Twenty-four years ago, possibly to the day, I made this drawing in a sketchpad.
The picture started from a doodle. I didn’t know I was drawing an alien and spaceship till they emerged.
I did know that I felt quite alien myself, and had all my life. As I went into 1994 (at 27 years old) I was trying to integrate this understanding of myself. I wrote “Hail Earthlings” as my greeting to the rest of the human race, closed the notebook and moved on.
Pre-social network days—and I’m not even sure I was on the Internet much in 1993—I didn’t realize how many others felt (and feel) this sense of being “other.”
In this connected age, we aliens have started to find each other. We’re getting bolder about showing up in all our freaky glory.
I think of the admonishment some of my religiously-brought-up friends often heard as they headed to school: “Remember who you are.” Meaning, behave yourselves, represent the family and the church, be shining examples of godliness, etc.
Well, now we are remembering who we are for real. And it isn’t about good behavior this time, but about authenticity.
It turns out that being authentic is actually the way to be “godly”—if you believe, as I do, that we are all born with spiritual gifts that yearn to be expressed. The only way to move closer to our Divine nature is to truly be ourselves, to align outward action with the truth of who we are on the inside.
What’s more, that’s the best way to participate in the healing of the world.
What a revelation. What a resolution.
Let’s not close the notebook on our weirdness. No more modulating what we do in a doomed quest to fit in.
“Let your freak flag fly.” That was the guidance given to a friend recently, the same friend I had counseled, “Just do you, and you’ll soar.”
So how about it: Want to “do you” in 2018?
Let that be the one resolution that you keep. Let 2018 be the year of freak-flag-flying and remembering… and healing the world through the authentic expression of our beautiful kaleidoscopic gifts.
That’s one colorful UFO. Rose and I were deeply into aliens, differently. She often said she didn’t feel like she was from Earth. She and our friend from church felt the same way as she did. She relied on Andy to help her as someone who could hold conversations with over it. As for myself, I found the Earth Chronicles of Zecharia Sitchen. It is close to the creation story and more so Divine Design. I had suspected this concept for many years. I wish they taught this in school. I enjoyed your article. You have a wonderful way with words. Rose felt like the freak in your family. Maybe you’ve got a little colony brewing and don’t know it. Haha
Glad Rose had someone to connect with over that, since the family didn’t get her. Great to hear from you, Dottie! I would love to talk more with you about all this sometime soon!
Indeed we are all born with gifts, which is definitely valuable to the greater economy, yet to a large extent this is not something valued in the industrial economy. In the industrial economy there are winners, losers, and competition to see who can exploit more resources and produce more quantitatively for less. They value us as machines and interchangeable parts that produce rather than valuing skills developed over a long period unique to a local area that can be sustained and passed down to the next generation. Rather than just projection and consumption there could also be a return. I read Wendell Berry’s the Art of the Commonplace and it is full of wisdom, really a wonderful book that I would recommend.
Love Wendell Berry! Thanks for reading and commenting!