Mike’s birthday

It’s Mike’s (Mike Ballard’s) birthday on the 8th of this month
(ie. while it is still the 7th of January in the US)

He will be turning 64

…Will you still need me
will you still feed me…

Please make him feel happiness…


So, Mike is looking much better. I would say that this is the first day that he has actually looked normal to me — at least in the face. His belly is rather distended from the swelling inside. He seems to be under the impression that he’s in the clear. I feel it to be so.

Mikey, women and child, blather

Read some Nietzsche today — “mother and child” — to remind myself how much I’ve intellectually arrived. By contemporary standards, a male Nietzschean would be incredibly feminine in his sense of modesty and inability to grasp the world. But, not being “worldly” in morals, or being capable of understanding the actual harshness of the world, was considered, in the 19th century, to be a feminine attribute.

In general, I think that the comparatively harsher conditions that women are forced to face (and I mean this as relative to the conditions which a middle class male generally and commonly faces), has produced a tendency for self-educated women to be more mature than their male counterparts are. This has to do with many a woman’s absolute NEED to learn — in order to get themselves out of the binds that society has put them into. It is rarely the case that a man will feel a need to learn about things with as much force of desperation and intensity as many women do. (There are some exceptions to this rule though — Mike, in himself, being one of them.)

When women try to bring legitimate charges of unfairness to public view, they are very often dismissed for being “too sensitive”, no matter if they are, personally, very sensitive or not. (I’ve been accused of this — but of course — yet, usually the accusations slice me up the other way as being way too “insensitive”. So, basically, the imputation is that I am not silent enough, and not yielding enough, and that this is my problem and not anybody else’s.)

So women regularly have a harsher experience in society than their male equivalents do. This means that they are more readily exposed to a catalyst for thinking than their equivalent men are. This,of course, can serve to ground them, more thoroughly, in a material basis for political reality than others who do not face arbitrary discrimination and vindictive behaviour directed at them for no reason.

no seppuku for you, you!

I plan to get an early night tonight. This week has been rough. Today, in any case, in martial arts, we learned how to effectively disembowel someone. “What about seppuku?” I ventured to ask my instructor. The instructor didn’t know if this was performed as a direct puncture or as a series of cuts. Mike’s gutular incision looks much like something that could be made from the extension of a number 5 strike. It starts at the lower base of his belly, and goes all the way up to the near top of it. Previously, it had looked like being about 30 cm long, but that appearance was obviously due to the gauze bandages and my imagination. I think it may be half that size — although I’d have to look again. I said to Mike, “you know you can say that you fended off attackers who wielded knives at you ‘on the street’.” Mike smiled broadly, but was not permitted to laugh because it hurt too much.

“Grip my hand,” he said. “I mean HARD!” I grip and look at him. He doesn’t look like he is registering. “Harder?” “–Yes, grip it hard.” I take his right hand between my two palms and crunch it as much as possible. It’s like arm wrestling. He looked pleased.

“Now, you can go.”

The road is rong.

It is amazing how stress works. Although Mike is making a good recovery, the underlying experience for him is one of pain. We are both resilient people, capable of shutting off parts of our minds to focus on what needs to be done. This helps, but that is all.

So my brain feels numbed, somewhat. I recognise some of the telltale signs of stress for me, as well. Not at the moment, but there are times of clumsiness, of failing to focus. This was the reason I did not ‘make it’ in the armed forces. when my brain feels stressed, it is as if I can keep in mind only a general strategy, by which I plan to survive. There is a certain calmness in the complete assurety I have that the general strategy — whatever it is — will work. I am able to focus on it steadily and completely. I find the calm within the storm. On the other hand, my physical tendencies are to get clumsier — to forget small but significant details, to not physically perceive what is right in front of my eyes. It is as if I start to suffer from a state of psychological hypothermia — where all the mental energy I have goes into the planning part of my brain, as the internal organs. Very little remains on the periphery enabling me to look, to observe, to pay attention to detail.

I don’t feel like this right now, but yesterday, seeing Mike in so much pain……

did I mention when I’m under stress I’m very poor with details? ! 😉

Mike, again

Mike is making excellent progress in Day 1 after his operation. He has walked around a little already. He is pretty lucid, and very determined to make progress quickly. He is unable to laugh or move too fast without it causing him pain, though.

If anyone in the Perth area would like to visit him, he’d much appreciate it. He’ll be in Bentley Hospital for about ten days. I think this would help him to recover, and to feel part of it all, again.