the extraordinary child

2

It’s no easy task being an ordinary parent to an extraordinary child. I failed in that task. And because of my prejudices, I failed you. I am haunted by how things might have turned out differently if I had been more willing to hear your side of things. For me, it’s the end. For you, a chance to grow old and someday do better with your own child than I did with mine. It’s for that child that I give you my ring. I don’t ask for your forgiveness or for you to forget. I ask only that you believe this: whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same, as I’ve always loved you and always will. 

He Calls Me Kitty (Damian Wayne x Reader)


Where this came from? Good question. It popped into my head last night and I knew I needed to write it. This one is probably going to be a chaptered fic, but I’m not sure if it will be romance or friend ship yet.

Trigger warnings: Violence, mentions of death, really vague mentions of rape, and swearing

Part Two

Originally posted by 0sungoddess0


Being able to shape shift from one animal to another could be really cool, you learned that from experience. When your parents were still alive you would shift to your (hair color) haired cat. It was a fun party trick which you did only with your loving family. You were treasured for being ‘extraordinary’ and special child. It was a fun relaxing life as a human kitten hybrid.

Being able to shapeshift into a cat could also be very useful, a lesson you learned from a different experience. After your parents perished you needed to fend for yourself, sometimes strangers were more kind to a kitten starved and thin that a little child in tattered clothes begging for food to survive. Other times being a cat meant you could twist around in small spaces and reach hard to get food when you needed it.

Being able to shapeshift into a cat could also really suck, an experience you are learning right now.

Keep reading

the moon: the quintessential mother figure, a swelling stomach shaped like the moon, cradling a baby, a lamp in your eyes guiding you into her arms, darling come home she whispers

jupiter: bellowing laughter emanating from the biggest mansion in the land, inside an overweight man eating an icecream cake for breakfast, he is dressed in every colour of the rainbow, philanthropic and generous, the more of his endless money he gives to others the more jovial he becomes

mercury: androgynous twins, handsome and young, mischievous and wicked quick, playing tricks, vanishing, and lighter than air. they were there in a moment and gone in the next, but you can hear the chatter in the ether

neptune: a siren of the sea, a mermaid rising from the ocean singing her sweet song, follow me child into my extraordinary world, come dear child i will give you everything you ever wanted… and you find her among the mist, everything is not what it seems…

saturn: an old wizard holding an hourglass in a library of knowledge and books. he strokes his long beard as he considers and contemplates, he is draped in a robe of glory, his cottage resting on the tallest mountaintop

venus: the deepest spell of beauty you see reflected in the face of others

mars: a woman with embers radiating from the tips of her hair, her sword raised as she guards a lava pool, her heartbeat echoing in the air, her lips painted scarlet, her spirit ready for battle

Iulia Hasdeu Castle: The Eerie Romanian Castle Designed by a Ghost

In 1888, Romanian intellectual Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu’s daughter Iulia died at the age of 18, leaving him devastated.

Iulia Hasdeu’s early death significantly altered the course of Bodgan’s life. In the years after she passed, he dedicated much of his time, energy, and wealth into remembering and memorializing his daughter. Hasdeu was inspired by the Spiritism movement, through which he claimed he was able to communicate with Iulia beyond the grave.

Iulia, named after her mother, was born in November of 1869. She was an extraordinary child from an early age. Iulia was gifted in music and languages; by 11 she had graduated from St. Sava Gymnasium and the Music Academy of Bucharest, having studied both piano and voice.

By her early teens, Iulia had mastered seven languages, and she continued her secondary education at the S?vign? College of Paris. Her peers and professors considered her to be a genius, as she excelled in academia as well as drawing, painting, piano, and singing. She also wrote poems and short stories; a collection of her work was published after her death.

At the age of 16, Iulia began studying in the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at La Sorbonne in Paris. She was a dedicated pupil, and the pride of her father’s life.

A month before she turned 19, while working on her doctoral thesis, Iulia was suddenly stricken with–and passed away from–tuberculosis. Her distraught father built her a temple in the family vault at the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest.

But this monument wasn’t enough for Bogdan Hasdeu.

The next “temple” that Hasdeu dedicated to Iulia took the form of a castle, located in the country town of Campina. Hasdeu and his wife were visiting friends in the summer of 1893 when they saw the property, and decided it would be the ideal place to build a shrine to their daughter. They purchased the land and began the planning process immediately.

The head architect on the project, Hasdeu claimed, was none other than Iuelia Hasdeu herself.

Hasdeu said that Iulia had been communicating with him in short bursts, giving him plans for the castle’s design. Special attention was paid to what Iulia considered “magic” numbers, 3 and 7. There are three towers, three rooms underground, and staircases made of seven steps each. Other details include a massive stone door entrance, hung on a diamond bearing. On either side of the door are stone thrones, on which rest two female sphinxes; above the door is the “eye of the world,” as well as the date “July 2,” which Hasdeu used as a symbolic representation for his wife and daughter–the two Iulias.

The castle has been described as deeply spooky; there are rooms designed specifically for spiritualist rituals, complete with seats for attending ghosts. Many claim that Hasdeu was not using it for memorializing Iulia at all, but rather for worshiping Satan. Others report seeing Iulia’ spirit, haunting the castle to this day, dressed in white and clutching daisies.

Whether its origins were sinister or merely sentimental, the Iulia Hasdeu Castle today stands as a museum, where visitors can see Hasdeu family memorabilia, including furniture, photographs, and original manuscripts.

5

“Elena, it’s no easy task being an ordinary parent to an extraordinary child. I failed in that task. And because of my prejudices, I failed you. I’m haunted by how things might have played out differently if I’d been more willing to hear your side of things. For me, it’s the end. For you, a chance to grow old and someday do better with your own child than I did with mine. It’s for that child that I give you my ring. I don’t ask for your forgiveness or for you to forget. I ask only that you believe this. Whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same. As I’ve always loved you, and always will.” - John

snakecrown  asked:

I'm a very practical person when it comes to things, and I typically approach all situations with a level head. But being around some species of insects make me lose that cool edge, and I was wondering if you think that more natural, or learned?

Both!

I hope you don’t mind this getting to be kind of a long thing, but the “innate fear of insects” is something that’s actually really darn interesting about humans. There are a lot of theories and explanations that attempt to get at this, and it really can’t be said to be 100% innate or 100% learned. Like so much of human psychology, the fear of insects has both evolutionary and learned elements.

The evolutionary roots actually start with something called the visual predation hypothesis. All primates have really good stereoscopic (3d) vision. Our eyes are on the front of our heads, as opposed to the sides. We also all have color vision, which is weird for a mammal. The visual predation hypothesis suggests that one of the things that actually helped drive these traits in primates was our little tree-shrew/lemur-like ancient ancestors preying on bugs. What that means for us is that we’re very good at spotting insects. But if we relied on them so much… why the fear? 

One theory is that this may be a response to danger. Humans evolved in Africa, which is home to several venomous species of spider (although few can kill an adult human, a bite can be debilitating- and a bite that might not bother an adult could seriously hurt a child.) During the early days of our species, we spent a lot of time foraging in areas that might be home to dangerous beasties- including spiders and snakes. (Snakes are another critter a lot of people fear!) The theory goes better you were at spotting a potentially deadly snake or spider, the more likely you were to survive. In a 2001 study, psychologists showed volunteers of things that were either threatening (spiders and snakes) or neutral (mushrooms and flowers) and asked them to locate the target object in the picture. The participants spotted the spiders and snakes much more quickly than anything else; those who had previously indicated on a questionnaire that they were afraid of either snakes or spiders were the fastest at finding them.The researchers used the results to argue that we’ve evolved to be especially attuned to the presence of potentially dangerous animals, however small: “Certainly there are certain stimuli that are pre-wired in the brain because they have been perennially dangerous to our ancestors.” If you would like to read this study, it can be found here.

But what this doesn’t take into account is how reliant we were on insect protein for much of our early existence, and it also doesn’t take into account the fact that we’re not innately afraid of things like lions or leopards- in fact, many of us are drawn to those animals. Another theory relates the fear of insects with our brain’s rejection response. Our brains don’t actually know the chemical difference between disgust and fear. Despite what Inside Out might tell you, the brain registers those as pretty much same thing. The mixup of fear and disgust is partially cultural, but also tied to biology- different cultures have different things that register as disgust based on what’s normalized during childhood, but everybody has the same rejection response, which is that feeling of “oh my GOD get that thing away from me.” It’s a mechanism that helps keep us safe- we’re disgusted by poop and rotting meat because both of those has the potential to make us wimpy-gutted primates sick. Insects are kind of like a messenger of disgust- this theory posits that their presence often indicates something that could make us sick. It’s not the insects, it’s just the association.

But then there’s also a cultural bias against bugs in the West. In many cultures, bugs aren’t considered creepy or frightening because they’re common and because they are food. But in the west, we don’t see insects as part of our landscape. To us, insects are an outside thing, and they don’t really have a place in the clean, almost sterile landscape we’ve constructed in our homes and cities. We like to believe that we’re the just masters of our domain, and “wild” things don’t belong here anymore. According to Jeffery Lockwood, an entomologist who wrote The Infested Mind, which is about human-insect relations, these days, most of us see insects primarily as invaders. “Now that we’ve moved into urban environments where close quarters and hygiene are at a premium,” says Lockwood, “we find that the vast majority of our interactions with insects are negative in that they are the things that are invading our homes and our private spaces, rather than things we see out in nature.”

So there’s lots of apparently innate reasons to fear bugs! But there’s also a major learned component as well. When a baby is born, there’s really only two things it fears: falling and loud noises. But babies pick up on their parents’ behavior very quickly- and if the parents aren’t keen on bugs, it takes next to no time for the baby to learn that maybe bugs are something to be feared. David Samson, a British psychologist and phobia expert, argues that a one-year-old seeing a spider for the first time would have no natural instinct to be afraid of it- and because kids are curious, that’s where problems arise. “A child moves their hand towards it, then a parent walks in and tells them in a louder-than-normal voice not to touch it, uses a faster-than-normal hand movement and perhaps even kills it. This is something extraordinary and suddenly the child has learned something. A folder is created in the subconscious called ‘spider’, and within that folder is something to be fearful of.“ Replace “spider” with “any insect a parent doesn’t want in the house” and you’ve got a very quickly learned behavior.

Like I said, it’s a complicated answer! 

Geomantic Tablet

Numerous divinatory arts have been practiced by Muslim societies across the centuries. Since God has absolute control of the universe and of all that we see and understand, omens such as dreams could be recognized as God-given signs.

The ‘Science of the Sand’ (ilm al-raml) is a divinatory technique that interprets a series of figures made of clusters of dots or lines. It can be used to answer all manner of questions from the fidelity of a spouse to the gender of an unborn child. This extraordinary and unique Geomantic Tablet made in Syria (639 AH / 1241–2), made of brass, silver and gold, offered an alternative way to produce geomantic figures normally traced manually in the sand.

You can see it on display, until next weekend, in our Power and Protection exhibition which explores Islamic art and the supernatural.

Images © Trustees of the British Museum

At the age of five, Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, born into a Royal, West African dynasty, was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from one royal family to another. A unique and admired figure in history, she spent her life between the British royal household and her homeland in Africa.

Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, a West African Yoruba girl, was captured by the King of Dahomey in 1848 during a “slave-hunt” war in which her parents were killed. In 1850, when she was around eight years old, she was rescued by Captain Frederick E Forbes of the Royal Navy whilst he was visiting Dahomey as an emissary of the British Government. Forbes convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey to give Sarah to Queen Victoria saying: “She would be a present from the King of the Blacks to the Queen of the Whites.” The young girl was subsequently given the name Forbes as well as that of his ship, the ‘Bonetta’.

She returned to England with Forbes who presented her to Queen Victoria, who in turn gave her over to the Church Missionary Society to be educated. Sarah suffered from fragile health and in 1851 she returned to Africa to attend the Female Institution in Freetown, Sierra Leone. When she was 12 years old, Queen Victoria commanded that Sarah return to England, where she was placed under the charge of Mr and Mrs Schon at Chatham.

Queen Victoria was so impressed by the girl’s natural regal manner and her gift for academic studies, Literature, Art and Music that she gave her an allowance for her welfare and Sarah became a regular visitor to Windsor Castle. Sarah’s genius became admired throughout the royal court and she continued to outshine her tutors with her advanced abilities in all studies.

At the age of 18, Sarah received a proposal from James Pinson Labulo Davies, a 31 year old Yoruba businessman of considerable wealth who was living in Britain. She initially refused his proposal and it is reported that in order to persuade her to accept Sarah was sent to live with two elderly ladies in Brighton whose house she described as a “desolate little pig sty”.

Queen Victoria sanctioned Sarah to be married in St Nicholas Church in Brighton in August 1862. The wedding party, which arrived from West Hill Lodge, Brighton in ten carriages and pairs of grays, was made up of “White ladies with African gentlemen, and African ladies with White gentlemen” There were sixteen bridesmaids. The newlyweds moved back to West Africa and Sarah was baptised at a church in the town of Badagry, a former slave port. They settled in Lagos where her husband became a member of the Legislative Council from 1872-74 (in which year Lagos Colony was for a time amalgamated into the Gold Coast).

Shortly after her marriage, Sarah gave birth to a daughter and was granted permission by the Queen to name the child Victoria – the Queen also became her Godmother.

Sarah visited the Queen in 1867 with her daughter then returned to Lagos and had two more children. Later, upon Sarah’s death the Queen wrote in her diary: “Saw poor Victoria Davies, my black godchild, who learnt this morning of the death of her dear mother”. So proud was Queen Victoria of Sarah’s daughter, that when she passed her music examination, teachers and children had one day holiday. Throughout her life Sarah had a long lasting cough that was caused by the climate change between Africa and Britain. In 1880, suffering from tuberculosis, she went to convalesce in Madeira off of the coast of West Africa. She died, around the age of 40, in 1880 and was buried in Funchal, Madiera.

Her daughter Victoria was given an annuity by the Queen and she continued to visit the royal household throughout her life. In his journal Captain Forbes gave an account of his mission with relation to Miss Bonetta.

“I have only to add a few particulars about my extraordinary present The African child”. In a former portion of this journal I have mentioned the Okeadon war; one of the captives of this dreadful slave-hunt was this interesting girl.

It is usual to reserve the best born for the high behest of royalty and the immolation on the tombs of the diseased nobility. For one of these ends she had been detained at court for two years: proving, by her not having been sold to slave dealer, that she was of a good family.

So extraordinary a present would have been at least burden, had I not the conviction that, in consideration of the nature of the service I had performed, the government would consider her as the property of the crown.

To refuse, would have been to have signed her death warrant which, probably, would have been carried into execution forthwith. Immediately on arriving…

Of her own history she was only a confused idea. Her parents were decapitated; her brother and sisters she knows not what their fate might have been .

For her age supposed to be eight years. She is a perfect genius; she now speaks English well, and has a great talent for music. She has won the affections, with but few exceptions, of all who have known her, she is far in advance of any white child of her age, in aptness of learning, and strength of mind and affection.”

One Sided Silence - Part III

@omeliafics, @amelias-universe, @toevenexist & @mediterraneansummer Here is part 3! 💕🌸💕🌸💕🌸💕🌸💕🌸💕🌸💕🌸 Hope you enjoy it, only one more part to go now! Thank you so much for all of your kind words - reviews, comments etc. wanted and accepted. 

In case you missed them or they got lost in your feed here are PART I & PART II


“Nurse!” Owen’s voice bellowed through the halls. He felt sick this couldn’t be happening, she was waking up, she looked at him – she was awake. Luke he had to get Luke, sprinting from her room, he boycotted the elevators and ran up the flights of stairs separating him from day-care. A goofy and somewhat stupid grin was plastered all over his face, she was awake. Amelia was awake and their story could finally begin. “Luke, Luke” he chuckled when, out of instinct the small boy ran straight into his arms, “buddy” he said holding the little boys head between his hands, after kneeling down to his height – “I’ve got a really big surprise for you, but first let’s go and see your mom ok?!” His thumbs ran over the boy’s cheeks as he delicately placed a kiss to his forehead; although he was ecstatic that Amelia had woken up it hurt a little to think that the end of his time with Luke was even closer as soon enough Amelia would be moving back home and would be able to look after Luke by herself. The thought that she may wake up with deficits never crossed his mind, for someone who was educated at Harvard Med all of his medical knowledge seemed to float away – this was why doctors are not allowed to treat loved ones or relatives. 

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2

Elena,

It’s no easy task being an ordinary parent to an extraordinary child. I failed in that task. And because of my prejudices, I failed you. I’m haunted by how things might have played out differently if I’d been more willing to hear your side of things. For me, it’s the end. And you, a chance to grow old and someday do better with your own child than I did with mine. It’s for that child that I give you my ring. I don’t ask for your forgiveness or for you to forget. I ask only that you believe this:

Whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same. As I’ve always loved you and always will.

— John

the moon: the quintessential mother figure, a swelling stomach shaped like the moon, cradling a baby, a lamp in your eyes guiding you into her arms, darling come home she whispers

jupiter: bellowing laughter emanating from the biggest mansion in the land, inside an overweight man eating an icecream cake for breakfast, he is dressed in every colour of the rainbow, philanthropic and generous, the more of his endless money he gives to others the more jovial he becomes

mercury: androgynous twins, handsome and young, mischievous and wicked quick, playing tricks, vanishing, and lighter than air. they were there in a moment and gone in the next, but you can hear the chatter in the ether

neptune: a siren of the sea, a mermaid rising from the ocean singing her sweet song, follow me child into my extraordinary world, come dear child i will give you everything you ever wanted… and you find her among the mist, everything is not what it seems…

saturn: an old wizard holding an hourglass in a library of knowledge and books. he strokes his long beard as he considers and contemplates, he is draped in a robe of glory, his cottage resting on the tallest mountaintop

venus: the deepest spell of beauty you see reflected in the face of others

Can we just take a second to appreciate David?

I know in Lilo and Stitch, most of the people admire Nani, because she let everything fall to be there for her sister, trying to be a mother for her. Even though she has her flaws, she does not let anybody make Lilo feel wrong. Of which everything is right, but a huge part of my respect goes to David to. David is a really attractive guy, with his muscles and his face and stuff. Yet he had fallen for Nani, a woman most men would have avoided. Why? because she has to care for a child, like a mother. These two won’t be able to go out much, they can’t have a teenager romance, like everybody else does. Nani expects David to accept her only with Lilo, and is super happy that David like Lilo and she likes him. Yet, she is a woman in her twenties maybe, with an extremely extraordinary child on her side, and an alien family, yet he still tries to get Nani, he loves her and the thing doesn’t annoy or disturb him. He would give everything to save Nani, or Lilo or even Stitch. He is just that kind of amazing guy. And I think he does not get enough love.

8

TVD TOP 10 RECURRING/MINOR/DEAD CHARACTERS (as voted by my followers)
→ 10. John Gilbert
“Elena… it’s no easy task being an ordinary parent to an extraordinary child. I failed in that task. And because of my prejudices, I failed you. I’m haunted by how things might have played out differently. If I’d been more willing to hear your side of things. For me, it’s the end. For you, a chance to grow old and someday do better with your own child than I did with mine. It’s for that child that I give you my ring. I don’t ask for your forgiveness or for you to forget. I ask only that you believe this. Whether you are now reading this as a human or as a vampire, I love you all the same as I’ve always loved you, and always will. John.”

the moon: the quintessential mother figure, a swelling stomach shaped like the moon, cradling a baby, a lamp in your eyes guiding you into her arms, darling come home she whispers

jupiter: bellowing laughter emanating from the biggest mansion in the land, inside an overweight man eating an icecream cake for breakfast, he is dressed in every colour of the rainbow, philanthropic and generous, the more of his endless money he gives to others the more jovial he becomes

mercury: androgynous twins, handsome and young, mischievous and wicked quick, playing tricks, vanishing, and lighter than air. they were there in a moment and gone in the next, but you can hear the chatter in the ether

neptune: a siren of the sea, a mermaid rising from the ocean singing her sweet song, follow me child into my extraordinary world, come dear child i will give you everything you ever wanted… and you find her among the mist, everything is not what it seems…

saturn: an old wizard holding an hourglass in a library of knowledge and books. he strokes his long beard as he considers and contemplates, he is draped in a robe of glory, his cottage resting on the tallest mountaintop

venus: the deepest spell of beauty you see reflected in the face of others