The balance of Malleable/Stubborn. Anecdotes which are a portion of the larger picture, then taken as end result in themselves. We try to understand the world through a tiny portion but instead wind up tiling our entire mentality with that one image, repeat, repeat. A woman asked me today at work about my father. In fact we were discussing America's Father's Day, and it had not even crossed my mind to think about my own father, over 15 years dead now. This was uncommon. Then she asked a question I usually see coming: Are You Close To Your Father? And it was so funny to me how I used to be so offended that everyone's world was tiled with living parents, just as much as the socially aware parts of me hated assumptions about paternalism being safe. But now it is a point of rediscovery each time. Yes, I Was Close To My Father. He Is Dead Now. And yet it wasn't a repeat tile. Her reactions were standard. Mine weren't.
In the absence of a tradition of healthy relationships, we need to build newer, better ones, or we will still walk around with the spite in our blood. I have had an exceedingly difficult time doing this with family, but I am increasingly better doing this with friends. A real house helps.
A friend noted today that I am developing a Cohabited Mental Terrain with my housemate, filled with Exquisite Details of Domesticity. If only I could see such - have such, excitement, curiousity about politics. How is it even my place to have that about politics. Leaders are the ones who need it. Space. Laughter. Right when you are the closest to it, right when it is as personal as a dead father, to step away from the coffin and breathe. Because 15 years later can always be a Never Again if you want it to be. How we dis-count time. How it is working for us all the time, Even As We Sleep. How many times we wake up still hating, still angry, for what leaders have done or not done, for the neighbor who always mows 15 minutes before your alarm goes off, angry for a father who abandoned me. These are repeat videos we play again for their strength, for their solidarity. They isolate us from each other. Yet they are hit sellers.