Sunday, August 23, 2009

My first love

Normally on Sundays, I'd show you photos of my weekend adventures. No photos this weekend. Instead I decided to spend my weekend immersed in my first love -- books.

When I was growing up, my mother would send me to my room as a punishment. Eventually she learned that it wasn't punishment for me. Because my room was filled with books. And so I decided that this "punishment" thing meant time alone with my books.

As an adult it has become harder to find this precious time. I have found that the older I become, the less time I have to read. Except for those years in which I taught full-time. And so this weekend, the only time I ventured out was for food and cigarettes. I must admit that I took a very scenic route but things were overcast and so there are no photos.

My taste in books can be as eclectic as my tastes in food and music. This weekend was a kind of lowbrow one as my book of choice was One Fifth Avenue.

But then I was almost halfway through and read this.

"You're rich. You can do anything you want. There's no bogeyman around the corner who's going to punish you,"
"I thought God punished us," Annalisa said under her breath.
"God?" Nolene said. "I've never heard of such a thing. Spirituality is only for show. Astrology, yes. Tarot cards, yes. Ouija boards. Kundala. Scientology, and even born-agains, yes. But a real God? No. That would be inconvenient."

And so I read this and thought that I would delve into a subject which I rarely like to touch -- spirituality. But something told me to read on instead. And so, on the next page I found this.
Writing a blog was a bit like going to a shrink, she thought -- it forced you to examine your real feelings. But it was also better than a shrink, because you got to do your naval-gazing in front of an audience of several thousand as opposed to one. And in her experience, that one -- the shrink -- was usually half asleep and expected money. "This week, I realized that I spend at least thirty minutes a day nagging my husband," she wrote. "And to what end? There are no consequences."

That last line? That's what I thought when I read the first passage. Or at least that's where my mind ended up.

I started with the idea of what happened to a world in which we thought that it meant more than ourselves as individuals. Because the world I see, has an inordinate number of folks who feel that they are entitled simply because they breathe. And no one seems to be really calling them out on this shit. And as a result, there are no consequences for their actions. So they just keep doing the same old crap. We need to stop this cycle.

And maybe that's why some folks have a hard time understanding what things are basic human rights. Because there are these folks who flit around, not doing much but smiling for cameras, who have made some of us believe that this is important. That it might just even be a right. So who's to say what the important rights are at this point?

And then I thought of the readings of my childhood -- mythology. When Pandora opened that box, all kinds of bad things were unleashed upon the world. But in the end, the box contained one item -- hope. And so I like to believe that this hope still survives. A hope that we can get past our present stupidity and become the people we were meant to be. Because without this hope, we are truly nothing.


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