Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Zombies Have Arrived

The zombies are here, I knew they were coming and now, they have arrived. It seems they are a little meaner than in my dreams, a little colder than what I had imagined and not nearly as intelligent as I had feared. Look around, you’ll see them, but first you must realign your sight, these guys didn’t just sneak off a movie set, these guys look just like you and me.

I’ve been seeing them for a while, luckily, I had the dreams forewarning of their coming, but they seem more numerous now as they begin flocking together. The thing about the zombies is they like to be in groups, they feel lost and unsettled when alone and find traveling in packs soothing. Another thing about zombies is they have a hive mind, a single focus and their numbers give them power.

Where? You may ask. Where have you seen them? And to answer that question I have two words as an example, Michael Jackson. With the sad passing of Michael Jackson we saw the zombies coming into the light, we saw them massing together with a single focus, we felt their combined hive mind change the thinking of the world. Now some of us were fans of Mr. Jackson’s, some of us were not, some of us believe he was a pedophile and some believe he was just a kid trapped in a ever-changing body. Some of us hold a grave dislike for Michael Jackson, others complete apathy, but what we saw in the media, day after day, was the call of the zombie hive mind. And what we also saw was the zombies answering the call.

The zombies are hard to see, easier in some environments than others, but with the proper focus, you can make out the subtle change sweeping our world, you can notice the switch. The simplest method is to disconnect from the electronics and observe, take a seat somewhere where the masses gather, do not distract yourself with cell phones, ipods or magazines and just watch and listen, you’ll begin to see them. Although the changeover is coming earlier and earlier, you’ll notice that the youngsters have not yet transformed, but as adolescence occurs, the switch is soon flipped.

In the movies zombies eat brains and in reality they do the same thing, but not in the dramatic, bloody display we see on the big screen. The actuality of the event is subtle, the change is not painful and hardly noticed in our fast paced society. At first, the transforming zombie may be a little dismayed with the memory loss, the shortness of their attention span, the apathy concerning worldly events, but that soon passes and they embrace their smaller existence, the convenient reduction of their thinking space.

The zombies believe that we are all one and any deviation from the hive mind is a threat, as a single celled organism working towards the greater whole, we must act as one, we must be one, we must think as one, like a well oiled machine. On your journey to find the zombies you’ll notice those still fighting the change, you see them gallantly trying to maintain their individuality and you’ll see them shunned and laughed at, called names and shamed. You’ll see them banned from certain social structures and you’ll notice that the hive mind will no longer recall their existence, their being-ness or even their name.

So now that you know the zombies are here and you know how to detect them, I have a simple question… Will you surrender gently into the single-celled shell or will you fight? Will you accept the change as just another example of “it’s just life” or will you rebel and proclaim your independence from the monstrous human machine?

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Turtles Are On The Move

The turtles are on the move. I smile when I write that and don’t know why. A few days ago a group of 78 diamond backed terrapins decided to cross a runway at JFK en mass, delaying flights for an hour and a half. At first when I saw this article I was disturbed, turtles are not pack animals that travel in herds, turtles are solitary creatures. I have come to the conclusion that the call to gather in a group and interrupt traffic at the airport had to have come from a call higher than their own.

Of course, this story fascinates me on many levels, my affinity with turtles has been with me since I was a child. I first discovered box turtles and their ability to disappear into their shells amazed me and I used to wonder if a whole other universe existed inside of a turtle’s shell. Later, I discovered sliders and watching them move through the water had the ability to ease and lift my spirit. Tortoises came next, and I discovered the ancient creatures have a gentle wisdom about them that perhaps only comes in watching generations of humans come and go.

I’ve always compared myself to a turtle, although I’m not sure why, maybe, simply, because I seek to see what is hiding inside that turtle shell, that other universe. And it seems, not only am I drawn to turtles, turtles are drawn to me. Recently, on our anniversary and two days shy of what would have been my son’s 25th birthday, had he not died at 18, a box turtle settled down outside of the backdoor. He sat for half an hour, as though waiting for something and when I stepped outside, he walked over my foot. I picked him up and he did not retreat into his shell, but only watched me studiously, without fear.

I decided that God had sent me a message or a gift or both and took the turtle inside the house to spend the day. The turtle investigated the kitchen, had no fear of the other animals and sunned himself on the floor of the mud room. I left him to his own devices, checking on him often and every time I stepped into the room, his eyes would follow me. By the afternoon, the turtle’s tame behavior and lack of fear had me intrigued, I wondered if he was truly wild, as he seemed so comfortable with my presence.

The turtle’s behavior felt inspired to me, so I picked him up and sat in a chair with him on my lap. He sat, legs out confidently and stared into my eyes. I asked him why he had come, what he meant for me to see and his gaze remained locked on mine. I tried to understand, perhaps even psychically, what the turtle had come to relay and then it came to me, the turtles are dying, someone has to speak out.

Years ago, I had an unusual experience where I was drawn to the bible, I flipped it open and my eyes fell on these words … “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:12) I knew in that instant that for some reason those words were important, perhaps only to me and I realized the day the turtle came to visit, I had not been doing my job well enough.

When I refer to turtles, I am not only referring to magnificent creatures, I am also referring to folks, turtle folks. We all know who we are, the narrow path folks, the solitary folks, the universe holders, and perhaps even, the keepers of time. And as I understood it that day, sitting with a turtle in my lap, both the creatures and the folks are under threat. In the wild, turtles only have two natural predators, humans and alligators, and I would say, much of the same holds true for turtle folks.

The turtles are on the move, so for us turtles with a voice, it’s time to speak out.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Don't Be A Corpse

When did having emotions become wrong and something to be managed? These days, according to some statistics, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medication in America and the numbers are only rising. I often lament about the state of the world and how we are being forced into smaller and smaller boxes of accepted behavior and I see the mindset coming at us from many angles.

Medically, if you undergo a traumatic experience or are dissatisfied with your life, that is a reason to medicate. Religious beliefs of all description, including the new age, suggest that our emotions must be tightly reined in; we must control our emotions and our thoughts, to reach a higher realm. And with the new terror state that we live, law enforcement is taught to look at all emotions suspiciously.

And yet, our media, owned by just a handful of men, show us out of control behavior at every turn, the ridiculous reality shows exposing the worst of humanity, the dozens of police shows giving a first hand view of murders and depravity that we would never have conceived without their help. The “talk” shows specializing in the darkest and most embarrassing of human behavior and the constant parade of sexualized images. Most will say, it’s just TV, is has no effect on me, but we don’t see how society is degrading, we don’t see because we are blinded by our TV, our prescriptions and our loss of emotion.

What we don’t see is that by tapping down our own emotion, our internal sense of what is just, they are easily instilling their brand of emotion, the darkest emotions. If we are dissatisfied with our life, the simplest thing to do would be correct what is leaving us unsettled, but society has deemed it wise to just medicate yourself and leave things be. Earlier in our history when someone was grieving it was perfectly acceptable to don black and experience mourning, it could last a month, a year or forever and it was understood. Nowadays, though, we have a few days off and then we must get back to normal and if normal isn’t found in a week or two, it’s time for medication.

When did we sacrifice so much? When did we give away our basic right to feel? We are lost. A wise man once said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you.". We are not to tap down our emotion, we are to live it, feel it, learn from it, grow from it and if we don’t, we are no more than walking corpses.