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Sunday, July 29, 2012


     store window

I'm seeing now the mental invasion of what is called long term memory, remembering back into the years I never wanted to remember. Yesterday a kid from the neighborhood in childhood came to mind I've not thought of in many a year. Ray Neinmeier. I'm not sure about the spelling--phonetically it is nine-my-er, accent on first syllable. He was 7 years older than me, and a hotdog in football at Argentine high school in Kansas City, KS, when I was in 4th and 5th grades at Franklin. He was good to me. When a bunch of kids would get together to go on a sledding expedition in winter, Ray would take me along. When kids would get together at the football stadium, a block and a half away, to play touch football, Ray would include me, a shy little kid. After high school he went into the Army or something and was sent to the Korean war. He survived, came home, married and disappeared. I don't recall that I ever saw or heard of him again. Ray's mother and dad, like my grandparents, were old country people living in the city where the work was.

One interesting aspect I've found in that early part of the life was a knowing without knowing that my adult life would be one of many changes. I wanted to be open to the changes, whatever they might be. I came to believe that so much, I possibly made it happen because I believed it, or simply foresaw it, I don't know which. I've no idea what made me think that, but I wanted to live my life open to change, open all the way. I believed having a mate would be a hindrance. Suppose I suddenly need to move to someplace else and mate has a good job and can't leave. It's one of those decisions I probably made at age 8 that I live by. Brings to mind a woman I met in the coffee shop from Raleigh; Krakow in Poland before. We talked of Roman Polanski's film, The Pianist, and how Poland has been the historical battleground between western Europe and Russia. She had an 8 year old son. We talked of how Polanski's parents were taken to concentration camps and he escaped when he was 8. He lived as he could, involved in the resistance until 12 when the war was finally over. She mentioned living on decisions we make at that age. I confessed I live by decisions made then. It is not an idle age.

As I'm driven by a natural process that has only to do with the physical, atrophy of the brain, it looks like there is no way around diving back into childhood, looking at those stories I've turned my back to because they are from a sour time in the life. Suppose I resolve to myself while looking into that time to look at the happy memories, not the sour ones. They'll come in too, but emphasis will be on the memories I like. Like going into downtown KC by bus with my grandmother Brink on her day off to see a movie, like Betty Grable in Big Top, the woman with million dollar legs. I was 4. She had a good time showing off her grandbaby and I had a good time being with grandma, her all dressed up and it just us, nobody else. Perhaps my earliest film experiences with her made a movie theater into a kind of cathedral of love. The stories we watched were about love and I loved grandma. From the church angle, going to movies was a sin. So was living your life.

I imagine it was around that age of 8 that I came to understand a fundamental truth on my own. I didn't think it in the words I think it now, and don't recall the language I thought it in, except American English. It was the absolute subjectivity of everything. I saw that there is no objective except in the mind. I valued that thought I couldn't talk with anybody about. Adults couldn't talk about such things, the adults in my life. Kids couldn't talk about it. I kept it to myself as something I knew that nobody around me seemed to get. I had quite a lot of knowledge in that time that I knew not where it came from. Now I say it is knowledge from previous lifetimes. Whatever it was, I lost it. School, church, home, television was all about the objective, like only the objective is real. Maybe that's why I took to rock and roll so strongly. It was not objective. Maybe not believing in the objective was behind why I did so poorly in sciences in school. My conscious mind forgot over all the years of education the reality of the subjective with too much emphasis on the scientific method, which, nonetheless, is important. I see the objective as a way to separate a tree from the subjective forest to identify it, to learn the nature of the entire forest by studying the trees. I can't say if it's good or bad. It is what it is.

Another of the questions I had during the time of psychotherapy in my 50s concerned something important I knew in youth that I'd forgotten. Didn't even know how to look for it, having no clues to go by, only something forgotten. So it wasn't an up front question to puzzle over, but one that swam in the back of the mind, always there, searching like a catfish, wondering. Finally it turned up. I have no recollection of how, but the answer was: the absolute subjectivity of everything. All the way along I've been taught from every direction that the objective is what's real. Objective study of a dragonfly doesn't get even close to who it is. Someone is there, a consciousness. Studying how it flies, how it lays eggs, etc, seems like nothing much, but then, like the way fiction builds, more and more information is gathered objectively, making it possible to connect the dots and get some idea of what a dragonfly's subjective consciousness might be like. Each dragonfly is a particular individual, like us. Now we can read their DNA. Science has studied behavior of insects for so long that the ways of the insects are very well known. The movie ANTZ was a subjective story depicted by what has been learned of ant behavior through years and years of meticulous objective study.

It is tragi-comically funny that a couple centuries of objective study of the earth we live on and with, has come to an entire political party, a quarter of the American population, following a doctrine of anti-science by denial. Not education, but denial. Deny it and it ceases to exist. I've an idea the republican party learned this process when they started luring the working class, the baptists with racism. The whole South switched to republican the way you switch churches because democrats let the niggers in. So don't tell me republicans are not about racism. What person of any race looks at a black republican with respect? Automatically, we know it's a man lacking integrity. Clarence Thomas was hired to be the 5th republican vote among the supremes. He brazenly shows that to be his only reason to be on the court by openly sleeping through the sessions. He doesn't have the brains to prove himself of value on the court for any reason other than a parrot for a solid republican vote. Thomas made political gain with republicans by being a black man against Affirmative Action. Research discovered rather easily that he had gone through school on Affirmative Action. He held firmly against it. I'm thinking he knows himself to be an example of what Affirmative Action produces, a man devoid of personal integrity. I wonder if, when Thomas was 8, he saw himself asleep in his recliner during supreme court sessions, thinking, that's easy living. Pays better than snoozing under a shade tree at the fishing hole.       


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