Monthly Archives: July 2009

Anniversary

This is the third anniversary of the day this blog helped me to escape my X. August 1, 2006, after my escape and before the stalking started, was a really beautiful day. It was an unReeducated day, upon which all the marvelous things I had always thought must be true, were.

In commemoration of this I will try to stop discussing Reeducation here, but merely to resist it, as was my original plan. We will post poetry. We will read for pleasure Wednesdays, and wear white on Fridays. On weekends, we will sing.

Axé.

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The Bible, Part I

Sent in by a fan! Stay tuned for Part II.

Axé.

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Lime

If I put lime on anything I am instantly transported to Latin America, where Reeducation does not reach me. I think I shall put lime on everything, every day, in addition to expanding myself through yoga.

I have said it before but it is ever clearer to me how Reeducation insisted on the establishment of a perfectly sadistic relationship to oneself. It was required one relive one’s most painful moments, inflicting them upon oneself now. This was breathtaking.

By breathtaking I refer to suffocation, not to the sublime.

Thus was I taught to permit, at home and in my own town or parish, things I would never permit in the city, or back home in Greater Mexico, or abroad. And I am slightly anxious about going abroad because I know I bear the marks of what I allow to go on at home and that it is uncomfortable for people. This only means, of course, that I need to spend more time in strengthening places, and not check my strength at the parish line.

It is embarrassing to have been engaged for so many years in torture and recovery, and to have been too disabled to escape. And I want to talk about it, yet I know it is burdensome for others, and also hard to understand for people who have not been subjected to it. And of course one is ashamed of what is happening, and does not want people to know.

Actually I do not mind people knowing. I want relief from the torture world, time away from it. I do not want that world as part of my identity.

Axé.

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Reading for Pleasure Wednesday: Robin Blaser

POEM

at 82 I find everything erotic–
that’s the stomping ground
of all intelligence–
the intellect picks it up
from the ground

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxand

gives language
as a kind of music
to dance around

See also Michael McClure on Blaser.

Axé.

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An Anti-Fear Yoga. More Notes for That Anti-Procrastination Piece.

I must finish losing the “home identity” I acquired in Reeducation. With this identity I am abusable at home and at my home institution. This makes it really hard to concentrate in the places I spend most of my time because I am always looking over my shoulder for the next blow. I am loath to travel elsewhere because the home situation is so exhausting, and also because I do not want people elsewhere to smell it on me.

*

Every day I am afraid that what happened long ago will happen again — I will be caught in a vise of unattractive options and frightening warnings, and get stuck. When I write first drafts I always have more material than I can possibly control, and very many synapses. This could be overwhelming if I had not learned long ago to manage it. It is still all I can manage, however, at least during writing hours. I have to schedule all other thoughts for outside writing hours.

Reeducation added other rushing waters to my writing hours, including anxiety that I would be abused emotionally for writing, accused of hurting others by writing, or simply be found and stopped. It as though someone were breathing down my neck and whispering, this only proves your guilt, while someone else shouted imperiously, you are unlikely to succeed. It used to be that all I had to deal with was the synapses. Now grafted onto that waterfall are anxiety and panic about what the authorities will do, and guilt about wanting to ignore their feelings.

I have to channel the old way of working. In those days I had long since dispelled the ideas that I was incompetent or that there was no market for me.  I had not yet learned that I should not be doing this. That is the harder concept to drop. I acquired this idea that my work hurt people. Perhaps I can transition out of this by imagining that it kills fascists.

*

There is another problem, which is that I still think of myself and the authorities too much, and the work not enough. I have heard so many times that research and creative work are worthless in themselves, but are only means to ends such as getting to conferences where one might get jobs, or getting promoted where one was, that I think about the authorities almost more than I do the interesting work which is that point.

Some of the authorities only say to go faster, that they do not believe I can do this, and so on. I am used to that, and I do not listen. The other authorities say that if I am interested in what I am doing, that I am not jaded enough to know that nothing is interesting. They make fun of my lack of cynicism and my belief that I can do this. If I say I am not interested in this, but in something else, they say that is not the point, the point is to suffer carefully and pump out the maximum number of empty, yet acceptable words.

I am not sure what I am actually arguing in the present book. What is strange about it, though, is that I am truly interested it and it is truly mine.

Axé.

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Puerta de Acalá

I am flying today from Amsterdam to Madrid, where I have not been in thirty years. Longer ago than that, I studied at the Liceo Serrano. It was on Serrano then but has now changed as an institution and moved out of town.

I lived on a street whose name was changed after Franco died. My favorite monument was the fountain of Cibeles, on Alcalá just where the Paseo del Prado becomes Recoletos. I only know some streets and plazas now, but I knew many more then.

Axé.

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On Recrimination

It was also the recrimination, which I had resisted so far but which Reeducation finally drummed into my pores, that made it so hard to work. A year or two later a friend mentioned that he was trying to stop “yelling at himself” and I realized it was what Reeducation had taught me to do. Since being an intellectual was my principal sin, it was very hard not to engage in self abuse around intellectual activity. I had realized that this was blocking work and that I was further compounding matters by calling that “procrastination.” I had not realized that what I was doing constituted “yelling at myself” or that it would be legitimate to stop doing so.

I notice that in all the yoga classes, the idea of mastering something and increasing strength and power is considered to be positive. In Reeducation, however, I learned to give up mastery within myself. I then had no recourse but to become as small as possible while people rolled through and over me. I had to think of ways I might entice them not to roll with quite as much force. I was learning to live back to front in those days.

In one yoga class the teacher told us that in meditation we could be ourselves. “Not that person who is very good at her profession. Not that person who manipulates her husband so he thinks she is really something. Not that person who gives her children all her money so they will like her.” I was horrified at what this teacher seemed to know about the class.

She knows people from Reeducation’s world but I really do not think I was ever there. It was poor advice, being told I had too much power in my life, because it was so untrue. And it is poor advice I give myself, that what I need is a stricter schedule, more constraints. What I need is expansion — personal power — breath.

Axé.

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