Sunday, April 17, 2011

All We Need Is...

Every Saturday and Sunday for nearly five months, both to the Mountain and back, I have driven past a field with a small white flag representing each American soldier killed in Iraq. This winter, another section of the field was dedicated to Afghanistan. Yesterday, with the melted snow, I noticed the total number had been raised by a hundred, impressing dramatically the idea that while I danced on the slopes, lives were torn apart.

Rolling Stone Magazine published this week infuriating evidence that the 2008 bail-out money that was to re-stimulate the devastated economy simply went into the deep pockets of the bankers who created the problem in the first place. Apparently they figured out a way to borrow from the Government at point 25 percent (0.25%) what they could loan back to the Government at 3% to “pay” for the program, profiting 2¾% percent every day since! This comes very hard to me who gave up my home because I could find no solution to the sub-prime mortgage I had been forced to take to finance my business (12 1/2% to those same bankers) or close the door on neighbors who were counting on me.

In Congress, a certain party who lied to us so we would start a war that only seemed to profit the Vice President’s company (he had a “blind” trust we are supposed to believe) now blames the deficit on social programs that spend less in a year than the Pentagon does in an hour. They vote to increase tax cuts to the rich by eliminating a program that takes drop-out drug addicts off the streets, teaches them to use a hammer and lead a productive life that could repay with dollars this very same program that had saved their lives.

Blatant choices, so obviously immoral, make absolutely no sense, but are being made without a pretense of regret or apology, the rich and powerful having as much tea at their party as Marie Antoinette had cake. Long an advocate of Democracy and the balance of our system to check opposite forces against each other, I am appalled and frightened by the lunacy. Moderation having been the result of so many years of argument, I cannot understand how two years after the change of Presidents, we can so seriously be looking at the end of PBS, Planned Parenthood and even Medicare itself.

One hears there is no chance this budget proposal will get through the Senate, yet I am aghast that these issues and concerns are before us at all. The optimism and tears of hope so recently expressed seem lost to the battle cries from the right and drowned out by the helpless (though eloquent) screams of the left who seem unable to do anything about it.

In our personal focus to survive, we seem to drive past the little white flags, like graves on the battlefield, blind to the tragedies unfolding, oblivious to the corruption allowed and the much deeper problems it creates. As we witness revolutions succeed or violently repelled in foreign lands, the unrest at home festers. Unable to find work that suits my talents, or even feed my humble belly, my own anger grows.

The end of the world (as we know it) is predicted for December next year and events on an international scale both natural and unnatural seem to support that momentum. Most of Shakespeare’s work, both comical and tragic, begins with the order of things unbalanced, “unseemly” and out of tune. The screech in our world today, like fingers on a blackboard, is painful and terrifying when we pause to look around and a crash so much larger and devastating than 2008 seems inevitable.

Yet, embracing the people around me, never have I felt more comfortable, protected and cared for than right now. On a human-to-human level, love seems to rule the day and people are reaching out across the fence from the yard next door and around the world over the internet. Impossible barriers of separation like the Berlin Wall are tumbling and a global movement is afoot to think more locally and take care of each other like never before.

Less and less on Facebook are mundane quips about a meal, while more valuable messages are being created and distributed. Likewise, our own individual creative energy has room to blossom and take its humble place in the world. Voices are heard when people speak out and a pure and simple message can proliferate across the universe.

Love does conquer all. There are those accumulating wealth and desperately trying to hold onto their apparent power, but the balance is off and many of those rising the highest will have the farthest to fall.

I should be grateful, therefore, to be in this “lowly” place, but my heartfelt gratitude has nothing to do with circumstance and everything to do with life and love. In many ways I am aching for more in my life, but I feel enough love from the blessed warmth in my heart to make every day seem worth the awakening.

There are sons and daughters, friends and lovers who have touched my heart. Although the world can seem like a cruel and violent place, that my heart has been touched at all wipes out much of the pain of that darkness and chaos. I move toward the brilliant light of love, embracing and acknowledging those around me as best I can.

Despair and uncertainty nibble at my toes, but love shakes them off. My heart so open opens other hearts. I feel energized basking in the warmth of another’s love. There is plenty for everyone, enough to flow into every nook and cranny of fear and resistance, to bathe every soul, rich or poor, Republican, Democrat, American, Iraqi, Libyan or Chinese.

Love, if we truly invite it in, will somehow sustain us all.

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