Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All things

All things are used by God for good.
All things.
We Say it. We Preach it. Sing it. Proclaim it. Know it. Exclaim it.

Mean it.
Do we mean it? Can we?
Can you feel your soul recoil it the profundity of what that means?

What IS the meaning?

All things.
All things?!

It is easy to see how many things are used for good.
Dance. Joy. Music. Love. Giving. Accepting.
How does God use hatred for good? How is the denial of a human's essential humanity used for good?

When a human is. made. nothing.

Her hair shorn. Her children taken. Every token of her life. Her shoes. Her clothes. Her family.

Her. Him. Him. Him. Her. Her. Him. Her. Him. Him. Her. Her. Unending.

When we move to talk about it. To say, "Of course. It is used for good." My hair stands on end and screams to stop.
But can we. Mustn't we talk about it? Mustn't we consider... And feel... And question... And cry...And act.

We stay silently content to refuse to remember.
Content to wrap the memories in pain.
Someone else's pain.
Behind doors locked tightly too scary to go behind.

If we don't go there.
If we stop.
If we're still.
In our muted voices, our fists clenched, we think.
Someone else will go.
Someone else will reach.
Someone else will remember.

Our eyes and ears tightly sealed as a child singing "lalalalalalalala" so he cannot hear.

Isn't it destined to happen again? Isn't it happening again? It has happened again.
It is happening again.

What could the meaning possibly be?
Maybe the sight of the shoes collected at Auschwitz can shed light.

Piles. Mountains.
Millions of shoes.
Work Boots.
Ripped and worn.
Bought for holiday.
Worn for years.
The fabric of them still holding the stories of those who's footsteps they shared.

Shoes worn by Jews. And Gays. And Political Prisoners.
By humans. By you. By me.

The Holocaust showed no favor. Hatred shows no favor. If you were a Jew, you were denied yourself. You were eliminated. It mattered not if a person was rich. or talented. or poor. or brilliant. or slow. or immoral. or holy.
It did not matter. It did not matter.

What good. What good. What good. What good.

That we are one. We are human.
The talented. the brilliant. the slow. the immoral. the holy. We are one.

Remember this. Live this. Claim this. Preach this. Know this.

And maybe.
Just maybe
That is Good.


sheri said...

WOW Whitney!
That is such a powerful piece of writing!
Blown away!
You are GREAT writer! You should do something with this.
I love your point of view..
and I agree.
and i digress...

Ean said...


I'm glad you emailed me the link to this.

I am sorry I cannot comment on the quality of writing in terms of its craftpersonship - I'm pretty oblivious to most things poetic - but your voice, your frustration and outrage come through loud and clear and, so, on the sentiment of the poem I can comment.

Imagine, if you are able, that you could observe our planet and all it's species (including us) from some other viewpoint. Not necessarily a neutral one, should such a thing exist, but just as one exterior to us. Imagine that you, this viewer, belonging to some other world, had no vested interest in believing the human species was other than one species amongst many. To this viewer, we humans would appear different than other species where we did and the same as other species where we did. In other words, this viewer would see that humans alter their environments in ways and to extents that no other species comes close to. But what would this viewer observe about humans' social behavior as compared to other species? Do humans treat each other very diffrently than other species treat their members? Would this viewer compare us favorably, unfavorably or neutrally, to other species in terms of our "humanity?"

The point of my thought exercise is to demonstrate that there are a number of ways to wonder about us humans and a number of conclusions at which to arrive. The conclusion to which I have come is that our existence is the world of The Matrix. Because of our wiring - the very wiring that makes us what we are - we are unable to see ourselves as we really are, instead we are doomed to see ourselves from within the construct that our human brains create for us. I called this brain-created construct "the mind."

And therein lies the dissonance.

In our minds, there is a quest for "meaning"; in the world a quest for survival. In our minds, we must make sense of it all; in the world we must live long enough for our children to survive on their own. In our minds, mystery; in the world, scarcity. What if, in the final analysis - the viewer's analysis - all our existential suffering and angst is an odd byproduct of the peculiar wiring of the cerebral cortex?

There, no more dissonance. But I suspect you don't like that answer very much, and, in truth, neither do I even though it is my own. Your rage is the engine that moves the world a millionth of an inch closer to the possibilty of a compassionate state of existence. My philosophical satisfaction leaves me complacent, content to merely observe the world from my intellectually safe remove.

Betwixt us, you are, by far, the more useful.


Whitney said...

ah, yet it is the awareness that even the horror and hatred is honestly meaningless in the vast context of the universe that allows a spectacular canvas for choosing love. There is no mandate, nor doctrine, nor authority that truly makes it required. It is a meaningless, beautiful choice.