Nine o’clock at night.
I had a dream that a T. Rex killed my dog. Aesop went up against him fearlessly to defend me but the huge lizard chomped him down. Obviously I was sad afterwards. I wonder what the dream means. Does the dinosaur symbolize something, maybe the monster of society or of life itself, and my dog represents the brave but puny individual whose valiant fight is futile? The story ends up the opposite of David and Goliath: the underdog, against tremendous odds, loses the battle. What are they battling over? Still, Aesop’s self sacrifice to the T. Rex kept me alive a bit longer, so his death was not vain. One more observation: the name “tyrannosaurus” means “tyrant lizard.” Thus, the real tyrant could be anything you can imagine: the Church, or perhaps a group of unjust politicians trying to topple democracy. But usually when I think of something threatening, it’s the menace to liberal scholarship and to education as I remember it. And of course, “Aesop” is the fabulist and moral teacher of antiquity.
Quarter of seven.
I’m up earlier than usual today. The market was open at six, so I went ahead with my trip. On the lip of the entrance to the lot, I paused to let a car go in front of me. The man parked, got out, and then held the front door wide open for me to enter. He was extremely tall and of mixed ancestry. I said, “Courtesy for courtesy?” He replied, “Curtsy, curtsy!” and went in behind me. It was interesting because my mind had been occupied with visions of a civil war or something over politics. I imagined my nephew polishing his guns and rooting for his wish to come true. But the reality was just this guy at the store preparing to go to work for the day… Outside, the sun still hasn’t gone above the tree line, nor does nature care about human affairs. If it did, then life would be a romantic thing, like a Victor Hugo novel, and equally pompous. As it is, life is very ordinary and pretty blah. No drama. This also means a poverty of faith in religion and whatever gives you a boost. The business of our lives goes on while God sleeps forgotten somewhere out of sight. When it’s convenient for us, we’ll wake him up again. Meanwhile, my dog has been uptight since yesterday. I don’t know why.
I got to feeling overwhelmed earlier today so I took a pill and a nap for a while. I called Polly this morning and the conversation was kind of complicated after we hung up and I thought about it. The overwhelmed feeling came from being pulled in two opposite directions politically and socially at once. Also I’d forgotten to take my AP medication last night… It’s quite a hot day now. The vendor of ice cream just drove his van up my street. It would’ve been good to try more Mallarme but there’s still tonight. At one o’clock I went and bought a bag of potato chips to snack on. I noticed how hot it felt outside; oppressive in the direct sunlight, literally pushing down. I didn’t see much else worthy of note. These days seem so confusing to me, mostly in a political way, everybody so polarized and some people really outspoken and brash about their racism. From what I can determine, attitudes towards race and ethnicity are the key issue in all the hoopla. Polly keeps bringing up Black Lives Matter as if people of color were blameworthy for everything wrong with her little world. Gloria is also very hostile to blm, saying how deeply she resents it. But I don’t feel that way at all, though being around such conservatives can rub off on me and cause problems in my mind.
It’s all just a great big mess. Maybe I should fire Gloria and not worry about the PCA stuff anymore. I could call Comagine and just say I don’t think things are working out. After that I could spend more time at my church, where attitudes are more fair minded and progressive (Lutherans are great this way). In fact, all up and down Maxwell Road I get a feeling of liberal politics in the air. I think it’s very cool, and people are relaxed and laid back, sort of laissez faire. You see more people of color nowadays, too. This is the direction we’re going in, like it or lump it. And as for WordPress, I don’t care much about it anymore.
Quarter of eleven.
I just had an interesting conversation with my sister on the phone; and what she said is similar to what many people have been saying lately about the loss of beauty in everyday life. She told me she cried numerous times while watching The Sound of Music with her Amazon Prime subscription last night. But her thought was like mine: people care less for beautiful things and go for lots of money. She also said that people are very selfish. Where I disagree with her is in blaming Black Lives Matter for these developments of the past three years. I guess it’s a thing of her generation or maybe the limits of her understanding. I don’t know, but I feel kind of ashamed of her attitudes concerning race and ethnicity. To her, a perfect world would be like the Von Trapp Family Singers: everyone white as a sheet and standing on the top of the Austrian Alps. My own knee jerk is to say there’s something wrong with this picture. We can’t rewind the tape to 1964; it’s impossible. Nor is it really desirable to do that. Am I alone in thinking this way?
I got some sleep tonight but my dreams are a turmoil of political thoughts and controversy. The idea is like gravity, things being held down and together in coherence and sense and how this is lost. The contradiction is mostly internal, all within me. How do I feel about having a PCA to take care of me twice a week, and the answer is ambivalence, a perfect split down the middle. I feel both ways. However, I see the truth that, without help, my life is disorganized. And my resentment of the powers that be is actually irrational. Still, it’s hard to shake this feeling of having hooks in me, pulling me this way and that like some kind of puppet fish… At some point they will reel me in and bonk me over the head: game over. In the meantime it’s awfully difficult to sleep at night with these mixed paranoid feelings, the kindness of the government that can kill. Is there a difference between the government and a god? Victor Hugo believed so, with a different morality for each one. But the analysis of this is very complex and wearisome. It could be that I’ve won the lottery but I’m crushed under a huge burden of guilt. And as ever, guilt is my Achilles’ Heel.
I feel kind of gross this morning, rather wiped out from the heat yesterday and overnight… I know that some people wouldn’t be caught dead taking assistance from government programs. I have a nephew who is too proud to even walk into a Dollar Tree. He buys his reading glasses for twenty bucks from a “regular” store. Another nephew of mine builds his own guns and has an arsenal of over thirty of them. The absurd vanity of some people blows me away. What do they have to be proud of but their cowboy boots, belt buckles, and big hats? And maybe the can of Kodiak wintergreen in their outing flannel shirt pocket. A bright Confederate flag for the front yard, perhaps. All this to the sound of New Country blasting from the black Dodge Ram. Usually I shrug it off and let it be, but I’m in a weird mood today.
Quarter after nine at night.
Apparently some people do get something for nothing in a political system that takes care of the old, sick, and weak. Who am I to disagree or complain, since I benefit from this state of affairs? And who else is going to condemn me or the system for this reality? I should think that my good fortune is the justice of a Higher Power, so I’m going to kiss away the unjust attitudes of the people who don’t see it that way. I say this on behalf of myself and all the seniors and people with disabilities in this country. There’s no blame or shame for getting what we deserve. It’s a failed system where justice is miscarried. For once, it seems to be working okay.
Today I’ll focus on the things that are going right for a change. I like these cloudy mornings with afternoon sunshine. The temperature is kept mild this way. I won’t even worry about divine intercession or how this is expected to work. If it rains fish on us then there’s probably a logical way to explain it. Gloria comes at nine o’clock and we’ll go to Fred Meyer to look at the furniture. Hopefully they’ll offer a delivery service. It seems like years since I went inside that store… I still plan on church tomorrow morning, though the thought of it intimidates me a little. Meanwhile, the market has just opened, but I think I’ll only get myself the Snapples today. Or maybe I’ll do without caffeine altogether. For food Gloria can take me to Carl’s Jr. because I’m out of food benefits anyway. This justifies a few burgers totally.
Quarter of nine. I feel like people like me are being painted into a corner. I don’t believe in Christianity, yet the day may come when nobody has a choice in their beliefs. I just hope I’m gone before this happens.
It’s cloudy this morning. I can’t stand the news anymore, so I avoid it. I would put in one good word for Thomas Jefferson, but probably other bloggers will veto me. Only in the last twenty years have I been made so aware of religion and politics. If you live alone, you’re a sitting duck for being proselytized. I was safe from it as long as my parents lived, and then everything changed. The only neutral thing I can say is, “It’s cloudy this morning.”
Six thirty AM.
I’m off to another early start, having woken up at four o’clock. The skies are blue and cloudless as the sun ascends across the street. We might as well enjoy the sunshine if it doesn’t get too hot. Looks like Father’s Day came and went and I didn’t know about it. I guess I wasn’t a fan of my old man, especially in my childhood… Yesterday I reflected on the ideas I probably had as a young person, and the most salient one had to do with primitivism, from reading Tarzan and similar things. Now I don’t see the appeal of this concept; it keeps you unreasonable and subhuman like the animals. It’s a reverse Doctor Moreau. The desirable thing is to humanize the world, not drag it down to the level of brutes. The Greeks rose the way they did by venerating the human image. What led me to these thoughts was reading the Jack London yesterday and pondering his writing animal stories, particularly about dogs, and evidently praising instinct above human reason and civilization. Is it elitist to glorify the things that make people peculiarly human, such as intellect? And is it more egalitarian to pull down the human spirit to the primordial slime? Which policy works better for human beings?