Friday, March 21, 2014

Resting Orders

The view from the Willamette Falls Overlook, a rest area with an inviting view but little to keep a person for long. At the extreme left across the river in this view the part of the bluff which hides the house I live in might be seen or perhaps the foreground trees cut off the line of sight too soon.

Mary Catherine Bateson (born December 8, 1939) is an American writer and cultural anthropologist. Bateson is the daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Mary Catherine is a noted author in her field with many published monographs. Among Bateson's books is With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, a recounting of her upbringing by two famous parents. She has taught at Harvard, Amherst, and George Mason University, among others. Mary Catherine Bateson is a fellow of the International Leadership Forum and was president of the Institute for Intercultural Studies in New York until 2010.

I saw a quotation today, penned by Bateson, that spurred me to offer this poem:

Resting Orders

It is obvious
this life is a trek from star
to star, from birthing
to dying, mostly
trackless but sometimes well paved
with awesome rest stops.
When you find places
you love please ask if you will
want to soon move on
as well as take ease.

Else please do not stop, she trilled.

Remember the tale
of the captain tied
to his mast so he could dare
the witchy voices
calling him by name.
You will never be stronger
than the last false call.
If you've mastered them
all so far you have not yet
heard that last false call.

God willing, you never will.

‎March ‎21, ‎2014 2:43 PM

I, along with so many others, encountered the work of Margaret Mead in Sociology and Anthropology classes in college. She was a pioneer in her specialties. Outside of college I became interested in Systems Theory and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, including the work which led to it and its companion speacialties, grouped together in what are called the Brief Therapies by some. You cannot spend much time in such matters without encountering and respecting the work of Gregory Bateson.

Google them and find a mountain of material. On Amazon you will easily find books they wrote. Imagine growing up with such parents, or perhaps read Mary's book.

For my part, both my parents were highly accomplished and lifted themselves out of complete obscurity into more than modest success. I suspect my mother had the drive for even more. She could have finessed her Hollywood screen test and made a movie career out of it. She told me she didn't want to sleep around, basically is why not. Apparently the casting couch was offered to her but also a required nose job. Instead she went to university and became Valedictorian of her graduating class. She shared her stage and speech with remarks by Harry Truman, who was POTUS at that time.

1 comment:

  1. I only read the poem (a few times)
    I like it a lot. The idea that in between all the craziness of it, we do have a few nice reststops. All of us


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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