composition in gray
Turkey day came and went. It was a good day. Our weather could not have been better, high 60s all day, sun out, pleasant. Spent noon to 6 with friend Jim Winfield, who is scheduled to leave for Thailand soon, waiting for flood water there to recede in Bangkok. We watched a little bit of a Noam Chomsky talk and put the tv on National Geographic documentaries about seals, another about salmon and sharks, without sound, visuals only. I know sharks are a threat to humans in the water, but that doesn't really concern me, because I stay out of the ocean. I figure the ocean is full of swimming things that are all looking for something to eat. Made of meat, I'm fish food when I'm in the ocean. It is for swimmers that get their oxygen from the water. I get my oxygen from the air, and can't help but think that up here in the air is where I belong.
I used to have feelings of fear when I'd see a shark. I see it something like a swimming lion. With me not in the water, I think sharks are great. I've learned so much recently about the endangered nature of the sharks, looking like ten more years and the shark population will be down to where it's unable to recover. I feel sorrow now when I see a shark, reminded of how necessary they are, how their population has been reduced considerably for their fins. The people that catch them cut the fins off and throw them back in the water to wiggle to the bottom and lay there wiggling until they starve to death or sharks the trawlers missed eat them. Shark fin soup is good luck, served at wedding receptions all over Asia. About all the fishing for sharks is pirates out of control, cannot be stopped, who have no more concern about taking the last shark out of the ocean than a Wall Street CEO does.
Seeing the sharks on a film made probably a few years ago, I could assume the sharks we saw have had their fins removed by now. We are both people who used to love to talk about matters of opinions at length. By the time we're in our own 60s, we've become less talkative. We like to talk, but tend to speak in shorter sentences now, single world exclamations, even silence. If we were Cubans we'd be good domino partners. We have known each other 35 years. I knew his dad before him. He's a Buddhist now, even a devout Buddhist, and likes to go to Thailand for the Buddhism there. He's been to Bodh Gaya, the tree where the Buddha found his enlightenment, a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists everywhere. He was there among thousands of Asians at the holy of holies. Werner Herzog made a film with a hand-held camera of the Bodh Gaya gathering (Wheel of Time, 2006), Tibetans everywhere, or people with the look of that region from Nepal, Bhutan, Southeast Asia. Beatific people. Serene.
This is how I would like to see the world of the future on the other side of this period of tribulation we're in, the promised thousand years of peace. We may have a spiritual revival like the world has never seen. Surely, the Jerusalem religions will be subdued, brought down out of their warrior minds imitating the Old Testament wars. What comes after this Jerusalem religions apocalypse, will have to be something on the order of Buddhist inner stillness, the Way of love. It can't be religions of people browbeating others to win everybody over to the Lord. If we're not to have wars in that time, surely the motivation to war will have to go away of its own accord, undermine itself by what ought to be embarrassingly too much. But nobody is embarrassed by war excess, except the people who pay attention, the ones called intellectuals, the first targets of a police state. They don't assassinate much anymore. They discredit, destroy reputations and credibility. The low down slime element of our government since November 22, 1963, when the Texas Oil Cartel took our government by coup, I thought they could not go any further. I've thought that before. There was a time I thought there was no way we'd make it to 1975, a time in the future it looked like everything would come due at once, meaning it's been like this for at least half a century.
It won't be like this in the thousand years of peace. It will be like at Bodh Gaya where people are happy to be together, communal food, the center of the universe. I've an idea we'll enter that phase of our collective evolution by sequence of events in my next lifetime. I remember in December, 1989, lawyer Lorne Campbell was in his last weeks, seeing the news of the Berlin Wall coming down and Boris Yeltsen announcing the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian experiment with Communism. Campbell said he never thought he might live to see the fall of Communism. Now we have people saying it was better under Communism. Like the time in the 70s when Russians were allowed to leave the country. A good many came to USA, New York mainly, and other cities. It wasn't long before a large number of them went back. They liked it better in post-Communist Russia.
Americans are complacent people it takes a lot to rouse. It's easy to rouse small groups, but it takes a lot to get people to come out and protest all day every day for weeks, now months. Conditions in the working class and middle class get worse year after year since 1980. You never hear anyone using the word Progress anymore. I've not heard it since the Reagan Revolution began dismantling all the progress of the previous half century. By now, we're back to Depression times. In the 50s, 60s, 70s Progress was an important optimistic belief system. By now the 1% have 70% of the money in USA. The 99% are an awful lot of people to function with 30% of the money. The Banks are strangling us. Our government is helping the Banks. It's not helping us. It's taking from the 99% and giving to the 1%. Our government functions for the 1%. The 99% are quickly declining toward a condition something like the serfs in Czarist Russia. Our American complacency appears to be making a turn toward action, as predicted by our rogue government in the light of absence of regard for We The People. FEMA has built concentration camps all over the country. They're ready for occupancy. The cop with the pepper spray may be just the beginning.