Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where Am I?

Where is me? I came across some old writings this morning, perfectly attributable to me. But if they had been expropriated, I'm not sure I would have known it. I find myself, sometimes, and sometimes I am strange. Sometimes I am more interesting than I thought I could be, and sometimes, or course, unreadable.

I really do wonder if I have any prior claim on being me. I'm watching Dad now, ever so slowly disappearing beneath what gets called dementia. I've loved him well. But sometimes I can't remember those days long ago when I would bring someone home and they would comment to me how sorry they felt that I had to suffer such belittlement and abuse. Their comments were enlightening.

Have I risen above any sense that I could be belittled now, or have I rather internalized the distortions, and become something less than I once was? I know I have a hard time finding anything terrible or sad about Dad's decline. However much television ads for memory enhancing drugs might urge me to.

Am I that callous? Friends and family have said that they are praying for me, since the time of my recent and nearly deadly health emergency. Have their prayers been answered? I feel no worse for the episode, and rather grateful - with no object for that gratitude - to have been granted both the experience of hospitalization and the insights gained for my better health.

Looking back, therefore, I would have resisted prayers to prevent what happened from happening. I find such things sacrilege, as though we would be superior to God's will. But then I find talk of God's will or mine to be so much meaningless twaddle. I have moral choice. The rest, I'm not so certain about.

Perhaps my own memory is that poor already that I cannot place what I did and when. I know in vague terms where I might look to find things. I have file cabinets. I have various accounts on various websites, on some of which I post things. Who can remember all their passcodes, and if they are all the same, then there is near inevitability that one crack will crack them all, the more of them you make. I try to keep secret drawers for myself with clues.

But if someone were to make a claim that you, meaning me, have made this outrageous statement, I might be convincable that it was mine even though it wasn't. I think that could be true on both the positive and negative side. Did OJ really believe his own innocence? Did Lord Jim really black out. Was I really that intelligent and clever once. I'm sure I am no longer. And George Bush; was he just making shit up?

Do televangelists have faith, does Rush Limbaugh really believe his own philosophizing, is there such thing as an honest politician? My God, will I have to give them all a pass, then? On the grounds that I myself know not what I say or who I am.

But I will not recognize defamation, calumny, exhortations to cause harm nor claims for my own superiority, since in my knowledge I have never felt such things. These things do not become me in any case. So if you find them, you have misread me. If criticized, I will make corrections, since I know that I am quick enough to anger. Judgemental of poor behavior. I've been known to flip a bird, though on average I'm pretty sure I get flipped off more often. None of us can be good enough drivers to avoid it.

And there are things which really should not be touched on in writing. I am transported that far beyond myself today.

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