With Malice Toward One…
“When thought is closed in caves
then love shall show its roots in deepest hell.“
– William Blake
I hear the whistle of a locomotive in the distance and open my resting eyes of contemplation. The whistle informs me that the world is still in motion out there. My morning nurse stops at my corner office with her offering of allergy and anti-inflammatory capsules. “Good morning, Sonya,” I say with a smile as I leap up to greet her. “Good morning,” she says with a cheerful countenance. “Have you put in for your ‘good time’ early release yet?” “Yes, I did,” I responded, holding firmly to my smile. I have demonstrated good behavior all my life, but have rarely been awarded for it, especially from small minds. “You’re going to get an early release,” she said reassuringly with a knowing smile, almost as if she could read the doubt on my face. Such is the tone and tenor of many who have come to know me at Hotel PottCo. If only it were up to those who witness me. My hours of precious solitude and contemplation have sorted out the article of injustice in my Mind Garden. I hold the court in contempt.
This is Steven in the Blind with a closing post, the last in my trilogy of exiled prose before being released again into the wild; ear-tagged for later recovery. Easter is here and I feel the ebb of a further resurrection in my own cause, for I have
The Mind Garden
The captivity of the body is a trifling matter in contrast to the captivity of the mind. Certainly, the body desires freedom, but we do possess the adaptive quality of survival: routine. Routine gives the body and mind a dull sanity. Like losing one of the senses, the body’s limitation of freedom enhances the equity of the mind. In this enhanced fertility of intellectual soil, the mind garden thrives! The mind garden, uninhibited by the gardener, blossoms with all levels of development residing deep within the vaulted archives of the psyche. The morning dew and mid-day sun provide eternal nourishment as the irrational and the rational are engaged in play, pollinating the landscape. Fantasy, imagination, and creativity thrive in brilliant colors while a dialogue commences between my known-self and my unknown-self. Thoughts flow together like tributaries of fresh water. The more boldly I look into the unknown, the more expansive the watershed of my mind garden. The potential is cathartic and limitless, and it is here that I create the biography of a new idea, for in this particular moment the past is empty of affect.
The Crippled Mind
Outside my office in the land of the free bodies, there is an epidemic of captive minds. There exists small-minded souls that seek their own release and tragically look for an object upon which to sacrifice outside of themselves, instead of the enemy within. Let’s not rail against small-mindedness though, lest we think too highly of ourselves. We all pass through small-minded states on our way to enlightenment. I am rather speaking of the crippled mind; the small mind in stasis, trapped in its own darkness. These are the minds held captive to pathology and they break-bad in violation of another without cause, believing another’s sacrifice will seem meaningful enough to magnify them.
In November of 2018, I attended a hearing to suspend alimony in the wake of my job loss. As a counter-strike, I was pursued for contempt by my ex-spouse under these destitute circumstances. There is, of course, no contempt for losing one’s job but “crippled minds” and “bad-math” were lurking in the court. At the conclusion of the hearing, my reduced alimony remained unattainable for me, but something more astounding happened, the contempt was crudely handled. The judge addressed my ex-spouses attorney, “How much is owed for contempt?” “I don’t have those figures, your honor.” He replied. He then looked at my attorney who also confessed he didn’t have the sum. Clearly, with the evidence presented, neither attorney was prepared for the contempt to be taken seriously when I had no means to repay. Abruptly the judge ended the hearing with, “Steve has 90-days to settle the contempt.” BANG! My lawyer reflexively protested, “Your honor, we’re going to be back in here for contempt.” His words faded as he murmured to himself. The judge was already heading back to chambers.
“How reckless,” I thought, “How medieval. Am I expected to pay an unknown quantity on my meager resources?” Then I had a thought and in my best Daffy Duck voice (which is not very good) I said to myself, “Hmmm, arith-uh-muh-tic problem!” The judge simply suffered from bad-math (rather than wrong math). Having no job, no borrowing power, and a lien placed against my 401k by a reactive and bitter borderline, I had no choice but to work on a defense that involved good and correct math. It was easy enough once the actual amount owed was determined. I don’t mean to brag when I say I solved it in my head. “Okay, 90-days of unemployment… and if I paid none of my bills, let the lease go, and fasted for 90-days I would have…” My Linus tongue was curled over my top lip in calculation, “…just enough to pay for a little over half the amount owed. Of course, after 90-days of fasting, I will be dead.“
Davey Crockett at the Alamo
The status hearing was held after the 90-days and I never saw the judge. I suspect he did not want me looking him in the eye as he formulated the extortion of law. My attorney came out and sat down with me. I could tell he was trying to choose his words, “Here is what it is, you can either transfer (voluntarily) your entire 401K to your ex-spouse or go to jail for 30-days.” It took a moment to process. After a reasoned defense, that was my only choice? “Hmm, silly citizen, that I should expect sober reason and fidelity of law.” The court has no power to seize my assets but state-sanctioned acts of terror, such as locking up an innocent man is apparently all the rave these days. So I had a moment… I’m sure many of you have had such a moment… the Davey Crockett moment. Before the Alamo, Crocket was a congressman from Tennessee. He once voiced his fate to a dissenter, “You sir, may go to hell! I am going to Texas!” My version is a bit less formal, “Damn them all straight to bloody hell! I’ll go to Hotel
The “bad-math” bias remains my comfort beyond the insult, for my mind may be offended by injustice, but it suffers no oppression of conscience. My thoughts roam freely in my mind garden with more liberty and compassion than my persecutors apparently have for me. I have no doubt that my statement submitted to the court respectfully asking the court to self-reflect upon my plight was an affront to institutional hubris. “Damned citizens with their fantasies of justice,” I imagine, “how dare we?“
My concierge, Angie, stopped by with her effervescent smile to inform me I have a 4 PM on my busy calendar. Today some dearheart wants to visit me. “Have you heard back on your ‘good behavior’ early release yet?” She asked. I gave a faint smile, “No,” I replied. Narrowing her eyes to read my face she said resolutely, “I’ve seen plenty of contempt sentences modified for good behavior.” I smiled genuinely at her confidence. If only I could explain to her how “bad-math” insults the foundation of logic. “Bad-math” equations told us the earth was the center of the universe and the planet was flat, and apparently, seduces the institution of law into collusion with a malingering borderline to exact vengeance on a man and his son who had the audacity to leave an abusive and hostile home.
As I close out this final segment, my dear reader, I hope I have made sense of my experience for you. I’m sure you have divined it by now that “bad-math” is nothing less… than ignorance.
I look forward to engaging all of you again after “Shawshank Redemption” day.
This is Steven in the Blind… Signing out…
The passionate Phoenix of Firefly Horizons and conceptual prognosticator of Mutatis Mutandis reborn through the scorching forge of his annihilation into creative sanctuary. Steve translates the fury of his Phoenix experience into experiential exegesis in search of perspectives not yet in view. Read more about Steve • Articles by Steve