Music Mania Monday: Featuring Cage The Elephant

So this is going to be a thing, I guess. Every Monday, I will post a song that I think people need to know about. I won’t say much, if anything, about the songs or bands I’ll be posting, because I like to leave it up to you to decide what you get out of it. Leave me comments, rants, raves, whatever. Music is here for us to interpret and enjoy. Let’s discuss it!

Also, feel free to suggest anything you would want to be featured in the upcoming weeks, and I’ll see what I can do!

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If I Could Make It There… Thoughts On The Appalachian Trail

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Make It Anywhere.”

Make It Anywhere

I know this may be a little bit different from what most people would respond to this post with, but as I’ve never done anything the “normal” way, here we go!

The one place in all the world in which I feel a calling towards is the Appalachian Trail. With frequent childhood travels to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, I had always heard stories of the AT and those who traveled it, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I became aware that thru-hiking this trail was something that seemed worthy of doing.

I know that a six-to-eight months hiking adventure is something to not go into half-cocked. It’s going to be mentally and physically challenging, and there will be times where I just want to quit, but I believe that once I’m there – once I finally reach that end point at Katahdin, Maine – all the hardship and all the trials will be worth it. Just think of all the amazing people I will meet during those long months, and all the wonderful things I will discover while reconnecting with nature. I would have experienced a spiritually enhancing journey that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Life, Death, and What Comes After….

My boyfriend and I had an amazing conversation last night. Neither one of us knows how we came upon the topic of life and death, but we were both surprised (and maybe a little excited) to find that we both believe very similarly about what happens to us after we pass away.

I have always believed in reincarnation. I have some very clear “memories” of my past lives, in the form of intense recurring dreams, and my love of history stems from my curiosity about those dreams. Being raised in a home where religion or spiritual beliefs of any kind weren’t discussed (my mother is agnostic, and my stepfather is only Baptist when the mood strikes him), I never spoke much about what I saw or felt in my dreams. I definitely didn’t discuss the moment in fourth grade when my history teacher introduced us to the horrors of the Holocaust, and I realized that I had been dreaming about Auschwitz for years before I knew anything about the topic. It was something that I kept hidden away. My parents didn’t believe enough and, because I live in the Bible belt, other people would have labelled me as blasphemous.

Which is why, when my wonderful boyfriend claimed that he believed we were all made up of energy that is recycled until we find true happiness, I nearly cried with joy. (Ok, I wouldn’t have cried, but I sure as hell got excited!) We don’t believe the exact same thing (his line of thought goes more towards the whole time is irrelevant ideology and that we all just live this life over and over again until we either get it right or turn into misguided, evil entities looking for a body to take over. Yes, demons. Which, actually, makes some sort of sense to me), but the fact that we could discuss this without wanting to argue about it has to say something about our relationship!

I would love to know other people’s thoughts on the subject. Do you believe that when we die, we are reincarnated into something/someone else? Do you believe we go to another plane of existence? Do you think when it’s over, we are just gone? Please, feel free to discuss this! (No hate-mongering or bashing other people’s views, please. We’re all adults here. We know how to be civil.)

Wordy Wednesday: Haggard

Where would we be without language?

Haggard: Wild in appearance; emaciated

Haggard comes from falconry, the sport of hunting with a trained bird of prey. The birds used in falconry were not bred in captivity until very recently. Traditionally, falconers trained wild birds that were either taken from the nest when quite young or trapped as adults. A bird trapped as an adult is termed a haggard, from the Middle French hagard. Such a bird is notoriously wild and difficult to train, and it wasn’t long before the falconry sense of haggard was being applied in an extended way to a “wild” and intractable person. Next, the word came to express the way the human face looks when a person is exhausted, anxious, or terrified. Today, the most common meaning of haggard is “gaunt” or “worn.”

– Merriam-Webster

The Meaning of Love

How do you know if you are in love with someone?

I’ve been hurt too many times by men to let someone in so easily, but something feels right with this one. We’ve only been dating a few weeks, and anyone with common sense would know how ridiculous it would be to bring out the dreaded L-word this early in a relationship. Even so, I’ve caught myself nearly saying it several times in the past few days. My roommate even said something to me the other night, when I had slipped up while talking about him. I thought I had been sly, quickly changing my word to “like”, yet she still caught it. With her being my best friend, she had seen how different I had been since I met him (I have noticed that I’m not as stressed out about stuff lately!), and all she did was laugh and shake her head when she heard me say I loved him.

I think she would tell me if I was digging myself in too deep, right?

I don’t even know if I know what “love” is… Romantic love, anyway. With my spiritual beliefs, I have taught myself to love everyone and everything for who and what they are, but how do I differentiate between that and knowing if this is more than just infatuation? It’s scary how happy I am around him, but that’s probably because I’m so used to people letting me down that I’m half expecting him to just disappear and it will be all for nothing…

Maybe I’m thinking too much into it, and I should just go with the flow. After all, everything happens for a reason!