Saturday, February 24, 2007

How To Save Your Own Life

One of my favorite books is Diary of A Mad Housewife by Sue Kaufman. I read it when I was twenty, purchasing a hardback copy from a used bookstore for a dollar. Actually, my dad bought it for me, along with a copy of Fear of Flying, which he, being a pilot, kind of assumed was about flying. I saw her in an interview, he said, of Erica Jong. Pretty girl. She really is afraid of planes. I loved Fear of Flying, of course, but what I really related to was Diary. The narrator is a character that described my emotional state exactly -- that ever-present anxiety that I was living with at that time, the way that the world turns on you. She blamed it on turning thirty-six, but I was only twenty and the world she described, minus New York City, was my world. I suppose this makes all those Reading Is Fundamental campaigns so important.

Sue K. wrote lots of books, most of them sad and nerve-wracked, but she always presented a happy face to the world except on a few book jacket photos where she looks fierce, but the kind of fierce that is forced, the look of someone who is really trying to get through it. She killed herself by jumping off a house -- I can't imagine a worse way to commit suicide, but it does have its metaphorical value, I suppose. I kept reading lots of books about women trapped in loveless marriages, having breakdowns, lonely, and broken. This was my world, you see, no matter how different the outward circumstances might be. On my honeymoon so many years ago, I bought Marge Piercy's Small Changes, a novel about how a woman makes a terrible mistake getting married and how she frees herself. Now there was a book I needed to learn to write.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You're all nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm and orgasm." Woody Allen in response -- "In France, I could run on that slogan."
Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Deconstructing Harry
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!
44 days until The Sopranos airs!


the walking man said...

The Metta Meditation is attributed as words Buddha (Karaniya Metta Sutta, "Good Will", Sn 1.8):

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud or demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born —
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world.
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

the walking man said...

Oh Yeah i forgot to add...I love you Brooks

JR's Thumbprints said...

I don't exactly consider myself to be the most stable person around, but compared to some of the people I've had the pleasure of meeting, I'm beginning to think I've got it together. We all have our personal demons; it's just that some of us have a difficult time sharing them, and if we do, it'll either help us or destroy us.

paul said...


Tim said...

We'd like to think that we can handle the emotional chaos better as we get older, but reality is that whether you're 36 or 20 you can still suffer from the same emotional tribulations, it's just-as you said- the outward circumstances are different.
Good post Michelle!