Saturday, March 23, 2013

Particle or Wave (a Maverick post)

I'm trying to read Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time (which, I'm sorry to say, is not particularly brief). I smiled at his pride in the Forward, that he had made this information so accessible. Mr. Hawking is so beyond my complexity that he may not be able to comprehend the simplicity of my mind. I keep thinking I'm following his train of thought, when suddenly, he says "of course..." or "but obviously..." and I realize I'm just seeing the ghost of that train, some steam it left behind.

Maverick tried to explain about particles and waves. He said:

There are no drops in the ocean, just water. Drops get created when the water is temporarily broken up, separated, by an external force, like wind or a whale's tail. Energy is expended, and a drop is isolated. Or energy is expended and a wave is isolated. It’s still water, regardless of the temporary shape taken by isolating a part. It's still ocean.

Um, okay. 

Is the drop more isolated than the wave? 

...I don't know. 

Don't be lazy.

Fine. I guess it's...a less powerful being. It has less chance of causing other exchanges of energy, other actions. It doesn't have the whole ocean under it, pushing it. The wave's not really separate, it's attached, while the drop is not touching any other water, it's just...collected on itself, sitting there, waiting for something to happen to it. 

So, my girl, are you a drop or a wave?

Hey! I thought we were talking about science!

We are. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Impatient with Despair

I spent years ignoring, fighting, pushing down and hiding my deep despair.

It's not who I am. I am not just that. I have so much love, so much hope, so much joy, so much beauty in my life every single day.

And I have despair. Or sorrow? Whatever. I can be fine, going along just fine, and something will trigger it. A news story (so many lately), a song on the radio...really, almost any of the common signs of the patriarchy, the war machine, the rape culture, the commercial control, the shallow and brutal nature of my species. The human species.

Yesterday, feeling great. This morning, I woke up and I knew SHE was in the room with me.

Over the last few years, I've worked hard to allow myself to process the sadness out, like feces. Like birth, is a nicer analogy. The cramps that my body interprets from the flow of what is. But I have to say, when I felt Despair in my room with me today, I didn't want to. I didn't want to let it flow. I didn't want to let it wash over me. I didn't want to feel it at all.

I felt angry with it for existing. I felt angry with all the legitimate, valid reasons why I could live my entire life feeling despair every second, if I let myself pay attention to that. Yes, there are reasons to hope, to exalt, to celebrate, when you look. But they don't erase the horror of humanity's utter failure to grow up. That's always there too, a wedge. And I'm sick of processing it while so many of my species just harden the casings on their hearts and make themselves bullet-proof to it, instead of trying to change it. I'm sick of it existing and having reasons to exist. I'm sick of it marring my life experience, which otherwise is amazing.

The Positivers will have you just re-focus your mind. But to me that is selfish and self-serving, an emergency measure to keep you on track but ultimately, not a fix. The Change-The-Worlders will have you channel it into largely unappreciated, unsupported and potentially alienating action. I can (and do) take action, sure, to some extent, but once in awhile it's hard to ignore how futile, isolated and up-hill my individual efforts feel. In the end, I often feel more diminished than uplifted when I review how very ineffective I am. Even people who agree with me don't ally with me. I feel alone in a crowd.

I don't want to give Despair this morning of mine, yet it won't let me do anything else. I know it will pass. I tell myself the cliches that hold some truth. I remind myself that a pile of sand is a million individual grains that can be moved one at a time. I remind myself of the progress of the past 200 years and what's possible in 200 more. But really, when she arrives, Despair does an amazing job of cutting these thought exercises to their bones, and building up a far more likely society of increasing human brutality, coldness, cynicism. She takes over my body, mind and spirit until I can process her out with movement, with breath, with tears, with sleep. Like a virus, a parasite, a blood-born disease. She takes all my energy to process her OUT.

I don't want to use the methods I've developed for moving Sorrow through, any more than I want to talk with the telemarketers who interrupt my day. I don't want to engage with her at all. I don't want her to have any reason to exist. I want to believe the world is good, progress is towards compassion, and living my life fully will make a difference. I want that belief to not feel so deluded in light of evidence that stacks up on the opposite side. I want humanity to be better.

I'm bored with despair. I'm sick of it. I've lost my patience for it.

Despair, and anger with despair. Great combo.

But you know what manages anger? Only love.

(I'd better fill myself up)

It's not hard

It's not hard to watch another person fail and dissect why their failure is their fault.

It's not hard to observe another's weakness and decide they are weak.

It's not hard to assume you would do better when you don't see yourself likely to have to prove that.

It's not hard to let your behind-the-scenes words tear down another's being based on shallow evidence.

It's not hard to hate a person who does and says hateful things.

I was taught to take pride only in accomplishments that mean something, pride in doing what's hard. Why do so many humans tie up their pride in judging other people, when nothing could be easier?

We all know what's hard. I don't need to preach compassion. But then, maybe I do. Maybe we all do.


When men are in the position of having their lives, social status and the very condition and health of their body compromised, then they can get their say. When the medical community figures out how to produce children without enslaving my body into the process, then men can have some input. Until then, it's really none of their business. When men understand what it means to have something shoved inside their body against their will, perhaps they can decide whether that's still valid humour. Until then, they have no right to their jokes.

Women must have autonomy over our bodies. We are not holes for penises that happen to be attached to bodies. We are not incubators for male seeds. We are full-fledged human spirits who happen to have been born into female bodies, the same way men happen to have been born into male bodies. We deserve the right to control our own bodies and decide who gets to be inside, whether it's a man or a baby, whether we're asleep or awake, whether we're scantily clad or wearing burqas. The men who demand their own freedom would never put up with the level of scrutiny and control that many of those same men want to impose on women.

It seems to me that many of the world's men don't understand that we are even the same kind of creature. They are human. We are the females of their species, somehow less human, there for their use and control like all other resources that the largely male Power Mongers take and abuse. They see our pain as less than their pain, our joy as less than their joy. Some see it as slightly less, other assume it's another experience altogether, not quite as human as their human experience.

Being a woman is not less. In many ways, the female human experience is more - on the whole, women get and give more love, we create life in our bodies, we have the strength to endure our sub-class status and still believe, in our hearts, in our own humanity.

I've had it with meaningless, derogatory debate. I've had it with cultures that insist on patriarchy. I've had it.

Humanity, the jury's still out.