Monday, January 19, 2009

scavenger memory

“Like those birds that lay their eggs only in other species’ nests, memory produces in a place that does not belong to it… Memory comes from somewhere else, it is outside of itself, it moves things about.”
Michel de Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life, pp. 86-87

I started this a while back and left it to edit -- b/c i had nothing to say about it but the quote was striking. That was almsot a month ago and still I am nothing.
I have nothing to say.
I am one of no imortance in any way, I have no relevance. Why am i here and why would it matter if i figured it out? Where does this narcissism spring from -- i never thought of myself as narcissistic but i have never been accused of being particularly self-aware. No one cares what i think or feel -- some may say otherwise but my insignificance, my relative lack of worth, my lack of anything to contribute establishes otherwise. I do not say this as anything other than matter of factly; I am small and impotent like so many others, just one of many, with nothing special to offer nad no particular qualities to aid in any endeavor of merit.
The whole miserable world is going quickly to hell and other than Obama and his crew throwing billions at it, what effort is there? Social justice? Absolutely but as a product of government funded programs? They never work; people need to be empowered, in control, steering themselves the direction they want and need to go. But nobody cares, at least relatively speaking. Of all the millions and billions of in the world so very few seem to care or want to be bothered by anything not contributing directly to their comfort. Let me be clear -- i'm no better. Nothing I do matters and should I die tomorrow only a very few people would notice or care, or even pretend to care -- because nothing I do is of any significance, does nothing to make the world a better place. I -- like probably everyone else -- have all sorts of reasons for my self-centered laziness; I need to focus on getting hurricane damage repaired; I have to keep my job b/c despite the relativley low pay the benefits are great and M is starting college this fall (and I never really set up the necessary college fund); I'm drained physically, mentally and emotionaly -- but who cares? Will I really be any less tired or less drained if I just got off my butt and did one little thing that mattered to even one person? How egotistical - what makes me think I have anything to offer or can make any difference? For many if not most I will do what is asked but not because I am so vain as to think I can make a difference --- I do what is asked because you asked; that is all the reason one shold need I think.
The real reason for my utter uselessness -- I am totally empty and have been for some time. I have no idea where my insides went and, though perhaps some curious at times, I don't have the energy to care that once more I find myself empty ... empty is a place I've lived much of my life but I sense it's not really a good place to be, cut off from everything/everyone, and moving from empty to not has never been a very graceful process...
No, I am really not feeling sorry for myself; just trying to figure out why I am here when others are not, what I'm supposed to do -- or is even that grossly egotistical and narcissistic, to think there is some purpose I'm to fulfil? Maybe I am here to just hang out til I die .. what is the point in that?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

i looked

i looked
sideways of course
they back
straight on
we yelped
or some did
tucked away
in the dark cool corners
where none can see
nor they
those theirs is a refusal
and so
none heard
who were neither seen nor seeing
but this we front
we heard
we winced
we cried
in the dark cool corners
where none can see
you never guessed
did you.

sine qua non

Saturday, January 17, 2009

looking for work, but not that

i hate my job ... not everything but enough so i really need and even more want to do something -- anything -- else. Almost anything. Can't be a sister, there's too much water under that bridge, come to think of it the whole damn bridge is floated away long, long ago. Besides i'm married happily and mother of a child, also happily. Not willing to go to school umpteen years so forensics, neurosurgery and pathology are all out of question. A doctor friend who thinks i'm working to death thinks i should become a pa, but so far i'm too lazy when i'm not working to even look into it. But it might have some promise. Often i've thought of teaching but ... kids don't want to learn, they hate school -- wait, that's why teaching might be a good thing. So i went to a meeting on the alternate certification program offered by a local isd ... talk about depressing. I would have been less depressed had i spent a month at MD Anderson with all the terminal kids, watching them die off. Maybe i could teach but i don't know that i could make it through the determinedly mediocre and highly structured certification program. No wonder the kids hate school and don't want to learn ... there probably aren't many willing or able to enter the system and those who do and survive must be of the lowest common denominator. One of the ladies said while talking about other similar programs that "people who choses other programs" are less likely to be hired by this district. Yes, choses is a word, but it is an arcane and seldom used word meaning the legal right to bring a suit, or a "chose of action," and if you have more than one cause of action, or reason to sue, you mau have multiple "choses" as well. You must take a college admission test because the district promised in a proposal regarding the alternate certification under NCLB that all applicants would meet "a certain minimal level of competence" ... i guess so. There is also the astonishing requirement that one's overall gpa be at least 2.0 and 2.5 in the area of certification. Really? What is a 2.0 anyway -- a C? And for my area of expertise i must be slightly better than average ... all of which is designed to ensure that no child is left behind. I wonder that anyone learns anything around here.


distorted twisted human
psyche wrapped around
packed walking
in the streets of

i always worked with dancers
confrontation and violent
a new
sort of input

why not allow you to o
judge for yourself

uncle tom sold barbecue
for fashion

this is my work
open to the public

a new band of
edge away to think complexities
with this new

anew way of doing
what is old

they are the new performers
rivet ed ing
we watch every
move a dance
technology flitting its way
along a path we flirt
a way
to oblivion

Thursday, January 8, 2009

God of Eastern Europe

I have not been to mass much here, not in a very long time -- and I never went to mass in Eastern Europe either. But the churches there are so old, with such history and they dominate the skylines of every city...and when you walk in there are invariably people kneeling, sitting, lighting candles, praying. The churches are in the city, they are part of the city, easily accessible to all. Downstairs the crypts are hushed and well lit but softly. Sts Peter and Paul in Krakow in particular stands out -- there was a fellow there in the crypt who was on the way to sainthood, or folks were pushing for that anyway, and his crypt was literally covered with slips of paper filled with prayers and supplications, written in every language and by hands old and young. I left a prayer too, but now I can't remember the fellow's name. The prayer for me was wrong; I knew when I left that I shouldn't have but what was done was done and God may well have agreed with me for all I can tell. But I digress. The churches there are part of the life, they are always full of people, and the people who are there are using them. Even a magnificent church like Sts Vitus and Adelbert in Prague which is very much a tourist spot (they sell medals from a vending machine in the church itself!) had many people there to pray. I wonder if I moved to the Czech Republic or Poland would it be easier to be religious or closer to God, or maybe these are the same things?
I would love to move to Prague -- 'cept when all the tourists arrive in the spring I would probably hate it. Maybe Krakow...
And too for all the distancing the Eastern Europeans do between them and the Nazis, and all the preservation of the ghettos and the old Jewish towns, there really aren't many Jews ... because there isn't much tolerance. Still I felt closer to God in those places than I've felt anywhere else in a very long time. I fail in trying to express with words what it was like, but I know it was something different and special....and I don't know if or where it might be here, or where I am here that makes it all -- everything important -- seem so removed and inaccessible.

God is vengeful, merciful, subject to our whims?

Psalm 72 "O God, give your judgment to the king; your justice to the son of kings; That he may govern your people with justice, your oppressed with right judgment, That the mountains may yield their bounty for the people, and the hills great abundance, That he may defend the oppressed among the people, save the poor and crush the oppressor."

What does this mean? Why would a kind and loving God of mercy and compassion crush anyone? In today's psychobabble one can come up with all sorts of reasons a man becomes an oppressor, invariable stemming from some childhood trauma. Not that I am discounting the effect that trauma can have on the shaping, even the survival, of a child, but we do grow up and must take responsibility. Does not God though have compassion for the fat little boy who was tormented and bullied and tripped up and bloodied by the cute, athletic boys at school, and by his father ashamed of his (real or imagined) effeminate tendencies? What is the nature of a monarch that reconciles it to any sense of natural justice? The monarch is above his subjects and we are so much dirt at his feet. He will be just so long as it suits his purpose and we support his wants and whims, but what king ever treated well all his subjects? Even the terminology in innately unjust - he is king, we are subjects; he is elevated, we are prostrate; he is well fed, peasants starve; he takes what he wants since he owns everything, and imprisons, tortures, sentences to death those who take even the little they might need to survive. Although the Bhutan monarchy was, by all accounts, not so bad but how many monarchs gauged their effectiveness by how happy his subjects and then abolished the monarchy believing in the long run the people would be better off learning to live in democracy? Not that democracy is all that great either -- there's more than enough misery in any democracy and plenty of folks willing to strip a man of every dignity and moral certainty he might have.
I just find it odd to pray to crush anyone, even an oppressor. Aren't we all of us oppressors at different times, some with more evil intent and hardened hearts and some acting more from fear or ignorance but oppressed is oppressed. Even more are we not own own greatest oppressors? In that sense then perhaps it could seem right to ask God to crush the oppressor, yet our personal oppressor is a part of what makes us human isn't it? Can you honestly say that you have never oppressed yourself? Maybe you oppressed this aspect or that desire or thought for reasons peculiarly your own, and maybe there are other things you will oppress based in whole or in part on other life experiences involving past abuses, fears, traumas. But even if we oppress ourselves, why would we ask God to crush the oppressor? If I ask God to destroy all desire and want of material things it seems to me a pretty lazy way to deal with things. Is it not better to have the oppressor and come to terms and deal with the oppressor with God's help than asking God to destroy the oppressor? Is it not better to want some things and learn the place of those wants than to ask God to remove all want just so I never have to deal with it? Asking God to take away want or to crush the oppressor seems like going to have all my teeth taken out tomorrow though they are in pretty good shape. True, if they were gone I wouldn't have to floss and brush but what a price to pay.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Irresolute resolution

I don't believe in resolutions, they're just another route to failure. I can fail well enough without the additional pressure, courtesy of myself, to meet some unrealistic goal within "x" amount of time. If it's worth being done then I ought to start doing it when I realize it's something I shoulkd be doing, and if I don't care enough then to start, how can it be imnportant enough to set a goal?
For example, perhaps I would resolve to write here more but as it is, there is nothing to say so why bother stringing together a bunch of words that no one will read or miss -- either way -- and that are or would in any event be utterly inconsequential?
Perhaps I might resolve to write only when I have something to say -- but I don't really always know when I have anything to say. As above, it's inconsequential either way, so ...

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