Artists vs. Zombies

This is a repost of a post I originally wrote on June 23, 2011 for Sandra’s “Old-Post Resurrection Hop” at A Writer Weave’s A Tale. Since I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of the arts, and the power of the arts to challenge ideas, I thought I would revisit this post. Enjoy!

“Feed me brains!”

Zombie Sam from terror4fun.com

The Zombie Leader lumbers towards an unsuspecting group of people who blithely go about their business reading, writing and creating. The Zombie Leaders intent to devour their energy and independent wills does not seem to faze them, until he makes his way to each one devouring brains and creating more zombies.

The Zombie leader does not discriminate when it comes to brains, but he especially enjoys feasting on young minds because of their potential to absorb energy and ideas at an overwhelming rate. Catch them young, he thinks, and they will never learn, grow, or threaten my Zombie Kingdom. Of course, he doesn’t really think this with as much insight as that. Really, his thought process is limited to “Brains!” but inside he knows that destroying a thinking, creative populace is what has made him strong and will make him more powerful.

Caught by this creature’s never-ending lust for domination and power, the young people turn into zombies quickly because they have yet to learn how to defend themselves from his overwhelming control.  As his army of brainless drudges grows, the Zombie King gains power over event those who have the skills to protect themselves and others from him. Why? Because these creative people often get so absorbed in their individual projects that they don’t sense his putrid, decaying presence until it is too late.

The more creative energy one zombie can devour, the higher in the ranks of the zombie world he/she rises. And with that strength comes more power and control over the ever-growing army of mindless drones and crucial elements of society which would help the diminishing group of rebels continue to fight the good fight.

But here’s the secret that they don’t understand (if they understood anything, which is a challenge when your brains are in someone else’s stomach):

Zombies cannot exist without artists!

Yes folks. Artists created zombies . We drew them, designed them, wrote stories about them. And while we focused on creating them, they grew stronger and more powerful. They grew to resent us, and their thoughts began to focus on our destruction. They exist because we gave them life,which suggests that we have the power to destroy them.

But I don’t think destruction is the answer. No! As artists our power comes from creation, not destruction. So, if we want to defeat the zombies and protect the creative minds of young and old alike, we must use of the power of our art itself. We must wield our pens, brandish our paint brushes, strengthen our words, mix our colors, build our connections, sing our songs, pronounce our monologues, grow or gardens, dance our dances, create our puppets, share our knowledge, and dream our dreams.

The zombies will try every trick they can–including destroying the foundations of equality and justice. They will attempt to suck the brains out of anyone, especially a leader, who leans towards valuing something other than power and money.

But in the end they will lose because artists never die–we live behind our words, our pictures, our songs, our sculptures, our ideas, and the power of our dreams. We are even capable of turning zombies back into fully functioning humans, or, at the very least rainbows. All it takes is a sprinkle of fairy dust and a lot of hard work.

Artists can rule the world!

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Dependent on Technology

Have you ever thought about how dependent we have become on technology?

As we drove the last leg of our journey last Tuesday, we went through town after town affected by Hurricane Irene, with power outages and flooding. We only had to back track two times to avoid flooding, but we did have to pay close attention to availability of gas and/or snacks. We also looked forward to spending the night at my parents house, sans electricity. (By some miracle, their power came on about 30 minutes before we got there, so we were actually able to eat something).

Before we headed there, however, we dropped the truck off at the new house to leave overnight, only to discover the power was also out there, with a tree fallen on the line.  The powerless house would not be a problem, we decided, when it came to unloading the truck, thanks to the help of many wonderful helpers and the lovely weather post-Irene. It would have caused problems for our first night in our new home, but luckily the power came back on late in the afternoon.

Post move-in feeding frenzy.

Unloading the truck.

What would we have done without that power? Probably headed back to my parent’s house and then gotten up really early to get Sarah to school the next day. Not that we couldn’t survive without electricity. We could have camped out, in a way. But we have well water and the heating comes from the oil furnace, all of which require some electricity to function.  No running water or flushing toilets would lend to an uncomfortable night.

We are dependent on technology.

That stuff was easy though. I truly became aware of my utter dependence on technology when I found out my home internet will not be available until September 13th.

Aauuggh!

That means blogging regularly, as well as searching for jobs, requires hunting down access in different locations. Hence the gap in posts, and my lack of response to comments.

While I do have limited access on my phone, we don’t have huge data plans, nor do we have phones that are very internet friendly. So I am suffering technology deprivation.

Now, of course I could rant about why it takes nearly two weeks to link me up to the system, when as far as I know all that is required is the addition of my name to a list in some system. But we will chalk that up to the mysteries of bureaucracy that leave everyone puzzled on a regular basis.

What really concerns me is how lost I feel without regular access. Sure, I could still write posts, preparing for times to come, but I can’t seem to get motivated without the immediate satisfaction of posting and reading other people’s post, responding and reading other’s responses.

Sure, I could work on figuring out a plan for finding work, and I have done that to some extent. But I still feel like I need access to possibilities to figure it all out.

Sure, I could focus on unpacking and organizing, but what do I do when I need a break?

Tomorrow starts the regular schedule, with Nathan and work and Sarah at school.  Technically they started last week, but the first week is always quirky. Tomorrow is the beginning of a truly regular schedule, and my new life . . . but I have to begin it without regular access to the internet, without regular access to technology.

Will I survive the horror?!

A call for healers… | The odd ramblings of a mind that does not quite fit

Friends, please check out this post that my brother wrote to help out Tori’s nephew.  Trust me, I’ve seen  and felt it work.

A call for healers… | The odd ramblings of a mind that does not quite fit.

 

Artists vs. Zombies

 

“Feed me brains!”

Zombie Sam from terror4fun.com

The Zombie Leader lumbers towards an unsuspecting group of people who blithely go about their business reading, writing and creating. The Zombie Leaders intent to devour their energy and independent wills does not seem to faze them, until he makes his way to each one devouring brains and creating more zombies.

The Zombie leader does not discriminate when it comes to brains, but he especially enjoys feasting on young minds because of their potential to absorb energy and ideas at an overwhelming rate. Catch them young, he thinks, and they will never learn, grow, or threaten my Zombie Kingdom. Of course, he doesn’t really think this with as much insight as that. Really, his thought process is limited to “Brains!” but inside he knows that destroying a thinking, creative populace is what has made him strong and will make him more powerful.

Caught by this creature’s never-ending lust for domination and power, the young people turn into zombies quickly because they have yet to learn how to defend themselves from his overwhelming control.  As his army of brainless drudges grows, the Zombie King gains power over event those who have the skills to protect themselves and others from him. Why? Because these creative people often get so absorbed in their individual projects that they don’t sense his putrid, decaying presence until it is too late.

The more creative energy one zombie can devour, the higher in the ranks of the zombie world he/she rises. And with that strength comes more power and control over the ever-growing army of mindless drones and crucial elements of society which would help the diminishing group of rebels continue to fight the good fight.

But here’s the secret that they don’t understand (if they understood anything, which is a challenge when your brains are in someone else’s stomach):

Zombies cannot exist without artists!

Yes folks. Artists created zombies . We drew them, designed them, wrote stories about them. And while we focused on creating them, they grew stronger and more powerful. They grew to resent us, and their thoughts began to focus on our destruction. They exist because we gave them life,which suggests that we have the power to destroy them.

But I don’t think destruction is the answer. No! As artists our power comes from creation, not destruction. So, if we want to defeat the zombies and protect the creative minds of young and old alike, we must use of the power of our art itself. We must wield our pens, brandish our paint brushes, strengthen our words, mix our colors, build our connections, sing our songs, pronounce our monologues, grow or gardens, dance our dances, create our puppets, share our knowledge, and dream our dreams.

The zombies will try every trick they can–including destroying the foundations of equality and justice. They will attempt to suck the brains out of anyone, especially a leader, who leans towards valuing something other than power and money.

But in the end they will lose because artists never die–we live behind our words, our pictures, our songs, our sculptures, our ideas, and the power of our dreams. We are even capable of turning zombies back into fully functioning humans, or, at the very least rainbows. All it takes is a sprinkle of fairy dust and a lot of hard work.

Artists can rule the world!

To Crack or Not to Crack

I went to the chiropractor yesterday for the first time since last May.

My previous chiropractor was more the touch=feel-CRACK kind of doctor. She didn’t beat me up too brutally, but she would feel for blockages or tightness and then miraculously find the perfect way to release them. Sometimes she would concentrate on one area, sometimes she would crack several. Some days it hurt, some days it felt incredible. I still remember my first adjustment from her. I could barely turn my head and my back was completely stiff. She had me sit on the edge of the table, and cross my arms in front of me. She took me into a great strong hug, and then bent down to slowly roll my back onto the table.

Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, aaaahhh!

This doctor is different. He takes a much more specific and scientific approach.  He took x-rays of my neck to see exactly what was going on in there to the last centimeter. He won’t do that every time, but that is how he begins. Then he decides on the exact angle and approach to adjustment to fix the problem. This whole process took almost two hours. When he actually got to the adjustment part it included one (well two) strange pressures on my neck as I lay on my side, and one lift and crack of my neck. The crack definitely got one of the spots that I am most aware of, but I don’t know yet  if the adjustment has done anything permanently helpful. I understand that his approach is to make small, correct and truly necessary adjustments for long-lasting results.

But I have to admit I miss that immediate sense of release.

I’m still reserving judgment as to which method works better or will ultimately help me find the natural flow that can allow our bodies to help heal themselves. I do believe that we have some of that power inside of us, and that we rely too much nowadays on medicated solutions to our problems. I simply have to give my body time to adjust to the adjustment.

Yesterday I felt like I had too many balls in the air and was about to drop every single one, but I could not refuse to catch any of the new ones thrown my way, even the ones I threw away last May hoping to never see again. I had hoped that my visit to the chiropractor would help me get centered again, both physically and mentally. But today the balls have turned into butterflies and fireflies; Beautiful to watch, but I have even less control over them.

I feel disconnected. My thoughts flit around my head like glittering butterflies in the sun; silent and beautiful, but very delicate and fragile. I cannot focus in on any one of them because it will either fly away or try to blend into its surroundings. I am left with the delicate tingle of dust in the sky.

Fairy dust.

Not that all of my thoughts are positive ones or even negative ones. They are simply firefly thoughts, beckoning me to follow wherever they lead.

Is this disconnect the result of my spine reconnecting? Or do I still need some adjustments made, both mentally and physically?

I guess only time will tell, and a follow up visit to the chiropractor tomorrow.

Or maybe I simply need to sit and watch the figurative fireflies until summer comes and I can reconnect with their real magic. That sounds like the best solution of them all.

 

 

The Mind Body Connection

Today I am thinking a lot about the process of aging, and the connections between our minds and our bodies. I would love to think that the mind can overpower the body, but the reality is more complex. We cannot just think ourselves healthy, but at the same time I believe our minds play an important role in the healing process.  I have spent the last week trying to encourage my mind to stay positive, so that healing can begin in all sorts of ways. Today, my mind energy is with my sister who is undergoing her second round of open heart surgery in a year. I cannot be with her in person, so my mind energy is the only thing I have to offer at the moment.

But is that energy enough?

I’ve spent the last 6 days in a battle with my own body. On Sunday my back decided that it had had enough of whatever it thought I was doing and chose to rebel with as much pain as it possibly could. My brain would tell my back what to do, and the muscles in my back said “we don’t have to listen to you!”

They didn’t listen and my mind went into a panic.

Sunday night consisted of extreme gymnastics. I’m not the world’s greatest sleeper (as you may have noticed from former blog posts) and when I do sleep I have the tendency to toss and turn a lot.  On Sunday, in order to change positions in bed, I had to go to extreme measures and contortions involving a combination of falling out of bed, climbing the wall, and  using my arms to pull my body into the nearest comfortable position I could find. Comfort which would only last a short time before my acrobatic act had to begin again.

Needless to say, medical help seemed to be in order.

One emergency room trip later (as I still have to find a local doctor) and I had pain killers with codeine and muscle relaxants.  Now my mind entered a new relationship with my body. My mind said “I am going to float around here with the fuzzy clouds”

My body said, “I’ll pretend you don’t hurt but watch out, when you least expect it, whammo!”‘

I tried to meditate to help with the healing, but my mind refused to cooperate. Sleep seemed the only solution.

I had some things that I couldn’t avoid this week. I had already postponed auditions for a show two times, and felt that it was necessary to do them this week.  My mind said “go for it!”

My body said “Ok, I guess.”

I went for it, and felt good about it, but now my brain is undecided about how to cast because it was still in a fuzzy zone when I watched the auditions. Ah well, at least I got them done.

Last night, I didn’t take any medication, and I was able to sleep more comfortably. I could turn over without agony or  contortions  that would compete with Chinese Acrobats. Healing has begun.

But, the occasional twinge reminds me that my back still has a mind of its own.

This morning, I watched the most recent episode of Bones, where the issue of age played an interesting role. Booth got out of bed to a pounding knock on his door. As he made his way to the door, everything in his body that could crack, cracked. Bones heard this internal drum line and commented on the fact that he was at an age where his bone structure was deteriorating.  Hmmm, I thought, he is around my age probably. And I enjoy a couple of cracks here and there, as it releases pressure I didn’t know I had. But, is that pressure in my mind or in my body, or in both?

Today, I cannot pay any attention to this battle between my mind and my body. I need to send my mind energy, my healing energy, toward my sister.  I cannot be there in person, so I have to be there in mind. But, given the relationship between my mind and body this week, will that be helpful or harmful to her body?

Only time will tell.

Hours of Creative Madness

 

2500 Creative Commons Licenses

Image by qthomasbower via Flickr

 

There are moments when I am reminded of the wonderful stuff that can happen when passionately creative people get together and focus on one goal. Yesterday I was a director for the College 24 Hour Plays at the Inge Center for the Performing Arts. I won’t say brilliant pieces came out of it; some were good, some were interesting, some probably needed more work. But I will say that having a group of people focused on this one thing, the creation of fully staged 10 minute plays that didn’t exist the day before, was revitalizing. My cast (for the most part) were completely amazing; they dove into finding nuances and creating depth in roles that I believe truly nurtured the play.

I’ve experienced this kind of energy with a few people, and in a few situations. Now, I know that creating theatre doesn’t necessarily change the world (although I truly believe it has the power too). But, I am thinking about the potential power of bring a group of truly committed artists of all types in creating something good for the world. When egos are set aside, the air is filled with pulsing powers that could lead us somewhere amazing.

If we take the power of dreams, the creativity and drive of artists, and the power of groups, and the strength (but not the egos) of individuals, where might we go?

3 am in a World that Never Sleeps.

 

Artificial light horizon

Image by 96dpi via Flickr

 

There is no real silence. Not in this man-made world that buzzes and clicks with wasted energy, thrumming through the veins of mother earth. Slowly killing her.

There is no real darkness. Even out here in high up in the mountains, away from town. The stars twinkle above, but not in the completeness of a wilderness empty of artificial light.

There is no real peace.  Out there in the darkness, someone moves, someone breathes, someone makes love, someone cries, someone screams.  Sighs and dreams are not silent.  Minds may shut down for brief moments, but deep inside they are still working. There is no rest for those who blame themselves for things that have gone wrong in their lives. Or even for things that have gone right. There is no rest for someone who blames others and struggles to forgive.

Without sleep, the world becomes a waking nightmare. Perhaps not inhabited by monsters and demons, but rather by the thoughts that plague your soul. Without sleep, life becomes insanity.

The only solace is words. Words of love, words of anger, words of forgiveness, words of desire. Words that come in a rush from the heart, bleeding life blood onto an unknown page for unknown readers. Words heal. Words help. Words hurt. Words cleanse. I am running out of words.

Let it Flow

According to one of my horoscopes, today I am supposed to have some very strong psychic powers. But, according to another one, I might doubt everything today.  I admit to my addiction for looking at horoscopes. I mean, I would love for there to be some true guidance from the universe. I often joke that I want to see an arrow in the side pointing in my next direction. But it’s not really a joke. I mean, I am trying to be open to whatever is percolating out their for my life. But ambiguity is definitely not easy. And if there are supposed to be signs, how do you know if you haven’t missed one, or misinterpreted one? Some days I truly trust and have faith, and then others I feel hopeless. I guess that’s only human.  Humans want to have some control over the universe (that’s why we’ve put ourselves into so many predicaments). Is that what makes us human? I want to let go of that need for control and live in a time of trusting that the energy around me is working towards helping me find something good.  I also know that I need to make some positive assertions to help that along. So here goes:

  • Nathan will get the job offer we are waiting for, so we will know where we are going to move in the fall.
  • Our house will sell within the next month, so that we have money to move and can pay down some debt.
  • I will figure out a way to make all of my dreams and goals come true including: publishing my book, becoming an arts advocate, and starting my own business.
  • Sarah will be happy, healthy, and thrive in our new home.
  • Nathan will be able to start puppeteering (or at least building puppets) and creating that career.
  • I will find a group of friends who welcome me and become very close.
  • I will stay in touch with the friends that I have now.

Is this letting it flow or visualizing? I think it is both, I’m working on having faith that things will happen, but I also need to ask for what I want. In this way, the universe will let it manifest. I truly believe that.

Thanks for listening.