when the forest
settles down for the night
and the light fades
the sounds change
prey and predator
go to their appointed places
their eyes huge
run for cover
it’s the nightly game
we all play it
each and every
one of us
but we don’t get
not about what matters
we build better
and other weapons
instead of building
I don’t think
of those things
on a grand scale
we are death
to living things
as the wheels
keep getting made
to the men in charge
to the men
we have allowed
on this planet
Photo: Zolan Tasi
Photo: Christopher Campbell
Photo: Holly Mindrup
“You’re dead,” he said, kindly.
“You must be mistaken,” she laughed. “I don’t feel the slightest bit dead.”
“It can take some getting used to.”
“I seriously doubt that. I mean if I can’t tell the difference between being alive, or being dead, I think there’s a problem with your set-up.”
“Yes,” he muttered, rubbing his chin. “Several others have mentioned that, as well. But there’s nothing to be done about it. Admittedly, being alive and being dead may seem to be similar, but there’s a matter of position. By that I mean being on the earth in a body and being dead, seemingly in a body, can be rather confusing.”
“I feel exactly the same as I always do,” she said, straightening her blouse.
“It’s an illusion.”
“What’s an illusion,” she asked.
“Everything,” he said, taking a sip of Mountain Dew.
“Wait,” she said. “You’re drinking Mountain Dew and you expect me to believe that I’m dead?”
“What I am ingesting, has nothing to do with you being alive or dead, but I promise you that you are completely dead.”
“I don’t believe you,” she said, primly. “Not at all. I would like to see your superior.”
“Hey, Bob,” he called. “One of them wants to see my…superior,”
Bob appeared and said, “What now?”
“She doesn’t believe she’s dead.”
“So? Tag her and keep going.”
“She asked to see my superior.”
He looked at her. “You’ve seen me,” he said, holding out his arms. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“You’re kidding, right? That’s it?”
“What were you expecting? Show tunes?”
“Do you know any?” she asked.
“One or two,” he sighed. “Your species tends to sing a lot. Too much, if you want my honest opinion..”
“And what does your species do?”
“We process dead things.”
“I’m going home,” she said, standing up.
“There is no home, at least not in the literal sense. There are simply different places.”
“You mean we’re never finished?” she said.
“Finished with what?” asked Bob.
“There’s nothing else to do. Not really. Why? Did you have something in mind?”
“Maybe a nice vacation on a beach somewhere,” she said. “But how should I know? Humans are kept completely in the dark. We have no idea what’s going on.”
“Look,” said Bob. “There isn’t any home base, if that’s what you mean. If some place feels familiar, it’s only because you just came from that lifetime. Naturally, that’s the life you’ll remember best. But that will happen when you die in each of your lives. You never stop living, there’s nothing else to do but live. Everything is alive. When you die, you’re just a different kind of alive. And yes, a vacation on a beach somewhere can probably be arranged, if that’s what you really want.”
“I don’t believe any of this.”
“It doesn’t matter what you believe,” he said. “You don’t have control over anything, but I can offer you a menu.”
“I’m not hungry, but thank you.”
“Not a food menu,” said Bob, clearly frustrated.
The man behind the desk snickered and she growled at him. He quieted.
“A menu of what?”
“Of where you’d like to go next. What you’d like to be, and all that good stuff. An alternative would be to sit here and stare at Mr. Smith for a few million years.”
“I don’t want to do that,” she said quickly. “Please don’t take that personally, Mr. Smith.”
“I never do,” he said, grabbing a paperback from his desk drawer, removing his bookmark.
“This is a weird place,” she said to Bob.
“No maybe about it.”
“Would you like to be Samoan? German, Swedish, African, Danish, Scottish, or a lizard? You can be rain, a planet, a tree, or a tzzilap. You can be whatever you like.”
What’s a tzzilap?”
” A tzzilap is a small leaf like creature that becomes invisible at dawn. It is highly poisonous, kills when it feels like it, and eats constantly. It lives on a very small planet just past Pluto. Think of it as a mini black hole, only more dangerous.”
“Why would I want to be that?”
“No idea. It was just a suggestion, but please hurry up, my program starts in nine minutes.”
“Program? Minutes?” she scoffed. “Tell me there’s a difference between life and death.”
“I will, if you truly want me to. But you won’t like it.”
Mr. Smith cleared his throat.
“Hit me with it, Bobby,” she said, leaning back in her chair. “How bad can it be?”
“The difference between life and death is that when you’re dead,” he said, softly, “you can no longer be with those you love and leave behind.”
It is possible that we are all dead and when we leave here, we are walking into a real life situation. On earth, in bodies, we live on assumptions and guesses, lies and made up things, that make us feel better about being here. Maybe it’s that way everywhere. Truth might not exist…period.
Earth may simply be a holding planet where we stay until our new lives are ready. Like with a hotel, you can’t check in until after noon, because the sheets need to be changed.
We’re only on earth for a short time, so it is possible that this is an in between place. That may seem weird to some, but when you consider the strange (to us) experiences people have ALL THE TIME, we know that there’s a LOT more going on around us that we know about.
Religion and other cults, promise life everlasting, and sitting on someone’s right hand, or any number of made up things, but no one knows what happens after death.
So, people search. People look for love, for friendship, for riches, for…well, everything. Sometimes they get so caught up in looking, that they can’t see they already have what they were looking for.
Maybe, we are seeking something that doesn’t exist here. Perhaps we all remember being other places, doing other things, being other things, so that when we’re here, we feel as if something is missing. Therefore, we search, even if we don’t know what we are searching for. We just know that we don’t have whatever it is.
Or, maybe we’re just lab rats and we have volunteered, to see what happens to beings in these situations. Now and then something new is added to the mix, to see what the rats will do next. Pandemic, more hatred, more coming together, climate change, you know, just experimenting to see what will happen next. That’s possible. Anything is possible.
Some of us live in area’s where trees sleep through the winter. Sure, that can be scientifically explained. But think about it…in cold places trees, and other living things, SLEEP through winter. That’s incredible, but we just take it for granted. When it warms up, they wake up. We know the reasons they do it, but it’s the FACT that they do it that we sometimes overlook.
It’s as if we are here, under extreme conditions, each of us different, fighting each other, while falling in love, having kids, working, laughing and having fun, all at the same time. Talk about multitasking.
We miss those who are gone, people, the other animals who have allowed us to share their lives, but I would like to think that they are celebrating their freedom, like being released from a tour of duty and allowed to go home, or on vacation.
And here’s another thing. We can only describe what we know using the words we have. We are limited by poor vision, weak and fragile bodies, poor sense of smell and hearing, at least when compared to other animal species and words limit us as well. So do our thoughts. Is there such a thing as an original thought? Some people say no, that nowadays, everything is a copy of something else. Limits. They’re everywhere. Many people can’t even think for themselves, they parrot others, or just believe whatever they have been told.
These are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about on this dark gray day. The trees are waking up and I’m so happy to see their leaves getting ready to open. I think they’re stretching their branches, yawning and getting ready for summer.
But lastly, what if people stopped looking for things, or feelings, or anything else? What if people could turn that energy into creative endeavors? What then? What if? Answers that don’t exist. I guess that’s what I’m looking for, because it seems as if we’re all looking for something.
as far as we know
she just flies
is what she does
it’s as natural to her
we can’t know for sure
but I doubt she thinks about
not being able to fly
about having to walk
or crawl everywhere
it doesn’t seem as if she would
compare herself to other beings
and wonder why they were always
on the ground
and not in the air
I think our species is the only one
that thinks about what others
can and cannot do
the only one
that thinks of never ending destruction
and deadly weapons
that could end all life on the planet
I think we’re the only broken ones here
I think every other species
and does’t worship death
I don’t think a goose hates
or wants more than she needs
I think a goose is balanced
and in harmony with nature
she isn’t other
but part of
we are the ones who are
out of place
we don’t belong here
we are the enemy
when the journey’s over
and it all comes to an end
don’t look back
look straight ahead
and just begin again
Photo: Johannes Pienio