Archive for June, 2010

A Prayer for My Sister’s Grandchildren

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Posted by Harcamone

My prayer (or, shall we say, hope) for these children is that they won’t develop excessively abstract minds or grow into “activists” who see the purpose of their lives as fighting and screaming (“struggling”) against things, or throwing themselves in front of bulldozers, feeling like they don’t have a right to happiness because workers in miserable shit-holes are being mistreated. I hope nobody weights their childhoods with debilitating moral burdens that are not justifiably theirs (say, of the sort found in the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte).

I hope they do not ever come to see the pursuit of Quixotic goals (such as tearing down the State) as a good thing to do with their lives. I hope they come to see that what happens in our lives is OUR doing, not Capitalism’s doing. In other words, RESPONSIBILITY rather than blaming Bush or colonialism.

I hope these children are naturally blessed with superb senses of humor, and are not amused by political satire or the kind of little insider-jokes you hear at poetry readings.

I hope — oh boy, I really really hope — that none of them develops a nervous laugh. I hate nervous laughter more than almost anything else in the world.

I hope these children are not encouraged to (nor have the desire to) sit around all day like blobs reading books, and that they become naturally athletic people, and that they learn, and take joy from, work of the hand at a high level of competence — such as welding, carpentry, tailoring, animal husbandry, model airplane building, gardening …

I hope they don’t develop odd sexualities (no matter what the equivalencers of sexual oddness theorize or say).

I hope there’s enough coherent and meaningful spirituality in their lives — because if there isn’t, and if their souls should experience a spiritual questing, then there’ll be a vacuum, and Islam is waiting to fill it. This is a grim spiritual fact that is not going away. The poignancy of our children’s sweetness is almost too much to bear. But they don’t look so sweet when they come home from Pakistan with a Moslem beard dyed red.

I also hope you don’t think I’m kidding about any of this stuff, not even one word, comma or parenthesis.

Love,
j.

PS, If I were Kurt Vonnegut saying these things, you might print them out and stick them to your refrigerator door with a magnet. But as it is, I don’t hope for anything more than an indulgent, pitying chuckle, and probably not even that.

PS.2, You are all very, very blessed people.