The Contrast Medusa

I know what your thinking. You’re thinking that as soon as you imagine something you want and start following the Path of Least Resistance, it leads to a giant hedge maze. You know you have to go in, but you also know that inside, maybe not around the first turn, or the second, the Contrast Medusa waits.

But you are brave, and you really want what you want, so it has to be done.

As you start your journey you notice how beautiful the Path of Least Resistance really is. Even here in the maze, the sunlight lights up the walls strewn with white flowers with yellow centers and deep purple flowers with with burnt umber centers. All of which are tended by florescent white butterflies and shimmering green hummingbirds with ruby throats. You half expect to see Snow White kissing a bluebird…

A cloud suddenly looms over and a chill shudders every inch of your body. Three-inch thorns seem to sprout from every branch and they are dripping with something…poison. The Medusa is close. You can tell by how it feels.

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You turn the corner and you see her for a split instance as you turn to stone—wha wha wha wha whaaaa sounds

and you find yourself back at the beginning of the level—the horror you just saw fading like an ancient memory.

As the cobwebs clear it suddenly occurs to you that even the Universe would not make a reality game without some way to defeat the monster. Think. A mirror! Everyone knows that the way you defeat the Medusa is to use a mirror. Check your imaginary tool belt. Not that pouch, the big compartment. The one labeled “Cosmetics.”

You extract the hand mirror and examine it. The frame back is heavy, silver with protruding gold inlay. Along the bottom is an engraved script. You lick your finger, rub it and it becomes clearer.

It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing.


Man, this mirror is garage-sale old.

But it will do. You set your jaw, throw back your shoulders and you are all like, “That Bitch is Toast.”

Focused and determined you set out. Pretty flowers yada yada yada, Snow White yada yada yada, poison thorns. You stop. She’s right around the corner. You ease the mirror out.

It actually does look like Uma Thurman only with that pukey, green-gray, caked-on, cracked make-up and that wiggly, snakey dredlocks thing going on. And you can’t help but be like, “Shit girl, get some respect.”

Then it dawns on you. The Contrast Medusa is just a thought. A bad-feeling thought, true, but there is nothing really a thought can do to hurt you.

You step out from behind the hedge corner, lock eyes with the monster, and challenge, “Bring it.”

You are filled with a sense of dread, dread that the emotion you are hiding from yourself is so intense and awful that you will be left a quivering mass of straight jacket velcroed to a padded wall.

But this Medusa is just a thought. Like that Double Indulgence chocolate cake you had for breakfast. It wasn’t that all that bad. I mean, it was made from organic chocolate and everyone knows that organic is good for you, and besides, what is a doughnut if not a round cake, and they are okay for breakfast.

Like that. Just a thought. So what if it feels like the taste of Listerine mixed with grapefruit juice. It is a thought you gave birth to many years ago and you just no longer like the meaning you’ve assigned it.

And as you are asking the Medusa, “Is that all you got?” the thought you’ve hidden from yourself starts to emerge. It is something like “I hate Mommy.” or “I’ll never be good enough for my daddy to love me,” or “The Yankees are the most suck-face team in baseball.”

When you gave birth to those thoughts they gave you a feeling of relief that was otherwise unavailable to you at that time. But as you grew older, you judged those thoughts against the cultural templates you adopted. It is evil to hate, especially your mother. I should honor my father and be grateful he provided for me. Okay, okay, there’s nothing that can exonerate the Damn Yankees, but you get it.

This thought, in order to serve you better, morphed from relief into a bad hair day bitch just to point out how this self-perception, this self-judgment no longer serves you. It is just doing it’s job.

Look at it just sitting there. Sad and misunderstood. It’s okay if you pet it. You can tell it you love it and thank it for protecting you if you like. It is what it is. It is just a thought. Be okay with it. Let it evolve away from you.

Relax. Have a sip of Felix Felicis (that’s Serendipity Juice to you Muggles.)

The Universe has got this.

Now you just have to chose which thought you would rather have instead. That Double Indulgence chocolate cake sounds pretty good to me.

If you notice in the upper right column, there is a form for subscribing to my newsletter. It will be short, just long enough to let you know when my writings, both articles and books are available. Later there will be an eBook, The Life Surfer’s Free Guide to Easy-peasy Law of Attraction, that will be given away as an enticement. Subscribers will get it first.

Right under that form is a credit for the artwork I used in my website header. There is a link shows the full-size image. The detail in that piece is incredible.

Post your thoughts in the comment section. Talk with you soon.


(c)2013 Chip Engelmann

2 thoughts on “The Contrast Medusa

  1. Natalia Erehnah

    I love the hedge maze analogy and the photo. While we’re in there, it’s really hard to see the big picture and the narrow passages are ripe ground for generating hallucinations and bringing fears to life.

    1. Chip Engelmann Post author

      Thanks, I love it when people point stuff out with my writing. But I then have to go back at see if I actually intended that or if was a happy accident. Sometimes it’s a little of both.


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