Sur le pouvoir

In Reeducation one was not supposed to have personal power. I have a lot of it and the only way to have less is to self destruct in some manner, so I tried.

I did not understand then that a lot of people do not have personal power and want power over other people instead. I understand this now.


I have been shooting arrows from my balustrade since the Sun went into Aries this year and it has been self protective — to make sure I did not allow back into my life certain things I cannot afford to have in it. I have been vaccinating myself against manipulative people.

I am tired. I am also finished. I really hope it has worked because I am so tired. And I can see that sadness will be my next mode.

I can tell because the most recent loss I have had — and we all suffer small losses daily — touches off outright grief.


I am going to remember that I am a foreigner. It really helps to remember this, because it is true and it explains a great deal. Reeducation said everyone was the same (it was “elitist” not to say one was the same as everyone else).

But I like being in foreign countries because there certain tentacles of my upbringing seem unable to reach me, and I have a great deal more self respect. Also, everything I have discovered by writing this weblog indicates I really am foreign. I think I should just to recognize this and I repeat, in case you do not understand, that I am not trying to say I am special, or more unique than you, or better than other people, only that I am myself. There are two main differences.

1. Not having been raised in a Western religion. This means having a very different psychology and world view from most Americans, as I have recently realized. This weblog’s religions, for example, are Native American and African. Their origins are not in the Fertile Crescent. They correspond to a truly different cultural universe.

2. Having decided very early on to resist internalizing some of the more destructive aspects of the gender roles assigned women in this society. I saw what these could do to the psyche and I resisted. I do not mean that I rebelled after being formed, I mean I resisted while still learning to speak.

I do not mean I resisted perfectly, but I did succeed to some degree. The absence of certain elements adds to the gravity and stillness Reeducation thought to be coldness but which was just breath. I would like to be yet more still.

These are the differences between myself and some people to whom I will no longer try to explain myself and with whom I will no longer expect easy communication. I am a foreigner. I can see the cultural world where I stand well enough to see that I do not understand it. I see it well enough to realize that it does not see mine, even though it sees me.


These are the things I have learned. They help clear the mind, which in turn allows one to bleed out grief in stillness.

And Reeducation thought me cold but it was only that my mind was clear. I am taking it back.


2 thoughts on “Sur le pouvoir

  1. This is lovely. I’m sorry about the grief — I am facing it myself lately; forcing myself to face it as a way to become stronger and to get out of a fairly comfortable rut. It’s really very painful — and I am raw again, but hopefully at the end of a period of time I can say, instead of “I am slightly traumatised by everything that happened to me”, rather, “I am over what happened to me.” But facing the trauma means facing it square on, again, and feeling horribly vulnerable all over again. It involves continuing to punch when all of one’s aggression is spent. For a couple of days adrenaline was flooding my body, and I realised that two or three expresso coffees in the morning wasn’t helping me. I woke up at the break of dawn with the strong notion that someone had just been hung.

    But now I am over the worst of it. I cannot get my hormones to regulate properly, however. Yet my mind is very calm. I think I bought all this anxiety to the surface in putting myself through two sessions of ‘bootcamp training’ that really pushed my body beyond its limits. My mind protested afterwards, for a few days, screaming out in pain concerning all its mental traumas I’d harboured away.

    It is difficult to be a foreigner, as one must often patch one’s own wounds — but there are inumerable advantages to it, also. Whether one wants it or not, one gets to create the space one needs to think in.

  2. Yes. It’s funny. I went to Reeducation so as to face two or three traumas, but instead got the trauma of Reeducation instead of the opportunity to face those.

    Grief is sharp and everything, but ultimately easier.

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