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11 March 2016 @ 03:07 pm
i got the meaning, the meaning's air tight  
oh, resister,

and then there is guilt. guilt for who i am and who i am not. guilt for the things i fail at, but also for those things at which i succeed: because
a) it's never enough,
b) i am never enough, and
c) i am always putting someone out.

showing them up, showing them out. making them feel embarrassed by their own efforts. because as inadequate as i am, i’ve so often ended up making others feel like they are not enough, like they can't write as well or art as well or crack as much wise with the clever. there's this silence. this horrible moment where the connection breaks. this moment of someone who had been a friend or could have been a friend realizing that i am greater than our initial assessment, in fact i may possess something of which they are envious, and this makes me somehow an enemy. from that moment forward, that becomes a cancerous growth on our relationship. i who was supposed to be not enough am somehow too much in this extremely destructive context. it is always terminal. there's no way around it. whether it takes two weeks or sixteen years, our days are numbered.

what's ridiculous about that dynamic, what walking wind-up toys me into the wall over and over again is that it never seems to deflate my perception that: it is never enough and i am never enough. i am an amateur. i'm a dilettante. i'm a thrill-seeking drudge. i can never think of the best possible way to do something until it is too late. i don't already know and i cannot possibly understand. i cannot even let it move through me, in song, in unexamined pleasure, not for one frail beautiful moment: because i will not get everything out of it i can in the moment. i am stalling, i am separate, i'm unwanted, i'm a reject, i'm not enough i'll never be enough i better leave those resources for somebody who has earned them. there's always someone more deserving of the things i want. that's resistance, too.

so much of the guilt has always gone back to the relationship of my physical age and where i am in life. my mid-life crisis started before i was out of diapers. now? now?! let's not talk about careers or even education, because that's just outright humiliating, but where i am, where i believe myself to be, in matters of spirit, in placing myself into placelessness. in managing my ego. all the internet psychology forums agree: don't you know that someone with very low self-esteem is really a shameless egomaniac in sackcloth? i sure the fuck do. and i attempt to punish myself, usurp the egomaniac, discipline my black hole of a superiority complex i have not in memory even once sincerely felt; i attempt to do it when i've barely felt enough self-worth to get out of bed and feed myself - at times the only reason i've done it is because if i don't, other people will be forced to pick up my slack and the idea of that is horrifying. sure, there has to be a relationship between narcissism and shame, but just as my primary education system was never able to sufficiently instruct my labyrinthine brain (now with bigger minotaur!) in the conventional methods of algebra, internet psychology forums aren’t going to provide some way to honestly work that relationship, help me to see it in my own context. there needs to be some way for me to approach such matters on my own terms instead of slamming down some rigid, cold, crushing process that’s never surrendered a way in for me.

resister, you've made me feel so much guilt. you're relentless, you won't give me a moment's peace. if it's not my endless inadequacy, it's about my unquestioned possessions. you know? because i do not necessarily know the labor practices, the material acquisition policies, the waste management procedures of the factory which made the candle i am staring at: or in the unlikely event that i do, there's still the candle holder it is sitting on, the table i sit before, the zazen bench beneath me: supposedly fair trade fairly imported, but what about the wood, where did that come from? the metal screws, who made them? the oil fueling their transporting vehicles in every stage of production and then again from vietnam to wheaton, illinois? even if i could consistently afford to comfort myself with the luxury of fair trade eco-friendly vegan no animal testing soy dyed biodegradable non-gmo clutter free shit don't stink consumerism, you don't know. you weren't there. and industry does whatever it must do to keep itself lucrative: i don't know. i can't know. sometimes that seeps into "i won't know" and that's another form of resistance, protecting me from this older and much less stable form of guilt.

so here i am, just using these objects potentially soaked through with the exploitation and misery of every element, every form of life on the planet, and using them for my spiritual practice? like the ignorant, privileged white american that i always ultimately am? i'd say i should be old enough to know better, but we already covered that. many aspects of my tradition appropriate practices from other religions. when i find out a practice has been appropriated, do i dialog with it, evaluate the specific value this practice serves, and make any necessary adjustments or compromises? supplicate myself to the gods for their mercy, then make whatever restorations i can to the culture from which i have stolen? not always. usually i stop doing the practice immediately and feel ashamed. other times i go into denial. sometimes i get self-righteous. occasionally i excuse myself as an exception. i've even been known to keep doing the activity as i've always done it, but hide it from practitioners who know better and might judge. sometimes i forget about it, don't hear, won't hear, it's more damn guilt, it's so much more guilt, i can't move with all this guilt in the room

resister, where does it stop? so often, it stops with you. you are a no-pass zone. you have every answer. you are there just waiting to tell me everything i don't want to know. whether it's that i'm too good for this or could never possibly hope to be good enough for that. whether you have drowned me out with guilt or scraped me raw with envy, i am left vulnerable and traumatized every single time. the wind blows, the sleet rattles the windows. but there's something else: resister, i know you have a role to play. i know you have a proper place in my life, in my heart, in my spiritual practice. resister, you have your way of sowing seeds, of making things grow. just listen to my singing bowl as i run the mallet along the rim. it builds a drone. a beautiful song. it is a song of friction. of resistance building up over itself. it is a song of power, because it has fought its way into being, and it continues to do so at every mallet's turn. it stills the mind. it fills the room.

resister, please. help me sing.
 
 
music: window fan
 
 
 
light_stringlight_string on March 12th, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. You are so.
selva oscura: introspectanonymousblack on March 12th, 2016 10:04 pm (UTC)
((thank you for reading me, d.))
(Anonymous) on March 13th, 2016 05:06 am (UTC)
There is some very good writing here.
I particularly like the last lyric paragraph- beautiful image. And I am going to borrow this " like they can't write as well or art as well or crack as much wise with the clever." I will try to bring it back mostly intact

Thank you very much for taking the time to annotate your previous posts for the feeble among us and that would be me.
In all seriousness I do appreciate it.
selva oscura: sunflowersanonymousblack on March 13th, 2016 06:06 pm (UTC)
yeah, i don't feel like the letters i wrote the previous week to seeker came out nearly so well, not sure why. unless it is that singing bowl. i got it for my 21st birthday and have written about it a lot. or it's that the seeker letters didn't get the post-production polish that these did. sometimes that's all it is.

sometimes i forget how to successfully operate language toward easier interpersonal communication. get caught up in my favorite dance step of obfuscate, obfuscate, blunt! obfuscate, obfuscate, blunt!