Tuesday, October 4, 2011


                     Fortunately (psycho)analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. 
                     Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.
                                                                    Karen Horney   Our Inner Conflicts 

All day I have been sitting in front of this computer--not writing, just sitting.   I've been  carefully turning and examining the big globe of the world that lives within arms reach of my desk.  I want to refresh my memory about the neighboring countries of Croatia (there's Hungary, Slovenia...uh...Bosnia-Herzegovenia and another former Yugoslavian country--but, I can't recall it at the moment and now the globe is turned to the South Pacific. 
I don't know what to write but I don't want to stop typing--now that I'm actually typing.  If I stop now I know I'll get all wrapped up in something that keeps me from my intended task:  noting down various motes of  thoughts, in their brief moments of existence, before they float out of reach as thought motes so easily do.  So easily.    Just now, I turned the globe around:  Montenegro!  That's the country I couldn't recall. 
Now, moments later, I'm checking out Iran.  I am planning to travel there in November.  I notice how big Iran is compared to Iraq, for instance. I touch certain raised surfaces of the globe indicating the mountainous areas in Iran and also in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan...My long-time fascination with globes and atlases and maps may or may not pre-date my life-long fascination with the great cities of the world and with exotic islands and mountain deathzones and desert oases and remote cultures of our remarkable planet.  I'll chalk it up to a simple--or not so simple--chicken/egg conundrum. 
Having tired (for the moment) of my global investigation of countries and their neighbors, I decide to read and answer some e-mails and facebook messages.  I aam restless, but fighting it.  I resolve (I'm frequently "resolving") to write a new piece for this blog, which is precisely what I'm doing now (not your "now", my "now"). 
Hmmm...When I'm not near my computer, I notice that I have lots of ideas for topics I want to tackle in my writing.  But, today, with plenty of time and access to this keyboard, I cannot quite locate a teeth-worthy topic.  So, I continue to read random passages from a book about a woman traveling alone in 1930's Persia...and I peruse the book section of The Sunday New York Times...

Then...PAUSE...maybe some tea would be tasty right about now.

In the kitchen, while making a pot of tea and finishing the Sudoku puzzle, I turn on the news:  Occupy Wall Street;   cruel destruction of a mosque in the troubled West Bank;   pundits discuss the "N" word;  joblessness;  Greece may default...Aaahrrgh!  I have passionate feelings about all of these topics but I am somehow (temporarily, I hope) unable or otherwise disinclined to slow down or to speed up enough to write about them with any depth or clarity.  The potential depth and clarity, that I feel certain exist for me, remain lodged somewhere between my bleeding heart of the matter and the never-ending matter of my wandering mind. This mind of mine loves to slide swiftly from one thrilling idea to another possible or impossible solution and then onto a new radical conclusion or an ongoing intriguing or thorny puzzle...hoping to land on an answer to an issue of monumental importance.

Forsooth!  Methinks this Ego, with whom I am intimately associated, doth not dally long enough in any realm in order to uncover the elusive truths for which it lazily yearns.  It is a dancer; a hip-hopper with a limp.  "...a player who struts..."

I cover my open eyes with the palms of my hands.  I look hard into the mano-manufactured darkness.  Is it possible, I wonder, with full purpose and intention, to see through these hands and through my self-created barrier?  What does this habit of self-imposed darkness tell me about myself?  I want to see something.  I want to see something more; something on the other side of the darkness---where the light originates.
Once again, I am searching through magazines, atlases, dictionaries, news reports, rooms, closets, memories, fantasies...looking for something to caress, to finesse---something that will hold my attention, something to take me away from the news and the books that need to be arranged and the table that needs dusting and the plants that need watering and the bills that need to be paid and the hunger that taunts me...I want to go somewhere or to be somewhere or to be someone who is somewhere, somewhere else... somewhere from which to return to tell others of the somewheres where I have been.  "somewhere I have never traveled, gladly..."  (e.e. cummings)

What is this restlessness?

My tea gets cold, steeping too long in the little white pot, while I retreat to my office to look up a quote that I think is by Alexander Pope---but I'm not sure.  Yes, it is by Alexander Pope:  "A little learning is a dangerous thing." 
But so is a lot of learning, Alexander!  And so is no learning, I hasten to add.


It's actually the next day---the day after I wrote what is written above.  So much has happened since the pause...I have no idea how much.  No one does.  It's unknowable.  Somehow I stretch (futilely, of course) to feel the weight and wonder of everything that has happened since I paused...I can't even fathom how much has happened to me, in my world and now (!!) I am imagining everything that has happened to the billions of people in the world in these few hours and, by extension, to all the animals and plants and inanimate objects that exist:  the accidents and the births and deaths and the tears (of joy and anguish) and the secrets and the clouds and the movement of the sands in all the deserts and...and I am so fucking awed by the everything-ness of everything. 

And the above is what I sense I sense in those times when I cover my open, searching, wondering, wandering eyes. With the palms of my trusty, well-used hands with all their lifelines, relationship lines, wrinkles, freckles and veins, I attempt to touch the fathomless and unfathomable universes in this particular Time and Location in which I have placed myself---in a (I know, I know) hopelessly naive effort to figure things figure out this Self of mine...

To me, I am a fascinating and super-complex, Gordian knot-like tangle of the memories, fantasies, plans and confessions of a wondering, wandering totally incomplete creation (or creature) made (simply) from Time and dirt and air and static and some magnificent secret ingredient...

                                      "We dance round in a ring and suppose
                                       But the secret sits in the middle and knows."
                                                                                       Robert Frost

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