Morning Trip (237)

“It would be an endless battle if it were all up to ego
because it does not destroy and is not destroyed by itself
It is like a wave
it makes itself up, it rushes forward getting nowhere really
it crashes, withdraws and makes itself up again
pulls itself together with pride
towers with pride
rushes forward into imaginary conquest
crashes in frustration
withdraws with remorse and repentance
pulls itself together with new resolution.”

–Agnes Martin
commonplace
crashingly beautiful
parabola

Morning Trip (228)

“Like all good hustlers, our egos employ crews of ruffians in case we don’t comply with their demands. Anger, blame, and avoidance are the ego’s bouncers. When we get too close to recognizing an experience as an emotional one, these three spring into action. It’s much easier to say, ‘I don’t give a damn,’ than it is to say, ‘I’m hurt.’ The ego likes blaming, finding fault, making excuses, inflicting payback, and lashing out, all of which are ultimate forms of self protection. The ego is also a fan of avoidance–assuring the offender that we’re fine, pretending that it doesn’t matter, that we’re impervious. We adopt a pose of indifference or stoicism, or we deflect with humor or cynicism. Whatever. Who cares?

When the bouncers are successful–when anger, blame, and avoidance push away real hurt, disappointment, or pain–our egos are free to scam all they want. Often the first hustle is putting down and shaming others for their lack of ’emotional control.’ Like all hustlers, the ego is a slick, conniving, and dangerous liar.”
–Brene Brown

Morning Trip (109) and Syria, Do Humans Ever Learn? –or, no no but my phallus is bigger than yours

“And so our Civil War raised questions that have been raised a number of times since: Can you force people to change their hearts and minds? Can you make them good by violence? Again and again human nature has replied no. Again and again, ignoring human nature and history, politicians have answered yes. And yet it seems true that Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers, by refusing to answer violence with violence, did more to alter racial attitudes in the South than was done by all the death and damage of the Civil War.”
–Wendell Berry, imagination in place

Morning Trip (10)

“Backwater Pond: The Canoeists
Not for the fishermen’s sake
Do they drop their voices as they glide in from the lake,
And take to moving stealthily on that still water,
Not to disturb its stillness, hour on hour.
So that when at last a turtle, scuttling
Surprised from a stump, dives with a sudden splashing,
It startles them like a door slamming;
And then there is a faint breeze and echo of laughter
Dying as quickly, and they float still as before
Like shadows sliding over a mirror
Or clouds across some forgotten sky,
All afternoon, they cannot say why.”
–W.S. Merwin