Adam and Eve?

Who were the first story tellers?  Well, the first people of course.  If you are Christian, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)  “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)  If you are an LDS Christian, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) your twist on the story would be “Gods” as in Heavenly Parents who came to earth, partook of earthly food and had two earthly children.  So I guess in that case the storyteller would be Heavenly Mother.  But, if you are some other persuasion, you have a different story.

If you are Piute the first woman was Bear’s wife.  The first man came to live in the area and she wanted to see him.  Bear was jealous, they quarreled, he was killed, (that’s one tough woman) and she went to find the first man.  They met, married and started the Piute people.  One of her sons was unruly and caused such an uproar that he and a sister were sent away to start another group of people.  The first woman missed them so much that her tears formed a lake and she waited so long by the lake, she turned into stone.  (http://plpt.nsn.us/story.html)  Photo found on:  (http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nevada/underrated-lake-hidden-gem-nv/)

If you lived in Ancient Greece, you believed that the world was first populated with the gods.  One group, the Titans was pretty much wiped out by the god Zeus.  One of the remaining Titans, Prometheus made humans out of clay.  Since Zeus didn’t like Prometheus, he decided humans were not worth it either.  So, he flooded the earth to drown them out.  Two survived, huddled in a boat.  Deucalion and Pyrrha (daughter of Pandora, yup, the one with the box) decided to consult the Titan goddess Themis to see what they should do.  She told them to throw their mother’s bones over their shoulders.  Confused and a bit horrified at what seemed sacrilege, they pondered the words and decided that the goddess meant mother Gaia, the Earth and bones were rocks.  So they tossed rocks which transformed into the ancestors of humans today.  (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSGaia.html)  Picture found on: (https://mrpsmythopedia.wikispaces.com/Deucalion+and+Pyyhra)

If you are Hindu, Praja-pati, the Lord of Creation, was all that existed in the beginning.  From his will alone, he created mind, water, earth, fire, sun and air.  Then because he was lonely, he split himself into two parts, man and woman.  From these two came all of the animals, humans included.  (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSSelf.html)  Picture found on:  (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/475692779364306624/)

If you are from China you may have been told of the goddess Nü Wa who roamed the world in solitude.  She wanted company so she shaped some mud into the form of a human.  As soon as she set it onto the soil, it gained life.  She made many more and then, wanting even more people, too a long vine and dragged it through the mud.  Then she swung the vine in the air and scattered mud all over.  Each drop turned into a human.  The handmade ones became aristocrats and the mass produced ones the common folk.  (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSPG&NW.html)      Picture found on:  (https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/nuwa-the-serpent-goddess/)

And, if you grew up long ago in Babylon, you learned of Ea, Marduk and Nintu.  Their gods were just as loving and gentle to each other as the Ancient Greek’s.  Ea, the god of rivers, ended up doing in his great-grandfather, Apsu.  This really caused a battle which his son, Marduk led, won and became head god.  It seems the earth had water and land, but nothing else, so Marduk filled in the details: rivers, plants and animals.  Okay, so he gave the vanquished gods chores to do to take care of this newly filled planet.  Surprise, surprise, they didn’t like it.  So, Marduk called the leader, Kingu, to come forth and slew him, right on the spot.  Then, with spit from the other gods, Kingu’s blood and clay, Ea and Nintu, the birth-goddess, created humans.  Guess who got all the chores?  Yeah, the measly human underlings were also given the honor of worshipping the gods and holding festivals for them.   (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSMarduk.html)                                                                        Photo found on: (http://www.annunaki.org/who-is-marduk/)

All these stories and more may be found in a bounty of books and on-line.  There are many sites in addition to the University of Georgia web site cited above, all just a few clicks away.  Try out your local library first.  In my un-humble opinion, the rustle of turning pages far surpasses the clicking of a computer mouse.

Each time I read a creation story I’m filled with respect for the ancient people who with limited knowledge and revelation did their best to make sense of the beautiful world they called home.

Life Story Short


A Short Story is short on purpose. The author has a set number of words in which to tell the tale. Each word has to be important and to move the story along to its conclusion. But what about life stories? Like each word, each day is important. Each moves a life along to its end. I believe, as the Musician Cat Stevens wrote, some lives are “only dancing on this earth for a short while.” I have two brothers whose stories only had a couple of letters. My first daughter’s had not quite 30 chapters. When God/Nature/Fate is in control, that’s okay. But what about when Man, in his finite wisdom(?), takes control.

On May 8th, 2017, an article was published in the Utah newspaper, The Deseret News. It told of a young man with only 18 chapters of story who was facing legal charges. He helped a young woman with only 16 chapters written, end her life’s story. He helped her buy supplies, find a place in the nearby woods and establish a setting. Then he watched her die. He did this to discover if this was something he could go through with.

People magazine, June 26, 2017, printed an article about a young woman with only 20 chapters in her story who is facing up to 20 years in prison for actively encouraging a young man of 18 chapters to end his story. She texted him, keeping him on task. At one point, when he wanted to back out, she ordered him with profanities to continue.

No one who values the light, colors and varieties of life wishes to leave it. Therefore, it seems to me that all four stories had paragraphs, pages, even chapters of sad, depressing words that fogged over the beauty of living and put each person in a place of cold, damp gray. If one remains in that place long enough, one will do anything to get out.

Those who have removed themselves from that place, and life, I believe are now in the light of God’s infinite love and will see much more than gray. The rest of their eternal stories will be written with many more beautiful words.

For those still in this world, UtahBlueDevil from Durham, NC commenting on the Deseret News article put it beautifully. “You have to wonder what could have gone so wrong (in) a short 16 or 18 years to have some kids with so much ahead of them to make such a horrible decision. There are many chapters in life, some good, (some) less so. But few of them last, and there is always a chance to write a new chapter, with a different ending. I feel and pray (for) the parents and families of both of these kids. It is nothing any family should have to deal with… under any circumstances.”

What kind of pages will the two older young people write in prison? Will they have a chance to use beautiful words or will their words stay fogged over?

What about you and I? What words are we using to write our stories? How do those words help or hurt us and those around us? I have too much fog causing words in mine. One thing is certain, the next time my second daughter calls me “anything but human”, I plan on smiling. After all, she is still here to swear.

Happy birthday Mom, do you feel ancient?

I just passed my 60th birthday. It felt like one more page in the story of my life, not even a chapter, only a page. My daughter, 18 years “old”, asked me how it felt to be 60. Other than arthritis, sinus headaches, chronic cough from sinus drainage, sore toe from clutzing and stubbing it, acid indigestion, hand and foot cramps, (at least I’m done with the other cramps, thank heaven) and a constant flow of words in and out of the brain that never make it to the mouth when I need them, Hey, it feels great!

I’m Fine, How are You?
There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
Arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
My memory’s failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.
It is better to say “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in.
I’m fine, how are you?
(wish I knew who wrote this, I found it on http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/aging2b.htm)

All in all, I simply: Don’t Worry
At age 20 we worry about what others think of us;
At age 40 we don’t care what they think of us;
At age 60 we realize that they haven’t been thinking of us at all.
(again from http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/aging2b.htm)


My Grandmother Morris was born an eldest child in December of 1898 and died November 1994. She knew the first, middle and some last pages of the life stories of siblings, children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and greatgreatgrandchildren. She saw, felt and lived an entire history book. She travelled by horse and buggy, train, automobile and watched rockets fly to the moon. She knew the pain and delight of a hard day’s work with crops, farm animals and school children. She collected sagebrush for the fireplace and paid the propane bill for the room heaters. She communicated by word of mouth, telegraph, party line telephone but never computer. She knew how to see each unique sunset, to hear a bird call and name it, to smell a storm or feel a tornado’s approach, to taste the sweetness of crab apple jelly—sweeter because she made it, and to live the experience of standing on a Snake River tributary bridge with a grandchild and see, hear, smell, feel and taste all that entailed.
She taught me more than I can remember. The forgetting does not come from living too long. The forgetting comes from living too long in concrete and steel, too long with instant pudding, ½ hour Sit-coms and texting. It’s time I remembered. I think my next life page will be a different story from this one.

When an 80-year-old widow, Gram shared an anecdote that went something like this:

MY FIVE NEW BOYFRIENDS!
I am seeing 5 gentlemen every day.
As soon as I wake up, Will Power helps me get out of bed.
Then I go to see John.
Then Charlie Horse comes along, and when he is here, he takes a lot of my time and attention.
When he leaves, Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn’t like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint.
After such a busy day, I’m really tired and glad to go to bed with Ben Gay.
What a life!
Oh, yes, I’m also flirting with Al Zymer and thinking of calling Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker to come and keep me company.

(wish I knew who wrote this one too!)

El cóndor pasa

Sometimes a piece of music tells a story. Other times, it is part of a story, told in a musical. But, sometimes the story is what the song inspires. In 1913 Peru, as part of a musical “El cóndor pasa” (The condor passes) an instrumental piece of the same name was written. The play told how a group of miners gain the hope of better working conditions by the deaths (murders) of their bosses. It was the last piece of music in the play and accompanied a wedding procession of all but the miners who had no time off work. At the end of the musical, cóndors, long absent, return to the area. The miners see this as a sign for better days ahead.

This piece was at one time thought to be an Andean folk song, but it really was composed by Daniel Alomía-Robles for the play, based on traditional songs with an early set of Quechua words. Quechua is a native Andean language. It was scored for an orchestra, but it’s most famous renditions use Andean flutes or Pan Pipes. This gives it an airy sound, like wind over the mountain tops. There are over 400 versions, at least 300 have lyrics, each one different. It has become so popular, it is now considered a second Peruvian national anthem. I suppose that makes it a song for folks.

One set of lyrics was written in 1965 by American artist Paul Simon. He heard the tune in Paris, performed by the band Los Incas. He asked the band for permission to include the piece in his next album. They told him the music was a folk tune, but that the arrangement was their director’s. Jorge Milchberg stated he was a registered co-author because he added two notes and therefore could collect royalties. So, the Simon and Garfunkel album did not list Robles as the composer.

In 1970 Peruvian filmmaker Armando Robles-Godoy, Alomía-Robles’ son, took Simon to court over copyright infringement. His father had copyrighted the music in the U.S.A. in 1933. The lawsuit ended amicably as Robles-Godoy recognized that it was an honest mistake brought on by a misunderstanding. Today the album lists Alomía-Robles, Milchberg and Simon as composers with Simon as lyricist.

Google Youtube El cóndor pasa sometime.  I’d add a link, but there are way too many wonderful choices.  Find the one you like.

I found the Quechua words at this site: http://www.allthelyrics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=92041 with a translation at entered by a user named citlalli.

Quechua:

Yaw kuntur llaqtay urqupi tiyaq
maymantam qawamuwachkanki,
kuntur, kuntur
apallaway llaqtanchikman, wasinchikman
chay chiri urqupi, kutiytam munani,
kuntur, kuntur.

Qusqu llaqtapim plazachallanpim
suyaykamullaway,
Machu Piqchupi Wayna Piqchupi
purikunanchikpaq.

English translation based on the Spanish translation of the original:

Oh majestuoso Cóndor de los Andes,
Oh majestic condor of the Andes
llévame, a mi hogar, en los Andes,
take me home, in the Andes,
Oh Cóndor.
oh condor,
Quiero volver a mi tierra querida y vivir
I want to go back to my beloved land and live
con mis hermanos Incas, que es lo que más añoro
with my Inca brothers, this is what I yearn for most
oh Cóndor.
oh condor

En el Cusco, en la plaza principal,
In Cusco, at the main square
espérame
wait for me
para que a Machu Picchu y Huayna Picchu
vayamos a pasear.
so that we can go for a stroll
in Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu