And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men
TT: “Tails” from a 128 year-old barn
Our Michigan house was a pretty old house, it was build in 1910. The barn, however, was an older structure. The barn was built in 1892 by the Johnstons. They were a big name in the small town of Rosebush. I was told that Rosebush was given it’s name because of Mrs. Johnston. Anyway, the barn was a huge Amish barn. Coming from Georgia and South Carolina, we had never seen, let alone owned, a barn like this. The barns that I saw in Georgia were mostly pole barns, little more than a tack room and a stall or two so the horse(s) could escape the elements if it chose. So, yeah, this Amish barn was an amazing sight to behold and a lot of fun to explore. The barn has two levels. The lower level has two outside corral areas, one for cattle and one for horses. Each corral led to large covered areas for the animals to shelter in. These areas could, of course, be closed off in bad weather (a blizzard). Two heavy doors lead from the outside shelters to inside the barn proper. There are four large stone made stalls for (Belgian probably) horses, and beyond that several feeding stalls, a chicken coop, and a rabbit coop. The second level of the barn had a few pens for pigs or goats, and a massive hay loft. The hay loft has to be thirty feet high at least. there are two different chutes to drop hay down to the two different sections (inside stalls and outside shelters) of the lower level. These chutes start about twenty feet from the floor of the loft. That barn had to something incredible to see in its prime. A huge loft packed deep and twenty feet high with hay, farm animals of all sorts making this huge barn look small.
This Fisherman Was Attacked By a Shark and Lived to Tell the Tale
At the nine-o’clock whistle blast we waded into the surf. Each man towed behind him, by a light line tied to his lead-weight belt, a buoyant, hollow fish float. We would load our fish into these floats immediately on spearing them. This would minimize the amount of fresh blood released into the water. Blood might attract from out beyond the reef the big hunting fish––the always hungry and curious great predatory sharks that prowl the deeper water off the South Australian coast. Lesser sharks––like the bronze whaler and gray nurse––are familiar to skin divers and have not proved aggressive. Fortunately, the dreaded white hunter, or “white death” sharks, caught by professional fishermen in the open ocean, are rarely seen by skin divers. But as a precaution, two high-powered patrol boats crisscrossed our hunting area keeping a wary lookout. The weather was bright and hot. An offshore breeze flattened the green wave tops, but it roiled the water on the reef. Visibility under the surface would be poor. This makes it difficult for spearfishermen. In murky water, a diver often gets too close to a fish before he realizes that it’s there; thus he scares it away before he can get set for a shot. By 12:30, when I towed to shore a heavy catch of parrotfish, snapper, snook, boarfish, and magpie perch, I could see from the other piles that I must be well up in the competition. I had 60 pounds of fish on shore, comprising 14 species. It was now 12:35, and the contest closed at two. As fish naturally grew scarcer in the inshore areas, I had ranged out to three-quarters of a mile for bigger and better game. On my last swim in from the “dropoff” section of the reef, where it plunges from 25-foot to 60-foot depth, I had spotted quite a few large fish near a big, triangular-shaped rock which l felt sure that I could find again. Two of these fish were dusky mornings––or “strongfish,” as we Australian skin divers usually call them. Either of these would be large enough to tip the scales in my favor; then one more fish of another variety would sew things up for me, I decided. I swam out to the spot I’d picked, then rested face down, breathing through my snorkel as I studied through my face glass the best approach to the two fish sheltering behind the rock. After several deep breaths, I held one, swallowed to lock it in, upended and dived. Swimming down and forward, so as not to “spook” them, I rounded the large rock and thrilled to see my quarry. Not 30 feet away the larger dusky morwong, a beauty of at least 20 pounds, was browsing in a clump of brown weed. I glided forward, hoping for a close-in shot. I stretched both hands out in front of me, my left for balance, my right holding the gun, which was loaded with a stainless steel shaft and barb. I drifted easily over the short weed and should have lined up for a perfect head-and-gill shot, but… How can I describe the sudden silence? It was a perceptible hush, even in that quiet world, a motionlessness that was somehow communicable deep below the surface of the sea. Then something huge hit me with tremendous force on my left side and heaved me through the water. I was dumbfounded. Now the “thing” was pushing me through the water with wild speed. I felt a bewildering sensation of nausea. The pressure on my back and chest was immense. A queer “cushiony” feeling ran down my right side, as if my insides on my left were being squeezed over to my right side. I had lost my face mask and I could not see in the blur. My speargun was knocked violently out of my hand. The pressure on my body seemed actually to be choking me. I did not understand what was happening. I tried to shake myself loose but found that my body was clamped as if in a vise. With awful revulsion, my mind came into focus, and I realized my predicament: a shark had me in his jaws. I could not see the creature, but it had to be a huge one. Its teeth had closed around my chest and back, with my left shoulder forced into its throat. I was being thrust face down ahead of it as we raced through the water. Although dazed with the horror, I still felt no pain. In fact, there was no sharp feeling at all except for the crushing pressure on my back and chest. I stretched my arms out behind and groped for the monster’s head, hoping to gouge its eyes. Suddenly, miraculously, the pressure was gone from my chest. The creature had relaxed its jaws. I thrust backward to push myself away—but my right arm went straight into the shark’s mouth. Now I felt pain such as I had never imagined. Blinding bursts of agony made every part of my body scream in torment. As I wrenched my arm loose from the shark’s jagged teeth, all-encompassing waves of pain swept through me. But I had succeeded in freeing myself. I thrashed and kicked my way to the surface, thudding repeatedly into the shark’s body. Finally, my bead pushed above water and I gulped great gasps of air. I knew the shark would come up for me. A fin brushed my flippers and then my knees suddenly touched its rough side. I grabbed with both arms, wrapping my legs and arms around the monster, hoping wildly that this maneuver would keep me out of his jaws. Somehow I gulped a great breath. We went down deep again––I scraped the rocks on the bottom. Now I was shaken violently from side to side. I pushed away with all my remaining strength. I had to get back to the surface. Once again I could breathe. But all around, the water was crimson with blood—my blood. The shark breached the surface a few feet away and turned over on its side. Its hideous body was like a great rolling tree trunk, but rust-colored, with huge pectoral fins. The great conical head belonged unmistakably to a white hunter. Here was the white-death itself! It began moving toward me. Indescribable terror surged through my body. One tiny fragment of the ultimate horror was the fact that this fearful monster, this scavenger of the sea, was my master. I was alone in its domain; here the shark made the rules. I was no longer an Adelaide insurance salesman. I was simply a squirming something-to-eat, to be forgotten even before it was digested. I knew the shark was attacking again and that I would die in agony when it struck. I could only wait. I breathed a hurried little prayer for Kay and the baby. Then, unbelievingly, I saw the creature veer away just before it reached me, the slanted dorsal fin curving off, just above the surface! Then my fish float began moving rapidly across the water. The slackline tightened at my belt, and I was being pulled forward and under the water again. At the last instant, the shark bad snatched the float instead of me and had fouled itself somehow in the line. I tried to release my weight-belt to which the line was attached, but my arms would not obey. We were moving very fast now and had traveled under water 30 or 40 feet, my left hand still fumbling helplessly at the release catch. Surely I’m not going to drown now rushed through my mind. Then the final miracle occurred: the line parted suddenly and I was free once more. They tell me that all I could scream when my head reached the surface was: “Shark! … Shark!” It was enough. Now there were voices, familiar noises, then the boatful of friends that I’d been praying would come. I gave up trying to move and relied on them to help me. In this new world of people, somebody kept saying, “Hang on, mate, it’s over. Hang on.” Over and over. I think without that voice out there I would have died. The men in the patrol boat were horrified at the extent of my injuries. My right hand and arm were so badly slashed that the bones lay bare in several places. My chest, back, left shoulder and side were deeply gashed. Great pieces of flesh had been torn aside, exposing the rib cage, lungs, and upper stomach. Police manning the highway intersections for 34 miles got our ambulance through in record time. The surgeons at Royal Adelaide Hospital were scrubbed and ready, the operating table felt warm and cozy, the huge silver light overhead grew dimmer … until late that night or early next morning I opened my eyes and saw Kay alongside my bed. I said, “It hurts,” and she was crying. The doctor walked over and said, “He’ll make it now.” Today, a year and a half later, my lungs work well, although my chest is still stiff. My right hand isn’t a pretty sight, but I can use it. My chest, back, abdomen, and shoulder are badly scarred. God knows I didn’t want to, but Kay realized right from the start that I had to go skin diving again. A man’s only half a man if fear ties him up. Five months after I recovered, I returned to the sea to leave my fears where I had found them. But my skin diving is different nowadays. I’ve got my confidence back, but with it came prudence. You can’t count on getting through a second round with a shark; anyhow, there are plenty of risks you have to take in this world without going out of your way to add needless ones. So now I stay away from competition and leave the murky water to the daredevils who’ve never felt a shark’s jaws around their chest. I could not see the creature, but it had to be a huge one. Its teeth had closed around my chest and back, with my left shoulder forced into its throat. I was being thrust face down ahead of it as we raced through the water. Although dazed with the horror, I still felt no pain. In fact, there was no sharp feeling at all except for the crushing pressure on my back and chest. I stretched my arms out behind and groped for the monster’s head, hoping to gouge its eyes. Suddenly, miraculously, the pressure was gone from my chest. The creature had relaxed its jaws. I thrust backward to push myself away—but my right arm went straight into the shark’s mouth. Now I felt pain such as I had never imagined. Blinding bursts of agony made every part of my body scream in torment. As I wrenched my arm loose from the shark’s jagged teeth, all-encompassing waves of pain swept through me. But I had succeeded in freeing myself.
My 15 Unforgettable Travel Memories of 2018 – Highs and Lows
My 15 Unforgettable Travel Memories of 2018 – Highs and Lows. All I can say is wow! What a year it was. 2018 was such an active and incredible year for me. This year was all about adventure and exploring new countries. All together 9 weeks, 13 flights, 3 continents, 7 countries, 5 islands, 11 cities, countless villages. Thousands of photos. 33 blog posts. Feelings of all sorts. Happy smiles, crocodile tears, excitement, disappointments. I have encountered them all.
(Story 21: Inner Peace) something I love to do is
The beginning of my involvement in the peace-building field came with my own personal struggle to bring peace within myself. Due to my personal experiences, at a young age I came to the conclusion that this planet was only a very sad place, that no real Peace could ever be achieved and that, somehow, it was human nature to hurt and kill each other. The process that lead me to inner peace was a very personal one. Like with most people, it required first the destruction of the ‘dogmas’, the pillars of certainties that we build around ourselves in order to make sense of a world that most of the times seems to make no sense at all. In my very personal case, the need to find peace within myself was the objective, as the apparent lack of meaning of the bad things I experienced in life was becoming unbearable. A trip to Japan sparked something inside of me and gave me a taste of what inner Peace is like. In my new path, I tried to follow that sense of Peace and I was put on a journey in which I met many amazing and inspiring people that helped me out in my desire of reaching inner Peace. This led me to take part in many activities: meditations, martial arts and personal pilgrimages to holy sites in Europe, America and Japan. I somehow managed to be successful in finding peace within myself and my outlook on the world changed on many perspectives. One of them on the possibility of bringing Peace. After changing myself and consequently changing my mind about multiple issues, it became clear to me that Peace should be the most important goal, for everyone, since no other human activity can fully flourish with the constant threat and destructive impact of war. One event that was particularly meaningful to me was the Inter-religious Peace Conference that took place at the Peace Palace in The Hague on the 11th of September 2013. There were 5 representatives from the 5 most popular religions in the world: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The speaker of each religion gave insights on what religions can do to work together in order to promote peace, rather than hamper it, as has happened multiple times over throughout history, and still happens to this day. After all the interventions were over, the microphone was open for the audience. The first person to come on stage had a very negative outlook about the situation and even about the event itself. He said that religions have only contributed to wars and therefore cannot help bring peace, and he concluded that the average person is powerless in front of these global dynamics, so there was no point being there discussing anything in the first place. The moderator then asked “Does anyone have an answer to this question: what can the average person do to bring Peace?” The audience grew completely silent and the moderator was about to go to the next topic when he finally saw my hand raised, from the back of the room.
Perhaps we should pull back further, from Matthew to Essie. Essie is Matthew’s biographer, and she knows everything about him, all of his secrets, only some of which she put into her book. She put all of them into the simulation, for reasons which are secrets of her own. They are both good at secrets. Essie thinks of this as something they have in common. Matthew doesn’t, because he hasn’t met Essie yet, though he will soon.
“What the Dead Man Said”
My father certainly fulfilled his filial duty. He became a ranger, protecting the bio-engineered species his parents had introduced in the forests they’d prepared. As his only child, I should have done the same. I’d always liked working with the soil, so it was expected that I would go into agroecology and grow the food that would feed our people. But after what happened with my uncle … I shook my head to ward off the memory.
ONCE UPON A TIME a girl named Cinderella lived with her stepmother and two stepsisters. Poor Cinderella had to work hard all day long so the others could rest. It was she who had to wake up each morning when it was still dark and cold to start the fire. It was she who cooked the meals. It was she who kept the fire going. The poor girl could not stay clean, from all the ashes and cinders by the fire. “What a mess!” her two stepsisters laughed. And that is why they called her “Cinderella.”
Great Works of Dystopian Fiction
We may or may not be living in a dystopian age, but we are certainly living in an age of dystopias. At every turn in a bookstore aisle, you’re increasingly likely to stumble across a vision of our world, through the looking glass. You’ll find the classics — your Orwells, Huxleys, and Atwoods — but you’ll also find a rising crop of new entries into the dystopian canon, from younger authors with fresher concerns about what, precisely, could spell our doom. They don’t just appear in the sci-fi section, either — dystopian fiction is firmly ensconced in book-club-ready literary circles, as well. It’s fashionable to be pessimistic. It’s in this spirit that we assembled a group of readers to put together a list of some of the greatest works of dystopian literature, as part of Vulture’s Dark Futures week. We received guidance from Jenny C. Mann and Ursula K. Heise, professors of English at Cornell and UCLA, respectively, both of whom study dystopian literature, and limited our selections to books with some connection to Earth. Beyond that, the sky was the limit. There are some familiar faces, but we also wanted to pluck from unexpected corners: You’ll find literary fiction, young-adult works, graphic novels, realist tomes, some books written long ago, and others published in just the last few years. We skew toward the recent, as the term wasn’t even invented until the 19th century and has only in the last half-century or so come into vogue.
Why you should follow your passion
Every day that you go to work with this mindset, you begin to hate your job more and more. While many people feel that they must work hard to retire and have money to enjoy themselves, what’s the point of enjoying yourself in your later years when you spent some of your best years being miserable?