“You dare tell me who to be, who died and made you King of anything?”
turn up the volume,
dance in circles,
arms up high,
Join us in listening to real voices, recount live events in Yemen.
Mr. Rajeh sets forth an in person account of the fate of those, courageous, to stand up, or in this case, to “sit-in”:
Faud Rajeh reports at Surface Earth.
We were standing on the edge of the horizon, funny, but from up here, we looked over the horizon and down. It didn’t need to be that way, we could choose a different perspective, but some of our Earth habits remained. Looking down, we noticed a growing shimmering, a cloud rising and expanding, trying to obscure the view, luckily, we have never needed our eyes to see. That’s not to say we did not use them anyway.
Beneath the cloud, there was a pulsating orb of darkness. Not evil, sadness. The sadness was creeping in all directions, filling the space around it, and beneath and within was a family.
A mother wrung her hands as she looked out the window, practicing her smile. It’s not that she didn’t know how to smile, it had just been a very long time since she could do so without having to perform. We knew this woman, she had been flagged as a child as one that could keep the light. We watched her, it was all we were allowed to do, her forgotten contract was to march through the darkness. We loved her so very much when she looked at the moon and smiled and thanked her, calling her Mamma Moon, when she sang beneath the stars, off key, but singing nevertheless, the same songs over and over again. She would play in the forest, inventing games, not recalling that the games were real. She was lovely to behold, she gave forth a pure light, energy, that could not be dimmed.
The years went on.
You see, part of her contract was to remain true to her heart, despite what might be delivered along the way. We watched her light, it would dim at times, but never dip so low that we were afraid. We needed her light, she was a pinpoint across a map finely drawn long ago.
She was tempted, sorely over the years, to turn her back on those that had closed the doors only to knock again, asking for help. She had bleak moments, we always knew but it became more poingant depending upon what song she sang. When she asked in her songs to be heard, when she sang of the promise, we always knew she was still on track.
One day, the songs ended.
Some of us recalled, from prior lives, that everyone can change. They can paint and stop painting. They can write and stop writing. The only thing they can’t do is love and stop loving because love is never ending. They can only be mistaken with the word.
Christmas neared, the woman’s favorite time of year. She was not very hung up on either the history of Christmas or the present day madness, she loved the love, she loved the very joy of people wanting to do something for one another. Then, it seemed, her threads broke, the ones she had knotted and repaired and reinforced, snapped. She was on the edge of losing her love of Christmas.
We spoke among ourselves, we knew the rules. We could not show her or give her a glimpse of what is. It was horribly frustrating because even a mere glimpse would restore her light upon remembrance. We volleyed back and forth, giving reasons for and against, but we knew, God asked us, please, don’t go against this promise, the promise I gave her, that only she could summon forth the time to remember. If we interfere now, she will not know, if she could have remembered through love.
To judge or not to judge? Is that even an appropriate question?
To judge connotes disregarding the flaws, the weakness, the humanity in others.
To not judge, may suggest, to those struggling to survive, allowing others to take advantage.
Is there a bright line rule?
Is it possible to live in the spirit of pure love, whose necessary components are a lack of judgment and forgiveness?
Precious, defined conventionally according to Urban Dictionary, in part, as follows:
Something that means more to you than anyone could understand. It’s value and worth can’t be defined and you’d do anything to keep it. Beautiful and delicate.
Now, I understand. Something, someone worth more than can be defined. And that is the courageous young woman protrayed in Sapphire’s novel, Push, and now converted for a major motion picture, “Precious”. Not sure I like the entire definition linked hereto, we here at surface earth don’t like the word “obese”, it seems like a silly definition for those that weigh more than some others.
Regardless, I read the N.Y. Times Magazine article, “The Audacity of Precious“. The article asked if America was ready to hear this story, why, because it is true in many different ways and a large percentage of us walk by with eyes closed? Also, to be noted, a play on President Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope“. (Don’t get us started, at least for the moment, when people, news organizations, refer to our President as “Mr”. Come on, bitter grapes? He holds the highest office, can’t be that hard to address the gentleman as President.).
Is America ready to wake up? That’s what I wonder. I also wonder at my own perpetual sleep. Where was I, when Precious (fictional, but please, so many like her), was battling such odds? Where am I today and where is she?
We can sit and blame, point fingers, watch Fox News and hear supposed intellectuals scream at each other, but what happens as a result? Not much.
Aren’t we all part of the same web, the same consciousness, the same universal heart?
Should not my heart have broken when Precious or a young lady like her character lived through these moments? Should I not have been unable to breath as I was otherwise engaged in my daily living? If so, that would be conscious living, an inability to ignore when others suffer.
I am rambling my friends, but what are we doing? As a society, we should be able to do better at the beginning levels, if we see a child on the outside, jump in. Doesn’t mean we have to have an overreaching arm, it means in our moments involved, we don’t let a child sit in the back, we don’t let other kids in “our group” dis another, we don’t subscribe to it, we don’t breath it, we don’t allow it. In doing so, can’t we weave a safety net and pick up more than we would if our eyes were closed and we sat on our hands?
I had a hard time reading this book, almost put it down several times, but you know what? I struggled with reading the truth, the truth, I was not the one that had to endure living it.
Don’t give me any gods, any religious institutions, any walls or parameters where I can sit and ignore this happens to children who become adults and are ignored by their fellow man. Well not by all, read the book, there are those that ultimately, were not asleep at the wheel, and continue to be awake and pull the load for the rest of us.
May God bless them, and my I someday evolve to have 1/100 of the heart and courage of the young lady portrayed.
I reflected today on that simple phrase: Do No Harm.
I realized it would be a lottery ticket for the human race.
If we were to all adopt that mantra, breath and live it, we could re-balance the world.
I had been driving home from a meeting and was thinking of the state of the world. Thinking about the fact that ‘griping’ does little more than add more negativity (believe me, I can ‘gripe’) and I thought of the pure wisdom in the phrase ‘Do No Harm’. Instant winnings.
I of course digressed, suppose we strove to do the right thing only it turned out to be the wrong thing? Where would we go to find a point of reference? Again my mind turned to the phrase: ‘Do No Harm’.
I’m not trying to be redundant, it is occurring naturally. It is so very, very simple. We don’t have to worry about right or wrong if we follow those three little words.
I sometimes am dragged down, beyond my own bent for believing in the positive, and become saddened at the horrendous things that occur against humans, against animals, against the planet. How naive we can be to think we know much of anything. This whole limitless; yet, maybe self-repeating universe beyond us, what is it that we think we know? Can we truly believe we know anything as we sit and breath and live and laugh and love as even one human being, let alone, one child, goes harmed in the same moment?
I’m not much about division. I think that as I lift the fork to my mouth in celebration of a good meal, there is someone, somewhere, that cannot do the same, and to me, it makes no sense.
I find my comfort today in the words: Do No Harm.
If we all believed and lived this, I think, a lot of the ‘bad’ would take care of itself.
Now there are so many ways we could distort this, I don’t think you have the time or the patience for me to go through the variations, so I leave us with the simple import.
Can you choose your color today, or must others still do that for you? Can anyone of us with mixed heritage be predominantly called by just one name? What does that say about the heritage you choose (or is chosen for you), and the heritage not chosen? It appears to me that regardless of your standing in society, regardless of your accomplishments or natural talents, you must choose a color – or one will be chosen for you.
I wonder at that. In some ways, our nation has come a long way since Patricia ‘Pinky’ Johnson, in its day a very controversial film about a young black woman who passes for white.
“Pinky” was a slang term for light-skinned black Americans. We trust the term as used here is not offensive to anyone today as we are using same only as historical reference.
Lena Horne wanted to play the title role in this movie. Ms. Horne, among the most accomplished actresses and singers of all time, (awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk; Recording and Motion Pictures), was considered “light enough” to photograph “white” in the films of that time. However, that time was 1949 and 20th Century-Fox felt the movie would not show in most theaters (and for sure none in the South) since love scenes with a white actor were essential to the story. As a historical reference here as well, a “love scene” in the movies back then was an embrace or a kiss lasting more than a second (or about what you see Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed do in “It’s a Wonderful Life”). This was also the main reason she lost out on playing “Julie”, a role depicted for a “mulatto” woman in MGM’s 1951 remake of Show Boat.
In her autobiography, Ms Horne said she photographed so light that MGM was afraid people would mistake her for a white woman, so they had Max Factor (yes, the makeup legend himself) create a make-up line for her to “appear” as a black woman on screen with black men. For the films where the cast was white, MGM shot her scenes so they could be cut out when the films were shown in the South. Hey now, you don’t have to like every aspect of our history, but to ignore or deny any part of our history is simply foolish and only serves to condemn us all to repeat its mistakes in one fashion or another (e.g., Gay Rights).
Indeed, our nation has come a long way since the first showing of “Pinky”. The last US census showed that an increasing number of Americans identify themselves as “multiracial and mixed-race” when asked to identify their heritage and an increasing number is expected to choose so in the 2010 census. Nevertheless, customs and society norms, like any addiction, are difficult habits to break. The parents of our President are both white and black, yet the world, as does President Obama, describes himself only as a black man or an American of African decent. We are not attempting to diminish any of the reasons for this choice, but attempting to understand how a focus on “color” continues in 2009. For example, one of the readers of SurfaceEarth, C.Grego, recently commented that he was surprised to hear that CNN does not consider him a white man (he is Portuguese).
“I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept. I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.” Ms. Horne.
I believe we are long past that daydream now, and I hope Ms. Horne agrees. In regards to race, we have crossed the Rubicon. Sure, we can all turn around, look back and focus at the soiled and bloodied foot prints leading to the river, but cross it we have. It’s time to move on, and I wonder at that.
What are words?
I used to believe words were comprised of language, letters, consonants, vowels, pronunciations.
Now I am not so sure.
Are not words pre-formed images, that sometime before adopting, we agree are to be transmitted?
Is not the unfinished painting above a compilation of words?
“Before she became ill, David’s mother would often tell him that stories were alive. They weren’t alive in the way that people were alive, or even dogs or cats. People were alive whether you chose to notice them or not, while dogs tended to make you notice them if they decided that you weren’t paying them enough attention. Cats, meanwhile, were very good at pretending people didn’t exist at all when it suited them, but that was another matter entirely.
Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no read existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly, copyright 2006, p. 3.
$1200 a year.
It’s a lot for some of us.
Suppose some of us could come together and sponsor a child?
We owe it to each other and to the future, to help the young ones. $1200 a year is much too much for many of us, suppose we had a network where 12 of us could come together and give $100 a year? Is it possible?
Imagine how you, I, we, could feel waking up each day knowing we have helped a child that maybe believed they were beyond hope?
Please, leave your comments and thoughts to help the innocent.
Our blessings to you.