Maybe Not This Time
Broken Tho’ts for a Monday Morning
This morning I’ve gotten the report that the National Guard has killed someone. The streets are too dangerous so we take to the streets. Take down the fuck signs, please, the haranguing tirades. Someone will shoot you just to shut you up. The sweet potato has sprouted thru’ the ground & I have pepper seeds late demanding to be planted.
Go away & come back, grieve & keep talking. Say what you think, say what you feel then stop & listen, encourage your friends to speak & your enemies. You’ll hear fear & anger, embarrassment, desire & sense. You may even hear of the way to move in reality. The way to preserve the land of breathing creatures. Unless you intend to provoke a fight. Everyone likes a good fight.
(Men w/ tall hats on horses w/ swords cutting down protesters in a cull de sac like wheat; machine guns on roof tops; tanks in the street.) Carry off that screaming woman. Her rage has been well noted, baffling the frightened guard. Get rid of those fuck-the-cops signs unless you want to get shot; want mortar rounds dropping into your neighborhood. Let the apocalypse be a revelation.
What we want is communication; confront & listen & work out the changes. The police depend on each other in chaotic brutal terrifying situations; charged w/ making the place safe for conversation, they protect each other & we give them guns & clubs. This too often gives them an attitude. Too often they become scarred, furious people w/ guns & a license to kill. And, then, they have to be removed; taken to a safe, quiet place where they can possibly become human again.
The city is a war zone every day. Listen, follow instructions; there is one, a united one, higher than the oppressor; the produce of the earth belongs to everyone. Even the president & the C.E.O. depend upon the field – the field of lentils & rice, corn & beans, squash & cucumbers, greens & tomatoes – green ones & red ones, yellow ones too. Be careful that what you do will help feed the people.
I suppose there are many who have their guns ready & may be going out this morning for more ammunition. Jesus said to die. He said to give away all you have. He said, follow me. He said, watch & ask – plead. He said to everyone, pay attention & get to work. The produce is coming in. (Monday, June 1, AD 2020)
Maybe Not This Time
When I woke this morning from a locker room where I couldn’t find my shoe & the one I had on, probably not mine, I tho’t I heard helicopters like Nostradamus stepping out into a vision. Outside it was only the morning traffic headed for work; a good sign & pleasant again like waves roaring in from the ocean. Sirens then too. No report yet on how things went last night. My neighbor who had been among the protesters every day told me she expected it to be rough.
So, I tuned in again just after five p.m. to Nick P’s live stream from the front lines where the protesters had gathered preparing to walk, preparing to chant, You Can’t Stop the Revolution when three police came among them bareheaded & faces uncovered; two black men & a white woman. They came w/ left hands on belts, right hands outstretched to meet what appeared to be the point leaders of the protest who looked confused for a moment but quickly accepted the hand & knelt w/ them there on the pavement in the evening sun.
They prayed & talked & listened to each other. No weapons visible. There was a woman who wanted to continue yelling, not ready for any kind of reconciliation but she was soon gone from the picture. Someone complained that this was just P. R. by the cops but I don’t care. Conversation is good no matter the reason.
The conversation went on for several minutes & ended w/ embraces & the march began; first one way that was blocked by the usual police line then another, first waiting for the light to change, the honking cheerful cars to pass.
Yes, there are good cops; men & women of compassion & courage there to serve & protect, trained in de-escalation. I don’t know many police personally. The ones I do know, I trust as I would any friend. Maybe the scenarios from history won’t repeat themselves here. Maybe the beast won’t overcome us this time.
Still I am concerned. The virus certainly doesn’t care & there may be others. (June 2 AD 2020)
Back to Work
Our father, strength of the sky
In hope that your reputation be kept clean,
Your movement noted, your pleasure accomplished
On the ground as it is in the sky;
See that everyone has enough to eat today
And pick us up, put us back to work
As we have done for everyone in our way
Don't take us off into deep water to see what we will do
But snatch us away from disaster & rot
A Short List of Wicked Ways
A Short List of Wicked Ways
With Invitations for Turning
(Suggested by the work of my friend Dr. Leigh Conver)
from Resentment toward growth
from Pride toward freedom & graciousness
from Deceit toward hope & instruction
from Envy toward authenticity & unity
from Greed toward wisdom and contentment
from Cowardice toward trust
from Gluttony toward realism & cooperation
from Lust for Control toward mercy & truth
from Laziness toward love
January 6, AD 2020
I wasn’t ready for Christmas to be over – too many people I hadn’t spoken to, too many songs I hadn’t sung so I tho’t we’d wrap it up w/ an epiphany if possible – the wise kings riding down thru’ Jerusalem w/ their gifts provoking the governor to have all the babies killed but the little lord Jesus gets away to Egypt, his dad being tipped off by an angel - leaving considerable weeping by the mothers of Judea.
I’ve come to a tolerable understanding of the spiritual world – tolerable to me though perhaps not to anyone else. I’ve struggled toward faith since I was no longer a child – never able to give it up but not quite able to find a trusty place to stand – to stand under – to understand – my conclusion being that the clean intention (aka the Holy Spirit) has led me by means of my doubt – my unbelief – wanting to come to the source & find a good reason for living till I die. I’ve never disregarded the stories – the story.
The job, I’ve come to understand is the rescue & preservation of existence & the making of a kind of peaceful unity that requires no coercion. The way to this is in finding ways to be helpful – taking care of yourself & your family & your neighbors & your enemies. This requires death & resurrection. Trust this as much as you can & in any way you can.
I’ve not been a very sociable person so that’s what I’m working up to now, finding it as always difficult or impossible to follow thru’ w/ my intentions, still, it’s not helpful to get bogged down by failure – losing sight of what’s really going on – the kindness you’ve been shown, the kindness you have shown, the determination to live & love & laugh sometimes – seeing the wonder beyond your personal disappointment you can practice forgiveness & “keep coming back.”
There is color in the sky now between the houses. I can see it & suppose from my experience that the day is about to begin. Perhaps this will be my love letter to my family this year – my friends too & possibly to the competition, the ones who would impinge upon my progress. Perhaps there will be further conversation.