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 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.
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,
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;
***The rent. Or mortgage. There ain't nothin goin on but the rent.
***Then the bills; electric & gas
auto leases or payments on
auto licensing and registration(fees)
auto repair and fuel
a parking spot if you live in town or,
or, commuting – trains & buses
the basket comes around
***Then insurance; auto insurance
doctors, dentists and others,
(these increase with age,
sure as death & taxes)
brush 3x a day & floss, or else
home owners insurance
***Then the banking &investments;
checking and/or savings acct
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?
***Then the personal stuff;
shopping / cooking / cleaning
or, out-sourcing your meals-
poor nutrition at triple the cost
everyday or you don't get invited
times 3+ for women
Wardrobe & Cosmetics
Laundry & things
mow the lawn
***Then the Children;
Wow, don't get me started.
Better have health insurance
Not for all but for many, it might range
from a peripheral rabbit hole to a
super massive black sink hole. Oye.
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?
If you own your home/house, little
repairs may become great big repairs.
Go to Church or worship
watch the news
call yer Mother <–> call yer kid
water the plants
feed the fish
kid's team sports & PTA
chuck old magazines
the garbage is stinking
bring in the dog n' put out the cat......
Taxes Taxes Taxes
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.
We all must sleep
We all need sleep
Oh yeah, almost forgot, pull or push the wagon of a
website Art/Lit salon. A mere trifle. A mere trifle.
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?
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.
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
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
We are a Nation
We are a Nation