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Sunday, July 7, 2013

MISSIONARY ZEAL



whistler


Two days later, my head is still reeling from all that I was told to do with in-yer-face demands, not given a choice because I'll love it. It's for my benefit. This is somebody from three thousand miles away in a culture alien from mine, with interests different from mine, belief system different from mine, somebody who believes telling other people what to do will save the world. I've attempted to explain in the past that he does not know what is right for me, what I will love, not even what I mean when I say I'm not going to do anything he tells me to do; know in advance before you tell me what to do that I'm not doing any of it. Something like: it would do more good for me to bash my forehead against a big rock ten times. It continues as usual, you gotta, you needta, you oughta, you should, you'll love it. I already know I will not love Oakland, California. It has a bookstore and ten million coffee shops. I don't care. I have a house full of books and amazon at my fingertips when I want a book. I can make my own coffee. Like my grandpa told grandma when she wanted to go to Hawaii, "I aint lost nothin there." She went and loved it. He stayed home and loved it.


whistler


I will not go through an airport for any reason short of absolute necessity. Going to a place I'm supposed to love when I know I will not fails to come under any degree of necessity. It's the missionary zeal tone of voice that keeps hammering the inside wall of my skull. I have spent too much of my life listening to preachers lining out s'posed to, better, better not. It's the same zeal: Jesus or hail! When somebody's only punctuation is the exclamation point, my ears grow weary fast. I attribute it to a lifetime of television commercials every five minutes. The sound assault when he walked in the door after getting saved at a JW meeting, or something, was the worst ever. It was all about what I gotta do, because he's right and I'm wrong. It was a quiz show. Tell me what you believe about fill in the blank. I'd give a brief answer. He'd jump up from his chair shouting: WRONG! It got so silly. All I could do was sit and listen like I was at a rock concert telling me what to do, the hard-core punk band, U ShuD. Every time I see him it is a sound assault of what I must do that I'm not doing. I still care about him, somebody I've known since he was a child, have seen him through all the phases of his life, knowing, as we say in the mountains, he come by it honest. He got it from his mother, who got it from her mother, who, I would guess, got it from her mother. He grew up with mother's husbands and boyfriends as surrogate dads, until they became just the new guy we're living with for now.


whistler


I can't fault him. I bear with it. I grew up in a home of missionary zeal, where being a good Christian meant telling other people they're wrong and need to be straightened out by somebody who knows better than they do what's to their benefit. Kansas. Home of the Koch Brothers. No more need be said. I think out there the name is pronounced Coke. I may be wrong. It's too far away in memory. It's back in that world I never think about anymore, missionary fundamentalism. Mommy wanted me to be a ballet dancer, a hair dresser, a preacher, a missionary. Daddy wanted me to be a jock. Kinda used to hearing I would love something I know I would not. It took a lot of years to get over believing other people knew better what was to my "benefit" than I did. When I turned to paying less attention to other people telling me what to do and paying more attention to what I want for myself, my life improved immediately. It was also many long years of getting the missionary out of my system I grew up in. I have learned to trust that other people have their own reasons, same as I have my own reasons. After growing up fundamentalist Baptist in Kansas, allowing others the right to be themselves is a giant leap. It took rejecting the fundamentalist belief system. I came to the mountains with it, and know I was unbearable in the beginning with it. Mountain Baptists are not like that, not even remotely, so remotely that my mother after experiencing a mountain church meeting called it, "That dumb church you go to." I don't care what the fundamentalists want to believe, only that they leave me out of it.


whistler


When a JW comes to the door I holler so they can hear it through the closed door, "Nobody home. Goodbye." I taught them years ago to steer clear of this address by letting a couple of them in one day. When they started I said, "You came to my house to tell me about your spiritual belief, let me tell you my spiritual belief first." They shot out the door and didn't come back for probably ten years. The incorrigible heathen lives there. The only place they annoy me, like the Baptists, is believing they are the only ones with the True Faith. Another way of saying know-it-alls. Nothing humble about them. They have it and no one else could possibly have it. This is what I saw would come forward when the fundamentalist belief that everyone outside their fantasy is wrong, went public in politics. Now they are showing publicly all the reasons I ran for my life from them. They will never receive being laughed at lightly. They take it as aggression denying them the right to believe in God. Thus, the level of their mentality, if such high-sounding a word can name it. What do I care? Just leave off the missionarism around me. It has nothing to do with me. It has only to do with their own egos.


whistler


Friend gets irritated with me for telling him to stop telling me what to do. "You're just sensitive to being told what to do." "Yeah, and?" Another reason I'm sensitive to it is: we don't do that shit round here. Mountain people don't disrespect one another with insults presuming you don't know what you're about in your own life. I'm out of the missionary habit. Somebody comes yelling at me in one day telling me so much I oughta-needta-gotta do I needta take notes to remember it all, or at all, it kinda stands out from other days. Silence was such a relief after being told what to do all day long, I flopped down on the bed at home for an hour, shutting down mind, letting nervous system settle. Two days later my head is still buzzing from the aggressive sound assault; not ears ringing, but head buzzing. After a Grand Funk Railroad concert years ago, my ears rang for three days and nights. This is the head-buzzing equivalent to that ear-ringing. Watching the Daytona race yesterday was relaxing. It wasn't much of a race, but it was a good one. They used restrictor plates so nobody could pull away from the pack. It was a pack of cars all through the race, the yellow flag about the only way drivers could change positions in the pack. I tend not to care much for restrictor plate races, because it's less of a race. Of course, it's great for tv, because running in packs at 195, somebody loses traction and they take out half a dozen cars or more. Spectacular wrecks may be their purpose. I'll put on a Luis Bunuel film and see if it can maybe soften the nervous system vibration only time can heal.


paintings by james abbott macneill whistler
 
 
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