A smorgasbord of musings from an academic autism mom on the topics of research, breastfeeding, attachment parenting and autism, health equity, nutrition, health education, and a smattering of technology.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Written by Cynthia L. Sears, MS, CHES, CLEC, notPhD
"You can’t be lazy;
You can’t afford to not be tough;
You can’t afford to believe that you are not enough.”
Every time I think of my struggles
I also think about my mother.
Of how her past is so heavy that sometimes the burden
was enough to make her drop to her knees
How she would stand back up and continue, bloody but unbroken.
It makes me put my head down,
Toughen up, and keep pushing.
Because I carry her.
I carry you.
I carry me -
Or maybe it’s just my personality.
Buckle down, chin up.
Buckle up, chin down.
Don’t stop moving, like a shark in the ocean,
or any other aerobic organism,
I need to breathe to live -
to transfer those gases between outside and in.
Like a shark, I only breathe when I move.
If I sit still too long I’ll suffocate on the weight
of all the shit that I can’t just let sit.
Passed down through generations
of women who were made to believe
That they were not enough,
through fault or circumstance
But the truth is, all of that...
is bull shit.
How can I carry all this?
No one handed me this package.
No one gave me all this.
it’s just me.
A story I chose to write
Because it’s all inside my head.
And if it’s in my head, by rule of everything, it must be mine. So...
If it’s my story, I’ll own it, I will consciously write it.
Let me think of a story where it’s not so hard.
Where the struggle gave way to experience. Just sensation. Moving through space.
Not bad, or good. No value at all, just experiences chained together,
woven into complex stories, woven into each other like
a skein of yarn with a center pull strand.
To unravel a fabric that is tougher than leather: My Skin.
Tougher and thicker than armor,
Lighter than bright, clear light.
This must be new technology.
Some development, an advancement.
A level up? And maybe if I’ve leveled up - God,
I must be in God Mode. I have all the creative power to choose whatever perception
brings most growth to me.
Growing not like any tree, like just any old singular, living thing,
in the image of some divine and singular being -
No, all patterned the same, like shivering birches.
Populus tremuloides suckers with a shared system of rhizomes
to some degree, intertwined
through multidimensional clustering events and points of contact that
merge like the particle wave of light and move with fluid-like motion
in waves and currents that can be predicted through application of fractal mathematics...
Maybe some starry-eyed graduate student will map these out:
and then present
at some bloated academic conference
as a powerpoint presentation
where they slide-read
in a small conference room
at some commercial conference center
in some urban area where there is enough interest in having conferences
to justify the construction of a behemoth of a building, used for nothing else,
so big that it feels absolutely apocalyptic.
And there will be maybe 25 people in that small room
and of those 25, perhaps 10 were paying attention - but,
maybe one had to leave early,
or three forgot to take notes,
or two weren’t all that good at taking notes,
and only one bothered to ever look at them again.
Magically, this one might happen to be, by random or fateful chance,
in a field where there is excitement about stuff like this.
Not religion, metaphysics, quantum physics, string theory,
Maybe social network analysis and mathematical modeling; or,
Big Data with interest in corporate behavior modification applications
with potential to be lucratively monetized.
And maybe they will be funded sufficiently to write a paper,
that by some infinitesimally minuscule, less that .001% chance
(oh, what a p-value!) gets published in a high ranking journal,
with sufficient wherewithal to generate the hype
to host a well-attended, live-streamed press conference
that someone cares enough about to make hashtags,
Twitter feeds filled with screenshots, maybe even a few
memes with political statements and sophisticated pop culture references
that resonate with the particular audience capable facilitating
sufficient excitement and energy.
So, “many people” is actually just a small, specific silo.
A professional sphere in some slice of academia that doesn’t mingle much
with other slices of humanity, though we are perhaps
the most diverse and bizarre species
spread like a parasitic schmear across the face of the planet that sustains us.
If or when the message is finally popularized,
it won’t much resemble that conference presentation author’s work -
Some studious snot still toiling for wages well below the federal poverty level,
waiting for the end of the hazing that lasts for half a decade or more,
so that they can look back,
after earning their title, and maybe remember the long-forgotten presentation
when they see the popular movie, based on the book, based on the model
that kind of resembles a sliver of their original hypothesis, and shrug,
apathetic, “not enough to be guilty of plagiarism.”