A Nation of Geniuses

              In past posts past I have described the urban Forest of Arden that was

the set of my childhood. Now I would like to feature another player of that

transitory yet eternal scene. Respectfully, I call it, the oddball family member.

             A child or a sibling and certainly or maybe a patriarch/matriarch or

parent might have been living in a family because for whatever reason

(and there are many), that individual could not sustain themselves on their

own. Not a crime or an embarrassment; just the way it is. Was. Is.

             The family home or stead or manor, was, we thought, an indelible

feature or institution of our landscape. The sound and the fury, little more.

3 generation living together was common, 4 happened too. (I have now the guy

who converses with himself quite out loud, sitting across from me on the

subway car, he is one, you betcha! His schedule seems regular so I assume-

please forgive my assumption- that he is working and living “at home”. He

always sports clean socks).

             There was that strange young man who couldn't catch a ball or play

hide n' seek but wished to even though seemingly, a grown-up.

The daughter who grinned in place of speech and never strayed far from

the house.

            The thing that made existence possible for these folks was “the manor”,

without which they'da been living in who knows where or not at all.

            Nowadays is different. Homes double as retirement investments.

Children and generations scatter all over the country and even the world.

With little desire to remain in the trajectory of their parents - who themselves

may have inherited that trajectory - the home, farms & businesses are....

liquidated. Yes, there are exceptions.

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        My intention here is NOT a discussion of homelessness(a single word

a perfect tragic poem) or, wus a'matter wit kids taday.

        My intention here IS to sing a fanfare for the common man,

man & woman,

                           woman & man,

                                                      woman...Folks.

A great wall seems to me a remarkably primitive notion. Its current

incarnation un-evolved, un-aesthetic and ephemeral. Just inform

the folks trying to come over what sort of deep water shit storm they will

need tread for every minute, every hour of 21st century life in this, our well

illuminated though un-enlightened culture.

       The citizenship exam shrinks pale limp and useless in comparison to

the stiff requisites that I will now attempt to outline. If allowed to consider

this outline(or one like it) the land of the free and the home of the brave

might not seem the hot prospect that it claims and advertises its self to be.

You betcha. Let us begin;

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***The rent. Or mortgage. There ain't nothin goin on but the rent.

                                                                                                     Or mortgage.

***Then the bills;                 electric & gas

                                                phones/internet/cable

                                                auto leases or payments on

                                                auto licensing and registration(fees)

                                                auto repair and fuel

                                                a parking spot if you live in town or,

                                                parking tickets

                                                tolls

                                                or, commuting – trains & buses

                                                the basket comes around

                                                union dues

***Then insurance;            auto insurance

                                               health insurance

                                                                             doctors, dentists and others,

                                                                             (these increase with age,

                                                                              sure as death & taxes)

                                                                              deductibles/co-pays/pharma

                                                                              brush 3x a day & floss, or else

                                               home owners insurance

                                               warranties

                                               life insurance

 

***Then the banking &investments;

                                               checking and/or savings acct

                                               credit cards

                                               retirement investment

                                               college fund

                                               Christmas club

                                               piggy bank or pickle jar

 

***Then comes work, yer job and all that is involved with that shit.

        Cell phones and computers mean your job may all too often follow

        you home or into the bathroom.

                                                   Add to that your work commute.

                                                   Mine is 3 hrs a day(total). Bike/train/bike

                                                                                    Then home again

                                                    Add to that the Folks who work 2 jobs,

                                                                                                      or 3 Why is that?

                                                   Traffic

                                                               Rush Hour

 

***Then the personal stuff;

                                                 Eating

                                                             shopping / cooking / cleaning

                                                             or, out-sourcing your meals-

                                                             poor nutrition at triple the cost

                                                 Bathing

                                                             everyday or you don't get invited

                                                             to parties

                                                 Grooming

                                                               times 3+ for women

                                                 Wardrobe & Cosmetics

                                                 Laundry & things

                                                                              vacuum

                                                                              mow the lawn

                                                                              little repairs

 

***Then the Children;

                                               Wow, don't get me started.

                                               Better have health insurance

 

***Computers;

                                               Not for all but for many, it might range

                                               from a peripheral rabbit hole to a

                                               super massive black sink hole. Oye.

 

***Exercise

                                               For many, this seems optional but

                                               if you get none or not enough,

                                               go back to the top with the doctors

                                               and the pharma jazz.

                                               Got health insurance?

 

***Misc....

                                               If you own your home/house, little

repairs may become great big repairs.

Go to Church or worship

watch TV

watch sports

watch the news

call yer Mother <–> call yer kid

water the plants

feed the fish

kid's team sports & PTA

chuck old magazines

recycle

delete

the garbage is stinking

bring in the dog n' put out the cat......

***TAXES

Taxes Taxes Taxes

 

***Vacation

Yeeeah, a week off someplace nice,

That ought'a get yer head straight again

 

!!!!!!! Having to be for much of the time(depending on the nature or !!!!!!

intensity of your environment) in a defensive posture &

mind , sure in the notion that something or someone lurks

near by, ready to pounce, taking advantage of any weakness,

your exhaustion, your distraction and even your innocence.

 

***Sleep

We all must sleep

We all need sleep

Sleep

 

Oh yeah, almost forgot, pull or push the wagon of a

website Art/Lit salon. A mere trifle. A mere trifle.

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By my hand alone, this outline could not be complete. Any 10 folks

reading here would likely provide 15 “and what abouts”. So many different

lives all over the country. Comfortable or poor, city – country, on and on.

No matter, there is ever one wolf or another at the every door, the windows,

comin' down the chimney, huffin an'a puffin. Ho ho ho....

For a great number of us though, this impossible danse macabre, which is

the common condition, is delegated to family members. She or he with an

aptitude to shoulder an item or group of items, do so, knowing that someone

else can and will cover some other critical area. Some folks can do it alone.

Seems impossible to me but, they're out there.

Some can't handle much at all. If those are lucky, they are with their

families. If not so lucky, they are not lucky at all. Know what I mean?

Now let's return to the Fanfare. The fanfare;

Every individual, every couple, no matter its constituents, every family and

any other small social group – cooperative and solvent are, by any measure,

geniuses To withstand the pressures and demands of this life we dress

ourselves in can only be continuously endured by GENIUSES.

How do you relax?

  How can you sleep?

Why do we rage?

  Why must we numb our minds,

as we might calm a teething child?

  Why do we scream in our sleep?

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And yet, We endure. Yet We march. Sometimes We stride.

Tragic that so many of us, the wards of no one, couldn't absorb the

the life skills & disciplines that would keep a roof overhead. Maybe, not

their fault. When distractions tell you that they're the things that really

matter, distractions become the devil its self. You betcha.

Tis a gift to be simple,

Tis a gift to be free.

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Worst shackles, maybe, the ones you can't be free of, might be the

ones you can't see but generally get a bill for, a statement, a notice.

And We endure

And We endure

     We are geniuses All

     Superheroes All

Jobs and Samsons

Ripleys and Rambos

Quixotes and Boudiccas

Anyone, anyone of us, no matter size, shape. color or flavor,

immersed in this our quick sand culture, who is keeping their head up,

taking care of business and putting their feet on the floor when the

alarm says “GO !!”, is a Genius.

Our divisions here are illusory. We who find it in ourselves

  to endure the storm

Are One

    WE

   ARE

  ONE

 

                                                We are a Nation

                                                       We are a Nation

                                                  of GENIUSES

                                                              Believe that.

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