Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ONIONS AND ROSES



I did take a little walk today, treating myself to a pizza while I started reading the latest draft of the Monsterwood script. I need to get out of the house more and regularly, but so what else is new. The flowers are changing, not daffodils and iris; there were some nice roses on 11th Street. 

I'm not floating free and clear yet, just today had a short panic attack, but it was fairly short-lived. I was helped out of the funk by Cooder coming to sit on my heart and purr for a bit. After a few minutes of respite and reflection, I was back up and at 'em again. Cooder moved to the pool of sunlight on the pillow. I think this is as calm and close as Emmylou and Cooder have ever been. That's quite an expression in Emmy's eyes. She must have seen a bird or something.


I got to be the final word in the next selection of the book group's June book. I picked something challenging, although I had been the one whining for something relatively short and simple. I had started to read Lewis Hyde's The Gift any number of times, and it did survive the great library sale of April. It is not an easy read, not something to scan lightly on the subway after a beer, but I like it a great deal; it is already full of book darts.

"Every culture offers its citizens an image of what it is to be a man or a woman of substance. There have been times and places in which a person came into his or her social being through the dispersal of his gifts, the "big man" or "big woman" being that one through whom the most gifts flowed. The mythology of a market society reverses the picture: getting rather than giving is the mark of a substantial person, and the hero is "self-possessed," "self-made." So long as these assumptions rule, a disquieting sense of triviality, of worthlessness even, will nag the man or woman who labors in service of a gift and whose products are not adequately described as commodities. Where we reckon our substance by our acquisitions, the gifts of the gifted man are powerless to make him substantial."

Self-worth, self-esteem has been much on my mind these past few months. Today, in fact, it was central to a healing session I had. I am still mulling over these feelings and insights and perceptions, but something certainly rings true in Hyde's comment. CB mentions the layers of onion being stripped away to get at one's true essence. But maybe a rose is a good analogy or symbol, too.




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