~ Let’s start with war.
“In the beginning there was war.” Or there were rumors of war, or there was a garden, and there was peace. Or there was a big bang. We believe what we want to believe and what we are taught to believe or what others expect us to believe.
I have been willing to write about ‘my beliefs’ on this blog. With each advocacy of a position or thought there comes the potential for alienation or offence or concern by the reader, by my friends, by relatives, or worst of all by those that don’t know me and don’t read more than a line or two – a one sentence sound bite of the passing eye. And yet, my intention has never been to offend anyone, nor to cause concern, nor to overthrow ones thoughts or beliefs or even fond memories. I write to challenge ones assumptions, to challenge the right to assume in a time when assuming seems so dangerous and so destructive.
How much (really) do any of us really know? Are there really experts that know any better or know any more (than we do)? I believe the answer is very often ‘no’, but I really don’t know. I only assume. I plot my path with assumptions, assumptions often carried over from yesterday, from the past, from another’s point of view. But perhaps this day is different. Perhaps this day everything really changed and I alone, or I in concert with others refused to see the original newness of this day and just assumed that it was another day, a continuum of dates, on a continuum of calendars foreordained or not by scientists, or religionists, or cultists, or just the common crowd of the believers and non-believers that we pass along the way, or that we are.
But let’s begin with war. There is a war on, in Gaza, in Israel, in Palestine, in Ishmael. It is a grievous war, as all wars seem grievous to me in these modern times when so many seem to believe in peace, not chivalry, not good wars that have good endings accomplished by the worst or most questionable of means. I might be wrong. Who can say when is it best that someone dies? Do you know? Everyone dies at some point, moves on, passes away to dust or heaven or dancing girls or a better place or an opportunity for more wars, wars without end – some call it hell and some say hell is good, or necessary, or at least justified given the universe the way it is. I have my opinions, my beliefs. Why share them here?
I want to rail against this war, the killing, the unfairness of it all. The Goliath’s name is David, all the power is on one side, all the killing too, and all the death seems on the other – 50 or 100 to one. Does this seem right? Or is right the reason? There are so many reasons for war, for death, for killing in the name of peace, or for peace, or to teach a lesson. Who is learning now? When will they ever learn?
There are no Jews, no Arabs really. But if you like to think of yourself as this or that or as a ‘whatzit’ or as a ‘whozit’ or just as a plain ‘zit’, that is fine with me. I don’t know you (really). You must have your reasons, your genetics, your bloodlines, or your race or your thoughts on race and races and the various victims and superiors of it all. You decide, but leave me out of it. I am you. But I am also ‘them’. So make up your mind before you decide to kill, to war, to make things ruined and new things be brought to learn. We’ll leave religion for tomorrow, but my calendar might not look like yours and even then ‘tomorrow’ may never come. This day may last forever, in my mind, for me, I don’t really know.
This is the season of vacation, of winter breaks and breaks from school and work and assignments and even a bit the break from news, from ‘breaking’ news at least. Some of us will come back after the first, in January, on or after the New Year or after a week or two or a month at least, or after another business has failed or person has been laid off or another mortgage foreclosed. Some will not come back. The planet seems to be unwinding, a business term, not ecology or green at all, just blue. I think the unwinding looks like blue, I could be wrong, it could turn out other ways. I’m good with blue.
There is no hurry now. No rush. No need to worry, to stress, to carry on (or out) the past from where the past was buried, dead long ago, it just didn’t seem dead till now, irrelevant and mean and I’m so glad it got me here but do I hear my mother calling, or is that just the word ‘scaffolding’ I hear. I love my mother, but now she’s gone. I can live with that. I have (too long) already. Is this reality, or a metaphor, or a warning, or what? You decide. It’s all up to you, but by this there is no implicit obligation, no drive, no orders now or ever, just the peace of the world be upon you. Wherever you go, go in peace.
I saw a movie recently, with my son, with my wife. The movie was entitled “Doubt”, a Catholic theme but maybe more about what is universal in us all, doubt about so many things, even if there is no doubt about God at all (unlike in the movie). My favorite scene is about the feathers, feathers falling every where and the good Irish leader says “pick them up”. I would. I would spend a lifetime sweeping, hand picking, pouring over each bush and bramble and looking under little stones and in frogs mouths and climbing up ladders and ledges to do it. It would be a challenge. It would seem a lot like life (to me).
The movie takes a different turn, a different twist of plot and fate and attitude. Not mine. But I don’t care. I see each movie my way. I carry home the message, the message as I see it or want to see it or would see it if I had written it, not others, just me. It is about me, isn’t it? Why else would I see a movie?
So I give to you your feather back. Film in reverse. The pillow will be made of feathers, feathers flying inward, toward the casing, random thoughts of peril all put back, encased, a good place for placing the head and sleeping, resting, waiting for a brand new day without enmity, or hate, or conspiracy, or bother. No insult (or injury) meant (or taken). It is just folks, people on the rise, patience against adversity. I close my eyes. And now I sleep. And now I dream.
And all my dreams are good.
[2008.12.30 / Tuesday – The Unwinding – Part 1]