Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Got the Blues

I've been ranting about the socially-constructed, political notion of race in four of my classes over the past week and talking about rape in the other one. I only got two sentences into my lecture last Thursday before a White male student leapt up, grabbed his books and stomped out.

During this same week, my dog developed a fixation on my presence so strong that he couldn't bear to be without me for even a short time, resulting in his chewing up a whole bunch of stuff and ultimately necessitating my breaking my own heart by giving him away to avoid caging him whenever I'm gone -- something I won't do.

So now, of course, I'm alone with a brain full of darkness, convinced that I'm going to die old and alone in a world of chaos and pain. I got the blues. Maybe this 1970's film clip of Buddy Guy will help me feel better.


Sorrow said...

it takes a lot of heart
and soul
to come from your authentic center.
To say what you know is true, to do what you feel is best, not always for yourself, but for everyone.
I don't know why life isn't easier, why truths are not "self evident", why love can not come more freely.
But I do know that you make a difference, in at least my life.
I saw Koko Taylor preform almost 30 years ago, and I am adding this tune to your repertoire
Hope you shake those blues soon~!

macon d said...

Damn, it really sucks to lose a dog. Maybe next time get two, so they can keep each other company while you're gone?

As for that student stomping out, I'd see that as a GOOD thing -- you clearly struck a nerve!

Changeseeker said...

I'm going to print out your words, Sorrow, and carry them around with me for a while. What a beautiful and comforting statement. Thank you.

I hadn't thought of getting two pets, Macon. Maybe that's the way to go. As for the student, I totally agree. I laughed when he bolted. The way I rant, I'm only surprised it doesn't happen more often. ;^)

Truly Scrumptious said...

I really don't want to add to your stress and blues, but I can't help but say that it seems like a crazy overreaction to re-home your dog for one week (or even two!) of separation anxiety. There are many ways to address SA - did you try any of them? I mean, even without crating or re-homing, although addressing SA take more time than a week. (Not that crating is cruel - it's often a dog's favorite place because they know it's theirs, and they can't go crazy from lack of boundaries like yours did. I've found that refusing to crate is a very simplistic and anthropomorphized understanding of dogs' needs.)
Anyway, sorry about your tough times. Hang in there.

Changeseeker said...

Obviously, Scrumptious, you're correct that there was more to the story than I wrote here. Slowly, but surely, my life had begun to revolve around VooDoo -- physically, socially, and economically -- something with which I became increasingly uncomfortable over time. At a very powerful sixty pounds, I had every indication from other committed dog owners I know that any crate that would hold him (and there was doubt that one would) would be so big that my little place wouldn't offer the space for it. I had tried some things in the past because of other issues and he was one smart and very demanding cookie. I think he will be wonderfully happy where he can just have what he needs and wants. I wasn't being fair to him and it was getting worse as I became more and more committed to some work I need to do. It was a hard decision to make because I'm bonded enough that I'm doing some weeping, but I still think it was an appropriate decision. I've had big dogs before, but they never developed this problem. Do you think his being male had anything to do with it?

James R MacLean said...

I just became aware of your blog, and have read several past entries. It's really a fantastic resource and it is now on my blogroll.

If it makes you feel any better--a scant ten years ago I could have been that student. After all, if a person can calmly assimilate the knowledge that his very ability to operate in society and to navigate consists of unjust entitlement, then he has no ethical stakes. He'll just shrug and think, Heh. Life's unfair... thank God!

A person has to have a sense of honor and justice to be deeply affronted by such knowledge.

Changeseeker said...

Welcome, James! I'm glad you like what you find here. Believe me, I've seen lots of folks evolve over the years I've been doing this. And even the ones that don't choose to learn don't usually rattle me much. I've been nose to nose (on tv, it turned out) with men in hoods. It doesn't get much more graphic than that, I'll tell you. But sometimes, given that even "nice" academics who ought to know better, are also White Supremacists in the closets of their minds -- and in their writings -- I occasionally get discouraged. It's usually momentary, but stories like yours help to keep me going.

HetGezicht said...

I'm in a similar place, attempting to stay afloat over responsibilities and really only barely getting by. The blues can have a nasty habit of simmering for a long time, but the sky always clears eventually. It isn't much of a comfort as far as comforts go, but it keeps me going.
You'll never die alone. The important point about the story of the student who stormed out is that a class (minus a mere one) still remained to listen to what you had to say, to be impacted by your words. You've touched so many lives in such strong ways. Nothing can take that away. You are loved and respected immensely. You said to me once "It is what it is," in I believe Wallace's own words. It goes both ways, really in all directions imaginable (the magic of a profound and simple phrase); you're loved and respected, that is what it is, and there is nothing you can do to get rid of those who hold you in high regard. ;)

Changeseeker said...

You leave me speechless, HetGezicht. And grateful. Not only for your words, but for the knowledge that even with me stumbling gracelessly through my life so much of the time, I know that what you say is true -- not only about me, but about all of us. We are all part of the collective whole and as such, strong and useful and truly necessary to the process of human unfolding. Would we all knew it.

hearthesiren said...

i found your blog from fieldnegro. so im wondering what you said to your student that pissed him off so? anyways, in re: your dog...i dont crate mine either, when they are puppies they tear shit up but as they grow older, they stop. it is kind of like a kid writing on the wall with a crayon, the best thing to do is put the dog in a room where everything is high up and there are not a lot of electrical wires.

Changeseeker said...

Welcome to my house, hearthesiren. Drop back by any time. The problem was that VooDoo's about two and a half years old and weighs sixty pounds, so the problem was separation anxiety because he's the kind of dog that bonds seriously. And he was doing some real damage. It was more than that, though. I was beginning to lose my grip because of having way too much to keep track of and no other way to shorten the list. He deserves better than missing me desperately while I'm taking care of the nine million details in my life that don't include him. But I've been grieving his loss big time...