Thursday, April 19, 2007

Common Sense & A Practical Eye

I was so sure it wouldn’t happen to me. I was so sure I would never lose my sense of identity, but it is happening, despite all the reflective analysis that I was so certain would insolate my core and guarantee my escape. If you noticed the lull in blog-writing, it is because I am anxious. Very anxious about a world of such violence and disorder coupled with increasing anxiety about who I am.

Not that anyone would care? It is self-centered for me to even discuss it, but perhaps there is therapy for me in this discussion, and perhaps in my wild rants a few hidden dregs that will provide balm for others. My discouragement and loss of identity seems linked to passions that change daily without forewarning. I had such a passion for writing. MD (Middle Daughter) even bought me a Publisher’s Guide cause she knew I had a book that needed to be circulated as passionately as it was written. But, without cause, without notes from demeaning arrogant editors, that passion died. That was part of my identity that suddenly exited without warning.

And then there is my passion for saving the children that is suddenly weakening, not because I care less, but because I feel so helpless. With a government focused on tagging ducks, fish, and other mammals and registering guns, I am forced to accept defeat. The defeat that tracking children is not a priority now, and sadly never will be. Children will continue to disappear at an even faster rate while we celebrate some sea creatures that we have successfully tracked and through tagging now know that they have returned to an original nesting site. And we will continue to ignore that crimes of violence are committed with legally registered firearms, more often than not.

And my passion for the environment is being crushed by the heated ongoing discussions of government-based solutions. Some lay person said that we are too selfish a people to turn global warming around. And I have to agree with them. We all want privacy. We want sprawling bungalows with 6 – 10 bedrooms for each of us to live individually or as couples. We do not want to share our cars, our houses, our garages, or our lives. We want all trees that are non-symmetrical removed. We want paved drives and flood lights and swimming pools and Jacuzzi’s and every other indulgence while the heart of the beasts of our habitat lap up energy for all those things. We want rolling lawns that are herbicided and insecticided with whatever toxic concoctions that will do the job. We want our snacks packaged solidly in minute amounts like 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cream, 4 tablespoons of yogurt, and drink cartons that contain no more than a sip. And if we open all these things and dump the contents on the table in one pile and stack the packaging in another, we look like we are about as serious about conservation as someone secretly sinking oil tankers in the ocean to dispose of them. So that part of me that cared so much is weakening as well. (Are you listening, Al Gore?)

It is not aging that is weakening my passions. It is something bigger than that. Something the Kyoto agreement cannot even make a dent in. Maybe if we could just get past the selfishness and pre-disposed conviction of entitlement in all things, we could look at all of this with common sense and a practical eye. I think, in fact I am quite certain, that all of us, could dismiss our despair and anxiety and solidly reclaim our identity in that kind of world.

10 comments:

The Old Bag said...

You know, Roberta, I don't think passions exit or weaken...I do think they ebb and flow, take a rest and then reemerge, perhaps with a different coat than before. Think about your writing...you're still writing, and it's published and circulating.

Maybe our passions for the world morph into desires for our own backyard -- because there we can make a difference. And we know that if enough of us thought that way the world could change.

Forge ahead in your small car, tend your funny tree, and keep bringing home bulk from the grocery store...and keep writing about it because we're reading, and we're trying our darndest to find other kindred souls.

Matty said...

Roberta,
I'm tired tonight, not physically tired... although I've been cleaning and painting and moving stuff... anything to stop from thinking. I'm spritually and emotionally exhausted from caring and thinking and wondering and hoping and praying. There's a part of me that says,,'oh, give it up...who gives a damn?' but there's another part that says..'damnit girl, You give a damn, and you'll go down fighting if you have to.
But for tonight,,I don't want to care anymore, I don't want to fight...my passion left., my heart is broken. I know where you're coming from. We want to fix things, we want to make a change, we want to leave the world a better place,,and the world that we love is falling apart around us....we feel so helpless, useless, impotent. Hell, who can we help when we don't even know who we are,or what we stand for anymore??
We want to know that our life has meaning, that we have a voice,,,that we have something to say and we shout for affirmation and nobody hears us. I call it the 'silent scream'.
I'm afraid to cry, I think if I start I will never stop. I put my busy face on and keep busy, but inside I'm a blithering idiot. I'm 'running on empty' and I want to stop...but the grandkids won't let me when I look into their eyes. My mother won't let me when I hold her hand and promise her that I'll always be there for her. I might be getting older and there's a lot of mileage on this old girl, but goddamn it, there's still juice in this battery... and as long as I'm needed, the world will hear my voice. As long as there are bullies and people preying on the old and young and mentally ill, I'll be there.
Out of all my blogger friends Roberta, you are the best, your writing is exceptional, you write with quiet logic and forethought. You're the island of sanity in this crazy world...that I go to each morning, when I get the grandkids off on the bus and I can sit with my vanilla coffee and savor your words. I run through the other blogs on my sidebar quickly.. leaving a comment here or there if a post appeals to me.....but like dessert, I save the best for last. I enjoy your writing tremendously, your personality comes through with calm deliberation.
We all need a pause,,,we need a break, the pace is killing us, it's exhausting, we have to call a 'time out.' Caring too much can be crippling and devastating. And you wonder.....does it matter? did I make a ripple in the ocean?

We can't change the world, we can't stop the bloodshed...but it would be nice when all is said and done, that someone, somewhere will say,,Hell, this world is a better place, because she lived.
Don't give up Roberta,,,don't admit defeat...fight for everything you believe in,,re-charge your batteries if you must but never give up.
If we give up.......what are we teaching our kids? and grandkids?

When you wrote about 'tracking our children' I thought of my dog with a chip in him so I can track him, and tracking devices on pedophile's and criminals,,,,but who will track our children?
Your voice needs to be heard Roberta,,,,and I'm listening! And so are others! That's why at the top of my blog you will read the words..."I came to live out loud."
I will not be silenced.
What the world is missing today is passion. Don't let your's die! I feel your sadness coming through sharp and clear.
I know we don't stand alone, so many others feel the same way that we do,,,but not all of us can put our thoughts on paper as eloquently as you do. Someone has to lead if we want others to follow.
Please keep writing....I need to keep reading...I need to know I'm not alone.

Matty said...

Roberta,
You are published?.......you have a book? Where is it? where can I get it? And why am I the last to know everything???

Joy said...

This was such a beautiful piece, that I'm not sure what to say Roberta. I feel our passions do ebb and flow....often. It is so obvious that you are a very passionate person...about many things, even if you feel frustrated about making a difference right now. You are the kind of person that keeps things flowing the way they should. Keep writing and sharing yourself with us...it's a valuable thing.

BTW...I'd love to know what you have had published Roberta.

Roberta S said...

Hi jeanne/OB, your remarks certainly encourage me. Not just in my writing but towards an optimistic view in general. I've been to your place and I was further encouraged by your lovely poem "Four Weeks Left" that echoes such encouragement for ailing writers and so much of the 'loss of passion' that prompted my last post. I will, as you say, maybe rest a bit, maybe let my passions morph, and wrap myself in your kind encouragement and continue on.

Roberta S said...

Hi matty, my courageous friend that will not bend or break come what may. Thanks for the 'pep talk' and the 'rallying cry'. We will do what we have to do even if it makes a lot of people squirm with discomfort.

As far as being published, matty, no it hasn't happened. I think OB was simply referring to my blog. My book manuscript is on a shelf in the computer room gathering dust. It went to only one small town publisher who read it and told me I should pursue publication, (they were unable to publish because at the time they were already overextended with publishing works) but at the time I had so much I wanted to write that I just shelved it and there it sits --must be nine years now.

Guess the problem is if I start seriously seeking publication, that will require a concerted effort that will interrupt blogging...and I'm not sure that would be okay.

Roberta S said...

Thanks joy, for giving my work value. Right now, all I have to share is right here in my little blogspot. As I explained to matty in the previous comment, the 280 page manuscript is written and despite the kids constantly harrassing me, it hasn't been going anywhere. I hate battles and I'm just so sure it will be a battle for me to find the publisher that will pay me for my book rather than me paying them to publish it...which I flatly refuse to do.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Publishing a book is not easy Roberta. I understand your hesitancy. My daughter, Jory, has been in the process of getting a book published for a while now, and has had to put it on hold for numerous reasons. She too wants to get the best value out of it. My daughter, Julie, has had one book published, and is in the middle of shopping her second one....only to have to make more adjustments to an already daunting project, and balance a teaching job and raising a family. She's a little worn out from it all right now.

Somehow you will know when or if the time is right for you to pursue this project. It's a long process, and can be disheartening at times; but at least you've got it on paper....and not just logged somewhere in your head. Kudos to you Roberta....

Dick said...

Sadly - tragically, as a countrywoman of yours once said, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. There will be a realisation & a corresponding commitment to turning it all round. But by then it may be turned around too far to bring back.

As for passions dwindling, I guess having young kids in age keeps the fires burning. I find that nowadays I get madder than ever I did in youth. And if age brings anything in the way of added rather than diminished determination it's in the recognition that hope is like a virus - it continues to infect & reinfect in the face of all innoculations of hard experience!

Roberta S said...

Hi dick, I understand why you get madder. I think all the commenters here do as well. But the "innoculations of hard experience" (love that phrase) will obviously keep you determined and if they don't those sweet babes will. Thanks for commenting.

P.S. I am really drawing solace and good courage from your recent reflective discussions. I find myself popping over there to read what I have already read a second, and even a third time.