Retrieving Resolution by La Vonda R. Staples
Embracing difficulty can be one of the most torturous and the most facile experiment ever undertaken by a living being. If you are dead inside you’re stagnant, stuck and sterile. Production is not the proof of life as there are many productive people who are not settled, peaceful, or even content. There are very successful people whose presence never gives an aura of bliss to their surroundings. I believe you have to be awake, conscious and engaged in life in order to embrace difficulties. I am a person who has lived through adversity and have arrived at a point of peace and love. I’m at the point. I don’t know if I’m in the door of the room.
Looking back there is no reason for my survival. Many people who share my history have not lived to tell the tale. The evil of men and women unfortunately consumes far too many as victims. Being consumed is not an assessment of weakness, rather, it is a sign that there was not enough light to vanquish inhumanity. There’s always someone watching. There’s always someone who hears. We are all created with the potential for utmost destruction and greatest creation and it is incumbent upon each one to listen to the voice which speaks to the greatest good.
I have been taken for granted. I have been unappreciated. As a child there’s really nothing that can be done alone. A child needs a protector, a guardian. I’m speaking of the adult me. I’ll tell you how I was at fault: I let it happen. Once I knew better. Once I knew what I wanted. Once I knew how I wanted to be treated. I let it happen. I continued to go backwards into misery because I was so very afraid of goodness. You see, I think that I was afraid of the responsibilities which goodness brings. If one receives trust, one must give trust. If one receives laughter, one must give laughter. If one receives love, one must give love. Anything other than reciprocity is exploitation and misuse. There are people, lovers, friends, and maybe even husbands that I should have left where they stood. No regrets as they are all part of my journey, my transformation, my evolution to this very day. There’s only one relationship in my life which requires introspection and that relationship is the one I have with my mother.
We’re not speaking. And that’s a good thing. She likes to hurt me. Since I started writing a book about my life I’ve grown comfortable with the fact that my mother says hurtful things and doesn’t apologize. That’s a victory all by itself. If no one ever reads this thing I’m writing there is a treasure worthy of kings and queens in what I’ve learned up until now. I know that what she says hurts me. I used to think that I could do something to make her stop. Grown folks can’t make other grown folks do anything. But that’s only one thing I’ve learned. Here’s another. I’ve learned that I had to be present for this torture. I had to call her, go over to her house, or take myself to a third party who was either like her or associated with her. If I truly loved myself why would I have ever kept hoping for something which had never been? Why? Because we have been lead to believe that bad children are not loved and good children are beloved. In my mind, her acceptance of me would mean that I was “good.” I went about my personal life repeating this exercise over and over. I would make associations with people who didn’t mind telling me what I had to do or what I needed to do to simply breathe their air. But those outside people really aren’t the problem. The problem was me and how I felt about myself.
I had never, ever seen myself as a creator. You are a creator as well. You create your own world. You choose who populates that world. You choose the behavior of the citizens of your world. You choose every aspect as you are the architect, the implement, and the arbiter of every decision with resounding finality.
Am I saying that there are no victims? No way! If you walk down a street and some person just spontaneously punches you in the face. My dear, you are most certainly a victim. But if you are standing at a crossroads (and the first conversation with every person you meet is indeed a crossroads) and there are signs which say, “Face Punchers Live On This Street” and there are people walking in the opposite direction from you with punched faces, and the face puncher himself/herself announces to you, “I punch folks in the face” and you stay – you are not a victim. Yeah. It’s that easy. It’s that voluble. It’s that evident. There are very few instances of victimhood in personal relationships. In international or political relationships there are more victims than can ever be named. One man drops a bomb and 10,000 men die. Can’t do that in some boyfriend/girlfriend, mommy/daughter, son/father connection. You can, however, become a source of pain to everyone with the misfortune to be brought into your world.
I’m so dedicated to fixing my world before another living creature is appears at my crossroads. I’m not talking about Hollywood hugs, kisses and confessions. I’m talking about my real life. I’m directing the leader of my free world – me – to examine that first relationship between my mother and myself and search it for a logical, peaceful, and lasting resolution. I’m willing to go back into that hell and find the small, precious gleam, that something that was taken or lost that I desperately need in order to go forward. The resolution, to be quite honest, lies within me. The leader of my free world is poised at the precipice of world peace. Just a little more searching. A little more dredging. A little more digging. I might get there. I might not. Right now, I’m just happy for these beginnings.
Yes, I know...but I would add that there I am registering a craft that I practised for many yearsthat is not modelled on anyting but that LIFE that I wished my poems to inhabit that might enable others to see into their own lives. I did not accept any tuition, and read little poetry over the years. I read WB Yeats poetry and Dylan Thomas when I was adolescent. I have come across poets,or poems that I love. At the present I read Michael Longley poet of Northern Ireland.
How many different paths can this poem take? It moves. Jo. It has life. Do YOU know how hard that is to create?
WORDS ARE LIGHT SIGNALS
Words are light signals
dextrously emitting hints.
Shadows permanent force
lints on a wounded text,
healing tight panels of error
to reveal faces in a mirror
... may be next time...
What action sealed by thought was recorded?
The family – how far we travelled;
as though a spigot turned on -
light shone from our eyes as we met
revealing our thirst for freedom.
Without moving from certain dimensions
we were far ahead.
okay I have found you again now. Good. I like what you write because it is really difficult for me to read there polarised thought which is the favourite system of our wicked civilisation. ie. that a child's love or a tyrant's destruction are systematically opposed like love and hate, bad and good. Because the child pays intense unavoidable attention to everything, but the tyrant is fixated on a dislike that may grow or even fade but it is solitary, alone. The child is never alone and this is what gives you the chances and variety of the wayward mind, your decisions flexible and responsive. I have to say goodnight as a son is coming with his daughter tomorrow, and if he decides to take us to the country I will not be on the computer again until next week. I will send some poem then okay. A lovely expression on Aint Bessie's face.
thank you for giving me the words I've been searching for. I've tried to define, when asked where I get my writing from (this is not a grammatically correct missive), the place from which I write. I write from the place that no one can change. It's as if there's this quiet room in my head and it has no filters and no buffers. What comes out is either a child's love or a tyrant's destruction. All I do is select the words, the spell, incantation to make it come into being.
As far as need and material things? Madame, the only thing a big house brings is less time for life and more time for cleaning. I don't want to live in a closet but I do not envy Will Smith's 11,000 square feet. Why give more in taxes to the government than you really have to give? I look at things like that and think of all the pianos, celloes, computers, and coats that COULD have been given to the gifted and poor students of America and the world.
When you're gone what's left is your investment in life. That's all.
Your talent. Somehow your painting reminds me of fall. Warm and inviting a slide into a snugness not known since the womb.
please alert me at email@example.com if you reply to me.
Lavonda it is perhaps the intense feeling that goes beyond the emotional with something that is almost cruel, curiousity, that propels one far. You allow your brain to bring words to the surface untrammelled by your ordinary thinking mind.
Infact for a literate person I cannot do crossword puzzles!!!
As a painter I had nothing to offer except an ability to draw sometimes with impulsive accuracy. I have a daughter with a wonderful colour sense - I don't have it. At this time, the present, I can accept that I am reliable, will paint with a strong and strengthening attention as I continue on a canvas. But near the completion of the work I can suddenly leave off and hardly summon the energy to correct small errors or finish it. Here is a canvas that woman asked for of the typical Irish Storry Teller (seanchai) with children - the sketch or scribble on even small casual sheets of paper, much as writers will collect from their pockets a line just written, will be seen in my mind as real people...this is just the first lay in ....so you can see we agree about assembling the components. I stand infront of the easel. I used to stand writing and the reason then was that my small children would not bother me if I stood doing anything - now I supose it is just habit and some things I have to work on as though crawling on the ground! this was because i made a lot of drawings sitting on the ground of musicians at jazz festivals which I would work on during the night later if I managed to bring a drawing home. For musicians like a drawing and if they were any good I would give them. However i am actually very reserved or shy or even partially afraid of people so i never embarked on portraits.This is probably childhood effect as grandparents had to move from Portsmouth area with me as an infant, inland as the port was bombed regularly. At the new place I never remember my grandparent having any friends. There is no sense of community in England countryside., so I was always alone until school introduced me to reality.I like writing to you. When I was in America nobody of your people ever bothered me for sex which white americans seem to find the prior importance of their lives. Though I liked teenagers and children, in Bolinas (Ferlinghetti's) the local people were glad I left because I had all the children up to play with his two children and my boy, for god's sakes they had never played together before. Ferlinghetti's daughter and I used to cook up a feast of Irish bread and bacon fries for them all and they had never eaten in each other's houses! God almighty, for my own children I always welcomed all home to tea and bread at the very least. Lee, his wife wrote me afterwards that the neighbours thought this behaviour and yelling laughing and fun was horrible. So anyway to answer you I would also add that with life events occurring it appears that the brain can take jumps in further understanding that make writing have a sort of magic energy. Facility is NOT what any artist needs it ruins the possibility of finding that energy.Re. politics I believe that Republicans do not want to get elected. They left a horrible financial mess - that is far from over and Obama has made political decisions that are disreputable - immediately pushing aside the courts decision that his law on incarcerating Americans indefinitely and without trial is unconstitutional - immediately he ordered the law retained. He has bropught shame utterly and completely in my opinion on his warfare decisions, deaths of thousands, innocents throughout the middle east. To think about it you might listen to Michael Parenti there in America.
Write me some more. I had a lot to thank your people for when I was there. The aunt especially took me in a year later before I got a fare home sent me , I was there several weeks. Actually Lavonda I challenged the life that is led in several ways and have never had money to spend so what people talk about poverty means nothing to me - I live now just like students do in a room full of books with another little small tiny oblong room with my easel just fitting in and me and my paints. A daughter lives near and that is a blessing she has a wonderful joyful character that also like her mother knows how to laugh at the troubles. Wow! I haven't written letters for years!
Left out something. I have a question for you. When did you know that you RELIABLY had a handle on controlling your creations? I have peeks of it. Those little kid, "I did it" moments. But I never sit down KNOWING that I can machine my work from start to finish. Do you or did you ever get to this point?
Thank you for your time and for your response. It's interesting that you use the metaphors of painting and making music. When I'm writing an essay at first I assemble the components. Then I decide what should be kept and shouldn't. So I guess it's as if I'm assembling the elements of my canvas or palette? The last thing is to make the elements harmonize. So am I a conductor?
I'm searching, every day, to find the space for me in this world. Sometimes I'm in a nook and it feels like a palace of luxury and sometimes I'm in wide open rooms where there is absolutely no air that is breathable. Comme si, comme sa.
Can you blog some more of your work?
And the politics? It seems to me that Mr. Romney is so full of himself and his kind that his venom has just burst forth from the seams. That's what they think of us over here. That's all we are.
Damn. Didn't I know that already?
Your blog Lavonda is a most fascinating text. Even though I used to write I never had a use of language to define life, you do. It is only as a painter that in the last twenty years I have been able to express myself or even another person - as for instance the photograph I sent you was of a decorative painting that I was asked for, only at close quarters to the work can it be seen that objecting to the actual task I invented it as an unusual occurrence and the hands are almost moving - the woman asked me why I placed a lark in the sky - well it sings in very rapid trills of notes that leap up into the atmosphere higher higher into freedom from the heavy links of gravity. I once played music myself and found old Druid music hidden ti the "jigs", imitations of nature. However the painting is evidently for her daughter who does play in slow and beautiful themes with her girlfriends - so I suspect the message of this small painting will not be relevant to her.
How long it took to be in control of the expression in this work of painting, writing, music. The arts are harsh task master but they are our transformation in life, for the energy they give you if you succeed to understand that communication is below the human surfaces and deep into life itself. Sometimes I made it as a poet, and another heart beats to read such material.
Okay. If you reply, another time! The political news is too strong and we must all say to one another "Take Care, " I lived inside the political news the last ten years as I created and internet magazine. You can find it www.thehandstand.org I cannot do that any more so the magazine is now hanging there on the internet a flag of history. My very best regards to you Lavonda. from Jocelyn