I’m alive and cantankerous as ever.

Whatever happened, though, it was deeply unsettling.  Suddenly losing the ability to read and write is never a good sign.

The flashbacks from the war were a bit much though.  That literally hasn’t happened with that intensity for some years.  I’m now concerned that my memories may have been precipitated by some kind of medical incident and I’m legitimately scared.

The episode seems to have passed. Being discharged. Apparently suddenly losing a fundamental​ ability for a couple hours isn’t an emergency.

I had a frightening flashback during the attack though. I don’t think it was something that actually happened but something I had been afraid would happen. I became Jack, mentally speaking, and had an anxious flash when the doctor stood over me and in an angry voice demanded the particulars of my insurance. At one point I wanted to blurt out “I don’t know where they are!” (as if asked for information about my battalion) and I briefly but vividly imagined that I was in an infirmary in a prison camp being interrogated by a German officer.  I got hold of my senses and snapped back to reality before I let on that I’d had such an episode.

The doctor thinks it might be autoimmune, which they won’t test for here, so it’s a cab ride home for me.


The Deeper Truth

I want to try to comment on the deeper spiritual dimension of these times and what I see going on right under people’s noses.

First of all I want to say that I’ve had a weird suspicion that what we’re seeing proves an archetypal- rather than prophetic- reading of the Revelation of St. John.

We have the emergence of far-right charismatic figures- almost all of them somehow connected- who trade in xenophobia, racism, sexism, and the politics of fear.  They profess a love for the people and even love for God, but they harbor immense greed and corruption.   Their reach is international, coming up from the sea on every shore.  You might say they represent a political force that, metaphorically speaking, have “seven heads with ten crowns” (I think the specific numbers are arguably unimportant here, only that the beast is both one and many, holding sway over multiple sovereign powers).  Many people who declare themselves Christians have fallen for them; they have been given power to deceive and make war.

It is worth noting that in the Book of Revelation, it doesn’t say that who Beast and his cohorts get their power from; only that they are “given power.”  If that power is given as a political appointment it’s still given.

There is, of course, beast imagery involved but it’s vague and circumspect.  It emerged today that Jared Kushner has been implicated in the Russia investigation; it is worth noting that Kushner owns 666 5th Avenue in New York City.  And of course, with the new presidential limo still not ready, Trump rode to his inauguration in a limo built for the previous president, called “The Beast” (a name that may be shared with his new limousine).  Make of that what you will but it’s not really what I’m interested in.

Rather what I’m interested in is this verse:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

-Rev. 16:13-14


Now where have we seen “unclean spirits like frogs” that spread out from the metaphorical mouths of this “beast” of many heads?

Enter Pepe the Frog, the former harmless stoner cartoon character who was adopted by the far right as a mascot after a weird series of coincidences created the mostly-satirical Cult of Kek, which I’ll link you to this article for if you’re not already in the know (the article also contains some helpful links).

Whether or not anyone ever intended serious reverence to this chaos deity, the idea of Kek- the archetype behind it- was embodied in their words and actions and so, in a Jungian sense, Kek became real through them and brought its chaos into the world, and the image of Pepe, once a peaceful, fun-loving stoner frog, had now become inextricably linked to that chaotic force.

And so we see arising in the mid-2010s not only the bizarre pseudo-worship of an evil Egyptian deity of chaos and darkness as a phenomenon inherently linked to politics, but also the creation of Kek memes supporting right-wing politicians in a sort of sympathetic magic.  Some of you might remember the flood of “Rare Pepes” called for by /pol/ on Twitter during the 2016 elections and, more recently, the French elections.

But something changed between November 2016 and May 2017.  What was it?

On 7 May 2017, Cartoonist Matt Furie, creator of Pepe, killed off his creation.  

On that very same day, Marine LePen, subject of several Kek memes, lost the French election.

In the days since, I cannot count the number of bombshells, revelations, leaks, developments, and escalations involving the investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.  Impeachment, unimaginable only 12 days ago, now seems plausible and is being openly discussed where before, it seemed only remote.

The outcome of this investigation and its fallout will tell us more about what’s happening.  If a massive roundup of administration officials is carried out and the West is able to root out the machinations of Putin, then we might consider this a warning.

But if Trump is able to get through this ordeal unscathed, and continues to press his agenda forward, then I urge you to consider this verse:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

-Rev. 13:3

The fatal wound here may not be a literal fatal wound, but rather a political scandal that should have brought this whole scheme down but didn’t.  Beware.  We’ve already seen that this political machine has a high degree of immunity to scandal, in all of its international manifestations, because it is both highly adaptable and highly capable of convincing people of its goodness even when these same people are being robbed blind by it.

Whatever happens, be strong and don’t accept the mark.  I promise you it will be worth it.

My Life These Days

A lot’s happened in Washington in the last 9 days, hasn’t it?  I have my own theories about what’s happened (it involves an invasion by an evil Egyptian god and Internet “meme magic” going too far) but I’ll save that for another time.

Lately, I guess the biggest thing is that I don’t update here much because I feel like there’s some distance between myself and these past lives, and I’m kind of enjoying it.  Past lives are a lot of baggage to carry around and I feel happy to not be as burdened by that baggage anymore.  I feel like, as time passes and no new memories emerge, I’m not as immersed in it any more.

This isn’t to say I don’t believe it happened, only that it feels more distant, less a part of my daily landscape.  I’m starting to get homesick for places I only knew in this life, like Charleston SC or central Spain.  I’m starting to feel like “me” again and not a disjointed collection of events that spun itself out of nonlinear time.

I don’t think things will ever go completely back to normal, but that’s fine.  Honestly, I got a lot out of this experience.  I found my spiritual center and a church that I’m very happy with, I found that I understood the Middle Ages on an intuitive level rare for a person from my era, and I found my groove as a writer first by revisiting another life where I did that, then by finding my own voice unique to this life and era.

Incidentally, on that last life, I seldom think about it any more.  It would make a lot of sense if I was him but… well, so what? I’m not any more.  I had time to mourn for what might’ve been, I’ve been back to places he would have known, and I met people he knew.  And now that I’ve struck up a refreshingly normal friendship via Facebook with someone he was very close to, it seems weird and awkward to think of Phil’s relationship with her.

I’m glad I took time to piece together the story of how I got here, but now I’ve got to apply what I’ve learned and enjoy the richness it brought to my life.  If I go quiet for a long time, it’s only because I’m too busy with this thing called living to think too much about the past.

Shit’s About To Hit The Fan

I shouldn’t have to reiterate the headlines.  You’ve probably all seen it by now.

Just know this: if something big isn’t done in the next few days, we’re going to become a dictatorship and pretty much anyone who disagrees with the current administration will become a potential target.

If they start rounding up people like me, I’ll tell everything about who I am because I don’t want this part of my story to die.  It’s as much woven into the warp and woof of who I am as anything I’ve done, or any book I’ve written.

When I was a child growing up in the South, I was raised by a father who had witnessed the race riots of 1968.  He told me that you should always take a right-wing extremist at their word when they say they’re going to kill you.  While I have not received any direct threats, associates of mine who share my personal convictions have.

If my full bio goes up, you’ll know it’s a sign that I may not have long.

Personal Life Update

Kept awake by allergies so I thought I’d brief a little on my personal life.

A bit anxious over whether or not I’ll still be able to get insurance first of all, considering I have several things on the preexisting conditions list.  Luckily the fight isn’t over.

The kitten I got a little more than two months ago has really made herself at home. She’s incredibly feisty and bites often, gets into all kinds of trouble, and keeps us awake at night. But she’s also the kind of cat you can scoop up and hug and scratch without having to be too gentle, and she sure does appreciate the attention!  Her rough style of play gets a little crazy though; she has taken a liking to being tossed none too gently across the room to land on the bed. I swear to you, she’s​ purring LOUDLY after you toss her a few times, and she’ll come right up to you wanting another turn. I’ve never had a cat who enjoyed playing so rough.  We’re still careful not to hurt her or throw her too hard or against any hard surfaces, and we leave her alone when she stops enjoying herself. She has a tendency to bite the fire out of you if you make her even slightly uncomfortable so it’s very easy to tell when play time is over.

She’s also an excellent jumper. We’ve measured her maximum leap at close to five feet straight in the air.  Her favorite toy is a blue shoestring and her favorite game is jumping high in the air to grab it. She’s very athletic and graceful. The down side is that there’s hardly a surface in the whole apartment she can’t get to now.

My writing is going extremely well.  That long and terribly involved SF novel I’m working on is nearing completion at a blistering pace. At this rate I should think I’ll have a polished draft ready for my proofreaders by mid-June.  Then, mercifully, maybe I can put SF aside for a while and put my energy into historical fiction.  I don’t think I can abandon SF completely but it’s good to try new things.

Provided I don’t die of a preventable disease or the current dictatorship doesn’t decide to make an example of me for some reason, I’ll be fine.

Photos from the Seven Grey Foxes

My photos from my 2015 stay at the Seven Grey Foxes, the B&B run by the late Anne Dick in Point Reyes Station.  It is the exact same house where Philip K. Dick lived when he wrote “Man in the High Castle,” “Dr. Bloodmoney,” “Time out of Joint,” and a whole slew of other classics but it’s also the site of one of his nastiest divorces.

I didn’t have any clear memories while I was staying there, and the day I arrived I felt no sense of familiarity except for a small knoll some distance behind the house which, once upon a time, Phil’s writing hovel had once been located.  I had some hunches about the place, some correct and some unconfirmed, but nothing conclusive.

I found that many of the online reviews complaining of harsh chemical smells that made breathing difficult and a large number of spiders were true, but I couldn’t bring myself to comment on that at the time.

The morning after I woke from my first night in the place, I got up early.  The birds were singing- so many different kinds of birds!- and a deer was browsing by one of the trees.  Later that evening, my husband and I had dinner on the balcony and listened to coyotes howl.

In all there were only a few spots in Point Reyes station that felt familiar, mostly along the roads.  The rest of it was simply having an uncanny sense of direction for the place with no clear memory of having been there.  But the memories I made while I was there are fresh and new, and I found a new favorite spot to vacation.  I imagine the Seven Grey Foxes will probably close now but there are other B&B and vacation rental properties in the area.

I’ll be back.  I’m sure of it.   I stopped briefly in Point Reyes Station last year, when I went down to Santa Cruz and drove my new roommate up the coast the long way.  A place like that stays with you.

Here are the photos I didn’t share from the B&B itself.



From the driveway.


The patio, looking back toward the house where the hovel once stood.



Inside our suite which I felt hadn’t been there originally, or hadn’t originally been a living space in Phil’s time.  I have yet to confirm this.



Lots of lovely deer in Point Reyes Station!



The house visible in this photo is about where the hovel once was. I later confirmed this.  The bright pink cruciform lens flare in the bottom left corner is rather interesting and I hadn’t noticed it before!



The fence along Mesa Drive.  It occurred to me that 50 years of tree and vegetation growth might have made the place less recognizable.



A very aesthetic view of the sadly dilapidated shed and the field that had once had sheep and horses.



The house itself.  I suspected (and later confirmed through old images) that it had been repainted but apart from that, it’s about the same as it ever was!

I can only hope Tandy and Laura take good care of the place and don’t sell it to someone looking to make a tourist trap out of it.  The house deserves to be a quiet, out-of-the-way spot like it always was and Anne’s B&B was actually a well-kept secret, even among Phil’s fans.  On the other hand, that property is probably worth millions and, well, I can’t blame them if they have to sell.  I just hope that not only the house, but its relative isolation will be preserved.  I want others to hear the birds in the morning like I did.


Farewell, Anne.

Anne R. Dick, with whom I spoke briefly and in whose home (a B&B called the Seven Grey Foxes) I stayed in June 2015, has passed away.  She died at her computer on Friday, still working on her latest manuscript.

I did not disclose at the time that I had stayed at the house or what I had seen there, for her privacy and because the reasons for my trip made that a sensitive matter.  I did see briefly, through a window, that she was on some sort of ventilator or oxygen machine and I knew she was unwell.

I cried a little as I drove away the day I went back to Oregon.  I felt like Odysseus, come again to my Ithaca in disguise, and nobody recognized me.  Nor could I tell her who I was; she wouldn’t have believed me in a billion years, if she’s anything like the person I think I remember.  I knew that the faint glimpse of those oxygen bubbles filtering through that machine in my rearview mirror were going to be the last I ever saw of her.

My husband (then my fiance) said that he had seen his grandmother on an oxygen machine like that a very short time before she died.  I think the fact that she held on for as long as she did speaks to the pugnacious sort of person she was, full of life and plans for the future even in her last years.

In a weird coincidence, or synchronicity, or something, I read this news just as I was listening to a recording of Bach’s Cantata 140.  I suppose it bodes well for wherever she’s found herself beyond this life.

For me, I’m feeling odd… not sure how I should feel or if I should let myself be as upset as I actually am.  I still struggle with whether or not to take full ownership of these memories or feelings.

I need a day or two to sort this out I think.  I thought I was more or less over this baggage.