Yes, it seems that these things come and go. I need to remind myself that, here, I can write anything I want. I forget that sometimes, and read it through a lens. Part of my survival tactic is to try to see things from other perspectives. On the other hand, it could be the curse of the empathic, to be able to see oneself through the eyes of another.
It is humbling, every single day.
I don’t need to dump all my process here. I know that. However, part of my process is dumping my process here. This is not a finished product, but rather an extensive list of things I need to get done and things I have tried to do.
Sometimes I forget the days that led me to see the faces of animals in the silhouettes of trees. I was breathless for days, always weeping at the pain and beauty of it all. I keep it together these days. Hold it close, like something warm and buzzing in the bones of my chest and bundling across my shoulders, a grin that comes on quick and sly, a tingling at the wrists.
This is what it feels like to be a part of everything, I tell myself. This is what it feels like to believe in something and to know that you will never, ever die.
In the meantime, in this little sliver of tenuous time that could shift in any direction at any moment, I hold my daughter as she falls asleep at night and I play chess with my son. I feel like a mother again.
I go to work and I go to the store.
I am a regular person doing regular things.
The weather has reminded me of winter in Charleston. It is warm and all the trees are budding.
I am pretending it is Spring and, at this point, I am surprised when I realize that we still have all of February. I thought we were past all that.
I am reminded of winter in the Rutledge Arms. The green and white checkered floor and the low, low ceilings. Roaches.
I’d walk around and around the blocks surrounding the brick building. The homes with the new-planted palms and the copper gutters and the tired and soft tar-paper that peeled away from the asbesto walls. The house that had a hundred flamingos and mothballs scattered amongst the pansies. The Soul Saving Redemption Center with its light up sign and the drunks weaving slowly around the park with the mounted patrol. The planes were big and dark, behemoths that split the sky with their sound and one of the songs I sang had something to do with walking across the desert, walking across the land.
I just walked around the blocks, pushing a stroller and singing.
Around and around and around, warm in January.
Yes, it is time I start to explain my methodology, which has something to do with a postmodern algorithmic sense of story and an keen ear for details, a fondness for synchronicity and a feeling in my bones.
Oh, what have my finding been? Well, it’s nothing new, really. We have known for years that Systems of Profit and Power have been undermining humanity in insidious ways. However, we haven’t – I don’t think – fully recognized the extent of the tragedy.
If we did fully recognize what has been done to the human heart, the human mind…the human genome…we would stop all this right here and now. Even the worst of them, the most greedy, the most wretched, the most hateful…if they realized what they have participated in, they would stop.
I mean who wants to be the guy that screws up our DNA to the extent that we lose some of the very things that make us feel wholly human? The guy who gives us cancer and who scares us to death, the guy who poisons the land and kills the fish?
Who would want to be that person?
If I were involved in something like that, if I lied to people and hurt them, I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at night…
I think I’d want to disappear if I realized that I had brought bad things into the lives of millions of people.
I would be ashamed.
Why aren’t they ashamed?