Chat at the end of the world – Memory to Light, Day 23

September 2, 2011

Nico:
Woman

Pemsi:
Yo.

Nico:
Whats up?!

Pemsi:
A little nighttime
You?

Nico:
Mid-life.

Pemsi:
Still? :-)

Nico:
Still.

Pemsi:
Oy, my friend.

Nico:
Seems like every time I turn around, I’m just in the middle of it.

Pemsi:
Zen, man.
That’s very Zen.

Nico:
I try.

Pemsi:
What are you in the middle of?

Nico:
Crisis

Pemsi:
This is poetic so far.

Nico:
I’m sure it’ll get more so.

Pemsi:
Here’s some pop-psych on the fly: the middle of “crisis” spells “is.”
You…is.
You’re BEING.
.…Om
–okay, I don’t want to run amok with your problems.
Are you ok?

Nico:
I suppose so.  I started dreaming about plane crashes.  I feel like screaming constantly.  I thought of buying cocaine.  I want to move to Vermont.  I have been spending more money than I have.  I haven’t been writing.  I eat cookies and drink scotch.  None of it seems to help.

Pemsi:
Ugh ugh ugh.
I don’t know what to write first.
Me. I have been seeking some kind of therapy–psycho-, group, medical, or metaphysical–for at least the past year.

Nico:
And?
No luck?

Pemsi:
Tons of luck actually
I have PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Nico:
From?

Pemsi:
Well. Watching the towers on fire.
And a few things leading up to that.
I pretty much thought it was a crock.
But I guess it wasn’t after all…

Nico:
Have you watched “United 93?”

Pemsi:
…because all this therapy type stuff has been leading me out of my…anxiety, burning head, full body breakout of itchy red spots, anti-social behavior and mean-spiritedness, extra weight…
…let’s see what else, the feeling of not being where I think I should be, feeling like two to twelve different people, and general malaise and malfunction.
I have watched it, yes.

Nico:
I hated it.

Pemsi:
Did you see the movie and it’s giving you dreams?

Nico:
Yes.
I think it was criminal.
It is great. It is a perfect film.
But so were Leni Reifhenstahls films.
Excuse the spelling.
I wish I hadn’t seen it.

Pemsi:
Why did you see it?

Nico:
I was told to.
I’m sorry to hear about the PTSD.

Pemsi:
It was the best thing I had heard in three years.
I was like, “PTSD! Thank god, I knew something had tweaked.”

Nico:
My nightmares have been different since then.

Pemsi:
Since 9/11?

Nico:
Yes.
But you know what about “United93?”
It was a lie.
The movie was a lie
A crime
If you ask me.
I mean that actually.  An actual crime.

Pemsi:
Seems to me it was a dramatic mimeograph of the newspapers.

Nico:
No – it is much bigger than that.  It is the definition of a hate crime.

Pemsi:
?

Nico:
If I am allowed to make racist one-sided generalizations of an entire people through any medium, that does not seek to raise understanding but rather raise fear, hate, anger, sadness, and otherwise further pain and suffering in the world, then I am committing a crime of hate.
Nico:
If, through my actions as a media-maker, I create a one-sided imbalance which seeks to shame, humiliate, and otherwise threaten a specific group, that is a hate crime.
Nico:
Filming U93 and distributing it to thousands of theaters scrawls a message of hate for Muslims across our whole society, and does not once, even a little, seek to help us understand what happened, and why those passengers might be considered heroes any more than those who died on the AA flights that hit the towers.
Nico:
I ask myself why. What possible impact does this film have?
It is war propaganda.
It is the voice of the empire.
It is the blind repetition of the official story.  9/11 TRUTH!!!

Pemsi:
My friend, Gary, said it kills off 3000 people while stroking heartstrings.

Nico:
And we pay $10 to slurp toxic stew.

Pemsi:
I saw a picture that looked like the nuclear sunrise dream this week. Remember that one?

Nico:
Really? The dream?
Well what are we gonna do?

Pemsi:
Spike the soup.
Wake the shit UP
My nuclear holocaust dream had me walking with a camera down an empty NYC street.
There I am in the dream, the future certainly mortal, and I have a camera that will get destroyed in the blast.

Nico:
Well, the one thing that’s sure is that you and me’ll disappear.

Pemsi:
But I’m taking photos anyway.

Nico:
That’s wonderful.
And very sad.

Pemsi:
That dream finally means something, Nico.
If we’re meeting the end, how can I possibly help, or possibly write fast enough to matter?

Nico:
I sorta think you can’t.
At least that’s how I feel about myself.

Pemsi:
But life is about doing, and if I don’t do…then…
Then what?? What is it all for?

Nico:
Maybe unfair to project, but… I don’t know.  We live in a system that is complicated beyond what we can possibly process.

Pemsi:
I think you’ll be annoyed with me for the book I’m writing.

Nico:
What is the one thing, in your life, that if it had been different, would make the most change for you, right now?

Pemsi:
Nico, you have to breathe or something.

Nico:
I breathe plenty.
I’d never be annoyed at you for writing a book.
What is the book you’re writing?

Pemsi:
You know all the healing I referred to?

Nico:
But you’re right, I have to breathe or something. What that something is I don’t know.
Do you ever do drugs?

Pemsi:
It’s universal. And it’s got ghosts in it, so to speak. But they’re ghosts we know.

Nico:
Universal healing… That is wonderful — how do you give it to others?
And who are the ghosts?

Pemsi:
I don’t like how drugs make me lose control. I’m so airy already, I can’t think on them.

Nico:
Ha!
You are not airy.
Do you think of yourself as airy?

Pemsi:
I’m from So Cal. :-)
I believe anything is possible and I leave room for it in my life.

Nico:
Nah.  I mean, I’m sure that’s where you’re from, but I’ve met airy.  I don’t think you are airy.  I think you are

In tune.
And sensitive.
That’s not a bad thing.

Pemsi:
Okay, that’s better than airy, yes. But that being in-tune leads my attention away from the present…like being able to remember where I parked

Nico:
Who the fuck really cares where you parked!
I don’t know – I think you gotta keep it where it is.
I think you have something to say.
You’re asking me what’s the point, and all that?
I think you’re much closer to having the answer to that question than I am.

Pemsi:
All that being in tune led me to a psychic, who corroborated what someone else said that I “have souls stuck in my field.”
So, I stutter, s-s-sou–field?
Wha?
And she says, you have souls in your field from the day you stood on the corner watching the towers burn.
And they are speaking.

Nico:
REALLY?!

Pemsi:
Then she channeled them.

Nico:
That’s fucking insane.

Pemsi:
So, for the past year, I have been writing this book.
Because the stuff she said was profound and bone rattling.

Nico:
It rattles my bones
Just hearing about it.

Pemsi:
And your head and your whole belief system if you’re willing to go there
My skepticism in tow, I have channeled a couple of them myself.

Nico:
And what happens?

Pemsi:
In the narrative or when they come through?

Nico:
Either
Both

Pemsi:
One time, I was craving peanut butter on a sesame bagel.
…ha ha there’s more (but wouldn’t it be funny if there weren’t?)
I don’t eat wheat. I’m allergic. I don’t crave it. But I couldn’t get the thing off my mind.
My breakfast didn’t deter the craving.
…I used to eat bagels and peanut butter every day in NYC, before class.

Nico:
Crazy

Pemsi:
So I kept thinking of them on this day, and even after breakfast, couldn’t focus on my work.
Said screw it, went to the deli, ate it. Tried to work. Couldn’t.
Finally…I was like, what? What?? Then I realized. It’s not me.
I got a pad of paper out and started asking questions, and the answers came out fast.

Nico:
Someone else

Pemsi:
Named Andy

Nico:
We are prisms splitting the light of our life.
That’s crazy, Pemsi.

Pemsi:
Yeah.
An image of a firefighter, and a little kid three or four years old, standing at his feet.
I talked to the psychic after that, and mentioned it to her, and she tumbled out with the rest of it, little kid and all.
…and speaking of prisms of light, I channeled another one named Barbara
Her message was much longer and so amazing. And she spoke of the tribe of light.

Nico:
Requiem aeternam. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.” (May they rest in peace and may Perpetual light shine on them)

Pemsi:
You asked how you give universal healing to others…from what I can tell, you heal yourself, and then you share it, or better, you heal publicly so that people can heal with you.

Nico:
Pemsi, though, you aren’t responsible for channeling these spirits – you don’t think you are do you?
Please – that is such a crazy burden!
What are you going to do with that?

Pemsi:
I don’t know that I feel a burden so much as a possibility. It’s been a healing journey, so I only get tweaked about the responsibility stuff when I imagine the world is going to end.

Nico:
You are one of the few good souls.  That’s what I think.

Pemsi:
I guess what I mean is, I do feel the burden sometimes, but I’ve always felt it…I just didn’t know what it was till now.
We have to just do. Whatever the thing is that we’re called to do, whether the world is tipping its hat or not.
And I can’t deny the presence of those hanging around me, strange as it seems.
Strange is the new normal.

Nico:
Strange is the new normal.
It is indeed.
Oh my god – my head is tired.
I need to drink some more and down load some porn and get ready for work tomorrow.

Pemsi:
Yes, me too. All of it.

Nico:
It has been wonderful chatting with you
And… Well… And hearing that you are healing things.
That is worth a lot.
I sorta wish we could toast or something.

Pemsi:
Thanks Nico. It’s like a non-nuclear sunrise to chat with you, all while still being….the bomb.
A digital text toast will have to suffice.

Nico:
Digital toast it is.
Night.
Thanks for the good talk

Pemsi:
Night. Thank you too. (rainbow image)

Nico:
Ah!!!! You know what rainbows are, right!?!
Or are you taunting me.

Pemsi:
Hope.
Promise.
Gay?

Nico:
Oooooh – read your email – I think it might be at the bottom of the forwarded message.  If not – I will tell you tomorrow.

[Bottom of forwarded message:]

Every time you see a rainbow, think upon this:
I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh: and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

. . . . .

Printed from an IM chat in 2006 with my friend, Nico, classmate from grad school in NYC, cohort in the school year that followed 9/11/2001, and comrade since.

(You can read all of the Memory to Light stories in order on the side bar -->)

. . . . . . . . . . .

Thanks for reading Day 23 of “Memory to Light: 31 Days of Stories, August 11 – September 11, 2011.” It is an exercise in writing about loss, for the purpose of letting grief wake, live, and pass through the system. Grief is transformation. Story is transformation. Our world could use a some wakeful transformation right now. Take a peek at the introductory post for the full story of what we’re up to.

Join me

Consider this project an online story circle. Read a story that moves you. Write your own on your blog. Link it to the comments below, so we can read your piece. If you don’t have a blog, write your story in the comments.

Let your memories live. Let small corners of your grief breathe. Let your loss be swept into the collective experience of people sharing, witnessing, and letting be.

{ 1 trackback }

Voices in light – Memory to Light, Day 28
September 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan September 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm

It’s Day 23 and I’ve been with you from the beginning, Pema. Transfixed. Never imagining that I would look forward to starting my day reading, thinking, feeling grief. Yet, here I am. Teary-eyed. “Bone-rattled.”

And I believe I am just one of many who are reading, thinking, feeling, processing right along with you every day – who are silent – not knowing what to say, but grateful to be invited to eavesdrop on such an intimate conversation. Thank you.

Reply

Pema Teeter September 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

So grateful you are eavesdropping. Thank you for stepping into the spotlight to share a moment, Susan.

Reply

Alana September 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm

“You asked how you give universal healing to others…from what I can tell, you heal yourself, and then you share it, or better, you heal publicly so that people can heal with you.”

You’ve brought tears to my eyes with each day of this but this one…

This series is a gift. You are a gift. Thank you.
Alana recently posted..My privilegeMy Profile

Reply

Pema Teeter September 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

My dear, you would know this one keenly.
Thanks for receiving the gift and giving it back.
Really, really giving.

Reply

Nicole Lane September 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Tears in my eyes, Pema. A rising up of truth and knowedness cloaked in banter….well, that clawed at what was deeper. Profound. I see this calling and its spark and reasonance or another reasonance as I think there were a few.
Thank you for being the medium for many to be heard and to hear themselves.
Love and rainbows(((

Reply

Pema Teeter September 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

To be heard and to hear themselves (and ourselves). So much yes.
Love and rainbows right back.

Reply

Ann Schatz September 6, 2011 at 6:55 am

‘souls in your field…’ Brilliant. Beautiful. Chilling. Once again, reading and re-reading your daily entries. Captured and wanting more. Thank you for generously allowing so many seats at your table, Pema…I love being part of your journey

Reply

Laura Smith September 11, 2011 at 1:09 am

Strange is the new normal. :) love you for all of this, you are brave and generous in your willingness to “heal publicly so that people can heal with you.” you are birthing this healing, these stories, a long labor like both of us know can sometimes make you want to give up or throw yourself onto the floor with the pain of it, but you are doing it and the world is a better place because of it.

love love love

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