The grandfather clock in my parents’ entryway hasn’t worked for over forty years, pendulum unswung, deliberately silenced long ago because it was “too noisy.” 12:04, its hands read. Time is an illusion; time stands still.
Sitting here, at the kitchen table, across from my aged father, out of sight of the silent clock, I am aware that time is all too real, passing even when unmeasured.
I sit and listen to stream-of-conciousness, demented rambling that lasts for hours and mingles past and present in a word salad that includes frequent, unhappy, and often fierce repetitions of “I don’t know,” “I know but I don’t tell them I know,” “Everyone is stupid; they don’t know,” “I’m not stupid; I know,” “What, do you think I’m stupid?” and “I don’t care.”
“Oh, but you do care,” I don’t say. Nor do I say, “And I care, too.”
The only acceptable responses are “I agree”, “OK,” or “I don’t know either.” Beware engaging with the convoluted substance of the rambling; instead, focus on the emotion and acknowledge it, and maybe there will be a little less anger and frustration at all the loss and the unknowing.
And the caring that is so hard to take.
Hangman word of the day is: traumatic.
(I play hangman once per day on my phone and pretend that the word predicts something about the day.)
Shael Hawman knits fantastic costumes. For BayCon 2017, she knitted a Star Wars flight suit!
Last year, Denise Tanaka was Wonder Woman. This year, she is … faceless.
Posted in Cool stuff, Life
Tagged BayCon 2017, convention, cosplay, costumes, Denise Tanaka, fantasy, flight suit, knitting, science fiction, Shael Hawman, Star Wars
I’ve been thinking about the quote from Montaigne excerpted in the film Experimenter: “We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn.”
Twisty thing, the mind. Slippery thing, self-image.
The 65% of people who flipped the switch to administer supposedly harmful and possibly fatal shocks to a fellow human in Milgram’s experiments in the 1960s would not have believed themselves capable of acting against their individual moral code at the behest of an authority, apparently causing severe harm to another person at that authority’s insistence. I would like to think that I wouldn’t have been capable. That I won’t be capable, should I find myself in a similar situation. That I don’t have to be frightened of myself.
But I’ve bowed down to authorities. Found reasons to obey. To rationalize or to allow or to excuse or be meek. I know I can fail. And that sometimes I have good reason to be frightened of myself.
The subjects in Milgram’s experiment were told that “the experiment requires” them to comply. The authority in that case was the experimenter and, more generally, science.
Today, in 2017, many people who willfully ignore the authority of science, who mistrust education and the lessons of history, who reject out of hand any claims with which they disagree … these same people with no doubt good reasons to doubt authority now vehemently cede all authority to a man who defies all reason. A man who, with every passing day, shows by his actions that he will gleefully flip the switch on all of us just to make a buck or to inflate his self-image.
Shaky thing, that man’s finger.
Can we flip the script before he flips the switch?
Choose your weight.
How much can you bear before you break?
Sign: 2 feet, no diving. So, if I had only one foot, could I dive?
The tree grew round.
Cut by straight-edged tools
Shaped by soft hands
Becomes the wooden plate.
The tree grows round again.
Falling, the die turns
Lifted, the die rises