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Daily archives for March 30th, 2018

Here Comes the Book

Spring                                                                    New Shoulder Moon

“A scholar is just a library’s way of making another library.”  -Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer, and professor (b. 28 Mar 1942)    found by friend Tom Crane

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I love this quote. As I wrote back to Tom, it reminds me of an example B.F. Skinner used to talk about creativity within his straight-jacketed behavorist psychology. Think, Skinner suggested, of a chicken as an egg’s way of making more eggs.

chicken2Those of us who love libraries and those of us who have ones of our own take up their content like chicken scratching around in a farmyard. We poke, peck, pick up a few rocks to grind the ideas against the gizzard of our memory and our own mind, wait awhile, then, out pops words. Sometimes enough words come out to fill a book. And, voila, more library.

Well, gotta to get back to digging my little clawed feet, formerly of dinosaur size remember, into the shelves here. Till later.

Not At My Best

Spring                                                                   New Shoulder Moon

caregiverCare giving is tough. In just a week I’ve become a bit fragile emotionally. It’s a combination of Kate’s recovery, which focuses her, naturally, on herself, and the amount of physical labor (astonishing) and the amount of emotional labor on my part. None of this is a surprise. By that I mean things aren’t worse than I imagined, nor are they terrible.

But. I got to feeling underappreciated. And said so. I needed to say that for my own sanity, so that I wouldn’t let resentment build, but when I did say it I felt guilty immediately. How could I feel underappreciated when Kate had this recovery to deal with? Didn’t matter. It was how I felt and after I let it out, in a not very helpful way, I might add, things softened up. I was no longer carrying it and Kate had a chance to deal with what I was dealing with.

More intimacy as a result. Clumsy, yes. Poorly managed, yes. Important, yes.

I’m writing this because care giving is something we all do from time to time, and face more of in the third phase. It’s not a straight shot of empathy and compassion. It’s a muddled mess of self-congratulation, compassion, distraction, love, and sorrow.

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I said, and meant, that I don’t mind the extra work. In fact, as I wrote earlier, it is exhilarating. Still is. I’m learning new skills, reinforcing old ones, and caring for Kate. Thing is, it’s a new, difficult role and requires learning, shuffling old priorities, picking up new ones. That kind of learning is fraught under the best circumstances, new job, new marriage, even vacation; but, well worth it.

Finding the tao of healing and caregiving is not impossible, but there are many ways it can go sideways. Trying to tap into that now.

09 11 10_Joseph_0264 (2)A very sweet part of it all. Joseph just called, wanted to know how bad it was, whether he and SeoAh should come up right now. No, it’s not that bad. Could SeoAh come up for a week? I’d come, he said, but I’m running an exercise right now. If it’s real bad, I’ll be there, help out with the daily ins and outs. Cue tears. I’d love for her to come, I said. It would be a real help.

Family. As it’s supposed to work. So the web of caring maybe is another curvature, like the one I talked about below.

Race/Class/Gender Curvature in Society

Spring                                                           New Shoulder Moon

spacetimeA bit out of left field, more like right field where I played my entire (short) little league career, but occasioned by Tara’s visit yesterday with her son Vincent. Vincent had been explaining his understanding of general and special relativity to Tara and the conversation resumed at our table. He was explaining the difference between light and gravity, light is fast, but gravity is instant and I threw space-time curvature out there.

Anyhow, later on I read an article about a long standing argument on the left, which is more central, race or class. I’ve always been a class is more central guy, but I read an interesting article in the NYT about the sons of wealthy African-Americans. Seems, unlike their white peers, that they often fall through the cracks of our economy, reverting to a lower socio-economic position than their family of origin. Would seem to put race firmly above class.

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2-D, which loses power compared to the 3-D above

As I was going to sleep last night, this image jumped into mind, that race and class are analogous to space-time. That is, they constitute an interwoven web of influences always acting on us, all of us; but, like gravity, when an individual interacts with larger bodies, think the moon and the earth, or the earth and the sun, then the curvature of race-class draws them in. So any one son in the instance of African-Americans has the smaller bodies of his wealthy family and their peers arrayed against the much larger bodies of institutional racism reinforced by white privilege (class) and shot through with bias against black males.

Wanted to write this down before it disappeared. So there it is.

 

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