Tyree Nichols Has Risen

Three days to die, to lay in wait

till his specter appeared in the harsh glare of the nation’s spotlight for the entire world to witness.

Tortured by the murderous blows of five “peace” officers  

Against this one slight and gentle soul

Whose crime, mistrust,

formed by scores of injustice,

told him to run.

The police assassins ravaged and raged while those hired to serve and protect stood by

as he cried out for a mother who wasn’t there.

Who will condone this, copy this, crow about it and

where will my sons be when they come again?

Crap shoot is our condition,

luck good or bad.

Chance translates to anxiety.

Anxiety silently kills

as sorrow becomes our national pastime.

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Gun Violence Comes From Guns

Gun manufacturers are being questioned about the billions of dollars and intention of selling assault weapons to the public.

Their defense is it’s not their fault if the wrong person buys the guns. The guns are benign.

The people taking advantage of that argument are people who support wrong people because that populace will keep them in power and money.

The gun manufacturers say murderers are the problem and the problems are local, not their business.

I think you have to have murderous tendencies to want an assault weapon but let’s say that’s not true.

You have to embrace violence to want those weapons.

You have to be a person prepared to exert the kind of destruction those weapons can wield.

By definition, if you want to own a weapon of mass destruction, you are willing to generate mass destruction.

You might not think it’s your design to render flesh and bone to pulp but you are ready to do that if pressed.

You want to be ready to do that.

You are the person who breathes life into that not benign weapon of destruction.

You are who it was made for.

Citizens with less violent inclinations but infected with the modern American paranoia of wanting a weapon to protect from the murderous lunatics put more money in the pockets of the gun manufacturers and politicians who support them.

The gun manufacturers have made them for you and you have made them billionaires.

This is the new balance.

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Bitchin Yoga Weighs In as Democracy Falls

Bitchin yoga weighs in on the glorious and shocking as a matter of course.

Why be silent in these darkest days when silence is surrender.

Silence is defeat.

Surrender is not so much my circumstance as resigned.

And resigned is not so much the truth as hopeless.

When Bitchin yoga is hopeless more than angry,

When depression smolders under the scorched earth it’s a warning sign.

In case you needed more.

I have no signal for those who can’t receive what they don’t recognize, what’s never been their vocabulary.

The perpetrators of these end days might shift focus if they looked outside the familiar, the messages of the complicit. Some might call it facts. I would call it facts.

But it’s not comfortable to hear opposing views. It’s uncomfortable to admit wrongdoing. Then it’s nice to believe in “alternate facts” which the Trump administration invented and you deemed acceptable.

Better to stay with the people who assure you of your rightness.

Better to stay self righteous.

Better to create a supreme being complicit in your unruliness.

 Then you don’t have to do any work to find your wayward way.

The supreme leader does it for you.

Some call it God to mask the word Trump.

Some call it Trump outright.

Either way, they don’t care, nor does he, about you or your families.

They care for their self interest which they’ve convinced you are yours though you bear zero resemblance to them or their riches.

You will believe that a treasure chest of guns is the right of every man and that those guns are for glory.

You will look at carnage and corruption in equanimity saying it’s not your fault.

You will vote against your own self interest because someone whispers socialism in your ear and even as those Republicans evoke a fake bogeyman they move toward complete anarchy and fascism.

I can’t fathom you being that dim-witted.

You who will not read this anyway would have no expectations of my opinions.

But once again and for posterity my opinion is duly noted.

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The Inmates Run this Institution

Mentally deficient politicians dictate the laws of this country.

Mental illness is the murder problem, say the mentally deranged who decide these things.

Three years difference in age will fix the problem of gun fueled rage is the only dared position of the opposition who know nothing can be done anyway. Few are brave enough to demand all assault weapons illegal.

Assault weapons can stay because the minority unhinged who vote or the morally bankrupt money worshipers who provide the guns will keep corrupt legislators in power.

Any person with the urge to buy an assault weapon is clearly mentally unhealthy.

In a country that doesn’t take care of its poor, homeless, elderly, one feels that job security is the thin veil between victim hood and self determination.

Rather than fix the country for all of us they will cling to their jobs. Though they could band together for justice they don’t trust each other enough to make a move. They work for themselves and no one else. They live in social isolation.

We are scared and broken and self serving. Scared and broken, self serving should replace liberty and justice for all.

Job security determines the votes in Congress; power determines the ruling from Justice.

Humanity rots under the fallen moldy canopy of a once bright American sky.

Mental illness is not a singular problem but the general condition of a people with no hope, no power and no pride.

Lady Liberty’s statement of independence no longer describes independence from oppression but anarchy.

Huddled masses of bloody children yearning to be free.

Freedom is for the killers and opportunists.

The rest are managed. Mange our bodies, our education, our marriage, our vote.

The United States is now the shit hole country that Trump declared the less advantaged.

The would-be autocrat and his coven of craven cowards have advanced the darkness within us all.

Sorrow and hate rise quickly to surface at the least provocation.

Mental sickness is our status.

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Close the Sky.

Roblindsaypictures

It stays with me day and night, this plea for help from Ukrainian president Voldoymyr Zelensky.

Close the sky.

It says everything in three words. Protect us. Save us. Defend us.

The endless vastness of the sky that was the only space we saw, that free air, germless air, a refuge from claustrophobia, was a savior through years of sheltering in place against Covid 19.

The sky was heaven for a lost congregation and a cathedral of prayer.

Now it is too big, too formless, too ethereal a canopy for the civilization below.

Death can reign from the sky.

Close is a familiar word to the world now.

Close the schools. Close the office. Close the mask over your nose.

Close the sky is disturbingly beautiful to me. This plea born of terror, of agony and despair should not be beautiful but in its simplicity and strangeness I find it so.

If it was not beautiful would it not be so powerful?

The sky cannot be closed. It is a place without borders. This is what makes it so magnificent and fearsome.

And impossible.

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Ukraine

There’s a distance of ten thousand miles between my sweet steaming coffee and the fuming television screen this morning. Russian artillery fire smolders as an endless stream of raging grey tanks move toward Kyiv. My coffee tastes like ash.

How weird a world where one sits in the privilege of home and comfort watching another existence violently crumple. It’s like watching a murder while eating pastries. It feels a bit sociopathic though to turn away is its own lack.

Endless stories of crying children and frightened mothers, of bravery and treachery blaze across the airways as the onslaught escalates, as journalists relate pleas for help, as the Western world contemplates and discusses measures to halt the destruction in slow motion as if a country isn’t being eaten alive while they prevaricate.

Watching Ukrainian President Zelensky I’m reminded of Patrick, one of the beloved characters in the series Schitt’s Creek because they look alike and because the characters of both are simply beautiful.

Admitting this impression feels guilty. I have the luxury to think these shallow thoughts though I will defend to the death the usefulness of lowbrow television as a way to know the mind of the culturally  average, which to be redundant, is most of us who engage in a world beyond our villages or want to.

These images of Putin’s war are not unlike a T.V. series as we become no less horrified or heartbroken but maybe a bit numb by the regularly scheduled sameness of it all.

How fucked up is that?

Everything on this planet is interrelated. When the web pulls anywhere it affects us. When a soul suffers we suffer with it. When pain is inflicted in another we wince.

Why do men provoke war? What women say in real time to each other is that they are morons. Is it a woman’s job to stay their hands? Could they when the ire is raised in self righteous lies they tell themselves?

There’s no need to lash out as I want to and no easy answer when dealing with detente and madness. The black and white that defines absolute always becomes grey when it sits in the atmosphere but it doesn’t feel that way today.

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Man Advances While Nature Plots

Vertigo plagues me. Motionlessness, I feel the planet hurl through space.

I considered the story line of Corona 19 as a malevolent, intelligent intentional predator oozing through a dying earth’s portal. I imagined animals exhausted by human destruction agreeing to host the virus on a symbiotic sentient mission to scour humankind with a fearsome plague.

In a fit of communal self loathing my fury at the state of our complicity grimly assures me we had it coming.

Killer viruses color the paper masked days.

I looked up data on the intelligence of viruses.  They possess a vague consciousness. They are parasites that mutate via hosts. Their mission is life everlasting.

Predators are a foundation of the animal kingdom. It’s nothing new that one survives by the demise of another.

It’s about dinner or dominion.

But humans are different. Our predatory patterns are not of a natural world but more complex.

Our idea of dinner can involve a world of hurt before we inflict the final blow to be packaged in plastic.

Our need for dominance involves excess.

The earth’s disease didn’t start by blood but desire.

Desire at its root is the same for all mankind. It’s the inhale. The inhale says yes. I want life.

To hold the inhale or to grasp it before the exhalation’s absolute emptiness disrupts the circuits. It is a sign of dis-ease. You can feel it in hyperventilation, indigestion, pelvic disorders, and jaw pain. This lack of ease is the first imbalance.

The virus comes for and by the inhale.

Such dark poetry but delicacy is for easier times.

Two steps forward and one step back is our nature and an antidote to the barrenness of a linear life.

The curve can endure more force than a straight line. Still, under force it can curve too much. The integrity of the whole breaks down.

The forces of ignorance or incompetence or incapacity are reeling us in.

Though in so many ways life is made easier than ever we’ve staggered backwards more than a step this time.

That is the vertigo. That is the wobble.

Imbalance begets disease.

The selfishly toxic politicians and talking heads, the abused environment, and the under-served ignorant public are the malady.

Disease is not the end but the beginning of our pandemic.

Salvation is not simplistic in a complex and confused society that fights it.

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Thin Blue Veil

Star Trek Captain of the Enterprise, William Shatner exited Jeff Besos’ Blue Origin rocket at the age of 90 overwhelmed by the revelation that the minuscule five foot wide thin blue veil surrounding earth is all that separates us from destruction.

Distance and space shed light on this slight protection as well as the perspective of a combined humanity who will live or die together.

The illumination defies the fact that we see ourselves as unrelated tribes speaking unrelated languages, living individual lives.

It defies our aversion to amend bad habits despite worry for the planet.

All that separates us summons the greeting Namaste.  The light in you recognizes the light in me. The suggestion is I see you and I see you are like me though we mostly don’t see or believe that.

The words thin blue veil stay with me.  In this post quarantine Pandemic infused 2.0 life I see that veil hanging like a pall between what was and what will be. The atmosphere feels toxic and beyond repair. The dream of the greatest nation a spec in the bygone distance.

The prevailing text of modern yoga states at the outset that the goal of yoga is to lift the veil of ignorance about our true nature. At this moment of cynical denial of undeniable truths, the veil prevails as evidenced by the current social civil war.  I once thought yoga could save the world but it seems only to have become another distraction.

This veil is a fog of confusion. Should this veil dissipate might we come to recognize the true nature of ourselves in concert with our environment? Would the release of one veil not protect the one surrounding the planet? Would the emptiness of the word us become instead a construct of social reform?

The veil between courtesy and contempt is a porous shroud blowing in the breeze of moodiness.

The veil between health and sickness is a moment that changes everything.

The veil between friend and foe is fickle and self serving.

The veil between comfortable and destitute is always uncertain.

The veil between fact and opinion is a wall.

The veil between Liberal and Conservative an electric fence.

The veil between the boomers and whatever letter this generation is, is language.

The veil between relevant and discarded makes no sense.

The veil between male and female is full of holes.

The nature to watch for disaster is hardwired. To look at life with optimism takes work and practice. The right environment makes it easier but that environment is not prevailing. Everything is in question now.

What will we give up for the love of the earth and her creatures?

What can we buy that has no plastic?

What can we eat that hasn’t harmed a person or animal?

How should we build our home to not over extend?

Buy our clothes?

Invest our money?

How will we make the least impact on the fragile blue veil?

What can we pretend is not our problem?

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The Social Contract Breaks First

Don’t Tread on Me

Trump’s last year set on the field of Global Pandemic in a battle between Left and Right unmasked incompatible ideas of human rights, personal freedom and truth.

The quarantined  constant chatter about the intractable, unreasonable, myopic and ignorant human condition , one side furiously judging the other  had dampened bitchin yoga’s fire and spoiled my appetite for the rant. 

Recently the phrase “social contract” came up in conversation and stirred the curtains. Social contract is the foundation of modern yoga and social contract is the glue that holds this country together.

From Hilary Lindsay Rebel Yogis 2001 Calendar

~The social contract of yoga is self centered.

~The social contract of Judeo/Christian ethics is founded on love for others.

~The social contract that founded America was designed to protect us from each other’s worst impulses.

In the “Yoga Sutras” which is the seminal work of modern yoga, the author offers a system to manage man’s weaknesses with a check list to determine the outcome of the process.

Don’t harm or steal or overstep. Don’t covet or lie. In unspoken theory, if you follow those rules the outcome is a shiny spirit, a fire in the belly for work, a desire to learn including knowledge of one’s self and the recognition that there’s something greater than the sum of one that dictates the energy we share. And we are humble.

The outcome will be a better society but not because we are concerned with society. We are managing our composure to ensure personal peace.

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In the biblical teachings we are asked to love our neighbors as ourselves and the Ten Commandments share some of the tenants of the Sutras. The intention attributed to Jesus is love.  Love others and things will go well.

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The social contract that founded America was derived largely from the philosophy of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes who posited that conflict is inevitable in nature and men left to their own selfish devices will need government to restrain their passions. Paradoxically legal restraints are a necessary measure toward individual freedom. The alternative is vigilantism. Hobbes called this a war of every one against every one. Madison and Hamilton concurred and put safeguards in our Constitution.

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Now citizens who mistake anarchy for liberty are emboldened by Donald Trump’s new Republican leadership.  Don’t tread on me has been exhumed from the American Revolution to serve as a battle cry for the Libertarians and Tea Party enthusiasts who seemingly have no concept of American civics. The ignorance and subsequent violence are causing the wounded country to hemorrhage. The January 6th insurrection was no anomaly but a peek beneath the sheets.

Today is July 4th, the day Americans celebrate the notion of freedom by firing off explosives. In theory it’s an awesome and glorious display of light and power, a show by the people for the people.

Here in the buckle of the Bible belt as they used to call Tennessee, personal fireworks are banned but if anyone pays that heed I haven’t noticed. Fireworks begin weeks before the fourth terrorizing the dogs and horses at the nearby agricultural center where we gather each day to walk with friends.

Where these days simplicity allows for constructs of Black v. White, Left v. Right, Gal v. Guy, Straight v. High, the behavior around gunshot blasts of explosives in neighboring yards now blurs those lines as anyone can disprove the position of love your neighbor as yourself. 

Not to be a total buzz kill, this American past time is beloved and brief.  Though I have given up seeing fireworks to stay home with my quaking dogs, I am a fan. And because I know when the local displays begin I am able to manage my animals.

The things is that though social networks reveal the widespread terror our kids and animals face each year in the face of neighbors randomly setting off explosives for weeks prior and on the 4th from their own yards people who know the law will not be enforced  do not mind how they affect others. They are entitled. The line is drawn there.

Entitled is the new norm. Freedom may be the most misunderstood word in the dictionary. The social contracts are breaking down. Yoga is not excluded.

What is the sound of freedom ringing?

This is a blog and so I’ll leave it there. You can fill in the rest as you see it.

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Buried Alive

February 2021

We lie but do not rest in peace beneath a white shroud. Sea to shining sea, there is no footing in this block of ice though human footprints soften in drowning snow.

The sound of my own thoughts is the only sound I hear.

Snow is a quiet that’s not the absence of sound but a sound itself.

Different than the hush that keeps spiraling in a year of tornadoes, floods, fires and quarantine.

Perhaps it’s the lone balance for the chatter of political dissent that roared ceaselessly across the airwaves, on twitter, the internet, our conversations, that kept us in touch.

Eleven months after global quarantine, we shelter in place once more.

Nature’s shots keep pace with shots in arms. Her power is a fury.

Blessed be the tired earth as it slays its inhabitants again.

The virus persists but the people weary of worry laid down their guard and rushed to work and habit.

Lack of discipline or protection sent us back to life marked at dawn ringing alarms.

Alarm. What is that? How is that a word to wake up to?

Alarm is the ringing bell of my awakening.

How long must I hide out because others will not?

Their habits prolong my prison sentence as they excuse themselves from the table.

How will I get to my ailing parents?

What use am I to anyone here in the confines of my home asylum.

Every day the same day. Every thought the same thought.

Buried alive.

But now the snow melts and rain moves toward us on the scent of spring.

The nature of man is undeniable.

Even as we ready for floods, warned again,

We rise from the burial ground like ghostly shadows

And reach for the light.

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