occasional babies

Yesterday was one of those days that I kept trying to get to the point where I could sit and blog but then something would come up and it didn’t happen. Mowing lawns happened, tracking down people to return poetry happened, getting good and righteously pissy in the cell phone store happened – but not much on the computer. By the time I got there I realized I would be better off going out for coffee with my BFF and blowing off some steam about the day.

And I was right and that was the good choice. We talked sensibly for oh say hey 20 minutes before just going all random and as always I left feeling lighter. I came home and let MK out into her freshly clipped wilds and watched cute cat videos on youtube until she came in. I tried dipping into “cute hedgehogs” but….they are not that entertaining. Briefly, I had a phase years ago where I wanted a hedgehog but then I found out they reek and snore so loudly they can shake the foundations of a house.

But from the moment I left the house at 7am to the moment I returned at 9pm the day was chock full of occasional babies. You know the kind. Its like the pollen count, the weather forecasters should give the day’s expected baby count. There was not one unhappy baby in the lot, although there were quite a few quiet babies with wise eyes – the kind that make you feel like apologizing as they look you up and down from their strollers as if saying “oh really.”

The best baby though, was the one my BFF and I encountered while at coffee. Carried by grandmamma this baby (15 months) had learned the international sign language for “No” and would only put up with cute commands for so long (Wave hihi! Blow kisses!). I have actually seen this baby in action, tearing around the coffee shop and knew that the baby had a special kind of built in radar. In a crowded coffee shop, zooming around happily, this baby singled out the only person in the shop who was obviously so wound tight, tense and self-involved you could have struck a match on their aura. The baby would run around and run around and then run up to this one person and whack them. The man, after this happened three or four times, leapt out of his seat screaming “I can’t stand this anymore!”

Then there was the serious baby, more of a toddler, sitting in a chair at the café with a corn muffin bigger than her head and the most pristine, white stuffed bunny I have ever seen carefully placed beside her.

Babies have such a trial and error kind of thing going on. They are dependant on experience for their learning until they can grasp enough of language and facial expressions to begin to understand the cause and effect of actions on their guardians. Babies are not stupid, or ignorant, or innocent – they simple don’t have a stock pile of memories and experiences to guide them. They understand quickly that the best way of living is to keep their source of safety (the parent) happy and as they grow older, will follow the wishes and desires of a parent rather than try things themselves in order to ensure that all is well and welcoming.

Depending on the parent, this can either be a good thing or a bad thing because we teach babies from our predjudices. That is not as awful as it sounds, it is just a result of an opinion or expectation we have formed based upon our own experiences. The only problem that arises is usually it comes from our reactive emotional memories of an experience rather than a responsive balance of rational thinking and emotional response.

I started teaching another round of the 5-week workshop, “Writing Yourself into Life.” I think this makes the 20th time I have taught it and what always amazes me is how different it is each time. While I have a set amount of material I cover, some stories and examples I repeat and a definite goal in what I wish to impart – each workshop is custom designed (or adjusted) to fit the class. The first class is a hodgepodge of questions that not only let us all start to get to know each other, but also let me see what the common threads are between the people that are there. This one will be very interesting. I am going to have to extend myself a bit to address the common thread that has surfaced in the first meeting, although right now I am not sure how I would define it in words – I have it in pictures in my head.

Ahhhhh…life life life life life, a ton of things to do today and they must all get done to bring me to a certain time of the day when I can shut everything down and just write on the city. I have to take a trip next weekend, one that should only take about 3 hours by bus, but I have arranged the tickets so it will take me 8-10 hours each way. Just for the ride, just for that small sense of being able to let me mind wander along.

c.2011. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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