2011-03-25: The Human Condition


Ahdi_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg

Summary: Ahdi and Hosea talk about cultures and religion

Date: Friday, March 25, 2011. 8:24pm

Log Title: The Human Condition

Rating: PG (Note: Some religious content)

West Chester - Salem Center

The parking lot that serves Salem Center is expansive. The mall building being the largest in the area, most of the traffic is aimed for there. However, there are a number of independent buildings along the edges of the parking lot and across the street. Benches dot the sidewalks that line the buildings, along with trash cans, bushes, trees and lamps. There is a large archway that leads to the mall entrance.

It's getting on in the evening, the sun in danger of moving into a beautiful sun set. Though Ahdi loves sunsets, he also loves people watching. So, he decides to kill two birds in one stone, to use a human saying, and is currently standing in a parking spot of the large center, watching people go bye. Though he has changed into a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and his odd moccasins, he is still easily reccognizable as an odd sort of individual. For one, his extremely long black hair, for two his tattooed face and right forearm, and for three the odd-looking flute he holds idly in one hand. He's ither an extremely Down to His Roots native american, or an alien.

Hosea has church this evening, a special event is happening with the youth group. He's never really fit in with American youth, though. He's far too sober-minded for the average American teenager. All the same, it's an opportunity to fellowship with other believers, and they often have many questions for him about his life in Africa. But the African likewise enjoys sunsets, and has slowed in his procession to church. He was cutting across the parking lot on his way to church, when he spotted the beautiful setting. His own figure causes him to stand out, between his own long curly hair, and the impressive size in comparison to most people. He hasn't noticed Ahdi yet, or other people for that matter. He's just appreciating the scene.

Ahdi spots Hosea in his people watch and his face splits into a grin of recognition. He might love the setting sun, but, there will always be another one tomorrow. Who knows when he'll run into the dark man who looks like a Bear Totem. Ghostly quiet he hurries across the parking lot toward Hosea and calls out with a little wave of his carved flute, "Hosea! Is right? Friend of Xorn?" The Atjadni blinks once, his tattooed eyelid flashing bright flowers and dark vines, his eyes going from the larger man, to where he looks at the sunset, and back to him again.

The mop of curly hair flips around as Hosea turns at the call of his name. "Ah, yes it is. You ahr da Ahdi, yes?" he asks. "I remembah you." He holds out his large dark hand for a handshake, one of those common human customs. "I just stop because of da sunset. God can make a masterpiece every day! Da people in da city to not often take time to see it, though. Dey are concerned with many things. Have you been well since I met you?" he asks. "Your clothes are more American, yes?" he observes. "It is good, dat way you will not look strange to dem."

Ahdi shifts the flute to his left hand, extending his right to take Hosea's own hand in a gentle grip. He has accidentally hurt people in the past using this human custom, and doesn't wish to do so again. "Am Ahdi, yes. Clothes bought for me by Quetzal and Fiona, am have be careful so do no tear them." The hunter's own white smile is amused now, "I have been good, you have been good? Am still learn though, did no know god make sunset. He draw them?"

Hosea smiles. "I have been good, thank you. You could say dat God draws da sunset," he says. "He is maker of all universes, and of all worlds. In da beginning, dere was nothing, den he say "Be! And all things were made. He tells da ocean to come to da shore, and no farther. He makes da mountains to touch da sky and den stop. He makes da sun to come up and go down."

Ahdi returns both hands to his flute as Hosea explains God to him, and \slowly starts to look confused. Tilting his face up so he can look Hosea in the eye he attempts to tell if he is telling a human lie, or Joke. After a moment he decides neither answer is correct, and gives his head a little shake so his long black hair rustles against his back, "Hosea, is Spirits that make all, no this God. Spirits make land, bring us to land, and teach us way of the hunter. Spirits envoke us when are become true hunter, talk to us with mind speak. Am no sure if Spirits draw Sunset, maybe God do this, but Spirits make Atjadni, if no make man…Is God maybe what call your spirits?"

"Ahh," Hosea says. "You could say God is da king of all spirits. He is spirit, but makes all things, even otha spirits. Dey must obey him, because he is da king over dem." Not the most precise description, but the African is doing his best to meet Ahdi where he is. "It is hard to see, maybe, but do not worry. He has made His word to be known to us, give us truth. Your people do not know dis?" He seems interested enough in Ahdi's people. "Tell me of your people."

Ahdi glances around briefly, filing away this new information about the Humans, and possibly about his spirits, "My people, are warrior people. From what have learn, live much long for human. When female give birth, child grow for 5 year before is old enough start hunt train. Is taught all can learn by teacher of it choose, will be teacher for all years till invoked. Hunter are invoke at 35 human year old, get the spirit of totem put into them, all totem are base on hunt animal. Are most common totem, bear, wolf, cat, snake, um, hunt bird you call…Raptor. Then hunter go out on own to test skill. If strong, live and choose village, usually home village or village of same totem, if weak, hunter die. We live be, over 200 Human year. I am 51 Human year, am also most youg elder of all my people, teacher of student who grow up to be best hunter. Was, on planet, Atjadni that other model self after." Ahdi gives an embarrassed little smile, and bows his head.

Hosea nods, "My people used to be warriors," informs Ahdi. "But dey learned da way of peace. It took a bit longer for me, yes?" he chuckles. "It is good dat you can do what is right. I am glad dat my people learned peace before dey died. My new village, it is strong in da ways of God, and he has protected dem against great evil by his mighty hand. But dey to not hunt, except fish. I did like to hunt in my old village. Tell me, do your people war against each otha, or against anotha?" he asks. Warriors can't be warriors unless they are fighting someone, after all.

Ahdi idly twirls his flute between his fingers, contemplating this, "We hunt beast, to prove to spirits we are great warriors, also to teach other how and for food. When hunter reach 100 year, if have mate and prove self, is take by spirits in new ceremony. Elder or good teacher be left so can teach new student, unless spirit think need great hunter, then will come down for to get. We do no fight each other, we do no even have word for revenge, lie, cheat, in language. We are always show our honor, shame is worst thing can happen, worse than to die. If hunter is no need by spirit, is bring back, but we do no talk of what Atjadni see when with spirit, is more honor find out if chosen. We fight other ATjadni only for sport,or train. Sometime fight to earn respect, but less often."

"Hmm," Hosea responds as he listens, scratching his chin. "Ha, I think you maybe call your people hunters. If you warriors in human world, we say your people dey fight other people. We say hunter if you fight animals to eat dem." He thinks about Ahdi's explanation of his culture. "It is good dat your people do not lie or cheat. God hates dese things, for he hates all dat is evil. Your people, dey grow to be vedy old, yes? In earth, fifty years is an old man already!"

Ahdi nods his head once to confirm this to Hosea, "Atjadni live over 200 Human year, oldest have met was 260 Human year." The Atjadni's dark eyes go from Hosea to the sunset and he appears thoughtful, "I am, old man?" he asks, "Do no feel old, do no even have mate yet."

"Hah, humans once lived vedy long as well," Hosea tells Ahdi. "Long ago, da oldest man lived to be 969 years old. Dat is old even to your people, yes? But God punished humans for da evil in da world. He say dat his spirit will not remain forevah, and dat people will not live dat long. Back den, people were wed at fifty, much like how old you are now. Maybe dey look young like you back den, too? I do not know."

Ahdi shrugs his shoulders, one of many human gestures he has picked up on, and wonders allowed, "Why human get punished? It seem are always do something shameful, have no much sense of honor." Ahdi searches the crowd for a moment, until he spots a couple seated on a bench. As the woman kisses the man while basking in the sunset he jestures toward them with his flute, then glances back up at Hosea, "See? Do that in public, shameful. To do that is held for mates in alone quarters."

Hosea nods. "Yes, it is shameful, you ah right." He pulls from a cargo pocket on his pants an old worn leatherbound…collection of pages. It can scarcely be called a book any longer, so well used it has become. "Dis is da Bible. It tells us what God desires. What is good. But humans desire to not obey God. When God made people, dey were perfect, dey did not do wrong, and could live forevah." He holds one finger up. "But den dey disobeyed God, and death entered da world. We call what is wrong sin. To do shameful things. We became separated from God, we could not longer speak with him as we once could. God is perfect, he does not tolerate sin!"
This invokes a sincere snap nod of the head. "But God also loves his creation, and though we have done shameful things, he sent Jesus, who was God in human form. Jesus took da punishment for all dese shameful things, and died as a criminal so dat humans may be right with God. But wait! He did not stay dead. He came back to life because he is God. Now, those humans who follow Jesus, dey have life forevah. Still, most humans would rather do shameful things, yes? It is vedy sad."

Ahdi sighs and reaches up to run a hand through his long hair, seeming a bit wary, "Hosea, if what say is true, Human make mistake, are forgive and man die for human, then human make more mistake because want too? This show human weak, no worth God. The be die off in my land, weak like that do no survive. If no learn from mistake, mistake destroy you." Ahdi looks a bit depressed as he studies Hosea, "I fear for you people, but is no place for me say what God do for human." The young hunter gives the book a glance, but otherwise doesn't react to it. "You do no seem like other human, you from other land too?"

"Dere is much fear to have for my people," Hosea agrees. "Dere is no one worthy of God, but God is greatah den us. He does not love us because we are worthy of him. He loves us because of who he is. We can do nothing to earn it, no more den if we were already dead. He is truly strong, to love da weak who do not deserve it! I was like dem, even worse den most," he tells Ahdi. "I am from anotha land, but still on dis world. A country called Nigeria. Dere is much fighting, and many people die every day. Still, God turns da evil people into good people. He has taken me, though I would destroy and kill, and made me to love. I am an example of his powah." There's not a hint of embarrassment at the statement. It's something he takes pride in. At the same time, clearly not something he seems to feel he should receive credit over. "Dis world, it is vedy large, with many lands and many languages. I know four! But dere are hundreds of dem."

Ahdi contemplates this, then shakes his head a bit and decides that he has learned enough about culture for one day, his people only have one language, and he is beginning to think his land is much smaller. "Is, good know God forgive dishonor." he responds, then takes a couple of steps back, "YOu talk is make me home sick, also much confused and wary. Is think better no to talk of it more." He taps his flute against the palm of his other hand, then goes back to twirling it through his fingers, "Am sorry, but stil try get used to Earth."

"Hmm, I miss my home often, too," Hosea says. "It must be hard being away from your people. I will pray to God for you dat he will provide you with da strength dat you need while you are heah, and he maybe will give you a way home." Hosea nods, glancing out at the last rays of the sunset. "It is late, and I must meet other people who follow God's ways, so dat we can praise him togetha."

Ahdi bows his head to Hosea, saying quietly, "Well, be well then, and strength go with you on you travels." Turning, the Atjadni starts to walk through the now synthetically lit parking lot, with that same creepily quiet way of his. As he moves he raises his flute to his lips and starts to play, walking for an alley between two shops. The tune is low and haunting.

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