Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knots and Knots of Fish

For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38-39

Excerpt from The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold : Chapter 7

“Do you see her?” Buckley asked Nate as they climbed the stairs. “That’s my sister.”
“She was gone for a while, but now she’s back. Race!”

And the three of them—two boys and a dog—raced the rest of the way up the long curve of the staircase.

I had never even let myself yearn for Buckley, afraid he might see my image in a mirror or a bottle cap. Like everyone else I was trying to protect him. “Too young,” I said to Franny. “Where do you think imaginary friends come from?” she said.

For a few minutes the two boys sat under the framed grave rubbing outside my parents’ room. It was from a tomb in a London graveyard. My mother had told Lindsey and me the story of how my father and she had wanted things to hang on their walls and an old woman they met on their honeymoon had taught them how to do grave rubbings. By the time I was in double digits most of the grave rubbings had been put down in the basement for storage, the spots on our suburban walls replaced with bright graphic prints meant to stimulate children. But Lindsey and I loved the grave rubbings, particularly the one under which Nate and Buckley sat that afternoon.

Lindsey and I would lie down on the floor underneath it. I would pretend to be the knight that was pictured, and Holiday was the faithful dog curled up at his feet. Lindsey would be the wife he’d left behind. It always dissolved into giggles no matter how solemn the start. Lindsey would tell the dead knight that a wife had to move on, that she couldn’t be trapped for the rest of her life by a man who was frozen in time. I would act stormy and mad, but it never lasted. Eventually she would describe her new lover: the fat butcher who gave her prime cuts of meat, the agile blacksmith who made her hooks. “You are dead, knight,” she would say. “Time to move on.”

Dangling Golden Threads 

"Chapter 7" of The Lovely Bones is surreal, filled from start to finish with images that serve as golden threads—which are, themselves, portrayed in the fringe of Susie’s cutoffs. All of these threads need to be connected to similar threads in other stories belonging to the gemstone… and when all loose threads are matched and knotted, a new story comes together which explains something that happened approximately 2,000 years ago. More specifically, this story will shed light on the relationship that existed between Jesus and Mary Magdalene and reveal the true heir of the Sacred Story delivered by the Bible.

This revelation is validated according to the same rules that govern the authentication of the Hebrew Bible as a divinely inspired work. However, this time God’s word arrives via the pen of multiple authors of novels and Hollywood movies. The final product however, isn’t merely an explanation of something that happened in the past. It repairs the bridge between the Age of Aries and the Age of Pisces in preparation of laying the foundation for the Sacred Story going forward.

What needs to be accomplished is no ordinary feat. We’ll have a very small window of time to readjust our thinking of the past two millenniums and get ready for the future in a world unlike anything that’s been experienced. This marks both the end of the days that were listed in the opening chapter of Genesis and establishes a Beginning that will be carved out by Nature; God’s Creative powers in action. It will represent a new Era which will be known as the Eighth Day of Creation as it ushers in the Age of Aquarius.

In the old story, God used unleavened bread as a way of telling those in Egypt to make haste when the moment arrived. “Chapter 7” of The Lovely Bones provides the starter recipe for the story going forward. It provides a concise mixture of the active ingredients accompanied by the necessary instructions we need in order to complete our portion of the transformation. We are after all, co-creators in this World.

The Task of Making Knots

The author of The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold, tapped into imagination… and when she described the stairway of a suburban split-level home as being long and curved, the exaggeration established the fact that these two boys, who are aiming to race up it, see the world through eyes that view their surroundings as being much grander than its physical reality.

The image of a long curved staircase appears again in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s film presentation of The Phantom of the Opera. The scene from the movie shows Madame Giry guiding Raoul down a long winding staircase in search of the Phantom and Christine Daaé on that fated night, following their duet and the Phantom’s cutting of the ropes that were holding the chandelier in place. When they reach a certain point on the stairs, Madame Giry stops and announces she can’t go any further. She sends Raoul on his way with a reminder to keep his hand at the level of his eye.

The detail that follows the curved staircase in “Chapter 7” is Susie’s reluctance to being seen in the mirror by her brother. This thread also finds its counterpart in The Phantom of the Opera but arriving there requires a retrograde journey, backwards through the movie to the scene in which the Phantom sings to Christine in her private dressing room at the opera house. “Look at your face in the mirror—I am there inside!” And the Phantom extends his hand, inviting her to enter the mirror and go with him…

The knots formed between The Lovely Bones and The Phantom of the Opera may seem frivolous at face value, but their contributions are far reaching. They teach us how to follow the most complicated of all threads—the one at hand—so we don’t end up with a tangled meaningless mess.

When getting started, it isn’t necessary to attempt to merge the details of entire novels or movies. We enter the connecting story at the start of the scene—or beginning of the chapter in a novel—in which the adjoining thread first appears. Given the example provided by Madame Giry, once we have entered the scene, we need to be watchful for a communication telling us when we shouldn’t continue any further. Again, the thread identifies our entry point and the connecting story will reveal the point at which we exit. Our task is to gather only the details that are sandwiched in between. If the details we encounter are known to have a connection to a detail in another component of the gemstone, then we can make a stitch or mentally tack pieces together at every opportunity.

Following the detail of the long curved staircase reveals a strategy… and the beauty of the gemstone is that whenever a strategy is revealed, it is put in action shortly thereafter.

In our encounters with the stories of the gemstone, we’ve brushed against grave rubbings before. Actually, the words appear multiple times in The Da Vinci Code and all instances occur in the scene that plays out in Westminster Abbey. “Chapter 97” of Dan Brown’s novel begins as Langdon and Sophie are hurrying through the grand portico of the north transept where they are met by guards who usher them through the newest addition. Stepping across the threshold, Langdon felt the outside world evaporate into silence. Their eyes, “like those of almost every visitor, shifted immediately skyward, where the abbey’s great abyss seemed to explode overhead. Gray stone columns ascended like redwoods into the shadows, arching gracefully over dizzying expanses, and then shooting back down to the stone floor."

The mention of “grave rubbings” in The Da Vinci Code ends when a charcoal pencil of the kind typically used to make them is found alongside instructions written on the black marble sarcophagus of Isaac Newton’s tomb. The message written is:

I have Teabing.
Go through Chapter House,
out south exit, to public garden.

The message is as much an instruction to us as it is to Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. The Chapter House is a free-standing annex at the end of a long hallway. It’s a huge octagon shaped room, with what are described as breathtaking windows on the far side that rise five stories to a vaulted ceiling.

"Crossing the threshold, both Langdon and Sophie find themselves having to squint. After the gloomy cloisters, the Chapter House felt like a solarium. They were a good ten feet into the room when they realized the door they had been promised wasn’t there. They were standing at an enormous dead end."

The Making of a Map
When Langdon and Sophie make their entrance into Westminster Abbey, they’re “guided through the newest addition.” In The Da Vinci Code this refers to the metal detectors that have become a standard feature of most historic buildings in London… and for that matter in public facilities throughout the Western world. But as far as the gemstone is concerned, the newest addition pertains to a story that has joined the others since my last blog. In truth, there have been several stories that have come to light in recent weeks and based on a quick pass of the range of pages specified in The Da Vinci Code, I know exactly which new addition to begin with.

In the details provided, “Gray stone columns ascended like redwoods….”

Gray is the name of the leading lady in the movie Catch and Release who, as the movie begins, is dressed in black and shown greeting mourners following her fiancé’s funeral—on the day that was supposed to have been their wedding. We’re given a glimpse of the wedding cake in the refrigerator which has two tall evergreen trees—miniature redwoods—for its cake topper.

Gray’s last name is Wheeler. In The Da Vinci Code the columns are “Gray stone.” Trust that I’ve already worked through the details and this means that the full character known as Gray in Catch and Release is in some way “married” to the movie The Family Stone. And merging their details is the only way we’re going to be able to discern the full message being delivered. The words that came into Dan Brown’s mind as he wrote this paragraph tell us their details will rise up to dizzying heights before shooting down to the “stone floor.” I’m not sure what I provide will be dizzying heights this go-around. There’s a tremendous amount of information that comes with the stories and far more than what can be given justice in the time I have available to post it. Following the example of Luke’s writings that referenced the "Lamp on the Stand," this will be an abbreviated piece, albeit lengthy, with an expanded explanation to follow.

Toward the end of The Family Stone, Sybil and Amy—mother and daughter—along with Meredith, the first born son’s intended fiancée, are on the Stone’s kitchen floor laughing in the midst of chaos—just like Susie and Lindsey would start their play acting, stormy and mad, and end up giggling beneath the grave rubbings. Two Stone grown boys are wrestling beneath the kitchen table loaded with the makings for the family’s Christmas dinner.

But before we venture into those stories, there is still ground to cover in The Da Vinci Code. In the range of pages that have been delineated, we’re told that whoever holds the crptex must pay a visit to Isaac Newton’s tomb to decipher the final clue, if they hadn’t already been there. In truth, many of us have been here before, but this time we’ll be covering old territory with a new set of words and images and it’s important to consider every detail we encounter, if for no other purpose than to make connections to as many of the gemstone stories as possible.

Think of it this way, in the end we want our creation to be able to carry water.

"As Langdon and Sophie approach the middle of the church, they see several people crawling on their hands and knees in the Poet’s Corner doing grave rubbings. After a few more steps and a look toward the right, Sophie draws a startled breath as she looks down the length of the abbey’s nave, the full magnitude of the building now visible."

Elsewhere at that moment, the Teacher is standing at the tomb of Isaac Newton. We’re privy to his thoughts as he notes the details of what he sees. A reclined sculpted form of Isaac Newton is portrayed leaning on a stack of his own books—Divinity, Chronology, Opticks, and Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematics, similar to the scene in The Lovely Bones movie where Abigail is shown reading in bed with a stack of books on the floor next to her.

As an aside, in the 12th century, in the same moments that Eleanor of Aquitaine was working on The Story of the Grail, Herrad of Landsberg at the Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace was compiling an illuminated encyclopedia which she called Hortus deliciarum, or "Garden of Delights," for young novices. One of the illustrations is a pictorial in the form of a rosette with Philosophia - the Queen, seated on a throne and wearing a crown with three heads representing Ethics, Logic, and Physics. Even as a sketch on paper, one can perceive it would have been a beautiful, colorful copper etching capable of luring its viewers nearer for more detailed inspection. In the center, beneath Philosophia are Socrates and Plato, the great and wise men who she noted, despite their pagan backgrounds were the precursors to Christian thought. The petals of the rosette are designated as the seven liberal arts - each portrayed as a lovely woman. Their names: Grammatica, Rhetorica, Dialectica, Musica, Arithmetica, Geometria, and last Astronomia. Beneath the rosette labeled “Outside the Circle,” four men are sitting at desks representing the poets and magicians along with text inscribed within the artwork labeling them as those who produce nothing but tales, fables, and poetries that are “light and frivolous.” These are the “men guided and educated by bad and impure spirits,” which Herrad displays as blackbirds whispering into the men’s ears in lieu of white doves that deliver the words of the Holy Spirit. View it

Blackbirds across the universe, have been waiting for this moment to arise.

In "Chapter 7" of The Lovely Bones, a group of crows perched on the widow's walk of an old house take wing and follow Susie. Actually crows are considered to be augurs or soothsayers that foretell events. Their presence serves as an omen or promise of something. While they've been said to carry big secrets stuffed between their feathers, (Celtic animal symbolism ) for us the crow's secret has been stuffed between the details in multiple stories and the final clues lie herein.

At Newton’s feet are two winged boys holding a scroll… reminiscent of the two boys that ran up the long curved stairway in the Salmon house. Above Newton’s tomb, there are all kinds of heavenly bodies—constellations, signs of the zodiac, comets, stars, planets. 

The Teacher thinks to himself, “Certainly, an advanced knowledge of astrophysics was not a prerequisite for finding the Holy Grail, was it?”

An advanced knowledge of astrophysics isn’t necessary, but a familiarity with the Sabian Symbols has served as a guiding light in a sea of details, as well as provided a thread with which to tie the Earthly story to the heavens above. The Sabian Symbols are word images assigned to each of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac. An idea conceived by Marc Edmund Jones and brought to life with the aid of a clairvoyant named Elsie Wheeler in the year 1925. The word images Elsie provided are short phrases that reveal another dimension giving shape to the energies of Sun, Moon, and the planets as they transit. The combination of all their energies in a single moment at any given time is said to influence events on Earth.

Elsie Wheeler shares the same last name as our leading lady, Gray.

As long as we’re on the topic of astral events, Venus is currently retrograde and will turn direct on November 19th, 2010. This retrograde movement will have lasted for 40 days, the same number of days Jonah provided to Nineveh in his prophecy of destruction because of the people’s evil and corrupt ways. Another occurrence worth noting is that the last two consecutive full Moons of September and October saw Moon positioned respectively in the first and last degree of Aries. When I began putting together the stories for this blog, Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars were all in Scorpio—a detail that corresponds with the bronze figure inside the miniature ebony casket that the Phantom chose on Christine’s behalf in Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera; the scorpion meant that the pair would be married and spend the rest of their lives together. Mars has since moved into Sagittarius, known as both the Centaur and the Archer, a fire sign whose symbol is an arrow, aimed high and held in place by an invisible bow… like Diana’s bow which appears with the sliver of light shaped like a crescent following the new Moon. November’s New Moon occurs in the early morning hours of Nov. 6th and Moon, Sun, Mercury, and Venus will all be in Scorpio. An astrologer's insights on November's New Moon

The Spiral Staircase

By the time we pass across the Chapter House in Westminster Abbey, our “creation” will be raised by five stories to a vaulted ceiling. In a sense, we’ve been asked to act out the words “catch and release” and let the old story slip away in the same moment that we grab hold of the new story.

Beginning with the elderly woman Susie's parents met in London, who was familiar with the etchings on tombs of fallen knights… in The Da Vinci Code, we’re told there are more than three thousand people who are entombed or enshrined within Westminster Abbey. In reality, the abbey is connected with British royalty and includes a section called the Poet’s Corner. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the Queen of England and was the poet behind The Story of the Grail, which was woven with details borrowed from the lives of Abelard and Heloise. Teabing’s use of the word “bait” to lure Langdon and Sophie to the Chapter House is the same word Peter Abelard used in his Historia Calamitatum to describe how he used secular arts “as a hook, luring my students by the bait of learning to the study of true philosophy.” Langdon and Sophie arrived at Westminster Abbey to visit the tomb of the knight interred by “a Pope” which was a play on words; “a Pope” was actually Alexander Pope who not only delivered the eulogy for Isaac Newton, he wrote a poem about him… he also wrote a poem titled Eloisa to Abelard as a tribute to the tragic lovers. In the movie version of The Lovely Bones, Susie counts the eyelashes of a boy in the school library who is reading Abelard and Heloise, which she considers the most tragic love story ever.

This detail of the old woman that originated in the novel circles out and touches on reality and then turns back toward The Lovely Bones… but rather than creating a closed circle as one detail connects to another, we’re returned to the version of The Lovely Bones that is breathed into life via a Hollywood movie. The story itself spirals upward, sweeping through and touching on the names of people who have kept the legend alive before it turns again via a story born in imagination. The staircase is invisible, but it’s long and curved and is waiting there, right before us. And with just a little imagination, anyone can enter the “Race!”

Catch and Be Free of It

The storyline for Catch and Release, by Susannah Grant, hints of the power that love has in bringing about a transformation.

"After the sudden death of her fiancé, Gray Wheeler finds comfort in the company of his friends: lighthearted and comic Sam, hyper-responsible Dennis, and, oddly enough, his old childhood buddy Fritz, an irresponsible playboy whom she'd previously pegged as one of the least reliable people in the world. As secrets about her supposedly perfect fiancé emerge, Gray comes to see new sides of the man she thought she knew, and at the same time, finds herself drawn to the last man she ever expected to fall for." 

The tagline for Catch and Release is: “Life is messy… love is messier.”

Considering that the old childhood buddy who comes to town for the funeral is named Fritz Messing, we should be open to the possibility that Fritz is of immeasurable importance to this story.

In the opening scene, Grady’s mother, Ellen, is shown greeting people in her home, sharing what was supposed to have been a wedding feast and instead provides food for a gathering of friends and family following the funeral of her son. Grady died during a fishing trip that served a dual purpose as his bachelor party celebration.

Dennis, who was Grady’s partner in a fly-fishing company—as well as his roommate—offers to get Ellen a drink. She says to bring her a Scotch, watered-down, because she doesn’t want to get all Irish. (She must subconsciously be aware of the outcome of our earlier journey with Anna and Declan through the movie Leap Year.)

Ellen sighs while brushing Sam’s lapel and says, “My God. He had good friends.”

In another part of the house, next to the stairway, Fritz is flirting with a catering waitress. Gray is across the room having a silent conversation in her mind while numbly accepting the condolences of visitors.

“How could you leave me alone with all these people? You know I hate crowds. And high heels. I’m wearing high heels. I don’t know what I’m doing. I would if you were here. You’d know how to make all these people stop talking about you in past tense, how to get your pervy uncle off me. How could you leave me with your pervy uncle? You know I can’t handle him.” 

Gray brushes away caring hands, then runs up the stairs where she retreats into the restroom. Upon finding a place of solace in the bathtub, she draws the shower curtain closed.

Moments afterward, Fritz and the waitress burst through the door and get intimate on the vanity. When they finish their “sock it to me, sock it to me” routine, the waitress writes her phone number on Fritz’s hand and tells him to call her. He wipes the number away as soon as she’s out of sight and then washes his hands while giving himself a hard look in the mirror. He then pulls a joint from his pocket and places it between his lips… just like Buckley did with the twig he found beneath the oak tree.

Before he has a chance to light it, Gray rips the shower curtain open.

Fritz: “Jesus!” “Oh, shit. Gray.”

The next day, Gray visits a woman named Eve who is handling Grady’s estate. Eve tells her, “You realize, since you weren’t married, Mrs. Douglas is the legal heir.” Gray accepts the reality of her situation until Eve inquires about a savings account that Grady had and for which he reported $48,000 in interest on his tax returns.

When she arrives at work, she lays a piece of paper on her desk with phone numbers of people to contact for Grady’s bank statements. We see her attempt to make a phone call during which she is placed on hold. While she’s on hold a co-worker expresses his condolences and shares how a friend of his cousin was skiing and got hit by a snowboarder who was completely out of control. The collision severed his jugular, and then people started to ski over it and spread it down the hill.

We aren't given the specifics concerning how Grady died, but in the interest of the gemstone, the co-worker’s story falls somewhere between the goose that was felled by a falcon in The Story of the Grail, leaving three drops of blood on the snow and the murder of Susie Salmon in a corn field.

The phone number for the investment company is 1-800-INVEST. When the letters are translated into numbers, there aren't enough digits to complete the call; Gray couldn’t possibly have made a connection with the information she was given.

Gray can’t afford the house that she and Grady were planning to live in and decides to move in with Sam and Dennis—along with Fritz who has extended his stay in Boulder. Sam and Dennis help her move furniture into storage and get her personal belongings into their house. Dennis puts new linen on what was Grady’s bed and Sam prepares dinner for Gray while she unpacks and gets situated.

Sam: Let me ask you a question. It ain’t going to freak you out, staying in here?

Gray: In what way?

Sam: You know, in the way that he’s not… You know…

Gray: I’m pretty clear on that fact, Sam.

In the middle of the night a cell phone rings, which gets Gray out of bed and in search mode. She takes the phone and tosses it at Fritz. Half asleep, he says it isn't his phone. Whoever it is has called 10 times and left multiple voice messages.

Fritz: If you don’t know who it is, you probably shouldn’t listen to those.

Gray: I know who it is.

“So it’s the fourth and I kind of have my landlord breathing down my back here. So, not to be Miss Tragedy about it, but I could be in some real trouble if I don’t get this money. Okay, this isn’t funny, Grady! I don’t even want your help. You were the one who wanted to be Mr. Take Care of Everything Man. Well F you, sugar daddy. F you!” 

The next evening Fritz is walking on a sidewalk in downtown Boulder, a place he describes as a kind of "Patagonia Disneyland." He sees Gray through a window, obviously inebriated and conversing with a male patron at the bar. She’s wearing the guy’s cowboy hat and leans forward to ask him what he thinks when he hears someone say, “Go ahead, give it to me.”

Fritz walks into the bar and lifts the cowboy hat off Gray’s head and returns it to its owner.

Fritz: I’ve got this.

Gray: Hi.

Fritz: I’m taking you home.

Gray: No, you’re not. I’m a grown-ass woman. I don’t need you to Hollywood me home.

In the morning she wakes and focuses on a whitewashed section of the bedroom wall that has a long seam or crack extending from the ceiling and down the drywall to a wooden beam. Gray travels to a paint store and when a salesman approaches she asks where 323 is… area code 323.

Fritz returns to the house and comments about Sam sleeping in “his bed.” Gray stops her painting project to confront Fritz about the mysterious caller.

Gray: You know her, don’t you. 323, that’s L.A. You know her. Right?

Fritz gives Gray a look that suggests he does... but he doesn’t want to give up the answer or isn’t sure how to approach the issue.

Gray: How long as she been in his life? Just tell me that.

Fritz: She’s not.

Gray: Forget it. You suck.

Fritz: She’s not in his life. She’s just… The mother of his kid.

Gray drops the paint roller from her hand and blue paint splatters on the floor.

Fritz: Do you need anything?

Gray: What I need to know is a little more information about how my fiancé could have a child that I know nothing about.

Fritz: Okay. It was… It was a one-time thing. He was in town. We went to a Halloween party. He hooked up with a woman.

Gray asks a few more key questions, like how long ago it happened, the sex of the child, and whether the mother is pretty. Fritz tells her she is attractive in a “messed-up makeup-y” kind of way. Gray stands and begins to leave the kitchen, but stops and turns toward him.

Gray: That’s why you’re still here, isn’t it? To clean up after him.

Again, Fritz looks like he wants to be honest with Gray, but instead says, “You have blue paint in your hair.”

Gray corrects him, “It’s not blue. It’s Marrakesh Mystery.”

Like “Chapter 7” of The Lovely Bones, Catch and Release is filled with words and images that explode with underlying meaning. “Messed up and makeup-y” have nothing to do with mascara or lipstick and everything to do with Fritz and something "made up." The “kid” is a play on words for the offspring of a "scapegoat" which in Old Testament writings, was a goat used to carry people’s sins away on the Day of Atonement.

Dennis is planning a peace garden as a memorial to Grady behind the fly shop they owned together.
Sam attempts suicide because he knew what Grady was planning on doing was dangerous and he didn’t warn “the man”. Gray brings Sam home from the hospital as Fritz and Dennis are getting ready to load the car and get to work on building the peace garden. Gray promises she’ll follow soon. When she begins to leave the house, she encounters a woman, with a small boy in tow, who is looking for someone that knows about Grady Douglas.

Gray: They’re not here.

Woman: What? Well, who are you?

Gray: I’m the cleaning lady.

Maureen: Okay, well, can you tell whoever’s dealing with things that I really need to talk to them? Here, let me give you my card. [She takes a gizmo from the boy’s hands.] Does that game just end or is it going on forever? You know when you just put everything in the thing and you just can’t find the one… Here’s me. I’m Maureen.
She hands Gray a business card, leaving us to wonder if Maureen is “a person” or someone that merely exists on paper.

Gray discovers that the boy, Mattie, isn’t as old as Fritz suggested. Maureen informs her that he’ll be four in October. The arrival of mother and son in town prompts Ellen to demand a DNA test to determine the rightful heir of Grady’s million dollar savings account.

The story takes a twist when Eve delivers the results of the DNA test to Ellen and Gray.

Eve: Ladies, not his kid. There’s absolutely no chance that Mr. Douglas fathered that child.

When Maureen is told the results, she says it must be a mistake… it has to be. They probably took the wrong sample or “maybe I have the same initials, M.M. as someone else. Marlene Morris, or…”

Perhaps someone named Mary Magdalene or...

Who Can Speak of His Descendants

There are reasons why Catch and Release has been knotted to The Da Vinci Code. Most importantly, nobody can change a published work of fiction. It is… as it is, now and forever. Secondly, Dan Brown references multiple non-fiction sources in a way that's been perceived as establishing credibility. The gist of the argument is that if Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children, a Holy Bloodline was established. When actually the idea the novel proposes perpetuates and exasperates the error that occurred.

We're being asked to correct recorded history; it's too late to nip it in the bud.

By weaving one story into another and touching on reality, the gemstone has duplicated all that transpired in the early part of the Common Era, when “makeup-y” stories were intentionally created, pulling details from the Old Testament and weaving them with the stuff of real live people and "then current" events.

It’s what Eleanor of Aquitaine did in the 12th century when she wrote The Story of the Grail, weaving stories from both Old and New Testaments with details borrowed from people's lives and "then current" events.

And then eight hundred years later, Winston Groom transposed scenes from The Story of Grail in scenes that made up the novel Forrest Gump, which when brought to life via a Hollywood movie, wove the storyline with details that belonged to real people and "recent" events.

We could do the same with the story at hand and find details in current events that allow us to draw insights into what's being revealed...

Acts Acted Out

In the movie Catch and Release, when Gray gets wind that someone is suggesting Grady is the father of a child, she finds it incomprehensible.

Picture this: Gray is a modern day woman who has lived her life with no recollection of what she came to accomplish. But this idea that Grady is the father of a child she knows nothing about rattles her to the core because subconsciously she knows something about "him" and “her” that we haven’t yet been made privy to.

Maureen Monette personifies whatever it is that Gray is supposed to “clean up.”

Fritz lives in L.A., and makes movies and commercials. As we've learned along the way, every city has a story and the legend behind "the city of Angels" includes a mission named after the Archangel Gabriel. In the 1700’s, when still a small town it was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciuncula, or "The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels” which has a familiar ring. In the final scene in The Story of the Grail, Sir Gawain makes arrangements with the Lady Queen at the Wondrous Palace, allowing him to leave the palace grounds temporarily with a promise that he would return.

Gabriel was the angel in the Gospel of Luke who spoke to both Elizabeth and Mary about the children each would conceive, one being John the Baptist and the other Jesus. Luke also is believed to be the author of the book of Acts found in the New Testament.

This detail is of particular interest because the underlying story in Catch and Release is the book of Acts being acted out... like Buckley was bucking in "Chapter 7."

In the movie, Dennis harshly judges Grady for not telling him or Gray about the money he had “secreted” away, just as in Acts Peter judges Ananias and his wife for keeping money from a sale of their property and giving the apostles an incomplete portion of it.

In Acts Peter tells a lame beggar, “Silver or gold I do not have.” In Catch and Release Sam tells Dennis he knows he doesn’t have two nickels to rub together.

Dennis knocks the lamp off the stand in the living room, sending it to the floor. An incident that suggests Peter of the New Testament didn’t handle “the lamp” in the same way that Luke described in his Gospel.

Gray gives Fritz an old Boulder High School tee-shirt that once belonged to Grady. It’s purple with black print which serves a dual purpose. In reality, the school’s main color is purple and its mascot is a panther... commonly known as a large black cat. In Acts, there is a woman named Lydia who is a dealer in purple cloth and whose heart was opened by God to respond to Paul’s message.

Before the supposed arrival of Jesus, John the Baptist is quoted as saying, “Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

At the mountain lake, Gray makes a special effort to tie Mattie’s shoelaces, suggesting she is worthy, but there’s something about the way she raises the brim on Mattie’s hat, looking at his features, scrutinizing and wondering.

The DNA test proves that Mattie isn’t Grady’s heir. We can get additional mileage out of John’s question above: Who is Mattie? At face value, the name Mattie is a girl’s name. But more than once in the movie Sam is called Sammy or Sambo, so we can consider the idea that Mattie may be short for Matthias, who is named in Acts as the one who replaces Judas Iscariot. Or Mattie could be playing the role of Matthew, as a reference to the Gospel of Matthew, which like the Gospel of Luke includes an angel announcing the soon to be conceived Immanuel.

Actually in reality, people have confused Matthias with Matthew and tangled their identites... a situation for us that is less an issue and more a piece of knowledge we can apply toward understanding.

In Catch and Release, during the dinner in the yard behind the house in Boulder, Gray confesses she can put her whole fist in her mouth like Traci Lords. Traci Lords is a stage name for Nora Louise Kuzma which is said to be 1) a tribute to Katharine Hepburn's character Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story—which is the same character played by Grace Kelly in the movie High Society... or 2) it is the first name of her best friend from high school combined with the last name of her favorite actor from Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord.

There are numerous insights that can be drawn from this:
  • In one instance, the stage name is derived from an imaginary character played by two very real people.
  • In both situations, the surname Lord is appended with an "s," supporting the idea that there are two individuals behind the name "Lord" in the New Testament.
  • Paul of the New Testament has ties to a Philadelphia story
  • Like Nora and Traci, in Catch and Release, Fritz and Grady were high school buddies suggesting the possibility that Paul and Jesus were friends in their teenage years.
In truth, details from an ancient novel are woven through the book of Acts and Sam and Mattie act them out in Catch and Release. The Book of Tobit is a story from hundreds of years before the Common Era and is regarded as a religious novel with certain historical elements, even though the elements don’t jive with what is known to have happened in the timeframe of the story. In the modern movie, Mattie is acting out the story of Tobit’s son, Tobias. 

The story is set in 721 B.C. Tobit lives in Nineveh and is a man noted for his diligence in providing proper burials for slain Israelites. Because of this, he has all of his property seized and is himself exiled. When he is allowed to return, he again buries a dead man who was murdered and left in the street to rot. Tobit spends the night sleeping in the open and becomes blinded by bird droppings that fall in his eyes. Ultimately he prays for death. In a faraway place, a young woman named Sarah also prays for death after having lost seven husbands to the demon of lust. Each man she has ever married is abducted and killed on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated. God sends the Archangel Raphael, disguised as a human, to heal Tobit and free Sarah from the demon. Tobit is married to a woman named Anna. Many years before, Tobit deposited a sum of money in the land of Media. He sends his son Tobias to collect it and asks God for an angel to protect him. Raphael appears in his disguise and accompanies Tobias and his dog. In the course of their journey, Tobias washes at a river and a fish leaps out. Raphael shows Tobias how to cut open the fish and preserve its organs, knowing they would be used to rid Sarah of her demon and later heal Tobit’s eyes.

In Catch and Release, when Maureen is forced to consider a different father for Mattie, she suddenly recalls Rafael, who was French… and very nice. For our purposes, Sam is Raphael disguised as a human. When all of them visit the mountain lake, Sam and Mattie catch a fish. Sam 
talks to the three-year-old as if they share memories that go back to another time. 

Sarah’s seven-fold loss to a demon in The Book of Tobit reminds us of the seven demons that Mary Magdalene was supposedly cured of. It’s as if the ancient novel was intentionally used as a mechanism to prove the Gospels and other writings of the 1st century were NOT ENTIRELY REPRESENTATIVE OF REALITY. And in doing so, the way would be cleared to correct history and put us all on the proper path once again.

The gemstone has left us to tie knots with stories in the Bible.

Around 1700, a painting called "Mary Untier of Knots" or "Mary Undoer of Knots" by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner portrayed the Virgin Mary untying knots at the same time that she steps on the head of a snake. In the painting, a scene from The Book of Tobit is included below her. Closer View

The concept of the Virgin Mary revered by the Church nearly wiped Eve out of her own Sacred Story, when the message of the times was meant to authenticate the words of the serpent as the Word of God: "Surely, you will not die."

The Sister Bride
In the ancient novel, Tobit calls his wife, “sister.”

In Acts 23:16, “the son of Paul’s sister” overhears a group of Jews who are planning an ambush. He runs back to the barracks to warn Paul, who asks one of the centurions to take the young boy to the commander. The commander takes him by the hand and asks what it is that he needs to tell him. When he explains that the Jews are going to request that Paul be brought back before the Sanhedrin under the pretext of wanting more information, but that actually they plan on killing him, the commander tells him not to speak of their conversation to anyone.

The story with the boy and the commander is reminiscent of the scene called “The Maid with Little Sleeves” in The Story of the Grail, which in turn tells a story similar to one that includes a woman named Mary and a pair of feet.

The Maid with Little Sleeves sets out to prove her mean sister wrong. The older maiden believes that Meliant de Lis is the best knight in the land, but the Maid with Little Sleeves has seen Gawain standing beneath the oak tree and knows otherwise. Gawain agrees to fight in a tournament to save the young girl’s honor before continuing on his journey to restore his good name and reputation after being accused of unseating a king. Gawain serves such a blow to Meliant de Lis that the knight is left on the ground with his feet in the air. The Maid with Little Sleeves runs out to greet Gawain before he can dismount his horse.

“Five hundred thousand thanks, dear sir.”
And, knowing what she meant to say,
“Until I have grown old and gray,
the lord Gawain said gallantly,
“dear maid, wherever I may be,
and it may be some distant land,
I’ll ever be yours to command,
and never too far, if I learn
you need assistance, to return.
All my commitment I will leave
at the first message I receive.”

When the time arrives for him to continue on his way, the maid…
seized the knight’s foot, gave it a kiss,
and when she finished doing this,
the child commended him to God.
The lord Gawain, who thought it odd,
asked her to tell him what she meant,
and so she told him her intent:
that she had kissed the knight’s foot so,
in every place that he might go,
he always would recall her face.
He said, “When I have left this place,
I won’t forget you, my dear friend,
so put your doubting to an end,
if God will grant me help and aid.”
When he had spoken with the maid,
he left his host and all folk there,
commending them to Heaven’s care,
whereby they might be safely kept.

The Beginning of Happily Ever After

Catch and Release ends with Gray at the dedication of the peace garden built as a memorial for Grady. For the first time, we’re given a fuzzy glimpse of what he looked like. Gray takes her place in front of all those who came to honor his life, but all we hear is her conversation with Grady... that she carries on in her mind.

I told them all of the great things I know about you, and there were a lot. I was up there a while. I didn’t tell them everything though. I left out the complicated stuff, like how it took losing you forever for me to truly find you. And how finding you turned me into someone else entirely. That’s not what they came for. People want to hear you were great. Not that you were great, but also, sometimes not so great. They want to know I miss you. Not that while I’ve been missing you, I’ve fallen for someone else. It’s weird though. In a way it makes sense. He was the one person you were yourself around. Of course he’d be that same person for me. Anyway, I left all that out and I kept it simple. I told them I loved you and that’s the truth.

In the end, Gray packs lightly and leaves Boulder to follow Fritz to the city of Angels and his big ocean front house. The door is ajar and she wanders through his home… smiles at the photos that he developed that captured those moments of time he was with the whole crew in Boulder. Slipping out the patio door, she finds Fritz playing fetch with his dog. Without announcing herself, she picks up a spare ball and intentionally throws it… twenty feet over his head.

The Family Stone

Storyline: “An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.”

Tag-line: “Feel the love”

While Catch and Release is the story behind the story… behind the story, that exposes “the acts” of certain people and reveals the guidance of multiple angels that were with them the entire time, The Family Stone reveals the flesh and bone story, complicated by the fact that different characters represent multiple aspects of individual people.

Meredith Morton is another M.M.

As an aside, in Roman Numerals the letter "M" represents 1000 and MM represents 2000; "V" is used for five and "X" is equivalent to ten. "One folk etymology has it that the V represented a hand, and that the X was made by placing two Vs on top of each other, one inverted." [Wikipedia] The year 2010 in Roman Numerals is MMX. The image of hands grasping one another was an integral part of the first kiss shared by Gray and Fritz; one above and one below.

Fritz, who arrived at Grady’s funeral wearing a pink shirt can be recognized via the pink shirt that Ben Stone wears, which he draws attention to in the kitchen after announcing “the prodigal son has returned.”

Grady can be seen in Everett, the eldest grown son who has brought Meredith home for Christmas with the intention of requesting the family ring his mother promised him, and proposing marriage.
Kelly is the father figure of the Stone family, or God incognito who appears in every gemstone story but was missing from Catch and Release.

Susannah is the “sister” and mother of the children. Her daughter Elizabeth decides to play dress-up with Meredith’s pink high-heeled shoes and accidentally breaks the heel on one of them. The name Susannah literally means “lily” or “rose” and is the mark on stories within the gemstone that make no mention of the Holy Grail. [The character named Susie marks The Lovely Bones, Sue the orangutan marks Forrest Gump. In reality, Susannah Grant wrote Catch and Release and within the movie a lily appears on the outside of the envelope that Gray gives Dennis providing him with a "picture" of Grady.]

Susannah is pregnant with her second child while brother Thaddeus and his partner Patrick are in the process of adopting a baby—revealing three children who are given a place in the story. The black baby that belongs to Patrick and Thaddeus is referred to as "the king of kings" by Kelly when Christmas rolls around the next year... a detail that has little to do with the reality of the child, but provides a clue as to the true line of the heir.

In Acts, Paul is mistaken for an Egyptian because of his dark-skin. In reality, he was a “black man” looking like the sons of Ham. Which puts a whole new spin on the “hang sandwich” that Declan made for Anna her first night in Dingle in the movie Leap Year. Blog: No Sign Will be Given Except the Sign of Jonah

The portrait called "The Penitent Magdalene" which is mentioned in The Da Vinci Code as the portrait that appears in the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, shows a single candle on a table in front of a mirror. In the portrait by Georges de La Tour, the candle on reality’s side is black while the candle in the mirror is white. Closer View

Patrick is “brother” Thaddeus’ significant other, a detail that serves a dual purpose. Patrick’s skin is black. During the first night of the family get-together, Amy gives Meredith the name of a movie to act out in a game of charades.

Ben: Come on, la mer!
Amy: There. That one’s perfect.

Amy makes a big deal of the fact that Meredith appears to be pointing at Patrick when all of her other actions fail to deliver. Meredith gets flustered and leaves the room and Ben requests to know the movie she was given, which turns out to be The Bride Wore Black.

The Bride Wore Black is a movie about a woman who takes revenge against five men she holds responsible for killing her fiancé the day they were supposed to get married. One of the men is a painter, for whom she dresses like the goddess Diana, complete with bow.

But separate from the movie title, the idea of the Black Bride has followed the legend of the Grail and was attached to the stories of Mary Magdalene’s arrival in France, which Dan Brown exploited in The Da Vinci Code. One of the sources that Dan Brown used was The Woman With the Alabaster Jar by Margaret Starbird:

In the town of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in France, there is a festival every May 23 to 25 at a shrine in honor of Saint Sarah the Egyptian, also called Sara Kali, the “Black Queen.” Close scrutiny reveals that this festival, which originated in the Middle Ages, is in honor of an “Egyptian” child who accompanied Mary Magdalen, Martha, and Lazarus, arriving with them in a small boat that came ashore at this location in approximately A.D. 42. The people seem to have assumed that the child, being “Egyptian,” was dark-skinned and by, further interpolation, that she must have been the servant of the family from Bethany, since no other reasonable explanation could be found for her presence.

Not only did the writer of Acts include the fact that Paul was mistakenly taken as an Egyptian because of his dark-skin, it also reveals the name of a young “servant” at Mary’s house in Jerusalem.

In Acts 12:11-15, Peter realizes without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel, rescuing him from Herod’s clutches and everything the Jewish people were anticipating.

When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked on the outer entrance, and the servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
In Acts 26:24 Festus interrupts Paul’s defense during his trial for teaching the idea of life everlasting, “You are out of your mind, Paul!!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

Just as Rhoda and Paul are said to be "out of their mind," in the movie Catch and Release Ellen recognizes Mattie at the farmer’s market because she knows the flies on the hat he is wearing had been tied by Grady.

Fishing flies are artificial lures made from things that are neither dead nor alive.

We can surmise that Paul had three children with Mary: John, also called Mark, Rhoda, and Sarah was the third child, whose name was taken from The Book of Tobit.

The children are details intended to lead to the truth.

The Sacred Story that was delivered by The Bible began with Eve and must end with Eve. And in this sense, The Family Stone belongs to Sybil, keeper of Grandma’s wedding ring and heart and soul of the story that we need to grasp. Sybil is the mother of them all… except for Kelly. She is Eve. And she is dying.

In the movie, Meredith talks too much. She can’t explain what she means without offending others. In the privacy of their bedroom, Kelly tells Sybil, “What I don’t understand is what he sees in her.” Sybil giggles and says she was on to him, “Mr. Oh-So-Innocent.”

Kelly: No, I don’t mean that. She’s attractive. She’s intelligent. Obviously successful. She’s better mannered than any one of us. She’s a fine woman. She doesn’t seem to know or trust herself very well.

Sybil: Thank you, professor.

Kelly: Which means, I’m afraid, that our Everett may not know himself at all.

When Christmas morning arrives, Sybil comes into the kitchen and places the diamond ring in front of Everett and tells him they need to get a few things straight.

Sybil: You’ve had a charmed life, kid.
Everett: [laughs]
Sybil: I blame myself.
Everett: Mom, you’ve never made anybody’s life easier.
Sybil: What the hell do you know about it
Everett: Oh. I know a little.
Sybil: I’m sick, honey. And you can’t fix it. Not even by getting married.
Everett: Mom.
Sybil: What?
Sybil: I know this is probably a tall order… but I need you to do me a favor… and try not to be so perfect. All right?
Everett: I’m far from perfect.
Sybil: I’d hate to see you miss out on something… because you have this picture in your mind… or you thought you could change something you can’t. I’d hate to see you not find what you really want. Oh, but, Everett… it’s your ring. It’s your decision.

When gifts are exchanged, Meredith hands out copies of a photo she found on Everett’s desk and had enlarged for every member of the family. It’s an old picture of Sybil, from a time when she was pregnant. Meredith originally assumed the unborn child was Everett—when it was actually Amy in her womb, the last born daughter.

In the gemstone, when one door closes another door always opens.

After Meredith mentions that she slept with Ben on Christmas Eve, Everett takes off after him, chasing Ben through the house. Meredith heads to the kitchen to pull out the strata for breakfast. Sybil and Amy burst through the door, striking Meredith. The pans of strata drop. All three of them are on the floor crying and laughing while Everett and Ben wrestle under the table loaded with the family’s Christmas dinner which also ends up being dumped.

The Chapter House - A View That Rises Five Stories

In the movie Catch and Release, Gray goes to her storage unit to try to find a picture of Grady to be used on a hand-out at the dedication of the peace garden. Fritz comes to say good-bye to her and finds her wearing the wedding gown that she never had a chance to wear.

Fritz is sporting a Cherokee Iron Works tee-shirt. In reality, Cherokee Iron Works is a company that provides Western Lighting and specializes in chandeliers.

The truth is Fritz represents the role of Paul... and Paul is “the Chandelier” the Phantom intends to cut loose.

Leigh Teabing describes our current situation in The Da Vinci Code:

In terms of prophecy, we are currently in an epoch of enormous change. The millennium has recently passed, and with it has ended the two-thousand-year-long Age of Pisces—the fish, which is also the sign of Jesus. As any astrological symbologist will tell you, the Piscean ideal believes that man must be told what to do by higher powers because man is incapable of thinking for himself. Hence it has been a time of fervent religion. Now, however, we are entering the Age of Aquarius—the water bearer—whose ideals claim that man will learn the truth and be able to think for himself. The ideological shift is enormous, and it is occurring right now.”

How would a transition from being told what to think... to being able to think on our own occur, without sweeping away all that others have told us and historically demanded us to believe?

Everyone owes it to themselves to consider the possibilities. The legend of the grail has always focused on asking the right questions at the proper moment. But if that moment hadn't previously arrived and the necessary questions weren't raised and if we never followed the details provided in one story to another or became familiar with Gematria and the ways that God authenticated His words... how do we know that what we've been told is the story that God intended to be brought to life?

We have all been given the opportunity to effectively and unequivocally change the world in unison and in harmony.

In The Da Vinci Code movie, when Robert Langdon comes upon articles in the basement of Rosslyn Chapel, he looks across to Sophie and confesses, “I was so wrong.”

Every one of us has been wrong at some point along the way. This isn't the time to point fingers or place blame; everything is unfolding according to God's plan.

Let God deal with perpetrators as He sees fit. 

National Treasure - A Declaration of Independence

In “Chapter 7” of The Lovely Bones, Susie says she had finished two coats of Magenta Glitter when a fly landed on the applicator. Magenta is a purplish-reddish color named after a bloody battle in Italy. The color is synonymous with fuchsin which is defined as any of various red or purple-red rosanilin dyes used as bacterial and histological stains.

Glitter is defined as something that reflects light, creates a brilliant show, or showy splendor.

The two coats of Magenta Glitter Susie is referring to are the first and second round of stories that were intentionally created in order to deliver the audience to where we are today: the writings of the New Testament and The Story of the Grail.

The “fly” that landed on the applicator can be interpreted many ways. In Phoenician myth the fly represents corruption and putridness. In Tarot it represents uncleanliness in the human collective consciousness. The fly was sacred to Zeus, signifying omnipresence, always watching. In Native American symbolism the Great Fly was called upon during healing ceremonies to “eat away” dying flesh and was considered a divine messenger and heroic guide. In the East it represents a wandering or aimless soul. Insights into animal symbolism

After the second phase of stories was initiated, flies began appearing in artwork. In the 15th century Italian artist Carlo Crivelli (1435-1495) produced a portrait of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus with a fly that appears to have attracted the attention of both mother and child. The portrait also incorporated a noticeable crack in the wall upon which the baby Jesus is sitting. Closer View

The movie National Treasure presents the story of the quest to find the Templar's treasure. The first clue that Benjamin Franklin Gates discovers etched on the stem of a meerschaum pipe reveals a riddle and a truth:

The legend writ.
The stain effected.
The key in Silence undetected.
Fifty-five in iron pen.
Mr. Matlock can't offend.

The riddle speaks to us as much as it does the characters in the movie. The movie is about bringing the undetectable detectable.

"Why say iron pen? It describes what was penned: it was firm, it was adamant, it was resolved."

Benjamin Gates acts on the possibility that the back of the United States Declaration of Independence holds a code that reveals the location of the Templar treasure.

When he views the document from outside its glass showcase, he identifies the words that capture its meaning and intention:

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

"Let facts be presented to a candid world." 

When they finally find their way to the Templar treasure, the only thing Riley cares about is the spiral staircase he sees on the other side of the room that promises a way out of their predicament. Once he knows there is a way out, he takes a closer look at the ancient artifacts and comes upon a bluish green Egyptian statue with a bald head and a tuft of hair on its chin. He comments, “I suspect that means something.”

As mentioned in my last blog, a bald head behind with a tuft of hair in front means Fortune has arrived. And we must grab it while we can or the opportunity will be lost forever.

August Rush

"I believe that once upon a time, long ago, they heard the music, and followed it."

The movie August Rush is described as, “A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.”

In National Treasure, Ben comes out of the treasure trove by way of a tomb. He busts through the door startling a man and asks for a cell phone so he can make a call. In the process of the hunt he’s stolen the Declaration of Independence, dodged bullets, made deals with criminals, and done everything possible to keep one step ahead of everyone else. In the end, the first person he calls is Detective Sadusky. He lightly suggests he's in a position to offer a bribe because the treasure is located five stories below where they are currently sitting. Sadusky reminds Ben that someone’s got to go to jail and Ben obliges by helping to set up a sting. With the real criminals out of the way, Ben makes sure that each and every person who contributed to recovering the treasure is duly recognized.

Keeping that notion in mind, August Rush manages to acknowledge the people that Eleanor would be thanking if she were here today. In the movie, on the night of the concert in Central Park, Lyla plays her cello, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic. When it comes time for the final performance, the Director of Juilliard introduces August as someone who “best personifies the mystery that is music.”

All of the characters in August Rush personify the legend of the Grail. The young Arthur represents the imaginary king, who was himself reincarnated from a prior time. Marshall was a real knight in Eleanor's life who said the vow of the Knights Templar on his deathbed. "Wizard" Wallace (W.W.) recognizes all those who turned the story upside down for their own gain even as they kept the legend alive until the proper time arrived.

In Catch and Release, Sam outs Dennis as Sir Galahad, the imaginary knight conceived in sin and immune to lust who was created by a group of monks that deemed Eleanor's imaginary knights unfit.

August Rush/Evan Taylor personifies the story that Eleanor wrote which was sent into the world like an orphan child, carrying the mystery of something grander than what most people see in reality.

A while back I mentioned that I didn’t know if there was an actual book that had been written by Abelard or Heloise that Eleanor put to rhyme, but I believed the answer could be found in the gemstone. Their personal letters provided details. But it would seem now that the story of Perceval is “the son” that Eleanor never gave to her first husband Louis VII, King of France.

It's probably the closest example we have of Immaculate Conception, as she was surely Divinely inspired during its creation. The medieval tale ends with Sir Gawain and 500 knights made new, the same number of knights that arrived with Louis the day he came to escort Eleanor back to his father’s palace when she was 15, after she herself was orphaned.

After 825 years, in a land across the ocean, the story finds its family in an imaginary character that bears Louis' name.

August wished for lots and lots of people to be invited to hear his Rhapsody because he believed his mother and father would hear the music. First Lyla turns back toward the stage. Louis hears the music on the way to the airport. At the same moment, they walk through the crowd from slightly different angles until they’re side by side listening and remembering all of the component parts that have been joined together years later.

The gift for the audience can be found in the lyrics or words of the music. WORD is God's trademark. While all of the lyrics bring meaning, the ones that best fit the moment come from the song Break by John Ondrasik, performed by the Connelly brothers, with Louis as the lead singer:

Once you're here you're never gone
Oh, once you're here you're never gone
I fall from in out of the cold
A piece of me that I can't hold
I love you as I loose you more
I break outside this open door
Catch me as I wash away
Oh, catch me as I wash away
Oh, catch me as I wash away

The Prince and Me – Worlds Apart

When Paige Morgan is given an oral exam on various Shakespearean tragedies, she has to respond in terms of what is destiny versus fate and circumstance. Her answer leads her to wondering if the fairy tale was true, which leads her to the realization that one must grab hold of love when it’s presented, or it may be gone forever.

In The Prince and Me, Eddie has modified his mother’s car and races it through city streets and country roads. By the time the movie ends, Eddie has transformed himself from a raucous twenty-something to a respectful and giving leader… and ascended to the throne.

The problem with the fairy tale is that up until now, whoever became part of the fairy tale had to surrender their individual dreams. In the midst of Edvard’s coronation ball, Paige remembers all the things she wanted to accomplish with her life before she met Eddie and tells the future king she can’t marry him. In the morning, Edvard is crowned King of Denmark and steps out onto the balcony above a palace courtyard. Paige is in the crowd that's waiting to hear him speak. After his first few sentences, she turns and walks away:

Today marks a profound, though bittersweet, milestone for all of us… as we bear witness to both an ending and a beginning. And while we must continue on, we must also be grateful to have been blessed with someone who has so ably guided us to where we are today. When there has been so much love… and happiness for someone… it is natural to be reluctant… to close such a wonderful chapter in our lives for moving forward is rarely accomplished without considerable grief and sadness. And while our sorrow may be profound… the clouds will clear… and the sun will shine on us again. And in that warm, bright light… we will find ourselves facing a glorious future. A future of exciting challenges… and infinite possibility… in which the horizons will stretch out before us… rimmed in the heavenly glow… of the sunrise of our tomorrow.

Eddie is God incognito, but the reality is that God has reinvented himself from an old warlord to something more human. As we've seen in the gemstone, He's a wonderful chef, a rock singer, a huge football fan, a father, a tender lover, a creator of opportunities, and a dream-weaver. One thing that's never changed is the special place He has in his heart for literature. God has always been the Master Storyteller.

The king makes a surprise visit on Paige's graduation and tells her he'll wait for her... however long he must wait for her to do everything she wants to do in life. When she comments that the people aren't ready for someone like her, he says, they had better be, because he is ready for someone like her.

The Sacred Story going forward has been modified. We won't be coming here anymore clinging to an idea that says the only thing that's certain is death. That's why Sybil had to die in The Family Stone. From now on we live and leave a life knowing we'll be back in another.

In The Lovely Bones, Grandma Lynn was wrong about Susie having a long life... not because her life was cut short but because in reality we never truly die.

The Butcher’s Wife

Subconsciously, Lindsey must have remembered this when she and Susie sat beneath the grave rubbings that were hung on the wall outside their parents room. She would tell the dead knight that she had to move on and rejected the idea of being married to someone who was trapped in time.

The Butcher's Wife is about believing in the magic that surrounds us and paying close attention to signs and dreams.

Marina's opening words...

Over the water and across the sea, on a little island off the Carolinas, there once lived a young girl with a great gift who thought she knew it all. That’s me. Folks call me Marina, and I’m a clairvoyant. I’ve always known what people desire long before they do and that’s just a gift I was born with. Of course, I was always on the watch for my other half, what Grammy d’Arbo calls your split-apart. Mind you, I had my suitors, but I was waiting for the signs to let me know the right one—a zigzag rainbow, a bolt of lightening rippng through the sky, the usual things that tell you love’s at hand. 

Marina claims she's waiting for her "Zeus," but leaps at the first man who rows his boat onto the island where she lives with her grandmother. His name is Leo and he's a butcher in New York City. She goes from her island to his island and we get a bird's eye view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on her arrival. Marina provides psychic readings for people she encounters concerning love and fulfilling personal dreams. But while she does a good job with other people, she soon considers that maybe she and Leo weren't meant to be. Then she has a dream about Dr. Alex Tremor who lives across the street from the butcher shop.

The movie serves a dual role. If we follow Marina's introduction at the start, we can understand how Mary, or whoever was behind the name Mary Magdalene, had a gift of clairvoyance and knew she was supposed to identify God's Messenger, "the Anointed One." But she did so without full knowledge of all the signs that would identify him. The first person who came close to what she was anticipating was Jesus, who appears to have had his own ideas of the role he would play. By the time Mary realized her mistake, the story had gotten out of control and couldn't be reeled in. Then she saw in Paul the man that Destiny had planned for her and the one who was the true heir of the biblical story.

Paul was the one who was imprisoned and put on trial for teaching the idea of life everlasting. Paul was the "Anointed One" chosen to deliver the message that would carry us into the New Era and Age of Aquarius.

In The Prince and Me, Paige pulls a phone number off a paper posted on a bulletin board to arrange a ride home at Thanksgiving. This time, the phone number is complete and Paige and Eddie enjoy a long weekend together with family back home on the dairy farm. The name that comes with the phone number of the driver offering transportion is Paul V. As we previously discovered Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany's was specially chosen to deliver the message to Holly Golightly.

In The Butcher's Wife, if it hadn’t been for Marina, Grace never would have met the love of her life and Leo never would have met the woman whose blues melted his heart. More importantly, if Marina hadn't gone with Leo to New York, she never would have crossed paths with Alex.

Which suggests that if Mary Magdalene had never encountered Jesus, she might never have met Paul... like Meredith in The Family Stone would have never met Ben if Everett didn't bring her home for Christmas.
And if Leo hadn't given Stella the gift that was supposed to be for Marina, I never would have known how to weave the last story of The Chapter House into its proper place.

On his way to the corner pub, Leo is given a package with instructions to deliver it to Marina so their love would be sealed. He stuffs it in his pocket. Before the evening ends, Leo is bedazzled by a blues singer named Stella and gives the wrapped box to her on the fly. The gift is a dead frog on a leather lace. Stella wears the frog around her neck and tucked inside her dress. When Leo suggests they should "cool" their relationship because of his marriage, she pulls the frog out and asks if she needs to return it.

The scene is reminiscent of the moment when Margaret Light Shines finds her father, Jacob Wheeler, after a long separation in the television miniseries Into the West.

Into the West
When Thunder Heart Woman shows her daughter the Lakota medicine wheel necklace that was given to her youngest son by one of the soldiers that stopped by their home, Margaret Light Shines knows her father is alive and she goes in search of him.

Years later, Margaret returns to her mother’s home to introduce her to the man who holds her in his heart. During their visit her mother tells her that the spirits spoke to her in a dream and said that one day her father would return to this place.

In town, word arrives that a trapper in the mountains resembles a picture that Margaret and her husband have posted on storefronts. When they travel to the cabin, they're confronted with a shotgun until she pulls the medicine wheel on a leather lace out from beneath her wrap and without a word spoken between them, Jacob says her name.

The reunion between father and daughter is the trigger point that brings Jacob Wheeler home to Thunder Heart Woman. On his arrival he creates a ruckus among the gold miners who've come to her property for a warm meal and laundry services when he learns a few of the men have additional "services" in mind.

Jacob fires a shotgun in the air and shouts, "From now on, any of you sons of bitches step out of line, you'll answer to me!" 

In the final segment of the miniseries, Voices that Carry and Robert Wheeler are walking through a place called Wounded Knee where the Indians had been told to make camp. Voices that Carry tells Robert that he thought at one time it was possible to bridge the Indians' and White Mans' worlds. 

Then all hell breaks loose.

Months later when springtime arrives, Jacob Wheeler and Loved by the Buffalo are shown simultaneously passing their knowledge on to children of their respective people...

Loved by the Buffalo: "That day, I saw Growling Bear’s vision come to pass. My heart was sad, but our people still live. We live, and so we have hope."

Jacob Wheeler: "Well, that’s the story as is. I know how to tell it. Now somebody else might tell it a little differently. You see, the only history a man knows for certain is that small part he owns for himself. You can’t forget we’re all part of the same wheel, the hubs and the spokes and the felloes. You break one, and you break the wheel."

Loved by the Buffalo: "When you tell your stories, you touch the grandmothers and grandfathers. And all the ancestors who walk before them. And when others ask you where you know these things, tell them… Loved by the Buffalo was spared so I can tell you this story."

Jacob Wheeler: "I want you to remember these stories…. So when your time comes, you can pass ‘em on. It’s important for people to know where they came from and what others have been through. I always told my children, I said, 'You are one part Virginia and one part Lakota. Be proud of both.' Now this story belongs to you."

In 1911, Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera claimed there were 5 stories below the ground level of the theater and 17 stories rising above it. The complete list, as revealed in this blog over the past year, are as follows:
  1. The Story of the Grail by Chretien de Troyes/Eleanor of Aquitaine
  2. Forrest Gump - novel by Winston Groom, screenplay by Eric Roth
  3. The Da Vinci Code - novel by Dan Brown, screenplay by Akiva Goldsman
  4. The Last Templar - novel by Raymond Khoury, screenplay by Suzette Couture
  5. Love Happens - screenplay by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson
The Phantom of the Opera - original novel by Gaston Leroux, stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, and Richard Stilgoe; screenplay by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Shumacher
  1. Leap Year- screenplay by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont
  2. The Blind Side - book by Michael Lewis, screenplay by John Lee Hancock
  3. Hitch - screenplay by Kevin Bisch
  4. Invictus - book by John Carlin, screenplay by Anthony Peckhman
  5. Something's Gotta Give by Nancy Meyers
  6. The Bucket List by Justin Zackham
  7. Jerry Maguire by Cameron Crowe
  8. The Lovely Bones - novel by Alice Sebold, screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
  9. Breakfast at Tiffany's - novel by Truman Capote, screenplay by George Axelrod
  10. Catch and Release by Susannah Grant
  11. The Book of Tobit - unknown author
  12. The Family Stone by Thomas Bezucha
  13. National Treasure - story by Jim Kouf, Oren Aviv, Charles Segars; screenplay by Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley
  14. August Rush - story by Nick Castle and James V. Hart; screenplay by Nick Castle and Paul Castro
  15. The Prince and Me - story by Mark Amin and Katherine Fugate, screenplay by Jack Amiel, Michael Beglar, and Katherine Fugate
  16. The Butcher's Wife – by Ezra Litwak and Marjorie Schwartz
  17. Into the West - William Mastrosimone, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Craig Storper, Kirk Ellis
The five novels that Winston Groom named in Forrest Gump that were the key to the map:
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
King Lear by William Shakespeare
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Movies that were honorably mentioned:
Across the Universe screenplay by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, story contributor Julie Taymor, featuring music by the Beatles
2012 by Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser
Avatar by James Cameron
The Last Song novel by Nicholas Sparks, screenplay by Jeff Van Wie and Nicholas Sparks
Other books with worthy contributions:
The Holy Bible
The Woman With the Alabaster Jar
by Margaret Starbird*

*Susie Salmon said her father hid his keys in the unused terra-cotta pots.

In "Chapter 7" of The Lovely Bones, we're told to go over to the children's side of the house. I haven't ventured there... yet. But I can tell you, the way to get there is to follow lightening bolts and Marina's Zeus to a story where two youthful boys embark on a camp for demigods... or Half-Bloods according to the sign that marks the entrance.

For the time being, we must be watchful for a sign that marks the official New Beginning. My sense is it won't be hard to miss as each day of Creation listed in Genesis corresponds to a Geological Era.

In The Phantom of the Opera, the detail of the chandelier is connected to fat bellied cliffs as well as an ocean in turmoil. The Lovely Bones provided a volcanic eruption. The Da Vinci Code describes a canyon outlined by sheer cliffs. There's much to be said for the "Merrakesh Mystery" in Catch and Release and the whitewashed wall as well as the strata that drops to the floor in The Family Stone.

My own contribution which a blackbird whispered in my ear, is that there will be five earthquakes. I assume they'll happen simultaneously or in quick succession, though I don't know where or when. Only God, the Master Storyteller, knows how the world will be transformed to a stage where dreams really do come true.

Just remember this... in the beginning God created a paradise and if God's Will reigns on Earth, paradise will return.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grace. In the Aftermath of Susie Salmon

August 24th there was a lovely full Moon in a cloudless sky, illuminating far more than the green grass that grows just beyond my windows. Day and evening had merged with the business of bringing a new addition to the gemstone and perhaps more than ever before, I was feeling rushed to align the unfolding story with the heavens above. As the clock ticked and the night progressed, the details and depth of the story were expanding in exponential proportions.

Then a thought came to me… if it was the full Moon that I was trying to connect with, I should spend a moment or two face-to-face with it. So I went outside and followed a path, stopping at a spot where the trees didn’t block my view or intercept moonbeams. The air was cool, mixed with a hint of the changing seasons, all of which served as a reminder of how far the story has traveled—it’s been a doozie of a summer

Eight days earlier I’d gotten an email from a friend in which she mentioned having watched The Lovely Bones—novel by Alice Sebold, screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson. The tagline for both the book and the movie is, “The story of a life and everything that came after…” There was nothing in my friend’s correspondence—which was more about keeping children safe from sexual predators—that would have steered me towards this movie. Anyone familiar with this blog knows my interest is most often captured by stories that involve the giving of a ring, especially if its emerald or has ties to Ireland… and that I lean toward romantic comedies, passionate love stories, and the occasional adventure highlighted by code-breaking. To be honest, I can’t recall what it was that led me to drive to the local Red Box and rent The Lovely Bones. The next day I purchased my own copy of the DVD. And the day following I went looking for the novel.

The Lovely Bones is about a 14 year-old girl named Susie Salmon who is murdered and observes her family and her killer from the "in-between," a realm that's part heaven and Earth. In the movie, Susie shares a memory from her life in which she counted a boy’s eyelashes during library time while he was reading Abelard and Heloise, in her words “the most seriously tragic love story ever.” In "her heaven" the first person Susie meets is an Asian girl who has borrowed the name Holly Golightly. In a different memory, Susie’s first kiss with Ray, the one with the eyelashes, is interrupted when a teacher scolds another student for “unnecessary anatomical additions.” Ruth included the outlines of breasts in a drawing of a wooden model; the artwork got the Ellis boy overexcited and he created a stir throughout the entire school. Susie has a friend named Clarissa. (A maiden named Clarissant lived in the Wondrous Palace in The Story of the Grail and was the recipient of an emerald ring, given as a token of love at a point in the story when there are only 224 lines remaining.) Susie was given a camera for her birthday and decided she wanted to become a wildlife photographer when she grew up, but the closest she got was snapping photos of Grace Tarking who lived across the street.

I couldn't possibly walk away from these names.

If you recall from my blog, “Oracles, Omens, and the World Cup,” Alex from the movie Hitch asks “When is Grace due?” The thread meandered toward the revelation that the Lion has arrived to lay with the Lamb.

In the larger spectrum, Grace is understood to be something that is “God given.” In the New Testament the Greek word for Grace is Charis. Strong’s concordance describes it as, “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life." The Greek word charis is related to two other Greek/English words: charisma, which reflects a special spiritual endowment or influence and character as in an engraving, stamp or mark indicating the genuineness of something. Grace is given by God in reference to developing characteristics in harmony with God’s character. An alternative perspective is that grace is given to enable such character changes to be realized. (Wikipedia)

The dictionary adds "Grace is 'the glory hereafter to be revealed'” (1 Peter 1:13).

By the time Tuesday, August 24th, rolled around, I had put ink on every page of the novel. I also revisited Breakfast at Tiffany’s and was beginning to feel the true weight of this story narrated by an imaginary ghost. When I stepped out beneath the cloudless sky, into the light of the full Moon with Miss Golightly on my mind, I found myself ever so softly serenading the night…

Moon River, wider than a mile…
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end—
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

When I came back inside and returned to the task at hand, my expectations for the night had shifted. This new addition to the gemstone moves with leaps and bounds; it was wholly unrealistic to think I could do it justice before the clock struck midnight. And the more I thought about it, this idea that the clock wasn’t the measure of time—particularly not the “time” I was working with—also conformed to a word that recently found its way into my vocabulary.

Kairos was introduced via a link in an email from another person; the writer had herself discovered the word in someone else’s writing and was inspired to research its meaning. She introduced kairos as “God’s time.” The time not measured by a clock, that God has chosen as “the right moment” or the “opportune time.”

And like Luke’s discussion of the lamp on the table and Ronald Reagan’s reference to the city on the hill, her links provided a simple explanation in one writing and referred to a second writing that went into greater detail of what kairos means depending on who’s using the word.

To ancient and modern Greeks kairos can pertain to weather or describe a period of time. Wikipedia further distinguishes this "time" as either chronos or kairos. Chronos pertains to chronological or sequential time while kairos refers to a moment of indeterminate length in which something special happens. It represents a supreme moment. Historians and psychologists describe kairos as “a paradigm shift.” It’s perceived as a time of crisis that involves both danger and opportunity. For Aristotle it was the time in which the proof would be delivered, with “the Audience” identified as those who would receive the proof. Kairos is the bridge between old and new; the chance to participate in a “New Creation.” “It’s a moment of undetermined length when God breaks into the temporal, shattering and transforming it, preparing the temporal to receive the eternal.” “It’s the time when one needs to seek out the golden thread.” In the New Testament kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God,” the time when God acts as referenced in Mark 1:15, “the kairos is fulfilled.”

To an archer kairos refers to an opening or opportunity and more precisely refers to the path through which the archer’s arrow must pass; the archer’s arrow must not only be fired correctly, but with enough power to penetrate.

As an aside, a term called "the archer’s paradox" takes into consideration the influence of the human touch on the string of the bow. The archer aims the arrow slightly off from the desired target and... somehow the arrow knows how to correct its way and get onto the proper path. Eleanor of Aquitaine had a passion for this sport and I suspect was particularly adept at it. Interestingly there is an arrow or "arrows flying" in nearly every scene within The Story of the Grail, as if the story were being shot like an arrow destined to travel through time. She ingeniously knew the appropriate strength of the bow and spine of the arrow needed for it to be carried through the confluence of thought that traveled up and over the ramparts of Troyes to a predetermined target.

They say when an arrow first takes to flight, it oscillates until it finds its balance … and the longer it stays in flight the less wild movement there is along the path. But, surely there must have been a power of Nature or a flock of angels to hold this story in flight for over eight hundred years.

In Greek mythology, Kairos was the god of the fleeting moment, “a favorable opportunity opposing the fate of man.” This fleeting moment was often personified and identified by a tuft of hair on the forehead combined with a bald head behind, implying one had to grasp the opportunity "by the hair" on its presentation... else the moment would be gone forever.

The Ugly Maiden who crashed the party at King Arthur’s castle in The Story of the Grail was familiar with this god of the fleeting moment; she called it Fortune:

Upon her tawny mule’s back, seated,
she said, “Oh Perceval, you’ll find
that Fortune’s head is bald behind,
although a forelock hangs before.
A curse on him who greets you or
who hopes you’re well or any better;
you’d not seized Fortune when you met her.
You went inside the dwelling place
of the Fisher King; before your face
the bleeding lance came passing by.
You found it was too hard to try
to open up your mouth and speak.
You could not ask why, from the peak
of the white lance’s point, that drop
of blood came springing from its top, and
when you saw the grail, in turn,
you did not ask or try to learn
what nobleman was being served.

Fortune, written with an uppercase “F”, is defined as “a personified force or power that favorably or unfavorably governs the events of one’s life.” When spelled with all lowercase letters, fortune pertains to a chance happening of events, success at least partially attributed to luck. It's also one’s standing in life measured by an excess in wealth or material possessions, fate or destiny, or the foretelling of one’s destiny—tarot cards—as is often attributed to gypsies.

And any gypsy that engages in fortune telling is wise to authenticate his/her words by providing a glimpse of events that have already happened before providing a list of events that belong to one’s future—a spin on “you can’t tell where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” Because if they don’t know what has already transpired, they’re only guessing at what might happen in the future.

In The Story of the Grail, Perceval’s destiny was tied to the two questions that Fortune spoke of. And before this story ends, he must name who is served by the grail and answer why the white lance always has a drop of blood forming at its tip.

The Holy Hermit of the forest provided the only clue to fulfill half of this destiny:

You were a foolish man to fail
to learn whom they serve from the grail.
The man they serve is my own brother;
my sister, and his, was your mother;
and also the rich Fisherman
is that king’s son, son of the man
who has himself served with the grail.
Now do not let the thought prevail
that from the grail he takes food like
a salmon, lamprey, or a pike,
because from it the king obtains
one mass wafer, and it sustains
his life, borne in the grail they bring;
the grail is such a holy thing.

To truly know the king’s identity, we had to be familiar with the correspondence between Abelard and Heloise… specifically, the writings other than their love letters. Heloise was the abbess of the Paraclete and she would send questions that arose in the women's study of the Bible to Abelard. The ladies were curious about why only the beasts and the birds were described in Genesis 2:20, as being led to Adam to be named. Why not the reptiles of the land or the fish in the water? Abelard's response was that reptiles and fish are not able to raise themselves up, they are like reprobates. And for this reason, it wasn't permitted to offer fish as a sacrifice to God...certainly one would never serve fish to God.

The grail itself, made of the purest gold set with a manifold of jewels, delivers a single mass wafer. Their combined image is symbolic of a unified spirit that is free of sin. Repeating what I’ve written in prior posts, the grail is not a chalice, or a platter, or person… it represents the culmination of a journey and embodies an entire population.

In The Story of the Grail the salmon not only reveals the identity of the king who is served, it's used as a metaphor for people. Abelard’s use of fish as a metaphor for sinners wasn't an accurate depiction of the way it is in reality and we know this because in Forrest Gump “the fish are jumping.” If fish can raise themselves, surely reprobates can do the same.

Despite the fact that Abelard’s understanding on this subject was wrong, the logic behind his answer still works to reveal the true identity of the one who is served by the grail. With consideration given to all the influences that delivered the tale to the 12th century, if the audience of Troyes should not have for one moment considered salmon, lamprey, or pike as being served by the grail to the king in the small room at the Fisher King's manor house, then the king must be God.

God is served by the grail.

Using Seemingly Unrelated Sources to expand Our Understanding

Grasping hold of "salmon" guides our story in a new direction. Salmon are born in fresh water and migrate to the ocean where they become sexually mature. They return to the exact spot where they were born in order to spawn, often making amazing journeys, traveling hundreds of miles, swimming upstream against strong currents and rapids that defy the abilities of most human beings. They do this to lay the foundation of the next generation. The female uses her tail to create a low-pressure zone, lifting gravel to be swept downstream, excavating a shallow depression called a redd. The redd may contain 5,000 eggs and cover 30 square feet. The momma salmon covers the eggs by disturbing the gravel upstream and moves on to make another redd… making as many as seven redds before her egg supply is exhausted.

Salmon play important roles in mythology (Wikipedia):
  • In Irish mythology, a creature called the Salmon of Wisdom plays a key role in the tale known as The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn. In this story, the Salmon grants powers of knowledge to whoever eats it. Finn Eces is a poet within the tale who has sought after the Salmon for seven years. When he finally catches the fish, he gives it to his young pupil Fionn mac Cumhaill to prepare it for eating. However, Fionn burns his thumb on the salmon’s juices, and instinctively puts his thumb in his mouth, inadvertently acquiring the Salmon’s wisdom.
  • Elsewhere in Irish mythology, Finn McCool is the young man who lives with an elderly poet named Finegas. Finegas catches the Salmon of Wisdom and asks Finn to cook it while he fetches more wood for the fire. Finn burns his thumb when he moves the fish on the spit. Instinctively he puts his thumb in his mouth to quell the pain and all of the Salmon's wisdom is transferred to him. On his return, Finegas notices a change has come about Finn and asks if he ate any of the fish. When Finn explains what happened, Finegas tells him to eat the fish in full as he must be the one professed to receive the knowledge. From that time forward, whenever Finn needed to know what the future would bring or needed to consider a difficult decision, he merely had to place his thumb at his lips and the answer would come to him.
  • In Welsh mythology the Salmon of Llyn Llyw is the oldest animal in Britain and the only creature who knows the location of Mabon ap Modron. After speaking to a string of other ancient animals who do not know Mabon’s whereabouts, King Arthur’s men Cai and Bedwyr are led to the Salmon of Llyn Llyw who allows them to ride on his back to the walls of the prison in Gloucester where Mabon can be found.
  • In Norse mythology, after Loki tricks the blind god Höðr into killing his brother Baldr, Loki jumps into a river and transforms himself into a salmon in order to escape punishment from the other gods. When they try to trap him with a net, he leaps over it but is caught by Thor, who grabs him by the tail with his hand… and this is why the salmon’s tail is tapered.
  • Salmon are central to Native American mythology on the Pacific coast.
  • Celtic animal symbolism attributes mystical powers to the salmon. In the legends of Fionn, the salmon lives in a fathomless well of wisdom where it swirls up ripples of knowledge from which the righteous may drink. (From )
The Salmon Family
In the screen adaptation of The Lovely Bones, the young narrator tells us, “My name is Salmon. Like the fish. First name, Susie. I was murdered on December 6th, 1973.” Toward the end, Holly tells Susie that she’s free; she can progress toward heaven. But Susie stops and says “Almost. Not quite.” She has something she wants to do in "this life"—or moment in time as she calls it—before she joins the others.

In the novel, the young narrator tells us, “My name was Salmon. Like the fish. First name, Susie…” When the novel ends, her charm bracelet, minus the engraved Pennsylvania keystone that Mr. Harvey kept as a token of the crime, has been discovered in an old industrial park that was being bulldozed. Later, the man holds the bracelet in his hands for his wife to see.

The wife says, "This little girl’s all grown up by now.”

Susie, commenting from the in-between: "Almost. Not quite."

The audience is placed as close as is possible to Susie, privy to her thoughts and able to observe the utter heartbreak of a family, falling with them into a pit that feels as bottomless as the sinkhole chosen to swallow the remains of Susie’s flesh and bones. The fine line that separates heaven and Earth, aside from having flesh and bone, is one's ability to experience and control the outcome of what's happening. With this particular story, we also witness the family's heroic climb out of the pit, one by one, and see how they come together in the end.

As far as the Salmon family is concerned, Abigail Salmon—Susie’s mother—is called Ocean Eyes by her husband. Susie's little brother Buckley, who is four, sucks his thumb… like Fionn, and is wise beyond his years when it comes to understanding where it is that Susie has gone. Younger sister Lindsey races past Susie… into the ocean of sexual maturity.

Imaginary Details Traverse the Boundary into Our Reality

In truth, all of Nature has risen to the purpose of the unfolding story. In the prior blog Oracles, Omens, and the World Cup, Paul the Octopus made an appearance and accurately predicted the outcome of 8 consecutive games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On the heels of Paul's fame an octopus named Loki appeared on the scene in Minnesota. Loki, who resides inside a tank at the Mall of America, predicted that Brett Favre would retire from a different kind of football.

Like Abelard, Loki was wrong. While two wrongs don't make a right, for our purposes two wrongs serve as authentication. What this means to our story is it confirms Paul's rightful place in history... but I'm no longer referring to the octopus.

A Preview of Coming Attractions

The movie The Lovely Bones merely skims the surface of the story told within the novel. However rather than seeing it as being “watered-down” the truth of the matter is that the movie provides instruction and guidance for the audience.

If we skim the surface of Breakfast at Tiffany’s we would discover that Paul (Varjak) has just returned from Rome. He’s a writer who's finished one book titled Nine Lives, although few people have ever read it. While visiting someone in prison, he’s given an “accounting” that documents everything and is told, “Someday Paul, take this and turn it into a book… fill in the details.” He’s working on a new project… and informs Holly there'll be no more little stuff; he’s holding all of his novel ideas for "the big one." He has a ring, originally found by Holly's first husband in a box of Cracker Jacks, engraved at Tiffany’s, and gives it to her as a token of his own love. The pair arrives at a library where they have a copy of Nine Lives retrieved by the librarian. He attempts to autograph it, much to the agitation of the librarian. Holly assures the woman, “He’s really the author." "She doesn't believe me." "Cross my heart and kiss my elbow.” (An elbow was the only portion of Susie Salmon's body that was ever recovered in the novel.) Paul and Holly Golightly both get arrested for their involvement with the person they’d visited in prison. Paul is released. When he returns for Holly to take her into seclusion, he tells her, “I have a message for you.”

In reality, Paul was specially chosen to deliver this message--but I'm no longer referring to Paul Varjak.

Another Map of Where the Story Goes from Here

The film adaptation of The Lovely Bones tells us what to expect; it fine tunes some of the details found in the novel and sheds light on avenues we can explore within what's been provided.

Tucked within each story are Divinely given statements that reveal truths and serve our best interests in how we should proceed from this point forward.

With Forrest Gump we learned how important it was to follow up on the titles of other books mentioned in the story. In The Lovely Bones, Abigail Salmon is shown reading a book by Camus… but we have to search all of his titles to determine which book it might be, and perhaps each and every one of his works bring something to the gemstone. Albert Camus was a philosopher whose literary writing generally required the reader to seek out the meaning of life.

At the top of Abigail’s pile of books next to her bed, sits Virginia Wolf’s To the Lighthouse. The description given for this work suggests it will supplement and/or complement Camus' contribution while providing its own insight into how we're to use The Lovely Bones... for philosophical introspection. Wolf's novel is similar as it presents a story with little dialogue, driven mostly by thoughts and observations. Meaning comes not only by way of words but with images; a lighthouse appears throughout The Lovely Bones as if it provides the guiding light in the midst of the storm.

“Murder changes everything.”

While browsing a bookstore at the mall with Susie, Grandma Lynn picks up a copy of The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer. The main thesis of the book is that the "traditional" suburban, consumerist, nuclear family represses women's sexually, and that this devitalizes them, rendering them eunuchs. Grandma Lynn notices Ray watching Susie from the record store, which leads to a discussion of “first kisses.” Susie later shares how she’d counted his eyelashes as he read Abelard and Heloise, however no mention is made that in reality, Abelard was in fact a eunuch. It was a condition brought on by an event that permanently destroyed both his and Heloise's ability to reach "sexual maturity," catapulting the tragic lovers into a spiral descent. But if they had lived happily-ever-after, they might not have had reason to correspond in writing... and the seed sown into The Story of the Grail would never have been provided. Susie Salmon quite likely might never have been born in Alice Sebold's imagination. And we wouldn't have this opportunity to be graced by the glory hereafter which is revealed in her narration.

It’s up to the audience to make connections between details and become familiar with the stories that exist behind each story.

Susie describes her father as a “closet scale modeler.” Likewise, the big picture of life is shrunken, like the photo she takes of herself and says "I was here for a moment." The smaller scale view allows us to "wrap our heads around it" making it easier to embrace and understand.

Ideas presented in one story are authenticated by another.

Like the real life Paul, the imaginary Jack Salmon is a messenger: “Susie, hobbies are healthy. They teach you things.” “Like if you start something, you finish it. You don’t stop until you get it right and you keep going as long as you have to. That’s the way it is. That’s what you do. It’s perfectly normal. You know, Grampy taught me to do this, and now I’m teaching you. We’re creating something here. Something special.”

Even the bad guys provide useful tips: “You’re gonna’ have to be more observant Susie.”

The terrain through The Lovely Bones is more difficult, but all the richer for its complexity.

Jack Salmon tells the police working the case, “You need to look at it from a different angle. Work backwards. Look into people’s past." "It’s been 11 months.”

In the opening pages of the novel, U.S. News and World Report is quoted as saying, "The Lovely Bones is a story you'll want to pretend was written for yourself alone."

I hope each of us can come to believe that it was written for all of humanity. But I must say it does speak to me on a very personal level. I was 14 in 1973; the same age as Susie. When I was 15, a boy named Daniel Stoner, who I had a crush on, committed suicide. Like Ray in the movie, Dan was a senior in high school. He'd asked me if I would go on a date the day before he killed himself. I never gave him an answer. After he died, when the snow started falling in the winter I used to think that he was freezing in his grave because they’d buried him without a coat.

One emotionally spent night, Daniel Stoner visited me—in a dream that wasn’t a dream. Seeing him changed everything. It was like he opened a door to a whole new way of viewing death...that completely altered my perception of life.

Alice Sebold incorporated a "full-blown stoner" who Susie Salmon knew always left a door at the back of the school theater open for others. Which connected to another detail of my life. My mother was a drama teacher who I once described as someone who helped young people “bloom” on stage. She directed plays and musicals and I used to love to carry the box of roses she received at the end of a final performance.

I moved a distance from home when I got married and wasn't near when she was later diagnosed with cancer. While she was sick, she had my father ship me a box of flower bulbs that had arrived at their home as a gift. She inquired about them in every phone conversation that we had, wanting to know whether they had started growing. She died the day after I told her the leaves of the bulbs had finally poked through the soil

Then something happened in the time I was away for her funeral. The anemones were in full bloom when I returned home, providing a sign that didn't escape me twenty years before Susie Salmon wishes the hedge flower to bloom in the movie to provide a sign for her father.

At some point my mother had purchased an emerald ring for herself which my father gave me as a token to remember her by. I’d forgotten I had it. But I came upon it's small box during the time while I was writing about Anna and Declan, simultaneous to Declan reclaiming his mother's ring in Dublin in the movie Leap Year. And just like Cinderella's glass shoe slipped upon her foot, my mother's emerald ring was a perfect fit for my ring finger which—like Anna's—no longer had a diamond ring upon it.

The Lovely Bones joins the gemstone exactly 11 months after I introduced Winston Groom’s novel Forrest Gump as the map that identified the path the legend of the grail would follow.

With a gift comparable to a skilled gypsy who understands the art of foretelling, Alice Sebold manages to incorporate all of the strategies used by the spectral genius working behind the scenes within her novel. Even though it was originally published 8 years ago, she includes details that connect her contribution to each and every place the gemstone has journeyed... and not only touching upon works of fiction. She weaves in details connected to events that have happened and are happening at this very moment in reality, while providing a window that allows a glimpse into the future.

Just like Winston Groom's Forrest Gump, Sebold’s novel and the associated screenplay incorporate details and threads linking to a number of other works that I haven't yet named that are part of the gemstone.

The distinguishing characteristic is that Forrest Gump included details of novels that had NOT YET BEEN WRITTEN, while The Lovely Bones includes threads ONLY to stories that are, at this moment, catalogued in existing libraries of books and Hollywood movies.

The significance of weaving together works of fiction is that opinions offered as "truths" captured in non-fiction are changing all of the time. But with a work of fiction nobody can write and distribute something later, or revise and re-release the story with an altered meaning, nor claim a long lost manuscript exists that didn't get woven into the original telling.

If a work of fiction hasn't been completed at the time God chooses to provide the proof to the audience, it can't be utilized. No author can rewrite Winston Groom's Forrest Gump two hundred years from now and slip in other details that offer a different map for the audience to follow.

This time, the path is etched in stone.

The Lovely Bones Reveals Why All This is Happening
In an interview with David Mehegan of the Boston Globe, Alice Sebold described how she was working on a different book that she didn’t find compelling. “I went and read some poems and came back to the desk and wrote the first chapter in one sitting. So Susie came upon me more than me deciding, ‘I’m going to write about a teenager, she’ll be dead, and speaking from heaven.’”

In five lines of conversation contained in Chapter Four, Alice Sebold captures the intent behind the entire gemstone. Keep in mind that the inspired writings that created the Bible were authenticated by a mathematical code incorporated into the Hebrew alphabet. Once again, the spectral genius aligns himself with Mr. Harvey, employing the scene in which he disposes of Susie’s body to explain why all of this was necessary. When asked what he wants to bury in the landfill...

Mr. Harvey: “Old safe of my father’s, finally got it out here,” he said. “Been wanting to do it for years. No one remembers the combination.”

Mrs. Flanagan: Anything in it?

Mr. Harvey: Stale air.

Mrs. Flanagan: Back her up then. You need help?

Mr. Harvey: That would be lovely.

The Flanagans never connected news headlines over the course of a year to what was inside the safe that was pushed over the edge and swallowed by the earth.

Where the Gemstone's Headed, A Look Into the Future...
Chapter Eight of The Lovely Bones isn’t the end of the novel, but it does project an image of where the gemstone is heading. It’s a short chapter, even shorter than Chapter VI: "A Visit to Box Five" in the The Phantom of the Opera, which, you may recall provides the image of the crumbling big-bellied cliffs and an ocean in turmoil.

In The Lovely Bones this short chapter is given to Mr. Harvey—Susie's murderer. The first paragraph shares a glimpse into his night time dreams, including the dream he has on the night of December 6th, 1973.

The date he raped and murdered Susie Salmon he dreamed of the Church of the Transfiguration.

This chapter ends with a family dispute in a place called Truth or Consequences. Sandwiched in between is a scene resembling an event that winds through the movie The Last Song in which a father works with his son to recreate the stained glass windows for the old church in town that was destroyed by a fire. 

A Story Connected With the Heavens, the Sabian Symbols of August’s full Moon

August 24th, 2010 the Sun was positioned on Virgo 2. The Sabian Symbol, or energy influencing the day was “A Large White Cross, Dominating the Landscape, Stands Alone on the Top of a High Hill “

The full Moon was positioned on Pisces 2: "A Squirrel Hiding from Hunters"

Venus, on Libra 18: "Two Men Placed Under Arrest Give an Accounting for Their Acts Before the Tribunal of Society."

Mars on Libra 17: "A Retired Sea Captain Watches Ships Entering and Leaving the Harbor"

Saturn on Libra 4: "A Group of Young People Sit in Spiritual Communion Around a Campfire"

Pluto on Capricorn 3: "The Human Soul, In Its Eagerness for New Experiences, Seeks Embodiment"

Mercury, retrograde on Virgo 19: "A Swimming Race"

True node on Cancer 11: "A Clown is Caricaturing Well-Known Personalities"

Jupiter on Aries 2: "A Comedian Entertaining A Group of Friends"

Where Are We In This Journey? 
  • Since our very big day of July 11th, news headlines introduced the first female Venetian gondolier to the world. 
  • On the heels of the requiem for 109 geese in Bend, Oregon, which were to be killed in an effort to reduce goose droppings in a public park, an article appeared describing New York City’s plan to euthanize 250,000 geese in an effort to keep the airspace clear. 
  • Just as anticipated, the write-up captioned “No More Crying Over Spilled Coffee: ‘Hate it when the party's spoiled by a spill. Well stop that fussing...’” had everything to do with the BP oil spill which was sealed shortly thereafter.
  • Today as I write, a storm named “Danielle” is moving through the Atlantic as a Category 4 hurricane with a storm named Earl following on its heels. 
  • In the U.S., half a billion eggs have been recalled after determining they posed a potential hazard to the well being of the population. 
  • Epic flooding that began in a place called Swat Valley has forced millions of Pakistanis from their homes, many of whom have been described in news articles as "living and defecating on the roads." More than once in recent writings, the people of Pakistan have been called a population “marooned.” One news article hit on the idea that they have been “cowed” by the Taliban.
  • On August 8th, Patricia Neal died. Ms. Neil played the role of the wealthy matron named Emily Eustace Failenson, also known as “2E" in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The article that announced her death and celebrated her accomplishments in life listed other roles and movies she was known for including The Subject Was Roses, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and her Academy Award winning performance in Hud, for which she was honored as Best Actress. Her consideration in the category of Best Actress rather than Best Supporting Actress was a last minute surprise decision as her role as the middle-aged housekeeper, Alma Brown, wasn't a leading character.
Susie Salmon dreamed of inexplicably winning an Oscar for Best Actress during her junior year in high school.

Of Patricia Neal's other movies, the first two titles sound as if they'd be obvious shoe-ins for the gemstone. I didn't originally think it was worthwhile to research Hud. But just as The Lovely Bones proved to be a significant contributor, I discovered details in Hud that caught me by surprise. The movie is about an old cattle-rancher who makes the tough choice to destroy his herd after the most recent additions were found to be infected with foot and mouth disease.

As I get ready to post this blog, the planet Mercury is sitting on Virgo 18: "Two Girls Playing with A Ouija Board." It is a rather fitting image. There is a flurry of activity with respect to details that originated in the stories that are once again appearing in news articles. Summer is officially over in the coming weeks. Saturn passes through Libra 4:39 on September 5th marking the end of its retrograde cycle, which is like a pregnancy... a detail that could be associated with the question of when Grace is due.

The next new Moon arrives on September 8th. Every new Moon is like a page turned. In her blog Lua Astrology, Leah Whitehorse describes this phase as being when the Moon faces the Sun, absorbing its Divine light, unhindered by human eyes. "The sliver of the crescent Moon when her first light appears is called ‘Diana’s Bow’. This is the moment when Diana takes up her bow and fires an arrow towards us which carries the instruction received..." Read more

This new Moon is also associated with "The Orangutan," a detail which leads us back to Forrest Gump's companion named Sue.

There remains an event that's been described in the gemstone that hasn't yet found its way into reality and The Lovely Bones provides the missing detail. About three-quarters of the way through Chapter Eleven, Susie is observing her father who is..."...slowly fitting something together. It had nothing to do with George Harvey, nothing to do with me." That night, as he had more and more often, my father stayed up by himself in his study. He could not believe the world was falling down around him--how unexpected it all was after the initial blast of my death. 'I feel like I'm standing in the wake of a volcano eruption,' he wrote in his notebook.'"

The words Susie's father writes complete the picture that began to take shape last spring in my blog The Point of No Return. The cliff that could bring about an ocean in turmoil was missing a volcano eruption.
Only the Master Storyteller—God Himself—knows whether, this time, the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands will erupt, or alternately if the Earth will swallow an entire herd... something that would "rock the world" as William Vance said in The Last Templar. Or whether, as in my blogs No Sign will be Given Except the Sign of Jonah and Oracles, Omens, and the World Cup, a warning will suffice to convince people to change their evil and corrupt ways.

In The Lovely Bones, the world changed overnight. It was that simple.

But if something were to happen, the prayer that needs to be said is the Lord's Prayer. And have faith. Because we've been told "a Father is someone you should be able to depend on".

Hallowed be His name. His kingdom come. His Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Looking into the future through the window that's been provided... when Susie Salmon arrived late to school and entered through the door to the theater, she was surprised to discover Ray calling out to her from the scaffold above. He invited her to climb up and join him. This scene in The Lovely Bones is a cross between the scene leading into the hanging of Joseph Buquet in The Phantom of the Opera and the moment when Lyla climbs up to the roof and sits with Louis in the movie August Rush where she is shortly thereafter serenaded with the opening lines of Van Morrison's song Moondance:

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies...

                    [This is one song worthy of finishing]

And all the leaves on the trees are fallin'
To the sound of the breezes that blow
An' I'm trying to please to the callin'
Of your heart strings that play soft and low
And all the night's magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush
Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love?
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?
Well, I wanna make love to you tonight
I can't wait 'til the morning has come
And I know now the time is just right
And straight in to my arms you will run
And when you come, my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you're never alone
There and then, all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then, I will make you my own
And every time I touch you, you just tremble inside
And I know how much you want me that you can't hide
Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love?
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?
Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance'
Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush
Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love?
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?
One more moon dance with you
In the moon light, on a magic night
All the moon light, on a magic night
Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love?

Photo by Jon Bragg via Used by permission - Creative Commons License. Use does not include endorsement of this blog.