I’ve always liked the song “Losing My Religion”, by REM…one of the verses says:
The hint of the century
The slip that brought me
To my knees, failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around?
Now I’ve said too much
So, yeah…what if all the fantasies come flailing around? What if what we are fighting for, dreaming, fighting against, came around? What if we won? How would that be, what would that be, who would we be? People used to say, maybe they still do, “careful what you wish for, you just might get it”. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, sometimes the solution brings about more problems. More problems…it seems that we always have more problems. Without the problems, would there be simply boredom, lethargy, malaise? Would we tell stories around the kitchen about the good old days, when every day was a new battle ground, a new outrage? How would we be without that? Anger is such an incredible motivator…it will be harder than people think to have peace.
Maybe peace should not be the ultimate goal. Maybe the ultimate goal, and the ultimate commodity, is wisdom? That sounds rather lofty, and vacuous, but…I don’t know how one can be at peace without being assured of their own survival, and without having a perspective of abundance. Until I know that I can return to the well as many times as I feel thirst, I will be obsessed with my thirst and obsessed with the possibility of the well going dry. My obsession about the well going dry will eventually cause me to be paranoid about the motives and possible interference of everyone else, and I will have no peace. If I’m ambitious, I’ll get proactive about ensuring my water supply and will probably take action to protect what I have. So that nobody else can get it. So that I know what I have and it’s safe. That’s how afraid I am that I might not have enough…one day…but probably not today…but I have to be ready. Have to stay ready. This is serious business.
This notion of advance preparation reminds me of another song…”Life During Wartime” by Talking Heads:
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
Everything’s ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
I might not ever get homeThis ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain’t got time for that now
This is war, I suppose. We are fighting for our lives, in ways that we don’t even understand. We are fighting because we can’t be sure that we can survive, that there’s enough out there to support us. I’ve said for a long time now that our planet has enough resources to support us, all of us, the billions and billions of us and the animals and the plants and everything far and wide. There is enough, but not if we dole it out inequitably…one for me, none for you. Two for me, 1/2 of one for you. That doesn’t work, and we end up wasting a lot of stuff. Rather throw it out instead of giving it away for free. Yeah, that’s the way advanced intelligence would do it.
So. It definitely ain’t no party, ain’t no disco…but still…I’m losing my religion. Do I even have fantasies any longer? When I speak of dreams, they are simply things I want, things for which I have a frame of reference. I’m not sure those are dreams, or fantasies. I would imagine a dream is something that is not real, not breathed into existence. Yet. Fantasy may be something not even possible, like maybe a dream on drugs or something not tethered by my understanding of reality. Or vice versa. Or maybe both-and. I don’t know, but what I’m thinking is that we sometimes don’t imagine or say “What if?” any longer. How would I want the world to look when I wake up in the morning if there was no more racism, if overnight there had been some cataclysm of divine intervention, and race, ethnicity, skin color, culture were simply…non-issues. What exactly would that look like?
First, I have to say that eliminating racism and the dividing lines of ethnicity and skin color and culture would not necessarily, nor immediately, make a perfect world. We’ve got a lot to do before we can eliminate the dysfunctional systems that uphold and gird those forces. The systemic infrastructure, its roots, are us. We’ve got to do a lot of work on ourselves to figure out when and how we’ve been contributing to that status quo, intentionally and unintentionally and sometimes because we don’t know any other way. The groundwater is tainted, the soil is contaminated, but we are living with it and just trying to get by.
Oh, no – I’ve said too much…I haven’t said enough. I definitely haven’t said enough, and not in places where people might listen, where my voice might join with others to shout. That goes back to previous discussion about confidence, and second-guessing whether anything I have to say is worth saying it, let alone listening to it. But, that’s neither here nor there at the moment. I haven’t said enough. And I don’t need to be in this damned corner any longer (NOBODY puts Baby in a corner!). What comes to mind about that, too, is…there are no corners in a circle. This whole linear arrangement is really not working for us…we need more circles and curves and way less rigidity. WAY LESS. Rigidity, and perfectionism, is part of the white supremacy culture, so…let’s get past that. Human beings are going to fuck up, going to be far less than perfect. If you want perfect, find a deity that has some time on their hands. You won’t find it – and shouldn’t find it – in people. There’s actually a spirituality of imperfection, and there’s actually a book by that name that I will have to look up later, but I believe that to be true. I’ve discussed previously the difference between success and mastery, and mastery implies way more spirituality than success. Success is linear – did we go from Point A to Point B, as our goal said we’d do? Yes…or No. Mastery is going to have a number of checks in the No column, and that’s fine. Lack of success does not mean losing, does not mean uselessness. The experience is the goal, not the end of experience. Mastery implies that we’re still on the journey, still on the path, and … wait for it … there may be joy in it, there may be insight and meaning that are entirely unplanned. Unplanned, but essential to enhancing the fabric of life with colors and textures and sound and … who knows what else. If we planned the journey, it would be merely a transaction, and not a relationship with the journey. There me, there’s the journey, and there’s the new thing consisting of me and the journey joined together. Me with the journey is a totally new thing, and it is more than the journey and more than me. You don’t get that by going from Point A to Point B; a linear path is not necessarily a journey, only a means to an end.
Perhaps I am being too hard on linear modality. I suppose there are times when that’s necessary, like driving to an designated place or going to the bathroom. I’m not sure I have much of a relationship with my journey to the bathroom…I suppose I have one with my body, although usually my bladder is in control of the conversation. But body relationship is another issue, and we don’t need to go there. At least not yet. But I digress. Linear may have its place, but it is not the place for everything. For instance, I have railed against using Robert’s Rules of Order for the business of less formal groups and organizations. To me, it’s elitist and exludes a great number of people, those who simply do not know all the formal machinations of that tool. If you don’t know the difference between a point of order and a point of privilege, or when it’s allowed to introduce an amendment to an amendment of what’s been introduced, at best you’re going to have a blinding headache. At worst, this is nothing but form over substance, and you and your substance are going to be shut out of the process, and out of the business at hand. Icky poo. With all due respect, I choose NO to dear Mr. Roberts and his Rules. Rules are becoming more and more passe’ for me, come to think of it, so…thanks but no thanks.