And now I'm trying not to go into blind rage and hatred after the sickening shooting of Gabriella Giffords in Arizona today. Notice how I want to just blame Sarah Palin for her map with the addresses of Democrats targeted with bulls-eyes. And to see the video of Giffords talking about how it felt to be targeted that way, to hear her saying, "She (Palin) needs to realize that her words have consequences..."
I want to say some very ugly things right now. But I'm trying to be mindful that words have consequence, that every bit of hysteria or hate speech contributes to the nasty circus that American politics has become. I will say that I am going to continue to oppose Palin and her ilk with every breath in my body, but I will try to do it with a modicum of civility and reason. And that I have been driving around with Kirtana's CDs in my car stereo: Falling Awake and This Embrace, songs of the divine feminine, awakening, and compassion.
I listen to these CDs over and over because they are about the only things I can stand to hear. When I turn on the radio and hear the news of the day I so often feel sick at heart. Even the wonderful cultural programming that I normally eat up seems too "head-y" to me--my heart is really hungry for melody, for soothing, to be held in something greater than the political or social preoccupations of the moment. When i listen to kirtana's haunting lyrics and achingly-sweet voice, something inside me lets go. Something inside me can begin to imagine not being so identified with my opinions, my achievements, my thoughts. I begin to begin to be able to imagine what it might feel like to live in my heart...
Poems have been coming thick and fast the last couple of days, after a several weeks hiatus. I took a little time off from writing poetry in order to focus on the play some more. Now I'm in a new place with the play--more on that in a minute--and the poems are back. I notice the lines are longer, more complicated, and the poems feel thicker and meatier now (excuse me, vegetarians.) I started life as a verbose, overly narrative narrative poet and gradually weaned and edited myself down to a style that was lean and mean and honed. Then I began to long for a little more rope, the luxury of expanding, expounding, exploring. And lo and behond, it took a while, but these new poems seem to have become fuller in an organic way.
Of course it's too soon to tell yet, really,. I have to let their wings dry, as Ruth would say, and that takes at least a few weeks.
back to the play, I finally got the bright idea--actually I think it was Christopher's bright idea--to interview a military recruiter in the flesh. Looked on a web site called armystrong.com or something like that and found out there is a recruiting station right in Alameda, not that far from where I live. It's in a tiny strip mall on Blanding right off Tilden Way, a route I've taken a thousand times. The other day I just wandered in to the office and asked if I could talk with someone. The recruiter I ended up visiting with was a woman, petite, around forty years old, with a killer silver manicure. Nothing, and I mean nothing, like my character.
I don't feel comfortable posting all the details of the interview here--I will probably write about it later, after I've digested it-- but it was interesting. I felt like we were circling each other in a seduction dance. Not that either of us were trying to sexually pick up the other person, but we were both just trying to get a bead on each other: who is this woman, and what does she want (from me?) Since I am too old to join the military and have no kids to offer up, I didn't feel like I really had any leverage, that is, anything she wanted. Except, i guess, the power of the media, which in my case is pretty paltry. then again, wars are fought in the court of public opinion, and words are powerful. Sarah. Words are powerful. Let's just all remember that.