Best. Day. Ever.

This past Saturday was, very possibly, the very best day of my entire life. Saturday was the date of my long planed graduation/graduation party. It was amazing. So many people came. I was simply stunned. It was astonishing to see the overwhelming amount of people who care about me, who love me! It was just one person after the other coming up and hugging me and telling me they loved me and were proud of me and congratulations… I was overwhelmed, but in a very good way. One elderly lady in particular, who has practically been like a member of my family, was so nice in coming! I was amazed really because I never thought she’d be able to make it because it’s hard for her to get around now-a-days. She gave me this super snazzy black, flowered wallet (which totally out classes me) but I love it and am going to use it the rest of my life! My sister gave me Frozen, which made me such a very happy person! And I got so many other nice things! (Like a Captain America action figure! Do my friends know me, or what?) People were wonderful! I also got more cards then I think I’ve ever opened before! Haha, it was so fun!
But oh! Speaking of gifts, I must tell you about this most amazing thing that happened to me. Wow, I never, ever, ever in my life would I have expected this to happen! After my mom and dad gave me my diploma (and said such nice things, thanks mom and dad!) my brother came up and started into a little speech/talk kinda thing. I was very confused. He started off by saying he’d run into an old friend of mine the other day, mentioning “he and Moritz.” (So first off, I don’t really have any “he” old friends, and Moritz!? Well, if you know anything about Basil Rathbone you can see why I was confused.) He continued on to say “he” and Moritz had told him to pass on to me their congratulations, and that “he” told him to tell me “he” thought I was “a remarkable woman” (something you won’t get unless you’ve listened to Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes radio programs.) If you can see where he was going (lots of references to Basil Rathbone,) you can see why I was extremely confused. He continued to say that “he” said some other very nice things (mainly about me and my intentions on going to Hollywood), and then, at the end, my brother said “he” had given him a little note to pass on to me, in honor of my graduation, and to mark this very exciting time in my life. My brother reached down into a box that was sitting beside him and pulled out a large, framed picture, under which (also in the frame) was scrawled in that well known handwriting (well, at least well know to me) “With Best Wishes, Basil Rathbone.” Needless to say I was entirely overwhelmed with joy, burst into tears, and hugged my dear brother very tightly. My brother eventually explained to me that several people had chipped in on buying me this signed picture of Basil Rathbone, and each had written down a little note to go with it. It was really one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had! I am so unbelievably happy! It currently hangs proudly on my wall, and is keeping me up at night because I can’t stop staring at it. But I don’t mind. I don’t mind at all.
After my graduation party was over, we invited family and a few friends to stay for pizza (oh my gosh so much pizza. I think we got a little over zealous in how much we ordered. We’re going to have left overs for a week.) After we ate my aunt and uncle and two cousins and sister-in-law and brother and I sat down to play Epic Duels. (It’s an awesome Star Wars game.) After a while my aunt and uncle and one cousin had to leave, so we continued the game without them. I was Obi-Wan, my brother was Yoda, my sister-in-law was the Emperor, and my other cousin was Boba Fett. It was a hard game, but I actually won it (the first time I’ve ever won Epic Dues!!!!!!!) and I was very happy. After that we watched Frozen, which was awesome. When it was over it was 12:30 and time to go to bed. Yes, it was a very, very, very good day. (I love you, brother mine!)

The Cardboard Box

“What is the object of this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must have a purpose or the universe has no meaning and that is unthinkable. But what purpose? That is humanity’s great problem to which reason so far has no answer.”
– Sherlock Holmes in The Cardboard Box

I’ve been meaning to make a post about this quote for some time, but never, until now, have I felt just quite brave enough to give it a whirl.
Here, in this quote, Sherlock Holmes asks the question that every person in their right mind has been asking since the dawn of time, and will go on asking, no doubt, until the end of time – what is the meaning of this seemingly meaningless life?
The first time I read The Cardboard Box I was either 14 or 15, I am not quite sure. I remember clearly enough how very disturbed I was by the whole story. The story is a rather macabre one, really – the two severed ears of the victims being sent, by the murderer, to the woman he blames for causing the trouble that ended in the killing of his wife and her lover. And then the quote at the end, where Sherlock Holmes, one feels almost speaking directly from the mouth of his creator, questions the meaning of life. I remember I felt very gloomy after reading it, and endeavored, by trying not to think about it or watch or listen to any of its adaptations, to forget about the story entirely. But I found that was not possible. It seemed to me no matter where I went in the Sherlock Holmes’ fandom that quote was not far behind. I could not escape it, and I wondered why. Then it occurred to me – they all sympathized with it, with those ever nagging questions of “why are we here?” and “what is it all for?” But why didn’t I sympathize with it? Well, that caused me to think quite a bit. But then, after a time, I realized the answer had been right under my nose the entire time. Because I know the answer. But what was so special about me, that I knew the answer and no one else seemed to? Well, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing special about me. In fact it doesn’t have anything to do with me at all. It’s Jesus. It’s all Jesus. Jesus is the meaning of life. He is the reason we’re here. He is what it’s all for. To glorify Him, to worship Him, and to share the Good News of His salvation with all of humanity.
It says it in some pretty cool ways in several places in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 it says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter (sounds pretty Sherlockian, doesn’t it?): Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Puts it pretty succinctly, doesn’t it? Another place is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, where it says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Here’s another one, Jesus actually said this one, in Luke 10:27. “And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” And of course there are more and more I could go on with, but I don’t want to go on for too long.
So that is why when I read that quote now I feel like grabbing the person who posted it in a hug and saying, “But there is, there is, there is a meaning in life! And I can show it to you! If you only believe!” If you only believe, that’s all it takes. And you will be so amazingly blessed, and you’ll know, you’ll really know, the meaning to life. I know I do.

Everything I have I owe to Basil Rathbone

 

brathbone172OK, so maybe not everything, but the passion which currently controls my course in life I owe entirely to him. And I’d say that’s enough to thank him for.

It was about three and a half years ago when I discovered Basil Rathbone. I’d read my first Sherlock Holmes book earlier that year, and wanted to draw him, so I Googled “pictures of Sherlock Holmes,” and I saw many pictures of Basil Rathbone a la Sherlock Holmes. Right then and there I became enraptured with him. I got some SH movies for Christmas a month later, two of which were Basil’s films. From there, I got the rest of his SH films from the library. He was, and always will be, my favorite Sherlock Holmes incarnation. Before long it wasn’t just his Holmes that I liked, but the man himself. I began to draw him, I printed out his picture and put it in my diary, I memorized the poem he wrote, and read his quotes and snippets from his autobiography. I Googled him to find every possible scrap of information I could – it was great! But then an odd feeling came, something I had not anticipated – of all things, I began to miss him. How can one miss a person they have never actually met? I don’t know, but somehow, it happened. It was then that I would lay in bed and cry at night sometimes – mostly because I’d not been able to ever share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. I felt guilty because of it, of all stupid things. Honestly, it was really quite horrible – but it was the start of a passion. Now, up to that point, I had wanted to be a dog trainer, but somehow, I admit I’m not really sure how, that passion began to fade, and in its place came a passion for the lost souls in Hollywood. It hurt, not only emotionally, but physically sometimes, and I kind of hated it, but it didn’t go away, and I don’t think it ever will.

So thanks, Basil, I owe it all to you. You put me through a lot of pain and sorrow, but now that I’ve worked things out in my heart and mind, I look back and see that you have given me something I don’t think anyone else ever could have. Not only have you given me countless hours of fun, yes, and a few heartaches, but you’ve instilled in me a passion – a passion for the unsaved in Hollywood – I know what I want to do with my life now. I couldn’t tell you – there’s no way I could have – but since I can’t, I’ll just tell someone else.

If I could, I’d like to say thanks to you, but I guess I can’t, so that’s why I wrote this…

Happy Early Birthday Basil Rathbone

Just to answer any question that may have arisen from my title, I’m not going to be available to post on June 13th (Basil’s actual birthday) or any time closer to it, so I have to do it early.

It’s hard to believe that this is only the third of Basil’s birthdays that I’ve celebrated. It seems, somehow, that I’ve always know him. This poem that you are about to read was written only a few months after I had first “met” him, so it’s a bit more gushing than I would write it now, but hey, give me a break, I was fourteen.brathbone172

Basil

By R. Noel Landis

The eyes,

Blue to those you knew

And knew you,

But black to those of us who’ve only guessed

At what you were really like.

Soft and dreamy

But hidden deep inside

Is love, kindness, and a hint of roguish playfulness,

Enrapturing and beating down

The unsuspecting girl

Who falls into your clutches

As the villain or the madman.

Lifting up and pulling in

The poor and needy lady

Or the high and lofty woman

As hero and as lover.

The voice,

Deep and subtly rich,

Sweet in overflowing character

And letting our spirits soar.

We cannot think of anything else,

Not wanting to miss a single word.

If only we could have really heard you

And not have had to rely

On what you left behind.

Little heard laughter,

How we wish to hear it more,

Cheering over victory,

Or quiet simple pleasures.

The mouth,

Like no other

As it shapes its words of hatred or of love.

Small and finely turned up at the corners,

With the personality of life itself.

It catches the eyes,

Framed by the usual mustache.

We peer blissfully

Trying not to overlook its smooth movement,

Sole in its matchless perfection.

The hands,

Gentle, tender, and smooth,

But strong and very firm.

Stroking heads, shaking hands,

Touching keys, holding cigarettes and pipes.

We watch and peer,

Looking eagerly at every touch.

Unmistakable in their movement,

Catching eyes and drawing attention.

They say so much with every motion.

Swift but careful,

Calm but eager,

Leading women across the floor,

Meticulously searching the crime scene,

Grasping knives and guns with intent to kill,

Holding children’s hands.

The whole of you,

Towering over some

But eye to eye with others.

Enchanting us in every movement,

Every bit of you unique,

We cannot take our eyes away

For fear of missing something.

Born in South Africa

Yet British through and through,

Faithful husband

Loving father

Patriotic countryman

Excelling actor.

We lost something that day

July 21, 1967,

75 years after that wonderful day

June 13, 1892.

We miss you,

Even though you left us before we knew you

We have come to know you by what you left behind.brc961

…Errol Flynn… bah!

I was sitting with my laptop’s desktop up (a photo of Basil Rathbone from Captain Blood) and I was just about to go back to typing, when my friend Mr. Jeff came sauntering by and, seeing my desktop, exclaimed “Errol Flynn!!!” in passing.

“Not Errol Flynn!” I growled. “Basil Rathbone!!! Basil Rathbone’s better than Errol Flynn!!!!” I cried after him.

He made little to no reaction… just like a man…tumblr_mav631zv0B1rvd5iy

To mistake Basil Rathbone for Errol Flynn! How DARE he! The utter HORROR of it!jhUninformed people!tumblr_lwjyzw0luN1r50nwho1_250You drive me so nuts!!tumblr_mmfzgyAB0L1rmk2iso4_r2_250

Punched in the Face

Seriously, I just remembered Basil Rathbone’s story about getting punched in the face because he told the guy who was supposed to fake hitting him to make it look more real! Gosh, that looks like it would hurt so bad!

holmes-basil-rathbone-oThis reminds me of what happened to Michael Emerson in LOST, when the guy who was faking the punch miscalculated and actually gave him a black eye!michael-emerson-o Would you think I was really cruel if I said I am laughing really hard right now? 😀

If you wanna see the scene where Emerson get’s punched in the face and hear what it actually sounded like, check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wiorgmr002I