Friday, April 6, 2007

Invulnerable Replication

Today’s word is ‘invulnerable’ – indestructible, bulletproof.

We are not them, but we know them and honor them. The ones who we look up to because of their strength, beauty of form, purpose of walk, and gracefulness of figure – the invulnerable ones.

We spend a lifetime longing to be like them. Their world seems so distant from ours. We look for them in the square or on the street. We examine them, discuss them, and informally research the deeper intimacies of their lives. We can’t help it. We are so fascinated by their perfection of character and body. But most of all we attempt to study their exterior and interior until we can perform a flawless mimicry that will allow us to mingle with them without discovery.

Most days, we feel so outdistanced, so aware of the mismatch of our character that they seem like deities. We worship these gods of polish that keep us hopeful that in mimicking their approach, it will only take a bit more time for us to be singled out and viewed with that same generous admiration.

They are the tribe we pay homage to because of their strong presence. They keep hope alive. Hope that we will eventually be ‘good enough’ to meld seamlessly into their world. But what we fail to realize is that when our negatives of vulnerability change polarization, we will become duplicates. And unfortunately, duplicates have no reason to admire each other. It is only differences that allow a competition for greater dominance and importance.

So why do we seek to clone ourselves? Thinking ahead, would give us the realization, that with replication, we will no longer look up to them. In truth, we should pay homage to our vulnerability rather than to them. After all, it is the extent of our vulnerability, within our daily reality, that separates the perceived power of one subset from the genuine longing of the other. Power, as a perception, has no place to go. It is a purposeless plateau. But longing, ah yes, longing holds a peculiar magic. The magic of longing is that it makes every stage of life, from infancy to conclusion, a purposeful race.

Always in the back of the newspaper, is the roll call of those I expected the see. The weak, oh so weary, guileless, fragile, and unassembled gossamer wisps of humanity. A reminder of the world as Darwin saw it with a validation of survival of the fittest, through the demise of the weakest.

But no more. Last week’s obit had a shocking and saddening list of names of the invulnerable. And that’s when I realized that without practice, mimicking or intent, the duplication had happened.


Matty said...

I am a little confused Roberta, (my usual state). There are very few people I look up to. There are a few women I know that make me feel better just being around them. Spending time with them makes me want to be a better person. They seem so organized, kind, compassionate, giving, doing, Superwomen, always have time for everyone, but I wonder about their personal life behind closed doors.
I don't want to be like anyone else, I like being me, faults and all. I'm sure I must have character traits that they admire. I think I'm missing something here.
Damn I hate that!

Roberta S said...

I understand where you're coming from, matty. I am now happy to be who I am. But I was young once and when I was I always looked to others to model myself after. Also, the thing about living an entire life in a small community is you know everyone's history, pitfalls, successes, as well as you know your own, and with that knowledge it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to be like someone other than yourself. Competition in a small community is pretty vicious. I expect this phenomena would have never occurred if I had lived for a spell in different locations.

I realize that in some ways these were rather 'dark' thoughts and I do appreciate you being so bold as to discuss them.

Matty said...

I lived in the city/cities most of my life. I just moved to a small town/hovel 10 yrs ago. For a short person, I stand tall and walk proud,,,,,you wouldn't believe how vicious, small-minded, petty, jealous, hypocritical small town people are. I don't think people would believe me if I wrote about this town. It's more than just a little Peyton Place. I'm not paranoid, just my opinion.
Have a wonderful Easter!

Matty said...

Sorry, I also meant to say,,,,Yes, when I was young, I wanted to be Anybody but me! I was confused, felt inadequate,awkward, uneducated, from the wrong side of the tracks. Everyone and I mean everyone seemed so much smarter and better than me.
Now I realize that everything I went through made me the person I am today.....and hot damn, I'm good!
Happy Easter!

Roberta S said...

Despite what you have found small communities to be, I'd not trade mine for anything. Love it here. Rooted here. Plan to stay. After all the years I've been here it is as if we are all one big happy family. False gossip doesn't bother me in the least. And I've long ago discovered that true gossip has little staying power.

I had a short city stint before and after the birth of my first babe and although it was good -- nice to have so many facilities near at hand -- I'd never go back ever.

I could never describe the people here the way you describe your small town characters. Although in my younger, more sensitive years, I probably would have heartily agreed. Guess the various stages of life affect who we are more than we realize.

Matty said...

Very true, my sister moved to a small town when she was 16 and she's been there for more than 40 years, and she loves it,,,,thats home to her. She grew roots there., had her children there,,to her its family as well.
Chaque a son gout! Small towns can be pretty discriminating to outsiders. It doesn't matter...I own my home and love it. God isn't making anymore real estate, so this is where my grandkids will grow up.