Angiogenesis (Fate / Lost! Theme)

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Varda
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Angiogenesis (Fate / Lost! Theme)

Post by Varda » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:56 am

At dawn, Walter listened close for a lost little girl’s sobs in the woods. Months since she’d vanished into the wild, yet he still rose early each day to search for her in the acres of dense thickets that spread out from their small cabin.

Eaten by bears, they said. Likely enough. But what’s a father to do but hope until hope extinguishes?

He pulled on heavy boots and tramped into the trees again. This much he could do: step by step, he’d lay new trails in the wilderness -- life-bearing arteries -- so that someday she might find her way home.
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ROU Killing Time
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:56 am

That's very sad.
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by strawman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:25 pm

What do you do with a broken heart?

Sad? In a way, maybe. But miraculously significant too.

What might it mean that Walter's irrational hope still motivates him to go out and make new paths? Is it hope, or is he hard-wired by longing?

I will always wonder that evolution could spend millions of years developing the necessary neural precursors to sight before producing anything that would even sense light. Same for all our senses. Did cells somehow "hope" for felt vibrations to become distinct sounds, and make a path towards pindrops?

Meditating not on the mechanics and the "how" but, as Varda has done, on the father looking for his lost daughter... Senses would be good, and so the father makes a path at the end of which are daughters tongue and ears nose and eyes and fingers. Oxygen would be good, so even though a partial artery has no benefit whatever, there is something in DNA itself designed to put its boots on and make a way.

This has got to be significant. Unless, after having found eyes and ears and taste and touch and smell, our little girl no longer conceives of the possibility of Walter.

Ite missa est.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Varda
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by Varda » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:55 pm

We're on the same brainwave, Strawman, although I couldn't put it half to eloquently as you did. I wrote something similar in the blog post related to this story.

The Drabble's depressing as all getout on its own. But angiogenesis, when not pathological, is such a hopeful process. A couple months ago, I gave myself a spectacular cut with my brand-new ceramic knife while prepping dinner. One of those clear-to-the-bone type cuts. To this day there's a numb spot around the healed wound where the nerves haven't come back so far. No nerves is radio silence as far as the brain's concerned, and yet my body bridged the broken lines to reconnect blood vessels and integrate the part back into the whole. It happens all the time to all of us, and yet I don't usually sit down and consider how odd, how improbable the whole thing is.

Hope, reconciliation, longing for communication... maybe the little girl's been eaten by bears, but we'll keep laying pathways, just in case.

By the way, you might enjoy God After Darwin by John Haught. I read it for my science and faith book club/discussion group a few months ago, and it does a pretty interesting exploration of how evolution illuminates certain problems in religion, and vice versa. It's extremely dry reading, though
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by strawman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Varda wrote: It's extremely dry reading, though
Then why has he not been shot?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:06 pm

This Drabble is goldilocks and Hansel & Grettle puréed and poured over ice, with a bittersweet twist.
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Varda
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by Varda » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:45 am

strawman wrote:
Varda wrote: It's extremely dry reading, though
Then why has he not been shot?
Interesting proposition. Is that what happens to people who send in especially tedious reading to the slush pile? Is there a secret DC hit list to rid the world of terrible writing?

...am I on it? :shock:
ROU Killing Time wrote:This Drabble is goldilocks and Hansel & Grettle puréed and poured over ice, with a bittersweet twist.
Dang, and now I want a cocktail, and it's not yet 7AM! Excellent recipe. You do need the lemon bitters to offset the gingerbread sweetness that Hansel and Gretel bring to it. :lol:
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by strawman » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:43 pm

ROU, what an inspiration! I want the Food Network to expand Chopped to a show on Cocktails, to be called Sloshed. As in

- Bartender Mike, you're 'Sloshed'.
- Hic! Yeshir, I am.
Is that what happens to people who send in especially tedious reading to the slush pile? Is there a secret DC hit list to rid the world of terrible writing?
The only thing that earns someone the hit list is to take life's most fascinating subject and make it dry. Remember the story of the 7 Chinese Brothers? One of them had the ability to swallow the ocean. That's what your description of Haught's book brought to mind. I understand how it happens. But it reminds me of the trap that every aspiring theologian falls into. The scientific method is strictly objective. You cannot be a marine biologist and also get to swim in the ocean.

It is deadly to the soul to be kept out of the water in order to be accepted in the academic discussion.

I read your blog about slush, and sure identify with your graduation essay experience. You say it's all worth it for the few that you find to pass on and endorse. But fact is, what you pass on becomes part of the next level's slush pile? And for all you know, the next level might be a chimpanzee.

I told upper management that GeekOut's short story Swamp Witch merited the full Norm treatment, but I have no idea what happened after that.

So the slush pile is like angiogenesis.

You, Lady Varda, need not be concerned.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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chemistryguy
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by chemistryguy » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Sad but with some hope.

This story hits home with me in many ways.

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Varda
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by Varda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:09 pm

strawman wrote:The scientific method is strictly objective. You cannot be a marine biologist and also get to swim in the ocean.

It is deadly to the soul to be kept out of the water in order to be accepted in the academic discussion.
Very good point. I'd like to say I try to straddle this line when writing my blog, but the truth is that I'm using storytelling and not the scientific method at all to impart information. What's funny is that the human mind is a lousy device for objective thinking anyway. The scientific method is entirely designed to remove human subjectivity from the table so that we can find a way to define a common reality. And for studying the material universe, it works very well indeed.

But, to quote John Haught at his best, subjectivity is an objectively verifiable component of reality. It's an objective fact that each human being experiences the world differently. To put it another way, isn't it amazing that people are so easily persuaded by stories and appeals to emotions over statistics and information? I used to find this very tragic; it makes people seem a bit moronic and easily manipulated, especially when you think about advertising methods. But when I consider literature and poetry, I think our subjectivity is a great gift. Without subjectivity, you can't have perspective. And storytelling can sometimes be a stronger way of conveying truth than a straightforward presentation of facts.
strawman wrote:I read your blog about slush, and sure identify with your graduation essay experience. You say it's all worth it for the few that you find to pass on and endorse. But fact is, what you pass on becomes part of the next level's slush pile? And for all you know, the next level might be a chimpanzee.
See, that's where the graduation slush pile's different from the DC slush pile: if I don't endorse a kid's essay, they fail high school (or at least have to retake the test). Okay, that's an oversimplification--two readers per essay, and if there's a major conflict between the readers' scores, the essay gets passed on to others. Scores below 3 fail, and scores 3 and up pass. And there's no additional reward or honor for the rare kid whose essay is downright remarkable (and how remarkable they are indeed, considering a 2-hour time limit, not knowing the topic in advance, and lack of beta readers!). No one but me and my coworkers ever gets to enjoy the genius essays. Passing is passing, as far as the state of Georgia is concerned, and fortunately the majority of kids do pass, as they should if our education system's meeting the bare minimum requirements.

Still, I always wish there were a way to let those kids know how much I enjoyed their writing.
strawman wrote: I told upper management that GeekOut's short story Swamp Witch merited the full Norm treatment, but I have no idea what happened after that.

So the slush pile is like angiogenesis.
So tickled to see "Bayou Witch" produced today! I read it on the forums weeks ago and it floored me. There you have it: you made a path in the wilderness, and it brought someone home. Angiogenesis gives faith hands and feet.
strawman wrote:You, Lady Varda, need not be concerned.
Whew. I'll call off the bodyguards. :D
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Re: Angiogenesis

Post by DoctorBanzai » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:45 pm

Love it. Sad, yet hopeful. Very well written. You've really captured both the sweperation and the hope in this one.

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Varda
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Re: Angiogenesis (Fate / Lost! Theme)

Post by Varda » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:40 pm

Bumped for "Fate" and "Lost!" themes!
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