these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Aug 30, 2010

in, and with, honor

today is my brother's birthday and my birthday is on friday.

when we were kids, more often than not, we'd celebrate our birthdays together. two birds, one stone = two kids, one cake. :) and even though i didn't really like that at the time, the memory is very sweet now.

a few weeks ago, my brother started a conversation about the importance of trying, in any small way, to make this week somehow different than all the weeks that have come and gone. the blur of time and routine. and he made a charge to hold that as a weekly goal.

and we talked about how reading a book or taking a walk is very much a political act these days. every choice endorses a particular way of life. how a person chooses to spend their time states a preference about what a person values. and making those choices thoughtfully gives rise to positive action. as a form of Resistance to the deep level of consumerism/greed that our nation currently resides in, taking a walk or sitting on the floor of a used book store and reading some poetry for free is a very good way to begin. while i'm doing these things i'm outside the nagging feeling of Powerlessness. i'm outside that circle of defeat. instead, i begin struggling toward a deeper faith. faith in anything. faith in everything. but faith nonetheless. my conscious comes forward and i can look at the world through a new lens that encompasses compassion and realizes the need to keep sight of what Nietzsche said:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

or this statement by Albert Schweitzer:

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

these are very hard things to do. very. but the attempt toward maintaining one's honor and personal values in the face of anger and outrage is so so so important. there is a heavy wind of angry blame blowing across our country. maybe it has always been there but, the current level of hate-mongering that seems to have become permissible (if not outright acceptable), is scary to me. it is alarming to me. and it has taken a huge amount of personal strength to not fire back at people who practice hate speech (in whatever form).

it's one reason why i was so quiet on my blog last week. i've been trying to swallow my own advice and apply it.

and so today, in honor of my brother's birthday and the massive triumph he has accomplished in overcoming our personal past, the fact he IS a self-made man who employs an inspiring amount of dedication toward the goals he has chosen for himself, i will undertake the huge 3.5 mile run this morning. when i come home, i will eat a healthy breakfast of fruit and greek yogurt, i will get back to my work, i will draw and write and read and learn something. learn anything. and i will make a conscious sustained effort to not inadvertently practice (and thereby endorse) modes of interaction that i find to be unethical, abusive, and yep immoral.

blame is a superficial emotion. guilt does not require blame in order to exist. and anger is not wrong or bad- it is how a person chooses to express it that is either positive, negative, or of no consequence whatsoever. i will choose to express my anger by focusing my attention on my own morality and see where I missed the mark... find the place where I slipped, look for the site of improvement that exists within myself and take action there.

my brother is 32 today. on friday i'll be 30. :) i am looking forward to this new number in particular. i'm enjoying seeing a grown-up Womanhood take hold of my body and mind. i'm enjoying noticing how i am coming in to my own now. i'm enjoying seeing my brother grow and change and become stronger and more and more dedicated to ethics. i'm enjoying figuring out how to blend lived experience with theory and philosophy and the creative impulse. and, for however hard it is to accomplish, i enjoy the charge to somehow make this week of my life different from all the others. i can start by making myself, my inner world, a bit different. to make my insides match my outsides and vice versa. to live what i believe. and to choose what i believe with care, love, and lots of self-examination.

happy birthday, andy. i love you and i am so proud of you.


Marylinn Kelly said...

I hope your brother's birthday was a day of celebration, of acknowledging all the good that IS, letting go of anything else. My brother is very important in my life and I admire that you speak so well of yours and share his day with us.

angela simione said...

marylinn, i hope so too! the human pattern of focusing on our "failures" rather than our successes is a heavy plauge on the House of Simione, for sure. and i hope that my brother is able to see how far he has come, how very much he has to be proud of, and how important it is to draw stength from that source of personal triumph. this is a lesson i need to ingrain as well. :) we have spent too much time feeling forlorn and defeated.