Middle Ground

Denying God is a choice for some folks. This choice has many different factors, most of which are not evil. The roots of disbelief are varied and don’t have as much to do with Satan as they do with our psychology.

I’ll stay as far from the atheist vs theist movement as much as possible. These two groups, in my eyes, are the charismatic extremes of the normal everyday believer or non believer. While one labors to live today within an Old Testament reality the other spends an inordinate amount of time talking about the crusades. Neither of these two will help anyone.

I have learned that the middle road scenery is a more realistic journey. I have to stay focused on the path because life seems to push us to extremes. I’m not afraid of God or biology, and for me, it’s what we’re all made of.

At it’s purest form God seems to be the “thing” we question or celebrate every time something good or bad happens to us. After a series of unfortunate events we may question “Why me!” Maybe we hit a string of luck and feel fortunate that somehow it was our turn. Either way, luck, good or bad, assumes an external control.

The strange thing is that whether you believe or don’t, there’s a nagging “something” within the human condition that questions our place in the world. A believer who questions their faith during times of trial, or the non believer who rationalizes events in their life, both rely on something invisible to the average human condition of understanding. Both experience events beyond their understanding and question “why”.

I’m not making a case for or against believing or non belief. I’m simply pointing to the fact that we share this space of unknown consequence. We experience things beyond or control or understanding and attempt to fill it with faith or facts. When both of these fail it seems it’s just us. Somehow we are the unfortunate or fortunate ones.

This space is where the disagreement comes and folks have preyed (no pun intended) on probably forever in human history. It’s almost like I wish we could define for folks what it was like “pre-religious”. Like we do for pre-industrialization. From the accounts we have, it was a violent existence. I’m not saying religion saved the world , it seems it capitalized on humans ability to organize for collective survival. However, we are certainly better off as humans for exploring our spiritual side, it’s when it became a vocation we strayed.

Origins are the key. It’s from these points we can move foreword with coherence. We won’t change institutional religion in government, they’re mutually exclusive at this point, we’d have to eliminate both and that’s not gonna happen. We can enlighten folks on the history of our humanity so that they may exercise their spirituality more responsibly.

So whoever or whatever we fill that void with, we have to leave room for respect and honesty. When I say honesty I don’t mean facts, I mean feelings. I am in the middle between facts and feelings, not to be objective, although that helps, but I think the middle is the space where balance rules.

Hitting folks over the head with a Bible or Quran just makes folks numb. Just like throwing our a barrage of scientific facts to counter someone’s spiritual sensibilities shuts down dialog. Someone had to stand in the gap of reason.

Religion is not spirituality and science is not intelligence. It makes no sense that God would subjugate his creation, just as it makes no sense science would reject possibility. Between the two most of us live, and within the two we survive our own intellectual and spiritual ignorance. And this is life.

Giving Back

I hesitate, my instincts too far beyond my surroundings

Alert, in tune with my heartbeat and the earths warnings

Now I must stop and seek cover from what I fear

Not cowering, not hiding, but living on the edge of finality it’s clear

Trust is the luxury of believers, I’m not a believer anymore, I’m here

Somewhere between safe and sound, I can no longer wander

It serves me well to stay in the shadows, alert and alive

I don’t need the lie anymore. I know under that beautiful garden there’s violence and decay, things we know, but don’t speak of

Don’t sell me assurances you can’t provide, I’m safe alone

I’m tired of all these people I have to be just to make your world complete

It’s been so long you don’t know which one is me, because you fell, fell into the trap and got ensnared in the one that you could never be for more than a moment

I was hear all along watching you melt under the light of an abstract dream. It was warm for a moment, but only the sun can bring true light, true warmth. The others just illuminated what they wish you to see, what they want you to be

Now your not human, not a person, but a part of something so much bigger than you that you can’t see it’s nothing, you’re nothing. You’ve been put to sleep in someone else’s dream.

Not I. I am wild, but free. I feel the heat of the day and shiver in darkness under the moons glow dreaming of sunrises.

What good is a sunset anyway. The end of a day shouldn’t be honored, it should be remembered. Where did we learn to worship the end of anything, it’s beginnings that have hope. All we have in sunsets are reflections and regrets

So I’ll keep your smile and give you back your watch. I’ll keep the sound of your voice, but give you back your words. You’ll need your hands, so I’ll leave with your touch gently caressing my heart. Everything else belonged to the world anyway.

American Spirit

I was looking through my social media early one morning and was reminded how special the American spirit is to the world. This is a weekend for reflection to many, and as I reflect, I’m reminded how this spirit survives despite America’s government. The separation is clear.

I see the disconnect in the millions of heartfelt messages from folks about our service members who sacrificed all. Many of these messages are from folks who don’t know the pain of this loss personally, but empathize with those that do. We remember the WW11 widow who went on to make a new life with her scrapbook of memories of a love only dreamt, because no one gets left behind.

I read the anecdotes from a friend in Honduras sad about leaving friends behind to return home. I see photo’s of smiling men laboring to improve learning and living conditions for folks thousands of miles away. I feel the American spirit in their photos.

I see young soldiers with backpacks full of miniature flags walking rows of white headstones placing each one with the care of a loved one. I imagine in his mind the glory he dreamt of how each patriot found his home there.

I read about young folks just starting their journey in life upon graduating from 15 years of security and learning. I’ve watched them over the years clean houses and yards for older folks less fortunate. I’ve watched them build structures to lighten the burden for those less physically fortunate. I see the American spirit.

I see photos of babies. Some in hospitals and some taking the first step in a family video. As I read the comments I feel the pain and joy of folks distant or near as the empathize or celebrate with the parents joy or sorrow.

I’ve read the stories of Europe being attacked and the heartfelt comments from Americans who desperately want to ease the pain of someone they can’t even imagine, or might not have even liked. I see the cover photos superimposed with foreign flags in solidarity with folks they will never know.

I see my neighbors cutting each other’s grass. I see the person at the cash register receive change from the cashier because they were a few cents short. I see the folks on the side of the road laughing and joking as they change a flat tire. I read on yard sake sites of mothers giving away baby clothes that no longer fit to anyone who might need them. Everywhere I look I see the American spirit.

There are folks outside and within our country that would have you believe being American is something evil. They’ll point to political figures. They’ll try and convince you that lies and deceit are the coin of our realm. Hell, they’ll even try to convince you we’re responsible for the Christian crusades if you listen long enough. Some of these accusation are truths and half truths of our government, but they aren’t part of the American spirit.

Take time to really reflect this weekend, folks died for this holiday. They died for you before your parents were born. They died before they had children or families of their own. Don’t feel bad about barbecuing, or swimming, or having too many beers with your friends. This was part of why they put theirselves in harms way.

But…. Remember that when the weekend is over they would expect that you would share some old clothes with someone less fortunate. They would expect that you would help out the neighbor who can’t cut their grass. They would expect you support or travel somewhere far away to help out folks in need. They would expect you share a kind word with someone, on line or face to face with a hug.

Trust me when I tell you they knew about the disconnect with the government. They lived and died with it. They worked within it with hopes to change it. They could spot an idiot a mile away. They also understood we aren’t our government, hence; “We the people in order to form a more perfect union….. Remember all the way back to that revolutionary soldier who passed on for you to grill with a machine he could never imagine.

Remember Freedom and goodwill are alive today for your to carry forward. It’s a legacy left to us. I’m encouraged that every second of every day their sacrifices are living and breathing in our efforts to be a better neighbor around the world.

Race and America, a political hustle

I’m watching Charles Barkley’s series “Race in America” and it’s frustrating to hear folks using “civil rights era” language and philosophies to attempt to define today’s divisions among Americans.

Folks acknowledge we are divided more today than ever. They say “race” is the problem in America, but what they mean is culture. This is the latent effect of multiculturalism. We further divided our nation by a hyphenated identity that has exponentially confused folks to the truth of division.

Segregation was the norm in America for decades. We had a “melting pot” philosophy, but the multicultural philosophy was a natural ethnic division. It’s intent may or may not have been intentional, but it had to be obvious that some folks from each division would use these differences to separate themselves.

Now there are divisions that go beyond race. We have gender, class, vocation, age, the list is endless. So now within each culture we have micro cultures and animosities transcend race based on other characteristics. It was inevitable that eventually we would start to use our differences for power. Political, economic, or social power over wealth and resources.

We are human. We are Americans. We are all unique and have characteristics to celebrate and overcome. Whether we are Christians or Muslims, legal or illegal citizens, dark or white we all are human. It’s the politics in America that have largely been responsible for our divisions, not our characteristics. It’s left and right politics that have taken away our shared humanity in order to control groups of voters in the pursuit of power. The moderate voice of reason has been silenced politically and silenced by political zealots.

Resources are finite as population grows. These divisions will mean more than heritage or genealogy one day if we don’t understand them today in context with how society has evolved in America. Government has prospered while society has suffered. European progressivism and their relationship with the civil rights movement are nostalgic for recognition that doesn’t serve America well today. The people and problems are not the same.

We shouldn’t have to wait for these Americans, of all races” to get their civil rights badge and die before we can move forward. Their efforts were valiant and established a base for America to move forward socially, but that’s over, and the reason we have museums. We have to move forward and there are folks off all races doing that, on their own.

This issue of race, is masking the covert use of culture in America and how it’s exploited culturally. Weather it’s a white politician pulling out a photo of themselves marching or sharing tacos, or a black politician waving an NRA membership card talking about “inner city violence” we can’t be fooled. These folks are using the beauty of our differences to divide us for their own political gain. I can’t list all the ways this is done for sake of brevity, but think of gender, employment, income, region, etc… Divide and conquer, it’s that simple.

We have to take control of our politics in order to regain control of our government. Then, and only then can we start to change the narrative of our social divisions. This, in my opinion, is the biggest issue facing America. Bigger than terrorism, health care, or guns.

Dust

Dust dances through the attic within shards of light slowly passing time along well worn planks. It’s magic they seek in the eyes of the beholder. They have no fairies or ghosts without the fertile or feeble minds staring in wonder.

Creeks and whistles play staccato games with swaying trees just beyond the pain. But this is a space of remembrance. A place where memories are free to roam through cob webs and yellowed paper.

Slowly I run my hand along wooden chests and metal straps. My mind travels along colorless photos of perfectly groomed alabaster faces wearing oversized suits and cinched dresses. I wonder how long it took these memories to arrive in my hands, in my mind, are they even mine.

I smell the struggle to open these boxes of yesterday. Places and moments are separate in the still morning light. Every box opens with a sigh and closes with a question. Is this real, was that then, or is this some cruel reminder of how distorted time really is. Minutes and hours are easy. Days and nights are bearable because tomorrow still exists. Past this yellow fades white, laughter sounds distant, and feeling is a remembrance or dream.

But I have what’s left of my memories in a box, that’s fortunate. I have captured time, or has it captured me, sometimes I wonder. What my hands can’t grasp my mind helps along. As the dust dances on in the light of a new day I’ll become the memory. A blessing and the curse of a life long lived.

Multicultural march to segregation on steroids

Multiculturalism as an extension of segregation, culture being the operative word. Folks are still confused today. Most folks mistake cultural indifference for racism. The “hood folks” being the major representation of the black (African American) race. This is how multiculturalism fooled everyone, it further segregated the nation exponentially.

Unfortunately many Americans were able to see the characters they were assigned, hence micro culture. Now the divisions are an endless drama of political and social discord that generates billions of dollars in everything from clothes and food to media and education. There is no incentive to stop dividing.

From contrasting addicts to cancer patients, homeless vets against refugees, even pitting folks who are employed against folks on government assistance the great divide is spreading. This is not accidental. This is our political structure failing and feeding on itself.

These divisions are tactics. The obvious nature of their goal is to create political and cultural anarchy, and they’ve succeeded with the less informed populace to the point folks will believe anything just to be part of something.

No one stands for our country. They feel they have to be on a side. True leadership stands in the gap and brings the realistic individuals from both sides together. This person or people have yet to surface.

The liberal left is heavily influenced by European progressives. They’ve invaded our government structure through positions within the government or with businesses contracted by the government. The European progressives have taken over the American media and are supported through a heavily influenced academia. It is imperative we take a pre Cold War approach to purging our political, educational, and entertainment industries.

The far right is heavily influenced by the “Über capitalist” operating within our economy to sway the balance of capitalism and democracy. They’re supported by the evangelical charismatic factions of our religious communities. The balance of religion and government is challenged by these charismatic figures who’s wealth has surpassed their faith.

Meanwhile, in the middle, many Americans look around in wonder at what’s happening to our country. This is dangerous because our working class folks are the ones funding this lunacy with their taxes. Middle class America is under siege and they won’t get fed up because they believe that the lunatics will go away like they have in the past. That doesn’t look like the case today.

The average guy/gal sits around worried about domestic goals. Vacation, new house or vehicle, and job security. They aren’t in touch with transgender soldiers or ghosts replacing skeletons in political closets. They may watch some satire and laugh or joke, but they’re busy working to make their situations and the situations in their communities better. If we threaten that security we’ll find a much more dangerous America.

The previous administration divided us to a point we haven’t seen since the civil war. We haven’t heard as much about globalization since they’ve been replaced, the Progressive Europeans have been quite within the current climate, but they’re working in the fringe with a handful of folks disgruntled about the election. It will take time for a course correction and if we don’t get 8 years without them it’s gonna get worse.

I’m not sure how much of what’s been done can be corrected, especially within 4 years. We have a lot of work to re establish our positions with our allies and our enemies. We are not positioned globally to be a leader.

No one can predict how this will unfold. Our blogs and other social media posts don’t matter much. Some write to enlighten, some out of confusion, and some to be right. At best we can give “our 2 cents” and hope collectively we can let these folks know we see through their deceits and will comment on them no matter for the sake of truth and the American way of standing up to attempts to define our life or the lives our our friends.

Of Nature and Desire

Concentrically narrowing foliage chokes my optimism with caution. Thorns and petals stalk my path to a less humid endeavors. But this is how truth hides, just beyond the greenery withering in all of us.

The canopy has levels that reveal light one shard at a time, until your above the tangle of vines where there is no forest floor. All you see is beauty framed by heaven as fresh air wisps away the rot decaying below.

If only I could fly away to stone. An edifice imagined. Stolid and thoughtful granite curves that time hides. Water cascades over the riffs she’s etched in my strength. Sun glistens on the darkness creating black rainbows in the mist, and lichen warms the crevices of my souls.

The beauty of this carnage we call nature is odd, like love it takes great pains and grows with time, only to be passed on to the budding life below. The tallest trees see it while taking warmth from above, mocking us as their roots draw from our strength. Their saplings without us withering in the clutches of vines, but it’s beauty to the naive.

Life is a beautiful struggle between our nature and our ideals, between our needs and desires. Inside us the biological and psychological battles constantly feed on us like the worms that till our soul, but all we see are faces as we paint our landscape with beauty.