The Message In The Medium

When I was in the formative years of my twenties, twenty-one in fact, Marshall McLuhan published his ideas about how what we learn, see, hear is influenced by its packaging. And, in fact we often don’t realize what the “package” is or take it that seriously.
I had found that out with men who took my grounded bookish-overthinking self and would twist their words to sound like something I wanted to make out with. I found it with women who went to the library before going on a date.
Those are just the ones I know, there may have been others…
We all look for what we want. I always told myself the editor or the gallerist wants to find the next popular book/painting/illustration as much as I want to be it. And when the roles have been reversed I find that to be true.
In the last couple of years I have happened to have in my family two twenty-somethings looking for answers – as Guy Noir (aka Garrison Keillor) says, “looking for the answers to life’s persistent problems.”
Like me, they are making their mistakes. And like me they will live with them. Unlike me they came to this country at the ages of seven and ten with a lot of living in them. Certainly by the time I was ten I had mapped out a life plan for myself that I followed until I was eighteen when it ended and my ten year old self had not conceived of time after. The intervening years had been spent dodging my alcoholic and suicidal family day planner.
No matter how good or bad it looks to the inside or outside eye, I knew it well and was adapted. This is not the case for my tender Nepali children. While I can’t explain everything – or anything much – by facts, it remains to say not being born here gave them a lot of adjusting to do in a short time.
Every child in every country is tribal, is habitual, is judgmental in some way. Every family unit has its own ecology. What is in each one of us encompasses and transcends our environment, our heritage. We may map our world but maps tend to be flat and sooner or later we come to an edge. How we engage in that discomfort is often defined by our connect or disconnect with our self.
As a parent I am torn asunder by the thunder of my children – all of them; biologic and adopted. They have all entered, signed in and my heart sees no boundaries, no passports or certificates.
All of us enter this life in our individual way, each is defined by our individuation. All children are possessed of the ability to hurt creatively, some are positioned to pierce all motherly flesh.
This is Mother’s Day coming to us. We are each of us destined for love, we are each of us mothers.
Love is not the flat map, love is the wrap. It is connection and harmony. And it’s vulnerable to everything human. And it is everything human. And it is all there is.
Happy Mother’s Day. Happy Letting Go, Happy Taking In. The sun will shine no matter. Might’s well take the message and let the medium go.


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