Thursday, April 23, 2009
If an alien took a photograph of the Milky Way you and I would best be viewed in a microscope. Feeling small? Don’t, it would be a mistake. Cheer for the alien who had the inspiration to look closer. That person is going to help you make this life matter.
Yesterday I tried to write a blog about news I had missed while I was out of town. I never felt what I was writing because my mind has been settled on Olcott Beach and my father dying. I had this crazy idea that I should try and type something mainstream-ish in order to be a part of the on-line community. Like I used to. Much of my work is based on improvisation so I tried to react to the present. I’ve heard that it is important for grieving people to get back on track but I can tell you for certain that this process has a mind of its own and little regard for timetables and blog traffic.
The truth is that I want to wave at the alien with the microscope. Something important has happened in my life and I am eager to connect with other people. My experience is not unique; we’ve all been through things so why not go through it together? However, I have learned that everyone has an exclusive story that the big picture fails to show. We are as rare as our own fingerprints and not everyone has the time or patience for a better look. I’m making more time because I know better now.
If you’re wondering where I am going with this it has to do with torture. As many of you know, the US government has tortured some of the men accused of masterminding 9/11. This revelation has affected me.
I know what it is like to see a parent tortured and I can’t forgive my father’s doctor or his disease. I doubt I ever will. Likewise, those men in jail (as awful as they were) probably have children who will remember the inhumanity their parent endured. Torture perpetuates hatred. Real hatred, always echoing and violet in color, feels impossible to eliminate. For that reason alone I know that torture is never correct. Torture deflects humanity. It overcomes reasoning.
Compel yourself to take a closer look at the world. Decide that there are better ways to do things.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I’ve been out of the loop for a while. Can someone tell me why Rush Limbaugh shaved his special place and staged pervert rallies across the nation? I kept turning off the evening news every time I heard “tea bagging” because my mother was in the room.
I heard the Obama family got a dog. The cashier at Dollar General said it was a Kennedy. “Their dog is a Kennedy?” I asked. “No, their dog was from Ted Kennedy and it isn’t even from a shelter. It’s WRONG.” Jesus Christ. When an old guy with brain cancer gives someone a puppy the correct response is “thank you”. The next thing I know, the cashier was bagging my greeting cards with the ice cream and ruining everything. How ignorant.
I caught the tail end of Obama’s key party in Trinidad with Latin leaders. I think Hugo Chavez is a nutter and a gasbag as much as anybody, but I do realize the merits of shaking the guy’s hand in front of the press. Hugo makes Obama look so much taller in photographs.
You know what else? Sitting in my Dad’s Vibe and listening to NPR was easy on my eyes. I was chock full of breaking news alerts that went untended in my inbox for three months, so I wiped out almost everything. It felt awesome.
What else did I miss? Is Octo-Mom really La Toya Jackson?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sally, did I tell you about the time all the woodland creatures in Olcott Beach came out to make sure my Dad was dead? Yes, I am on the real. A hawk with full-grown possum in its’ clutches stopped by Mom’s house, a swan flew over the porch and a coyote met me at the door. “Is it true? Is the coast clear?” the coyote asked me. “Yes, but Mom kept four rifles. Don’t get cocky,” I said. My father was a hunter – I anticipated their inquiries by land, sea and air.
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It was weird. There I was calling relatives about Dad dying and the animals kept dropping by. I think the scent of meat and cheese platters being delivered to the house was making them crazy. Has anyone in your family died? People love to give you food when it happens, and let them. The urge to carb-load when grieving is insane.
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Back to the animals – specifically, coyotes. Ever since Dad died coyotes started biting the crap out of people (the link is here). It’s like they coordinated their efforts and had a schedule! The coyote that came to Mom’s door ran away after I told him about Dad, but everyone I met at the post office was bitching about their rabies shots. Boy-howdy, they were so pissed. One guy was mad at me because the coyote did not bite me, too. “You’re next!” he warned. I can hardly wait because I am delicious. Mr. Coyote should be so lucky.
The hawk with the possum was flat-out wrong. Talk about showboating! Sure, it was impressive. How many times have you seen a hawk hanging onto a fat, fresh possum in front of your face? OK, but the Hammertime footwork and gang signs were over the line.
The swan thing was cool, but only because Mom had been complaining about never seeing a swan up close. It started weeks ago when we heard that swans were roosting in the marina parking lot. The day the swan flew over the porch I put Mom into the car and drove her there. At last she saw a swan! It was taking up most of a handicapped parking space. I pulled up next to it, careful to hang Dad’s handicapped placard from the rearview mirror. “Well I’ll be darned,” Mom said, “he doesn’t seem disabled at all.”
These were odd experiences but I kind of liked having all of those animals stop by. It was in improvement over the flies. The last time I saw Dad alive there were flies buzzing the screens of his window at the nursing home. Flies in Western NY in March? I wondered if it was a sign, if I should cancel my flight.
Last but not least I should mention the cat. It came walking down the street one night while I was sitting outside looking at stars. I sat at the end of the driveway and it looked so much like my Dad’s late cat, Pistol Pete. I laughed in spite of myself because the cat sat down and stared at me for the longest time when I told him how much he looked like someone I used to know. Then off it went, under the neighbor’s steps and out of sight. It was not until the next morning that I realized our neighbor has solid cement steps that nothing can crawl inside of, and I had a very happy cry. My Dad’s nickname was Tom because he loved tomcats best.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Having spent the most of my time off-line since February I discovered that I don’t need the Internet as much as it needs me. The whole time you’re on this thing, one might feel like their mind is engaged with information and newsy things, which is exactly what the Internet would have you believe. The truth is that the Internet has settled into your lower intestine, it is laying eggs and moving on to new hosts.
Sally, I’m so serious.
The truth is that world outside your window isn’t half as much fun as having a digitally infected colon. In real-life you have to keep listening to people, and you can’t just pretend to log-off. For that reason alone I am willing to keep the worm in my rear, but I think it is good for me to endure things sometimes. It might even keep me humble. I bought some puzzle magazines to keep me busy, girl, and to prove a point. I'm a fricking genius with Frameworks and I don't care who knows it. It could happen to you, too.
The other truth is that real human beings are much more interesting that anything you can play with on-line. They say the craziest, most beautiful things. They have real arms to reach out with. Their flowers smell better, too. For all of the information we are privy to on-line, there are other things we miss about people and their gifts if we cannot see their faces.
Further, we don’t really need most of the information we receive on-line. Some of the information is very good and the rest of it is only helping you waste time. How many times have to looked up obscure, ridiculous information because you have a half hour to spare? You said it would be five minutes but that was wishful thinking.
There is a wealth of information on-line but most of it is clutter. It is the remnants in the bottom of your purse and junk in your shed you might never need. The worm feeding in your rectum won’t point this out but I will.
All My Love,
The Load Out/Stay – Live 1978