Posted by: scintillatingspeck | December 9, 2012

Suffering the slings and arrows.

How am I supposed to deal with people?  How, I ask you?

It is the well-intentioned ones, with earnest supplications, eyes and words full of concern, yet completely missing the point, who are most hurling the slings and shooting the arrows nowadays.  On and on they chatter, they sleepwalk, they worriedly ask me if something’s the matter.  YES, something’s the matter.  I am increasingly blunt.  They seem to dodge, effortlessly, my verbal “indiscretions.”  Their tone, their eyes don’t shift in the least; they just keep talking.  Didn’t I just tell them what’s the matter?  How can they still be asking?

It would be easier, I think, if someone had a strong reaction to me, such as comparing me to the Taliban because I homeschool my child.  Oh, wait, that already happened a while ago.

Instead it feels like the endless, grinding machinery of cultural expectation is trying to stuff me into a convenient soundproof box that’s shaped exactly like a good little mommy, a devoted, uncomplaining wife, a chipper, civic-minded citizen, complete with painted-on smile and dead eyes, ready to be propped up in a corner like a useless ornamental potted plant, waving a flag in silent, grotesque, obedient cheerfulness.

It doesn’t help if the well-intentioned ones are “progressive.”  It doesn’t help if they say they are “on my side.”  What side do they think I’m on?  If they can’t really listen, how do they know they’re on my side?  We want the same things, they say.  We have the same goals.  Oh, really?  Because you fooled me.  Because you’re not willing to give up your privilege, your consuming ways, your perceived safety.  Because you’re not willing to examine the morality of your actions and your inaction.  Because you can’t even sit still and just listen to me, let alone engage in real conversation.  Because you are obsessed with examining the minutiae of your unacknowledged bondage to hierarchical, institutional structures.  Because you are talking about television shows, while people are being bombed to smithereens, the oceans are turning to acid, the trees are dying, the hurricanes are forming, the droughts continue, the body count swerves upwards, and we are relentlessly faced with atrocities, abominations born of industrial civilization, that all-pervasive, evil, mind-body-and-spirit-colonizing system from whose servitude you cannot bear to walk away.

It would be uncouth of me to announce this at the next chance meeting with an acquaintance on the street, or an invitation to tea.  It would hardly endear me to the vast majority of people I know.  It might serve to marginalize my child, by proxy, since the kid of the crazy lady might be getting dangerous ideas.

If I’m last sighted running into the woods, screaming, casting aside my wallet, my keys, my clothes, my mind, you’ll know why.




  1. You are likely to run into me already in the woods. Be forewarned. I am trying to hold off until Spring though. If possible. Although lately, after listening to Kevin Anderson’s October address at the Cabot Institute, I might not be able to hold off.

    • Followup – Most of us don’t really have anybody nearby to express our deepest thoughts on these things. For precisely the reasons you express. Glad to have the “intertubes” while we can, although we also know the price this is exacting on the natural world too. No win, no matter how you look at it.

    • So k, are you trying to say that I should at least hold onto the clothes? and bring some along for you?

      • That would be very kind of you. Although, I do have a BugOutBag that I am working on filling with a few “necessaries.” Plus, upstate NY isn’t the best place to be a hermit although there are tales of Adirondack Hermits that show it can be done. 😉

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