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I hate it when I start the month behind. I am already four days behind with no excuses to fall back on. This weekend was like a dream, or a nightmare perhaps. It was one of those where I had planned to really relax because I am still getting over the flu, so I did not really plan anything. I thought sleep would be a big part of it, but alas sleep even eluded me. And that is uncommon for me. I am a sleeper. I seem to need to recharge my batteries frequently and for longer periods of time.
I don't like the expression people use, "plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead." It puts such a negative connotation on sleep, like it's a really bad thing. I am slowly learning to accept that I cannot follow many of the beliefs of the culture that I live in, because they put me in a place where I feel bad about myself. And I am really trying not to do that. It is the only way I can move forward.
But honestly it is so difficult sometimes. When you are an introverted Idealist/Dreamer you must go it alone.
DO I wish I was not the person that I am? Yes, quite frequently. Almost everyday, and that's less than it used to be. In last months entries I talked about living in other people's shadows, particularly my sisters. That is part of why I did that. Most of these people were outgoing opinionated and strong-willed, everything I see that I am not. These traits are much more acceptable in our society than my introverted, overly-sensitive, emotional self. No wonder I wanted to hide. Although creativity is revered in my family, sensitivity, caring and excessive emotion are not.
I love this time of year. I think I started going on about this last month. The harvest moon has waxed, shown off it's glory, and waned, and now we are truly into Autumn. Most people I know mourn the summer, and can't stand all the falling leaves and the coolness in the air. I love it. I love the crispness of it. I love the sound and smell of the leaves, even as they are decomposing. I know that things are dying, and the earth is preparing for winter, but in that death there always holds a distant promise.
Even though I was brought up a Christian (RC), I had no concept of the idea of gratitude. Prayer was always about repentance and forgiveness; there was too much focus on negativity. The rituals and celebrations had nothing to do with feeling fortunate. It was all about trying to control all your natural human needs and desires.
Now that I am no longer a Christian, I feel a much stronger natural urge to give thanks everyday. Sitting here looking out at the slowly waking day, drinking my coffee and doing my 100 words, I can't believe how fortunate I am.
I really, really, really don't know what to write anymore. Not here. I mean here I can always find some little point to whine about, or there is always something in the day that deserves comment. I mean in my 'other' writing. The stuff that I struggle with everyday, because I am not sure what it is, what it is about. What I mean is, I always thought that I wanted to write 'serious' literary fiction. But is that really me? I am just discovering who 'me' is, so why can't I accept that I am just not there yet.
I am not really serious, and I wouldn't consider myself terribly literary, so what am I trying to prove by attempting to be a serious, literary writer? It just doesn't seem to be working. So what do I do? I have plenty of people around me who tell me what I should write about. It annoys the hell out of me that people love to give me their advice. But then I have to remind myself that by putting the questions out there, I invite people to give me their opinions. And then I am angry when they give them.
So, what advice have I received about what I should write?
Husband: You are a really good writer. I think journalism is more your style. Or, after I tell him a story he says, you should write about that! (Which, of course, I should).
Friend: You are very compassionate, you should write stories about the terrible things you see happening around you.
Work friend: You are so funny. I hope you are writing funny stories.
And that is just a partial list. The problem is that I grew up with the notion that literary writing was the only 'real' writing.
I was determined to track down the psychic today. I was so desperate to ask about these strange feelings I have been having about a person that I don't know. I feel that my heart almost stops when I see him, but not in a love/sex kind of way, but in a memory kind of way. I am sure that I know him from somewhere, yet all the avenues I have investigated make no sense. He is too young to be a person that I actually may have known in the past, but too old to be their offspring.
My feeling memory of him is so strong that it literally takes my breath away. I shake to the core of my being, and I feel that it would not be strange for me to walk up to him and say something as if we have known each other for a lifetime. Does this make me crazy? Perhaps. How can I feel such a strong connection to somebody I have never even spoken to? Some people would say that we were connected to each other in a past life, but I don't know how much I believe in such things.
I don't know what else can explain it. The only thing is perhaps that he reminds me of somebody I once knew, but even as I say that, I know it's not true. I couldn't contact the psychic which I am thinking is a good thing, because if I had, I would have paid her way too much money to tell me something that I can figure out for myself. I know that she would tell me I knew him in a past life. If this is true, why am I meeting him again? What am I meant to learn?
I don't know if I really believe that stuff about past lives. I know I already said that, but then I just wrote in the last entry as if I absolutely do believe it. I can't make up my mind. This is what I mean about me not making a very good fundamentalist. I am too undecided about things. There are just too many possibilities.
Times that I do believe in it are when things happen in this life that seem so achingly familiar, yet you can remember no occurrence that will satisfactorily explain them. Deja vu doesn't do it.
There are many different explanations for what deja vu actually is. And although I do consider myself to be a skeptic, none of the explanations really ring true with me. Again, I tend to question everything, and although I do believe science has helped us to understand many things, it is not the 'absolute' that some people take it to be. It is not some objective truth that is out there waiting until we discover it. It is a creation of the human mind; a system devised in the hopes that we can rationalize the world and our own minds.
So what do I believe that deja vu is? I don't know. I really don't. I believe that it is something much more complicated than our scientific explanations. I find it hard to believe that a mere glitch in our brains could cause that overwhelming sensation of having been somewhere before, or having known somebody before. I have a friend at work who has an interesting theory. She also frequently has experiences where she encounters people that set off an incredibly strong sensation of familiarity, yet they cannot determine any common ground. Amazing cosmic occurrence, or a tendency towards epilepsy?
So, my friend's theory about deja vu is that it has to do with past lives. That we have perhaps already been there before, or known these people before. She, like myself, often has people say to her "Don't I know you from somewhere?" or "You look like somebody I have met before but I can't put my finger on it". It really happens a lot to both of us. So she figures that these people recognize us from a past life, and we somehow are more open to these different existences in time, so people pick up on that.
My friend and I have both, on many occasions, been told that we have "psychic" abilities, and perhaps because of this are more tuned into things that have come before. Perhaps the experiences of past lives can be seen as people look at us, and this gives people the strong sense of recognition (re-cognition). Or it's just a load of hooey, and people that have more frequent occurrences of deja vu have a greater tendency toward epilepsy and seizures. That's one of the scientific explanations. It's only a theory, of course, because one can't create deja vu on demand.
The idea about the epilepsy is that the brain keeps repeating sensations and images that you have seen before, things that are locked or logged in your brain. It does this randomly, but sometimes the repeated emotion or sensation occurs during a certain experience, which causes you to connect the feeling to that experience or that person. Thus because of this mismatching of emotion and image, an intense belief is created that you have been in that situation before, or that you have some connection to that person that is not reality. The explanation as perhaps plausible, but how dull!
Some of the most interesting experiences I have had, and connections I have made with people are because of these types of deja vu experiences. They have affected me so intensely, that I ignore my usual reticence and approach people that I otherwise would not have. The things I have learned and encounters I have had would otherwise be outside my usual comfort zone, which makes it worth me believing that there is something mystical or magical about these occurrences. If I believed the science, I would just respond by thinking "just another brain fart", and leave it at that.
I took a course in Uni called Brain and Behaviour. I thought it would be so interesting. Unfortunately, it was being taught by a man who is, or was, head of the B.C. Skeptics society. Now, I am a skeptic too, to a point. There are some things that people claim to be able to do, or cure, or whatever, (which usually involves them making money) and I can't believe that people actually are willing to believe their claims-sometimes they are just so far-fetched. But I hate the thought of life with no magic or mystery either.
Some people are afraid of mystery, and definitely nervous about magic. I believe that was true of my professor who was head of the B.C. Skeptics society. Whenever he talked about people even considering doing things that did not have some scientific evidence to back them up, he would have such a condescending tone of voice. He would speak with such a sense of superiority. Like when he told a story of a group of people that said remote prayers for a friend who was sick. But, honestly, stupid or not, what harm could that possibly do to anybody?
I think I am catching up, yet I look at the number of days in dark blue and they seem to be growing. I am so pre-occupied right now with so many mundane things. And so, so tired. Is this part of menopause, or peri (meaning around)-menopause? I read symptoms on many websites, but nobody mentions bone-crushing fatigue. It's fatigue like I have never felt before in my life, and I am starting to forget what it's like to be normal. To wake up and not have my first thought be about when I can sleep again.
Anyway back to magic again. Many people that I work with are afraid of mystery and things that they can't verify--or anything emotional. It's all far too messy. For many of them, I think that is why they became Physiotherapists; because they think all of what they do is based on "solid" science, which of course makes it right. We will ignore the fact that it changes every couple of years as the "science" gets "better", whatever that means. They believe that they are getting closer to the truth, and I want to warn them that there isn't one.
Some people say that science is the modern-day religion. I am not so sure I agree with that. But there are some similarities. We don't move forward with anything until "science" has said that it is O.K. An example I am thinking of right now is the new "liberation" treatment for M.S. Even thought it appears to have helped a large number of people, we cannot go ahead with it until it has been studied, researched and proven to be O.K. These sounds reasonable to some people, but there are questions as you look more closely.
When you believe that the search for the "truth" is reasoned and logical, it makes us feel assured that we are actually on the road to the "truth" (you know that absolute that doesn't exist). But it is still subject to the unreasoned brain of humankind, and that is its flaw-that science is a human construct. Those that are wanting more research of the "liberation" treatment are saying ridiculous things like "this treatment could potentially kill people", as if that doesn't happen with hundreds of other treatments that science happily condones and we perform day in and day out.
When a new medical treatment is within the accepted realm of science, then we are all happy to embrace it and join in the excitement, and there is no talk of more research, and questions about the long term effects, and so on. But when a new treatment comes along and questions a belief that has been accepted and followed for many years, panic ensues. If we had scientists who were able to be as logical and objective as science itself, these new ideas would be embraced without sentiment or opposition, and the money would be found to study them.
O.K. I have been on a...hmmm...I can't really call it a rant or a tirade, those are too strong. I have just been contemplating, in an abstract way, some of the things that I encounter in my everyday (work) life. I can't really do this at work because I work with a bunch of people that desperately need to prove how smart they are (my childhood revisited), and I become intimidated even though I know most of them are full of shit. They really have a need to make others (particularly those in subordinate positions) feel stupid.
I got sidetracked in my last entry. I was meaning to take a break from my usual musings to think, or talk about NaNoWriMo. I have never attempted this before, but I think I am going to try it this time. By some bizarre coincidence, I have more holidays than I thought this year, so I am taking almost two weeks off in November and I am really going to focus on writing without too much pre-thought or pre-judgement. But I am worried...maybe I should plan before hand...write an outline...or maybe I should just write...
Before I veer off into anything else, I must ask, where the hell is Jodi? After 8 years, she has suddenly given up???
Now in my last musing I was comparing the attachment to science with the attachment to religion. They both generally abandon many forms of belief for one particular form or path; one particular method for seeking out what they believe, or want to believe, is the truth. Or perhaps the 'right' answer. Humans are so in need of having some sort of framework to shape their experience. But we don't want to admit that we need anything.
I think if everyday I felt the way I feel this rainy October morning, I could actually tap into that emotional geiser that would add some feeling to my writing. Most days when I start to write, I am afraid of being unable to express the true emotion that I feel, so I go cerebral instead. But on days like today, I feel I could gladly write a flood of words and within all that would be one worthwhile drop of emotion that I would otherwise never be able to squeeze out of the barren desert of my emotional landscape.
Just had a very sad conversation with my favourite uncle who lives in England. I tried to keep it as light as possible-I had avoided the call because I was worried that I wouldn't know what to say. I have learned so much from B. saying "just say the truth". What a concept (one that I did not grow up with)! Anyway, I received a voice-mail message from him this week in which he very matter-of-factly stated "I have come to the conclusion I am an old man, and I am going to call it quits".
When I got my uncle on the phone today, he thought it was hilarious that I thought his message had sounded like the final statement of one who is going to do away with himself. He is a Roman Catholic priest, I am a just lapsed enough to forget that taking one's own life is one of the most serious sins. I'm glad I was able to make him laugh, as what he was actually telling me is that he is moving to a home "for the elderly".
I will very likely take November off as I am doing NaNoWriMo!
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