Tag Archive: personal

Oct 13 2012

Popular Culture 20121012: Rituals for the Deceased

I originally was going to write about the new Dark Shadows motion picture, but circumstances have intervened.  It turns out that my dear friend’s mum’s twin brother died either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, alone except for his little dog.  My friend called me around 9:30 Thursday morning to go next door and try to comfort her mum, and I was honored to do so.

Her mum was a basket case.  She and her brother were Christmas Day babies, 65 years ago Christmas past.  I have a brother, but not a twin, and my brother and I are separated by 14 years.  She and her brother were separated by fewer than 14 minutes, so they grew up together.

I did comfort her, and she cried in my arms.  I could not do much except to try to let her know that I really care, and she appreciated that.  Now for the culture part.

Mar 26 2012

Pique the Geek 20120325. Wrist Drop

I apologize for not keeping up with my normal posts, but I have developed a rather serious neurological disorder, the common name being wrist drop.  It has to do with damage to the nerve that serves to flex, in my case, the right wrist and fingers.

It also has a minor sensory component in that the dorsal surface of my thumb and surrounding part of my hand feels pressure poorly but is fully responsive to heat and cold.  It happened literally overnight, as when I awoke Monday morning my hand was fully involved.

I am much improved now, and thought that I should share some of my findings with you.  I also plan to resume My Little Town and Popular Culture next week.

Dec 03 2011

Not Popular Culture 20111202: 90th

Normally on Friday evenings I write about popular culture, but no tonight.  I am very wistful for several reasons, on of which is that if she had lived, my mum would have turned 90 years old today.

Born to a dirt poor couple when her mum was only 18 years old (my grandmum and granddad married when my grandmum was only 16 years old), Geraldine Sandlin entered this vale of tears on 19211202.  It was cold, and in accordance with the custom of the time, she was born at home with relatives taking the place of physicians.

Jan 16 2011

For Dr. King

This diary is a re-publication of an essay from April, 2008.  It seems worth publishing again in honor of Dr. King.

I’m thinking about times almost forty years ago when I sang, “We Shall Overcome.” I’m remembering how I felt when I sang it, holding hands, swaying, anticipation in the air. I loved the idea of walking hand in hand, black and white together, and at the same time there was always a tension, a tightness in my jaw and in the pit of my stomach, the presence of fear. The song’s purpose was to get ready to do what had to be done. I’m committed to nonviolence, I recall thinking, but there are those who are not. They shot James Meredith, and lynched Emmitt Till, and burned Greyhound buses, and unlike me, they don’t want me to be safe. Uncertainty about what will happen tightens my jaw, while my heart commits me to the cause.

Jan 09 2011

After The Shooting The Shadow

I woke up this morning with a profound sadness.

The worst part of yesterday’s shootings seems to me to be the death of the 9-year old girl.  She was apparently at the Congresswoman’s political event at the Safeway because she had been elected to an elementary school student council.  She might have been inspired to meet an actual Congresswoman.

All of the deaths and the many serious injuries lie like a heavy brick on my heart.

The many analyses of why these shootings happened began too soon for me.  They started immediately after the echo of the last bullet was drowned out by the agony of the victims and the Medevac helicopters.  They  continue today with renewed force.  And increased monotony.  They will ebb and flow for the next few days. It’s not necessary to enumerate these here.  There are many different ideas but the central idea seems to that there is something very wrong, and that’s what caused this to happen.

We have come to expect from these discussions the fixing of blame and righteous recrimination and finger pointing.  And also the scrubbing of web pages and the editing of previous statements and the making of pronouncements.  The reactions are all terribly predictable. I don’t expect anyone who did not actually pull the trigger to take any responsibility for these deaths and injuries.  And I expect that the actual shooter to have a defense as well.  This prepares a fertile ground for continued blame and justification.  And arguments.  And shouting.  And more of the same.  And more violence.

This brings me directly to the Shadow.  My Shadow.  Jung’s definition and explanation might be relevant, but what I am drawn to this morning is far less academic.  I’m drawn to how Loughner lives inside me.  My internal Loughner.  Or put another way, the aspects of my personhood that I dislike, that I am afraid of, that I have shunned and hidden, that I do not reveal, that I keep secret.  I am drawn to the aspects of myself that I consider horrid and ugly and deformed and despicable.  This morning I find that these weigh heavy on my chest. I think this is what today requires my attention.

For example, I ask, where in me does the deranged, incoherent, violent Loughner live?  Where in me is a person who writes such bizarre Youtubes?  Where in me is the person who carries and uses a concealed weapon so devastatingly?  So coldly?  Where is my seething but covert anger at apparent authority?  Where is my belief in illusory, mysterious, demented magical thinking nonsense?  And where does my persistent blaming of others for all of my pain reside?

These are hard questions.  It is very hard to look at this ugliness.  But my view is that this is what needs attention.  Today.  It needs to be looked at.  And it needs to be acknowledged.  And even harder, it needs to be honored for why it is there and what it has done for me.

I would like us to ask ourselves these tough questions and to begin to attend to them. Otherwise, I fear, embarking on an impersonal, academic analysis of yesterday’s tragedy might amount to our again disowning our ugliness, our pushing it into the darkness, and our unintentionally creating the conditions that will surely make it happen again.

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simulposted at The Dream Antilles    

Jul 10 2010

My Fifth Blogaversary

Oh my goodness.  On August 7, 2010, my little blog, the Dream Antilles will be five years old.  Time flies on the web.  Blogging is probably passe now.  There are probably millions upon millions of abandoned blogs strewn across the Internet like beer cans on an Alabama roadside.  Today’s was the 794th post.

I have no idea how many people may have seen my blog.  Or who read it.  I admit that I’m defensive about all of that..  I disconnected all the counters (they didn’t work anyway) and took the position that it didn’t matter how many readers there were.  Also, that small was good.  That the writing is an exercise you do, like breathing, because it’s what you do.  If you stop, you’re dead.

Join me below.