Reading Pedersen, Dark Hearts, notes from the chapter on the Oedipal Wound
Referencing Freud’s view that incest is a child’s “wish to possess sexually one parent or the other,” Pedersen states that this view of possession is too narrow. When applied to men and their mothers, it delayed understanding of their possessive urge. Pedersen believes that incest should be thought of as a “symbolic regressive longing for what the mother represents.”
My mother did so many thing right. I mourn for the relationship that I perceive us once having. Not one of my peers was treated as well when sick. Whether it was a common cold or a pernicious flue, she waited upon me while I stayed in bed.
Lying there, I could set my life around the lower bookshelf adjacent to my pillow. My radio, my books, and my writings were at the ready. When they were not enough, I could recall the toy soldiers under my bed.
Having the soldiers so close to my border was one more privilege of illness. Normally, by her command they bunked in the closet across the room. Sick days were an exception. A boy not feeling well could never be expected to walk across the room.
Stand outside In your backyard on a night of a new moon. Preferably a cloudy night too, No stars, pitch black, dark
If artificial light disturbs the darkness go to your basement. Decide on which place is the darkest and stand there for a while taking in the blankness of its attributes.
How does it feel? Absorb the feeling. Is it one of peace or fear? What is it? Why is it? Which have you defaulted to?
Dr. Quigley quotes Robinson Jeffers, “…take a walk, for instance, and admire the landscape: that is better than killing one’s brother in war or trying to be superior to one’s neighbor in time of peace. We could dig our gardens…We could, according to our abilities, give ourselves to science or art; not to impress somebody, but for the love of the beauty each discloses. We could even be quiet occasionally…”
Better than killing, so many alternatives. I chose writing. But still something needs to get me out of the chair. Used to be handball, tennis, baseball, now I do as Jeffers suggests. I take a walk.
Dr. Quigley in his book Housing the Environmental Imagination, quotes Thoreau, “We are wont to see our dooryard as a part of the earth’s surface.”
I surely do, it is why I offer up so many photos of the view from my office. I used to think that my dooryard could be anywhere. My first apartment was as a studio.. I knew from the get go that it wasn’t large enough. I needed more than a dorm room.
The good news is the studio had a huge balcony on which I could grill. I had learned from a friend known as the “food scientist” that eating like a king at breakfast and a pauper at night could enable me to lose weight.
First thing in the morning, I grilled either pork chops, lamb chops or steak and added it to three eggs, bacon and toast. I surely made my dooryard as part of the earth’s surface just by the animals I brought there albeit they had already been butchered. I don’t remember if I lost weight.
Not sure I can tell that story with any success when I meet Dr. Quigley for dinner next week, but I surely enjoyed the memory his book provided.
This morning I finished writing a story for my monthly newspaper column in the Peterborough, NH Ledger-Transcript. It had to do with dragons. The dragons that appear in our midst challenging us to pass. For me writing is one of the keys to getting by them.
This afternoon I returned home from work and was spending some quality time on our back deck when I noticed a dragon fly floating in our dog’s water dish. The dragon didn’t look like he was taking a drink, but rather drowning. I had seen one before in this predicament, but not able to save it.
This one remained alive so I tried gently pouring out the water, but in the transition one of the wings bent back. I went inside and tore off a small slice of paper towel. Returning to the porch, I slid the towel toward the dragon-fly thinking I could I slide under it. The dragon grabbed on right away and held as I walked it to a nearby table.
As I sat in a chair watching I noticed its wings had returned to their proper place. Suddenly, the dragon fly fluttered them but didn’t go airborne. I watched hopefully as the dragon wiped its face.
After about five minutes, its wings beat rapidly and the dragon took to the air. As the dragon lifted over the roof of our house, I thought I heard it say something, but couldn’t catch what it was. No matter, now I know dragons talk. This should come in handy next time I want to get by one.
Waking up from a nap, I tried to remember a time when I didn’t take naps. When I worked in business I took naps.
Mostly when I traveled. Flying United Airlines provided a fabulous time to take a nap. I didn’t need a long one, twenty minutes did it. It still does it.
Whatever life I have in the present always seems so normal. Life like its always been.
For example, I am confident I never lived without an iPad or iPhone. Well, that may change now.
I plan to get a Fire Phone from Amazon. It depends only on AT&T. The last time they were the “provider” they couldn’t provide coverage where we live.
Important now that we no longer have a land line. Did we ever?
I wonder if in ten years the younger crowd will any more know what a land line is than they will a group called The Supremes. You know them, right?
Tor House is the name Robinson and Una Jeffers gave the house they built in Carmel, California. Tor comes from the rocky points they saw when visiting Dartmoor, England. The home was important to his poetry. My house is important to my writing. There our similarities end.
He built his house. I live in mine. They built theirs with stone carved from the boulders of the coastline in Carmel. Someone built ours a long time ago and then more recently someone else put aluminum siding on it. I don’t even have to paint it and yet I feel ownership. Just by being present.
Robinson did all that work on his home and still had time to write. Very little of my home competes for my writing time. I think, “advantage Bob.” An advantage I have yet to capitalize on. Maybe I should build a shed or something.