Sneak Peeks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Science Supports Reincarnation Or: Why I believe you were once Joan of Arc

It’s the scientific explanation for why animals can perform complex tasks without training or guidance.
Instinct is a word that’s thrown around a lot, “He instinctively recoiled.”, “I went on instinct and distrusted him.”, “It was basic instinct.” But when you stop to really consider what’s being said, the implications will shock you. True instinct is something incredibly amazing. We’re talking about cellular memory; the ability of a single cell to remember a complex experience and pass that memory on through generations.
Like the Monarch butterfly. Monarchs make an inexplicable journey every year from North America down to Mexico. These little creatures are born with the knowledge of how to get to their overwinter sites, though each generation has never experienced the migration before. This is an extremely complex memory to pass on, perhaps more so even than animal mating dances and emotive facial expressions. They are born knowing how to travel over the Earth. They are born with the memory of their predecessor’s experience. Incredible.
We all know that every piece of us has been recycled countless billions and trillions of times. Every part of us was here from the firmament of the Earth’s first eons as a planet, to the sultry days of the dinosaurs. All the matter that makes up our bodies right now has always been affected and entrenched in this world. If you look at the palm of your hand, you must realize that each cell and hair and drop of blood you see was once a kernel of wheat, a snowflake blown through a Russian palace, and the salt on a dolphin’s back. The people we are now were formed from all the people and creatures that came before us. From the bodies of our parents, then from the things our mothers ate. And every carrot, lima bean and sip of water that she had was passed through something else as well. When Victor Lindlahr said, “You are what you eat,” he wasn’t kidding.
Now consider that you are what you breathe. The theory of Caesar’s Last Breath states that if you take into account the volume of air held within a human’s lungs and equate that with the volume of air on the Earth and the passage of time, that at this point we’ve all breathed in at least one molecule of the breath that Julius Caesar of Rome released as he died on the steps of the Senate. In fact, all the air we breathe has passed through all the people and animals and oceans and plants and dinosaurs and...well, you get the picture, everything that ever existed. DNA has been retrieved from specimens that are thousands of years old. It’s no great stretch to imagine that we’ve been breathing in all sorts of bits and pieces of DNA from some pretty amazing sources our entire lives.
All living organisms contain DNA, including our friend the Monarch butterfly. DNA that carries instructions on how to build a new human or butterfly or lima bean. It also obviously stores important information such as the flight path the Monarchs should take down to Mexico. It isn’t a leap of logic at all to infer the possibility that the fresh DNA we consume every day could pass its encoded memories on to us. We must at least agree that the experiences of our parents and their parents and so on could be, like it is with the Monarch, passed intact down through the ages as a key part of evolution. If a flight path can be recorded and passed on, then so should a more simple experience, like, say, the moment you saw your husband returning from the war. So what if it was a war that occurred one hundred and fifty years ago? If a part of you was there, then why couldn’t that memory still be contained in the DNA you carry?
The simple answer is: it can.
So when you tell me that you can remember a dark tent, lit only by candlelight, filled with men who stand shivering and wet with the rain, and when they speak to you it’s in a language that rolls in familiar tones, and that the name on their lips is Joan...
I believe you.
This is for all my disbelieving friends out there who think that denial of faith in a deity precludes having faith in reincarnation. There ya go.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Postcard from The Hermit on the Hill

I was thirteen when I discovered books. (Hold a sec while I find the key that puts an echoing emphasis on that word...hmmm...Italic? Not quite. Bold caps? Close...) BOOKS!!!!!! There, that's better.

I was a painfully shy person for most of my life. Never really connecting with other people and more concerned with homework than watching TV. I was a hermit and I liked it that way. Then I discovered books and....well not much changed other than my greater enjoyment of my hermitood.

Books became the center of my universe the summer of my mother's accident. She'd shattered her sacrum and was flat on her back for a year. That injury changed our lives in so many ways. Turning me into a reader was just one of them; the other changes will have to wait for another blog. To keep my mom company, slash, entertained, slash, sane I started reading to her. We took turns reading that first novel since I wasn't terribly interested in the love affair between a Native American and the white woman he kidnapped and mistreated (which was apparently leading to their imminent love?!?), it was called Ghost Fox. While I was reading it, the story was just a bunch of words. When my mom read it? Wow....

I remember very clearly waking up from the trance-like state I'd fallen into when she finally stopped speaking. I had been in the story's world. Literally. I was there. It was incredible. From then on books were my everything, just like that. You could pay me in books (one guitar = one year's subscription to Harlequin Book Club). You could count on a book being somewhere within five feet of me no matter where I was standing. I began speaking in Romance-ese with the word "cheroot" falling out in some conversation, and inciting laughter from an aunt that still haunts me today.

I was my mother's constant companion, as well. I'd run to the library to rent books once we burned through everything my older sister had. Flowers in the Attic (the entire series), Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (her entire shelf), Julie Garwood (The Lion's Lady!!! My heart still melts...) anything and everything with romantic swirling letters down the spine got grabbed.

I read a minimum of three books per week for ten years. Romance then horror, then paranormal and....well everything else eventually. The point is that reading was my recreation. That's why it was so natural for me to eventually transition into writing. I had so much inspiration for so long.

What I didn't have was experience with the social aspect of marketing my work once it was published. I didn't have a Twitter account, or Facebook, or a blog until I realized that you can't simply publish a great story and be successful.

I'm sure this is a common theme, other people must struggle with the whole gratuitous blabbering thing that we do on Twitter and whatnot. Chasing down readers. Man, back in the day? Readers were the ones on the hunt. When the internet eventually became the place to go for information, and I'd read everything in my chosen genre that was being offered, I'd scan through websites searching for a list of all the books containing certain subjects in the hopes of finding something new and awesome.

Now you can't blink without brushing up against a dozen new authors. The market is saturated with self-published novels. There are so many out there for readers to choose from that unless you were born with a bullhorn in your mouth, they're more than likely going to float right past you on their way to the next bright flame.

So what's a shy little hermit to do?

Try, I suppose.

Just keep trying to call out above the babble, I am here, I AM HERE!!!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Faith and a Dragon

I was once a religious bigot.

A childhood spent choking on the religion my parents liked to cram down my throat had soured me to the faith so many others found solace in. I saw religious books as instruction manuals for the directionless. How-to guides for finding a purpose.

Secondhand faith. That’s what I secretly called it.

I even laughed at them and their TV commercials that seemed to say, “Believe like me and you’ll be happy.”

Yep, I thought that was pretty funny. Until I saw the dragon.

Now, don’t read this like a story about something that couldn’t happen here. Read it from your true vantage point. This is a world where satellites can see through your bedroom window well enough to read the results of your pregnancy test. Where the most frightening boogieman is the guy down the street who keeps trying to lure your son inside his house. A world where there are no great secrets or mysteries anymore. Nowhere to hide. Your world.

I’ve forgotten the reason I was in the desert that night, probably just because I could be, or there was nothing good on TV. I think I was searching for something. Maybe the stars, maybe the fear of dark things. I needed something to replace the emptiness of another night of worthless anonymity.

That’s when I looked up.

It came in low from the north. I felt it coming before my eyes caught its shadow against the stars. There was a sort of vibration that became the sound of rushing wind, then the whoosh and crack of its great wings striking the air.

When something unbelievable happens, your brain does strange things. It begins to offer your conscious mind a variety of explanations; that’s a plane, a glider, a giant bird, a space ship, a remote controlled dragon, a dragon, not a real dragon, a dragon, A DRAGON!

Adrenaline and wonder and terror rushed through me like magnetic waves drawn to this incredible thing in the sky. I could see the shine of the stars off its scales, the wetness of its eyes as it stared into the distance behind me, the ripple of muscles as it swam through the currents of desert air. The moment before it passed above me I felt the heat of it. Then the heat became its scent.

I wish I could describe to you what it smelled like. I wish there was a comparison so that I could tell you, “Smell this, it’s the smell of a dragon.” But I can’t. There was so much sensation in that scent, like joy and freedom. So many flavors, like the ocean and a desert storm, moss and shadows, a baby’s breath and burning wood. But really it was like none of those things. It was dragon. I inhaled so deeply I felt faint with it. Then it was above me, its heart beat was so close that I felt its pulse through my chest like a drum.

Then it passed. I spun to watch it, but a moment more and it was gone, drifting away into the dark.

There should have been more. It happened too quickly. I didn’t see enough, I didn’t feel enough, I didn’t smell enough, I needed more. It couldn’t be over. That can’t be it.

But that was it. Silence. Nothing more.

My cell phone was still in my pocket. No video taken of the event. No way to relive it.

Getting home that night was a blur of stop lights and street lights and startled faces. I called my family, I woke my neighbors. The sensation I recall most is relief. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had seen a real live dragon. Nothing else would ever be depressing again. War, murder, extirpation; how utterly insignificant! There were dragons in the world; everything else would turn out right in the end because now I was sure that we knew NOTHING. How liberating! Our understanding is not important! The world is full of magic; no one needs to be afraid of the unknown again.

In the morning my sister came over. I told her everything, every detail. I wanted to share every feeling I had with her, I wanted to see the wonder in her eyes.

What I saw was doubt.

I felt I should try harder; I needed her to feel it, what good was all this joy if I couldn’t share it. I knew she was trying to believe me, she wanted to, she didn’t think I was lying, but she couldn’t feel the same rush of certainty that seeing it had given me.

I thought perhaps I should write it down. I could find the best words to show people that it was the truth. And in that moment the true gift that came from what I had seen became apparent.

I had experienced something utterly life changing. Something that changed my whole perception of human existence, and I wanted to share it.

It still makes me laugh even as I write this. I was inspired to do what every other religion has done for thousands of years. What I had always sneered at and mistrusted. I wanted everyone else to believe what I had seen. I wanted to share the joy of my faith and see it in the eyes of the people around me. Not to control them as I had always imagined religion's ulterior motive to be, but to liberate them. No more worthless anonymity, never be afraid again!

I can imagine what might have happened in a hundred years. The description of my every move up to the point I saw the dragon repeated in ceremonies; careful attempts to capture the magic of that moment. There would be groups of people looking in a certain direction, wearing certain clothes, perhaps touching their necks and brushing their arms as I had done.

I know what I saw. I still believe it was a real dragon, though the scorn of others has stolen some of the joy away. Now instead of sharing my story as an experience to be believed, I share a small insight on human nature instead.

When any person truly believes in something that can’t be proven, they are compelled to share their faith in it. We want to see our truth in other eyes so that we don’t have to try as hard to keep it real. When multiplied it becomes big enough to live on its own. We’re all the same. All of us.

Think about this: What would you do if you saw a dragon? Would you tell people? How would you feel if those you wished to share your joy with sneered at you?

We encounter people every day who are searching for faith. It can be a fragile thing. We are compelled to surround ourselves with others who believe the same way; it strengthens us. So the next time someone tries to share their beliefs with you, no matter how bumbling or defensive their explanation, have patience.

They have seen a dragon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Bleeding Cup

Into the bleeding cup is spilled,
The burning essence of human life,
Our liquid constitution,
So quickly cooled beneath the breath,
Of ambivilant space,
And the freedom to drain away...

A lovely old poem I rustled up from my angst filled teen years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mother Who Killed

     My memory begins on that day.

     There was a life before the killings, but the memory of that one night seems to have eaten up the space that those other experiences once existed in.

     My life begins at five years old in a dark parking lot by the sea.

     I’m in my mother’s arms. I’m tired and my cheek is resting on her shoulder. She smells like her going-out perfume and her body is soft and warm.

     My daddy is walking behind us, rifling through his pockets for the car keys. He smiles at me when I catch his eye.

     “Hello, hellooo.” A man’s voice drawls. I spin around to see who is talking to us.

     Mommy squeezes me tighter and keeps walking. “Hello.” She replies. Her voice is short. The way she sounds when she talks about the people on the news who make her mad.

     “Hey, hey, don’t rush off.” The stranger says and my mommy stops suddenly.

     I don’t want her to stop. I want to tell her to take me home, but the words are stuck in my throat.

     “Come on guys, we have our baby with us.” My daddy says.

     Suddenly I’m scared, because I know then that my mommy and daddy are scared.

     That’s when the memory starts to change. Things slow down, sometimes even freezing on a single image. My psychologist said that that’s normal during stressful situations. The rush of adrenaline causes memories to imprint more clearly. It can distort those memories as well, making some parts more prominent than others.

     “You do have a baby with you, a pretty little girl. Hi, pretty girl.” The man says more, but I can’t remember the words. My five year old mind only knew that the man said he was going to hurt me. I remember a burning sensation up my back. It was the physical sensation of terror. That feeling would have meant the rising of my hackles to scare off an enemy in primordial days. But on the back of a little girl, it only translated as terror. Terror that my mommy and daddy couldn’t protect me from the men who’d suddenly invaded our sleepy evening.

     In that endless moment, my whole world changed. If what came after hadn’t occurred, that change still would have. Because in that moment I knew that monsters were real and that I wasn’t safe anymore.

     I can’t imagine why they did it. What did they feel as they stalked us through the parking lot? What did they talk about? Did they have a plan for who would do what? Those questions will go unanswered. Those men are dead and can’t tell me why.

     As the man’s words hung in the air, and the heat crawled up my back, I lifted my eyes slowly, so slowly, up to my father’s face.

     Then my mother exploded.

     I know she couldn’t really have exploded, but my memory isn’t affected by logic. It tells me that an explosion burst off of her, not that air rushed past me as I was thrown to my father. There was a sonic boom, not her bellow of ‘RUN’ and my tiny racing heartbeat filling my ears.

     Then I see my father’s face as he catches me. It’s ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch. It is a caricature of my father’s face. Eyes open wider than eyes could really open, and his mouth a crooked black cavern in a face too pale to be alive. It was horrifying to me. And that moment seemed to last incalculably.

     My father caught me to him, but he didn’t run. He just stared beyond me.

     I turned slowly, slowly. The air was thicker than jello, and time was bound in rubber. The seconds lasting minutes, and the minutes hours. And I knew that they were hurting my mommy.

     My father couldn’t stop me from looking, he was frozen, unaware of the hard, clutching hands he held me with.

     Then I saw her. My mommy.

     One of the men was already dead by the time I landed in my father’s arms and spun to see her. She’d tackled him, grabbing hold of his head and falling with him. She broke his neck, spun his head around and left him staring sightless on the ground. She was on top of the second one by then, biting his throat out. The third man was standing above her, his legs wide apart as he stabbed her over and over. She didn’t even flinch. When he kicked her off of his friend, half of the the throat she was biting came with her.

     The man seemed to freeze when he saw what she’d done. Everyone was frozen except my mommy.  She sprang at the last man from the crouch she’d rolled to. The top of her head hit him between the legs. To my young mind, it looked like a bull lifting an awful matador, like on the show my daddy watched. My memory almost tells me that it was a bull and not my mommy. But I remember right. It was her.

      The man went down with a strangling sound, no scream. The fight became eerily quiet. She punched him over and over in the face, thunk thunk thunk. Her arms seemed to have those spinning cartoon tracers around them. I’m not sure where that part of the memory came from, maybe the tears in my eyes or some embellishment added later by a child’s mind trying to make sense of what I saw.

     He caught her arms, giving up on the knife in his instinctive need to stop the beating. Without pause she threw her head down like a hammer, over and over. Crushing his face in.

     Then she stopped and turned to each of the men in turn. They didn’t move. She turned to us. “Are you okay?” I see her lips move, but I can’t hear her. I don’t realize that I’m screaming. Her face is a mask of blood.

     My daddy squeezes me, “It’s okay, baby, it’s okay.”

     He doesn’t go to my mommy.

     “Mommy!!” I scream.

     She crawls toward me and collapses. My daddy finally rushes to her.

     Everything leading up to that moment was a blur of time compared to the wait for the ambulance. My daddy ran with me across the parking lot and left my mommy alone on the ground. He called the police on a payphone and held his hand over my screaming mouth so that he could tell the dispatcher where to find us. He finally dropped the phone and ran back to her. I somehow thought she’d be gone, but she was still there, lying face down with the three men surrounding her.

     My mommy smiled at me when we got back. She reached for me, but I was too afraid to touch her, clutching on to my father’s side. My daddy said he didn’t know what to do, and he was crying. I was crying too, my throat raw from screaming and my jaw sore from being locked open with the noise. She quietly told my daddy how to push on the holes in her back, and encouraged him until her breath didn’t work anymore. It came in gasps, then quick pants, then a whispery hiss until it stopped entirely.

     Then he started crushing her chest. I know now that he was trying to save her, but at the time it seemed that he was pushing too hard, trying to wake her up. Hurting her when she was already hurt. He didn’t have time to explain as I yanked on his shirt, screaming for him to stop. He shoved me away and kept working.

     He might as well have set me adrift, alone in the universe. I was suddenly by myself in the dangerous darkness. Abandoned by my father and unable to reach my mother. I cannot convey the total panic and devastation I felt, sitting by my father who had pushed me away.

     The sirens whined softly in the distance and my father started screaming ‘HELP! HELP ME!’ 

     Then I screamed for help as well, repeating that word was all I could do until there were lights flashing over us and people running. They finally pushed my daddy aside, asking questions, so many questions. My daddy grabbed me up and cried into my neck.

     It begins to get blurry at this point. I remember them loading my mother on to a gurney and taking her away. I remember the bright lights on stands that the police set up around the parking lot and the white sheets over the three men on the ground.

     My father talked to a policeman about what happened and signed papers before they let us leave. I was afraid to be alone in the back seat, so my daddy let me sit up front where mommy usually sat. I remember waking up in my daddy’s arms as he carried me into the house and that our dogs were jumping around and happy to see us. I was mad at them for being happy when mommy was hurt and I kept asking my daddy when mommy would be home.

     “Soon, honey.” He said. But I could tell that he was lying.

     My mother survived the attack.

     I was able to visit her the next day in the afternoon. She was pale around the cuts and bruises on her nose and forehead, and her skin seemed to hang on her face. Her eyes were closed as my daddy carried me into her hospital room.

     When she looked at me, half the weight of all that had happened rolled off of my shoulders.

     “Hey, sunshine, how crazy is this? It’s like being in an adventure story. Come and cuddle me, sweetness. Tell me what you’re thinking.” She held her hands out and my daddy set me on the bed amidst the tubes and wires. She smelled like the antiseptic hospital soap and plastic tape. She was lumpy and my daddy fussed that I was going to hurt her. I remember trying to pull away.

     “Oh, please, like anything can hurt me worse than I have been.” Then she lifted me a little and flopped me onto her lap. She pressed her cheek to mine and sighed against my ear. It was our special hug. It was the way she held me at night, and I breathed in the scent of her perfume, still lingering in her hair. I swear you could have seen the cloud of pain and worry as a measurable part of my exhalation. It felt that thick and heavy. But with her words, she made it better.

     And every day she made it better still.

     She finally came home, stiff and limping, but alive. She always had a smile for me. Always had encouraging words. She was able to get me to talk about my feelings without making a big deal about it. She let me heal in my own way, and showed me that she was healed as well. There was no secret pain in the eyes she turned to me, no extra precautions when we played outside that kept the fear alive.

     It took me a long time to reconnect with my father. I blamed him for not doing more than he’d done. He’d just stood there and watched them hurt my mommy. How could I forgive that?

     But my mommy didn’t blame him. She and my dad were always laughing together and touching in simple ways. In time I allowed him back into our circle. My daddy loved me, and I loved him.

     I was shielded from the aftermath and all the legalities associated with killing in self-defense, and so, eventually, the incident slipped away.

     It was only as an adult that I went back to that night. I wanted to see what the news had said about it.

     I couldn’t find anything. I Googled every keyword I could think of. Nothing. I called the local paper and asked how I’d find back issues from that time. They hadn’t been converted from microfiche yet due to budget constraints, so I’d have to schedule an appointment to search through them. It was amazing to me that the story of that night hadn’t been bigger, more easy to find. It should have been a Lifetime movie, at least. But, no. It was like it never happened. And for a little while after that, I almost believed it hadn’t. Could I have imagined it? Or misremembered the details?

     I finally talked to my mom about it after I’d been mulling my questions over for a few weeks.

     “Mom? Can you tell me what happened? When you killed those men.” After I said the words, I wanted to take them back. I didn’t want to bring up anything that hurt her, and it had been so long since we’d talked about it that I wasn’t really sure how she felt.

     “Well...” She sighed. “We’d gone out to eat at the marina. We were walking to our car when we were approached by those men. They said they were going to hurt you in front of me, so I stopped them.” Her face tightened at the memory, and something jarred in me at her words. That sounded right. I remembered thinking that they were going to hurt me.

     She started over at that point. It seemed that she’d needed to just get the whole thing out quickly before she was able to go back and examine the details. She spoke of the long walk from the crowded restaurant, no parking for over a block. And how unprepared they’d been for the attack. She paused at that point and I could see that she was reliving the memories. How could I have wondered whether talking about it would hurt her? Of course it did. She’d just always seemed so strong to me, I forgot that she was a regular person.

     “Your dad was in therapy for years afterward. It was a two-fer.” She said, laughing. “Dad went to the shrink and brought home his advice for me.” Her teasing voice was meant to soften the painful revelation.

     “I have the original police report if you’d like to see it.” She offered. I accepted and let it drop for the time being.

     She gave me the report as promised along with a file that showed how the investigation had dragged on. There were a lot of notes from someone named Mike. He was keeping them informed about who the men were and other details that only a cop would be privy to. One of the notes had been underlined and written in all caps: ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF RAPE AND BATTERY.

     My father’s statement from that night was chilling, and matched my mother’s from the next morning. They saw the men coming. Saw the knives in their hands. They hadn’t simply threatened me, a five year old child. The quote was that they’d “slit my parent’s throats, and fuck me screaming while they died.” No wonder my mother had responded so animalisticly. The report said that she’d broken the first man’s neck. She’d grabbed him and spun his head around with her knee on his chest. It was something you saw in the movies and always wondered if it were really even possible to perform. Apparently, when your child was threatened, it was.

     The second one she bit in the throat, crushing his windpipe. That’s the one that I witnessed. And the third one died of brain trauma from being bludgeoned with her skull.

     It was astonishing. She was just a regular woman, not some kung-fu master or a super-hero in disguise. Back then she’d gone hiking with my dad and ran around after our dogs and me, but that was it. No weekend weight lifting or martial arts classes. Yet she’d somehow found an untapped strength to kill three armed men in defense of her daughter’s life. In defense of me.

     I thought back to all the years after the incident. The birthday parties, and sleepovers. The crafts, and cooking lessons, and quiet talks. All her goofy dance-moves and songs. How she always made me feel special and loved.

     How had she done it? How had she recovered from that? How had she managed to raise me in an atmosphere of acceptance and hope when something so devastating had occurred?

     When I questioned her later, she gave me the same answer she gave me each time I couldn’t fathom the depth of her forgiveness, or patience.

     “Because I love you.”

     Obviously there was more than that. My father’s support, and my grandma’s encouragement. She said that it was hard for her to sleep for a long time and that healing took years. But eventually she did heal, and deciding to get better was the first step.

     It wasn’t long after I brought up that night when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I want to write about the anger and helplessness I felt. But those words, those careful, simple words, can never convey the true depth of my emotions. To lose this amazing woman now? So young? After all she’d been though...

     She chose to fight for the extra two months the doctor promised her with medication. She wasn’t scared to die, she just wanted to live. She suffered the effects of the drugs with her usual aplomb. Smiling and teasing to the end. We were able to squeeze in three amazing trips to Europe and Hawaii before she was ready to let go. We had so many long talks with dad holding her in his lap, her scarf-wrapped head resting against his chest. But there weren’t enough. Could never be enough.

     In the end, when she was gone, I walked out and stared at the street in front of her house. Every detail of that day is burned into my memory with crystal clarity. It was early afternoon on a late summer day. I could smell fresh cut grass and the smoke from a barbeque. There were two little boys riding bikes up the street. A shiny red car drove by. Birds were calling from the trees and the sky was brilliant blue.

     I took it all in and was shocked that the world hadn’t even noticed that she was gone. That the most wonderful woman you could ever meet had died and all of these people didn’t care.

     The wind should have stopped blowing. The sun should have dimmed.

     But no one noticed. No one knew.

     That’s why I’ve written this. Not because the story of the killings should be read, that’s just the sensational part of a different story. But because, if I could just hold a snapshot of my mother up, not of her face, but of her soul, this incident would be it.

     She was... inexpressibly strong. Unconquerable in her love. There aren’t enough words to describe her. Remember when Russia didn’t have a word for peace? There needs to be a new word for the character of a person with all of her attributes.

     I hope that anyone reading this feels a twinge of loss. That they didn’t know her. That she’s gone.

     And I also hope that I can be as strong, and brave, and funny, and optimistic, and smart, and loving as she was one day.

     As my mother who killed. For me. For love.

     This story is a work of fiction based off of many of my and my families experiences.

     The woman that I lost that beautiful day was my grandma, Lois Margaret.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The universe is queerer than we can suppose.

I read that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable universe, and that each galaxy, including our own, contains hundreds of billions of stars.
Each star has the potential to harbor life sustaining planets.

We're talking, minimum, 10 to the 24th power of stars that we know of.
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars.

Mind boggling.

J.B.S. Haldane is a biologist from the 1800's who said, "Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy."

In all the vastness of the space that surrounds us, right now, circling those many many stars, I have to believe that the worlds of our imagination exist and are dreaming right back at us.