Shooting Star Thoughts

Last night I saw a shooting star. I always feel a thrill when I spot one… As I wrote those two previous sentences a thought streaked across my mind’s sky and crashed into my post-writer’s bubble, popping it – What do you care if I saw a shooting star and felt thrilled by it.

Isn’t that liberating! Isn’t that a thrilling shooting star of a thought!

I’m one person on this planet whom you do not have to give a shit about. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m not passive-aggressively hating on you. I mean it as I said it.

You’re free.

You don’t owe me anything and I don’t owe you anything so you don’t have to care about me not repaying you.

You are not obliged to be interested in me.

You can totally not care about me at all.

If I died in this instant… so what. It would make absolutely no difference to you. Isn’t that wonderful!

I know that may be an alarming thought to some who read it, but if it is… why is it an alarming thought?

Don’t rush to answer, let yourself sink into the space of thought and feeling stirred, and see where they lead you.

The quote above somehow goes with this post, still haven’t figured out how or why, but it told me it did. I took a screenshot of it and included the tags and likes it has on goodreads because that told me it needed to be included.

Yes, I’m nuts. Now that we’ve agreed on that, let’s move on.

I’ve never read any of John Scalzi’s books, but his quotes are an awesome read.

Which number from that list above sparkled for you the most?

Should I share which one shines out for me even if you don’t care?

Hell yeah, why not… I like #7.

I also like this quote of his:

“Here’s a quick rule of thumb: Don’t annoy science fiction writers. These are people who destroy entire planets before lunch. Think of what they’ll do to you.”

― John Scalzi

Why?

A shooting star is basically something that existed for a moment, which just died, disintegrated, and its death was pretty to the human eyes which beheld it… but in a blink those eyes will soon forget it.

I was standing on the threshold of the back door when I saw the shooting star. Then I forgot about it once I went inside, shut the door, moved on to other things.

Later on I crossed the threshold of the back door again, a couple of separate times, and each time I remembered in flashback that I’d seen that shooting star… what hit me the most was how I kept forgetting it and then recalling it.

I felt caught in a weird loop like the characters in Russian Doll.

That’s a great show, btw. It’s like Groundhog Day, only instead of going to sleep, she dies… again and again and again.

Yesterday I experienced a small death, not the French kind and not an actual death, but the kind which goes with anxiety.

I was in a sweet spot before it happened, then I felt a jolt within and sweet went sour – something made me suddenly think that the upset someone was expressing online was my fault.

My old training kicked in. I felt mortified and wanted to rush to their rescue, make everything better.

But I hadn’t done anything to upset this person. I don’t think I’m on their radar as someone who exists. I’m a stat.

So… WTF!?! Instead of rushing to give myself an answer and explain the whole WTF experience away with logical analysis, I let myself sink into the space of thought and feeling, and followed the trail of stardust I found therein.

An old memory flashed up. It is one of the very first memories I have, and it is of caring for another person. I’m not sure how old I was, but based on how isolated the memory is from other memories, I was probably 4 yrs old.

I had gotten into an elevator with my father. My mother wasn’t with us in the elevator, but she was with us in the building, and would be joining us downstairs once she’d finished with whatever she was doing on that floor. I felt calm, safe. The doors of the elevator began to close…

Then it happened.

Suddenly my mother appeared outside in the corridor, running towards the doors, frantic, shouting.

I didn’t know what was going on and it scared me – if the adults are losing it, it must be the end of the world.

She threw herself at the elevator and got squished by the closing doors. My anxiety levels skyrocketed – I imagined her killed and thought it was all my fault because I had seen her, heard her, but had done nothing to save her.

That moment sealed the deal – my mother couldn’t take care of herself, I had to take care of her.

Of course that wasn’t really what sealed that deal. But that shooting star of a moment captured the feeling I had whenever I tried to get out of the deal – she might die if I did that, and her death would be my fault.

Human consciousness is intensely weird. It creates all these realities which seem so very real, but they’re science fiction.

“Sooner or later the Narrative will come for each of us.”


― John Scalzi, Redshirts

That person whose online expression of upset triggered an old habit in me which refuses to die, did a couple of other things which tied their narrative to mine, and the deal with my mother.

Before the expression of upset which made me react as though I was the culprit of it, came approving strokes for a special someone who had reacted to an earlier expression of upset, and told them they cared about them.

Shortly after that they demanded more caring from more people. Please do XYZ for me if you love me, you know how vulnerable I am right now and look how touched I was by someone showing they cared for me. I need more special someone’s in my life – don’t you all want to be my special someone’s.

Then they expressed upset at a mysterious someone else who had treated them badly – that’s the part of the pattern which finally got to me and led me to my flashback elevator.

I could feel the other preceding parts of the pattern pulling at my heartstrings, but I’ve learned to ignore those kinds of cries for caring – it never works out well for me when I allow myself to be pulled in, opened like a can of soda, emptied of my contents, then scrunched up and tossed aside angrily because I ran out of juice and they are still thirsty.

I’ve learned to be more caring towards myself, which often requires that I switch off caring for others. I don’t feel as guilty about doing that like I used to. I’ve found being more caring of myself… leads to me being more healthy in my caring for others.

“I don’t care whether I really exist or don’t, whether I’m real or fictional. What I want right now is to be the person who decides my own fate. That’s something I can work on. It’s what I’m working on now.”


― John Scalzi, Redshirts

Whether that’s really what that person was doing or not doesn’t really matter to the matters in my psyche which affect my system. The narratives within us keep coming for us until we find a The End for them.

The people in this world are constantly trying to make you care about them, their feelings, their opinions, their problems, their lives.

How many of those people give a shit about you beyond the point where they need something from you – like money, attention, service.

If they’re not trying to make you care about them, then they’re attempting to get you to care about someone else and making you feel guilty, ashamed, bad about yourself if you don’t.

Reading the news is like taking one big bite of a just how much you suck biscuit.

If they’re not trying to make you care about them or someone else, they are hacking your self-care system to get you to care about some thing, making you want to protect it or protect yourself against it.

On a daily basis we are all being spammed by messages to take care, be care-ful, don’t be care-less, pay the cost of care-ing, and don’t pay the price of not care-ing enough.

Leonid Meteor Storm 1838 – Edmund Weiss

It’s exhausting… do any of us have any energy left to care about anything, anyone, ourselves?

Just when you think you can relax, pause from all the demands on you to care about everything and everyone but yourself… oh, but don’t not care about yourself either because others care about you and you must care about the burden others carry in caring for you…

Just when you think it’s okay to rest in the sweet spot in between caring and not caring… an alarm goes off, someone or something needs for you to care NOW!

It’s Valentine’s Day…

That day which is all about caring about others, caring enough to show how much you care…

Or it’s that day when you show everyone how much you don’t care if they don’t care about you, you like being careless, you don’t need anyone to care about you as long as you have chocolate… which you can buy for yourself thank you very much.

Do not mourn me, friends
I fall as a shooting star
Into the next life.


― John Scalzi, Old Man’s War

One of the first relationship lessons I was repeatedly taught was – you have to care about everyone except yourself.

Sub lessons included – you don’t matter, you’re nothing unless you’re something to someone else, your purpose in life is to please other people whose purpose in life is to use you to please themselves.

This lesson had to be hammered into me because I was stupid, selfish, stubborn, and all those other things which are considered bad things for a person to be by those trying to get you to care only about them and their needs.

If I wanted to be liked, and being liked by others was very important or so others told me, I had to figure out what others liked and give it to them.

It didn’t matter if I didn’t like doing that because it made me dislike myself, what mattered was to make myself likeable to others so that they could like themselves.

What I liked was irrelevant. I was irrelevant.

It felt awful to be so irrelevant and insignificant.

I spent years trying to find the magic formula to make myself relevant and significant like all those relevant and significant people around me.

But that made me into a threat and a target… and that made me want to be invisible.

“Relations were never good (how comfortable can you really be with a race that sees you as a nutritious part of a complete breakfast).”


― John Scalzi, Old Man’s War

If only I’d figured out sooner how brilliant it was to be irrelevant and insignificant to others… instead of thinking that I should be aiming for significance and relevancy.

If only I’d figured out sooner that other people not caring about you was liberating.

It frees you up to sink into that space within where you connect with your own thought, feeling, and version of caring, nurturing, nourishing, energising…

I saw a shooting star and I felt great about it… I cared about it enough to forget it, remember, forget, remember, write a weird post about it.

23 comments

  1. Ursula…I have been the recipient myself of a very caring and thoughtful comment from you. It meant so much.
    I know that sometimes expending yourself mentally and emotionally for someone else might not always be appreciated, but it is such a beautiful aspect of your personality.

    Your shooting start was a moment that touched you, and adds something to you surely, even if it was just the trigger to a cascade of fascinating thoughts.

    I spent half an hour trying to rescue a spider from my bathtub earlier this week. It probably would not make a jot of difference to anyone else, but it made it’s mark on me and made me think internally of all sorts of experiences I have had.

    I read what you read about narcissists with interest. I don’t know that I know anyone I would consider a narcissist, I think I have seen narcissistic traits, but they are not there all the time…if that makes sense, more occasional narcissism. I guess that happens doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Mel 🙂

      Oh, I’ve done the bathtub spider rescue too. Cage Dunn wrote a post about rescuing a spider which was excellent. It’s a satisfying feeling, even if the spider just falls back into the tub afterwards. And you’re absolutely right, it’s not about whether others care about your spider rescue, it’s about you caring about it and what it means and does for you. Those sort of things have a knock-on effect.

      All humans have narcissistic tendencies, traits and behaviours, it’s normal and natural. It’s a part of being human. There’s a spectrum of narcissism from healthy to unhealthy. We can all be a bit unhealthily narcissistic at times, but it’s not a constant – that would be your ‘occasional narcissism’. When humans are under a lot of stress, pressure, are hurt, in pain, frustrated, healthy narcissism can tip in unhealthy narcissistic tendencies as a coping mechanism. It tends to subside and tip back to healthy once the situation resolves itself. When someone is constantly unhealthily narcissistic, then they’re most likely a narcissist. Their narcissism has a very negative impact on those around them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes our brain associates such unrelated things to each other that we go from point A to Z without any logic to it. Reliving the memories which are hurtful is the ultimate trick our mind can play on us. Hope that this time around you came up on top.

    Like

  3. That had to be awesome seeing a shooting star but wow when sense memory crept in. It was great how you broke down your anxieties about helping. I too get like that. In some way, that twinge hits and I see how my action or lack of a minute action could affect someone else, so I always feel I have to over do my help. The only thing with over doing help, you wear yourself out. So, to take time out for yourself can be hard. It’s a lesson that is learned over time.

    Like

    • Thank you, Scherezade 🙂

      I live in rural countryside, so the skies when they’re clear are free of light pollution to a degree. Every now and then I spot a shooting star. They’re so quick, and you tend to only see them if you’re not looking for them – kind of like magic moments in life.

      I used to overdo the help too. And yes, it does wipe you out because once you start overdoing it you’re not sure when to stop, it just never seems to be enough, so you keep going and going until you’re running on empty – then blam, you crash.

      What I’ve found with my own version of doing that is that if the other person isn’t a narcissist, then your overdoing the help overwhelms them and becomes unhelpful. You end up giving them the Heimlich Maneuver when they’re not choking, they’re just a bit worried and wanted some support, a pat on the back. Non-narcissists tend to prefer to sort their own needs out for themselves, with a little bit of loving support from friends. I’ve had to unlearn the caring programme for narcissists, start from scratch… which has been a wonderful way of learning about genuine caring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Today is a thoughtful day for me too…

    I was just starting a post, it’s actually replying to questions in your post yesterday. Last night I also watched Velvet Buzzsaw last night because you wrote that there is much creative spilling of passionate blood’. Haha, I was expecting some gore. Yes, there is though not so gore for me, the element of horror/thriller is also rather weak 😉

    However, the film speaks deeper than that… there is no evil spirit that kills them, they kill themselves…

    The most intriguing scene, for me, is the final scene on the beach where John Malkovich draw spirals continuously as the tides wash them.

    Your post today is sending my thoughts off tangents as it has also been a kind of weird day for me…

    Like

    • Thank you, Reverist 🙂

      I thought I’d better put a warning in my recommendation for the film because everyone has a different level of sensitivity. I didn’t find it particularly gory either, but I watch a lot of violent films. It’s not really a horror/thriller in the conventional sense… but it is in an unconventional sense. The horror of human and the thrill of watching horrible people meeting the consequences of their actions 😉

      John Malkovich can make anything seem intense and fascinating. Great actor. That scene at the end reminded me of that artist who does sand art. I’ve forgotten his name but a couple of years ago you couldn’t go anywhere on the internet without seeing a photograph of one of his scribbles on a beach. They were stunning! He did what JM’s character did except I think he planned them in advance and wasn’t just doodling for fun.

      Mercury just moved into Pisces so thoughts move into the surreal, the intuitive, the seen but not necessarily seen-seen… hmmm…

      Like

      • Just finished my short post 🙂

        Totally agree that JM is a great actor and ya I saw those sand art images on the internet too. I’m sure they were carefully planned and drafted.

        When I was young, I love horror/thriller flicks. But there was a time these horror films seemed to be repeating the same story and just trying to scare you with gore and sound effects, I stopped watching them. There is another funny reason to that as well, most often when I watched horror films in cinema with girls (ard the time in my 20s), really it was their screams that jolted me from my seat, not the movie, thereby spoiling any mood of horror or suspense for me.

        Have you done those horror screams in theater when you were young? 😉

        Like

        • Loved your post! The quote at the end was a lovely touch. And now I get a better sense of why you were captivated by the scene at the end. There was a very mesmerising quality about it which definitely touches something beyond what is seen. Primal, maybe. We all experience art and passion differently which is what makes it a wonderful way to explore ourselves deeper 🙂

          I started watching horror films when I was about 5 or 6 yrs old with my father. Spaghetti westerns and schlock horror films were always on TV in Italy in the 70’s. I prefer the style of horror where it’s more about what’s inside of you than what’s on the screen. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed in a movie theater. I don’t scream at home either. I sometimes scream at characters because they’re being annoying, or for fun in a pantomime way because the film is trope ridden – Look out behind you! Don’t open the damn door! OMG haven’t you characters ever watched a horror film, you have to overkill the baddie!!!

          I’ve only been freaked out a couple of times while watching a film, and it wasn’t a screaming kind of freaked out. I had to leave the room while watching Calvaire (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407621/). It was too intense.

          Like

          • Thank you 🙂

            Yes! You got it, the word primal or primeval. In the film, after Rhodora looked at Pier’s latest creation, she commented something that ended with a question to him ‘What do you fear?’ In the final scene at the beach, his drawing in the sand is purely instinctive and he no longer feels contention within him.

            Hahaha… imagine you screaming at people inside the screen, that is funny 😉

            I read the review on Calvaire, hmm… Im going to watch it this weekend.

            Liked by 1 person

          • So I watched Calvaire last night. I’m curiously wondering what was intense for you in the film? 🙂

            For me, the film is a little less than intense. The buildup in the beginning at the elder’s home was well done, I was anticipating more drama coming. Throughout the story, there were a few scenes with degrees of intense moments, however, the main story that took place at Bartel’s Inn was not quite engaging for me.

            The scene where the men all danced at the bar, that was kooky lol. I kinda get what the director is trying to pull off there but the effect wasn’t that great. There were quite a few scenes I thought was well shot, especially the part where Marc was briefly raped, the scene shot from the aerial view provided an unusual perspective which was excellent. The next thing you see these men chasing after Marc from inside the house (still in aerial view) to outside. At that moment, I thought those men looked like comically some animals but can’t pinpoint what.

            This was still better than the last film I watched recently where half the time my mind wandered off elsewhere 😉

            Like

            • I can’t remember what it was about the film which made it too intense for me. I saw it years ago. My guess is that it reminded me of my experience of narcissists. In those days any film or TV show which did that triggered ‘intense’ amounts of internal stress. It wasn’t the film, it was me at that time.

              If I watched it now, I’d probably have a different reaction. But I rarely rewatch films because there are so many films I haven’t seen to watch instead.

              The thing about films and TV shows is… your reaction to them all depend on the moment and mood you’re in when you watch them. If I’m in a spaced out frame of mind then everything I watch just passes through me without having any effect at all. If I’m feeling passionate then I get passionately involved. If I’m angry, everything is annoying. If I’m in a good mood, it’s all fun.

              Atm I’m watching season 3 of True Detective… it was interesting until last night’s episode and then I just got impatient with its slow pace, because I was feeling restless.

              My guess is that you’re here but not really here at the moment, so everything you watch is just not quite engaging enough 😉

              What was the other film you saw?

              Like

              • Lol haha ya I do agree about the mood atm of watching a film.

                I rarely rewatch films too, though I did mentioned that there was one film I rewatch 4/5 times. I only do this when there is something in the film very related to my RL and atm I’m trying to things figure out. That’s was the reason I watched the English Patient 4 times. The fifth time which was later years was like testing myself to see if I still react to the film. Lol

                The other film was….haha btw I just found out the English title Project Gutenberg (無雙)starring Chow Yun Fatt and Aaron Kwok 😉

                It probably wasn’t that bad but the film just didn’t got my attention

                Like

                • That reminds me… going off on a tangent in 3… 2… 1… I was checking out a new K drama which I probably won’t watch – Romance is a Bonus Book – and they had this whole silly scene which paid homage to Chow Yun-fat, similar to a character in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho who was basically pretending to be Chow Yun-fat. He’s such a legend. Read an article about him, and how he lives a very un-celebrity life, which was fascinating. He just lives normally and because he’s a huge celebrity that’s not normal. Basically everyone wants to be Chow Yun-fat except for Chow Yun-fat 😉

                  The film I really would like to see is The Good, The Bad, and The Weird. I had a chance some months ago to see it for free (well, ‘free’ with my subscription to the film hub), I even put it on, but I didn’t feel like watching it, couldn’t concentrate, so I turned it off five seconds into it. Now that it’s only pay-per-view of course I suddenly have a want to see it.

                  You’ve mentioned The English Patient before as being one of your favourite films. I’ve only seen it once, and it’s one of those films I watched because everyone loved it so much and kept saying that it had to be experienced. I forced myself to sit all the way through it. I don’t force myself to do that anymore. Sometimes a film just hits a spot and there’s no knowing why or how. Sometimes it keeps hitting that spot – How did your test come out?

                  Like

                  • The last time I watched it, I feel asleep after 20 mins or so, the film was like 2.5 hours if I didn’t remember wrongly.

                    It is still the film Ive watched the most number of times and in terms of story plot, actors, overall performance, etc. it’s still be in my list of favorite films 😉 just that I don’t feel/react to the film like I did before 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.