Thursday, January 06, 2011


Insomnia again. I am thinking that she is not my friend so much as we are dark sisters. That she walks beside me in the daylight like a shadow, and at night--that she lays atop me, lit with moon and greedy for Sleep--fooling him into penetrating her instead of me. But this is her voices talking... and they are mean.

I've been thinking about meanness today, unthinking meanness. The type that almost always causes regret. I always tell my boys that they are to be smart, strong, beautiful, and kind. And that first among these is kind.

Many small kindnesses are important to me, and their recent absences in my world disturbing. Among other things, I believe that walking down the street without seeing others on the pavement is philosophically unsound, that eating the last piece of pie without offering to share it is unsound, that saying you didn't like a birthday present someone gave to you (even if it is truthful) is unsound--not because these self-inclinings aren't perfectly natural, but because they neglect the act of consideration. A type of listening.

Considering the world starts with the empathetic imagining of other people (because we are so like). Only as we get better and better at considering (how our actions, speech, and finally, our thoughts tend to ripple beyond us in ways we cannot--like with children--predict or control) does this verb have the potential to reach all the way back through the earth and to the bodies of light from which the word itself was wrought.

con :: with / sider :: the stars

So I tell my boys to be kind. And I try to model it. It is, of course, impossible to know but sometimes it is difficult to even imagine another person's thoughts and feelings, especially when, for whatever reason, they are lashing out at us or at our shadowselves--but I believe deeply that these others are our halfsisters, our kind. And that finding another so opaque and still attempting this type of imagining can create much. Love, for instance. Growth. To imagine we are both beside and within others. That we are somehow both each other's siblings and also one another's children.

I'll probably erase this tomorrow, as further ravings and ravages of Insomnia. But for now, there it is.

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