Monthly Archives: November 2014

Une des versions originelles et plus simples (de la méditation de cette semaine)

I am easily understood if one understands the reactions of abuse victims. Otherwise everything seems complicated and circular and incomprehensible and exhausting. I fear doing anything on my own behalf because I fear the destruction that will be visited upon me if I do. Acting on my own behalf means flinging myself into an irrational space where I will be powerless to escape permanent mutilation.

I need to think about the meaning of that sentence, how to counter it — because really, acting on my own behalf means entering a rational space, even the only rational space.

What immobilized me was the combination of recriminations for being research oriented, the “boundary” violations, the internalization of these recriminations, the rage at the boundary violations which I turned against myself, and the conversion of what had always been positive spaces into scenes of torture.

That was the combination of elements. But I find that abandoning self and abandoning my research projects meant that I had nothing with which to defend against those “boundary” violations, those recriminations.

They always say you have to feel better first but I think the path to that is to take self and project back. Those things, not “discipline” and “boundaries” — which come of themselves. I mean: it is because I had abandoned myself that I let crows eat the carcass.

Condensing: those research projects are mine and are my friends and will help protect me against invasive people. No: the deeper idea is that my life is mine. It always seemed to be someone else’s.

Axé.

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Encore une méditation

Destruction came from the combination of: recriminations for being research oriented, multiple “boundary” violations, the internalization of these recriminations, the rage at the boundary violations which I turned against myself, and ultimately, the conversion of what had always been positive spaces into scenes of torture. That was the combination of elements.

Condensing: boundary violations, authorities in terrible pain who must be satisfied, the conversion of positive spaces into scenes of torture. All of my problems are problems of abuse victims and this is what I cannot find a practitioner who understands — which is why I have readings and this weblog.

But I find that abandoning self and abandoning my research project — things I did as a result of Reeducation — meant that I had nothing with which to defend against those “boundary” violations, those recriminations.

They always say you have to feel better first but I think the path to that is to take self and project back. Those things, not “discipline” and “boundaries” — which are form but not content.

I mean: it is because I had abandoned myself that I let crows eat the carcass. It is not, as they say, that I “need better boundaries” or “need to stand up for myself.” It is that I renounced the things I wanted to do, and committed to things I no longer did. When I had also renounced the person who could do those things.

Condensing: it really is the person who must come back. In the meantime it is the friendliness of my research projects, and my knowledge that they are mine, which can protect me from invasive people. Again, all of this is about recovery of self.

Axé.

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Blind Willie McTell

Axé.

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Rusia en 1931

I am looking for Hass’ poem on it.

“Poetry proposes no solutions: it says justice is the well water of the city of Novgorod, black and sweet.”

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is someone I should study. I must examine his categorical rejection of “imitation,” particularly of European models — an articulation of 1840s US literary nationalism. His program for self-reliance is apparently obedience to higher law.

“Plinlimmon’s snake oil,” someone said in reference to Emerson. Tell me about that. Plinlimmon is a character in Melville’s Pierre, and he is a faux writer. What his attitudes toward nationality are, we shall find out.

Axé.

 

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Flash!

This, concisely, was the message of Reeducation: you must be a child.

But that is not true.

Axé.

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Sagittarius, the Archer

It is the same meditation: how one learned to limit oneself. How one was trained from the beginning to stand aside in life, to be in service. The reason I thought it important to study certain things was that I was so passionate about them that if I actually entered their field I would be unable to stand aside any longer.

What we did in arts and humanities did not involve so much accomplishing things as self-fashioning, or fashioning one’s appearance. We were to become acceptable, then worthy. In that genteel world it was not a question of taking one’s place, but of being permitted to stay. It was much more difficult to learn not to stand aside, although I nearly achieved it and will remember this.

Reeducation, meanwhile, was about subtly undermining either project, and then launching a direct attack on what was left. I reenact this today as self-sabotage and self-criticism. Required is a yet more concerted effort against this, coming from self-love and not discipline.

About the university: I submit that teaching basic skills is no more noble than many other things I would like to do for humanity, and that fewer people are doing. If I am to teach basic skills I want to do it in a coherent program, with coordination, and autonomy, and support. I also want flesh and blood colleagues in field, and paper books, present on my own campus. I want rational management in my department, and I want to work in an atmosphere where it is not dangerous to give voice to one’s views. I do not think this is unreasonable at all.

I keep coming to the conclusion, therefore, that at the very least I need to be in certain libraries outside of Maringouin on a very regular schedule. This and related needs I have must become priority. I know it, yet do not yet make it entirely so.

It is partly, as others keep noting, that in and from Maringouin it takes more work and cash than meets the eye to get where one needs to go. And it is partly my training, to suppress desire and stand aside. My self-sabotage, the refusal to sleep that started well enough as a rebellion against someone else’s desire for death but then became a way to avoid feeling entirely well, is a hard habit to break.

“Addictions,” it is said, are meant to suppress feelings but I wonder. The destructive habits I have had share some features with addictions, but are not entirely the same, perhaps. Mine are about a tension or entanglement between self-expression and suppression of self (they start as the former but end as the latter).

Tomorrow is Sunday, Oxalá’s day. Stand in the light.

Axé.

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