Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leap of Faith: Dandelions versus The Thing

'I know I'm human.  And if you were all these things, then you'd just attack me right now, so some of you are still human.  This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation.  It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open.  If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it.  And then it's won."  MacReady, The Thing

"That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred.  I have plenty of fire myself.  What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.  And only Peeta can give me that." ~Suzanne Collin, The Girl On Fire

Nobody...nobody trusts anybody now, and we're all very tired...There's nothing more I can do, just wait...This is R.J. MacReady, helicopter pilot, US outpost #31

By way of a Quick Recap, its been a Rough Couple Weeks for Yours Truly.  Enough said.  Thus, in Hopes of improving my Grim Outlook, first, I Braved the Crowds and saw The Hunger Games.  After finding myself severely disappointed with that production, I watched, per my brother's recommendation, John Carpenter's The Thing starring Kurt Russell. Yep, it was my First Time.  Like any Virgin, I was both awed and horrified by the experience.  Wrapped in a blanket and starring wide eyed at the television, for 109 precious minutes my mind released the heartache and whirled around the question of which character had been infected by that Evil Siberian Husky Replica.  Heaven.  Of course, by bedtime, I found myself thinking about how much I missed the other person.  In the face of little information, I draw the worst conclusions...the ones that hurt the most.  When I eventually drifted off to sleep, The Thing consumed my thoughts: Don't most of us (at least those of us who have lived long enough to bear a few scars) spend our time wondering which of us is an Imitation (someone who will consume us, unintentionally or otherwise) and which of Us is still Human.

In my opinion, life is like a Horror Film.  When we move in a group dangers seem less ominous.  Our Posse is wielding shotguns and flame throwers.  Why worry?  However, when we walk down a dark corridor all alone, vulnerable and exposed, our hearts race and we wonder about our own logic.  Why did I think this little venture was a good idea?  I'm dead meat.  So, of course, in those anxiety producing circumstances, I draw the worst possible conclusions about the situation at hand.  Because, lets be honest, the moment any Member of My Posse attacks, well, let's call him "My Buddy", insinuating he's The Thing waiting to devour me, I fire back.  My Eyes Flash, My Back Stiffens, and I Inquire as to whether the Offender thinks he or she has the horses to take me?  Nope.  I didn't think so!  I am R.J. FUCKING MacReady.  Truthfully, I refuse to believe anything too terrible except when its just me and my thoughts, a Swirling Tornado of Unanswered Questions and Personal Insecurity.  I do know, however, that when my heart is involved I carry around a Flame Thrower ready to Torch anything that looks suspicious.  Maybe the trouble could be solved with a Blood Test, like in the movie.  We just need to know who is Human and who is not.  Is that too much to ask?  Somehow, I suspect, we both probably need reassurance at the moment.  Each just a person, with faults and fine points, scars and ambitions, dreams and nightmares. Because without the proper information and evidence what can we do, but tie each other to a couch, walk away, and hope to avoid being consumed.  Of course, the problem with that particular strategy is that we all end up like poor Gary in the movie: "I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!" 

With those unsettling thoughts floating around in my head it took me quite awhile to finally nod off last night. And this morning, after I woke from another restless night, I sleepily marched my dog outside, and stood staring at the street when I noticed something: Dandelions.  Not just any Dandelions but the Brightest ones I'd ever seen.  They looked up at me in such a cheery and hopeful manner, assuring me: In the morning sunshine nothing is impossible, unsolvable, or lost.  Ever since I was young, I loved one particular Bible verse.  Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."   With age and experience, I now believe the verse applies as much to our relationship with one another as it does to our relationship to the Almighty.  There is no Blood Test, my Friends.  No evidence to tell us the outcome.  That's where faith comes in.  Faith in the character of others.  Faith that lets us know a hurt is just a moment in time something to work through.  Faith is holding on when its seems safest to just let go.  Faith is a Dandelion in the Spring.  For now Nobody...nobody trusts anybody now, and we're all very tired...There's nothing more I can do, but have faith and wait. This is R.J. MacReady, helicopter pilot, US outpost #31

*Starting Season 1 of Battle Star Galactica has taught me that Cylones are as troublesome as The Thing...though, part of me finds Number Six amusing enough: "We should really make a copy of your brain patterns at some point."  A Gal after my own heart!  Everything Baltar says ought to end with: "Not that I was having sex with a Cylone for two years."

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