Wednesday, September 15, 2004

So, what do you want to be when you wake up?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe that's true. This one is probably worth a little more than that. HERE.

It's hard to post here, because posting here means having to read what others also write here. Reading what others write here you get a good cross-section of the country. I'd wager to say, with a few exceptions, you actually get a much more informed representation than actually exists; that's even more depressing.

We all know what it's like to feel insignificant in the face of apparently powerful world forces. Our single voice seems less than a sneeze in a hurricane. We may know that our voice is a part of the greater collective of world outrage but that outrage is seldom seen in our media.

Recently we saw one of the best threads in many a day here when Adam Morgan held forth on wearing a Peace Sign. I was impressed at some of the arguments. I was also shocked at some and even more shocked by who was presenting them.

A Peace Sign is a symbol. There are no words attached to a Peace Symbol; at least not the one in question. My impression was that the man was wearing a Peace Sign but he wasn't speaking to the subject. Unless he was speaking to the subject then no definition was given and no explanation is necessary. That's it, end of story. All the extrapolations in the world, all the variations on a theme are meaningless unless words and actions accompanied it. Far better arguments than mine were given, I don't need to add any more.

The war abroad is mirrored in the war at home. Abroad, the weapons are helicopters and tanks and much, much more. The identified targets are those actively resisting an invasion. Unless you feel that you don't have that right yourself, then they have that right. The actual targets are as much the general public as anything else.

In the war at home, the weapons are deceit and repression. Lies are reported as truths, even after being proven lies ...and dissent is dealt with. Take for instance this recent furor over the National Guard documents. Whether these documents be fraudulent or real, the information is true. No one has, or even attempts to refute that. You can be thrown in jail for wearing a t-shirt. You can lose your job for writing poetry or having a bumper sticker.

Quo Vadis America?

So what you do want to be when you wake up? For now you dream and it is an uneasy dream. Sometimes you feel you are under water and struggling to breathe. Sometimes you are being chased through dark curtains within yourself, hiding from the nameless pursuers. Sometimes you are scared and you are trying to get up, you think you are awake but you cannot rise from the bed. You are sure you are awake. It is only later when you wake up that realize you were still dreaming.

Every day we are born back into the same world with the chance to do something different. At the end of nearly every day we find we have repeated ourselves all over again. Are we really on rails? It is never harder than when we are trying to change. Something doesn't want that.

I hear the same things over and over. I say the same things over and over. I wax sublime. I get angry. I get angry at what cannot reason or hear and does not care and I wind up on the bar-room floor with part of an ear in my mouth.

There are some hard people here. There are some hard, cold hearts. Some unlived lives cry out for the blood of others in the name of business under the flag of progress.

Looking back the way I came I see that I have always had hope and that that hope was never mirrored in human events. Can I expect different up ahead? Though I have not achieved anything like what I thought I was capable of, I have realized that those achievements would not have made me a better or a happier person. They'd have just brought more mosquito's and larger bragging rights.

I may achieve nothing more but my dreams will keep me at it none the less; more fool I. At least I can comfort myself with the thought that I did no greater harm. We'd all like to be recognized for what we do but, given what is recognized and celebrated, what sort of company does that put us in?

The arbitrary manner of notable selection in this forum is mirrored in the greater world and probably with the same criteria for value. For every Tom Cruise, there are a hundred thousand wanna-be's pumping gas on the way to San Jose or their buttocks in LA....later to be judging dance contestants in Riverside. Meanwhile, blood runs, agony goes on and tears enough to flood the Mississippi fall on indifferent ground.

It's just a dream.

I've heard the words that proclaim that every heart will be comforted, that every tear shall be wiped away; and I believe that, I have to, despite what I have seen, despite what I see and despite the callow, wide-eyed target of my ongoing hope for a better world that I suspect far too many of us will never see... here.

I'd like to be better than I am before I wake up and find out I am dead. Frankly, I'd just like to wake up. Every time I do wake up though, the streets are far emptier that they were when I was dreaming.




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'I Need More Light' from the Les Visible Album
God in Country

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With gratitude to Patrick Willis.

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