Posts Tagged ‘vampire’

Twilight (series)

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It seems that the little switch in my son’s brain that says, “I like to read” has finally been turned on. He still likes to do all the other things that boys do, but I have been very pleased to see that he has been reading more and more lately. And, I have to admit the reason why I’m pleased is that I am a reader, and have been since I finally learned to read, even though I was a late-bird.

My son is at the age where he’s reading young adult books that are geared towards boys. Admittedly, there are not a lot of these types of books out there. So, every once in a while he has been trying out the young adult books geared towards girls. Because it was so popular, the first one he tried out was the “Twilight Series”. He didn’t get too far before he lost interest.

I am an unashamed reader of really good young adult books preferring to read them over real “literature” any day of the week, and, even though I’m a believer in the Messiah, I just don’t have an issue with the “Twilight Series”. I have read them all – yes, multiple times – and am always impressed with the characters, the plotting and the seamless writing style of Stephanie Meyer, whose book aimed at adults, “The Host” is just as well written.

I asked my son why he didn’t like “Twilight”, assuming it was because he has had a terrible fear of vampires since he was in the first grade when one of his little friends was particularly graphic in his descriptions of what vampires were and what they did to you. But, that wasn’t it at all, he just said, “No, it’s not the vampires, I’m okay with them now because of Twilight, it’s just that there’s too much about Bella.” Translated from the language of boy, this means there was too much about relationships and not enough action.

His disinterest in the series changed when the Meyer’s novella, “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” came out. It is full of action, and my son literally devoured it once he started reading it.

My son is the type of person that if there’s something in a movie, play or book that really bothers him, he has to talk about it and try to figure out why it had to happen that way. There’s a scene in the Bree Tanner book where she has a chance to go off and leave the vampire army ( actually she has two chances to leave in the novella) but chooses to stay. My son really liked her and knowing that she dies in the “Eclipse” novel was a little upset that she didn’t take the chance to leave and live when she had it.

This prompted many days of discussion about her decision and why in the world she would stay when she had the chance to leave. Finally, I told him that “Eclipse” had already been written, that story was set and in that story she arrives with the vampire army to attack the Cullen’s and although Carlisle and Esme Cullen saw the potential in her to be a decent vampire, she ends up dying at the hands of the Volturi.

No matter what happened in the Bree Tanner story, no matter how much the reader liked her and wanted her to get away, her actions had to lead her to that clearing in “Eclipse” because that’s where she was supposed to be at that time, and not only that, she was an integral part of that story at that moment.

So many times in life our path seems so twisted, turning this way and that, even turning back on itself  – or so it seems – but it’s all for a reason, to get us to where we’re supposed to be. Sometimes, where we end up is in a horrible spot, just like Bree Tanner, but the reality is that’s where we’re supposed to be for that time, because there’s a larger story that we’re all a part of.

We all have a part to play. We’re all intertwined, whether we like it or not, and sometimes we’re where we are, not for ourselves, but because it’s necessary for us to be there for someone else’s story, whatever reason that may be. The reality is that we  have a God who is the master of it all, who knows all the in’s and out’s of everyone’s storyline, and what the big picture is. He knows who needs to be where and when, how to get each and every one of us to that certain spot where we need to be and not violate our freedom to choose in the process.

No matter what happens or what it looks like, all we need to do is trust Him as we make our way in our little storyline, which is much easier said than done.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

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Vampires and werewolves and ghosts, oh my!

It seems no matter which direction you look you’ll see one, or the other, or a combination of all three. Of course, if you have any age to you at all, you’ll figure out very quickly that there’s nothing new about this particular carousel ride.

Although werewolves and ghosts can be found every once in a while coming around the track that carries our entertainment train, it’s the vampires that seem to captivate us the most. Because of that, we seem to see them through the years in various incarnations. First it was the old version of Dracula – one of the first additions to the silver screen in 1931 – and it just went on from there.

Not too long ago, the vampires of our collective conscience didn’t have the names of  Edward, Alice and Carlisle, but LeStat, Pandora and Louis. Yet both sets of vampires springing from the creative minds of authors Stephanie Meyer and Anne Rice do have some things in common, their incredible beauty, their sense of loss and their immortality.

The fascination with vampires is a fascination to me, beyond the fact that the books are incredibly well written, there’s something about the characters and their struggles that I think we all identify with more than we may think.  They are incredibly human, yet have this monstrous side that threatens to overwhelm them at any moment leading to the destruction of their entire world inclusive of everything they love and hold dear.

Years ago I remember hearing stories in sociology classes that vampires and vampire mythology were all about the hidden terrors held by humans that something would come out of the darkness and kill them. Or, worse yet, claim them and change them into something living but lifeless, for all purposes dead yet needing to feed off of the lifeblood of others to exist.

Although I could follow that particular rabbit trail, I won’t.

Instead, I find myself fascinated by another rabbit trail in light of today’s vampires, especially when you look at the immortality aspect of them and the place they exist in the world.

Today’s vampires are forever immortal, but forever marginalized, never fitting in with the world and definitely looking for that one thing to connect with to moor them to reality and let them know they are accepted and (gasp) even loved.

Starting to sound a little too familiar to what lurks in our own souls?

How many of us refuse to look death in the face, even when it’s staring straight at us, black-robed with scythe in hand? We refuse to look at death and admit that we aren’t immortal because we feel we ought to be?

Then there’s the reality that most of us, deep down in the basement of ourselves, feel that we don’t quite fit with where we are.   That there’s something else to life, something more than what we’re living in.

Not to mention the whole looking for love thing that I could on about for hours and days. But, I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to read that novella, and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to write it either.

I know very well that the vampires of today are aimed at a young adult audience, but the fact that they have jumped the YA train and landed firmly into the adult world says there’s a whole lot more to what it’s tapping into on an emotional level – and/or spiritual depending on how you look at it –  than meets the eye.

It sure looks a lot to me like the vampires, and the humans who want to be like them, have so much in common with our basic need for immorality and unending love that it’s more than a little eerie.

Sometimes it’s in looking at the myths and stories of ourselves as humans that we get a glimpse into our true selves. And, in looking at the beautiful, immortal vampires, we figure out something we’ve always known on an instinctual level. That we aren’t all that we are supposed to be.

A tear or a rip, if you will, in who we are that took place when we decided to strike out on our own. This festering wound can never be repaired until we go back to the One who can complete us and give back to us that which we tried to steal for ourselves.

Love. Immortality. Perfection.

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish – ever! ”

John 10:28a

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