Dita Parker

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A midsummer night's dream

I dreamed I wrote a rather long and rambling essay on the economy, ecology and equality. Long because of the amounts of cause and effect and problems and solutions I managed to cram into that one piece, rambling because of the myriad associations, the links and bridges I managed to build. Full of pathos, I went from global warming to refugees to immigration, from nationalism to fascism to racism, from global trade to global warming and back to refugees again. My theory of everything.

Too bad I don't remember half of it but I do remember feeling a strange but strong sort of relief getting it all down in writing, as if I hadn't quite known what I thought on the subject before I wrote about it and had now laid down a burden, the anxiety that comes with the feeling you don't understand the world around you, the hows and whys, the implications, the consequences. In my dream I had managed to collect my thoughts, observations and opinions, arrange them in a well-structured manner and lay them out coherently and elegantly. (One can dream, right?)

He built this garden for us, they were called, my nocturnal notes, a slight but quite deliberate misquote of a Lenny Kravitz song, I presume, since I opened with a picture of our garden, a garden I gladly work on but one my husband has had a heavy hand in creating. So he doesn't bring me flowers every day. He built me a garden. I realized this is the longest I've stayed put, and not the least because of the garden that grows around me, a house that's like the tropics in the arctic, the peace and happiness I feel in both.

Who has the right to peace and happiness, or prosperity? On what terms? On whose terms? Who promised life would be easy, fair or happy, a man once asked when the question came up, a man who'd never suffered or struggled, who'd never been and never would be any type of minority, an outcast, disenfranchised, displaced, the underdog. No one had ever denied him, crossed him, belittled him, stomped on him or stood up to him. I understood his question. I just don't think he did. I don't think he gave a second thought to where his wealth came from, to whom or what he owed it to.

Taking a close, critical, honest look at most anything usually makes you focus on the flaws and the problems in something, then promptly sign up for a transcendental meditation class, learn mindfulness, go buy one of those adult coloring books, whatever takes your mind off the fact the world is a pretty fucked up place getting worse by the second, now that you really look at it and think about it, so better not look too closely, better concentrate on things closer to home such as you, yourself and, well, you, Jon Lajoie was right: Fuck Everything. Wait, what?

One of my university professors believed cultures evolved in cycles, all cultures following the same cycle but at a different pace. All clashes between nations, cultures, creeds and even individuals stemmed from our conflicting values and views, our place on the cycle, and our need to impose those values and views, our will, on others. I've seen such forces in action, determinism, relativism and entitlement at its worst. I've seen evidence to the contrary, kindness and compassion and selflessness at its best.

Maybe authors and artists can't change the world but they show us what it's like to live in it, what it feels like to be human, living under the same sun and moon but very different stars.