Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Before The Final Four

It's drizzling outside my window & the streets are empty & shining.
Not too far off, past the smell of damp magnolias, up on the river bank, I can clearly hear the strains of KISS playing 'Love Gun'.
I love Spring in New Orleans.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Family of Wendell Allen; a message from Silence Is Violence

This message came from Silence Is Violence today;

"Funeral services for Wendell Allen, the young man killed by the police last week, are being planned for this weekend. At this time, the Allen family is still struggling to meet funeral expenses, and they have asked for the assistance of SilenceIsViolence.

 If you are able to make a contribution during this time of need for the Allens, please contact Capital One Bank: You can contribute directly to account name Wendell Allen, account number 562-721-7244.
If you prefer to contribute through SilenceIsViolence, you can do so on our website. All contributions received by the organization this week will be forwarded to the Allen family.

  Wendell Allen was a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School. We have been contacted by teachers of his, who remembered Wendell as an energetic, outgoing, positive young person. He loved sports of all kinds--on the night he was killed, he has just come home from playing basketball with friends. Wendell attended Navarro College in Texas for a time before returning home to be near family. He was employed by Richard Disposal at the time of his senseless death.
  Last Wednesday evening, Wendell was resting in his room when New Orleans Police broke into the family home on a search warrant, based on suspected marijuana sales tied to the house. Wendell heard the noise and came to the stairs, where Officer Jason Colclough fatally shot him.
 Wendell was unarmed, and no explanation of why Officer Colclough used deadly force, nor any information about what is being done to address the killing by the NOPD, has been forthcoming from authorities. SilenceIsViolence is among many community members and organizations watching the follow-through on this case with concern.

  For now, we are working closely with Wendell's family, through our Victim Allies Project, to support them in their immediate emotional and logistical needs. Wendell's grandmother is particularly determined that they manage to bring his sister, Jeadell Quinn, home to bid her brother goodbye this weekend. Jeadell is enrolled at Sage University in Albany New York, so her travel will be costly (flights start at $600), and we hope that this small drive by SilenceIsViolence will help to cover those expenses.

  Thank you for joining us in supporting Wendell Allen's family. Please also join us in paying close attention to how the NOPD and Mayor Landrieu respond to this latest questionable action by local law enforcement. We will meet next Tuesday evening at 6pm at the SilenceIsViolence office (2702 Chartres Street) to discuss next steps; all are invited to take part in this conversation."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shine the Light

 It's a breezy afternoon, the windows are open, nothing is too pressing, and thoughts have gone elsewhere, to be dissolved and reintegrated as something else...

 Letting go and closing my eyes, I see it there, again, as it is always there; An indescribable source of Light, shining in infinite direction and distance, forever.

 At the center of All Things is The Light, not as it might appear in one's imagination, but existing in more dimensions than the simple space time continuum we think we know. It is the Source Light, and from it drifts the fallout of it manifesting itself, like the tiny pieces of ash that drift from an arc lamp, in all directions, which is more than we can imagine, with the constraints of three dimensions and linear time that limit our perception.

 Only by letting go of this world and allowing the mind to open can we become aware of this. Only through practice can we manage this experience.

 This Source Light of infinite gravity and uncontainable energy is a paradox, resolved only by releasing itself, to manifest microcosms of existence such as ours. Maybe this is the source of the Big Bang. Maybe this is the source of a nearly infinite number of Big Bangs, spinning a Universe of Universes, each with it's on set of elemental parameters and laws of physics. But that hardly matters. No pun intended...

 As these flakes of ash, chock full of the Energy of Source Light, go spinning away, their brief flame-out is the history of the entire universe each contains, in relative time to the Source Light, itself. Yet to us they seem like infinite expanses of galaxies, a dizzying array of data, so strongly effecting some of us that we deify this process.

It doesn't stop there.

 We go further down the rabbit hole, dividing ourselves according to the perception and identification of these deifications, even killing each other, en masse, over this silly, sad game.  
 But it goes farther, still. Rather than turn off our ego mechanism, designed to help us cope with this experience, among other things, we begin to believe that these egos, and these temporal fleshly bodies that house us, are all we are or will ever be.

 We take ownership of each other, exploit each other, divide ourselves by skin color, sex, belief system, property collection and power structure, until we begin to beleive these descriptions, ourselves. We carry cards associating us with each other, and learn to pre judge others by their mere affiliation with one group or another.
 Large collections of us regularly tap into and poison the very planet we live on, believing that our ego's will survive, somehow, when in reality, we are but living cells in an organic circus, a spinoff of the Source Light, a tiny reflection of it in every way, as big as our entire universe, and as connected to each other as your own right and left hands.
 Still, we battle on with a fight that does not exist, except within our own minds and hearts, as we have been taught to do. Not one of us is born with hate, or prejudice, or a desire to kill for profit. We enter this world as a reflection of the Source Light, infused with the tiny flecks of matter, speeding away from it, in our journey of entropy, as our lives spend out and our universe drifts apart from itself.
 We struggle to understand the physics of this, often using our limited knowledge to weaponize whatever truth we find there, for hatred or for profit. We seem incapable of understanding simple concepts, as we are blinded by our egos and the stories they adhere to.
 It is not Light that moves at 186000 miles a second. The Source Light doesn't move at all. Reality as we know it is developing, to our perception, at 186000 miles a second, which we see as a timeline. This is why light from a standing source, or light from a moving object, both appear to be moving at that speed. It doesn't matter, as we can only perceive the movement of light through our limited perception, not nearly broad enough to understand that the entire universe is moving, in more directions than we can ever know, from a center we can never see or read with the instruments of science.

 But look inside. Let your thoughts be pushed away from a growing bubble in the center of your mind's eye. Lose your name, your knowledge, you fears and expectations, one by one. Allow yourself to slip free, and begin to drift above your body. Let the Light begin to filter in.... let it grow....

 We are not alone. We are but a working segment of an organic field, infused with the Source Light. It manifests as consciousness as it merges with physical reality. A consciousness that, on some level, permeates everything in that physical reality.

 We have received the gift of self awareness in this. We have the reasoning to know we are aware, and wonder why. Perhaps it is The Passion, a desire for physical life so strong that it can overcome incredible odds to keep growing. Perhaps it is the desire to experience Love, to express in a physical realm, that which cannot be expressed completely elsewhere. Or perhaps it is the Source Light itself, yearning for the individual experiences, ups and downs, trials and discoveries that make up our lives. Those things too personal and close to be experienced by Everything, All At Once. And maybe each of these human experiences is some how absorbed, recorded emotionally and physically by that which has no emotion or physicality.

What ever the case, we are not alone. We are here, together, to find a way, to express that passion for life, to create and find that Love. And we are not simply conscious bags of meat, to be cut down for some selfish purpose or be enslaved and exploited by others. We are not our egos, a synapse powered glitch, bent on power over everything we touch or see.

We are an expression of love, we are star dust, and we are the light.

Shine it, won't you?
You're beautiful when you shine.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Y'all's Problem; a novel, by Michael Patrick Welch

  This was one of those occasions where you wind up somewhere that's really nowhere, at first. That is to say, I was between stuff. I had the rest of the afternoon to putter about. And man, can I putter.
It's amazing.

 A brand spanking new copy of 'Y'all's Problem' was on my reading table, courtesy of Michael, the White Bitch, hisself, so I thought I'd take a look, just a peek, inside. It was just after midnight when I finished the last page and closed the back cover. It's easy like that. And fun. It really is.

 'Yall's Problem' flows immediately along, like a conversation with a co-worker, becoming more intimate as you read, almost like a personal journal. This subtle change only pulls you deeper into the flow, and the inner thoughts & perspectives make the first person narrative take on a feeling of keeping a confidence, binding you to it a bit more.

 I found some Michael's basic characters to be almost stereotypical, at first, except that I have known these people before, or their doppelgangers, myself. After a while, they seem more iconic, as though the others were mere imitators. But then, service industry people tell so many stories of the mad, they all sound so.... familiar.

Anyway, as they interact with each other, and relationships develop, I almost wondered what some were doing while out of the text. I wanted to watch the story with them. But this iconography works very well in the easy flow of the birth of the story, allowing things to move quickly, on to more complex rhythms, and stranger tides.

The main character, Patrick, is complex in his simplicity. While often whining, or worrying about sounding whiny, he still sets out, stepping into the unknown, on a rather outlandish adventure, that, while not life changing perhaps, is life affirming, and a rather hilarious adventure at that. As he separates himself from the trappings of service industry youth culture, his coming of age may be a struggle, but a little ridiculous & naive as well.

 You would think this was a real life journal. It felt that way, except for the obvious story telling capabilities. The Hero is at once bold and tragic, poetic and loud, brave and whimpering, desperate and independent. The story itself is of love, lust, coming of age, leaving it all behind, and finding it again. And it's somehow very personal, to the reader. It's interesting to be in someone's head as the walls come down, one by one.

Read this book.
And thank you, Michael, for sharing something well worth keeping in my head.
And for hipping me to shells.
I had no idea.