File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 94

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 14:41:34 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Re: Mystify me!

Hugh wrote:

> Eric, Matthew, All,
> Finally,
> A saying of names, religious, philosophic, scientific; a performance of
> rituals:
> birth, bonding, death, and WAR.
> HB

Maybe not finally.  My "favorite" Lyotardian concept is that of pagan
narrative--someone tells a story, someone else tells a story about that story,
or their own story about the same subject, and so on and on and on.  May I add
my own voice--as a Christian, a stay-at-home mother, an American.  May my
narrative spark you to others.

I know no one in the World Trade Centers.  Indeed, I felt detached from the
whole thing.  Until that evening when I put my sweet baby boy to bed, and
realized how many children went to bed without Mommy or Daddy.  How many would
wake up without them.  Then I grieved.

And again the next night when I realized that somewhere on the planes that
crashed may well have been someone clutching a baby and praying that his/her
little boy would feel no pain when he died.

In the sea of voices, there is a wordless cry from the children.

I do not view freedom and democracy as theme-park toys with a yellow smiley face
balloon flying over all, pretty and perfect.  They are concepts wet with the
blood of boys--my son?  my brother? my husband?--who believe freedom and
democracy must be protected.  They are stained with the tears of mothers and
wives whose hearts broke when the boys never came home.  The American flag
displayed across the US, the anthem in St. Paul's and Buckingham palace, is not
a symbol of "shiny happy people" who will not open their eyes or their hearts,
but people who have embraced tragedy and the reality of the world and choosen to
be Sisyphus. Heroic?  No.  Just determined.

Perhaps I am unscholarly and hopelessly old-fashioned.  But when philosophy and
politics becomes numb to mothers and children and families, then what good does
it do anyone?  

I am struck by Hugh's comments:  a saying of names, a performance of rituals.
Indeed.  May our rituals and sayings and grief not echo into silence.  May
Sisyphus overcome.   


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