Traveling through America, I see how beautiful and robust, teaming with extraordinary lives and landscapes. I’ve driven through this whole country, but feel no closer to understanding it. I have not been able to figure out, at least geographically, why there appears to be a wide dearth between different factions in our country. They do not appear in the virulent summer valleys of the Rocky Mountain wilderness. You will find no natural reason for a human divide even across the one which divides the continent.
Within Swathes of the Holocene-era diversity cities and regions across America are afraid of each other. BIPOC must experience this country as a hellscape a times. The intolerance and bigotry has lynched Black and Native folk for centuries. Where the judgment of character before skin color is more of nightmare than it is a dream.
But it’s the White majorities whom have me crawling in my also white skin. Most of the places I lived in places America I did not belong. Where hints of homosexuality, of otherness, of intelligence, of true independence were sniffed out and rubbed in. I was prayed out of churches and asked to leave leadership due to my sexual orientation. You could be a woman, a man, a foreigner, or BIPOC which was amazing. But being openly gay- even messing around with a guy and you’d get expelled from the college I attended. For out of wedlock sex, drinking and smoking cigarettes too. Homosexuality is still “banned” in some way and deemed immoral in most of America. You learn the messages that you’re not wanted and subhuman from an early age. And you learn to hide those parts of your innate nature lest you be ripped wide out from your home, family, social status, your life.
Maybe some people choose to live in ignorance to the plight of humanity and the ecosystems because of extreme selfishness- justified by Biblical doctrine- when it’s convenient to bring in. That’s why they have to hide behind deific devotions & false arguments of morality and tradition.
The only way someone can continue to oppress and enslave others is if they subjugate their own humanity. That in itself is the problem. It is insidious and inhumane. Americans have somehow become less than human. I try not to take it personally. It seemed the land had taken something out of them too.
There are places in America that will make you know you’re felt less than welcomed. That you’re not wanted and subhuman. The only way someone can continue to oppress and enslave others is if they subjugate their own humanity. They somehow become less than human. It seemed the land had taken something out of them too.
I’m beginning to see beauty in and all things even in the evening of the trump administration’s demise. The destroyers can be our greatest allies- if we choose. For the opposition to the freedom of humanity has forces us to look in the recesses of our own hearts and minds.
The shadow is an illusion. We get lost in the dark places because we forget there’s always another way forward and out of the hatred, and chaos.
A common theme I’ve experienced in my travels and in my former profession of social work, is that life grows a myriad of different ways. There’s no exact right way to live.
There are some ways that may and are better ways of living but it is not my job to judge that as long as it’s not harming, neglecting, or abusing another person.
I cannot speak objectively about Texas or about the real red southern states (Alabama, Mississippi, LA, parts of tenneseee and Georgia) because I have lived in each of these states or spent a decent amount of time. But on the surface- and I know I’m speaking from the perspective of a 1/2 Jewish gay man who can pass for straight and can slip pass the gaydar to an extent I’m any this for context and to assert that I am only speaking from my broad but still semi privileged position. That’s why it’s so important for those in places of leadership to step up and for the least of these.
A Psalm Across America (Part 1 of 2)
I did not see the great minds
of my generation
wiped out by madness.
The minds were mined
discarded into waste bins,
Databanks of iPhones,
drinking leaden water
All the goodness
leached from bone
and from the world,
Coiffed sound bites
chaff given unto the masses.
Leaves of grass
once curled around
our children’s fingers
in Pastures of the past
Grew oil fields and shopping malls
Our hearts and apples
hang on withered trees
Past and passed their ripened state
Wilted fruit- still holding
onto the blessings of some
The promise of abundance
Is for all or it’s for none.
America tangled up in blue
in the leaves of
a toupee’d coup de gras
Lines drawn in
tanlines of a tyrant.
I was held in the arms of a saguaro cactus in Arizona
Two hundred years of solitude
Like the forbears of children I have held while they cried or laughed or sat silent in the still morning hours
After they left their parents
And whose arms do we cleave to, now?
Us the steady orphans
Set towards the slaughter
By the Generation that used to lead us by the hand.
Into that silent night you go.
Go it alone, we must.
This seeking is not in vain nor will it ever end