Everyone can. Take a look at the present. Extrapolate what’s likely to happen. It’s not magic, it’s logic. Intentions made real. Probabilities aligned.
We see ahead as accurately as we need to. Seeing more would gain us nothing but misery. The future would be a fearsome place. We could waste our entire lives trying to change it. No one would enjoy the present. What a pointless exercise!
Which brings me into a discussion of reading Tarot and why I don’t do it now.
I knew there is a strong spiritual element to reading and I also knew I was good at it … which was the problem. I knew too many people who wanted horoscopes for themselves, their children, or some family member I’d never met or wanted to meet.
For example, no matter how many times I said I would not read for children (much less newborn babies), no one listened. It was like a TV cop show where they are forever telling someone to “stay in the car.” No one stays in the car.
I understood knowledge is important, but they didn’t want spiritual understanding. They just wanted to know what was would happen next and with whom. I didn’t feel I should tell them because what I said might make it happen. The problem is, when you “see” something, interpreting what that means is not always what you think it is.
But right now, I will make a prophecy. I can guarantee you it’s true.
We will all die. Of something. Eventually. Until then, let’s live a little!
I don’t have a bucket list. Until I saw the movie of the same name, the concept had never occurred to me. Most of the things I wanted to do, I’ve done. Except for the things no one can do …
That’s what’s on my secret list. The things I really want to do but I know aren’t real. But, in case they turn out to be real … here’s that list.
WAITING FOR THE MOTHER SHIP
Since I first read a science fiction story, saw “Forbidden Planet” and “The Red Planet Mars,” I’ve been waiting for the big ship to come and take me away. I have slightly modified this so that they will come and take both of us away. To wherever they went in “Cocoon.” Where we become young again. And where we can leave the mortgage, bills, and problems behind. But we can bring the dogs and they can be young, too.
MEETING THE ANCIENT ONE
Somewhere out there in the dark of night, there is an ancient vampire. So old, he is nearly made of stone. He remembers Egypt, perhaps even ages before that. He will offer me eternity in exchange for living in eternal night. Will I accept? I’ve only gotten as far as the offer. I have yet to determine my answer. I’m still thinking about it.
DISCOVERING MY POWERS
Magic is real and I can do it. I just never realized it until one day, in the kitchen, while mixing up a batch of my internationally renowned chili, I accidentally conjured a spell of enormous, overwhelming power. No longer a sickly senior citizen on a fixed income, I could rule the world. I’ll settle for living in peace. At the very least, I can probably make enough money to pay the bills and have something left over.
Money or not, magic would be the greatest adventure of all, would it not?
There it is, the time tunnel. It has been there the whole time and I never knew it. That’s the problem with having such a heavy bed. I can’t move it aside, so I didn’t see the wormhole. It’s a good one that will let me travel to other dimensions or any-when. Talk about adventure!
I promise not to try to change anything. I just want to go hang out in the past and watch. I’m sure Garry would be happy to join me. Does anyone have a couple of Babblefish they can spare?
While I’m waiting for these things to happen, I’m still hoping someone will invent a workable transporter. Because however unlikely it may be, nothing is entirely impossible.
I have to start this out by explaining that just a couple of days ago, I heard a noise in the bedroom. It was the kind of noise the wakes me right up because it was a little squeaky noise. Like the sound a mouse makes. And it was followed by little scrabbly sounds.
We had a mouse in the bedroom!
Now, we’ve put a fair amount of energy and money into controlling our mouse problems and we know we haven’t had any up here, and just a few in the basement. The last time the mouse guy was out — just a couple of weeks ago — I asked if there was any chance we’d solve the mouse problem and he said, “No. You live in the woods.”
I said: “I know the mice are just looking for a warm cozy place to spend the winter, but not here.”
He looked at me. “You are,” he said “Exactly what they are looking for. You live in the woods. The mice will find you. Do you know they can slip in through a space no wider than a dime?”
We spent considerable time cleaning the bedroom but didn’t find any sign of mice actually setting up a home in our bedroom. But if I hear that sound again, those mice people will have to get back here and do their mouse annihilation thing. I sympathize with chilled mice, but not my bedroom. Sorry small furries. If I won’t sleep with my dogs, I ain’t sleeping with you!
There are other sounds I’ve heard that cannot be managed by the mouse guy.
From ghoulies and ghosties And long-legged beasties And things that go bump in the night Good Lord, deliver us!
– Traditional Scottish Prayer
I’ve never met a ghoul and I have questions about long-legged beasties, but I can speak from personal experience about Things That Go Bump in the Night. Long ago in a house far away, we had our own ghosts. Friendly ghosts or at least, they were friendly to us.
Ghosts have been part of human mythology as long as tales have been told around campfires. Maybe before campfires. I don’t think if any religion excludes the possibility of ghosts. There seems to be a general agreement that ghosts and wraiths are spirits of the dead who linger on Earth after they have slipped that mortal coil. Some are malevolent, others benevolent or merely curious. Ghosts vary by mythology, religion, and era. Even today, there are rumors and stories.
I cannot claim to have seen a ghost, but I lived in a house where everyone could hear our ghosts. It was 1965 when for $20,300, we were able to buy a tidy little brick house built in 1932. On the first floor were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a big bedroom on the partially finished second floor. The house was small but solid, walking distance from the college where my husband worked and I was finishing my degree.
The ambiance of the house from the moment we walked into it was overtly friendly. It welcomed everyone and made them feel at home. The little house had been built by a couple who had lived, raised children, and then died in it. They were not murdered or anything sordid. They merely grew old and passed on in the home they loved.
We loved it too. My son wouldn’t come onto the scene for 4 more years, but it was a good house to raise babies. I could feel it.
The house was a bit neglected. Not falling down but in need of paint and some modernization of its infrastructure. It still had its original heating system, converted from a coal burner to an oil furnace. Not very efficient and the radiators were huge, old and iron. Oil was cheap; we didn’t worry about it. We’d get to it eventually.
Initially, we lived on the first floor since the bathroom was there. The upstairs had been an attic, but half of it had become a bedroom. We wanted to move up there. It was bigger and had great light, but we needed to fix it up first.
Before anything else, we wanted to paint. The entire house was painted pale salmon pink. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t any color we’d have chosen. Worse, it was high gloss paint, like one would use in a kitchen or bath.
We painted the downstairs first. Every night, we heard our ghosts walking. You could hear the sound of heavy, loud footsteps upstairs, sharp, like the soles of hard leather shoes or boots. Everyone on the lower floor heard it.
The walking started around eight in the evening, continued for a few minutes. Then the footsteps would pause and restart randomly until around midnight. The footsteps always stopped by midnight and never began before eight.
We called them “The Old Man” and “The Old Woman.” They wore different shoes. Her shoes had a sharp sound, like high heels on a hardwood floor. His were clunkier like maybe work boots. Both of them had died in the house, so they were prime candidates for ghosthood, especially since no one ever lived in the house until we moved in.
At first, we also heard them on the steps, but after we painted the stairway, the footsteps retreated and we only heard them in the attic and bedroom. After we began painting the bedroom, we continued to hear them for a while in the attic and then, one day, they were gone, never to return.
Were they watching to see if we properly cared for and loved their home? I thought so. Were we all hallucinating? It was the 1960s, so anything is possible, but I think it was the couple who had lived there watching to make sure we did right by the house. We did and I guess they felt it was okay to depart.
Life is full of strangeness. If anyone has bumped into a long-legged beastie, please tell me about it. I’m dying to know.
As I’m writing this I’m watching the circus that is the Senate hearing on Bret Kavanagh. Lindsey Graham and the Republicans on the committee are making complete asses of themselves. Graham is literally screaming at the top of his lungs.
What he’s saying is basically “This is all made up and how dare anybody say anything bad about a guy who’s had FOUR DIFFERENT WOMEN COME FORWARD TO CLAIM HE SEXUALLY HARASSED THEM!!”
Earlier, Dr. Ford made calm and compelling testimony where she backed up her allegations with scientific facts that she is professionally qualified to state.
She’s a doctor of psychology.
Her credibility was stunning. The Republican Senators were so cowardly they had a woman ask all their questions.
But while Kavanagh is testifying they are all screaming bloody murder and asking all sorts of questions. Now I’m watching Republicans stamping their feet and screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum.
So this is all about rage. On both sides.
The thing is, our side has a shit load of rage. For women around the world, the rage has gone up to 11. This isn’t unusual. We’ve all been pissed has hell since The Cheeto Mussolini was elected.
And since that day pundits have claimed that after a while we’d all get tired of being pissed off. I wrote a blog at the time pointing out that that isn’t going to happen. Why? Because every week a new thing pops up that makes us even angrier.
Remember ripping toddlers from their parents at the border and putting them in baby jails?
Oh yeah. WTF! So, again, I have to repost a blog I made over a year ago. It should not be current. It should not be relevant. Yet it is. So, here it is. Again.
HOLY SHIT WE ARE ALL STILL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY
Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny. OK, maybe just humorous.
OK, maybe just humorous.
Fine. Mildly amusing.
Problem is, I can’t be funny right now. Because I’m angry.
Really pissed off.
I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle-class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.
And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.
The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.
It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.
Us. The other 75percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk” level pissed off.
For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.
Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason, people are always pissing him off, he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole Army. Or at least a few platoons.
When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists. Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight on November 9th, 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.
Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:
“This is exhausting!”
“How much more of this can we take?”
“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”
“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”
Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.
Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is that his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger.
The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.
There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s no upward limit on his rage.
And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.
SCROTUS could do the same thing– more or less. You know, he could stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.
He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while. Years. Will we get tired? Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?
Because we may have drubbed him on the health bill, but while we were dealing with that, he’s destroying the water, the air, and every living creature on our continent.
The profits from these shirts are not going to charity. To be precise, they are not going to us either. All profits go directly to CustomInk who print and deliver the shirts. You can use this design as a money raiser. If you would like to use it and change the back of the tee logo to something personal, you have our full permission to do so. If you do that, please let know what you are doing. We will do your own little feature here.
We just wanted everyone to recognize that this is not raising money for anyone other than CustomInk who produces the shirts. It was simply too complicated for we simple word-laden souls.
I am fascinated with the concepts of time travel, parallel universes and the Butterfly Effect. Fortunately for me, there are several TV shows today that deal with these things. One is Timeless and another is The Flash. The Flash is a Marvel comic based series in which the hero can run so fast that he can bend time. He can move both forward and backwards in time. Timeless follows a government team of time travelers who have to keep going back in time to prevent the ‘bad guy’ from messing with major past events and drastically changing the timeline.
In both of these shows, each trip back in time results in an altered present. In each, a seemingly random individual who is important to one of the main characters, is either dead in the present or was never born and no longer exists in the present timeline.
This brings up the Butterfly Effect, a theory popular with time travel enthusiasts. The theory, mostly used in science, states that a small change can result in a large, unrelated change down the road. In everyday life, this means that unimportant decisions, like whether to go out to dinner or eat in, can lead to very different ‘storylines’ in your life.
There is both a movie and a play that depicts the parallel universes created by a minor life decision. The movie is “Sliding Doors” from 1998 and stars Gwyneth Paltrow.
It tracks the different careers and love lives that the heroine would have if she a) catches a particular subway train or b) misses the train. For example, if she catches the train, she also gets home in time to catch her boyfriend in bed with another woman. If she misses the train, she also misses this tryst. Her life takes very different paths depending on that fluke of timing.
The play was a musical called “If/Then,” starring Idina Menzel. The show follows the heroine’s parallel lives if she either chooses to go to lunch with friend ‘A’ or if she chooses to go to a play with friend ‘B’ instead.
Interestingly, in both the movie and the play, the heroine ends up with the same ‘love of her life,’ just at different times in her life. Her career paths diverge but I think most people like to believe that some people are ‘destined’ to be together.
The Jewish concept of ‘Beshert’ says that every soul is a half soul and that there is another person in the world who is their perfect ‘other half’. So in time travel shows, many aspects of life are allowed to be affected by chance. But we don’t seem to want to accept that chance can also change the big things in life, like true love.
Some time travel writers have a different theory. They talk about the fact that the past ‘resists’ change. Rather than believing in the Butterfly Effect as it relates to time travel, many believe that at least the major events in history are more predestined and less susceptible to change.
It might seem easy to keep a major past event from happening, especially if small changes in the timeline can eventually result in big ones. But time travel writers feel events, like WWI, the assassination of JFK, or the sinking of the Titanic, will always find a way to happen, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.
You might want to read Stephen King’s brilliant book “11/22/63” about attempting to go back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. It was also made into a mini series, but the book is much better.
I guess it is easier to accept the idea that relatively small things, like the details of an individual’s life, are changeable and not ‘meant to be.’ Maybe this is because on a small-scale, cause and effect is more linear and knowable. On the other hand, historians are still arguing about the multiple and interrelated causes of the Civil War.
My grandfather was hit by a truck and killed when he stepped off a curb too soon at the age of 88. I used to obsess about what led him to that exact spot at that exact time. I used to imagine the tiny things he could have done differently that would have gotten him to that spot even a second earlier or later.
For about a year after that, I would imagine each time I reached a curb, that it could be my last moment on earth — if the stars were so aligned. Maybe this is the root of my love for some of these theories.
I was at my best reading for strangers. The less I knew about the person for whom I was reading, the better reading I could give.
I also sometimes would read Tarot, but cards made me uncomfortable. In a horoscope, you only see what you look for. Almost never does something jump off the page and scream at you. Tarot is different. Not only do you not always see what you expect, you will see things you wish you hadn’t.
Like death. That first time it happened, I almost jumped out of the chair with shock. I knew –100% — that the man smiling across from me would die in six years. He was young, just 32. He had already had a serious heart attack, but seemed to have recovered and was living a careful, but normal life. Not employed … he wasn’t up to a daily grind … but he was raising his boys and enjoying life. Laughing in my living room while the kids played outside.
“Read for me?” he had asked. I acquiesced.
So, I did a progressive reading for him. That’s where you use the “summary” card of each spread as the foundation card of the next reading. In the seventh layout, I saw him dead.
“I’m too tired to do this any more,” I said. “It’s just gibberish,” and I gathered up the cards and refused to say more. He died exactly when I’d seen. I could not go to the funeral. I couldn’t even explain why not.
I tried reading again after a while, but I started to see things. Secrets. Stuff I didn’t want to know and certainly would never tell. I learned things about people that changed the way I felt about them.
You can run, but you cannot hide. The client always knows when you aren’t telling them something. We have “tells.” Our pupils dilate. We become pale. Our muscles stiffen. We shift in our seat. They know.
I quit reading.
I don’t believe in telling people when they are going to die. Someone told me many years ago that I would die when I was 68. The birthday came and went, but it was one nervous birthday!
The stuff the fortune teller’s say are bells you can’t un-ring. I’m not against this stuff on principle, but I think “seeing the future” tends to do more harm than good. We do not see what will be, only what might be and we either put the best or the worse interpretations on it. Neither is true and neither helps us deal with what life actually tosses our way.
Every day, Audible.com (part of the Amazon group), offers one book at a huge discount. Often it’s an older book or a classic which, if I missed it along the way, I may buy. Sometimes, I read it years ago, so listening to it in Audio can be a treat … like a movie with all the “action” in my own head. More often, it will be the first book in a series. Pay a few dollars for the audiobook, get hooked, and then you will buy the rest of them. I’ve gotten into a lot of really good series this way and I like it because I run out of books rather more often than I would like. Also, as the years have gone on, I’ve gotten pickier about what I want to read. The world has gotten so outrageous and kind of terrible, I’m looking not for great literature, but for entertainment. If it is going to inform me, it is also going to amuse me or I simply won’t read it.
Scytheis Neal Shusterman’s first entry into a series called, as it turns out, “Arc of a Scythe” and it’s about (you guessed it) the guys who go out and kill people for a living. Humankind, in this world, has perfected medicine. No one dies of disease or disaster. Whatever happens to you — including having your spine snapped or falling off a 120 story building — they can fix you. People age, but very slowly.
No one has to work particularly hard because a giant computer — the Monsterhead (it was a cloud, but it grew to godlike proportions) has taken over the care, feeding, and entire management of the human race. Also mankind was feeling a bit hinky about it in the beginning, the giant computer has been a pretty good god … rather a lot better than the old-fashioned ones from “The Old Days.”
But death … that was a problem. What with medicine having been perfected and no one dying of disease or age or accident, something needed to be done to keep the population in check.
And so a group of men and women were created to take care of this problem. Monsterhead — as a machine — did not feel equipped to handle killing people. He — or really “it” — felt this was a human job for humans to manage. The Scythes were born. A set of rules was created and people were scythed as needed. There wasn’t any particular reason for the reaping. Crime was gone because no one had any reason to be a criminal. Sometimes people who behaved dangerously or just badly were reaped because they were the kind of people who would have done themselves in anyway. More often, it was just … your turn. No reason, but your file came up and a Scythe came to your house and done you in. Quickly, with no fuss or mess.
Even in the most perfect of scheme, the can be “issues” and the Scythes are not perfect. They are Scythes now, but they were people first and a few of them are perhaps “over-eager” and enjoy killing too much. Some of them, in a need to make themselves eve more godlike than they already are — which is pretty godlike — grant too many favors. Reprieves, given for a year or sometimes forever for families of the Scythes themselves.
Being a Scythe is a powerful position not only because it brings death, but also because Scythes have essentially unlimited wealth to go with their power — and therein lies the rub.
This has turned out to be an interesting story and a pretty good mystery. I wasn’t expecting much. I love science fiction and fantasy, but so much of the newer material is the same old stuff. Tired old plots and tired old characters. This is something new and a little different. The plot is a standard mystery of who killed who and I’ve seen it before on a lot of cop shows over the years. But the setting is quite different and the world in which it is happening is nicely unique. I’m also glad it’s a series. Many of my favorite series seem to have run out and I’ve been looking for something new.
This is new. It’s nicely ghoulish, a tiny bit sexy (not much — don’t go looking for the hot parts because there aren’t any), and the world creation is not absolutely original, but pretty close. Actually, it reminds me somewhat of the world in “City” … but it takes place entirely on earth.
If you are intrigued by the idea of a horde of reaping Scythes as the wild card that will send you to whatever may lie on the other side, this is a good one. Well written, nicely narrated too. Available as a hardcover book from Amazon and probably other booksellers as well. A nice, well-written fantasy. No magic … just really super advanced computers which might just as well be magic.
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