Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Mimisms: An Attack of Ataraxia

Note: There is more than one post today. Please scroll down after this for an inspiring story by a fellow blogger. And a shout-out and thank you to friends and readers. Today is my 2-year blog anniversary. Your visits to my page kept Mimi's to year 3. Cheers.

So I picked up my pencil skirt and took a walk.

Through the densely green forest hills of the Peruvian mountains I climbed, hiking with brown Armani boots and run-proof pantyhose. A smudge of lipstick on my face and a hint of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea spritz, wondering if today I might be kissed by someone sweet, maybe a passing tribesman. Or would I step on a python (that's why I wore the boots), dodge a spear, sink in a swamp?

Trust me, stranger things have happened in my pencil skirt world.

Just in case the boots weren't enough and I got lost in the thickness, I brought my trusty bleeper, a change of Queen's clothing and more lipstick.

Of course.

What did I - Mimi Pencil Skirt -know about jungles, or war, for that matter?
Have I ever been close to real violence? The sight of 9/11 in New York City - as horrific as that day became - was as close as I'd ever gotten. Even then, my skirt saw not even a dusting of the actual dust. In my tears I tasted the agony of what I saw... in my heart, in my spirit. But soil my skirt?
Not even close.
Not until today.

Today my skirt got dirty.

It's easy for me to have composure as I sit typing on a tiny screen pontificating on the hell of war and spouting fluffy peace terms; I am not in the middle of the jungle eating yam roots today. My equilibrium is not off balance for lack of food or water. My children are not starving, the temperature is not 140 degrees and there are no bombs falling in Bloggingham's trees.
My serenity is easy.

Is it deserved? I believe it is.
As is yours. As is every human's birthright.

I read on.....through the dusty mountains of Iraq, drink from a gourd in a refugee camp in the Sudan, wander through a crowd of colorful peasants in the streets of Laos, high-stepping through the barb-wired sections of Ethiopia and stopping - finally - to pray in Myanmar. The monastery, this time, lay in ruins and the remnants of shredded saffron seemed fitting for the blood red floors of war torn Asia.

My boots, once fit for a Queen, sank deeper into the miry, disquiet and unholy shit of war. The war I read on my own blog. Why did I start this?
And I'm wondering how I ended up in this jungle without falling on my prissy behind and crying? And how I expected my readers to follow ....without falling on theirs?

Who ever heard of serenity in the midst of war?
Bah! Words.
Just words.

"Self-possession" someone whispered. Get a-hold of yourself, Mimi. For heaven's sakes you can't fall down now. Heels or no heels, you can't expect people to follow if you fall down.

But I'm wearing 3-inch heels, the pencil brain said.
I'm allowed.

Look at the pictures. Look at them again. mother's: "Eat your dinner, Mim. Think of all the starving children in Africa." Where is Africa? asked my little brother. "Where the starving children are," I said with a twelve-year-old smirk and a pile of uneaten broccoli on my plate. Just before my mother's famous glare quieted my smart aleck mouth with a mouthful of disapproval, he ended up with my dessert.

they're no longer unheard and unseen at your far-away dinner table.

Look at them again.

You are a grown-up.

They are still there.

No. I don't want to. And besides, I hate broccoli. I still hate broccoli.

I want to worry about shoe sales and flowers for the dinner table tonight. And if the white goes with the chicken or the red with veal. I do not want to worry about stepping on land mines or greeting human shields as I walk through the marketplace.

That is not my world.

I just want to walk in my skirt. Pick a ripe tomato. Smile at my neighbor.
I do not wish to think about those who cannot do that one simple errand.

Baaahhh! Just pictures.

I don't want to look.

Do I have to?

It's amazing what truth does to your soul. Even when it's ugly.

And yet, today, I am peaceful. Ataraxic.

I have no idea why.

Sitting beside children a half a world away who would love to eat my throw-away morsels
And I have the nerve to be peaceful?
I am not inherently entitled to my soft-shoe world. Nor are you.
But they are entitled to more than I throw away.

At the core, I am no different that this man or this child or this human being or that.... this guerrilla or this tribesman or this insurgent or this civil servant - nor all the other pictures we have seen in the Thirty Day series on the conflicts in our world I began two weeks ago. I know what you're thinking.....She's lost her mind. Must she dwell on this suffering? Where is the pencil skirt? What has happened to her sense of humor?

There is nothing funny about war, they say.

I hear you.
And really. Who am I to make the bodacious assumption that our words can change a damn thing?
Who are YOU?

Voices.....Self-possession, girl, self-possession. It's not Queenly. Hmm....
Back to center.
(Did you hear that? Now she's hearing voices. And did you see that?
She DID fall down. I knew she couldn't walk in those boots. )
I hear you.

What is that mantra again O-Voice-Of-The-Uneaten-Vegetables?

Oh yes.
I remember.

If I believe that words are powerful,
then this matters.

Time to put down my panic.
They are entitled to more.
Especially on a Memorial Day of Remembrance like today.

Will you also pick up your serenity, lay down your weary questions, and pull together some sort of leggy-strapped semblance of humanity and follow the trail of wordsmiths who want to have a voice on this jungle-laden planet we all live on? Whether you live in an ivory palace with a harmless make-believe dungeon or a plantation of leaves in the Peruvian mountains.......will you

I won't ask.

I won't say it.
I won't.
It is not mine to say.
I am not a revolutionary!
There is not a violent bone in my body.

So how, Mimi Pencil Skirt - as one reader asked me this week - can you use the word revolution in the same sentence as peace?

"Because," I said with a mouth full of uneaten sarcasm, "because I am turning. Turning. Changing. As I read."

And walk through jungles

with starving children

with nothing to hide behind

but my words

Ah, Mimi. You do take yourself a bit seriously, now don't you?

But I have been attacked
by the presence of peace
In the midst of a warring world I stumble through
with you

I don't know why my grandfather's loving eyes gave me gifts of handmade earth-shaped marbles in a bowl that grace my piano today and planned for me all those years ago to write about his prayers.
I don't know why.

But I do know how.

So I will write. On June 4th
With all of you.
No kiss for me today in the jungle.
But lots of love from YOU ...
in the form of little blue peace globes from all over the world.
Brava to the blogosphere.
Ataraxia, I hear, is deadly.

I sincerely hope it's contagious.

Copyright ©  Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


barbara said...

Hi Mimi,
You know, you already have your group of Peace bloggers right behind you .I just bet that this edition is going to rock :)

I'am with you right behind in the muck !

Hugs ((((( ))))))

Desert Songbird said...

It is, without a doubt, a dire affliction to suffer from ataraxia too often. Thank you for the reminders.

the teach said...

Mimi, we are all behind you with our peace globes...hoping against hope for change and an end to war. I know we can do something about ending war in our country but unfortunately we can't stop Mother Nature and her choices for China and Myanmar.

thanks for your thoughtful post Mimi! :D

Travis said...

I think I just figured out what to put on my Peace Globe.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

This is a powerful—very powerful—post. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Barbara - You may borrow my boots dear. I could hear you walking right behind me. All the way from France.

Songbird - Yes, it is. And you're welcome.

Mary - The cyclones and earthquakes on top of what those people have been through is unimaginable.

Travis - And it is beautiful!

Nick - Thank you for reading and commenting. I value your presence here.

Akelamalu said...

Happy Blogversary Mimi - two years - amazing!

Julia Smith said...

Think of all that you have accomplished in the blogosphere in only two years. That's really astounding. You've gathered a community of peace-minded bloggers and have created an event which reverberates into the universe. I think that IS revolutionary.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Happy blog-iversary Mimi! The world is a better place because of people like YOU!

Bond said...

TWO YEARS! and i have been around for most of the time...Congrats WOOOOOO

And you are changing the world one blog at a time dear! WOOOOOO

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Sorry I am late to the party. You have entertained and educated us for 2 years! Happy-happy!!!

Cheers & a Blogblast!

Diesel said...

Touche on your response to my revolution comment. Still, revolution to me denotes an upheaval, if not necessarily violence. Sure, there was the Glorious Revolution, but there was also the Industrial Revolution, Cultural Revolution, etc. Reminds me of the Beatles song. :)

Anyway, I'm all for peace except for when somebody needs an ass-kicking. And there's the rub.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

This year will be bigger than ever. Excellent Mimi. You get this so very well. Big hug honey. :)

katherine. said...

Mimi....I'm catching do an amazing service of education on so many levels...pushing people to think...and providing a place to discuss.

sending you much love.

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Thank you for expressing in your usual vivid fashion all of the things cluttering my head when I grope for words to comment on your posts this month. In a way your words spoke for me. Thank you...

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