My Very First Mantra

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So here’s my non-googling explanation of Saint Walker and the Blue Lanterns. I’m not gonna assume any comic book knowledge at all so I’ll start from the beginning but I promise to keep it as brief as possible.
Some time ago, some cool and creative people working for DC Comics invented the superhero Green Lantern.  Green Lantern was initially a fearless human test pilot named Hal Jordan but, despite his balls, he had no super powers.
So one day his plane crashed on a test run in the middle of some southwestern state (Aliens are always crashing in the Southwest – maybe they like Tex Mex?) and he’s wandering around tying to find his way back and he comes across an alien ship that has crashed (as one does when hiking in New Mexico or some such place). Being heroic and manly he investigates and discovers a humanoid alien who is clearly severely injured.  The alien’s name is Abin Sur and he looks pretty much like a human except his skin color is like light red if I remember correctly.  He’s wearing this green spandex suit.
A ring on his hand starts to glow like crazy and Sur beckons Hal to come closer.  Hal does and Sur tells him that he is about to die and to take this ring and put it on.
It’s not everyday you meet a dying alien in his crashed ship just after you’ve crashed your own plane and he offers you a weird glowing ring.  So Hal takes the ring and puts it on.  Sur expires and suddenly Hal is transported across the galaxies at unimaginable speeds.
It’s not teleportation I want to emphasize.  It’s some kind of humanoid compatible worm hole thingy. This matters to me. I realize this matters to pretty much no one reading this.
Hal finds himself on a strange planet named Oa.  It is the home of the Intergalactic Police Force (for lack of a better word) called the Green Lantern Corps.  Hal doesn’t know that yet but he gets the following breakdown from some alien (I can’t remember which alien briefed him – maybe a guardian or maybe Kilowog):
Many eons ago, when this universe was still young, the guardians came to be.   Now this part I’m fuzzy on but some eons passed and the universe got filled with lots of diverse and amazing civilizations. But the guardians noticed that most of these civilizations were populated with a disruptive number of Assholes who liked to fuck around and fuck and just generally fuck over their fellow citizens.
The guardians also noticed that the non-asshole members of the civilizations were unable to control the asshole citizens and shit was getting out of control.  Everywhere.
The guardians decided to create an international police force called The Green Lantern Corps.  They would assign 1 or 2 lanterns to each sector of the known universe so that they could put the current and future Assholes in their place. They armed the lanterns with power rings that were super powerful and could form almost any shape and could enable the lanterns to fly through space and do all kinds of other cool shit.
The thing that’s probably most germane to this crazy post is that the green lantern rings are powered by willpower.  That’s why Abin Sur’s ring went nuts when Hal came close to it.  The ring knew Abin Sur was dying and it was programmed to seek out a replacement lantern upon the death of the current lantern.  It’s yet another INCREDIBLE coincidence in this story of incredible coincidences that Hal was the guy who happened to discover the crash site. And it just happened to be another incredible coincidence that Hal possessed the greatest amount of willpower on the planet Earth (or at least an amount great enough to warrant being granted a spectacularly rare assignment). But let’s not quibble.
So back to the guardians and the creation of the green lantern corps.  Things were going pretty well with the corps across the galaxies.  The Assholes still existed in civilizations but they weren’t running shit anymore. Things were good.
But then some of the all powerful guardians decided to become assholes themselves.  I don’t remember why they did but a battle ensued between the asshole guardians and the chill guardians.  During the battle or war, really, the asshole guardians created their own corps. I can’t remember what they were called but they were like super powered humanoid robots.
So the war went on and the chill guardians won.  They banished all the asshole guardians and their robots to a prison planet of sorts. I don’t know why they didn’t just kill and destroy them all.  Maybe there were thinking about the sequel?
So Hal heard all this and his big take away was “this ring will let me fly?”  So he took the job.
Meanwhile a few sectors away from the Earth’s sector, the best, most respected Green Lantern, a guy Named Sinestro (he looked like a human too but he had violet skin and a widow’s peak and a real thin Vincent Price mustache.   It turns out Abin-Sur was his best friend and when he found out that he was dead, he was PISSED. He believes Sur was killed and that he didn’t just have an accident and beyond that, he really didn’t like that some lowly Earthling (a species that was not thought even advanced enough to wield the power rings) had immediately replaced his buddy.  Sinestro wanted to track down Sur’s killers but for some reason the guardians would not let him.
A lot of this may be wrong but I don’t really care because I’m having fun writing it.
Is Sinestro was FURIOUS.  He was so mad that he eventually left the green lantern corps, found the yellow core battery and formed the yellow lantern corps.
Yellow what?  Well as the green lantern’s ring is fueled by the user’s willpower, the yellow lantern’s ring is fueled by the emotion of fear.
I never really understood how “willpower” is an emotion but whatever I’m not gonna fight that point.
Sinestro went on to grow his scary Corp and would be a persistent and constant pain in Hal and the green lantern corps’ ass.  But it’s a comic book so Hal always won in the end.  And to be honest I just wouldn’t buy a guy winning who looked like John Waters in yellow spandex.
So yellow verus green was what it was like for decades in green lantern comic books stories.  Then some time recently – I wanna say the later aughts or early ten’s(?), some writer got the go ahead to spice things up.
This writer created a bunch more corps fueled by different emotions. There was red for rage (or republicans).  There was blue for hope.  There was violet for compassion.  There was orange for envy.  And hoping I got even that right there was probably a couple more but it’s not important now.
It was a fun new twist and lots of cool stories were told.
So why the hell did I just spend the better part of an hour retelling a comic book story?  Well, it’s just plan fun for me. I love comic books and their stories so this pleases me.  In fact if I were to distill a potion of pure joy for me, one of the ingredients would be plopping down on my bed after picking up the new comics that came out every Friday.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier than those Friday night reading sessions. I was still young then and I had my struggles and challenges too but my life was pretty tame.  I didn’t grow up in a favela or contract a life threatening disease as a child. My Dad was always around and I had a small but excellent group of friends.
But I was not happy.  I was eventually diagnosed with clinical depression and I’ve been on many meds and I have seen many mental health professionals.  I have always kinda maintained a manageable level of depression.
But I had a breakdown of sorts and I was basically psychologically dead for 18 months or so.  I wanted to be actually dead but luckily it did not get more serious than a “passive death wish.”
Believe it or not, after I snapped out of that sheer nightmare, I was shocked to find that I was actually happier and more optimistic and more content with who I was than I had ever been in my entire life.
I still have a lot of mental health work to do and I’m doing it but one of the big things that happens nowadays is that I get these micro panic attacks all the time.  They can and do happen at any moment of the day and while I’m doing any activity.   They don’t even take the form of any concrete words or images.  They are just jabs of foreboding that crash against my soul.
I decided that I needed my own thoughts to act as defenders against these mute assholes.  I thought: “what’s the opposite of panic?” And hope popped into my mind. And while I had been completely hopeless for that long dark march, I could see now and I had hope again.
And my very close friend, D. G., who stuck by me during that horrible time when I’m sure I was no fun to be around…
(and I wish I could say all my close friends followed suit but three of them did not. I’m sad they’re gone and I’m angry about it, too. It really doesn’t matter if they couldn’t stand to be around me or they chose not to be around me; the result is the same: we’re not friends anymore and I’m not sure I can forgive them if they ever even reached out again which I sincerely doubt they will)
…D. G. would listen to me and try to be supportive and he would always say “All will be well.”
Those 4 words are constantly repeated by the most prominent blue lantern, Saint Walker.  He’s a grey skinned humanoid but he’s not just totally human looking with a different skin color.  He looks like the reflection a person would see in funhouse mirror.  But not nearly as exaggerated.
He’s the closest thing to a leader that the blue lanterns have.  They’re really more like an ashram composed of super powered aliens.  All of them are super chill and probably 4:20 Friendly.
So with much love for the blue lanterns, I latched on to a bit of their wisdom.  Whenever one of those little fucker panic demons jumps into my consciousness, I think to myself (and sometimes I even say it out loud) “All will be well.”
Do I believe it? All of the time? Any of the time? None of the time? If I’m being real, I think the answer to those questions is it’s probably all three at the same time.
Don’t worry.  All will be well.

2 thoughts on “My Very First Mantra

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