Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thoughts on what I do.

I have always been one for pulling things together--science and religion or groups of friends, mostly. I try to make everything fit together. I try to get all of my friends to be friends with one another. I try to get along with everyone. I try to find ways to make the craziest theories and cultural mythologies line up, and I don't see science and Christianity as being as irreconcilable as people tend to claim. I am not good at straight lines, but I am a master of blending. And I want to believe in everything. Maybe because I don't usually make things up, I want to find the origins of everything--every word, every song, every turn of phrase, every belief and story. Maybe some came from nowhere. But why are there so many fairy tales, so many religions? Why not one or the other? And why is North America so full of ghost stories, when in other countries no one believes in ghosts at all? In Zimbabwe they aren't even discussed--but almost nobody swims, because the fear of mermaids is very real, even in fresh water. (Zim is landlocked, by the way.) And how do we align science, not with religion, but with the things that just happen, that don't line up with much of anything? And it's not just hearsay. I've heard plenty that can only be backed up by the words of my friends--miraculous healings, ghost stories, and so on--but I've experienced some myself, too. I've mentioned them before: I dreamed the future, once. That is, I think I've dreamed it many times, and remembered in deja-vu type moments, but I dreamed and remembered before the event. I dreamed of a stone and woke up with it in my hand. I heard someone calling my name when no one was around. What are those things, and things like that? Magic? Some natural force that science doesn't yet understand? Communiques from some higher being?

I have no idea. I couldn't and can't control or reproduce any of them. But there's no way that the "that's impossible" argument will ever convince me of much of anything.

Side notes:

There is just nothing like standing in a forest and looking up at a perfectly clear night sky. The trees stand tall and true, their gnarled limbs pushing and pressing upward forever, with the stars glittering through their strong fingers. I can't get enough of it.

And there is just something about holding a piece of fruit. It feels alive, magic. Bananas don't count--no seeds, no magic. But apples? For a while in college I used to take an apple from the cafeteria every day and bring it with me to psychology. I'd just sit in my seat before class and hold it in my two hands and look at it and smell it and adore it. And then eat it.

I know, I sound completely insane. Still, that doesn't change the truth of the matter. Fruit is magical. Seeds are magical. How could something so small become a tree*?

Anyway, oranges work too. We have oranges, and I held and adored one the other day before eating it. Magical, and far tastier than cheap cafeteria apples. (Actually, I only took an apple when they broke from their usual granny smith/red [un]delicious pattern. So the ones I ate were decent.)

Lastly, it has been brought to my attention that I gleefully referenced "The Book To Come Before The Book That Will End All Books," and frustratingly neglected to mention its actual title. (No, it isn't actually called TBTCBTBTWEAB. Sorry if that was confusing.) The Book is called Towers of Midnight, and was written by Brandon Sanderson using notes left for him by the late Robert Jordan. I finished it Monday night. It was excellent. I am toying with the idea of reading it again, since I clearly rushed through it the first time (840-some pages in two days is rather a lot, even for me) before returning it to the library. If you like fantasy, and if you like book series that go on forever (as I REALLY do), I highly recommend the series.

*In another age, I probably would have been a druid. Hopefully the kind that didn't ritualistically violently murder people and leave them in random swamps like the Bog Man.

Edit: okay, I think this is awesome:

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