Thursday, December 18, 2008

a moral

in elementary school, the 'they' that we remember vaguely as anything other than 'me' called me Son of Thunder.  i remember the chanting, like a mob of monks echoing a boomful curse, 'Son of Thunder! Son of Thunder!' i needed anger then, as a shield from all the pain.  no matter that we were poorish or dressed badly, always behind or obtuse to the current fads--i had no self awareness of this condition.

a bystander, i watched myself pushed and kicked and hurled, thrown and dragged and tossed.  later, i would learn that my kin were robots; that of robot descent i too had buttons which could be manipulated.  i must learn to safeguard these buttons, keep them secret, safe.

anger and oughtness.  these are the emotions.  in the beginning, i was angered by that which i felt i ought but did not receive.  later, i learned that i ought receive nothing but that i was due opportunity.  i ought not be carried to the finish line, but i am due the opportunity to run there--so i believed.  this reformed my notion of oughtness.  i ought be given nothing, but no barriers ought obstruct my ambitions.

still, i troubled over this.  for some, no caravans to safe harbor traveled and obstructions to free range obfuscated escape.  what of those with no means faced against a conscious will?  surely oughtness should dictate that obstacles be overturned and paths be paved for the safe pursuit of dreams and goals.

then, of course, the conflict begins.  man ought make himself; but man ought not unmake other men.

i am then angry.  angry that life does not unfold as it ought, and angry that i do not as i ought in life.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

like father like father

heather and i ran into a woman who attends my father's church at the mall today.  "you don't look anything like your father," she said, "but you have your mother's smile." 

i don't know how to respond to that.

to some, this might only be the most fleeting of thoughts; but my identity, from my own perspective, is so tightly woven round the husk of my youth that a threat upon any part of it is a threat upon all of it.

i see it, when i look at pictures.  there is a face that transmutes between frames.  the father becomes the son and the son becomes the father.  it is there. 

yet with increasing frequency, i hear surprise at the comparison.  several times in the last month: "why, you don't look anything alike."

what does that mean?  anything?  nothing?

we want roots.  i want roots.  i suspect the roots want roots but can't, and therein lies the rub.

Monday, December 8, 2008