We enter life’s story for a period of time. Our words and actions create various subplots. Some have fought for peace and enlightenment, while others have wielded bullets as the final period at the end of a sentence to make their dark thoughts known. Who will be the heroes and villains of this tale? How and when will it all end? No one knows for sure. All I’m certain of is that humanity’s ill will and good deeds are collectively woven throughout our journey; our joys and sorrows inexorably intertwined. The ink of our blood and breath is scribed into the skin of one another. Every day we have a new chance to make this story right.
Sing a mindful melody. Lift spirits of the disease-stricken and sorrow-ridden. Reach high notes for all marginalized communities fighting for basic rights. Scream, hum, and lip-drum for Mother Nature; sway her mountain hips and ocean soul. Chant for children and the elderly, the abused and confused. Holler for the NEA, LGBTQ, and that endangered species known as young black men in America. Sing birds, sing humans, sing instruments. Breathe in prevailing winds of contempt, blow out a mighty song of peace. One that can shatter the devil’s flaming guitar into a million pieces.
Soon we’ll need restaurants strictly for Republicans, others for Democrats. We’ll need separate eateries for Muslims and Christians. Different luncheonettes for geniuses and idiots. Particular pizzerias for civil rights activists, others for the indifferent. Separate diners for dog owners and cat lovers. And what if, let’s say, tax collectors ever want to dine with garbage collectors, or those with halitosis want to eat with those who communicate by osmosis? New hasheries will need to be created, of course! Soon the land will be filled with restaurants of wildly different ethnic, political, and sexual orientations. All this food, and not nearly enough peace to go along with it.
What we’ve spelled correctly and incorrectly in the spelling bee of our intentions. What we’ve broken our bones working for. What we’ve broken our hearts loving and living for. What incurs our wrath, what mirrors our highest light. What we’ve taken apart like a puzzle in the dark and couldn’t put back together again. What guns will look like in a hundred years. What human goodness will look like in a hundred years. What Shakespeare would’ve said about today’s to-bleed or not-to-bleed world. What the kiss whispered to the fist in the after-hours bar of the soul.
We heal the wounds of broken-boned love. We savage the truth with razor-sharp tongues. Open hearts, locked doors. Double-dutch and double-crossing. Women claiming their power. Men behaving like children and children that are stone-cold killers. People rioting to protect civil rights. Others quoting the bible to justify evil. Hot coffee, cool jazz. Suicide and self-denial. Babies babbling wildly brilliant ideas before being hogtied by conformity. Meditation and mediation. Fingers caressing skin, while other fingers hover over a doomsday button. We have the world in our hands and tombstones on our minds.
The family separation crisis, the growing poverty and opioid crisis. Russian collusion and human trafficking. Hate crimes and climate change. Discrimination, racism, and mass shootings. Sexual assault, ethnonationalism, and Melania’s jacket. With everything going on these days, the last thing we need to bear is the striped soul of convicted indifference.
If I were the king of five-finger discounts I’d shoplift all bullets from guns, I’d shoplift heartbreak from broken love. If I could, I’d shoplift evil from our human condition. I’d shoplift wars, make people talk and listen. I’d shoplift the forgetting from aged minds. I’d shoplift the chains and hate that bind. I’d shoplift the tears from babies’ eyes. I’d shoplift the pain from separated families’ cries.
Our happily ever afters may not be like we once thought, but at least we can rewrite our stories with style, class, and personal panache. We can compose a shoes-off, wiggle-our-toes romp of soul-fandango’ing in finely tuned rhythm skins. A song of humming and strumming, like a perfectly flung Frisbee soaring gracefully on air. A life boomeranging back to us, complete with a well-harvested journey; sharing the fruits of all our labors with family, friends, and neighbors. An in-tune and fully bloomed version of beauty and possibility. A life we can press our lips to. A kiss that’s a meeting of dipping and darting tongues; a whip-smart and slippery slish-sloshing of oh my gosh what a wonderful penning to a beginning I never want to end.
when sweetness is pummeled by wickedness, when deceit is a virus leaked into a life of non-artificial intelligence, that’s when we bust a major move. Makes Superfly look like a repugnant ant. Our superhero trinity is dignity, civility, and equality. We cease the roar of guns and the blinging of racist dreams. We put empathy into the devil’s symphony. We re-bend crooked laws, fashion them into fairness. We are boot-stomping, music-romping, sweat-soaked warriors. We mosh in the pit out of which all strong soul survive.
The bright blue fingers of morning play a grand piano made of clouds. A loving breeze backrubs mountains, sighs of ease whisper towards sea. Dogs bark, daisies rise. All wounds and worries release impending nightblindness. With every tic toc, time sheds still another torture once imposed upon our lives. This bountiful day takes a drug that will make the sun set a little slower.