A Simple Rite of Marriage for Two True Believers

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I take issue with the traditional western Christian understanding that the wedding vows are only in effect “until death do us part”. This would be appropriate in a Buddhist context, where there is a strong emphasis on the impermanence and conditioned nature of all phenomena, however I am utterly convinced that this sort of language is entirely inappropriate in a Christian context, which is supposed to give an absolute priority to the permanence and unconditionality of the eternal life that Christ has won for us all.

Appending “until death do us part” to your wedding vows strikes me as a blasphemy against the resurrection of Easter; as a denial of the total victory of life, love, light and grace over death, selfishness, darkness and sin; it is a repudiation of the conquering of evil, demons and damnation by goodness, angels and salvation; it is to renounce marriage and Heaven and embrace divorce and Hell; it is to substitute the obedience of Christ for the rebellion of Adam.

As far as I’m concerned, claiming that every marriage dissolves at death is strictly equivalent to denying that Christ has risen from the dead, and so even if this doesn’t make you a heretic in the eyes of Holy Mother Church, it renders you a heretic under the divine gaze of goodness, truth and beauty himself. If ever I find myself in the awkward and unfortunate situation where my conscience compels me to choose between God and Holy Mother Church, I will choose God every time. Thankfully it’s never come to that before, and I have confidence that it won’t happen over this issue either.

Of course, the Divine Liturgy is inspired and infallible, so there must be some reason why God allowed this troublesome phrase to be inserted into our wedding vows. Well, legal contracts dissolve at death, it is true. No law can compel you once you have passed from life into death. And in this sense, the “until death do us part” condition in the traditional Catholic vows is a valid summary of the legal situation we find ourselves in. But marriage is not merely a legal contract; it is also a holy and everlasting covenant, akin to the holy and everlasting covenant between Christ and Church.

DIVINE MASCULINE & FEMININE JAN 14 - 20, 2018 MULTIPLE ...According to the order of Law, marriage is understood in a legal and contractual sense and therefore divorce is possible and is in fact ultimately inevitable, as all sin and so all die. However according to the order of Grace, marriage is understood to be an unconditional covenant, and therefore once truly entered into, it is a divine relationship that never can and never will be broken by anything: On account of the resurrection, not even death is able to dissolve it. It is in this sense that marriage here on earth reflects the heavenly marriage between Christ and Church. Just as Christ will never abandon the church and the church always clings to Christ, and on account of the resurrection not even death can separate them, so too husband pursues wife and wife clings to husband, and on account of the victory of the resurrection, not even death can nullify this marital union.

In light of these reflections, I have composed a wedding liturgy complete with vows which better reflect the reality of the victorious Gospel.

The Wedding Liturgy

Twin Soul Ascension Report ~ Easter Gateway Divine ...

Groom:

I vow to you that I will love you and fight for you in every way, always and everywhere, whether we be together or apart,

I vow that as you ascend to Heaven, I will be your partner on the journey and assist you; and whenever you descend to Hell, I will be your companion in the darkness and rescue you,

I vow that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor rulers, nor height nor depth, nor Hell nor damnation, nor anything else whatsoever, will divorce me from you.

I vow that even if God himself should declare us to be divorced, I will not accept it and will wrestle with him until he allows me to continue loving you in peace.

Groom (or a trusted minister)

Do you have faith that these my/[Groom]’s vows are infallibly guaranteed by the unconditional promise of God himself, by the supreme victory of the resurrection, and by the eternal and everlasting life that the Lord Jesus Christ has won for us all?

Bride:

Just as I have faith in these holy and divine mysteries, and just as I have faith in God, so too I trust you and I trust your vows.

Groom:

Truly, I am now and forever married to you.

[Put a ring on her finger and kiss her on the cheek]

Bride:

I vow to you that I will love you and fight for you in every way, always and everywhere, whether we be together or apart,

I vow that as you ascend to Heaven, I will be your partner on the journey and assist you; and whenever you descend to Hell, I will be your companion in the darkness and rescue you,

I vow that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor rulers, nor height nor depth, nor Hell nor damnation, nor anything else whatsoever, will divorce me from you.

I vow that even if God himself should declare us to be divorced, I will not accept it and will wrestle with him until he allows me to continue loving you in peace.

Bride (or a trusted minister):

Do you have faith that these my/[Bride]’s vows are infallibly guaranteed by the unconditional promise of God himself, by the supreme victory of the resurrection, and by the eternal and everlasting life that the Lord Jesus Christ has won for us all?

Groom:

Just as I have faith in these holy and divine mysteries, and just as I have faith in God, so too I trust you and I trust your vows.

Bride:

Truly, I am now and forever married to you.

[Put a ring on his finger and kiss him on the cheek]

Trusted minister/witnesses:

I/we declare and recognise {Groom] and [Bride] to be truly and eternally married as husband and wife!

[Thunderous applause from the witnesses]

[The newlyweds share a kiss and then depart to the bedroom to get it on all night long like it’s the song of songs, baby]

catholicity and covenant: Song of Songs: rediscovering the ...

St Maximus the Confessor and Apokatastasis

St Maximus the confessor draws a distinction between the “wanting” of God and the “willing” of God. Importantly, this maps directly onto the “wanting” of the soul and the “willing” of the soul. This is very important for understanding how universal Salvation is compatible with the popular understanding of free will.

The Willing and Wanting of God

God wants to save everyone: According to Catholics this is indisputable and fundamental. Because God is love, how could he ever want to damn someone? However, just because God wants something doesn’t mean he wills it. Wanting is a desire, whereas willing is an active manifestation of an intention, aimed at the satisfaction of a desire.

So on the one hand, God loves us all and wants to save us all. However, we abuse our freedom, and therefore God wills to punish us. The analogy of the father and the child helps to make sense of this.

A good father never wants to punish his child. So too, God never wants to punish us. However, the father sometimes feels compelled to punish his child, so as to “teach the child a lesson”. This should be both a corrective and a retributive punishment – which is to say, the punishment should be fitting and in proportion to the crime, but the punishment should also be aimed at educating and correcting the child and encouraging him to return to the right path.

Now, all of us have sinned, and therefore even though God wants to save us all, his will is compelled by his perfection of justice to condemn all mankind to damnation in Hell (Samsara). So there’s two things happening here: there is the Apokatastasis (Universal Salvation), in which both God’s willing and God’s wanting are in perfect harmony, and then there is the Massa Damnata, in which God’s willing is out of sync with God’s wanting: In the Apokatastasis, God both wants and wills all to be saved, and so all are saved. Whereas in the Massa Damnata, God wants to save everyone, and he does not want to punish anyone, but his will is compelled by his perfect justice to punish us all.

The summary with respect to God is that God always wants to save us all, however because all of us sin, he wills to damn us all.

The Willing and Wanting of The Soul

The analysis of willing and wanting with respect to God maps directly onto the willing and wanting of the Soul.

Every soul wants and desires God, and every action that a soul undertakes is aimed at trying to move that soul towards God. However due to our limited perspective, we often make mistakes, due to lack of prayer and mindfulness of what is right and wrong in any given situation. With our will we make choices which we think will satisfy our wanting, but often we are mistaken and our choice has the opposite effect.

In this way, with our wanting, we always seek after God, but with our willing we often fall short of God and find ourselves deeper in the darkness.

Synergism and Predestination

Now, the doctrine of synergism states that there is a perfect harmony between the wanting of the soul and the wanting of God, as well as – startlingly – perfect accord between the willing of the soul and the willing of God. That is to say, the soul always wants God, and God always wants the soul.

However when the willing of the soul is not directed towards that which will truly satisfy it’s wanting, then so too the willing of God will not be in accord with that which truly satisfies his wanting. Both God and the soul always want the soul to move towards God, but sometimes the soul wills to move away from God, and whenever it does this, God accordingly wills to move away from the soul.

In this way when someone sins they have failed to act correctly and have chosen wrongly. The result is an explosion of justice from God in the form of an increase of retributive punishment. And so when we reject God, we are punished, but the key thing is that this is not the punishment of a king towards a slave; it is instead the punishment of a father towards a son.

As such, God’s justice is a merciful justice: it aims at the salvation of the sinner. But God’s justice is also a retributive justice: his punishment always fits the crime.

Lets take things to the extremes: When the soul definitively rejects God (and St Maximus firmly maintains – along with popular catholic tradition – that this is possible), God’s justice responds with definitive rejection of the soul.

According to Paul in his letter to the Romans, all of us have definitively rejected God and we all continue and persist in this rejection. And so all of us have tasted Hell. In a sense, St Augustine was right about the massa damnata: all of us will be damned forever.

But there’s a rubber band effect in play here. It is just because all of us are damned, that all of us will be saved; the punishment of Hell (Samsara) is the very means by which God educates us to be able to make the right choices. Sometimes it takes total damnation of a soul; it requires a soul to hit rock bottom, in order for that soul to finally realise the truth of his situation and repent.

So even if a soul ends up in Hell by means of it’s own mistaken willing, that soul still desires to be in heaven by it’s infallible wanting. Everlasting damnation is the educative means by which God will bring that soul back to heaven.

If a soul ends up in Hell, that soul’s wanting and willing are out of sync. They are willing the wrong things in an attempt to satisfy their wanting. Similarly with God; when a soul ends up in Hell, God does not want the soul to be in hell, but he does will that the soul be in Hell.

In summary, the willing of the soul is directed towards the satisfaction of the wanting of the soul. So too, the willing of God is directed towards the satisfaction of the wanting of God.

The implication of this is that everything God wills, ultimately has the purpose of satisfying his wanting. So if God wills that someone be everlastingly and eternally damned forever and ever, then in a most mysterious way this act of will has the purpose of satisfying God’s want to save that soul. In other words, everlasting and eternal damnation is sometimes exactly what it takes in order for the soul to ultimately get what it wants, and also for God to ultimately get what he wants.

Conclusion – God or Hell: Which is More Eternal?

St Gregory of Nyssa – who was a firm universalist – pondered these ideas, and speculated that for most souls the stay in Hell would be a temporary one, but for some souls (for example perhaps Satan and/or Judas) their damnation will be so complete that their purification will “extend into infinity”.

But he also remembered that “God is infinitely more infinite than infinity and eternally more eternal than eternity”, and so he had the wisdom to ask “What happens after forever?” and his answer was αποκαταστασις; the final and universal rest of all souls in paradise . Those who find themselves stuck in Hell forever will finally begin to repent after a forever has elapsed. For the forever of Hell cannot compare to the forever of God. Hell may very well feel like forever to a soul who is stuck there, but to God, the punishments of Hell do not last even as long as the blink of an eye.

In this way, we have both the massa damnata and the Universal Salvation shown to be compatible with each other. Everyone will be damned for all eternity, and everyone will be saved for all eternity, and the key to understanding how this can be, is St Maximus’ distinction between willing and wanting.

Footnote

Just as the Catholics are correct to insist that “God loves everyone and desires to save all without exception”, so too, the Calvinists are correct to insist that “God is just and actively wills to send sinners to Hell”: When a soul finds itself stuck in the torments of Hell, this is because God wills it, but not because he wants it.

The Five States of Troll

  1. Sleeping

This state of troll includes troll being asleep and it also includes troll being Awake, because when we are talking about troll, they are practically the same thing.

Rule of troll #1: His eyes are ALWAYS closed. NO exceptions.

Trolls eyes are always closed, forcing him in to a state of permeant slumber. As a result he can’t tell the difference between his dreams and reality. Keep this in mind when interacting with troll and be on guard: There is a high probability that he will mistake you for a mate if you don’t choose your words carefully.

  1. Eating/searching for food

Rule of troll #2: He is always hungry

50% of troll’s schedule is devoted to this stage. For troll, a constant stream of food is vital: Without this food, he will revert to a feral, demonic, beastlike form which consumes everything in sight and has a million penises that ejaculate rainbow coloured plasma which gives aids to anyone it touches. Thus is the essence of state 5, which will be discussed in detail later.

So don’t forget: if ever troll stomps up and demands to see your lunch money, you’d better do it, or you could find yourself suffering a fate much MUCH worse then extortion by troll. Just be happy that he doesn’t eat humans any more – he likes to keep a healthy diet.

  1. Teh secks

This stage encompasses the following: Troll dancing, Troll sex and the Troll mating ritual. Watching troll dance is one of those “Must do it before you die!” things. Essentially, this state of troll involves him putting his “moves” on display, often with extremely dangerous, intensely painful and totally hilarious results.

Troll sex is not exactly troll “sex”. It could be better described as Troll demonstrating his method of penetrating three females at once. Of course the traditional habitat of troll is a boy’s high school, so finding suitable females for the demonstration is quite hard and if isn’t hard then it is most certainly illegal. With no females, troll will proceed to have intercourse with thin air. This provokes reactions such as “Oh Diooooooowwwww!”, “WTF are you doing troll?”, “You stupid, fat ugly troll”, “Keep it in your pants!”, “Oi! You don’t fuck with me!”, “WTF are you doing Semlar?”, “STFU Warna you’re a girl!”, “Oh yeah! Kodsi!”, “Shut up Lemar!”, “That’s what she said!”, “Sssooowwwttaaaaaaaaaa!!!”, “Do I need to call the principal to handle this blatant disregard of the school rules?!?” etc etc etc.

The troll mating ritual is pretty much the same as above, except that it can involve more then three females and has a hell of a lot more variety in the thrusting department. Who would have thought that a rock could move that fast!

  1. Getting beaten up

This is a routine exercise for troll. A day can’t be called a day until troll gets beaten up. If a day goes by without troll getting beaten up at least once, you must have been dreaming. This state most often follows state 3. Troll will attempt to dance and everyone will be horrified and proceed to beat up troll to make him stop it. It is really hard to get a rock to dance; therefore it must be even harder to get a rock to stop dancing. Beating troll up seems to be the only method and it has proven to be the most effective method to date. Maybe getting beaten up is like a backrub for trolls….He certainly seems to enjoy this state: once I could swear I heard him snoring, but it’s hard to tell because his eyes are always closed.

  1. Beast mode

This state of troll is one of those “If you know what it is then you are already dead” kind of things. This state can only be observed if troll is not permitted to eat for 1 hour straight. Doing this is a sure way to get yourself killed and it will result in torn up underwear all over the globe. You can also observe normal people in this state when they are participating in sport. Going beast mode is what some athletes strive to achieve, some actually do! But we don’t hear about them because they get deported to mars. Troll should be kept under close observation whenever he is participating in sporting activities. You never know when that call to the zoo’s “Uncontrollable animal’s team” might be necessary……

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Troll is in a state of permanent slumber
His eyes remain shut, through lightning and thunder.
The only time he will ever try to wake
Is when he senses a potential mate.

When Troll is asleep then troll is awake
His eyes will never open unless he smells cake.
This side of Troll is not very fun
Because sleeping is the essence of state number one.

Troll is always hungry, he can’t get enough food
If he demands your lunch money you’d best not be rude.
For refusal means a fate worse then extortion by Troll
No one enjoys getting raped; quick, give him some dole.

If Troll is not kept extremely well-fed
He may go beast mode and rough you up in bed.
Run away very fast if Troll points at you
Eating is the energy that fuels state number two.

What part of state three is the most pitiful?
Troll dancing, Troll sex and the Troll mating ritual.
By the way sex is the creation of life have you heard?
It also plays a big part in state of Troll, the third.

Watching Troll dance is torture most foul
His dancing must be met with loud cries of “Diow!”
Whenever Troll threatens to put his moves on display
Be fast and beat him up; don’t let him get away.

It is extremely hard to get a rock to dance
It’s even harder to bash one into a trance.
But don’t give up, it must be done,
If Troll won’t stop dancing then resort to a gun.

A day’s not a day until Troll’s beaten up
To Troll it’s a backrub welcomed with “Yay!” and “Wassup!”
So have no fear, this thing doesn’t roar
Bashing up Troll is welcome in state part four.

The final state? Please something else instead!
If you know what it is you are already dead.
Beast mode is the price that Troll must pay
If he does not eat at all for one whole day.

Keep an eye on troll when he participates in sport,
If he starts to foam at the mouth hold up inside a fort.
Troll becomes hard to kill; he’s said to have nine lives
Make sure to protect yourself; beware of state number five.

Now that you have read all this crap
You should know how to set a Troll trap.
So whenever you’re finding school to be droll
Just have a quick chuckle at the five states of Troll.

Alex Herlihy – 2008

Eating a Bogan at Recess

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It’s always funny to stand back and see
The many strange kinds of personality
That grace our playground at morning tea.

We sit down at recess Ray and I
Laugh our heads off at troll’s always-closed eye
And point at the randoms walking by.

Faz struts around with his shiny shoes
Geo says “CBF” and goes to have a snooze
Isaac gets full marks again: it’s not uncommon news.

And look there’s Popa thrusting his stuff
He feels the need to try and look buff
But cause he acts gay he never appears tough.

There’s also Yutaro banging his head
Though Benco or Nuno may be doing it instead
They are playing with an invisible guitar thread.

Then we hear some “fuck” and a little “shit”
“Wei you bastard! You’ll never get hit”
One of those black guys is pissed off a bit.

Oh no here comes Josh cause the chick isn’t fat
“Yo motherfuckers I’d tap it like that”
“What are you kidding this bitch is chat!”

Of course what follows fills me with glee
“Hey you don’t wanna fuck with me”
To which Lemar replies “Oh yeah Kodsi!”

Then there comes a nice little bash
“Boganing” we call it and it’s a real smash
Chests are extended and two bodies mash.

But attention is stolen and drawn to a shape
It appears to be Faz suffering Nuno rape
Muscles are squeezed while wenises drape.

Oh no, the fun’s over, I think I hear the bell
The divine influence that puts an end to this hell
It takes me to maths, to learn about cricket being parallel.

But before I leave I look back and see
That there are many weird kinds of personality
And they regularly grace our playground at morning tea.

Alex Herlihy – 2008

Rangas and Redheads

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Some people think that it’s bad to be a ranga,
I say such people should be hit with a hammer.

Where would we be if there were no redheads around?
Well for one Ironman would lie dead on the ground;

For who had the power to steal this hero’s heart?
A ranga of course, and she was skilled in her art.

She was Beautiful,

but Iron’s not the only one with a good taste in heads;
Just look at the girl Spiderman keeps among his friends.

Now put these love interests of superheroes to the side,
Rangas can easily hold their own against a villains pride.

Redheads are made of special stuff that no-one understands,
Scientists are confounded by the power a ranga commands.

With mind control and telepathy, they can easily bend a spoon.
Never argue with a mad ranga; It will surely spell your doom.

Oh those Deadly,

lovely, redheads…They must have evolved from an angel,
Hell they even have their own element on the periodic table!

Remember the Fifth element? The one? The divine light?
When asked to describe her, “perfect” seems quite right.

She was a well-read-red-head, of the highest degree,
Not to forget that she knew another language or three.

She was beyond awesome, she could light up a room.
Cutting through shadows with hair as bright as the moon.

For a Bright,

blinding light shines from a readhead’s skull. It stops fears,
defeats darkness and reduces the strongest of evils to tears.

Everyone knows redheads are the definition of “hot”.
One look at a ranga and you’re drooling on the spot.

So do you believe that it’s bad to be a ranga?
If you answered “yes” then you’ll be smacked with a spanner.
For you would never understand this questions correct answer.

And what is the answer?

Redheads;

Bright,

Beautiful,

Deadly.

Alex Herlihy – 2008

The COVID Sessions – Online Interfaith Exchange #1

A Hindu, a Buddhist and a Christian discuss politics, coronavirus, and comparative theology.

Emotions

329a-90c1-4fd3-abcc-5c8b2a5bb2e6[1]I’ve experienced emotions
beyond simple joy and fear;
emotions that I believed
were only found in Shakespeare.

Indescribable emotions;
the sort that send you mad,
the rage that brings tear to eye
and makes you seem very sad.

And then there comes the happiness;
it overwhelms the blue.
Yet I find this emotion
is a foreign one too.

Full of scorpions is my mind.
I must express my thoughts.
Yet I find no sympathy,
none who provide support.

For I always scoffed at complaints
concerning broken hearts,
and now that I’m in their place
I regret I ever laughed.

With that in mind I laugh again,
no one would ever have thought,
That butterflies in the chest
were so easily caught.

Now I recall false confidence,
belief in my success.
Which made it all the worse
when I failed to impress.

We can’t choose who we love in life
I believe and as such,
Know that anyone is fair game,
No one can stop your lust.

And thus I wait for jealousy,
that deadly sin of envy.
I fear I must be on guard;
For hell isn’t very friendly.

So I will convey feelings while
poker-faces hide my hand.
Love is a very tricky game
which no one understands.

I come full circle as of now,
away from sorrow and fear,
To discuss the simple feelings;
the ones you want to hear.

I’ve gone through many more emotions
then plain old joy and cheer;
emotions that I now know
weren’t made up by Shakespeare.

Alex Herlihy – 2008

Bright, Beautiful, Deadly

Sunrise

SCIENCE-Meteors-070198zz66[1]Every morning is the same; wake up before the sun, skip breakfast, race the rays of sunlight down from the highest point in Sydney to the lowest lane for the bus stop. Board the bus, watch the people, watch the window, see past the glass to the wonderful world. Repress the thought that there’s yet another English assessment task that is worth no marks begging to be done. One hour later arrive at the train station. Hop on a train, take another hour, and arrive at school. Rinse and repeat!

Today was different. There were no new faces on the bus, the sky was grey but without any rain to keep things interesting, and there was a thick fog obfuscating what would have been a glorious view outside. I found myself longing for a new face to pick to pieces, but not just any face; I had a very particular sort of person in mind. Someone who radiates magic; a person who overwhelms both man and woman with infinite beauty; the one who can redefine osmosis with a meaning that is more fitting of a word that sounds so good.

This train of thought was interrupted by a loud expletive from the driver as the bus suddenly came screeching to a halt. It was as if someone had hailed the bus right as it would run them over in order to save their own life. The doors opened, and I could see nothing through the fog seeping into the bus between the cold metal doors. Excitement filled my mind as I wondered who it could be. As the silhouette of this newcomer drew closer towards my seat, my electrified anticipation flew higher than I thought possible in this temperature. Out of the fog, appeared none other than that amazing person that had occupied my minds eye ten seconds before; the most beautiful, the most wonderful, the most graceful, glorious and gentle person on this planet; The absolute zenith of humanity; An angel trapped in mortal clothing; The light that can start and end all wars; The greatest of gods people; a sublimated form of god himself! The very reason life exists at all; the meaning of life!

Out of the fog stepped none other than a Redhead.

The doors closed and the bus lurched as it prepared to attack the steep hill with its’ wheels once again. The sudden jerk caused the beautiful angel before me to stumble slightly, and yet even in this imperfection was there embodied a sort of cosmic correctness that brushed aside any thought of corruption. Her beautiful eyes swept the seats, searching for a place to sit herself. There were hundreds, thousands of seats she could have picked, and yet by some strange stroke of fate she chose the seat, opposite and facing, me. Blood rushed through my whole body as I blushed a blush that could not be blushed for anyone else; a blush that set my whole face red, extended itself to my neck, and didn’t stop there. Soon my arms and fingertips had turned a bright bright red and begun to melt the ice which was coating the window on which they lay. My toes began to burn and steam quite visibly began to rise from my feet. The blush continued consuming my body, and finding that it could do no more there, begun to seep out onto the floor of the bus; creeping up to the other passengers and setting them in a hot flush as well. Suddenly my whole body burst into flames, the bus flew off the edge of a cliff, the other passengers on the bus melted into a void, and right as a mushroom cloud was beginning to appear on the hyperbolic horizon; the redheaded Goddess sat down.
The other passengers were still sleeping, despite the bus blowing its’ horn at some slow cyclists who were getting in the way more than the fog, and despite the presence in the bus of the very reason they walk in this world. I frowned at them all; stereotyping themselves and the whole world with no shame. It is a sad thing indeed when the entrance of a redhead is not met with immediate awe, respect and praise. But unfortunately, this is how the world stands. The world rejects their true kings and queens, labelling them gingers. Outcasts. Outsiders… How horrible, that the most godlike, angelic figures in all time and space must meet with such mad manners. Even now; in shops all around the globe, Dominant pants are being chosen over red denim, those most recessive of jeans. The red gene is reason for respect not racism! But no, society would call it a curse to be blessed with such beauty. They give the gift many names; Gingeritis; “You Fucking Ranga”; The curse of the outsider. How could this picture of pure beauty before me be treated so? What could this visual elegy of elegance have done wrong to deserve it? How could she do wrong at all! What a piece of work is a Redhead; how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty; in form and moving, how express and admirable; in action how like an angel; in apprehension… How like a God!

istockphoto-642266374-612x612[1].jpgThe only thing “Outsider” about the praeclarus girl facing me was that she had been outside too long, in the cold cold icy cold air, and was shivering. Shivering and shaking. Shaking her hair; Her long, silky smooth, burning hair running down past her neck and wrapping her body in a waterfall of warmth, casting off the shivering shell and kicking it to the side so that she could sit still, safe, and content; wrapped in the warmth of her own magic. I could not draw my eyes away from her, no, and neither could I restrain my ears! She sighed a sigh that sent shivers down my spine with such intensity that I could hear it cracking under the stress, the sound almost interrupting this ethereal music washing over my senses. It was as if she could simply pluck music out of the air without aid of pipe or wind, and with a mere breath set the elements to movements of chromatic harmony. Oh her breathing! The perfect, regular, waves of warmth carried with them a tale of a body that knows no sickness and is immune to all injury. So overwhelmingly powerful was her influence on my sense of sound that even my nose and tongue could detect her perfection in the air. My olfactory system exploded with sensation; she was the thirteenth essence! You would have to distil all the roses in the world to even come close to imitating how wonderfully this was received in my nose. Her scent was more precious than the most expensive perfume; with it came memories of all the most wonderful, happy, exciting, sad, victorious and unfortunate events in my life. All these moments came back to me and played out again, as if I were looking into the past, looking into the very crux of my identity, peering through a window to my immortal soul. I was reminded of what it meant to be human. The images dissolved into fireworks and stars, and glittering, shimmering, glowing red hair as my eyes opened and returned to the present. Reflected in her eyes was absolute infinity, those beautiful blue orbs; the two blue planets beneath the red curtain that align on the truth – but I could have sworn they were green not two seconds ago, and now they are a grand Hazel! Magical eyes of innocence, infinity, intelligence… and ignorance; From the eyes of everything, I wanted nothing. I only needed a single image, and it was sitting before me already.

Her long, slender legs were unbruised and smooth; showing no sign of being spoilt by worldly action. Her arms glowing with the power held within, her lips wearing a smile that could melt the hearts of a whole nation. Her perfectly rounded thighs put to shame the most well-crafted sculpture; an artist could spend his whole life trying to emulate those thighs and never come close. Her breasts needed no support, they were as light as air, unfreckled, smooth, bright, beautiful! Oh, what would I give to run a finger across those sacred domes, down to her luscious legs, up to stroke her gentle face, and then to engulf my hand, my arm, my whole body in that hair! Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! Bright. Beautiful. Deadly. Bright, Beautiful, Deadly. Bright Beautiful Deadly. BrightBeautifulDeadly. BrightBeautifulDeadlyBrightBeautifulDeadlyBrightBeautifulDeadly…..

I sat there, under the full effect of this redheads magic; this angels enchantment; this outsiders curse. My freedom lost to beauty. Fair tresses man’s imperial race ensnare, and beauty draws us with a single red hair.

6383085293_49e1ea99f9_b[1].jpgThe bus stopped again. My redhead rose, and with hair shining brighter than a thousand stars, did exit and return to the outside world, the fog parting before her and joining behind her with every step. The three word poem “Bright. Beautiful. Deadly.” repeated over and over in my head. As she moved further away the spell she had cast over me grew weaker and weaker until finally… I woke up. Suddenly I felt cold again. The bus was still covered in frost, the passengers were still sleeping, there was still no light. I yawned and peered outside the window, my eyes winking away tiredness. I searched for the redhead, hoping that I could fill myself with warmth for a second longer. I searched and searched; stretching my sight to the heavens, but I couldn’t find her. Over the water I could see the sun rising, a semicircle of orange beauty. Bright, Beautiful, Deadly indeed. Some of the other passengers opened half an eyelid and briefly joined me in lending their gaze to the horizon. The soul of our solar system sparkled bright, but not so bright that it would force a wince of pain and my turning away; Dawn is the hour to appreciate our majestic sun. I heard a snore behind me and turned around. Everyone had returned to sleep but me. I sighed and for the final time glanced out the window at nature’s light show, smiling as I noticed a familiar face on the horizon.

Alex Herlihy – 2010