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03/19/2003 Entry: ""Any Minute, Now""
The sky above this anonymous stripmall is dramatic with swaths of purple, black and the day's last shades of blue. There's a slight chill and a bit of a hush. In the market today, an elderly lady with a kercheif wrapped tightly around his silver bun asked in whisper to the produce mananger "so, Henry, when they say that war's gonna start?" His wrinkled eyes told of many tales of war, and now this one, with a hint of resignation, looked her back and said "about any minute now, sister. Maybe by eight o'clock."
That's an hour from now and a world away from this cyber cafe with Barry Manilowe bellowing that he "writes the songs." Ted Kopel's military-supplied double armoured toupee bobbed up and down in a serious yet sterile reportage of impending violence and carnage, and if you're bored of that already there's always basketball playoffs, right?
I'm disturbed by the face we're putting on for this conflagration... one of "well, we can't do nothing about it," and "well, they prob'ly had it comin' to 'em," and "God will sort it out." Soon, all eyes will be on our boys in the Gulf, praying for their safe return, but what about the 3 million children in Baghdad? What about the elderly women in Iraqi markets, heads wrapped humbly, watching the skies and praying that they can make it home before the city catches fire? The eager Marines, sandblasted in Kuwait, fingers itching for battle cannot be held individually accountable for the upcoming razing of a people; yet upon each one of them is transmitted the power to judge by bullet and might. How many Iraqis, far searated from the regieme that governs them, will be guilty merely by being at the wrong place at the wrong time? How many children won't survive the night? How many dreams will find Allah by climbing an oily whisp of battle smoke?
Will those who claim to represent America sleep easy tonight, dreaming of apple pie and mother, undisturbed by the screams as innocent people cower in whatever dark corner they can find as America falls around them in a laser-guided telemetry of violence?
By God, my God, I only pray that we wake up from this silent acceptance of this greedy war. For the first time in American history, we are about to embark on a war without precident, a war designed to prevent rather than forstall. The old guts and glory paradigm is being raised up on flagpoles, while we quietly scurry away true diplomacy and trtue democracy. If it is we, the USA, that are somehow endowed with more dedmocracy than anyone else, isn't that what we should be giving to the Middle East? Bombs are not democratic. Slinging the most massive bombardment of artillery in untold years on a city the size of Los Angeles is not generous... it does not foster liberty, but like the abuser in the family, simply perpetuates the same violence that has gone on for far too long.
The only way to stop violence of any kind is to stop violence.
We all know the analogy of the butterfly blissing in flight in China will bring a tornado to Texas. If we flutter our hearts in the direction of not only Baghdad, but Washginton, and to all people who live under the threat of unjust governments and outcomes they would not dare to wish upon anyone, for any reason. We may not be able to prevent this perverse nightmare of those weak and undaring people who have seized the Constitution and clouded the glass of worldview, but we can place our hopes and intentions in a sacred place where their doctrines and missives cannot go. There is a line that they cannot cross, no matter their munitions or their weilding of bloodstined laws; and that line is the covenant I make with the Source of all Love, with the Creator, the Holy, the One that makes things to live and be as bold and as beautiful as their dreams. That line, no matter how slender and tenuous, is a vein that connects all things... my life to Iraqi life, a dandelion to a grey seal, me to you.
Whether you believe in God/Goddess/Goodness or not, if you feel love at all to anything at all, that is your sensation alone, and share it where you like, you can choose to say that none can enter it that don't respect it. What is soon to happen, in perhaps minutes now, does not respect that feeling in any way. I disown what is about to happen. I will not let it in and keep me from what I hold as sacred.
At the market today I bought a candle; one of those enclosed by glass that you find in the Latin section that burns for seven days. I wrote "Earth" on the glass in green magic marker, in the hope that that little word may find some light shining through it, even now, as the world sits tensely on the brink of a fearsome time. There is nothing better that I can offer right now, that light is my wings flapping towards a better wind that could blow in the place of the breath we've harvested to make war.
May history say that love prevailed, after all.
Meanwhile, my computer is still down, and I'm sitting here at the cyber cafe waiting for the technoboob to call and say all is fixed. I feel almost handless. There's a list of things on my desk of things I want to google; cybernetics, theurgy, and Oscar Wilde. Maybe tomorrow.
I'm having increasing bouts of dyslexia and mixing up my words. I'm starting a Gingko/Ginseng combo that I hope will fix this. And maybe more sleep.