“He seems to have the nomination of his party tied up. The things that they say about the people of this country in my homeland must be true.” Baltha was in a somber mood. The dynamics of the household had changed a lot since the mass Exodus of the other Outlanders a few weeks earlier. Spring had fully sprung, and the new season brought changes of all kinds to the community.
Forest was awakening, those mostly dormant during the mild winter of the coast were opening up to the sun’s warmth, pulling stores up from root to shoot to produce new light catching communities so that sweet sugars could be brought back down to soil and roots and their friends the fungi. Morels were sending up their sex organs, spreading spores to wind and tasty snacks to lucky fungivores that came upon them. New seedlings were poking up out of the soil; most would perish. That morning, Baltha was focused on those that would perish.
“It’s not just here; the whole world seems to have gone mad.” Ja was their main conduit to the world outside of the homestead on the MTJ, and even he was spending less and less time online. The fact that the Trumpeter seemed to have a chance at taking over that part of the planet, or at least take over control of the government of the humans there, wasn’t the worst of things.
Indicators were that climate change was likely even more dire than had been predicted, people were being displaced by war and hunger everywhere, Economies were failing all over the place and in no time flat there was going to be no place left for refugees to flee to, not unless a way off planet earth was forthcoming.
“Things certainly aren’t what we’d dreamed they’d be back in the sixties.” Arnold was shaking his head as he settled in to his chair by the stove with a cup of tea. He put his feet up.
“The Age of Aquarius, peace and love and it was so obvious and clear out there where we were, so clear for so many people who tuned in and turned on way back when. Just not enough of us dropped out, I guess. I’m glad we did; the note helped a lot.” Yanaha was in her own place of comfort across from him, knitting and rocking. “Whoever it was that started that war on drugs screwed up I think. We just all understood, all of us who'd been to that other place.”
Tante just giggled. She’d been giggling for quite some time, something a whole lot like someone on very good acid might do. Both Yanaha and Arnold had been around for a very long time, and they’d seen lots of folks tripping, and that’s what Tante appeared to have been doing for almost two weeks.
Channeling the ancient snotty ones had inspired the Crone to delve deeply into meditation and hypnotic trance states after the others left. She wanted to start regressing through all of her past lives to see if she could get to either something back in the times of the start of this whole god of Abraham mess and find her link to the Christ there, or perhaps even further, back to before there were people or animals or plants or even bacteria, back to the time of Zoldak and Beldar. If there was such a thing as time. Maybe it was a place.
Maybe a dream.
She’d Googled past life regression, having determined that the Great God Google was one powerful Dudette in the place time she found herself occupying. Baltha had done it and learned a lot. Lots of the Google hits went to Amazon, a place in South America with a mighty river of the same name where one could buy almost anything. She settled on a couple of quickie downloads of guided meditations for past life regression.
The very first one did the trick.
The woman’s voice was so mind meltingly sweet and syrupy that hummingbirds starting poking at Tante’s ears as she sat in full lotus on her Zafu out in the yard, quite close to the spot of her rainy self crucifixion. At the same time, the guide spoke with such utter lack of inflection that it took complete concentration to derive meaning from the words. Tante let the hummingbirds hover and poke, a serene smile on her face as she listened:
“The soul you carry now is one that is heavy with all of the lives that have come before, the lives of your ancestors, those who came to the land where you live. It holds the resonance and memories of those who touched them, those whom they touched. Perhaps you were a slave. Perhaps you were a master. Your life is heavy with the experiences of your ancestors who came out of Africa, or who stayed there. It is heavy with every birth, every life lived, every death.” Honey dripped.
Tante was really getting into it. Things had gotten so quiet in Mendocino since the others had left, she’d suddenly started hearing things much more clearly. Of course sitting there with earbuds in helped a lot with the meditation. The subtle drumming and interesting high frequency binaural beat in the background was quite hypnotic. If she’d been carrying around shit for four or five billion years, no wonder she was so cranky sometimes. Her smile grew.
“The fears you carry in your current life come from the traumas of your past lives. They come from the ways that you have died.”
Fears? Tante didn’t really feel afraid. She was pissed off a lot, and sad. She’d certainly gotten a lot less pissed off and a lot more sad over time. Part of that was about being in that guy’s head. She knew he wasn’t really evil, just unhappy.
“Perhaps you fear water because you once drown.”
Nope, water she was fine with, liked it a lot. It didn’t make her mad at all, although it was pretty sad what people had been doing to it.
“Perhaps you fear dark places, because you were set upon by wild beasts who rent your body, and left you bleeding, to die, alone in the forest.”
Well, no, but geez, it sure seemed like sweetstuff here maybe shouldn’t be so graphic. Why introduce new fears that she didn’t have before? Tante couldn’t recall any rending at all, and from what she’d seen so far in life, humans seemed to be about the most dangerous and wild beasts around. Besides, Tante liked the dark.
“Perhaps your fear expresses itself as anger.”
Oh yeah, now she was getting somewhere.
“Perhaps you even fear your anger, what your anger might bring to yourself and to others.”
Yup, that was it, in a nutshell. Tante didn’t want earthquakes, she didn’t want tornadoes or hurricanes or lightening or wind or any of those other things that her anger seemed to bring forth. Those things were dangerous. More than anything, she didn’t want to see anybody get hurt at her hands or whatever it was that seemed to make the earth move.
“Perhaps in a previous lifetime, your death came through spontaneous combustion.”
Tante envisioned herself getting so angry and trying so hard to hold it all in that it just vaporized her. The energy of all that anger just turned the stuff of her body into ashes, on the spot, poof, just like that, gone in a puff of gas and gray stuff.
That’s when the giggling started.
Initially it was kind of a choking, an upchucking of air of sorts, a sputtering out of air in short, sharp coughs.Then the tears started flowing almost as freely as the gales of laughter. The buds were pulled from her ears as she rolled off the Zafu onto the grass. The ground shook, but just a little, really a friendly little rumble, relatively speaking. The ancient one carried on that way for a good twenty minutes or so before Arnold and Yanaha went out to check on her. Such behavior was outside the realms of Baltha’s experience, and she’d been more hesitant with Tante of late. Their relationship was evolving.
After a few fits and starts, the old hippies got her somewhat under control. They talked her down out of wherever it was she’d gone when she’d internally combusted. At least most of the way. She hadn’t done much talking since then, mostly just some light eating and sleeping, meditating and giggling.
They were a little concerned. Their meeting with Tante’s distant cousin was not that far away, the California Primary was coming up. The battle between the old guy who represented the forces of love and the angry woman who represented the forces of greed was getting even more interesting than the one between the blues and the reds, but the guy the reds had chosen was downright frightening. It seemed like a lot of things were converging all at once.
And there was news of possible new activity along the San Andreas. Looking at Tante as she sat out there giggling at not much of anything made them all a little nervous. It was pretty obvious to them what the new crack at the MTJ was.
It was the Auntie Christ.
The End is Near