Lately I have had so much trouble fighting back the evil grisgris that I have been casting spells upon myself, in English and in Spanish, every two to three hours.
When I do academic work I am often engulfed with shame. That has a complicated history which it does me no good to repeat. The brief version is that when I went to Reeducation I was taught that I should be ashamed to be an academic. Having become one was for many reasons a sign of failure in life, and to be oriented toward writing and research made it worse. That, of course, creates a double bind – actually a series of them, which again, it does me no good to rehearse.
On many days my mind is not clear, and I am not sure how or where to turn. A piece of a decent answer is to remember that it is not laziness or slowness I am battling, it is shame. To remember this puts things in perspective and beats the evil grisgris back. That is, of course, why I have this weblog.
In Reeducation I acquired behavior and thought patterns which resemble those associated with depression. I remember bringing this up at the time: but those are destructive ideas, sir, I am not sure I can afford to take them on. No, these are the keys to better living. I am trying, piece by piece, to relieve myself of the accumulation of small but heavy weights with which I replaced clarity and freedom.
In the garden I have been trying to remove an old tree stump. I can see now that the taproot is as long as the tree was tall. Every evening I dig a little deeper but the stump has not yet budged. I am cutting the lateral roots as I go down. Eventually I will be able to pull up the stump and taproot with a chain. It is when I succeed in dislodging (I will not say removing) each small burden that I realize how large it actually was.
I borrowed a chainsaw and cut the stump off at ground level. I am going to drill holes in it, and put Roundup in them so that the root just withers away. I realize this sounds somewhat violent, unromantic, and un-Green, but I am just tired of dealing with the stump and its root.
I planted five Mexican trees and then got a very useful piece of mail. I think the trees must have brought it on. But my mind cleared, as when clouds roll away or a heavy curtain rolls back.