There was once a male human who went by the name of Phil. He had been on the planet Earth for 33 years and had mostly European ancestry. Of course these characteristics were anything but remarkable as every other person on planet Earth was a 33 year old male human who went by the name of Phil and had mostly European ancestry. Phil ached for something he could not define. And even though all Phils loved each other, or maybe because they did, they all ached for this missing piece of life, this thing like love. Phil knew this thing like love was closely tied with another thing, a physical act he called sex. Phil knew he was not sexually attracted to the other Phil’s, but could not fathom how something or someone sexually attractive to him would look. Every day was exactly as the day before. Every moment was the same as the moment before. The Earth was a completely smooth sphere. There was no East and no West. There was no North or South. There was no beginning and no end. And because difference held the potential for division, everything was exactly the same. But the Phils knew difference was also means to beauty. The Phils were brave and, one day the Phils rebelled against normality in an effort to create this thing they felt was missing. Some Phils shaved thier heads. Others grew their hair very long. Some of the long-haired Phils dyed their hair odd colors. Then Phils began dying their clothes. Their where Phils who wore blue and Phils who wore pink. There were other Phils who wore green and still others who wore grey. Some decided to spend their days in the sun, while others spent their days in the shade. Then Phils began changing their names. Some went by Frank and others by Sara, and still others went by Rasheed and others by Serin. They became male and female. They discovered sexual attraction and then sex. They became heterosexual and homosexual. Soon, new generations were born. They had forgotten that they were once all Phils and they fought over their differences. But, as a result of these differences, or maybe in spite of them, the planet Earth was, for the first time, truly beautiful.
“Damnit Vincent I’m serious! Don’t go down there.” Samuel says, “They already got willie! Them sheep ain’t like other sheep.”
Vincent laughs, “You must be high.” as he trots down the hill toward the herd.
Samuel follows reluctantly.
“Look Samuel, there’s no Shepard. These sheep are sitting ducks.”
“Don’t you think that is a little suspicious?!” Samuel insists.
“You’re starting to piss me off!”, Vincent snaps.
Vincent disappears into the herd. A few seconds latter sounds of fighting erupt from the block of sheep. Then the sound of a dog yipping and whimpering. A sheep skips out to the edge of the herd, its face drenched in blood and the leg of a wolf hanging from its mouth. The sheep chews calmly as it stares unflinchingly at Samuel.
‘Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.’ — Malcolm X. As writing may be used as a tool of releasing anger, to write may be counterproductive.
Philosophers put pen to paper or, more often lately, hit keys on a keyboard often in an attempt to inspire change. But what change does this writing realy inspire? Those of us who aim to create change actually work toward change; We don’t sit around telling others what they should do.
So what does writing accomplish? In most cases – nothing. It only spills our most valuable insights into our notebooks and laptops only providing us with a false sense of accomplishment and relieving us of our need to see real change.
As we grow older
Ache for legs to stand
Stand up now
Fault the shrub
For not being tall
Is no tree
Come to life again
Green from snow
Try to cut us down
Weeds will not be pulled
There was that place
The curve of your face
That scar only I knew about
And I could read you like brail
Lust inevitably fails
When the chemicals all fade to doubt
I saw your face last September
Not what I remember
That sea in your eyes starts to fade
And it’s not that I miss you
I don’t know how she is you
She was just a broken charade
Holding onto a dream
This space in my brain has changed
The shadow of new
Caged in pictures of you
But reality has rearranged
According to James Fowler’s Stages of Faith, the 5th stage of faith rejects logic and the 6th may be measured by the absense of worry in one’s life. (http://www.psychologycharts.com/james-fowler-stages-of-faith.html)
But, the way I understand it, logic is of God. To better understand the world is to better understand God. While there may be, and certainly will be, limits to my understanding of the world, the recognition of this truth does not dismiss the pursuit of knowledge. Contrarily, it invites a greater pursuit of knowledge. Secondly, to have no concerns is irrational. We are humans, bound by human experience. Although our pursuits may shift toward intangible aspects of life, as humans, our experience of this world is limited by these human bodies. As humans, we experience pain and pleasure as a result of the nerve endings in our bodies and chemicals in our brains. As pain is a naturally undesirable aspect of human life, pain avoidance is a natural part of human motivation. It is only natural that we plan ways to avoid pain. Enlightenment does not require that one be worry-free, but rather that one does not let his/her worries consume him/her. What will be will be perfectly as it will be. We may still concern ourselves with the state of the future. In fact, it may be truly selfless to concern ourselves with the state of the future even if this future only directly affects us. We can only care for others when we take care of ourselves. While no issue in our reality may create need for concern or worry, the desire to help others may create a space for worry to grow. This life is not mine. It is ours. I commit myself to helping my brothers and sister, to helping them because they are a part of the most divine that is in me. In order to help my brothers and sisters, I aim to care for myself. This means I will worry, but only as far as this worry may benefit my purpose in this reality.
Let it be blurry
Sweat and lights
Sweet tea summer
Taste of salt
Let it be blurry
The public pool
A constant chaos
A stolen kiss
Let it be blurry
And it hurts
Like it should
Unlike it will
Let it be blurry
Bigger than we
If such a thing could exist
Let it be blurry
In a sence
Let it be
I’ve been told I am this thing. I’m told that because I benefit from being this thing, I am not allowed to deny I am this thing. But I don’t benefit from being this thing. I benefit from people’s perception of me as this thing. I’d argue their perception is inaccurate and works to create greater division.
I recently heard a woman claim that “white” people are the only people who can claim they don’t identify as any particular “race”, because there is nowhere they have to feel they don’t belong. I could debate that point. Certainly not all “white” people are welcome in all places. But I believe the point this speaker was trying to make was that the people in power in our country are mostly “white”. Of course I recognize society has classified me as “white”. Of course I recognize that there are more people who are categorized as “white” than people who have any other label of “race” placed on them in positions of power in our country. I understand how these labels have shaped the power dynamic in our society. But these labels seem so arbitrary today. I understand how racism may continue to play a role in shaping the power dynamic in our country. The idea that the color of a person’s skin or their continent of familial dissent plays any role in determining their value as a person is often viewed as an archaic perspective even as this perspective was common only decades ago. I suppose it is not up for me to say whether I am “white”. My eyes tell me my skin is more of a “Harmonious Gold” on the Behr color scale:
But that isn’t what “white” means when it comes to skin color. Society says I am “white” because I have mostly European ancestry. Society also says that my friends who have mostly African ancestry are “black”. I have a social experiment for you. Ask a group of elementary school students what the opposite of white is. I’d be willing to bet a majority of them will say “black”. But we are not opposites. On the contrary; We are much more alike than we are different. To say I am not white is not to say I don’t recognize that people will try to assign this label to me or even that I benefit from it. Even as I recognize this label as inaccurate when it comes to most color scales, I can identify the alternate use of the term when it comes to skin color. At the same time, I cannot help but recognize how utterly useless this label may be when it comes to practical application.
It isn’t that I’m color-blind. I just don’t see how it matters. I understand that some people take pride in the color of their skin. This seems a little irrational to me. I suppose to say I am proud to be white would be an attempt to align myself with “white” people who have done great things. But our most significant commonality would seem to be the fact that our ancestors came from Europe. I don’t see how their accomplishments are anymore mine than the accomplishments of my other brothers and sisters with different continents of familial origin.
I do see how using these labels as means of identity works to divide us. To say I am a “white” man puts my familial origins even before my gender. So yes, I’ll concede that I am “white”, only because society has a magnificent way of redefining terms. But, in identifying this, I have to recognize that this label is rather useless when it comes to most practical applications. As language evolves with our progression as a society, I envision a future in which these labels are set aside in favor of more useful terms. Would it be such a crime to push for this change today?