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Insult without Injury

You cannot be offended if what is said about you is not true. Nor can you be feel insulted if you are confident in what you believe. Only those who are unwilling to accept the truth or uphold their beliefs without foundation will claim to be offended and react to insult.

By |2021-08-13T00:48:32-04:00January 16th, 2021|The Written|Comments Off on Insult without Injury

The construct of an unfolding fantasy

I have built my life in the construct of an unfolding fantasy.
I see myself as something more than I really am,
and then work to make that image a reality.

But if I project too far ahead, imagine too grand, I am overcome by anxiety.
And if I live too close to reality, I fall to depression.

Science fiction builds technical reality.
Fantasy is the foundation of our civilization.
Depression is the leading mental illness of our time.
Do civilizations collapse when they lose their vision for a better future?

In the space between I maintain my forward momentum–tumbling,
falling with arms outstretched, catching myself one leap at a time.

Too far. Not far enough. Stumble. Jump. Push forward. Pull back.

Reality check. Check-check.

By |2021-08-18T12:28:21-04:00November 18th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on The construct of an unfolding fantasy

Breaking restraint

There is a deep pain in seeing human lives restrained, and a
tremendous joy when those restraints are broken through education,
interaction, and the pursuit of dreams.

By |2020-11-14T11:50:12-04:00November 14th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on Breaking restraint

Hope

I rise to the news of our forests burning.
The two degrees they warned us about already surpassed.
It’s happening faster than expected, the models too slow.
It’s already too late, the ice is melting.

I don’t know how to do this, this thing called hope.

I am suffocated by the lies that go viral,
by the pain we call the news.
How am I suppose to find hope in tomorrow,
When the future is burning, everything in flames.

By |2021-08-13T00:41:10-04:00September 13th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on Hope

This is how it begins …

We look the other way, not wanting to get involved.
We voice our opinion, but only to those who agree and listen.
We grow accustomed to the new norm, forgetting how things were.
We ignore the signs that history is repeating, believing we are different than before.

 Erosion of the cor    ners of the foundation,
  cracks that grow    from within.
   Bricks removed,   one by one,
  and the mortar re   turns to sand.

This is how we collapse.
This is how we crumble.
This is how the dictator
turns democracy into rubble.

By |2020-07-28T17:57:41-04:00July 19th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on This is how it begins …

At a loss for words in a world that feels lost

These past few weeks have left me speechless. I simply don’t know what to say. It’s not that I don’t have emotions or reactions, rather I don’t want to feel what I am feeling—hopeless, horrified, completely disappointed in our government, the actions of individuals, even in our species.

Once again we are rising up, reawakening to power differentials, taking action and saying “No more!” Is this real change and an upward trend, or a momentary flutter in an historic review when we look back a few centuries from now?

In the lifetime of my grandmother she saw the rise and fall of lynchings by the KKK. In the lifetime of my father segregation in the U.S. came to an end (mostly). In my lifetime we have seen the end of electroshock therapy and sterilization of those who have learning disabilities. We will look back on each of these in disgust and wonder how it could have been.

But how quickly do we revert to the behavior of the prior generations? Are we truly changed as a species, reprogrammed at a fundamental level, or are we more simply rewiring our expectations with the underlying systems of interplay nearly identical to 100,000 years ago?

In our places of work, school, and social engagement, we talk about awareness and education. We engage in difficult conversations and walk in the shoes of those we do not understand. We remove people from power who are abusive to the minority and the under privileged. I ask, Are we affecting change at the source? Or are we just temporarily modifying the behavior of a half generation, the next to come along reverting to what we thought was erased?

Maybe we are on an upward trend, a global consciousness rising. Maybe the current rise of dictators and fascism and hatred for “the other” is a momentary, interglacial freeze in a longer warming trend. Or maybe Roddenbury got it all wrong and four hundred years from now we will not be unified as a species, exploring brave new worlds, rather we’ll still be fighting our synthetic racial divides and protesting brutality every quarter century.

We share the most homogeneous code of any species on the planet and it has not evolved to thrive in this overfilled, boiling pot. I fear we will continue to invoke change at a superficial level only to wonder a hundred years from now why we’re doing the same damned thing over and over again. We need to stop pointing fingers and implicating that that person is racist and that other is not, when this is but a temporary fix. We need to dive in deep and look to the source of these behaviors as functions of home, school, church, and the very foundation of cultures and nations and the social construct of our species.

Yes, we have to keep trying. That too is fundamental to our species. We keep working for a better world in which we reward unity over division, and the minorities at both extremes share power with the majority.

By |2020-06-11T20:10:12-04:00June 9th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on At a loss for words in a world that feels lost

The last time I read a book …

The last time I read a book must have been some time ago,
for no longer do I recall the cover, the title, or the hero.

Instead, my days are filled with tasks and action items and to-dos,
The only action I see is when I press the wrong key,
all mystery, crime, and murder DELETE’ed.

By |2020-06-08T20:59:45-04:00June 8th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on The last time I read a book …

Because I don’t have to …

For more than a century,
radios have done our bidding at the movement of a hand.
News updates, music, and live events
our attention captured in AM or FM band.

Because I don’t have to rise from my chair.

Now smart speakers listen, processing all that we say.
Every conversation transcribed,
key words sold to the highest bidder.
Our most intimate secrets lost to a market we fail to consider.

Because I don’t have to walk over there.

Every time we replace effort with an automated mover;
Every time we use our voice to replace a louver;
Every time we give in to the temptation to make things easier,
we fail to recall that we are three dimensional, analog creatures.

Because it makes life easier, simpler, faster, better.

It is the rotating of the dial to that special space between 91 and 91.5
that gave us the satisfaction of knowing how to tune in.

It is balls of aluminum foil atop the antennae
that coaxed invisible energy to the audible domain.

It is the voice of the DJ in the context of static
that told us the quality of the skies and pending weather.

Because I don’t care.

While the speaker may have become smarter,
we have surely grown dumber.
Like parrots in a cage,
all we do now is, speak.

By |2020-02-02T00:47:09-04:00February 2nd, 2020|Critical Thinker, Humans & Technology, The Written|Comments Off on Because I don’t have to …

The fear of love

How is it that the very thing we seek our entire life,
is the very thing we grow afraid of?

For having finally received it,
we make the mistake of believing
it is ours to own.

By |2020-01-17T15:25:36-04:00January 17th, 2020|The Written|Comments Off on The fear of love