It’s been a long way down…

Or maybe we never really rose up.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many bleak television shows. (But, that’s not an apology, mind you.)

Coming off of watching The Killing, and now wrapping up the last of Torchwood.

Really hitting me about having to be human, especially looking around at the world.

I never really realised how I always felt like an outsider, but my awareness about being human has shifted over the past month or so. Or maybe just remembering how my awareness used to be when I was a kid.

Trees were amazingly vibrant friends.

Plants sang to me.

To recycle a phrase that’s probably grown cliche (or a borrowed quote from some other human somewhere), I felt their pain with all the “intensity of a thousand knives” hitting me all at once. When trees were being cut down, that pain that I felt was excruciating and unbearable. I wanted to scream with the agony I felt. Sure, you could probably chalk it up to just being an imaginative and sensitive kid, but it didn’t erase how I felt. Especially when I had to be the plant murderer (i.e. mow the grass, trim plants, etc. *wry laugh*). I would be standing there with a pair of hedge clippers just sobbing my little kid heart out. (Yep, I was a weird one!)

I tried. I tried to adopt that normal human insensitivity to non-human life forms. For a while, I succeeded in turning it off. In building up a fortress of protection. But the older I get, the more that fortress crumbles. And I’m back in a morass of emotion, and conflict. It’s like being a teenager, but even worse in some ways.

Animals look at me with souls of the ancients…tolerant, loving, inscrutable, and, sometimes, (rightfully!) angry and/or scared of me as a human that’s come bumbling into their midst. And I love them for it. Because they should be scared and angry.

Yesterday, I saw the article about the whales beaching themselves in Florida. And it was so unemotional. “Why,” I screamed. “How?” “What the f*ck are we doing about it?” And, the answer is nothing. There’s no change we can implement soon enough. Even if we did (and do) care, it’s not enough. There’s nothing we can do.

Because we are human.

And I have never been more ashamed of that fact than right now.

I don’t want to live on a planet without bees and birds and animals and trees and plants and water and oceans and fish and whales and everything else that is a non-human life form.

Akin my (faulty?) memory of Medea (from when I was in middle school), when she talks about being underwater and the fish eating the flesh from her bones until she is pure and white, that’s what I feel sometimes.

Like I want to strip off my human skin and transform into an animal. Or a bird. Or even the air, or an unknown fantastical elemental. Anything but a creature that’s linked biologically to the human race. Enough with cell phones and social media and television and money and stuffy stuff and banal work and being hated and being insulted and put down and being ignored and losing…everything.

And, yes, I know that’s not possible.

But that’s what I wish. have wished since I was a child. And that I could fix things. Help make people around me understand. Help make sure that evil doesn’t win. Like so many kids, maybe, I wanted to be a hero.

But now I just feel helpless.

I am a coward.

I am weak.

I am so very tired.

 

 

 

Travel to…nowhere…

 

I got nothing on the creative front. *wry laugh* Really lagging the past week. Lots of crazy dreams taking me out of the real world, and yet, paradoxically, I’m pinned to the ground at the same time.

Wish I could go somewhere new for real.

Travel wish list:

  • Egypt
  • Australia
  • Vietnam
  • Cuba
  • Mexico
  • Antarctica
  • The Arctic Circle
  • Hawaii (I know, but I have a friend there)
  • Costa Rica
  • Boca Del Toros
  • Japan
  • Jupiter
  • Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland

Where would you go if you could?

 

 

Reading with a Grain of Salt…

 

Mulder: I want to believe.

Scully: Mulder, that is science fiction.

–from The X-Files

“I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil.
And that no one knows the truth.”
Molly Ivins

 

Again, a couple of Twitter posts inspired this blog entry. (I think I need to get out more. *laugh*)

The internet is a great place. So much information at your fingertips. Historical documents accessible to all, without the expense of a plane trip halfway around the world. And, yes, being human, I’ve definitely spent my share of time looking at trivial things on the internet (*coughs* cat videos), and I’ve even been known to indulge in reading the occasional online horoscope–for entertainment purposes only–but I don’t view it as gospel truth. Even we anal-retentive historians, who live for facts, are perpetually questioning Truth with a capital T, even in books by us and our fellow academic smarty-pants

Why? Because our minds are fallible, complicated by emotions, a passion for jumping to conclusions, and plagued (or enhanced by!) a fantastic imagination.

So, since the internet is the creation of a huge diversity of mind-power, it goes without saying that information via internet doesn’t have its issues.

All  information on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt, unless verified by a valid source. Doesn’t matter whether it’s the triteness of celebrity gossip, or actual scientific articles by a heavy hitter like the Smithsonian–please, always read all content with an analytical eye.

Again, why? Because I feel that learning how to think, analyze, question, is an important part of the mind’s development. As a former/future teacher, I always focus more on getting kids to think, to examine the content put in front of them–not just take it on blind faith–not even what I am telling them. (As you may have guessed, I’m not a supporter of rote learning, or of standardized education.) And the internet is the perfect example of the pitfalls of that lack of educational training.

When we begin to accept anything and everything as truth, without question, then we sacrifice not only our intellect but our capacity for independent thought. We are just giving away our right to question whether something is true or false, right or wrong, or even change our minds by our growing and evolving pool of knowledge and consciousness.

(I love fantasy and flights of imagination and magic and mystery and synchronicity and serendipity, but I’m also a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson–examples here and here.)

That’s how we sign over control of not only our own selves, but that of our own planet. Our own world. You see, I don’t really believe that people, in general, are really that callous about the state of our planet, climate change deniers included.

We’ve just gotten in the habit of using ignorance as a shield of protection from all the horrible, nightmarish things going on out there–this world is an overwhelming place/time to live in, with all the things we have to face every day, most as a direct result of our lifestyle choices. I was just reading Bushwhacked by Molly Ivins (my reading list is a trifle behind the times, but the book is still illuminating all the same), and she’s talking about the impact of polluted sites left behind by corporate Big Business on people’s health, something about “what you can’t see, CAN hurt you”.

This post, yes, is a bit rambling in nature. But the point is, yes, read, read read, even if it is on the internet, but question it all, even if, like Mulder, you “want to believe”. Because it is possible to be a dreamer like Mulder, but also a shrewd skeptic like Scully, all in one mind/body. To be a romantic and a pragmatist–that’s what defines the human experience.

I Nearly Forgot…

…to put up a blog post! And, I still can’t think of anything interesting.

So, I figure I’ll do a look back, and a little bit of a look forward, into my simplistic life (well, until the travel/adventuring date arrives).

  • TONIGHT is the season finale of Once Upon a Time! TWO HOURS of OUAT!!! (well, probably more like an hour and change sans commercials :-p) Who’s going to watch?
  • I felt a little sad when I read about Arto Monaco’s fantasy dream, the Land of Makebelieve, had to close back in 1979, via the book Fun Along the Road. And, I was even more saddened to learn, via the Wikipedia article, that the last remaining building, the castle, was destroyed by flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. I don’t know why this impacted me. People with lost dreams really get to me, I suppose.
  • Speaking of dream worlds, I FINALLY did some fun stuff on Pottermore! I’ve been sorted into Hufflepuff, and was actually pleased with the result. Plus, I’ve always loved this “Sorted this Way” parody video! “Put your badger paws up in the air!” My wand is made of “surprisingly swishy” rowan. I think I bought a natterjack toad, but I can’t find it anywhere on my profile, so far. LOL. Any other HP fans on there?
  • I absolutely loved these two dances on DWTS: Ursula and Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • I added a new bug to my bug spotting list: the Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle! Anybody else out there an insect lover?
  • I think my (indoor-only) cat, Cricket, has made a deep personal connection with a raccoon that was hanging around in a tree outside a few mornings ago. She keeps watching the tree where it was last seen (from the window). Either that, or she really wants to kick its butt. *laugh* Knowing her, though, it’s probably the second option.
  • I downsized my book hoard by nineteen books! Woot!

All right, I’m off to water plants and do other prosaic things. *sigh*

“Reality is very disappointing.” –Jonathan Switcher, from Mannequin

2015 Horoscope Courtesy of IFLScience! (found it on their Facebook page)

Image by Fljúgandi Spagettískrímslið.

https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience

Thought this pic on IFLScience’s Facebook page was great–it made me laugh! So, yes, I don’t really believe in predictions-via-horoscopes and astrology and fortune-telling and all that. Part of my personality is skeptic, science-loving, analytical, and practical, with an extremely annoying eye for detail, especially when it comes to editing and fact-checking, and in analytical reasoning.

BUT, I do read horoscopes and tarot cards and am always dreaming (both in sleep and during the day) and believe in magic and imagination and the impossibly fantastical and in the fact that trees, plants, animals–even rocks, insects, etc. are sentient, emotional/energy beings.

Why? How can you be both? How can you like both Star Trek AND Star Wars?!?!?!

It’s very simple. I answer, “Why can’t I?”

I like horoscopes because they can be a serendipitous source of creative inspiration–anything is, and to close yourself off from something that you, in all your intellectually based “superiority”, is a deprivation for your self and for your connected, aware experience on this planet. I like tarot readings because they give me insight when I’m not thinking clearly. Inspiration and the creative spirit can come from unlikely sources–I’ve even been inspired by the most insipid background TV show. Imagine my brain is a basket and I wander around collecting stuff from everywhere. I weed it through my filter and tuck it away for future reference. They are nothing but tools for the creative imagination, or manifestions of said creative thought. A fun indulgence to get the brain inspired. To get it to dream.

I love physics and natural science and geology and marine science and astronomy and anthropology and environmental science and entomology and archaeology and a million other areas of scientific study/outlets for scientific curiosity. I also ove unicorns and fairies and  dragons and ghosts and aliens and everything else outside the realm of “reality”. I don’t want them proved or disproved scientifically–their primary appeal is that they are impossible. They can exist as real within the no-limits world of the other. I don’t believe in ghosts OR aliens, though I’ve done a ton of reading into both areas. I love the mystery of the unknown–the impossible possibility. If I saw a dragon every day, or in “real life” the mystery and magic would be lost. I love dragons because they exist somewhere between reality and fiction. What I don’t like about a certain sort of scientific mindset (like somebody I encountered, recently) is that they say “you can’t have both” and they look down on me because I straddle both worlds, comfortably, and with no crisis of conscience or conflict or mental split.

I don’t agree with everything scientists do…I don’t think they are the sanctified idols of the 21st century when certain scientific types use “scientific impartiality” as a justification to torture animals in a laboratory. To dissect them, to test poisons on them, to rip them apart and experiment on them whenever they want. It’s sheer sadism, and it’s sick. They are akin to those who kill without compunction–serial killers, for example.

There’s nothing wrong with being a complex, multi-dimensional being. Especially one that rescues stray animals and turtles crossing busy streets while humming the theme song from Star Wars. Or is it Star Trek…?

On Dreaming…

“No, but…there is the dream of someone else.” –Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail

“For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let him swim in the deepest ocean or glide over the highest cloud.”–Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

VNV Nation–Illusion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS3p05KX9L0

Somebody told me recently that they didn’t attach too much importance to dreams. As in, sleeping, REM dreams. I felt foolish, at first, admitting that yes, I do believe dreams serve a purpose. I still believe that. The dreams that have proved problematic, or heart-breaking, even, are the ones that I dream while I’m awake. There, they end up just screwing with your head–like mistakenly believing in the appearance of real-life love, or false concepts of one’s one worth, for example, or other bitter, cynical conclusions I’ve begun to accept/adopt. Those are the real illusions that the human mind creates for itself, not dreams. For in dreams, you know you are dreaming, you already know that you are moving and living in an impossible realm, so there is no disappointment. Even nightmares hold a certain dramatic fascination.

They take my mind on wonderful journeys to otherworldly realms–allowing me to escape this prosaic, drab reality when it becomes too wearing.

My dreams are so fantastical and vivid that I often channel them into writing–they’ve inspired stories, and poetry, and make me wish I was a visual artist so I could capture the landscapes and images.

They often provide clarity to an issue I’m struggling with, or sometimes even provide messages/insight that my conscious thinking mind blocks.

Sometimes even the simple wish-fulfillment dreams are a comfort…a place where I could be respected, valued, even loved (I’m pretty damn unlikable, apparently.).

At the risk of sounding out-there, new-agey, I’ve even had a couple of precognitive dreams. I’ve dreamed of people I haven’t met yet, or situations I had yet to go through–sometimes even getting a warning about dangerous situations. I’m pretty sure there’s a scientific explanation out there for those type of dreams, like you are subconsciously picking up on clues that, when your filtering brain is turned off, come to the fore.

But who knows…

I just know that I love dreaming, I dream in colour, and I remember my dreams every night…and they provide an outlet for my vivid, highly visual imagination that reality fails to encourage…

Do you dream?