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Friday, January 29, 2010

Blue to black

Somewhere out in front of us is a grey horizon. And as our eyes open to take in the vastness of the world, we eventually look up – into the perfection of a cerulean sky.

Beneath our feet lay the earth and stones of generations. From the microscopic dust blowing along the surface, to dark strata below guarding treasures and entombing lost civilizations, it’s all down there. If we took the time to dig, we might pass the ages when giants hunted in steaming forests and we may not even notice the moment when the first vertebrate dragged itself from water to land. If we had the time and energy, education and resources, we may even dig to the hallowed kernel of ground where the world, itself, began.

But we live in the here and now. We live in a time of crooked politicians and their dirty companions, attempting to foist legislation upon a public they see as too stupid to care, or too complacent to stand in their way. We live in a time where people might not kill you for the change in your pocket, but would love to kill you, everyone you ever met and ever loved, for some ridiculous warped idea of religion. In this time in which we live, it is possible for someone to hate you without ever having met you – and it is possible for them to hate you enough to commit mass-murder.

We live in a time when the rapists, molesters and murderers walk free with minor sentences, while regular citizens face the continued loss of liberties and threat of a very real police state, while our alleged representatives in government, extend every right available, to terrorists - whom we should be vigorously interrogating to prevent the death of more innocent people.

Our president delivers speeches written and massaged by PR artists, while he himself remains little more than a television actor, mouthing lines with the air of authority and truth. His gloss of belief is delivered in tones designed to lull the populace into some kind of hypnotic slumber. Around that president, a failing construct of unpopular policy creaks and moans under its’ own uncompleted weight. The plans and programs now being tracked by an increasingly angry and impatient public are deemed unpopular, unsustainable and possibly un-American. That same public is educating itself in order to guard against the erosion of freedom under the guise and promise of some kind of utopian vision.

Still the same words are repeated, the same tone maintained. We stand on the same patch of ground, neither elevated nor enlightened. Economy and jobs are allegedly the focus, but the goals of such speeches are never outlined by the words, which are spoken. Instead, these flaccid monologues are meant to shore up support in leaking political levees. The “would-be” leadership is drowning, and they’re casting about for something to help them stay afloat. The growing numbers of faces at the rails stare downward, unsympathetic.

Defeat comes in many forms, textures and flavors. But it always seems bitter to the one who fails, and bright and flavorful to the victor. Recently, the administration suffered a blow, which negatively affected their cohesiveness and set fire to their plans. Their choices seem self-evident. In order to pay for the expenses they have already incurred, they must cut other areas dramatically. Their shrill screams for progress have devolved into the moaning and gnashing of the thwarted. Now they just want to hurt someone.

May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a transcendent speech in which he committed to landing a man on the moon by the end of that decade. The project captured imaginations and fueled the dreams of future scientists and businessmen and writers and artists who were just children then, huddled on the floor of their parents’ homes. In living rooms across the world, those black and white pictures were transmitted to small television screens. But those of us who remember that time, realized in those moments, like Kennedy had years earlier, we were also something else.

We are explorers. We are adventurers. We need the unknown horizon. It defines us.

What dreams will be had when this presidency finally finishes stealing our children’s and grandchildren’s future? What moonrise will we point to when we are old, a tiny hand, held softly in our own – a tiny mind shining brightly beside us, behind bright eyes, looking up at a much dimmer silver surface, now too far away, even for imagination.

Because, the plans to return to the moon and press onward to Mars are now likely dead, killed by politicians without the foresight or bravery of Kennedy – politicians who are very much attached to wallowing in the dirt, and lack the spine even to be physically able to look upward.

Instead, they will take the money they would have spent on those efforts, and throw it away on climate research – itself proven a failure – rife with corrupted data and hidden funding for trumped up results. And whatever is left over they will fritter away on money schemes and dark political support organizations. In the end neither elevated, nor enlightened we will stand here bereft of everything that once made us great.

Our wealth spent, our children’s wealth spent, and their children’s wealth spent, we will live in a society in decay. And even our hope will have been traded away in our sleep.

Above us, beyond the blue, the air is thin and pure where it gives way to perfect vacuum and finally a black horizon. And there, shining brightly in the night is all the rest of God’s creation; endless shores in an endless sea, flickering and calling us to embrace our true nature and become explorers again.

If we dare to dream.

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