WHAT DO WE WANT? WAR!!
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW !!
WHY DO WE WANT IT? GOOD QUESTION!!
Like the global warming deniers, I can't imagine that anyone thinks we are in charge here. At least I think that's what they are saying, those who decry the notion that we are responsible for heating up the planet; suspecting something larger is at play. We've barely come awake, on this planet we don't even understand. See how we rape and transgress upon it, at every turn! An eye blink ago we didn't even know that it was round; unable to extrapolate from the balls in the blue that swing around us so revealingly. In all these eons of having thumbs, and finally, the wits to use them, we seem to have preferred to see the pretty sparkling heavenly array as having been installed just for our amusement! We finally figured it out it's true, but in the larger scheme of things, that was just yesterday! And then, there's our vanity, seeing ourselves as being the only 'conscious' tool- users; despite the web, the comb, the dam, the towering, air-conditioned sky scrapers of the lowly communal termites; all of which provided not only nourishment for us and them, but the inspiration for our own most basic wonders. Superior, we're not.
How can it not be, that we are just instruments of some hierarchic pleasure, here to amuse a fickle God, who by all appearances has spawned us and amuses Himself by threatening us at every turn of this shaky, crumbling home of ours, so marvelous and so beyond our comprehension? How long ago in the eons of our existence was it, that we even began to appreciate its magnificence, almost by accident, as we stumbled upon its intricacies in our anxiety to defeat one another and often crushed its most delicate and wondrous creations in the process?
Surely all of our silly games will lead to some further adventure, equipped as we are to either destroy ourselves completely or turn the tools or our aggression outward on this hostile landscape we call a Universe, filled with free wheeling incendiaries, celestial time bombs, darting this way and that; and change its witlessness concerning our future and that of every blade of grass that feeds us, in some way or another?
But would we have come up with them on our own? We are naught but blundering simians, each of us operating on the supposition that we alone matter; and so we do, as far as our little lives, "rounded with a sleep" can matter. No one of us can stop the crashing tide of 'human endeavor' that is imperialism. Individually, we are helpless to stop the marauding warriors that make life such an impossible Hell for so many. We throw up our hands, 'not my problem', and duck into our warmly lit burrows, content with our paltry treasures, the myths we write of our own wondrous natures, and the fruits of our labor and our loins.
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May we live long and prosper, but at whose expense, would you say? Which color and shape of us, if any, will end up being the "chosen" ones? Is it not more likely that the shroud of ignorance that surrounds us all is a purpose of the remote Heavens, that shields us from our awful task: Revolt! Indeed, we're good at that; if nothing else. But not against some earthly foe, some despot or vagabond, but against the very Power that holds us, if not dear, then captive to its Holy Order: Every living thing must die! Or, if not, then by dying, every one of us in turn, will defeat death altogether. And Life, that magic force that wakes us each morning as the sun hits the ledge, and sends us forth hungry, to feed our young and subdue the beast that we have convinced ourselves lurks in every dark corner, until we wake no more.
How is it we do not wonder about that brevity with which we are honored? Because we do not have to, one at a time. It is all of us wondering together that has forged this unity, this defiance, this living force that kills, even as it lauds existence. Why do we expect this world to make sense when nothing on it does? All we can expect is change, and all we can do is adjust to it. But our heads are constructed, not to root for grubs in the earth, but to swing upward, like flowers, and seek the light; and when a piece of it moves too quickly, is headed our way, to doubt its intentions and argue its purpose, and by arguing, change its course. We could not dream to do this if we had not inflicted such misery on ourselves.
We are the watchmen at the gate. Our thumbs and our swiveling necks have elected us. By default we are the true saviors of an existence for which we cannot begin to take credit. That humble admission, perhaps the only humility we truly exhibit, leads us to give credit elsewhere, To Gods lodged in the empty, confusing blackness that has so unwillingly given up its secrets. To Heaven, whatever it is. For if not them, then who? We are the gardeners, the caretakers, and we see that the ball that lifts and twists us in the cosmic breeze is fragile and dear, and will one day perish; and all of it of the Sun's devising.
And when that merry, scalding power deserts us, we will make an ark, as our myths advise us; for our myths are not historic but intuitive; and two by two we'll take the treasures from here and spirit them away to some other, friendlier place.
But before that distant time, like David against Goliath, we will swing our little slings, those evil things, those weapons of mass destruction so monstrous and overblown for fighting our messy little wars, but just the thing for giants,; and hit them just right, and send them packing along with their murderous cohorts, and find the peace we will need to start thinking about where to go from here.
Not so stupid as we appear, but no one of us is privy to the effort. It's a human thing on too grand a scale for any individual's appreciation, and all the little human things we do to amuse ourselves in the meantime are just that; trivial pastimes keeping us busy. Plant sow reap hoe, don't think about death, which is around every corner. Think about life. That's what thinking is for. Death is the absence of thought. Death is what's out there, hurtling this way, for all time and against all life.
And it is we who must gather our forces and our suspicions, and defy it, deny it; all TOGETHER.
Born in Long Island public school year in Sweden as exchange student, went to Harvard one year, Cooper Union in NYC as Art student. Have two children, one of whom is rock mogul, the other has three daughters, one of whom has two daughters, making me (more...