Monday, October 16, 2006

Turning Two: Marjorie Reflects

Today marks the beginning of a third year of m-pyre.

I remember when I first met Maggie and Mikaela…I initially just watched from across the room as NERD ALERT flashed invisibly on their foreheads. That was our first semester in a program at UNM and thank god I didn’t let my ultra too cool for school mentality stop me from being drawn in by their infectious enthusiasm and, as I quickly realized, hyper intelligence.

You know, I never thought I’d go back to school; much less form a bond with two women like M.2, to the point of timing our graduation for the same semester so we could walk together. Since that first semester, we’ve seen each other through an outrageous work/school schedule, talked endlessly about our personal ups and downs, on the porch not to mention at our dearly departed Pearl’s, traveled, started a blog or two, and pursued together our small contributions to social justice of one kind or another. How lucky am I? Well…very. Let me pause for a moment here and thank the both of them for the past four years.

My contributions to m-pyre have ebbed and flowed, mainly having to do with what I can bring myself to say at any given time. m-pyre started as an overall blog, a way for the three of us to talk and stay in touch. But because of our natures, it quickly zoned right in to a political spectrum, which caused us to create m-pyrical for other stuff. I remember that Maggie brought it up…she mentioned she would like to blog but didn’t think she could keep up with one by herself. I felt similarly, had in fact already made myself a blog but hadn’t done anything with it for that very reason. I’ve noticed that I go through periods in which I have plenty to say, and then other times when I can hardly bring myself to say anything. For me, m-pyre can be a lot like talking politics. And silence sometimes is good, especially when it comes to politics. Sometimes, all the talk is so overwhelming that it’s impossible for the real substance to make it to the surface. Sometimes, I just want to listen.

Of course, there’s a fine line between going through a period of simply listening and disengaging from the conversation completely. One of the themes often discussed by academics and politicos in the U.S. is the seeming apathy of the American public when it comes to voting and to political engagement in general. If you look closely at that discussion, you often can see the class filament threading its way through…as in, we’re the smart ones, but the masses are an undifferentiated lot of human nature who care only for themselves. I very founding father’ish.

For me, the disengagement puzzled over by so many is simply about the inability of “the masses” to be really and truly heard in the conversation. It’s a simple concept, one that each and every one of us can recognize from our own personal experiences and extrapolate to the broader social landscape. It can be very difficult to stay engaged in a world that doesn’t pay attention. The outcome of exclusionary social systems and structures is that people turn away, that’s the nature of disempowerment. And of course, this is all the more reason for organizing to create the power of unity. But that statement is simple, the reality is hard as hell.

For myself, when it comes to political discourse, I’m very thankful for does a lot for keeping me engaged. I can listen to my hearts content and know that when I have something to say someone is actually hearing me, even if its simply my Dad (who has always indulged me--thanks Dad). I admit that this year I’ve been a bit selfish, letting the two of my friends do most of the talking. But I hope they have faith that my talkative side eventually comes around, and I hope that’s okay.

Anyhow, m-pyre is just...yes *just* of the projects the three of us have undertaken together. In the end, it may be the one we all three cherish the most. I hope that all of you who read our blog come away on occasion with one of those lightbulb moments...afterall, what else could a writer ask for? For myself though, while I have plenty of those moments when reading my friends...there’s a lot more to this project than that. The three of us are all readers, and one of the main things I love about m-pyre is that here we have a partial chronicle of our time together. That’s the reason I suspect I’ll be reading it for the rest of my life, probably well past its actual existence as a blog in cyber space. Ultimately, m-pyre is completely personal for me.