Knowing the Alien as Myself, Part 2

[As has been the case with other postings, yet is more specifically in evidence here, the following was originally written one year ago, in this case one year and one month, and is particularly bittersweet to read over now – less for its particular content than for the moment at which it was written. I had then just moved to a small Island in the San Juan chain of Washington State, not far from my usual locus of Whidbey, but remote enough that for the new job I’d just taken, the relocation was necessary. It seemed like a new and hopeful start. Within a week of writing this however, and for no good reason that I could see, I’d lost the job and had to pick up and move again. It meant breaking my lease and loosing a lot of money, and pissing off the owners, whom up till then I’d really liked. I’d risked a lot to do this thing and lost pretty much everything, and not for the first time. I’d kind of, after that, really just had it.]

Yesterday [i.e., a year and a month ago yesterday] more or less out of idle curiosity I looked at a website of recent crop circles in England, and found there an arrangement in barley near Avebury from the 28th of May of this year [i.e., 2011]. It’s a linear progression, containing an element similar to the crop circle-inspired design that I’ve drawn and had tattooed onto my right inner forearm. Central to the crop formation is what looks like a mirrored graphic much the same as the “beehive” signs posted all throughout Utah, the Beehive State*. Now, I can look at this and find a message that is very personal, if I want to, because at the time of its creation, I had recently moved back to Washington from Utah, where I had spent my second winter season (beehive twice), and was only days away from moving to my new, current location, a transition that was much on my mind, in part because it likely precludes my return to Utah for a third, consecutive season, and I’m rather sorry that this is the case.**

This is a connection that I am making between myself, my circumstances, and a phenomenon of ambiguous origins. The circles can be denied as man-made, as meaningless and myself as narcissistic and fantasy-prone. Or then again, the phenomenon could be something genuinely inexplicable. Taken to another level, it may contain a message that is specifically directed at me. At the same time, it may contain messages, both personal and transpersonal, directed simultaneously toward any number of people, myself among them, and it could be reaching them in a degree as or more profound as it has seemed to speak to me. If the circles were a dream image, my process of association would be the sort of amplification encouraged by psychoanalysis. So I think it is perfectly valid to approach such symbols, whatever their literal origins, and their interpretation as such, balancing their non-literalness against the imaginable spectrum of possible origins and meanings; that is, to reject no possibility out of hand, but neither to wholly accept any single possibility without a compelling reason to do so.

In a similar regard, I’d some years ago followed a course of guided meditations posted as a series of podcasts on Whitley and Anne Strieber’s website The meditations were intended to provoke a state of mind that could invite contact with visitors (or whatever they are) and while following this course myself, I found that I was imagining a large, metallic sphere, cold and vast, that was both incredibly intelligent and seemed entirely other than me, with which I was in some kind of communication. I made regular, if brief connection to this image in my subsequent meditations until, finally, it no longer seemed to be there. Sure, I could still imagine a ball of metal, but something was lost, the spontaneity of it was gone; the living presence of the thing had seemed to have left me. Within weeks of this change, and again with the Strieber’s website and associated podcast as the source of information, I heard a news report of Linda Howe’s regarding a police officer in some Midwestern state who had spotted a gigantic sphere in the sky, having a surface the same as my image, like dull, matted aluminum. The shape had left my imaginal space*** and become something objective, and in so doing, it had relayed a very subtle communication. Not only had it manifested in a physical way and been sighted, but that sighting had been reported to an investigator to whom I had a personal connection (I’d met her once at a conference), and she’d broadcast this to a wide audience. Many people could conceivably have received a similar message, which to each of them could have a very private significance, as it did for me, and all the entity in question had to do was show up, in effect to say, “I’m here.” That “simple” act, of being first inside and then outside of somebody’s mind, has reverberations that reach deep into one’s being. For me, it served as the inspiration for my last novel, New People of the Flat Earth, and was the touchstone for a creative work, nearly 190,000 words long, the process of its writing and subsequent rewriting taking exactly four years. The event had triggered something in me, and through trying to express the nature of this communication, with something so other but at the same time deep within myself, both as image and as touchstone to the imagination, it had sprung me into a major and sustained effort, which I only hope to God will someday see publication (Hello? Like, nudge?).

*The beehive symbol emblematic to Mormonism and pretty flatly just straight-up appropriated from Freemasonry.

**As it turned out, that was not the case.

***And so here I’m just going for it and won’t, for the sake of argument, bother with all the other possibilities, despite all my just-previous intellectualization regarding relative meaning and non-literalizing. This is the one in this case that lit up all over the place and made my head, like, sing, okay?