Changes in attitudes

September 28, 2009
A rare one

A rare one

Unlike Jimmy Buffet, I haven’t had a change in latitude for a long time. Oh, how I yearn for a vacation.

But I have had changes in attitude in the past couple of years.  

My first change comes about because of the old boyfriend on Facebook, who expresses his political opinions with such rancor, and misrepresents Americans so much I couldn’t stand it, got cut out of my friends list. I miss the good side of his nature but I think that when someone uses a sledgehammer when a fingertap will do, I don’t have to promote what they’re saying. And since I made that change, I began to think about what it means to express a political opinion.

In linguistics, which is what I studied in school, I learned that when you make a speech act, you are trying to make something happen. And the way you make something happen isn’t embedded in the words themselves–it all depends on the situation, how you create the act and with what words. For example, by saying “thank you” to someone, depending on the situation you might be making a show of appreciation, or you could be trying to get someone to stop talking.

When you express a political opinion, you are doing a speech act of some sort, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s becoming pretty clear to me that opinions put people in boxes. Giving a forceful opinion to someone who might have disagreed just a little bit may force that person to completely take the other opinion. You move into positionality. So, by giving your political opinion you might have been in the act of imposing your ego and saying “I’m smarter,” but the effect of your speech act is actually to make you stupider in the eyes of the beholder.

That’s what happened with my foreign friend who thinks Americans are total idiots and that our values are corrupt. I once thought he was a brilliant guy, but now he looks like an opinionated old fart. I’m saying this with the intention of letting the whole world know that I really am a dumb person who’s done the same thing–tried to look smart but in affect, been stupid.

So, now I seek the middle way. I’m going to try to understand. That’s what the world needs–not my opinion.

And the second change in attitude that I’d like to bring up is that I think I’ve gotten over some of my middle-aged, narcissistic illness. I used to complain about my home and the people in my life. I had a big pile of papers and scraps of this and that on my countertop. I used to waste more time on games and shows. Now I’ve come to realize that, well, for one thing I’m going to die in 40 years. And for another thing, this house I have, this husband I have, this self I have…

This is probably the best I could have achieved. Of all the men I’ve met, this husband was the best choice that I knew when I was marrying age. And this house is better than the other possibilities I could have dreamed up when we were choosing one. The trick of starting to look at things that way depended on humility. And now I do have humility. I’m careless, sloppy, lazy and dumb sometimes, and I haven’t had to pay nearly the price that others have had to pay for these same weaknesses. I mean, I did pay a high price for not being a better person, but I’m still in good health. I’m really fortunate.

A dividend of this new humility and appreciation is, I’m more honest about my skills and I’m more rewarded by the act of hard work. What else was I going to do with my time–wait for something better to come along? Not anymore.

So, I wish I could say this was the answer to everything and now I am happy. I’m really just feeling glad to be on better footing.

So Sad about Facebook

September 18, 2009
Carrying a bit of sunshine.

Carrying a bit of sunshine.

Was I ever surprised when an old boyfriend of mine looked me up on Facebook!

He used to be a good-lookin’ devil, I tell ya. He had the same kind of face as Mikhael Baryshnikov, and he was independent and creative, and…

I was a graduate student in a shitty old linguistics program, getting a pretty useless degree, going nowhere, thinking about going into the Peace Corps. He gave me a little glimpse at other minds and other worlds.

But he was a playboy and he liked women from his own country. He dumped me twice.

Oh, now I can say I was weak and stupid. Then, I got obsessed with him and it felt like a cosmic wall of indifference slammed down in front of me and I began to beat my head ernestly against it. Thoughts twirled around my head like stars and tweeting birds. My stomach felt kicked all the time.

Finally I saw the wall, and I realized there was no window to look through and nothing for me to do but sit back and rest my weary head on the nice, cold sidewalk of life alone.

What I took from that experience was, I can’t find anything in someone who won’t be there, and so I have to take whatever God put inside of me, and make do.

Twenty or more years later I’m married, mother of two teens, and heavy FaceBook user. My old teacher looks me up and we have such a fun time talking!

That is, until I find out he hates Jews, (I’m not a Jew but if you are, you’re safe with me.) He will not hear anything negative about our UN leader, President Obama, and he, well, he actually hates America and especially conservatives, and he wants us all to be more like Mother Russia.

Just writing about this, I realize that I am raising the negative attractor pattern again. I am a human being and I can’t be any better than I am right now, and as I write this I’m trying hard to realize that those who disagree with me politically may be feeling just as threatened as I am, and just as frightened, and just as angry.

But I don’t want to be attacking people. I want to talk about ideas.

How can I love someone and yet we are so different that we might be like Serbs and Croats someday? Or two brothers on opposite sides of the Civil War, shooting one another? Or like a heart torn into two. And I tell you, this is not necessary. This is human beings with axes to grind, using me and my old friend for the game of positional dependency. They need us to be enemies, even though we are not. I don’t understand how this is happening but here’s one article of faith I live by:

We are not in control of anything. The one who put the patterns in place made us part of the patterns. All I ask is to learn how to accept my problems and work with the patterns instead of against them. I believe that way I will find mercy.

That “old someone” willfully mischaracterized who I am, where I come from and what I stand for. And I am glad to cut that energy cord and try now to be among better friends, and be a better friend now that I can.

Why I want to blog

September 17, 2009

There is a lot of inspiration in my life. I would love to share it.

Why I am here

September 17, 2009

I like sellin’ stuff when it’s stuff people want. I try to produce a kind of art work that’s easy to like and easy to collect. I paint little figures on rocks. Is that so wrong? you will see them soon.

Hello world!

September 17, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!