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Thursday, June 19, 2014


romare bearden

This morning waking around 7, I turned over to go back to sleep. Lying there waiting for unconsciousness to take me away, my mind went to grumbling. I'd switch channels, think about something else, the grumbling continued. The gripe that ran from one concern to the next was seeing so much hate boiling throughout the country. Remembering in childhood what we used to call American individualism, gone now, given over to you're right or you're wrong. We've gone from individualism to a rage for sameness, from attempting to understand to zero-tolerance. It used to be important to "let your conscience be your guide." In today's world going by one's conscience is a direct line to prison. Cops used to just kill poor black people and say, he had a gun. Now they're killing poor white people too. "You're wrong," is something spoken freely now like it's good grammar. It wasn't long ago that saying, "you're wrong," was rudeness its very self, though it's how we talk now, meaning my opinion is valid, yours is not. I can't give over to it. I'm still locked down in individualism, rights of the individual to be cool or a geek, following conscience and allowing others their individual rights. It's like everyday life has become a true-and-false test. You're either right or wrong. Too, sameness has been every bit as much an American passion as individualism, two sides of the same coin. The time of individualism was in what I call the Acoustic Age, before electricity. In this time when all traditions are breaking down, evidently American individualism and reverence for conscience had to go as well. Historians will have a ball deciphering this time when, as usual, the politicians can only be counted on to lie to us, and the press is corporate-controlled propaganda telling us even bigger lies than the politicians.
I'd turn again, switching channels, telling self I pay too much attention to a world I have absolutely no say in; what I think and feel is of zero consequence. Vote? The Supreme Court put an end to belief in the validity of voting. The general falseness in human society, civilization, pulled me into resentment, wanting to do something about it. What? Cry? Growing up being taught in school and believing the individual is an important entity, it's hard to see the individual reduced to a marketing target and a product in one. I tell myself over and over, let it go. Some months ago I turned my back to news about politicians and started paying attention to the news among people. Killings. I see fascist-minded teabaggers strutting about, AKs slung over their shoulders, making noise about Constitutional rights, confronting cops and intimidating people around them. If they'd been black, the news would have been about the cops killing them, not just one or two cops, but an army of cops. When it's white boys: Zup bro? Seeing the hate in racism that has been hunkering down out of sight come to the surface, it's like seeing a volcano spewing steam just before it blows. This is the part that concerns me most. As for the people involved, I say let them do what they gotta do. They're the guys I avoided in school, bullies and the jerks that hung around with bullies. Morons is what I thought of them then, and I was not an A student. Didn't take much to see it. I don't like to use the word anymore, like idiot or stupid. When it comes to invalid sweeping generalizations, it's the apex of egoism to say such of another. Other people use the words, I don't care. The restriction is only for myself by way of my own reasonings that are not necessarily somebody else's.
I lay in the bed thinking, What are you doing to yourself? Paying attention to the swirling shit in a wastewater treatment plant. I was seeing my mind occupied with what's wrong, injustices, hate, killing, racism, and in one word, the false. From channel to channel I found resentments, judgments, dislikes aplenty. I started to see it was my own resentments and judgments that drew me to these pie slices of the news. I was drawing these details into my mind the way iron filings fly to a magnet. The theme went on relentlessly until I started getting it that I am bringing myself down. That somebody killed somebody in a Waffle House is over and done. Me thinking about it isn't going to do anything but mess up my mind with details so not relevant to my life they're only distraction. I hate it for a suburban American college student pepper-sprayed in the face by a cop for wanting a better world where this doesn't happen. But it's something every day. I find that caring for all the mournful causes around the globe and people being mean to each other takes me into my own dark side and holds me there in resentments, aggravation, disgust, suppressed rage: drama for drama's sake, something to do when there's nothing to do. I see movies and read to entertain my light side, and pay attention to news to entertain my dark side. I can call that balance, but it's out of balance. It appears the static of the distractions rules in my mind. I think of listening to the Charlotte FM station, 90.7, driving on the Parkway. When I pass a wall of mountain on the south side of the road, the Charlotte station is gone and a station from Blacksburg, Virginia, comes in with static. When the south side of the road opens again, the Charlotte station comes back, sometimes with the Blacksburg station in the static background. Both stations carry the whole range of static along the stretch north of here for several miles. I saw my mind this morning divided between two stations, neither one coming in well.
I turned over again wanting to stop that thinking and it wouldn't end. I thought, meditate or something, focus on empty mind, see one thing  and stay with it. I saw Jenny and Jack and the meadow glowing in sunlight. I felt love well up from heart into mind and flush it clean. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes. I let the donkeys stay in my mind for awhile and felt my heart glowing with a feeling similar to how it felt seeing Mongolian landscape and the people. It was love. I caught on that my innermost self has a love for Mongolia I was not consciously aware of, except for a deep longing when I see or hear of Mongolia. Eighties band Devo comes to mind: Mongoloid, he was a Mongoloid. Seeing Jenny's face draped over the fence chewing carrot got me going. I said, It's time to get up. I'm not going to lay here and cry over donkeys. Get up and go see them, rub their ears, enjoy them. I stepped into my shoes, went to the kitchen, filled a couple of cups with bird seed, took four carrots from the refrigerator and went out the door. The donkeys were standing at the gate looking at me. I said, "Hey, Donkey Jen. Hey, Donkey Jack." They watched me go to the two birdfeeders. When I started toward them, both went to squealing like they do going into a bray, Jenny with her head over the fence and Jack pacing back and forth with his head down. My heart welled up and I felt a wave of tremendous happiness handing each one a chunk of carrot. I talked to them like usual. Jack likes for me to call him friend. Jenny likes it when I call her beautiful donkey. They understand. I told myself if I can turn down the electro-magnetic attraction to the false, to that which has no bearing on my life in any way except to wreck my mind, it would really be to my benefit. Don't have to do it all at once. Just turn it down and keep on turning it down. Withdraw further from that mind. What's left when it goes? Love, a meadow in sunlight.
jack and jenny


  1. Caught your blog today and I have to say that you are one of the most awake people I have ever met! It's not easy being that awake, you have to guard your enlightened sensibility from all the insanity the world has to offer. also, once you are awake it is nigh impossible to go back to sleep. I'm so glad that you have the donkeys to guide you back to other realities!

    1. Thanks a bunch, Colinda. Last night I was telling myself to send you a link to it, didn't get it done and said I'd do it today. It is heartening to have your affirmation. You had a major role in my awakening. You are where I learned the importance of play with children, rolling a ball back and forth, being an audience when they want to show something new they learned. Tuning in to kids has been a great plus in my life. I'm grateful to you for so much that most of it has gone to the subconscious and woven with everything else so I can't even find it to add to the list. You are a very bright light in my life.

  2. The world is a screwed up place Tj...We need to practice the Serenity Prayer ..... that which we can change...I have stopped watching TV and especially the news...Can't stand to even listen to it when Bob puts it on and that goes for the PBS stations which once upon a time I thought were safe to listen to...none of them are any more...they are just sensationalism...Save you waking thoughts for things that matter like carrots and bird seed...The donkeys love you and the birds appreciate you...Take care my friend...Give Jenny and Jack a nice pat from me...I have grown to love them as well...