Thursday, July 8, 2010

Disquiet

In a collection of yellow-edged postcards that I am unable to send, there is one, a cartoon, with the caption, "The moon must be in klutz." That could be it. Unrest has just pulled its SUV into the driveway and will soon be using all the clean towels and setting drippy glasses on our books.

Ordinary tasks have become puzzles without solution. Dreams bring me the frustration of seeing what those around me can't, endlessly questioning decisions of others which result in hardship or peril for those they have deceived. There was the tunnel in which elephant-sized black cats wearing rainbow stripes slurped passengers from speeding trains. A deceased friend returned, possessing the ability to restore life with a touch.

For at least a moment yesterday, I (yes, awake) pictured myself in a thrift-store prom dress, something between a ballet gown and Disney princess, with a rhinestone tiara I may even still own and a gourmet cupcake (pink icing), sitting as though nothing screamed for attention. I was given the chance to step out of the current and sit...and be. I had no sense of concern for things undone, not even the ordinary reproach for all I regularly ignore. The moment was sweet.

Watching, or being kept company by, broadcast tv later, my one thought was how tired and impatient I was of people wanting to sell me all manner of over-priced, impossible, unnecessary...stuff. Gram Parsons, in his song RETURN OF THE GRIEVOUS ANGEL , sings, "And the man on the radio won't leave me alone...he wants to take my money for something that I've never been shown..." I felt that we are seen as nothing but consumers, marks at the carnival, and are expected to say yes to any old thing.

Each day I find local news more unbearable. If I didn't have curiosity about the weather, I would never turn it on. But the Cassandra dreams aren't coincidence, they can't be. We have no one to tell but each other; we will not be able to change any minds. I am uncomfortable in my skin and in my observations. If what seems true is fact, that we have - willingly - lost our way, how far do we need to stand from the epicenter to save ourselves from permanent displacement, if that is even possible? And will this feeling diminish or increase? When the moon moves out of klutz, will I resume the accustomed level of angst or are these adjustments here to stay?

I am no longer a candidate, let alone a volunteer, for carrying signs, let alone torches and pitchforks. I sense disquiet seeping, interrupting our easy moments, few enough as they are, if we give too much thought to the signs. Like the pulling of tides, that sly moon may have dragged some of us too far from shore to make it back and my question is, what do we do now?

13 comments:

Penny said...

When I think too hard about being out of klutz (what a wonderful postcard)I have panic attacks.
I seriously suspect this feeling is universal.
What do we do now? I don't know. I think a lot, talk a lot, and read a lot, but no one else knows either. Even those with deep spiritual beliefs, or strongly held philosophies don't know, even if they say that they do. Their beliefs act merely as a shield, a kind of bulwark against the tide. That's not to say it doesn't help of course. I can understand that: photography for me, and a physical camera, is my shield, providing distance.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

What do we do now? The best we can - if there's one thing life has taught me in the last 58 years it's to hold on when things look blackest, because they always get better. History shows us that every generation thinks that things are as bad as they can be and what hope is there for the future - and yet here we are 50, 100, even 2000 years later. There's a yin/yang to all of life; things get better, things get worse. We're all aware of things that need improving in our world (globally or right here at home) but when it seems like we're racing to hell in that handbasket, I like to remember that "in the good old days" a black man couldn't even sit at the front of the bus and now one sits in the Oval Office, under the existing law (until the early 1970's)Margot and I could have been sent to a mental institution and now we're legally married.
"out of klutz" - we've all been there - but, we all come out on the other side too.
Erin

John B-R said...

Marylinn, one good comment deserves an backatcha, at least. Nice blog. I think this is a great post. I think both your other commentators are right, in response to your concluding question: no one knows, and hold on. Whether things get better or not.

No torches and/or pitchforks for me, but signs, yes: that's why I write. And, speaking of signs, what else is that postcard, "The moon must be in klutz"?? Klutz is a kind word, I think, for what the moon must be in. Word verification gives me another: ""The moon must be in parchugg."

grrl + dog said...

A friend of mine has just published a paper demonstrates a new phobia/anxiety in the world.

You know when you used to see those ones with tin foil on the head for alien thought wave protection?

And you dont see themmuch because there are new, scary ephemeral things to be worried about - the planet and the warming of it by human means.. its making the more sensitive of us, even madder...

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penny - Having come to accept, as best I can, the ambiguities of human existence, this state seems like just one of the layers of reality. At the same time, I am able to connect to blessings, large and small, and have always been able to laugh. Writing becomes more essential, as is the discovery of others caught in klutz.

Erin - We have both known times of personal challenge that have taken turns for the better. And we are still here. This feels different, which is not to say I am in despair; under the best of circumstance we have never known what happens next. I suppose what I sense (or believe I do) is accelerated momentum toward something that is out of our hands.

John B-R - Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. As we parchugg into tomorrow, it has always been an unknown destination and holding on seems the only indicated action. The option of a blog, far more appealing and accessible than a soapbox on a Los Angeles street corner, is, as you say, a way of carrying our signs. Modern life - it has its benefits.

Denise - Back to lyrics...something's happening here, without doubt. And so we may have to become more skilled at compartmentalizing...not denying the disturbance, yet continuing to embrace what we love with greater fervor. And I was thinking I might need to address the tinfoil hat business next...I was hoping they still worked.

Kass said...

Thoughtful post. Great comments. I agree with Marin - the Yin and Yang of things suggests we really don't know what is good and what is bad. Do conditions have their own flux without our intercession? Are we part of the flux whether we act one way or act in the complete opposite way?

Thanks for your comments on my blog (I answered them) and for hanging in there through the macrophaging commentilocomotive dissolution process.

Donna B said...

Oh Marylinn...up until today, I have been feeling the exact same way! I think I have been down since returning from California...

Today, surprisingly was a really good day. I got up early, didn't feel like greeting the day, so I returned to bed. I woke up at noon and felt like a new person.

I had a wonderful dream about buying a house "sight unseen" and it was an absolute mess...but I was so happy and excited, because I had a purpose...

You, my dear, have a purpose. You know what it is...I for one know you were meant to create your wonderful art and to write like you do. Many a day, your words and have picked me up and spurred me on...You definitely have many gifts.

This is a rainy day...may be a storm tomorrow, but the sun will come out eventually, you just have to do what makes you pass the time and keeps you feeling good inside..like music and creating...

Hang in there dear friend...

Big hugs to you...

Radish King said...

Marylinn, the moon is in full klutz for me this week this month. I haven't seen your art yet but I bet I own some of your stamps. I bet I do. I use them (rubber stamps) underneath my paintings all the time. In fact, the cover of my book Radish King was given to me by Ken Brown!

rebecca wv: pringl the kind of crap i like to eat for breakfast.
xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Hello...my sense is that, with our without our escorting hand, things are going to go as they will...point of no return, yet I am open to being surprised. Happy to see that some comments reappeared; that was a discussion I wished to take part in...the dissolution process leaving us trying to rescue those lost exchanges.

Donna - Here's to enough sleep (I know that one) and dreams of welcome outcomes. And any times the words here have given you something to carry away. The klutz state acted upon me like a whispered scrap of gossip, the kind we know is not just idle trouble-making...in this world which is not as I once thought it was, my clear directive is to keep doing what I do...it makes me happy, the sense that I grasp the nature of the assignment. Thank you for your always encouraging messages. A big hug back.

Rebecca - Almost sure enough to put money on it, I think the "klutz" postcard was one of Ken Brown's illustrations (b&w, which tells you the vintage). The cover of Radish King is my version of "you had me at hello." These ARE my people.

I thought Wikipedia said that Jack T. still resided in Boyle Heights, where he was reportedly born, which is just up the road. I may have dreamed that.

In forwarded e-mail yesterday, there is now a kit for making one's own stamps...light bulbs and gizmos, maybe an easy-bake oven...my wish come true.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I find the news unbearable as well. I try to concentrate on the few things that I have control over; my attitude among them. My fallback position is to not make any decisions until I have slept on them; things always look differently in the morning. Resisting the temptation to knee-jerk is always difficult for me.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - Taking time with any decision is what works best for me, though it was a lesson somewhat slow in the learning. It feels as though we need to be two people: the one who is aware of the gravity of our situation and the one who goes on about daily life...staying in touch with friends, being of good cheer, remembering what thing - yes, attitude - I have control over. I've never been one for big or long-range plans, that has never worked for me. Next indicated thing is pretty much it.

Laoch of Chicago said...

If I understand your post correctly I think in some sense things are always the same and how we react to them is part and parcel of where we are in our life framework.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - that could be the situation, whether what has changed is the message being sent or the ability to receive it. I lean toward the latter.