Sunday, June 8, 2008

I had a dream

It started again several days ago.The dream. This is another attempt by me to make sense of it all. I don’t know how to explain it but I’ll try I know that this will sound like the ravings of a madman. For all I know, it is.
They were crazy. Wall-to-wall crazy. And I was in the middle of it. Seven wild women beating drums and chanting. In the next room, sat another seven ladies, the sewing circle ladies. As loud as we were, they were equally loud just with their normal conversations. Both rooms were full of the joy of living, which was doing the ‘right’ or proper thing ?
Two different worlds experienced by their participants as being the right place to be. The sewing circle ladies were busy producing crafts that would be sold in the gift ship. The wild women produced a raucous noise but they did not care. The joy of the moment was apparent in both rooms. At the time, I preferred the joy of the drum beat, losing myself in the rhythm and the mysterious something/nothing of the universe. Was I doing the ‘right’ thing for me ? I thought so. Now as I am creating this essay, I reflect in the joy of creating. Is this the ‘right’ thing for me ? Once again, I think so.
This makes me wonder about life. I wonder what the heck we are doing in our lives. In the perspective of our own lifes, everything makes sense in one way or another. In the perspective of the outsider, another’s life makes much less sense. The politicians use the phrase ‘out of context’ to explain this perspective. I will use the example of the priest talking to his congregation. He makes great sense to the people listening to him..
Yet to the outsider, the man’s rant makes little sense other than the mean-spirited denunciation of another person. The rant is caught on tape and showed over the internet. This is an open and shut case: the man is a bigot. He believes in his cause and believes that gives him the right to belittle those who do not believe the things he does. This is my original reaction.
Perhaps, there is something to be learned here, at least by me. I wonder about all the things I say and do. I wonder if something that I said in jest was taken the wrong way (out of context). I wonder if somebody somewhere in my life has labeled me a bigot (or worse) because of something taken out of context. I come away with the surety that this has taken place.
I remember a time in first grade when a classmate came to me and asked what this meant. The this she was referring to was a note in her final report card that said: SEE THE TEACHER. There were no grades in the report card. I could not figure out why this could be so I made a joke. “Maybe you failed. “ I said thinking that was funny because of course nobody ever fails in first grade, and this girl was smart enough to know that. She was not a dummy. She, however, took my words ‘out of context’ and began crying. Before I could reassure her that was not the case, the teacher, a nun with a reputation for yardsticking first and asking questions later, intercepted the crying girl and asked her what was wrong.
At that point, I could have jumped in and told the out-of-context story but I did not. I wandered away from them with my own safety in mind. I did however manage to catch a phrase out of context, the gist of which was that the little girl’s mom needed to pay her library fine before she would get her grades. I was never able to apologize to that girl for my misstatement.
To Lulu : I am sorry. I hope you do take these words out of context because the rest of this essay might not make sense to you and I would not want you to come away with the wrong impression. I am sorry it took all these years to admit my mistake, but I still dream about sister Mary Retribution chasing me with a yard stick. I hope this makes these dreams go away.

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About Me

I am a crabby old man who hates everything
or
I am a tiny wonderer in a large world
or
I am a young hippie tree-hugger
or
I am a mid-life crisis disaster area.
or
I am an attitude of stillness waiting for a wind.
or
I have not decided yet.