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men, arm in arm?

April 8, 2015

Is it significant (or just a coincidence) that most of the Lithuanian literature I’ve read has focused on men, men, men?

In the historical (i.e., pre-20th century) Lithuanian literature I’ve been reading, written by men, when women appear at all, there have been 3 female archetypes:

  • the young, beautiful & nubile love interest;
  • the protagonist’s doting mother; and
  • the old hag, bitter that she’s not young & beautiful anymore.

= = =

For months, I’ve been composing a mental list of books of poetry I want to buy to teach myself / improve my poetic craft skills.

All the authors are men.

When I look at women authors (whose books I rated equally highly) in my Literary Spreadsheet, I either already own their books (but don’t feel drawn to them for this project), or… I feel strong internal resistance against including them in this project.

= = =

Could a secret aspect of dream-Lithuanian signify… exploring masculine ways of writing poetry?

Exploring masculinity altogether?

Is part of my own secret heart… masculine?

= = =

Have I been “fixated” on JM as long as I have, not just because of the (considerable) trauma aspects, but because… he’s a guy?

Dream-JM, I have often recognized as signifying “my deepest self”. I’ve run screaming from admitting that, even in my own mind, because of my horrible history with the real person, but… what if there’s truth to it on a different level than I’ve been perceiving?

{Because we’re cousins on my mother’s side, the real person-JM is as Lithuanian as I am.}

= = =

In my mind’s eye, I’m seeing my old friend from grad school, Kelly (a guy), my brother D, and the real JM.

What could the 3 of them all have in common?

Well, I’ve been friends (or at least “friendly”) with all 3. Other than that, though, I’m running aground. Personality-wise, Kelly’s an INFJ; D is an ENTJ. I don’t know what JM is, but I’ve speculated that he’s INTJ.

= = =

A phrase from a SFF favorite popped into my head: “The hope of their house”.

I don’t recall what Kelly’s birth order is, or if he even has siblings. (He is midway between the ages of my 2 oldest male cousins on my mother’s side though.)

My brother D is the heir to my mother’s atriarchy now, but she’s the one who pushed me out of that spot; my brother didn’t. If he’s the hope of the house, gods help them. (Although he’s much more like my mother than I ever was, so my displacement actually makes sense in terms of continuity of shared values.)

I don’t know how the real JM is regarded by his branch of the family. His oldest sister seems to be the social-hub, but I don’t know if she’s the atriarch-to-be (her parents are still alive). People talk about one of his older brothers as if he’d been the Golden Child all along, but growing up, he was anything but. And JM is the youngest of all of them — how does he hold his own among so many other strong-willed people? I don’t have any idea.

{Does he still hero-worship my brother? His brother(s)? Don’t know that either.}

If these 3 men popped into my head solely because they’re competing ideas of masculinity… why not any of the other guy friends I’ve had over the years? Marty. Ken. Carl. Paul. Loren. Wayne. Bree. Spouse. John. Roger. Ernie. Kevin. Matt. Plus, all my guy Twitter-friends.

= = =

I confided in all 3 of them. But only Kelly was emotionally supportive — he’s the first person I ever told I’d had a nervous breakdown. He was easy to talk to; and he didn’t judge, even when we disagreed about some serious topics. I remember a conversation where guns in the context of gun control came up; I assumed he was anti-gun like me, but it turns out, he grew up hunting. In someone else, I might have felt in danger from that, but I didn’t; we just agreed to disagree.

Not only was he willing to be seen with me — we had lunch together every 2 weeks for a couple years — but after returning from a long trip, he hugged me in the cafeteria. It was lovely, but I was so surprised, I initially stiffened up, didn’t know how to respond.

Paul was touchy-feely too (like I am), and Ernie, but they were both my parents’ generation.

So I guess that’s a third thing Kelly, D, and JM have in common: I’ve hugged all of them!

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