samedi 7 février 2009

Charming désespoir

Carelessness, without care

empty packs of Marlboros
floating in the can
collecting rainwater
under the roof gutter

Walking to the garage in the half-frozen rain falling rather despondently from the gray sky onto the soaked brown landscape of our garden and what lies beyond it, a sorry view today, to get a roll of paper towel to clean up the drippings of the garbage bag that only I can see when I take a dust thing of dog hair and sand, the mountainous recolte of my administrations with the broom -- as every time, more than once a day --, to the garbage, my eye spies again the empty packs of Marlboro cigarettes, discarded and trampled into what was a lawn, bare now, again, of grass and sporting clumps of moss, both growing there and fallen from the roof of the petit maison.

Entering the house, I see the guts of a mouse, all that's left of a new kill by one of the cats, between the doormat and the door.

I am utterly deflated. I can go to Paris and chat with my friends over a bowl of potage and an entrecôte, saignant, a glass of wine in a bistro where even the house wine in a pichet is good, but even with these friends I met through our mutual enthusiastic support of Barack Obama and the Change to come, there is more of the bitterness of which we are not supposed to allow ourselves the taste, chastised for losing site of the Great forest for the trees. But, I am seated across the bistro table from one such tree, and he asks, with a sense of having been deceived or betrayed, "What happened to the Separation of church and state? Would Lyndon Johnson have asked a segregationist to say the benediction? He casts us onto the heap."

What are we supposed to say to console what can't and shouldn't be consoled? There now, hush, one liberation, one vindication at a time, my friend, one redemption for themselves at a time, because that is all the American people, any People can support. Yours will come.

Why wonder that France is his chosen home when their next president could be Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of this city, himself a publicly gay man and and free to enjoy full privileges in his society, with the exception of marriage in this historically Catholic country, not quite ready to let the last remnant of a faith they have otherwise largely, although not wholly, not all of them, for there remain a number who practice with as great a faith as always, discarded. If he cannot marry, he can become a legal partner, declared in his own mairie, and receive all the same benefits of a legally married couple.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.
Invalidate Prop 8

sign the petition before February 14, Valentine's Day

I have, as anyone who has read this journal since its inception, or knew me before, knows, worked so hard on that lawn, trying to make grass not only sprout and grow, but thrive. I have worked hours that can't be counted without admitting to a reasonable plea of unreasonableness excused only by insanity, or deliberately unacknowledged desperation. Then, the workers come, smoke their cigarettes and leave their empty packages behind, along with their unstowed and unprotected tools and dribbled sand, bits of masonry and chaux, scattered everywhere, what's left of the grass and weeds, smashed flat under their -- and our -- feet into the ground that can't now possibly give life to yet another lawn this spring, and I wonder who enjoys control over what?

Careless. Without care.

Mary asked, forwarding the Paul Krugman OpEd of yesterday's post, "Who is in charge in DC?" There was so much anger and accusation in those six words, "Recall or fire them all," "repugs and media are trying to stir controversy on the hill... as though the economy alone isn't enough... why is this not being taken seriously? My god, this is our economic future, jobs retirements, everything..." The sentence leaving you to call the everything to mind for yourself. Your everything.

And why aren't they taking this seriously?

I do not even need to struggle to find the words, since I just found them this morning and marked them in my book with an unopened envelope containing a recent statement of my investment accounts, worth something as a marker of the True sentiments that mark their cause, the author of which is Octavian Nothing, soldier in Lord Dunmore's Royal Ethiopian Regiment, "Liberty to Slaves" embroidered onto the shirt of his Loyalist uniform:
"It is in fact easily discernible that governments are instituted to commit the crimes that their citizens require for gain, but cannot countenance committing privately."

I intervened in this piece of charming youthful désespoir, countering that some philosophers say governments were instituted to protect the natural rights of the citizen; to which Octavian said that nature recognizes no rights. "Our rights are unnatural, or we should need no government to defend them." I protested; he insisted. "Look abroad in the fields," he said. "What may kill, kills, what may eat, eats. All things are born unequal, and there is no law but that inequality."

I did not disagree, but I was uneasy at the savagery in his address. "You would say yourself," I reminded him, "'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.'"

"And you would say yourself," he replied, "'The world is the house of the strong.'" Thus ended our protreptic discourse.

-- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves, M.T. Anderson

Who are the strong, upon what do they depend, and what does it take to make them recognize Justice? They will only change place with others, once brought low. And we will continue to fight amongst ourselves, making some True friends, brothers and sisters along the way.
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