Uncategorized

Panic Without a Cause…

There is a near panic running through my veins tonight, a panic without a cause. It started last night as a vague, ill-defined fear that I tried to push aside. But it’s come back now, with a vengeance, and not knowing why is only making it worse…

“Let’s face it, Lisa dearest. You may have many faults, and quirks that make you weird. You may have real mental illness issues, even if you manage to blend in. But random anxiety attacks are not your thing, and panic is not your style!”

“Don’t you think I know that?!,” I respond too sharply. “Don’t you think I get that?!” I cannot seem to keep the panic out of my own voice tonight; I cannot even fool myself!

But the truth is I do my best work in crisis, staying calm, focused and on task. I may not be a physical asset when sh*t breaks loose, but my thinking becomes crystal clear. I am definitely someone you want in your bunker when all options are on the table, for I will see the “best” course of action, almost intuitively.

Tonight, though, I cannot find my way through tangled threads of time and truth, nor can I make sense of muddied waters all around me. There is nothing here! Nothing to do! There is only the panic, the shallow breathing, the racing beat of my own heart, and nothing (absolutely nothing!) to blame it on!

“Ok, child, breathe… Just breathe… Seek not, for those answers may not yet exist. Wait… And let the truth come here to you.”

*** *** ***

Sitting in the darkness now

hidden safely in the shadows.

Breathing strangled, but steadier,

heart rate coming down…

WIth my heart and mind,

expanding on all sides,

exploring every timeline,

claiming what is mine.

But the source of this eludes me still,

defying every effort,

every tool I’ve ever used,

leaving me lost at sea, baffled and confused.

“Wait! What is that?!,” as blood pressure begins to rise.

“Swooping shadows overhead,

circling…

then flying high to deeply dive.”

I’ve seen this pattern, recently,

earlier tonight.

There was a single seagull flying

over me, as I waited at that light.

Exactly this same flight path;

I remember thinking it was odd.

And last night, on the porch,

the same pattern mapped by moths!

Calm begins to settle over me,

as my thinking ratchets up.

“Yes! There is something significant in this…

Of that much I am certain!”

But what does this dance represent?

And who is doing it?

What spirit or form of self

is dancing this pattern tonight?

For it isn’t “me” or one of mine

enacting this persistent ritual.

But someone else entirely…

Or should that pronoun now be plural?

Yes… yes… I’m on to something now.

I see a circle, and a fire, with dancers all around.

I cannot hear the music that they dance to,

though I can see it in the way they move and sway.

They dance for peace and healing,

but they draw danger in with every swoop and swirling turn.

It circles in, drawing closer every round…

I’m not sure they even sense its presence as their feet beat an incessant rhythm on the ground.

Euphoria cut short…

Battle lost before weapons are even drawn…

My heart weeps for those who will be lost,

with the rising of the Sun…

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Poetry

“The Seed…”

There is a seed within me, growing stronger every day.

An instant of perception that weighs heavy in my brain…

What was it? Exactly? That led me down this way…

For I no longer remember details; just momentum and gravitational sway.

It started as adventure, high hopes and courage holding hands,

that slipped into monotony, repeating over and over again.

Until now it’s just a sense of direction, compelling and convincing

Allowing no detours, no lengthy breaks, no hijacking of resources.

“It is what it is…”

“I am who I am…”

No fault, blame, excuse or reason.

It haunts me like a shadow, attached but separate…

It hunts me like a bird of prey, far from reach but stalking…

I feel the eyes upon me, even now that I’m alone…

Paranoia’s icy grasp once more, or “I’s” I’ve not yet known?

I do not know…

yet.

But to admit:

There is a seed within me…

Germinating as we speak.

And soon it shall crack open

Revealing its epiphany…

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Reflections

Who is she…?

Who is this “mother” who gave birth to me, more than half a century ago?

She was more than just a conduit through which my spirit could connect with another physical body. Wasn’t she?

She had her own thoughts, her own feelings, her own needs, her own demons. Didn’t she?

She might be a faceless stranger to me, but someone must have known her, right?

I don’t actually know, as we never truly “met.” At least not here, in this timeline, while I’ve been Lisa. But, of course, we shared the same space. Even the same body. Some trace of her must remain within me. Somewhere… Right?

My conscious memories of this timeline don’t truly begin until I was almost 3 years old. Everything before that is hazy and vague, and by that time, she was long gone. But I never knew why…

My brother remembered her, and he loved her. So much so that he never stopped waiting for her to return. The few stories he told me merely emphasized her abuse, made me grateful I couldn’t remember her. But he never gave up on her. Ever… Why?

Was he simply another abandoned child, longing to be cared for? Or was there something special about my mother that he craved to connect with again, in spite of the abuse and abandonment?

Today is the anniversary of the day they discovered him dead. I remember that day, though the year escapes me now; sometime in the 90’s though… He’d been dead for days, and the smell drew his neighbor’s attention. He died alone. No cause of death was ever determined…

I remember him visiting me in my dreams on his first birthday after his death. He was happy. At last. Standing on the other side of a river with her at his side. In death he had gained what he’d always longed for in life – reunification with our mother.

So what made her so special that he never could let her go? Today I am wondering…

Science claims to have proven that much of our innate “intelligence” comes to us through our mother’s genes. Judging from the way my family has grown, I tend to believe that; my daughter is at least as “smart” as I am, and her children outshine us both… So, should I assume my mother was also highly intelligent? Maybe too much so to “fit” into the world as it was when I was born? She was a college graduate who made a living as a model, before being relegated to a lonely life as an army wife and mother… That would have made me crazy!

And she was “crazy,” every bit as much as I am, though my father tried to keep that from us kids. But we found out eventually. About her time in a lockdown facility, her “nervous” condition, the mysterious deaths of two of my siblings…

I am the only redhead in my family. I thought I was adopted. Turns out my mother was a redhead, too… Is that significant?

So many times through my childhood I remember my drunken father caressing my cheek, looking deep in my eyes, and murmuring about how much like her I was… Even my brother would echo those sentiments in his less guarded moments… Hmm…

So, who was she? This woman who gave birth to me more than half a century ago?

I honestly don’t know. But today I am on a mission to find out…

Today I choose to open my heart to that lost and closed chapter in my life. Today I invite her memory in, to meet with me, to speak with me. No judgment here. Just compassion. And an honest desire to know the spirit of the one who carried me into this place, sharing first her body, her genes, her home, and her madness…

I think it’s time we finally meet…

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Essay

Ignorance May Be Bliss…

but ignorance of how ignorant we are may be causing much of our conflict…

I just read an interesting article about the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It describes a common form of confirmation bias in which it isn’t so much what we don’t know that is the problem, but the overestimation of what we think we do know that is… That made an incredible amount of sense to me.

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of confirmation bias to one extent or another. I know I am. Whether it’s in our perceptive bias (selective perception that primarily notices what we expect to find), our cognitive bias (more readily accepting as “fact” what we already believe to be true), or emotional bias (interpreting events to fit our current mood), we all shape reality according to pre-conceived notions. It’s simply how we are constructed. Our brains make connections based on connections already established; if it fits, it sticks. But what happens when you don’t know that you don’t know something? Worse yet, you don’t actually know something you think you do?!

Chaos rules…

How many others here have found themselves (recently!) shaking their head in bewilderment at something someone else said or did? I don’t mean simple confusion, or disbelief, but a deep-down, profound sense of wtf?! I can hear your thoughts here as clearly as my own, that moment when your inner dialogue sounds like this:

“Really?! Like seriously?! You didn’t just [say/do] that, did you?!”

The actions of the person we are interacting with are simply incomprehensible to us! We cannot even imagine…

THAT moment is a Dunning-Kruger moment… Either the person we are dealing with is downright delusional about reality, or we are. Either way, someone truly doesn’t grasp their own ignorance about the matter at hand.

I know I’m guilty of being on both sides of that equation. I recently heard myself “lecturing” my co-workers about something I strongly believed to be true. I sensed the resistance of at least one in the room, though she chose not to challenge me. The others all radiated validation my way, except one who chose to question my biases. It was then I heard myself admit, “of course, these are all just my opinion; there is no logical reason for you to accept them as anything else. I know I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but that’s just the confidence with which I express all my viewpoints you hear. I could be wrong. And if you can show me where I’m wrong, I’m more than willing to listen…”

The conversation moved on to other things after that. But that memory stuck with me. “Arrogance” is a word often used to describe me, and I can’t honestly deny it, though I would prefer to mute it. More like confident in my intelligence, my ability to grasp both abstract and actual “truths,” and make reasonable, sensible connections between them. But I understand that my basic premises may be wrong, that my intellectual bias may be leading me astray, that I may not have my “facts” straight at all. But to have to add that qualification to every “point” I make in a discussion makes any such debate cumbersome at best, pointless at worst. For how can we “learn” anything, if every sentence we utter begins with “I may not know what I’m talking about, but…”

Much better, in my opinion, to have someone challenge my assertions, point out where I’ve led myself astray. If your facts, reason, logic, or bias makes more sense after questioning, then I have no problem adjusting my point of view to be more in alignment with yours; I am quite capable of admitting I am “wrong” and you are “right.”

But if no one ever challenges me…? Or if those who do have nothing more to offer than insults and insistence on their own point of view, regardless of any contradictions or alternative ideas I might challenge them with…?

Then no true exchange of views, no “learning,” is possible. Right? Or am I missing something obvious here? Lol!

I’m not sure what the solution might be. I’m not even sure a solution exists! I can’t actually think for someone else, any more than I can make decisions about what might be best for them. But I can better discipline myself, and my own thought patterns. And I think it’s time to make a conscious effort to do so.

So, for a time anyway, I’m going to make a effort to add those annoying, cumbersome qualifiers to any discussion I have about “reality.” Maybe I won’t say them out loud all the time (since some already resent the number of words I use to express my point of view – lol!), but to myself, at least. While conversing with these people who make me want to tear my hair out in frustration, I will continuously repeat the mantra:

Ignorance may be bliss, but ignorance of my ignorance is not going to exacerbate this!

Or, in simpler, less verbiose terms…

I could be wrong here…

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Poetry, Reflections

Caught in the Crossfire…

… of too much

happening all at once…

Battered and bruised…

Confused…

But certain I’m on the “right” track.

Consistent themes?

“Save the children!”

“Just say No!”

“Letting go…”

Familiar slogans demanded now

in new contexts.

Nothing ever truly changes, does it?

Cycling round and round…

Learning?! Really?!

Covering new ground…?!

Doesn’t feel that way today.

Repeating…

Endlessly…

the same old tired game.

But then…

I’m caught in the crossfire…

… of too much

happening all at once.

So what can I expect to see?

When I’m constantly forced to…

DUCK!!

*** *** ***

Keep your heads down, friends, for Change be upon us…

And there is nowhere left to run.

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Reflections, self-discovery, Visions

Immortal memories… Confession or Myth?

*( for Sha’Tara…)* These observations are all based on “memory” which may (or may not) be “true.” Memory itself is often faulty, morphing to better suit how we see ourselves, or how we think things ought to be. When carried with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, they could also be pure imaginings, as “reality” itself morphs to fit my expectations. But keeping all those caveats in mind, here is what I can recall… 😀

All my life (this life) I have been haunted by “visions” of other times, other worlds, other lives. Mine? Or someone else’s? I’ve never really been sure. They come and go, triggered often by whatever may be occurring around me. Some are outrageous, seemingly pure fiction, making me reluctant to share them at all with outsiders, except as stories to read or share around a communal fire. Others are muted, seeming “less” than they feel, overwhelming me with a sense of significance, while not revealing anything apparently relevant or important at all. But through these “visions” of other times are certain Constants…

1. “I” am always female, even if I am not human.

2. I “see” and use time differently; “time” being merely a means of ordering events, not written in stone, and easily re-arrange-able. A corollary of this Constant is an obsession with all things time-related, as I struggle to reconcile my sense of timelessness with the rigid standards of my current lifetime. This includes a sense of immortality and an unrelenting idea that aging and death are unnecessary, even in human form. (Though I clearly haven’t figured out how to make that work yet! Lol!)

3. A deep and abiding sense of “loss” and a vague, undefined sense of “hope” that somehow (must!) justify that loss.

4. A need to “hide” in plain sight, to remain anonymous, even when my ego craves attention…

5. A sense of purpose, even if unknown, often accompanied by enforced repentance (where I am the enforcer); a certainty that any “punishment” I draw upon myself is well-deserved, even if out of context.

6. A sense of waiting… for some time, some clue, some event far distant when All will be revealed.

In addition to these Constants are certain Patterns that repeat. For example, almost all occur in the northern hemisphere of Earth; I have no real recollection of having spent time south of the equator, though I suspect I visited once or twice. Mostly my time here has been spent in North America, in the Ohio basin and around the Great Lakes. I do have many memories in northern Europe as well, centered around a “home” feeling in the area known as Scotland, but I am certain I spent time on the mainland as well (none of which was pleasant, I might add, carrying feelings of terror, dread, sorrow and regret).

I also tend to remember many of my “deaths,” even now recalling and judging the least miserable ways to die. (The easiest way I remember is electrocution; one of the worst ways being drowning.) Along similar lines, I am downright phobic about torture and “zombies,” a very specific form of undead. I can’t even watch such scenes in movies or on tv without cringing, walking away, or changing the channel.

The mere sounds associated with torture, or seeing the tools used, will send me into a nearly blind panic. I can only presume that “not being able” to die, having some sort of regenerative capability while suffering some such cruelty is behind this “irrational” fear. I often speak of Death as a friend who abandons me, as a goal that eludes me, etc. Even in this current lifetime my friends all joke that I cannot die, only suffer eternally…

I have had multiple dreams about death (in this lifetime) arising from some flesh-eating disease, and perhaps my fear of zombies relates to this. Or maybe it is a memory associated with leprosy, or something similar…

I have an awareness of the stars, though no desire to go out and travel among them. I prefer the terrestial beauty of life on this planet. I tend to look up into the night sky, taking note first of moon and planetary positions, then finding the constellation of Orion (when possible), followed by a search for the Pleiades. My search is always the same, and always in this order; a habit I cannot break. I feel no kinship with Orion, though; rather it is a sense of wariness that causes me to seek it out. My love goes out to the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, and though I often cannot find them in the night sky, my heart feels both joy and sorrow when I do, usually obscuring the image in a blur of tears…

I also have a fascination with “magick” – not illusion and subterfuge, but a true altering of reality to meet one’s needs. This is coupled with an interest in science, where all such magickal happenings can be explained. Quantum physics is both my nemesis and my mentor, drawing me in with potential and possibility seeming to match my “understanding” of how things work, but eluding me in technicalities I will likely never fully understand. But I suspect they are the “same” principles, ultimately, where magick is the intuitive grasp and use of quantum physics’ very real laws and processes.

So here’s what I “remember” of my life as an alien (not from Earth, but here nonetheless)…

I have no clear idea of how I appeared to others. Perhaps there were no mirrors and that is why, but I can only “see” myself from my perspective looking down. I was tall, willowy, with outlines that wavered inconsistently. (Not fully present, or a shapeshifter, perhaps?) I wore a long robe of natural fiber, off-white, which seemed to glow in the right light (or I did), mostly at sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, transitional times usually.

I was here studying Earth’s wildlife and plants, learning Her ecosystems. I remember being amazed at how orderly it was all arranged, the symbiosis achieved by many species. It was then, perhaps, that I began to think of the Earth itself as being sentient. I also developed a deeply abiding sense of love for trees. Even in this time I am drawn to trees, often stating that I wish to be one. They have such a strong sense of community, of empathy, a wisdom gained through hundreds of years of life, passed on to future generations in amazing continuity. Perhaps it is that Earthian form of immortality that so appeals to me, as well as their innate desire to be of service to All life, in whatever capacity they can serve. Even in “death” their usefulness and blessing remain, enriching those they serve immensely (a truth deeply felt by those who survive in northern climes, whether acknowledged or not).

I was immortal, at least in the sense that I could not die by natural means. My race had regenerative capabilities, and immunity to most microscopic invaders. We had learned to enhance that ability, only growing to maturity, then maintaining that “peak” level of performance. There was something in our blood, a sentience not our own, that could be communicated with. It could also be “shared” for short term emergency purposes by an injection of our blood into other host bodies. But the Blood itself could not replicate or survive in a species other than our own (or at least we had not yet discovered how to do so)…

As a result, we were a peaceful people, valuing life (all life), driven by the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom. Since we could only “die” by catastrophic means (or violence sufficient to overwhelm the Blood’s ability to heal), we were deeply anti-violence. We also grieved each death as a loss of wisdom and community, felt keenly and personally, for all that would not now be achieved.

We worked in tandem with another alien race, more agressive and warlike. I, personally, had little contact with them, working in a field of study that only mattered to them in terms of results. Always looking for resources to exploit, I found them very “unlike-able,” although such judgements would have been anathema to my way of being. It was a constant challenge for me, learning to “love my enemy,” though we had no truly acknowledged “enemies.” Still, I never trusted them, and often blamed myself for both my failure to accept them as they were, and my failure to stop them from pushing through policies detrimental to the indigenous life on Earth…

I also blamed myself for “turning a blind eye” to what was happening. Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand, I hoped that what I did not acknowledge did not, therefore, exist. I was wrong about that…

I place my presence here (my arrival) at some 19000-21000 years ago, but time is such a vague and inconstant concept for me that those dates probably mean little. Perhaps that is when the “rebellion” took place, rather than my arrival, and that is why the time period sticks out in memory…

I know that I was not alone in my resistance. I know that others opposed the exploitation and experimentation taking place. I know that others found the courage to stand up against such policies, in spite of the consequences. And I know many died as a result, both human and alien, and that all were significant losses in my heart; losses I felt keenly responsible for…

I could not take up weapons for the cause, but I could work to destroy the portal through which we travelled, trapping most on the other side. It was an act of betrayal so profound that even now I cringe to think of it. But I truly believed it must be done, and I accepted the consequences of doing so.

(As a side note: when I returned at last to the scene of my crime last year – the Serpent Mound in Ohio – so much of this came rushing back. And I was appalled at the disrespect such sacred ground had attracted from those “happily ignorant humans with good intentions and a total lack of history”. For they have many theories of why the mound exists, and few ring true to me. For me, it is a graveyard, a place of death, a scene of betrayal where a great battle took place. It is also a reminder of so much that has been lost, and a warning of how easily those sacrifices can be forfeited. For while I was there, I passed humans seeking to re-open the portal so many paid so much to close! And I was angry beyond reasoning, truly wanting to hurt them all! It required much discipline to move beyond those rage-fueled impulses to discover that perhaps it is, indeed, time to reassess my position; to at least consider I may have been wrong before, or that the time has come to let the battle continue, without my interference. But it is hard…)

When my self-imposed exile began, I chose to continue my work, learning about this planet and attempting to foster peace and healing wherever I went. I moved around a lot, though mostly within a confined territory, choosing (once again!) to ignore what was happening outside it. I knew others (alien others) were also trapped here, but I purposely avoided and ignored them, leaving each to find their own way on this planet. I never even bothered to try and find out how many were here, avoiding many places where stories abounded of alien encounters. I believe today that guilt, shame and fear drove me, not being able to peacefully reconcile my betrayal of others with my upbringing. And I remained immortal for a time…

But the day did come when my immortal life on this planet ended, though I’m still not sure how. Perhaps I was murdered, or simply gave up the will to continue when my “blind eye” strategy backfired once again. For I saw much violence come to destroy the terrestial life I had nurtured and encouraged, and it was a whole new level of betrayal; like taming an animal with gentleness and respect, only to see it tortured and destroyed when it approached others in trust. I was responsible for that misplaced trust, and I saw the horror in their eyes as they discovered that themselves, too late to prevent their decimation and suffering…

Upon my death, I must have chosen to return in human form, though I remember feeling shocked (and secretly excited) about having done so. That first lifetime I remembered much of who I’d been before, retaining memory, knowledge and wisdom. But I would soon discover all three fading, with each subsequent life lived, creating a sense of urgency in me to recreate immortality (or timelessness) in human form. Until all that remained of my alien identity were those Constants and Patterns I mentioned. This is no doubt why I speak of “devolving” into human form; not so much a judgement of worth, but a measure of knowledge and wisdom lost through successive rebirths…

When I speak of having “retired” from the life-death-rebirth cycle, and my subsequent choice to come back at this time, I do not know if that retirement refers to my immortal alien life, or a completion of a human journey. I suspect, however, that both may be true, and that I have returned now because that portal may re-open soon. Am I here to stop it? Or finally face those I betrayed? I have no certain answers either way. But I am here to bear witness to whatever happens next…

*** *** ***

I have at times in this lifetime (and others I suspect) found “followers” behind me on the path. They are drawn to me for reasons even they can not elucidate, but it always involves learning or guidance in some form. I, myself, am always reluctant to encourage this, knowing in advance how it will end, for it always ends the same – betrayal and abandonment, for no rational reason they can recall. One day we are friends, and all is going our way, and the next day they will turn on me, naming me a hated enemy. When pressed for some explanation, their answers will be incoherent or not forthcoming at all, usually involving brainwashing, or magic, or some accusation of an imaginary crime, which leaves me standing there (alone again), shaking my head in bewilderment and vague denial. But I recognize the look in their eyes, for I have seen it countless times, and the name for what they feel is Fear…

I’ve even had occurances when people I’d never met were warning others to stay away from me. I have no idea why; and no one could (or would) ever explain it to me. I’m not a scary person. I’m peace-loving, gentle, understanding, empathic and sympathetic, and I abhor violence in all its forms – physical, verbal or emotional. But Fear, by its very nature, is irrational, and so all I can do is move on. Alone…

I know that every journey is unique, and each must find their own way to “enlightenment” or not. I fight the desire to judge others on their journey every day, knowing (though perhaps believing differently) that every path is taken by choice, and I cannot choose for another, even if I disagree with where they are headed. I stand by, trying hard not to interfere, when such choices will likely lead to harm, for themselves or others (including myself). And I wait…

For what I cannot say…? Redemption, perhaps? Forgiveness? A chance to “right a wrong” that can never truly be undone? An opportunity to weight the Scales of Justice, even if said justice be against me?

I know one thing for certain, and I feel it in my bones and in my heart – that Time is coming… Soon!

My personal past, the truth of who or what I am, will be revealed. To me, if no one else. And I will know exactly where I stand (at last) in the broader scheme of history…

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Uncategorized

In Through the “Out” Door… (an addendum to “Incomplete”)

(I just found this other “incomplete” draft in my folder, dated February 26, 2018. The theme seemed too coincidental to ignore. Not sure what the point is, as neither post is complete, but I suspect the pieces and parts will add up eventually…)

Going in through the out door,

just to see

where it might lead

and what might lie ahead

for me…

*** ***

When I was a kid I was fascinated with puzzles. Still am, actually. I love them all – crosswords, jigsaw, word searches, mazes, logic problems, cryptograms… well you get the idea. The only kind I truly suck at are brain teasers, both the word ones and the physical ones; I can never figure them out! Odd, really, to be so good at so many different kinds of puzzles, but then, to have one type (just one!) that I can never, ever solve. Even with instructions, I will falter, time and time again. And it’s not a single puzzle, but a type that does me in. How strange is that?!

So, what is it about brain teasers that are so different from other puzzles that I cannot solve them? I have no idea, and perhaps that is part of my struggle.

But I am always amazed by those who easily can solve them. You know the type. Ask them a riddle; they hesitate a moment, looking off into nothing, then nod and spit out the right answer. Or hand them a 3D puzzle instructing them to take the pieces apart and put them back together; they turn it over in their hands, test move a couple parts, then nod and proceed directly to the solution! But how, I wonder?!

I’ve been told it has to do with spatial perception, an ability to see the puzzle (and its pieces and parts) in relationship to each other. It’s an innate ability that all humans possess, just to greater or lesser degrees. I am apparently a “lesser.” But all other puzzles, I excel at.

Why?

I’ll let you in on a secret that I’ve kept to myself since I was very young: puzzles are easier to solve when you start at the end and work your way back to the beginning.

I discovered that when doing mazes. I don’t know why it works, seeing as how you have to traverse the same twists and turns in the labyrinth, but it always (always!) went faster that way. So much so that it often felt like cheating. Which is why I kept it secret until now.

And every type of puzzle has a similar trick that makes it easier to solve. Jigsaw puzzles – start with the frame, then fill in the details. Crosswords – find the long answers first (solve the theme, and the rest falls into place). Word searches – look for words you can see, then go look at your list. Cryptograms – find the “e”. You get the idea…

What they all have in common is this: start at the end and work your way back to the beginning.

*** *** ***

Only once did such reasoning fail me. I was on a Volksmarch in Germany with a friend of mine. We were late starting, but we got in just under the wire. We walked the trail to the halfway point, got our cards stamped, then turned to finish the walk. Suddenly I had the brilliant idea that we should just retrace our steps to the beginning. The trip home from anywhere (the same route) is always faster than the trip to your destination, so I figured it would save some time. And happily we headed back toward the beginning, following the signs in reverse…

Until we made a wrong turn, and as we made our way back to the trail, we passed the volunteer vehicle that was picking up the signs. Apparently, since the start was closed, they were getting a jump on clean up.

And there we were, lost, in unfamiliar woods, with no signs, no phones, no common language with the locals. I remember that mistake, even today. Vividly!

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