Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adjourning Your Inner GOP Convention


Try as you might, you could not avoid awareness of the Republican National convention kicking into some semblance of gear today.  With equal difficulty, you were unable to hold off an unpleasant association relative to you and the Republican convention.

As such things go, you’re ahead on points because unpleasant associations are more often than not potential learning experiences of high order.

Your first awareness of the convention was, of all places, in a veterinarian’s office, where you saw on one of the cable network news features a number of sweeping shots of the delegates of various states.

There were few persons under the age of fifty in any of the shots, fewer still who were at what you would call a healthy weight.  There seemed a general emotional tone running from dazed indifference to surly intransigence.

Although your political preferences are firmly within the parameters of the other party, nevertheless you have little use or respect for the conventions of either party.  You see both as outrageous waste of money and time, resulting in what is more or less highly scripted demagoguery.

You open the door for the unpleasant association with your belief that you and all your brother and sister Homo sapiens are brim full of such delegations, representing various aspects of the individual’s self.  Your pride in yourself includes the awareness of some conservative delegations, some racist sentiments, and other aspects of bigotry, stubborn regionalisms, and towering lack of awareness about issues crucial to intelligent individuals the world over.

Given your political, psychological, and artistic leanings, you are still vulnerable to tripping down the rabbit hole of metaphor visited so memorably by young Alice, as depicted by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, known also as Lewis Carroll.

Mad factions rant and rave within you, causing you no end of internal conversation about the social contract and your role in it.  Battles about deficit spending, conservatism, and work ethic rage to the point where you begin to suspect persons in your vicinity can hear the clamor for smaller government.

You wish to listen to these inner voices with the same kind of morbid fascination you applied to your glimpses of real, regional Republicans as you saw them at the vet and later at your dry cleaner and laundry.  They are of an age and so are you.  They tend to be wealthy and you are not.  Some individuals you know from the real world barely scrape by, husband and wife both working, and yet they favor these wealthy sorts and hope to see them preserve their wealth.  The entire calculus is a mystery to you; so is the calculus of responsible government control over controversial issues being oppressive rather than protective.

You have spent a good portion of your life trying to install responsible control over things you do not wish to see in your writing, and yes, the matter always comes down to that.  Without control, your output would be more indulgent and self-absorbed, more about yourself as opposed to the records you contrive to capture the phenomena you see about you.

On numerous occasions, your inner convention has adopted one platform or another of disastrous proportions, sending you into a kind of head- and heart spin where you momentarily lost sight of your narrative plans.

Discipline is important when it becomes generated from inside, in response to some plan to produce or provide some good for some segment of humanity, no matter how small.  Your daily walk and your use of these cyber pages produce the ability to keep up and moving.  You don’t consider either of them having been engaged until you break a sweat from the walking and break some equivalent sweat of a reach you did not think you could make within these vagrant lines and associations.

By the time you have reached the bench across from the stone magnificence of All-Saints Episcopal on Micheltorena Street, a scant quarter block down from State Street, you’ve accomplished sixty percent of your quota.  Sunday evening, as you sat, drenched in a respectable coating of sweat, sprawled in the comfortable stretch of relaxation, a middle-age man stopped, regarded you for a moment, then asked, “Hey, bro.  You hungry?”  Thinking of an enormous and indulgent earlier lunch, you thanked the man profusely for asking, holding on as best you could to the sense of connection you’d just felt.  A complete stranger, seeing you, concerned you might be hungry.

You’re not entirely sure how you accomplished the remaining forty percent of your walk; Did you perhaps drift in some transcendental haze?  What you knew was how important that transaction was to you.  What you knew was that you wanted with your work to convey to those interested in story to come away from a classroom or editorial or story contact with you, feeling as you did then.

Your inner Republican Convention had turned in for the night.  Time to begin writing.    

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