Sham I Am–WalterMarks’ dVerse re-blog

Delicious!

Poetry and Prose

Jilly is tending the Dverse Lounge tonight. She has requested that we write a repetitive poem. With the November elections at hand, I have had lots of “one on one‘ time with political phone surveys of late. I am venting a little here, but not in regard to any political candidate or affiliation.

Politicians on my phone
Droning surveys monotone:

“Would you let us
in your life
To bring whirled peas
And end all strife.”

I will not let you
in my life
Though smooth
Your words cut like a knife
I do not like the taste of spam
I will not let you Sham I Am

“Would you join us on the mall,
In D.C. when we rally all?
Support our platform
Shtick by shtick?”

I will not join you
on the mall.
I’d sooner nail you
to the wall;
I will not be your biggest fan
I…

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My Grandmother Said…

I’m 83, and after listening to the radio as a child I asked my grandmother if we hated Hitler. She said, “We don’t hate Hitler, we just hate his ways.”

On a tangential note, I used to think of myself as a pacifist until I came to believe (by reading) that real pacifists would hasten the world’s being emptied of the “good” people and overrun by the “bad.” Does anyone want to argue with me?

Once I wrote a poem, “If God Had a Tattoo What Would It Say?” My answer was “Kindchenschema,” which I translate as the source of mother love (or caretaking behavior). It seems that this product of evolution first described by Konrad Lorenz in 1943, may greatly have facilitated the existence of love. Lorenz (of the duck imprinting fame) described the Kindchenschema as an innate releasing mechanism for care-taking behavior. … A round face, a high forehead, big eyes, a small nose, and a small mouth were defined as “high” Kindchenschema features. Incidentally, it discouraged adults in that species from eating their offspring at birth. So as far back as the age of dinosaurs some baby dinosaurs experienced “mother love,” and we all know that having experienced love and caretaking as an infant tends to result in offspring who are more apt to feel love in their later lives, and so it may be passed on down the line. (I have noticed that my inner arms have pulsed sensitively when in the presence of a “cute” baby, accommodating a wish to hold the baby in my arms.)

So, in my original poem I suggested it would be useful if we saw Kindchenschema in the faces of our enemies, whereupon it was pointed out that we may not then oppose tyranny, and so I changed the line. What I should have said was what if our foes saw Kindchenschema in our faces; which leads us to the question of whether it is desirable to love our enemies, or not. Some say that carrying hate inside fills us with hate and we become hateful. They say that about anger, too.

This is an unresolved issue for me. I feel better about myself the less I hate, but feeling better about myself may not be as important as it’s cracked up to be. Opinions?

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Super Naive Question

Are candidates for president vetted?

Just wondering…

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More Thoughts on Shame and Guilt

(I punched the wrong button somewhere along the line and can’t post images any more. My screen says: (Technological message doesn’t print on blog, just Dashboard). If anyone knows what to do please advise. Back to this post: [Well, there you go. I don’t know what I’m doing in this technological world]. Welcome, image.

I committed the cardinal sin of using words without defining. In my earlier post on Shame and Guilt I referred to “narcissism” without defining it as “healthy narcissism,” or “self esteem.” Obviously (to me) that definition is permissible because if my primitive ancestors hadn’t cared about themselves above all else I won’t exist. We’re all the product of organisms who won over their neighbors. Pledging one’s life to helping others, unfortunately, can also function as a way to improve one’s self esteem or “puffing oneself up,” as I said in my original post.
The closest I’ve come to sniffing out unequivocable altruism (maybe) are the postings showing one kind of animal protecting another kind, or a seeing dog helping a blind one.
Ernest Becker is somewhat extreme in his attempt to tear down defenses which help us avoid seeing life as it really may be, with everything doomed to die.

Man does not seem able to “help” his selfishness; it seems to come from his animal nature…In man a working level of narcissism is inseparable from self-esteem, from a basic sense of self-worth….When you combine natural narcissism with the basic need for self esteem you create a creature who has to feel himself an object of primary value…The basic motivation for human behavior is our biological need to control our basic anxiety…To have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression–and with all this yet to die…We need to assure ourselves that we have achieved something of lasting worth…It doesn’t matter whether the cultural hero-system is frankly magical, religious and primitive or secular, scientific and civilized. It is still a mythical hero-system in which people serve in order to earn a feeling of primary value, of cosmic specialness, of ultimate usefulness to creation, of unshakable meaning…To become conscious, aware of what he is doing to earn his feelings of heroism is the main self-analytic problem of life.

“A person spends years coming into his own, developing his talent, his unique gifts, perfecting his discriminations about the world, broadening and sharpening his appetite, learning to bear the disappointments of life, becoming mature, seasoned–finally a unique creature in nature, standing with some dignity and nobility and transcending the animal condition; no longer driven, no longer a complete reflex, not stamped out of any mold. And as Andre Malraux wrote, the real tragedy is that that it takes sixty years of incredible suffering and effort to make such an individual, and then he is only good for dying”…He has to go the way of the grasshopper, even though it takes longer…. Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death, Simon and Schuster, Free Press Paperbacks, New York).

Now what does all that have to do with me? Let’s avoid the religious question if we may. I’ve said my head is atheistic and my heart is hopeful.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that my apologies and suffering over transgressions against others is a way to protect my self esteem. I’m working on abandoning that part of me and focussing on my “heroic journey,” of which I am aware. I seek to be a hero by creativity, my blogging, empathizing with others including my children, absorbing beauty and nature, feeding my hungry curiosity and giving free reign to my imagination.

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Words and Feet – Reblog from Kim M. Russell and dVerse

Yes yes and more yes!

writing in north norfolk

We welcomed them eighty years ago
from the shadows of the night of broken glass
to the streets of Britain and beyond, child refugees,

hungry and scared, in need of homes.

History should not be allowed
to repeat itself; it’s our turn to act,
to learn from the past and protect

children fleeing conflict and persecution now.

There’s another page of history to turn and complete,
not with the sufferings of refugees
uprooted from their homes to flee,

but with courage of words and fearless feet.

Kim M. Russell, 10th January 2019

Image result for kindertransport statue at liverpool street stationKindertransport statue at Liverpool Street Station (found on Pinterest). I stop at this statue almost every time I get the train to London.

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman: What We Save Saves Us, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

Sherry is back this week with…

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Countryside Wisdom – Carol J. Forrester Reblog from dVerse

The imagery of hard boiled sweets in the mouth is poetically mouth-watering. I hope I’m re-blogging this gem.

Writing and Works

I always greet red dawns with caution.

Farmer’s daughter,

I turn over countryside sayings

like hard-boiled sweets

in my mouth.

The syrup long since sucked

from the center,

now all crunch and brittle,

the shards pricking my gums

in warning.

No amount of scoffing,

can keep my grandmother’s voice

from speaking to the dawn.

Soft, and familiar,

chanting the same words,

myth

now made fact.

Red mornings are both beautiful,

and dangerous.

We should watch

for a change in the winds.

morn-005

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Why Shame and Guilt?

Some point out that guilty feelings keep our conscience in shape. But does excessive wallowing in feelings of guilt or shame help anything? How can making myself miserable make sense? Perhaps a masochist might try it, but believe me there’s no pleasure in it, sexual or otherwise.
Perhaps feeling pain over one’s thoughtlessness is a Shadow concept–it may help us avoid our own feelings of rage at being ignored, discounted, ridiculed or mistreated. Are guilt feelings more acceptable than rageful anger to some folks? Like me?
I reported myself for chewing gum while on safety patrol duty in the sixth grade. I don’t feel guilty about it now, possibly because I got a demerit for it at the time. I can tell I’m wandering into la la land but if that’s so, then so be it. Losing psychic energy in an irrational manner is la la, and detracts from energy that could be used constructively, even for helping others.
I have some defense mechanisms that explain or almost excuse my behavior, but I can’t utter these because they sound so much like excuses (such as a very slight habit to briefly dissociate).
It’s obviously rooted in my unconscious. I was not allowed to ask for what I wanted–not even to hint, and was told that I didn’t feel what I felt, often. I wonder what it means in actual terms that I introjected my Pig Parent (per transactional analysis)? I do recall that in therapy I once Gestalted my Pig Parent and didn’t get back in my own skin until later in the day. I do remember that I couldn’t do a Gestalt “goodbye” to my abusing father because I felt there would be nothing left inside me. (I was able to much later, however.)
Empathy runs too deep in me (unless it’s just a defense against rage.) If you lurked silently around me for very long you would hear me muttering “I’m sorry. I’m sorry” when one of my much earlier thoughtless behaviors come to mind.
I’ve begun re-reading Ernest Becker’s “The Denial of Death” again, and come across the following: “Man does not seem able to ‘help’ his selfishness…If we care about anyone it is usually ourselves first of all…In man a working level of narcissism* is inseparable from self esteem, from a basic sense of self-worth. (p 2,3) So, maybe I think more highly of me for apologizing constantly than being puffed up. I probably respect myself more (secretly) than if I were more blase and felt more positive about myself. (This blog posting is probably an attempt to puff myself up.)
Maybe I should return to identifying with “The Watcher” part of me again. Funny how I make a discovery and then it eludes me.

*Note: There’s a great difference between narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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