Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Faithbook

On Facebook, I was scrolling the thread of posts from “friends.”  One was open-wound personal, a wretched couple of sentences about how someone treats him, someone about whom he cares.  Yeesh.

Most of my “friends” put up political articles, deliciously radical statuses, thought provokers, music, and videos.

I don’t want sound bites of wrenching, molecular-level emotion.  But even as I complete that sentence, I’m thinking that for the last few months, I’ve been writing pages of self-pity, about the death the death (that’s not a typo) of my husband, some of the saddest words I’ve ever told.  And, suddenly, that “ever told” delivers a jolt of childhood contamination, “the greatest story ever told,” to the entrance at my molecular level where all my personal data is stored.  And that thought leads to the stories we’ve been told.  From the biblical, mystical, praise-the-lord, blame-the-devil, I-love-the-lord bias to another that embraces American exceptionalism and imperialism to, well, both—God-bless-America speak, stockpiled to drag out at every opportunity for the national obliteration of reason.

I wrote the above before my cell rang.  After answering, talktalktalking, I couldn’t remember where I wanted to go with this piece.  And you’d think I would be able to read the four paragraphs up there, and say, “Oh, yeah.”

So, while I wait for those lost chords to shatter some glass, I’ll tell you what’s going on in my life.

I went to IstanbuI, visited all the must-sees. I walked, ascended alleys that became steps, flattening to plateaus for a breath, and, then, became downward paths. I ate my way across the neighborhoods.

Oh, and Laura and Erma and my children, John and Hunter, and Hunter’s girlfriend Casey were with me.  I can’t write anything better than to tell you I’m smiling, now, right here, as my fingers dance across these keys that feel smooth as the marble in the mosques we toured.

I’ve written already about part of the trip.  Not the 11-hour flight. Told Laura I’d forgotten that babies are allowed on airplanes.  Crybabies.

At home in Baltimore, I’ve continued reading, writing, writhing, and arrhythmia (the latter two during attempts at meditation).

One of my dearest friends, also a Facebooker, wrote, “Welcome back.”

Facebook.  That’s it.  The word is up there in the first paragraph, so why didn’t it spark a neuronal ignition when I couldn’t board the thought train earlier?  No matter.  I’m back on that circuit I was traveling when I tripped a breaker and chased a nonhazardous arc.

So, I was writing about exposing intimate thoughts on Facebook, the social network with which I have a love/hate relationship. I look at the word.  It becomes Faithbook.

And I wonder if there are parents who’d name their child Face Book __________.  Insert surname.  Weirder combinations of concepts have been introduced. I offer this illustration: Sage Moonblood Stallone.  And I go UGH, not only for finding fault but, also, about how horrible I am, because Sage Moonblood died, recently.  I’m thinking that even if the death weren’t recent, it, still, would be horrible, and how horrible I am.  I don’t want children to die.  Anywhere.  Okay, he wasn’t a child, as are many the Empire has droned, but he wasn’t old, a man who’s had what we might call a “complete” life, which is what my husband’s dear friend said.  And it really helped: “Missy, you have to start believing that Charles had a complete life.”  And it helped.  I said that, already.

Within a few minutes of being helped, though, I had this thought: “But MY life is incomplete without him.”

And, now, I’m considering how fortunate I was, am, and may continue to be.  I know someone who made a split-second mistake in judgment and is incarcerated. This person, who is compassionate and kind, I met before I knew the accusation, and that mitigates the circumstances for me.  Touches my empathy.

So, I’m going to turn negatives that start spinning in my cranium into positives.  It’s what I’ve been working on, lately.  And I don’t mean atrocities that affect the masses, like US foreign and domestic policy.  I’m talking about the he said/ she said or he did/she did in my tiny orbit.  Something’s bothering me, I take it and give it a little pinball-machine tilt before shaping it into a gift.  It works.  I’m smiling, thinking about it.  Here, I’ll try to give you an example.  No, I won’t.  That would be a little too much like the people (I feel AWFUL about criticizing) who write all that stuff—the people I should be sitting face to face (not Face staring at book) with, in a real friend conversation, where I could reach out with eye contact, facial expression, my body English, and touch, flesh to flesh, gently.   And I see it.  I see that I’m going to have to take this and roll it around in the strings of my netting to play it into optimism.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com.         

 

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail