maritime and land enterprises. I assure you
I shall keep this new invention a great secret and show it only to Your
Highness. The telescope was made for the most accurate study of
distances. This telescope has the advantage of discovering the ships of
the enemy two hours before they can be seen with the natural vision and
to distinguish the number and quality of the ships and to judge their
strength and be ready to chase them, to fight them, or to flee from
them; or, in the open country to see all details and to distinguish
every movement and preparation.“
[Below the text are diagrams and notes documenting the position of Jupiter’s moons on several nights in January 1610.]