Teri Orr: It is a matter of matter
The truth is — we are all powerful creatures who are slight pawns in the universe. We underestimate our psychic powers and therefore misuse them. Unintentionally. Think of Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book “Matilda” — made into a film — made then an award-winning Broadway show. It was a way to address the power of kindness and love and … to explore psychokinesis and telekinesis which are alleged psychic abilities which allow a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. Or in my case — I never try to influence electronic things but my own personal circuits get crossed and strange things happen. I have zero control over this. I cannot move the teacup with my mind or levitate the flower pot or switch the order of the deck of playing cards. I just unintentionally shift energy and blow things up. Sometimes in a significant and expensive way and other times — most times — just in a way the exasperates family and close friends.
If you just use a version of Einstein’s “matter can neither be created or destroyed” and you understand that energy is matter, then you have the essence of how this works. We are creatives more powerful than we can imagine with wild abilities that defy physics as we know them and some of us wrestle with having “too much energy.” Go with that. It is easier than the complicated science and it is all a bit of mystery.
Some people have an extraordinary connection to say — hunches — good plays on the stock market — understanding which artists are destined for greatness — and some folks unintentionally just blow things up — randomly.
I fall into the last category.
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I was unaware of anything strange growing up except what mother called — that Irish thing. I often anticipated things before they happened — felt outcomes before they manifested. I stopped talking about it in my teens because it was strange. I stopped listening to my “spidey sense” as the kids might say now. I wasn’t really aware of the energy piece directly until I was around 40. Then I started blowing things up. Hair dryers with some rapid succession. Not just ones I purchased to use in my home but at beauty salons and in hotels. I had long curly hair to the middle of my back then and I wanted it to appear straight so I would spend hours tugging at my natural self and my self would somehow then short circuit the hairdryers. So I stopped using them.
I spent some time in the ’90s working on the Navajo reservation with a medicine woman delivering supplies there twice a year for two weeks at a stretch. When I returned home each time I grew to expect things wouldn’t work right for awhile. Things like the television or the radio or my electric toothbrush. I found my life was easier if I could just not cross signals with too much energy. Imagine my discomfort as the planet moved to greater uses of energy with cellphones and laptop computers and even the essential parts of my car being programmed.
Let’s just say this about that — folks close to me know electronics in my hands do strange things. They have seen it and it defies logic. So it was only to be expected that this time of quarantine should be a time of crossed wires or energy streams. It started with the remote control on the radio. It is an old Bose unit that also plays CDs and I thought I was the bees knees when I purchased it — 20 years ago. It is programmed to four stations — KPCW, KUER, a classical station and a country one. So when I pushed the button and thumping rock came through, I was surprised. I hit it again and it switched to Native American chants. Again. A far right news talk program. I tried to reprogram and it ignored my efforts. I replaced the battery and we have had a truce this week.
The fact I have so much bleach in my system the past few months is something many of us share. Not from drinking it — don’t be stupid. But from the transference of product to skin as we scrub every square inch of our homes and cars and grocery bags with disinfectant wipes. So I shouldn’t have been surprised my touch identity on my computer that needs my index finger to register — just stopped being recognized. At first I thought I had all my passwords wrong and so I reset them to all be the same on every device but I realized yesterday my screen can no longer read the print on my index finger because it has disappeared. There are no discernible swirly circles left there. I could probably commit a crime and if they needed to convict me using prints from the scene — there would be none. Really, I have no other logical explanation.
Yesterday I tried to hook up the printer to my computer. They are both new to my home since February. I have been using the computer successfully for months now and decided it was time to connect the printer to it. I read the instructions — I did. And the printer showed that it worked and printed out a test sheet so I assumed that meant they were talking. But they weren’t — that was just the electronic pre-programmed test. When it came for me to take control, things did not go well. I called the hotline after two frustrating hours of trying myself. After a full half hour of the message repeating “thank you for your patience,” I found myself screaming at the phone — as my friend and lawyer Adam might say — “you are assuming facts not in evidence!” As they tried remotely and in a computer voice to lead me through the process — the computer spit out that it did not recognize the printer. And I found myself yelling — “How could you not recognize each other? You have been sitting side-by-side for months now!”
That’s when I realized it might be time to walk away from the electronics for a few hours. I have composed this on my laptop and I am trusting it will keep the words long enough for them to reach my editor who can snatch them from the ether and make the mistakes disappear. I will try not engage with energy forces this week unless absolutely critical. Unplugging means different things to us all on different days right now — including Sundays in the Park…
Teri Orr is a former editor of The Park Record. She is the founder and director emeritus of the Park City Institute, which provides programming for the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.
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