This morning, I finally looked…
It must have been before my eyes a thousand times, until in every instance I gently averted them.
Today I looked straight at One World Trade Center, standing tall in the space on the horizon over Seventh Avenue so long occupied by the Twin Towers. I always remembered to look for them there, a futuristic eminence brushing up against heaven as I emerged from the stifling grasp of the subway... Just down the street yet a world apart, now distant in time as well.
It’s really about the people now, the lost, the hurt, the bereaved. And being me, I heard them too. They told me not to be afraid, or, more precisely, not to be afraid to look anymore. And there is still something I have been trying not to see. It’s why I have written so little of late.
It is the waking nightmare that is now. It is the state of our society since this last election (and before, but this has intensified the suffering and potential destruction worldwide), and the real dangers we all face at the whim of human human greed and aggression. It is the truth about what people are willing to do to one another. Even if it destroys them as well.
We need to look because we need to understand how to counteract this without resorting to the methods of the opposition, even though seeing what is happening could move even the most sentient soul to want to remove the problem by any means possible. We need to listen and say “NO” until everyone starts saying it too. And in most cases, they will.
As difficult as it has become, we must remain fearless as we face the danger. Today the appointed Attorney General of the United States announced an initiative that could result in the government seizing all the property of basically anyone that displeases it.
Happy belated Bastille Day -- we may be facing an economic Reign of Terror and yes, the Senate confirmed this individual knowing of such proclivities. Tonight I looked, really looked, at the people sleeping in Central Park, unbelieving that America can’t do better, yet wondering if they are not the lucky ones, because so little can be stolen from them. What will happen if trolls get their hands on people’s art?
We can move along the line of speculation, but the fact is we are here, in one moment in time, and we can see it all by looking. It is in the seeing that we will find the courage to lean into creating and nurturing the world as we know it should be.
Robert Plant said it well in these Led Zeppelin lyrics:
I don't know what to say about it,
When all you ears have turned away,
But now's the time to look and look again at what you see,
Is that the way it ought to stay?*
*Complete lyrics and song here