Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life Just Is

Beyond flowery philosophies
Pushing past ideologies
Forgetting the search for deeper meaning
Letting go of a "higher being"
After our thoughts have faded away
And our striving has turned to gray:
Life just -

Please don't take this poem as an attack on attempts to put meaning into the lives we are given on this earth or as a slam against religion. I am a deeply philosophical and spiritually open person. This writing is just a piece meant to acknowledge the fact the we are here and that life is in us, no matter what it is we believe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Old Reflection

I recently got a bunch of papers and other miscellaneous items back from my JC friends (whom I was very excited to see), and was sorting through them. Among the heap of scraps I had scattered on my bedroom floor were many random bits of paper I had seized as temporary journals to house my immediate thoughts of the time. Most of them were easily discarded. My journal-type writing is usually done for myself, in that moment, and doesn't often hold any long term significance. But one particular exploratory literary musing held my attention as a piece of writing with some good thoughts to be carried on, and to be shared. And so here it is: a slightly edited version of a stream of consciousness write from over a year ago.

Why is there so much unbelief and doubt: in the world and in me? So much of religion is just a dishonest game, so how do you find real truth? I think truth is in values and principles. Doing the right thing in order to improve the world and to improve yourself is what is needed more than religion. Jesus said some beautiful things about love. If we actually believed and practiced those things, the we could get somewhere.

"God is love" and wants us to love each other. We can use "God" to represent all the good forces in the world [and all the things for which we have no explanation] - so why do people kill in the name of God? Must be a different God...

[Our purpose in life] is for us to "do unto others as we would have done to us". That purpose is for us to give, to love, to learn and to grow. A simple lifestyle is important to these objectives because material abundance only hinders and chokes. In living with less we can identify with those who have less out of necessity and not choice.

It is important for us to become aware of how our lives affect others and the world around us. The affluent masses can continue to consume without conscience because they have cut themselves off from the darkness in the world. The churches [and the people] "ignore the crying outside the door. Sure you'll pray for their burdens but you don't wanna make it yours" [quote from "What About Them", by John Reuben]. The religious excuse is that "Jesus did it all". They teach that "good works" (doing what is right and helping others) are not necessary for a spiritual [or fulfilled] life.

Now you ask me, "How do we know what is right and wrong?" But it is so simple! [We were built with] an inbuilt sense of justice, of truth, that most of society chooses to ignore. But they can't block it out completely. We [all] can tell that suffering is wrong, that killing, that selfishness, is wrong. {We are given] a desire to see things set straight. We naturally want to change things. But we are told "God has it under control, so don't try!", among other untruths aimed at keeping us complacent.

We are fed selfishness and distractions. But if we can let go of [and fight] these things, our faith can be placed in something deeper. Don't give up the fight for what is right.

-Spring 2008

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Room

The intermingling scents
lend an interesting sense
of understanding to the knowledge
about the dweller of this space
-this room-
with its faint sweet aroma of dead lilies,
the strong smell of burnt sage
and a hint of sex.

The pictures depict
a happiness
that you may wonder if she could truly possess
as a wanderer
a backslider and a jobless kitten;
But the dumpster kitty sails that sea
of voluntary poverty
and finds that she is truly a wealthy witch
as those
on Skid Row would know:
Those without a room,
without a partner,
without happy pictures or a loaned bicycle.

How did this wanderer land this luck,
this love,
this sense of purpose,
in a land of unloved, lost and broken souls
abused by the system and unwanted by society?

This room, yes, my room,
tells a story,
a story that many can't tell;
yet all should be able, one day,
to share.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Technological Advancements in the Area of Timewasting

I have now broken the pattern of "post, poem, post, poem." Oh well. You can read a full collection of my recent poetry by clicking here.

For such a staunch freegan, I sure do waste a lot - of time. Have you noticed that things that are meant to make our lives simpler have taken us over? The huge machine-powered industries that produce our food (and destroy our planet) make human lives no longer centered around the gathering and preparation of sustenance. And so then we need something else with which to fill our time, so why not make more machines? And it goes on and on, until each gadget we had to help us morphs into an entertainment piece, like computers and cellphones. Not to mention the time-filling machines with no other helpful purpose, such as video game consoles and the television (though, of course, it can be rightly argued that they do have another purpose - that of enslaving the minds of the masses to a certain veiwpoint).

We've even gotten to the point that we'll talk on our cellphones while in the bathroom or in a dumpster.

Free time is a valuable resource, and now that people have so much of it (thanks to technology), there is so much we can do with our lives! And for people freed of the "rat race", like myself, that's even more time that can be used in a positive way (like to help others or share time/life with friends). But I have found myself sucked into the vortex of cyberspace time and time again, wondering, where did the hours go? While I was at the Rainbow Gathering, I imagined all the great things I was going to do when I got home, like focusing on learning more on the guitar, or in Spanish, or even just to read more books. But then I get on the computer to "check my email" and find time just slipping out the window. It's easy to justify myself, to say that I spend half of my time volunteering at the soup kitchen and the house, so how I spend the rest of my time is my business. Sure, it is. And it's also my life slipping away. Well, perhaps next time I write, I'll speak a little more of the language I want to learn. What, tu no me crees???

Blogging Blues

Another thing I spend valuble time on is the reading of other blogs. Sometimes it makes me sad, wishing I could write more wittily, like my favorite cartoonist, Dan Pirarro. Or I wish I had a lot of followers, like my good friend Suelo. I think, "I'll try to be more personal and frequent, instead of writing like the informative, but only monthly, JC Newsletter." But then I think to myself again, heck, I write the same stuff in my paper journal and ask people not to read it, so why does it matter if I get read online?!?

Back to a philisophical viewpoint - The whole above paragraph is another indication of the need to release any attachments I have... Particularly the attachment to my ego, pride and the wish to be read.

If you haven't noticed, I have found a name I thought might work, but I am still open to more suggestions!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Rainbow of Diversity

Last week, I got back from a week-long adventure at my first Rainbow Gathering. This year, the festival was held near Cuba, New Mexico, in the mountains of the Santa Fe National Forest. It was a week of camping, hanging out, meeting new people from everywhere, eating a lot of good food (and coffee!!), and imagining a more permanent world of unity and nature such as I was experiencing.

"Rainbow Gathering" means different things to each individual who hears the phrase. To me, it means diversity. In that place and time, I saw and met people from every different persuasion, from punk kids to college students, hippies to school teachers (or some who are both), truckers and travelers, and many folks who work a normal 9-5 during the rest of the year. There were families and sweet kids running around, particularly around Kid Village camp and the Main Meadow. Drugs were present, but so were people who stay far away from such things (like myself).

Rainbow meant new friends, like Will, Sam and Lachlan, the three of whom I was lucky enough to camp with the whole time. Will and Sam (at left) gave me a ride to and from the gathering, for which I am grateful. Will had attended 5 other Gatherings, but for the rest of us, it was our first experience.

Speaking of friends, I got to meet up with my moneyless friend Suelo, who spent the last few days we were there hanging with my new friends and me. It was very good to see him and to speculate about future travel plans together.

Another memorable moment was on the 4th (a day of particular celebration at the Gathering), we were treated to the most beautiful double rainbow I have ever seen.

A lesson I learned from Rainbow was that there are so many different types of people in the world, and our job is not to persuade all to think the same way, but to learn how to work together and to learn from one another. We are the Rainbow.

"We love you!!"

(PS: check out Rainbow Gathering videos on Youtube)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The spangled banner stands proudly proclaiming
-its domination-
Acting as though its values reflect the virtues of
-our nation-
Vainly waving to us in front of the edifice
-of "justice"-
While the tiny procession brandishes its cardboard statement
-just this:-
Daily we sacrifice our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to
-mighty Mars-
A god whose greedy heart pumps innocent blood with which we fuel
-our cars-
Let our declaration be a dagger to the demons
-of violence-
Today eighteen faceless names, eighteen young voices
-now silenced-
No one names the thousands of foreign deaths
-we create-
Other people's family die needlessly while
-we anticipate-
Will we cut short the life of one more husband, wife
-or friend?-
Let it be said we stood, praying for this madness
-to end-