Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Woman of Constant Sorrow

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming soon to a theatre near you!

Today, Saturday, protesters against the Iraq War
gathered en masse in Washington to demand an end to the madness. People traveled by bus great distances to be there.

Me, I sat at a D.A.R. banquet, praying to God to protect our brave troops in the war.

Well, I didn't really pray. Me, pray to Mr. Jealousy, God Almighty? I gave that up for Lent.

But this afternoon, as I left the posh nosh with my door prize (a box of tea), I felt, to quote Huck Finn, "tolerable cheap." Like I was part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Well, we all have issues, don't we? Mine is very simple.

I'm a pessimist.

The combination of Scots-Irish Appalachian DNA and a bipolar mother imbued in me from an early age the steadfast notion that nothing will ever get better, no matter what I do or don't do. I don't attend political protests because it doesn't change a damn thing. Once in awhile someone like Martin Luther King Jr. comes along, and it looks like things will change, so someone shoots him. Done.

I have written a novel. A couple of agents have looked at it. One kept it a year. The rest turned it down within weeks. One rejection letter even got the title of the book wrong. Did I keep trying? Hell no. I can't even bring myself to send a few chapters to OakWyse. When the going gets tough, I quit. To be honest, I'd have been far more surprised if some publisher had accepted my novel than I am to have been rejected.

Pessimist.

Pessimists believe there will always be wars, because too many human beings seem hell-bent on exercising their worst impulses. Pessimists believe that no politician can be trusted, that they're all out for personal gain, and if they aren't they get assassinated.

Pessimists believe that they can't even protect one little tiny mountain stream from a big city developer.

But on that one I keep trying.

Fortunately I'm far from alone in this bleak world view. 'Tis an Appalachian who wrote "I am a man of constant sorrow, I've seen trouble all my days."

Misery loves company, and in Appalachia misery has always been abundant.

Every now and then the stars align. I visit Berkeley Springs and soak my head. I attend a ritual. For awhile I feel better. Then my nature re-asserts itself, and the whole world turns dark again.

Writing this web log helps me to laugh at it all, but it hasn't changed my ultimate mindset, which is simply that things won't get better no matter what I do, no matter how many bored gods I invite to dinner.

Fortunately for me, the bored gods accept that. And deep down I do believe that things will get better -- on the other side. Not here. Not now. Not ever.

What the heck do you expect from someone whose favorite pastime is watching turkey vultures?

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELY SPRINGS

7 Comments:

At January 27, 2007 , Blogger Hecate said...

Dear Anne,

I marched for you. Will it make things better? I don't know. But I know that I have to try. If not me, who? If not now, when? Next time, you come on down to DC and we'll march together.

 
At January 27, 2007 , Blogger BBC said...

"Pessimists believe there will always be wars, because too many human beings seem hell-bent on exercising their worst impulses."

Umm, hey hon. They are not human beings, they are monkeys.

And they keep fucking up our reality. Now doesn't that just suck?

Gaaaa, these christians can sure screw things up can't they?

Sigh....

 
At January 28, 2007 , Blogger sopka said...

I had a russian mother and asian granmother so pessimism is a given. Buddhist like my granmother can be very pessimistic it must of bummed out buddha when in enlightement he realised saving and world meant one person at a time and only one he could gaurantee salvation for was himself.

I think that if I die a Goddes-worshipper I at least die in a state of freedom not total freedom but In one of it states. When christian give me pamphlets or judge me. I think and paraphrase Dr. King, Free at last, free at last, thank Goddess, free at last. At this moment I do not have to worry about witch Hunters burning me. But when I die I will have gone a far way on my journey. From a child raised by mother(raised by nuns) To fear life to paranoia. Hate to prejudice. Self-loathe to suicide. I will die in a state of freedom in any future life and in any future dealings with sentinent beings in the future I can at least now work to help them and gain merit to give so they have to courage to take a step on their path to a state of freedom.

Being free I am allowed bitch moan and vent because in my soul has centuries of bile from anger swallowed> I no am not my anger but I treat it like a friend when I ignore it or abused it with guilt I do not know how to gauge the world how to read people. Teaching people to suppress their anger and opinion to the first step created a docile and miserable people. Sehmet was A lioness goddess known for her rages the egyptians took a perverse pride in her. If everyone got angry in one moment and emailed the president and told him, get us out or get out if we crashed the internet with amassive burst indignation each person responsible for their e-mail one person, one mouse against one rampaging Bull elefonte I won't insult the noble animal by calling him and elephant, bush is an elefonte.

 
At January 28, 2007 , Blogger dr.alistair said...

buddha is laughing.

you sound too positive to be a pessimist.

i am certain of those things thwt you talk about too, but i find that if i focus on the beautiful and exciting i feel better.

and smiling.

one of my favourite things.

 
At January 29, 2007 , Blogger buddy don said...

wow. i could writ a bunch of this, in particlar, this line:

"The combination of Scots-Irish Appalachian DNA and a bipolar mother imbued in me from an early age the steadfast notion that nothing will ever get better, no matter what I do or don't do."

i always thunk twuz the 'cameron curse,' witch i cum frum a line of them camerons n everone i met knows whut tiz.

as fer ritin novels that caint find publishers, i have a slew of em that i hope dont git burnt whenever i die.

n ifn ye aint alreddy dun too pessimistick, wood ye cunsidder lettin me read yer novel? twood be a honor!

drop me a note ifn ye wood n i will send ye my snail mail address.

 
At January 30, 2007 , Blogger Jeff Lilly said...

I'm confused, Anne. Do you want to stay a pessimist? Or do you want to change? I can't tell from this post. :-)

 
At January 31, 2007 , Blogger Anne Johnson said...

I want to change, but the doctor says those kind of drugs cause addiction.

 

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