Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sturm and Drang

Philadelphia Mural Arts Project BRIDGE Mural (47th and Chestnut Street)

I find myself sighing a lot recently. Yes, so dramatic, but so necessary, so relevant, so purge-pregnant.

Sigh ...

So much upheaval in the world – shall we label it from the way back: Sturm and Drang? That resistance? That recalcitrance? That unwillingness to reach across the societal divide that originates within our own selves?

Surely, it has always been this way. But every time I ask someone: “Has life/politics/culture/religion/society always been this dramatic, this full of opposition and resistance?” she replies: “No, I have never seen things this out of sorts.”

Wars? Sure. Class, race, ethnic, political friction? Certainly. Intellectualism vs. down-home common sense? You betcha. I want guns; you want organic garlic. Yeah, man.  We are at war with each other -- on account of rain. The individual irritants spread like a virus of discontent to families and affiliations and groups and societies and nations until the whole world is off balance – off-balance to the extent that there must be organized forces committed to the propagation of chaos. Something is pushing the unbalanced down a rabbit hole to that place where souls forget who they are.

Seriously, there are forces in the world that would rather say: “Damned it all to hell – with buckshot!” than: “Ohhhh, maybe I’m w-r-o-n-g.” There are those who pray for Armageddon, who believe sometimes you have to destroy something to save it; who truly think the enemy is MONSTROUS and incapable of humanity.

Not like us.

There are some who believe that the enemy is blocking the road to all that is good, and right, and deserved in life. Hell, if not for all those damned black hats, life would be a golden bowl of cherries! But, no one stops to think that maybe the enemy views us in the same black light. No one considers that we are the black hats in the hearts and minds of our enemies. Us and them. Light and dark. Up and down. Like in that old Pogo comic strip: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

But, what if when we saw the other guy struggling on the street, or read the account of someone’s life spiraling down, or suffered some indignity at the hands of a stranger, we resisted thinking: “Glad it’s not me,” or “Probably deserved,” or “Screw you and the horse you road in on!” and instead wondered: “Do I have the capacity to grasp his situation?” or better yet: “Can I help? At all?”

What if, them became us and vice versa. What if dark became light, the strange became familiar, and enemy became less than and closer to friend? What if all that resistance and complaining and shouting dissolved into dust on a table. And, what if we sat at that table, and looked across into the eyes of our brother?


Lori Skoog said...

Miss Coyote. Could you please get all human beings to read this? We all need to sit at that table.

mountain.mama said...

I would gladly sit with you.

CoyoteFe said...

Lori - Let me consult with my congressman. :-)

MM - I would like that!