Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WHAT IT WAS LIKE THERE THEN



In the world of guilty pleasures, or just meaningless activity, I must own up to watching American Horror Story. I got the first season on DVD while I was in Seattle working on the Fire Phone, and it scared the daylights out of me. I skipped the second season. I watched the third season with John and Melinda.

This season I like it even less, but I enjoy the art direction and seeing the regular actors take on different parts (Kathy Bates is particularly good as a bearded lady in this one). Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker TV critic wrote about this season in the latest issue. I thought this was interesting:


American Horror Story” will never be for every viewer; it is, above all else, rude. In the first season, it was rude about a rapist in a black latext gimp mask. In the second season, it was rude about a lampshade made out of breast skin. In the third season, it was so rude that it was incoherent. By rude, I don’t mean “politically incorrect,” that inane term for celebrating stupid remarks for their honesty. I mean rude in a grander sense: brazen and crude and funky, open to the ugly as well as to the beautiful, with a vision of the body as a source of both suffering and ecstasy. This sort of rudeness derives from the understanding that, some of the time, a demand for politeness is really a demand to be quiet and disappear.”


Moving on. I copied that out yesterday. One post a day is enough. This has been a slow year, blog-writing-wise for me. 

So, moving on. Moving was the theme of the day, at least physically. And possibly in other ways, too.  S and I had a long, ongoing conversation today, weaving in and out of the personal and the universal, the micro and the macro. Perhaps the underlying theme was finding yourself, healing yourself, in this very confusing world we live in. 

And expectations. How for our generation and the next couple back, what we thought and expected to happen for us, and maybe to us, just ain't. And that's tough enough. But what is harder is figuring out what the fuck to do now and how to do it. So many of us human critters in this country are not getting the retirement and golden happiness on Golden Pond that our post WW2 culture and parents told us about. What I see around in the media, on line (is there a difference?) is still this promise of having it all. There isn't enough in the culture about the reality that the former middle class is living. We still aspire to Mercedes Benzes and second homes while we live in our cars. Maybe aspiration isn't all that great of a thing. What kind of "thing" is aspiration, anyway?

I know I am not saying anything new here, living it is a damn challenge. No direction home, indeed. The search for meaning ... does one ever find it, meaning? I guess you have to BE meaning.

One thing I was noticing in my friend and me is a certain lack of spark and joy. Was that another part of the fable we were fed? I've felt things like sparks and joy, but not for a very very long time. And what about that rude thing that Emily Nussbaum wrote about?

 And "they" tell us that life is full of ups and downs, but baby, this down has been going on for a good while and I, for one, am clueless as to how to change that. Hope is so speculative, another risk. Denial ended up being painful and not just for me but for those close to me. 

I'm a little sad, a little scared, and probably a lot tired. My back is a bit achy, but S did most of the work, so I did not re-injure myself. The cats are at sixes and sevens with furniture being moved. They are the dearest company. It will be hard being without Emmylou for a couple of months. She is such an excellent cat, with some of the better doglike features such as mostly coming when you call, and sleeping nearby. You can only carry on one cat per flight. 

In the midst of these life queries, I was looking for an outside anchor. While perusing my (many) unread Poem-of-the-Day emails, I found a poem from Bin Ramke, a poet I have liked. Plus Bin Ramke is such a strange, rather exotic name.

MAKING IT UP AS YOU GO ALONG

Lucretius loved Epicurus, knew
the world through him; his
meaning was clear: love as a way
of knowing, of assuming the known.

To know is to narrate.
People die trying to tell what
it was like there then. Others
die of not trying. The form of this
telling is, for example, 
a trellis. A growth controlled
unpredictable within measure.

Trellis. Tri licium. three threads.
The weaver knows
through the fingers the way worlds
hold together. Basket makers.
The shadow of a trellis is filled
against itself, against measure.
See the sun try again to
stop the movement of the rose

climbing among the woven ways.





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