Friday, April 12, 2013

I am wondering this morning why I am doing this.  In fact friend husband asked me the same last night.  I said I have some things I want to say before I die.  In fact this is a cop out.  I feel I am not going to die anytime soon but do feel a new freedom to no longer care what so many people think.  Through my life I have tiptoed around others.  I have been concerned with how I look, how I come off, what people will say, what they will really think, etc.etc.etc.....
I have from my youth given the impression I don't care but it has been an external illusion only. Inside I have cared too much.  My Dad used to say "criticism or scoldings ran off Terry's back like water off a duck's back.  Nothing stuck"
This was so not true.  Everything stuck and was recorded on video tapes in my brain which I have played back relentlessly.  Every criticism, every snide remark, every condescending look.  It is all in there and has almost frozen actions on so many fronts.  What would I have dared had I not been so internally judgemental?
I also remember what my Grandmother StClair said to me the summer before college.  Mama had ask her to give me some advice before I went away to school.  Grandma said "be very careful about what groups you join and what you say, as it can come back to harm you in very real ways in the future; with jobs, relationships, public office etc."  I went to college in 1961 and the country had barely survived the McCarthy hearings and their devastating effects on people's lives in the 50's. 
So guess what?  I joined the chess club, the social science club, and the drama club(The Cothurnus), and learned to attend kegs and play pool in my copious spare time.  I flunked out of Geneseo by May'62. A short but merry career in the world of Academia and off to NYC.  Later in 1970 I would return to college at night school and spend 7 long years getting my degree.
Anyhowwwww, I never joined political action groups.  I didn't go to Woodstock, nor did I March on Washington, or anywhere else for Civil Rights, or anything else I believed in.  I hid my opinions deep under a mossy rock and controlled my tongue with all but friends and family.  I was known among them to be quite the firebrand and rebel, and a bleeding heart liberal ta da, but when it counted to show my face for something I believed in, I never showed up.  Paradoxically, I always stood up for individuals and would face down any bully or speak up for anyone who was being treated unfairly.  I do not know why my Grandmother's words had such an effect on me.  I can only think I was so impressed by the Holocaust and the effect it had on peoples lives and I always pictured myself with a very low profile being a freedom fighter in the French underground.  I think I felt if I had a low public profile I could save myself to do more good later.  I may be rationalizing but I really believe that is it.  Hide your thoughts and feelings, don't let too many people know who you really are and you can float along in the world until action is really needed.  Well enough today, Tune in again for more STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS.