Saturday, September 7, 2013

Boo-Hoo Jasmine

       I've heard rumors.  Seen pictures even.  Indeed I thought I actually saw "THE BOX" once.  Felt threatened.  It had to be a mirage. I mean, a giant, cubic structure, black, opaque, labeled in white block lettering - "The Box" - just hanging out.  Adding to my natural aversion to all things pugilistic - 'boxing' as a sport, entertainment or exercise - the structure was aesthetically unappealing (not Cubist of a remnant of DA DA-ism in form).
       I thought - from my safe, non-threatening, non-involved perspective/placement - outside the 'Box' - 'No'.  It is simply a no-go/don't roll that way 'thing'.  This stray thought, bona fide sibling of my thought process/Family of strays is of small moment but does explain my way of being in the world.  ALL of my thoughts are strays - believe the diagnosis was ADHD - and comfortably so.  Perhaps "The Box" is simply a container, sated with orderly, logical, rational, 'lock-step' THOUGHTS, surrounded by an invisible, electronic moat, strategically placed/guarded so as to bar entry to ANYTHING resembling that disorderly genus of pathogens - "THE STRAYS".

       I'll never know.  Outside the box here, on a good day I have (stray) mood swings;  on a bad day I have the whole (stray) 'mood playground'. 
Today's stray is spawned by a recent viewing of Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.  Brilliantly executed, the film's centerpiece - the woman previous generations recall as Blanche DuBois - is given a well-deserved 'portrayal extraordinaire by Academy Award-winning actress Kate Blanchard.
       Thoroughly engrossed in the 'art' of the movie, I later surrendered to reverie's invitation and re-visited Streetcar Named Desire and she reflections it spawned.  I could still see Blanche covering bare light bulbs with garish Chinese lanterns because she believed that in the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
       But although it is said that beauty happens when art meets life, this was not the case in the entire experience of Streetcar. For example, just before the curtain falls, the final scene sets the stage for the cradle - that soft, swinging cocoon in which so many of us begin life's journey - to do the same.
       "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."  These are Blanche's final words to us.  A faded Southern beauty who is plagued by neurotic, genteel pretensions, she speaks these words as she is being escorted from her sister's home by a doctor and a nurse.  They are the strangers of whom she ostensibly refers.  Having just witnessed this tragic heroine's mental and moral disintegration, one cannot help but see an allusion to Blanche's sordid history of prostitution in her fateful final line.
       The good news for Blanche is that she doesn't have to wait around for pre-certification or the assignment of a very well-compensated 'guide', a common requisite in what will soon be our new 'affordable' health care system.  (To date, the qualifications of these individuals are de minimus with regard to knowledge of health matters such as pathology, treatment, diagnosis and the like.  The 'guide' serves only the purpose of directing a patient to the appropriate treatment facility or program for same.)
       Barring evidence/information to the contrary, then, they need only be kind and strange.  And this system, designed rumor has it (because the legislators who enacted it did so without reading it), tends to instill a fear of security (knowledge being power), the chipping away of independence and choice and quite possibly the availability of appropriate care when it is needed.
       So here we are on the brink of entering a garden quite strange to us at the behest of a guide equally strange - but kind.  Must we go in?  Do we have the option of keeping things the way they were?  The hinges of the garden's gate of memory swing - like our cradle in the attic - and though my heart and mind need go into the garden, it is to walk with olden things.
       How will it turn out?  Not as it did for Blanche.  And Jasmine, poor dear, recalls  - and re-tells to young nephews - her therapeutic 'do' applied with electricity-cum-conditioner to rid her of that 'frizz' on her head.  Our fate, rather, must be executed by presumably affordable 'guides' in something of a desultory fashion.
       Let's all trust that our hopes and dreams - and those of our progeny - swing right along with some miraculous light - one that shines compassionately, not requiring Chinese lantern-covering to protect us from its harsh reality of neglect and ultimate disintegration.  He has given us affordable health care.  It is a "tale told by a fool, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."  We have found the fountain of youth.  This because ageing is simply not affordable.
Lorane. . . .
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