Saturday, September 15, 2018



How important is conjugating a verb
or mastering Algebra?
How inspiring is a brand that stifles?

Charting impossible is adventurous,
but what of resistance from those who diagnose,
chose from labels pre-set, who resist possibilities,
accept excuses?

Hail those who prod, inspire, dare to dream
of glass ceilings shattered,
who seize the day,
rules changed; mother bears
ferociously guiding, challenging.

Burning is talent unrecognized, world at peril
as Einsteins in basements
collect government assistance
neglected of inspiration and an equal place
to live for today so we have tomorrow.

Why is "different" only applauded
when it's outwardly beautiful?
Why are we unable to see within -

why does it scare us?

Margaret Bednar, September 15, 2018

It isn't that being "labeled" is bad, it is what comes with that label.  Back in Grandin's childhood days, it would have meant institutionalization - and look at her today because of her strong-willed, highly educated mother - who fought the "establishment" and in my opinion, a hero.  A significant percentage, perhaps, of computer "nerds" and people like Einstein have changed our world - are (were) most likely somewhere on the Autistic spectrum.   What miraculous discoveries are not being fulfilled because of coddling, "sympathy", or labeling that thwarts their genius?   In my opinion, today our school systems, college degrees, etc. are set up to do quite a bit of harm to these individuals (to anyone who learns differently - my son might be mildly dyslexic) ... who need to have education personalized, learn differently from the majority...  What will our future be missing because "administration" and government regulations stifle their progress?

I watched the movie "Temple Grandin" (a "watch now" movie on Amazon Prime) and then just couldn't let this woman go and I googled her and have listened to many of her conference talks and interviews. HERE is her specific web site.  Below is an interview you might enjoy:

This if for two prompts.  One is "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Music with Marion - Made for Now" a Janet Jackson video and have applied the sentiments to this poem.

I also hope it qualifies for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Challenge - Resistance".  
Of which I apologize as I think I missed the actual point of the prompt - to delve into that which blocks us from our inner poetic voice - what do we avoid saying, feeling - therefor not writing our best truth... ?  I think it's a bit too deep for me to figure out ... 


Jim said...

Were the Pioneer and Pilgrim women scared? I think possibly Annie Oakley was not. I say Mrs. Jim is a good Pioneer woman. Scared? (many men are also, of the unknown)

Margaret said...

hmm. Maybe I didn't make it clear. It isn't about fear, (maybe I should find a better word than "scare" for the end) but about ignorance, about settling, about... stifling what could be... We label children, don't push them because we want to (over) protect and they believe they are helpless.

Jim said...

I hope you are dry and safe. We, Mrs. Jim, our younger daughter, Adi(our Beagle dsg), and I had to leave our home through a high window in 1979, Tropical Storm Claudia gave us 33 inches of water in our house, almost covering our cars too.

Margaret said...

33 inches~ 10 are predicted - starts sometime Sunday. We will be fine - the worst I can imagine is a power outage due to a fallen tree. The mountains will swell in places and flooding will occur I'm sure - but it will be short lived as water recedes quickly around here. I was supposed to be in an airbnb this weekend on Topsail, NC RIGHT WHERE THE HURRICANE HIT. Such a gorgeous place - I fear what it looks like now. The poor people. Thanks, Jim, for the concern.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Why indeed. If there is resistance, there must be counter-resistance, the undertow of regression and smallness, of settling for settling for. There is false and genuine resistance, measured out culturally and personally; and in a relativized world where anything can mean anything, why bother at all? So to hold to true north and stand for that -- what else can we do? Watch TV? Lots of questions in your poem, I wasn't quite sure where you were pointing, maybe there is just so much to point at these days. What is the opposite of "branded," that to be resisted? Balance? Indeed. Should keep you busy ... thanks for joining in the challenge, stay dry! All that stolen moisture has left Florida in mid-September heat riot.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Why is "different" only applauded
when it's outwardly beautiful?

This is a very good question.. very on point with the way of the world at the moment.

Anmol (HA) said...

"Burning is talent unrecognized, world at peril...": I love the commentary that follows in this stanza. You raise some really significant questions. Labels are used to denote the 'other' primarily, and this othering only leads to violence or pity. There is required a resistance against social ethos and structures that limit the expression or numb down those who could do the next revolutionary thing for the mankind.
Like you say, let's change the rules and break those glass ceilings and make the best use of that "different" label and wear it as a badge while dreaming and soaring to the best potential.

Marian said...

And what is "beautiful" anyway?
I struggle with many of the questions you've raised, Margaret, and appreciate this post. Will go find this movie.

brudberg said...

I think that any real resistance comes from asking questions rather than giving answers... and actually any change is better solved by have us sense the questions.

Maybe the real resistance is the struggle we have to take with all those questions, maybe that's the purpose of art and politics. In the end I think Einsteins of the world have not started by solving a well known problem, but giving a solution to a problem no-one knew existed.

Margaret said...

The Einstein’s I refer to here are those autistic individuals who are not bent challenged - Tempke Grandin the movie proves how valuable these people are and yet back in the day they were institutionalized and today often coddled - “labeled and not challenged. The resistance was her heroic mother who didn’t accept the standard, who questioned and insisted on her voice being heard for her child. It’s an amazing movie - you should watch it.

Margaret said...

I wrote this poem in response to the amazing movie “Tempke Grandin” so maybe that would help one understand this poem. You would like this movie I think.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love your reference to Temple Grandin. Thankfully, such brilliant minds are no longer institutionalized. I really enjoyed your poem, Margaret.

Margaret said...

But as Temple points out, many are languishing in their basements playing computer games collecting government assistance because of the way our schools are structured and the “label” of autistic has hindered them instead of given some of them opportunities to be the future “Einstein’s” they could be.

annell4 said...

You poem talks of a sad tale, that relates to so many. And yet, I think we are learning more everyday, how to see, how to teach, how to live, and how to love. We are a" slow sort".

Sanaa Rizvi said...

A masterpiece of a poem, Margaret💞 Especially admire this bit: Why is "different" only applauded when it's outwardly beautiful?😊

Sara McNulty said...

As many have already said here, Margaret, the question you pose about difference only being applauded when outwardly beautiful , is an idea to seriously contemplate. Love this poem.