Sunday, October 28, 2012

The New Post-Modernism: The Lyism Age

I hate this political campaigning season more than any other, which is saying a lot because I hate all political campaigning seasons. I've tried to stay out of the fray because it's all so icky. But, I would be wrong not to take a step forward, and not say something.

This season is particularly disturbing. The lying is so blatant, so in our faces, so justified, and so righteous that it’s truthful. Yes the truth is in the lying.

In listening to some of these unashamed lies, I can’t help but think—if you keep lying, then at some point, just through repetition, it becomes believable. This was a Hitler strategy, he said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

In January, the Lyism age got a push start. Let’s take Mitt Romney. He said that his first name is Mitt. If you look at the facts, his first name is “Willard.” Hmmm wasn’t Willard a 1971 horror movie about rats?

It’s hard enough to weed out the facts from the propaganda in a political campaigning season, because everyone wants to be the winner. But when lying big becomes the right thing to do, we really are stepping into some kind of horror movie.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

○ Cycles ○

The air in the Midwest has cycled into summer. It is saturated with heat and humidity, which seems to mirror the heaviness I feel most days here. The plains’ winds serve to blow the heat and dampness around, but never shoo it all away.

In about a month I will have lived in Nebraska for a year. It is also the time of year that will mark the third year of my sister’s passing. I still haven’t floated by the day without thinking of her. I do wonder when the time will come when I will look at the calendar and realize I hadn’t noticed that it was June 29th. Not this year I suspect.

Right now, I am in the middle of the long summer session of my school program. My days are saturated with  homework. And those pesky insects I call bumps in the road that I find more than a nuisance. I still haven’t gotten used to this place that sets rules, then breaks them, and then throws you around in the pieces for awhile. At least I am not going to pieces. I am becoming someone other than the one who arrived here last year. 

During this season, I don’t have the sense of play, or the sense of humor I know I have inside me somewhere. I hope when the air isn’t weighing me down anymore, it will come back. I’m guessing it will, just as winter will.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

The first week of Spring always meant “March 21st.” My youngest sister’s birthday. So naturally, she has been occupying my thoughts. Every year when I get a new calendar, I wonder if I should stop marking her birthday in it. I don’t know if there is an answer other than whenever the time comes when I don’t note it.

The other thing that brings her to mind is my recent start of clinical training. So far, twice a week, I am in a hospital 8 ½ hours a day. Not visiting. I’m learning how to take pictures of and understand people’s hearts, and vascular systems.

It seems every time I enter a patient’s room, I remember the hospitals of our childhood. I can’t help but check the patients’ toes for unnecessary filth. I know this is an acute care medical facility with very high cleanliness standards and protocols, and not the state run institutions where the staff were thieves, and the fungus ran the place. I guess my point is childhood memories appear at the strangest times.

As I passed by families gathered in ICU, and others who were sound asleep on the couches outside the unit’s doors, I felt a twinge. A twinge of a complicated relief. I wasn’t the one who had to cry.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Culture Adjustment

It has been a disorienting couple weeks in Omaha. I’m still adjusting to the ways things are done here, the implicit signs and symbols of what is and isn’t allowed. And once again, I had to be told to be a good little lemming. I was feeling like a scolded child. So yesterday when UPS left a package slip in my door, I had a funny sensation. I felt like I had just found Wilson (remember Tom Hanks crying over his pet volleyball?).
When I went out to California for the winter break, I had rummaged through my storage unit looking for warm things—my heavy coat, sweatshirts, long-sleeves—anything. The temperature while I was out there on break was in the high 60’s, and sunny every day.  I was reminded of when I packed up these warm things in the middle of August. I had stuffed them in a crate that became a sturdy shelf for stacks of boxes. I wasn’t thinking about anything cold.
Finally, after messing up my balanced columns, I was able to get to what I wanted. But what I really wanted to do was close the metal door, and spend the night with my stuff. Yet, the contract I signed states, in big explicit print, that storage units are not places to sleep. It’s not allowed.
Because I couldn’t fit my old sweatshirts in my suitcase, I had them packed into another box, and had it mailed to Omaha. And weeks later, I held a dulled knife, and gingerly cut through the packing tape until I saw my pink sweatshirt and my green Antioch University sweatshirt. Tossing the knife, I picked up my warm clothes, and pressed them to my face. They smelled of California. I put on the pink one, and all during the evening I would bury my nose in my sleeve, and breathe in the scent while wishing it would never fade away.