Saturday, June 10, 2006

Longing, Belonging & Shortening

Tarheel Tavern - Ron Hudson Edition

When have people made you feel loved unconditionally, a part of the crowd, one of the crew, a family member and so on and when have they not. Isn't belonging what we all seek on so many levels? Perhaps if we all felt more like we belonged, we wouldn't need so many divisions in this world right now. Idealistic of me? Yes, but we have to strive for better or life won't be much to brag about, eh? If anyone just wants to submit out of theme, though, let them come. I am an all-inclusive, equal-opportunity provider!..."

- Ron Hudson

Leave it to my dear blogpal, Ron, to come up with a most timely and important subject...belonging. And leave it to me to start deconstructing the word...

I remember taking a literature class under Arthur Holmberg called "Intimacy and Isolation", which looked at the myriad ways in which these opposing themes played out in literature since the time of the Sumerians...who portrayed in their poetry a natural sense of love, in poems such as "My Honey Man", wherein the details of their love, as expressed toward their beloved, was redolent with terms such as honey, nectar, flower and the like.

But words of longing were not present, at least until the Egyptians began to express it in their poetry. As civilizations and cultures arose, each bore a distinctive stamp, and some added to the evolution of love, for lack of better words. Courtly Love, for example, didn't come until much later, and Courtney Love much later still, with the invention of the "Hole".

Do I hear thunder? Am I going to have to disconnect?

My own dear folks are chiefly responsible for inculcating in me a sense of helping others feel they belong, and in the process, I rarely felt that I didn't belong, even while sporting the most ostracisable sartorial contraptions. I feel as if I have had implanted within me an organ of perception, laced with empathy, such that another's discomfort is my discomfort. And when I see other's bearing the brunt and bruises of insensitive others, my Davidic nature, no fan of the Overdog, bites at my ear, a myktysen of conscience, blood and deed flowing to where the need.

My first other-worldly friend was probably Manuel, who had moved to Charlotte from Nantucket when I was in the sixth grade. He and I gravitated to one another, as we saw each other as sufficiently strange and knowledgeable. The word, "yankee" never issued from my folks mouths, and the same acceptance was shown when I brought home Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, African-American, gay, atheistic, or any other persuasion -- except those of similar background who nevertheless seemed to be up to no good. In retrospect, I appreciate their good judgement.

I have found bloggers, in general, to share this quality of acceptance and belongingness.

When I think back on times and places where I was made to feel I didn't belong, in most instances, I am glad I was forewarned.

Shortening is a type of grease you use in cooking. It is also what happens to your original post when thunderstorms cause you to have to unplug your computer and wait for the turbulence to clear.