Archive for January 18th, 2010

For Just One Day

(Alexa posted this on her Never In Our Names blog for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday last year. I think it’s worth reposting every year.)

For Just One Day

“And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn’t done, and done in a hurry, the whole world is doomed.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”

For just one day, let there be no progress. Let us not find a new way to convert seemingly worthless pieces of earth into technological slaves that fulfill our every whim. Let us not alter the chemical composition of this substance to turn it into something new, something nature never thought of, that will come back in the fish as a poison lasting millions of years. Let us not bring the fossil fuels up from the ground so that we can burn them, their particles rising into the air to return back to us in rain water. Let us not re-engineer the rice so that we get three crops a year instead of two, but are forever dependent on the manufacturers of the rice seed, because it is a sterile, patented product now. Let us leave Mars to the science fiction writers and give up thoughts of permanent homes on the Moon.

For just one day, let us be something less than what we could be. Let us have something less than what we could have. Let us look at what is possible and say, “no thanks,” in favor of what is preferable. Let the moon be for poets who make meaning out of its reflection on a lake. Let all things be as they are born and enjoyed just for that. And may you too be loved and embraced just as you were born, needing no embellishment or proof of your worth. Let how we treat the least among us reveal a societal identity we are proud to claim, one that leaves each of us feeling safe and secure even as we rest in the pure essence of our being.

For just one day, let us not earn our keep. Let us instead be still and listen to the birds sing in the trees, watch the wind blow in the leaves, feel that same breeze against our skin, and smile at how lucky we are to be living on Earth.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Today marks the holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dedicated his life to the freedom and dignity of all people, just as they were born. He was slain by an assasin’s bullet, but you still live. There remains a hope that if you dare, if you have the courage and the conviction, you may claim your life as your own and set yourself free.

This is an invitation. Be still and know that you are God, that God is all there is, and that that is good enough.

Sky Seed

He was the other kind of Yorkshireman. His forebears were not miners but handloom weavers, which meant that they had owned their lives instead of being vassals in a corporate endeavor. The blackened sandstone village where he had grown to manhood was built onto a south-facing hillside, with each house looking at the sun and each attic window stretched to cast the most of it. In their solitary lofts, his forefathers had woven all alone and all day long. The men led lives of monotony in communion with the sky. And while their hands mechanically performed the daily drudgery, their minds took off in all sorts of startling directions. In that one small town, there are tales to fill a book about the poets, chess players, and mathematicians whose brains grew to fruition in the long daylight of their attic eyries. And he was the inheritor of their collective thrift, their virtue, and their mysticism.

—John le Carre, The Night Manager


When I Worked

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