Friday, July 8, 2011

The lazy susan turns

With thanks to Chef Norm Services for the photo.

As the lazy susan of my mind twirls, what, I wonder, do these dishes contain?

Must I accept the last flight of the Space Shuttle, possibly the last American-directed manned mission into space? Am I futilely wedged in the past, wanting us still to be the fearless, imagination and science-fueled pioneers we once were? I heard John Glenn on the radio the other night: I want our astronauts to ride in OUR rockets, too. Something feels deeply, dangerously wrong about this.



Reading for the first time E. M. Forester, beginning with A Room with a View and only in Chapter 2, I marvel at the fact civilization survived those stiff-necked times when persons of a certain station could not speak to strangers, or be spoken to by them without collective gasps and intakes of air. Think of the blogging world under such constraints. We are only strangers until we speak, then our words and thoughts allow us to flow into one another. We step away, altered and enhanced.


I am capable of being the most stifling, inhibiting, spirit-crushing party-pooper to my creative, especially my artist, self. Luckily I lunged for this particular dish as it nearly swept past: I have, oh reincarnation of the scowling, scolding parent, kept myself from reclaiming my drafting table from disorder because there is other disorder in our midst and someone who is doing it right would take care of the other messes first. Art is play: no work, no play. (sound of screaming) In that dish, along with mixed sweet pickles which I thought they didn't make anymore, I found the note that reminded me - assume the whole castle has fallen into a fugue state, a Trance of Forgetting - that when I let the art come first, everything, repeat everything will be better. How easily I/we slip away from our centers and mistake ourselves for unhappy drones in human skin. I do not assume that mechanical devices are non-sentient beings.


For the past two nights, my son and I have watched, on Hulu via the PlayStation, samurai movies from the 1960s. They are part of the vast catalog of titles Hulu offers from The Criterion Collection. Conclusions we have reached through our extensive research of these and previous subjects: Japanese filmmakers in the 60s, likely reflecting what would have been sentiments of the time in which the films were set - say, the 18th century - had no respect or anything close to it for quasi-government functionaries, cruel warlords, their toadies and people who were likely to ride in sedan chairs and collect taxes. It causes me to wish we had movies with such themes today, and the impoverished, vagabond samurai who seem to have been placed on earth to champion the underdogs and send evil fleeing. In my fantasy, enough of these roving swordsmen might, just might, turn things around. I have taken many steps back from politics, feeling that any emotion I put into even thinking about health care or education is energy wasted. Ah, but with the samurai on the side of what will benefit the people most...They seem to enjoy wine, when available, and may be content with porridge when that's all there is. It is not an unpleasant dream.

12 comments:

Antares Cryptos said...

None of us have lived through times when things were much worse, but we are living through a time when we KNOW that things could be much better.

Your post, as yours often do, gave me a flash of the following visual image: a steam engine venting steam so it can continue on its journey. Sometimes blogging feels that way.:)

grrl + dog said...

some funky retro food swirling on your susan there...

I LOVED the 60's japanese movies - holding "shintaro" series close to my heart.
The old warrior class has largely been replaced by soldiers and bikers. for me, I'd have a biker watch my back before any half trained army grunt.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - Blogging feels that way today...the topics seemed to pile up, none as a separate post, but certainly in need of an airing, at least for me. Chugging along. :D

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - Not only retro but sort of, maybe, international? It looked tasty. I think I will hold out for my time-warp vision...when samurai roamed the land. Of course I DO realize the depiction is as romanticized as anything else we see on film. Sigh. xo

Angella Lister said...

"How easily I/we slip away from our centers and mistake ourselves for unhappy drones in human skin."

There is so much we have forgotten, that we are here together, laboring to remember.

Thank you for this. It startles one awake. Like those samurai.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - So much comes upon us, much of it self-generated, that would cloud our memory of what is real and true. For today I seem to know that what matters is simple and, as you say, we labor together to remember. More than anything, I wish to get out of my own way. xo

Laoch of Chicago said...

Well said.

One loves Hulu!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - Thank you. And with the choices Hulu offers, we hardly even remember cable. One does love it.

Jayne said...

Oh Marylinn, you make me smile. You don't seem at all like you're "stifling, inhibiting, spirit-crushing party-pooper to my creative, especially my artist, self."

Your artistry shines in every entry you publish on your blog.

We all struggle with ourselves, our inner demons, our bad habits. But Marylinn, dear, you are winning. Absolutely. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - Thank you for finding things in my work that I may not always be capable of seeing. And for taking, on my behalf, the high road. We do all have days when we are aided by someone reminding us that, in spite of how it feels, we actually do make some sense. xo

Robert the Skeptic said...

I do love the old Samurai films. Which brings me to "True Grit" which is a modern Samurai film in it's way. I LOVED the remake; what an excellent work of filmmaking craftsmanship.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - I feel the same way, about samurai films (my son says Criterion has a 2-title set of SANJURO AND YOJIMBO) and TRUE GRIT, which I watched again a few nights ago. Iris Dement's singing of the hymn at the end will probably make me cry every time. The movie is a feast for one's whole being.