Tag Archives: change
Evolve Or Die, an opening manifesto…
I was thinking about stuff, in my weird way, which I often do, because I’m basically weird, stuff like religion and politics and war and peace and men and women and money and love and power and all that kind of stuff, the giant, sometimes-incomprehensible stuff that most people don’t appear to think about all that much, except in a purely academic way, and only if they can get some money or some fame or some power out of it. So why aren’t we all thinking about things which, logically, are very, very important and create so much human suffering, much of it perfectly avoidable with reasonable effort?
The whole situation we find ourselves in right now really bothers me because, if the average human is THINKING about these problems, problems which appear to have been with us for the entire course of human history, problems which seem as though they are perfectly amenable to being SOLVED, then those average humans should be TALKING about them a lot more, and trying to be part of the solution! Because people are really stupid to be fighting all these goddamned, fucking, idiotic wars, wars that kill people and destroy stuff and hurt children and scar children and make sure children grow up to pass that war meme, that war memory, that war “tradition” along to the next generation, and so on and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
Which makes my stomach hurt, sometimes BADLY. And then I remember how people in the United States of America seem to have given up voting! Talk about my stomach hurting!
And, all of my weird thinking seemed rather quietly and suddenly to coalesce, to interweave, to assemble itself into an idea bigger than me. An inspired idea. An idea from the Muse; from the Universe; from God; from Spirit. You know, that watcher, or presence, or soul, or place within yourself which is all-at-once creative… imaginative… passionate… compassionate… serene… silly… serious… sad… sublime… that place? If you don’t know that place, at all, then I feel sad for you. Not “sorry” for you – that word seems to me that it implies judgment and a consequent feeling of superiority or power which is unhealthy – but sad for you. The simple sadness a two year old feels when seeing another two year old fall down, scrape a knee, and burst into tears. That feeling. Do you remember it? If you cannot remember it, I feel sad for you again. It is a feeling we should all remember. It is the sadness you feel when your mother is ill; the sadness you feel when your dear pet is ill; when your child is ill; when you are ill; when the world is ill.
You know, history is important. So is IMAGINATION. Liberal/Conservative, Democrat/Republican, Progressive/Reactionary, Labor/Capital, Open-minded/Dogmatic… call the differences in human outlook whatever you like! One side fears, or dislikes, or opposes change; the other side accepts, or likes, or promotes change. That is the essence, the nut, the essential oil, which creates the varietal, sometimes minor, sometimes dangerous differences in our human culture/temperament/society/milieu. We must start thinking as one planet, one species: not separated by physical characteristics… or wealth… or religion… or language… or country… or region… or clan… or tribe… or any of the myriad ways groups of human beings have managed to “quarantine” themselves from “infection” by other groups! We are not microbes! We are not supposed to attack each other without mercy. Survival of the fittest does not mean the survivors survive because they kill everything else; it means evolve, or die.
Human beings are on the doorstep of radical change. No shit! Look at our history: though an individual lifetime may, or may not, feel to that specific individual as being lived on the doorstep of radical change, remember, as a species, we have OFTEN been on the doorstep of radical change. We are always living within – not at the end of – human history. Which is why respecting the lessons of our past must ALWAYS go hand-in-hand with a thoughtful and imaginative look ahead, to our future! We are in the process of evolving into another human species. Don’t forget that! We are on the continuous “ride” of evolution, of change, of metamorphosis into another species of “human being” – hopefully, this time, a more “humane” human being who is truly wiser than we are, who stops jeopardizing human survival by an unthinking disregard for physical, social, and cultural environments yet who remains flexible enough to survive the inexorable process of change in those environments!
How to evolve? I’m not sure. I can rattle off the first things I think of. Read books. A lot of them. Spend some time outside, the more the better. Spend some time thinking seriously about your life, and the life of every other human being. Don’t hoard planetary resources which, by simple birthright, also belong to billions of other humans, your (admittedly distant, yet undeniably related) COUSINS through our common ancestors. Relax, nobody’s asking you to give up the internet. Simply treat others the way you would like to be treated. Speak some encouraging words to those who need them. Help some people in need. Protect children from harm. What do you think? Feel free to edit the list! We’re all in this TOGETHER. But, for mercy’s sake… MAKE YOURSELF A LIST.
of, like, not dying! from a nonmalignant brain tumor! in my frontal lobe, 35 cms. in diameter, had been there for between 17 & 34 years, they said. donated the tissue to UF’s mcknight brain institute thingie, took a month to cry, woke up, started asking for stuff i’d forgotten i enjoyed because i just thought i was tired all the time, my husband dumped me, that’s okay, he needed dumping his own damned self! so, here i am, 53, alive, happy, energetic, writing TONS, making new friends, etc. etc. etc. and, like getting my ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE back in order, which hubby darling had let slide during his ten years of freeloading off me! like, everything he wanted got done, and basically nothing i wanted got done. so, there was that little tidbit. but, to get back to the point, like, dude, i am totally alive & enjoying myself! for the first time in probably 20 to 25 years!!!!! or whenever that frontal lobe thingie started affecting me. how big does something in the most sensitive, the most HUMAN part of the brain have to be to affect you? probably not all that big. so, you can see how by the end of that little “episode” i was SORT OF TIRED. not tired now. and single! and happy! and, i have a really super hot boyfriend! who is NICE TO ME! who wants me to succeed at what I THINK IS IMPORTANT. so, like, damn! things are looking up!!!!!!
Now she is the color of lichen-splattered bark,
not brown, not gray, not silver — without turning
her head, her small alarmed eye rotates in full
orbit, sweeping me from head to toe, a cruel, knowing
assessment… I don’t measure up, I can tell
from her expression. I wait, wanting to see her
go green, that hot, bright jewel color she does so well.
She creeps down the trunk, movements slow, smooth,
almost invisible. From time to time, she glances
my way; then an ant catches her attention.
Her nimble, rolling eye follows the tiny creature
crawling back past her tail — still afraid of me,
she doesn’t give chase. Off her long hind paw
dangles a limp glove of molted skin. In annoyance,
she curves sleek head toward delicate toes and bites;
she chews the dry scales, then swallows. Her throat
is pale, silken white; her fat tongue glossy pink.
Minutes pass — she pretends to sleep; the eye
closest to me closes, but the other stays wide.
A large iridescent fly alights on the leaves below;
suddenly she flings herself into the air, slender limbs
flared outward, mouth already open, and twists her head
to one side, shaking the insect clamped in her jaws,
the better to subdue it. I breathe faster as she grows
pale, paler, then glows so tender just for me
in the shadows, the clear green seeping down from her
low forehead as a shy leaf unfolds in early spring.