Why

If our near extraterrestrial neighbors are aware of us at all, I’m sure we’re an embarrassment.  Must we forever be the savage planet?  Is civilization less a veneer and more an illusion?  Does it have to be this way?  Are humans really this bad – this hopeless?  Is war a permanent feature of the human condition?

Sometimes I wonder.  But then I think of Michelangelo, said to be somewhat beastly himself, and yet a font of beauty, transcendent and sublime – and I have reason to hope that we are better than our history suggests.  Even in all our crudeness there is something profound within us.

Michelangelo-Perfectibility

But sometimes it feels as though looking for the good in humankind is a fool’s errand.  It’s as if we’ve given up…stopped trying to fix what’s wrong.  Just started trying to grab whatever we can while any of it still lasts.

Not all of us of course.

kicking-bear-500

For standin’ in your heart
Is where I want to be
And long to be,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

Donovan CATCH THE WIND

jimi-hendrix_bold-as-love_MINE

I believe in my goodness
I believe in your goodness
I believe in our goodness
I believe we are all…so much better than this

Avalokita-RAS-2

With every mistake we must surely be learning…

Still my guitar gently weeps.

We’ve killed innocents and tortured heroes.  We’ve murdered babies by the thousands.

Southeast Asia.

Central America.

South America.

Eastern Europe.

The Middle East.

Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying.

And the good people of America go on about their business as if nothing real is going on in the world.

There must be some kind of way out of here.

We say we fight to protect freedom, democracy and the American way of life.  The truth is we sacrifice our young for empire.  We are Viking brutes with advanced technology.

indian-apsaroke-red-wing_MINE

We slaughtered the Indians and forced them to abandon their culture.  To this day we discriminate against them and conspire to steal even more of their land.

We are unmoved by shame.  We are unimpeded by conscience.

We are blind to the beauty in our own souls.

bear-bull-x2-500

We are immune to the glory that lies within and without.

Hubble-Orion-500pix
Hubble’s view of Orion

Despite the false history taught in our schools, despite the sloganeering, propaganda and outright lies, when we take courage and look at ourselves honestly it’s enough to make you run screaming naked into the night.

The revelations of our government’s skullduggery come now so fast and furious that it’s impossible to keep up.

We’ve wandered the earth killing people to make rich men richer.  No wonder we are hated.

Despite all the whitewash, hogwash, and rah rah, we have precious little to be proud of.

And the shame of it is we are all…so much better than this.

Standin-in-your-heart

earth-close-Peace-OPOL

45 comments

Skip to comment form

    • OPOL on October 20, 2007 at 7:07 pm
      Author
    • Diane G on October 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm
  1. http://www.docudharm

  2. Last night I watched a DVD of a film that I recommend highly to you and everyone else here. Trudell which is a biopic of John Trudell, one of the leaders of AIM and still now an activist, artist and poet. The film is amazing and inspiring.

    As always, you keep the fires burning.

    • Lahdee on October 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Can I have mind in bite sizes?

    The challenge of survival in this country strains one’s ability to ponder the larger questions. This in a country of great riches and power you ask? Where is the leisure time, where is the economic security? What about the children?

    I’m living the dream damn it; WSJ says I am, my boss tells me I am, pundits scorn me if I complain. I am, aren’t I?

    I don’t like the choices I have to make. I’d like to do the right thing, but when that’s defined by others what’s a body to do?

    I’d like to contemplate, to see the beauty, to let my conscience have it’s say, but I’m too busy. So sorry, gotta go.

  3. The good people of the world just want Peace.

    But in order to have Peace, the good people of the world have to fight for it.

    • Edger on October 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm


    • RiaD on October 20, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    And I just dipped in orange to tell you so there too!

    {{{OPOL}}}

    • Temmoku on October 20, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Love this post.

    • pfiore8 on October 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    his technical genius is maybe the first thing the eye recognizes… form and porportion, veins pulsing, fingers, toes… calves… curls

    but then the perfection of form falls away and you look into david’s eyes and see there the conflict of a man being challenged by god… you see the conflict of free will and fear and self-doubt

    and then the body language becomes something else other than living stone… but conveys the strengths and weaknesses of us all

    and our very beauty is in how we resolve those conflicts

    david… took my breath away

  4. I found this while looking for the Donovan song.

    Screen name coffeescup; She’s got such a sweet voice.

    Peace on Earth, Good Will towards Men.

  5. broke down time. He infuriated the powers of his time with his humanism and his depictions of the beauty and power we contain which is  our real divinity. These images reach across time and are so alive, when we are confronted by them we feel our grace and know our potential. Thanks OPAL once again you renew the spirit.

    • banger on October 20, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    …which in my view is more important than politics. Without a sense of being part of something greater, without sensing the play of creation, we cannot build a culture that balances out the tendency by the people who are content to worship brute force and “kicking-ass” who currently dominate our culture. They are tightly focused on fragmentation and alienation. We must all act as a force for cohesion and connection. Our connection to art and spirituality is our greatest strength.

    • Edger on October 20, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Alexa at NION:

    You already know the news.

    If I could make you laugh, or ease your mind, I would – and I’d feel better, too.

    I’m not giving up. I hope you won’t, either.

    The power of peace lies within each of us.
    –Willy Whitefeather

  6. beautiful work as always.

    I’m reposting what I posted at the Junior High over here, for whoever might like the edification.

    The biggest problem is that the people who make the weapons are the people who own the media.

    Life is also millions of anonymous acts of bringing chicken soup to the sick, but this is not a headline grabber.

    Wars however make headlines.

    Down in Mexico we see a warmer, kinder people who have time for each other or even lost gringos.  Oh but they love their families, they go to the beach with five generations in tow.  The children still play happily in village streets.  We don’t hear the bullying, the tantrums.  Almost never, save a few whiner grandkids who visit on weekends from the “big city.”

    You won’t, however, see this kind of people featured on the Lou Dobbs fear hour.

    Get out in extreme rural Mexico – we just drove through such a village on a Saturday excursion going wherever we ended up – and one can be blown away by some villages (the more rural the better) where people turn to look, smile, exchange eager waves at you, the stranger.

    I’m not kidding at all.  We were, just an hour ago, blown away at the quietude and friendliness of maybe a hundred people who turned to wave or smile.

    Why?  Who knows?  It can differ from village to village, and because the same mostly indigenous people have been living there as extended families in approximately the same area for hundreds of years if not a millenia, one finds that villages tend to likewise have characteristics.  One embraces you, one gives you the wary sidelong glance.  Most, however, are friendly in rural parts.  Unsolicited smiles and waves!

    Maybe some gringo in time past paid the hospital bills for a child?  Maybe a stranger showed kindness to a villager (which news, in Mexico, takes up to three hours to permeate a thousand households…).

    It’s not like that in the cities.  While decidedly friendlier than any city in the US, Guadalajara (7 million) is plagued with crime.  And of course Guadalajara will be the headline act in the news.  Not the innumerable acts of kindness.

    Just to hold up hope in this land which should probably be named, or at least known, as greater indigenous North America.  People are mostly Spanish by surname only in rural parts.

    I wish it were required of every candidate for a college level degree to spend minimum six months outside the US.  Or to learn at least one other language.  I think that is part of the problem.  On a macro level, like some little villages, national tendencies become ingrown… especially when people travel so little and know but English, live 90% of their lives indoors and spend an average of 30 hours/week watching that fear mirage called television (that’s averaging in people like us who don’t have TV – plenty of people spend more hours watching the tube than the average).

    Once upon a time I bet Iraq was a friendly place too.  Just sayin… until the guns and TV crew showed up. They produce the same terror every time.

  7. And bittersweet.  Thanks OPOL.

    Keep on shining!

    • KrisC on October 20, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    of which politics is a subdivision…
    “Rusted Root” for you, OPOL et al..

    Powered by AOL Video

  8. our potential….
    and our expression within our potential are distinguishable and observable…..

    insight is  given to the warm heart….
    the hard heart has none……

  9. in Florence. We gave it to his dad as a 60th birthday gift. There was a huge surprise party. The man of honor proudly attended to the door, whenever the doorbell rang, while proudly wearing his apron. Truly hilarious.

Comments have been disabled.