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Pens are hitting the pages hard tonight.

Blind alleys with hidden mirrors

were showing the way.

Moments repeated in song

thousands of time,

now exist as only air.

No one saw it all coming–

they were all too busy watching, eating,

convulsing.

And now they’re all going off.

 

As the lights dim down

and that particularly

murderous black of midnight

sets up its seat,

I am driving home.

Following all the curbs and corners

sprinkled with rain.

 

I trail off in thought.

The same way these wet city streets shine

from the flashing lights,

our country too is shimmering tonight

just like these trash stars

glittering in the gutters.

The new fireworks of the forefathers,

the modern mediocrity.

A cheap trick, a slight of hand.

 

As I near home, I am reminded of a reminder.

We feel with our ears and think with our eyes.

And so it is then.

Simple and know.

I will listen to those afraid of love.

I will be my own

America.

bill-the-butcherAmerica is changing, and it’s changing fast. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum and your relationship with the ever constant of change, opportunities now exist only as invisibilities to the naked eye. The physics of our philosophy has evaporated into thin air and left us with a new found form, no longer solid in structure, shape, or size. The power of the present is being shuffled to the past for rewiring and revision, whole chunks of our history are being discarded and disavowed. The right here and right now mentality is being sold and suppressed, diverted and deluded while we are all trying to hold on and do our best each and every day. All too well I understand that at times it has seemed hard to maintain eye contact or to give attention to these rapid changes and the reality of our nation’s current standing. At other times we have all downright avoided it entirely, in a sense to save ourselves. Neither are wrong, and at the core of who we all are I truly believe that we are all doing our best–each of us.

The time for a revolution has long since past but to only hold this as a past discretion of such would be to deny the power of the present moment and what we have the ability to do as a people that have come together and risen above tyranny and turmoil throughout our history. Less than two hundred years ago we fought against our own brothers in the Civil War. This war was a tragedy for any nation to endure but in such a short time, such division and loss of life nearly broke us entirely. It too was a victory in the face of evolving ideas and with the passing of time a healer to more wholeness and unity. Less than a hundred years later we fought to protect freedom from tyranny twice in World War I and World War II. These wars too had great repercussions among millions dead and the trust between nations shattered. But once again we pushed the baton past the point of permission in the face of intolerance and injustice. We once again stood up for our ideals and prevailed.

This is the simple nature of history. Our lines of morality and beliefs remain, at most, invisible until they are trampled under foot. Then they become emboldened. We don’t as a nation philosophize about our morality, but we know at our core what we believe and when it has been breached.  We don’t know what we are willing to fight for until someone or something crosses over our beliefs and we feel violated. For example we didn’t know we despised the ruling by a monarchy until we were strong armed by the tariffs and taxed without representation. The nature of history is to highlight the lines crossed and the lines created. Through the identification and recreation of these lines we get a sense of our center, not individually, but collectively as a nation. We all help to make up that collective center. We have seen our center move toward equality for everyone with each passing decade, perhaps slower than most would prefer. America though, in its relatively short history has been bruised and beaten by this fundamental law of history, and all the while it is better because of it and stronger too. Well, mostly.

Since the beginning of our nation’s history, people in power have been playing with our politics. Behind the closed curtains, players have been pivoting pawns and pieces, helping to create an ideal environments for each of them to secure their place amongst the great game of government. They have done this. And we have let this happen. Either because the disillusionment, diversion, apathy, or avoidance. Frankly, it doesn’t much matter. We are all at some level angry, ashamed, and divided with each other and ourselves because of it. The broken system. These are the feelings that help us to identify that a belief has been breached, that a line has been crossed.

For the past thirty years or more we have taken on a different, more modern approach to our core relationship with history. We have not let the violation of our moral lines lead us to righteousness and redemption to the collective levels we have seen in the past. We have not been, en masse, at odds with the forces that continue to falsify the fabric of our nation’s design. We have somehow gotten lazy in the face of our liberties. We have gotten comfortable with believing that change is something we all have to deal with, not something we can help to shape. Whether it be because of the Internet and mass information or for whatever reasons, that is for another day.

We are now past the point of a revolution in the classic sense because any revolt would require and entice violence on a scale we would all prefer to not experience, let alone imagine. In whatever way you look at this, we would lose. Our government is too strong and too intolerant in the face of opposition to make space for new ideas. Example, they are violently opposing peaceful protests happening right now in the mid-west. But socially we have the ability to move the line wherever we see fit. Our power as people doesn’t not rest in the threat of our brutality but in the light of our brilliance. The powers that now control politics and most of the institutions we rely on cannot and will not ever be able to control the nature of social evolution. Every time, social evolution has won in the face of opposing forces. Women’s Rights, Segregation, Civil Rights, LGBT Equality, Union Workers, etc. All of these examples are by no means perfect as of today, and in their own rights, each has been pushing the boundaries still and each stands as pillar of social change.

Millions of people support Donald Trump. Millions of people support Hillary Clinton. Millions of others support neither. Of those that support Trump, most of them are living in a place of fear. They are fearful of an overpowering government controlling their constitutional liberties, of elected officials not representing their voices but instead being swayed by corporations and lobbyists, of their hard work getting exploited, of foreign hate groups wreaking havoc on their people and of their personal values not being recognized. We can quickly label them as radical, racially intolerant, conservatively close-minded individuals if we want, but this not that type of article. I am not interested in sides and division but instead I am interested in discussing solutions. Of those that support Clinton, most of them too are living in a place of fear. They are afraid of residing in a nation where all people are not treated equal by the constitutional liberties that stand as our nation’s foundation, they are fearful of conservative values infiltrating their branches of government and disregarding the separation of church and state, they are fearful of politically incorrect and intellectually unintelligible individuals representing their country and the relationships we have with the international community suffering because of it, they are fearful of radical hate groups, they are fearful of our nation’s youth dying at the hands of gun violence. And, everyone is worried about taxes, abortion, education, and the economy. At our core, we are all scared. And, we are not so different.

And, we can change this. We can take back this broken system and breathe new life into its dying body. We can revive the rotten roots of the tree of liberty by all participating in a social revolution that takes advantage of our digital age. Not to subversively suggest but deliberately debate, to not dismiss and denigrate but permit and persuade, to not hate and hold but to love and let be.

If instead of creating a political environment that served on behalf of us, we participated in a social revolution that served a political environment that represented all of us, we would be better off. All of our lines and all of our centers would be clearer, as would the direction of our future to follow them. We are losing the understanding of our politics and our government because we have unknowingly allowed experiments to evaporate the foundation of our nation. A foundation that is built on progress and collective change. It is the fear that comes out as racist, it is the anger that comes out as intolerant, it is the pain that expresses itself with apathy and disregard. We may be some of these things separately, but we are none of them together. Our center is far from hate and fear and we get to decide where it goes from here.

We are all scientists, we are all experimenters, and we are all capable of creating meaningful change in our lives and as a nation. A good scientist doesn’t have to break a barrier, but he must be vigilant, persistent, purposeful, and objective. There are experiments worth testing and lines just waiting to be identified. Don’t expect it to be easy, history is here to remind us that it won’t be. But it is also here for us to look back on and be proud that we pushed it in the right direction, whatever the pace.

When You Dance

When you dance,

let your spirit dance too.

Let your hair fall down and

float into the air,

and let your eyes radiate

like the light from the skies.

When you dance,

let your spirit dance too.

Let the space you fill be endless,

and the hands you hold be

like those of your own.

Let your feet be free

and watch as you begin to take flight.

Like a feather,

like a cloud.

When you dance,

let your spirit dance too.

It has many things to show you,

and you,

you have much to learn.

dt

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Ten years ago, I remember giving up on keeping up with American politics. At least in the conventional sense. I stopped watching CNN, 60 Minutes, and NPR to get basis of my political updates. I scarcely read the newspapers for anything other than sports reports and movie times. The only way I could bear the burdens of staying informed about the daily news in Washington was to watch Will Ferrell on SNL impersonating George W. Bush. Or Jon Stewart embracing the suck of the current stigma by proverbially sticking a ten inch satirical dick up its ass and hoping that through some kind of laughter revolution we might change or improve, or better yet, evolve. Unfortunately, satire wasn’t the savior. At best, it only created a new camp for the elites and their followers to put them into. The classic American way of dealing with a self-created dilemma, give them 40 acres and a mule and hope that they shut up. In other words, they all got a one way ticket back to where they came from with some new found pseudo-sense of community that others felt the same way they did. This wasn’t a win or a draw but once again an escape. The elite had wiggled out of a wormhole and found themselves on the other side. The only problem was that acknowledgement was never what the people were after.
It was always about change, and it still is. Change to the American landscape and the bullheaded patriotic idiocracy that blinds us for bettering ourselves because we can’t stand feeling any sort of shame towards our past. We have compartmentalized our successes and our failures, as opposed to realizing the culmination of the both of them is what truly makes us stronger, and is who we really are. We have even tried to re-write history with our own pens and if not for the digital age of mass information we would probably continue this behavior with some success. The slaughtering of natives upon colonization, the oppression and malicious treatment of Africans forced over from their homeland, the deeply rooted realities of tension towards any foreign face, the dismissive and callous treatment of women, the consistent exploitation of the poor and the working class, the avoidance and lack of compassion towards the homeless, the persistent challenges of small businesses and working class families, corporations buying politicians, the media being sold to the highest bidder, and so much more. We haven’t owned any of this yet. Yes, some have. But we haven’t. The same “We,” that starts the greatest document in our country’s history. The “We,” that stands as the pinnacle of modern democracy and freedom. The same “We,” when at it best and brightest units us all and lifts us to live amongst the heavens of our ideals. That “We”.

There is a healing that happens in the aftermath of expression, it is both simultaneously a feeling of letting go and a feeling of integration. Both are equally as important in healing whatever it is that is being revealed or expressed. America, collectively, has only ever given credence to the prior. And this is no one person’s fault. This the culture that we have be born into, the culture that we have learned to embrace. And either unknowingly or haphazardly we have continued to deny the power of change and our abilities to emerge. Shame and regret are not feelings that we should simply let go of after we have acknowledged them. They are feelings that should help to create a new sense of “center” in each of us, feelings that should guide us closer to being more fully-realized, more wholly ourselves with less veils of our own judgments and insecurities. There is nothing more powerful than a human being embracing their mistakes and living in the light of their truth. The recovered alcoholic that mentors the lost and lonely youth, or the once homeless man that now helps to service the shelters of the city. These stories serve as an example of redemption, but before redemption one must accept and appreciate the road behind them. If change was molded only by hands that held the wisdom of their entire experience, what would the world look like?

So, what is the greatest shortcoming of the American people? It’s our inability to love the parts of ourselves that we hate. Historically, there is no denying this truth. Whether we like it or not, Donald Trump is a part of ourselves and if we disagree–great, but that isn’t enough. I’m not esoterically trying to preach the message of love. If you aren’t aware of its power, then there isn’t much for us to talk about and I wish you luck. But if are someone that believes in change, you must first embrace who you are. Spend a moment sharing something vulnerable with a stranger, take that opportunity to tell that embarrassing thing you did so someone else can learn from it. We are all each other’s teachers, and Donald Trump is truly teaching us a lot about ourselves as Americans. He is teaching us about our stifled relationship with the shameful and the uncomfortable. If you truly disagree with him, wear your mistakes with pride, your shortcomings with satisfaction, and carry your heart with humble compassion.
Someday, if enough of us live this way, the “We” will change and it will be, in part, because of you. Music always starts and ends the same way, in silence. Change is no different. It has always begun and ended with you.

Inverted

There’s a tiny little
hole in the head
of a crazy, crying baby,
breathing in all that is life
for the very first time.
One day
he will be the president
of the united states
of america.
But just for this moment,
as he hangs inverted,
crazy
and crying,
he isn’t rich,
or royalty,
or entitled,
or anything at all.
He is simply,
a new born baby
learning how to survive.
Learning how to breathe

And the tiny little
hole in his head.
Well, it’s no big deal.
He’s just crazy and crying.

You know the deal,
god bless america…

Destiny

Restless with life,
but afraid to live.
Weary with wisdom,
only left now to worry.
We are always
alone with our spirit.
Love is unbound.
And the heart, unbroken.
The torch that guides you,
rests inside.
This is what they mean
when they speak of
destiny.
Forgive them for making
it so complicated–
we all do this by nature.
But you
don’t have to.

The only way to heal hatred is to view it as pain.
Once you see that the souls of the world are only hurting,
you will remember back to a time in your life
when some too helped you heal your hurt
by offering only their love.
This is the cycle of life.
This is the sole responsibility that comes with awareness.
Nothing else matters.