The militarization of everything

 It has occurred to me that we live in an increasingly militarized world. Peace is a fake word, it’s made up to sleep without nightmares. In this part of world, where wars ended many years ago, we’ve always thought that battles do not belong here. They are fought by less civilized people. However, have a look outside your window. There’s probably a security tool out there, if it’s not an alarm to protect your property, it’s maybe a surveillance camera or a drone which flies silently with some birds. Think about it. You have to prove who you are on a daily basis by e.g. giving passwords, showing your IDs, using a badge etc. Identification matters.

Step back now and look inside, take a glance at your self-impostions: inter alia, working out, eating less, no smoking etc. I’m not saying that we are all trapped, nor that we are all the same. Some people do not give a shit about “things that should’t be done”, however, I am pretty sure we have all dealt with social constraints. Because these are almost all social constraints. Take, for instance, exercising. The demonization of obesity is not just for health reasons. Aesthetic does play a significant role, especially in a country like Italy: you have to look good, you have to work out. There are no curves anymore and I am talking about “brain curves”, meaning flexibility. We are less flexible and more likely to accept the militarization of the soul, of the body and of the context we live in without questions. 

Ok, I am exaggerating now but it’s hard to deny that militarization is a state of mind, before being an actual fact. We follow rules, which are part of the social contract, and we comply with them even by self-imposing – at different extent- rigid behaviors. Sometimes I wonder whether this is the fate of human beings who pretend to be free but behave like caged animals. In this sense, zoos mirror society. We feed animals and see a reflected duplication of ourselves despite thinking of being different, if not superior. 

The internalization of power dynamics, of rules etc. led to the militarization of both the individual and of the society.

 

Advertisements

The Goldfinch

No, we don’t have owls & goldfinches in the garden! The Goldfinch is the title of the book by Donna Tartt that I’m reading. I am half way through as it’s quite a long book: 864 pages. It would be redundant to claim what others have said already, namely that it’s a masterpiece. Of course it is and it’s perhaps one of best books I’ve ever read. Definitely the best book of this year. It’s neither a summer reading nor a page-tuner as the plot unfolds gradually and slowly. However, once you get to know Theo it’s unlikely that you’re going to read to something else. You want to know how things develop, it doesn’t matter if you have to read 150 pages before something else happens. This book goes against the current do-it-immediately criterion of our times: it takes time to read it all, to digest it and the weight does make you want to buy the e-version. Don’t do that! Instead, feel it in your hands, touch the hard work of the author, smell it!

The plot cannot be encapsulated in a few sentences. So, you have to read it. Don’t miss this superb piece of writing. Take your time, exactly like the author did: it took her 10 years to write it.

breath, enjoy  and read it !

Owls and a moment for writing

Sundays mornings are the best moments for writing. Usually I am at home alone because my partner goes to the supermarket to get some stuff for the upcoming week. That’s the deal: I cook & buy vegetables and fruits, he takes care of the rest. This is the time when the house is quiet (it’s not a “treat” though as, without kids and living where we live, either the house or the neighborhood are never noisy), the dog naps and church bells ring in the hope to call attention. My thoughts clarify too and I feel free from commitments. It’s a good feeling, even if it lasts just until the end of the day. 

I went away last week and everything went really well, more that I had expected to be honest. There are more trips in the next couple of weeks and lots to do but it’s ok. I’m doing what I like and this is a real treat. The drawback is that I am increasingly disappointed about my position here, not to mention the asymmetry of power at work which makes me frustrated and unhappy. I have a plan but I have to wait until the end of this year. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to hold on.

On a different note, it seems that we have owls in the garden! I am not entirely sure as obviously we haven’t seen them but we do hear them every single night as they are pretty loud. Five or six (or maybe more) years ago we had little owls and we saw them in the evenings. Typical owls, however, are bigger and nocturnal so we hear them only when it gets dark. The funny thing is that the dog couldn’t care less which is weird  as he spends time chasing birds during the day! The sound is very peculiar, loud and a bit scary.Yesterday night I recorded them and I think, after hearing owls sounds on the Internet, that they are owls (they sound exactly like this). I wish we could see them but they hide in trees so it’s almost impossible. I like the fact that there are so many birds here, it makes me feel immersed in nature and I love it. We didn’t expect owls though! I want them to be safe so I’ll do my best to keep my distance even if it’s tempting to jump off the couch and see where they are!

Song of myself

The weather has changed here. The summer storm hit the country and the temperature dropped from 35 degrees to 20 which is what I was looking for as last week it was too hot to do anything. Actually, I felt like shit and spent most of the time at home attempting -unsuccessfully- to get some work done. The upcoming week is going to be hectic so I am glad I had the time to relax. I felt a bit lonely though as my mum went on holiday, my partner had lots to do at work and all I could do was staying at home with the dog. I am not complaying as I love spending time with my baby, although I felt a bit isolated. The house is big for two people, let alone for one. Having said that, working at home is a bless when the heat is unbearable.

I now have a long to-do list the first of them being walking barefoot on wet grass as soon as they all be out. This is something that has to be perfumed in silence, better in a wood than in a garden but a wet garden is what I have.

 

CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

 

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

 

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this 
         air, 
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their 
         parents the same, 
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

 

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

 

2

 

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded 
         with perfumes, 
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

 

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the distillation, 
         it is odorless, 
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and 
         naked, 
I am mad for it to be in contact with me
Walt Whitman