So we seek to make life safe.
We seek the easy places where danger is filtered and sifted and delivered to us in sound bites, which are as jars of baby food – parceled and homogenized and tasteless. This is perfect fare for the toothless wolves and the multitudes of grazing sheep which the wolves themselves have forgotten - in their complacency and government-fed domestication – how to hunt; or even how to care to hunt.
We live in an age of information, but seek no enlightenment from it. Wisdom is neither treasured, nor is truth. Dusty words in half-remembered texts and parchments and monuments may be read, but even the echoes fall on ears left tone deaf due to bias, numbness, anger or hate.
We live in a moment, which we always knew was waiting for us – on the other side of the coarse curtain of safety and security. It is a long, grainy moment, which can drag us, limbs flailing feebly, into the waiting maw of the nameless singularity as we circle the event horizon of despair.
Money and property and all the things we believe we can grasp and hold and make our own – they are illusion. In a universe constantly in flux, we do not and cannot even possess ourselves. Every moment changes our state of being, or perspective and everything and everyone around us. We see patterns and we believe we are given understanding, but they are just fractal images in a world so complex that even our beliefs and faith can be challenged and riven and yet constantly renewed. We walk through lives so short with viewpoints so impossibly skewed, that it is a wonder we notice our existence at all.
When we seek to gain greater control, it is like gripping water – impossible. Yet individuals and societies and governments throughout time have always come to the place where they believed such power was possible. Health issues and security issues and financial issues have been used so many times in history to justify so much injustice and so much stolen liberty that the words “evil” and “good” have become interchangeable – a mere matter of perspective – shifting sunlit patterns on an old yellowed wall.
The ruins of civilizations buried beneath our feet and yet to be discovered, will likely reflect near biblical endings brought about by similar stories of corruption, greed, oppression and illusion.
We have always been here before.
Yet still we seek the answers to this question in the words of our ancient heroes and monuments - and I can’t help but think that is sad. Because life cannot be expressed and lived and enjoyed in the shadow of anything, be it the sage documents of our founding fathers or the beautiful monuments, which dot our landscape. Those things reflect our past but they don’t contain, encapsulate or entomb, imprison or even preserve our future.
Freedom knows no shadow. The brilliant, wordless rush of life and light knows no darkness. It surges from some undiscovered chamber inside our chest and demands we step forward, choose our destiny and chart our own course with boldness and focus and intention. It calls for our own actions and impossible deeds, themselves to be written sung or spoken into history – and perhaps, eventually to be forgotten as well.
Freedom isn’t a word for the mindless drones of the beaten. Artists and poets, healers and great generals and faithful men of the cloth have always known its' taste and texture. It is a perfect expression of our ability to sing and dance and cry with joy in the face of the darkness and in the last deep pit where the end always seems certain and sometimes is.
This perfect moment will come for each of us in the twilight of our lives – and still our society may face its’ own collective singularity. We will meet it wherever and however it finds us and we will overcome it or leave this world cringing.
But know that we can stand – even in those last hours, and scream light into the void and become more than just victorious and more than just bold – and certainly we can be more than just safe and secure for ourselves and our children and our uncounted generations to come.
We can become whole again.
We can transcend.