The Haunting Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Just outside the city of Šiauliai, an extremely strange sight stretches up the Lithuanian countryside - hundreds of thousands of crosses. Crosses of every shape and size, including rosaries, are crowded together in huge piles across the entire hillside. The history of the Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas) is as mysterious as the place itself. No one knows exactly when the custom of leaving crosses there began, but it most likely started in 1831.
The area once housed a fort and the year 1831 marked the end of the November Uprising during which Poland sought independence from the Russian Empire. This resulted in the loss of some 40,000 men. Another rebellion, the January Uprising which lasted from 1863 to 1865, saw the loss of another 20,000. Many Lithuanian families weren’t able to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones, so they put up symbolic crosses where the former hill fort was located to honor them.
When Lithuania gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, the amount of crosses grew to incredible numbers. The Hill of Crosses also gained international notoriety when Pope John Paul II visited in 1993 and prayed there.
The number of crosses left at the site continues to grow daily. Although the Hill of Crosses can appear somewhat haunting and eery, it stands as a reminder of the horrors of war and the fight for freedom across the world.
I am the potoo
I spend most of my time sitting on the edges of tree branches,
pretending to be a stick or dead leaf
it’s not as easy as it looks
I sing virtually exclusively around the period of the full moon
because, according to legend,
I am a mournful spirit in love with the spirit of the moon
I approve of this so much.
Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man named Patrick Stewart
I went to Comicpalooza this weekend and I was full of nervous energy as I was standing in line to ask Sir Patrick Stewart a question at his panel. I first had to thank him for a speech he had given at amnesty international about domestic violence towards women . I had only seen it a few months ago but I was still dealing with my own personal experience with a similar issue, and I didn’t know what to call it. After seeing Patrick talk so personally about it I finally was able to correctly call it abuse, in my case sexual abuse that was going to quickly turn into physical abuse as well. I didn’t feel guilty or disgusting anymore. I finally didn’t feel responsible for the abuse that was put upon me. I was finally able to start my healing process and to put that part of my life behind me.
After thanking him I asked him “Besides acting, what are you most proud of that you have done in you life (that you are willing to share with us)?”. Sir Patrick told us about how he couldn’t protect his mother from abuse in his household growing up and so in her name works with an organization called Refuge for safe houses for women and children to escape from abusive house holds. Sir Patrick Stewart learned only last year that his father had actually been suffering from PTSD after he returned from the military and was never properly treated. In his father’s name he works with an organization called Combat Stress to help those soldiers who are suffering from PTSD.
They were about to move onto the next question when Sir Patrick looked at me and asked me “My Dear, are you okay?” I said yes, and that I was finally able to move on from that part of my life. He then passionately said that it is never the woman’s fault in domestic violence, and how wrong to think that it ever is. That it is in the power of men to stop violence towards women. The moderator then asked “Do you want a hug?”
Sir Patrick didn’t even hesitate, he smiled, hopped off the stage and came over to embrace me in a hug. Which he held me there for a long while. He told me “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.” I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked strait in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will.
Sir Patrick Stewart is an absolute role model for men. He is an amazing man and was so kind and full of heart. I want to let everyone know to please find help if you are in a violent or abusive house hold or relationship. There are organizations and people ready to help. I had countless people after the panel thanking me for sharing the story and asking him those questions. Many said they went through similar things. You are not alone.
^ Here is the video of my question to Sir Patrick Stewart
Perfect human being.
A pastor in Seoul, South Korea has created a “baby box” for people so that people who would otherwise abandon or kill their newborns can leave them somewhere safe instead. The box has a light, a towel lining, and a bell rings as soon as a baby is placed in it so the pastor, his wife, or one of his staff can come and get it right away.
Lee Jong-rak started the box in 2009, and has welcomed all babies, often disabled or the children of single mothers, that have been placed in the box since. The babies are given a loving home, food, and shelter in his orphanage. Currently, an average of 17-18 babies are placed in the box every month.
One mother who had considered poisoning her baby before she heard about the Baby Box left her baby in the box with a letter pinned to his clothing that read:
‘My baby! Mom is so sorry.
I am so sorry to make this decision.
My son! I hope you to meet great parents,
And I am very very sorry.
I don’t deserve to say a word.
sorry, sorry, and I love you my son.
Mom loves you more than anything else.
I leave you here because I don’t know who your father is.
I used to think about something bad but I guess this box is safer for you.
That’s why I decided to leave you here.
My son, Please forgive me.’
- ‘A single mother’s tearful letter’
Bless this man.