A quarter of a year later...

The Bitch returns. The Bitch is still aflutter: What does this blog serve? What does it do for her own imperiled psyche? What should the subject of it be? If it is not about breast cancer all the time, will it be considered AWOL from its mission? And most of all:
Does it matter?

The fears: If I do not document my life, my memory of it will disappear so that it will seem to have disappeared. If people want to read about my life, they will. If not, they'll click off. So be it. I do believe in selfishness (even Ayn-Rand brand of selfishness) when it comes to writing. You write for yourself. You revise with others in mind.

Tonight I felt sadness. A lump in my throat I tried to eradicate the direct way, with Ativan generic. Worked some but also made me feel sleepy. Or was that the Atarax generic I took with it? Indeed, better living through chemistry. Sadness. Deep sadness. Deepening sadness. I try to do a check: Rage? I ask myself and see if I get a response. Fear? No, it does seem to settle on sadness. My dream last night, so very sad. Something with Jews on a boat coming back, a trial going on, I was sitting next to Sidney Brustein (as in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window), who was a 60-ish buttoned-up lawyer. At one point someone drew blew pencil lines connecting all of us (a picture of us? maybe) and there was a blue line on him, so I said, you've been caught but he denied it. Later he went out of the ship and was watching frogs with his grandson. Then he jumped in the pool/ocean behind the kid and the frogs. I was about to jump in behind him, but then we had to all get onboard. We couldn't wait for the Brusteins. It was assumed that they would be killed by being run over by the boat.
Why did I dream of a character from a play I've never seen? From tooling around online, I find that this was written by Lorraine Hansberry and produced as she was dying. Sidney is unlikeable. He's the Jew in a play with blacks and Jews. What is his sign? I don't know. There's a wife who lowers herself to do--commercials, of all things. There's an in-law who's a prostitute. There's a candidate who isn't worthy. There's Sidney and his allegiances and schemes. In my dream he was Bourgeois with a capital B, very very conservative. Finally he lets out his playful side and...is crushed.

Alas, too tedious to examine all the influences on this. The big public one is the Italian cruise ship and the captain who was dedicated to saving his own skin.
As my mother always said, If you do the right thing, you never have to worry.
She didn't add: In dangerous situations you may die an uncomfortable death. The stakes weren't so high when I was young.

But we digress.

The sadness is what we came here to dissect. The sadness while walking up Lincoln Avenue, thinking of The Guild Bookstore that closed down maybe 30 years ago, the years in my 20s and 30s when we were forming the National Writers Union and there seemed to be so much promise, both public promise and private promise. The younger you are the more promise you have. Usually. Government, social change seem to have gotten heavier, requiring more effort to push and shift. Or maybe it's the lump in my throat that's spread to my chest. It was easier to get swept up in movements. Those were utopian times, for me. The most recent Atlantic: profile of Mearsheimer at U of Chicago, promoter of Realpolitik by by another name. I don't want to live with Realpolitik. I liked the days when there were masses of angry and frustrated young people and clergy who knew what had to change. We knew what had to be done. Mostly it was that the US had to get the hell out of [fill in the Latin American country of your choice here]. Now a deeper malaise that's stronger, more insidious than just some covert bombing in service to imperialism. A feeling of scorched earth. In the Trib today the same list of big regional polluters as you would predict. Refineries. Coal. What was that clean coal that Obama used to talk about? We were skeptical then about it then. The pall cast over everything. A college student reporter asked me weeks ago what the worse problem was in the neighborhood. I couldn't rank them. Poverty I thought, which is behind much of crime. I said crime. What I fear most is crime to my person. Already much unknown crime committed in my name, the name of Western consumers: oppression in Chinese factories. As if I woke up and found that everything was made in China. It used to be that a lot was. When did the ubiquity start?
A Linked-In invitation from R, who was lovers for many years with K. They lived in one of those old, comfortable and beautiful houses in the Berkeley Hills. I admired both of them. I accidentally rubbed K the wrong way by asking her to write a letter of rec for me posthaste. It was stupid to ask, to press her to do that favor for me. But that stopped her email responses. She didn't ask me to join on Linked-In. Or maybe they divided people up and R got me. I knew her first, though not well, in Paris, mid 1970s.
Going through boxes of cards today to find posters and such to put in my office at the Smart University. A card from M traveling in Europe. Which M? The poet R talking about a short story. When did I send it to her and when did I meet with her? I have no recollection. A card with letter inside from H reporting giddily about the roaring response to his lecture on photographic history. Then he published his book, he divorced, he married a former student, had a child, then died suddenly while walking into Wrigley Field.
This Shiva Nataraja has many arms but has such good balance that he doesn't look stressed out.