I am called up and in, and so I rise to write, the 3 AM ritual. Lit candles sting the darkness and their reflections in my window cover the Utah Mountains. I bite into the bread of my mind, until blood is pouring down and out of my fingers. I write, “I once made love on the top platform of a rocket ship in a playground. She and I were young, and we wished to explore, to try new things. We drove naked from Smith’s Point to Rocky Point, stopping only to go by the fast food window of an Arby’s and give everyone a laugh and a thrill. We did all this—put so much energy into our sex life—and yet never learned to communicate. When our relationship ended, neither of us knew each other. We were lost, like best friends who didn’t know why they were best friends. Beyond tears, we just parted. I gave her my last sixty dollars and walked out the door, into the night, and back into a life I had thought I’d already left behind. I was nineteen years old.
At the Cherry Tree, all my friends were there, smoking, drinking, and listening to music. Yet, although I was barely a year older than everyone there, I felt like a colossal loser for the first time in my life. The party that used to thrill me now depressed me. I was supposed to be settled down, responsible, you know? Instead, all I felt was enormous sadness, and directionless. I asked my friend Mike if I could stay with him, and he said, ‘Sure, just climb in the window and I will be home later.’
After I went through the window I just sat in his bitterly cold one bedroom loft in total silence; I looked at my worn shoes, felt my empty pockets, and just began to cry. I think, if I ever could have shown her just how I truly felt, like I was feeling at that moment, then we might have had a chance. Instead, all I had was a memory of a rocket shop and a car ride that grew vaguer by the years, while the memory of my utter aloneness in that apartment would only get sharper, and cut the cold air deeper with each passing breath.”
Just how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? 5? 20? 50, or is it maybe 100? Actually, it’s about a billion or more; maybe, even, a whole lot more.
I talk with people all the time, and one of their most common complaints is that of either money, work or relationships. And, I notice how they do exactly what I used to do: completely minimize the steps it took for them to get to where they are. “How did you end up poor?” I ask. “I made a few bad investments,” they respond. “How did you end up in a rotten relationship?” “She or he changed and started cheating on me.” “How come you are working in a job you hate?” “I gotta pay the bills.”
Do you see what I am referring to? Well, if you don’t, hopefully you will by the end of this post. Humans have a funny way of not knowing how complicated their human brain actually is, nor all the processes that it takes to do the simplest of tasks. Each of the brain’s sections (except for the occipital lobe, which handles vision completely on its own), actually have very small functions without communicating with another cortical division. For instance, to take one lick of a Tootsie Pop, your frontal lobe must deal with a thought that has been turned into a feeling of behavior, for example, “I want to lick the Tootsie Pop.” But, you didn’t think that out loud, most likely, so your brain had to interpret from the occipital lobe’s vision receivers that you saw the Tootsie Pop and it looked delicious. This, it got the color transfers of the Tootsie Pop from the lens’ that are your eyes! Now, the occipital lobe comes back into service because that deals with movement, and—if you ask any of the scientists and engineers that build robots—movement is an extremely complicated task. We all have to balance our bodies, our heads, and judge the distance of the tongue to the Tootsie Pop. Then, a reflex takes over when we lick something too closely: our eyes automatically shut to protect them from any debris getting inside!
Your human brain has about 100bn neurons. That is approximately 100,000,000,000 neurons that are firing and interacting with each other, constantly. Just rubbing your forehead will require several million—and possibly a few billion—processes. So, for your tongue to come out of its head and lick a Tootsie Pop even one time, taste it, then return to its mouth, is an amazing action that will require millions, or even billions, of tiny little steps to happen.
So, let’s get back to that problem of why you are, say, in a bad relationship. Do you really think now that it was just one, two, or three things that happened to cause your unhappiness? In reality, it took you billions and billions of tiny, seemingly insignificant steps, for you to get into that relationship. Before you even met you may have planned for the date—billions of movements on your part, a lot more than just picking out the right clothes, I assure you. And, you tilted your head just right at your date’s jokes, and you let your eyes flash and sparkle, now didn’t you? When you walked where your date’s eyes were on your back, you were thinking, “Now don’t trip and fall, and walk sexy.” It took so many processes for you to even be on that date that we can’t even count them.
When that relationship ended, it should be of no surprise, but, you know, it so often is. We feel blindsided, and it’s because we weren’t paying attention to more of the steps we were taking. Now, it’s impossible to figure out all the steps, but we can expand our awareness to realize a few hundred, or maybe even a thousand or more of them.
The fact is, we are where we are in life, because we arrived at that destination by taking billions of tiny steps in order to arrive there. It wasn’t one or two. So, I invite you today to be very clear in your mind. Watch what your brain is doing. Notice how you wake up and say you are going to workout, and then you get distracted and say you “don’t have time.” Watch how you say that tomorrow you will make big changes in your life, and yet you wake up with a hangover. Your brain didn’t do that to itself. You allowed it, by not actively monitoring what was going on.
Change in your life is not a matter of “1, 2 or 3” steps. Rather, it is a series of billions of steps, each one vitally important. If you want to change, then get focused on what is really going on inside you. That is the first 10 billion steps! You can succeed at anything, but you have got to apply yourself mentally to the situation, and WATCH what you are doing!
Thanksgiving, 2013 (The Day of the Blackbirds)
The doorbell rings,
and another loved one enters.
Ten more times the chimes,
and our home is a conference center.
We share our joys,
but we also share our sorrows.
By the inglenook blaze with family,
we find and give a shoulder for tomorrow.
A blackbird knocks
at our window to break the spell.
Just one little bird’s dance,
and the heaviness in the room is expelled.
We hear his insistent chirp,
see how he is out among the snow.
And we remember to be grateful,
for the warmth we share of fireside glow.
As he suddenly leaves,
we notice he joins a large flock.
So we look around and smile,
at all the loving friends we’ve got.
Now the food is on the table,
and thanks is what we have in our minds.
Thanks for the food,
and thanks for all its varying kinds.
We are thankful,
for the preparers of this expert meal;
because, the love from the cooks,
has filled our table with their loving zeal!
And our bellies are delightened!
The carrots glaze so tasty,
and the herb potatoes are exciting!
Pass the gravy
and the rolls, won’t you?
they’re very good!
You are always the cooks we turn to!
And while the melody,
of conversation and eating plays,
someone is thinking of another,
and on that being he is intent of gaze.
Yes, there sits
a young boy engaged in deep thought.
He looked at the turkey,
a life that this boy didn’t want forgot.
So, he stood up,
and took some rolls in his hands.
To everyone’s surprise,
he headed out, where ice and snow were the land.
Over to the ledge,
whence the blackbird had said hello,
he crumbled up the rolls,
and set them down to help balance the quo.
He looked up,
his eyes filled with such tears,
and he said, “Thank you,
little bird, and to your kind for all you share.”
Then the boy
went back inside, and one by one,
each family member took food out there,
and soon a pile was on the lodge, a hearty sum.
Then they all returned
to the living room’s warmth and comfort,
and waited watching the window,
eagerly with eyes of great wonder.
First, one bird,
landed on the bounteous window sill,
and he or she looked at the food,
and then let out a loud, excited shrill.
More birds flocked,
to the window ledge with glee,
and their bellies were very full,
from the giving of a family.
And though their food
on the table was now getting cold,
no one seemed to notice,
the day the birds got some of what they were owed.
I love puzzles, and adored it when an author incorporated some into their works. Now it is my turn to write such things, and my book has more puzzles than even Alesteir Crowley ever imagined...and for those of you who have read Alesteir, you know that is a lot! In fact, all my books have these puzzles. But, M.E.M.B.E.R.S. has acrostics, chronograms, anagrams, letter-number ciphers, and more. Book Two will even have a cryptogram. This way, you have a book that provides many, many hours of enjoyment. Now, I shall only give you two answers to point you in the right direction.
In the following conversation between Maladrin and Mastema (Mastema, when he disappears in this scene, is still heard answering through a meteor shower), you see this:
“Solicitations, eh? We heard you,” said Mastema.
“Anear, the Great Link and I. Maladrin, how long have you been frustrated?”
“For a long time, I suppose. Who knows in this place?”
“Tell me: why are you not listening to what your body is trying to tell you?”
“My…my body?” queried Maladrin. He had experienced the allusion of the word before, from the human species. It always seemed in reference to something—as an Idea—that he did not possess.
“Animadversal! Yes, your body. Your body is everywhere, and yet you still do not see it. You spend far too much time engaged in your job and looking outside; when have you ever looked inside?”
“Inside? Do I have an inside?”
“Neigh, yes, neigh,” shouted a central meteor shower’s answer, and a quiescent epoch seemed to pass and stagnate, pass and stagnate.
This is an interesting scene, and some archaic words make their appearance, letting you know you should be paying attention. If you take the first letter of the first sentence in each paragraph where Mastema speaks, you get: S-A-T-A-N. This acrostic lets you know who Mastema is (look up Mastema in Wikipedia). But, he is a richer (and much more ancient) definition of Satan, in that he works FOR The Great Link (what humans call god), not against The Great Link.
The second one I will help you with is the title of a chapter, specifically, Chapter Twenty, entitled: ETHEREAL, A THRUSTING. This is an anagram for "Giants Rule the Earth."
Okay, so I hope you're all set now! Have fun! This is the novel that I wished I had when I was a kid!
You can buy M.E.M.B.E.R.S. BOOK ONE at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/daniellesaintemarie
Order by 12/10/13, and get FREE SHIPPING with code FREESHIP entered at checkout!!!