night/morning therapy #28: meditations on normal

I never do achieve “normal,” but that’s what I try for. An aspect of my never-ending quest to fit it, to feel part of a community, one of the girls, sisterhood. When I have in my strange way done so, I don’t recognize it til later when the moment has passed. That’s me – I strive for things that when I have, can’t see, for when I turn my glasses lens on myself and my life, it’s funhouse mirror time. (Not that I’ve ever been in a funhouse).

The context of Camus quote, here, is chronic illness. I understand this all too well. When the pain is deep, the head throbs, the abdomen distends, the acid eats my stomach lining, going to the store becomes a trip through agony. When I still lived in the outside world, it would be crawling to work or class. Trying not to call in sick or cancel a seminar. That doesn’t include the invisible illness within my mind.

I don’t know the actual context of Camus’ thoughts on normality. I have an idea, though.

In keeping with “normal,” here is Bruce Cockburn and “The Trouble with Normal” (1983)

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese
Play pinball with the third world trying to keep it on its knees
Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
And the local third world’s kept on reservations you don’t see
“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
When the ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
Tenants get the dregs and the landlords get the cream
As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Ain’t it just so.

© taleweavering phylor 2016


2 thoughts on “night/morning therapy #28: meditations on normal

  1. Sheri July 21, 2016 / 6:29 am

    “Normal” seems to get me in trouble, because then the people I only see occasionally (like my fellow Rotary members) think I’m capable of accomplishing tasks well on a regular basis. This causes problems when I’m asked to be on committees because consistency is not easy for me. It’s so difficult to maintain “normal” when both mental and physical health problems tend to be unpredictable. I do think that there are more people pretending to be normal than we think ;)


    • taleweavering July 21, 2016 / 8:20 am

      I suspect more people are pretending to be normal. It’s been so long since I’ve been normal, doing normal things, that I’m not sure I’d pull it off well. I can appear more normal online, I suppose. Folks don’t know tics and kinks unless I mention them. And what the hell is normal anyway?

      Liked by 1 person

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