Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Werner Herzog reads "Curious George" and I wonder about stuff, too
At Twisted Knickers, Susan T. Landry's statement of purpose, I would call it, is, "trying to get things straight." At what point do we acknowledge this has become our life's work?
Keeping sight of the bigger picture is my great wish, my primary intention. If only there existed a monitor to alert the staff when I fell below a certain level in that aim. As it is, I have my own warning system that only kicks in once I've slipped all the way off the wagon. It, life, feels like trying to recreate the cute basket of kittens shown on the puzzle box when some of the pieces are missing. The next step is finding a way to be happy with the gaps and vacancies while not seeing yourself as a chump.
This could be easier if, say, one was a horse with the option of blinders or blinkers or winkers, take your pick, which restrict vision to the rear (don't look back) or the side (deadly comparisons) and, "...keep them from being distracted or spooked." But blinkered or winkered mean not engaged, not part of the flow, uninvolved in the exchanges that layer and texture and embellish our days. Or that mystify us and, with a rough hand, shove us forward, trying to get things straight.
Since my primary source of confusion is my relationship with self, reweaving that tattered fabric, the blinders would serve no real purpose. Somewhere along the journey, what may once have been whole became fragments. While able in brief sprints to create an illusion of completeness - or maybe the truth always leaked through - such artifice was not sustainable. Reclaiming and restoring the scattered parts became a true do-it-yourself odyssey. Nancy Drew and the Stormy Search for the Self. The job demanded new skills: scraping, resilvering, soldering, stripping away...any task that might be mentioned on This Old House or Antiques Roadshow.
If all of the above does not match your experience, I can tell you that I spend my days in activities that are not all weeping and wondering. Well, yes, there is a lot of wondering but much of it in the abstract for there are no answers, or none that can be accessed, and that leaves the hands and part of the mind free for light-hearted pursuits.
Nearly 45 years ago I had a friend who saved my life. She referred to human existence as, "this vale of tears." When she first said it, I thought veil, as in something worn for the purpose of hiding. It made sense. By either spelling or definition, it was a sentiment I shared. Perhaps I did have some of those winkers once upon a time and when I wore them, all I saw were the dents and the damage. They were all I felt.
Light, however, as wave, particle, or a measure of weight and speed, finds its way through that which seems impossibly dense. In her post of May 15, Beth Coyote, under "Squirrel Adventures," tells of such persistence. And so, despite hammered barriers and exhausting vigilance, our true natures find us. It was after I began designing rubber stamps, images referred to as whimsical, that I realized cunning optimism had built a nest in my attic.
Life, as it appears to wish to be lived through me, is a relentless stalker. It pries me out of hollows on the undersides of beach rocks. It pulls the closet light cord to reveal me crouched behind outdated computers. It wants me to play and cannot BE discouraged. How am I to make sense of that? So many years, more than half believing simply being here was a mistake, replaced by occasions of untainted happiness.
Since the third grade, my favorite reading has been mysteries. In fiction, unlike what we think of as reality, there were solutions. Seventeen years ago, one of my early stamps said, "It's all a mystery." This is one of the days when I see that as the best possible answer.