By Julie Collins
Disparate means different and incongruous elements. In any given day I may have multiple thoughts and ideas going on within me simultaneously. To me this is a normal state of being but moving with the pace of a slower-thinking public can be challenging (and I don’t mean that in an insulting way, I simply mean that my brain works differently than yours might.)
I’ve been thinking about modern psychology, community building, politics, business development, physicality and art renderings and these are rotating thoughts. They are carriage-thoughts like on a ferris wheel. Each thought pauses to let the passenger-thoughts on then off.
Sometimes when I pen these thoughts or give them shape in the ether they offend or inspire or are ignored.
What are some of the things I’m thinking about right now?
Mostly I think about you. I think about how you may still be living in that solipsistic world-view or you may have outgrown it.
Infants are required to live in solipsism because their world view is dependent on their survival. They cannot live to see the next day without an adult doing for them: feeding, changing, rocking to sleep, teaching, engaging, touching and on and on it goes until the infant no longer lives in that solipsistic state of being because they have grown and become independent from all that dependance.
Sometimes the most successful among us still live in a solipsistic state and feel deeply threatened by the world-views that don’t feed their own. Just as an infant might cry and scream when a person in their presence who is not invested in their survival happens to be near them.
These adults were infants once, but the cradled world their parents handed them through seed money for their business, paying for their college education, respecting their choices in life and offering them opportunities to see their choices turn to actual tangible success, nurtured and fed into that solipsism that grew stronger as they matured.
Have you encountered a solipsistic adult? Are you a solipsistic adult? Has your world-view which differs from others caused them to react viciously to you somehow or vice versa? Have the solipsists tried to sabotage your success, your freedom, even your very sense of self?
Community building should be an easy task. It should be an easy answer but I’m looking around at my new community and there are far too few instances of building upward and mobilizing. Things have gone to rot for far too long. When a society becomes accustomed to blight or rot or an unhealthy environment it’s a sign of giving up. It’s difficult to shake people awake. Community building through business development projects, business associations and cultural education sometimes gets push-back.
I’m new. When I’m not new, that will be time to leave I guess. Meaning, I don’t ever want to be comfortable with this.
I’ve already been threatened by a local merchant because my ideas and thoughts about community development were considered a threat to him personally in some warped, twisted version of his idea of success. Broken windows, weeds growing out of buildings, unkept store fronts, sub-par offerings in corner markets, broken sidewalks or non-existent sidewalks, no state of the art play areas for children and graffiti on walls are not a sign of success. They are a sign of giving up.
These can all be replaced with bright, 21st century models that can move a society forward. Community gardens, brightly painted murals on sides of buildings, art walks, business district meetings, safe playgrounds, restaurants, day cafes, night cafes, live music, jazz spilling out of art galleries, open streets to ride a bicycle on a safe paved road. This is all I know. I don’t know anything else. It starts with communication though if you want it.
I don’t talk about politics and I’ve never brought politics to work. Ever. I talk about economy on social media sites and through my art and this website, Book of Ours. I recognize that the political apparatus is meant to keep us poor. Really poor. And every day there are more political moves put in place to hurl us into some very dark places. The propaganda around those political moves manufacture a consent to force you into signing up for and investing in those political moves. They are given backwards names like “Citizens United.” It’s not about the citizens uniting like it sounds. It’s about corporations uniting together to put millions of dollars into political campaigns thus rendering the actual citizen voice useless and silent. This is just one example of what’s called “New Speak.”
My physicality is compromised because of an illness I was born with, a genetic predisposition that has kept me tied to the medical industrial complex. Bouts of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, numerous hospital stays, limited mobility has made it so my mind and creative spirit have surpassed my physical limitations. I’ve been attacked physically for being physically compromised, or disabled. I’ve been attacked for being a woman. I’ve been attacked for thinking creatively and coherently and critically in a world that is quickly losing its understanding of itself. There was once a time in society when the psychopaths were afraid of us, but now they’ve made themselves likable to us and we’ve given them far too many passes. And when I say that out loud, I get attacked. As some of you out there might too.
I spent my last dime to take a chance to do something no one else I know is doing. I left a place of stunning beauty with all my needs and wants literally at my fingertips, to move to a community that, whether they realized it or not, needed me. I’m not here to “save”, recognizing that despite my physical limitations, I am caucasian and the last thing a marginalized community of color wants is yet another white woman riding in on her white horse to “save” everyone. That’s not what I’m about. I want to empower and foster and give direction to what’s already inside of them.
I’ll end this by saying that I have great respect for those people that put themselves on the line, take risks, inform, research and invest in humanity around them. The entire globe is hurling toward fascism at an alarming rate. How we react to that is what counts here.