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How You Know You’re Dead, Part 3 February 18, 2006

Posted by Yvonne in Distinctions.

What is it about this conversation (see more at part 1, 2, 4 and 5)? Seems there’s still more to see about how un-alive life can be …

  • You are easy to get along with in a quiet, boring kind of way.
  • You break no taboos.
  • You no longer feel doomed.
  • You are in total control of yourself.
  • You confuse movement with action.
  • You think saying something communicates.
  • You are holding the bag, your horses, onto your hat, and other relatively useless things.
  • You don’t cooperate.
  • You employ a kind of rigor that is mortifying vs. enlivening or empowering.
  • You cuss very little.
  • You have lots of average days, one after the other.
  • You gave up all the roles in your play.
  • You don’t get cast in dramas, tragedies or comedies, only melodramas and soap operas that endlessly repeat.
  • You can’t tell what story you’re in.
  • You miss your entrances and exits and frequently bungle your lines.
  • You have no need to get anything done.
  • You don’t mind the loneliness, not really.
  • You take no chances.
  • You have a dry mouth.
  • You will never be fired.
  • Your dreams are buried with you.
  • Dust, mold and enclosed spaces don’t bother you much.
  • When people ask how you are, you say: fine.
  • You haven’t said anything new in quite awhile.
  • You don’t growl at appropriate times.
  • All your visitors wear black.
  • You mistakenly think driving a car with the right emblem will make you feel alive.
  • Your socks never get holes in them.
  • There are no daring adventures in your calendar for this week or any near future.
  • You finally realize you were always naked under your clothes, but failed to notice this important fact.
  • You never see rainbows anymore.
  • All the fast and figures you memorized in High School are now useless, but they still take up space in your mind and are referenceable whenever there is a lull in conversation.
  • When you are done talking, the people around you are more dead.
  • Having accumulated a big bank account is now exposed for the ruse it is.
  • There are no lights on at your house.
  • You have no clue why you are listening to the music, watching the TV, having the conversation, or coming and going as you do.
  • You have no concern about what to eat.
  • Although you never met that person, you vote for the first candidate listed on the ballot for the party who sent you an ID card last year.
  • You have no new ideas.
  • You are safe from realizing the unpleasant contradictions you have created it for yourself.
  • Nothing creates an ethical clash for you.
  • You never move unless acted upon by an outside force.
  • You only be the way you be at home at home, and you only be the way you be at the office at the office, and you only be the way you be with your family and friends with your family and friends. You only be the way you be here here, and you only be the way you be there there. You never be the way you be here there.
  • You think you are alive.


1. T K - March 12, 2006

Hey Scoot, just found my round-to-it. I read your other “dead” blogs and found them interesting. there are so many people who don’t quite understand the concept of the “living dead”. Mea and I had a conversation on this a while back that I would like to share with you. She sits with the “special” kids at lunch. One of the kids doesn’t talk or anything. He has a “special needs” lady who follows him around to his classes and is supposed to be “helping” him with his adaptation. Mea had brought up the conversation as to whether I thought anyone was home inside this boy. She had said he had caught something of hers that was about to fall off of the lunch table and then quickly retreated back into himself. She had explained that there was a spark of life in his eye when he looked at her after retrieving the object, but it left and he went into his “robot” mode again. I said most people visit a place that is just their own world. Most likely, if this boy had been this way for a long time, people just ushered him around thinking that this is just the way he is. I told her to let him come to her, don’t chase him. To chase someone in this state of mind is to push them back further. To let them come to you is to bring them out. When she got home the next day, she was excited. She told me she had made some little joke and winked at the boy. She saw the spark in his eye. After a week or so, he had wrote asking her if she would go to a dance at school with him. After she cleared it with her boyfriend she went. She said the “special needs” lady was there with his Dad. She went over to the boy and asked him to dance. So he got up to go to the dance floor. She told me that out of the corner of her eye she saw the lady start for them with a scowl on her face, but the Dad put a hand on the lady’s shoulder to stop her with a look of wonder on his. She was so proud of what she was doing with this boy. It’s great to be alive, and great to bring life to the “lost and forgotten”. She helped him to be someone. Miracles are really neat things when you give a little wink and a smile.

2. Nancy Williams - April 10, 2006

This story reminds me of why I took to having my life be about bringing Montessori to the public school systems worldwide: When my children were young (thirty years ago), I worked as an assistant in their Montessori school. One day, the director, Rebecca, accepted a 6-year-old girl, Jenny, who was diagnosed as being uneducatably mentally retarded. Jenny screamed, spat, scratched, and kicked as a means of communication. (Her parents had taken her “the world over, examined by the best” and just had a feeling Jenny could be helped, so would not give up trying to find a way to help her.)

As I was cleaning the shelves while the children were outside, Rebecca sat Jenny down and knelt directly in front of her and said, “Jenny, I know you’re in there and I’m going to help you come out. It’s going to take a lot of work, but together, we are going to get you out.” Then, after the children (thirty 2.5 – 6 year-olds) came back in, Rebecca held a special “circle” to introduce Jenny. “You’ve probably noticed that Jenny communicates differently than we do. Nobody ever taught Jenny how to do the things you can do. She really wants to learn; she really wants to have you all as friends. She just doesn’t know how. If we all work together, we can help Jenny learn these things. It’s going to take all of us working together. Jenny needs to learn how to control her legs and arms and we have special exercises for that. You can help her do these exercises. She also needs to learn how to do things with her hands. You can help her learn these things, too. You can also help Jenny learn how friends treat one another.” All the children helped and within several months, Jenny was speaking quite well, certainly as well as any 6-year-old. She was climbing, able to dress herself, had friends, was peaceful and happy, was reading, was beginning to write, was doing basic math. Was this a miracle? I think the miracle was that Jenny’s parents happened on Rebecca’s little, unpublicized, country school. I think it is sad there are so many Rebeccas in the world.

Since Jenny, I have witnessed several “unreachable” austistic children come out, integrate, and transfer to mainstream schools. While perhaps it might be enough to simply be admirable at the special gift teachers, parents, and therapists like Rebecca have, I am moved into action and have become fiercely dedicated to shifting the social unquestioning acceptance of the “professional” oppressive and erroneous diagnoses, those barbaric condemnations of the Jennies to the prison of the Living Dead, to the Rebeccas who consistently reach deep down into the psyche to lend the lost soul a guiding hand.

I hope Mea considers reading and exploring Montessori articles and books to enhance her beautiful gift of “seeing” people. All this, and what I really wanted to say is, Brava Mea!

3. Nancy Williams - April 10, 2006

Edit on above message: I think it is sad there are so FEW Rebeccas in the world. I would be happy to have many Rebeccas.

4. Yvonne - April 15, 2006

Nancy – Thanks so much for your inspirational post. I’m going to be sure Mea sees it.

I’ve been thinking myself about gifts and connecting with others … will write soon …

5. Rod E. Smith, MSMFT - April 20, 2006

wonderful — Rod Smih

6. James - October 27, 2006


Every white has its black, and every sweet its sour…

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