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7/23/06

You're a Turtle (said the Turtle) (Mouse Over)

Dear Kim:

I am returning to thinking about the conversation I had with Pseudonym about people's inquiries about me when she was at a recent concert.

I have been trying to think about why it made me so angry.

(Kim: I wish I was better at both getting angry and crying. I do think I'm doing a little better with crying. Tears came to my eyes yesterday when I was writing my daughter-in-law. She's so lovely. But anger has been very difficult for me.

I've often though about what happens if you call a person a turtle. If there is no connections between the person and a turtle then it shouldn't matter to them what they are being called. It is just the the caller has made a mistake. But if the shoe fits . . .

Do you want a partner who is a Joan clone, or do you want a unique person? Some people are concerned with what other people think, and others are not. I don't see the problem with that. It makes life interesting. And it gives us an opportunity to share a different perspective.)

I think I was partially angry because she is so concerned with what other people think. Although maybe angry is not the right word. Maybe what I am is disappointed and frustrated because it is yet another reason that makes it difficult for us to stay together.

It suggests a lack of a solid core. And without that, I have to deal with her constant insecurities and how they manifest themselves.

I wonder if on some level, she was also projecting her fears and disappointment onto me in the guise of the retelling of the event.

Of course I care very much about what people think about me in some realms of my life. Like about the work I do in the world. Do they think it is productive? Creative? Well executed?

But as to how I live my personal life, with its various complexities? How can I possibly be invested in what anyone outside my most intimate connections think?

(Kim: My creative writing teacher in college used to say, "listen to everyone and believe no one.)

How can anyone who is not living my life understand the reasons I make the decisions that I do? Why would I even expect that? All I can do is try to be kind to other people, to not deliberately inflict pain on anyone in a situation and to behave with as much integrity as I can.

(Kim: Now we are back to standpoint theory, which I'm sure I don't understand. Sure, our knowledge of others is limited, but so is our knowledge of ourselves. Since we make a lot of assumptions, it seems better to get those thoughts on the table so they can be verified or denied.

I wonder how standpoint theory allows us to interpret art. How is that different than trying to read someone's intentions?)

Later,

Joan

Sunday, Feb 5, 2006

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