i’m back from OCF, moe is back from chicago, i was in the greenwood seafair parade (where the art cars won the trophy!), i had a rehearsal, our weekend houseguest (moe’s friend/student diana, and owner of one of lucy’s puppies, ben) has come and gone and i’ve had a “weekend” (although it was monday and today), and now i’ve got enough spoons (i think) to be ready for what comes ahead… which includes another rehearsal, a gig at the locks, another parade (the magnolia seafair parade), and getting together with my father to get his curved soprano saxophone.
By Andy Weir
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy – i didn’t like him when he was president, but since then he has done a surprising 180 for a lot of things, and i like that about him…
i just got back from a week at the oregon country fair, where i was alone because my sweetie had to stay home with the pets, but the trade off is that, now, i am home with the pets while moe is at some veterinary conference in chicago.
while the weather is much cooler and nicer here than it is in illinois, i would rather be with my sweetie. 🙁
i went and paid my money and got my “authorisation” as a “medical cannabis” patient… it was sort of a joke, because this guy that i never saw before asked me non-medical questions about my use of cannabis, and enjoyed my anecdotes about my recent adventures at the oregon country fair, and i gave them $75 cash and they gave me a one-year “prescription” for the “treatment” of a “terminal or debilitating medical condition” which calls for the liberal and unrestricted application of cannabis and cannabis-infused products… which means that, now, i can go to the WFTCFM without having to worry that they won’t let me in… and, technically, it means that i can get two ounces for what i was paying for one ounce prior to getting the “authorisation”…
legal cannabis… LEGAL CANNABIS… LEGAL CANNABIS!!
i still have my doubts about whether it’s ever going to be legal on the federal level, but this is a BIG step in the right direction! 😎
i got back from OCF yesterday.
apparently i got a call from gliz about business cards when i was out of town a while ago (when i went to heppner, possibly?), but i had never done them, and forgotten about them, so when i got a call from gliz this morning about “where are my business cards?” i was a bit taken aback… but i believe i handled it very well, starting with an apology for spacing out on them whenever it was that he originally called about them, and then making arrangements to have them printed post haste…
i must take a REAL camera to OCF next year. this year i only took my phone, which was a big mistake: lack of disk space, weird focusing rules, practically no control over the shutter speed and no tripod mount are the primary difficulties… i got some decent quality pictures, but nowhere near as many as i would have if i had a real camera.
and more pictures, if anyone is truly interested.
i’ve been consciously getting ready for OCF for a couple of weeks now — it strikes me very odd that OCF and OCD are so similar…
i bought a cot which will raise me off the cold ground by a few inches, but will still fit into my tube-tent, which means that i will not have to deal with blowing up a mattress that will just need blowing up again before the night is over. i’ve got out my trippy-toy that you hold over your eyes and blow into… and try not to fall over when you get hyperventilated and/or see the trippy patterns that it makes. i’ve got two boxes of camping gear, including my tent, poles and stakes, tarps, plastic end-clips, paracord, bungee cords, therma-rest, sleeping bag, hatchet, and machete (only don’t tell anyone, especially simon), my box of sound effects, including a dozen self-inflating whoopie cushions, my didjeri-flute, microphone, digital delay and amplifier (so that i won’t have to figure out how to hook into the sound system at the last minute, like i did last year), and my tuba and requisite gear (music, chair, folding stand, battery-powered light, spare batteries)…
this is as much a list of things i have to bring, in order to pinpoint any things that i might have forgotten as much as it is anything else…
i’m still not decided whether i’m leaving on tuesday or wednesday… i’m leaning steadily towards tuesday, but i might change my mind at some point… i’m coming back monday, with seanjohn, so i have to make sure i’ve got enough room for his gear as well as mine.
tomorrow is monday. i’ve got a rehearsal tomorrow evening at 7:30, and i want to go to the leather store in the pike place market to see if they have utility belts, so that i will have a belt to carry all my utilities in… the next day is tuesday. at best, i’m leaving around 8:00 am or thereabouts. i may actually stay and go to a sousa band rehearsal tuesday evening, and if i do, then i’m leaving around 8:00 am wednesday.
a conversation with a beetle… 😎
LOST ZORA – a 9-year-old, female papillon – call 1-888-466-3242 with any information!
we found her… or, she found us… we were sleeping outside, and she walked up to moe (at about4:00 in the morning) and lay down on her back. she’s covered in sticky vine residue, but she’s home, and she’s OKAY! 😥
i used to post a lot of political news and some commentary… i was obsessed with the news, and gulped it down in great quantities.
and what i discovered is that it stressed me out. things are going to be shitty all over regardless of whether i know about it or not, and the less i know about stuff, the less i care when shitty things happen…
and they WILL happen. whatever i do to stop them won’t make a damn bit of difference, because that’s just the world we live in. some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.
so when i have the choice between reading about how the egyptian army is getting set to overthrow the egyptian president and watching a video of somebody using extremely detailed, plastic, miniature utensils and food to cook and assemble a complete bento box and more, i’m sorry to say that, these days, i’m a lot more inclined to watch the teensy plastic chef than i am to worry about what’s happening in egypt.
it may not be particularly socially conscious, but it’s what i have discovered does the best for my state of mind.
Frostbite is good for arthritis AND depression!
i was going to post yesterday, but then i spent two nights ago not sleeping very well and having dreams that i wished i wasn’t having — and waking up on more than one occasion, specifically to end a particularly annoying dream, only to have it resume, more or less, when i succeeded in getting back to sleep — so when i finally got up yesterday i was already in a sour mood… and then i turned on my computer and the sour mood increased about ten-fold, which was not made any better by the fact that i couldn’t get my backups to work the way i wanted to, because of the fact that the crack used a “new, different” way of intruding, which the host provider was less than forthcoming about explaining…
i actually had everything fixed by 11:00 am or so, but my mood was so bad, and it was so hot, that, by that time, all i wanted to do was watch the god-damned-noisy-box, smoke cannabis and drink… first mountain dew, then water, then beer. seriously, the temperatures have been in the low-90s and upper-80s, but it has been more humid than i have ever seen before (around here, it’s par for the course in illinois and alabama), and the overall effect is that the temperature is oppressively hot, which made the god-damned-noisy-box even more inviting… if i had a swimming pool, it be a lot better…
but, unfortunately, if i had a swimming pool, realistically, it would only get used a week or so a year, and the rest of the time i would have to maintain it… so it’s probably better this way… it’s a lot more realistic to dream of a sauna, because i’d use that year round EXCEPT for the really hot days…
anyway, if i had posted yesterday, this would have been that post:
the oregon country fair is in a little more than a week. i had in mind to distribute QR code stickers for music at the fair, but they haven’t even contacted me with a shipping date yet, and i placed the order almost a month ago. so THIS is the reason why NOT to use StickerRobot when time is sensitive. they may make the best stickers in the world (for all i know, they haven’t delivered them yet), but if a simple, square, black-and-white sticker takes them a month, i am less than impressed.
the panto this year is Dick Whittington, which i have wanted to do for two years now. it should be a great show, although i haven’t seen it yet. we’ve got some of the music, we’re getting more tonight, and, as usual, we’re probably going to get new music when we arrive at the fair… at this point, the fact that we’ve never performed the panto all the way through, even once, doesn’t faze me very much… we have almost exactly the same routine every year, and it invariably comes out on the other end as a finished work of art. the real fun is working together to make it a work of art… and the reactions of the audiences when we perform.