Absolute Zero

“If the positive absolute zero is the point at which all motion stops, then the negative absolute zero is the point where all motion is as fast as it possibly can be.”

Hey.  I am distracted.  I wish to respond to your post about dark, but somehow I’m stuck on absolute zero.  Zero and absolute.  -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

The Bee Meeting – Plath

Yesterday, I left my desk, walked half a mile to get to my car, parked in the dirt lot, took a tram a little way…and by the time I got from my desk to the car twenty minutes was gone. I then drove forty-five minutes to be fourteen minutes late for the dentist.  He rescheduled me.  I am still trying to find someone to get rid of the 200 yellow jackets in the siding by the garden hose.  The carpet needs cleaning.  Dinner needs to be made nightly- somehow. The dogs need baths.  I need to call the school counselor, who left a message that there are no more drop/adds.  We need a drop/add. That ended on Friday.  No one should cry about homework, not nightly.  Especially not my beautiful kid.  That is not as school is intended to be.  She needs more math before Physics.   It’s too much. 

I can’t abide the rules anymore.  I’m beginning to feel I’m hardly fit for this society.

“I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax/I can’t sleep ’cause my bed’s on fire/Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire”  Talking Heads

“Tycho Brahe, Qu’est-ce que c’est /Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa?”   – The Klaxon Kluge

So let’s go back to dark.  Women were the shaman, or as men like to say, the witches, the keeper of the potions, the gatherers in the hunter gatherer equation.  Close to the herbs, gathering the food.  Somehow all that has changed.  Darkness…the absence of light….heart of darkness…dark emotional states… burning at the stake in the night.

(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Eve and the Serpent.  William Blake

 Let’s get dark and make it better.  Dark like dance around the bonfire darkly.  Gypsy music dark.  Dark like we know the secrets of the stars better than anyone.  After all, we have things like “women’s intuition.”  I’m a firm believer.  I know the names of wildflowers.  Dark is like the darkest poetry.  Colombian Coffee.  Dark as if Plath came out from all of it alive and smiled at the wind in the leaves. 

Our children, my son, our daughters- they are good people.  So where do these others come from?  The ones with all the untenable rules?  The ones that see women as less?  The ones who are ok with viewing polite as subservient? The men who use “locker room talk?”   I’m afraid I’ll be unemployable soon…I speak my mind too much to work for someone who has a boss.  I need to be my own boss.  Or work from home.  Plus the drive is clearly really inconvenient.

I forget why we studied Absolute Zero. It reminds me of 2001 A Space Odyssey – the absoluteness. The weird music.  Something to do with laws of motion, liquid dynamics. Maybe the possibility of superfluid crystals.  Something happens, something about molecules slowing, lining up?  Is time travel possible at absolute zero?  Or maybe transporters?  Teleportation.  Maybe, being from Phoenix, I liked the idea of ice so cold it stops everything…and an orderly arrangement of molecules.  Order vs. chaos. Scientific god.

I bought a tote that changes colors when it hits daylight.  My nails are tiger eyes.  The nail technician uses a little magnet to pull all the glitter in the polish in one direction.  They sparkle.  Magnetism.   Thanks Carl Sagan. 

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My nails

Absolute zero is like little Madelines, -in an old house in Paris covered with vines,  lived twelve little molecules in two straight lines. 

Things to think about more deeply for me, for future posts:
1)  There are those that live in the castles, and those that build them.
2)  There are people who can kill their own yellow jackets, and there are people who pay for that.
3)  There are those that can afford healthcare, and those who do not have healthcare or vacations.
4)  Women are lugging around a huge historical burden….from Joan of Arc to Amelia Earhart.   From Auntie Em to Auntie Mame.  From Marilyn Monroe to Mother Jones to Mother Teresa.  And all the women with one name. Cher, Madonna, Oprah, Eleanor,
5)  Many women change their surnames.  It’s rare for men.  John Lennon became John Ono Lennon.  There are also men with one name.  Bono. Cash. Rockefeller.  Hemingway.
6)  Things are very different for men and women at adolescence.
7)  Things are also different at menopause.
8)  Ms. Miss, Mrs.  —  men don’t deal with this.
9)  Both men and women WITH children live different lives than men or women WITHOUT children.  (And no everyone shouldn’t have  children. )
10)  It physically hurts for a woman to experience childbirth.  Also the most natural thing:  breastfeeding.   Men have no equivalent.  (and no, not everyone should give birth or even breastfeed.)
I just want to say….there are some pretty big differences happening here.   My experiences, major things in my life are very different from every one I meet.

I am not cooking any eggs.  Can you see her:   Sylvia?  She walks calmly down the sidewalk.  She doesn’t care about anything but the words in her head…the Van Gogh of colors on the distant hills, and the grey of the sidewalk at her feet.   She wakes up alive.  She writes.   But tell me, does she have to be tormented to be Sylvia Plath?  God I hope not.

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I wish I could stave off both outer and inner darkness, especially with winter coming. Nothing is absolute.  And zero, forget about it.  I see things changing.  I see some brightness ahead for women.  It’s just taking a lot of  time.   In the meantime, there are all these stupid appointments.

madeline

Daily Prompt: disobey

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Dark

imagesToday I am dark.  It’s September, my favorite month in Oregon and here I sit, dark.   I am dark even on this pleasant morning, when the weather is warm but cool, and even though today is predicted to hit the triple digits,  I can anticipate that in a few weeks the sideways light won’t erupt into an early autumnal scorcher.  Of course, it’s not quite yet fall. It’s still summer, just the end of it, so the season has  a right to be as hot as it wants. By the calendar we can’t even call it “Indian summer”, a ridiculous term anyway, because Indians didn’t make it hot and they bear no responsibility for heat waves.

I am dark about women, and how willing we still are to be oppressed, raped, dismissed, and told we have no or lesser talent. The New York times doesn’t help.  I read the article about how a taxi driver in El Salvador tells his fare about his expectant wife and how he doesn’t want a girl . “They are trouble” because they get raped and killed in El Salvador.  Now, my friend, how is it that the girl is trouble when that happens? Why isn’t it “I don’t want a boy, they go out and rape and kill people, they’re such trouble?”

Now I know you have a son, and you love him very much, and I am certain he would never do such things. I do not have a son, but I have met my daughters’ male friends and they seem honest, kind, unlikely to assault people, and basically good people. (for the most part). One of them pulled a drowning boy from a lake, just last week. Well done, lad!

Just because most men and boys are basically good people doesn’t answer my fundamental question, though. Why is it that women are blamed for their own assaults, abuses mostly inflicted by men, and the misbehavior of their husbands,sons, fathers, and so on? I knew women who complained bitterly about Hillary and clearly believed that she was “in on it” and didn’t stop Bill because she wanted it that way. Like you can stop someone from sexual adventures. Like you can stop anyone.  On the other hand, I’ve never once have a heard of a woman’s husband being blamed for her “wanton ways”. Have you ever heard “well, he didn’t keep her happy, so …who can blame her?” Nope. Never once.

She’s a whore and a home wrecker. ..but…He was unhappy.  People get mad at him for wandering, sure, but underneath (is it just me? tell the truth) we know it’s the wife’s fault. Sort of. She’s a the victim, the sad Madonna, but ..what did she do? Must have been something. Maybe something she failed to do.

Now here’s the next corollary on this topic, and I’m sad to report it. Last week my (female) boss and one of my colleagues at work, also female, apologized for their math.  One of them feigned ignorance and asserted her own incompetence to get a better explanation, something along the lines of “well, I’m not that bright, so maybe if you’d explain it to me”.  The other apologized for PERFECTLY ACCURATE MATH so as not to offend our (now get this) FEMALE boss in chief.  No men involved! Not a one!  I say this with the aforementioned darkened heart…they have internalized this myth about “it must be my fault”. What the hell?

I yelled at both of them. Not real loud, but I did insist that neither of them would apologize like that again.  Did you really think you didn’t understand the MATH?  I told my boss. That’s correct..you read that right.  I told my direct supervisor to stop fake apologizing immediately.  What, I ask you,  is wrong with saying, wow, I see that differently. My numbers don’t add up that way. I wonder how we’re coming to conflicting conclusions. Do you have to imply that you are somehow not that bright?

I ask you my friend, what are we to do?   There are entire countries where women are forbidden an education, young girls are forced into marriages with dried up old prunes, and many adjust their style of clothing so as not to provoke, upset, stimulate, worry, embarrass, or otherwise impinge on male sensibilities and self control.  What’s worse, I fear that they believe this is for their OWN GOOD and of course, if men are told they just can’t control themselves, in some ways it is for their own good, because who knows what can happen.  The US is no bastion of equality either.  One of my friends at work explained to me that she was the only girl in a family of boys, and was the only one who had to clean up the house, and of course, to clean up after her brothers.  She is younger than I am.  She’s from one of the fine neighborhoods depicted in Hillbilly Elegy, which, by the way, isn’t that great of a book.

I don’t even want to guess what it’s like where you live.

I think we’ve lost ground since the 1980s,  I’m dismayed to say.  I don’t want to wait for this to get better. We each have two daughters.  I do not doubt their intelligence and capability.   I was blinded in some ways by my adventurous mother who told me I could do anything I wanted. I thought there was nothing wrong. I can see more clearly now, so I am more in the dark. I do not blame my mother; she created the confidence I have and not being fully aware of the obstacles, I was able to flourish with less self doubt.  Others are not so lucky.

Here’s a start. For now,  I’m going to insist, each and every time I see it, that women do not apologize for the crimes and misdemeanors of others or imply that they are not capable.  Got any other ideas?