We left with our monkey, George, on a trip to the Southwest via Route 66. But first, we had to get onto it. Kansas City was our route. Our first day took us there. We got a room at the Econolodge and spent a night walking around downtown Kansas City. It felt like we were in the old town, and some of the old manufacturing district. It was a great start to our trip.
Rachel had tickets for us to go to the Guthrie theater for her design class, and I got added on to the list. I went to my parents house in the morning to use some power tools and have coffee with my mom. Then we took off for Minneapolis in the beetle, stopping in Pine Island to pick up 2 kits for brewing 10 gallons of wine for our wedding. Some of it will become Sangria. We chose Vognier for that, and Symphony for some straight wine.
We went to the Russian Museum on Diamond Lake road and Stevens. There was a special exhibit of the nesting Russian dolls and textiles, mostly for weddings. It is in a fabulous old mission style church that has been redone inside as a gallery. It is a wonderful museum.
We ate lunch at Chiang Mai Thai in Calhoun square, and stopped for some Stoppard in the Mager's and Quinn bookstore.
I thought this morning after finishing my chapter, that the only meaning I've really seen in my life, since I left high school, and before I moved to Spring Grove, was theatrical expression. Interpretation of stories. I guess I realized this, but I never thought that it was probably my only intrinsic value, the only thing I've got that doesn't rely on others. But the theatre side of it does rely on others, and has led to my disappointment in Spring Grove, being the only one who wants to experience the kind of theatre that I want. For instance, Woman in Black. I long so much to perform that, to share that, to live that. But until I find others who would take the time from their lives to share it with me, I will just wait, holding myself ready for that moment when I find others to share it with.
So, as I said, theatre being the one value that I've carried with me all these years, and up until about a year ago, I had been involved in a show every six months at least, which, for the most part is still true for me. But I don't have the leisure now that I'm not involved in the opera house board, to think that the shows they do will be anything I'll want to be involved in. So in some ways, I've lost a chunk of what I am, an interpreter of scripts.
That hasn't hindered me too much, though, now I read books and interpret them to myself. The books I'm reading have been so vital a replacement for the plays that I haven't been able to perform. Reading them is a big part of who I am now, because I am still doing the same imagining that I would be doing with plays, I just don't get to put it into physical being, or get to experience an others interpretation of the words.
Today's first chapter in Seeing was confusing for me, because it kept me with so many questions as to how this story ties into Blindness, if it does at all. How long after, or I often thought while reading, when before. But all of the struggle in reading it and the frustration was worth it with the final sentence. What a wonderful payoff. No one cared enough about anything to vote.
The went to the ballot boxes, because for some reason preserving democratic practices is so much more important than having an opinion and voting an informed vote. That is so similar to our times, and how I feel. All the candidates are usually so similar, and it is good, I suppose, that they aren't polar opposites, because how would a democratic government ever function then. Maybe the place Jose Saramago described was supposed to be unlike modern times, the outcome of Blindness, but maybe it was just like it is today.
I don't believe I am qualified to comment on writing of this quality. But I'll try. I'm so tied into this story now, especially knowing how it is juxtaposed with that of the earlier blindness of four years ago. I will note, however, when I did come upon the passage referring to Portugal, that it denied that it was Portugal, because Portugal has never been known to have any problems with it's voting process. To me, that means he is denying it is Portugal he is describing, although, by using it as an example, such as Portugal, he surely wanted to lead us to that conclusion, if only for the space of a sentence and some, without giving Portugal a bad rep.
The ministers are dropping out like flies, (flies that definitely will not be able to get over the city walls that will hopefully never be constructed). I wonder how many people died during the blindness, and what we consider the population to be. During the peaceful riot after the rail station bombing, I believe they said that there were ten times the 50,000 marchers, if not, I'm not going to check, but it was a large number.
But I do wonder what this plague is. Do you have any clue yet?
I had a feeling that it was something like "Collective Conscience" in which these people really acquired the ability, or the affliction, to really think together, you know, without talking, like a brain-waves like thing. But this book, unlike Blindness, seems to be dealing with something more tangible than the WHAT IF EVERYONE WENT BLIND JUST BY LOOKING INTO A BLIND PERSONS EYES. It seems that we already live in a world where this could happen.
Then, in today's reading, when the minister (who shortly resigned with his colleague) said that they should finally get around to mentioning the blindness, I wondered about all countries that have gone through civil war, or bloody insurrection, or political or social changes, how they can accept another authority after it's predecessor has failed them so terribly in times of crisis. I suppose in most cases, it's not really a question of acceptance, but of fear, not wanting to be sent to jail or killed for complaining. Living in fear, and trying to preserve what you've got, is something we all experience to some degree. I am very happy I don't live in terror. I'm sure it does both good and bad for individuals, brings out the best or the worst in people. But I often wonder if you put me in a situation that I needed to be alert, needed to be my best to survive, if I would respond favorably. If I would live. If I would be someone that I would admire, given the ability to see myself from my current perspective. Although, what do I have that I truly admire, besides good writing? What do we have in this world to look up to. Besides good music? Political leaders have been nothing but jokes to us. The upcoming election is perhaps the only thing this country has to look forward too in the next 4 years, but he's still a part of the system. How do these people in SEEING have the insight to know that what they have done, although perfectly within their rights, is going to carry such a powerful voice of change throughout the country, and probably the world. Or is the party in power in this situation just blowing the whole thing out of proportion in calling it the most terrible thing that has happened to any democracy. Often when I read I feel that. It just seems like they are so snooty about the wonders of the democratic process that something as peaceful as this bloodless blank revolution could seem an insurrection that would need to be put down.
Is the reaction of the people justified, the selflessness of giving up their right to have a say in a democratic election. Is it indeed as big of a deal as the party on the middle and the party on the right would have everyone think? Was the idea behind the blank ballot to collapse the system legally and totally. What is there goal? Complete collapse, like a phoenix, and rebirth? I suppose there are people who don't have anything in their past they want to go back to, people who have been oppressed by one life so much, or did not profit by their past position that would seek to change it entirely. But the question I have of any of the bankers, is if their lives really were a kind of slavery, really a kind of oppression by the people and for the people (the government) that nobody would notice from the inside.
We all feel oppressed by something. I guess the real question is "how hot is the water in the pot" and can we take it?
So my question to you is, do you think this is a plague, something that is like the blindness from for years ago, or is it just the realization by all these people that the democratic process there got them nothing but put the same cardboard cut-out politicians into place to control everything. Perhaps that's why the ministers are all so similarly described, and why none of our main characters have stood out because they are just so much of the same cloth.