So you can read my books

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The Brothers Grimm knew.

The world is full of terrible things:

Loneliness.  The shameful pain of being different.  Monsters who wear the masks of humans.  Never being truly understood.

There are more plain faces than pretty.  And in the world, it is the survival of the prettiest.  Sadly, pampered souls become poisoned from the treatment.

Is this cruel?

The answer depends upon your perspective.

Mine?  God is never cruel.  There is a reason for all things.

We must know the pain of loss because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others,

and we would become monsters of utter self-focus, predatory creatures of unbridled self-interest.

The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our pride, softens uncaring hearts, and makes a better person of a good one. 

Our bodies grow.  More often than not, we remain misunderstood, lonely children inside those adult bodies.

So horror tales, prose or movie, teach us how to be fully adult in the guise of a child's entertainment.

Not that we have to be taught, mind you, only reminded.  We are not strangers to ourselves.  We only try to be.

Of course, some are drawn to horror for dark, unhealthy reasons:

One of the greatest sorrows of human existence is that some people have lost sight of the miracle and wonder of being alive and find their happiness only in the misery of others.

They foolishly believe that misery loves company when all it does is leave them emptier still. 

As Victor Standish says, "When the blind lead the blind, the ditch gets mighty full."

As with the dusk, in horror tales, the sky seems to recede; the universe expands. The night of the horror tale is bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have endless possibilities. 

And we need to feel endless possibilities exist,

that the monsters in our lives can be defeated ... even if they exist within us ... if only we do not give up on ourselves and on those who depend on us.

Then, there is that need in us to dare the nightmare, to go into the carnival's House of Horror.

Why?  To prove the horror is unreal and unconsciously assert that then the horror of cancer, of old age, of violent assault will claim others but not us.


Ghost of Mark Twain here to save this dreary post

with new lessons I learned from these danged horror movies you are depessing the bejeezus out of us with!
     1.) Whatever you do, don’t open and close a medicine cabinet
      You never know who will appear in that mirror behind you in a split second’s time. Trust me, children, nothing in that cabinet is gonna cure a bitten off head.  You may think you can tell if someone is entering the bathroom and creeping up behind you, but we ghosts know better.
     2.) Don’t back up into a closet or towards a window.    
       Or for that matter, why would you be walking backwards anywhere? The killer is always going to be at the end of that path. I mean, if you walk forward, you can appreciate the workmanship on the blade as it slashes out of the shadows, don't you know?
      3.) Don’t take a shower in a creepy house.   

        If weird things are going on in a strange place, don't you know some pretty gal gets it into her blonde head to get naked and start lathering up alone in some teeny, tiny, small space where you don’t have any room to maneuver or light a shuck out of there.
      4.) Don’t split up if you’re down to just you and one other person.    

        If you two stay together, you have someone to fight off the killer as he/she goes after you. Or at least someone there to point out you shouldn't have taken that last turn as the killer kills you.
       5.) Respect for your elders is good and all but ...      

If your mother suddenly begins to hiss, lick her eyebrows with her own tongue, or suddenly needs a shave, run and don't leave a forwarding address.


  1. Love that medicine cabinet advice--very funny! And I needed to read that suffering teaches us compassion because I'm going through something this weekend, and it's good to be reminded that it serves some indirect purpose. Thanks.

  2. As if I needed Mark Twain to put suggestions in my head. Especially liked #3 and 4.

    I've been told I'm over-empathetic with others' suffering. Perhaps there's such a thing as being more alert to sadness in others.

  3. another one...don't run UP the stairs!! they never run out of the house do they???

  4. Catherine:
    You are in my prayers this weekend. Pain and grief are stiff tuition for compassion.

    It seems for all of us that the path to wholeness is one mean S.O.B. of a path.

    Loss is the hardest thing. But it's also the teacher that's the most difficult to ignore.

    I hope the ghost of Mark Twain gave you laughter to help smooth over the rough spots of this weekend.

    Like you and the ghost of Mark Twain, I could never understand the need for cleanliness in girls staying in a haunted house! LOL.

    To turn a blind eye to suffering is to deaden something essential inside us.

    What did Dean Koontz write?

    “Now take my hand and hold it tight.

    I will not fail you here tonight,

    For failing you, I fail myself

    And place my soul upon a shelf

    In Hell's library without light.

    I will not fail you here tonight.”
    ― Dean Koontz, The Book Of Counted Sorrows.

    I'm with you there. One reason I love Patrick Jane in THE MENTALIST is that when the bad guys start shooting, he runs in the opposite direction!

    When the monster strikes, out of the house seems a good direction! :-)

  5. But I don't like to suffer, even to learn lessons.

    Those scare points are fun.

    I did finally see your post for me Roland, thank you. I've not been keeping up on blogging lately; too many people post every and I can't read that many a day. Some things get lost in all t he updates.

    I hope you're having a good weekend.


  6. Donna:
    Yes, me either. I'm happy the ghost of Mark Twain added a little laughter to your night.

    My demanding hours both day and night as a rare blood courier drains me of free time to visit, too!

  7. Wise words today, Roland!
    And don't have sex with a killer running lose. You are just tempting fate.

  8. This is probably my of yours Roland! I never looked at horror tales hat way but it really makes sense now.

    Happy weekend!

  9. Alex:
    Mark Twain, ghost, here, I would've mentioned that golden rule but I am just enough of a gentlemen not to want to mention sex in front of the fair sex!

    I'm so happy you like this post. It is my nature to mull over the why's of life and literature. So glad I didn't bore you as Mark thought I might! :-)