Monday, March 19, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Horacio and Ginger Go Intellectual

Deep in thought....

Shocking revelations....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Lately I've been reading Judith Butler. I have to say that she is one of the most difficult theorists I have grappled with in a long time. It is so exciting. I feel that high again...the high that comes from wrestling with some amazingly difficult passages, and feeling like a light turns on when you finally get it. Suddenly you just don't see the world in the same way. Everything changes. And you lose something which is what I am reading about with Butler right now.

In The Psychic Life of Power, Butler writes about about subjection. She wishes to examine the ambiguity that lies at subject formation. But that is for another entry. What I find so interesting right now, this evening, is Butler's reading of Lacan and Freud. She argues that internalization is formed through loss. She writes

"Significantly, Freud identifies heightened conscience and self-bereavement as one sign of melancholia, the condition of uncompleted grief. The foreclosure of certain forms of love suggests that the melancholia that grounds the subject signals an incomplete and irresolvable grief. Unowned and incomplete, melancholia is the limit to the subject's sense of pourvoir, its sense of what it can accomplish and, in that sense, its power"(23).

Last week, with a certain professor, we talked a lot about Lacan and how he sees subject formation built through loss. And then I read this. This idea that love, desire, etc, functions through a loss of something makes a lot of sense. Especially when one thinks of this lost as homosexual. Being bisexual is an interesting position from which to look at this loss. I think perhaps for me this loss is somewhat known.

I have never identified my sexuality as merely about sex but rather about the possibilities of love and desire. Calling myself bisexual opened up many possibilities for me but it also entailed losses. The gay/lesbian community often wants nothing to do with bisexual people. Despite the rumors it is not easier to get a date! I was accused often of just wanting sex, and of not being willing to fully commit to lesbianism. In other words, I was a coward. I loss an opportunity to fully explore dating, loving, women, and I also lost an opportunity to be a part of a community.

And then what happens when the bisexual goes monogamous? I love my partner (a man), and I love the family we created but there is underlying all this a loss. By choosing to be monogamous (and yes I understand this a normalized function probably of heterosexuality), I have closed off a part of my sexuality. And while we could be open, could invite someone into our family, that too would entail a certain set of losses.

It's a bit tragic to think of all these losses. I see how so much of who we are is built upon losses that we often can not speak or bring forth. As Butler points out, sometimes they are so repressed we can not even grieve them.

Darth Umberto

Preparing for a life of crime!
Don't eat my pear!!!!

The girls doing a very Maine thing...log rolling!

Maybe not such a failure

A few weeks later, and I'm chilled although I may have freaked out every other adult in Umberto's life. I have to keep reminding myself that I learned to read at 7.5, and look, I'm a genius:) Okay so not that smart but smart enough to make it through grad. school. There is a part of me that knows deep down that Umberto is better off from not having the pressure to do everything quick. And I know that he's capable and that things will click for him when they're supposed to click. But there is also that panicky part of me that knows he has to back to school when we start our Ph.Ds. I guess I need some faith that things will click by the time he's 8!

A few days ago I was reading Cat Wings by Jane Yolen to the kids. I came across a great line that changed how I thought about Umberto. The book is about a litter of flying kittens whose mother sends them away from the city for a better life. Once in the woods, the birds freak out because the cats are on equal footing. Here's the line about Owl and the concern over flying cats: "It took a while for the Owl to understand this. Owl is not a quick thinker. She is a long thinker"(20). See that's Umberto. He takes his time and in the end has a full understanding...maybe a fuller understanding then someone who thinks quick. It's not about how fast you master something but rather that you master it.