Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

ImageHave I mentioned the ghost sitting on my roof?

Apparently … or is that apparitionalyly? … it’s just Sydney, my dead neighbor. Not that anyone has ever actually seen a wispy version of a long-departed guy perching near my rain gutter, but that hasn’t stopped the story from spreading from Anse Soleil to Baie Lazare like an invasive creeper.

Like many islands and much of Africa, Seychelles, being an island AND African, enjoys a casual familiarity with ghosts and gris gris. Although steps are routinely taken to keep the number of zombies (locally known as ‘dandotia‘ to a minimum, it seems there are few effective methods for keeping the wraiths away. Believe me, if I could find a spell that would convince the people around here that disembodied Sydney had moved on to a more comfy spot than my hot tin roof, I would put it to use. Not that I’m much bothered by the idea of a rooftop phantom neighbor, but the kankan makes it difficult to find someone willing to walk down my road to cut my grass.

Although it seems silly … and it’s been no few times I’ve watched people scoff with horror attempting a skepticism they so don’t feel … far be it from me to insist on a non-existence of spirit beings. Heck, for all I know we’re surrounded by them all the time, just as we go through life unaware (thankfully) of all the mites, viruses, bacteria and such that inhabit everything and take every opportunity to become one with us. Not to say I believe we die and turn to dust mites, although that is more likely than growing wings and strumming harps given decomposition and all, as the idea of Sydney morphing into millions of tiny bits that could infest my mattress is just too gross to consider. Perceiving the unseen, the unknown and the unknowable may or may not be within the realm of human potential. ESP and other notions of connections with a higher consciousness have been debated for centuries, so who am I to point a finger and laugh?

Someone whose grass needs cutting, that’s who.

And, yes, I am keeping with the date theme that started with May the 4th (be with you), but may have to shift gears as the month goes on. Tomorrow, however, I will be spending the day in 7th Heaven, so watch this space.

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I'll haunt the fuck outta you.

“The tender word forgotten, The letter you did not write, The flower you might have sent, dear, Are your haunting ghosts tonight” ~ Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

This post is not about a plea for sympathy, stirring up pre-grief or needing any bolstering, so, please, don’t react to the read with anything but the humor I intend to provoke.

The fact of anyone’s matter is that life is short, and then you die, so getting shook up about being assured that IS the future seems a silly, silly thing to do. We’d all live better if we did it as though each was our last day … the reality being each could be … and we do ourselves a disservice when we force such thoughts from our minds.

Sure, it all gets a bit busy and complicated to spend much time contemplating checking out, but letting the idea of the party continuing on without us soak in isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it helps a lot in enjoying the one we’re dancing in right now.

My biology dictates my life will not be long. My genetic code has more dashes than dots, minuses that shave minutes and hours and days and weeks and years from my tree of life, and that’s a fact I learned long ago to accept. Being rather okay with the idea that I’ll someday be dead, I’m grateful for the time I have … however long that might be.

I’ve made some really crappy lifestyle choices, often don’t eat right or get a good cardio workout nearly often enough. I have vices, am not picky about organic or GM, and have been known to have sex without a condom.

The fact that happened with “committed” partners and didn’t always provide protection brings up the other shit that has and will take a toll on my span … the effect of stress brought on by letting shitty people have power.

From the incompetent, lying peeps who are supposed to provide Internet connectivity, to the lyin’, cheatin’ scoundrels who pledged much more than that, disappointing results create huge pressures. Those who believe karma is the tit-for-tat to be expected would suggest I’ve earned the grief, and if that is the case I’ve most certainly paid off much of what debt I incurred in previous lives. (I must have been a real peach to have earned such pits!)

Today being today, I’m rather liking the idea of that haunting thing (Thanks for that, Jules!), seeing my face, a la Jacob Marly, popping up on door knockers … or someone else’s knockers … with a “Hey, asshole! Boo, fuckin’ BOO!, invading dreams (Why should YOU get any sleep, Fuckwad?), ratting pots and pans, creating havoc, breaking guitar strings mid-song over and over and over again, cutting Skype connections, hiding cell phones, giving icy-cold pinches to warm body parts … ooooh, the list goes on and on.

I could be good at this, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy the sunshine, the sound of birds, conversations with great friends and all the joyful wonders I have, and wait for an Internet connection to happen that will allow me to post this blog.

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!

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A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation. ~Max Gluckman


Yes, the discovery has now been made that has expanded our version of what life is, and it’s NASA, not an organization bent on biology, that stretched the limits of living.

Seems there are, after all, life forms that don’t conform to the accepted definition … go figure … and what an eye-opener, heh?

“The definition of life has just expanded,” said Ed Weiler, NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “As we pursue our efforts to seek signs of life in the solar system, we have to think more broadly, more diversely and consider life as we do not know it.”

I am so confused.

It is possible folks have actually been running on the assumption that all life everywhere must be made of the same stuff that came up with us? And … did it really need to take finding an example of something different here on Earth to get those folks to reconsider their perspective?

Well … if so, that’s just dumb.

NASA-supported researchers have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism, which lives in California’s Mono Lake, substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in the backbone of its DNA and other cellular components.

Okay. That’s one ‘rule’ down the drain then, isn’t it, since up until now the thought has been that it took six building blocks — carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur — to fire up the living thang in everything from amoeba to zebra; anything not having those six basics was not considered to be alive.

As the research team’s lead scientist put it: If something here on Earth can do something so unexpected, what else can life do that we haven’t seen yet?

Good question … and should be followed by: Why are we so surprised?

To know the history of science is to recognize the mortality of any claim to universal truth. ~Evelyn Fox Keller

I’ve spent no little time considering what “life” is made of, and have come to the conclusion that it ain’t what we think it is. In fact, it seems to me that the part of us those six blocks stack up to may be the least of what we are.

It’s the limiting nature … biology … of the human mind that makes so illusive the far reaches of consciousness, not the other way round, and it’s the consciousness that makes everything else, including the biology. It follows, then, that we are more than our physical form. We’re like tequila … whether it be rotgut or nectar de dioses … most of our potential is wasted while in the bottle.

Who’s to say that it’s not energy … light, sound, electromagnetic waves, something else that has escaped our limited notice … that’s the bit that constitutes LIFE? Biochemists, for one, I suppose, but now they’re even having to rethink.

“The idea of alternative biochemistries for life is common in science fiction,” said Carl Pilcher, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “Until now a life form using arsenic as a building block was only theoretical, but now we know such life exists in Mono Lake.”

Now they know … and they know because they found something on this planet that can be weighed and measured, which is apparently what it takes.

A few things come to mind this morning … and, yes, I know I’m rambling, but I want to get this out before I settle into work, and rambling rants happen when there’s a lot of stuff rolling around in my head …

Which brings me to one thought …

I have a friend who’s a mulitple, so has many people living in one body, a situation that calls into question just how set-in-bone what the living part of us might be.

With a change of personalities in multiples, scars appear and disappear, burn marks do the same, as well as cysts! The multiple can change from being right-handed to being left-handed with ease and agility. Visual accuity can differ, so that some multiples have to carry two or three different pairs of glasses. One personality can be color blind and the other not. Even EYE COLOR can change!

I had a dream last night in which I was having a conversation with my son and my father, both of whom are, in present context, dead. Although I don’t recall much of it now, some of the images are clear. I know if I’d been hooked up to that whatitz thingy that checks brain activity it would have shown all sorts of stuff going on in my head. My question this morning is: Was my dream a result of a biochemical dance, or the other way around?

Could it be that we are surrounded by life forms we have no way of recognizing as such? Makes sense to me, but until a specimen is found on the bottom of Mono Lake … or energy materializes, sits down and gives a good accounting … we’ll keep running on the assumption that it’s all about being carbon-based.

There was a time a platypus was impossible, but … golly … turns out the little dudes are alive and well and happily doing the Monotremata thing down under, and even if we’ve never seen one, we don’t argue their existence. Could we someday be as accepting of a community of sentient invisible beings who might be hanging around us all right now?

I recognize I don’t have the background, knowledge or credentials that might allow me to grasp a lot of what is clearly over my head in the science, and I do understand why NASA folks are thrilled to their gills over the discovery of a “new life form”; it is a big deal and goes far to advance thinking. Good.

I do, however, sometimes tire of what smells like arrogance but is probably more closely related to a lack of imagination in presuming we are the standard by which all must be judged.

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Kids are with their dad now, so smelling kid-free time like night-blooming jasmine wafting through the usual mac & cheese and Ovaltine-tainted miasma, I prettied up and let Magnar drag me to a party last night. A real party, with fascinating grownups drinking and dancing and generally carrying on to the tune of interesting conversation backed by the beat of shared and diverse experiences.

Home around 4am, we didn’t get up until 2:30 this afternoon, when, in typical island fashion shit started happening …

A JCB showed up to level my road, a job that’s been waiting for months now. Apparently, Magnar’s plan to show up with an excavator tomorrow (a photo op with hysterical undertones I’ll share when it’s happened) prompted a pissing contest between men with big machines, and our very own Irish builder (Not O’Reilly, but a Rogan) deciding that he’d better get here first … said something about me chewing up his balls … and getting the job under way. Goodie!

Some fiasco broke out at the top of my road between men, a water pipe was broken, the earth moved (or at least a good amount of dirt), and Magnar was called in to smooth things over … road, feelings, whatever needed smoothing … while I stayed well out of it and let it be a guy thing.

During the course of all, I found out why I can’t get a gardener. Seems there’s a ghost living on my road, so no one will come down here. Hmmmmm.

Island life! Gotta luv it

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