Alienation, Ebb and Flow, Reading Redding

Main Entry:

alien·ation
Pronunciation:
\ˌā-lē-ə-ˈnā-shən, ˌāl-yə-\
Function:
noun
Date:
14th century
1 : a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment : estrangement <alienation…from the values of one’s society and family — S. L. Halleck>
 

There is an interesting phenomena I have noticed play out in my psyche repeatedly.

I can begin with a strong desire to know and experience a person, place or thing. The object of my affection possesses some intangible something that catches my eye (third eye,too) and then, of course, my imagination sets to work. I weave elaborate structures on the loom of my curiosity. I embellish the person, place or thing with elements that may or may not have a basis in truth. But don’t we each, to some degree, co-create one another? Think about it.

I take great pleasure in the novelty and the experience of absorbing the essence of said p,p,t. Getting to know him, her, it,  exchanging sparks of spiritual energy, giving and sharing, it’s all a good and miraculous discovery.

 The length of time I remain beguiled has everything to do with how naturally akin the p,p,t’s energy is to my essential nature. This smacks of egocentrism, I hear you say, but I believe it goes deeper than ego.

It’s like playing a pin ball machine. I gaze beneath the glass transfixed by the facade of the sparkling machinery. I press the side buttons, forcefully, urgently, fast, then faster. As long as the metal balls are crashing through the gates and the bells are ringing I stay engaged.

This is not to say that I need cheap drama or that am addicted to stimulation. I am very particular, really. The p,p,t must have substance and then I can be enamoured for a very long time.

There are people who can tell you I have stayed enamoured for decades. It’s all about the right stuff.

With some p,p,t the pinballs are too heavy, or they don’t meet up with the propellant flippers at exactly the right second  and so, lack momentum. That ball may be shiny but it just doesn’t connect. It travels in a half-hearted forward trajectory for a short while, loses all momentum and then slips backward into the void. Gone.

 Long term fascinations require balance. The elements of similarity and dissimilarity between the two entities must exist in equal proportion. Dissimilarity creates conflict and instablility. Then comes alienation and eventually separation.

As a place, Redding is a tough bucket. Sometimes it seems to defy all my efforts to love it. It’s beautiful. The mountains and trees fulfill my nature-need when they are not on fire.

There are plenty of places to obtain used goods and food.

My “day” job forces me to go out into the world and talk to people. That is a good thing. It helped me understand that there is more to Redding than generations of abused, intellectually-stunted meth-heads, grouchy retirees and closed-minded people adverse to change of any kind.

Now before you get your knickers in a bunch I freely to admit to having a distant kinship to at least one of these groups. But the question is, why do the elements of culture that I love, music and art and intellectual exchange, seem unable to flourish. Is it happening somewhere and I’m just too lame to ferret it out? Are they keeping it a secret?

So many are so hopeful that cultural buds are just about to blossom and maybe they are, but w have to ask ourselves how many of our bright, creative children stay in Redding to pusue their dreams? How many intelligent, open-minded young people can the city invite in and then adequately support?

People have been saying this for a very long time. There is just not enough opportunity here to support all the people who want to be here.

This town has been very good for me. The lack of any real coherent creative scene has allowed me to focus on bringing creative things out of myself. Not many distractions vy for my attention. If I was more outdoorsy I’d be in trouble. I’ve got two huge paddles and no canoe.

I know that my vision is partially clouded by the big changes that are taking place in my industry. There is, for all involved, undeniable emotional fall out, but, geez, I have always been very good at juggling and accepting change. I love a challenge.

I think, all along, I have been waiting for Redding to freak up or expand it’s collective consciousness in a way that would make it like the other places I have lived. San Francisco, Seattle, Albuquerque, hell, even Iowa City.

That’s wrong. I have long been convinced that may relationships fail because people go into them with a head full of what they want their partner to be and no ability or desire to see the real person. They complain constantly. Why aren’t you this? Why don’t you do that?

I say get the fuck away from the poor girl or guy of you don’t like what they’re bringing to the table. Why’d you pick them in the first place? Let them be FREE to be themselves.

You can’t fake love or belonging. It’s organic. If you belong the doors will open. Otherwise, you just have to pick up your hobo satchel, hit the road and start scanning front porches for a sign that the next place is friendly and welcoming.

 

 

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