Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yes, It should have been impossible...but it wasn't

Upon the steps of the southeastern branch of the DC Public Library, I had said goodbye to some of my friends.  Gerard, a PhD graduate from Harvard said "I wish I could come with you." as he sat on the stoop waiting for the library to open.  It had been two months and nearly at the beginning of this journey, an anonymous man approached me, while I sat in the garden of the library writing approached me.  "I have lived in this neighborhood for nearly 40 years and have never come to this garden.  It's beautiful."  He paused.  "What are you writing about?"  I looked over the elder.  "I am writing about my travels abroad, and I am also writing about the homeless."  I could not have stopped the gush of words that proceeded out of his mouth at the time.  "The homeless?  Don't write about the homeless.  That's been done.  Where were you abroad?"  I resented this man, with his dictates, yet, I chose to respond.  "I taught in South Korea and in China.  I found China to be a magical place. The people are incredible, for I haven't seen innocence in a very long time..." He stopped me there..."You know, I am a left-hander, like President Obama.  We golf together.  I like left-handed people.  You should write about China.  Forget about the homeless.  This country is about God, Sex, and Drugs.  You have a mind of a idealistic.  However this country will kill each other.  It's just the way it is.  Don't write about the poor.  Write about China, that is what we need to hear about.  Don't be among the homeless, don't become them.  When this nation tears each other apart, we'll be on the golf course when it happens, and after its all over, we'll rebuild it.  You can't change the country, let alone with stories about these people."  I didn't get a rebuttal.  He walked off, not really listening, but dismissive and superior sounding.  I was left with those words to contemplate.  Was he right?
During my last survey of monuments, I ran across the work of Auguste Rodin, the famed Burghers of Calais.  I had seen the larger version in Paris, at the Rodin Museum with my friend Ruzica nearly three years ago.  This piece was a tribute to the brave and anguished men who had been sent by France at the end of the 100 years war, these 6 men were being sent as debt payment to the United Kingdom to King Edward III.  They were bound together with locks and ropes as a sacrifice (ordered to be beheaded) saved at the last moment by Queen Phillipa when they arrived, keeping their oath to save their people's pledge.  Who amongst us would stand as a pledge for our nation and not run?
I had found this tribute to the men who had sacrificed themselves during the fateful sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912.  Many would say that the Titanic was the vehicle that ushered in the American Central Banking System, known as the Federal Reserve (which is privately owned and created by a meeting on Jekyll Island).  The world become dependent on our fiat currency as a reserve currency to secure their own instead of gold or silver.  Though many times, through many presidents, we had tried to be free from the banking industry control, we saw a terrible path of greed, excess and the have and have nots growing wider apart.  Our 100 years war with the Federal Reserve comes to an end on 21 December 2012.  We were led to believe the bank was OURS, but it wasn't ever.  Our gold was gathered by Roosevelt, put in Fort Knox, and as the years went on, it was pilfered, nothing remains but the greed of the Military Industrial Complex that weakened our nation instead of strengthened it, making us destroyers instead of creators like we once were.
As I walked along the Anacostia River, under the bridge, I found the remains of the day.  A pocket of people who prefer to stay out in the open rather than stand in line to receive shelter for a night.  I was reminded by Walter, to not forget their stories, to tell them, because in their telling I find I have compassion.  I still remember that a citizen is not defined by possessions, for it is a simple state of being.  We are not citizens if we have a home, a bank account, or look a certain way.  We have done a poor job of taking care of our own, and a wonderful job of destroying at the beck and call of the special interests of others.

I had finally come to the last monument I needed to meditate at; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  Thomas Jefferson spoke of knowledge and wisdom a lot during his public service.  His focus was on the freedom of the human mind and education as being one of the cornerstones of absolute freedom.  We have heard that many of the elite say, "What do I want with a thinking public?"  However, it is with our imaginations, creativity we have created in this nation cures for diseases, transport, and our arts.  We have lost more skills than we have retained by being a culture of war.  
During Jefferson's time, and most certainly during Lincoln and Kennedy's times as well, we were ripe with the birth pains of change.  The peoples were not drugged by substances, controlled by propaganda, and had spirited conversations about our nation.  It seemed few were required to mobilize a nation, that unified them in the spirit of their day.  We argue over semantics, being lawyered about instead of releasing ourselves from the mystical spellings of words, lacking understanding of what emancipation means.  Most of us were not alive during the speeches of the great orators.  To be inspired is one thing, to live those words is quite another.
Asking ourselves, not why, but how can a nation bind up its wounds to reclaim its birthright and promise comes down to looking in the mirror.  If our God is economics and our freedom is material in nature, what does that say about our evolution as a people?
I close with this image from the Florida House.  I was surprised to find this house that was dedicated for use for the residents of Florida.  You will note the work of Romero Britto is prominently displayed.  Though Britto's work is declared by many as not being art within the established community, he is still celebrated, most likely because he created for the people many public works and not just for himself.  All art ever does is reflect our society along the way, keeping that in mind, it is why we need an educated public and not an ignorant and drugged one.  We have lost much by trying to control the masses instead of allowing them to be free.  Just words to think on and to share with you as I have finally found my way back home.  I had to remind myself of one universal truth, no single government, religion or institution is ever worth defending when it doesn't care about the people who are members of that society.

That is why family matters and why so many try to destroy it.  "There's no place like home."