ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the June 2, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "flexibility" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"Dynamic Play"


Lawrence is not a morning person
but he has a morning routine
that he follows on days when
he's not sick or otherwise scrambled.

He's done it since he was twelve
and realized that girls were not
any more attractive to him
than they were at six, unlike
the other boys in his class, and
maybe he should think about that
instead of taking his love life
straight out of the box.

So Lawrence starts his day
by thinking of his ideas and feelings
and worldview in general.

Over the years, he's gone from
thinking about sexuality
(gay, thank you very much)
to thinking about school
(nerd, not jock)
to thinking about morality
(how does Stan even begin
to make sense out of this?).

This is how Lawrence recognizes
when he is outgrowing old ideas
and needs to find new ones
to put in their place.

It is an exercise as familiar
as setting up the chessboard,
a series of mental stretches
meant to improve his flexibility.

He's good at dynamic play.

Lawrence pulls up a random newsclip
to use as today's example, about
a lab fire where a police officer and his dog
rescued the mad scientist who started it.

That hits pretty close to home.

It is easy for Lawrence to think
how he would have handled
this kind of incident last year:
walk away from it.

It is easy to answer
his latest question:
What would Stan do?

Stan would have done
exactly what the cop did:
rescue the idiot supervillain.

Stan has a thing for idiot supervillains.

That brings Lawrence to his current dilemma,
which is he doesn't want to be a supervillain anymore
because he knows it can put Stan at risk, but

he's been doing this for so long now
that he isn't sure how to stop.

What would Stan do?

Stan would pet his hair and
tell him to be gentle with himself.

So Lawrence brushes his hair,
silver waterfalling through his fingers,
and tries to see himself in the mirror

the way Stan would.

* * *

Notes:


"Dynamic play occurs as a result of frequent structural changes that demand constant reevaluation of one's strategy. These changes are usually as a result of tactical threats or significant changes in the pawn structure."
-- Chess Glossary

Morning routines such as these examples can start the day on a productive note. You may use an app to help you get through yours if your body wakes up before your brain does.

Self-awareness is an aspect of emotional intelligence. People reflect on such things as sexuality and morality. Know how to develop your self-awareness.

Morals and ethics include many aspects. Moral questions include applied, normative, and meta ethics. Here are some common issues and questions. Lawrence's practice of grabbing a random article is helpful for considering your stance on current issues.

Personal ethics relate to your position on the moral development spectrum. Understand how to develop a code of ethics.

Major changes are an inevitable part of life. Know when it is time for a change, how to make it, and how to cope with the resulting stress.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-04 06:06 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
It seems to me that he's already pretty much stopped being a supervillain. What he's having trouble with now is how to make the transition to the other side of the cape. I think this is where a conversation with Fiddlesticks might be useful -- Stan's worldview doesn't have a whole lot of nuance yet, although he's improving.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, the next question Lawrence really needs to be answering is, "Do I want to be a full-on superhero?" Because in Terramagne, there are a number of options available outside the hero/villain axis, and maybe one of those would suit him better for a while... and allow him to gradually leave his supervillain career behind, in the category of, "I was young and stupid, and did some things that were dumb."

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-05 01:39 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
It also might be interesting to have him hang up the cape for a bit. At the very least, a "who and what are you as just plain folks?" exercise.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 03:11 am (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
I actually thought about that, in fact - there are probably talents that are very hard to set aside, or maybe even can't be.

But that's also a bit different from thinking about being a cape (as I understand the term). He can't set aside his powers, but he might want to set aside the thought of himself as a powered individual who has to choose one side or the other.

It might not be the right path for him (as in, it might not be 'right' for him to consider hanging up the cape for a bit) - but it's an interesting path for exploration. Heh. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a known (if not excessively popular) set of teachers or retreats that encouraged this.




Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 08:20 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl, laughing with her eyes closed. (!Me happy)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
That's true, and he's not really thinking about it that way. He's thinking: What would Stan do? And Stan is a superhero, so that's what Lawrence is trying to be, without considering whether it's the best choice for himself.

He'll get there, though. Either because his morning routine evolves to the point where he can see this himself, because someone pointed it out to him or because something happened to force him to notice that what works for Stan is not necessarily what works for Lawrence. He's a smart kid and he's already made so much progress from where he was, but I'm not sure that, right now, he has the experience or the resources to ask himself whether "Is this the best choice for me?" is a question he knows to ask, not about this particular topic.

For all his strong sense of self, he still has some aspects where that sense is lacking. This looks to me like it's one of them. It's all new and uncharted, so it makes sense for him to stick to the examples he's got. They provide a road map he can follow and study the landscape of. And even if it turns out they don't lead to destinations he wants to go, at least they're going in the same direction as he wants to travel in for a while. ^_^

I really enjoyed this poem. It's very sweet and gentle. ^_^

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-07 11:48 am (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl, laughing with her eyes closed. (!Me squee)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
I have some notes for poems about Antimatter & Stalwart Stan involved in superhero activities, and also with Stan showing Lawrence about odd jobs and community-supported agriculture so that Lawrence can see some other ways to use superpowers besides committing or fighting crime.

Ooooooh, sounds neat! ^_^

You're not going to end up in a bad place by following Stan. Might not be perfect, and it might take him a while to figure out how to get you on your best path, but he's not going to lead you through bracken and briar on the way.

That too. And you've already said Stan'll start nudging Lawrence to look at which path works best for him eventually. For now I think Stan's still content to let Lawrence simply follow and get used to the scenery? It's a big change.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-16 02:46 am (UTC)
mama_kestrel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mama_kestrel
What I love best here is that when Lawrence is looking for a positive perception of himself, he tries to see himself through Stan's eyes.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-04 12:27 pm (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (W.T.F ?)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
"So Lawrence starts his day
by thinking of his ideas and feelings
and worldview in general.
"

Waitaminute... you mean people don't normally do this?

Which is to say, that's part of my boot-up routine too and I thought everyone did that!

Huh, well, that makes sense of how some people are... I just thought people were clueless or had really twisted perceptions of reality... the idea they might not be able to recognise and change and adapt when they ran smack into an out-dated notion, didn't occur to me.
Edited Date: 2015-06-04 12:28 pm (UTC)

Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-04 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Waitaminute... you mean people don't normally do this?

Which is to say, that's part of my boot-up routine too and I thought everyone did that! <<

Many people don't do it at all. Some do it at other times. Mine is more freestyle; I'm most prone to it in response to something I've read, which online often prompts me to make long replies after linking something. Or car rides, we get into deep discussions sometimes when we're bored.

>> Huh, well, that makes sense of how some people are... I just thought people were clueless or had really twisted perceptions of reality... the idea they might not be able to recognise and change and adapt when they ran smack into an out-dated notion, didn't occur to me. <<

Yes, this explains a lot. Some people have a mental pencil but no eraser.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 01:04 am (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (I.C)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
Huh.. I guess some people don't so much think, as just run programs. Possibly on an Z80A processor.
Edited Date: 2015-06-05 01:05 am (UTC)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Yes, that's true. It is especially true for people whose traits place them near the mainstream more often than not. You get used to being able to just grab things and use them without having to think about it or modify anything. Stan managed to get pretty far before he bonked into something that wasn't quite as expected -- and even then he's just, okay I like boys too, and moved on.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 01:24 am (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (Default)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
Hmm, it occurs to me that's axiomatic that the mind is a muscle, if you don't use it, it gets flabby and atrophied. So, if you just bumble along in the mainstream, accepting without question the preconceptions you're handed, it follows that you wouldn't have the mental muscle or tools to process something that doesn't fit. At which point, most people just sort of glitch, reject the data as faulty, and move on as before.

Stan at least integrated the new data about himself, which is slightly better... but I wonder if he's really processed it. I mean, he's treating Lawrence as friend... not necessarily as a lover. [or at least, so it seems to me.] I suppose Stan isn't necessarily an 8-bit brain though, he does do quite a bit analytical thinking in other respects, just maybe not as introspective as Lawrence is say.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-05 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Hmm, it occurs to me that's axiomatic that the mind is a muscle, if you don't use it, it gets flabby and atrophied. So, if you just bumble along in the mainstream, accepting without question the preconceptions you're handed, it follows that you wouldn't have the mental muscle or tools to process something that doesn't fit. At which point, most people just sort of glitch, reject the data as faulty, and move on as before. <<

Yes, exactly. That happens a lot.

>> Stan at least integrated the new data about himself, which is slightly better... but I wonder if he's really processed it. <<

He is in the process of discovering a new facet of his sexuality. He can't process it until he explores it. So he's actually integrating a little bit at a time.

>> I mean, he's treating Lawrence as friend... not necessarily as a lover. [or at least, so it seems to me.] <<

No, that really is Stan's customary speed. He's demisexual. He makes friends quickly and lovers very slowly. He was the same with Angelica. Which is fine especially in high school -- holding hands, kissing, going to the movies, etc. is far healthier than hopping in the sack immediately.

What Stan does not realize is that he's one of those bi folks for whom female and male partners feel very different. There's overlap on the social stuff, but when he starts exploring the sexual stuff further, he's going to smack into some things that he thinks he knows but doesn't because they won't feel the same.

>> I suppose Stan isn't necessarily an 8-bit brain though, he does do quite a bit analytical thinking in other respects, just maybe not as introspective as Lawrence is say. <<

They're both quite good at emotional intelligence, but in opposite ways. Stan is good at the interpersonal parts, while Lawrence is good at the intrapersonal parts. Stan hasn't felt much need for deep intrapersonal work, and Lawrence hasn't have much opportunity for healthy interpersonal work. These things are changing, which pushes them to learn new stuff, which is a good thing for both of them.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-08 04:24 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
*pauses a moment to reflect*

I guess I learnt how to do this too...

I didn't *set out* to... but the Universe had other ideas.

'sfunny. After all the things I'd been through where somebody else said "enough", when I finally got enough clue that *I* was the one that said "enough", the Universe said, "ok, FINALLY, now have a Real Relationship. No, *right now*."

*looks at wedding ring* y'know, I'm okay with that....

Those two have a long way to go... but having gotten this far? I think they're going to have to work at it to screw it up irrecoverably. They've got that *trust* thing going... the kind of thing where the words "we need to talk" *don't* provoke an "ohshit" reaction...

They say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone... I had no idea how powerful *having* that kind of bedrock trust was until I *had it*.

I hope more people find that with their partners, or find partners with that.

Thoughts

Date: 2015-06-08 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> *looks at wedding ring* y'know, I'm okay with that.... <<

Congratulations all around!

>> Those two have a long way to go... but having gotten this far? I think they're going to have to work at it to screw it up irrecoverably. They've got that *trust* thing going... the kind of thing where the words "we need to talk" *don't* provoke an "ohshit" reaction... <<

Yes, that's true. They got such a rocky start, it was all up from there. And the trust is solid because it's something they've chosen to build.

>>They say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone... I had no idea how powerful *having* that kind of bedrock trust was until I *had it*.

I hope more people find that with their partners, or find partners with that.<<

I hope so too. That's part of why I write some of this stuff.

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