Light and Dark

I have two messages about light and dark today. The first concerns the coffee stains on the backs of my teeth. At my last cleaning the dental hygienist scolded me about brushing better. Her criticism stung. First of all, I am a diligent flosser and brusher. Second of all, I’m not the only person in the world who drinks coffee. I’m sure a lot of people have stains on their teeth. Third, I don’t like her very much. I miss my old hygienist who told me I was doing a good job and didn’t torture my sensitive molars with her water pic. None of this has stopped me, however, from completely changing my oral hygiene routine in an effort to impress this woman at my next visit, which isn’t going to happen because I still have four months to go and the stains are back. I feel like Lady Macbeth. “Out! Out damned coffee spot.”

Then, on the way here to share my coffee stain angst,  I read that Charles Manson died recently, at the age of 83, roughly 48 years after orchestrating a killing spree in California. My first thought was that the last thing we need in heaven right now is more crazy, dark energy. Sometimes the things I think catch me by surprise so I backed up to take another look at that thought. What did I mean by that?

It has to do with my personal views on life and death. I see life as energy and I imagine that when an individual life ends, its energy leaves its shell and is drawn to a larger mass, the power of which influences the universe. When I think of heaven, this is how I picture it-a return to the mother ship, so to speak. This body of energy, in my mind, is constantly flowing; rising, ebbing, shifting and releasing, to accommodate the process of living and dying and living again. When I read that Charles Manson had passed, I thought of several other recently departed, tortured individuals. I pictured all of these souls merging together and of that roiling, dark energy slithering towards the heavenly mass of my imagination.  I pictured the light rearranging itself to absorb the chaos; to contain it without being tainted; to clean and dilute it before releasing it, eventually, back to the earth, because that is the nature of the flow-it merges and releases, merges and releases…and that is why I thought that Charles Manson dying is the last thing we need right now. The thought of any of his darkness making its way back to us in any way, shape or form, makes me a little anxious.

Fortunately, I have a trick for releasing anxiety which involves widening my perspective. I picture myself from the top of a building, then from the top of a mountain, and then from an airplane, and then from the moon and then from a star and then from a spaceship in a galaxy far, far away. I lose site of myself pretty quickly, and then I lose site of my house and then my town and my state and then my country and my planet and…well, you get the picture. By that point, all of my little anxieties seem trivial, funny even, and it’s easier to let go of them, which is totally what I did this morning. Charlie’s afterlife is not my concern.

And as for my less than pearly whites, I’d rather give up my hygienist than my coffee.

Chicken out

  14 comments for “Light and Dark

  1. November 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    All our spirits go straight to the universe in my model, too. Manson and Hitler are settled in–to the same place. All packed in a tight knot, and shunned. Alone. I haven’t worked out if they ever go free, like the rest.
    I’ve finally trained my hygienist. It was worth my effort.

    Like

    • November 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Do tell, Joanne…I need a hygienist training model. I hope it doesn’t involve apple cider vinegar swishing. Why the hell is vinegar suddenly the cure for everything?

      Like

  2. Anonymous
    November 21, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, but Della Reese died on the same day, and she ain’t got no time for no crap from Charlie Manson. And whatever Della can’t clean up, David Cassidy, travelling with the love of a billion Tiger Beating hearts, will mop up when he gets there. – GG

    Like

    • November 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Hi GG, Ha. I do the same thing-it always seems like some of the good guys go around the same time. Mel Tillis died the same day also. Odds or some kind of cosmic plan? Princess Di and Mother Theresa died within days of each other, two, and I remember noticing that Di’s death completely overshadowed Mother Theresa’s and it’s probably the way she would have wanted it.
      (Mother Theresa not Di).

      Like

  3. jenny_o
    November 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I like your way of releasing anxiety. More people should know about this. It might even help me the next time I’m in the dentist’s chair with my mouth propped open with a car jack while the dentist saws, hammers and nails down all the stuff in there and the helper person alternately drowns and gags me.

    On your related topic, can you switch hygienists without having to switch dentists?

    Like

    • November 21, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      “the helper person”-haha. Is your helper person a male? One thought I had when writing this post was that I’ve never seen a male dental hygienist. The first college I went to had a dental hygiene program and they didn’t have any male students, either. Curious, isn’t it? I did try something sneaky with the hygienist a couple times ago. I found out what her day off was and I told the receptionist that the only day I can come is whatever that day was. I think it worked once but she wasn’t letting me go that easy. I’ve been going to the same place for 20-something years, though. The hygienists typically last 3 years tops. I’ve got another couple years with this one and hopefully the best one will have a better bedside manner. Or maybe I’ll figure out why my teeth attract more coffee staining than average teeth. As long as I have teeth, I guess I should be thankful.

      Like

      • jenny_o
        November 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

        Nope, no male helper person here either, and I’ve never had nor seen one. That IS interesting, because there are all kinds of male nurses around here. (What do you call the helper person anyway? Dental assistant, maybe?) That was a good ploy for avoiding the hygienist. It should work again next year 🙂

        And, yeah, being thankful I have teeth is my fallback position, too …

        Like

      • November 22, 2017 at 12:12 am

        I thought they were called the dental hygienist. At least, at my dentist, she does the hygiene and the helping. Maybe it’s different in other practices.

        Like

  4. Doug in Oakland
    November 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    “Something’s wrong from the moon, my friends, something’s wrong from the moon…”
    -Crack the Sky, “Nuclear Apathy”:

    That song always puts the spring back in my step when things are looking dismal:
    “Rise up, children, life goes on and on, wise up, children, life goes on and on…”

    When I was growing up in Eureka, I ran into Manson groupies a couple of times.
    Once when I had a paper route and I was collecting the money, a nice woman invited me in while she got her checkbook from another room. On a typewriter on a shelf just inside the door was a plastic label from one of those label makers they sold back then that read “manson is love”. I got the hell out of there with my money and never went inside again.
    When I was in High School, my band played an outdoor party in a little place called Freshwater, and we ended our first set with a rowdy version of “Helter Skelter” that the crowd seemed to like. While I was leaning my guitar against my amp so I could take off for a minute or two, this woman with straight blonde hair and pale blue eyes came up behind me and said “Could you play that song again? It’s my favorite song.”
    I was so creeped out that I ran away from the little stage they had set up and told our drummer about it, not what you would call rock and roll behavior.
    I also think one of my mom’s bosses, Jim McKittrick, was in one of the books they wrote about the Manson family, in a background piece that covered the counterculture in Northern California, because he represented an FBI agent who shot a guy during a raid of his cabin in the woods.
    I know people who question whether Charlie should have done all of that time when he didn’t do any of the murders himself, and I try to politely explain to them the concept of “conspiracy to commit homicide” and usually don’t really get anywhere.

    I think that with seven billion of us just right now, the few monsters that are around won’t amount to a poison drop in the ocean of us.

    Like

    • November 22, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Apropos song:-) I never watched the movie or read the book. Stuff like that creeps me out, so I can only imagine how you must have felt. Geez. Also, interesting that you point out 7 billion of us vs a few of them because, in the first draft of this post, that was in there-if I could have figured out how to say it as well as you just did, it might still be.

      Like

  5. jenny_o
    November 22, 2017 at 2:50 am

    To continue the conversation up there ^^^ since we ran out of reply buttons! Yes my dentist has a dedicated hygienist and a dedicated assistant (two separate people with, I suspect, different training). But she (the dentist) does some pretty complicated stuff as well as the usual fillings, and that might be why.

    I don’t know why some people go into people-oriented careers when they don’t seem to like people much 🙂

    Like

    • November 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Oh she probably likes people just fine. It’s stained teeth she doesn’t like. In that case, I can’t decide whether she’s in the right or wrong profession!

      Like

  6. November 22, 2017 at 3:46 am

    I like your anxiety reduction technique. I’m going to try that. Re the dental hygienist, the coffee stains are a reason she has a job, so you could think of it as just doing your part to keep her employed. We had a really good dental hygienist (as in thorough), but man, she was aggressive. We didn’t know her real last name, so we gave her one: The Picker. But you could tell she really loved her work, the way she dug right in, shall we say, and left you with some truly pearly whites. The current one does an okay job, but we sometimes feel something is missing. Besides pain.

    Like

    • November 22, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Paulette-that’s my husband’s view on the subject also. He said when his complains, he tells her that’s why he comes to see her.

      Like

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