Posts Tagged With: separation and society

Sneak Peek at where I’m going: Angel Mine, Devil Twined

Juliet Notions

The end of my road turned out to be somewhat similar to the beginning; a fork with two paths, no signs, and a dark fog camouflaging the distance. My knees trembled as with any normal human. This, in and of itself, was something to be noted. When I first stepped on to this planet, wingless and bloodied, I hadn’t hesitated to choose a course and follow it, but eons had the propensity to change a person.

A person, humph.

I’d seen beasts become man, and then revert back to a perverted version of their origins. They used every means to destroy love at its foundation, cannibalizing gifts through high ambition and ever lessening compassion until the last of them fell. Though I tried to carry him here so this choice would not be mine alone, he fought as they all fought to push me away; and so I stand alone, deciding which road—allow them to begin again or send the whole of humanity, all the renewed promise of their future, to oblivion.

“No one being should be responsible for such a decision,” I said to an unresponsive sky, and then sat on a rock to eat the very last apple.

The road behind me had evaporated the closer I came to the fork. No going back, no way to figure out the course forward. A child cried in the back of my mind, a hopeless scream of sorts, eerie in its echo out to lifeless arms. No one had been left to hold her, so she lay beside the shells of her dead parents and wept. Soon after her tears ended the cold night blanketed her bone bare body, stealing one final breath.

As tragic as her passing, I envied it. She was the last child ever born and perhaps the final for this next cycle of eternity. Knowing the pain of her end made my choice a tearing and brutal one. If I allowed them to exist again, how could I be certain they’d be wiser?

In the hills many miles and years back, an elderly woman had invited me in to rest at her cabin for several days before continuing my journey. Deep wrinkles of her dark skin pulled and fell as she spoke each night, the fire light crafting her face into a mask of somewhat grotesque comfort. Comfort only in that she was the very last of her age to survive, and I hadn’t seen another human for some time.

“What of the wars,” I had asked. “Did you lose many?”

Her voice dropped in soft innocence. “Oh, those were some years back. I recall a husband and two sons, then a daughter stolen to the ravage, but it’s been so long.” She paused briefly to drink bark tea, and her face pulled sharp at its bitterness. “It’s been so long I can’t count those memories true. A story from a traveler such as yourself perhaps.”

Her ignorance of the outside world touched me then, and I wondered if she knew that no other soul would see as many days as she had seen. The dark creases of her face were the last to touch this world.

I struggled through a lumped throat to continue. “The, um, pictures in the hall show a family of five,” I had said. “That seems to fit with your memory.”

Her forehead pinched in pain or confusion. It was difficult to tell which. “Yes, but… I had a maw and paw once, too. Only, I can’t see them in my head anymore, or any siblings of recollection.” She dropped her head back and rocked away the struggle.

It was a Monday when I buried her, and though her passing tragic, I envied it.

The war on the soul came in too many forms to count. Of the victims, the elderly and youth suffered greatest in the battles. Ravaged by disinterest and contempt, the beasts of this world crafted the young into robotic soldiers, and then ate them whole; while simultaneously sucking the dignity of those who might lead with greater wisdom. They separated the hearts of men from everything of substance, fashioning them into the next generation of beasts for the feeding.

For my part, I bear the scars of too many long days, sharp teeth, and ferrying hope to those who could never grasp it.

I threw the apple core and watched it disappear into the fog. My decision grew closer with its encroachment, but not enough to choose a path. The weight of an entire race lay heavy and the memories I’d gathered too dark to reason anything positive. On one shoulder an angel wept with tears of pity and prayers of hope; on the other a devil snickered with taunts of continued destruction and torment. Both desired humanities return for entirely different purposes, but neither swayed in their argument.

In the fog, the voice of a man I’d once met called out. His suburban home had been neat, trimmed grass and kept cars. Two children rolled in the backyard, giggling and tossing leaves at one another. They eventually collapsed in a pile and watched the clouds, each calling out shapes as they floated by us. In the kitchen their mother hummed as she prepared dinner before leaving to work the night shift at a local factory, and their father sat next to me, packing an old wooden pipe with sweet tobacco.

“You see,” he had said, dragging in a puff. “It’s not easy, but we make it work. The kids get us both, and we try hard to spend quality time with them. Family trips and such.”

“Wouldn’t it aid them to have one of you home,” I had asked.

He took a swig of his fourth beer. “Of course, of course, but I was a latchkey kid raised by a single mom. She worked three jobs to make sure we had everything. That’s when I learned the importance of a good work ethic and quality time. We didn’t see her much, but she made those times count.” His eyes dropped, and the remainder of the conversation lost itself to furrowed memories.

Several years later, he died after a second heart attack, passing his ideals of a strong work ethic and quality time to the teenage children standing graveside.

And still, I envied his passing.

The war on families had been the most pervasive, a final deathblow being a core of common problems everyone faced, but none strong enough to break its cycle. Thinning wages and longer hours plated children up to the system’s wicked hand. Media and law enforced instruction raised them to be separate yet unequal, growing discord to such staccatos that parents were left shaken and unsure—self-doubt stalking as their own personal beasts.

By far, this war had taken more souls than any bullet could hope to gather. Each battle that had been raged against any form of comfort and love hit its mark with fatal accuracy, and separation was its primary goal. The vile roamed free to destroy innocence with silent abuse while the innocent pandered to institutions in an effort to avoid being caged. Sadly, they lived this lie for lifetimes behind invisible bars, waiting for the loneliest deaths on crisp linen beds.

The man who had traveled this path with me some ways back stumbled out of the fog as I sat lost in my struggles. He paused briefly, then staggered sideways, unable to keep his footing. A glint of red dripped from his nose from the effort of each movement and fell down to puddle between stones. Bones creaked and joints twisted in the way a marionette might stand with its strings slacked, and for a moment I thought he might join me by the path side, but neither of us moved.

“Not done,” he exhaled a pained whisper.

“With what,” I asked, digging my boot into the soil.

“Living.” Without hesitation, he lurched forward to follow one of the two forks ahead.

I watched in silent awe at the determination and spirit trailing him. For all the miles, all the pain, all the war and destitute, this one remaining soul pushed on to something no longer in my sight, and I envied the hope in his steps.

“To the right then,” I whispered to an unresponsive sky, and the fog enveloped us both.

Categories: Drive by life | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Dropping off the Edge of the World – a look at Truth v. Fact

00 flat earth

For centuries people believed the world was flat. In fact, they defended this belief so strongly that anyone making a claim to the contrary was considered crazy. It took several astute philosophers, greek astronomers, and three misguided ships to awaken the consciousness of the larger populace.

When the new world had been discovered, many thousands of people sought refuge from persecution. They desperately flocked to this country to find a little piece of land to build the life they envisioned. However, even with an intimate knowledge of pain and suffocation, many willingly enslaved others.

The slave trade thrived and grew, gaining a footing of enormous proportions in this country. These half-men, as many saw them, were brutalized all in the name of superiority and profit. It took a select few with a broader definition of the meaning of humanity to break the chain, and give these people the respect and equality they deserved.

Perception and truth are funny things. Something is a fact of the world until a few brave souls stand up to challenge it. The group will often fight because change is difficult. As humans, we want a firm grasp of our reality – unmovable facts that define the shape of our world  and who we are. The anxiety and fear intimately tied to change rules every decision the group makes, and those in a position of “authority” often use these emotions to manipulate actions, thoughts, and beliefs.

For fans of The Walking Dead, you can see this clearly in the town of Woodbury. The Governor used the rescue attempt of two characters as a call to arms to attack a smaller group just trying to survive. He painted them as a threat, terrorist bent on taking over the town and destroying the peace they’d fought to create. His truth, created out of fear and revenge, became the townspeople’s reality… until they realized he was freaking insane.

Why do I use fiction instead of something going on in the world today?

Well, that may be the easiest question to answer. Because fiction often mirrors society, only on a tighter more intense scale. What we’re capable of seeing from a more objective standpoint can be a better example than current events, not because it can’t be argued, but people are more willing to calmly discuss something that doesn’t directly affect their lives.

Before we “choose a side” of any issue, we must first consider the lessons of the past. How much of what we believe as a society has been disproven or changed? Hell, when I grew up, Pluto was still a planet. But millions of children will never know this because the shape of their reality has been forever changed.

Anyone asserting anything as an absolute truth is simply talking about their truth, the way they see the world at this very moment. That’s not say it’s a lie, but it’s also not a fact.

Here’s the difference in bullet point format:

Facts –

  • I was born June 26, 1973.
  • I have four sisters and one brother.
  • I was married twice.
  • I birthed three children and lost a fourth in my third month of pregnancy.
  • I currently live on a farm in West Virginia.
  • I haven’t died yet.

My Truth –

  • No political party has the definitive answer on how to run the country well.
  • God exists because I believe he does, not because anyone else tells me so.
  • There are energies and things in this universe we will never be able to explain or record.
  • Man is inherently good.
  • We are all beings of light with a greater purpose only the universe knows.
  • Separation is an illusion. We are all connected whether we choose to recognize it or not.
  • We will not change until we release fear and doubt.
  • There are no ultimate truths.

There’s a distinct difference between fact and truth.

Facts are actual recordable data at a specific moment in time, some of which may change – like Pluto being a planet or my father having more children I don’t know about – but for the most part they’re stationary points in history. It was a fact that people believed the world was flat, but not an actual fact that the world was flat. So, we have to be very careful about what we point out to be absolute. I know for a fact the sun will rise each morning… until it doesn’t.

Truth is based on individual or group perception. It’s usually followed by an extremely emotional argument about how someone else is right or wrong. While interesting and provocative, it can also be very divisive. Man has proven its willingness to fight to the death for these truths, causing pain and chaos. Not one of our more endearing qualities as humans, but certainly a defining characteristic.

So, here’s where I screw with your head.

Given that people believed the world being flat was an absolute fact, can we say for certain that anything we know without a doubt to be fact is more than a personal truth?

Fact – I haven’t died yet.

Truth – But I suppose it depends on whether I’ve actually ever lived in the first place. 🙂

Categories: Choice, Fact v. Truth, separation and society, the universes we create | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Illusion of Separation

 

00 holding hands

 

 

Illusions are easy to live in, especially for an optimist. And the world desperately conspires to give them breath with the idea we can all get along. Why not? We’re all the same… on the inside.

Well, that’s an illusion too, isn’t it?

Society is hell bent on creating separation. It gives people another illusion – that of power. Countries and social circles hunger for it, and will use any means, be it hate or love, to control a little speck of the universe. They force people to defend their rights, defend their very character, even in the face of those who love them.

Twelve years ago, the country found a new enemy, but they didn’t stop at the faceless “terror” living thousands of miles away. Much like the Japanese American interment camps during WWII, our own citizens became the demons we fought. Suspicion, targeting, blackballing; all it becoming the norm, forcing otherwise innocent people to prove they were actually innocent. Guised as protection, the powers that be used this fire to enact several laws and create agencies to further tight their hold on the country, thus expanding their power.

McCarthyism in the early to mid 1950’s is yet another example. Many writers, directors, and actors as well as everyday citizens lost entire careers, entire families ripped apart because of finger pointing and rumor. It pitted neighbor squarely against neighbor in  a quest to prove personal innocence. Again, suspicion and fear became the norm and tool by which “order” and conformity was maintained.

But we’re more evolved now, right?

If society wasn’t hell bent on creating separation, I might say yes. But power and control are mighty tempting things. The lust for them lives in the eyes of society, and it will find the one perceived threat to its sovereignty,  then ban together and point fingers to divert attention from its end goal.

The concept of separation and the lust for power is a heavy theme in my novel, Ring Binder – The Binding of Twelve, because I believe books should be entertaining but also incorporate themes that break illusion.

Allison grew up in a small town plagued by rumors about her family. The peculiar behavior of her grandmother Shanley created the perfect target for a town that thrived on drama and separation. Of course, Allison didn’t help the situation by choosing not to follow social norms for the sake of getting along. She isolated herself from ridicule and sideways glances, adding to the tension. But the grab for social rankings and the separatist attitude of the majority of town’s residence seemed petty and childish at best.

When Allison ventured into the world of her people this dynamic was magnified. The ruling council of the Mutaní lusted for power and control, maintaining both by encouraging suspicion and unease. Again, the rules of their society served one purpose – separation. By preying on people’s fear of the Iska, soul feeding demons who hunted them, the council effectively manipulated the will and minds of the many to accomplish their end goal, which created a cycle of death killing entire generations.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to governments. It trickles down to infect social circles and even families. When we buy into the illusion of us versus them, when we gossip and spread rumors to defame another simply to maintain power and control over the people in our universe, then we become the monsters of separation. And while I still believe everyone, despite the individual and internal battles we fight, can find a way to get along, it’s difficult to tolerate energy in my universe that thrives on making people choose sides or creates division for the sake of maintaining power.

So what’s the alternative? I’m not sure.

How can we put an end to the illusion that we need to separate into camps? Hell, if I know.

My best option at the moment is respect people from a distance until we find common ground; until everyone realizes we have this one life, this one planet we share, and none of us will ever have power or control over it. At least, not for too long.

I leave you with the opening quote in Ring Binder from Samuel Lonary, shifter and Binder trainer.

“Longevity has given me the ability to look past the common struggles of life. I’ve seen power rise with the dawn only to be reclaimed by darkness. In the reach for control, the one constant is the moon. Pulling the tide with each orbit, the moon reaches into the hearts of men to touch them with power and insanity. For centuries, the Mutaní drew upon its light for ascension. We sought connection to the objects on a spiritual plane, but in this quest, the power corrupts. As our focus turned from the preservation of life to the sole saviors of humanity, the Mutaní forgot the lessons of history. All power is borrowed, even ours. Eventually, it too will set as the moon rises.”

 

 

Categories: freedom, lettng go, life, questions, self reflection, spirituality, the fear that binds us, the universes we create, themes, what once was, writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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