Sitting on the porch, greeting the morning air as I smoked a cigarette, I was enjoying the falsifications of this mind as it flitted and darted like some hummingbird from thought-flower to thought-flower. And one flower that caused me to linger and savor was the term "dysfunctional family."
Like some teenager (or is that 30-something these days?) who is delighted and shocked to discover that the word "sane" really loses its meaning on examination, I wondered if there really were any such thing as a "functional family" that would bring meaning to a dysfunctional one.
The hummingbird lingered over the thought, but not too long. All such ruminations are invariably excused by the compromises that language imposes. It's like the old Supreme Court justice's approximate observation about pornography -- "I may not know what it is, but I know it when I see it."
Dysfunctional family? You bet your ass there are such things. Terribly (or subtly) painful, terribly (or subtly) confused, terribly (or subtly) fucked-up ... and the kids bear the brunt in the mind because kids have little or no capacity for seeing their way out of the horror. The adults who might rightly be charged with nurturing what they have spawned choose not to provide that nurture. They choose some self-serving direction that leaves their spawn gasping and begging for nurture. And yet they too were children, as were the adults who might rightly have been charged with nurturing what they spawned.
The pains and delights are compellingly real. They are no-philosophical-bullshit in-your-face. They demand and deserve attention. But so too does the Yellow Brick Road of anyone's life.
At what point does sanity turn into insanity?
At what point does insanity turn into sanity?
At what point does nurture turn into toxin?
At what point does toxin turn into nurture?
I may not know the answers, but I know it when I see it.
And having sipped at this honeyed thought, the hummingbird mind zipped away down other, yet somehow connected avenues of flight....
There are no explanations. There are no excuses. There are no compromises. There is no balm or escape hatch or relief.
In the end, it just works ... and saying there's an end doesn't work at all.
So much for the falsifications of this mind.