So you think you’re free?
Did you know that the wealth of the world’s billionaires grew by a staggering $1.9 Trillion in 2020? How much do you suppose it will grow in 2021?
We are now entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Good or bad?
Fact is, most of us are content to stay home and have the government take care of us. I get it. We put our fingers in our ears and don’t want to watch things like the documentary above. It’s a conspiracy theory! Those scary zombie movies are nothing like what we will face if we walk out the front door!
And maybe that’s a good thing–to stay home. Or maybe it isn’t.
All I know is, as an artist and writer, it’s not good for me.
What kind of stories will we have if no one ever does anything wild and over the top?
Oh, it’s just temporary, you say?
No, it isn’t.
Will those power mad oligarchs let everything go back to “normal” now that they know we will just shut off our brains and lie down and comply? Even betray our neighbors for not doing the same? Scream like mad dogs at people in a store for not covering their faces with sweaty cloths, happily make jokes about getting fatter and becoming an alcoholic because what else is there to do, somehow believing that these upside down and insane compliances are “doing the right thing” and “being courageous” and “looking out for each other.”
No, there will be no more returning to normal.
How can I create–how can anyone create– if I live in a sterile environment, fearful of the outside world, accepting government handouts, opening my door just a crack to get my food inside. Watching endless shows on Netflix.
Don’t get me wrong, I love movies and mini-series. I’m going to watch something right after I finish this post. But then, where did my life go in the meantime? Talking about this show or that show endlessly to friends on Facebook. Because God forbid I should face what is really going on: That while I talk about other people’s lives and wax self-righteous about how I obey all the rules, the powerful continue doing all the things we aren’t allowed to do.
But why should I care? Who am I, after all? I’m not an oligarch. I’m not Jeff Bezos.
I’m not Lance Rey (if you’ve been reading FireFly Lane then you know who he is.)
I’m not a billionaire. Or a millionaire. Or anything close to that. I will venture to say no one reading this is.
We live simple lives. I love my simple life. I choose it. Five years ago, I got rid of most of my possessions, packed a small bag and took off on a spiritual journey, finding inspiration for my writing. The past almost three years found me in Luxor. And what a adventure that has proved to be! Now, that’s something I intend to write about….
Vaccines kill the elderly, or maybe they don’t. Maybe they were just going to die anyway. So don’t point it out. Funny, when the elderly were dying of COVID it was all of our faults for not wearing masks. Now, when they die after taking the vaccine, well they were going to die anyway, so it’s nobody’s fault.
It’s a mad, mad world and you can’t tell me otherwise.
Oh. Hang on. I better watch another show on Netflix.
Wow, I’d love for Firefly Lane to be one of those Netflix shows. Then, I could be the guru at the top of the food chain, looking down benevolently on my followers.
Okay, let’s get back to “reality.”
All I know is, if I am old, I want to hug and kiss my grandchildren, that is my right, because I have lived, oh how I have lived, and I will continue to live until my last breath. Do not take that away from me.
If I am young and healthy (don’t get all incensed, yes, I said young and healthy) I cannot die from this virus, probably won’t even know I have this virus. So I should get it, right? Act a little crazy, go to that party, kiss someone. Who cares?
And if I have a small business, I should open it up. Open it up, just do it. Stand up. It is your right.
Wow, did I just say that? Yep, I did. How selfish of me. Because I should think of others. Wait, I am those others. And so are you. I am not one of those monolithic businesses that are just becoming more monolithic while the little people are being bled dry. Oops, I am selfish to even say that. Please, are we already that brainwashed?
Okay, so what is the point of this vaccine? Use your mental faculties and you will reach the obvious conclusion that it is not because those who created it care about the little people. Take it if you want. But let me live free. Don’t force me. And for sure, don’t force my children.
I was living in wild and crazy Luxor, Egypt when this pandemic started and while everyone obey the rules of Islam and the State (stifling but that’s another topic), somehow, they don’t obey rules like “wear a mask,” and “don’t see your grandmother.” These are laughable rules when you live in a village. And I live on the west bank which is a vast network of villages. Life went on as normal. People were not fearful. I watched the rest of the world bow to fear. So I suppose I started all of this with a very different mentality.
Every day I take a breath of fresh air, I run to the gym, I train, I sip a whiskey and I sit down to write or draw, I am thankful for my health and strength. I contemplate when I can get back to Luxor, when I can go to Slovenia, when I can get myself to South America. For now, I am happy to be in Phoenix, Arizona, where the rules aren’t so stifling. Not yet. Thankful that I learned the discipline of living a healthy life, no excuses.
And of course, I fully realize we are all vulnerable, so I know at any moment anything can happen. And that’s okay. This is life. And death. And every day in-between.
Like Hannah says in chapter two, when I go out, I want it to be with a bang. Because I have news for you, we are all going to die at some point.
Live your best life now.
How can I create anything of substance if I haven’t experienced the extremes of love, hate, fear, oppression, courage, betrayal? How can I create if I do not live in a free world where I can do crazy things and then speak my mind about it?
Take Lilly, for example, married to fixer Terri Manson. She ventures outside of her comfort zone one evening and all hell breaks loose and it blows her mind.
Lilly is a high society lady. When her car crashes in a bad part of town that she would never under ordinary circumstances frequent, she is picked up by the police as a prostitute by mistake. Here are her observations as she waits in the slammer for her husband to bail her out:
There were about twenty of us. Some looked as young as fifteen. One was obviously pregnant. Bruises on arms and legs and raw red marks spoke of heroin tracks and physical abuse. I shuddered. All looked haggard and tired in the harsh white light, make-up in streaks, hair and clothes in disarray. The smell of sweat was strong, the feeling of hopelessness contagious and I thought if I stayed there much longer, I might never recover. Each woman in that room had her own story to tell; a horrible story, it had to be, to have ended up here.
I thought how I’d lived in the same city with these women for years but had never seen them. We lived twenty minutes away from each other—on a good day without traffic—but we might as well have been on two different planets. It was better that way, wasn’t it? Better that our paths didn’t cross? Well, of course, we could encounter one another in safe circumstances, such as at a homeless shelter, or an abuse or drug counselling facility, funded by wealthy socialites in my circle. Funded by me. Or rather, if I was honest, by my husband. Giving me money to play with, like all the other socialite women. We passed our money around to each other and gave each other awards and patted each other on the backs and pretended to be generous, when all we wanted was acceptance. How many times had I sat at charity events, donating money to such worthy causes, without ever having had to experience the unpleasantness of spending time with any of the human beings I was “helping?” And how many times had these women had to bow their heads in humility, accepting the help of women like me?
If only I had never made that wrong turn. I could have been at the party now. Maybe flirting with Phillip Chu. He’d made his attraction clear to me on more than one occasion. What was wrong with me? It was time I lived a little. Only now I probably never would.
I’d always been a good girl. Done what was expected of me in my social circles. So how could I be the same as these women?
Because we were all “good girls,” really. We all did what was expected of us in our social circles. Truth hits unexpectedly. And it hurts more than all the bruises I’d received that day.
If you just stay in your house and protect yourself from the bogey man, you will never live. Like Lilly, you will never venture outside of your comfort zone, until a disaster forces you to. And then, maybe your mind will be blown by a new perspective.
And it’s your choice. I’m not saying not to stay home and watch exciting stories about other people. Maybe that’s how it’s always been really, for most of us anyway.
That just isn’t the life for me. I will fight till my last breath. Live to the fullest and go out with a bang.
Maybe just read FIREFLY LANE from the comfort of your own home.