Creativity and Spiritual India

Posts tagged “unusual

Ghosts from 500 years ago, expanded version

Hi. B.T. Lowry here, fantasy author and videographer. Welcome to the first story developed from the scene-of-the-week series.
The scene which got the most votes was the short film, “Ghosts from 500 Years ago,” so I went right ahead and developed it further. I added more footage and brought in a ghost-king from ancient India and some deep thoughts. If the first part seems familiar, jes’ keep watching.

Here it is:

My special thanks go out to Erothyme, with Biomigrant and Emma Staarbird. Their excellent music is featured in the latter part of the film, the song “Pines and Leaves,” from the album, “Sound in the Living Current.” The whole album–and all their work, really–is excellent. You can find out more about them at these sites:

http://www.erothyme.com
http://facebook.com/biomigrant
http://biomigrant.bandcamp.com

Also, thanks to unnamed temple musicians of South India and Orissa, whose celebratory sounds also grace this film.

Thanks for watching and listening and reading. Feel free to look around the site, btlowry.com, for more scenes and such. You can also read my novel, Fire from the Overworld, and sign up for the new scenes in your mailbox each week, along with guest posts and thoughts about living, loving investigation and creation. Or you don’t have to do any of that, and we can still be friends.


The big ones, or how I got knocked out

Balloon racing by Les Chatfield

 

I’m going to take a break from the scene-of-the-week to tell you about the first time that got knocked out.

(Listen below)

 

I had the experience of looking back at all the major points in my life simultaneously. Actually there are not so many as you might think. Birth is obviously a big one. There were a couple in my childhood from 6 to 12 years old that stand out. A lot of things happened in between these big events, of course, but not unexpected stuff. Learning to eat, sort of eventually. Learning to walk, then run.

The first time I rode a bike without training wheels was a big one. My mom and dad pushed me off, me sitting there on the bike. I flew forward, pedaling hard, and I felt like I was flying around that parking lot, almost empty of cars.

Speaking of two wheeled vehicles, I remember going on a ride which was, in retrospect, extremely dangerous. I was to drive a miniature motorcycle in hoops around a thick plastic sphere, going up, upside down, down, round the bottom, up again… I only made it to the top once before running out of momentum. The motorcycle fell down on top of me, knocking me unconscious. When I opened my eyes, I was looking at the world from a new angle of vision, and I couldn’t remember the transition, how I got there. That was the first time I ever got knocked out. These events are like bubbles fixed to the string of my life. In each bubble the memory plays out in a seamless loop, changing a little each time.

You can listen to this being read to you here:

audio mp3=”https://btlowry.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/the-big-ones.mp3″%5D%5B/audio%5D

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

Next week we’ll start again the Scene-of-the-Week series.

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Five Main Events

Five by woodleywonderworks

Five by woodleywonderworks

 

 

(Listen below)

We’re taking a break from the scene-of-the-week series to take do a little retrospection.

I look back at the main events in my life. There are five, really. Birth, obviously. Adolescence as a whole. My first real relationship. Joining the temple, and leaving the temple. That’s it.

I wonder, if one or the other of these events had been different or had not taken place, who I would be now. Of course, some of them really can’t be removed, like birth and adolescence. But they could have happened very differently.

Birth is huge. It’s the starting point of our life, and we come in with momentum. A rocket launched eastward may turn and go northward, but not so easily as one which was launched northward to begin with. The starting trajectory of a person’s life is the angle at which they come into the world, and this affects the entire course of their lives. Of course, the choices we make in our life also change who we are, but if I were born into very different circumstances, I reckon I’d be a very different person today.

Why is a person born into her particular life? This is, if not one of the main philosophical questions that have been asked by different schools throughout the ages, certainly one of their assistants. Science would generally have us believe that we are products of physical evolution, that our selves as we know them now—our bodies, that is, and maybe minds as well, depending on who you ask—are the result of many, many years of iteratively evolving genetics.

This is, of course, not the only idea on the subject. Many people believe that the circumstances of our birth—including our parents, the stability of our country or lack thereof, our talents, our personalities, our capacities, our economic levels, and all other obvious and not-so-obvious trappings and attributes that we may possess—have carried over into this life from the one before. All these different kinds of momentum, they say, are carried in a subtle body, which surrounds and accompanies the conscious self from life to life. While this is all quite far out, it does explain a lot of differences between us all, which are attributed to chance by the former school of thought, without further explanation.

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

Come back next week to get the next scene of the week, the first of those in the new round. You can say in the comments which scene you’d like to see made into a short story.

 


Genderizer

Broad bean media hand shake

Broad bean media hand shake

 

 

(Listen below)

I just couldn’t decide, so I kept running the genderizer back and forth, looking at myself in the mirror. At one point I left it in between, so I was half man, half woman. On one hand, it would be good to be a man when I met the CEO. I could grip his hand really hard when I shook it. We could joke about our wives, or talk about different beautiful actresses or singers. I could win him over, man to man.

Then again, as a woman I might be able to enter his confidence more easily. I could hear him out, sympathize with him, appeal to his softer side. I might remind him of his mother, or sister. Maybe his wife.

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

Vote now or forever hold your peace! (until the next round)
Figuring this out as I’m going along, I’m closing the first round on scene-of-the-week, where you can vote for the scene that you’d like to see as a short story. Tomorrow’s scene will be the last one, So leave a comment on the scene you like the best, either here, on Facebook or Twiter, or as a message to me, and see that scene transformed into a story in an upcoming post.

What is… Scene-of-the-Week?

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Wolf in the window  

Gray Wolf by dalliedee

Gray Wolf by dalliedee

 

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

It was alright until my bear broke through the barrier separating me from the mundane life.

Let me backtrack. I was there on the London Underground, Bakerloo line, going to work. I was reading a book of myths from my childhood. I held a book in front of me, changed the page sometimes in case anyone was watching. But my eyes were closed, with sunglasses on so no one would see. The stories were behind my eyelids, and so was I.

I sat with my wolf, Santoin. He’s not so impatient as me. While I looked over our map of the sacred mountain, he just sat by me, breathing and gazing ahead. He imparted stability to me, just by being there. By being so big and solid and fierce, all that and still loyal to me.

My lighter friends, bunnies and furry bears, crawled over logs and traipsed through streams and wrestled with each other like idle thoughts on a fluffy-sky day. I colored in the areas on the map where we’d gone already. The color came from my fingertips, light brown and sepia. We’d gone a long way.

We were just about ready to set out when one of the fuzzy bears climbed up next to me and reached backward, behind me where I couldn’t see, where he wasn’t meant to go, and he pushed a barrier which I’d forgotten was there, and his finger set a ripple going like he’d thrown a stone in a sideways pond.

My sunglasses fell off. I dropped my book onto a ridged rubber floor. The man next to me on the Bakerloo line looked over, fear in his eyes. What had he seen? Had Santoin crossed over with me, just for a second? I blinked in the fluorescent lights, reaching for my sunglasses.

 

Scene-of-the-Week

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Which life event would you like to change?

_MG_7809_sequence_01 by Hugh Letheren

_MG_7809_sequence_01 by Hugh Letheren

 

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

Yes, Madam, please just sit there. No, It won’t hurt, but you will feel a tingling. Alright, we are initiating now. Yes? Just relax, it’s alright.

It’s done, Madam. We’re getting the results now… It seems you have had eight major events in your life. Birth, entrance into school, a fight with your best friend after which you never spoke with each other again, the first time you sang in front of an audience, ah… the commencement of womanhood, your first child, marriage, your second child, divorce… and here we are today.

We can change one event within the budget you’ve specified. I advise you to consider carefully. You don’t want to lose anything that’s presently dear to you. But don’t overthink it either; it’s impossible to predict all the ramifications of your decision.

Ah, you look like you’ve made up your mind. Which one would you like to change?

 

Scene-of-the-Week

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Ghosts of worshipers from five hundred years ago

This week the scene-of-week is in a video. I recently went to the magical land of Hampi in South India and was inspired to make this video about the ancient culture there, which was conquered, which has morphed into the people and customs found here today. I recommend you watch it and listen to it, but if you’d like, the transcription is below.

***

I look at these old ruins from above, this extensive temple which is crumbling in many places. The courtyard, now empty, must have been filled for celebrations. Deities would have been brought out on procession, accompanied by priests fanning them, offering them food, water, incense and flowers. People must have sang in the procession, beat drums and blown shehnais. Feasts were offered to the deities, then given to rich and poor alike. A king held ceremonies here, for good children, a long reign, and to please God. These dusty ruins were whole and alive. People lived here, they worshipped here. Some of the priests must have served in this temple for years, perhaps decades.

How can I just pass through this place when it had so much significance for them? How can I not stop to mourn their tragedies, and to wonder at the intricacies of their lives?

 

Scene-of-the-Week

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Scene of the week: Nature Woman vs. Tech Man

seeds by Peter Kaminski

seeds by Peter Kaminski

 

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

A meteorite hurtles through space. There are dormant seeds inside it, but they need a home, a planet. They cannot change the course of the meteorite and must move indefinitely, until it hits another object.

After hundreds of years, it crashes into the surface of a small moon, orbiting a gas giant. The meteorite’s surface cracks open, revealing a shiny brown seed half as tall as a man. A day passes.

The planet is not empty. On the opposite side, now in darkness, tiny machines scour the ground. They dig in then produce more of themselves, using the elements from the ground. They move over the surface like grass growing, and one in a hundred taps down deeper, searching for water for their Master. He sits in a steel-and-glass palace a hundred miles behind them. He is surrounded by machines for building, breaking down, transforming, heating, cooling and a hundred other terraforming tasks.

The seed passes into night, then back into day. It cracks. Its edges fold out like beetle-wings. Inside, many smaller seeds surround one in the center, the largest. Many of the small seeds crack open. Roots go down from them. They fight against the hard earth. They push their ways into tiny cracks, then pry them larger. The roots use the last of their life energy searching for water for their Mistress, she who is in the largest seed. She who will make this planet her own.

 

Scene-of-the-Week

Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 🙂


Scene of the week: The Incarnator

River of light by webtreats

River of light by webtreats

 

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

 

Bormeal hurtled through the streams of time, firmly gripping his hammer.

It was unsettling. Not the streams. They were beautiful in their own way. He felt like he were falling through thousands of horizontal rainbow waterfalls, suspended in an infinite void. No, what was unsettling was the fact that he’d lose his hammer. He loved it. It was part of him. It was huge, like Thor’s, and it could bash things really nicely. But even though he would still look the same as he did now when he landed—bulky, ferocious, hairy—and even though he would remember everything… he could not keep his hammer. Whatever god governed all this wasn’t very kind, not to Bormeal anyway.

When he looked up, things seemed to be going reeeally slow. The figures in the time-streams—so many faces and animals and births and deaths and triumphant moments—moved as though shrunk-wrapped and half-frozen. When he looked down, they all seemed to move reeeally fast. Whole lives came and went while he took a breath. On his own level (which was changing constantly as he fell) it all moved at a regular pace, like him. A man laughed with his family, another dug a hole for a plant. Crowds of people worked on huge stone buildings. They slowed down as they passed by him, as though they were falling upward.

As he neared Earth time, Bormeal began to discern the spiritual level of people on the planet. Incarnators saw the planet in different ways, but he saw this as a hazy, multi-dimensional, colorful graph. As he fell farther, he saw the structures of politics and nations. Blocky shapes bashing against each other with spasms and crashes, waddling across the world knocking each other around. By now, a second of Bormeal’s time would be around… it was hard to guess, but… an hour of time below. As he got closer still he could make out land masses, people milling around. Battles that were important only to the people in them, and some others alive on the planet at the time, if they were nearby.

Bormeal hit the earth, lost his hammer in filaments of light. He sighed, feeling alone without it. He looked around from the top of a hill in some semi-arid land. Scrubby grass and bald rocks. Cold and drizzly. A dozen goat-herders walked below, but they didn’t look up. Bormeal didn’t appear to everyone as soon as he landed. No, there was a proper sequence to things.

Generally, he first showed himself as an apparition, say, to a single crazy farmer. Then word got round. Everyone professed not to believe it, but everyone had their doubts. Then Bormeal appeared to a few folks in the saner section. Most of them wouldn’t tell anyone. Still, some would. Then he appeared to some of the leaders of whatever religion was prominent in that place. The monks and nuns wrote about him and distributed the knowledge to the faithful. That was pretty authoritative, but some people would always think them crazy—the proportion varied according to the society. Anyway, Bormeal would reveal himself, soon after that. Some would think he was a demon, others a god. He was neither, not the way they thought about such beings anyway.

Ah, one of the shepards had strayed behind the others. Bormeal manifested himself, puffing into the air with some nice effects around him, like yak-tails made of light were being whisked around behind him. He walked down, all buff and shiny looking, and approached the startled man.

This is part of the Scene-a-Week series. Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 


Scene of the week: Crazy Auntie

by mysterious conspiracy

by mysterious conspiracy

 

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

The family’s old, crazy auntie held one finger to her mouth, glanced around as to indicate all the others in the house, and gave me a look could only be described as ‘extremely conspiratorial.’ She pushed her taped-up glasses up on her nose, adjusted the sari on her frail, skinny frame. Eyebrows raised, eyes wide. Grinning like a little girl.

She spoke to me in Bengali, still glancing around and grinning. I sat by my computer, listening. I couldn’t understand her, but it was eminently obvious that she was revealing her plan to me, telling me the whats and the hows and the whens. She’d carried out some trickery, somewhere in the house. Maybe she’d mixed ingredients in the larder. Maybe she’d stolen something. Maybe she’d said something to one person, something else to another. I didn’t know, but it was mischief, and I was in on it.

This is part of the Scene-a-Week series. Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. 


Scene-of-the-week premiere: Throwing a guy through time

Boy throwing ball by Kasia

Boy throwing ball by Kasia

 

Welcome to the first of the scene-of-the-week series. Every week there’ll be a new scene, a glimpse of a potentially complete story. You get to vote which one you want to see as a full story in the comments below.

You can listen to this being read to you here:

 

Or to download it, right click here and choose ‘save link as’

 

Time Hucker went into trance using his special machine. His assistant Gerald, who he’d seen as a big, hairy boy a moment before, now appeared as a tiny ball of light. Time Hucker’s own body now looked luminescent, his arms glassy. He stood looking down as though from a high bridge. He took hold of the Gerald-light, held him in his hand as though weighing him, and looked down into the time streams. Gerald would take the streams seriously, once he was far enough in. Oh yes.

The trick was throwing him at just the right moment…

Each stream was a different color, flowed straight in its own direction, from horizon to horizon. They looked like a hundred thousand curving, translucent rivers, all stacked on top of each other. Their distinct colors—green, blue, orange, yellow—mixed with each other in ways that he still found amazing, though he wouldn’t admit it to Gerald.

Far, far below lay Gerald’s destination, the Earth timeline. Time Hucker watched, waited. Wait for it. Wait…

He imagined himself saying to Gerald, who was both his apprentice and nephew, ‘It is tricky to toss someone from one flow of time into another, Gerald. When I first started training, my teacher had me throw stones. From where I was, I threw a stone down into the faster time streams. It’s a bit like throwing a ball from a bridge, you see, and trying to get it to land on a particular square inch of grass. Tricky. Well, it’s actually more like that example, except gravity acts on the ball more and more, the closer it gets to the ground. Because you see, Gerald, time gets denser in the lower dimensions. Not like here.’

Savvy words, but then Gerald wouldn’t listen to such things, because Gerald was more interested in the pretty colors that the rivers of time made when they combined with each other. He liked to swim among them, diving and surfacing, seeing how the colors changed depending on where he was among the layers. Why, if Time Hucker would let him, Gerald would change the time streams, just for aesthetic effect!

If, however, Gerald were a good student, listening attentively, Time Hucker would have said, ‘When I threw them, the stones would appear somewhere in the timeline, very suddenly and moving very fast. Earth people would think them meteorites. Which they were, but from another time.’

Then Gerald would laugh at Time Hucker’s wit.

Time Hucker would smile and pat Gerald’s head affectionately. ‘But the problem, you see, is that people are much more unpredictable than stones. They can adjust their fall, like someone with a parachute, pulling at the corners to change direction. They can move left and right, even slow themselves down a little bit.’ His hands tightened on the Gerald-ball. ‘But they still had to move, very, very fast, Gerald. Like you will now.’

For Gerald was not an attentive student. No, Gerald had to be taught a lesson.

Ah! Wait for it…. wait…. hold…

With all his strength, time Hucker hurled Gerald down into the time streams.

This is the first week in the, Scene-a-week series. Each week, I’ll give you a scene from a story, maybe from the beginning and maybe from somewhere in the middle. These stories will not be fully written, just the scenes. You can vote for which ones you want to have made into a full story in the comments section. Sound like fun?


ABDUCERE UNUM IS SCISSOR MAN. Coming soon to a theater pretty nearby you.

With the recent successes of such films as Batman, Spiderman and various other stuff, the movie-going world is eager for super-heroes, but recent polls have shown that everyone’s tired of them being so plausible.
Therefore I submit the following very serious proposal to whom it may concern for a new kind of superhero: one who is at once everyday and fantastic, a homebody and an intergalactic adventurer.
Ahem.

1
There is a simple man who likes folding origami animals, knitting and making those picture-stitching things on round hoops, with flowers and trees and stuff. His name is Abducere Unum.
He is quite content until one day his large sewing scissors slip and cut his right index finger. It’s not a bad cut so he doesn’t think much of it. He bandages it up and takes break from sewing for the day.
But that night Abducere has strange dreams. He’s running though rolling fields of trees made of stuffed fabric… even the sun is just yellow felt in a blue felt sky. It’s wonderful and he prances merrily about for a good while, until he touches something. He reaches his hands out to a lovely yellow rose, to gently seize without breaking it, and inhale its robust fragrance, but is horrified as the flower slices apart at his touch.
He sits down in frustration and his hands turn the smooth grass to cut-up burlap chunks.
“Nooooooo!!!” he cries.
He wakes up with a start, thankful that it was just a dream.
Until he sees his darling paisley bed sheets have been cut to ribbons! It’s then that he realizes that the accident with the scissors has changed him forever.
He’s no longer Abducere Unum, but SCISSOR MAN!!
Ahem.
It’s really hard for him to lead his practical life. He wonders why the powers that be would let this happen to him.
Then he hears about some strange goings-on. Something or someone is fastening stuff together which simply shouldn’t be joined. Skyscrapers merged, all leaning-over-like. People shaking hands and getting stuck, fruits not coming from trees like!!
The world’s top scientists confer to figure out the problem, but even though their brains are really big and there are a lot of them, they still don’t come up with a solution.
By this time Scissor Man is living on the street. He can’t hold a job, literally can’t hold anything. His girlfriend’s left him, his t-shirts are all in tatters. He feels he has no purpose in the world.
Then he hears of the weird joining force, that what’s joining stuff, and he feels that God’s given him a mission. Tentatively, he tries to unjoin some white daisies that got stuck together along the river where he’s been camping.
It works!
He goes on to unjoin houses and people, until he’s prancing around the city unjoining stuff, merrily chuckling and composing little ditties right and left.
When the government notices his success, they give him help. On a huge crane, he unjoins skyscrapers, makes a mountain range like a real range again, and not just a single massive clump of rock.
Humanity’s nemesis behind the joining makes an anonymous announcement on all TV and radio stations: in response to all this undoing of his work, he is going to join the earth to the moon.
Everyone is horror struck. Some look to Scissors Man with abhorrence. Others say he was just trying to help.
He withdraws from them all, sits and thinks in a real good thinking spot, down by the river he lived by when he was homeless.
Who could be behind this? Who would have the power?
Eventually, he remembers a fierce rival in his sewing competitions. Coniunctio Mulier was her name. Brilliant but vicious, many suspected that she had arranged the apparent accident which crippled her opponent’s lead hand, which made her the default winner of the Great Western Sew-off of 1965.
It must be her! thinks Scissors Man.
He works to track her down, but she’s gone from her ancestral home in the woods with a bunch of crazy people. Only her father remains there, knitting and cackling fiercely. Scissors Man wonders if all the others have been killed.
Leaving that place, he looks fearfully to the sky.
The moon is already closer!!
He sprints to the Pentagon and petitions the president for a space ship. The president reluctantly agrees, but refuses to send anyone to help Scissors Man drive it.
“Fine!” barks Scissors Man.
He goes anyway, somehow figuring out the controls on the fly, mostly using his mouth and feet. Up in space, he sees a great web of finger-knitting connecting the moon to the earth. The net is getting thicker even as he watches.
It’s almost too late!
Nudging the controls with his nose, his cutting hands ready, he edges closer. When he’s near, he dawns his specially-fitted space suit and exits the craft. Out in space, he begins cutting the web.
He’s making decent progress when Coniunctio Mulier shows up, riding in a ‘borrowed’ alien spacecraft which looks like a turnip. Her hands are swollen from all that knitting, yet her fierce visage shows that she’ll do whatever it takes to make good on her threat.
A fierce fight ensues, with Coniunctio Mulier trying to join Scissors Man’s hands together, while he tries to cut the bonds apart and attack her for good.
Finally he cuts the tether which ties her to her space ship. She joins herself back! He cuts it again, but she joins back again! And again!! He cuts her again, but she rejoins herself again!!!
Seeing no other recourse, Scissors Man gets some distance, goes behind a nearby asteroid. He enters into deep meditation.
Peering out with his special spiritual vision, he sees Coniunctio Mulier’s astral body. Some special power, looking like ball lightning or something, is connected to her with these fibrous light-thread things!
Reaching out with his own astral body, he cuts the tie between her and her power. Coming out of meditation, he goes to battle her again.
Yay! She can no longer join things! He defeats her easily at that point.
The UN bars her entrance back on earth. Needing fuel, she is forced out into space to deal with the aliens who’s ship she ‘borrowed.’
Scissors Man returns a hero. Science develops a metal strong enough to withstand his hands and he is fitted with special gloves so he can function pretty normally. He meets a girl with incredibly heavy feet and they really hit it off.
They live happily together, being sure never to go on ships or up into flimsy buildings, lest her weight crash through the floors, killing them and people beneath them.
The End

2

(Paintings by the lovely and talented Jayanti dasi)