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?

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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1 Response to My Grandmother Said…

  1. RhScribbles says:

    You pose serious questions. I hate war. I say I’m almost a pacifist. If my child is being attached or I am being attacked, I will resort to violence if needed. War?? I’m not so sure….

    But kindness and love shown to others can many times turn potential violence to peace.

    Liked by 2 people

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