In Search of Friends

calvinhobbes_friends

Dear readers: I am restless but not in despair. Yes. I like to sneak artfully through the branches like the blue jay but alas for me I am just a man with an ordinary taut heart that wakens me to this simple morning. I get down on my knees and thank God for a simple morning. There are the resolute punctuation marks of suffering children and of men and women–all viewable from above the earth. You see them in refugee camps, that glib first world term for lawless imprisonments. I get down on my knees and thank God for a simple morning. I weep for my nation’s foreign policies that sustain refugee camps and arm the thieves and war lords of (insert region here). I long to be a step ahead of the premises that American citizenship requires a de facto investment in worldwide and regional sufferings. I want our government to fight for a reduction in arms sales–an international treaty–like ending slavery–arms manufacturing and profiteering are in fact a system of slavery. I want to get down on my knees. I wake up this way. I wake up and want to move faster than the inhuman state–the nation states. This has always been my pet theme. The life of the mind is like the tracks of a bird that’s hard to trace. I’m wriggling in the dawn. I feel like weeping. My country is killing civilians all over the place. My nation is on the wrong wavelength. America follows the smuggler’s paths. I want to kiss the ground, the literal, marled, wet ground. I want the young writers of my nation to give up on so much irony. I want them to stand up between the spectral lines and wave their bloody shirts. I want to say too much. I want to get down on my knees. I want to stand on gallows hill and read a poem. And yes, I need to check myself to see that my favorable darkness is properly wrapped around the stone in my poetry sling. I want to weep. Who would have me as a friend? I imagine those of us who care about human rights; we’re riding on trains that enter the illuminated stations. And the stations are futuristic. When we climb from our trains the directional signs say: “Freedom this way” and the other sign points to a museum of human affairs. I get down on my knees and thank God for a simple morning. I am restless but not in despair.

 

S.K.  

0 thoughts on “In Search of Friends

  1. I was auditing (a nice word for it) a class on Islam and was again reminded how the US will go into a third world country and demand that they stop making medicine cheaply and pay license and patent fees. We (citizens) are going into poor countries and demand that they pay for the privilege of using our patents. Even though the cost for medicine is then beyond the cost of living in the third world country. It’s sick.

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  2. Each one of us should get down on our knees and be thankful for each simple morning, for so many wake up to quite problematic mornings. (I don’t thank God, for I am quite sure that the Gods pay me no mind whatsoever.) SK, look at the history of your ancestral lineage and your ancestors’ cultural affiliations, and speculate, for a moment, about how you awakened to your simple morning smack dab in the middle of the North American continent.
    Albert Einstein said that things were simpler to understand if one could reduce ideas to their most elemental form. So saying, two people on an exceedingly remote desert island are competing for resouces that they both intrinsically understand will only support one of them until the time that a ship will come to pick them up, and take them back to civilization where they can resume their reproductive destinies. What happens? Here are the options:
    1. The two people share, and both die.
    2. One person kills the other to secure survival.
    3. One person commits suicide to secure the other person’s survival.
    It seems to me that if this scenario were repeated over and over again, the second option would dominate (one kills the other). Why? Because these people have been bred for self-preservation. The fact that they are alive attests to this. The first option would be second (they share). They have also been bred to understand that social supports are critical to their own survival, so preservation of social networks can be a fairly powerful motivating factor, but not ultimately as dominant as self-preservation. The third option would be last (suicide). This would be a strong manifestaton of the importance of society, over self, which is certainly not unheard of, as a society passes its own strong “self”-preservation instinct to its individual members.
    I know, it’s not very poetic. I told you I wasn’t much of a poet. Be happy. Problematic mornings only occur on a micro or macro level when resources are perceived to be inadequate. Iowa has all those lovely corn fields, fat hogs, cows with full udders and lovely, little backyard gardens brimming with shiny, red tomatoes. You should have nothing to worry about. Right?

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