Our problems, time will have to solve them somedayI find something comforting in listening to music that sounds like a lollypop but is filled with gravel. I can’t get enough of this album, I suggest you test drive these songs.
The last few days, weeks now, I suppose, I have been caught in strange web of revolving moods. I am either in a constant state of heightened euphoria or a crippling low-flying funk. As soon as I feel that I am depressed, I look up and see that there is not a single thing in my life that could be “better.” But then when I start to feel that perhaps my life is perfect, I start to ask myself if this is all there is. Is this all I was meant to be doing? I am Slowly learning that this sensation of spinning from one opposite to the next is no cause for concern, but that it is normal and right. It has taken me thirty-two years to figure this out.
I guess this is the very nature of dialectics, a philosophy I have been casually studying since I saw Half Nelson. The philosophy, as I understand it, states that we are never happy or sad but that we are always happy and sad. We must simply always replace the word or with the word and. I think this logic gets to the root of escaping the feelings of disorientation I have been experiencing. There is also a Zen quality to the phenomena of understanding that although it appears there are two opposing forces working in everything in the universe, they are in actuality the same parts of one force. The world is one; we simply try to transform it into a duality. Instead of trying to escape a funk or stay in moments of joy we have to realize that they are both present in every moment, every experience; we must learn not to become attached to either state, because if we do, we will suffer from the loss of one and the presence of the other. Like a spinning wheel, we must allow each emotion to take its course and accept that both euphoria and sadness will lead to the blending of them both, and this merging of opposites actually makes up the entire universe. Everything is made up of two opposing forces. It is unwise to try and force a split. So I am happy and I am sad- all the time. I am glad to have learned that this is okay. I will expend less energy trying to escape my funk. Instead, I will enjoy it and see what I can grow in its soil. This post is but one example.
In other news, I am reading a book called Mindful Politics about merging politics and Buddhist practice. It is a collection of essay by people who have experience with this process, people like Thich Nhat Hanh and Jerry Brown.
“We are processes not products,” is the line that has captivated my attention the most thus far. The gist of the essays is that we cannot change the world, or our communities until we have freed ourselves from the very things we hate to see in society. You cannot carry anger, fear, and a sense of duality into the world and expect to rid the world of these very same traits. One vital lesson I am learning is that you should enter every argument or situation openly, not with a solution already in mind. This is very difficult for me, because I usually enter a debate with my mind already made up. George Bush is a bastard. Period. No room to argue. But it is this very stubbornness that is blocking up the system. He is both good and bad. My job is to simply see how we can find a way to exist in the same world as he does in peace. This is not easy, but going in knowing he is only bad is not the path toward peace. Trust me, this is just as hard for me to take as it must me for many of you, but I am learning that this is the right path. Whether he is good or bad is irrelevant. I haven’t posted many political posts lately, because I am reevaluating how I look at the world of politics, but I am realizing that it is much harder to comment on the world when you cannot take a side. There is no right or left. There is right and left. The secret is finding a compromise that will allow us to live in peace. I am hoping to learn more about this course in the future.
I am also beginning to recognize that perhaps, the very people I consider enemies (conservative, greedy, ignorant, violent republicans) are actually suffering too like all other beings. They need my love, just as much if not more, than their victims. This is a hard pill to swallow, but we must remember that we are all processes not products, right? I love you Dick Cheney, and I am here to help you find your Buddha nature when and if you are ready. I know that you are suffering from insecurity. I know that you are afraid to truly be yourself because of the environment you grew up in. I know that you wish you could love your daughter because she is gay not even though she is. I know you wish you could love more fully, and so, I want to declare to the world that I love Dick Cheney and want to help him. (I know it is hard to even look at this man, but it is our hatred of him that feeds hatred as a concept. Loving your enemy is the fundemental first step in the non-violence philosophy. Promote non-violence-Love Cheney.)
What else is there to say? I just saw Little Children and loved it. Once again proof this film is proof that we are all broken and that is okay. Being cracked is the reality we face. Broken people are not flawed. This is the way we are, every single one of us. We simply spend our lives fiddling with the pieces. We do not fiddle to fix ourselves; we simply go through the motions of manipulating the broken pieces, because that is how we learn and grow. I want to declare that when I say we are broken, the term is meant to be considered in a positive light. Because if we were not broken, how could we examine each tiny piece? We would be one piece and that is a product, and I think I have made my point: we are processes. Anyway, see this film. It illustrates the complicated nature of the human being in a beautiful way. I have found that art reflects our broken pieces in the best ways possible.
My class is about to start, and I must be getting back to work. My students are turning in some amazing poetry these days. I am not sure if I am teaching them anything or simply showing them the route to the pool of poetry that exists out beyond the_______ (fill in blank). Either way, I love the fact that it is a Tuesday afternoon around 2pm, and I will sit in a room with fifteen thirteen year olds and talk about the ability to convey reality to others.
Later, I will go home play with my daughter, feed her dinner, bathe her, and put her to sleep. I will then crawl into bed and sink into my book. Optimistic of the lesson I will learn there. I will share them with you when I can. Stay tuned. In the meantime, Albert Hammond Jr says:
There's something about you, that I know so wellI couldn’t agree more. What do you think?
Tell those questions I have no answers
I wish that I could sit in the sun