June 2010

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Always, always there are limits to my being. Each day they seem to thrust themselves upon me at various points. They tell me who I cannot be; they take me back into the why’s of my own history; they force me, somehow, to reel off a virtual list of self-testing questions as if I am elected to be my own examiner.

Mainly my response is: to hell with you. What good, I ask, derives from these demons of my own imaginings and self-conjurings?

But they never ask: “what can be good,” or how will life get better; and the questioning I, remains witness to such daily debacles. The “what good” parts of me seem always to be seeking some sense of contentment…or relief.

My personal Polyanna, my daily round-maker, tries so hard to merely do the day’s doings, that I usually suspend any criticism of him. Performing the doings of my day, to whatever extent they make that day (i.e., this day), I literally become my doings.

I have discovered only recently a concentration of doings within the limits of my being. Instead of testing limits each day, the pushings beyond the what I am of each day, I seem to try to find new moments within each hour.

I seek new ways of expanding silences, or ways of observing constructively what would have been boring or knawing, previously.

Perhaps these are aspects of what some would call patience.

Perhaps I have merely expanded my concept of any period of time, attempting to find new spaces, and expanded senses of myself.

Tomorrow? – can I collect the pieces of being, today, within its bounds and limits, with yet some sense of hope and some sort-of answers to the “what” and to the “good”?

She died a few months ago, right around her birthday which, she told us, was the 25th of December. She was Jewish, which is just right; and she cared about the salvation of the world in a way which was humble and just, which was  just right. And she was a woman, which became increasingly right as she became older.

A brilliant mind, but a girl, she had bewailed her fate, and had not yet conceived any notion of a destiny. She fought on behalf of freedom, on behalf of children and futurity, once she invented a notion of destiny.

She began, merely a girl, to edit others’ writing, and gradually began to write her own. Some of it quite beautiful and powerful, may yet see days’ light, in a time when memory can reinvent her as she would be. She was abstract. Her love of humanity was conceived through some veil of community or covenant which being Jewish had taught her. Her love of human beings, also abstract, became more and more remote as she became older.

Her strengths, her gifts of the abstract, turned away from people and toward the kind of martyrdom which the concept of destiny provoked within her.

She thought she was a leader of people, but had constructed them within her notion of destiny; they were her followers…already. And they, and we, were not.

She knew in the depths of her being that she had special powers; perhaps like the oracles at Delphi, or the maiden who could never be spoiled; not like the Mother of us all. She thought, more than once, more often than once in a while, that she was whatever the next Messiah would be…should be.

Good journeying, Miriam!