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Prompt 12D Quote

November 1st, 2006 (12:56 pm)
contemplative

current mood: contemplative


Faith must have adequate evidence, else it is mere superstition. - Alexander Hodge.



I often wonder at the faith of others, but then, I have always been one to tend toward the rational things in life, and I admit to placing higher value there. The concept, in and of itself, strikes me as most odd, believing in a thing that one cannot see, a force that, though it may exist out there somewhere, still has little impact on the daily events of my life as it were.

For me to believe, to really believe in a thing is hard, it's rare. I envy men who can, admire them, wish sometimes, I could achieve the same. It would be better, I think, highly better, to exist in a world where I were open to more possibilities, rather than the grim realities I see laid out before my very eyes, the grim realities I walk through in my life where fact, and only fact have proven to be of importance.

Perhaps I find faith difficult to understand because of this circumstance of my career and life. I know that at the times of chaos I have faced, when other men might have turned to what God they believed in, I looked only to myself and to the work I must do to rise up from it, make an effort, do something to avert disaster. Faith never entered that equation then, faith was never of an issue, only desperate acts a man might do in times of crisis when he's no one left to rely on but himself.

I'll not discount the presence of a God entirely, irrational as a part of me finds it, too much has happened in the lives of other men for me to debate that, but in my own life, I have had no such proof. Were I a different sort of man, I'd offer challenge, demand some sign that there are reasons to have faith, ask for solid proof, some real facts that would answer my most urgent questions regarding life, those things I've lost in it, those things I hope someday to gain.

But by demanding proof, I'll have discounted the entire idea of faith right there, I think, for it is the sort of thing which, to those who have it, needs no proof, no facts, no backing up of anything. I find, unfortunately, I am not that sort of man, I've hardly faith in myself some days, let alone something else. All the same, looking for facts in order to believe...no, that one does not sit right with me.

In faith, one either does or does not. Unfortunately, I do not. I may not like it much about myself, but that is how things must be.

fish_for_it [userpic]

11B: Picture Prompt

October 30th, 2006 (09:02 pm)

It had been going on for a few months now, this sickness that had only gotten worse. Despite all the efforts of my father, despite the other doctors he had sent for later on. A few months in which we watched her gradually grow thinner, paler, losing all the spark of life which had made her herself.

It was hard to see her as anything but a shell now, anything but nearly already dead. I'd been told to expect it soon, scarce a week ago and even then it had seemed more of a relief for her. Sad as I would be to lose her, in many ways she was quite gone now anyway.

The days of her illness had passed for me in such a blur that while I hated that there was to be an end now to her life, I could not help but wish for it to come more swiftly, that the blur would end, that she would find some rest. Hard as it would be for both my father and myself, I had prepared, I thought, already said my own goodbyes.

When Father woke me from a fitful sleep late that night, or early in the next day, to tell me she was gone, I think I nodded, understanding a little. Somehow then, the tears for her could not come, despite the empty choking feeling passing over me.

If I had not told her all that I wanted to say, I found it did not matter so much now. What there was to say, Mother already knew and would, I thought, go on knowing in whatever place she'd come to now. I could not smile of course to know that she was there, I still cannot do that, but now I find the memory not so hard to bear.

And when I've leave that takes me near the home where I once lived, I visit her before continuing up the path to see my father. Practicing his medicine as always, he's never been the same since the illness, whatever it was, took her.

I'm nineteen now, hardly a boy of nine, but I find I've not been that either...

fish_for_it [userpic]

Prompt 10B Picture

October 20th, 2006 (01:25 am)

My father always said that it would stunt my growth, but at my height, I no longer saw a cause to worry about that. It was growing out that was the problem.(It still is growing out that is a problem if Matthews is right.) The scent proved itself enticing enough as these things go and everyone else at table was drinking it and seemed better to face the morning and the captain’s breakfast meeting for it.

Therefore, when it was offered me, I poured out my own cup of coffee, raised it to my lips and..

Lieutenant Bracegirdle still maintains that mouthful shot its way clear across the table, entirely too far by his amused recounting of the tale, and that he distinctly saw the Captain wipe it from his forehead. I think the man exaggerates a bit, but nonetheless, he did attempt to save the day.

“It’s a bit strong today I fear Mr. Hornblower.” He said, somehow managing a straight face, though his eyes sparkled with the sort of amusement that I normally cringe from when it is directed at me, save for if I’ve said or done something actually amusing.

In any case, no one else at table dared to laugh, and after Bracegirdle had added enough sugar to my cup, I found it more than bearable and quite good really, and I found that I could understand exactly why everyone loved it so.

In fact, I was well on my own way towards doing the same. These days I still love coffee, but this time I’m well prepared for how I like it best. Some people no doubt, think it disgusting, they wrinkle their noses, a few laugh, when I prepare my drink, but when it comes to coffee, I find I don’t care.

I like mine sweet, the more sugar the better, when it can be spared or I’ve obtained it. Sweetened to a syrup if I can manage it, is always good for me.

fish_for_it [userpic]

Prompt 9C: Nothing

October 13th, 2006 (11:57 pm)

There was nothing I could do. Everything I had ever learned had managed to somehow escape my mind in the moments I had waited for the testing, in the three weeks captaining the plague ship. I could think of nothing to say to help in my answer, even my old familiar grasp of mathematics seemed to be gone. If the examining panel had asked me anything of that nature, there would have been nothing I could say either.

There was everything to lose, nothing to gain, and when we first heard the explosions, I confess I was relieved. Now at least was an end to the torment, and then when the Spanish fire ship discovered was a chance to do something. Not to prove myself, no, I was far beyond that phase of the testing then, but a chance to do something anyway, because it was the only right thing to do.

In the time that Captain Foster and I were on board, attempting to steer her out of the path of any ships, away from the Indy herself, it no longer felt like nothing could be done, like nothing right would come from this. It felt a lot like nothing at all, just reacting, doing the thing that needed most to be done in order to offer some measure of safety again.

And when our course was steered and we were finished, when it was over and all said and done, it felt the smallest bit like something that had actually gone right there, like I had done a thing that mattered. For that moment and the smallest bit after it, the feeling that I could do nothing right had vanished for a little while.

As if, though I'd failed the test, I was no longer nothing after all...

fish_for_it [userpic]

Fears

October 11th, 2006 (03:43 pm)

My greatest fear? It can, I think, be summed up in precisely one word: Failure.

Oh don't take me at that word alone. It is, I fear, so much more complicated than just that. There are, of course so many types of failure in this world, so many ways in which I may cause things to be brought to ruin. So many types of failure and for each of them, it seems I have an example to share.

There are of course, professional failures, those of which I have seen so recently, those I wish could have been different, the times I have been remiss, not only in my duties to King and Country, but to those who have held faith in me.

My Lieutenant's Examination comes to mind as the most recent of these sorts of failures. While it was in fact interrupted to the point I was not officially marked as failing, I know enough what the outcome of it would have been. Worse still, I am not the only one to know it. Captain Pellew, who has ever had faith in me knows it too, knows that when it came to it, I could not deliver, could not prove myself worthy of anything that he has done for me. In the end of that I found myself so lacking officially that I am surprised he wishes to speak to me still. Failing him then...there's another fear that I have realized and hated.

There is failing my men as well. I was so recently forced to handle a situation I misjudged, which ended with one of them, Bunting, beyond saving by any means I tried. Had I but acted earlier when I first knew the situation was becoming dire, I might have yet saved him. Instead, the only thing that I could do when it came to it, was to pull a pistol trigger, proving I had once again been remiss in my duty.

And while I've had to face it countless times, this fear never gets easier, it always needs to be guarded against, and yet always I fail. When it was most important, I failed then. I let my best, my only friend I've ever known be taken away from me. Because I could look to no other solutions when his medical condition would have endangered us on a mission, I rendered him unconscious, allowing a man I won't give any dignity with further words, the chance to cast him far away from me, perhaps to death, perhaps to a French prison, which in some ways, I am certain is worse than death. Because I could find no other way, because I could find no way to search for him within the confines of my duty, he is God knows where now, should he even be alive. Because I failed in saving him, because I always fail.

It should not be something that I am afraid of now, I have grown so used to it, and yet. Whenever something happens, whenever someone puts his trust in me, whenever I am given chances to be something better, the old feelings resurface. Always nagging, always prodding me, always whispering I'm going to let everyone, including myself, quite down in the end. And it is not going anywhere.

I hate that fear most of all. Even more than I hate heights...

fish_for_it [userpic]

Introduction

October 11th, 2006 (03:43 pm)

Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower, currently of His Majesty's Ship Indefatigable reporting for duty s...

Ah. Sorry. One tends to forget at times that the conventions of life on land are far different from those at sea. As it stands though, I do happen to be Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower, reporting in to introduce myself properly to all the rest of you, so let us assume that this was the first thing I said, shall we?

...Normally I'm not nearly so much of one for rambling and for that I offer my appologies as well. I fear the written word is not quite my best element, I fear I've yet to find my best element as it were, should that give you people some indication of how likely I am to be very good at this or much of anything that occurs here really.

Write about my feelings, I have been told, they will help me to understand myself better. I know myself well enough, or I think I do, but well meaning friends and friends of friends have clearly thought that coming here will help and so I will endevor to make the effort to at least be interesting in the process.

One might hope I'll learn the skill at least...

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