Helga’s Heartlines: A Journal
December 3rd, 2001
What are these folks doing? What is she doing?
The world is a ‘crazy’ place. Wouldn’t most people agree with the assessment, these days? History, however, tells us it’s always been this way. To take the analogy further, the brains that have been in charge of it were and are badly in need of lobotomy.
Here we have two pretty amazing vessels – the human mind and the earthly realm - microcosm and macrocosm - with a lot going for both, were it not for a few niggling, forever-festering cancerous growths within each. Perhaps the attribute highlighted for us by scientist and theorist, Carl Sagan, our vestigial Reptilian Brain, is the source of the trouble, along with the likes of carcinoma and cockroaches?
If we could but root them out, once and for all, surely we’d redeem this Living Paradise and take final possession of our wits? On the other hand, given the enormity and seeming hopelessness of what we’re up against – our own flawed human nature - maybe it’s a good thing we’re still capable of being cold-blooded?
Should we ever succeed in the Sysyphusian struggle, it would not be the end of our predicament: Existence itself is peculiar. At least, the star of this piece thinks so. She has been aware and amused and worried about Existence – hers and everyone else’s – for the longest time. She sometimes has the impression she is in the world but not of the world. What are these folks doing? What is she doing? She sometimes sees herself outside herself looking at ‘her’ as if watching the thoughts and behaviors of someone else. Scary stuff. As often she witnesses family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, societies, nations, act in ways that are endearing, hilarious, frightening, dichotomous, incongruous, schizophrenic, pathetic – in sum, absurd.
Some of the most interesting people she knows are ones she’s never met. The best minds around, in her opinion, are found to be in the eloquent and passionate utterings of persons long departed or several dimensions removed from her immediate reality. She has seen magic made via e-mail communication, put words in other authors’ mouths and had her own sentences completed for her, even her unconscious thoughts verbalized. She can’t help but think where would she be without Cyberspace? That’s where the real conversations are taking place. In the real world people mostly talk trivia and pursue it avidly.
She hearkens anxiously for word on the latest world situation and would like to take heart, have trust ignite. Apparently, war, in itself a form of terrorism, is good for business, an opportunity for opportunism. She hears that the economy has been stimulated since the surprise attacks of September 11th. Sales of luxury items are up! Jaguar automobiles purr in abundance even as the oxygen-breathing spotted variety are threatened with extinction. She wonders about a radical shift. Would there be as much mileage, financially, if every household could afford, say, a Honda Civic?
There may be means, money, food and room enough for all, hypothetically, but greed and gluttony still fill the wallets and faces of the fortunate, who float, comfortable or uncaring, in the midst of a vast sea of poverty, hunger and displacement. It would seem, all boils down to one’s accident of birth: Haves and Have-Nots. She knows whom the world belongs to. Having moved from There to Here, herself, she wonders how she can help.
Remember Osama Bin Laden, whose rallying cry is “Death to the Infidel”? Need she mention we don't know for certain if he's dead or gone or where we are in the War on Terror? Oh, well. Not to worry. It's going to be a long war, we're told, with several others scheduled in the meanwhile. Incidently, rumor had it, if caught, he might have prevailed upon his sworn enemy for amnesty! One twisted mister, one wily fox. Right—Turn credo upon itself!
“Do as I say, not as I do.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is for ‘true’ Christians and ‘bleeding-heart’ humanists.
“Do unto others as they do unto you” is for whom?
It used to be said there is nothing new under the sun. She wishes it were so.
At the world level things look pretty ugly, but they're just as nasty on the playground. For the first time in human history as far as she's aware, girls are joining gangs, becoming 'jocks', threatening and physically assaulting their fellows. They have adapted new feminine wiles. Their female 'competition' can't be too shy, too pretty, too smart or too interesting to their boyfriends and avoid intimidation, injury, and even death.
Where are we going, she wonders. Where will this lead? She would really rather not know.
She turns the Looking Glass around, stares long and deeply into it as if trying to understand what she sees, then lays it down. Between CNN, Cyberspace, Arts, History and Humanities, economic rollercoaster rides and political gyrations, with ‘real life’ sandwiched in between, she decides enough is enough. She will fall back on comfort food for a bothered psyche; good 'ol Archie Bunker and benignly malignant Murder She Wrote.
Who is mad?
She will suspend judgment for the moment....
~ Helga Marion Ross ~