It is odd, being a fly on the wall in this community of alternative truths. Just as odd, is feeling like a fly on the wall in this small town. I think there are approximately 3,000 people here, though I live outside city limits. I see such contrasting realities.
Yesterday, I went to the local grocery store. They still employ courtesy clerks, who pack up the groceries and carry them to the car. And I think somehow they are trained to never let a moment go by in silence. *sigh* I am quite alright with silence, so it is a chore to be pleasant and personable. I think small talk is a waste of energy. But... I make myself come out and chit chat.
The cashier and courtesy clerk were both young men, both late teens to early twenties. They were talking about their first names, versus their nicknames, and whether they preferred their middle names. And one noted that he was named after a friend of the family who had died before this young man was born. So the other young man says, "well, hey, if reincarnation were real..." They both laughed because of course in this Bible thumping town, this was a notion ridiculous to entertain.
I had to suppress an eye roll. I did an internal breathing exercise. I put on my patience cap. I knew this was an opportunity, and damn if I don't choose to take those. It really would be easier to just wait in silence. The moment to pay eventually comes, immediately followed by the moment I reach the solace of my car.
And I did what I do. My memory is not such that I can spit out statistics or quote peer reviewed scientific journal articles. But in my own nurturing way, I opened up the conversation and encouraged their exploration of reincarnation. I even helped with their cognitive dissonance, asking if the Bible doesn't say, "with God, all things are possible."
I am reminded of this song. Constantly:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1kyCQsxjec
We exist in such an odd time, in such an odd place.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.