The herd was loping in a muddled indescript kind of way.
We were keeping close together and trying hard against the light, not to see it. The plain was wide but we stayed close together and winds blown up by gods aided our ensemble.
‘Masanga‘ the close-by tribesman would say.
And then they began to drift apart.
Though the wind was strong it was possible to turn aside and see the plain from a different angle. The herd was moving, slowly and gently to a cliff. So we began to make a noise, but mistaking it for breeze the herded ones closed their eyes again, folded their ears and kept moving on their way.
The breeze was one of many colours. Sights, sounds, swirls and tastes. Thought streams ushered past by the Gods and in order to not relent, in order to keep the move afloat the herd had, as one, shut down its sense.
But the cliff was coming near and a few spied themselves long enough to jump out the way and others saw their friends and did the same and all of us, right now, pulling ourselves back from a hideous collapse of our species because we stopped looking for too long.
This is not climate (only). This is not capitalism (only). Nor is it social degradation or direst poverty existing, nor all powerful corporations, nor the inter-corporate and governmental bodies that decide our fate (only). Its not biodiversity plummetting (only) or another war fought for geo-politics and the fate of precious housewives’ fears before the hundreds of thousands lives in another country.
But weaving through all of this, has been the stream. The wind. The vast god-blown edifice that is the information deluge that our decade more than any other has been subjected to. We’re colouring it, you and I, with our blogging and gentle protest chants and our conviction that correction can only come from inner realisation that these colours are our friends.
We’re getting better at decoding, deciphering the swarm around. Cherry-plucking inspiration from the dirge and the misery and the stink that suffices for entertainment and the news. We’re singing in the rain, telling funny stories again and in candle-lit corners serving organic food, our play is taking shape.
It’s a play of longing, of desperation looking again to the stars and not the belly. Feeling in the depths of your very soul that all that was and has been told could be woven right now with a stroke of your pen, or brush or love caress or question to a politician that things might not be as he sees, jaded as he is, becoming the more grey. They deluge hit him most and now governments are starved of ideas, abandoned by their populi who looked elsewhere.
The edifice is crumbling.
They thought the banks were our masters and Barack he thought the same – withholding poverty reducing measures to keep his friends in play. The Tobin tax has a way to put things right by shaving off small sums from vast transactions it forces folk to stop and – heavens, no! – think.
But Barack knows who put him their and on whose noose he will be hung. Another saint goes the way the devil’s lure. He made a bargain after all and will keep it until the blood runs dry in Afgahnistan and mothers of victims of vultures screams ask what they saw in him. Again.
The Bush was the one who catapulted our age from OK to disaster with the flick of a retributive switch. We cannot know what was in his mind but it missed important aspects of us and blew up ones we’d rather have seen away some time ago.
Blair in Britain, meanwhile, did his dismal damndest to subject the state to more control and shovel up welfare in the hands of a few. A Labour politician we were told. He certainly made sure those who voted for him kept working beyond reasonable suspicion of his tricks and now hospital parking lots and other frauds charge where before they let you. He corporatised and villfied free thinking. And yes, backed a war that may not have happened if he said no. The long game, said his press secretary. And now Barack whispers about the long and silent war executed by CIA drones and conscripts of terrorists for the cause. Like his grandfather and great grandfather presidents before him. Will we ever learn? Maybe. We’re just coming on a little slow.
The Strokes were a happy dawn and the Kings of Leon still sing on. In amongst them Mum and David Syvian have graced this ones ears and pleased while he was doing something else. We had TV shows that addicted more than before, brought raw our social disgraces and made them circuses of the carnal, the stubborn the ashamed. Contests for talent, for before we couldn’t find any and home cookery to sophisticate and make social entrepreneurs of its stars.
We found in books and seminars that the system was not there for your benefit, but for you to become afraid. Entertainment was OK because it made you relieved and didn’t see the stinking creep and it avalanched into wars and dining tables – ignorance all round.
Sing it quietly while you can but the revolutions come already, it’s happening all around. Each time you see a man stop, or a child look puzzled or a free star looking up from their sofa bed and asking why did you have the right to film the murder of my mother, then you’ll know it’s happening.
The gentle waking up.
The heart’s sweet answer to all the mess that it, and not that, is what is permanent. Not the lying, not the rules, the law or the sacrament. The fear, the dying, the wishing and the hope. Not the rage, and not the answer, not the devil’s tainted rope. Not you and me, though we’re included, as has all that’s gone before. And recognising with sweet smile that we’re not OK. We’re fucked. And dancing in the cracks of that earthquake realisation, we’ll find our way to be free.
In this the worst named decade of the century, perhaps we’ve slowly found our way.