What does messiness mean to you?
Are you literal where the first thing you think of is the physical messiness of your person and surroundings, like thick layers of dust or walking through the house with your shoes on or dirty clothes and unwashed hands?
Or is it more figurative where you imagine chaotic relationships and instability of living arrangements and a fractured work history with a bankruptcy and unpaid overdue bills?
How does messiness manifest for you? In your own life or those around?
On the spectrum, do you embrace messiness or abhor it, refusing to allow any messiness to ooze in and around you or your surroundings and fight it with everything in you? Or do you sit somewhere in the middle recognizing and doing what you can to reconcile while being emotionally indifferent to it?
Do you have command over your messiness? Are you fastidious and controlling, refusing to allow any of that messiness to disrupt or complicate your life even in those people around you? What level of messiness do you allow others to have around you?
Where does uncertainty fall in that circle? Are you fearful of it and avoid it as much as necessary? Or do you pursue uncertainty recklessly, living and experiencing life on the edges most daringly, occasionally falling over the side? Or do you accept that uncertainty is a part of life and choose judiciously, given you have that choice? Or do you, again, sit somewhere in the middle choosing your adventures cautiously?
What about comfort? What level of comfort do or can you subscribe to in your life? This is given that you are allowed any comfort? What defines or serves as comfort to you? In a literal sense of a home or bed or any material objects—given you are allowed such as most of us are not (re: inequality, homelessness, hunger, lack of healthcare, food, money, etc.). In a figurative sense of identity, class, or speech—again, if we are allowed such as most of us are not (re: racism, anti-CRT, Don’t Say Gay, ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them’, Citizens United, etc.).
I’ve been thinking about this more and more as the right continues to eliminate our civil liberties and the aristocracy persists in their extravagance and luxury—their comfort—at the expense of the working class, poor, and marginalized, continuously exploiting and shoving us into a more narrower version of their comfort at the sake of our own. As we are forced into that more restricted rendering of comfort, are we compensating in other areas where we can? As that austerity becomes more and more grim, at what level will it finally prove too cruel and extreme?
Methinks we’ve already hit that point years ago thus the conversation of privilege in as much as privilege equals comfort. To be complacent in your comfortableness is to be privileged so to speak, or not? Some of us are more comfortable in the messiness whereas others can’t stand the chaos and attempt to control accordingly be it from fear, laziness, attitude, or rebellion, maybe? These mindsets and actions form ideologies inevitably leaving many interpretations and perspectives behind thus the importance of reading books and viewing art of differing perspectives that inform us in various levels of our discomfort. Do you feel discomfort at others’ discomfort? What kind of discomfort?
What made me think of this other than the obvious? Several things: one, the scene in Mr. & Mrs. Smith where Brad Pitt’s character tells Angelina Jolie’s character that there is no air around her; no room for mistakes; no spontaneity; two, the entire Along Comes Molly movie; three, many, many book reviews I’ve read on Goodreads and Amazon; and four, Arthur C. Brooks’ Atlantic article What the Second-Happiest People Get Right.
So, who in your life is allowed to be messy? And can we even ask it like that?
Things I’ve watched: Our Flag Means Death has been added to my favorites list. Loved it!
Things I’m wondering about: The Netflix hate compounded with their Chappelle anti-trans bullshit, their continued raising of prices and canceling some really great favorite shows (Sense8) after one or two seasons, and their inability to pay writers fairly, apparently. Hollywood has hated Netflix since the beginning. I’m positive a lot of this fomented antagonism is sponsored by the anti-streamer crowd. Most importantly though is that Netflix pushes artistic boundaries on lots of shows that have the more conservative and unimaginative world riled. With phrases like ‘woke mind virus’, this hate and that statement comes after it was reported Bridgerton surpassed viewing records and does not go unnoticed by me. You have to wonder if it will be yet another form of censorship by trying to run it out of business.
I don’t like Elon Musk. I don’t trust him, or any billionaire. I don’t like his hoard of toxic male cult followers that look at him as some sort of messiah and daddy figure that does or can do no harm (like DJT or Bernie). It reeks of toxicity. That these men continue to search for these types of noxious daddy figures tells you their level of daddy issues. I sure as hell don’t trust him owning Twitter. His actions, tweets, and the way he runs his companies demonstrate his character. The way he and his followers continuously punch down on the more vulnerable is evident of an oppressive bully figure who accepts, espouses, and embraces cruelty, injustice, and tyranny. Until he starts to rectify that part of himself, his attitude, and his actions, I will continue to be skeptical and cautious.
I do believe in redemption.
What books am I reading? I had to stop reading what I was reading before because I was stuck in a lull and couldn’t motivate myself to read them. When this happens, I shelve them and find something I can read then go back to them later. Right now, I’m watching more television and playing matching tile games on my iPhone, taking a break from reading. I definitely am trying to read more nonfiction as I’ve spent way too much time reading romance novels and not enough on other genres.
Like Republicans, do the Democrats and corporations really want to save Roe? Or are they, like Paul Ryan, worried about our current baby bust and want us to start having babies for the economy? More workers for them to exploit? It wouldn’t surprise me if they started working on some kind of medical procedure to allow older people with uteri to have babies. Why would they do that when they can simply force younger people to not have an option, you ask? Why not do both? If they could, they would methinks.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, y’all. Peace, love, and stay healthy, safe, and look for those little pockets of comfort in this chaos.
© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins
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