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I bought a Where’s Waldo book at the bins and brought it home and was all stoked to play, and then I opened it up and discovered that some asshole, probably a three year old because they couldn’t even draw good circles, had scribbled in pen all over every Waldo on every page. People, you need to express vehemently to your children that writing in books is not ok; there is already writing in books, this is the point of books, and if you have anything to add you should just write a freaking book report.

On the other hand, a bunch of my favorite people and I drank a lot of red wine last night and went Bible dipping, and we asked ‘where’s Waldo?’ and the answer was all full of vengeance and brimstone, so maybe I don’t want to find Waldo anyway. Waldo apparently is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

Ah, the universe. Poke it with a little humor about its predictability and it responds with a triple whammy of exactly what you said it would, which does not mean that you win. What it means is that now you have work to do.

Disclaimer: this is probably going to be an interesting or worthwhile read for one to two people ever. Do not feel like an asshole if you make it only a couple of sentences and decide that I’m taking too long, talking too much in between actually saying anything, and that you just don’t care. This is not only understandable, it probably makes you sane or at the very least smarter than me. Congrats.

Last night I hung out with a couple of old friends who are frankly beyond judging at this point, not because of their ability to be 100% correct but because of my inability to do without them even when they’re 100% wrong, and a new acquaintance who I’d previously thought rocked all sorts of face. We were sitting around in the gradual die down of open mic night and I was getting tired as usual and kind of cranky and then the new acquaintance, who I will just go ahead and call Julie because that’s her name and I don’t think she cares, went and said that she was psychic. Then she went and said that I was a brilliant Indigo Child, and that I was psychic also. And that we were all four of us brilliant old souls with massive getting in touch with ‘spiritual realms’ powers. This is when I decided that maybe I was not too tired to be interested in things, and that she was either lying or insane, like Jesus Christ. She said that she was a psychic healer and sees ghosts and talks to them and they flock to her because she can see them and really, we could all see them if we hadn’t all decided we didn’t want to. This entire conversation came about because she wanted to use these beliefs and experiences as material in her stand up comedy, (which I would like to say right now is fabulously funny), and she didn’t know how to do it in a way that made people laugh instead of making them look at her like she was crazy. Since I am one of those people who would have followed Jesus around for however long it took just to find out what decidedly unmagical illusionist trick or seven he had up his sleeve or until I was convinced that he didn’t, I had her answer for her right away: don’t tell people you’re serious. If you’re serious, you’re not funny, you’re either lying or insane; if there’s even the possibility that you’re joking, everyone would much rather decide to laugh.

Of course this comment of mine immediately arced around like a boomerang and hit me squarely in the skepticism, and I spent about half an hour of their ‘we believe in ghosts’ conversation paying attention to myself, because I am just like that and the most interesting thought processes on the planet are the ones that play out in my own head. I did not believe that I was an Indigo Child but I did believe that I was a brilliant brilliant super special person with an old soul and massive getting in touch with the possibly nonexistent ‘spiritual realm’ powers. This blatant inconsistency bothered me all night long, because we wound up hanging out for another three hours or so and the conversation did not get any more plausible and I did not get any more accepting of it, at any point, except the points with which I already agreed, mostly having to do with the fact that I am amazing. My immediate recognition of this made me even squallier, because everything she said about my being a supernatural fairy child with more than half her head in the clouds of deeper reality either struck me as crazy or flattery, and flattery will not get you everywhere with me unless by everywhere you mean more carefully watched. I disliked discounting her and I disliked agreeing with her even more. Eventually I took myself home to think about things, and sadly did not fall asleep until the sun came out and the birds were singing. No one has given me something to take such a degree of umbrage with since Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The following will be a horrendously long, unbroken string of my thoughts on spirituality, ghosts, religion, life and death, and it is mostly for me, and you are hereby forewarned: BEWARE OF BABBLE.

So, in the beginning, there were some words. And they went on for a very long time.

I think that just about everything anyone anywhere at any time has ever believed about god, the universe, life and death springs from the question ‘what becomes of us after we die?’ I have now and probably always will have no faith in any religion because of this; people just made shit up, is my opinion, and it helped them explain death and life to themselves because clearly all of us, time and location all inclusive, have got a need for this kind of explanation and at least one in our pocket for rainy days. This is fine. We are human, and this is how we do because we all die and leave other people to explain it to themselves. However, it makes me think that all organized religions are exactly the same, a bunch of fairy tales each with some possible truth and an author or two who don’t actually have a damned idea about how we got here and what we’re doing and where we’re going. To sum up and get out of the way: religion = an understandable and universal need to say ‘hey! What’s going on?’ and a set of answers that cannot be proven to be either correct or incorrect, and are therefore of no real use to anyone, except as an analgesic. I don’t have a clue where we came from or where we’re going, and anything I believe about it has come to be by accident, like being raised to believe that every living thing has a soul although there is no scientific evidence for it, or choice, like believing in astrology, which there appears to be scientific evidence for but which could all just be another string of stories, this time with conveniently scientific planets and time zones. I guess I don’t believe in faith without a logical explanation, although I will go on record right now and say that this does not stop me from exercising faith with no attendant logic in many areas of my life every freaking day. Everything that grabs my mind and gains my respect has been in me too long to shake out or has a super duper scientific study to go along with it and keep it from looking too much like somebody’s just out to wave another wand and create another explanation. This means that I contradict my own self and am just like everyone else that has ever wondered and ever found a way to lump along, and we could just end the discussion on that note right now, except that this is all about me and so I don’t have to if I don’t want to. And I don’t want to.

Leaving religion, then, and getting to the chewy center of my internal debate, which is really all about whether or not I believe in things that can’t be universally proven. Clearly this debate is already moot because I believe in lots of things that can’t be universally proven. So I will cut the bullshit straight out and admit that this is all really about whether or not I believe in that big old ‘spiritual realm,’ which I do not like and actually kind of despise and whose name I am incapable of writing or saying without quotation marks. I had to start this whole thing with my tiresome old Boo Religion and Knowledge Is Decidedly Different From Belief tennis matches, because I was raised staggeringly religious and all of this crap went nicely hand in hand with all the other crap and everything was covered in the dense blanket of our own little set of fairy tales. I have never got over being muddled about this, so I still have to deconstruct the religion aspect of the ‘spiritual realm’ before I feel ready to deal with it as its own entity.

As its own entity, then. Still too big a topic. Crikey.

Okay, I do believe in it, I guess. I believe in all sorts of things like intuition that has no discernable reason to be, inexplicable connections between certain people, and that all of creation is tied together in ways other than we need the same oil and dvd players. Admitting that I believe in some illogical phenomena then, we rally neatly back around to the fact that it’s all stuff I want to believe or have no choice about believing because I’ve experienced it for myself. This is exactly what the people who see ghosts say, and fuckity fuck I do not want to believe in ghosts. I actually do not want to believe in anything other than what I can experience with my good old physical senses; the fact that I believe in a sixth sense of sorts, one apparently wrapped up in energy or vibrations or god damn what have you, makes me uncomfortable and pissy and instantly in need of my own set of fairy tales, created by me, on the spot, for my own medicinal uses. But the fact (and it is a fact) remains that I have experienced things not explainable by the science of sight, sound, touch, taste or smell, and so has apparently everyone else on the planet ever. I am one of the people who likes to forget about these things and just roll my physical self along the physical world and sometimes trip balls and talk to the flowers. An explanation for everything, and everything in its explanation. This still doesn’t make me any different from ghost seers, it just makes me a chunk seer. I like to see chunks of things, like people or bridges, not sense wisps of things, like danger or love. I like this way of life because it takes less effort and it looks less like my childhood than any other way. I have always wanted to be a stable, factual person with a mind like a steel trap and all A’s in math. I guess this is just another neon sign on a street corner of my life: I will never get anything other than a D in math, I will never be a neuroscientist, I will always believe that picking flowers is wrong because they know what you’re doing and what you’re doing is killing them, and my mind resembles an orange plastic sieve far more than it does a steel anything. I am one of those people who believes in ghosts and gets A’s in creative writing; I am not necessarily pleased by this reminder of my honest self, because I enjoy seeing myself as I want to be and not as I am. I really am going to wind up a senile old séancing crone and everyone, myself included, will have known it was coming all along, and this annoys me.

In case you’re still here, (you are?!), and you were wondering, this was a personal epiphany. I’m an extremist, you can always find me snap impulse throwing the baby out with the bathwater and then realizing it at some point later and running apologetically out to gather the baby up to be cuddled and loved again. This time I threw the mysticism out with the religion, and while I never need that religion again I still need the damned baby. Stupid baby, with its big old triumphant grin and ‘spiritual realm’ written across its bib.

All of my friends are going to laugh at me now, but nothing has really changed too much. I am not going to go around calling myself an Indigo Child or telling people about the ghost who grabbed my ankle and made my whole leg go numb last night. I will continue to never pick flowers and know instinctively that sometimes I should walk on the other side of the street. I feel fucking stupid for this entire blog. I feel stupid for believing in a whole other layer of life that’s woven like embroidery through the tapestry of physical and logical experience, and I feel stupid for denying it for so long and getting served with it in one night. I also feel stupid for forgetting that it doesn’t really matter anyhow, and for resolving, from vengeance, to never no matter what write ‘spiritual realm’ without the quotation marks.

In order to feel as stupid as is possible before breakfast, I will also share one more gem before hopping off to commune with the souls of dead flowers. I wrote this poem a couple of days ago, not that I wrote it it just sort of came to me, and I thought it was about something else entirely. I just now realized that it’s about everything, probably. I am constantly reinventing my wheels, but the treads always have the same pattern.

I got it right the first time,

And then I got it wrong

I recognize the thumbprint,

It hasn’t been that long.

 

Ok, I have to go now. There’s an oppressed spirit inside of me unable to move on to the next life until it has the rest of that cheeseburger Jason bought me yesterday.

Hi everyone, I suck at writing and I apologize. You are looking just smashing today.

Currently I am not looking smashing, as I need my bangs cut so badly I have resorted to barrettes, which make me look like a round faced, pleasantly ‘slow’ first grader: boo. Since I am also currently broke because life is unfair and people are too dumb to give me good jobs immediately upon demand, my apartment complex is a bloated figure of greed and charges massive amounts of haircut potential money each month just so I can continue to feed and make excuses for two bad cats, and my car insists upon having fancy little sissy boy tires that pop whenever they encounter a hiccup in the pavement, the barrette looks like becoming a semi permanent instrument of ego torture and self esteem bashing. I think someone else beat me to the ego reducing voodoo doll idea. Curses.

I have not been writing because it has just not been in my power to do so. I could have sat down and typed at any given time, of course, but it would have all been shite and you would not have been amused or interested and I would have maybe shot myself in the head with a handmade fork revolver; I say fork revolver because I do not actually have access to any gun of any kind and the most dangerous thing around here is probably the aforementioned fork or the front steps while wearing stilettos. As I risk my life and limb in the second way at least twice a week already, it seemed redundant to bring it up but of course here I am, bringing it up. I am fabulous dept. fabulous.

Anyhow, so the writing, it has not been happening because it has not been in me and chances are sublime that things will continue on (more redundancy!) in this manner for a while. I am not being creative or brilliant lately, and this is a sad thing but there is nothing really to be done about it until the universe says. Also maybe I am jinxing myself right now and the universe will be all, look at the smarty smart one, predicting The Universe with such flippancy, let’s just show her, and then I will suddenly have to write all the time and crank out three paintings a week and make four course dinners every night. That would rock, so I hope the universe is listening.

Peace be unto you from our lord Jesus Christ, who gets all the fine ladies and wine any time there’s water around.