Lost: Lighthouse

So often, when I am watching Lost, I am looking for the Biblical and religious references in the show. I have always known the show includes tons of literary references, but it wasn’t until last night’s episode, Lighthouse, that I stopped to notice all of the analogies to other famous books, like Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

I guess it’s sort of like the Lighthouse itself. It was there all of the time, but the Losties didn’t notice it, because “they weren’t looking for it”, as Hurley explains.

I’m starting to wonder if each character’s life is a reference to a different literary work. While the characters on Lost remain the same, they also mirror the supporting characters in various books, giving clues to the overall meaning of Lost.

For example, John Locke has always struck me as Jesus in the Bible. Three episodes featuring Jack as a main character have played on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. His first episode was named “The White Rabbit”, then “Through the Looking Glass (part 1 and 2)” and now “Lighthouse”, which has a steady stream of Carrollisms.

And if this thought process is correct, then crazy Claire with her wild hair and freaky eyes, is definitely going to be acting out Stephen King’s Carrie. And how fitting, since Emilie de Ravin, the character who plays Claire, was in a TV movie of the book, Carrie.

OK, so let’s look at some of the clues from the books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Jack notices his son is reading, The Annotated Alice, and tells him he used to read the book to him when he was young. He says David loved Alice’s two kittens, Kitty and Snowdrop, one black and the other white. In the book, Alice blames the black cat for all of the mischief caused in the book, but in the end, he is deemed completely innocent.

I’m starting to convince myself that is exactly what I have been doing with Jacob and Fake Locke. I have presumed the man in white would naturally be good, while the man represented by black — black clothing, black smoke and a black stone — is evil. But it’s starting to seem more likely that Jacob is the one who has ruined everyone’s life by pushing them toward the island, while the man in black wants to give them free will and the good life they would have had if Jacob had not interfered.

In Through the Looking Glass, Alice wonders what life would be like on the other side of a mirror. She steps up to the looking glass and steps through. Similarly, the mirrors in the Lighthouse show the key points in the character’s lives where Jacob had entered the picture and made a significant contact. They flashed through images of the church where Sawyer’s parent’s funeral took place, the pagoda where Sun and Jin were married and finally Jack’s own childhood home.

Alice discovers a book which she can only read by holding it up to a mirror. Above the mirrors in the Lighthouse in Lost are the words: “seus siyd dadru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi”. Read backwards, it says “I show not your face but your daddy issues.” All of the characters in Lost seem to have “daddy issues” but what does that mean to the overall story?

In the book, Alice meets the Red Queen who reveals to her that the entire countryside is laid out like a giant chessboard, and Alice is one of the pieces. Likewise, in a promo for Season 6, the island is shown as a chessboard with the Losties as the pieces.

Alice meets Tweetledee and Tweetledum, the overweight twins, who seem like dimwits, but actually offer her good advice, much like Hurley’s relationship with Jack throughout the show. They introduce Alice to the snoozing Red King and tell her that she exists only has a figure in his dream and will therfore cease to exist when he wakes up, much like the parallel existences in this season.

Wasn’t it interesting that Jack wasn’t sure if he could remember having his appendix removed? He often acts as though he has some vague recollection of life on the island, much like we feel when waking from a dream.

The absent-minded White Queen best remembers future events that haven’t happened yet, and time moves in reverse.

The Red Queen also talks about living more than one day at a time. Alice comments that “‘In our country…there is only one day at a time.’ The Red Queen said ‘That’s a poor thin way of doing things. Now here we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five nights together – for warmth you know.'”

This also reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia, another classic tale referenced in Lost. Just as one of the Dharma stations is named “The Looking Glass”, with a picture of a rabbit, another is called “The Lamp Post”. The characters step into Narnia and live out their entire lives in that alternate existence. But when they move back into the “real” world, they are at exactly the same point in time at which they left. They are able to live two parallel lives simultaneously.

One other reference to Lewis Carroll is the number “42” which is the final number in the series on the hatch, as well as the number given to “Kwon” on the roof of Jacob’s cave and on the wheel in the Lighthouse. The number 42 was Carroll’s favorite number and used often in his books.

So, I am guessing that the ending of Season 6 might be something like the ending of Carroll’s books. He doesn’t really answer the question of whether Alice’s experience was real or a dream, but leaves it up to the reader to decide whether she wants to believe the fantasy.

Other points that struck me last night:

  • Jack and Hurley came to the cave Jack had found when chasing his father in the episode called “The White Rabbit”. Hurley points out that perhaps the skeletons in the cave — Adam and Eve — are actually their own skeletons after they had traveled there in a different time and died. Why do I have the feeling that Hurley has a better handle on time travel than anyone else and he is correct?
  • Wasn’t it freaky when Jack runs into Dogen at his son’s piano audition? Dogen tells Jack that it’s sad that the kids have to face so much pressure.
  • And what about the interaction between Hurley and Dogen when Hurley is following the symbols on his arm in the hallway? Jacob tells Hurley just to tell Dogen he can do what he wants, apparently because he is a “candidate”. This response causes Dogen to leave him alone. Does this mean that the candidates really do have free will and their lives aren’t being controlled by Jacob?
  • Jacob told Hurley to turn the dial in the Lighthouse to the number 108. Was this just to get Hurley to turn past the other numbers so Jack would see the flashes? Or was there something significant at the number 108?
  • I loved how Jacob told Hurley that he could appear to some people in a cab and tell them exactly what to do. Others needed to stare out at the ocean for a while. That sounded like a huge statement about how some people easily believe in God or another belief system, while others need to ponder and have all the answers before they can believe.
  • I’m anxious to find out the difference between a “candidate” — one of the people chosen by Jacob, and a “recruit” — one of the people chosen by Fake Locke. How do the “rules” apply differently to the two groups?
  • Finally, Claire. Oh, Claire. How about those shifty eyes that seemed to be Claire’s at times and then possessed at others? I got chills when they showed her dead animal baby. And then we meet her “friend”. WHAT did that mean? Does the Man in Black appear to her in the form of Fake Locke or does she see him another way?

My mind is spinning from all of the information in the Lighthouse. I’m not sure what it all means, but it was interesting to analyze. What did you think?

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Lost: The Substitute

The part of last night’s Lost I have been pondering the most is the name of the episode: The Substitute.

With all of the Biblical references, John Locke has always seemed like the character most representative of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus was the substitute for all the people of the world. He was perfect and blameless, yet he took on the sins of the world and was crucified as a substitute so others could live. Three days later, Jesus was resurrected from the dead and appeared to his followers before ascending into Heaven.

So in the show, Locke was the “believer”. He was the only one who wanted to stay on the island, and yet he left believing he could save the island by bringing the Oceanic 6 back. He became a martyr, murdered by Ben Linus. And then he was seemingly resurrected.

The only problem is, he seems to be overtaken by evil, a force more representative of Satan. Why can’t the Lost writers make this simpler for me and stick to the script? Sigh.

Of course, the title also corresponds to his WHAT IF life, in which Locke is a substitute teacher. Oh how I love the Lost writers’ play on words.

The writers were leading viewers to assume that if the Oceanic flight had never crashed, the passengers would have gone on to lead their depressing, meaningless lives. And yet, the opposite seems to be true.

In their alternate existence, they all seem much happier than they would have been. Perhaps it’s because Jacob didn’t enter the picture and “pull” them toward the island, as the New Locke explained.

Locke is now in a seemingly healthy relationship with Helen. Before, he was sad and depressed, screaming into the phone, begging her to come with him to Australia.

He meets Hurley, who is the confident and secure owner of his company. On the plane, he actually told someone he always had “good luck”.

And he meets Rose, who still has terminal cancer, but has reconciled with her condition and also seems happy with her life.

Perhaps those that had been “touched” by Jacob in the parallel world weren’t affected by him in this existence. Except there’s one problem with that theory: Locke wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Jacob bringing him back from the dead after his fall from the office building.

I loved the part of the episode where the New Locke was zooming around the island in the shape of the Smoke Monster. And I’m wondering if he is the first of the characters to meet his alternate self on the island. He is the only character who is there in two forms, one dead and one alive, although inhabited by something else.

Of course, the big question from last night is about the names written on the roof of Jacob’s cave. How had he selected each of the “candidates” and why? Am I remembering correctly or did the numbers assigned to each of the remaining candidates correspond to Hurley’s lotto numbers and the numbers on the hatch?

And was Kate’s name missing from the cave? I know they showed flashbacks of Jacob’s encounter with Jack, John, Sayid, the Kwon’s, Sawyer and Hurley. But I don’t remember anything about Kate.

The New Locke specifically asks the question of which Kwon was being referred to on the cave wall, as if to draw attention to that question. But when Aldo was about to kill Jin, the other Other begs him not to because he apparently is a candidate.

It does seem like the show is starting to answer some questions, even if I don’t understand the answers yet.

Regardless, there were a few moments to love last night:

  • Seeing Ben’s alternate life if even HE had not been brought to the island. Now he is waging war against the other teachers in the teacher’s lounge over how to properly take care of the coffee pot.
  • His eulogy at Locke’s funeral. “He was a believer. He was a much better man than I will ever be, and I’m sorry I murdered him.”
  •  The New Locke/Esau guy reveals that he also is just a man brought to the island by Jacob. It seems that he was the most unhappy with this position as a candidate and the first to stand up to him, rather than going along with his manipulation of his life. But how did he become the Smoke Monster?

And finally, who was the little boy who was giving New Locke chills when he saw him? I was betting that he was a boy version of Jacob. When he told New Locke it was against the rules to kill him, was he referring to Sawyer? Or was he making a statement about how he killed Jacob?

What did you think? I would love to hear your theories. And for more Lost posts, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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What does success look like?

This is part 3 of my post on success. You can click here and here to read my first two posts on this topic.

One thing that has been changing for me over the past few years has been my definition of success. What would have to happen in order for me to feel that I had achieved success? What would that “home run” look like for me?

Would it mean I had achieved great recognition?

Would it mean I had made a lot of money?

Maybe it would mean I had a huge circle of great friends?

Perhaps it would mean my children were well-behaved and achieved educational goals we had set for them.

Or maybe it would mean I had affected someone’s life in a positive and lasting way.

I had a unique experience with my home-based business the past few years. It was unusual because when I started it, I didn’t have any intention of being successful. I simply wanted to earn a little extra income, and the opportunity sort of fell into my lap. I didn’t go looking for it. It found me.

Well, I found that I was naturally good at this type of business. And within a couple of years, I started earning a lot of recognition for my success, not to mention some awesome vacations to tropical locations. For three years in a row, I received an honor that was most special to me: the Woman of the Year award.

The cool thing about this award is that it’s not something a person can try to achieve. The company looks at your stats in 14 categories that cover every aspect of the business. The person who has the highest overall ranking in every category is honored with the award. Since I wasn’t able to track how other people were doing, I couldn’t possibly adjust my performance in one area to try to “win”.

But many women in my business also jokingly refer to the Woman of the Year award as the Kiss of Death. That is because many women quit the business the year after they are named Woman of the Year.

Why? In my experience, it’s because it’s nearly impossible to maintain over a long period of time, and it’s such a let-down to fail to live up to the standard of being Woman of the Year. So, instead of going on to have an average year (which still might still be an exceptional year in reality), these all-or-nothing ladies, like myself, would prefer to quit. They have achieved the best they can achieve. It’s time to move on and try something new.

This type of success also came with a startling revelation. While it was really fun to be recognized for a few days at convention, on an incentive trip or during another event for being Woman of the Year, it didn’t carry over to any other aspect of my life.

Women would treat me like a rockstar for a few days of the year, seeking me out for advice and taking hurried notes during a seminar I gave at convention. But then I would return home to piles of laundry, dirty diapers and an empty refrigerator.

“Wait a minute! Don’t you people know I am WOMAN OF THE YEAR!” I wanted to shout. But the empty milk jug really didn’t care.

I realized after the first year how hollow this type of success made me feel. It was fun and it gave me a little high to feel successful, but it didn’t carry with it any lasting value.

When it comes to my business, I had to completely change my focus. Working hard to achieve recognition wasn’t worth it. I needed to achieve a certain level of income and with that, sometimes I would naturally also receive recognition. I also wanted to help other women be successful. And again, that might bring me recognition. But the recognition alone did not give a lasting feeling of success.

In my personal life, I also have been evaluating what “success” would look like. What would be my home run? When I get to the end of my life, how would I want to be remembered? More about that coming up.

I would love to hear from you. What does your success barometer look like? Have you ever achieved great success and found out later that it wasn’t what you thought it would be?

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Ready to roll

Weighing in at about 10 pounds and with her super bald head, many people think little everydayBaby is still a newborn. But our 10-week-old is ready to get mobile.

She has been doing her workouts faithfully, and we’re predicting she could be rolling over in a few weeks. Here she is in training.

Roll right:

Roll left:

Legs up:

Legs down:

After a few swats at the toys on her play mat and a good look in the mirror overhead, she is ready for spin class. This is when she uses her powerful legs to spin the rest of her body around until she has moved in a complete circle.

I’ve also been doing a little more physical activity the past week. After my humiliating defeat on Christmas Day, I’m back at my 30-Day Challenge on Wii Active. I was a little disappointed the first day that after breaking a sweat and stretching muscles I had forgotten, I found that I had only burned 100 calories.

I quickly rebalanced my metabolism by replacing the lost calories with a 140-calorie Coke.

After that, I nursed the baby, and she spit up about half of the milk she drank. “Wow! I think I just burned more calories in the milk she spit up than I did during 20 minutes on Wii Active!” I said.

My oldest son looked at me perplexed.

“So, you mean that when moms get really big because they are pregnant, they lose the weight afterward by feeding the baby?”

That’s right.

“Wow!” he smiled. “God was really thinking when he came up with that one!”

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