Tuesday, August 09, 2005

the woman in the ordinary

There's a poet named Marge Piercy whose writing I've liked very much for a number of years. So, I happen to be at the library and was picking up books that I miss. If you happen to be female or any inclinations towards poetry as well as human rights, I recommend reading this book; The Woman in the Ordinary. It's an old friend of mine.

I picked up seven books; only know this because someone counted them and asked why I had so many books and "are you really going to check them all out? how many would they let you take?".

No, I'm not. I can't since I have no card here that can be used ("To Be of Use" is actually the name of the book I was just talking about; the Woman in the Ordinary is a name of a POEM, inside that book).

This person who asked me this is someone I'm attracted to. Plus I love libraries. Plus I love Marge Piercy. Plus.....right now I'm really regretting a lot of things that can't be done over and I'm itching and screaming inside as my real self can't be ignored anymore when I read something that meant so much to me for years and expresses the essence of how I feel beautifully, eloquently. And so I couldn't be without emotion any longer, and had to get up, move away quickly from the person asking the numero of books question, and sit somewhere that would allow me to cry. I always cry in libraries. Well, not always, that's a completely irrational statement; I've just spent an inordinate amount of time in libraries in my life and also a great deal of time being suicidally depressed, so of course, I've cried in libraries before.

Plus my last boyfriend was a librarian and a poet, and there was something romantic about that at the time.

The point though, is that I'm screaming inside to get out of this confinement I'm living in, and to be somewhere WITH MY GODDAMN BOOKS.

To be me. Myself. Not the patient. Not that "client". Not the inmate of the mental health facility. Not the SICK person anymore. Just my goddamn self. That is all.

And I have this despairing knowledge that such will never happen again.

I miss people so much as well. And I miss my books. And, more to the point really, I miss me. I miss just being me, sans illnesses.

This all makes me very sad.

Where is Brad right now (the librarian)? I don't know since I always lose touch with people. How is my friend Prudence?

Why can't the guy I'm attracted to be something of a normal nature, not somebody who is unfortunately confined just like I am? Why does it have to be so complicated that in order for the authorities to prevent me from illegally killing myself, I have to live in an overcrowded prison-like hellhole for months, so when I become attracted to this guy in the place, I can't tell him as if the desire to kiss him comes out we'll both be worse off than we already are, so even at the library with the lovely lake in the back, I can't say, hey, look, you're cute, I like you, kiss me once. Because such NORMAL human actions are forbidden once you're slapped with a label like Schizophrenia and stuck in a goddamn institution.

This is not a life worth living at all. It really is not. I told, in fact the judge at my hearing that I knew very well I would get more depressed if they sentenced me to do time in this "rehabilitation" facility for months on end, and I knew very well what I was talking about because such is precisely what has happened. And that's rather annoying right now. That's actually really pissing me off right now. Someday I will type in here the statement I made to that judge. I think I kept it. I think it's the most important statement I've ever made to anyone, because it was something that holds true for a lot of people worldwide. A lot of people - yeah, please emphasize the PEOPLE part here too, not subhumans - people who have this particular label for their mental health diagnosis etc., are ending up in situations that are supposedly helpful and are in reality worse off than the problem itself would be.

That's all I can say at the moment about that. And Marge Piercy, who had cancer and was/is a valiant feminist and an amazing woman, is one hell of a good writer. So check out her poems, and Robert Lowell's, and Adrienne Rich's, and Gary Snyder's, and some others, if you are so inclined. They will give you a wider view of the world than your eyes can.

1 comment:

graceonline said...

For years I kept a broadside of Marge Piercy's poem For Strong Women on the wall above my desk. A wise woman gave it to me at a time in my life when depression overwhelmed me. I suffered suicide ideation on a daily basis. Thank you for reminding me of the life-saving words of this wonderful woman. I wish you the strength to endure what no one should have to endure and, from there, to triumph in life.

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