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Jerry Hadden, Message From Elena

This week we’ve been spending some time with Elena’s husband Gunnar and her son Gerry Hadden.

Biking and walking the hills. Gerry’s a great photographer; he took the three pictures posted today.

The evening of the day that Elena died something spooky happened. We turned on one of our computers, which is coupled to an ink-jet printer that we rarely use. And this one time, as the system powered up, the printer unexpectedly kicked into life and printed out a single sheet of paper.

And on the paper was a single ASCII heart symbol. Like a last message from Elena.

Do I really think that her spirit left her body, and hung around for awhile and sent this message? Not exactly. But I do think that our universe is patterned like a novel, with synchronistic and meaningful correspondences built in. These correspondences establish themselves a-causally, as described in John Cramer, “The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”, Reviews of Modern Physics 58, 647-688, July (1986).

I'm aware that, by switching the discourse to science, what I’m really doing is holding up my little mumbo-jumbo fetish-doll against the yawning uncertainties of the spirit world.

Seeing that heart really gave me goosebumps. The printer whirring in the twilight basement room. One symbol, bam.

Way to go, Elena!

9 Responses to “Jerry Hadden, Message From Elena”

  1. Mac Says:

    Posthuman Blues
    I have to ask: What is that blurred-looking area that seems to emanate from Gunnar in the first picture? I have a friend who “paints” digitally and the effect is very much like that . . . kind of a blurry fractal.

  2. Steve Hooley Says:

    Rudy, the ascii heart is very much like a novel . . . a Peter Straub novel. Email from the dead. We do impose our own order on chaos (ooh, that cloud looks like a, er, never mind). When someone dies, it often takes years for their reverberations to die out: the clock they wound up, their unfinished tasks, their legacies of written work or art, and their descendants. People still get mad at Hemingway or Ezra Pound, and whistle Cole Porter songs. So maybe you’ll be getting a few random characters now and then, and it will be up to you to impose order upon them. Good luck.

  3. Rudy Says:

    Surely, Mac, given your experience with UFOlogical rod and orb pictures, you realize that “blurred-looking area” is ghostly ectoplasm!
    Possibly standing in for someone who’d rather not be visible…

  4. Giu1i0 Pri5c0 Says:

    One of the nicest ghost stories I heard this year. Rudy, I have just followed the advice in the header and bought Frek.

  5. Rich M Says:

    I’m also wondering about the blurred area seemingly emanating from Gunnar. As for the ASCII character—well, that’s very nice.

  6. Mac Says:

    Posthuman Blues
    Rich M. —
    “I’m also wondering about the blurred area seemingly emanating from Gunnar.”
    It’s an airbrush job. Rucker’s gone “Ministry of Truth” on us! (You can still see the bottom portion of the deleted person, which I mistakenly took for a backpack…)

  7. Rudy Says:

    Yeah, I used the smudge tool in Photoshop to erase the person next to Gunnar in that top photo — it was my wife, who, for the sake of privacy, prefers not to have her picture or name appear in my blog. The effect is kind of neat and ghostly, like a spirit photo.
    Nevertheless the story about the heart printing out is really true, no trickery there.
    I dreamed about Elena last night, we were going for another walk in the hills and she popped up, walking along with us, saying, “I don’t like missing all these sunny days.”

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I like the idea of leaving messages for the living.
    In one of my unpublished novels, a person leaves behind a whole interactive CD-ROM with thousands of of his pre-recorded answers. The user types in a question, and the CD-ROM plays the sequence which corresponds to the relevant keywords. The dead person speaks to the user!
    (When no questions are being put, the CD-ROM plays a loop of the dead person’s face looking out, blinking every few seconds.)
    With some skill, it can be made to simulate the dead person’s personality – an “interactive memento” if you will, or a mentor for one’s surviving loved ones. “I didn’t talk enough with you while I was alive, so I’ll do it now that I’m dead.”

  9. The Green Son Says:

    I often chose to remain agnostic when confronted with the supernatural or ethereal experience. I have lost more friends than I care to count in the last few years. I suppose it depends on your coping mechanisms as to whether you embrace or block such an experience. I think if my loved ones are really waiting for me then I will embrace them once again some day and if they are not then I still appreciate when my subconscious reminds me of loving their presence in my life.
    I loved “Frek and the Elixir”, not the only book of yours I have enjoyed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you are from my home town of Los Gatos as you have written some of my favorite books. Perhaps the heart was the soft whisper of Rudy’s muse birthing a new novel for us to read?

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