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Posts Tagged ‘7 Deadly Sins’

By Patricia Anders

 

 

 

Envy, Drawing © 2009 by Patricia Anders, all rights reserved

Envy, drawing © 2009 by Patricia Anders. All rights reserved.

 
 




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Patricia Anders received honorable mention in the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for her drawing Envy.

You can find out more about Patricia and her artwork here and here.


Congratulations, Patricia, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!




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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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By Anonymous

 

 

As unaccountable as feeling, as inevitable, inconvenient and beautiful as tumultuous weather, a circumstance has arisen in which I am envied by a woman far more successful than I.

The Woman Who Envies Me, or let us call her WWEM for short, like a radio station, decided at some point that my life, my spirit, I don’t know what, I don’t know what, I don’t know, my circumstances, were, in their beauty, a source of personal torment to her, a sign of the complete arbitrariness of the universe in the handing out of sweet things, and began to torment me mercilessly, even as she tormented herself, with outbursts in my direction. As we were frequently thrown into artistic situations together, working on the same movie, being in the same play (both of us are comedians and actors), she would never come to the workplace intending to torment me. Rather she would be overtaken by this feeling of envy, never the master of it. Envy has no master! It operates with a terrible independence, diminishing the spirit even as it enlarges and bloats the sense of self! Once, during a rehearsal, the WWEM shrieked, without warning to herself or to me that anything was coming:

O who do you think you are! With all that! With all that! Just because you went to some Ivy League school! You think you’re all that!

I was obliged to point out to her that it was she who had attended an Ivy League university; I had been a high school flunkie who barely got into any college, and would be shaking a cup in front of the F train were it not that my father had been a professor at a college that felt more or less obligated to admit me.

Another time, having attended a solo show of mine at a New York theater, she followed me around the lobby of the theater after the show whispering frantically in my ear, wherever I walked:

fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you

The woman in question is a known screenwriter and actor, a mother, a wife, the author of two successful books, a person of financial means and connections, and enjoys excellent health.

Except for her envy.

The beauty of this story, the lesson for me, lies in its mystery. It is quite clear that she envies me desperately (the symptoms are all there; I recognize them from my own inner life). If I could find her in a moment of quiescent spirit, I could try to ask her why. There is no doubt in my mind that the answer would educate me deeply. No doubt whatsoever.
 




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An anonymous writer received honorable mention in the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for the short story Envy.


Congratulations, Anonymous, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!




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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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By Eileen Malone

 

 

I’m phoning you, pick up, I say aloud
I know you’re there, I’m driving by your house
damn it, I see your car parked in front
there is no answer, not even a machine click
then I remember that you are dead

how I begrudged you winning first prize
when I couldn’t even earn an honorable mention
getting published when I was rejected
then the delirious joy when it was my poem
that they chose over yours, hah!

on and on we went, an abbreviation
of small black-winged envies
drunkenly sucking each other’s blood
holding us connected enough to scoff
and mock the achievements of other poets
deigning them lesser, mundane, trends

all we wanted was to one-up each other
but you one-upped, repaired your glory and died
and oh how I miss you, my beloved rival
your relentless push that I pushed back

now before whose earnest tight-lipped face
do I wave my award winning poem?
who do I phone, fax, e-mail, brag to?
no witness, it seems, matters as much as you did

for you, beloved rival, all that poetry
it’s as clear as a mathematical formula
all of it, even the unfinished, dismembered
it was all for you, and I never knew.

 
 




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Eileen Malone received honorable mention in the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for her poem Beloved Rival.

You can find out more about Eileen at her website.


Congratulations, Eileen, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!




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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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By Charis Fleming

 



I watch from across the room as the tow headed boy climbs into her lap and snuggles next to her chest. Absentmindedly she reaches into her blouse to loosen a bulging breast, the liquid already spilling from the nipple onto the back of her hand. He quickly latches on and suckles and grins as he gulps down his nourishment, already a boy in love with a boob.

She wipes the back of her hand and inner wrist against the cotton T-shirt and turns the page on her Parenting magazine. I supposed I nursed her as casually once upon a time, but I can’t quite remember the joy I know I must have felt each time she came to me for sustenance. My current feeling of neglect crowds out that piece of history.

I do remember gazing into her cherubic face as she pigged out for the first 14 months of her life, the last couple of months of which I spent wincing each time she utilized my elongated nipples as teething toys. She’s all grown up now and doesn’t need me for anything anymore.

When she was just a toddler she’d stand between me and her daddy, her little head halfway up my thigh, her arms pushing against me and him, the strength of her need to be center stage forcing us to step back from each other and notice her presence there between us as we tried to embrace. She never tired to separate him from his second wife and often boasted of her step-parents as being wonderful additions to her resources for learning life lessons. I felt inferior next to the perfect step-mother.

Now, 35 years later, I gaze at the duo, daughter and grandson, and I want more than anything to tell them both how left out I am feeling. I want them to know if it wasn’t for me, neither of them would exist as they are. I wanted to claim all the credit for her intelligence, poise, grace and beauty. I wanted her to recall the carefully selected man I’d married whose genetics mixed so well with my own that she could not have avoided becoming a magnificent being if she had tired to in some way. I wish her father could have survived his bout with pancreatic cancer to see the beautiful boy named in his honor.

I wanted to scream at her to pay attention to every minute detail unfolding before her. My head longed to urge her to enjoy the sensations her body was experiencing, to wallow in the amazing act of producing milk and then feeding a child, giving a little human life then sustaining that life with nothing but her body as the sustenance manufacturing facility. How could she take these precious moments so nonchalantly? I watched as the fine dining of baby at the breast continued. I wanted to tell them both I was still in the room, beg them to find a way to include me at feeding time.

The boy, sated and re-energized climbs down from her lap while she fumbles to latch the nursing bra. He crawls a beeline to my feet, raises his body against my shin and beams me a special smile as I pick him up and snuggle my face into the fresh milk smell of a perfect baby’s neck.

“Hey, Rat-boy,” my daughter chides, “I do all the work and Grandma gets all the lovin’? What about this old cow over here? I’m sacrificing mammary perkiness here and you scoot over to hang with Grandma? Thanks a lot, ingrate!” I feel her eyes lock on mine as we both cling tightly to the vast well of love we want to claim from this child.

Perfect off-spring of my perfect off-spring. Her green eyes subtly smile into my hazel orbs causing my face to split wide with a loving grin. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
 





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Charis Fleming received honorable mention in the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for her untitled essay.


Congratulations, Charis, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!




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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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By Jill L. Ferguson

 



At the age of four his feet first crossed the stage,
miniature violin tucked under his chin, audience rapt
from the first symphonic note. He held and released
each tone picturing it hover like a bird in flight,
closing his eyes into the sound. After the applause,
words he did not understand swirled in the air:
prodigy, virtuoso, artiste. Parents brought
their children to see him. Look at Paul play.
See how he feels the music. Why can’t you
play like Paul? You’re not serious enough.
You need to be more like Paul.
He hated when
parents said that. He wanted kids to like him.
He was just doing what he loved; it was nothing
special. But throughout his childhood after each
of his recordings, more and more parents wanted
progeny like Paul, and more and more of his
classmates shunned him. Playing the violin became
his Damocles’ sword, so he tried the drugs
the other kids dug. He smoked the pot and popped
the pills, snorted the lines and licked the LSD into his
system while welcoming oblivion. Then back in his dorm
he consoled himself with Schubert and Rachmaninoff,
Brahms and Beethoven. On stages far from campus
he still made mad love to the violin. And afterwards,
he ignored the parents’ prodding of their youngsters,
connect with complete strangers, and drown out the
evening’s envy with drugs, drink, and destructive sex.
He repeated the pattern again and again as seriously as he
practiced any symphony or concerto. Then, during orchestra
rehearsal one day at the age of 23, he was called
to the clinic. Now, he caresses his violin
as his lifelong lover, and he is positive
no one should want to be like Paul.





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Jill L. Ferguson won the Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine for poem/prose Like Paul. As 1st Prize winner, Jill received an Amazon Kindle.

You can find out more about Jill at her website and review books she has authored and co-authored at this Amazon link.

Congratulations, Jill, from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and red Ravine!




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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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By Barbara Rick

 
 
Envy*, THE DOCUMENTARY (the movie you wish you made)

 
 
 
We at Out of The Blue Films, Inc. want to spread our appreciation around, nice and thick, for ALL those who have in some way contributed to The Out of The Blue Films ENVY Contest at red Ravine. Whether you sent in work, considered it, or even just envied the idea from afar (you know who you are), thank you!!

To you who scraped your souls and held a magnifying glass up to your hidden agendas—brava!
 
We received inspired works of fiction, essays, haiku, poetry, drawings, photographs—even a comic sketch script that we think would make a really funny short film—from writers and artists around the world.

We are all 21st century pioneers in the wild west of social networking, in particular, using technology to not only create a conversation about new work but to help create the work itself! This is the hot topic at the flurry of film panels I’ve been attending the past couple of weeks up at The Toronto International Film Festival, here in NYC at Independent Film Week, and at pre-launch parties and screenings at the venerable New York Film Festival.

Michael Moore was even talking about it onstage a few nights ago at Lincoln Center in a Q&A following his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. No ENVY on my part, by the way, nosiree. (Me: lying like rug.)
 
 
 
 

∞ ∞ ∞

 
 
 
And, now, the winner:
 
Jill L. Ferguson of San Carlos, California for her poem/prose Like Paul, a painterly snapshot of the disastrous effects of ENVY on a young and talented violinist. Jill receives 1st Prize in The Out of The Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at red Ravine: an Amazon Kindle.
 
We fell in love with this line:
 

He held and released each tone picturing it hover like a bird in flight, closing his eyes into the sound.

 
You can find out more about Jill at her website and review books she has authored and co-authored at this Amazon link.

On Thursday, October 2, red Ravine will post Like Paul in its entirety, so please come back and read this winning entry.
 
 
 
 

∞ ∞ ∞

 
 
 
 
Our judges found much to love in all the entries; it was tough to narrow it down to a single winner.

We also wanted to include excerpts from a few honorable mentions:
 
 
 
Charis Fleming’s searing essay on a mother’s flash of ENVY at her breast-feeding adult daughter and grandchild.

I gaze at the duo, daughter and grandson, and I want more than anything to tell them both how left out I am feeling. I want them to know if it wasn’t for me, neither of them would exist as they are.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Eileen Malone’s poem Beloved Rival.

on and on we went, an abbreviation
of small black-winged envies
drunkenly sucking each other’s blood

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
By a fourth writer, who wishes to remain Anonymous, a short story about WWEM or the Woman Who Envies Me.

The woman in question is a known screenwriter and actor, a mother, a wife, the author of two successful books, a person of financial means and connections, and enjoys excellent health. Except for her ENVY. The beauty of this story, the lesson for me, lies in its mystery. It is quite clear that she envies me desperately (the symptoms are all there; I recognize them from my own inner life). If I could find her in a moment of quiescent spirit, I could try to ask her why. There is no doubt in my mind that the answer would educate me deeply. No doubt whatsoever.

 





Last but not least, Patricia Anders in Calabasas, California submitted an evocative drawing depicting ENVY.

This and each of the honorable mentions will be published wholly in separate posts next week.



∞ ∞ ∞





Please work with us at Out of The Blue Films, Inc. to broaden and deepen the connection seeded here on red Ravine.

Here are three things you can do to keep the conversation growing:

  1. “Fan” us at facebook.com/Outofthebluefilms and tinyurl.com/ENVYonfacebook and tell us how you’d like to get involved with Team ENVY.
  2. Follow us and bring your friends (!) to our pages on twitter: ENVYthedoc, brickdoc, OuttaTheBlu.
  3. Meet us at our new blog.envydoc.com.


There, and here at red Ravine, we’ll discuss some of the ways we might use some of the entries in the film, flash you glimpses of the film and our creative process, behind-the-scenes action (and procrastination), funding dramas and successes, as we march ever forward in the making of this multi-disciplinary mega-platform documentary film project which will tell the true story of ENVY. Asking you for input, ideas, and to share in the exhilaration of it, all along the way.

Thank you to ybonesy and QuoinMonkey for an amazing experiment in creative collaboration! Remember to check back later this week to see the full winning entry, and next week for the honorable mentions.

Gratitude to all!

 

 

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red Ravine is not liable for any actions by Out of The Blue Films, Inc., nor the Film. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for any outcomes from the contest.

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ootb avatar 90 pxls widered Ravine -- a writing & art community blog

red Ravine -- a writing & art community blogootb avatar 90 pxls wide

 
 
Whom and what do you ENVY? Who has envied you? What’s the difference between jealousy and envy? How has ENVY impacted your life?

Barbara Rick, a Peabody & Emmy award-winning filmmaker/journalist based in New York City, and president and founder of Out of The Blue Films, Inc., explored these questions and more in Tuesday’s essay at red Ravine, Cracking Envy (Or How I Learned To Stop Romancing A Deadly Sin).

Now it’s your turn! The Out of The Blue Films “ENVY Contest” at red Ravine has officially launched. This is a call for entries to share your essays, short stories, poems, haiku, watercolors, oils, photographs, and music about envy. One of you will win a new Amazon Kindle. And any and all entries, or excerpts of them, could end up in the groundbreaking documentary on ENVY from Out of The Blue Films, Inc.

Is ENVY the worst of the Deadly Sins? How does it look and sound to you? Can you touch, smell or taste envy? To get the juices flowing, you might want to read a bit of history at WRITING TOPIC – THE 7 DEADLY SINS. Then do a few Writing Practices that you can turn into a polished piece. 

Below are the details you’ll need to submit your work. Contest ends at midnight, August 15th, 2009. Don’t miss this opportunity to feature your work in film. Or the chance to win an Amazon Kindle from Out of The Blue!

 
Amazon Kindle (from amazon.com website)

 
 
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Out of The Blue Films “ENVY Contest”

 
 

Submission Guidelines

ENVY is the latest project from Out of The Blue Films, Inc., in keeping with the company’s longstanding mission to tell inspiring stories that explore, articulate, educate, and celebrate humanity. Below are the guidelines for the Out of The Blue Films “ENVY Contest” at red Ravine.
 
 

♦ What To Submit

All original writing and artwork is accepted for prize consideration. This includes, but is not limited to, essays, short stories, poems, haiku, watercolors, oils, collages, drawings, photographs and music. We will accept entries in most formats, but prefer doc, rtf, txt, pdf, jpg, tiff, wav, mp3. Please limit your writing to 1000 words or less, and keep all attachments under 5MB.

 
 

♦ How To Submit

Send all entries electronically (do not send originals). If submitting more than one work to the contest, please send a separate email for each. Write ENVY CONTEST in the subject line, include the following information in the body of your email, and attach your submission:

 
Full Name: (If you prefer to remain anonymous please put the word ANONYMOUS in caps, after your name.)
Email:
Address:
Type of Submission: (short story, essay, poetry, photography, drawing, oil, collage, haiku, watercolor, audio, other)
Format of Submission: (doc, rtf, txt, pdf, jpg, tiff, wav, mp3)

ALSO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of this contest and I certify that this is my original work.”

 
 

♦ Where To Submit

Send all submissions electronically by August 15th to Out of The Blue Films, Inc. at contest@outofthebluefilms.com.

 
 

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Terms & Conditions

The following conditions apply to the ENVY Contest sponsored by Out of The Blue Films, Inc. Before submitting, please read the Terms & Conditions:

 

June 11, 2009

Out of The Blue Films, Inc. and/or Barbara Rick, Inc. (together, “Producer”) welcome you to submit any writings, artwork, photographs, poems or other materials created by you (all of such materials being “Materials”) for possible inclusion in Producer’s documentary (the “Film”) currently titled and whose subject will be “ENVY”. By submitting any Materials, whether via this website or otherwise, you agree as follows:

1. Producer and its assigns and licensees will have the perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free right and license (without the obligation to pay you any sums or other consideration), throughout the universe to use all or any portion of the Materials in the Film and in the distribution, advertising, sale, licensing, commercial use or other use thereof in any and all media, whether or not now invented (including theatrical or television exhibition, viewing via DVD, the internet, on cell phones or other devices), and in the exploitation of any and all ancillary and subsidiary rights relating to the Film, including merchandise, soundtracks and books based on the Film. Producer need not return any Materials, however as between you and Producer all underlying copyright and intellectual property rights to the Materials will remain your property. Producer’s sole rights to the Materials will be the uses described in these terms.

2. You waive any claims against Producer and its officers, directors, principals, employees and representatives, assigns and licensees for any alleged or actual infringements of any rights or privacy or publicity, moral or other rights resulting from or relating to any use of the Materials contemplated by these terms, and you warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the Materials and that the use of the Materials by Producer, its licensees or assigns will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party.

3. It shall be entirely in Producer’s discretion whether or not to make use of any Materials in connection with the Film. Should Producer wish to use any of the Materials in connection with the Film Producer will notify you that it plans on doing so (but Producer will have no obligation to make such use regardless of a notification). If the Materials do in fact appear in the Film you can receive on-screen credit under your real name or a pseudonym, whichever you prefer. You may also not be credited at all if you wish. If the Materials are to be used you should send an email with your credit preference to: info@outofthebluefilms.com.

4. An Amazon Kindle will be awarded as a prize to the person who submits what Producer deems, in its sole discretion, to be the best Materials. The criteria to be used for making such determination will be up to Producer, the decision will not be subject to any appeal and Producer need not explain the basis for its determination.

These terms shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York, and any suit or action relating to these terms may be brought only in the courts located in New York County.

PLEASE NOTE that (i) by submitting any Materials you agree to all of these terms, and (ii) Producer reserves the rights, at any time, to revise these terms, and the terms as so revised will apply to any Materials submitted after the time of revision.

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red Ravine is a vehicle for the promotion of this contest. red Ravine is not liable for any actions by the Producer, nor the Film. Any submissions are made directly and solely to Producer and not to red Ravine. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for submissions nor for any outcomes from the contest.


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By Barbara Rick
 
 
envy 1
Envy Green, New York Botanical Garden, 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by Barbara Rick. All rights reserved.
 
 
 
It’s a hard, rotten knot of a word. Sinister. Secret. Has a way of gripping me by the throat and squeezing my soul of rational thought, patience, and generosity. Keeps rolling in like a black wave. ENVY.

After a crushing professional disappointment a while back, I found that I was brooding. Dark and long. Gnawing on the ‘injustice’ of it all. Sneering as I licked my wounds.

I became aware that I — as spiritually evolved and as peaceful a meditation warrior as I like to believe I am — was hobbled by something much bigger and darker than myself. Something slithery, lizard-like and primal. I was on to ENVY.

Touching its long thin tail. Up to my shins in it. And if it was giving me this much trouble, wrestling with me backstage in my accomplished, prosperous, abundant life, chances are it’s doing a number on everyone else as well. 

So I began digging, peering back through human history, and what I saw knocked me out.
 
The story of Cain and Abel, for starters. That’s when Cain, a farmer, turns on his shepherd brother because God liked Abel’s gift better. Cain, who by all accounts hadn’t even given much of a gift, was enraged anyway and ‘set upon’ his brother in a field. At the root of this first recorded homicide? ENVY.

Treatment of the Jews in the Holocaust? Not just the scapegoating, but the Germans preferred to actually lose the war than let up for a second on the extermination campaign against the Jews. ENVY, again.

Driving those planes into the Trade Center towers on 9/11? Yes.

Hostile, implacable, illogical, petty, deadly ENVY.
 
What a juicy, throbbing idea for a new documentary! We are intensively at work on this as we speak at my company, Out of The Blue Films, Inc. Seeking and receiving support and insights from some of the best minds in the world on this subject; scholars and artists musing, informing, inviting, seducing others to look at something most dare not. This film will be a bold, insightful, humorous exploration of the causes and consequences of this most corrosive human emotion.

Why and how is ENVY at work? It has a chameleon nature. First you see it, then you justify. It’s the squirming worm under the rock of history, hiding from the light. Exposed occasionally and brilliantly by Shakespeare, Dickens, immortalized in Salieri’s encounters with MozartIago’s loathing of OthelloCassius’ for Caesar … Claggart’s Billy Budd.

Viscous and vicious… elusive… a most urgent threat: between siblings, neighbors, nations. The evil eye. Often confused with jealousy, which, our ENVY scholars tell us, is often easier and softer for many to admit. Jealousy involves three people, and the fear of losing something you already have, while ENVY is typically between two people: that painful, searing feeling you get when someone else has what you long for and fear you might never get.

It’s the most shameful of the deadly sins, the mother of all others, writes Chaucer.

The driving, writhing force beneath most beloved fairy tales from Cinderella to Snow White. Scholars agree it casts a long, long shadow on humanity and its greatest power is that we are afraid, unwilling, or unable to look at it. Its care and feeding in secrecy under our dark collective psyche is the most damaging of all.

So we are calling it out, conjuring it up, exposing it to the best of our ability.
 
 
 
 

Trapped, Tucson, Arizona, near the Santa Catalina Mountains, 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Barbara Rick, all rights reserved

Trapped, photo © 2005-2009
by B. Rick. All rights reserved.

 
 
 
 
We’re asking you, and others: Whom and what do you ENVY? Who has envied you? How has ENVY impacted your life?
 
 
 
 

London, 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by Barbara Rick, all rights reserved

London, photo © 2005-2009
by B. Rick. All rights reserved.

 


We’re using unique storytelling techniques to tell this dark, dangerous and ultimately triumphant story of human good over human evil — embracing the worst of ourselves to coax out and harness the very best.

What long and twisted roads has ENVY chased you down? When did it sneak up and scare the daylights out of you? Chain your heart and mind? How did you escape? Or didn’t you?

Please share with us your essays, short stories, poems, haiku, watercolors, oils, collages, drawings, photographs, and music. One of you will win a prize: a bright and shiny new Amazon Kindle. Any and all entries, or excerpts of them, could end up in our revolutionary and groundbreaking documentary. No promises, of course. Remain anonymous if you wish, that’s fine.

Shine a light on your ENVY. Chisel at it with your pen or paintbrush – splash some sunlight on your darkest corners. Walk together with us, deep into it and out onto the other side. It will be a hell of a ride.




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TOPIC – ENVY (A PRE-CALL FOR ENTRIES)




The  Out of the Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest at  red Ravine avatar officially starts in two 

days, on Thursday, June 11. That’s when we publish here at  red Ravine avatar    

the  Out of the Blue Films, Inc. ENVY Contest Submission Guidelines. Your writing or

visual entry may be selected as the winner of an Amazon Kindle.



So come back on Thursday, June 11, to read the ENVY Contest Submission Guidelines. We’ll tell you What creative forms are accepted and in what formats, and Where to send your entry and How. We’ll also provide the Terms & Conditions for the ENVY Contest.

Don’t miss your chance to win an Amazon Kindle, the reading wireless device that you hold in your hands like a book and that can carry in its memory thousands of titles that can be downloaded from the Amazon library — so you can read anywhere, anytime.



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Barbara Rick is a Peabody & Emmy award-winning filmmaker/journalist based in New York City. She is president and founder of Out of The Blue Films, Inc., creators of exceptional documentaries on important social issues that ignite positive action and promote open dialogue.

Recent films include ROAD TO INGWAVUMA (ing-wah-VOOM-ah), which chronicles the unique delegation of some of America’s most respected artists and their families to post-apartheid South Africa, and IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, one American nun’s battle with the Vatican over the rights of gay and lesbian Catholics.

ENVY is the latest project from Out of The Blue Films, Inc. in keeping with the company’s longstanding mission to tell the most inspiring stories that explore, articulate, educate, and celebrate humanity.





red Ravine is a vehicle for the promotion of this contest. red Ravine is not liable for any actions by the Producer, nor the Film. Any submissions are made directly and solely to Producer and not to red Ravine. red Ravine has no legal responsibility for submissions nor for any outcomes from the contest.

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Of the 7 Deadly Sins, I find Lust and Wrath to be the most harmful to humanity. That may say more about me, than it does humanity. Lust to excess leads to unseemly, crass actions. I am stunned by news programs where a bait is placed on the Internet and some guy shows up at the home of a 13, 14, 15-year-old, ready to have sex. It is a sickness, a disease. These men need help. Is it desperation? When it comes to children, sex should not be in the picture. Not even a thought.

Wrath – anger. In the extreme, anger is rage. I have seen internal rage tear up friendships, destroy a person’s spiritual life. Anger to the extreme eats a person’s soul from the inside out, creates bitterness, leads to wife beating, domestic abuse, heartbreak, bruised and battered bones. Families are torn up, destroyed. Verbal abuse. Relationships, toast.

I am trying to write about the negatives, the Deadly Sins. But I am tired of the negative. It wears on me. I find myself wanting to focus more on the positive, the Virtues. I make daily choices not to stay at the negative. It seems so much more fruitful to see the glass half full.

I once read a study on happiness and the bottom line was that people who focus more on the positive, live longer, happier, more productive lives. That doesn’t mean being naïve. You can live in reality, make change, give back to humanity, rise above your own adversity, and still spin each day to the positive side. Some may find that lacks edge. But I’m not at a place where I want to live on the edge. I am looking for peace.

Of the 7 Virtues, I would say Temperance is the one that has given me the most trouble. Not in terms of modesty. But discipline. There are areas where I lack discipline. I find the more structure I place around the problem areas, the more successful I am. Procrastination – I place that under Temperance. I don’t procrastinate around my writing anymore. That is something that has changed from doing daily writing practices over years. When I drop off, or stop the practice for a while, it is still hard to get back into it. Better to keep it going in small increments every day.

Food is another area that I have struggled with most of my life. I don’t have the thin, will-o’-the-wisp body, metabolism and frame that can eat anything. I have the peasant body, the apple shape. It takes work for me to remain at a good weight for me. When it comes to exercise, I am a slug. I guess that would fall into the area of Sloth. The opposite of Sloth is Diligence. Diligence comes back to structure, careful use of time and energy, discipline.

There seems to be a fine line between some of the Virtues and Sins. Shades of purple gray. I am not Catholic and don’t know what it means to go to confession, though it is depicted in movies and television as being a sacrament where anything is forgiven, even murder. I don’t understand how that works. You are spiritually forgiven by virtue of a few words, yet you still have to pay the Piper, the worldly price for your sins?

I quickly glance at the two lists again. I see the Virtues and Sins as human traits. As long as we have brains and bodies, we’re going to make wrong choices. And we’re going to look for ways to absolve ourselves. When it comes down to it, isn’t it the severity of the sin? And the faithfulness or sincerity of the virtue? Sadly, sometimes it is who you know that determines your punishment. Or how much money you have. Is the world a just or unjust place? Justice should be a Virtue.


-posted on red Ravine, Monday, April 21, 2008

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – THE 7 DEADLY SINS

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7

7, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Can you list the 7 Deadly Sins? I usually get to number 6 and fade out. I can never remember all 7. The 7 Deadly Sins began with Evagrius Ponticus as a list of 8 capital vices. A condensed version of the list was given to Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th Century. He chose to go with 7 (in this order):



1 – Lust
Lust began as extravagance, and later became lust. (Is it okay to be extravagant but not lustful?) Lust includes
obsessive or excessive sexual thoughts or desires, and adultery. Unfulfilled lusts sometimes lead to sexual or sociological compulsions including sexual addiction, adultery, rape, and incest.

2 – Gluttony
Gluttony derives from the Latin, gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow. Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of material objects, food – anything, to the point of waste.

3 – Greed
Greed includes acquisition of wealth, avarice, disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain. Bribery, scavenging, hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery.

4 – Sloth
Sloth is laziness or indifference, an unwillingness to act. Sloth replaced sadness in the 17th century. (Who knew it was a sin to be sad?)

5 – Wrath
Wrath is a harboring of uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest as vehement denial of the truth (both to others, and in the form of self-denial), impatience with the procedure of law, and the desire to seek revenge outside of the justice system.

6 – Envy
Envy is insatiable desire. Those who envy, desire something someone else has which they perceive themselves as lacking (scarcity mentality).

7 – Pride
Pride is the original, and most serious of the 7 deadly sins; it is the ultimate source from which the others arise. Pride is the desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to give compliments to others, excessive love of self.



The 7 Deadly Sins have been made famous by artists, writers, and filmmakers. Purgatorio, Part II of Dante’s Divine Comedy, is one of the best known sources since the Renaissance. The most graphic depiction I’ve ever seen hit me square in the face in the film, Se7en. If you haven’t seen the movie, prepare yourself for some of the most twisted psychological murders in film history. Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Morgan Freeman know how to pull it off.

Luckily, each cardinal sin has a 6th-century, equivalent punishment in Hell. For the sin Pride, one is to be broken on the wheel. For Envy, dropped into freezing water. Anger is rewarded by being dismembered alive (not unlike a scene in Se7en.). For Sloth, you are thrown in the snake pits; Greed, immersed into pots of boiling oil; Gluttony, forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes; and Lust, smothered in brimstone and fire.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years.In 1485, a few years before Columbus sailed, Hieronymus Bosch painted The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things in oil on wood panels. The painting has 5 circles or mandalas. The 4 small circles depict Death, Judgment, Hell, and Glory.

The 5th, and largest circle, contains the 7 Sins:  wrath at the bottom, then proceeding clockwise, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, and pride.

The center of the large circle is said to represent the eye of God, and Christ can be seen emerging from his tomb. At the bottom of the image is the Latin inscription, Cave Cave Deus Videt (“Beware, Beware, God is Watching”).



How deadly are your sins? Are you quick to judge others for theirs? Are 7 sins enough?

Not for everyone. After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice.

 

Each of the original Seven Deadly Sins has an opposite, corresponding Holy Virtue. In Writing Practice lingo, the Holy Virtues are the underbelly of the 7 Deadly Sins. In parallel order and opposition, the Seven Holy Virtues are:

  • Chastity (opposite lust)  – Purity. Embracing moral wholesomeness, achieving purity of body and thought through education and betterment.
  • Temperance (opposite Gluttony)  – Self-control, abstention, and moderation.
  • Charity (opposite Greed)  – Generosity. Willingness to give. Nobility of thought or action.
  • Diligence (opposite Sloth) – Zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work. Decisive work ethic. Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness.
  • Patience (opposite Wrath) – Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy.
  • Kindness (opposite Envy) – Charity, compassion, friendship, and sympathy without prejudice, for its own sake.
  • Humility (opposite Pride) – Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Giving credit where credit is due; not unfairly glorifying the self.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years  The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things. Hieronymus Bosch, 1485, Public domain image, copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years


How has the nature of sinning changed since the 6th Century? Do you even believe in sin? What about modern Holy Virtues? What are they?

  • Choose a Deadly Sin and do a 15 minute Writing Practice on how it applies (or doesn’t apply) to you
  • Do another Writing Practice on the underbelly, a Holy Virtue (the Sin’s opposite)
  • Which Deadly Sin do you have the strongest reaction to? Is it a moral issue? Connected to past associations? Something you learned?
  • For National Poetry Month, compose a poem or haiku from lines of your Writing Practice



If none of the Sins or Virtues appeal to you, there is always Gandhi’s list of Seven Deadly Sins. Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in modern social and political activism, considered these traits to be the most spiritually perilous to humanity.

Choose a line from Gandhi, and 15 minutes, Go!


Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins

  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice

 

 

-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

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