The Rejoicing Heart: Autumn in Moscow

Moscow is a pocket of joy, especially today. The sky is blue, but it’s not a friendly, midsummery sort of blue; it’s more like the color you see on a forty-five degree fall day, the kind where the sidewalk dances under your feet and the buildings meet the sky. It’s the kind of day that doesn’t need coffee to survive, where you can almost hear the words to the tune that composes the world. The lichen on the tree glows yellow in the noon sun, smiling up at the God that made it.

Bentleigh thinks we’re made of music. I agree. At the smallest level, we are composed of sound waves, and so is everything else in the world. This, perhaps, is why certain songs and certain kinds of weather speak more to us than others: our internal songs are the same.
This day is my day. It’s the sort of day that Bradbury would say anything could happen, and something always would. Simple pleasures gleam brightly in this weather, and coffeehouses are, for once, less happy places than the sidewalk. Usually in November it’s better to be in where the air is warm and smells like an eloquent mix of coffee and pumpkin bread, but not today. This is a streetside day. If knew how, I would dance down the sidewalk, but I can’t quite hear the beat well enough in the breeze. My feet wouldn’t be in the right key.
I think my soul is made of Chris Brown and Bach. If you gave Bach a beat instead of a basso continuo, his music would be today.
Some people hate it. Their rhythms are off, their keys wrong. For them, it feels crooked, like the way their feet jolt on the dancing sidewalk. Their equilibrium is off, and they don’t know why. But they know they don’t like it.
These are the Morning people. They prefer dawn, and rain, and Calvin and Hobbes. Which are good at the right time, but today is a Far Side day. It sings of sunshine and evening, of that afternoon glow that hits about thirty minutes before complete and utter darkness. Today is rap counted to a waltz.
Maybe some people just can’t feel the music. Perhaps that is the sixth sense that sends shivers down people’s spines, when the wind hums a minor chord and they can feel the effects without feeling the beauty.
Too many people try to get where they’re going without listening along the way. They miss so much, like remixing Chris Brown’s Forever. You just can’t do that with that piece. The Music of the Spheres is at a crescendo today, and tomorrow it will be gone. We are the Evening people.
Tomorrow, Moscow will be someone else’s pocket of joy. The sunshine will sing a pitch they can hear, and they will be able to dance to the earth’s beat. I will miss it, but I know that my music will come again. God is a Divine DJ, and he always plays our requests.

Rachel’s Thoughts: Satire: US Security

I wrote this for my Lit class. 🙂 …

Illegal immigrants. Drugs. Terrorists. Mexicans. Canadians. Soviets. Germans. Iranians.


The government is afraid of all of it. Hence the tight borders and rigorous policing of said borders. Nuns get patted down at airports. Handicapped children’s wheelchairs are searched. Old women with metal hips cause delays and annoyance for security guards, and woe to anyone who tries to bring their own water bottle into the terminal. You’re traveling home from the funeral with your inheritance, a set of twelve full silver place settings? A likely reason for carrying a dozen knives. Full-body scanners have been installed at most major airports, an incredible invasion of privacy to be addressed at some other time.

Suffice it to say, the United States of America is highly safety-conscious. Seat belts. Speed limits. Airbags. Flotation devices disguised as airplane cushions. How much money do we spend each year paying security people to dig through travelers’ underwear looking for bombs or guns disguised as perfume? The primary reason for this is the September 11 incident, one of the biggest strikes of terrorism against the United States. A worthy reason and a just cause, to be sure, but one that has spawned incredibly ineffective counter-measures. Our defenses are just as flawed as they ever were—terrorists are devious, villainous, diabolical, and downright sneaky.

Americans are getting annoyed. People are dying in droves while we’re stuck in line with plastic bins and no shoes, trying to get all the liquids out of our purses and into little plastic baggies so they can go through the scanner. Terror is still striking, and America is still defenseless.

Only one thing can be done. Continue reading

Rachel’s Thoughts: The Glory of Shakespeare

I am hooked on Shakespeare. Not as much as I am on Edmund Spenser, but considerably more than Sidney.

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny nonny.”

Rachel’s Thoughts: Sonnet: How to Train Your Dragon

Another sonnet, this one slightly more ludicrous than the last.


The dragon lays so still, a crumpled heap

Of scales and flame, a smoldering wreck of glory.

His eyes are shut; he rests now; snores, asleep.

So great his tale, unparalleled his story.


Once great he soared, the monarch of the skies,

Then caught by stealth, the trap of one young boy.

In fear he fled, in pain and turmoil cries;

His tail a hole had grown, the kid’s smart ploy.


He crashed to earth and hid within a vale,

He rescued him, on brink of death and saved

The frightful beast, although with cheeks so pale

And friendship grew; companionship they craved.


So thus came Toothless, joining Hiccup gladly.

He sleeps there now till Death will claim him sadly.

Rachel’s Thoughts: Old English Poem

For my Brit Lit class. Old English poetry has a split in the middle of each line, with two accented syllables on either side of it. The first of the second pair of syllables has to start with the same sound as one of the ones on the first half of the line…it doesn’t have to rhyme, but I liked it better when it did.


When darkness reigned                    and dimmed the sky,

The stars knew not                           their seats on high.

The Sun had yet                               to spill her grace

On Earth’s broad span,                    the shadowed-place.

Then one light flashed                     and filled the gap,

And Darkness fled                           to dens unmap’d.

The Fauns and Satyrs                       found their way

From holes deep hid’,                      and hailed the day.

The winged-ones came                    from winds-retreat,

They sang delight                             at Dark’s defeat.

The gods ascended                           to great Mount Ida;

And sphinxes dwelt                          in south Al Minya.

The Kings arose                         and reigned with might;

The people passed                            the period of Night.

Mankind grew strong,                      and cared for life;

When Time decreed,                        they captured Strife

And did not let                                 him loose again,

Till man-kind lost                            what might have been.

Rachel’s Thoughts: A Series of Unusual Events, Part 3: Flathead Lake Monster

Flathead Lake is an innocent lake in Northern Montana, the largest freshwater lake in the Western United States. But does some mysterious creature lurk beneath its tranquil surface?

Like Loch Ness, rumors have flown for decades regarding a mysterious beast dwelling in the water. Witness accounts describe the creature in ways that make it closely resemble Nessie; similarities which have led to speculation regarding its authenticity. Perhaps the monster of Flathead Lake is a myth created to attract more tourists…but like Loch Ness, several different people have ‘seen’ the monster-or evidence of it- over several different years in several different locations.

In fact…my parents and I recently spent a weekend at Flathead Lake, and while we were sitting on a dock reading one morning large wakes rocked the dock. We didn’t see what caused the waves (all three of us were, as I said, reading), but when we looked up as the dock wiggled around, there was nothing on the lake. There were no boats, swimmers, jet skis, or any other man-made devices that could have caused the wake.

Is the Flathead Monster simply folklore…or something more?

Rachel’s Thoughts: A Series of Unusual Events, Part 2: The Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness, Scotland, has a claim to fame that only one other place in the world can brag of. It has its very own monster, and its name is Nessie.

People have taken pictures and videos, but with so many faked images out there it’s impossible to tell which ones are real and which ones are hype. However, the fact remains that a great number of people have been sighting it since as early, possibly, as the 7th century. Or at least, they claim they have.

Is Nessie real? Is it simply, as some claim, a giant sturgeon-like creature? Or is it something…different?

What do you think?