Reflections, Stories...

“In case of emergency…”

The sound of shattering glass brought him to full consciousness at last, feeling like a punch to the guts. In the confusion that followed such breathlessness, Thomas noticed his own hand hovering above the red handle, so recently shielded. Without further hesitation he closed the gap, bloodied knuckles capturing his complete attention as he pulled the red lever down…

Glancing anxiously about, he steeled himself to the decibels of repeating alert he had sounded. “Where is the fire?,” he asked himself. “I should be smelling smoke by now!”

Doors began opening down the empty hall; people began pouring out. Like worker drones abandoning the hive, they moved with one will to get outside. Caught up in the crowd, Thomas followed along; not thinking he might have another choice right now. Until he was free of the building and thought to turn back, expecting to see flames or a column of smoke…

But there was none…

Nothing…

Not a light in the sky, nor a cloud on the horizon. Just placid non-expressions standing all around him. “But what?…. But why?…,” he tried hard to remember. But there was nothing there to ignite recognition.

Not a spark, nor a flash. Not a boom, nor a whisper. Not a single clue presented itself to bear witness. “Why would I set off the fire alarm?,” he desperately questioned. But no answer came, other than the incessant din…

That urgent rhythm, that repeating ring… Like a heartbeat on steroids, or anxiety without treatment. Panic settled in as delusions often do, in a misplaced attempt to make sense where sense isn’t. “There must be a reason! I wouldn’t just… react?” No certainty, either, in this place without facts…

“In case of emergencies,…” he remembered reading the words.

“Ahh…. No fire, then,” he breathed his relief through his horror, surrounded by death and deafness in this world. And settling in to the mindlessness around him, Thomas surrendered his consciousness once more…

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Reflections

Opinions are like assholes…

Everybody has one. And everybody is one, especially if you disagree with me or mine. Including me, of course. I am an asshole, too. More so these days than ever before…

You know, I’ve spent these last few months trying to write my resignation letter for work. Not that I’m in a position financially where I can actually quit (of course not!). But I like to think about it, to fantasize about it, to plan for it… just in case, you know? But the letter gets larger and longer in my mind, every day, expanding with each new “injustice” I face. It’s so long, in fact, that I wouldn’t even read it all now. And I wrote it!

“Just say, ‘I quit!’,” I tell myself. “That’s all they truly need to know…”

“Yes, but…,” I answer myself. “… I have so much more to say!”

“I have feelings and thoughts. I have opinions! And if I don’t speak them now, I will never get another chance! I don’t need that kind of regret in my life today!“

“Nobody cares, Lisa. Nobody is listening. Nobody wants to be enlightened here. Not even you!”

And that much is true, I know. Nothing will change as a result of my sharing. Not even me. Because, in spite of everything I’ve learned and done in my life, it is still all about me, me, me, me… It has always been about me. All of it! Every choice I’ve ever made. Every goal I’ve ever sought. Every “gift” I’ve ever given or received. Every debt I’ve ever owned. Every mistake I’ve ever made. Every sorrow I’ve ever claimed. Every regret ever expressed…(deep breath)…me, me, me! I, I, I…

I am al-one in my world. I am, quite simply put, me. As I have always, eternally, been. Alone. And every reflection I see “out there” only reinforces my point of view.

And that viewing angle narrows every day…

I used to applaud myself for my ability to embrace multiple points of view. To get into an’other’s perspective. To walk a while in their shoes… But I can’t really do that anymore. People have gone so far off the deep end that I can’t reach them anymore. It’s like everyone around me is speaking an entirely made up language of their own, and without the verbal and facial clues (I live in a mask mandated state, you know), I don’t stand a chance of interpreting what they’re saying! I just stare at them blankly and let them speak, until, in their frustration at not being heard, they turn ugly and intimidating. And then I walk away. Because what else can I do? Listening while not hearing them is not helping either of us; nor is it improving any of our moods…

I’ve given up… There is no “saving” any of us. But that’s just my opinion, of course…

And I’m an asshole these days. Just like everyone else!

I’m watching my physical body deteriorate, day by day, while I’m still trapped within it. I’m watching my society crumble around me, so corrupted that it cannot be salvaged, while I’m still trapped within it. I’m watching the very planet that gave me life suffer and die slowly (suffer so greatly and for so long!), and I’m still trapped upon it. And there is nothing I can do about any of it! No-thing! But watch. And withdraw. Into my own little point of view…

And everyone I know, whom I still respect, are slowly coming to that same conclusion…

Yes, opinions are like assholes, restricting my point of view. And if I can clench my butt cheeks any tighter in the tension of this moment, maybe I will no longer be able to even see any of you. And then maybe, just maybe, I can finish writing this damn letter…

So I can finally say, “I quit!” And well and truly mean it. So there is no lingering regret…

… when I turn and walk away.

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Reflections

Irrelevancy…

I wanted to write a piece titled “The Watcher,” to share where I’ve been these past few months. And yet, I could not write it without miring myself in hypocrisy so deep as to make the story irrelevant (at best), or self-destructive (at worst)… Or maybe it’s the other way around…

You see, the Watcher is a tale of perspective. In that role I sit as an observer of all things, but never truly interacting with any. I use my cosmic remote to change the channels, allowing me to safely view many lives, without actually experiencing any. Human or not, across multiple timelines. I can binge-watch any that intrigue me, and skip through those that bore me. I can fast-forward through scary moments, and rewind to savor the exciting times. I can, in essence, control exactly what I observe without actually being in control of what happens. But it only works because I am present in all those variations…

But if I am truly present in any of those scenarios, then I have rendered my self power-less by making it impossible for Me to affect those separate existences. I can only observe!

And should I truly want to interact with any of my stories, then I must first abandon my role as Watcher. I must lose myself in a particular storyline, forgetting the vastness of my existence, thus limiting my perspective to my immediate surroundings. I must blind my self to all other possibilities. That path is one of Self-destruction.

Which ultimately, and eventually, leads back to my role as the Watcher…

*** *** ***

These past two nights I’ve had the strangest dreams…

Last night I dreamt of my greatest fears, and all my efforts focused on turning away and avoiding them. I knew that I was dreaming, of course, but I still didn’t want to confront them. I kept yelling at the characters in my dreams to stop trying to show me, and I would physically turn my head away before they were revealed. That turning of my head would waken me enough to shift positions. But upon returning to the dream state, I would discover the same dream , albeit in a different setting…

Finally, I declared “enough already!!” You are all so determined to force this on me… “let’s get this over with!” And so someone slid the box of baby bunnies out from under my chair. Baby bunnies! And my alarm went off, leaving me exasperated as well as exhausted by my less than restful night…

Tonight I am dreaming of my character flaws – those very traits I’d like to think I’ve shed along the way. Like arrogance, for instance. I’ve worked hard to drive that feeling of superiority born of insecurity from my consciousness. But as I dream tonight I hear myself shouting, “why is everyone trying to make me look and feel stupid?! I am not an idiot, no matter how many idiotic things I’ve done! No matter how many bad decisions I’ve made! I am still smart, while sometimes doing not-smart things!!”

Deep sigh…

What was I saying about arrogance and insecurity? Hmm…

*** *** ***

I know there is relief to be found in irrelevancy. It is uncomfortable at first, learning that nothing I do, think or believe truly matters to the outside world. But when the shock of surrender fades, and the Ego truly relents, there is only peace left. An endless (pointless) calm that serves no one but my self.

And I can sit back and watch Others striving to become. While I can simply be…

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#BlogBattles, Stories...

“Selective Perception” by My Perception Selector… #blogbattle: intercept

I was wandering through this decrepit old house of mine, exploring the dusty and shadowy places I haven’t visited in a while. Amazed at how sprawling this place has become, reaching out in so many different directions at once! I came across a forgotten wing, and paused… remembering.

It was here I used to play a lot, seeking answers, and dreaming of all I wanted. I studied and read, meditated and prayed, pursuing change for change’s sake. “Yeah. And where did that get you?,” I laughed at myself, knowing full well the practiced response, “Here and now, of course!”

“Of course!,…” So arrogant that sounds! But it isn’t intended to read that way. A statement of fact. Indisputable. Absolute. For what else is there? Ever? Real-ly?

As I strolled past a darkened room, shades drawn tight against the approaching gloom, slight movement caught my eye. It was enough to draw me in, curiosity alight. “Hello?,” I called out as I entered the room. “Anyone in here?”

“Other than you?”

Laughing, I turned toward the voice that had spoken. “Is that even possible? Since this is my space?”

“Hmmm,” she responded, careful, deliberate. “Is this the beginning of one of your infamous debates?”

“Hardly,” I chuckled, as my sight zeroed in on the shadowy figure lounging in a comfortable chair. “I’m not feeling a need to explore things too deeply. Just a tad bit nostalgic as I pass through this wing.”

“Whew…,” came the sigh, a sound of relief. “Then feel free to join me, thanks and please.”

“Interesting order,” I murmured to myself, but being the only One present made that distinction utterly pointless. “Do you live here?,” I thought to ask, politely inquiring.

A full-bellied giggle was her initial response, with an eventual verbal follow-up. “But, of course!,” she answered, delight still evident, her smile beaming from every syllable. “Are you saying that you don’t recognize me?… Or are you choosing to deny what has become too familiar?”

“And what, pray tell, is your role in this house? That you sit in the dark and amuse yourself?”

“I am Protector and Guardian of all that you see. A Keeper of Secrets. A Caretaker with Keys…”

“A perfect analogy, if I say so myself. You certainly have a gift for expressing yourself!”

“I’ve learned from the best,” was her reasoned response. “Words are a tool to be used with respect.”

Laughing, I followed her lead, knowing there was no coincidence in our meeting. “So… now that you’ve captured my attention and captivated my wit, what did you want me to discover here?”

She waved vaguely at the window, but spoke bluntly and clear, “the shades may be drawn, the light may be gone, but Life still goes on… beyond this wall.”

“Yes,” I whispered, barely a sound. “I’m well aware of that, my friend.”

And tears silently began to fall…

Rising, exhausted, I prepared to take leave, but she had one more point to make, it seemed.

“You know who I am, then?,” she asked quite directly.

“But, of course,” I responded with a touch of old arrogance. “You select my perceptions, as Perception Selector, protecting me from what I choose not to see.”

“Also your Interpreter, your Lens and your Focus,” she added for clarity’s sake. “Why not just call me your personal Interceptor?”

I turned for the door, ignoring her laughter, eager to leave this place and find some distraction.

“And denial is more than just a river in Egypt!,” she called after me. “That never really gets old, does it?,” I heard her chuckling.

(602 words)

Check out #blogbattles for the August prompt and our writers’ responses…

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/blogbattle-stories-intercept/

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Reflections

Happy New Year…? Really?!

Am I the only one who feels reluctance to voice those words this year? Am I the only one who believes that uttering such sentiments is tantamount to inviting people to indulge in fantasy while abandoning reality?

I mean, it’s not that I don’t want good things to happen to people, because I certainly do. It’s more that I sense that such “good things” as health, prosperity and peace are unattainable at this time. And while it’s true that I said the obligatory greetings at midnight between December 31st and January 1st, even I could not miss the sarcasm or irony in my tone as I did so.

I have avoided posting (or responding to) Facebook greetings about the new year for the most part. And when I felt it was necessary, I have acknowledged them with “likes” rather than reciprocity; anything more would feel too insincere. It just doesn’t seem like a happy new year…

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my innate honesty coming out. I’m not depressed, nor do I wish to trigger others’ anxieties, but all of my instincts rail against the false hope implied in that traditional greeting.

***. ***. ***

I avoid the news. I’ve cut myself off from anyone’s supposedly factual presentation of “what’s happening now.” I did so because… well, I guess if I have to explain why, then you likely would disagree with my reasoning, so never mind. The point is, when I feel compelled to investigate “what’s happening out there (as opposed to in here),” I tend to read opinion pieces instead. At least they’re honest about being opinions (mostly), and if I read enough opposing opinions, I can sometimes get a sense of what “facts” might have triggered them, somewhere in between their interpretations of events.

So today I got up early enough to read several such opposing opinions, and thought now might be a good time to catch up on the world my body is inhabiting.

I think that might have been a mistake…

Because I’m truly not sure what reality I tagged into. And I’m not convinced anyone else I read knows either, though they don’t seem at all concerned with their skewed points of view. I just couldn’t make sense of anything I read!

There were the Earth-friendly writers (usually liberal leaning, if not outright left wing extremists) touting Trump as the destroyer of the Cabal…?! Umm… is this the same Trump who’s been on a direct “destroy the environment to eke out a few more pennies of profit” kick for decades?

Or the self-declared leftist revolutionaries questioning why openly right wing conservatives are mysteriously dying, supporting the alt-right’s declaration of conspiracies against them…?! Umm… really?!

There are the Evangelicals finally admitting that their Bible prophesies a non-believer who would become king, restoring their patriarchal, authoritarian rule of law…?! “Of course Trump is a non-believer, but we wouldn’t want him any other way! Only a non-believer could support our [ridiculous, restrictive, murderous] agenda!”

There are high-ranking (former) military and government officials openly, and publicly, calling on our military to stage a coup, while our rank and file members turn out in droves (against military rules) in Trump supporting paraphernalia, appearing to be his greatest fans…! All while not getting paid?! Really?!

And then there’s the truly delusional ones. You know the hype. “We’ve finally turned the corner! So many people have evolved enough that true peace is right around the corner!” Really? Where?

Meanwhile, in my city, there were three murders already, before New Year’s Day was officially over – a shooting, a stabbing, and a home invasion resulting in a fatality (home dweller, not thief, of course). And these are all “poor on poor” crimes, regardless of color, religion, immigration status, or sexual orientation…

I don’t know… Maybe I am depressed after all. But “happy new year”?

Hardly…

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Reflections, Visions

Clouds and Shadows…

Have you ever felt like you had something to say, but couldn’t find any words capable of expressing it?

Have you ever known you had something worth sharing, but not been able to do so?

I am haunted today by clouds and shadows, hints of something, flashes of “inspiration.” There is an urge rising up from deep within the creative well, demanding my complete attention. Yet when I look upon it, I see nothing there but empty space…

In my meditation this morning, I saw faces. Dozens of faces in a variety of situations and emotional states, but I did not recognize or feel kinship with any one of them. (Worth noting, though, that the original typing of the word “emotional” came out “emptional” implying the “empty-ness” of such exposures.)

It’s like a photographic collage blasting through my brain, accompanied by an expectation that I will feel or recognize something of significance. But only the nothing-ness of it stands out…

And the word “identity.” Presumably from the same Latin root that gave us “identification” and “identical.” Meaning something to do with “same-ness.” But I’m just speculating here; too lazy and too late to look it up right now…

But I am not myself today…, though certainly I am my Self.

Just thinking out loud here, folks. Carry on, carry on. Nothing to see here but clouds and shadows, and your own projections of what they might mean…?

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Reflections

Come-Uppance…

In my self-empowered beliefs, I laid down ultimatums. And deadlines. And requirements of any proofs purporting to lead to truth. And the Universe just laughed at me.

At my arrogance and greed…

Time simply dissolved around me, like a bad joke. For it was never meant to construct reality, merely to frame it so that it would be easier to perceive. In the moment. The priceless, precious experience of Now.

And sitting here in my safety net, watching the world deconstruct in front of me, I see. I see how much of what I’ve accomplished is a mockery of All-That-Is. Viewing All with dispassion, but not a total lack of empathy. For there is feeling here as well…

There is validation for the seeking that led me here, a knowing that, though misguided occasionally, my momentum and direction carried the day…

There is embarrasment, even shame, in watching others flounder on their misguided way. I shouldn’t be enjoying this, and yet I am. “I told you so…,” teeters on the edge of my lips, and only the discipline of many regrets prevents them from tumbling out.

There is awareness of how my greatest gift – time magic – is nothing more than fallacy. A wasted effort, and useless in the ever-present Now.

Yet there is strength in embracing who I am. All of me! In wisdom and in love. For I am all that and nothing more, and there is peace in accepting that…

I am Here Now. I am space and time combined. I am the weaving and the thread, and the pattern thus designed. And I am also the loom upon which All This is created. And the chaos that unravels it…

This is my legacy…

My Truth…

My come-uppance…

And I can only laugh!

Hysterically…

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Poetry

“The Hourglass…”

The hourglass is flipped

a new period begins

with all the promise and excitement

that such newness always brings…

The sand starts to fall

immediately

a little pile forming

in the space known as “potential”…

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

The pile grows taller and broader

spreading out

claiming most of the floor

of its newest glass home…

Like a disease of spirit

an imminent threat

“Hurry up!,” it warns me

“before you get swallowed…”

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

But Time waits for no one

not even me

Racing always forward

like a river to the sea…

Slipping through our fingers

restricted only by the neck

No respect for age, nor wisdom

only temporarily controlled by glass…

[STOP!!! JUST STOP!!! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!]

And so it does…

Staring at the hourglass, watching the sand

one grain at a time, to see where they land…

They fall in formation, drawing loose patterns

Designs lost when the others reach out and then cover…

But I see them falling now, grain by soft grain

creating a wave of abrasives

to obliterate what I’ve seen…

[You may continue; I’m ready now…]

The sands resume falling

regaining their pace

Rapidly filling

that formerly empty space…

Potential takes shape now

a dune spread at the base

a pyramid built

of patterns stacked on promises…

And I’ve taken a stance now

I’ve made myself clear:

I will NOT be erased

now that my time is here!

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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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