Nothing lasts but change


For generations, artists in the Euro-American traditions, like ancient Greek heroes, accepted the idea of posterity–the hope for an enduring place in history and myth, that they, and their work, might defy mutability–hope for a kind secular immortality; artists and poets might die, but art and poetry was forever.   On the brink of collective human suicide–and even if we should survive our human-made catastrophes, it will be but for a blink of the universal eye–who can believe in such a thing, now?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. My work will never achieve an enduring status, and even if it did–what posterity…?  when, in a few generations, there will no humans left on the planet? And in the immensity of time, before the sun consumes the inner planets as a red giant, who can maintain the illusion of a lasting memory, of a lasting anything? What then, can take the place of that old fantasy–dead as the gods who belonged to that vanished world? What, but change itself? Like Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Seed. Rather than imagining, how works of art might endure, think of them in terms of what they do, as themselves, agents of change–which they are. As works of art and poetry have always been… done?

Lubricants to slide us another step into a future we can only know when we get there. The only past worth saving, is what will remain as we break the chains that bind us to it, the past that will survive, because it changes with us in a future we create together.


Meditation and Trauma

We are told that meditation is the answer to trauma; this is not always so. It can be–counter intuitively–a conduit for repressed trauma.

I came to this realization at the sound therapy session I went to a couple months ago, and I’ve been putting some things together from related experiences with this over the years.

My first intuitive awareness of this, goes back some 50 years ago, when I found that the calmed state at the end of a meditating session, not only didn’t last or translate into routine activities, it left me way MORE susceptible to snapping out in anger when ambushed by unanticipated disappointments or frustrations. This made me wonder– but I assumed there was something wrong with how I was meditating.

At that sound therapy session–it was something different–I left feeling more anxious, my thoughts wanting to skim the edges of various disappointments, things I’d done that brought me shame, and petty traumatic memories of childhood. I say petty, cause this wasn’t about remembering abuse or physical trauma–it was the cumulative experience of my first years of elementary school–stuff I’d thought I’d worked through years ago,.
I think it was the passivity of meditating, that recalled feelings of helplessness as a child, a powerlessness at the hands of adult “caretakers” … the passivity of waiting to be punished, waiting for some unspecified, but terrible, consequences of experiences I was incapable of understanding. .
I can meditate to an almost trance like state…but what it leaves me with, is not peace, not an alleviation of anxiety–but a vulnerability to lashing out at the first thing to interrupt that state.

I wonder if others have had this experience?