Archive | November, 2010

The Way It Is

26 Nov

“I’m completely worn out. Year after year, listening to patients who aren’t satisfied with their lives. Who want to have fun. Who want me to help them with that. It wears you out, I can tell you. My life isn’t exactly a lot of fun, either. People demand so much. That’s the conclusion I’ve drawn. They demand to be happy, the same time as they are egocentric, selfish and ungenerous. Well, I would like to be honest. I would like to say that they are quite simply mean, most of them. Trying to make a mean person happy… there’s no point. You can’t do it. I’ve stopped trying. These days I just prescribe pills. The stronger the better. That’s the way it is.” – the Psychiatrist from Du Levande (You, the Living)

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Love After Love

22 Nov

by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Touch me? No, I don’t think so.

21 Nov

Dear Senator’s Baucus and Tester:

The new TSA full-body scanners are a complete intrusion of privacy. If one chooses to opt-out of getting scanned, the esteemed TSA then subjects the person to a “pat-down” that includes some stranger touching the groin area (and breasts if female), hair and even face. This is completely un-American, and further, degrading. Even the Government Accountability Office states that it’s unclear whether these new (and costly – at close to 200K each) body-scanners are even efficient in spotting threats like those used by terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in 2009.

I will not fly until the TSA has some checks-and-balances installed into their ridiculous policies – and that these new “privacy” efforts are abandoned for something more sane.

Sincerely,
Justin Olson

[Btw, here are many health reasons not to go through the body-scanners (read the scientists’ letter).]

Clarity

15 Nov

Loss of sleep. Groggy.
Still can’t breathe well from a cold that refuses to let go. I cough like there’s not enough air in the room to fill my lungs.
I’m sick of waking up to water condensed on the windows and a blower shouting noises outside. The amber light under the door is on.

    The repetition of nothingness tries the soul.
    Life.

To continue the path I’m on? Though I really don’t want to student teach, or even observe next semester. I definitely don’t want to start teaching in some po-dunk Montana town (where the air is less than full). Nor do I want to write another lesson plan with this header: “From Theory to Practice.”

Or do I apply for MFA programs in fiction? But it’s a lot work – I’m running out of time and I’m not sure my writing samples are still up to snuff. Or even what admission committees are looking for. Or even if I have it in me to go to school for two more years. If it’s anything like the insanity of this semester I want to say “No thanks. My cause is over. Ambition, spent.”

Should I just get a somewhat meaningful job? Write on the side? Should I just move to New York City and hang out in front of Broadway theatres all day? Can I sing my voice off in Times Square to all the millions of passing tourists? Who are all bemoaning someone else in their way?

Start a business with a friend? Start a business by myself?

Or do I continue the path I’m on?

The good thing about Missoula? The moisture causes my chap-stick to never run out. The traffic forces me to stay inside and my dreams to continually suffocate inside my head.

    Maybe I’ll apply for the MFA.