This entry was originally posted on Jan 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm. It contains the fourth of my New Years’ Resolutions for 2010. Over the next several Flashback Fridays, I will be taking them out, dusting them off, and seeing how well I followed through. I do not anticipate it always being pleasant, but the truth can’t be.
A confession: When I was a kid, I kind of always wanted to be the Joker. The whole Catwoman thing mainly started because I knew that a girl Joker wouldn’t fly. I remember vividly that when I explained this to my older cousin, he patiently said, “Well, what about Wonder Woman?” and I threw my hands up in disgust: clearly, he was missing the point entirely. I wanted to be the guy across the street from this kid (below), staring him down from my front porch, smirking and wearing a purple suit. Maybe smoking, too. You know. For maximum badass effect. “In your face, Smarmy McSavesalot — this is what I think of The System!”
I think this career goal still haunts me and is responsible for my general dissatisfied lack of commitment as a working adult. How you going to find me dutifully plugging away in a cubicle when I promised my babyself always to rage against the machine?
So, putting that insight together with Ben Okri’s quote, I guess what this chain of thought is telling me is that I need to learn to keep my eyes open for signs and portents of a destiny that can dovetail with my dreams.
I cannot believe that I was meant to go either rudderless through this world, or chained in a galley, desperately wheeling my arms around for a ship I already hate, which is bound only to sink no matter whether I keep paddling or get consistently whipped for refusing to row. I won’t believe that. I can’t accept that that is the plan for me or for anyone.
E’s fourth resolution for 2010: Look for signs. Keep hope alive. And, really, there is no reason not to wear a trimly-tailored purple suit while I do it.
Reality Check: I did my best on this one, really far better than I did on making a joyful noise. Next year, I will just have to keep on looking for more hope and signs. I ditched the job I disliked and work now for far less financial reward, but with much more passion and satisfaction. What I think I gained back this year, particularly in the face of almost fatal illness, was some of the credulity that must predate a quest for hopeful signs. My dream has been fulfilled, as Mr. Okri suggested, in ways I did not expect. I have grudgingly begun to place more belief in miracles again. And that is encouraging.
Final note: When I originally posted this last January, Wrasseler left me this lovely poem-prose comment that I wanted to be sure to add to this post now.
Signs in Space that is not Space do not appear as the signs we Approach and Contemplate. Signs in Time become mathematical. Then signs take meanings. Our hearts and minds move mountains through History. That’s a long way.
Everybody Else lives in Time. In the Renaissance Garden of Statutes turn past your liberties. Continue on toward your Statute of Limitations. Your Limitations are not the sign. The sign is not beyond your Limitations.
Dreams making history do not lose Time. They let Time lose them. This is the sign. Woman as Joker. How natural. Natural History. Another sideline for the woman who Time lost.
The sign is not beyond my limitations. Thanks again for that, dude!
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