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Monday, July 6, 2015

FROM NOTHING UNTO NOTHING

ida kohlmeyer

I don't know what I'm doing here. This sentence was in the front of my mind, so I wrote it down. The sentence came forward, a mind pop-up, when the blank page to write on appeared. This is my thought when I face the page waiting for words. The last word, here, means this blank page. What am I doing sitting in front of an empty page? I don't know what I'm doing here. It echoes inside, reverberates, like rings around a rock thrown into a pond, all the way to the edge of the circle and back to the center. Like, what gives me the right to write down my point of view subjectively? Answer: My own belief that the subjective is the only reality. Objective, it seems to me, is a weaving of information with consciousness missing. I don't mean to diminish the objective. Thank God for the scientific method. I see the objective something on the order of Tony Martin, author of Dinosaurs Without Bones, tracing dinosaur activity by tracks and traces, like nests, records of their activity. Objective is a good tool for problem solving, good for understanding, good for tuning subjective self to the practical, good for reasoning. 

ida kohlmeyer

What am I doing here? Sometimes, when I get too heady, believing what I think about something matters beyond myself, I remind self that writing in this blog space is about the thoughts and experience of one person in one place in one time. It does not matter that it is me. It only matters that someone is doing it. In this case, it is I. In thousands of other cases, it is whoever it is per case. My role is to avoid thinking what I write important beyond a record of the moment. I allow self to write opinions, not because I believe my opinions have any accuracy or truth, but because the subjective mind shapes opinions, like connecting the dots, making sense of that which has no sense. I look at the comments below an article somebody posted on facebook and see. One says, "Nailed it!" Another says the writer of the article is stupid, doesn't know what he or she is saying. Another says something totally unrelated. The opinions stressed in the comment boxes show me that very seldom do two people think alike, and my opinion is one of many, most of which cancel mine. The variety of comments tells me that looking for wrong or right is not even a matter for consideration. A thing is what it is, and that's it. A wrench is a wrench is a wrench. 

ida kohlmeyer

Opening a forum for opinion gathers every kind of possible thought on a given matter. Reading a list of opinions on something, like Donald Trump's hair, comes to nothing at all. After reading a half dozen, the subject is lost sight of and making sense has vanished. When I start thinking my opinion matters, I remember comment boxes and remind self this is the nature of opinion, to scatter into nothingness. I think I was age 19, maybe 20, working in a shoe store in Wichita, Kansas. A guy my age I worked with became a friend. He was big on opinions. I hadn't even thought about opinions by that time in the life. The preacher's, teacher's and daddy's opinions were facts. I never thought of opinions as anything but fact, knowledge. He introduced me to opinions as something subjective, something important, assertions of self. I couldn't see why, but paid attention believing there must be something to it; somebody who knows more than I do said so. The "knows more than I do" came from my level of self-esteem at the time, dragging bottom, "a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas." For some time after the introduction, my own opinions became fact. 

ida kohlmeyer

It is this period of the life I look back on with embarrassed laughter, when I believed my opinions were facts and everybody else's were off the beam. It's called the arrogance of youth. Or could it have something to do with school education where we deal with answers to test questions? Of possible answers only one is right. All others wrong. Like Miss America, one winner, forty-nine losers. Or one given answer is either right or wrong, true or false. At this time in the life, the notions of right or wrong, true or false have faded considerably. I no longer think about right or wrong. When I see the subjectivity of everyone, the center of the universe in everyone, I remember the time in childhood, maybe third grade, when I first got it that everybody else is conscious, just like I am, with their own experience, desires and thoughts. From there on, it became incomprehensible to a kid, to a grownup. I've evolved to thinking, instead of what's right and what's wrong, what works to the good of all concerned. I have opinions and express them here, though don't totally believe them. Like I believe Rush Limbaugh belongs in prison. Though only from my point of view. Somebody else thinks he belongs in the White House. Where is the measure that says one is right and one is wrong? I think I tend now more toward assessment than judgment. Conclusions and judgments, the stuff of opinions, are dams that inhibit flow of life energy. I can't say I'm free of them, but am aware of conclusions and judgments like big rocks in a creek the water flows around. 

ida kohlmeyer



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