It’s a messy world, which part of the mess are you willing to handle?

In Irish Mist, Local projects, Music, Revision on September 10, 2014 at 7:50 am

So. I loathe violence, I love good humored jokes, friendly exchanges of views even of the tart and acid variety. I’ve experienced enough disruptions to appreciate the value of the simple, precious moments when life flows and all’s well within and without.

Those moments are precious. They are meaningful. Their worth: immeasurable, if and only if they don’t turn into a denial of uglier parts of reality or a refusal to engage and grapple with my own contradictions.

Personal friends and acquaintances have chosen to occupy a piece of wetland, in opposition to a planned dam – a small one as these things go, yet one requiring the cutting down of a swath of forest – “forest” in France being of a much more limited nature than in other regions where deforestation is occurring at a frightening pace. This is just a small dam. These are just a limited number of trees. No one listened to the opponents; no one reported on them until they ramped up the protest.

Now, of course, cries of outrage ring out. The opponents are fiends, savages, law-breakers. Seize them, knock them down, hit them, etc. If an elected official sides with them, seize him too, push him out of the way, shove him toward the stairs etc.

Would I go on a hunger strike on this issue, as one of my friends is doing? I would not. Would I risk a beating, a loss of work time because of injuries over the issue? I would not.Do I approve each and every action done by the protesters? I do not.But I do know that, were I still nineteen, twenty-three, thirty-six or forty-two years old, I would be out there protesting with them.

In the meantime, an elected official gets removed from government for a host of reasons relative to non-payment of income tax, non-declaration of assets and non-payment of his rent for three years. The Ebola virus continues its rampage (but it’s only in Africa, right? None of us risk infection, do we?). War, famine, pestilence and so on. Business as usual. The banks are doing OK.  Be quiet. Eat your vegetable or you’ll have no dessert.

Story? Oh yes, that too. (Plus a magical musical moment in dream-time. I still had the tune in my head when I woke up. It’s gone now, but in the dream, someone picked it up and started riffing in counterpoint on it. Lovely, it was. Yes, that’s part of story too.)


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