Thursday, December 11, 2008
over the fields
like the hoar frost
i attempt to fix
in my mind
that seem to
and singing how Great Thou Art
my voice a choir
my voice a choir
my lone voice a choir
my song will no longer
fill my room
or the space between the
and I too am atom.
It is cold today. I am sensing more and more my own limitations. I wish these had limits! But they seem to grow everyday. The term limitations seems to have some finality to it, some solidity. I wish this were the case. Limitations seems to be creeping into the seams everywhere I look. It makes me refer to the banality of the Serenity Prayer--that I might know the difference between things I can change and things that I can't. I wish I knew what limits could be transformed or destroyed and which ones are final, austere, solid. If I knew these boundaries I would be able to think with my limitations. I would be able to reject the incursion of limitation in areas where they should be banished. The choice seems at times to be a dualistic one--banish limitation or give up. Choose hope and faith or choose despair? But, perhaps, it is precisely this kind of thinking that breeds despair. Is mindless faith and optimism the parent of feelings of invalidity? I just don't know? Nothing is impossible! Say to the mountain throw yourself into the sea! If you have faith like a mustard seed....
I am longing to know my limitations so that I can dream. To banish both my feelings of false pride and of false humility so that I can do what I am capable of doing! To transform the ignoble suffering of antinomy into striving.....
For me the most compelling scene occurs at the Visitation of the Kings. Mary tentatively hands the baby over for the Magi to hold. In the background we hear "sometimes I feel like a motherless child." It is precisely in those moments when Jesus' divinity is most clear that we must come to terms with the terrible suffering of being "motherless." One of the most melancholy scenes is Jesus query--who is my Mother? Later we see Jesus leaving his mother, disappearing into the distance--at the same time that he tell his disciples that he is the Messiah and that this means he will have to suffer many things.
Is it useful to attempt to understand American racism by watching D.W. Griffith's The Birth of the Nation? Perhaps this movie conceals more than it reveals about the real modus operandi of racism in the United States. Certainly, the racism of a Woodrow Wilson, who enjoyed the film, is more interesting. I would like to try and think about the way in which Griffith's terrible opus really did present something uncannily prescient about the birth of the nation. Perhaps, the birth of the Nation did occur in two acts. The first act was about abolition and liberty. The second act was about racialization and disenfranchisement. In these two acts the socio-ethnic-racial identity "American" is formed. In this sense the South is asked to play a dark but necessary role. National identity required a strong sense of alterity. The radical views of personhood and liberty fomented by that abolitionist had gained enormous cultural coinage. Racial exclusion could not be official and public. So, the South bore the dark under responsability at the heart of the birth of the nation The nation could not exist if exclusion from national personhood was official and public--or, at least the mythos that created the nation could not be preserved.
Perhaps, that chapter is now over with the election of Obama! Perhaps, Iowa--once a great seat of radicalism--might have been part of propelling an alternative politics forwards.
Words. I am having a hard time producing them. There has been some massive rupture in the thinking process. I read. I read. I read all this academic jumbo and I can scarcely put together a sentence any longer. Worse yet, I do not know why it is that I might want to put together a sentence.
I have lost almost entirely my sense of a transcendent logos outside of time that made wordsmithing sensical. I am alone with my words, my broken syntax, my empty longing to connect and to communicate. I want this blog to be anonymous. Hoping that there might be some way forward...
Perhaps, empty communication might bring back words to me. In this sense blogging might become somewhat of a prayer. But a prayer to the empty, merciless, chaos of cyberspace.
Should I rather write a friend?