I feel more every day like I'm understanding the time Herman Melville was in before and while writing Moby Dick. He saw the nation dividing into factions that fell into hating each other unto wanting to kill the other by way of war. Corporate propagandists today have divided us into factions that hate each other. I can't tell if it is getting more intense daily or if I'm just recently aware of it. The division has always been there. It has never been a problem before, under the American belief that each man and woman has a right to their own way of seeing. We have been consciously divided by way of propaganda since 1980, a step at a time. Expressions of racism today have a hard edge of hate out in the open, arrogance. Before, the racism was the same, it was kept to oneself and one's circles. Much as I dislike seeing such vehement hatred out in the open and increasing, I also see that these dark shadows in a culture are the same as dark shadows in individuals--to be dealt with, we need to bring them to the surface to assess how to deal with them. Hatred surfaces, works itself up and needs to be burnt off by way of a fight or a war. War amounts to, essentially, burning off hate. The hate the right-wing media pumps into their audiences appears to me without conscience. Political ideologies don't do conscience. Neither do belief systems, nor corporate coups. I read Moby Dick made aware by Melville himself that hate was swirling in the political air of his time and he saw the American experiment, democracy, in peril. The white whale, white supremacy, broke and sank the ship of state, a democracy of people from all over the world, Captain Ahab dead and tied to the whale's side by harpoon ropes, Ahab a teabagger of the day without compromise.
I tried to read Moby Dick again a few years ago and could not get with it. I found John Huston's 1957 film of Moby Dick with Gregory Peck playing Ahab. It was a remarkable American film. Orson Wells delivered the sermon in the seaman's chapel. It was old-time New England Primitive Baptist style. I felt throughout Melville's story a civil war on its way. I feel the direction American politics has taken in this time is toward civil war. Again, the justification is immigrants of color. I have the division in myself. Last summer I came face to face, not by my choice, with Reaganista Supreme Parrot, the Congress person of my district in NC, who does not represent me in any way, Virginia Foxx. I felt like hell opened up and this presence emerged before my eyes. I backed away automatically. She put out her hand to shake and I could not touch her. I would have had to go straight home and soak my hand in kerosene to exterminate the cooties. I acted like I didn't recognize her, I, a demographic profile of a Fake tv viewer and Limbaugh listener. This angry old white man was angry with her. I could not speak. I froze inside. It was awkward and she handled it well, distracted herself with someone else. The next one paid no attention to the news, cared nothing about politics, had no idea who she was and did not care. She handed me a business card fancy with gold print, which I dropped in the trash soon after. Then took it back out of the trash, thinking it would go good with my collection of things it's really weird for me to have.
Earlier in the day I was on the phone with my friend Lee, who lives in New Mexico. We talked some about how we both love this period of our lives the best of any other. We both like to stay at home, like being at home, prefer and enjoy the solitary life. In both our cases, we've become comfortable enough with ourselves we don't need to go looking for distraction. I stopped in at the grocery store for some coffee filters I forgot to buy two days before. At the register, from behind, a familiar voice, Hi. We spoke and hugged. She said, "What are you doing?" I would not let self say, Standing in line at the grocery store. Too redundant. I said, "Staying at home." She showed a long face like to say, Bummer. I said, "There is nothing sad about it." She said, "Really?" I said, "There's no place I'd rather be than home." She just accepted it, already knew I was weird. Glad our conversation was cut short by the momentum at the register, I said, Bye, and proceeded on my way. Somebody from the past, from a chapter that ended long ago, a few cycles back. Six years ago I trimmed down the people I see to the people I care about who care about me. In this time of the life, I know who those people are. I've done my time having superficial associations. I don't do it anymore, and don't care who it pisses off. I'm flowing with this cycle, happy with it, staying at home. I don't even like to cross the county line, except knowing I'll be back to sleep in my own bed. I have my purpose for coming to the mountains, which I am still living, and will go on living. This is the place I walk my spiritual path. It is the only reason I'm here. I don't mix socially, never have. Got the name arrogant on account of it, not my concern.
I did a lot of spiritual reading for a lot of years and came to what all the masters had said, reading is not it. It is in experience. Paying attention to experience, living in the world as it is, allowing others to be themselves, allowing same with self. My spiritual reading in this time of the life has trimmed down to the Tao te Ching. It's all there in beautiful verse form. It's about honoring the god in others. It's about allowing God, not expecting of God. It's about allowing the flow, going with the flow, using the flow to find a tranquil life. And finding a tranquil life, allowing it. I never enter a lottery for fear of winning. I do not want money messing up my life. I'm able to meet expenses and have a little bit of fun too, quiet, at home fun like movies, reading, music, art projects, donkeys, and Caterpillar. The car runs good and all is well. I trouble my mind with news less and less, though continue to be traumatized when I give it any attention, disturbed every day at the rate American cops are killing black people, man, woman or child. It's shameful and shameless. I'm one of few people I know who think anything of it. And what can I do about it? Send a twitter? Leave a comment? I remind myself it's not my world out there on the news. It's not mine until the swat team breaks down my door and blows me away, saying, Whoops, wrong address. Shit happens. As long as my door is still on its hinges, I'll go on staying at home being a detached viewer.