Monday Myth, Mythology, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Rainbows

Monday Myth: Rainbows

The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau

Rainbows are the sun’s rays refracted or reflected by rain or mist into an arc of color. These rainbow arcs always have their colors in the same sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

A well-known English Mnemonic is “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” and the less interesting American English of “ROY G BIV”.

Languages all around the world have their own mnemonics for remembering the order of colors in the rainbow.

I recommend this site not only for its great information on all aspects of rainbows, but also for the best exploration of the global range of mnemonics for remembering rainbow color order. http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol6/rainbow.htm

Rainbows come many different guises under many different names:
Twinned Rainbow, Double Rainbow, Primary Rainbow, Secondary Rainbow, Tertiary Rainbow, Quaternary rainbows, Alexander’s Band, Higher-order Rainbows, A Supernumerary Rainbow—also known as a Stacker Rainbow, Reflected Rainbow, Reflection Rainbow, Monochrome Rainbow, Moonbows, Fogbow, Spraybow, and Glory, etc.

Rainbow mythology is rich and replete with more stories than I can incorporate into in one post. I will eventually get to all of them in future posts.

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There are very few cultures that do not have a rainbow in their mythology. I’m still looking to see if I can find one that has a mythology lacking in some sort of rainbow. Please tell me, which mythologies do not have rainbows?

Due to the popularity of the Marvel Thor movies, the Norse Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge) is probably the third most-known rainbow mythology after that of Noah and the Ark and the Irish tales of a leprechauns and pots of gold.

Some translations of the “The Epic of Gilgamesh” describe the rainbow’s mass of colors as a divine sanction for war and a rainbow crown was worn by the Sumerian god Ninurta.

Persian mythology uses rainbows for divination.

In Greek Mythology, Iris who is a messenger of the gods dresses in rainbow hues.

Australian Aboriginal mythology focuses on the Rainbow Serpent. In Japan the rainbow also represents snakes.

In Arabian mythology the rainbow is a bow for Quzah, an Arabian god of weather. The Hindu god Indra also uses the rainbow as a bow.

rainbowIn Bhuddism the rainbow is just one step below Nirvana.

For the Karens in Burma, the rainbow is a demon that eats children.

For the romantics in the crowd, Chinese folklore has star-crossed lovers waiting for the rainbow to shine so they can be together.

My favorite so far is Bulgarian legend in which you will change genders if you walk under a rainbow. I think that may be worthy of a story or two. http://bnr.bg/en/post/100151281/the-rainbow-bulgarian-legends-and-beliefs

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou

~lisa

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Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos: Resolutions

Hiyu and the pianoHiyu: We want to talk about our resolutions for the new year.

Me: Really? You guys have changes in lifestyle you want to implement?

Loki: No, silly. We have resolutions for everyone else.

Kuri: Yeah, we have a good long list.

Loki: We have a plan.

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Me cautiously: Are you going to tell me the details of your plan?

Kuri: Last year we started our Cat Emergency Response Team. We’re going to talk a lot about emergency preparedness. We want all of our readers to be safe and prepared.

Loki: Even dogs and birds and hippopotami.

Me: Hippopotami?

Hiyu: That’s the plural of hippopotamus. We like to educate people.

Loki: We’re also going to help you lose weight.

Me: You could lose a couple of pounds too.

IMG_1784Loki: You have a lot more to lose than I do. Hiyu’s going to inspect your food and keep track of your exercise. 

Me: Anything else?

Bengal in a boxLoki: You need to take more pictures of us. My coat is perfect.

Kuri: We’re going to help around the house more.

Hiyu: We have a lot of surprises for you this year. It’s going to be fun.

Me suspiciously: Surprises?

Kuri flicks his ear. Hiyu gives me an evil grin and Loki gives me a tummy to pet.

Now I’m really looking forward to 2018.

~lisa

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Rainbow Hill Meanders, Wednesday Write, Writing

Wednesday Write: Writing Diversity

Rainbow over Cottage Lake

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Writing diversity is a subject near and dear to my heart. I’ve learned so much in writing characters of diverse backgrounds.

My first few attempts at writing an ethnic character came with a shock. There was unconscious bias in my vocabulary.

“Me?” I replied.

“How?” I asked with surprise permeating every anxious cell in my body.

Thank heavens for writing groups and rich resources on the web.

20110905-60d-0209-smallFirst, kudos to my most amazing writing critique group. They are the most talented and supportive people I’ve ever run into. Over the years I’ve been in more than a few groups and my current set of fabulous fellow writers exceeds them all.

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As a fantasy writer, I often develop my characters with the backgrounds of mythology and folklore which I wish to include in my story. I love them dearly.

Some of my characters are prejudiced both knowingly and unknowingly. That is often part of the tension and conflict in the story and I will often guide those characters to the growth I’d like to see reflected in the world around me.

So, the question became how could I, who is desperately trying to enlighten my diverse set of characters, be showing unconscious bias?

A lot of it comes down to random adjectives still employed in our current language. Some of it comes from reading older books and not realizing some of the conventional tropes of description have changed for the better.

Next week I will write about how to proof your writing for those biases and steps to culturally educate yourself.

~lisa

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Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos: Living with Bengals

140412 -  - medium-14There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person. Dan Greenberg

One comes off even less sane when you report weekly on your Cat Convos. Fortunately, I provide a translation service for those who are not fluent in Cat. Our sub-dialect is Bengal.

Kuri: Have you heard this one?

Me: Which one of what?

I continue down the hall with three cats running and leaping around me. Sometimes they get excited when I leave the computer.

Kuri: Why did the cat join the Red Cross?

Hiyu: Because he wanted to be a first-aid kit.

Loki: That was too easy. How about “What’s a cat’s favorite button on the TV remote?

Me: Paws

Hiyu: You shouldn’t make fun of us.

Me: I only answered the question.

Loki: Hiyu’s right. We like to be smarter than you. You shouldn’t answer our questions correctly.

Me: Did you know there is a French proverb that says “The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry.”?

Kuri: I like poetry.

Loki: I have one! I have one! How many cats can you put in an empty box?

Me: How many?

Loki: One. After that the box isn’t empty.

Bengal in a boxKuri: Good job, Loki! That was clever!

Me: Sometimes all three of you fill a box.

Kuri: I can explain: once one of us in the box, it’s no longer empty. Get it?

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Hiyu: Knock. Knock.

Me: Who’s there?

Hiyu: Maybe I’ll tell you, maybe I won’t.

Me: Really? Can’t we just play?

Kuir and Loki over the dragonYES! They all scream and scramble towards the box forts.

The first play session of the day then begins.

Hiyu takes a graceful leap plucking the feather stick out of the air. Kuri charges in the moment the feather stick touches the floor, but he is blindsided and bowled over by Loki who’s also trying to grab the feather.

I distract them from the beleaguered feather with red laser dot. Once we’re done, they’ll be ready for their naps and I can once again write in peace.

~lisa

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Rainbow Hill Meanders, RHM Wednesday Write, Writing

Wednesday Write: Writers Anonymous

brass dragon

Writers are known as solitary and elusive, but they exist among us. You’ve probably seen one or two of them without even realizing it.

Writers, otherwise known as those who write, live in more diverse habitats than the ubiquitous crow.130427-scan070

While a secluded ivory tower without any distractions or restrictions on their time haunts their dreams, most writers live out in the social sphere. Many are happily disguised as normal “non-writer” people.

These writers among us, who work and play next to us, also go to parties, play sports, watch television, and sometimes even own animals other than cats (or owls).

Overall most keep up a good façade that hides their inner nature. Most writers don’t want you to know how much they study you. They mine their daily social interactions looking for nervous ticks, rhythms of speech and the archetypes into which you fit. The world, outside of the ivory tower they crave, is their playground.

Another secret (& I know I must be breaking some secret code in telling you this) is that writers congregate. They join critique groups, writing clubs, support groups and type furiously at speed writing tables.

Even more than that, writers by the hundreds will go to writing conventions. They seek each other out, springboard off of each other’s energy and somehow bring a little more magic into the world.

I’ve already picked the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference http://www.pnwa.org/ for my 2018 venture into the crowds of inspiring fellow authors. Will see any of you there?

~lisa

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Events, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Seattle Stand Down

151231-6D-8787-HDRI’m closing out this week at the Seattle Stand Down. Below in blue is the site description of the event.

The Seattle Stand Down is committed to assisting military veterans and their families in every aspect of their transition from military to civilian life; whether they just became a veteran or have been one for a long time.

The Seattle Stand Down provides a place where veterans can have “one stop” access to various community and Veterans Affairs (federal, state and county) social services, focusing primarily on those veterans and families that are either homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. 

Keeping with the spirit of “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade Behind”, the all volunteer leadership team is determined to do just that. In the fight to end veteran homelessness, the leaders of the Seattle Stand Down are determined to “give a hand up, not a hand out” and to bring every veteran in the Seattle area that is homeless or at-risk of homelessness safely “home.”

Volunteer Opportunities: http://theseattlestanddown.org/index.html

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