On the Peace Path
Comments Off on Being The Ass in Assess
The power of each person is to do. Collaborate, learn, create. Is that more likely face-to-face?
Social media that is used for uncritically rebroadcasting general media? Relaying of old jokes, old hoaxes, giving a shout out to commercial products? A newsfeed of ads? Not much value added to be a repeater station of signal boost. Sure, it’s your signal, clothing yourself in a strand of the wider culture that you claim but why? Time-suck alarm.
One short precious life, a lifetime as nanosecond of cosmic time and I’m spending it on tetris, or fretting, or unproductive complaint called literature.
If you could say anything, would you? You can. Do you?
What does one share significant things with? Is it broadcast or intimate knowledge? Does not the intimacy make it feel significant, special? Value by rarity is at odds with selling more to more people, but keeping the value. It goes against the laws of economics unless you can build consumption faster than producing to maintain scarcity of access.
I like nonsense, refusal to intone the significant. I like play, not to avoid but for its own sake, like knowledge. All clues pointing towards the throughline is too tunnel visioned. And yet, after reading novels after a 30 year hiatus, for things to be said for a reason, for an upshot is gratifying. There is purpose other than dawdling.
What is meaning? Meaning is assigned arbitrarily by unconsidered habit. Meaning is assigned externally and adopted or assigned internally but incomprehensibly to others. Meaning is allowing something to matter.
It is key that things matter. If things did not matter we thrash and burn as barbarians without empathy for what we destroy. We do hollow acts that depress us for their lack of meaning. We amuse each other with cleverness based on performance rather than inherent unconditional worth as assigned by loyalty. If things matter, we accept cause and effect and that one can act in a way to cause worse repercussions or more optimized life with more ease, less pain and a positive feedback cycle so we aren’t always getting towards okay but in the thriving range.
If we aren’t actually sharing and showing each other our real faces, then what good is the contact? If we broker in trivialities a few steps removed from self, then what do we gain?
I pooh-poohed Significance for years for a few reasons.
One, my body was attached to the jettisoned worldview so I had to turn off reactivity to old sensations to align with new ideology.
Two, my body likes to assign crisis. It’s good at it and body likes the satisfaction of doing a good panic or depression. Babysitting the child-self, have to ignore the false sense of significance of its tantrums to teach it what to respond to.
Third, significance is everywhere. The gnattering. The knick-knot. The need to pitch what matters is what we do with strangers. If we do as the one mode, we never get past the bullshit and become the bullshit. Most of the universe is not significant. That isn’t to say it isn’t worthwhile. If something is of no consequence it can still be the bulk of the day. It’s an antidote to the pitch to risk the boring, the non-sequitur, the absurd, the silly, that black matter which plays against the melodrama of regular matters. We need a foil for our folio.
Fourth, significance as it is sold is significant for interests that are not mine.
Who is selling the significance for whose gain? We’re awash in a sea of propaganda to sell instant product, petrol, sex and booze. Instant product makes an invisible slave society. Even sex won’t sell poetry. Given the choice between booze and poetry, 8/10 pick booze so that’s a lousy pairing. I haven’t tried doubleblind studies with gasoline.
Do I want to back the ideologies? English-empire/heteronormative/ xenophobic/deist/ binary/female-supression/emotive-zero-sum-Hero’s-arc ideology. It’s like opting out of air. What to clean it with?
If someone actively opposed me as if I am a whetstone to their knife, that’s about them or their lives but I can remove myself form their equation.
I’ve been examining life and seeing who I spend mental energy on who don’t reciprocate any attempt at contact. Pulling in. If people have stuff going on, I have room for that. Some people always have stuff going on. I have to admit I will never breach the wall where I matter as much as I want to matter, as an equal. So be it. It takes energy to care about an absent person. There’s no animosity or hatred but a letting go of expectations.
In all the reduction of significance self-training letting go has been a hard lesson. It’s not giving up or laziness, it’s choosing where to spend myself.
It’s of value to be among n0t-like-minded. Tiring but both sides and all directions ca benefit from other ways of thinking. Being among those who agree is liable to be ambushed while complacent. It is willfully shutting out that which is so divergent that it can’t even be processed.
Those I do enjoy, I want to continue to see what our different points of view do. It’s a sort of slow-motion suspense. I want to be fuel for flourishing and be fueled.
I feel guilty about being massively behind in emails because I want to honour the time it takes to communicate. I don’t want to discourage anyone from actual interaction in a way that happens to be digital. If people didn’t expect to elicit a response they’d blog instead.
But so many emails. I turn off notification, unsubscribe from lists. Still I have nearly 500 unread messages, and the ones I read that I mean to get back to, once I find them. I know I feel abandoned and uncared for when I craft an email to get nothing. I don’t want to count return rates. I don’t want to run metrics on relationships. But. If one sees someone once every year or few is there a relationship to lose. Does there need to be formal contact if choice and life mean there is no natural overlap of life?
Offline people drift in and out of one’s life but there’s no staked pole connecting. There’s a web of overlapping people and events. If there’s no material, why cling. If there was a nice moment or nice potential, how much is squandered by leaving oneself open for more that doesn’t come.
I’ve been culling my FB, deleting people who don’t interact or who I don’t remember who they are, who haven’t interacted for years, or whose posts cause distress not connection or understanding. I’ve been moving heaps of people to acquaintances, so they see little but promotional posts for public roles, of radio show or books.
And here’s the cost of reading, a plug:
It’s like procrastinator’s delight. You can buy VERSeFest passes and not even decide by nickel and dime which to go to, which match your schedule, which you’ll feel like going to when the time comes and be potentially dissuaded by higher at the door tickets.
Sunday night at Happy Goat Coffee, there’s a thank you and sign up for VERSeFest volunteers. Free music and poetry.
Comments Off on Human Rights
“When we ask people to be tolerant of others, we do not ask them to abandon their personal convictions. We merely ask them to respect the rights, values and ways of being of those who may not share those convictions. The belief that others are entitled to equal respect depends, not on the belief that their values are right, but on the belief that they have a claim to equal respect regardless of whether they are right.” – Supreme Court of Canada in Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36 .
Ontario’s Human Right’s Code on Creed has the guiding principle that you don’t have to agree with someone to be fair and respectful. You don’t have to prove god exists or wiccan vampire faith (which was an individual claim) makes sense before being granted kindness. It’s functional that way.
“It is not acceptable to choose to ignore discrimination or harassment based on creed, whether or not a human rights claim has been made.” (prevention is presumed a basic human thing. You don’t have to be told to be informed. Ignorance is not an excuse just as with any traffic laws.)
“Telling students to go outside to smudge, including in inclement weather conditions, may breach the school’s duty to accommodate by not doing so in a way that respects students’ dignity.” practices of an individual gives an institutional duty to accommodate, a ventilation system up to flushing the smoke air out.
Finished the 5th painting, this of the apostrophe and semicolon preoccupation. Calling it “peroxide blond”.
Glad to get some time to paint. I’m now out of stretched canvas, unless I paint over something or unless I’ve stashed more somewhere unexpected/disorganizedly.
Glad to use the hands. It’s quite a different iteration process to do rewriting with a pencil than computer edits, quite different to do acrylic than digital. I can’t breathe so well with the off-gassing of acrylics but then, I’m allergic and live with a cat so breathing is compromised at the best of nights.
Glad I have a laptop and a helpful hubby because I did a real number on myself. (And it wasn’t one of those fun numbers.)
About an hour into The Great Snowshoe Excursion—which ended up being 3 hours— realized that by the snowed in river one can’t exactly call a cab or hail a bus. Each step took a conscious pull and wish I could fire the fool limb off and hop on my way.
My left leg is now a match for my back. Turning over in the night was a whole other kind of adventure.
At least I can say I don’t do things halfway.
I do things more 1/5 of the way if we’re talking about my grandpa shuffle.
my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
Inconvenient my body’s greed for rest but glad to be able to sleep because it’s better than its opposite.
Glad to hear the crows having their chat out there and see the softly piled new snow.
Glad to have class coming tonight as we dig into poems that make an argument.
Glad this is Martin Luther King Jr Day over the border. “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I rise/I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide”~ Still I rise
Yup, think I’m at the end of thought.
Where the topsoil is thin or submerged, people are few and the rock surges up always feels more like home.
Comments Off on Happy New Year you who may happen by.
Over the last couple year I have done a inventory of how I use my energy. At the end of 2014, I tested cutting back on going to readings, going to 1 or 2 a month maximum. I thought more about who to spend time with singly or in small groups with the nutrition and depth of talk can be deeper.
Hubby and I have expanded from date day once a week to making sure we spend a meal together each day and some evening time together. How crazy is it that in the old habit the closest a week might come to eye contact is seeing faces on a screen?
Last year we tried to curtail internet eating our lives and this idea of being alwaya-on, always-accessible to no one in particular. We tried turning off the internet on weekends and evenings. This year we took it further and have it on 1.5 hours a day or for a particular need then off again. This seems saner. Less back problems and fewer headaches are probably related.
I aimed to read more slower and wider and write less, but read more and wrote more. As you may have followed at the pesbo blog.
It may not be either extremes that far, but it is a factor.
I have stayed involved with the community, hosting radio, hosting the odd event, judging contests, and on twitter. And then there’s the workshop series, one now, one tbd as an online counterpart and if those go as well as expected, another face to face in summer or fall.
Do you have any last minute impulse to take a poetry workshop? It starts Monday.