Sunday, January 24, 2010

Indio California

Its hot, were packed in like cattle. Corrals keeping us in line, sweat is dripping from my brow down the bridge of my nose and further down my face. It took 9 hours, 2 rest stops, 3 bags of chips, 2 sodas, 8 bottles of water, a handful of cashews, 1 awesome playlist and 1 hour of straight laughter to get here. Still waiting. The car is parked the sun is bearing down with the midday heat and suddenly everything starts moving. This polo field fills with movement and life. People slowly moving forward shirts tied around their heads, cut-off pants, mini fans, parasols and lots of skin. Suddenly the lines break and we move through security as they check our bags, our pockets and our hair at times. Then you're in, part of an exclusive crowd that grows each year. Welcome to the inner fields of Coachella.
The music festival that puts all others to shame. Not only is the lineup philosophized minutes after that years festival ends but the growing chatter is deafening and the hopeful people waiting eagerly for bands to sign on for the fest, and crazily craving the tickets to go on sale. Its a frenzy of madness and indulgence and musical release that so many look forward to each year. It can turn into a madhouse selling out within two weeks. Every year so many make the trek there without even knowing how they will make it out. The stage is set, the lineup posted, and the crowds are already moving.
This year already has the making to be a crazy desert party. With the likes of deadmau5, passion pit, wale, bassnectar, beach house, camera obscura, John Waters???!!, sia, dead weather, mgmt, infected mushroom, sly and the family stone, the glitch mob, jay-z?, the gorillaz and THOM YORKE.
Its going to be a wild year, the ride up there, the camping in the field, the music, the money, the drinks and the debauchery. Madness ensues in 82 days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Its not Fair

"Change does not roll in on wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle."
Martin Luther King Jr.

These words strike deep and make me think every time that I read them. How can they be applied to the current social landscape of the United States, and even the world.
Although today is a far cry from the days of lynchings, sit-ins, marches and protests we still have the air of complacency hanging over our heads as deathly as a makeshift gallows that have stolen so many of our brethren. It is easy to be content with our current situation, our schools are integrated, our social fabric is such that all colors and creeds work side by side.

"Today they say that we are free, only to be chained in poverty..." Robert Nesta Marley

This is not enough. There are still struggles there is still fights to be fought. There are still battles to be waged. There are gender roles that need to be equalized, sexual orientation that needs to be equalized, there is poverty that needs to be eliminated and there is compassion that needs to be spread. These are battles that need to be fought.

Martin Luther King Jr. Said once "A man that won't die for something is not fit to live."

These times are the times that his words still ring true. Change does not come easy but comes after much struggle and hardship. More so than ever we need these words to be a guiding beacon for a better future.
With so many people voting for Obama we voted for change and a symbolic change has happened. A new leader arrived and yet people all across America are still destitute and hopeless in the outlook of this new decade that is upon us. They cry, wail and look for anyone to blame. Is this the way?
If Martin Luther King Jr. could see today what would be his response to our current political/social landscape?
Would he cozy up on a the couch, grab a beer and watch television knowing that his children and grandchildren can now go school with all the other kids? Would he sit back and complain that Obama is not doing enough? Would he sit on a rocking chair and tell the neighborhood children about his struggles and champion moments.
The answer is NO.
Martin Luther King jr. would not stop now and would not stop ever. There is never a a time where we must give up. We now have a nation in crisis, a world in need. The struggles in Haiti, Darfur, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tibet, and the list goes on. Most of all the struggle where YOU live. It could be anywhere in the world, and wherever you are there are poor. There are hungry, there is economic crisis, there is social injustice.
Solomon Burke said it best, "if one us are chained then none of us are free."
So instead of simply saying thank you for the good that Martin Luther King jr. has done get up today and everyday from this moment on and be a champion for human rights, for all rights. You can lend your hand or support to causes and struggles all over the world. Instead of being complacent, or instead of waiting on the President lets take our own future into our own hands. We each have that power to make a better tomorrow. Plant a seed of hope into the earth that yields hope and progress in return.

In memory of Martin Luther King Jr. January 15th 1929-April 4th 1968
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride your back unless your back is bent."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Children Playing

Walking home from school together with her, he runs off to the side of a house and tears a yellow rose from the bushes and runs back to her, placing it in her hair.

Two children playing outside in a wooden cottage just about their size. With real wood shutters, door with lock, kitchen set in corner and a small patio. The little boy playing house with the little girl. He pretends to go to work outside the house making bricks and building walls, gathering pecans and grapes and climbing trees. She works with him plays in the mud making mud pies and throwing mud in his face. He gets upset and hides, she goes to look for him and when she finds him they scuffle and then end up playing a game of tag. Running through the yard around trees and around bushes. He falls and scrapes his knee she goes over to him and helps him clean his scrape and they sit together looking tenderly into each others eyes.
Their parents call them inside its time to go they hug and say goodbye. They will see each other again but neither of them know when.

The mornings are hard, waking suddenly from an alarm that shakes him awake. Hitting snooze at least 3 times before he finally pulls the covers from his body and gets dressed and ready. He places his hand on hers and kisses her forehead gently as he leaves the bedroom. Getting coffee, getting the car keys putting on the winter garb and rushing out the door to a iced over windshield and cold car interior. He starts the car, turns the heater on full blast as he scrapes the windshield of all the ice that has accrued. Sitting alone silent in the early morning hours he waits for the car to warm so he can speed of to work. Getting to work he settles into his cubicle and starts his work day.

Getting up she is playing house, get some water, clean the kitchen, cook some food. Organize the shelves, dusting, make the beds, make sure the children are off to school on time. She sips a cup of coffee and sits to the computer and checks her email. We used to play house when we were younger and now its real and we don't act any different.

We both go off and do our own things. During these times of separation they sing to themselves the beautiful words of a poet, "How soon will I be seeing you? How soon? I wish I really knew. When will I be hearing words I want to hear? Pretty little love words whispered in my ear.....". When we are together we play and chase each other, sometimes hurting the others feelings and other times just hurting. Taking turns taking care of each other. Smiling and crying with each other as days and events pass. Still the same children having to face the pains of the world. Standing together hand in hand as the world crumbles around them, skies burning, wars igniting all around them, disease and fear spreading internationally. Having only each other to lean on, they look out into the face of darkness and go calmly into the night. After all there is no fear in children playing.

They take time to remember who they are and why they play and that you are never too old to play. Every once in a while they will catch a glimpse of that past, that child, that spirit, that soul they still recognize from their childhood. They sit and stare deeply into each others eyes. They could easily forget what really matters being away from each other for too long. These times when they sit in thunderous silence and the the background seems to fade to black, hand in hand sitting near each other. Just being.

Sometimes when he is coming home from work during the warm days of spring and summer, he drives around searching for homes with rose bushes, he finds an empty yard with a rose bush by the door. Parks the car leaves the ignition running and takes his house keys and cuts a rose from the bush, running back to the car and driving home quickly. Walking in the door he sneaks up behind her and puts a yellow rose in her hair.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Midst Of Demeter's Depression

When Hades kidnapped Persephone from Demeter it caused Demeter to be depressed in the months that she was away. This period would be known as Winter.

In the midst of Demeter's depression the days fell short and the nights grew long and cold. The life giving star had retreated further away from home, and light and warmth became scant. This solstice carried with it icy breath and frozen hearts. No fire could tame the winds of ice, and no man could stop the crystalline water from falling. Early morning hours most unforgivable and the joints of my own hands tremble and become stiff. This dim lit season carry unkind temperatures and with it something more. In the midst of this solstice shortening of days, elongating of nights we find ourselves hibernating, holing up in our homes, waiting for the light to emerge so we can escape our dark and bitterly cold dens. In this time there is none to keep us company but ourselves. Faced with introspection and deep thought we look at our place in life and our place in the world. When the light creeps from around that bend do we rise as new or do return to exhausted ideologies and failed starts. As the dawn awakes and crosses the horizon I choose not to fall into previous pitfalls and move forward with the dusk to my back.