Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Known is Nothing Compared to the Unknown-Unknown

I am not so good with analysis of myths or where meaning is in symbols. Part of this may reflect a fear that the act of trying to understand is the brainwashing mechanism itself. It’s good to have an excuse for ones ignorance. Anyway, I find truth in my reaction to my experience.

I was blessed in that this started very early, when at 7 years of age I looked a 1917 penny and was shortly thereafter sent home because JFK had been murdered. It meant nothing to anyone else but to me it meant that the world was much bigger and stranger than I could understand.
Segue to 12 years old when my dad kicked me out of the house in winter with no shoes. As I walked I found my feet generated plenty of heat. Again, something that I did not understand that nonetheless filled me with great joy. Because my lesson was not learned the experience was repeated with the same result, great joy. My dad was my unwitting guru even though I did nothing but irritate him in return.

Later as he was breaking down a bit, I accepted the role as scapegoat. He started to make oddly formed demands on my younger siblings, and I would ‘play it back’ to him in an effort to show how absurd the demand was. The mocking tone was effective in turning his attention away from my siblings. (Although their reaction was mixed, sometimes seeming indifference and sometimes that gap mouth look indicating incredulity or horror.) It irritated him greatly that he could not make me be angry, but I have to hand it to him because he also was not one to hold a grudge.

One time, after we had lived on the farm for three years or so, we found ourselves in a vigorous exchange, with me safely positioned on the opposite side of a large table. Dad is doing the usual line about how the kids are not doing work that has been assigned. So I says, in my typical cheeky way, (the aspiration is for truth without anger), so dad check this; you know that I do in fact do most of the tasks that are assigned to me. You also know that every project involves many separate tasks. You also know that because you are a perfectionist that you pick on the one small element that was done ‘wrong’ rather than encouraging us kids for the many tasks that we do do and often do well. Therefore, because you seem to not be able to break yourself of this habit, I will no longer do anything that you ask or demand for me to do.

Apparently I had framed my argument convincingly because his response was little more than nearly mute, OK. The year and half remaining for me at the farm, dad held to his word and never asked for another thing from me.