Keeping Up Appearances July 27th, 2012
For some time now I’ve been curiously aware that certain names, characteristics, resemblances etc. keep showing up again in new people I meet. Every so often I talk myself out of believing the phenomenon is real, because clearly there’s no reason for it and these things must only be coincidence. Then I meet someone who provides new evidence and reaffirms my first impressions. This happened to me again this evening.
I thought surely there must be some mention of this phenomenon, but I didn’t find much. So I’ll tell a few of my stories and if nothing else at least it might sound original.
- One of the communities I’m involved with has long been visited by multiple people of the same first name. Once we had 5 people out of about 25 who had the same name. Sure, the name was John, but still… Some of the other name pairings have been some pretty unusual names.
- My personal life has followed down a trail of people with similarities in name or nickname. When talking with my close friends I have to make up aliases for some of these people but even that doesn’t work very well sometimes, because then it just makes someone come along with a name like the alias.
- Some of these similar-named people also look alike or have similar mannerisms (from my perspective).
- One special case: I met someone with practically the same first name as last name, which is the first name of someone else I was spending time with. When I first met each of them (separately, and they haven’t met each other), they were wearing the same kind of (atypical) hat.
- Some other strange characteristics keep appearing as well: What’s with all the musicians? And the weather terminology? That particular green color? Not that I have anything against musicians or weather or green (I am especially grateful for the musician who made a costume out of a green raincoat and answered my unspoken wish from the night before).
- Just a short while ago it was apparently decided that one of my gal friends and I should exchange names in our persons of interest. Now she needs to come up with aliases too.
- I thought back to where some of this started and went to see what a certain person has been up to… let’s just say that there are some interesting connections there that make me think the words “recursion inversion”.
- I would love it if a particular trio of these people would get together for lunch sometime, I really think they could help each other. I even have a practical reason to think this. I don’t need to be there, maybe I’m just the magnet in this sticky people montage.
- …and they will probably all tell me later on that they don’t think they look alike, act alike or any of that nonsense. I’m not even sure why I think it. Maybe I’m seeing through to something else, but just what it is that I’m seeing I really don’t know. Never enough data.
Why do these things match up for me? Do others experience this? Is there an opposite of entropy? Is there any significance to it beyond a strange curiosity?
There is a theory (?) out there, which suggests that perhaps I’ve brought all of this on myself through the power of manifestation, where things I’ve said or thought have brought people and situations into my life. …Really? Then what? Manifesting things seems a bit overrated, for it’s hard to tell what you really want (in intentional manifestation – the not enough data problem), and in my experience I’m frequently lead off into roadblocks and dead ends.
And so it was that I began to wonder a few weeks ago – can I ask for the opposite this time, or at least a happy surprise, someone who breaks the pattern, rocks my boat a little? Like George Costanza did in my favorite Seinfeld episode. Or, maybe someone else can manifest ME for a change. How about that, Universe? Someone different, Something Outside…
Dark Night July 22nd, 2012
48 hours ago. I didn’t know anyone directly affected by the mass shooting in Aurora CO on July 20; 2 degrees of separation, weakly, yes, and I live less than an hour’s drive away. It leaves a mark though and so I will leave one here to remember it and some of the thoughts swirling in my head right now.
In the day following the shooting, I was curious whether anyone might have sixth-sensed this. I didn’t broadcast the question, but I asked a few close friends if they had any anomalous experiences beforehand. Generally, no they did not, though I did read later that a couple of other friends had strange feelings. I myself noticed only a few oddities: dreams I remembered and wrote down on waking the last 3 nights, choosing “dependent arising” as my gmail status earlier (for reasons nothing to do with the movie title The Dark Knight Arises). And while I’ve come to think of my Facebook news feed as a sort of crystal ball, I failed to ‘take a reading’ that day. I wonder if I would have noted something of significance in hindsight. While I cannot know this, I ran across someone else’s story that fascinates me. The story of one of the shooting victims, someone I did not know named Jessica Ghawi (aka Jessica Redfield).
Less than 2 months earlier, Jessica left a food court at a Toronto mall because of what she describes as an “odd feeling”, and minutes later a mass shooting ensued there which left 2 people dead. She devoted 1100 words to it in her blog. I wonder whether she had any odd feelings here in Colorado the night she died. I wonder whether she talked herself out of believing her strange feelings on June 2 were something beyond coincidence. I wonder this because I wonder it for myself; these feelings sometimes appear misleading and false and some people think I’m nuts for trusting in them. I never knew her but I wish I could ask. Her post sounds like something I might write. I can’t ask, and we probably won’t know.
Gun control. While I don’t think a ruling on this heated topic should be made based on an event like this, I’ve seriously and genuinely wondered what the situation would have been like if there had been gun-toting citizens there. There in a packed theater, 12:30 at night, dark, tear gas, gunman with 4 weapons and “dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear”, panic, confusion. My guess would be all the people with guns would shoot each other because of confusion over who the real shooter was. Maybe fewer unarmed people would have been shot. We probably can’t know.
Last time I was at Beta nightclub it was unbelievably packed (really now, Paul Oakenfold on a Saturday night is too big for Beta). Take the Aurora theater massacre, add drinking to the mix and everyone standing not sitting and then imagine a shooter. People would be trampled to death. (Remember Bali…) Hopefully we won’t know, or won’t know again.
Finally… against my mother’s wishes I saw a movie last night. In a theater. In Denver. At midnight. I’m still alive, why act like I’m not? Enjoy the gift that is the present.
Butterflies July 1st, 2012
Last week I held a tarantula named Rosie. A friend and I heard of this hairy possibility a few weeks earlier and decided to visit her at the Butterfly Pavilion on Monday.
Spiders in general disturb me, I suppose this could be described as fear. I thought holding Rosie would be a good safe way to face some of that, like a controlled fear. Rosie liked my warm hand and would not immediately move off of it, which made me a little nervous, mostly because I heard they can bite. I didn’t know if the ability to bite had been removed from this arachnid ambassador or not, and I actually prefer not knowing. It preserves the thrill.
In between the butterflies in my stomach and the promise of winged butterflies is a room with a bunch of glass cages with jellyfish, crabs, urchins, lobsters, starfish, etc. I expected an octopus but the only one I saw was inanimate, unreal, enlarged and looming over the top of the jellyfish aquarium. I petted a starfish. It didn’t seem to notice. They don’t seem to do much either, until you get a view of their underside up against the glass, or listen to a guide who volunteered a story about one of the starfish eating a sea cucumber while no one was looking. I couldn’t resist breaking into a few really horrible fish puns… did it also want some jelly on its salad? I guess it just had the urchin to do it.
Next we went to what should have been the primary reason for this excursion, the butterfly area. There’s something relaxing about watching these ridiculously beautiful creatures stumble vertically from flower to flower. I wonder if it feels like a straight line to them. Maybe their flight pattern has something to do with the rotting fruit we caught some of them sinking their proboscises into.
While not the primary reason for our trip, I admitted to having a special agenda with the butterflies, in that I wondered if I could will one to land on my shoulder. I told this to my friend, but did not fully convey that I wanted one to come of its own accord. I waited, non-moving, for a while. I went up to a few and leaned my shoulder in. No butterfly. Eventually my well-meaning friend could take my nonsensical patience no longer, coaxed a butterfly onto his finger and then directed it onto my shoulder. It immediately flew off. While I appreciated my friend’s gesture, it flying away made me glad. For one thing I simply would not wish for a butterfly to land or remain on my shoulder if it does not want to be there. But also, more practically, there are signs up saying not to disturb the butterflies. I suppose this is probably not followed to the letter judging from the tattered edges I saw on some of their wings. And maybe such precautions deny them their own controlled fear. Maybe the rotting fruit means they have no fear anyway.
On exiting the butterfly area there is a hall with mirrors on either side. If you look at it a certain way (which really means you look at your friend, or you put your camera off to the side a little to take a photo – no, this does not break the camera like you might expect) you see dozens of you replicated in the reflections. This is not unlike a photo I was compelled to have taken of me a few weeks ago. Since then I keep happening upon situations that remind me of it, both literal like this experience at the Butterfly Pavilion, but also several abstract metaphorical situations as well.
After the fluttering butterflies we had a little time left and decided to bid Rosie farewell again before leaving. She still was the primary fascination of this place for me. I guess in the end, it was more satisfying extending a warm hand to a tarantula than a cold shoulder to a butterfly.
Incidentally, a friend from high school posted yesterday about both a bee and a butterfly landing on him. That made me smile