Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Matters of Trust

Since I started turning fifty last spring, I've been examining my identity. We create and polish identities here in blogland. I've been developing and understanding the narrator, PENolan, and recently changed her avatar to my picture which is fitting since she's me. I haven't got that one quite sorted out yet.

I'll be turning fifty at least through New Years. I figured that a fiftieth birthday required more than one party. I didn't realize that my 49th birthday dinner was the beginning of the occasion. I was with The Man from San Antone. I'm particularly grateful to him at the moment because he sent a cash infusion just in time for the Gemini Party on Saturday. It's not as much as I asked for or wanted - but it's enough, and there's sure to be more where that came from. The good news is that it's the sort of amount that qualifies as a gift as opposed to a loan. Not that we've discussed repayment. When I went for the big amount, I swore I'd pay him back, but he's never mentioned it. Some people might think my instant dismissal of repayment shows that I'm untrustworthy, and I admit that in certain contexts, perhaps you're supposed to keep your word. I do keep my promises when I actually say the words, "I promise." If those specific words have not been used or if I haven't signed anything, agreements are as light and variable as the wind.

I am, however, consistent and dependable. Dependability is a lot like being trustworthy.

Some people may think this cartoon shows that Lucy is terminally untrustworthy, but I say Lucy is as reliable as Old Faithful. As sure as the sun rises and Mr. Moose's ping pong balls fall.

This clip is all from the color version and the Captain looks kind of scary - but it's the best I could find.

Both Lucy and Mr. Moose would probably stop playing with their targets if those guys were sincerely distressed because they aren't evil characters. They are both simply following their essential natures, and their interactions become fixtures in the cosmological landscape of their worlds.

I'm not sure that playing games with someone counts as untrustworthy anyway especially since the nature of games involves strategic thinking and outsmarting your opponent. Mr. Moose is certainly playing a game with the Captain, who is certainly playing along much like grown ups play along with little kids. Lucy, on the other hand, makes a point for Charles Schultz, and even though a person may be playfully proving a point, s/he is serious. Serious intent always spoils a game. Friendly competition is one thing, being seriously intent on winning is no fun.

Either way, though, both are acting according to their natures just like in The Tao of Pooh. The task of uncovering your Pu is tricky. In Taoist terms, P'u is a sculptor's uncarved block - something in it's most simple, natural state. In Winnie The Pooh, Pooh is Pooh which is much the same thing.

Charlie Brown's trouble is that he expects Lucy to go against her nature. He trusts that she'll act the way he wants her to - and as I recall, she usually swears up and down that she will, but that is also in accordance with her nature. The readers know that they can trust Lucy to yank that football aside at the last instant, and on some level Charlie Brown does too - so Charlie Brown on his back lamenting his own gullibility doesn't make Lucy untrustworthy. It's the same as expecting Barack Obama to act like someone other than a politician. He may be more liberal than George Bush, but he's still a politician. If we're flailing around on our backs like cockroaches, it's because we had a fantasy.

The Man from San Antone both trusts me implicitly and doesn't trust me any farther than he can throw me. He understands my nature. My high school friend, Cretin Vodka, who may or may not still be mad at me for being untrustworthy, was told in no uncertain terms by all our common friends that trusting me, particularly in an emotional context, was a bad idea. And I will confess that I felt remorse as he was lying stunned on his back after I'd yanked away the proverbial football. But I couldn't feel altogether guilty on account of it never made sense to me that somebody would trust me in the first place.

Which brings us back to my quest for influences on and illustrations of my essential nature. This song is an illustration, but Granny the Ho was the original influence.


Anonymous JD said...

Turning 50 is definitely worth savoring and is much more significant a page-turn than 40 ever dreamed it could be.
I had totally blanked on the Mr. Moose bit with the Captain until I saw that clip. He's old enough in that clip to risk serious injury!

Keep turning 50. It seems to agree with you.

November 19, 2009 at 12:08 AM  
Anonymous cristine said...

nice blog post

November 19, 2009 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

Hi Trish-

Your mind is so deep and vast in it's ability to use metaphor and lyric to capture your journey and it's many experiences.

When I was turning 50 and in fact turned 50???!! I lied about it. :-)

Love you

November 19, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Very cool post, and I love that Peggy Lee song.

November 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Thus, the lesson is, never trust anyone over 50?

November 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

There's a lesson?

Actually, I trust everyone to be perfectly human, which allows lots of room to be an asshole.

Gail, I have a feeling this quest for influences and illustrations will continue for a while. Christine and CDP, glad to see you.

November 19, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

JD, I plan to keep turning fifty for a few more years. I figure that "about fifty years old" goes up to 54. Then I'll be about 60 for a long, long time.

Hope you have a good winter up there with the tumbleweeds.

November 19, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

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