venerdì, settembre 08, 2006

Wheels within wheels

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.

8 commenti:

Jiri ha detto...

That's an awesome post...

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Thank you, Jiri! Writing it felt like stuttering.

Masonic Boom ha detto...

My favourite story about St. Catherine is how the pagan emporer sent 50 philosophers to argue against her faith, and she defeated every single one of them.

I just like the idea of this super-brainy woman, facing down an interminable row of pagan philosophers, and seeing them all off with a disdainful flick of her eyebrow and her impeccable logic.

Brilliant.

Melbine ha detto...

No, I can't say that I know what you mean since I don't know specifics..but it sounds like you're gearing up to go through with some decisions?

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Boom, I know, eh? When she was just 18, too, although I suppose back then people had to be smart already by the time they were 18 on the offchance they'd get put on a wheel before getting much older.

Melbine, I've already made the decisions, it's just how I present them to people that's going to be difficult. There are some patterns in my family I have to break.

Lady ha detto...

good luck lady!! do what you gotta do.
xo, m.

Melbine ha detto...

I suspected your decisions had to do with relationships. That won't be an easy thing. I greatly admire your courage to do so - it's so much easier to just ignore things like that instead of actually trying to change things.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

It's worse, Melbine, because I have no natural courage . . . only practicality, that comes and goes.