Behavior sits on this strange tightrope and spills its drink all over the floor and wanders up and down aisles asking people to see each other eye to eye, face to face, and to imagine for a second that we can all read each other’s minds. And that we don’t have a thousand and one strange impulses ticking at any given time. And that we have control over how our body meets our brain meets our mouth meets another person. Behavior gets sticky and lacks eloquence. Intentions are nearly almost always good. At the heart of the heart of the heart, you can sympathize with anything if you have enough patience and scope. Everyone has the capability within themselves to commit every act, horrifying and beautiful. Everyone is in flux. Everyone is spinning in orbit around a largely unimpressive star in a remote part of a galaxy in a strange universe we can barely see. Everyone has everything inside of them. And yes, it’s what they choose to act on. But sometimes, you do not even make the choice. Sometimes your feet walk on their own and your muscles tick in their shells and your mouth carries vipers you never knew sat on your tongue. The control, the mind-body connection, the awareness of self and the patience, wisdom and grace to make the best decisions at the right time to fulfill what another person needs standing in front of you…that is a terribly complex thing. An abstract thing. A thing we are never taught in school.
There are so many things that NEED to be taught in school that aren’t. And so many things that don’t need to be drilled into the heads of every passing 16 year old that are. That embitter learning for some for a lifetime. That make others toss their hands in the air and give up. And there is so much to know that is never taught. How to relate to one another, interpersonal relationships, basic psychology. World, comparative religion. Nutrition. Sustainability. Basic philosophy. Child rearing (at least the basics, at least for sympathy and understanding…I know not everyone needs to or should have kids). These are things that should be mandatory…and the sciences and math if you excel at those….you should follow that path…take THOSE as electives. Because there is only a select group of people that end up as mathematicians or physicists or engineers…but EVERYONE needs to be fundamentally prepared for this fucked up world we enter. And let’s just be more efficient with our teaching/learning time, shall we? Not just fucking memorizing shit by rote and just wallowing away hours on useless things and standardized tests. I guess this is why I’m going to be a Waldorf teacher. It’s not perfect by any means…but it gives me so much hope. And so much healing.
I was always kind of amazed that no one was keeping tabs on me and the fact that I was going to bring another human into this world. They test you a thousand and one times for a thousand things in life. They fine you for speeding, they pat you down at the airport, they judge your little graphite circles in a scantron, they draw vials of blood and test them. The world watches you and watches you and it’s never when you need them to. And then anyone can just get pregnant from anyone else and just bring another human into this world that is a citizen of this country by birthright. What I’m saying is incredibly obvious and trivial…but that strange sense of complete autonomy with something that will continue to affect the population at large with the creation of another human being was such a unique feeling. I mean it’s also incredible how UNOFFICIAL it all is…I always thought it was the opposite. I guess as a child there was some imagination that there is this big silent watcher on the wall, some highly organized center to everything…some one algorithm that was “government” and they would know if you changed your name or didn’t pay your taxes or had a baby. It’s all quite a bit more chaotic and unofficial than that. I thought being married would just click in to some database and the legality of it would be stored somewhere deep in some official file folder inside this “government”…but I had to do everything myself. I don’t even know where I was going with this random thought. It’s just a funny feeling. Being given the right to just have a baby. When and where and how you like.
In some better future…I certainly don’t imagine any restrictions on motherhood…but perhaps more reverence. That it is a journey you aspire to. That there is weight to it. And power to it. That you only do it if you have all the right intentions, if you question those intentions and continually walk a path trying to understand why and how you want to do it. If you understand what it means and you prepare. And others too, respect you in a different way for it. Respect, not disdain. No judgment. The simple recognition that it is an immense job, a vitally important job, that it takes a great deal and that if you choose to do it (and it has to be done by someone, after all)…then you are honored, revered and thanked. And provided opportunities to learn, to discuss what is best, to commune and socialize with others in a positive way. I get “Lean In” I get it. OK. I get it. But what also about the idea of returning power to the holiness of motherhood. The fucking goddess that ruled this earth for the 8,000 years in pre-history before patriarchy swept in only a few thousand years ago. The fucking goddess. Portrayed all over the fucking world as a pregnant mother. Fucking mother earth. Without motherhood there is nothing. Mother is everything. And it is power. Full. And now I’m getting really woman-righteous and that is not what I mean. I mean RAISING a child. No gender discrimination. Fatherhood. Motherhood. Whoever is primary caregiver. Having that be incredibly meaningful. And only those who feel that is really, really, really right for them. I hate how many people are so unhappy and disillusioned with it. And please, please let’s let more people off the hook. I’ve met so many people who carry such guilt and shame about the fact that they don’t want kids. Maybe it’s so ingrained in them that they should want to have kids that perhaps they do just to assuage this guilt. We need to stop telling this narrative that every woman should want to have children and being motherly and nurturing AND we need to stop telling this narrative that you just pop out a few kids and it’s no big deal. To bring another human into this world is a big deal. It is an important deal. And if we had more reverence, less flippancy…less people doing it…it would help our massively out of control population problem. I mean, seriously.
And….that was another random rant.