Recently, while waiting for my take-out food, I overheard a gentlemen equating the participants of the Wall Street uprising to a herd of elephants;“Once you get’em all riled up, they just don’t care who they trample.”
Respectfully…I don’t think so. If the principles of non-violence are maintained, Thomas Jefferson gets wiser-by-the day when he and his peers described the concept of democracy as one being designed to require the messy and spirited exchange of differing opinions in order for the young republic to survive and prosper. And, every one of those positions, deserving of their own consideration and merit. After all, the core point of the whole crazed idea in the 1760 & 70’s was that if all of us had a shared purpose, we’d have a more perfect union. Not since Birmingham, Viet Nam, Watergate, Woodstock or Stonewall have we watched the televised birth of what may prove to be the next genuine social readjustment in awhile. Bam! “This is soo much the story of Gulliver”.
Remember how confident the Lilliputians were once they felt they had adequately restrained the unconscious Gulliver, passed out, laying on his back, on their beach? They were scared. “Have you seen the size of him?” They’d called the Army; their best Civil Engineers and the Grand Masters of the Royal Rope and Chain Makers Guild (RR-CMG) to insure this odd sleeping giant would pose them no threat. “Stake him down and tie him up tight. Spare no expense.” And they didn’t.
‘Sparing no expense’ was also the confident boast of John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) as he gave his visitors (niece and nephew included) the very first look @ Jurassic Park…massive fences, gates and the best electronics money could buy – all focused on one objective, that of controlling the chaos of Nature percolating inside the beached perimeters of their sanctuary.
It was also in the same movie that Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) talks about the very essence of chaos as being part and parcel of Life’s formula: “You see? The tyrannosaur doesn’t obey set patterns or park schedules. The essence of Chaos. ELLIE responds: I’m still not clear on Chaos. MALCOLM: It simply deals with unpredictability in complex systems. The shorthand is the Butterfly Effect. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.”
He was right. Volcanoes erupt, rains turn to drought while ice forms and meteors collide. And yet, against such a frantically energized backdrop, Life still finds a way.
Exhibit A: Ten weeks ago, our yeoman workhorse PC finally breathed its’ last byte. Over all that time (56 in PC years), the machine had brought us the web, taught ‘mom’ to email and found me jobs. Pictures, tax returns and music were all there too. And then in one night of lightning and thunder, and despite my external back-ups and surge protectors, the power switch fried. Our beloved PC was dead.
Like most deaths, its’ timing really sucked. I even remember wondering if it were some manner of sign, warning me how important it was to embark on the blog journey ‘as scheduled’ for launch the following Friday night late/Saturday early. Funny how, for all our technology, superstition can still trouble us…as if the bits and bauds are the modern day equivalent to tea leaves in need of reading.
Not having enough cash to drop on a new machine, I explored everything from repair to spare parts on EBAY trying to figure a solution that would get the household back up and running. Not a whiner by nature, I pretty much kept silent on my quest except for a few close friends and acquaintances. Launch Day kept ticking closer with no solution presenting itself as an overwhelming ‘solve’ to starting on-time. It was about that time when lightning struck, again.
Out of the absolute blue, someone wholly unexpectedly, gave us not just a tower, but all of the trimmings too – a keyboard chock full of widgets along with a beautiful flat screen monitor that we’ve since discovered will allow us to watch what’s on the living room TV, from the kitchen. This many weeks later, I still tremble at the magnificence of the gesture. Life finds a way.
Blog launched, EM restored and the web was once again a wide open world from my desk. And yet, for all the new gadgets, it still wasn’t just right…yet.
All the years of collected music, pics and files marking the time were gone; but not really. They were still on the cold hard drive I’d since extracted from that now lifeless chassis. I wonder if Gulliver could relate to the elegant irony of physical logic. My media was feeling as trapped on the inside as I felt helpless to reach them from my out. But hey, life goes on [LIGO](that’s survivor slang) and I tried to talk myself into feeling good about having saved so many files to various disc and jump drives. But there was a certain sense of mourning for not having saved more than just the ‘important stuff’. I felt sad for not having saved the music too. I questioned my considerable ability to serve as the Secret Service detail assigned to my insides’ insides.
Lightning Strike Three! Enter another friend of ours, a practitioner of note in some of the finer of the geeky arts. Several weeks earlier he had taken the initiative and offered us the benefit of his wizardly skills. “I can help you if you’d like.” He went on to describe how he would use a crash cart methodology in order to re-power the now lifeless hard drive. Once accomplished, he’d teach me how to run a swift and sure transfer of our old electronic friends’ holdings over to our new machine. Last weekend, he made good by coming over and successfully performing CPR while the crowd sprang to their feet with thunderous applause! I’m so thankful to report that I’ve got my music back. Life finds a way.
I’m in awe of the forgotten thousands of families in New Orleans who were scattered to all points of the compass because of the hurricane and her floods; For the people of Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas who saw their lives sucked up into the funnel clouds last May (2011). For the hundreds of thousands of people in the the northeast who lost their power when Irene ripped through their homes; And what about those battling fires in the West? Funny how, once we have been robbed of our music channels, Facebooks and Blackberries – we end up rediscovering each other in the candlelight – Wow. Life finds a way.
Several weeks ago, I re-read Steve Jobs words: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Think Different, narrated by Steve Jobs
The other night I heard Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) talk about the irony of Life being that struggle brings out the best in us.
Last night, I heard Russell Brand speak (on the Rosie Show) to his recovery and the accompanying realization that ‘externals’ don’t fill our feelings of internal emptiness, because they can’t. For just a moment, consider the ramifications of Us realizing (as a tribe) that our ‘civic’ spiritual center is to be found, and filled, in Service to others, whatever the form.
I watch the pent-up frustrations of so many around me. Every one of me and my friends may be watching something magnificently American spill out of a NYC park and running to cities all over the Planet. Gulliver rising. It’s pulse-pounding to be there when our loved ones and close friends have their sizzling quiet moment when they know they are Gulliver inside.
At some point, sleeping giants do wake.
History is filled with examples of ropes and chains proving to actually be little more than whispers of scanty string. And I know that just like me, you may be walking through more than one stretch of a few days where you’re barely holding on…barely keeping it all together.
Don’t quit. Please. Stay in It (Life). Not long ago, a ‘listening post’ in my old world let me know my college roommate had, years earlier, killed himself with a shotgun. I’m so desperate to tell him now what I’ve learned over these past 20-30 years since we were friends…how that if you’re authentic in your quest; if your motives are honorable and you do open yourself up to the people around you, Life will find a way for you too. But it can’t, if you’re not there to let it in.
Before I go, let me let you in on a little secret I learned from a highly placed ‘anonymous’ source…I can almost guarantee that the way forward for you, will not look like anything you thought (or hoped) it would. Some of the best angels show up in dirty clothes, right? You’d be amazed.
Life will find a way.
Be there to take it. Stand up…find your Gulliver. The Kingdom needs us.
PS: This just in from the wire services: “Gulliver, for having discovered he knew who he was, saved the Kingdom this afternoon by dragging the entire Blefuscudian fleet to defeat.” Stay tuned for live team coverage @ 11…
“Just one mental shift—focusing on the abundance of your environment—switches your psychological settings so that your life automatically improves in many areas you may think are unrelated. This is essentially a leap from fear to faith.” Martha Beck – When and How to Say “Enough!” – From the April 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Get more OP/ED: http://implicatum.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/occupy/
Photo Journalism: http://hiddennewyorkers.com/2011/10/02/wall-street-occupied/
Movie Still: Gulliver’s Travels (1939) — USA: Fleischer Studios at http://alternativechronicle.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/animated-films/
Closing Illustration: http://4umi.com/image/book/swift/gulliver-pindar-lilliput-fleet.jpg