last hole

10

And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee
;  - Edgar Allan Poe

WidowTracer Week

Day 4: Saccharine

“Don’t forget your cap and come back safe, Cadet Oxton..”

“Roger!”

Katara: It’s not magic. It’s waterbending, and it’s-
Sokka: Yeah, yeah, an ancient art unique to our culture, blah blah blah. Look, I’m just saying that if I had weird powers, I’d keep my weirdness to myself. 

So I wanted to talk a little about Katara, because I think we often focus on her grief for her mother, and forget her relationship to her culture, and her experience of the Southern Water Tribe genocide (unlike the Air Nomads genocide, which was for the greater part over after four big terrifyingly effective simultaneous strikes, this one took place over a long length of time - more than 40 years? 50? - and it wasn’t total, but it definitely was one. genocide = the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group, fwiw)

(Kanna’s village - before and after)

All of the Southern water benders were exterminated or taken away to rot in prison (where they all died eventually except for Hama). Katara was born the only bender left in the whole South Pole. Then when she was eight years old, she survived a raid that was meant to kill her, but took her mother instead (she probably was too young to realize that, to her it must have been a question mark up until she met Yon Rha - gratuitous cruelty? Why her mother in particular? They took nothing else!).

So Katara from a young age had a double burden to bear: that of her mother, and the legacy of her bending (and she was shown as painfully aware of her situation and what it meant on both front). But here’s the thing: Katara could be a mother, she was naturally good at it, and her grandmother could teach her what she didn’t already knew. Her family and tribe demanded that of her, they needed her to be that for them (especially after her father and the rest of the men basically abandoned them). However, there was no one left to teach her how to waterbend - she had almost no hope of ever becoming a master without formal training, her brother thought it was silly and weird and let her know, her grandmother thought it was a waste of time. But she kept practicing, because she knew how important it was, to her and to her tribe, that she kept trying (as the only one left who could).

(…an ancient art unique to our culture, blah blah blah…)

(Of course she would obsess over that waterbending scroll)

When she gets to the North Pole, she meets Pakku, and with him the opportunity of finally becoming a true master. But because she is a girl, he judges her unworthy. He judges her, the only remaining southern waterbender, unworthy of carrying on their culture. The Fire Nation didn’t care about the gender of their prisoners, men and women - they all fought side by side for their freedom in the South, and they were all taken away to the last one, and killed to the last one. In the South, the women had the choice to learn how to fight, or be defenseless. And privileged master Pakku couldn’t possible realize the extend of what he was denying her in that moment.

Katara had to prove herself, she had to earn her right to these teachings. And if she had been less good or less stubborn or not Kanna’s granddaughter - well the North would have refused their sister-tribe the power to use their common cultural heritage to fight back against the nation that destroyed them.

(It’s sexist and terrible.)

Meh, thankfully, she was that good, stubborn, and Kanna’s granddaughter, and she did get to become a master.

Good.

But, of course, her story doesn’t end here, and wrt her culture, the next chapter is a much more traumatizing experience. In the Fire Nation, she meets another master. This time it’s an old woman from the South like her (“You’re a waterbender! I’ve never met another waterbender from our tribe!”), and she is, ah, more than willing to help her.

Look how happy Katara looks at the idea to learn from her in particular:

Katara: I can’t tell you what it means to meet you. It’s an honor! You’re a hero.
Hama: I never thought I’d meet another southern waterbender. I‘d like to teach you what I know so that you can carry on the southern tradition when I’m gone.
Katara: Yes! Yes, of course! To learn about my heritage… it would mean everything to me.

But when Hama starts her lesson, the techniques she teaches have been obviously developed with one goal in mind: survival in enemy territory. They can’t possibly have been invented in the South Pole, where water is abundant everywhere. They are deadly and cruel, and the damage they do to the environment leaves Katara sad and uncomfortable, but Hama waves that off as unimportant. It doesn’t matter, she doesn’t have the time to worry about flowers or beauty or nature. To her that peace and beauty is probably just an illusion anyway, a lie: years after her escape she is still living the war, and war is ugly and rotten and messy (her world is ugly and rotten and messy - this is her comfort zone).

The last technique she teaches Katara is bloodbending. She forces Katara to learn something she finds disgusting, repulsive (just like Hama was forced to learn?) by torturing her (Hama was tortured), by overpowering her, invading her, making her lose control over her own body, bending her blood (Hama herself is clinging to the last remain of control she managed to get back after rotting in prison for years), and finally by threatening to have the two people she cares most about in the world kill each other right under her eyes (Hama lost everyone too, she had to say goodbye).

(Katara: But, to reach inside someone and control them? I don’t know if I want that kind of power.
Hama: The choice is not yours. The power exists…and it’s your duty to use the gifts you’ve been given to win this war. Katara, they tried to wipe us out, our entire culture… your mother!
Katara: I know.
Hama: Then you should understand what I’m talking about. We’re the last Waterbenders of the Southern Tribe. We have to fight these people whenever we can. Wherever they are, with any means necessary!
Katara: It’s you. You’re the one who’s making people disappear during the full moons.
Hama: They threw me in prison to rot, along with my brothers and sisters. They deserve the same. You must carry on my work.)

And this, this, is the only truly southern waterbending Katara is ever going to learn. This is her tribe’s bending heritage, what’s left of it: blood, grief, suffering, hatred, loss of control over both your body and mind (because it’s terrible, but I think that’s what’s implied by the show: bloodbending makes you lose your mind. Hama’s only mean of regaining physical freedom ended up trapping her in another nightmare). Hama gifts her with a power she despises (but will use anyway in her darkest hour when she loses control) and a philosophy of violence and revenge.

Katara chose peace and forgiveness. As an adult, she will have bloodbending outlawed, she will become the greatest healer in the world, and she’ll teach her daughter, the next avatar, probably many others. These choices matter, and we should talk about them with that background in mind. Katara redefined her heritage - or rather she created a new one for herself: she refused the condition that was forced upon her (bloodbender) and ensured nobody could legally do to someone else what Hama did to her (and it’s implied this law is valid anywhere in the world). She transmitted Pakku’s warrior teachings, the ones she fought for, to the next generations (and did a great job of it!), but she also taught them how to heal, refusing to separate the arts as in Northern Water Tribe tradition - and healing was something she discovered by herself, that she felt was always a part of her. At that, she became the universally acknowledged best. Her legacy, despite everything that happened to her, will never be one of violence.

tl;dr: Katara is one of the strongest fictional characters ever created bye

Date a boy who...
  • Looks at you like you put the moon, sun and the rest of the starts on the sky- 

-even when you are not there

  • Decides to be goofey with you
  • Seems to drift close to you because you make him comfortable
  • Is there to offer you help and at the same time respects your boudaries- 

-and decisions

  • Would fight tooth and nail for you when you are vulnerable
  • Will never give you his back and instead receive you with a hug
  • Trusts your abilities no matter what
  • Will open up to you on his moments of weakness because he trusts you
  • Who will be there to have your back even on the moments you are doubting of yourself
  • Date…. Shiro

Date Takashi Shirogane

sometimes it’s really hard to draw those two but i love them so much and wish them only happiness

Naruto and Sasuke: *arguing*

Sasuke: *has had enough*

Sasuke: I swear to FUCKING GOD, Naruto -

Naruto: you’re swearing to fuck God?

Sasuke: what? No, I -

Naruto: that’s a little weird

Sasuke: Jesus Christ, Naruto, I didn’t -

Naruto: a threesome even? I don’t think God is that kinky, though

Sasuke: why the fuck, Naruto. Why the fuck would you say that? What the hell is wrong with you?

Naruto: do you kiss God with that mouth?

Sasuke: We’re getting a divorce

Naruto: We’re not married

Sasuke: I’m marrying you and divorcing you immediately afterwards

….

~10 years of marriage latet~

Naruto: You forgot to divorce me

Sasuke: for FUCKS sake -

I’m so happy that our boy with his hair like stars has a birthday on Tanabata

Barbara’s best ride

This is written for @gallusrostromegalus who is sick and apparently really enjoys chickens, so. Fair warning that you are going to read about my family and chickens. I don’t normally write stories on tumblr, so here’s hoping you enjoy the narrative despite the shoddy storytelling.

To begin, I should start with my mother the Undercover Hippie. I spent a good portion of my childhood thinking my mother was normal because she didn’t dress in tie-dye, but as an adult, I’ve realised there are several things that marked my mother as one of those Boulder Hippies. The types that aren’t really Hippie in the seventies sense, but more in the ‘making questionable health and lifestyle choices because it is the newest Organic Idea going around.’ Notable occasions on this list are the time that she filled the brownies with wheat germ and made them crunchy, the time she brought my east-coast-city-child cousins on a camping trip, and the time she got chickens.

Chickens, in and of themselves, are reasonable things to own. Usually. However, my mother wanted them for eggs and began by taking the childhood fort (which most of us had grown out of) and turning it into a chicken coop. By chicken coop, I mean she stuck some boxes in it and put a fence around it, and patched up the hole in the side from A’s Enthusiastic Ninja Punch, and the hole in the other side from C’s Peephole Experiment, and the last hole from my own childhood Cannonball, and both windows, and then got chickens.

My mother is the sort of learner who just starts a project and then learns as she goes. While she knew they needed food and basic heating, she was otherwise a bit naiive.

For example, it turns out L, my sister, is terrified of chickens. My mother apparently didn’t know this (Mom, I don’t like the idea of chickens) until the chickens (Mom, really, do you think we have to have chickens, because they have beaks, and I got pecked once) actually got to the house (OH MY GOD GET IT AWAY. GET. IT. AWAY. GET IT AWAY GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!!!!).

Additionally, Mom forgot that chickens can fly short distances and the fort has a loft and thus made the interesting mistake of not wiring off the top areas of the roof.  On Day One she had to knock on the neighbour’s door and ask if she could retrieve her chickens from their yard.

Eventually, after many phone calls, Mom got a handle on chicken care - by which I mean she passed the project onto my chicken-enthusiastic younger brother, who adored them. Not only did Mom have chickens, she had Happy Chickens who were more than pleased to make Many Eggs, and the family chowed down happily.

W, my chicken-enthusiastic younger brother, explained chickens to me this way:

Chickens have a hierarchy, so you have to have a rooster. They’ll start pecking each other and it’s a mess, but roosters kinda keep them calm, though roosters can get aggressive if the hierarchy gets disturbed, so you have to keep the roosters calm. This isn’t really hard, except that if you have to have a rooster, you’ve got a chance of eggs getting fertilised, and we want to eat them, so you have to go out and get the eggs every day, unless you want more chickens, and there’s a limit of how many chickens you can have inside city limits.

All of which seems perfectly reasonable, and was perfectly reasonable, until Mom decided to go on a fortnight’s holiday with my younger brothers, including W.

This left L in charge of the chickens.

Now, my mother is not a reasonable person, so if you’re just now wondering why Mom left the chicken-terrified child in charge of the chickens, it’s because mom is either an idiot or an arse. I’ve still not decided to this day which one she is, so we’ll leave it at that. But regardless of Mom’s motivations, my younger sister is now in charge of the chickens. She can’t get within a few yards before wanting to burst into tears, but also has a Big Heart and doesn’t want the chickens to die.

The chickens need to be fed and watered.

According to W, several things had happened when he got home and took charge of ‘his’ chickens again.

  1. On day one, L had attempted to feed the chickens, and upon entering the coop had been met by the Rooster, who, not recognising her, had immediately gone into Protective Mode. L had fled the coop, dropping the food but leaving the door open. This led to L calling the neighbours in a panic asking for a Group Hunt for the Chickens because she was too terrified to round them up out of the yard. A friendly neighbour put the end of the hose into the water trough so L could just turn it on instead of going in.
  2. L had fed the chickens every day by taking a bucket about the right size full of feed and tossing it into the coop. Not just the feed - the whole bucket. W had to pick up 12 different containers because after L ran out of buckets she just started using old yoghurt containers and whatever else she could find. The chickens apparently didn’t mind being bombed with buckets full of food, just ran out of the way and then attacked the containers until they got their due.
  3. L didn’t fetch the eggs, not even once, which meant that now W was a full eight chicks over the city limit, and had to give six more to some friends in the foothills who weren’t in city limits and could have as many chicks as they wanted. He ended up keeping the eight chicks and bargaining with the neighbours that they could have free eggs, provided that if the city Chicken Inspectors came by, the neighbours would tell the Chicken Inspectors that W was just caring for their chickens while they built a new coop or something.

By the time W, L, A, and my mother left to live in Swaziland (another story altogether), my brother had ten chickens over the limit, all extremely pleased and contented with life, until L went Anywhere Near The Coop, at which point they would all start shrieking like the dickens and running out of the way of any impending Food Bombs, except for the Rooster, who would puff up and start attacking the fence in preparation.

Anyway, the point of this story is Don’t Leave L In Charge Of The Chickens, with side morals of Don’t Buy Pets You’re Not Prepared For and Don’t Fuck With Roosters, and also I hope you feel better.