C a r o l y n ' s D i a r y diary.carolyn.org
|be warned: this is my diary... clb||page 38|
Variations on a theme of escalating nonsense. Richard's rights and obligations - an abstract way of analysing the worled into what you have to do and what others owe you that you are able to enforce receipt of. I have never thought that anyone ever owed me anything. What is that that we should live together owing each other things automatically.
Who gets to decide what the rights are? Once they do, why should I want those rights, and if I don't bother to want them, and don't enforce them, why should I have obligations to others? I think this is an ugly and inflexible model as it stands here so far. I could expand it until it took on enlightened barter style farness, but I think I won't. My models fro things come from the ecological world around us.
In descirbing this to Peter yesterday, he grumbled that the ecology is not taken seriously enough. I explained that my thinking doesn't worry about real ecology directly, but that I just look at what is there and learn how to see the world from it - without the notionof human intervention and interaction in the model. Then I realized that ecology always treats humans as outside of the models. We are not just other animals int eh system - for we can reflecton the system, and even plan to alter it (eugenics, agriculture, etc.) - whereas every other part of the ecosystem of our planet is regarded as lacking agent status - it, they, that cannot plan things out.
If humans like the us & them way of thinking, we don't attribute that same sort of thinking to the rest of things alive. We model the whole ecosystem as just them, for we are us. "Them" consists in every living creature and it's interactions with every other one in comes in contact with. Add the non-alive environmental factors in (although not humans perhaps because they are not predictable) and the ingredients for ecological modeling are complete. But humans think in terms of us and them. For me to be using models from ecology in human interactions means that I am not modeling these as us / them interactions at all. I don't build us / them things, and I don't look for them. Perhaps my fondness for the ecological modling derives from the lack of this central human dichotomy.
Perhaps it doesn't. I would like to hazard a guess that this lack in the modeling of ecology though has contributed to our collective irresponsibility towards our living environment - the environment is alive in this phrase, not just us. Without a good tool to see ourselves in relation to the rest of the ecosystem, perhaps indeed it would have to be an us / them model finally although I hope not, we'll be able to continue accidently extending the harm.
I feel biologists should be held accountable to stop simply modeling the "pure" state of what is or was, and start to introduce these tools to the study of the man / life interface as well. The meme of an ecological model including human effect and consciousness could help to turn the tide.
I've been aching inside about the ozone layer for well over a year now. This is the first time that for me, something positive has come of it. I'll look now not only to ecology as a science for models, but specifically for an us / them reconciliation so that we humans might better digest how our future can be if we build responsibly.
Oh and me... yesterday was a terrible tantrum disaster for me. I ended up standing up a friend and getting incredibly frustrated and annoyed at office folks. I wish when people see blood that they didn't immediately open the wound further and bite harder. What is the reason for this. We all have threshholds. Why push beyond them? And why did everything break last night?
Screaming out millenarianistic rhythms. An end and beginning even were it not for our own energies. Waking the spirit of time to hold our hands through numerically patterned spaces. An outing of dusty fear and transient love.
A quick morning bite of thought. Featherweight ideas after swimming for a day senescient in Blue Mars. Which cult will I join? Why wouldn't I? The comfort of others' metaphysical onslaught would sooth so many raw nerve endings. What do those leaders get: noteriety, money, local respect, sex, causal efficacy, perhaps amplification of true belief.
But I must shower quickly, swallow more caffeine, walk to the grey walls of territorial accomplishment, and smile. Click.
Striving beyond the mores I've been teaching myself is so tiring... I'd rather try something new. Just retire into the place people go when they are happier than this. Pushy people trying to ream their own agendas into my life. One of my friends will go away now for good. Surprising that these things can happen after all that has happened. I'll take that as a lesson, and expect no less in the future. Will I plan to end in the dust heap? i doubt it, but i'll hold furry promises at bay a lot more. Just what I need.
Go away. It is no longer a request.
Through the several things left open to me, I'll stay what the closing space until the end. Relationships coming to their final rest. Interests diminishing. Reasons dwindling though not a seasonal shift. I'll think about the lack of future as I see that life is not about my dreams any longer. Is it tragic?
I've met people who are smarter, prettier, bolder, richer, braver, more organized, tidier, and happier than I. I leave the whole entire mass of opportunity to others to embrace for I cannot see it at all. I am blind.
I ache for the lack of warmth I so need.
My life is again like my childhood. Empty. No one inside who I am, people this time with their own things to do. Where is the person who would share my life and theirs? Are there any?
I know that love is necessary. And apparently it wears out. After so many years of thinking htat perhaps it might stumble my way again, I think I give up now. I don't really want to believe anymore. Such a trite concern, and yet it is the basis for much of who I can be - the beeing respected and loved for who I am. I am only a chunk of unwilling clay to those around me now. They can go to hell.
Isolation. No one to talk to. People who are all willing to tell me that I am not playing the appropriate games. I am only playing mine, it is true. But that is as appropriate. I cannot hate someone more than Peter. The end of all that past is near. We all know that. What will I do with this truth?
And some think that I am lucky. If only they knew the black and empty place that I am left alone in. With no tendrils out in the normal way, when I don't even own any of htese tendrils myself hypothesizing that not everyone can feel this alone, the bleakness makes me cry impassioned with hope - hopelessness. No more repairs to my life.
vets.. Fleiss will be alright, but he was hit by a car this morning. His nose is badly broken but other than a bruised shoulder, he'll heal quickly. The xrays found nothing. We're all really lucky. I'll see him on Monday to bail him out from the emergency hospital. Peter crashed in my bedroom exhausted. The relief of everything being ok hit me as we drove away from the vet, no lung damage, no internal damage. but with the bloody nose and the serious shoulder limp, I thought for sure at first that he was in serious physical danger. He is a little bit, and how I can see that a badly broken nose is an improvement, I don't know.
I'm glad that Peter just let me cry afterwards. We were all so brave for Fliess, but it is hard.
I'm so glad he'll be fine. I don't think I could have stood the pain of anything worse. Not anymore. I should catch some mice for him t ocome home to.
But what can I say anymore?
Alright. I'm going to get a tv, and a VCR, and drawing board. I used to draw alot when I was a kid. Words don't work right now because they are too ombative and the other meaning s don't get heard. Drawing feels good even if noone understands anything. perhaps something that old, that I have donein 20 years will heal a little. inputs and outputs. A source of junk ideas and social phenomena mirrored through scripts, and a harmless source of rewarding self expression. If I knew more about other forms of art, I'd rip the carpet out of my living and get clay everywhere. But that's too ambitions. Something I know thats easy.
It's been hard to be me. I don't see that others have such difficulties. People say that I am difficult to get along with, and I know it so intimately. Don't I thouhg. The chaos I live in is completely unworkable even for me. Especially for me. No strucutres holding me down. If loat away wondering who I am, what I am expected to do, what I am expected not to do. I don't have thecharisma to carry off the charmingly eccentric routine. I'm a loud spoken and stubborn female person - bitch. So that's that.
Fleiss may come home tomorrow with his broken nose and shaved body and they said a wagging lion's tail. No damage to his body. Moppins and I have missed him dreadfully. She and I have just sat together a lot purring and grooming. I think it'll be just terrific to have him back home.
Peter and Richard have formed a peace pact with each other to cheer me up, to warm me up. Can you tell how cold I am? This writing is usually, has usually been more an outlet for my bad times than my good. Right now though it is the opposite. I am so remote from myself, numb, and uninterested. There is nothing in me anywhere. My central source of amusement, my own creations, is missing. The cognitive strucutres that go with creation are usually unaccessible with other peoples' creations, and so accessibel with my own. I love Philip K. Dick so much for writing openly and from the truest heart. Were that everyone were as bright and as expressive. He must have been more horrible than me in person.
My numb brain feeds off of inputs right now. The good ones are wonderful and still just food. Structure. I was thinking that ritual, habit, and tradition is useful in that repeated events can vaish into the background like measuring sticks. They form the markings through time, constantly spaced and carried out, and reflecting the cghanges through time that I could use. As a young person I did not think I had a need for any such thing. Now I know that is wrong. Perhaps I stil wouldn't do it any of it for its own sake. But the feeling of time being forever is exhausting.
Even bean plants have leaves that come and go, seasons to respond to, bean pods after flowers, and then falling. To start again. I have acted infinite and immortal. The beauty of immortality is the lack of fear - risks become safe because they average out over infinity to nothing. Risks are easy for there is always time to try again, to try something different, for failure to succeed. Powerful. Beans will out survive our species.
The failure to construct memories though in part stems from their lacking a trellis to hang from. Philosophers taught me two things first, Wittgenstein, and the so-called geography. I could have started with any philosopher and ended up starting my knowledge of the lay of the land. 2 modern schools of thought, splitting off with Hegel, analytiic and continental. Epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, logic, rhetoric and argumentation, ontology, ... and who thought what about each and after who else. Who had read whom. What I considered ancestor worship at its worst, and a trellis to grow the ideas in a memorable order.
What has my trellis been? Different phone numbers? I need to start one now.
Always back t the infusion of external structure for I lack an internal one. Where did the socialization of this child go wrong? Everywhere. I must agree to accept the structure. Yet, I believe that it will change me for the worst. I do not trust others' structures for they might have hidden effects - they are not designed for me. Once you stop shopping off the shelf, you are stuck maintaining custom designs. Perhaos that is the fundamentalness of me. If other people felt tired or pushed around, a standard fix would do. I must wade down intot he metaphysical turbulence, numb out with lack of caring just to rid myself of the proffered dogmas - shrink wrapped solutions that experts make big bucks in recommending. Even I do that to others nowadays.
Not using a shrink wrap personality, I have created a life long labour in my world, that of sustaining this expensive person. This was extreme, but the alternative seemed to be getting married blindly and hatching babies helplessly.
I miss Fleiss still more. We both do.
It made sense. But I hate the people who now just push me into white bread standardization. lrt me go throught he hard spots so that the good ones can resurface. If only I could believe this would happen. So many evil thinking disappointment generators around me. No one strong. Stop thinking everyone fits in the goddamned shoe boxes. I don't. I live in a society which designs the bus seats to fit the legs of the 5 - 95 percentile leg length owners. Funny that I am in the 96th percentile even as a girl. My legs and my personality do not fit, and this is statistically acceptable - but not individually so. I am pitted against the ease of standardization. Chop a few inches from my legs, and drop my IQ a few points - to quote Richard on his woes in being less, or more, than average himself.
Fuck the normalization of everything.
Hold on to the edge of the letters. They're sharp if I pull them through your fingers fast, more like a rose branch than a rope burn. They hold much more weight when applied just right though, and you don't need pullies for extra leverage. Investigations of their uses have shown that they chain together almost naturally, with morphophonemic constructions as links. Isn't it remarkable that these links have such extra stuff in them when in some orders - meanings arriving like dozens of sparrows sitting on the electrical wires, the quality of transmission staying the same, but the message altered, beautified.
The digital letters seem more like soggy cheerios. They are easy to change but expand much farther out in the bowl. Perhaps harder to swallow - less satisfying for they lack what we have come to believe is their natural officialness. Mine are white on moss green, and yet I know that known else sees these letters this way. A matter of preference and of cheeriness. Why does green cheer me up? The g doesn't, nor do the other 3 letters. I should have this looked into, checked out. Perhaps I can be immunized.
Does it show at all?
I want the edges to show. Their sharp polish brings a sense of relaxation like new walls meeting in straight lines. No spider webs. No history, only design. The values of an age. Preservatives in the milk to keep the cheerios crisp.
I must off.
Early up with the birdsong, after the sun. It's very cold today, and my apartment doesn't have a thermostat in it. Chilly. Moppins cuddled with enthusiasm - we both miss Fleiss.
We brought Fleiss (rhymes with fleece) home last night. I'm truly relieved in having him back. He's so sleepy and happy to be home. It's really amazing tht cats can take such damage and heal quickly. I wonder that humans couldn't learn a thing or two from cats.
Just cannot write today. I'm too angry.
I still don't want to express what is happening in me. It's not that it's too personal or secret. More that I feel really pushed around. I am waiting, strategizing, and hoping. Perhaps things will work out well, but I doubt it. I find it very disappointing that my life has come to this spot and mostly through generosity and trust. I feel that such will never really be worth it again. Generosity backfires a lot when the recipient starts to believe that they are getting only their due. In a society that does value for value swapping almost exclusively, generosity easily gets confused with it.
I've done too much, and not enough.
I want to get away from the people involved in these relationships. I don't much like them anymore. I need to think some more.
Subject: time capsule message This is a time-capsule message. It has been automatically mailed, without human intervention, from a number of sources, to every address of the original recipients and sender which existed at the time this automatic process was initiated, in an attempt to increase the chances of delivery. As a result, multiple copies may be received. Delivery is scehduled to be attempted 1000 days after this process was launched, which was at Sat Oct 29 16:40:48 EDT 1994. The message follows. From: Carolyn L Burke
To: rreiner, fruchter Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 09:22:01 -0400 I used to write letters and notes to my future self as presents from a friend. The friend being me (past) and the recipient of friendship me (future). The warm surprising welcomes always made me so happy -- I could really surprise myself easily. But now I have real freinds who do this. It is much nicer, but *less* surprising that they do nice things for me - that they are my frineds. This was my first approaach to long term thinking. Now whole empires await my fture self... what better gift to a past desirer of freedom and happiness. We are doing so wonderfully. I write this to our future selves as an indicator that I already knew what is in store. You (future) are very welcome. Purr
Glasses off. html fiddling finished. A beer with louise. A small glass of red wine in honour of escaping. A long walk to St Clair, magazines, two with my picture in them, a bum saying hi because I looked into his eyes, beautiful Fleiss and Moppins both warmly greating me. A gold watch maria left here while cleaning this morning. A business management consultant talking all morning interestingly. Jostling over the hard to get things because Peter suddenly woke up to the public standards of currency. Nothing we did took his needing or wanting such into the picture. I have to wonder if he doesn't want the other things now, the alternative things.
Whole worlds going by without our noticing behind grey walls corporate attitude and laughter missing. What have I done?
Would love be enough? My advice killed me so far. My advice led me to the loss of important things. Should I instead, what?
I think I'll just sleep.
attach to a thought
focus a little
surrounded by a lack of input still. I'd like a little bit that is not social I guess. luoise said a wonderful thing - be who I am and stop using all my energy to be some to her sort of thing. I felt a need for that thing to exist and it doesn't around me. I must just accept that. but if I find that thing - a person who likes me as I am and who is a networker, a social convener, a social option creator without demandingness - if I find such a thing, I think I'll relax into it a lot. just a wish though. reality will differ accordingly.
i'm holding my breath to make things work - bad strategy. no ideas though. I am tired.
So very many things. Have you ever held your breath for as long as possible? How long? I've been holding my thoughts back for as long as possible in the hope htt something would improve around me. I don't know that it will. People meet me and think my life is just nifty, that I am worth being jealous of in good ways. What I am like to make that life though is not something anyone is jealous of - repelled by more likely. Funny that no-one sees the casulity of this.
Happy pretty house wife wouldn't end up where I have gotten to, perhaps to other places, but not here. Why then should I act like someone satisfied and happy? Should I just hang around in shopping malls buying hats? I could - there is a whole aesthetic to shopping well. But I do not really want that as a whole life. I would like a tv, to be a bit more of a futon potato.
My pink petaled roses turned a light tawny brown, and the stems have grown lots of young new leaves. I'm hoping that it is possible to root long stem roses. It makes me happy to see life processes, growth.
It's going to rain shortly.
Desert plants often live in seed form, waiting the yearly rains or the 10 yearly flash floods. When the waters arrive, the desert blooms with life fervent and lush. For a few weeks, everything comes actively alive, blooming and fruiting, pollinating and spreading leaves out in celebration. Each plant, each insect lives a complete cycle from initial awakening to full seeding. As the water dries, the seeds harden, loosen, drop into the muck, to be preserved waiting for the next year or ten.
I wait for a watery world too.
I've been working on calming things a little. Seems to be working. I have open lines of communication, waiting for content again. I'd like to leave it that way for a week or so though. I guess I believe this is a good as it will get, and that I should keep it around for awhile longer.
What is this all about? A feeling that people are scrambling for slices of the past instead of creating new slices of future
I've been sick with a cold for the past few days. Home now to heal a bit. Uninteresting thing to do really. Wish I had that tv.
Feeling hot and cold and tired. Mind off. The overrides on. Funny that I don't think about much this way. I do and then again I pick up a book to cover it up. Remembering just hurts a lot.
Passive personality. Why aren't I allowed to step out once in awhile? The active resistance against it makes it all the more poignant.
If you broke the law, there was only the one law, which everybody broke again and again. The cop laboriously wrote it all up, which law which infraction each time, the same one. And there was always the same penalty for any breaking of the law, from jaywalking to treason: the penalty was the deathpenalty, and there was agitation to have the death penbaly removed, but it could not be because then, for like jaywalking, there would be no penalty at all. So it stayed on the books and finally the community burned out entirely and died. No, not burned out - they had been that already. They faded out, one by one, as they broke the law, and sort of died.
-- Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
I just want to get out of this whole thing. Am I getting depressed again? I wish it was air conditioned here, that the footsteps outside didn't always scare me, that I liked my options. Feeling sick was fine until Peter dropped by this afternoon and dumped a load of pressure, responsibility, and worry on me. Fear is so unuseful. I wish he'd keep it away from me.
Fear Some sort of negative motivator used in a society where the feeling itself has become mostly useless. We've done so much to get away from the bears and wolves and the foret scaries, and then use the old motivator to do other things with. What was thepoint then of moving into cities, and attaining civilization.
The belief that things will improve if hard work and discipline get used a lot. I am sure that constancy is useful. I think constancy can come from willpower. I see others using their discipline indirectly to create it. They are plugging into the primitive fear centers, worry, dispute, hyperactivity, high energy motivators that do indeed create stability if they are pointing at the same thing, or away from it, all the time. But willpower can burn a hole through the coverings of these same things without the disciplined repetition.
Fear can paralysis.
I find fear best avoided entirely. I simply live without regret, without fear, and without a fair number of the more pleasant sensations. Rather plainly, my interests remain stable because I don't wander far away from them. Willpower. With the sorts of things worry builds though, I think I will be able to wander farther away. The worriers will worry about that too, but they like to stabilize everything. Yesh.
Time to be moving along then.
I'd like to live passively for awhile, a vacation. A tv or a beach, or perhaps grad school again - safe and quiet. I'd like to fly away to somewhere pretty and bright. Perhaps Greece, or Alaska. I'd like to get air conditioning in my apartment to drown out the sounds where most people use stereos.
I was trying to understand the fear that lives in peoples' hearts. Why they seem to use fear as a tool to get places. I cannot do that. I use hope to get places. When I feel hope, I move strongly and happily towards things that seem wonderful. No stick, no carrot. Only me and my dreams and willpower.
I guess that is why passivity seems a luxury - it lacks willpower. I'd like to learn how to set up card houses - plans that are meant to do something on their own (perhaps other than collapse though) after they are built and underway. Something like writing here. Most of the infrastructure is done - was done years ago. I just arrive, load emacs, and run a macro, cjoose a title, and another macro, and everything goes to the right place in the files. Easy to use, and a result of previous efforts that were a little more engaging. I think lots of things should become so easy especially after they've been designed.
Hope creates lots of things in the world too, but rarely as a pure motivator. For me it can remain fairly pure and powerful because I partner with others who can use the sturdiness of my backbone - more as a thing to sight along than anything else. But it helps them to focus and steers consistently while they apply effort (they seem to like to) to pushing and rowing and climbing.
A list of what people want is really all I need to include in the hope dreams if they wish to be.
Fear though caps hope in a little clear bottle. It can be seen, but it becomes ineffectual. What hope is possible when something awful, something feared, is about? Only that the fearful thing gets vanquished. And yet the fear is in the people around me - they cannot be vanquished and so my hope remains bottled tightly sometimes with only a little remaining out in the dangerous fear hoping to get the rest out eventually. Hard and painful.
verbs instead of nouns. I'm reading this book called Oblomov which Richard leant me while I ws sick. It's from university days apparently as many nouns and adjectives are delicately circled, and their surrounding phrase structure underlined precisely all in blue ink. Never a verb. No thematic relevance to these phrases either almost as if this original reader care only for surprising and colourful words, but not the coherent imagery of hte book - if there is any. I'm sure it is there. As of yet though I haven't plugged in myself.
I remember in high school when a friend of some sort came up to me. She had a poem that she was supposed to be able to understand. Studying language and literature was my greatest failure in high school, and yet when she showed me this poem and asked what it ould mean, I spent 15 minutes looking at it and explaining all the possible subtleties. [Funny how when you cannot spell a word, you cannot look it up to get it's spelling either. I played for 20 minutes yesterday with online Webster and Mirriam-something to spell poignant. That was a surprising word. Emacs' spell checker will tell me the correction if I am one letter off at most. Yeah right. I spelled it "poinient". Ooops.]
This poem was full of easily translated imagery. A simple story in it. If the assignment had been given to me, I would have assumed that the answer I gave to this student could not have sufficed. I would have looked for something that challenged me. I was expecting a me centric education. I still expect this.
After that poetry reading, I finally grokked what the english classes were expecting from me, and switched in my final year from a perennial 60 to a surprising 85 or there abouts. It worked to get me into a good university, but it is funny that my own standards of challenge kept me from really getting the point.
A similar thing happened in university to me. In a grad course on Popper, I was assigned to present and explain the introduction of The Logic of Scientific Method in an interesting fashion, and with another student. He and I sat and discussed the intro for an hour or so, and I explained it to him. The intro starts with a quote from Kant, a philospher whom I had not even heard of at that time. :) I explained to this student and later to this calssroom, how the quote could be interpreted in two differing ways, each of which lead one to interpret Popper's writing slightly differently. Later, the prof asked me where I had learned such masterful scholarliness. I never learned it really, I just saw that two interpretations were left open, and not knowing which was the one he expected to spout out of my mouth, I simply introduced both with backing, more an attempt to defend my ignorance about which was the "right" reading than anything else. This was perhaps the only compliment I ever received in grad school. true to the lesson though, I learned more from teaching an undergrad intro phil course as a TA then from all the rest of the program put together. I had to reallyunderstand the writings for this - a course which I had never taken myself being from a different educational niche before then. I lerned a lot more then.
My coffe supply dwindles as the sun peeks through the window warming the day but not my heart.
If things are so easy that I avoid them, could this explain why I am lost so much in a sea of chaotic noise? Instead of the simple patterns people produce to be shared, I a look deeper into unpatterned basic stuff. At the surface the patterns are purposeful and shareable. Look at a city from the top, from the CN tower, and there are only the statistical patterns seen in a bacterial culture - food supply and age patterns. There are no messages to teh individual human nor to the culture from the top. For we are not usually looking from up there and niether are the message creators. This view is what the depth level in literature usually looks like too, and in art, and music, and science.
To focus all of our wondrous learning and creating skills at only one level of description, it is a remarkable shame. No small talk indeed leaves nothing usually.
To those who would say that being special is merely a princess dance, let them see through my pattern recognizing eyes for day. They will suddenly miss their security for I stare into the void. I see the sign that says "You are the only human to engage the universe here. Your footsteps will be noticed, but only by a few." The sign is scrawled in dusty memories where even a lunar game of golf could not restore the mantle, a veneer only, of human stuff.
Inputs and outputs. I breathe in the stuff of hte ages, and sometimes let out a sigh. For those who breathe in the stuff of the moment, the cloudy artifice that passes for civilization, please let me know when you awake. Chaos is lonely.
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All non-daughter writings of Carolyn's Diary are not copyright © Carolyn L Burke, 1995, 1996, 1997, and may not be copied with permission except for non-commercial gain. See what your lawyers can't make of that.