Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Ambitino Versus the third Child" an essay

This is an essay that started rough and jagged, and like all my allays, a bit convoluted, and worked its way up. I discuss my struggles adapting to having a third child in the house, a newborn.


Ambition versus the Third Child


                When a man or woman arrives at their Purpose, that one pure form required to realize their incessant Necessity, will he really sacrifice such ambition to Lord Pleasure? Would a philosopher who knows his task ever beget? The family, once initiated, imposes a deep ethic, deep because it is founded on the basic human instincts sexual jealousy, the maternal instinct, the instinctual desire to protect children; overlaying these universal human instincts stand our firmly rooted institutions, which even though they are conventional look remarkably similar across cultures. We fall into this natural convention and are told that the future is our purpose, the future through our children.

                How human, after all, to fill these primordial channels of our love with society's praised forms—to answer our love with marriage.. Even our needs for cruelty are given conventional form. Petty cruelties -- gossip and wit -- joys of life are given outlet. Our nesting needs are likewise met. Man takes pride in securing the walls and roof of his house, woman delights in rendering it a home; how neat! how abbreviated! How much better than facing the all unfiltered, for we know Pan inspires panic. Life is overwhelming. What a marvelous gift of love is this child that looks like me and likes like you, my beloved; in bliss in made him and happy he remains.

                The medieval ages made cupid blind, but we know what we desire, and even if we don't know that we know it, our actions betray worldly shrewdness. Man in woman seeks pleasure, woman in man seeks support. We know what we are after in this marriage game; we aren't half as foolish as we suppose. This institution, sometime humiliating, often compromising, is yet solid enough to hoist a life upon, to secure our pursuit of higher motives. Even the highest palace rests at last on solid ground.

                I remember the cynical truths and know they are not all. I remind myself of these things, and also that my Emilie is the laughter of my life, and so I bring myself to regular work, approach even a normal sleep schedule, though both go against my nature. The more stressed I get, the slower I work; when I panic I can't function at all. I must use my wit to fill my will; I come at night into the light of Ama and set my purpose straight. Only my Idius can I perfectly render. The day is justified by night. Ama speaks her love from darkest warmth.

                When you grow, Ama grows with you, just as your nemesis will seek you out whoever you are: if you are simple, so will you nemesis be; if wise, he will be intelligent; just as love subdues power, so the clever are cleverly undone, and the foolish foolishly undone. There is no escaping the confrontation of self and life -- Ama comes to you drawn to her own being in your soul. What your heart loves it shall have -- that is law. Whatever you fear will surely come upon you.

                Even the Allmother reminds me that children are not number one. Would we train a team to compete in the Olympics, but instead of competing, they went on to train the next team, indefinitely, never arriving, always pushing the future away? Every person has to be something in himself and not in terms of anyone or anything else. I don't have hopes that my daughter will be a great mother or my son a great father; my hope is greater than that, I wish them to be something of themselves, something exulted in their own eyes, and thereby in mine.


                I pour my heart into a logical grid. How to speak about the shame of intimacy? “Pride goeth before a fall” says envy. True pride knows the degree and limit of its real weaknesses, admits its faults, and refuses to be flattered beyond just deserts. I’d rather be faulted unjustly than unjustly credited. The wisdom of the west, after all, is respect of limitations. “Socrates is mortal” is the first truth of logic. “Know thyself” means know your limitations. What a man thinks of himself, what he really thinks of himself, that is what matters. A man may be proven up and down to be guilty, but until he admits it, there is always a doubt; and if he himself is convinced of his innocence, so everybody is partway convinced.

                Yet the stubborn facts belie us and we can’t escape them. Matter can’t be disputed. Love is a wound; it needs tending. We take a risk giving our heart. A lover who gives no confirmation is cruel. We always want reaffirmations when we invest, and where there is risk there is want of reassurance. How to recover from wounded trust? Some think it impossible. The fact of love is we cannot control it. Love does not come when beckoned nor leave when dismissed.

                This intimate home can be a trap. Like madmen put together in an asylum, by proximity we inspire each other with madness. Or we unjustly make comparisons to push against whatever is conveniently nearby, the way an earthworm burrows through the dirt. The adolescent blames his parents, merely to define himself, though his parents are respectable. So we stick to polite forms and safe masks – intimacy belongs in snapshots – for polite forms restrict injury and even show us how kindness would feel were it genuine. True intimacy comes as breach of form, metaphysical violence, even as a crime.

                We start this romance intoxicated. This man or this woman becomes the epitome of love, she is all women to us, and any other could pass on, but this one must not have flinched a hair on her head. Young love is the doubling of worlds. She shows you the foods you never knew to try, you show her secret gardens lost beyond anybody’s suspicion and never so special as now. The setting sun is more glorious seen through two sets of eyes.

                Yet we are nervous where this love will lead: it is arranged to bring us to matrimony, to a home shaped like the sick lion’s den -- all footsteps lead in, but none lead out. Rather, those who escape lose face and heart, substance and limb.

                As the intoxication of romance fades and the true love of realism sets in, we need evasions from over-intimacy and supplements for under-intimacy. A persistent and demanding interest in some distraction can save us from life’s knives. The husband is obsessed with some hobby that wouldn’t interest him were he single. He hastens his care to the trivial lest he drown.

                How frustrating is this love! You learn to finally respect each other. You know where to hold solid and where to bend. The door that budges an inch and stops is much more frustrating than a door not budging at all. How honorable a man who doesn’t give an inch! Those most eager to impress women are least able, for women are impressed by a man’s disinterest, in his greater interest in his destiny. God is man’s destiny, man is woman’s, through his children.

                Love is a second sun, our days take on new hue. And soon come the bonds of love, the appointments and disappointments, the appraisals and humiliations –it’s all there. I ask myself if this child of sorrow will ever haunt my days – such is the pain taking on a disabled child. Yet that child bonded us as a couple. The second daughter is the laughter of my life. I love them both as best I can; I weep in loss for the day this laughing child will grow and leave.

                In children we relive our childhood; we are reminded of those memories we forgot we forgot, and meanwhile we gain insight into why our parents treated us as they did, we find ourselves accidentally quoting them to our children. Only a cynic could regard forgiveness as the height of virtue. A parent forgives his parents in the purist sense of forgiving: he realizes there never was a fault.

                Family is noise. The day is nonstop noise, and the parent is a locus of order, like a reverse cyclone that cleans everything within reach as he passes through. The father complains he has lost freedom, can’t play his guitar, can’t read his book, complains, at least in his heart, that his children demand too much attention, force him to punish them – how humiliating to try to punish these children, never knowing what is fair and what is cruel – but for all the complaining it’s all just fake. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

                The triangle of life is family, work, and purpose. Both love and work is purpose, neither love nor work is rest. I give my whole to my love of the all. If the world would receive me… but if not I at least I am sufficient to myself. This philosophy will live at least through my role as father.

                Love is life’s fluid, it charges our circuits. Yes, family is noise, a tumult of love. The squabbling, the demanding of attention, the accusations and pleads and laughter is an Ivesian cacophony – music true to life. “Silence is golden” say fools. They’d do better to say nothing at all – for there is golden silence and then there’s silence like screws in the thumb. For the man who’s lost his family, silence suffocates. The will is a worm, it pushes through all emotions. That stark and bereft man or woman still urges to go on. And us in this mess, this marriage, this thick array, we too doubt ourselves – self-doubt is my dynamo. I call her Shivat, maid Satan, my creative mate. My self-doubt pushes me to the edgemost limit of my apotheosis, and with it my divinity is assured. Love is impossible without friction.

                We live in confusion, we love those we can’t control; we love those who could change for the worse, or betray us, or even die. This is the risk of life, the beauty of life, and no Noble Truths can cure what is not a disease. All circumstances can be normalized and made livable and comfortable: how shocking the way our neighbors live! The normalized can be anticipated and predicted, all its moves anticipated. So we pledge ourselves.

                This family is sure to wound us. Parents die, spouses die, sometimes even children die. After a trauma or tragedy we can’t go back to living as we’ve been – we can’t say and do as before. We are no longer fit for that environment. We must move on in many ways. It is amazing that two men can work side-by-side, talk as friends, and yet one in the spiritual sphere is an oak, the other a sapling. We cannot see wisdom we ourselves lack. Like understands like. When we pick up that abstruse book, we won’t be able to read it – we can only go through the motions – not until we already know what it says can we read. Reality is good at striking down presumption, -- the cruel kindness of Nature.

                And thus this marriage grows. We either grow together, or we grow apart. We either dance in step or we fall away. Childhood is trauma? Yes, but so is adulthood, so is giving your heart away. Having an experience isn’t enough – one equally needs distance from his experience. Being able to quickly objectify it using thought and language requires intelligence and skill; otherwise a long slow digestion is necessary. How are we supposed to grow wise with a spouse? We are too close to think straight about such love. And yet by persistent intimacy we develop telepathic love – as lovers who so anticipate each other they can speak through bare gestures. Since our heart together is one we grow as individuals could not alone.

                We grow with our children as well. My daughter can play the same basic games over and over throwing a blanket over my head “You be the ghost and chase me!” and “Now I be the ghost,” or the endless hide and seek between the two of us where, at age three, she picks the same spot to hide each time, and if I fail to immediately find her she impatiently announces herself. She can play the same game endlessly, long after I’ve grown bored. Perhaps that’s how children learn. Perhaps I am the same way, reading these same essays and poems over and over again. I complain in my heart against such irritations, but know that really I am grateful for such a privilege, such a joy as raising this daughter.

                She wants periods of intense attention, and then goes and plays on her own. I have a moment to read a few pages of my books. That endless reading that has characterized me since I was in the third grade is also an escape. Reality is too much. This love is too much. I would suffocate without this brisk mountain air.

                The basic family cell is a platform and interface for metaphysical creation. We internalize the structure of the family and unwittingly and endlessly make metaphors from it for all of life, for the life of the all. From knowing our family we know the world.

                I get thick into the family, I can barely do my work, let alone my passion. Just as Sherry’s womb is recently effete, I have had nothing to write, I can hardly think. It’s not Theron today, but Emilie, manic with energy. She’s been running in circles – 10:15 p.m. and wide awake! Even after she falls asleep – if ever she does – I have nothing to write, not a thought in my head. My soul’s run thin, my spirit brief. What can thicken my blood? What intoxicate my mind? I need some time in the sacred room, I need to charm the room, light the candle, perform Lapamalay (my cleaning ritual), write some emails.

                The thicker the day the thinner the night. And how much more necessary these dark creative hours! I come to write the Idius; the Idius is my sanity. Writing this keeps me keen and even. Lacking that I’d be bats. This new son, Theron Emerson, he is such a philosopher – serene, wise, peaceful. That is, when he’s sleeping. When he’s fussing I have no idea how to assuage him. How anxious to keep guessing what’s wrong. I had to learn how to overcome that mindframe – had to pause and reflect.

                Why anxiety? Why guilt? We blame ourselves for failing to do what we could never do no matter how hard we tried. Our stock of energy is limited, and the art of life is not in purging weakness, but so distributing and ornamenting it that it seems willed, musical, and charming. For instance, a man may forebear to perform some expected duty on conscientious grounds rather than on impotence – perhaps a pacifist rebuffs the draft, though he couldn’t much fight anyway; or a man thinks he foregoes his paternal duties for the sake of ambition, when in fact he lacked the stuff of fatherhood anyway.

                I recall my role as the philosopher of apotheosis. I’m never a consolation or comfort, but a provoker, antagonist, challenger. You are more than your performance. I hold on to this role, to my two hidden truths, and yet feel frozen up in my duties, overwhelmed by time. This daily demand is a trauma which congests expressions from flowing increase into anxious condensations. How to use time? A, B, Both, Neither: Work, Love, Passion, Rest. I need to rule the hours. I need to use the mirror to loosen these knots.


                The mind is the body, and what happens to the body happens to the mind; the afterlife requires a body of some sort, be it as subtle as a quark. Our body holds its emotions in its muscles; emotions seek motions, seek gestures and expressions; holding back an emotion creates a second emotion, a little frustration, rigidity, with enough strength to build some character.

                The family also is a body, an outer layer of each individual, a ring that expands into the neighborhood, the religion, the city, the state, the country, mankind, in a complicated gear-set of ever-turning circles. The house is the body of the family and the members are its spirit, its thoughts.

                To take in a new family member requires not just a physiological change in the house, a new room prepared for the infant, but physiological changes in each person, a new room made in each heart.

                Internalizing a new person creates their ghost, a model we can interact with in itself and also use to interact with the external person. This initially depresses the system as energy is used to create that ghost, that persona-of. A bit of intoxication must counterbalance this. The depressing effect is through the obsessive focus on one thing, one person.

                We don’t know a person till we’ve made– doubled her as a persona, an internal representation. We can love at first sight, but it takes years of marriage or intimate friendship to respect the beloved, to respect her for what she is and what she is becoming, and not as some phantom ideal we place over her. No longer a projection of principles, but a study of exceptions, we address her according to her myriads of contingencies. We discover what is universal, what is unique in her beauty. The great poet writes wonderful poems for each and any girlfriend, but to answer soul for soul is another matter.

                Pressed face to face in this narrow house, we need masks, formalities, rules, politeness. We need to avoid destroying each other. Sarcasm is a feminine poison. Suppressed sarcasm behind ingratiating sweetness is the trick of the poison. What is in will out, marriage gives birth not only to children, but our true selves. We dispel the sarcastic friend but address the troubling spouse. A family is stable because to it ourselves we unconditionally pledge.

                The family is a plane over chaos, a bridge to maturity. We balance a family against a career, combining the two impulses -- power and love -- into passion, the third, our religion or purpose. Any career or hobby or study or art or religious practice can serve as an interface – a mirror for objectification, for self-development, and ultimately for apotheosis. The family is a the ballast for that ascendant turn. We use these practices as a language to talk to the self, and thereby know ourselves; the family is also such an interface. Our brother, our sister, our mother, father, son and daughter through persistence become types by which we see the world. We build expectations for fresh acquaintances based on their stereotyped precedent.

                In this, people come through a fluid that pushes you the right chemicals for the reaction. A friend suddenly returns to your life. Why? What occult power draws or repels such engagements? The old friend knew the old self, and can’t quite appreciate the higher spiritual spheres our mind now traverses. Our language has evolved: the language of our being; theirs has evolved in a different direction. In our absence we’ve grown apart.

                We constantly grow, growing with our intimate and away from our priors. Our  mind and body ever turns and returns over our own bent and trajectory. The body is a knot of languages, constantly knitting together. We develop these languages, we cultivate and educate them. The body is a language, is many languages. All our thoughts have their counterpoint in our muscles and guts. Finding a speakable language by which to translate these body languages, doctors do this, but so do we all. We choose a religion or philosophy, some sacred inflection by which we will address spiritual objects. The ultimate ground of the supernatural is our body. Religion is a language. Sophia is Sacred language. God is a way of speaking, a rhetorical device. Language is the flow of intelligence, the threads of mind, the progress of our becoming. Maturity is in tone. Our body is our trophy.

                Psychoanalysis projects character development upon “the family romance,” a fictional scaffolding by which supposed insight into incestual angst exposes our real life angst. It is a game analogous to the religious game where a fictional relationship with god gives the interface of self-development. Both of them give us a language – the superficial language of psychoanalysis and theology -- which we foolishly think gives insight into friends and family; and they reveal a deeper language of real experienced meaning that though gained through the play language, in itself can be translated into any language. Even phrenology can give us insight, and what is psychosomatic psychoanalysis other than phrenology extended to the full body? And deep analysis, phrenology of memories.

                Psychoanalysis does not teach you to analyze your dream, it slowly teaches you to dream psychoanalytical dreams. The change in dreaming patterns is not “progress,” but infection – a gameboard for a new skill. We learn a language able to dissolve more reality.

                Each family is a language, the shared events, the joys and tragedies, the memories and the objectified memories of artifacts, pictures, the scars on the house, are physical memories holding us in the place of growth. We fall into constant tragedy with family, and we imagine even worse. Such is such and life is life. It is all for growth, evil is infant good, is the growing pains of Ama, the birth cramps of the universe. The joys and sorrows of life are the materials of our language. Family can’t avoid sufferings, but we share them in love.

                Ejected from that family platform, our trajectory takes surprising turns. After Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first wife died, an unspoken bargain with God was breached: the young wife didn’t survive, so Emerson left the clothe and ceased preaching. His pretext for leaving was disapproval of the Eucharist – he would not do anything in remembrance of his loss. For months thereafter he suffered psychosomatic diarrhea, as his guts prepared to create the new character of what he was becoming. He called it his “resurrection.” Only after Ellen died could Emerson accept the Gita, accept all world scriptures, open his mind, and then know God face to face rather than by second-hand testimony. Loss is gain.

                We have to be held down for a while to gain a thirst for freedom. The infant is an invader, imposing his needs not only when he cries, but when he potentially cries – every minute, day and night. How to be free? For an Allist, the daily is saturated with the divine, but how to normalize this chaotic baby who cries when or why I do not know? The babe epitomizes familial duty.

                The father worries if the quality of his work is suffering, if his boss notices, he suffers the guilt that he is failing his wife, not doing enough for his family. He loses a touch of that divine voice, though Ama is always in him and through him. That fourfold goddess is also Sovf, the Holy Spirit, langauge itself; Sovf is language and language is love. Sovf is the language of love. All his family interaction is also interaction with the divine. Transcendence is immersion.

                Fathers lack the motherly instinct; they have to build a corollary. They have to learn to be authorities over their children, learn how to limit and allow. Ten years to program your instincts, to program your gut – just as in any other art. The muscles of the abdomen must be knit according to the work you would do.

                We commit to this purpose, body and mind, and call this bond Mariwel. Mariwel is the binding oath of Sovf – he stands for cheerful commitment. One of my eight virtues is commitment, I am utterly committed to my family and utterly committed to allism. I study these children and remember the things I’ve forgotten. I live a second childhood through  my children. I recall in my childhood that I would borrow my parents’ college books for my shelves in hopes of reading them all. I fantasized pressing my head through the stack of books to gain all knowledge. From the third grade on I always carried a book with me. Books have always been my holiday, my safety valve against life’s overwhelm. I’ve always had one hand in another world. Who I am started way back then. Can I likewise guess the direction of these children? I take them as objects of study, I learn our language.

                My tongue is perched for singing, but the baby intrudes. The insatiable babe oppresses more than howling wind or hail. When my eighth day is under attack – my writing time at night – depression is my revenge. That cute chaos and his demands! Your scarecrow limbs and spilling head demand of me I know not what—certain frustration. You haven’t learned to smile;  you would unlearn me the same!

                I fall into a responsible sleeping schedule – almost. Brisk, then sitting, morning into noon. Children boast of ambitions, men of stations, the elderly of accomplishments. It is my time to enjoy this struggle—to live my station. Like a fresh corpse, a fresh pregnancy brings the dread of the inevitable. Once that tot is out – maternal relief! But only after the babe has grown does the father fall in love with his child. I learn to dismiss the advice of friends and approach the babe myself, to come to terms. The old advice “Make neither shoes nor arrows for friends” makes sense, we shouldn’t tell him how to walk their life, or they might heed you and hate it; nor tell them how to talk their arrows, and he might quote you to your shame. I remember my parents’ words but don’t seek fresh support. I learn to use the day as best I can, and heed the skull-faced sun. The day demands anew.

                Overwhelmed by the change, I sometimes cry sentimentally. When the body is ready to cry, the mind will find a pretext. I am part of the family functionary, I am a function of this family. The stress of it, and I do cry.

                I come to think of the great philosophers who had no children. Money and sex are the aversions of the ascetic, they define “the world” as power and love, but unable to do without such words, they talk of divine power and divine love – which amounts to the same thing looked upon with loftier eyes. Sex transfers anxiety, man to woman, woman to bliss. Would I be celibate? Would I with the Buddha abandon my family? I fold my hands like the night goddess in Van Gogh’s starry night, I bring myself to peace. Allism is all experience.

                I fall into a depression – maybe from lack of sleep. Such moods get shuffled in; my days are like cards, and every fourth day clubs me.

                I come to wonder over marriage. We wish our spouses were different, but even when we wish with fervor, it’s a pseudo-wish, the kind that if granted would only disappoint. We pretend to want them different according to the logic of idealism, for this creates a space for disappointment, creates moving space – freedom. Love is the opposite of freedom. Intimacy is meant for snapshots, it must be punctuated by politeness and formality. If you share a room, you must learn how to move your souls worlds apart. Solitude is divine. How to get back to the voice of the All when thick in this home of duty?

                Yet my wife and I are one heart – our private hearts feed into, fall into sync with our shared heart – the family is a layer of this heart.

                I comfort myself by holding Lissidy. Lissidy was a ghost who caught every word Dani said before he spoke it – her spirit was in his mouth and on his hands and all the meaning of it condensed in her heart till she lit up and from him in a lightening built and charged the sky, filtering the sun and stars. That is how I regard my blank book. I take note of everything.

                I try to regain my time. Like a tennis racket, each day has its sweet spot, when we can best attack the day. Emerson would wake up at 4 a.m. and write till noon. I don’t write nearly that much. My sweetspot is between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. – I can usually get in an hour of perfect work each day. The rest of the writing is more formal and deliberate, practice but not perfection. That sweetspot where I’m in the zone, to use spatial metaphors for time, that is the polestar of my day – all the rest of the day is its anticipation and its preparation lacking which I feel desperate and deathly.

                Lissidy receives my dancing mind, that tongue of flame, full phallus of my ego.
I return to her throughout the day, for my time has become parceled into golden drops in a gridwork of interruptions.

                Throughout the day I need to blink – to see where I am in the logosphere. A blink reminds me of what I am thinking, what I am after. I stop and see how all experiences are flowing in confluence to one emerging idea.


                Love your friend and hate your enemy – but do so justly. That is the golden ethic. And sometimes friends grow apart, and would do best to part on good terms, but absolutely part: how difficult! Where respect is lacking, friendship must cease. These are eventualities impossible with family, for the son and daughter are never forsaken, the husband and wife ever held close.

                Our fights are remembered with a blush, and then forgotten. What madness! The question we were seeking to answer was how do we learn to deeply respect one another? Jars and jerks between the committed two are as wounding as knives. For those who feel that love is the light of the world, when love fades, earth dims. Persist for the sake of me as a lover, even more than for the sake of you as the beloved, for my beauty more than yours, that I will ever fight to keep us on even terms, to lift you up and move past our mutual injustices. This knit of identity, this dance of opposites, is possible because I have enjoined to it my potential. Fulfilling our foray, we come to know the edge of the other’s self. As the Norse taught, Love cries tears of gold. This suffering, this injustice -- I am allowed to blast off that limping friendship, but this family I must ever hold close. Wet heaven aches for relief as much as parched earth aches to receive: all my giving is for you, for you the immediate circle, and through you the farthest circle, for you are the second face of Ama to me, as I myself am the first.

                Friendship is identity, the friend is he with whom we can speak freely, the friend is a mirror, the sort of mirror that corrects our vision. Friendship binds the cosmos. I come to you friends – I am so hermetic in my way – for beauty is virtue visible, love is beauty known, and kindness intensifies: I need to love you.

                Confidence loves, autonomy befriends, weakness uses, cowardice parasites. You flattering ones I must keep far from my heart: your sweet words are mixed with poison. Negate your friend and she will seize up like a clam. Know how to gracefully depart.

                For we have in life the dispensable and the indispensible. Those indispensible things, those few songs, those few books, those few people, they utterly matter to us and we can not imagine our lives without them. Whitman’s poetry is the only poetry I find indispensible. A few songs are so – they have become the bricks of my home. The rest are nice, familiar, good, but dispensable. Two women have been indispensible to my adulthood, as have a few authors – Emerson, Nietzsche. Those few are vital – they mean everything; they are the lens on the divine.

                Exhaust and replenish your heart. Shuffle off old friendships, seek new; prefer the few indispensible friends and sacrifice all for them, and give your full heart to your family. Blunt the blade, soften the knot, cloud the sun – take off that unbearable edge of life, for though mammals are sentimental, nature is unsentimental. Never fuss, never panic, answer the Mother in her Terror with the shining mind of a spotless mirror. The shining mirror answers life brighter than it receives. I ever praise this world. Praise, after all, is only a matter of encouragement.

                A daughter’s praise melts the heart. And in my son I see that there is no brow more faultless than the babe’s. Lambs to the lion are these beauties too me: I must soften my power with the gentle of love. The edge of life is blunted for my love.

                And this marriage? Love seeks proof. To endure beyond proof is a testament to ones love – of himself as lover, his self-respect, to his trust in the universe as a whole. I fall into grace. I enjoined my way to ours.

                How serious, the new born child! How beaming the mother! Oh young mother, covered in love! Infant at your bosom, toddler in your lap!

                And yet I remember my need for divine solitude: to be alone is to be full in the presence of Ama. She praises me, she chides me, she snickers at the husband who calculates his chores to make them most visible, at the giver who happens to impart his gift before an audience. Who are you trying to impress, shrewd player? Who need you impress? Why seek secondary testimony? Believe your self-estimate. And never mind your familial guilt or annoyance. How human to endlessly complain about what you wouldn’t have any other way!

                I look upon these children and imagine them grown and leaving. How unbearably sad! Coldness, formality, composure -- masks for sadness. I stick to my books. We control uncontrollable emotions through accessible emotions: anger is easier to handle than sorrow. “Enjoy them while you can, they won’t be young forever,” yes, time is cruel. I spend the days with these darlings, and grumble about lost study time. How sad if I didn’t have them, if I weren’t immersed in this love! Why does the mind deceive itself? The psyche only undeceives itself slowly to avoid losing composure and being overwhelmed.

                We share sad moments. Families bring joy as well as sorrow. What do all the sad parts mean other than that I am groomed by Ama, made ever ready for greater things? Alone with the divine and she sends me back into the thick! How unbearably sad to ever be parted from this family – even for a day! My philosophy is water, it fits into every crevice of my day, and I must read to escape the smother. I both need it and need temporary escape. How is it the world is so nonchalant when I am intense and overwhelmed? Best, as always, to seek a little distance, a little reprieve, enlightenment’s perch, a time to be alone with my thoughts and deep in my studies. I feel I would die without it.




\~ @M@ ~/


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