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2021: Are You Moving Ahead Or Will You Be Left Behind?

Unlike some of my school friends who found schoolwork to be fast and easy and who got angry or bored when class moved too slowly for them, I never felt resentful that other kids took longer. If I finished a lesson early, I could easily entertain myself or find other things to do. I even — get this — would take time out to help others or cheer them up if they were frustrated.

And I’m not angry or bored right now. But I feel vastly different about what is taking place so very quickly around and to us.

Im a physical empath. I also feel things and see things that are to come or that could be, perhaps — it’s why years ago, I responded so strongly to Ray Bradbury’s speeches at our local library. I can see his shining face in my mind’s eye. Hear his uplifting, forward-looking words. He said, two times, “We must never lose the imagination we had as little children.”

My heart says,

The vision of a healthier life and healthier world that so many of us have, that has been there since the very beginning, I’m certain: it’s real. The only thing is, different people envision different parts of it. The reason for that seems to me to be related to the lessons we’re supposed to learn while we’re alive.

One big lesson that many people need to learn is that it isn’t up to any of us as individuals to “change” others. Ultimately, each of us, as individuals, can only change ourselves.

I doubt there’s any person who’s been around for events of recent months who hasn’t desperately felt, “If only I could _________________”

Save COVID patients
Stop my family/friends from fighting over politics
Help the environment and nature
Help people who’ve lost their jobs
Save our local stores that are closing

And the list goes on: it’s endless.

The way I’m feeling now didn’t happen overnight. It’s fair to say that it took me a lifetime to get to this point. From the little orphan girl whose high school Vice Principal left her completely out of an award ceremony, to the prospective Rhodes Scholar who lost the opportunity for a reason familiar to many millions of women (rape), to the mother whose baby died in her arms and who stood trial for killing him: that was then, those moments and this is now.

Now, I have been blessed to reach my age in good health, good spirits, and close to the ones I love. I live in Paradise. I don’t have to fear homelessness, poverty, and an old age dying alone and unloved.

For years when I didn’t get the results I thought I wanted with writing I’d think, “They only paid Emily Dickinson $10 for her poems” and “Poe died face-down in the gutter.” Now he has a football team named after him.

Emily Dickinson is subject of dozens of films and television shows; her poems are read by every school child. Even if the kids hate the poems her voice still speaks to them.

Here’s some of my poetry. I do it like breathing and working out.

So years ago I decided I wanted to be a science fiction writer because I heard Ray Bradbury speaking at the A.K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands.

So the stories I have written in the past, such as my first novel Imago, have a certain truth to them. Did I ever want that book’s horrible vision of people made to look like animals through a mutational virus, an insane billionaire seeking to control the world, and a bright young woman’s life destroyed by said billionaire, made into an “Imago” in a virtual world, able to be saved only by a virtual Richard Nixon who wished to save himself — to bear some relationship to this world’s reality? Absolutely not! But, referred to as a “funhouse mirror” future that the reviewer clearly doubted would not become a reality, we entered the “funhouse” even so. And now we are in the process of exiting it —

Did I want the genetic therapy I wrote about in “Perfect Stranger”(2005) to be real? Yes, I did. And now I am completing a business investment plan for a business that is in reality, doing the genetic engineering that I wrote about in the story. I never finished the novelization of “To Kiss the Star,” (appears in this collection and others) which envisioned a deeply disabled young woman getting the chance to go to the stars as part of a living ship, but I recently completed an investment plan for a New Space business that will build the orbital structures to make interstellar travel possible.

So today we have news that “regular people” (Redditors) have successfully manipulated stock prices in the same way that short sellers and hedge funds have using insider information for decades.

So this thing with the stock market, it’s like the leg of a stool that has kept people from getting the point where they need to be in their lives. Many, many people (nearly all) up to now have spent their entire lives in terrible fear. These fears vary, but writing about them, because of them, or to feed them, makes up at least 99% of what is seen on Medium — really, in any environment. We have go to to the New Age realm or escape into poetry, certain forms of music, or more traditional religions and spirituality to escape the mad race for money, dominance, aggression — even the simplest statements affirming someone’s humanity must be couched in defensive terms in our very benighted society.

Oh, but like the women burned their bras in the 60s and we now have phones that connect us to others across the world —

There’s ever so much more. And it’s rushing at us so headlong, so fast.

Everything that’s happened in 2020, this whole terrible year we have just completed: it all happened for a reason. Just as when my baby Anthony died, I couldn’t comprehend, “Why?” Why? I asked over and over. Why did my baby die? I so desperately wanted his life to have meaning. He was such a pure spirit of love. He had the highest emotional intelligence one could imagine. But in conventional terms, also, he was born with Down Syndrome; had he started school, they would have said he was slow.

As a lifetime writer, one who began writing because I was not allowed at home to speak, and I felt incapable of speaking aloud while at school —

I can assure people that in terms of language and communication, we are today where people were with math back in Pythagoras’ day. And with technology, so is it the same.

So, right now this is a big change point: not the first, not the last, and probably not the largest. But for us in our small lives, a very big one indeed.

As people left behind water pumps that spread cholera back in the 19th century, so are we today, about to leave behind fear and the life choices it leads to. And, those of us who are going free this year — we’re leaving behind our old disturbed egos as well.

Yes this will be a better year, materially — but you know what the Stones said:

Whoo whoo whoo whoo whoo … every word I’ve written my entire life is REAL and how the hell many can say that? Not too many now: millions in the future.

According to Harlan Ellison and my grandmother, “You’ll go far Amy, because you have heart.” Author of 40 books, former exec., Nebula Award nominee, Poor.

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