(…of February, and other more substantial spans of space)
M.snowe’s relationship to death has changed drastically throughout her relatively short life, as she imagines it has for most people who’ve at least seen a few decades go by. At first, it was feared–but now, m.snowe has no trouble saying that the act of dying (while she hopes it’s not painful) doesn’t really keep her up at night. Yes, this might change again in the future given any number of circumstances, but not now, and on the whole m.snowe feels that’s a pretty good way to be. But what does scare m.snowe, or at least cause an almost undue sense of dread and pain, is the fear of dealing with dead things. The idea of death is such a personal notion, yet at the same time it is completely universal–but many seem to forget that every death, every fluctual, dialectical change represents a divergence, a stoppage of what we knew: a void. And sometimes, no matter what type of packing we use to repackage that void, it’s a loss nonetheless. M.snowe approaches these voids with much more trepidation than the possibility of her own.
Perhaps the scariest type of death during life is the loss of others. To clarify, M.snowe doesn’t mean others literal, physical death (although those aren’t exactly fun either)–but the deaths that come with lost interaction, irrevocable differences, failed reliance of trust, anything that causes those despairing driftings away on an untamed sea of reasons. From personal experience in the last two months, m.snowe has suffered (along with many of those involved) the emotional deaths of coworkers, friends, more than friends, you name it. Taking the situations for what they were, m.snowe tried to tell herself she was behaving or feeling irrationally despaired. But taken in view of mourning the deaths of so many familiar people and situations that filled her life with joy, she knows that questioning the strength of the blow was an interior mistake. Because when someone you love dies physically, there is an ultimate pain that you can’t escape. But the finality, the “closure” (m.snowe hates, hates, hates that word) is tangible–despite what Joan Didion would like you to believe or not–magical thinking has no place in this physical world of solids and scientific decay. The only half-lives available have to do with archeology and carbon-dating. But, when you lose a friend, a coworker, a romantic interest, etc., to a change in circumstance, a new revelation, or outright rejection–they do not die so clean-cut and definitively. There is no altar to turn to, no place to arrange your intellectual bouquet of flowers. In fact, magical thinking becomes your simultaneous ally and worst enemy–you craft impossible dreams because the physical lives of these other people are still indeed in full operation–only now, without you and vice-versa. Perhaps this is a mostly American phenomena, but the abilities of our population for wishful thinking are completely overstretched–no one needs to go farther than the movies to realize we’ve got our heads spinning with merry-go-round dreams, brass rings, and carnival grand prizes that revolve around impossible redemption. And all these things, these thoughts and notions of reinvigorated possibilities, visiting m.snowe from the reaches of her own imagined river Styx–they scare her more than mortality.
scatter ten times terrible
you shape-shrift into millions
a fraction of a fraction
without the original formula.
Do more to kill me
as i twist the jagged slope myself
plunging crimson in a smile
blooming crests bring
your boiling sepulcher
i’d gladly make a home.
cramped in caves and
exposed brick as if it was a trend
lose slipknots channel between
the things you ask for
and what you get
you never have enough
as i lay wasted
some unholy shrine.
…Because this blog is pretty sweet, and comes without any dairy-induced guilt.
[Look out–it’s also been added to my “Linkages” at the bottom of this blog]
Give it a shifty, why don’t you? my ex-coworker and writer friend would love it if you did…
The Times that is. The New York Times.
What now, you ask? This. The fact is, m.snowe has never once picked up this magazine, even in a dentist’s office, but she has seen it on the shelf, and her roommate does flip through it from time to time. A quick study shows that the decor of the magazine is more bright and modern than something out of a more staid home decor magazine, but still, what’s with this excerpt:
M.snowe would like to note two things:
1. “Girlish”? Really? Does GQ get to be described as “Boyish”?
2. If a men’s zine was folded for business, would men be characterized as “anguished,” as if their lives could not possibly recover, in a fit of despair over the loss of their monthly bro information? Would they become disconsolate and overly emotional?(like, omg, they’re breaking up with me!)
Or what about this crazy blanket statement:
1. “The crumbling of a girlish and fizzy optimism.” Using “girlish” along with “fizzy” and implying that the current climate is undergoing a “reality check” suggests that girls, by nature, are naive and utterly out of touch with the “real, harsh realities” (i.e. the manly manly brute world of grunts and devious investment bankers). While yes, it’s a reality check we are living in, to accuse twenty-something women of some foolish fizziness is just ridiculous, as if yes, it was their fault we’re in this economic, political, humanitarian crisis age. If anything, it’s those normally “serious” or at least “manish and harsh” fat-cats that got us into this economic and political mess (yes, we’re looking at you G.W.B.).
[m.snowe just proofed this post and realizes it’s a bit harsh. But hey, at least it’s not fizzy.]
“But you’re taking away our sunshine!!!”
While m.snowe is slightly (ever-so-slightly) glad that people find her personality in some ways sunny, or at least less-than-overcast, in an office setting it’s just not appropriate, instead it’s slightly (ever-so-slightly) condescending.
Think about it this way. If m.snowe was a beefy dude in a tie and had an awesome personality to boot, it is extremely likely that despite the friendliness and appeal, another gentlemen, when hearing that the beefy dude’s office will be moved, would not exclaim such a pleasantry (i.e. “lost sunshine!”).