Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich has played and continues to play a significant role in my (head and heart) thinking. Here's to her life, and to her family during this time of transition.

By Adrienne Rich (I can't get the spaces formatted correctly; click here for the correct version):

In paradise every
the desert wind is rising
third thought
in hell there are no thoughts
is of earth
sand screams against your government
issued tent hell’s noise
in your nostrils crawl
into your ear-shell
wrap yourself in no-thought
wait no place for the little lyric
wedding-ring glint the reason why
on earth
they never told you

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cow Boyfriends and Girlfriends . . .

call it mooooooving in together. Bill and I just call it moving in together, and that's what we're doing.

And I'm having about a dozen anxiety-filled moments every half hour or so. And, announcement, hello period! As if now's the time!

In a moment talking to Beamy last night, I'm freaking out:
Me: Does he even know that I listen to Tori Amos sometimes just to cry?
Beamy: Well, I'm sure he'll learn.

Oh, yes. The man will learn. In this type of transitional moment, when I'm upset, I think, "Why must I sort through every experience I've ever had just to get through the one I'm going through now?! How much better to be amused by something simple instead of all these emotions and memories that yank me to a depressed feeling." And then I wonder, maybe I look like a grizzly bear playing in honey. Maybe what I'm dealing with is really nothing at all, you know, in the big picture.

So I calm down and realize that today will bring what it will bring. Any kind of big, theatrical moment doesn't mean every theatrical moment I've had is playing a part in this one, too.

In the midst of this, I've coined a new term: man-motivated moves (MMM). It's when you move based on a relationship with a man. Out of 12 (and now the lucky number 13) moves in my adult life, the vast majority have been MMMS. That makes me feel like a sucker! I need some positive reframing on this one, and please let it come with more math (like you take your MMM quotient and add your awesome quotient and . . . ) . . .

YOUR MOM is so vain

I'm so pissed that somehow Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp have managed to steal my idea of a "You're So Vain" metal cover. I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THE CHORDS AND CORRESPONDING POWER CHORDS. I've been working on the rhythm and singing style. IT WAS ONLY GOING TO TAKE ME THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS TO RELEASE THE DAMN SONG.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Telling an Accurate Story

I have been having a good time thinking about the implications of storytelling in light of "This American Life"'s retraction of Mike Daisey's story on Apple's Foxconn factory in China. For years, I have been interested in genre choices activists pick when communicating arts and politics. So this story has helped me refine some of my thinking, and pick up on those old threads, which I miss a lot.

I think it's obvious that Daisey lied about what he saw and experienced firsthand, so of course a journalistic venue like "This American Life" is going to be upset to discover journalistic standards have not been met. I even think it's wrong to pass off these types of lies and truth-stretches in a creative forum, like a stage play, because the "I" should be a type of sacred place.

So I think when Mike Daisey is trying to tell the story of all the things that happen under Apple's watch, and he claims that he's seen what he's seen, then he's lying. That doesn't necessarily detract from his story, but it does hurt, I think, any progress that he was seeking in the first place. And this is kind of an interesting revelation because it shows the power of fiction and storytelling. If he were to have created a fictional character who saw these things, then the story would be both powerful and his own lies would not have gotten in the way. He would have been granted creative license and the political import of his message would still be felt and people listening to his story would still have been impacted.

What I thought was very revealing was Daisey's admission on the retraction on "This American Life" that he continued the lie because he knew he had written a powerful story and that it was some of his best writing. It leads me to think that some really good writing does gloss over the truth and paint a more simplistic picture. And even though, in this case, that simplistic picture is one that carries a strong message of activism and casts a necessary critique of American capitalism, labor practices, and technology sector, it still is simplistic.

We can't ignore spaces in between reality and the message we want to convey. I think writers bear a responsibility in holding to the truth first so that it can be communicated to others, in whatever form.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Checking-in post

I read a book this weekend called Happiness is an Inside Job, by Buddhist Sylvia Boorstein. I loved it for its title alone. I got to thinking about death and illness, though, and decided that I am spending way too much time thinking about such things. I feel like others get to live their lives not being so morbid, and so I want to try that, too!

But there is nothing like having a good existential moment! There's a difference between those and worry, though.

I got to go the doctor recently to check on my chronic shoulder pain, which might be more of a chronic neck pain. I was so happy to visit the doctor. I got some exercises to do and the advice that I could take some Aleve (or, as someone's boyfriend likes to say, "naproxen sodium," just to be technical). It's neat to know something is stress-related and to want to end it. Like Melody Beattie says, being a thermostat instead of a thermometer. I don't have to let everything run through me!

I am coming closer to understanding Sister Ellie's words that knowing something doesn't make me responsible for it! I have been holding on to things for years. Years and years and years, and now I'm starting to see that I'm not responsible. It gives me more freedom to pursue what I want to pursue. It gives me more freedom to be happy. It's so lovely!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thinking of Japan

It's been a year since the disaster in Japan. "CBS Sunday Morning" had a movinb segment marking the anniversary.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Beautiful Day

There's so much to a day like today. I keep repeating "the promise of the prairie" as I imagine a life that is fully my own. The NYT reports that one benefit to global warming is the low rate of flu. I soapboxed my global warming beliefs with a friend who's argument against it was, "Humans are so little." I know, but we can do big things.

I believe in change, now. Now that I am older. Now that faith has been tested and I can feel deeper than before. A girl near me is reading Anne Frank's diary; change is real.

In the meantime, nice walks and big events that I can choose my response to. For example, as Mom states, go forward with confidence! Have fun! I will do that. I will clean out old things and embrace new chapters! And soon, like every other chapter I've ever read and experienced, I will forget this one, too. That's one of the benefits of a poor memory--nothing can stick for very long, and I prove to be more flexible than I thought possible!

I am involved with my intuition and aligning it with energy and color. I put things in terms of chakras and tell Bill such things just to kind of annoy him. I annoy myself, but I'm also having fun. I wonder about old friends and old causes and I wonder the best times to pursue things. I watched "The Tree of Life" and the Grammy awards last weekend. "I am vast. I contain multitudes."

I oscillate between regretting the past and being thankful for it. I want time to be a great illusion, but that is simply subject to my imagination, which can bore me. I have my typical responses to stress.

There are all of these things and they just kind of churn around. I am thankful for books, cardinals, family, and the sun.