Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking for Peace on Earth

I wrote this piece a little more than a week ago, yet never posted it. 'Though I no longer feel sad, I think that it's still relevant.

Today, I am sad.

Three days before Christmas and I don't see any peace on earth, nor much in the way of good will t'wards men, women or any other living being. One voice within me, that which speaks from and for my head, tells me that it doesn't matter one whit if it is Christmas or not; the daily atrocities of war and exploitation exist all through the year, and are equally abhorrent regardless of when they take place. Moreover, I am not a Christian, haven't been since I was thirteen, why should I fall for that sentimental Christmas rhetoric?

"Well," responds my heart, "for many years of your life, Christmas was that time of awe and wonder. A time when merriment and joy to the world seemed to be taken more seriously. One of the few times grown-ups seemed to actually be of some good cheer, overall. It was a time of great promise that you looked forward, each year offering the promise of some miracle. Now, you don't have that, and it hurts."

I know that both my head and my heart are right. That it is not their job to agree, but integrated and balanced they inform my whole self.

I notice that not so many people seem to be really enjoying themselves right now. There are too many unknowns lurking in our future. I think that the heart and mind dissonance of having a holiday that is strongly associated with peace and charity occur at this time, is occurring for others, as well as for myself.

I think that there are many other internal conflicts happening within our culture, and that most of us are in pain. The pain of knowing that the president thinks it's okay to spy on peace activists, and so many others; of knowing that we are in a war built on trumped-up allegations and selective information (and the occasional full on lie); that that same war has cost over 2, 000 US lives, and 10s of 1,000s of Iraqi lives; of knowing that we are neglecting and exploiting people in this country to serve the wealthiest—including demands of a blood sacrifice to feed the war machine with the bodies of the young men and women of the poor, working and middle classes; of knowing that we cannot trust that we have free and fair elections in this country anymore. And that pain is made sharper by the heart's voice, that hope many of us once held that this was a democratic country, whose law was based on the rights put forth in our beloved constitution—that for all of the US's possible shortcomings, at least we were a free and democratically controlled nation—and knowing the disillusionment of waking up and finding that those beliefs are a pack of lies… damned lies, and that those beliefs and a buck-forty will get you on the bus.

The solstice is passed. The light is returning. We must allow ourselves to acknowledge our hurts and disillusionments, we must grieve them, and we must dare to build a vision of another way of being—another way of inter-relating and co-creating a truly free and democratic society. And then we must empower ourselves, and each other, to act on it, and make it so. This is my solstice prayer.

We don't need to allow this any longer. We have had enough of bullshit intimidation, lies, distractions, disrespect and degradation. We have had enough.