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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Slowly it dawns on me that writing is not easy, that all of the voices that say this is not real work deserve to be put to rest.

I’m not the first to say this, but it is my dawning. A mechanism turning inside of me, a key, letting me know what this is, my writing.

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a new poem.

I jotted down a dream a couple of weeks ago, a vivid dream of a thin emerald-green book of unusual size, leather-bound, the cover rich in color and texture.

But no poems per se and not much desire to share my thoughts here of late.

Sometimes the time quickens, sometimes it drags.

What is this calling? I appreciate silliness and I love to write nonsense. But I only want to write down the most important of my thoughts just now.

Yesterday, we drove from Massachusetts to Northeast Ohio. It had been a very long time since I’ve made this trip in the car—the last time was the summer of 2009. It is close to 600 miles.

I have never read Watership Down, but we have been listening to it in the car for long stretches on this trip. The narration is excellent and I am reminded of how much I love to be read to, how much of a pleasure to all humans this gift of stories being told aloud is. I feel thirsty for it now and I have decided that I will read at open mics even when I don’t have my own work to read.

Such is the thanks I would like to give. I love reading out loud as much as I like singing out loud. It is a great pleasure to me, like the emerald-green book from my dream. The richness of the color I can summon in my mind’s eye. How I would like you to know it, too, to take it from me. I will hand you the book so you can feel its richness, the animal skin, the creamy parchment of the pages, crisp and soft at the same time.

I want to leave politics behind, the truth of war and rape, the way humans have of tearing down what cannot be shared.

I want to take and drink and give back.

Thanks Giving and Thanks Taking

Peace

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I always have words. The trick is to quiet the mind, to let stillness house itself in my being, in the space before thought. Thought is mostly words by the time it reaches the level of my conciousness, but can I find the peace of no words, of non-doing?

I think of a couple of other posts of mine to which I turn for guidance.

I tried to sing a couple of my favorite, most powerfully comforting Sacred Harp songs, but I am not too well and my voice is shot, so I’ll settle for not singing to you right now.

I will settle for hearing my daughter (in our tiny house where every room is next to every other room so one can hear everything from room to room), I will settle for hearing her sing Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream after I played Sweet Honey in the Rock singing Wade in the Water. She has known the [former] song since she was 3 years old.

And so we keep teaching peace. And we keep fighting for the good and the right and the clear blue truth, even if no action comes of it. We wade in the troubled waters of the human heart.

I know there will be no peace for the families of the victims down in Connecticut, but I wish them peace.

This video is not for the families. This is for us. Sometimes you have to choose sides. Let not their deaths be in vain.

 

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You don’t know me, Jeff (we simply call you Tweedy ‘round here), but I love your music. I love your lyrics. I don’t love everything, mind you, but Wilco’s music has become an indispensable part of our household musical canon. For the ages. Like the late greats you sing about.

It must be strange to have photos of yourself floating all over the internet. The electronic, the digital, the ethereal.

Oh, Tweedy. What can I say to you?

I have a friend who went to your concert in Hartford (CT) this past Wednesday. I am sort of sorry that was her intro to the band. She’s not really familiar with your music. The concert was good, maybe even great. You put the energy out, you all played and sang well. But I am afraid you seemed tired. It must be hard to be up there every night and not have things get stale. Yes.

I like it so much better when I see live bands and I feel a connection with them. That’s the whole point of live music. It breathes, it contains errors. It is energy and light.

Get some rest, Tweedy. I want to invite my friend back for Solid Sound 2013. I hope for great things there. Living art. Yes.

Here was a cloud up at Essex Junction, VT on Sunday, before sundown, before the band started playing:

I know the nose is sort of phallic-looking which is sort of unfortunate (not that I have anything against phalluses, on the contrary), but that’s how real noses sometimes are anyway. It is a great winking cloud face, don’t you think? It felt magical; an elixir, a balm.

I love having a wholesome, honest, not-sexed-up band to share with my kids. Here they are sitting on the lawn:

We saw this in the parking lot on the way in to the concert:Just so you know, we’d like to name our next dog after you. Not the Jeff part (no offense), but the Tweedy part.

I know that if wishes were horses, fools would ride, but still, I have hope, too. I think we like to pin these hopes on people like you, Tweedy. I am actually wondering if you can fix the T key on my keyboard. It seems to be sticking sometimes.

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Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law. Buddha

I didn’t know what other song to post.

I’m still appalled and angry and saddened and shocked.

Being born in 1963, I was subject to the zeitgeist of peace protests and the anti-war movement. I am not too sure how much came from my parents because even though they were Democrats and they hated Nixon, they were also Establishment and European and warned us of “hippies” and counter-culture types with long hair. I remember hints of racism in spite of their liberal views and in spite of our racially-mixed neighborhood in Detroit.

I watched TV yesterday for a while until the commentators took over and wouldn’t allow for even another hour or two of family members reading off the names of those killed. I loved hearing the names read off without interruption. I didn’t want to hear the politicians speak their speeches; I didn’t want to hear a poem; I didn’t even want to hear Yo Yo Ma play his cello.

I am not sure who the day belonged to.

I keep wondering how much money it takes to run the waterfall. I keep thinking about waste. I keep thinking about pride and its foil, humility. I keep thinking about our bodies and the pain of having a complex nervous system. I keep thinking about war and Elvis Costello’s words from “The Scarlet Tide:”

Man goes beyond his own decision/Gets caught up in the mechanism/Of swindlers who act like kings/And brokers who break everything

I think of Cheney and Halliburton and the billions of dollars made, wasted. And the extremists who visited strip joints in Florida when they trained to fly the planes. Guns produced by one country and sold to another. What difference does it make? Someone profits and a lot of people suffer.

And this one: why can’t men get their personal shit together and stop acting out? Why do people need to couch their hate in something larger than themselves?

The memorial looks beautiful and fitting and I’m glad it’s there and we’ll probably hop down to the city to see it, soon I hope, in the fall.

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