Fire vs. Lantern

Text-messaging a friend the other day--actually, the only friend I text-message with--we both had a moment of epiphany. She was just making a brief comment on how she spent the day with her family, following the family tradition and commemorating her ancestors as she always has had all her life, mentioning a lantern to go with the ceremony.
I was texting her how I went home to join the others in welcoming the dead for the time being by making a small offering of fire on our doorstep, fending off the mosquitoes buzzing around after the nightfall.
We just assumed what we thought customary to be the other's custom as well.
She thought it odd that we welcome home our ancestors simply lighting a fire to mark their way home to stay for this special time of the year. For her, the "proper" procedure is to actually visit the family grave with the rest of her extended family, and after making an offering of flowers and incense, lead back the spirit from the grave by lighting the lantern. The family makes a procession and keep the candle burning in the lantern all the way, in order to invite the spirits to rest in the buddhist altar back home for another two nights.
In our family, it is understood that the spirits could roam around freely till we make another fire to send them off till the next time.
In her family, their ancestors will be kept behind the rope that mark the boundary between this world and the next world to rest in the altar, until they make another procession back to the grave two days later. I didn't really get the whole picture, but it seems that they make some very particular offerings once the spirits are back in the altar as well.

In any case, we didn't get what the other was telling us, since it was so far outside what we considered an ordinary procedure.
All in all, I guess ours is a lazy tradition where we simply make the spirits do most of the traveling arrangements and such, letting them be.
My friend was telling me how in one town where her uncle's wife comes from, the ceremony is the combination of both the fire version and the lantern version. Welcome the dead by lighting the fire in front of your house, then leading them back to the grave with the light of the lanterns as the family makes a procession through the town street to the graveyard, making the last offering once there.

Over the years we've often talked during this time of the year when a lot of family gather together to commemorate their ancestors, yet we never realized we were talking about a completely different set of rituals to go along with this period for respective family. . .

Okay. I don't know why it was so surprising, but still. . . it just never occurred to me that we were talking about anything different. Perhaps, it is not much different, considering how in both rituals, it is the fire (the lantern, too, holds a candle light, so it is a kind of fire, right?) that marks the way home for the dead.
Sometimes when I watch SPN I wonder about their use of fire as a form of purification to get rid of the evil spirits. I guess it is the both sides of the same coin, in a way.

Tonight, I said good bye to my great grandmother and grandfather and an aunt I never knew till the next time. I kind of like this time of the year when I feel closer more than usual to the family that are physically no more.

Are mummies artifacts? Isn't that a bit. . . blasphemous?

Trying to sleep during the day to prepare for the job coming in tonight, due noon-ish.
Thanks to more or less semi-steadily coming in jobs, my sleeping cycle has been messed up even more than usual. However, perhaps because of that, I've been having some interestingly SPN/J2 kind of dreams, where they visit small towns in midwest with the hangover sky giving out some enter-with-caution vibes. As usual, I'm nowhere in these dreams, so it's just like watching an episode with some slashy twists more in the open. . .
These dreams more than make up for the constant lack of sleep and this near house-arrest life I got going for myself.

Just an hour ago, I caught a commercial on the radio, advertising the special exhibit coming from the Louvre:
". . . including a mummy of a child, the rare exhibit allowed on this special occasion by the Louvre, we will see child-related artifacts to show us the real beauty of this world. . . ."
So a child's mummy exposed to the curious eyes of the strangers, out of context and out of time, represents beauty associated with the image of children? A mummy is an art? (I mean, I guess, it could be classified as an artifact, technically speaking. . . )

I don't know. Sometimes it feels blasphemous to have such a (maybe quite fine) line between private and public messed up in the name of beauty, art, or study, to be exposed to the curious (or worse in a sense, indifferent) eyes of strangers.

Hopefully, it's not violating someone's precious privacy when having fantasies and dreams where you are happily absent and unrelated:-)

(no subject)

Gradually starting to read SPN fics, following the past threads, just going where it takes me.
Not quite up to speed in getting back to commenting and such, nor have any idea where to start, but at least am beginning to feel more "immersed," ready to relearn the language and culture, I guess:-).

On a totally different note, while listening to a TV program on a radio (if that isn't too confusing), an ad came up in between, selling this breath refresher or hair treatment stuff I'm not quite sure which, which name was--


I don't know if I heard it quite right.
However, it still cracked me up!

Voice is significant, is it not?

It's been such a long time since I last made an entry.
It's been almost as long since I last went on-line like this.

Nothing much has changed on the personal front, which is not good.
However, I have been watching SPN that started aired around here at last. It's...okay, I AM happy that they are now airing SPN, which is now on to "Shadow" next week. And it really does not affect my watching the show, since I only watch it in English. BUtbutbutbutbut they made this terrible choice on who to do Dean (and Sam)'s voice! I used to have a relatively positive feeling about this (more or less popular) comedian they chose to do Dean's voice; now I almost detest him for ruining the character, thus ruining the possibility of the show becoming more popular among the Japanese viewers who have no access to cable channels!
I only tried to watch the show in Japanese once, only so that my friends could get a taste of what the show is like, how incredible it is...This comedian's (lack of) acting (talent) made the show literally incredible--as in not believable at all in terms of convincing intensity, which, in English original, is most satisfyingly present throughout each episode.

Please forgive me for complaining...but I know for certain that three people, at least, started snickering and stopped taking the show seriously just fifteen minutes into "Pilot" because of this guy's totally flat and inert acting, or rather, lack thereof. (Sammy's voice is a bit better, but only compared to the guy doing Dean...not in the happy way...)

The Third Season!!!

Happy-happity bunny dance with tapping bunny-foot:-)
Haven't caught up with the second season yet, but still highly excited-relieved-delighted!

No job yet...
  • Current Music
    birds outside

Coming Soon!

Supernatural is finally airing here starting next week!
It's the first season, and the airing time is two in the morning, the same slot they'd been showing V.I.P., of all things...
But still...
I'm ecstatic, to say the least! In addition, one of my few favorite comedian is going to do Dean's voice in Japanese, which I am not quite certain what to think of...


On a totally different note, I hate (real) guns.
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    ecstatic ecstatic


We have "Young Superman"(=Smallville), "Alias," "CSI," "LOST," "Prison Break," "Desuperato-na Tsumatachi" (=Desperate Housewives); When are we getting Supernatural?

Why haven't we alreardy??!?

I'm Back On-Line!!!!

Feb. 1st, 2007, I am finally back on-line.
That is, I found a place of my own, where I have an on-line access that is comfortably private.
While I have been long resigned to the fact that I am slow and possibly backwards in many aspects that make a person useful and relatively-independent in life, it is just ridiculous how long it took me to get this far after I moved here (well, I moved twice since the first big relocation half a year ago, but anyway).
In any case, I am as happy as I can be for now, and am hoping that this will be an occasion to re-enter the world of livejournal in a more livejournal-ish ease and constancy (which I seem to need even more than before).

At the moment, RL-wise, I am looking for a job I can commit myself to a bit more, a bit longer, if not permanently. OL-wise, I am trying to catch up with what I have missed in terms of SPN fanfics and news, not to mention the episodes themselves...heh. It is A LOT to cover...
It has been a long time since I was able to read what I wrote, but this phase shall pass as well, right? No?

Relocation, Jet lag, and WIP (...sort of)

Call me Persephone. Or maybe not.
In any case, back from the underworld to having (a bit more regular) access on-line, and looking forward to participating a bit more regularly...

Finally relocated after months of uncertainty. Although the "uncertainty" I brought with me, I'm afraid.
Moreover, I need to find my own place soon, for even this Internet connection is a borrowed one...sort of.

Jetlag making me sleep at odd hours...sort of...bringing me to sleep regularly after sundown and get up with the sun.
As I probably should have been doing, if not for my nocturnal ways.

Got a hair cut for the first time in...don'twanttothinkaboutit, and am ready to start looking for jobs (in this heat, nonetheless). Right now, I am (belatedly) looking for what I can do other than being a (good) student.

Everything is (really, sort of) in progress, including the stories I started out soooooooo long ago. (There were even kind people who had commented on them and encouraged me to continue, and I just...mostly disappeared amidst the chaos of--more or less--my own creation!) I've bits and pieces that I hang onto amidst all the commotion and temporary lodgings (from a friend to a friend to a friend...thank Buddha for friendship!), and I really need them OUT.

This post is, I guess, for me to move on, start anew, and find some footing (as if I ever had one!).

Hello, world??

Supernatural Fic: What Doesn't Kill Him (Prologue): Pain

[Title] What Doesn't Kill Him (Prologue): Pain
[Rating] Teen-ish, or just in case, NC-17
[Warning] Wincest (Sam/Dean in the end, but here, it's pre-series, Dean/Other that's technically John/Dean)
[Characters] Dean, Sam, John (cameo), Other
[Summary] They only want to protect their loved ones. Sometimes it means making a deal with a devil.
[Notes] This is an AU that starts here with the pre-series Winchesters and will progress alongside the series with a slight twist. This part was written long before the "Devil's Trap," but there's some inadvertent overlap concerning the premise, which isn't clarified in the prologue.
I guess it's more like a teaser, and since this is my very first foray into writing slash, I may never have another surge of courage to post next chapters.

Pain is Dean's only friendCollapse )