a mask and birthday musings
This item in the below pics was bought some years ago (not sure, but more than 10 years ago) as a curio in a thrift store. It is amazing what you can find in thrift stores. Very rare, old (out of print) paperback books sometimes can be found on the shelves in such stores. As well, antique style or rare tea cups, among other things, can be discovered.
This replica of a carved and painted African mask is interesting. There is some artistic talent evident here. Now, please, we do not want anyone to experience bad dreams from viewing this mask. Strange, since we’ve had this carved mask replica, bad things have not befallen our enemies. Sadly, some very unfortunate things have befallen us.
As the current photographic series of essays continues, this mask will be included in an upcoming essay to be called something to the effect “curios found around the house”.
Here is another, closer shot of this mask.
A final example showing the detail even better.
As we are, today, a year older than yesterday, we’ll discuss this once and then let it go. (Surprisingly, I do have some latent humility.)
Received a greeting card in the afternoon post on Monday from my older sister, Barbara. I wanted to share it with you.
“The secret of a life well-lived
is not in counting the years
but in making the years count.”
Happy birthday to everyone, every where, every day.
We have read some well-written, entertaining fiction in years past. Robert E. Howard (American, 1906 – 1936, creator of the character Conan) was a gifted writer, especially of sword and sorcery fiction. (Perhaps the genre could be, or is, called heroic fantasy fiction.) Howard, distraught over the death of his mother, took his own life and thereby cut short a promising literary career. Other authors, in the 1950s and 1960s, took up his hero and wrote additional adventurous stories with Conan as the main character.
In the story, The Hour of The Dragon (a full length novel), King Conan is overthrown by men of a neighboring kingdom with the aid of evil magic (sorcery). After many exotic adventures, and many dead bodies from Conan’s sword, he regains his throne and frees his kingdom of Aquilonia from the oppressive and brutal Nemedians.
There is a heroic female character named Zenobia in the story. She, a young woman in her early 20s, had saved (King) Conan’s life and helped him to escape when he was a prisoner in the dungeon in Belverus, Nemedia’s capital. As a reward for her honest bravery, and her genuine and sincere love for him, we have this closing passage from the book (p. 274):
Tarascus (the defeated enemy king – ed.) spoke.
“You have not yet named my ransom.”
Conan laughed and slapped his sword home in its scabbard. He flexed his mighty arms, and ran his blood-stained fingers through his thick black locks, as if feeling there his re-won crown.
“There is a girl in your seraglio named Zenobia.”
“Why, yes, so there is.”
“Very well.” The king smiled as at an exceedingly pleasant memory. “She shall be your ransom, and naught else. I will come to Belverus for her as I promised. She was a slave in Nemedia, but I will make her queen of Aquilonia!”
Justice can be served, and there can be happy endings in fictional stories.
Next essay, we cordially invite you into our home.