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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reality, I Don't "Feel" Your Drama

In this age when young males named "Hunter" are vegans and young females named "Grace" are head-to-toe-tattooed tribal warriors, I continue to scratch my head and wonder. I have given up on understanding the world as it is. At age 63, I find myself content to stand aside and observe while the young, busy people flex, text, and sext. In the meantime, I am lucky to maintain a weak grip on this rambling wreck of a planet as the centrifuge spins faster and faster.

I don't believe people are necessarily doing everything "wrong," it's just that, in my view, people are doing so much that is frivolous. I don't want to be a 21st century, responsible human being.

Here is a little list of some things I just don't want to do to keep abreast of the times:

1. I don't want to use all the latest technological advances to know what everyone else is doing every minute of the day. Save me the immediacy and triviality that lead to bad drama.

2. I don't want to use all the latest technological advances to tell everyone else what I am doing every minute of the day. I like privacy and a modicum of secrecy to guard my devious errors.

3. I don't want use to employ my right of free expression and be accused of stating opinions that upset every other Thomas, Richard, and Mary just because these folks might be offended by alternate thinking. Get over it. I refuse to let the Sameness Disease control every word that exits my lips.

4. I don't want to be a judgmental hypocrite chosen to protect and defend everyone else from bullies, from unkind comments, from Godless attitudes, from hurt feelings, from not reading directions, and from their own lazy indifference to every danger from a bruised knee while recklessly riding a skateboard to a serious concussion while voluntarily playing organized football. At this point, please employ Webster's for the definition of "risk."

5. I don't want to be modern by loving fashion, body modification, open sexuality, duck-call-tooting hillbillies, Amish-Mafia kingpins, alligator-slaying Cajuns, junk-collecting pickers, ghost-chasing investigators, house-sharing rich kids, and Honey Boo Boo. And, I know, her last name is Thompson. I can only hang my head and hope we share no DNA.

6. In fact, I don't want to be bothered by all the things others want me to do with my time UNLESS we can do them together with mutual respect, spend our time wisely and efficiently as we do them, and do them in such a manner that individuality comes to the fore and allows us the freedom to enjoy the genuine, eye-to-eye company of each other. 

Well, I guess that about sums up my feelings for the day. Now, if you choose, you can get back to the  app you downloaded, the latest Paris Hilton episode, or your Facebook update. I guess my boat floats in some pretty uncharted waters these days. But, the seas I choose are pretty serene and reminiscent of times past. Welcome aboard and anchors aweigh! Our entertainment today is provided by the gifted poet and activist, Maya Angelou. Caged birds are still singing... hop onboard.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou, written in 1978

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