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Words, Wrants and Wramblings

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Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Three Nouns and a Verb...

Author: Wren
Posted: November 11th. 2002
Times Viewed: 11,287

"Storytellers and stories change, but the opportunity to do well or ill by others and ourselves will always be present. The right to choose how we coexist is ours unless we willingly surrender it. There can be no quick fix, no easy or permanent answer to the troubles of today or tomorrow. A sword is a sword, nothing more. Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are, for Middle-earth as for our world, the mightiest weapons at hand.". -- (Viggo Mortensen; Introduction to The Two Towers Visual Companion)

I have to confess. In the past year, I have become an ardent fan of Viggo Mortensen. Not because he is a babe (He is) and not because he brings to the role of Aragorn all of the subtleties that Tolkien imbued in his characterization of the future King in exile (He does) and not because he has that same sort of silky, soft voice that first attracted me to Fritz (He has). I became a fan of Viggo because he does that one thing guaranteed to make me melt: He writes well.

I am in love with words. I always have been. Give me a phrase well turned and I'll probably be your friend for life. It is why I became a writer and a storyteller myself. The ability to combine words in a way that illuminates the ordinary in a fresh light or that simply reveals to us something often overlooked in novel way is both an art and a gift.

I think perhaps that same ability to explain the complex in ordinary terms is one reason why Scott Cunningham also won our Pagan Readers poll. Scott believed that what is profound need not be complicated. It is often our very child-like awe of what is beautiful or powerful or unexpected that Scott encouraged us to embrace. A singular 'Wow!" may be the best form of praise and worship ever to reach a God's -- or a writer's -- ear. Scott and Viggo both sidle into our consciousness bearing big bags of wows. In my Little Booklet of Life, you will always get extra brownie points for a really good wow.

Viggo just earned himself some significant b.p.'s with this week's quote. "A sword is a sword, nothing more. Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are, for Middle-earth as for our world, the mightiest weapons at hand."

And all that he used is three nouns and a verb.

The Nouns*:

Hope: (Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; also: expectation of fulfillment or success.) I don't know about you, but it is hope that gets me out of bed each morning. Hope is not the same thing as a wish. A wish is usually a fleeting emotional impulse or personal desire made over a flaming birthday candle or some two-pronged turkey breast part. Hope, on the other hand, is a serious and chronic condition.

Hope won't let us give in. Hope won't let us give up. Hope won't let us take the easy way out. Hope won't allow us to remain uninvolved. It is hope that forces us to keep going even as we hear the voices say, "You can't change things. You can't make a difference." Hope is the whip that drives us to keep trying even against overwhelming odds. Hope is the curse that will give us no peace if we surrender. Hope is the blessing that we hold in our hearts for a brighter future.

Hope is the vision that inspires us to look within ourselves.

Compassion: (Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.) Compassion for others and their situation is what impels us to become involved with humanity. Compassion won't let us turn our eyes away. Compassion stirs our soul with the commonness that we all share with one another. Compassion is not passive, as it requires us to take action on behalf of another. Compassion says, "There but for the Fates stand I." Compassion extends the hand that uplifts, that comforts, that strengthens us all.

Compassion is the vision that inspires us to look outward to others.

Wisdom: (1 a: accumulated philosophic or scientific learning: KNOWLEDGE b: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships: INSIGHT c: good sense: JUDGMENT d: generally accepted belief; 2: a wise attitude or course of action.) Wisdom knows what to do. Wisdom weighs the pros and the cons but does not lapse into confusion. Wisdom sets one's course and holds it true. Wisdom is learned by the doing and earned by the lessons that come of that.

Wisdom is both personal and universal. Wisdom comes from each individual act and from the cumulative actions of those who have acted before us. Wisdom is long-suffering. Wisdom is patient. Wisdom is quiet and yet words of wisdom ring with all of the force of a lightning strike. Wisdom saves us from endless repetition and graces us with boundless possibilities. Wisdom bridges the gap between past and future.

Wisdom is the vision that unites hope with compassion and looks both within and without for answers.

And The Verb:

Experience: (To learn by experience; 2: to have experience of: UNDERGO.) Many people think of experience as a noun and it certainly can be. But to me, experience will always be a verb. You can't have the noun experience without first working with the verb.

To experience, we must get off of our butts and actually go out and do the thing. To 'have' the experience, one must endure the experiencing. To experience is not a chore. To experience is to become a part of the process. To experience is to move. To experience is to take some action. To experience is to let oneself fall into the arms of emotion, of thought, of activity and to embrace them in return. To experience is to illuminate and then to activate our inner and outer vision. To experience is to hold hope, to cultivate compassion and to attain wisdom.

To experience is to love Life fiercely, passionately and well. Scott Cunningham loved life. Viggo Mortensen** loves life. All who dare to write, who dare to do, who dare to hope and to show compassion and to seek out wisdom, love life.

But life -- like hope, like compassion, like wisdom -- is always under threat. We must fight to preserve it. We must fight to protect it. We must fight to nurture it.

We have the weapons: Hope, compassion and wisdom born of experience are...the mightiest weapons at hand."

All that we really need is three nouns and a verb.

Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, November, 11th., 2002

* All definitions from: Merriam Webster's Collegiate¨ Dictionary, 10th Edition.

** You can find books and tapes of Viggo Mortensen's poems and art at Perceval Press and Viggo will reprise his role of Aragorn in the soon-to-be-released second film in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

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