Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My response to David's question... My shit smells like Guava (Passion Fruit), not Roses.

I haven't posted conversations with friends on the blog.  But, I think it's time I post a response to my childhood friend David Palermiti's question, "Why do you see writing the blog as risky?"

You may think that I am using the blog as a form of venting or as a complaint.  But that's incorrect.  I got tired of venting or complaining a very long time ago.  That style of expressing oneself does not achieve anything, nor does it achieve relaxation.  The ultimate purpose of the blog is to express something really important; something I believe we all should understand within this lifetime.  I believe it is part of the answering the universal question of "what are we doing here?"  Ok, now I just, as they say in Mexico, te caí gordo, made you feel that I am full of myself.  How do you say that in Inglés?  Ok, I'm writing this in the hope towards unravelling a grand question.  I think that I have something to share with you.  I believe that within all my negative and positive experience, there is something interesting or helpful for others...  

So, back to answering David's question:

The risk is in becoming depressed again, as I had lived my life in the U.S..  I didn't know depression the 8.5 years living here, until I started writing about this stuff. The PTSD specialists acknowledge the problem of their patients reliving the trauma they had experienced during childhood in the attempt towards healing them for good. In order for the person to truly heal from the event or events, they must re-enter the experience.  Even if the person is in denile or has totally blocked the horrible memories, they are affected by the experience later. Something comes between themself and their dreams, affecting their relationships. Something clouds present experience, grays the colors, comes between that person and their potential.  It's a wall.  

If you know my artwork. If you know my cooking.  If you knew my dancing.  If you knew my poetry.  You probably say to yourself (or have said to me) This Ross is multi-talented.  Why isn't he in galleries?  Why doesn't he have a restaurant?  Or a cooking show on T.V.?  You don't believe me when I tell you that it is a one-in-a-million shot, that it requires political connections, certain social images.  All success comes with the selling of oneself.  It doesn't matter if I cook wonderfully or if my artwork is different and authentic/original.  It all depends upon connections and how I present myself.  That's what's in question.  That's the game we play.   

Many of the intelligent, cultural and worldly friends of mine who laud my writing or my drawing/painting, upon reading what I write about my personal life, have fallen into a heavy silence.  Silence is a message just as powerful as is the spoken word.  You may think that if you don't say anything you won't create conflict; only if you think I'm stupid or ignorant or a professional at denile who prefers living in fantasies.  No one should live that way. The silence is very hurtful towards a person and towards a society. "Americans" believe that they are open-minded and outspoken because of the few who protect the freedom of speech for the rest.  Mexicans know that they are closed and of pocas palabras (few words).  They know that they have absolutely no access towards information and have been taught oyas y te callas (listen and keep your mouth shut!).  Mexicans have an excuse towards being ignorant and silent.  "Americans" don't have that excuse.  But, there is little difference culturally between here or there regarding open-mindedness within communication.  Everyone is afraid of the truth.  The difference is that one side of the border believes it has more access towards that truth and the other side knows that if I ask, they will respond in silence.  If I ask too much, if I insist, they will shut me up.  

What do you want to know about me, about my life, about my experience in Mexico?  Do you know that I can be shut up just for sending my opinion to you?  If one day you don't hear from me again.  It's more likely that my accounts were shut down or my computer destroyed with a virus, than that I was kidnapped.  Yes, that is a large risk here.  You don't believe me.  You think I exaggerate.  But that's why I've opened my wounds to you, why a wave my penis in the wind, why I show you my scars that go from my anus to my solar plexus.  Why lie?  Why exaggerate?  The only one truly affected by this Soy Yo, is I.  Did you say that this is too much for you to handle, to absorb?  But, what if it happens to you, to your spouse, to your kids?  What if it is you or them who must write this, to figure a way out?  I am the hero who lives in Mexico.  I am the artist who should exhibit his artwork in New York City.  But, the moment I write about myself, my achievements here, my talents cease having value.  No, my shit doesn't smell like Roses.  Once it smelled like Guava/Passion Fruit (Guayabas in Mexico).  As Kim Chigi said the other day,  

I have found in my life that many people, not all, simply see what's on the surface. Yes, they want beauty, glamour, money, materialism, fame (just think of all of the reality tv and how sheeple are hooked on wasting their precious time looking at the lives of the "famous" or rather the "Pseudo-famous".....and they love being around people who "they think" have their shit together. It makes me laugh deep down inside. Most of those kind of people that I have met in my life are the complete opposite in reality. They are more messed up and have more problems than you could ever imagine.  

Check out Kim's blog, http://www.KimChigi.Blogspot.com.   Check out her artwork: http://www.artbratzstudio.com.

She is one of the people who's been following me closely.  Why?  Why do I deserve her attention?  Ask Kim.  View her blog, check out her postings, check out her artwork.  I could only dream of acomplishing 1/10th of what she has accomplished.  Then again, my Uncle Henry told me that he couldn't do what I was doing in Mexico.  So, who knows what's real, what's the truth?  I'll become famous after they kill me and everyone will be scurrying to find my lost writings...  Yes, I'm full of myself.  No, I'm not full enough of myself.  

As Anya had said in Brooklyn, in 2000, I wouldn't be how and who I am had I not suffered such...had my father not died.  I wouldn't be writing this had James not insisted, had so many people not asked the questions, Why and how did you end up in Mexico?  Why don't you return to the U.S.?  You may ask questions.  And then you may decide against listening to the responses.  Isn't that the case James?  And I may ask, Who is playing what game, how and with whom?  In the end, the game you may play, you play it with yourself.  How do those games affect your life and your personal relationships?  Why do we find ourselves in such a mess?

Every other day it seems that Mexicans say, And this is why Mexico is how it is...  I spent much time immersed within that concern.  But, lately I realize that the problem doesn't begin with and within Mexico.  It's universal.  Why you play the Us & Them game, you are only succeeding on passing the buck, the hockey puck, the saying "what the fuck!" while looking at the other person.  It's a distraction from more personal concerns.  Mexico plays that game well within the minds of it's people, The Gringos are to blame... American Labor Unions play that game, Mexicans are stealing our jobs! Every time one political organization connected with the mass media creates a new yell, it increases the size and force of the whirlpool.  Those caught within that whirlpool have only one concern; how not to be pulled under.  You can't create an activist movement trying to educate people on recycling, if those people are concerned about not being able to feed their children tomorrow.  But do you ask yourself why are they concerned about not feeding their children tomorrow?  Do you ask yourself how they found themselves within that situation?  In 1990 Glen said to me, "Ross, you've gotta choose one movement.  You can't truly help if you are stretched across many."  And I asked, "Glen, what is more important, Environmentalism, Racism, Sexism, childhood abuse, imperialism, over-population, animal rights... the truth....?" You can't remove an adolescent from selling drugs on the street, if you don't offer them a truly better way of living.  And first you must convince that person that living can be good...  But you may ask, "why talk about the inner cities? Why talk about blacks or Latinos?" There aren't poor whites suffering in the U.S. and participating in what scares you?  Why the so-called war on drugs in Mexico?  Who has the right to manufacture and sell arms and to whom?  How do thousands of tons of cocaine enter the U.S. undetected?  How do those arms enter the inner cities?  Who is responsible for all this and how does it affect your lives and our lives here in Mexico?  And who truly gives a damn?

Am I an activist?  I stopped being an activist in 1990.  I didn't believe that one movement was more important than the other and all the movements get entangled within egoism and power struggles and politics.  Who truly cares?  How many of the leaders are just seeking access to positions of power and popularity?  Is this a political movement?  No.  But, all that we do and experience within this lifetime is interconnected.  This is where I am and where I'm going.

I returned to Facebook and a concern of David's about how writing this stuff can be helpful and how moving to Mexico could remove the depression from my experience. So I decided to include my response:

First, you don't harm nor hinder David.  If anything, your concern is warming.  Another thing, you just sparked off today's piece of writing.  How is Mexico the cure?  I removed myself from the direct connections that were oppressive.  In the ADD/ADHD literature, it is mentioned that each family has a built in scape goat.  It's difficult for the people within that relationship to accept that the scape goat can change, can evolve, can become someone well outside the parameters of their evaluation.  If daddy stops beating Michael, there is the risk that he will beat me! So, it's best that Michael receives the whippings, no? that he continues behaving in that convenient manner.  That's the purpose of racist movements.  The microcosm is the macrocosm but in miniature.  The family is the first unit within the society.  It is a society within itself and follows the same rules and regulations as the greater society.  Family Values is about the U.S. as a whole and isn't referring to your family; it is more about a group of families that fall into "the other" category and hopefully your family falls within the "Us" category.  The psychological is interwoven with the socio-political.  I had to remove myself from the same responses, the same reactions.  In as well-intentioned as is my mother with me as an adult, she also falls into the same paradymns of relating towards me, the same problems are created or arise as had existed within my childhood.  All my failures and conflicts are my invention and have absolutely nothing to do with my father dying, their response to his death, how they related to or ignored how his death may have affected me as a four-year-old boy, how I was affected by life-long experience of my disease I inhereted from my father...  

Here in Mexico, I am not Jewish, I am not a failure, I am not a son, nor brother, nor a cousin.  No one is concerned about my diplomas nor with my certificates.  Nothing.  The only one concerned about my disease is Margarita.  Gringos are infallibles.  The concept of a Gringo growing up near poverty and with illnesses and suffering is unfathomable here.  When I tell my inlaws that I grew up occasionally without food in the pantry, they smirk, as if I am telling a tall tale.  Why did my childhood friend Todd Golub have the whole 7th grade class harrassing me with Poorboy?  My inlaws don't want to believe this. It doesn't fit into their mental constructs of "Americans".  "Why would your mother send you to school with spoiled chicken roll on moldy white bread? Mothers don't do that to their kids!"  And I responded, "And fathers don't rape their daughters or sons (how would you respond to that Michelle?) You don't know any children growing up with your children on the ranch who were products of Father-daughter incest...?"  I don't ask that question out of the blue.  

I don't want to flee Mexico for the U.S.  In Mexico I experienced my rebirth.  The problem is I have a family of 2 to protect and Mexico has become horribly dangerous and the government doesn't give a shit about what is happening to their so-called Mexican citizens. If I were to return to the U.S., I must return as a success.  Or I must have detached myself from the horribly complex and difficult experiences I suffered in childhood.  I must have learned from those experiences and regenerated the negative energy into positive energy.  Do you understand?

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