Jessica Rowan is a kind person.
She reminds me of Emmanuel Levinas. She likes other people and what they say. She allows them their oceans, even when they're tentative and honest about the stupidity of many activities, like writing to practice for MFA programs instead of writing to love language and people. But even if they want to do that, she'll let them.
i like what other people say too. i honestly find everyone humbling and crippling and amazing, even stoners, jocks, and Republicans. i'm not being sarcastic.
The jury is still out on assholes. They make me sad and delirious. They make me feel like i have Alka-Seltzer in my shoulderblades and that i will never do any good for the world because everyone else is so worried about hating people.
Oh well! Let's all of us have a carnival and invite everyone who doesn't go to college and who doesn't complain about menial things.
Posting this, i'm "treading thin ice," like my father says, because a lot of the people who read this blog i've met through NOÖ or the wider writing world. They probably don't even realize i'm in college. In my contact with them, i try to stay hyper-articulate and mature, because most people believe college is full of undercooked dunderheads.
Community college in a dirtpoor town and growing up in a strange, mostly poor, semi-urban, semi-rural town -- they both make me feel ditzy and sick about all this hyped up ferocity and obsession over the miniscule. In an American college full of air conditioners! Or on the lousy internet! Were we reduced to an island, three people in the world would have the internet. But i love it. i love it because of all the people i've met.
Still, i try engaging those of my supposed "peers" who consider themselves grave and epic, their collegiate environment doubly so. They hate me for ridiculing cynicism or self-adoration, hate me for dressing like a sailor and spouting and spouting kooky words. i talk a lot because honesty skitters toward the complicated. i talk a lot because talking is funny.
i work hard and grew up poor enough to know i would never hit college unless i scooped every scholarship. But now -- i'm guilty as anyone, equally submersed in this lavish day-to-day, where we're so out of touch with the world that the situation skips disgusting and ascends to silly.
So, if you're sneering and ranting through college, assuming your world sucks, not engaged somehow (any how) in "play" that signals how scary and blissful our luck is -- i don't know. i don't know. Ethically, morally -- i really don't know.
But i guess i engage these people around me because they're people and they're around me. i don't genuinely "hate" anyone or believe anyone comes hardwired as an asshole. i am always hopeful that something cool and kind and earnest lurks in their chestbones, something that might twang and allow them to stop snarling over silly nonsense, leaving room for something graceful.
My sister is a hippie who, with her churchgroup, feeds people chili. Sometimes i'm cynical, but that's only because she does more than me and it breaks my heart that she can't do everything for everyone and we both want to do everything for everyone. =(
Sometimes i try to give her jokes that will make people happy.