I am writing in the baby's nap times. He wakes me up 5 times a night so this is probably suicidal, because I should be sleeping, but I can't see another way around it.
Where are all the flame wars about Winterson's comments in New Scientist and elsewhere? I felt I should comment but then realised I didn't want to. It'll all be a redux of the Atwood situation and I haven't got the energy to be outraged. I'm not even cross. I just feel the weary need to wonder why everyone is so keen to be a splitter. Weirdly enough, though I have only skimmed a telltale review, I think Winterson's own book answers the question. The review writer was keen not to give away the story but then went and mentioned Easter Island and it all suddenly snapped into place for me...
Recently I've read 'Wild Love' by Gill Edwards. This is a spiritual psychological work which I won't try and pot here but I quote from the cover, "Freedom comes from knowing that nothing and no one 'out there' is responsible for what we experience or how we feel.' I don't find this hard to accept but I find it hard to live with the consequence of this: if everyone is doing their part and creating their own experiences (for whatever reasons), who is right? I'm stuck on this one emotionally, not intellectually. I just want someone to tell me what the right is so that I can move along. I think it took my psychologist about six months to get me to understand there was no objective right. I find this so hard to let go of I can't tell you. My faith in science means surely at the bottom of things there is ONE TRUTH? If only I can find it then I'll be safe and know what to do. The awfulness of relativity between different observers - that's a hard thing to swallow. It means we'll never get on.
I can perfectly see that everyone is right for themselves and that therefore it's not possible or even sensible to assume that anyone can like everyone or everything or that two people would even experience the 'same' event the same way. But even though I can grasp this theoretically I've spent a lot of my life trying hard to see things other people's way - almost all my efforts run in that direction. I started out of interest, to see if I could have a different kind of experience to my usual. Then, after copying them, I started to see how it was and then, fatally, I tried to accommodate them where possible because I saw like, well, things weren't their fault you know... This has been a disaster but I was convinced, by religion and by popular counselling and by popular social notions of womanhood and by trendy theories of getting along with each other, that this was possible and desirable. It's led to so much misery I can't believe it's such a prevalent view or that I still can't seem to stop doing it. I suppose that to let go of it means I have to accept that people are what they are and there is NOTHING to be done about it. Also, on the other hand, you can't make yourself what you're not.
Let me just pause to congratulate myself on taking almost 40 years to reach this staggering conclusion....ahem.
To return to the previous topic of silly people and books, does this mean that on the divide we might as well save our breath, and in fact on any other matter? Does all this chattering make a sod of difference? Maybe, like me, most people find it hard to accept the extent of their powerlessness and are battling to defend their puny egos because they live by superficial categories alone. But then again, mostly I think that whoever's doing the pointing and saying 'I don't like that dreck!' probably hasn't experienced that dreck enough to know it's not the dreck they think it is.
See, sleepless nights equals madness on the page...ugh.