Thursday, June 11, 2020

Meditation 69 (though I'm told my counting's flawed)

11 June 2020

Make eye contact and small talk with strangers, Timothy Snyder writes. Lilith and I cross paths with the white man and his one-eyed tan dog. She’s a small fluffy thing, dressed up in a large pink bow, and he’s not looking at me. I called him a racist. Rosie and Lilith sniff the important places, and I wish him a good day. He wishes me same. It’s political telepathy: he knows and I know what we’d say, had we not the courage to go small. I wave to the man in the cemetery who thinks hospitals make money off ventilators; he asks after Lilith, who stepped on a bee, and I thank him for suggesting the stinger was still in her paw. Death’s tasteful industry spreads all around us. Gladiolas and torch ginger peek from graves’ metal vases; a paper fish (for boys’ day?) lies on the pavement. Next to Kahekili, a bright blue face mask with white ear elastics sits on the green grass. Lilith walks over to sniff it and pee. (“We stopped for tea and gas.”) Norman asks if we find a difference between our inner and outer lives; businessmen told him they hated their jobs more after the retreat. This is not who I am, or you were. Professions strip our spirit from our performances, as if we were good actors trapped in the bodies of bad. Hell, thy name is committee work. One man says he thinks any separation between inside and out is now false. I wonder how, without the huge chain link fence or the beautiful wall, to balance the video of a murder with what occurs in my mind. There’s purpose in seeing, but less in re-seeing. Trauma isn’t action, but re-action, stuck needle at 33 1/3. Jesus died in that groove; Trump is holding his racist rally in Tulsa. Symbolic action sucks. Pull back on the lens. Mountains are too grand in their walking; point at the paper fish that blew off someone’s grave. Then shoot.

Timothy Snyder, from On Tyranny, Tim Duggin Books, 2017.
Allen Ginsberg, “Wichita Vortex Sutra” also gets a quote.


Marie said...

This is a good walk! Each of the meanderings feels purposeful and not random and meaningful. I really enjoyed this.

Roger Fox said...

Awesome. I am here for the first time, it seemed to me very interesting. Thanks!

Karen S. said...

I really like this one and hear all the weavings and thoughts coming together. These meditations help me understand how purposeful meditations are, or can be. Beginning with its small kindnesses (the courage to go small) engages me and prepares me for what would otherwise feel like wanderings later. Good stuff.

Janet said...

Hell thy name is committee meetings reminds me of C.S. Lewis's version where everyone waits at a busstop in the rain forever. "the courage to go small" is intriguing & makes sense. I hope Lilith's paw is okay. The paper fish gets me.