People like to talk about Soulsborne protagonists and their superhuman stubbornness, but I think we also have to mention their nigh-suicidal levels of curiosity. Off the top of my head:
Dark Souls - When the Chosen Undead finds a nest belonging to an enormous crow, they decide to curl up like an egg. Luckily, this convinces the crow to transfer them to its other nest.
Dark Souls - The Chosen Undead finds an enormous magic painting, and obviously has to poke it. When they do, a magical vortex begins to pull them into the painting. Despite having several seconds to react, they don’t take their hand away.
Dark Souls - When the Chosen Undead finds what they know full well is the grave of the legendary Artorias the Abysswalker, they can’t help but put their grubby hands on it, which pisses of its ancient and powerful guardian.
Dark Souls - When the Chosen Undead loses their good friend to a cave dwelling parasite, they remove the still living parasite from his corpse and wear it like a hat, since it works as a convenient source of light, evidently assuming that it won’t also infect them.
Dark Souls - The Chosen Undead finds an open sarcophagus in a haunted crypt full of necromancers. Naturally, they decide to take a nap in it. When skeletons carry the sarcophagus deeper underground to the chamber where the God of the Dead resides, the Chosen Undead decides to join his cult and gets a cool sword.
Bloodborne - The Good Hunter touches a beast skull resting on the altar in Yharnam’s Grand Cathedral, which causes them to have a flashback of it’s previous owners memories. Later, in a warped nightmare version of the Grand Cathedral, they find the warped nightmare version of the same skull, and touch it AGAIN. Luckily it’s just the hidden trigger for an elevator, but still.
Bloodborne - In a research hall where the patients have enormous bloated sacs of fluid for heads, the Good Hunter finds a severed still-wriggling head sac. Naturally, they decide to wear it like a hat.
Bloodborne - The Good Hunter goes to loot the corpse of a woman sitting in a chair along in a big room. Unfortunately, she’s still alive, and grabs them, then chastises them ‘a corpse should be left well alone’ and kicks their ass with dual flaming swords. They continue to loot corpses after this incident.
Bloodborne - The Good Hunter finds three pieces of the umbilical cords belonging to ELDER GODS, so naturally, they decide to EAT THEM. As it turns out, this is arguably a good idea, but the Good Hunter has no way of knowing this.
Bloodborne - The Good Hunter finds a note on a door that says ‘don’t come in, hunters not wanted here’ naturally, they go in anyway. A man on a tower threatens them and tells them to leave. They keep exploring. He tells them to leave, and goes so far as to obliterate them with a mounted automatic weapon. For no reason except curiosity, they keep exploring anyway. While hiding from machine gun fire.
Bloodborne - when the Good Hunter finds a corpse frozen in a strange position with it’s arms out, they decide that corpse must know how to communicate with eldritch beings. This insane troll logic happens to be correct.
Dark Souls 3 - In a graveyard, The Ashen One finds an enormous armored man with a coiled sword through him, naturally, they pull it out, which causes him to come alive and attack. Later, when they travel through a shadowy version of the exact same graveyard, they find a shadowy version of the same sword stuck through a shadowy version of the same armored man. They pull it out. Despite all odds, the shadowy armored man comes alive and attacks again.
Dark Souls 3 - In the deepest chamber of the Catacombs of Carthus, there is no sarcophagus or undead king or anything. There’s just a skull goblet on a pedestal. Naturally, the Ashen One pokes it, causing black haze to seep out and flood the room. After a short delay they are warped into The Abyss and attacked by an enormous skeleton.
Dark Souls 3 - In Archdragon Peak, there’s a big lever with several warning signs carved into the floor that say ‘warning: do not pull this lever’. Obviously, the Ashen One pulls the lever, causing a magical thunderstorm and drawing the ire of the Nameless King.
venus in aries is young love. romantic comedy. beginnings are the best parts
venus in taurus is decadent love. feeding your lover fruit from your hands.
venus in gemini is an elusive love. the heart is volleyed back and forth in a game of emotional tennis.
venus in cancer is a familiar love. nourishing and sustaining, an umbilical cord.
venus in leo is a bombastic love. massive gestures of affection. no greater love
venus in virgo is the love you deserve. a gentle kiss on the hand. coy, polite, furtive. patient and flexible
venus in libra is the perfect love. the love you want. idealized and imaginary. sweeter than sugar, softer than silk. fairytale love
venus in scorpio is forbidden love. the danger is enthralling. temptation, seduction, mystery, depth
venus in sagittarius is adventurous love. unlimited love. expanding beyond the boundaries of the mind and body
venus in capricorn is the love you earn. a reward for your dedication and effort. you get back what you put forth
venus in aquarius is untouchable love. love that gives you space and demands it too. but a love that makes you feel like you belong
venus is pisces is the love you imagine. a reflection of your deepest desires. a mirror into your heart
aries # 1 ~ aries ~ the dictator - ego centric and dominating. controls and refuses to acknowledge the needs and feelings of others, primitive, toddler-like # 2 ~ the victorian ~ the champion, the pioneer, the winner, the triumphant discoverer, the valiant conqueror, can be reckless, combative, unrelenting #3 ~ the defender - uses developed leadership skills to protect, ensure justice, and defend the innocent and vulnerable. inspires with vision
taurus #1 ~ the glutton - identifies too closely with materials and money. no amount of zeros on the bank balance or possessions is enough #2 ~ the investor - protects and preserves materials. eye for design and style. relishes. can be greedy/overly spendthrift/over indulgent. #3 ~ the earth child - appreciates and beautifies the materials of the natural plain, lover of wine, woman, and song. creative vision. ensures organic resources. knows how and when to invest with finances
gemini #1 ~ the gossip- uses the voice to spread rumors, vicious untruths, and words that will stir up drama. #2 ~ the journalist ~ is the mercury messenger circulating the up to date information, the news anchor, and also the broadcasting or propaganda and unsourced fabrications, will write under direction #3 ~ the academic ~ uses high intelligence to research, learn, and educate. dedicated to education, be through self or institution. the writer of the passion, whether it be tabloid or textbook
cancer # 1 ~ the abandoned child - clings to people out of fear, reacts to situations with the screams of the exposed child, melancholic and reactive # 2 ~ the martyr - expresses deep compassion and sympathy, the surrogate parent, dependent, may neglect own needs for other people, can feel victimised # the source - is self sufficient and defines himself without heritage and family role, protective and powerful, tenacious, provides emotionally and physically, is the umbilical cord channel that connects loved ones to god through her, profound empathy
leo # 1 ~ the cub - dependent, self absorbed, hysterical, attached to mother archetype, undeveloped, self conscious # 2 ~ the lion - king of the jungle, predatory and protective, self regulating and self ruling, sustains loved ones, confident # 3 ~ the sphinx - wise and advising, generous and proud, guardian of the young and creative visionary
virgo # 1 ~ the critic - the inflamed eye that spot every blemish, consumed with order and hygiene, overly self conscious # 2 ~ the servant - seeks to be of assistance to others. healing hands. identifies with perfectionism. hypochondriac and hysteria # 3~ the mastermind - fuses high level intelligence with rhythmic logic and crystal ideals. views imperfections as gold between the cracks. dedicated toward creating a perfect world for others
libra # the imitation - is distressed in solitude, requires other people to provide a sense of self, remains in destructive relationships, reflects others #the lawyer - has awareness for every point of view and attempts to balance oppositions, can be chronically indecisive # the judge - makes a decisive rule on every individual situation based on the precisely equal evaluation and analysis on what is fair, right, and equal. distributes everybody’s opinion and his own into a clear, moral and admirable standpoint
scorpio # 1 the scorpion ~ paranoid, self destructive, wrathful, and withdrawn. controlled by emotions and suspicions. controlling and power hungry, promiscuous, fanatical and pedantic # 2 the eagle ~ has an empathy and intuitive psychological receptivity, identifies with darker impulses, justice seeking, fears loss of power and exposure, may dabble in black magick or darker sciences. can be the ‘hurt to heal’ expression like a surgeon who must make an incision to cure # 3 the phoenix ~ the divine healer expressing the wisdom of water therapy and sorcery and medicines. ultra conscious of human suffering, uses occult power for good and holistic healing
sagittarius #the glutton - gorges in excess, cannot control pleasure seeking ways, overly skeptical, believes own lies #the philosopher - studies or summons interest in philosophical matters and travel, mental, spiritual, and physical. maybe too sterile with opening up himself to accept the beliefs of what he truly knows and studies #the guru - distributes the highest wisdom of sagittarius… the quest for divine intimacy, mysticism, symbolism, theology, spiritual law, on pilgrimage, through book, or academics
capricorn #the tyrant - power hungry without remorse, wants to ascend up the ladder at any cost, chooses work over recreation, family, and values #the laborer - dedicated and steady, hardworking and humbly ambitious, works on behalf of himself and others will ascend at his own pace. may be consumed by work #the architect - has exhausted physical and mental talents and ascended toward his profound dreams. wants to establish a better, systemized world co-relating with the esoteric, is the provider, as a parent with his own child or acts as guardian of society and institution
aquarius #the rebel - deliberately acts to shock people, expresses individuality at the risk of professional or social reputation #the activist - battles on behalf of causes that relate to their interests and passions, is very outspoken and effective, may partake in protest chaos for the sheer fun of it, can take on radical ideas #the mother of humanity - the protector of all forms, from child to every animal, the one who fights on behalf of something bigger, the one who identifies with being one with everything. to guard the rainforest is to guard a part of themselves
pisces #1 ~ the addict - lost in his need for escapism and salvation. cannot control the need to lose himself in toxins, alcohols, drugs, medications, sex, daydream, cinema, lies and deceives #2 ~ the mystic ~ experiments/dabbles with different belief systems, conjures occult knowledge for good or evil, understands mysticism, may be melancholic or despondent, can be impressionable #3 ~ the spirit guide - transports people on spiritual journeys, is equipped with mystical knowledge and power, uses intuition and forces of enchantment for good, distributes divine wisdom, is compassionate to all beings, feels at one with god
i was just playing around with some ideas, i intend to reflect more on this and extend it going into more detail. astrology is a lot of fun :)
A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord. Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. This Cord granted Mensis audience with Mergo, but resulted in the stillbirth of their brains“
Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs and Black Thought from the Roots
[VERSE 1: LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA] I’m full of surprises, it might take a minute to digest I’m gunnin’ for Pulitzer prizes. Ah, it’s a bit of a process But I got a Grammy, got a Tony, got a Emmy Goddamnit, homie, somebody show me the way to the Oscars
[VERSE 2: RENEE ELISE GOLDSBERRY] Upgraded the Railroad to a chariot with Harriet And Marie Curie brought some shit so hot we had to bury it Get my golden lariat, I’m a Wonder Woman gunnin’ for ‘em What you runnin’ from? You hear the thunder rumblin’ something’s coming Shatter y’all, hurricanes on wood frame houses The name’s Renée, you’ll never be the same BLAO. Game: blouses
[VERSE 3: DAVEED DIGGS] Diminishing returns make the burners come out, start to wave Question me if you wanna, y’all, I was up on the stage Playing a polyglot glutton, suckin’ a molly popsicle So sick of the club I just turn up at the hospital Ordering orderlies to turn the heat up four degrees So I can take my shirt off and live out my California dreams Scribble “Thug Life” in invisible ink An umbilical minor chord-clipping metaphysical link To the pastime high, wrecks, last time I checked There was hella rappers in line for the time to scream “I’m next” I just walked right in the door marked “Hamilton Stage,” stayed patient Playing these dead presidents I’m getting my reparations
Brave Williams from New York is just 17 but is already 7ft 1 and growing
Towering over his teammates at 7ft 1in tall, 17-year-old Brave Williams is hoping his height can help propel him to sporting stardom.
The 400lb senior at Lake Shore High School in Angola, New York, is already a highly-regarded member of his high school basketball and American football teams.
And the youngster is now setting his sights on winning a much-coveted college athletic scholarship.
‘When I was five years old, I was like 5ft 3in.’
'The teachers thought I was actually a second grader, so they put me in the wrong class for about an hour before they realised their mistake.’
'I had to tell them that I was just starting school.’
However, Brave very nearly didn’t make it to even his first birthday - he had to be delivered via caesarian because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
'The doctors tried to pull me out three times before they were going to take more drastic measures. But as soon as my dad touched my mom’s forehead, I let go, and the doctors got me out,’ Brave told high school sports site MaxPreps.
'My dad instantly named me Brave because I needed a strong name.’
Specialists were concerned that he might be suffering from a form of gigantism known as Sotos syndrome, but tests done at three months and again at three years came back clear - much to the relief of his mother Angela.
She said: 'Every day he grew more and more, so that was when I got worried.
'To finally get the word that you have just got a tall kid was really relieving to say the least.’
Brave is now 7ft 1in tall - the same as Basketball Hall of Fame legend Shaquille O'Neal - but experts predict will be 7ft 5in by the time he stops growing, the same size as his great-great uncle.
Brave said: 'He made a pine tree look like a sapling. So, I think that’s where I got most of my height from.’
Born of African-American and Native American heritage, Brave lives on the Cattaraugus Reservation in the Seneca Nation of Indians.
The tall teen sleeps in a custom-made bed, although his feet still dangle off the end, and wears size 21 shoes.
While Brave’s size makes him killer on the court, it does also attract unwelcome attention in the form of stares and comments.
Mom Angela said: 'It was tough for me when my son turned five because then he had to go to school and I had to share him with the world.
'It was hard because he is sensitive and people stare, they look, they point.
'Now he’ll take the time to talk to everybody, people ask him the same questions over and over again - “How tall are you? Are you a wrestler? Are you this? Are you that?” And he just takes the time to respond, that’s his special gift.’
Brave is now determined to go on and become a pro athlete, but says he wants to go to college and complete his studies first - and would like to major in engineering.
And for 5ft 9in Angela, Brave’s stature is more than just an accident of genetics.
'I thought about my son being tall for a long time, and I think there is a reason why he’s so tall - because it gets him noticed and makes people listen to him,’ she added.
'But the rest is what matters, what really makes him special. I know he’s going to do big things.’
“male circumcision is barbaric male genital mutilation!”
do you….know what ur talking about..have you actually done any research on it like…at all. next people are gonna say that cutting the umbilical cord is barbaric…or cutting your baby’s hair..
I wanted to post this a long time ago, but I decided to take a long break and didn’t return until recently. But now I’m back, so here we go! :)
A long time ago, I saw how some people were claiming that Sarada still didn’t know in the end that Sakura truly was her biological mother (because they thought that Sarada actually never understood what had truly happened during the DNA test) and that Sarada believed Sakura was her real mother just due to the love they had for each other.
In reality, yes, Sarada learnt that only love is important when it comes to relationships and she treasures this lesson deeply, but she also now perfectly knows who her biological mother is.
^ These panels from Naruto Gaiden Chapter 9 are clearly showing that, despite the fact that Sarada had truly understood that blood connections don’t matter and that only love does, she simply couldn’t have been completely fine with Sakura not being her mother, especially not right away.
^ Sarada was still upset, but she knew that what only mattered during those moments was to save Sakura as soon as possible.
After some time, Sarada punched the ground with an astonishing strength in order to protect Sakura, leaving everyone incredibly surprised and making Sasuke smirk proudly (just like he had previously smirked while looking at Sakura in Naruto Chapter 632 after realising how strong she had become):
Then, as it can be seen in the panel from below, Chōchō saw Sarada’s Sharingan and realised that Sarada’s eyes were just like Sasuke’s. She told Sarada this, but, instead of reflecting on her similarity to Sasuke, Sarada became speechless and immediately looked right at Sakura while still holding up the hand she had punched with just a few seconds ago:
After that, Sarada started looking at her hand and agreed with what Chōchō said. Still, the fact that she was looking at her hand highlights that this was actually the moment when she realised just how similar she was to Sakura. While giving the impression that she was referring to her similarity to her father while saying “yeah”, Sarada was actually agreeing with how much she resembled Sakura. Then, after staring at her hand for a while, Sarada started looking at Sakura once again while still holding up her hand and being extremely surprised:
Even in the panel from below, Sarada’s right hand (the one she had punched the ground with) remained in the very same position, fact which shows just how surprised she was after realising that she had the very same ability as Sakura, thus being extremely similar to her:
Deviating from the subject a little: Sarada managed to punch the ground with such an inmmense strength due to the fact that she genetically inherited her good chakra control from Sakura. If Sarada hadn’t had naturally good chakra control, she wouldn’t have been able to create such an amazing punch solely with the help of her Sharingan.
What you cannot directly inherit is, indeed, the superhuman strength itself, but the strength is a consequence of naturally good chakra control and learning how to control it even better over time.
Sakura herself had an amazing chakra control right from the very beginning of the series, fact which was observed by Kakashi-Sensei himself on two separate occasions in Part 1:
- one of them was during an extremely early point of the story when Team 7 was training together:
- the other one was during Sakura’s fight with Ino from the Chūnin Exams:
^ This was due to the fact that Sakura’s extremely good chakra control was natural, as well. This way, it was also passed down to Sarada, who can control her chakra even better than Sakura could at her age due to the fact that Sarada also has the Sharingan which she inherited from her father and always activates it while using her naturally good chakra control:
Also, judging by Sakura’s extremely surprised expressions during and after the moment when Sarada punched the ground extremely hard, it is more than clear that Sakura hadn’t trained Sarada at all when it comes to this aspect, so absolutely everything regarding Sarada’s punch was natural:
Still, considering that Sakura is now well aware that Sarada has inherited her naturally good chakra control, she will definitely train Sarada from now on. Over time, Sarada’s chakra control will become even better, just like Sakura’s did after training, even though, as I’ve already said, Sarada is already greatly helped by the fact that she has also inherited the Sharingan from Sasuke.
Returning to the main subject: Thus, this was the actual moment when Sarada finally started realising just how similar she was to Sakura.
Later, Sakura told Sarada that she indeed was her real mother. This also was the moment when Naruto started realising that Sakura actually was the biological mother, fact which is highlighted by the black background from the panel with Naruto and by his surprised expression:
Still, Sarada might have actually believed at first that Sakura was saying that only because blood connections don’t matter and because Sarada now understood the fact that only love and memories are important.
^ At this point, Sarada didn’t care about blood connections anymore and proved that she had learnt to appreciate relationships purely based on feelings.
On the other hand, at that particular moment, Sakura wasn’t aware of the fact that Sarada had understood such an important lesson.
Also, Sakura had no idea that Sarada had taken a DNA test and that the results from it had matched (just like it was eventually confirmed at the end of Naruto Gaiden Chapter 10, this was only because of the fact that the DNA that had been tested was actually from Sarada and Sakura’s umbilical cord, this being the reason why there had been a 100% match between it and Sarada’s DNA - an umbilical cord contains only the DNA of the child, so the umbilical cord between Sakura and Sarada contained only Sarada’s DNA).
Therefore, Sakura didn’t know why Sarada decided to immediately bring up the love they have for each other and the memories they have together and was surprised by her daughter’s reply, just like the left panel from above shows.
Still, after this, Sarada asked Sasuke whether his and Sakura’s hearts are truly connected (thus basically asking him whether they truly love each other), to which he offered an affirmative answer:
But then, Sarada asked Sasuke how he could be so sure about his and Sakura’s connection and he immediately offered this meaningful answer:
As it can be seen above, in the official Viz Media translation and in the raws for this chapter, Sasuke actually replied with this: “Because you exist, Sarada.”, which literally offers all the explanations we need.
What Sasuke meant while saying that was that Sarada is the living proof of him and Sakura being connected, thus basically stating that she is the proof of him and Sakura loving each other.
Therefore, he basically said that, if he and Sakura hadn’t loved each other, Sarada wouldn’t have existed. She wouldn’t have been born.
But she exists and her simple existence basically represents the love between her parents. They decided to transform their love into a beautiful, precious child and this fact is what is connecting their feelings.
And Sarada understood this right away, as right after hearing Sasuke’s words, she started crying happily and was exremely relieved:
^ This was the exact moment when Sarada understood it all. She finally understood that Sakura truly was her real mother in every single sense of the word. Thus, this certainly was also the moment when she finally understood the reason why she had managed to punch so incredibly hard a few moments ago, just like Sakura. It was because, as I’ve said above, Sakura was her real mother in every sense of the word, including biologically, and Sarada finally realised this.
Naruto and Chōchō immediately understood the meaning and importance of Sasuke’s words, as well:
^ Here, Naruto finally unquestionably understood that the DNA test was, indeed, mistaken and that Sakura truly was Sarada’s biological mother.
Also, this certainly was the moment when Sarada understood that the DNA test was wrong, as well.
^ Furthermore, right after hearing what an enormous misunderstanding Suigetsu had caused and after explaining everything regarding Sarada’s birth to him, Karin told Suigetsu to go and apologise to Sarada right away. This means that Sarada did finally completely understand what had truly happened during the DNA test after Suigetsu eventually went and explained everything to her:
In conclusion, of course Sarada now knows who her biological mother is. To repeat myself one last time: Sarada is now completely aware of the fact that her mother is Sakura in every single sense of the word, including biologically. :)
Persephone was born with eyes wide as saucers,
a string of flowers for an umbilical cord. Her fist
smaller than a pomegranate, that unshakable
faith. She dances around, only love taking up
the space of her tiny mouth. New, shiny, pink.
Vulnerable. Screaming like a warrior. Grows up
teething on sunflower stems. Pricks her finger on
rose thorns. Goes back for more. Dreams in shades
of wildflower. Angers the Gods when she prays to
willow trees, when she calls nature Mother and
bends down on her knees.
Grabbed from behind, brought to a place where
the flowers couldn’t withstand the heat. She
wilted. Older, dimmer, face red from the flames.
Angry. Screaming like a warrior. Uses her softness
as vengeance. Grows cactus, desert lilies, and alfalfa.
Says, I will make this whole place beautiful because
it’s all I know. I will be Spring. I will be an act of
rebellion against your desert. I will utilize this green
thumb and Mother will be proud. I will pray to what
taught me to see beauty, spread Her knowledge around.
I am the strongest flower and your heat will not kill me.
The summer of his fifteenth birthday, Dudley Dursley is woken up almost every night by cries of “DON’T KILL CEDRIC, PLEASE, DON’T KILL CEDRIC” coming from his cousin’s room. He taunts his cousin about it of course, because that’s just what he does. But sometimes the cries still echo in his head, and he wonders about this Cedric.
Two years later his parents and him are forced out of their house because some bad wizard is after his cousin. He doesn’t understand what it all really means, but for the first time he understands the seriousness of that world his cousin is part of. And once again those cries of “don’t kill Cedric” fill his head.
He doesn’t see his cousin for two years after that, but whenever he passes a group of funny-looking people wearing robes on the street he tries to catch bits of conversation, waiting to hear something about Harry (he doesn’t know much about his cousin, but he does know he is some kind of a celebrity in the wizarding world). He doesn’t learn much except that there was a war and Harry played a role in putting an end to it.
One day he works up the courage to ask a group of those people if they know where he can find Harry Potter. Some old wizard tells him Harry Potter’s been known to be staying at his godfather’s old house, 12 Grimmauld Place.
On Harry’s nineteenth birthday, Dudley sends him a card. It doesn’t say much, just “Happy birthday. - Dudley x”. Then a few months later, on Halloween night, Dudley has drunk one too many glasses of wine, and he decides to just pay a visit.
When he gets there of course he can’t find number twelve, so he just stands there in the street and cries out Harry’s name until Harry hears him. Harry is home alone, and a half-drunk glass of something that looks like whisky is sitting on the table.
“What are you doing here, Dudley?” Harry asks. He sounds tired.
“I’m not sure. How’ve you been?”
They stay up all night talking. It’s awkward at first, but there’s something comforting about talking to someone you know next to nothing about, and they end up getting a lot off their chests. Dudley tells Harry about the fight he got into with his parents, and how they cut him off as a result, and how he has to work a job as a cashier to pay his rent. Harry tells him a bit about what’s been happening in the wizarding world those past few years, and Dudley suddenly has a lot of respect and admiration for his cousin.
At some point, Dudley asks to know about that Cedric bloke Harry used to talk about in his sleep, and Harry tells him about how Cedric died. Dudley thinks how unfair it is to die this young, and to die as a ‘spare’.
The next morning, Dudley shakes Harry’s hand before leaving. He even gives him a little smile.
They decide to make this a monthly thing where they get together and talk about what’s happening in their respective worlds.
Seven years later, Dudley is married and his wife is pregnant with a boy.
When the baby is born, and they cut the umbilical cord, the cord grows back almost immediately. The doctors are astonished but Dudley just laughs between tears of joy. He’s got a wizard for a baby. And he’s beautiful.
A week later Harry comes to visit, to see the baby. It’s the first time he’s been to Dudley’s place, they always used to meet up at his place (he’s moved from Grimmauld Place since he’s been living with Ginny, and now young James and Albus). Dudley introduces his wife Amelia, who’s only recently had to find out about the magical side of Dudley’s family, and is both excited and a bit freaked out.
“And this,” he says as Harry picks up the baby, “is Cedric”.
Harry looks up questioningly, and Dudley gives him a small smile, that exact same smile he gave him the morning after that Halloween night he came drunkenly shouting his name in his street ,all those years ago.
I don’t have a belly button - it was surgically removed in the process of treating Crohn’s disease that progressed to life-threatening peritonitis about four years ago.
This isn’t a story about a belly button, or about intestines or any lack thereof. This is about the United States.
As part of a ‘getting to know you’ exercise a few weeks ago, a group of people and I were playing ‘two truths and a lie.’ For my turn, my lie was 'I used to live in Canada.’ I was called on immediately after the game was over for confirmation that my statement 'I don’t have a belly button’ was true.
I complied immediately, revealing a set of long purple scars that stretch across my abdomen - one of which crosses through the midline, no belly button in sight.
I gave a condensed version of the story and the general consensus was 'bro, sick.’ Except for one guy, who looked utterly horrified.
“Wait,” he said slowly, something clearly dawning on him, “how are you going to have kids?”
This threw me for a second, but I’m used to being asked that question - my abdomen is full of scar tissue, I’m missing some key organs, the medicine I’m taking to stay in remission is a known abortifacient and I may well not be able to have children. I’ve discussed it before, but generally not with strangers.
“Uh,” I replied. “Well, that’s a complicated question. There are a lot of factors and I don’t really know.”
“No, no,” he insisted. “You don’t have a belly button.”
“Isn’t that how the baby… you know, eats?”
“So like, the baby couldn’t get food. Because there’s nowhere for the umbilical cord to connect.”
“Wait,” I said, deeply confused. “Like, how was I born? This is recent, I was born with a belly button. I lost it like fourteen years after being born, there wasn’t a conflict.”
“No, I get that, but if you had a baby, there would be nowhere for the umbilical cord to connect and it wouldn’t get food. You don’t have a belly button so there’s nowhere to connect.”
I paused for a second, the realization dawning on me that this guy had a winning combination of no boundaries and literally no idea how pregnancy worked.
“Dude,” another guy cut in, “that’s not how it works.”
“That’s how babies get belly buttons, man,” the first guy insisted.
“The umbilical cord is a source of nutrients, yeah, but they’re stored in the placenta,” I offered. “That’s a totally different organ.”
“Then why do the mom and the baby both have belly buttons?”
The second guy was getting kind of upset, but I was totally beyond that - this guy had graduated high school and was heading off to college to study political science and didn’t have a clue where babies come from. It was actually comical.
I decided to interrupt and change the subject before anything got heated.
“What do you want to do after college?” I asked the first guy.
“Oh, I don’t know. I guess I just want to be a politician - like, public policy, that sort of thing. Run for office, you know.”
Tawakkul (trusting and relying on Allah) is realizing that our Protector has a plan for us. Tawakkul is having complete trust that Allah’s plan is the best plan. Tawakkul is having full faith that Allah will take care of you—even when things look impossible. Tawakkul is standing in front of the Red Sea—as Prophet Musa did—with an army behind you, and not even flinching, knowing that Allah will get you through. It is having full faith that when Allah takes away the umbilical cord, He will replace it with milk.