Truth seems an ever more elusive thing on the lips of the ones that rule and sway, so scant now that every word becomes just another exhausting mirage. But step into the garden, and sit with any simple bloom. Let its beauty unfold and speak to you. Without a syllable, nature brings the truth.
you are more than this
more than this
clinging without thought
even if in your heart
you notice a persistent quiver
the pulse of truth
still you walk the path to which you are pointed
shuffling along with the rest
turning your eyes away as your own heart calls out to you
the one voice you could trust
you have a choice
the path your heart knows looks insurmountable and fearsome
only until the moment your foot alights there
once you are on it
you flow like a waterfall
then you see all the others still trudging
the appointed path
you wave and call out to them
you are more than this, beloved
Unbelievably, unthinkably, reprehensibly – Chelsea Manning is once again jailed. This news flits across the feed and is quickly buried. But we ignore this story at our peril.
Chelsea Manning is a truth-teller. In this latest go-round, she is again carefully and deliberately taking a stand for truth and transparency. It is a stand taken on my behalf, on your behalf. She is putting herself on the line for what is right and for the good of her fellow humans.
She is fully aware, after seven years in prison, of what she’s getting herself into. She is one of those few brave souls willing to stand up for truth, to hold the powers that be accountable, at a terrible personal cost.
Her story is, of course, obfuscated and tinted by those powers as they continue their long, cruel persecution. But the reality is that she is a hero, and deserves our support.
Free Chelsea Manning. Truth and transparency.
The stitches in a quilt made by hand speak out loud. They document a story, or at least some portion of a story. The threads are the evidence of individual effort – of a person’s intention, their hand hovering over the fabric, pulling the needle through.
There is always satisfaction in seeing the hand in the work.
Whether a quilt, a painting, a piece of pottery, or carved or constructed wood, such works create connection between the maker and the finished piece and the one who holds it.
It serves a mindful purpose, both in the making and the use.
Such a work presents an obvious truth. It’s honest.
There is rest in that. It makes an easing of the heart, space opening up somewhere inside us.
I have a difficult relationship with creativity.
Creativity seems to be absolutely essential to my wellbeing, to making me all of me. I feel an almost constant and fierce desire for creative efforts.
And yet, I confront my own incredible resistance to it. The resistance wins, more often than not.
Sometimes, I think of the problem as a matter of being able to allow creativity. That, say, conditions must be just right for my creativity to emerge and flourish.
I think that maybe I need daylight hours in which to do my creative work. Or I need a particular environment that is somehow unavailable to me. Or I don’t have the right materials. Or I’m not skilled enough. Or the planets are not in alignment. Or the Muse is absent. Or. Or. Or.
Kind of sounds like excuses, eh?
And then I think that it’s not really a matter of engineering conditions to allow creativity. The problem is really a matter of eliciting creativity – calling it forth.
This involves setting the intention to do my creative work, committing to it, and forcing myself to carry through despite conditions.
I managed to prove to myself that this is possible. And fruitful.
Still, such commitment takes both courage and self-compassion.
I am not whole if I am not creative. If my creativity is suppressed, part of me is missing – a pretty important part.
I have looked long and painfully at the reasons my creative soul hides. I have learned a few things.
The world is a pretty scary place for that corner of my soul.
She is not at all convinced of her own absolute legitimacy and worthiness. She has no assurance whatever that she is loved and wanted and safe. And she just knows it’s totally not okay to get messy.
It is a matter of compassionately taking her hand and showing her it’s okay to come out. Indeed, showing her that the world is not whole without her.
It gets better with practice.
Intention, commitment, action.
Where there is grief, I have sympathy.
On this day, however, I cannot help but question the extravagant exaltation of an individual on the national stage for an act of mourning.
This was a man who lived a good, long life surrounded by his family and many friends, who enjoyed both great wealth and power. Did the man do some good things? No doubt.
Nevertheless, on his watch, many other men, most of them mere youth, were sent into war on another continent. Hundreds of our own died in that conflict. Tens of thousands were victims. This conflict delivered the Highway of Death, where retreating troops – people, that is – were slaughtered as they drove toward home. This conflict also helped to lay the groundwork for the endless war with which we live today and for whom so many suffer their terrible losses.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost to wars and military actions at the hands of actors never touched by the violence or destruction they wreak.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost and those suffering through the inequality fostered and nurtured at the hands of those actors never touched by the lack, indifference, or contempt they engender.
Let us dispense with the accolades.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, it should be a day when we look at war and violence, remember the many needless victims, over and over and over again, and simply say, “No.” No more.
Where there is grief, I have sympathy. I wish you peace.
The physicist Werner Heisenberg noted that ‘the act of observing changes the thing observed.’ This is oh so true when it comes to government and corporate activities.
It’s extremely important to watch what our government and corporations are doing. The very act of watching them affects their behaviors, which always and necessarily have an effect on the people.
As we all know, even when we are watching them, governments and corporations do unpopular, dishonest, damaging, and illegal things. If we stop watching, the sky’s the limit – and that won’t work in favor of the people.
The press is essential in our efforts towards a free country.
Yes, media corporations bring bias from various angles to the process. That means we need more voices, not fewer. It also means that we, the people, have a responsibility to be educated, discerning readers and citizens who support good, truth-seeking reporting. Independent media is more important than ever in our efforts to seek truth.
The President and members of his administration have led a lengthy and ongoing campaign to besmirch and cripple the press. Interestingly, the constant cries of “fake news” come from folks absolutely depending on the coverage of the alternative facts, outright lies, even doctored videos, deliberately and consistently generated.
This comes after the previous administration which reached new heights in threatening, disparaging, and silencing truth tellers. We have already been long and thoroughly coached to hold truth tellers in contempt – even when it has obviously served us in important and positive ways.
We should all be concerned when government/corporate powers so obviously and openly seize, control, and distort the messaging, and brazenly silence those attempting to report the truth of their activities.
As citizens, neighbors, parents, we have a responsibility in this. We must support those attempting to seek and report on the truth. We must demand relevant information. We must educate ourselves, and think critically about what we learn. It does not do to depend one on source for information.
It’s a matter of paying attention to what matters, and holding people accountable. We all have a part to play in seeking and defending the truth for the purposes of creating a just and peaceful society and to safeguard our ever more imperiled world.