Monday, June 20, 2011


So now I'm on Twitter.  What a fascinating way to waste time!  I haven't really learned much about Ben, but I do know that Wil Wheaton passed his driver's test 100% and that a lot of people don't want Neil Gaiman to shave his beard.  His photo is clean shaven, so how do they even know he HAS a beard?  He points out that his beard is like Schrodeger's Cat - which I think is a good point.  

Chicago Tonight wanted us to text in our opinion on whether Rod Blago is guilty or not - and people did.  I don't suppose the judge or jury were listening.  Technology gives us such brilliant opportunities to display our ignorance.  The irony of saying this in a blog is not lost on me.

Then they interviewed a woman journalist who has written a  book about her experience caring for her elderly mother.  But, since she is a journalist, she seems to think she can extrapolate from her experience to that of every person caring for an elderly parent.  She made some pretty broad statements about how unfair it is that "society" still splits duties along gender lines - lawyer stuff to her brother, buying diapers to her - and that this is the case in most situations.  How does she know that?  You'd think a reporter would get some, you know, hard data before making generalizations like that.  But no.  She's just going on her own experience.  Which makes her book a memoir, which is fine, but it isn't news.

I'm crabby.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Walt Whitman

Darest thou now O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?
No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not O soul,
Nor dost thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream'd of in that region, that inaccessible land.
Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.
Then we burst forth, we float,
In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil O soul.

Found this poem by Walt Whitman on the back of vinyl record - Ralph Vaughn Williams put it to music.  When Charley read it to me, I thought he was sayingn "Old Soul" which makes a very poignant kind of sense.  I am reminded again that the path to enlightenment and the path to acceptance of death are very, very similar.  Both can be very good.  Or not.

This Modern World (by an old woman)

What does it mean when your son says, "I love you mom, you are important to me.  You should follow me on Twitter."?  On the one hand, by reading his blog, subscribing to his videos and pictures on YouTube and Flickr and following his Tweets, I am privy to his passions and thoughts.  I, along with the rest of the world, can know him more intimately than I know practically anyone.  But he still won't return my calls or answer my e-mails.  It's a one sided intimacy unless I also tweet and blog - and he takes the time to read them.  Even THEN it's not what I would call a relationship.  It's more of a narcissist's version of relationship.  "I imagine that the whole world is more interested in me than I am in them".  I can think of lots of psychobabble reasons why this is good.  Self disclosure, "I" statements.  But there isn't a real two-way conversation, just two separate streams of consciousness.

While I appreciate that my talented, overstressed son has little time in his day to day life to chat with me, I still miss our long, rambling conversations about nothing at all.  Who am I kidding?  I don't have time for those either.  

It was a rare and precious luxury to have him here the past few days.  We talked about the relative merits of the Tennant vs Brannaugh Hamlets, of Pyrimus and Dido and Cicero.  We talked about the movie "The Tree of Life" (which he saw and I didn't because Sam was too loud in his appreciation of the dinosaurs.)  We translated French songs, discussed European linguistics and demise of critical thinking.  We played music, badly and he and his Dad (and Sam) tried to teach me syncopation.  I showed him my garden and he showed me his new android tablet.   These are discussions that take hours without children.  Neither of us often have that.  It was wonderful.  We didn't spend much time talking about our problems.  We didn't really need to.  I feel closer to him than I have in years and it's like a piece of my heart has come home.  He's gone back to Portland now, and I've got to get back to my real life.  So I signed up for Twitter and I am following Ben, and, at his suggestion, George Takai, Wil Wheaton, Stephen Fry, and the Daily Show.  

Blogs and Tweets are better than nothing.  But rambling, pointless conversations are better than anything.