What’s this “Bestiary” thing?
Bestiary: an illustrated medieval or allegorical moralizing work on the appearance and habits of animals
|oeuvre: the total output of a writer or artist (or a substantial part of it)
-or in this case, that of a particularly fascinating species!
To me, bestiaries are allegorical sparks which can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires, each of which can inspire another flare of intellectual passion in someone else. Here is where I enjoy thinking, reading, and sharing thoughts with others. Why a bestiary? Because we’re still all mythologizing animals, searching (with varying levels of success) for meaning in existence. My fascinated reviews of our literary, religious, and philosophical oeuvre is how I explore others’ attempts at understanding, in order to improve my own personal understanding.
Please feel free to browse and enjoy the various articles herein. Also, I love receiving suggestions on interesting topics for future columns, or thoughtful critiques on my Firestarters and Library reviews. Well-considered commentary is a pleasure, and interesting new viewpoints are always fun to ponder.
About bestiaries & intellectual curiosity
Medieval bestiaries depicted strange, mysterious creatures from distant and wondrous lands, illustrating them and their habits as allegories for life’s moral complexities. Today we no longer look for wonder and mystery in new lands; our fascinated explorations tend to lie inwards. My bestiary maps the perplexing mindscapes I’ve seen or pondered — shapeshifting mythical organisms painted in HTML — and shares these personal conundrums with you.
Alternatively, we could just say I like thinking too much. ;-)
About the Firestarters
“Firestarter” was originally the title of my ‘zine in a now-defunct APA (Amateur Press Association). I got the idea from two things: the Stephen King novel of the same name, which was loosely about a radical genetic change in humanity… and a half-laughing comment made by Guthrum, an old and dear friend, “Collie, gaming with you is like playing with sweaty dynamite!”
I use Firestarter now as the title for the speculative monthly columns I enjoy writing, which I post on-line. I started writing them in October of 2003, because I had so many thoughts churning around in my head, no one to discuss them with, and they just had to come out! Along with brand new Firestarter and Library columns, I’m also currently re-posting my older writings here as well, interspersed with updated thoughts on older works as the mood strikes me.
Also, I realized establishing a place where fun or interesting writings are available for perusal and comment gives one a dandy excuse for both chatting with others, and doing research. I greatly enjoy the systematic investigation required to establish known data, and the search for knowledge has always been a joy to me.
The Firestarters are a great pleasure to write now, since not only do I enjoy sorting out and organizing my thoughts in this fashion, but I’m constantly thrilled at other folks giving me their input as well. They appear on the 10th of each month, with a Library review on the first and the 20th.
Please feel free to read them all and make comments, or suggestions on possible future topics as well. I invite you to also check back often to see if I or others have replied to your comments, and to join the Bestiary‘s RSS feeds for updates on this site.
About the Library
In my virtual Library you’ll find reviews of some of the interesting books I’ve read, as well as occasional other types of media, such as movies or museum visits. Library reviews appear twice monthly, on the first and on the 20th of the month, with the Firestarter appearing on the 10th.
Please browse freely and give me your review suggestions and thoughts, either agreeing or disagreeing. Read! Think! There is no greater compliment you can pay me than to say you were inspired by my thoughts to consider (however temporarily) another’s point of view.
If you find a review particularly intriguing, please buy the book or movie through my Amazon Associate link, and help us both — you get something new and fun to review and think about, and I get some pocket change! Sometimes the amazon links don’t render properly, and you’ll see an ad for amazon in general, but just hit your refresh or renew button so they get it right. Also, when possible I link to paperbacks and (with out-of-print texts) to links with used versions available as well. Amazon gives me nothing for used sales, but what I really want is for folks to be able to find fun and fascinating books.
Nothing much to say, really. Let’s see…
I’ve lived in other cultures long enough to develop a healthy lack of belief in the perfection of any of them; I’ve worked with, sometimes trained, and learned greatly from a wide variety of animals, from the quadrupedal & non-pedal (horses, Indian elephants, Bactrian camels, cows, alligators, dogs, cats, hamsters, parakeets, domestic turkeys, red-tail hawks, great horned owls, rats, mice, a wide variety of snakes, etc.) to the more bipedal kind; I still struggle with finding a happy medium between logic, faith, and emotion; I’ve improved and re-created myself more than once, both physically and mentally; I’ve met (and still strive to meet) my fears head-on, to conquer them and usually discover they’re never as bad as I initially thought; I try to live and work in a way I feel is right, ethical, and kind; and I’ve been relatively fortunate in being able to do what I enjoy most of the time.
My birthday is October the fifth, and I love holidays and cards and presents! I also love sending out cards and the occasional fun little gift to folks who’re kind enough to indulge my enjoyment of holidays and of mentally masticating enthralling ideas with others… so if you’d like a card send me your address and birthdate!
Life is usually good. I encourage you too to dismiss your fears and live your dreams to the fullest — because the only person who can free you is you yourself. We each of us create our own Heavens and, unfortunately, our own Hells. Just as surely, each of us deserves to live in Joy — but the only person who can give you that joyous life is you yourself.
Happy searching! ;)
Just wondering if you are still doing things on here? You wouldn’t believe the synchronicity that lead me here! Appears to be random but don’t they all?
I am going to school now to turn out to be a medical assistant. MAs typically work in doctors’ offices and clinics but may also work in hospitals. As a MA you function appropriate under the physician. You are able to give injections and draw blood. You can do EKGs and vitals. CNAs are nursing assistants, you typically function in hospitals and nursing houses. It is possible to deliver and pick up food trays, clean up messes, alter beds. You do not actually have any medical training. CNAs normally get jobs quicker since there is such a high turn over rate, a lot go on and grow to be MAs, LPNs, or RNs. Very good luck to you in the event you chose this type of work.
Thank you, Samantha! That’s very kind of you; I’d be delighted to hear any further comments you cared to make?
I love your website! You write beautifully and I look forward to spending more time reading when the semester is over.
See you in class!
Marta?! Oh my goodness, how are you? Are you still in Spain? Do you still have contact with Silvina? How wonderful that you found me again — it’s certainly been a while. I love the internet! :)
Gracious, how did you find me on the internet? It’s not like I have a huge following or anything, after all. Wait, why not email me instead, since I have way too many questions, and I’d love to chat with you. You can use collie [at] pobox [dot] com. I look forward to hearing from you! :)
Are you Blythe Collier who lived in Barcelona and attended St. Peter’s School?
If so, it would be great to having found you!
Hi, Rick! Heh… yes, I tend to closely manage photos of myself, being incredibly self-conscious of how I look in them. :) Sure, a swap would be fun!
I have found that you have kept your visible internet prsence as taciturn as possible, allowing but a few very tiny photos to squeek out. Might an old friend beg of you a snap that would be kept completely in confidence yet shows you as you are today? I would completely understand any reluctance to acceede to my request, but would be honored should you acquiesce. And I would gladly reciprocate should you wish.
Hope all is well,