This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

And the Conch Ran Away with the Spoon

In Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins, there is a philosophizing bean can, a cantankerous used sock, an ancient conch, and a mystical, yet submissive, dessert spoon.  There are other, normally animate characters with stories too, and enough motifs to inform me that I can't quickly sum up the book for you now and still write the general blog-confessional that I have planned.  Adding to my general coyness is this teeny hour of the day, which seems overtly ridiculous, for such a self-centered announcement.  But, I suppose you "takes whats you gets."  Rather than follow my initial impulse, to use Robbins's motifs and over-arching theme as an existing framework on which to set my own "epiphany" writing, let me give you a quick one liner, by way of segue:  "illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils."

In the book there is an act that spurs the humans (and bean cans, socks, and spoons) to wake up, or to "let the veils drop." It is the sensual long-dance of a skinny legged girl in the lounge of a restaurant owned by an Arab and a Jew which is situated across from the New York U.N. headquarters...

However, I want to write less about that book, and more about me and my so-called life veils...

Here's the first thing, and it doesn't sound like such a shocker, or so embarrassing even;  I didn't want to admit this thing because it seemed to trigger another confession I wanted to deny.  The first thing is that I need to have an active social life.  I do not fare favorably, I am willing to say, when left to my own devices for too long.  Why do I state this as fact? Well, there are two reasons and I'll get to one now.  This reason is the reaction that is triggered by the former statement, which I didn't want to accept: I am prone to depression. 

There.  I said it for all my blog readers.  You may be feeling that is somewhat anti-climactic.  I know my mom did.  She said, "but that's not anything new, is it?"  Maybe you had already gathered that about me too.  Or maybe you don't spend your time analyzing my blog when you are away from it; maybe you're here because you like the writing, or because your my friend in flesh and blood (and internet) and you want to keep up with my gossip.  But, maybe you didn't see it coming either.  I know I didn't want to.  I didn't want to accept that I am prone as such because of the stigma it represents in my mind.  This is a stigma largely got from my family and early womens-lib literature from 20th century England (I'm looking at you Charlotte Perkins Gilman).  It seemed to me that accepting that I am prone to depression (melancholia) equals meaning accepting the helplessness in my grandmother's gravely voice or the outrageous behavior exhibited in the past by my cousin.  It means accepting much of what I have rejected.  And I can see that I have rejected more, again, than I care to admit.

As I made allusion to in the last sentence, I also have a tendency toward out-of-hand rejections of social norms.  This behavior is another one of those old habits and I've apparently just uncovered its roots in the last few days.  For some reason I'm not so embarrassed by this one.  I guess it's easier to glorify.  I can see it comes from wanting to be above the average.  It's funny to me that "This American Life" themes start reeling in my head when I think about wanting to be "more than" the norms are.  It's funny because I feel suddenly swollen with emotion about the beauty of the details inside every complex human-being, and, for Tom Robbins, bean can. 

Wanting to be instinctively "unique" is both a noble and a ridiculous endeavor, I think.  I think we are so complex in our emotional, physical, and mental interplays that we can't not be unique inside.  We are just as much our own little universes, as we are one, extraordinarily small part, of the whole.  That idea is just beautiful to me. 

My drive to stand out from the crowd is not as strong as in others.  If I wanted that more singularly I would be pushing one or another of my talents to its edge constantly so I could gain wide-spread recognition for it.  I don't do that.  Just as I have with lovers in big cities, I spread myself around.

Perhaps I could be blessed and choose to think that there's an equal reaction to the cause of being unable to be an automaton (which don't exactly exist when you look deep) which would be that it allows me to make some choices on the more well beaten path.  You see, behind the veil of ego that loosened on my reality in the last weeks, was a pile of confused, half-realized or dreamed, plans.  In our talking in the last few days Hadj and I recalled what we said our plan was going to be before I made it out here.  We recalled, again, that our first impulses are usually the right ones for ourselves.  We admitted that we knew some things we weren't including in our recent undertakings. 

And you know what?  I don't think I need to put any of that "going forward" stuff in here.  I do hope there are a few of you feeling suspense now, but if not, that's ok too.  Because we all have our stories we're writing, don't we?  We have all our veils dropping at their own speed and frequency.

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