Friday, November 09, 2007

Dear Reader...

I am going to write this post as a letter to you. It feels more personal and like I am talking to you right now. It has been an up and down week, and tonight is Friday night and I am sitting at home blogging, hence I need someone to talk to. I just had dinner with my Dad and my sister, and have tried calling some friends, and Kelly even has a friend over as I speak, but I was hoping to go out and do something fun and worldly and distracting tonight, and I am put out that I am sitting at home instead. On the other hand, you, dear and faithful reader (if you exist) deserve to have something entertaining to read, and I will now supply what I can.

I have been pondering new aspects of becoming an adult this week, and particularly an adult woman. I found myself wearing all black twice this week, which is unusual, and I usually avoid it. But for work it is so sleek and clean looking. If the blacks match each other, that is, which mine did not, and my pants were a little bit too short, which also undercuts the desired appearance of long sleekness. Then I wore all black last night, while sitting at home, a pair of black sweatpants with an M on them for Mease, and a black boat necked chunky sweater, and I felt almost elegant. Another new adult thing is that I am finding myself wandering over to coffee shops to buy myself coffee and pastries in the morning on the way to work. Dark roast coffee. It is heaven. I am going to try to start waking up too late to make my own breakfast more often. I also just started an IRA, of all things. Nothing screams old and established like saving for retirement.

But, on the other hand, today I got to spend some time thinking about children, and what they would like. I wrote this story which will be featured in an email newsletter for work. The Latin portions are currently being proofed by someone who actually knows Latin, but I would like your input on it's plot and theme and literary merits. The thing is that without any intention of doing so, I managed to imply the impending death of two characters in this story! Is this too morbid for children? Is this what happens when one tries to write a lovely story about the fall? I mean, anyway you look at it, a turkey in a Thanksgiving story is going to have a difficult future...

I will leave it to you to decide... (Use Latin glossary at the bottom of the post. If you don't, it will not make any sense. Unless you know Latin. Aren't you glad I explained?)

Sincerely,
Joanna


One lovely autumnus morning, a young accipiter woke up from his sleep with a yawn and stretched his wings. There was a white gelu on the ground and the air was clear and frigidus. He looked out over the ager and pondered what to do. This was the first time that he would make the long journey of perigrinatio. He was a rather timid accipiter, and had been putting off the journey. “If only it weren’t so frigidus,” he thought to himself, “I would just stay here.” It was a homey place. It was messis time and the pomum trees were full of fruit, and folium after folium sprouting from his favorite branch had turned a rich ruber color.
As he sat looking about, a large black
aranea crawled down beside the accipiter, and she said, “Good mane. A bit nippy, isn’t it? Shouldn’t you be heading Meridies soon?”
“Well,” he answered, “I guess so. I wish I could build an
araneaum like you and just stay here.”
The
aranea gasped and said, “You should be thankful to have such wings that will carry you to where it is warm. I will lay my eggs, and my babies will come out again next spring, but I will not live through this frigidus.”
The
accipiter pondered this, gave the Mama aranea a gentle little peck, spread his wings and flew, turning his head toward the Meridies. He flew for a long time. All day he flew, until it grew dark and even then he kept flying. It was a bright evening, the plenilunium hung low in the sky. He flew past fields, lakes, cities, and finally rested in an oak tree in the center of the forest. It was still chilly, but he tucked his head into his wing, and closed his eyes. He was suddenly woken by a funny sound, “gobble, gobble.” The accipiter peered down to the forest floor, and saw a strange, fat bird with a bald red head looking up at him. “What are you?” he asked.
“I am a
meleagris gallopavo,” the fat bird said, “How did you get way up in that tree?” “I am an accipiter, I have wings to fly, of course!”
“My, you are lucky,” the
meleagris gallopavo answered. “I have to keep running behind trees to escape and to hide. It would be so much easier to fly.”
Suddenly a loud tramping noise was heard nearby, and the chubby bird hopped away shouting, “Good to meet you!”
The accipiter was a bit nervous about the noise as well, so he took off from his comfy branch and began to fly toward the warm
meridies again.
“Maybe
perigrinatio isn’t so bad after all,” he thought to himself. As he flew, he noticed that the leaves on the trees were greener than where he had started, and the sol warmed the feathers on his dorsum. He flew on for days and days, and his wings felt strong.
Early one
mane, he met another accipiter, and called out to him,“Hello! Do you know if it is warm enough here to stay for the winter?”
“Oh yes! There will be a dinner tonight, celebrating the
perigrinatio, you are just in time!”
The young accipiter smiled and beneath his feathers his heart swelled, just a little bit, and he was glad that he was an
accipiter, even if a timid one, and that he had made it so far.


Latin Glossary
autumnus - autumn
folium – leaf
meleagris gallopavo – turkey
aranea – spider
araneaum – spider web
luna – moon
plenilunium – full moon
messis, seges – harvest
frigidus, gelidus – cold
gelu, pruina – frost
accipiter – hawk
ruber – red
malum, pomum – apple
ager – field
perigrinatio – migration
mane – morning
meridies – south
dorsum –back
sol
– sun

1 comment:

Dave said...

Ahh, growing up. Sometimes it's altogether unpleasant, but I like it on the whole.

I like your story. I do think you implied some death in there, though I'd say it's on a level appropriate for children. People's minds expand as they grow, which is something I've been learning very directly through my now-regular interaction with teens and pre-teens. They have these ideas about things that seem complete to them, and I can remember feeling exactly the same way when I was their age. Humorously, this takes the form of ridiculous excuses for late homework (that I used myself back when I was in 7th grade, and thought were so airtight). More seriously, this is a time when they start thinking about more intense concepts in realistic ways. We're reading some poetry in my literature class, and we keep bumping into some weighty issues, (life, death, love, loss, etc.) and they couch everything in 7th grade terms. But I can see the wheels turning every once in a while. Your story presents death in a way that a child might be able to grasp without getting crushed underneath it, and I think that's a good thing.

In reply to your comment on my blog a few days back, I do remember that Christian Lit class in high school, and I was the one who gave the presentation on Eliot. That was the only year I actually got to research the person I requested, which was probably a bit of providence in hindsight. I think that class was an example of my mind beginning to expand, though I don't remember liking the Lewis book, which I've since come to love. I do still enjoy The Hollow Men, but have come to prefer some of his other works.

Anyway, this is getting long. I hope you have a good Friday night. I was at the first ancient future service, and it was quite good, so I'll most likely be at the next one.