I seem to be stuck in this ring, boxing myself – – – some psychic pummeling between heart and mind…my brain has always been my left hook…
Maybe I just never forgot all the stories that people have told me, all the stories I’ve read…and I don’t see how, in a world filled with so many stories…well, what’s the use of stories if nobody tells them in ways that are believable, transformative in some way?
I am going to try to be on time to help cook food for people. (Updated Edit: They didn’t even want my help. And so, I am free again today…) (Amazing, how useless I feel…all I can do is write a letter to the State Republican Party Chair here in NC to ask him to reconsider his messaging re: this state’s Racial Justice Act. ) Clean the house. Play guitar. Maybe finishing filling out my FAFSA application, even though I don’t really want to go back to school.
I am going to do a provider search online re: insurance. I am going to fill out job applications.
“They don’t do nothin’ – nothin’ changes…”
Everything just seems like a big show, doesn’t it? And while we’re watching…well, things are actually happening and we are watching them happen in bits and in pieces and full color blasts of sound and streaming text…and we don’t feel more than a fleeting thing…
If, “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” (T.W. Adorno, Prisms, 1956) Well, then would it not be sacrilege to watch television after September 11th, 2001? I don’t, by the way, think writing poetry is barbaric…depends on the poetry, I guess. If written poorly, it’s just another way we neutralize our words into no more than vapor themselves…nonetheless, exploration of the subjective tense seems an undeniably worthwhile endeavor.
Watching television, however…perhaps not such a worthwhile endeavor after all. I think that, in the wake of this new millenium…well, we had a chance to call the whole thing off…this big experiment in commerce and power…however, we were instructed to go shopping so that things could get back, ‘to normal’ – except normal wasn’t normal anymore and now there was terror everywhere, it seemed.
Driving into my hometown to visit, even three years later…the Sheriff’s department still presented the daily threat level on their electric sign. It stayed yellow most of the time…a dull humming threat to everyone who drove by…
Fear and Doubt un-do us and we don’t know what to do, and so we keep returning to the sources of fear and doubt for reassurance that everything is okay…and some days it is and some days it isn’t and we never know…and that, in and of itself, is deeply unsettling.
Policy might change – but if the policy is written for the wrong reasons and impossible to understand, it’s just another net…and most people have forgotten that the stories we shape our lives around are supposed to be true…not convenient, not profitable, not self-righteous, not scary…but, true…
I remember standing in the hall of my elementary school, waiting to go into science class and I still couldn’t talk right and the girl in front of me had golden hair and scared me by how badly I wanted to go to her birthday party…and the most horrible thought flew into my mind, just two terrible words…**** God.
I wept that night and confessed to my mother that I had thought this thing (I made her guess, because I couldn’t say it) and I still remember the way the thought had poisoned my entire day with shame.
Maybe that’s another question I have been working on? The way that the things we think make us toxic to ourselves and to everything Good in the world.
My mom probably doesn’t remember the incident. People don’t seem to remember much.