Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 30, 2006

A Word

Gratuitous part of today's post: Here in Mordor, even amidst the growing brutality of Sauron's empire, it's comforting to know that a few personal joys still exist. There's something honest, healthy, and sane about physical labor. I've been hauling bucket after bucket of soil from the piles in our garden back beneath the street in front of our house. We'd dug a sizeable antechamber beneath the street trying to locate the lateral to hook up to the sewer. Now that we're finally hooked up and have poured sand over the length of ABS pipe, R fills endless buckets and hands them down to me where I stand in the trench and throw them into the dark, yawning underground cavern, then I get down on my knees and shove the soil beneath the street as cars and trucks speed by over my head. It's a muffled, earthy spot, and a bit claustrophobic; my bones ache from the heavy work, but I know it's a good ache after sitting in front of a computer screen for so long.

Actual part of today's post: The Subject I Mean to Discuss in Earnest. The Thing That's Long Overdue for Change. I'm thinking long these days, into the opening that grows closer and larger the older I get. The Opening into the Elsewhere. I can't reconcile yet what I know in the depth of my cells, that all judgment, fear, and restriction is within my own being, a nausea of the brain, a chaotic mess of fragments gleaned from who knows where, some with lives of their own, maybe from past lives, as in the case of my guilt, fears, and rage against my abduction...er, I mean my adoption, the event that defined who I am (not).

I think words can have too powerful of a grip over all of us. I'm thinking specifically here of the word Death. I mean Death is a frightful word to see on a white background, a single masculine syllable, beginning and ending as it does with such harsh consonants, a word that is itself an end stop. The word's color is black as the Reaper's cowl. Death is, after all, just a word. A word with an ancient cavalcade of baggage strapped to it. A word that lurks in the subconscious of all of us who have been mass co-opted and schooled into a pre-fab agenda laid out by power mongers probably beginning as early as Egypt's later dynasties, calcified by the Roman Catholic Church, and legislated most efficiently by its protestant successors. The word and its concepts eat away at all of us as soon as we have sufficient brain development to grapple with the lurid stories and nightmares that include ghosts, goblins, cemeteries, zombies, and all manner of funereal fantasies, whatever it takes to burn the imagery into our brains for the rest of our lives.

Costume shops and candy corporations make killings at Halloween when we go out of our way to laugh at Death. Hollywood has made fortunes with imagery dripping with superstition and fear, images we all recognize so well that few need explanations. And through all of this, the church has amassed centuries of clout and control.

Well, my best guess is this has all been a sham to control us, to keep us docile. My other best guess is that we need to retire the word Death with all of its terrifying imagery and threats, that if we don't obey, we will suffer terribly. We need to put all of this mess to rest. RIP Death. I'm not sure what word, if any, we could substitute. I know that words are shorthand abstractions that substitute for agenda. What if there were no agenda when it comes to the event when we take our last breath? Whatever word we used, it would be free of all the dreadfulness, terror, and powerful control that the word Death carries with it.

Tomorrow I want to explore these ideas more.


Blogger Peter O'Connell said...

Hi Marie. I've had problems opening your web blog (keeps saying there's one item to download, but it never downloads). Thanks for your comments and words of support on my blog. I wanted to say that, like you, I too am unemployable. When I read through the various jobs that you've had it reminded me of the numerous 'career paths' I've chosen. The thing that I found, though, is that when you give someone a little power they act just like my adoptive parents did -like bullies. In the end I decided to set up self-employed. I now run a sanctuary for abandoned and neglected horses on 'Animal Farm'. There's dogs and cats and horses and one human. I find too much human contact stressful, too emotionally demanding. What I have done and which might be of interest to you, is to create a new blog called subversiveminds.blogspot.com. What you've said in this post is fantastic and I'm going to quote you. Marie, welcome to the subversosphere. I've found a soul mate in you. Take care of yourself. Peter

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Peter. I will get to your subversosphere site asap. I'm for all subversion of the machine and the order as we know it! I'm intrigued by your animal farm. What a beautiful "employment." It must be very satisfyint to know that you're caring for animals victimized by this horrid thing called civilization. Yes, we seem to have quite a bit in common, all right. You take care too, and I look forward to reading more on both of your sites.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

p.s. Peter. I'll do some checking on different browsers soon and see why there's a hangup on my page load. Sorry about the inconvenience.


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