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Welcome to
Spondyville's Octoberblest!


What is Octoberblest?

October:
The tenth month of the year.
Blest:
To confer happiness upon.

Put them together and you get:

Octoberblest: A month-long reminder
that we are NOT our disease.


Some say that suffering purifies the soul.
(Usually they are not the ones suffering.)

We who suffer, know the burden of chronic pain
and the toll it can take on our friends and families
and on our own sense of optimism and self-worth.  It can even make us think that pain is all there is to our existence.  From there, w can lose our desire for living and soon our only goal in life is to become painfree.   But is that really what life with AS is all about?

I believe most residents of Spondyville would answer a resounding, "NO, IT IS NOT!"


Pain is but an obstacle in life; not life itself.

Dwelling on our pain only diminishes our lives.
It slows us down and shrinks the world which we inhabit.

Concentrating on what is good in our life enriches our spirit.
It drives us forward; towards a more optimistic future.

In the words of Spondyville co-founder
Elias Fuselot, let us try to remember that:  "Though we have all suffered mightily with this disease, we are all otherwise blest."


The Goal of Spondyville's Octoberblest:


To re-shape the context in which we hold our lives.

To focus our lives not on what slows us,
but on what drives our hearts forward. 

To focus not on the obstacles we face.
but on the pursuit of our own happiness.

To let go of our suffering and to acknowledge
the many ways that despite the pain, we are bles
t.


How are you blest?


Two ways to participate in Spondyville's Octoberblest:


The first is to post one blessing in your life for each day either on your own blog or private diary, and / or shared on the
Spondyville Facebook page. Just one a day, that's all. No repeats. Be specific. Can you think of thirty-one different and distinct ways your life is blest over the next month?  It's not as easy as you think, but I think you can.  Your personal Book of Blessings should be saved for the entire year, until replaced with a new Book of Blessings next October.

The second way to participate is to, again, once a day, privately, (in your own notebook or on your own diary, or if you desire, on your own blog), write down one way in which you suffer. Just one suffering per day.  One a day for every day for the entire month of October.  Again, be specific, and no repeats.

At the end of October, you will be asked to gather up all the sufferings you have entered into your notebook, or print them out from your computer, and either shred them and throw them away by either sending them directly to the Mayor's office in Spondyville, ( c/o the mayor:
Spenser23@aol.com ), or, on October 31st, bringing your book of Sufferings to the Great Lawn in Fuselot Park, just North of Ankylosinger Square in the middle of Spondyville, where all the Spondyville residents will put their books of Sufferings into a giant box, seal it and send all the sufferings of all the Spondyville residents off to Parts Unknown, (which, we understand, is a small town located somewhere in a remote section of Northern Alaska ... but never mind that.) Of course, with no return address put on the box, the Sufferings will never be heard from again. Thus, leaving all the Spondyville residents with only the list of our blessings for another year.
The History of Octoberblest
                 
In October of 1874, after slightly more than a month of travel,  the arduous wagon train journey of future Spondyville co-founders, Uriah Stoop and Elias Fuselot and their friends and families was temporarily brought to a halt by what has come to be known simply as,  "Culpepper's Calamitous Cogitations."

One of the more severely affected men in the group, Mathias P. Culpepper, suffered a major flareup of what everyone in those days called, "The Ossifyin' Rheumatism", and being in a very dark and melancholy mood, Culpepper vowed to go no further, and demanded that the wagon train stop and settle down right where they were. (Which, unfortunately, was on the edge of a cliff, but that's neither here nor there.) Since he was brandishing his rifle and threatening to shoot holes in the barrels holding the wagon train's only supply of water,  Mr. Culpepper's complaints were taken very seriously.   Unfortunately, wagon-master Andrew Tripzen was off negotiating with some local native Americans for some fresh horses, so it was left to soft-spoken Elias Fuselot to try to disarm the situation (and the aforementioned Mr. Culpepper.)  Taking out a bottle of medicinal whiskey he had hidden in his knapsack for emergencies, Mr. Fuselot sat down and starting talking with Mr. Culpepper.  After about an hour and a half of discussiní, drinkiní, joke-telliní and some more drinkiní, the two men began to ruminate on the nature of suffering.  Mr Fuselot posed the question, "If we are not our disease, who are we?" To which Mr. Culpepper replied, "I donít know, but if we are our disease, why do we suffer?"  Mr. Fuselot, thought for what seemed like an eternity, (it was closer to a minute and a half, but never mind that), and then he quietly spoke: "Mathias, I know how you feel, for we have all suffered mightily, but it is my firm belief that though we have great obstacles to overcome in our lives, we are all otherwise blest."  With that, Mathias Culpepper put down his rifle, wiped a tear from his eye, took another gulp of whiskey and agreed to let the wagon train continue on its journey.  A journey that would conclude on March 4th of the following year, with the founding of the town that we now know as Spondyville. 

(By the way, the drama between Elias Fuselot and Mathias Culpepper would have never have come to light if not for a little girl named Patience Thruitt, who was hiding under one of the conestoga wagons working on her needlepoint sampler when she should have been sleeping.  Patience told her step-parents what happened and the rest is history.  She later went on to become a beloved school teacher at Uriah Stoop Middle School. Patience Thruitt was also an advocate for women's rights, and in 1912, was elected as the first woman member of the Spondyville town council.)  

In 1929, in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of 'Culpeppers Calamitous Cogitations', the Spondyville town council, at the urging of then mayor, Uriah Stoop Jr., designated that the month of October shall forever more be known as Spondyville's Octoberblest (aka The S.O.B.).

                                          
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