Tag Archives: ignorance
Even a trip to the local burger joint
is a fright show these days. I observe
with alarm a flock of silvery shriveled
biddies: granted, every one of them’s
probably some kind of genius right down
to her to gnarled toetips, but as we all
know, the quality most admired in women
is not wisdom but rather, blank-eyed youth.
I myself am sliding down that gentle curving
slope to total invisibility, and worse;
in their gentle faces I read the pounded
knowledge of tasks left undone, words not
spoken, tricks never learned. One woman’s
eyes, set deep in bluish sockets, slide over
my small daughter’s body like guilty, halting
fingers. I know she remembers watching her own daughter
sleep night after night, I know exactly how she used to stand
over the child’s bed listening to the sweet
melody of inhale, exhale, sigh, feeling
against her wrist the exhilarating rhythm
of the flying hummingbird heart of her sleeping child. Now, she smiles
to herself, clutching her cup of steaming coffee,
and nods. Near her, at a different table, is a young man, his hair
a glowing honey-blonde, drawn back tight
into a long, curling ponytail, and from his earlobe
dangles a dull silver cross. His narrow hips barely
support his work pants, and in profile his perfect, cruel,
unshaven features promise every solemn gawker,
male or female, an expensive though unique mistake.
And I realize we are all here for the same thing: to fill up our
insides with this cheap, warm sustenance, to travel
homeward bearing an approximation of what we really
long for, which is to keep scrambling for the same
small favors tomorrow, the next day, and the next.
I find myself crying (for all of us) and stage-cough, pretending allergies,
wiping my eyes under my sunglasses and blowing my nose into my paper napkin.
Opening editorial message for Truth, the magazine, 1st draft:
First off, my name is not really Kimberly Townsend Palmer. It is, or rather, should be, Kimberly Townsend Pomikala. Pomikala is a Bohemian name, which my father was born with but which was changed by his family not too long after he started school in Arcadia, California. It was changed because one fine, sunny day he came home in tears after being called a “dirty Bohunk” by the other children. It was 1943, and the world, and finally the United States, had long been at war. The biggest battles were not being fought on battlefields but being fought inside the human heart. Many families lost their entire physical existence, multiple generations snuffed out in less time than it takes to inhale, exhale — mine lost only its identity. A small price to pay for being safe in southern California, in a town named for the residence of the Greek gods. So my father grew up as a camouflaged ethnic. The name was changed, but the inside could not be changed. He never felt at home anywhere he went. He might well have been a war refugee of a metaphysical battle — a battle, the fundamental struggle humanity has been waging since its inception, the inexorable war between truth and ignorance. Factual accuracy is not always the truth — truth goes to the essence of a thing. Not the surface, but what is deep within.
The story is told how Eve caused the fall of humanity from the garden of Eden by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is the remedy for this? What is the essential nugget of truth we may take away from that crucial moment? My answer is: there is no absolute good, there is no absolute evil — there is but truth and ignorance. Eating the apple and gaining the surface knowledge of good and evil was a trap humanity fell into, a trap we have been struggling to release ourselves from ever since. Love exists. Hate exists. Both can serve the truth. Both can serve ignorance. We must harness ourselves to the wagon of truth and pull our heavy burden to wherever the driver leads us. The driver is God, the driver is love, the driver is peace, serenity and acceptance of the way things are on this planet. Many things we label good and many things we label evil are in fact neither. They are simply in the service of truth or in the service of ignorance. Satan, in the guise of the serpent, led Eve and Adam into a terrible, incomprehensible trap and God is now and has always been guiding humanity out of that trap. The reason God forbade eating of that fruit was it was not yet the right time for humanity to have that knowledge.
Plainly put, we are not yet advanced enough to receive the knowledge of good and evil. God is the only entity qualified to eat of that tree. We have taken a small, superficial bite of knowledge and used our imperfect bodies, minds and hearts to inflict merciless cruelty and oppression on others. Our biggest enemy is pride — believing we, as fragile, physical and temporal beings, can ever know enough to accurately judge another’s worth before God. How dare judges and juries impose the death penalty! It is not our role to take life, which is bestowed by God. It is our role to live it and seek the truth and banish ignorance. We are entitled to keep ourselves safe, we can ensure our physical and emotional safety from injustice and repression — but we cannot ever presume to know the will of God.
Yet more hoopla (from the French, houp-là, interjection, first known use: 1877) for the radical, extremist right to mentally masturbate itself with (an activity also in the “news” the same extremists have so much fun ejaculating all over the rest of us normals): a reporter asked Nancy Pelosi, “What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?”
Nancy Pelosi answered: “You obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.”
This was her error, and unfortunately has added even more fuel to a fire that should never have started to begin with. We reasonable, normal people need to start taking every opportunity to throw the water of common sense and reason over this extremist conflagration. I believe she should have answered the question this way: “Legal abortion in this country is by definition a medical procedure; a standardized series of actions, carefully dictated by medical textbooks and undertaken in a sterile environment, resulting in the termination of a woman’s unwanted pregnancy. You may not like it, you may not approve of it, but the practice of medicine is solely between a doctor and a patient and that relationship is privileged under every legal tradition currently existing in the United States of America; outsiders to that doctor/patient relationship need not apply for admission; it will never be granted. What criminal Defendant Gosnell did is, by stark and obvious contrast, not a medical procedure in any way, shape or form; rather, it is a random, bizarre, and dangerous series of actions which are not found in any medical text ever written in the history of the medical profession. If you are too uneducated or too biased to be able to understand the vast gulf between safe, legal, medical abortion and Gosnell’s illegal, nonmedical, chaotic actions, you need to go back to school and retake all the journalism courses you obviously slept through; so for the sake of your beloved country, stop engaging in ridiculous sensationalism simply for the sake of gaining publicity, get off the merry-go-round of insanity you have been placed upon by the radical, extreme right, and please stop soiling the reputation of honest journalism, one of the noblest professions ever invented.”
“He started out as a good practice doctor but eventually just became a money-generating machine,” [one of the citizens sitting on Gosnell’s trial jury] said. Money is usually at the root of most illegal conduct. Money or mental illness, or both.