resignation syndrome

Wow, this story really hit me hard:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/the-trauma-of-facing-deportation?mbid=nl_170328_Daily&CNDID=22603630&spMailingID=10709031&spUserID=MTMzMTc5ODM2MjIyS0&spJobID=1122248743&spReportId=MTEyMjI0ODc0MwS2?reload

Can you imagine, just giving up? Laying down and …

This is what happened in Serenity, on Miranda after having been dosed with PAX, but I don’t remember ever hearing about it happening in real life. Is suicide the result of this giving up? I find Americans are so much more active. Americans commit suicide. This is not even making a choice, except to lay down.

Maybe it’s because these are refugee children, they have seen violence, and they don’t want any more. They don’t mind not being in charge,  as long as they get an outcome. But they aren’t forcing action, they have seen too much action. They want no more. The result of familial post traumatic stress. “She (Lotta Spangenberg, a Stockholm child psychologist) sees the illness as a form of communication after words have failed.”

Facts about Syrian refugees children who see dogs eating people, parents having sex in the open, lies and suspicions about parents, it’s too much. So at first the reports of anxiety and anger and depression (2013) have made way for depression, PTSD and schizophrenia only 6 month later. The main kid in the story says he was locked in a glass box that was filling with water. He was becoming the water, the water taking over, drowning, feeling like “every move could kill you.” And the only time he decided that it was fake, that the glass box was not real, was when his family wasn’t being deported.

It hurts me to think about the choices we make that affect our children and the children of our friends and adversaries. It hurts me and fires me.

Sleeping beauty might just have been threatened that she would lose her home, would she have just fallen asleep, in her glass box, becoming more and more transparent like the glass she was in, as it goes on. Maybe she’s a different princess, a Syrian. Fawzda? Something to think about, but now it’s time for sleep.

 

Colum McCann and Edna O’Brien

Now on my second half of season ticket, I am really enjoying this author series! Last night was Colum McCann and Edna O’Brien. I haven’t ever read any of her stories that I can remember, but she seemed a contrary old feminist. Her books were banned and burned in the 1960’s and she hob knobbed with movie stars. She seemed to think that her creativity came from her loneliness and embraced it, mostly, until she was called on it. That is when Colum McCann said he was joyful about his ability to find the darker parts of humanity and remained a happy man.

I have read Colum McCann, but only Dancer. And it was magnificent. I guess he takes history and personalizes it, fictionalizes it. It’s amazing. He is a deep thinker, you can tell, but still humble. He said that when you read Joyce (admired authors) were generous that they would give the gift of personalizing experience. Not giving or creating art as much as a giving a part of themselves. It made me feel hopeful.

The most impressive thing of the night is a project that McCann is part of called Narrative 4. It’s goal is to get people to tell each other’s story. So I would tell yours and you would tell mine, and in that way, we would understand each other. It’s brilliant, really. So simple yet so powerful. What if we could use technology to slip inside each other’s skin and know what it was like to be them?

Home

Tying of the Devil – in progress

It will be increasingly difficult to carry out mass protests and civil disobedience. Repression will become steadily more overt and severe. Dissent will be equated with terrorism. We must use the space before it is shut. This is a race against time. The forces of despotism seek to keep us complacent and pacified with the false hope that mechanisms within the system will moderate Trump or remove him through impeachment, or that the looming tyranny will never be actualized. There is an emotional incapacity among any population being herded toward despotism or war to grasp what is happening. The victims cannot believe that the descent into barbarity is real, that the relative security and sanity of the past are about to be obliterated. They fail to see that once rights become privileges, once any segment of a society is excluded from the law, rights can instantly be revoked for everyone.

-Chris Hedges

My daughter and I were driving home from dance class. She had just learned the shuffle ball change and we were both proud.  We were deep inside the maze of our neighborhood when I noticed a car creeping behind me.  We were being followed. I pulled into my driveway and he pulled in front of my house. I held my breath, hoping he would drive away.

The man fell out of his car, picked himself up and started lumbering towards the passenger side of my car, the side my daughter was on. He had a cell phone in his hand and appeared to be filming my car and my daughter. I told myself to be cool, but my insides were blistering.

I got out of my car and quickly walked around the front, towards the door where my daughter sat. He held his cell phone like a shield. He was standing a few feet behind my car, not getting any closer.

He shouted, “Go back to where you came from. You don’t belong here. You are ruining our country!”

Back to where I came from? He didn’t make sense. They never did. I was from here, idiot. And just what would you do without me?

I opened the passenger side door. I looked at my daughter and sighed. She looked at me, frightened. I said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart, it’ll be okay.” I took her hand as she got out of the car. “Go on inside,” I said, standing between her and the irate man.

I didn’t know she would be okay, I didn’t know I would be okay.

“You’re ungodly, you shouldn’t be driving, you shouldn’t even be out.” I heard click, click, click as he took pictures from his phone. “I live here!” He paused as if he couldn’t make any more words. “Harlot. You’ve been warned.” I heard the front door open, relieved that my daughter had made it. As the front door slammed shut, he looked toward the house.

I kept my eyes on him, fingering the stun gun in my coat pocket. “I’m calling the police,” I said. Sadly, I knew what they would say. “Guys will be guys” or “He doesn’t mean anything by it.” Because that’s what they said.

He turned toward his car, mumbling what sounded like “you’ll see” under his breath and shaking his head in disgust. I backed up slowly, watching him as he got back into his car and drove off.

He had my car plates, he had pictures of me, I wondered how long it would take before they came for me. I still had the law on my side, but how long would that last? The police in my town were men after all. The judges? The lawyers? Where any of them women anymore? The news was lousy with women taken away and never heard from again. I wondered how the female newscasters could report it without screaming or jumping out of their skin.

My daughter was waiting at the front door when I got inside. “Mama, did someone steal his happiness? Is that why he’s so mean?”

“I think so honey.”

“Should I get a string?”

“Yes, baby, you should get a string.”

My daughter went into the kitchen and got the spool of string we kept in the drawer for these moments. She cut a piece about 20 inches long and joined me in the living room.

“Mama, do you want to start the chant?”

“You can baby, do you want me to tie the knots? How many should we tie today?”

“Lets tie three. I’ll start.

Kirkvesh, Kirkvesh, let go the man’s humanity.
Give it back, give it back, let go of your vanity.
Kirkvesh, Kirkvesh we tie one,
We will keep you, you won’t run.
Kirkvesh, Kirkvesh, we tie two,
We collect you round the noodle and will review.
Kirkvesh, Kirkvesh we tie three,
When you give up your loot, we let you be.”

She chanted our familial evolution of the old Turkish “Tying of the Devil” I learned from my great-grandmother.  I tied the knots, picturing a man’s pale penis, with the string wrapped around it. I pulled tight on the string, fixing him, wanting this devil to feel the constriction. I hoped it would take the stupidity and malevolence out of the man, but it seemed nothing would do that. There were knots tied for the monsters set upon Muslims, Hindus, people of color and now for me, for us, for all women. Would they succeed? I fear this monster was already in too deep. 

“Mama, we do this so that it ties up the monster, right? And we will untie the knots when the monster goes away, right?”

“Yes, my Beloved.”

She looked at me and smiled. I handed her the string, and she put it in the bowl on the bookshelf, where it joined the hundreds of other knotted strings.

 

 

 

 

 

Break from Politics

Hopefully, as a progressive, we have pushed enough to get the apricot and his crooked cronies under investigation. Time to turn my thoughts back to writing, even if I do have to go back to full-time activism again. My side eye is still on the apricot in chief. I am still a tweeter!
 
I have been working hard on finding the origin of my dragons. It’s been exciting to have dragons join in my magical mashup world. I keep trying to incorporate my thoughts about the political climate into my  story line. I also realize also that I don’t have to. I don’t want my bad guy to be evil. I may have to, though. Or the evil was wrought by abuse. I think that is probably true in some cases and then not in other. Take Dahmer, his evil was that he loved without ever learning how. That’s really messed up.
 
I have also been stealing time to write, and find I still don’t do it as much as I need to. I question my desire to write everyday, but still keep doing it. I also tend to read too many news stories about current events. I fall victim to sucking it all in without spitting it all back out. I am pretty sure that can leave a black mark on your soul. I wonder if my opinion matters as I form it. I know there are lots of opinions out there and wonder why in the world I need to add mine to the cacophony.
 
Suffice it to say, I can’t help it. I want to. That is the only reason I have. Like a child, too innocent to see and believe it doesn’t matter, and too selfish to care if it matters or not, I write.