The Dawning: Aquarius

2012-1

I’ve been counting down since 2005.

I’m not kidding.

I wanted an upheaval of everyday life. No more tall buildings. No more pollution. No more government, money, or capitalism. If it takes a pandemic, a pole shift, a giant volcanic eruption or a galactic alignment, so be it. Just so long as something about this world changes.

There have been so many apocalyptic theories made over the last five or ten years that I don’t dare make a prediction. I don’t believe one will be more likely to occur than the other. In fact, at great reluctance, I’ve resigned myself to the possibility that absolutely nothing could happen.

But hasn’t there been enough evidence in our planet’s history to point to our inevitable demise? Dinosaurs roamed the earth for 160 million years, and a meteor wiped them out. Ice ages and global meltdowns are a part of Earth’s natural climate regulation. Our magnetic poles have shifted several times before, there’s talk of volcanic activity under Yellowstone, and our tectonic plates are moving at rates faster than any scientist has seen before.

As humans, we’re equally as responsible. We’ve depleted the ozone layer by pumping our atmosphere full of greenhouse gases. We’ve contributed to the acceleration of climate change. We’re harvesting nuclear weapons; we’re drilling and spilling our oil. Our economies (which include monetary systems, politics, educational institutions, and businesses both big and small) are so fucked that they’re beyond repair. Our values are off, our health is down, and our waistlines are larger than ever. It’s pretty clear that if we don’t straighten ourselves out, we’re on a sure path to extinction, quite possibly within our lifetime.

If the world doesn’t end next week.

Doomsday conspiracies aside, the most significant change taking place is a shift in our ages. Years ago, when ancient civilizations were at large (and by respect, not so ancient), they mapped the skies and found that the earth rotates on an axis, and wobbles as it revolves around the sun. Consequently, on the morning of the Spring Equinox, roughly every 2,150 years, the sun will rise in a different constellation of the zodiac. This is known as the Precession of the Equinox. The constellation in which the sun rises determines what “age” we’re in. Today, and for the last two thousand years or so, we’ve been in the Age of Pisces, but we’re soon moving out of it, and into the Age of Aquarius.

But what does that mean, exactly?

I don’t really know. But examining patterns derived from past ages might give us a clue. Zodiac

  • Christianity arose during the age of Pisces, which is symbolized by two fish. Throughout the New Testament, there are numerous references to “two fish,” including a verse in Matthew where Jesus feeds 5,000 men with a couple of loaves of bread and two fish.
  • Jesus was aware of the Precession of the Equinox, and in Luke 22:10, he tells his followers what’s coming next. He says, “Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.” This water bearer he is referring to is none other than Aquarius.
  • Jesus also reveals, in Matthew, just how long he plans to be with us; “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  • Judaism was the world’s prominent religion during the Age of Aries. One might notice that to bring in a Jewish New Year, Jews blow a ram’s horn.
  • Also in Judaism, after Moses frees the Hebrews from Egypt, he climbs Mt. Sinai to retrieve the Ten Commandments from God. When he returns with the tablets, he find his people worshiping a golden bull. Moses is livid, and most contemporary Jews believe he was upset to see them worshiping a false idol. But that isn’t entirely true. They were in the Age of Aries, and the bull represented the Age of Taurus, which they were no longer in.
  • In texts that pre-date the Bible, bulls, oxen, and cattle are considered sacred animals. Even in modern day Hinduism, they are considered sacred.
  • Today, with the rise of science and technology, people are beginning to relinquish their beliefs in God. But something new is cropping up in it’s place. Maybe, as we usher in the Age of Aquarius, we’ll discover new truths and let go of our out-dated deities.

If you’re really interested in the ages and their religious ramifications, I would recommend watching this.

In 2005, when I began my countdown to the end of the world, I looked up the definition of apocalypse in the dictionary. Among numerous meanings that implied destruction and devastation, one interpretation stood alone.

Apocalypse (noun)
4. Any revelation or prophecy

It’s possible we misunderstood the Mayans. They prophesied the end of one thing, and the beginning of something new. Astronomically, they were talking about the Precession, but spiritually, they could have been talking about something entirely different. In shedding the old age, the Age of Pisces, we’re expected to shed our old beliefs. What comes next is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

But I know one thing. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the apocalypse. For seven years, I’ve been watching documentaries, reading articles, and discussing with peers what December 21st, 2012 might bring. Obsessed is a good word for it. I’ve been anxious to finally see what happens. As a creative individual, I’ve spent a great amount of time imagining what could be, playing out scenarios in my head just for fun. There’s much room for possibility! But I’m also a logical individual, and for as many apocalyptic theories as I’ve come across, there are just as many facts disputing them. The world, as it turns out, might not end.

There’s only one more week left to go. That’s another 189 hours before we arrive at the date that almost every prophecy points to. Life will go on, or it won’t. What happens will happen.

At this point, we can only wait and see.

*******

Some cool videos you might be interested in:
Zeitgeist on Religion
Shift of the Ages
A Mayan Explanation
2012 & Beyond

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Thoughts from a Jewish Atheist

Lately, I’ve been feeling very connected to my Jewish heritage. Which is odd, because I can’t say I’ve ever felt this way before.

I was raised in a Jewish household and attended a Jewish day school for most of my childhood. My education came complete with a Bat Mitzvah and an all-expenses paid trip to Israel.

But even then, in the Promised Land, I didn’t feel this connection. It is imperative, now, before you read any further, that you understand that my connection has very little to do with faith.

You see, I am Jewish, but I am also an atheist. I do not believe in God. I battled for years with my faith and finally settled on the unwavering decision that an all-powerful creator just isn’t for me. I’m much happier without Him.

So how is it, then, that I can feel Jewish? What could Judaism possibly hold for me if God has no place in it?

First, I’m in love with the tradition. I couldn’t care less about the meanings behind them, but I’ve come to cherish the bond I feel with my fellow Jews when we carry out a tradition. Judah Macabee who? Just pass me the matchbook – Chanukah is here and it’s time to light the candles. At B’nai Mitzvahs, I love dancing the Hora and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fully intend to dance it at my own wedding. And please don’t get me started on my Nana’s brisket and Matzo ball soup. It’s to die for!

When I am with a fellow Jew, I recognize the common thread between us. We share similar milestones and hold the same values. We believe the same thing – or at least we’re supposed to. But the amazing thing about the Jewish religion is that it’s okay to wrestle with your faith. I’ve struggled with mine and came to my own decisions, and my comrade has struggled with his/hers and came to another decision. And that is completely okay. We’re both still Jewish!

Lastly, I’m not fishing for pity points here, but let’s talk about the Holocaust. I was born to a Jewish woman and I was Bat Mitzvah-ed. If I had been a Jew in Europe during World War II, I’d be in serious trouble, despite how little “faith” I possess. How can I not feel the loss of six million lives at the hand of one sadistic bastard? And it was all because of our heritage – our family tree.

Which bring me back to point. I have no Jewish faith. What I have is a Jewish heritage. We have a rich history, regardless of how “far back” you choose to believe.

My feelings of connectivity also stems from working my third season at the same school I attended as a child. Suddenly, Shabbat is back in life, even if it is only when I bring my students to in-school temple services. I’m saying prayers before and after meals again, and I interact with our rabbis on a daily basis. I’m busy fulfilling one of Judaism’s most highly regarded philosophies: L’dor v’ dor. From generation to generation. Regardless of how much or little I believe, it’s a beautiful thing.

(Dipping briefly into current events, I had my own personal reaction to the recent attacks at the Gaza Strip. This past summer, I felt a deep sense of pride when Olympic gymnast, Aly Raisman performed her floor routine to Hava Nagila.)

I don’t keep kosher. I refuse to fast on Yom Kippur, and I could honestly give three shits about marrying inside the religion. But I do want my children to have Jewish names. I will want them to understand why they are being forced to sit through a three-hour temple service. We can celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, as long as they understand the differences between them and why they are significant.

God doesn’t exist for me. I’ve redefined Judaism to suit my own needs. This weekend, when I shake Aly Raisman’s hand, I’ll thank her for choosing Hava Nagila. In March, when I bid my students, my school, and my community goodbye, I’ll recognize what I am leaving behind. This winter, as I light the Chanukah candles with my friends and family, I’ll cherish the connection I feel with them. And next year, when I light my candles alone, I’ll still be Jewish.

Daily Prompt

An Analysis of the Dynamic between Charlotte and Tiana: An Essay on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

I’ve always been a huge Disney fan, which is why I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write an essay examining the dynamic between Tiana and Charlotte. Their friendship intrigued me, so for fun, I decided to write an comparative essay analyzing the two girls. Enjoy!

What is the value of friendship? How can it be measured? Why do we keep trying to set guidelines anyway? I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I did catch myself asking them after watching The Princess and the Frog for the fifth or sixth time. I remembered thinking the same thing after the seventh an eighth time too. (How many times I’ve actually watched this film is irrelevant, and I’ll spare myself the shame by not revealing it.) I found myself intrigued by the dynamic between Tiana and Charlotte, and wondered if one girl was more of a friend than the other one. So naturally, being the inquisitive geek that I am, I had to evaluate the situation, and being the writer that I am, I of course had to provide a solid, well written argument, with a side-by-side comparison, in favor of my beliefs.

In case you haven’t seen the film, here’s a brief summary of the key points. Tiana is a hard working African American girl growing up in 1920’s New Orleans. Charlotte is a wealthy white woman raised by her Daddy and has no idea how the world really works. The girls came to be friends at a young age when Charlotte’s father hired Tiana’s mother to be his daughter’s personal seamstress. The girls spent hours together, enjoying an unbiased friendship, that, years later, as our story takes place, still remains true.

Then Prince Naveen comes to town. Charlotte, always on the look out for her prince, plans to marry him at Mardi Gras so she can finally be a princess. Lucky for her, Daddy is Mardi Gras King for the fifth year in a row. Meanwhile, Tiana finally has enough money saved so she can buy that old building and open up her restaurant. Everything is looking on the up and up. Then, on the night of the Mardi Gras ball (hosted by, no surprise, Charlotte’s father) Prince Naveen, he gets himself turned into a frog. Through a series of unfortunate events, so does Tiana.

Frogs aside for a moment, Tiana and Charlotte are both self-motivated. Charlotte wants to marry a prince so she can be a princess. Tiana wants to own and operate her own restaurant. Despite their motivations, both girls display a vast amount of respect for each other through comforting words, helping hands, and the support each other’s dreams. However, there are some instances where the line between friendship and self-motivation are a little blurry. For example, Charlotte asks Tia to make her famous beignets for the Mardi Gras ball, hoping to lure in Prince Naveen, but gives her enough money that she’ll have some left over for her restaurant fund.

Since we’re talking about Charlotte, let’s stay here and examine her actions toward Tiana throughout the film. Although she gives Tiana enough money for her restaurant, you could easily argue she didn’t have the slightest clue what she was doing. Charlotte was excited about Prince Naveen and thrilled that her friend Tiana could help. Sitting beside her father, she squeals with glee and pulls a wad of cash from his wallet, thrusting it into Tiana’s arms. “Will this do?” she asks. The means of Charlotte’s kindness was clearly to achieve her own ambitions.

But then at the ball she surprises us. Just as Prince Naveen arrives, Tiana takes a spill at the beignet station, and ends up covered in jam and powdered sugar. Instead of rushing over to greet the prince, Charlotte immediately takes her friend upstairs to get her cleaned up, lending Tiana a stunning ball gown and a tiara. Later, at the end of the film, she puckers her lips and kisses the frog for Tiana, because she was unable to do so herself. Though she wanted more than anything to have Prince Naveen to herself, she was more than happy to give up her dream so that Tiana could have hers. The fact that Charlotte shows no resentment toward Tiana speaks mounds about her character.

Now consider Tiana. She speaks freely with her friend, unafraid to let her know when she’s being unrealistic. While in Duke’s, the diner where Tiana works, Charlotte shares the news that Prince Naveen is coming to town, and she plans on reeling him in at the ball and then marrying him at Mardi Gras. Tiana has no qualms about telling Charlotte that she needs to rethink her plan. She does it in jest, of course, but later at the ball, she is a little more straightforward. Before taking her own spill, Tiana gets a chance to comfort Charlotte, who is unsettled because Prince Naveen is late in arriving and is afraid he isn’t coming.  “Lottie,” she reasons, “you can’t just wish on a star an expect everything to go your way.”

But like Lottie, Tiana is also unopposed to using her friend to get what she wants. A little later in the story, while on her wild amphibian adventure with Naveen, he reveals to her that he needs to marry Charlotte for her money, because his parents cut him off. By this point in the film, the building Tiana planned to buy for her restaurant has slipped through her fingers. Though she knows how important this is to Charlotte, that she marry a prince and become a princess, Naveen just promised to use Charlotte’s money to get the building back for Tiana. How does Tiana respond in her friend’s defense? “You a prince? She’ll marry you.”

Tiana is blinded by ambition. It’s unclear whether she realized she was, in effect, using Charlotte for her money, or if she even planned on telling Charlotte that, in reality, Naveen had none. What is clear is that her goal, at the expense of her own heart, is to get Naveen back to Charlotte in time to marry her, so that she can finally get her restaurant. The only time that Tiana appears to even be thinking of Lottie is when she realizes she is falling for Naveen. She withdraws from him, commenting that Lottie is getting one heck of a dance partner. Granted, I think Tiana was a little preoccupied with turning herself back into a human first.

But when is all is said and done, Tiana and Naveen both become human again and get married. Tiana becomes a princess, opens her restaurant, and lives happily ever after. Charlotte couldn’t be more supportive. At the restaurant’s grand opening party, she even dances with Prince Naveen’s six year old brother, joking that she can wait for him to grow up so she can get her wish. Maintaining the unspoken agreement that friends should be honest with one another, be respectful, and support each other unconditionally, then which girl is the better friend? Is it possible to pick one?

Tiana was honest enough to bring Charlotte back to earth, but not honest enough to defend her when she discovered Naveen had been cut off from his family. Charlotte’s primary focus was becoming a princess, but she didn’t allow her goal to get in the way of her friendship with Tiana. She took time to help her when she was down, and gave up her own dreams so that her friend could have hers. She even went so far as to kiss a frog because for Tiana, because she couldn’t do it herself.

If actions speak louder than words, and if friendship can be measured using some of the agents listed above, then it safe to say that Charlotte is the better friend. We can’t determine if the friendship means more to her than to Tiana, but we can conclude that she earns more points for doing right by her friend. She didn’t allow her selfish motivations to get in the way of her honesty and respect for their friendship.

Look! I’m dancing with the prince!

Playing God

FREE WRITE

It’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t get it out. I know what I want to say, but really I have no clue. I keep mis-believing, thinking my thoughts are important – that someone would want to listen. But no one cares what I have to say. I’ll keep talking anyway.

I’ve been hoping my thoughts will reach you. Across time and distance, I long for you to hear what I can never say. My tongue is swollen, glued to the roof of my mouth. My arm is cramped and my fingers numb. I’ve been writing this down for far too long.

And the more I keep writing, the more I’m convinced these words will make history. You’ll find them several humanities from now, swallowed up by a cave. Loose-leaf will be the new lambskin. My mindless ramblings will be the new torah.

My audience is faceless. I’ll never know who they really are. I’m the modern day prophet, speaking from a burning bush. I’ll make the laws and I’ll set the clock. This is my firm and guiding hand. My fingertips prove my guilt even as my hand keeps lying.

We’re still trying to make sense. The pieces won’t fit, so we’ll use Xacto knives and superglue to hold it together. This isn’t going to answer any of your questions. It’s designed to make you ask for more.

So give up. Go home. This won’t be over soon. We’re spinning and spinning and spinning. Is it any wonder why we haven’t yet grown dizzy? My pen will run dry long before the fog clears. Can there be any hope for the hopeless?

JUST STOP. Stop breathing, stop thinking. Don’t sleep. Hear me, but please don’t listen to a word I say. This is naught but the idle ramblings of a girl pretending to be God.

Dear Fourteen Year Old Me

Prompt: Write a letter to your 14 year-old self.

Dear 14 y/o me,

It’s going to be alright. Right now, it feels like creepy things lurk behind every corner, waiting for you to let your guard down so they can attack. But you’re a teenager; that’s how you’re supposed to feel.

Of course, it doesn’t help that when you come home, you feel even more trapped than you did to begin with. You’re bundled in your own misery, and everyone else is bundled up in theirs. Just turn up the music and block it out. That always seems to help.

So do walks, by the way. You’ll learn to love your long walks where you can breathe and finally find some quiet in which to think. Organizing your thoughts will soon become something that is very important to you.

You will soon also find your niche. It’s been right here, in front of your nose the whole time. Open your journal and read your work. You’re a natural at this. Soon you’ll realize you want to make writing a career.

Your friends are going to come and go. The ones you recently decided to let go of was for the better. You’re about to meet a whole set of new ones. Some of them are going to hurt you as well, but others you will keep in your life for as long as you decide you want them there. Just try to make sure that you don’t feel one way, while your friend feels the other. There is one in particular who is really going to bite you in the ass eight years from now. Of course, I won’t tell you who he is. You need to experience that heartbreak.

You will never stop learning things the hard way.

In just four days, you’re going to meet your high school sweetheart. He’ll be that shoulder you’ve craved. His home will be a warm one, reminding you that the grass is in fact greener on the other side. He’s going to help you break out of your shell. Don’t fight him on this. Growing up is inevitable.

Let your creativity shine. You’re more artistic than you think. At the moment, everything is shaded in black and gray, but in a few short years, you’ll slowly begin adding color back into your life. I think, however, it’s safe to say you’ll always despise yellow. It’s too bright of a color for someone like us.

Don’t worry about your parents. These precious years belong to you, and it’s time to focus on yourself. They are hopeless. Even their divorce wont stop them from tearing each other apart. Just understand that it’s time for you to back off. You’re getting caught up in their crossfire, and you’ve got your own battles to fight.

I’m serious. The road to recovery is long one, but you’re a dedicated individual who knows what it is to work hard. You don’t realize it yet, but you do possess that trait. In time, you’re going to learn how to forgive, and you’re going to learn how to love.

And as for this terrible thing that just happened to you; it’s going to be okay. Seven years from now, you’re going to wake up and decide that you don’t want to be the victim anymore. And just like that, you’re going to let it go.

Just remember that everything in life is fluid. Nothing ever stays the same. Nothing.

Learn how to roll with the punches. Stop trying to make it all go your way. You are just a small composition of atoms in a giant universe. If you remember that, you’ll come into your own. You’ll relinquish some beliefs, and you’ll gain new ones. Be true to yourself, and you’ll make the right choices.

March to the beat of your drum. You’ve been doing it already for fourteen years, but don’t stop now. You’ll cherish your individuality when the rest of the world follows the crowd. They can’t think for themselves, but you can. Just try not to hate them for it. It’s not their fault.

I know more than anyone the way you hate taking people’s advice. But please, there are ten years of growth between us; who else could offer such a guiding hand than me? I am you, but ten years older.

You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to break ties with old friends and you’re going to forge new ones. Soon, there wont be anything to hold you back. You’ll do what your heart desires, and you’ll achieve all you set out to accomplish. Right now, you’re a force to be reckoned with. This will still be true in ten years, but your power right now is spread out in all directions. Channel it. Make it yours. In ten years, you’ll have direction and it will help you blaze your path.

There’s a heavy fog right now. You’re constantly feeling your way through the dark. You need to go through the motions. Right now, you are at your lowest point. From here on, everything is uphill. Just remember the climb isn’t always easy.

I promise you, April, everything is going to be alright.

Yours truly,
24 y/o me

Gemini

I wanted to create something, but all I had was this pencil and this paper. So I drew a picture with my words of a girl touching the sky. She was in white dress, with little black ringlets that bounced freely. From my vantage point, I could blot her out with my thumb.

She was by the shore, barefooted, letting the waves lap at her feet. I could hear her giggle, but she was miles and miles away.  She splashed the water with her hands, twirled around with her arms spread wide, and chased seagulls down the surf.

Then suddenly she looked around. She was searching for someone, and I wondered if it was me. I crossed the sand to reach her. When we stood only a few feet apart, she brushed a curl from her face. “I can’t find my brother. Will you help me look?”

Where are your parents?

She did not answer. Instead, she held out her hand. “Come, let’s go this way. Maybe he’s down here.”

So she slipped her child-hand into mine and we began to walk. Standing beside her now, I could see the more intimate details of her face. Her cheeks were coated with tiny freckles, and her eyes were large and expressive. There was wisdom – endless amounts of it – despite her young age.

We said little as we moved down the beach. Occasionally, she’d bend to pick up a shell and show me. They were always flawless. There wasn’t even a chip. What kind of beach was this, where the shells were never broken?

Time was of little importance. She seemed in no hurry to find her missing sibling. Our feet carried us slowly to the south; at least, I think that’s what direction we were headed.

Finally, we came upon a pier in the distance. It was barely visible at first, but the image continued to sharpen until she finally pulled her hand free. “There he is! Pollux!”

I ran to keep up with her.

Underneath, we found him squatted down, his attention focused on something unseen. Drawing closer, I noticed a stick in his hand, and closer still, a seagull washed upon shore.

He poked at it. “It’s dead.”

Pollux lifted his eyes toward me and I saw the resemblance. His hair was black, like his sister’s, and the freckles on their faces were the same. He was also in white, and I noticed now their clothes were neither wet nor dirty.

“What’s all this black stuff?” his sister asked. It was sticky and shiny on the bird’s coat. It covered its beak, its wings and its feet. It was also in the water, swirling slowly, and staining the sand.

“Death,” he answered.

But I knew better. I’d seen this before. Oil.

The sister looked up at me. “Oil has never reached our shores before.”

How peculiar, I thought. Surveying my surroundings, I suddenly realized I was far from home. There were no buildings. There was only beach that stretched out in all directions. Though it was bright, there was no sun. The sky was cloudy like a New England winter, but despite the thickness, there were stars visible, twinkling proudly. Where are we?

“Gemini.”

What?

“I’m Castor,” the girl said, “And this is Pollux. You’re in Gemini.”

A planet?

“Not a planet. Just a world different from yours.”

I understood it now. These twins were the only ones. This was their world, and something foreign had just invaded it.

How did I get here?

“You’re here because you want to be,” Castor answered.

“But everything is changing,” Pollux added.

I looked at the bird. There had been others earlier, but now they were out of sight. Were they still there? Did they exist before I arrived?

The pier was new. The twins didn’t have to tell me in order for me to understand. It was the only man-made object as far as the eye could see. Guilt instantly washed over me. I brought the oil.

They nodded.

How can I fix this?

“You can’t,” Pollux told me. “The damage is already done.”

I’m so sorry. I never meant to destroy your world.

“We know,” Castor said for them both.

Something behind me caught Pollux’s eye. He gasped and pointed. “What’s that?”

I whirled around. Off in the distance stood a tall, cylindrical building with a slowly spinning light on its top. It’s a lighthouse.

“What does it do?” Castor asked.

It calls all the ships.

“I don’t understand…”

It lets the sailors know that land is near.

The little girl looked up at me. “More people?”

Yes.

Pollux cried out and hammered his tiny fists on my legs. “Make it stop!”

I seized his wrists and stepped back. I don’t know how.

“Yes you do,” Castor stated calmly. “You just need to think.”

I nodded. Let’s start with the lighthouse.

They each took my hand and peered up at me. Their innocence was absolute. As we took deliberate steps to reach the lighthouse, we talked.

Are you really the Gemini Twins?

“Of course we are. Why would we claim to be what we’re not?”

I just thought you were stars, not people.

“We are stars.” Castor’s feet stopped, halting our group. She turned her head to the sky and pointed. “Do you see those stars, the three that are in a line? Look to the left, there’s a red one, then just below it. That’s Earth.”

Earth. It was so tiny; barely a speck in a sky. How could it be that everything I’d ever known existed right there? Suddenly I felt so small. This can’t be real, I whispered to myself. I must be dreaming…

“Why would you think that?” Pollux piped in.

People don’t just travel to constellations.

“Your people travel to the moon,” Castor pointed out.

The moon is much closer.

“Distance has little to do with it.”

Then how did I get here?

“You’re here because you want to be.”

When at last we’d reached the lighthouse, we found a door that opened to a staircase, winding its way to the top. Step by step, we climbed our way.

“Do you have lots of these on Earth?” Pollux asked.

Umm… There’s a couple of them….

“You must like lighthouses, since you brought one here,” Castor observed.

I don’t like oil spills and dead animals.

“Sometimes our fears transcend even our brightest imaginations.”

How wise this child was. She spoke with the maturity that can only come from being trillions of years old. I was envious of them. They existed in their own paradise, untouched.

“Are you worried about what we’ll find when we reach the top?”

Yes.

She fell silent and I instantly wished she’d say something more.

The top of the stairs opened to a wall-less room, with the lighthouse’s life source rotating slowly in its center. We walked over to the edge and looked out, our breaths hitching in our throats.

The sea was filled with ships. Thousands of them, their sails billowing and advancing them steadily forward.

They anchored themselves and lowered rowboats to bring the men ashore. We watched in horror as they broke land and began spreading themselves out. Immediately they began digging, tearing up the ground. “Make them stop!” Pollux shouted at me again.

HEY! I shouted, waving my arms. STOP! NO! PLEASE! It was useless. They couldn’t hear me. I took the stairs two at a time and hurried down the lighthouse, the twins close at my feet.

Men were everywhere when we reached the bottom. Castor and Pollux clung to my legs as we tried to maneuver our way. Stop, I said to them. You’re destroying everything. You don’t belong here. But they didn’t hear me. They moved like soldiers, marching with their tools, breaking up the dirt, putting up walls. Their eyes, I noticed, were black voids. They blindly carried on.

“They have no souls,” Castor explained when I slumped my shoulders. “They won’t listen to reason. The soulless never do.”

“They can’t appreciate our beauty either,” Pollux whimpered.

No, the soulless never do, I agreed

He began frantically beating on my legs again. “Look what you’ve done!”

Why do you think I’m responsible?

“Because you are.” Castor answered.

I didn’t bring them here.

“Yes you did. You’re the only one who could have.”

What do you expect me to do? They’re not listening.

“Make them listen.”

How?

“I don’t know! Only you know!”

No, I don’t!

“Yes you do, think!”

Ahhh!  Frustrated, I turned my back to hide my face. Running my fingers over my scalp, I watched the scene continue to grow around me. There were skyscrapers now, and factories breathing smoke. Smog from the vehicles blotted out the sky.

We could burn everything, I suggested.

Castor put her hand on my arm, “No. Fire is too dangerous. You have no control over your thoughts.”

My thoughts? What do my thoughts have to do with it?

“They have everything to do with it,” Pollux said softly.

Suddenly there was whistling, then a crash, and a boom. We were flying, and then I was on the ground. I forced myself to sit, terrified for Castor and Pollux. They were beside me, holding each other for support. We were scraped and bloody, but we were still together.

The sight before us grew darker. The sky turned red, and as buildings crumbled, more went up in their place. There was war, and death. There was screaming, and blood. Bombs continued to fly. Soulless army against soulless army marched at each other, wielding weapons of hate. Rubble filled the streets and dust clouded the air. Pollux raised his shirt to cover his nose and Castor pleaded me. “Please hurry.”

But I was lost. Terrified, I didn’t know how I got here. I was so far from home, where nothing made sense. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breath. I didn’t know how I brought the destruction, and now I feared there was nothing I could do to fix it. Tears welled up in my own eyes and my bottom lip quivered. I’m so sorry…

Castor began to cry as she comforted her brother. “But I believe in you.”

You shouldn’t.  

The ground was shaking beneath our feet. We were doomed. The Soulless would tear this world apart until there was nothing left of it.

There was another blast nearby. I dove to the ground, determined to protect them this time. I wished there was something I could do. I wanted more than anything to save their world. If only I could wave a magic wand and-

I’ve got it! Suddenly, I knew the answer. Castor had been right all along! I quickly stood up and pulled them to their feet, wiping away their tears. They peered up at me expectantly. Hope was renewed!

I understood it now. My thoughts were manifesting into reality. Subconsciously, I was morphing the world around me. It seemed fitting that a lighthouse would be nearby, and so there was. I worried about drawing more ships, and I did. Tucked away in the back of my mind, industrialization haunted me, bringing the trouble here and destroying Gemini’s serenity.

But now I had the upper hand. I knew how to make this right for Castor and Pollux. Before leaving this land, I swore I’d return it to its former glory.

Winking at the twins, I faced the mess I’d made. This was my imagination. I created everything about this world, and I started with only a pencil and a paper. I could restore order. I could make everything perfect again. All I had to do was erase it.

This

I believe in this.
This…
Intangible thing.
It sweeps you off your feet
And carries you away.

This…
This condition.
This clouded perception,
Encased in shards of light.

I believe in this.
This…
Calm.
This surrender.
This ocean of silence.

This…
This direction.
This one-step-at-a-time.
Follow.

Follow,
Follow.

I believe in this.
This…
Inferno.
This combustion.
This.
Already entombed under six feet of ash.

I believe in this.
This…
Vulnerability.
This barren space.
This wasteland.
I give it to you.

I believe in this.
This…
Foundation.
This solidified movement.
Please,
Come and set me free.

This…
This exhilaration.
This breeze.
Such a gentle touch
Can you feel it?

I believe in this.
This…
Shadow.
This haunting.
This wretched decay.

This…
This filth.
Cleanse your hands;
This is best left behind.

I believe in this.
This…
Elixir.
This substance.
Allow us just a sample;
A taste is all you’ll need.

This…
This harmony.
This song.
This…
Delicately crafted notation.

Dance!
Dance for me and cry.
Promise to live,
And understand that you’ll die.

I believe in this.
This…
Intangible thing.
This emotion.
This awakening perception.

This…
This inevitability.
This apprehension.
This…

This I believe in.

Wonderous

I’ve never understood it, and I suppose I never will. Fate; I hate that word. It implies God’s will. It disgraces the freedom you thought you had in making that choice. It has the power to choke your dreams or to bring two seemingly random events together from across oceans or great land masses.

“If it was meant to be…” Oh, how I hate that aphorism! And yet, I live by it and stand by it. Everything in my life was either meant to be, or not meant to be. The illusions of choice and consequence- it’s all predetermined.

But by whom? God? Certainly not our mythical creator. The universe, perhaps, in all its mysterious glory. Within the vastness of that endless enigma contain the fibers and strands of our lives. Stretched across space and time are all possible futures beholden to you, me, and the rest of humanity.

It’s so indistinct, this fate business. You don’t feel it, you can’t smell or taste it. Some people don’t even believe in it. But I swear to you that it is there. I believe in it. Coincidences occur far too often to be dismissed as just that…

I have no concrete theory. There is no scientific proof. It’s a feeling I have, and a lifetime of events and circumstances that either were, or weren’t. Nothing more than that.

I used to spend hours lost in the possibility. Poised on the fine line between faith and knowledge, I’d wonder why this was the hand I was dealt. So many things were beyond my control. What is to become of me in the grand scheme of things?

And yet at every turn, I find myself absorbed in contradiction. I believe so strongly in fate, and at the same time, choice. I believe that making one choice over another can veer you off one path and onto the next. But there is only the illusion of choice, because once again we seek to find the definition of “path” as it used in this context.

I’ve delved, once before, into the dimensions. Seeking to understand even my own beliefs, I’ve considered the planes on which we exist and those above us which we cannot see. We are so disillusioned- At the top of the food chain and the masters of our world, we humans tend to forget how small we really are.

(I would venture, too, to say powerless, but that seems to go hand and hand with the ever popular argument of fate vs free will.)

I am remiss to believe that I am powerless in choosing my own destiny, but I am not so bold as to think that my destiny is of my own choosing.

We are molded and influenced constantly. From infancy, we spend our lives making discoveries that shape our personalities, which then leads us down our paths and to our destinies. How we feel, how we learn; occasionally we have a choice, but oftentimes there is none.

All we really have to cling to is right now. The present. The past is speculatory, the future a mystery; but right now. Right now I know exactly who I am, what I like, and what I want. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? That’s the mystery of life.

We are clueless. We know so much and yet so little. We can’t afford our delusions of grandeur. There is still so much to learn. But in that learning, as we move one day at a time, we will perhaps come to find that fate and free will have spiraled together. Maybe someday I’ll come to understand that the two are one and the same. But for now, and amidst all my idle ramblings, I am filled with wonder.

Where will I go from here? Will I ever see you again?