Quotation from Madame Blavatsky

RK Schlueter“The origin of nearly every popular myth & legend can be traced invariably to a fact in Nature.”

~ Helena P. Blavatsky


{Painting by RK Shlueter}

Arleta Blue ~ Part Three of Three

Lente Scura(Arleta calmly studies her Blackberry.)

On land, it is the business of physical construction—the need for bridges, solid frameworks & borders clearly marked, which then form the paths allowing the flow between all the many opposites. In cyberspace, the connection is less permanent, more transitional, like the flowing of electric water. Inside that flood of information, my blog would serve as a port in the storm for those who had travelled into the same self-disgust as I had. I needed to massage my anger—work it out like a knotted muscle. The website would make a difference & even poor-little-old me had to admit I might have tapped into something significant.

(Arleta is suddenly quite serious.)

This world can be a shit-stained place—sadly, we all know that. Understanding this, I wanted my online representation to be a safe harbour for people looking for the relief of answers to questions they couldn’t figure out for themselves. I put my thinking cap on & set to work constructing a blog targeted at Internet widows—all the many people who lost a spouse due to the cowardly convenience of meeting someone so easily online. I figured there had to be legions of this type of folks & in confirmation of my hunch, once I had launched & worked out all the kinks, I had a thousand hits the very first day it was live—thank you, Google!

(Arleta fist pumps the air.)

I just could not believe the response—people not only cared, they responded by telling their own stories & we found comfort in each other‘s similar disgrace. A digital band of good people, decent people who believed in family values & would speak for injustice everywhere because of the pain of their own experience. The same force which brought us together, would also return our stolen happiness through the private beauty of this amazing technology.

(Arleta flips the hair from her face with her Blackberry.)

Being, having & doing—all possible modes of existence. My weird little online world quickly expanded into a pulsating congregation of new-media activists. As a untied front, this anonymous group of hopeful dreamers, unique & beautiful visionaries, each one aiming to show the world they are dressed in a colour of the rainbow that has yet to be discovered. A world, a flood of information—this was the world after that flood.

(Arleta scrolls down her Blackberry.)

Then about a month in, the oddest thing happened. Almost overnight, the tone of the postings shifted. While everyone had once been so sympathetic & positive, so supportive, it suddenly became like when the family gets together & engages in that game of competitive bitching. ‘Who’s the worst off?’ Sob sister stuff, wallowing in the same bitter sentiment I’d desperately tried to escape. It was at this point, if I am to remain truly honest with y’all? It started to feel anti-climactic, in that Peggy Lee, ‘Is That All There Is?’ kind of way. People were sharing electric tears & frustration, that’s for sure but the personal pain from each family; that nitty-gritty bad news from each crumbling home stopped seeming to matter once it had been unburdened. We were supposed to be helping each other heal but the blog didn’t seem to heading in that direction anymore.

(Arleta replaces the phone.)

Postings began to appear advising how to best ruin somebody’s life—how to web-stalk someone & even though I’d remove them daily, they’d be back up there in no time. Did you know that to successfully annihilate someone in the internet world, all you need is a Social security number & a credit card? I didn’t & soon, companies like ‘Spy Whip’ started asking if they could advertise on the site, telling me there was big money to be made for all the online traffic &…I was so torn. I needed the extra income, believe you me but how could the site remain an active healing force if it was encouraging people to be so petty & cruel?

(Arleta looks sadly at her phone.)

All of that negative paranoia—it makes me cringe when I remember. I was starting to feel that this new digital age had brought with it an era of spiritual darkness, illuminated only by a glowing screens. There were crazy postings by the hundreds, arriving daily, ranging from explanations on how to spy on lost ‘loved’ ones to postings either bragging about destroying an unfaithful spouse or justifying their intrusions. The site had lost its focus & I started to feel that sense of sick depression that had ground my life to a halt after Daryl abandoned ship.

(Arleta checks the Blackberry, frowning at what she sees on the screen.)

I had beat my drum to gather the broken from around the world & now all we did was exchange links for the newest satellite spyware? It was too crazy— how was revenge going to make things better? It’s as if we’d all somehow clicked on through a link to a bad place & we needed to change course, lickety-split. I needed to backtrack & re-connect with the original intention.

(Arleta takes a drink from a bottle of water.)

It’s hard to keep the facts straight here & now, talking with y’all but I’m pretty sure it was right after that when I started wondering if maybe I wasn’t spending too much time on my dashboard. Maybe visiting other forums would give me an idea of how to improve my own. I visited several. Once you figured out the specific jargons & abbreviations, I couldn’t help but see that there was a similar shallowness & defensiveness from people who were supposed to have at least one thing in common & the smugness—like a preacher delivering his sermon to the choir.

(Arleta looks coyly at the audience.)

‘Course I eventually had to visit the sex sites & while that whole exploration wasn’t entirely unpleasant, the world of cyber-porn, though vast & all-too-easy to access, is really nothing more than a screen of pretty narrow horizons. It didn’t take long to turn-off to that sleazy exploitation of what seemed mostly good looking, well-endowed, well-paid, desperate people. I needed to give myself an old–fashioned, southern-style slow-down. This Internet thing was happening way too fast. I was finding it hard to think straight once I started swimming through those dirty waters & seeing as how I was no closer to figuring out how to return my site back to a forum for positive–thinking people, maybe this whole wild idea was something I’d cooked-up just to cover the pain of being dumped?

(Arleta looks thoughtfully at her Blackberry.)

Give, take; absorb, reject. Back & forth, on & offline, coating over any practical sense of personal history or any real purpose in the physical world. I had surrendered to all of this but was free to re-negotiate any time. It was my life, my choices & making them all inside that Digital Forest seemed not only selfish, but foolish as well. Maybe it was time to get to know that tired looking woman reflecting back from the monitor screen? Maybe I’d learned all I needed from that experience. It all moves so damn fast but still—I saw the problem—the problem in all of that frantic business, & all of that fast, careless money. I saw the pain in those sex sites, with broken dreamers getting bought like meat at a butcher shop. I saw all of it blinking & swirling in that never-ending steam of expression—it was greed so magnificent, it had opened a whole dimension of anarchy.

(Arleta waves her Blackberry in the air.)

There is so much expression but no one is taking anything seriously. All of my chat-friends wanted to know why the sudden change of heart? ‘This is the future, ‘angrymom’ — that’s my chat nickname, by the way—‘If you really wanna make a difference, this is the cutting edge.’ That seemed to be the consensus. Trouble was? I didn’t believe it anymore. Feeling like a fool, I said my hasty goodbyes & was one step away from logging off that damn computer cold-turkey & boxing it up forever when one day, in my junk mail folder, I received an email that not only changed the setting of my inbox but my outlook towards the future with it.

(Arleta speaks directly to the audience, very serious.)

Turns out that innocent email was nothing short of revolutionary. I opened it & something changed inside of me as I read about Barack Obama. I don’t mean to sound like one of those people with their eye on the meter in life, because those people are rarely heroes. The last Republican years had been like playing Monopoly with my younger son—the rules kept changing & more & more money disappeared from the bank as the game went along. I’m talking about the Republican Bush Clan, that elite that took everybody’s retirement money & stretched their greed so wide it broke like a fan belt running the world. During those years, my ‘fine’ kept shifting, further & further from what I actually stood for. I love America & I know America loves me but things have drifted from what my grandparents built their lives upon.

(Arleta places the Blackberry to her chest.)

As far as W. Bush is concerned? I was raised to have respect for the office of the President but I was a fervent believer that America needed a change. The GOP were behaving like kids blaming someone else for breaking the toy but it wasn’t a toy they broke—it was our country. Somebody was going to save us from the uglier side of our society & while I have always been an ardent Hilary Clinton supporter, identifying with her courage & strength many a ’ time during my own troubled period, but I had to change allegiance & put my faith in a man who seemed to be in touch with a different soul force. His campaign included dignity & harmony for all—not just a blind eye & a pity party for the losers.

(Arleta stares at the phone in a moment of reverie.)

Choice is the hinge of destiny. Once that voice for change surfaced in the gathering momentum of the Obama campaign, I was thunderstruck with excitement. There was actually a candidate to fight for people who were drowning in a sense of powerlessness. For me, Barack Obama seemed like a presidential hero, in composite: the affectations of Lincoln, the social vision of FDR, the moxy of John Kennedy & he has Bill Clinton’s brains.

(Arleta’s speech grows in quiet intensity.)

Obama was the ideal synthesis of both sexy & smart & I don’t care what people say about overblown propaganda & over-exposure & all the rest of that ‘critical analysis.’ Until my campaign work for Barack Obama started, I’d been waiting for something. It is difficult to explain—I had worried so much about their being good influences in the world for my boys & when my husband Daryl walked–out, that notion was a real laugh-riot so I was desperately seeking to re-define myself on the Internet as some artificial substitute for real courage.

(Arleta speaks intently.)

I had found some truth of my own & this was what permitted my broken home to mend in common purpose. Barack Obama became a role model for a fractured family & I know this is going to sound like too-much, but I thank the Lord Above for that. If a skinny, big-eared boy from a single parent family married such a Goddess & then became President of the United States? Well then…we had nothing to worry about because there is a force helping even things out in the Universe. As the dreamers of ‘now’, we shall assist everyone to whatever safe, wholesome, sustainable destiny that awaits them. We can make this country better not just for our children but for their grandchildren, as well. I had so missed that feeling of day dreaming & loving visions & ignoring my fear—it was like being a child again, so strong did faith re-fill my empty heart. The vehicle for positive change had been re-captured & was now heading in the direction of salvation & hope.

(Arleta stands to attention, military style.)

Albert Einstein said it is easier to break down an atom that a prejudice. The Obama-factor: globalization as cleansing force.

(Arleta studies her Blackberry sceptically.)

We’re still humming from the backspin. Obama’s first presidential victory solidified the Internet as something more than just a portal to escapism. From screen to screen the word travelled, enough to put him in power politically & support his visionary notions. It was not that I felt proud to be an American again all of a sudden—it was that I felt safe, so y’all keep believing in President Obama—Golden Child of the social networking scene, making a concrete contribution to America the Republic, not the global monster the rest of the world thinks we are. I’ll do the same & let’s none of us regret that.



{Images by Lente Scura & Hans Piesel}