Yay! Got a raise and some praise. And a sort of warning this place may be going under some dramatic overhaul in the near future, but I’ll still be writing.
On to abstractions. Sometimes I wonder if the real reason I'm in analysis is anything to do with entry requirements or mental health and more to do with being desperate for the opportunity to talk about things like martyrdom. Nobody's interested in that shit anymore. It's all why-do-people-suicide-bomb-this, self-immolation-that, tut-tut-tut-when-will-those-silly-people-learn. Nothing about what is so intimately you that you can't change it without being yourself anymore. At what point do you decide "this thing about me can't change, because if it changes I won't be me anymore"?
It’s hard for me at the moment – knowing a decision is going to seem selfish when your life up to that point has been made up of mocking selfish people who hurt the people who love them in the name of ‘finding themselves’ or whatever rubbish jargon baby boomers are using these days. And knowing that vast amounts of energy are going to have to be invested in saying, “So-and-So, I have to do some things that will hurt you, not because I want to hurt you but because I have to or my life will be wrong, and I love you” over and over until they hopefully understand.
Sorry if I’m being unclear. I’m not going to self-immolate or break up with my darling or anything like that, and the CSIS people whose computers started beeping when somebody typed ‘martyrdom’ into a blog can re-holster their guns. Let me try to clarify with two saints, my patron Catherine of Alexandria and Thomas More. Catherine is celebrated far more often in art and saints books, and her feast day is much more important, and she’s so popular as an intercessor that she got reinstated in the calendar in 2002 despite stupid fucking Vatican II pretending she didn’t exist, while Thomas didn't even get canonized until a few decades ago
She got done on a spiky wheel and when that broke she got her head done off. Thomas got his head done off too after he got off of getting drawn, quartered and hanged. They were both scholars and philosopher types, but Catherine didn’t leave any words and Thomas left a plethora, so back in ’59 or whatever Thomas got a great play written about him by Robert Bolt about the refusal to compromise the self.
If Catherine was as smart and philosophical as all that she probably understood her identification between her faith and herself and was content to die because a compromise of her faith would have meant a compromise of herself. But that’s not how the Catholic church used her; she and all the other early martyrs got used as examples of the surrender of the self, the complete compromise of the self, as the Catholic church became a tool with which to keep nations obedient.
I am not going to allow myself to get done on a wheel or get beheaded if I can possibly help it, but as I do things that hurt and confuse the people around me I have to make sure I explain like Thomas so I don’t get co-opted for other people’s purposes like Catherine, even if that means I don't, figuratively speaking, get canonized until 400 years after I die. You know what I mean, jelly bean? No? Well . . . never mind. Maybe next week I’ll write something that makes sense.