Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

the dichotomy of life

Dichotomy: division into two mutually exclusive, opposed or contradictory groups; something with seemingly contradictory qualities. 

As a writer, it might not surprise you that I totally am into the juxtaposition of opposing life elements, one next to another, elements might seem totally unrelated and yet are in a profound way the true meaning of what life is about because life is filled with such. 

Tuesday we had an example of such a happening. I was reading online, looking to see if they had yet caught the terrorist on the loose in the Los Angeles area. I call him a terrorist because he had put out a manifesto saying he would kill police and their family members for wrongs he felt the police force had done to him. There was a list. He clearly only wanted to kill police officers as anyone else with whom he came in contact was freed or let go. 

Some even had turned him into a hero, putting likes on a Facebook page for him and on other [social media sites] expressing sympathy for him and a feeling that the police weren't doing right or hadn't done right. They apparently dismiss the murder of a young couple whose only connection to him was her father had represented him in a hearing that cost him his job. Or the police officer gunned down while stopped at a traffic signal with no warning he was a target.

The manhunt took awhile. By the time Tuesday came along, I was glad to hear they him cornered, and I turned on the TV to see what was happening. I watched as the news media made the usual fools out of themselves while trying to reveal the latest scoop when they had no idea what it was. 

Then came the cabin fire which reminded me of other times I've turned on the TV to watch the Koresh compound being attacked and suddenly burning and 9/11 in NYC. The rumors continued being spread by the media while real life was happening-- messy as real life tends to be. For those who felt the LA police were to blame and plotted to kill the shooter before he could tell his story, the last stand and the officer killed in the final confrontation all were part of San Bernadino police.

This all was going down while on the other side of our nation, another man was readying himself to give a speech about the State of our Union. He would be doing this before most of the leaders of our nation with only a few held back just in case something catastrophic took out that building before the speech was over.

This man laid out what he believed we needed to do as a people to make our country a better place to live. He spoke of many progressive values but always with the goal of doing things with less cost and greater long term gain. He spoke of a nation where everyone had a chance and encouraged preschools throughout the nation, as Georgia and Oklahoma have provided, so that all children get the advantage of a jump start to their education.

While this was going on, in my own world:

lambs were being born,  We now have several sets of twins and one of triplets while one of the young ewes had a still birth. There are also two new calves.

I did the first cursory edit of my just completed historical romance which is a story of love, community, family, Arizona, danger, and consequences of our actions-- those which can take us to a better life or further into darkness. 

Farm Boss had been involved with technology helping another start up company that would make plantings of trees and plants more successful with less needed water and lower failure rates in areas where they cannot be watered during the summers.

And while most of us were either enjoying a lovely Valentine's Day, feeling a bit down about our lives, or ignoring it totally, there was this story, which if you are interested in human motivations, you probably already were following: [Prosecutors charge premeditated in Steenkamp murder case]. The story involves two highly successful people, the overcoming of a handicap in the ultimate way, a South African hero, a beautiful model, love, violence, and a holiday about love. 

From what I have read of the run up to it, the couple had only been a couple for a few months. It was reported that the murdered woman Twittered about her excitement regarding a surprise and Valentine's Day. She also was someone who spoke out against abuse of women. 

What next happened was the ultimate dichotomy of both sides of love regardless of what you believe led to him shooting her [four times through the bathroom door]. Even a court decision may not reveal the whole truth of that night because we are left with the earlier police call, what the neighbors heard, forensics evidence, and his version of the event-- she's not here to tell her side.

One thing you learn when you write is life can be exactly like that. Up against the direst circumstance can be the most beautiful happenings and the most mundane.
Life is too often totally unexpected and making no sense-- which is why I like to write stories using human nature, the emotion of love, and put together endings that do work out and make sense. I create characters and give them the happy ending that so often life denies people. I do it for myself as the writer and for potential readers.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

The pictures of those dear sweet newborns are simply divine! They are so very beautiful---such an example of life renewing itself....Talk about a juxtaposition...! I choose to think about these dear newborns as the example of what Valentines Day is all about. All the other things--the man-hunt man and the murder of that beautiful young woman by the memorable Olympic Hero---It's all so very crazy, and inconceivable!
Give me those dear little Lambs, PLEASE!

Rain Trueax said...

They are sweet, Naomi but even there is a dichotomy with some dying before they take a first breath and listening to the coyote on the other side of the creek knowing it wants to eat them. It's just how life is. At least that though makes sense for the coyote unlike the violence last week saw.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I love the lambs and as they get a little older, they have such exuberant jumps for joy. I miss seeing them like when we had twins from one of your rams and our ewe. Those were good days for grandchildren to come and see the sheep. Just before reading your post, I had a conversation with our almost eleven year old grandson about guns. He tells me that just the thrill of shooting a semi-automatic is justification for shooting it. So he said he would like to go out and kill game animals with it. Humm. Makes me think watching some lambs might help him gain a greater respect and love of life. Wish I could bring him out to see your lambs.

Hattie said...

I was thinking of the ultimate fate of those dear little lambs (:
But as you say, that's life, and death.

Rain Trueax said...

Yes, Hattie, they are part of the dichotomy of life and part of why this kind of life is both wonderful and depressing. A person has to be able to handle knowing the purpose. Now they don't all end up eaten as some little ewes are kept for future breeding and last year we kept one of the little rams to replace our ram as he got too old. They do though get a quick and merciful end as we do all we can to sell direct to the consumer. I consider it a failure any year when we have to send them to an auction. This year it didn't happen.

Hattie said...

Well I love lambs, whether gamboling in the fields or served up in a tasty stew.

robin andrea said...

I have often been struck by the simultaneity of events, and yes, the random dichotomy. Tuesday, the 14th, was one of those days, wasn't it? In the old, stoned hippie days we used to say, "it's all happening at once." Ain't that the truth.

joared said...

I, too, have been writing differently since the first of the year though I don't lack for thoughts about topis -- am just more interested in spending my time focusing on other matters.

I share your disgust with spammers (you wrote about this earlier this month) who all sign as Anonys. -- whose messages go automatically into my spam email which I clear out periodically -- they never appear on my blog so don't know why they waste their time and mine. All their palaver is such "crap" do they honestly think other bloggers are so naive as to believe their words?

Enjoying your many photos and the new life entering this world.

Yes, the L.A./San Diego/San Bernardino/Big Bear Mtn. "cop killer" event where he died was in a mountain area somewhat distant but closer than I would have preferred since nearby L.A. fwys would likely have been travel routes to and from and no one knew where he was. Have been there various times through the years, but alone only once a couple years ago. Our TV stations, all-news radio quite focused with many viewers/listeners paying attention -- some reports more accurate than others, but those of us familiar with local broadcasting can more easily sort some of that out.

I chose not to write about it all, but an ongoing investigation is taking place into his complaint of unjust firing and others have come forward with similar complaints about their firing. There is certainly no conceivable justification for his killings whatever the outcome. Hopefully, the L.A. Police Dept. will be able to reassure the community all these firings were appropriate and justified to overcome a sense of mistrust thought to have been overcome from many years in the past when race in L.A. and Police Dept. was problematic, before we lived in So. Cal.

As for the African woman shot by her boyfriend you described. I've long thought the mistake we often make in trying to understand how and why these actions happen is because we apply logic and reasoning inappropriately. Illogical and/or unreasonable thinking is often present, even if only for a brief time, defying common sense. I suppose that's partly why a person's job, or maybe even an actor, trying to "get in such a person's head" might get a bit discombobulated themselves trying to figure it all out and not lose themself in the process -- or, at least, so I've thought. Wonder what happened to Truman Capote's thinking after he immersed himself in life of killer(s) to write In Cold Blood?

Rain Trueax said...

I always enjoy your comments, Joared because they are so deeply thought out. You are right about murderers but I think I do it for several reasons. One is the interest in human motivation. If someone is a total psychopath and commits a crime, then there is no figuring it out. Others, sometimes there is. As a writer who does do villains, a few who have been psychopaths, I especially am interested in stories that might help me be more accurate in my writing, BUT you are right. I would not immerse myself in someone like that and can't imagine how some write books or multiple books on serial murderers, psychopaths or the extremely cruel. It seems like horror would not leave you when you wrote the end. I like to write, read, and watch what enriches my life. I can find plenty of angst with no help from any book or newspaper.