This Antique World

“I love imagining people, as lone creatures out in the wild, wanting to be loved, but afraid of hurting and being hurt.” – Tammy T. Stone

We who populate this world are those lone creatures who once lived on earth, wanting to be loved. We were born, lived and died without experiencing it. For some, this was on account of timidity, for others a lack of civility or social graces, or evident poor character, or impulsiveness, or lack of empathic capacity, or just plain rotten bad luck or who knows how many other things. The reasons are endless. It makes no difference what happened. We remember we died loveless. And for that we believe we have been sent here to atone or to learn, no one is sure which.

We are all wild creatures. I, for example, am a jackal. My friend Doris is a fawn and Bud over there is a turtle. He is quite large and is a sea turtle, I think. Although with no sea nearby it is difficult to check. Some people (we still are people, no matter what you may think) believe the animal form each of us has been assigned reflects on the characteristic or characteristics that made us loveless or unlovable long ago. I certainly don’t agree with this assessment and neither does Freddy the skunk.

To think of myself as a heartless, jackal-like person back in human life would lead me to believe that I must have been sneaky, avaricious, and unconcerned with the feelings of others. The thought of myself this way gets me so mad I could bite someone. When I act this way, everyone starts to edge away, and Jack the rabbit high-tails it. That’s when I know to cool it, and eventually we all come together again.

You might wonder why we come together, we predators and prey. It’s out of loneliness I guess and perhaps a desire to put our heads together to see if we can understand what has happened to us, and why. We have compared life stories and it became apparent early on that the only characteristic we had in common was never to have found love. We are the most unfortunate of people who have ever lived.

With open conversation among us (why not?), we understand (or think we do) each other’s earthly difficulties and offer the most useless of suggestions, e.g., when that happened you should have done this, you missed your chance there, how could you have been so clueless when he asked you out, you came so close but really lost it there, and so on. Many of us have enjoyed earthly friendships, some very long lasting, some very close, but no one experienced that surrender of self, that unconditional pledge to another, that … that ‘je ne se quoi.’ If any of us had ‘quoi-ed,’of course, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.

Most of are still trying to figure out what we need to do to leave this place. Some have given up and sit stupefied. I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss in this game, if it is a game. But I do know if I ever get back to earth I will remember these times, and finding love will be my first and only priority. I won’t care if I get hurt. I will trust myself not to hurt others. I will .. Wait a minute. What is happening? .. What is all this pressure I am feeling. What is that bright light. Why did somebody just hit me? Oh .. I’m being born. I must remember .. must remember .. will reme .. Oh, there’s Mama. She’s so beautiful, so soft and warm .. I’m so hungry .. I do remember something .. to do .. I will remember ..

Good Luck, Jackal. Get it right this time!


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