I wandered the desert of my imagination and the jungle of my confusion this morning, peering into the nooks, looking for some hooks upon which to hang a few garlands of words, an awkward paragraph or twenty, sentences woven together, hopefully into some semblance of meaning. And with any luck displaying the thoughts forming within, struggling to be given birth.
Being Blogiversary Day I eventually searched some of the olden times. I discovered 51 essays tagged Friday Philosophy. But one of them, NpK‘s Riffing off of Robyn, was rather an edition of Friday at 8. Fifty. I missed two weeks on the edge of the Mojave. But the first Friday Philosophy was published before we officially opened, so maybe this is Numero Cinquenta.
Maybe not. Counting things is an obsession, but it doesn’t rule my life any more. That first piece after we opened to the public, as well as the first one with the graphic (which is called Occlusion, for anyone who has wondered) was The Closet.
Publishing A Transition through Poetry at Muse in the Morning has a tendency to drag me back through the sixteen years since I began my transition. How could it not, especially since I have assigned myself the task of providing a little commentary to add flourish and some music in an attempt to evoke a mood?
It is a time of reflection.
If I was musically inclined, I’d maybe try to write my own score, but instead I rely on my memory of how I felt at the time and my music collection. And youtube. Some stuff is just not available and may never be, like so much of the Donavon.
Is there in fact a We to even be concerned about? And if there is a We for you and you and you…and even you, does it include me? Are we somehow connected in some manner? Where in our existences does that connection exist? Does it slouch in a half-hidden corner, known only when we use the secret handshake, or does it stand tall and proud for all the world to see, regardless of the personal consequences?
What are the ties that bind? What is it that makes us a community? And how do we live to make that community more vibrant. And how does the community remain healthy?
The ties that bind us together. But there is a different kind of tie. There are the linkages that connect us, but there are also the ropes which keep us in our place. That is an image that npk generated in my head with her poem Mores this morning:
That bind in poor sweet Nell fashion,
No one can see them
But I feel them,
The knots and hard fibers
Biting into my soft soul.
You should probably go read the whole thing.
We live in a culture extremely conscious of the bonds of convention…shackles from which some of us must struggle to loose ourselves…chains whose purpose often seems to be to pull us apart, to separate the few from the many, to wash away the dregs from The Chosen, manacles whose purpose is to make belonging a function of normative behavior. What makes me a Liberal, if that’s what you choose to call it, is the knowledge that there are people who would seek control of the definition of “normal” for nothing more than personal gain and political power. For that reason I will always choose to challenge the meaning of normal. In comfort lies stagnation of the expansion of the boundaries of what it means to be human.
Ties that bind us produce boundaries. Do we demand them? Do we accept them? Or do we challenge them?
To me, being Liberal means accepting that it is okay for other people to challenge those boundaries…and maybe even being supportive of those challenges. But I really favor people joining in the challenge. Many hands may not make the work lighter, but it really does make the mood brighter, and provides some fuel to the soul once in awhile…and builds some of that connective tissue that is a community.
I will seek to ally with people who believe that challenging those boundaries is what we are meant to do during our time on this great wheel. Perhaps I am doomed…perhaps we all are…to be shaking my head at the struggle between the peoples who only wish control of who gets to decide the definition of normal.
At least that’s the doom of this lifetime…for this one small life force. But it is also the challenge.