November 04, 2011

Sorrowful Silence

I'm very sorry if my prolonged absence has caused some of you concern and distress. As longtime readers know, I stopped reading the majority of my email several years ago. I had been regularly receiving numerous exceptionally nasty messages, some of which were deeply upsetting to me. (My views have not been hugely popular for some time. I understate.) As a simple matter of self-preservation, I had to cease reading emails from people I didn't know. As a result, I must also apologize if you've written to express your worry about my state and received no response. (For those who will tell me to "have a thicker skin": please don't.)

Wendy died at the end of September, at home, in my arms. She and I always had a special connection, one which became truly extraordinary in the last several months of her life. Although she was slowly vanishing before my eyes, Wendy was still able to move fairly well until the last week. Even then, when it took enormous effort, she followed me around the apartment, making sure she was as close to me as possible (when she wasn't on my lap or we weren't lying on the bed together, which we were much of the time). After we had been through so much, and since she still seemed to experience some pleasure at being home, I couldn't bear the thought of taking her to what would be, for her, the strange and very upsetting vet's office.

I also couldn't have her killed. I've lived with a few cats who surrendered to the inevitable toward the end, retreating to a comparatively secluded spot (a closet corner, under a bed), curling up, and not moving at all. Wendy never did that. Right up until the last two or three days, which were ghastly, she still seemed to be enjoying my company, along with that of Cyrano and Sasha (who were wonderful throughout, and I always spent a goodly amount of time with them as well). Wendy especially seemed to like the songs I would sing to her. One of her favorites was this one. And when Frank and I would sing that to Wendy together ... well, Wendy would bliss out and purr, and purr, and purr. In the last few weeks of her life, we'd sing that to her five or six times a day. Some of you may think I'm silly, or pathetic. You're wrong.

I've been overwhelmed with sadness. At this point in my life -- toward the end, although that may still be a few years away (or not), which prospect fills me with relief or greater sadness, depending on my shifting mood -- every loss carries a very heavy weight. There aren't that many more losses to go. And there have now been so many ...

Well. I've been doing some reading, and thinking. I have a few things I think I want to say, in part because I continue to see a lot of nonsense written about, well, everything. Including about the Occupy movement, particularly by those people who are, for reasons which are not at all apparent to me, accepted as instant historians, mysteriously capable of informing us lesser beings of what it all means, including what it all means for the future. I admire their omniscience. Beware the seductive allure of narrative, my friends, especially a preselected one which accords with your particular preferences. In the event you hadn't noticed, history doesn't give a damn about you or the storyline you find so attractive and compelling. History is a messy, violent, most often excessively nasty business.

But I'm not ready yet to write about this in detail, both because of my great sense of loss (which is becoming less paralyzing, but slowly) and also because of the issues I'm reexamining. Unlike our all-knowing seers, it takes me a while to work through complex issues. So I'm rethinking a number of questions, including many related to violence, and doing a considerable amount of reading. Here's one short piece you might want to read yourself and ponder, especially if you're one of those who praises Thoreau (for example) and "non-violent" resistance in general: Thoreau's remarks about John Brown. These issues are fucking complicated. I'm reading a lot about Brown, and I'll have some observations to offer when my own thinking has become clearer to me. (I'm not entirely sure what I think about certain aspects of this at the moment. Phooey, I'll never be a celebrity commentator, to whom everything is crystal clear before it even happens!)

In the meantime -- yes, you knew this was coming, and good Christ, this is incredibly awkward and I loathe having to do it -- I've paid the November rent and I'm perilously close to broke once more. Bless all of you who have been so wonderfully generous. I truly don't know how to express my thanks properly. And I would feel less inclined to ask for help yet another time, except I noticed that Atrios has been flogging his Act Blue donation page. Take a look at how much has been raised, just at Act Blue alone, for Elizabeth Warren. Yes, that's right: closing in on two million dollars.

Two fucking million dollars. For this Elizabeth Warren. (And donations are urged by this Atrios. Did you honestly think he was going to "create an epic 360 degree shitstorm"? As I noted in the earlier post, he leads an exceedingly comfortable life. In other words: he's got his. All this "progressive" blather is simply that: blather. For the suckers. Are you one of them?) But, I mean, Jesus: two million dollars. Functionally, despite whatever they may say (and a lot of Warren says is far beyond despicable and dreadful; check out that link), Warren is part of the ruling class (as is anyone in national or state government and, at this point I would argue, in government at any level), while operatives like Atrios are the ruling class's very useful adjunct. These people will harm you, perhaps grievously and irreversibly. They already do. And people enthusiastically give them lots of money to harm them still more. Perhaps someday (we won't see it), humanity will cease its compulsion to act out its endless nightmare suicide fantasy on the national and global scale.

On the other hand, I won't harm you. I may not offer much, but I offer at least that. I do no harm. Many others can't say the same. So a little financial assistance to a harmless, obscure blogger would be most gratefully received. Cyrano, Sasha and I will be able to muddle along a bit longer, while I gather my thoughts and try to identify what they are. And then, I hope not too long from now, I'll be ready to write.

As always, I extend my enormous gratitude for reading, and caring.