The erasure

They finally came. After months of broadcasts on all known media (radio, television, Internet, newspaper, shortwave, telegraph, TTY, dolphins, psychics) saying it was coming, that they were coming, it had finally happened.

Nobody knew who was sending the broadcasts, or where they were from. Agencies and detectives and amateur sleuths all over the world tried to answer those questions, to no avail. Séances were held. Runes were consulted. Wires were tapped. Still the messages came, and still no one knew the source or the author. Television anchors were told to say nothing that might frighten the public more than they already were. Talk show hosts were, as usual, under no authority or ethical standard, so they said whatever they felt, regardless of truth or concern for how their prattlings would harm.

The beings, or spirits, or aliens, or whatever they were had tried to communicate with our earth for far longer than people realized. They had subtly influenced moods and desires since before 2000, like a silent alarm, like an odorless poison. They were the reason for the Y2K panic. They were the reason preppers stocked up on ammunition and canned ham. They were the reason people began to mis-trust the authorities and began to take matters into their own hands. Urban farms, homeschooling, anti-vaccine? These were their doing. Layer by layer they had painted a picture of paranoia in our brains to divide us, keep us off balance.

Everyone was affected to some degree. It was only those who didn’t consume mass media that maintained some semblance of control over their actions. All those who watched TV or movies or listened to the radio got multiple doses of the message, and it was cumulative, just like any other poison. A single bee sting is annoying, but not fatal. A thousand stings is another matter.

When they finally came it was almost a relief.

It was a cool day in August, one of those days that was not too hot or humid with a few clouds in the azure sky. The morning had gone peacefully for everyone for a change. The disturbing dreams have finally stopped. Even the news reports were calm for a change, with the latest plastic surgery of one celebrity being the lead instead of the usual threats of war from petty tyrants trying to get the world to notice them. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day, until the skies scissored open with the dimension-melting sight/sound/smell of their ships at 11:11 AM.

People started to see sounds and hear colors.
Time ran backwards and sideways and stopped.
Everything suddenly made sense
but there were no words
anymore to explain it.

And then there was nothing.

The silence was thicker than the darkest night, a crushing subterranean weight, more alienating than being trapped in the Marianas Trench in a powerless submarine.

Then, just as suddenly, there was only now. The past wasn’t even a memory. It was just a word. All mistakes, all forgotten grocery lists, all insults, all arguments, gone in a blink of the eye. Gone too were first kisses. baby’s first laugh, that perfect day in October when the sky is the blue of watery dreams and crisp like a Gala apple.

All of it.
Gone.

Somehow they knew, whoever they were. They knew that what was holding us back was our near-pathological need to catalog the past into neat (and not so neat) piles, holding onto memories and snapshots and train tickets and receipts for ice skates and ice cream. Somehow they knew that our need to separate those piles into “good” and “bad” was our secret un-doing, our un-humaning, our un-being. Somehow they knew that our “bad” pile held us down, became a pattern for our future, made us think we would always be cheated, be robbed, be abandoned. Somehow too, they knew that our “good” pile equally enslaved us, making us feel that we could never feel that exhilarated or proud or delighted ever again.

Our collective and individual past being erased was as great a blessing to us as a tornado or a house fire. It forced us to stop holding onto the dried husks of what it means to be truly alive. For too long we thought that the artificial joy of our memories was what made us human.

Overnight, the scrapbooking industry was rendered irrelevant. No one could even imagine why they had spent so much of their lives (and money) gluing memorabilia into organized books, accented with metallic rickrack and die-cut stickers. No one took photographs either, choosing to see their lives through their own eyes rather than through a viewfinder.

Why save the past anymore?
It was meaningless.
Only the present moment,
a moment eternally composed
of beginnings,
was valid.
In that moment
anything
could happen.

What will they think?

Worried about what other people think about you? Constantly obsessed about how your every action will be judged? Do you second and third guess what you want to wear, say, or do, afraid that someone will decide you are lesser than them?

Don’t be.

Here’s the sad part.

You don’t have to worry about what other people are thinking about you because they aren’t thinking about you. At all. They are too worried about themselves, and what others think about them. They don’t have time to even notice you and what you are doing.

Being paranoid about what other people think is the worst form of narcissism. It assumes they care about you. They don’t even notice you.

This may sound mean and dismissive, but that is narcissism rearing its ugly head again. It isn’t about you at all. So go on, living your life free of worry about what other people think.

In the rare case that someone does say something negative about you, think of it this way – they noticed you. So instead of being an attack, it is an affirmation. You affected them. In the big picture, it is a complement to be noticed.

Plus, they are most likely jealous of how unique and special you are. They wish they had the chutzpah you do to stand out and do their own thing.

People who try to knock you down often do it because you simply aren’t them. If you aren’t doing things their way, they think that either you, or they, are wrong. This is a dilemma for them, because it is important for their choices to be right. They will then decide that this means you must be wrong in order to keep their pride intact.

What they don’t get is that you both can be right. Your way, different from their way, is valid for you, and their way is valid for them. Neither one is wrong.

Voice (of reason?)

I’ve come across several people recently who say they have something important to say. They want people to read their books or have them speak at events. The only issue is their books look like manifestos and their speeches sound like rants.

One guy writes conspiracy theory tracts. He self published a book, then cut it down to a booklet because people said it was too long to read, then kept cutting it down until now it is all on one sheet of paper, front and back, small print. I think they said it was too long to be kind. They didn’t want to read it at all. He uses a lot of capitals and bold face and italics. Visually his handouts are a mess. Even this short, it is too much.

Another guy is equally paranoid. He wants to grow everything himself because he thinks the government and then the economy is going to collapse. While it is good to be self sufficient, his level of paranoia is palpable. He talks fast and doesn’t listen to the other person’s opinions. He thinks they are deluded. He thinks he is the only person who knows what is really going on.

Another guy is trying to get himself invited as a “controversial speaker” to a local religious group meeting. He has stated that you can’t declare yourself a prophet, but then he say he is one and he is the only one talking. His “introduction” took up the whole page of the group’s homepage.

They sound crazy. They may have something important to say. Truth very well might be revealed to them. But how they are presenting it makes their message questionable.

I’ve considered telling them what I see. I’ve considered pulling them aside and handing them a clue. Nobody is going to take them seriously if they seem wackadoodle.

But then I think maybe it is for the best to not tell them.

If you put a new coat of paint on an old car, it will still run the same. If you try to sell this new looking car to someone they are going to be fooled. They will get in and drive down the road a bit and end up stranded.

I don’t want to do that to the passenger. It is important to not mislead people. Even if I’m not delivering the message, I will have aided and abetted. If I help someone repackage their message so that other people finally listen to it, I’m responsible for the fallout.

Maybe their message is crazy. Maybe that is why they seem messed up.