“Waking to a sudden realization. Too many front doors. The regulatory layers… each screaming in importance. The ardent voice of each layer… me first, me first… And indeed. For each layer, created to keep something from every happening again. Protecting against death, the potential of death, or the fear of not getting paid. Ardent in protection. Ardent in the authority to serve and protect.
Each layer… a certain capacity. A certain range. A loud voice. A big stick to enforce. Each with a single front door. Created in the clarity of moment… and put in the house of many rooms. For, each layer may be included in a separate wing… and, have its very own front door. Here on the sixth floor… a front door to the greater world… and the stick of enforcement… able to move up and down … even to the ground floor. Where each and every passer by… is enforced… for not seeing the sixth floor front door…
Searching valiantly for a rationalized front door… and, in this moment of morning… understanding the solving is backward. For, the solving creates another ardent layer… A macro vision to a micro community. The micro… so many front doors… behind the macro of door makers, room makers, ardent leadership… keeping safe… this large solving in a sea of micro … and micro in macro… the clarity of … and now the build in a different way. To see the friction between the micro and macro… the opportunity in both and… a gift of a foggy morning.” – Bill Bartels –
When the argument is ‘against’ then the focus is not clear. In the fog of non-clarity… What-izing, Who-izing… the only clarifier is that of mutual regard. In the intensity of the fog… mutual regard is lost… as in a “White Squall”… all vision is blind.
When the argument is ‘for’ then the possibility of collaborative prevailing and counter prevailing may share places in the dialogue. For, the fourth wall is that of mutual regard. The dialogue, becomes grounded in mutual regard. A foundational part… that of mutual regard.
Someone died. Someone might die. Someone didn’t get paid, What is the Someone? Who is the Someone?
Someone Might Die
Someone Didn’t get paid
The Someone is?
The counter prevailing view… as Someone.
The prevailing view… as Someone.
An Institution or… Institutions… as Someone.
An Institutional response… as Someone.
A political party… as Someone.
A Reactive response… as Someone.
A family… as Someone.
An Invasive response… as Someone.
A Reaction to invasive activities… as Someone.
A Disaster response… as Someone.
A Dominant position… as Someone.
An artist… as Someone.
A Minority position… as Someone.
A person… as Someone.
A club… as Someone.
A religion… as Someone.
A social view… as Someone.
The Federal Government… as Someone.
An individual… as Someone.
A segregated group… as Someone.
The State Government… as Someone.
A declaration of separation… as Someone.
The homeowner… as Someone.
A musician… as Someone.
The Municipal Government… as Someone.
The lighting and landscape district… as Someone.
A general plan… as Someone.
A Park… as Someone.
A road system… as Someone.
A resolution of an agency… as Someone.
The economy… as Someone.
A declaration… as Someone.
A sacred space… as Someone.
A regulated body… as Someone.
A sacred place… as Someone.
A taxing scheme… as Someone.
The Court… as Someone.
A bank… as Someone. The act of suppression… as Someone.
A regulatory scheme… as Someone.
A game… as Someone.
A win… as Someone.
A watershed… as Someone.
A loss… as Someone.
An elected body… as Someone.
A team… as Someone.
A river… as Someone.
An official… as Someone.
A belief… as Someone.
A band… as Someone.
A physical moment… as Someone.
The sewer… as Someone.
A subset of government… as Someone.
A neighborhood… as Someone.
A landfill… as Someone.
A cemetery… as Someone.
A land… as Someone.
An earth… as Someone.
The perspective of … someone-hood. The many someones who… because one has died, one might die or one did not get paid… ardently establish rules to make sure that, this set of outcomes … never happens again. All in a frame of independent action. Layer upon layer… of uncoordinated, independent action… What-izing… What-ism… Who-itzing… Who-ism.
Each layer, rational in its perspective… without collective connection … for, it is reactive to the horror of death, potential death and non-payment. A cacophony of layers… rational in selective scope. … rational in selective scope. Someone-izing… Someone-ism.
The two certainties in life… legislated against… Death and Taxes… for if a tax is a fee for license to be allowed to … a demand for payment… not paid … then we have taken the regulatory scheme and made it the snake which eats itself. The layers of scheme… eating the whole… until, as with all structures of creation… we pass away to dust.
When systems are on the same plane as that of creation… the humor of the grand joke… begins to make my sides ache with laughing. For, if I do not laugh… I must weep.
First we, the makers of all of these schemes, must parse the proper levels of belonging and then … in the competition to belong, either up or down the hierarchy of someone… the personhood aspect is hidden in the great list of someones.
And, even the application is hidden for it is a parsing… the parsing is part of the someone-ing. The, in the parsed someone-ing, there is the possibility of an additional segmenting to be more clear about the various clauses and … that which creates an equitable application of the scheme to those who would engage the service for which the scheme is protecting the someone from death, the possibility of death and the possibility of not being paid. For a small fee… not a tax, for that would require a vote of the ‘someones’ and ‘they’ might not understand the incredible need… for protection from death, the possibility of death and the impropriety of non-payment.
This leads to another application… If I, as a certain someone, believe that my payment already covers the service (someone) who is now attempting to demand payment to avoid the three awful outcomes… then, I may take the position that I am being abused … and… the abuser… also takes the portion… death, the specter of death and the specter of non-payment…
Musing on the hard work of rationalization among all of our someones…
That rationalization of … that harmonization of… a grand invitation to meeting this moment. Driven by the unrest of so many someones … demanding voice and hearing… the veil of … demanding hearing. And, the counter… pay no attention to this voice or that voice… suppress this voice or that voice.
The yelling at a voice being suppressed. And… the challenge of beginning to be in conversation… a dialogue of voices… at a table… where food, sustenance, the sharing of and breaking of bread… sharing. The sharing of, the passing of water. The making of a table, a hearth, a welcoming moment… meeting the moment.
The quiet of a shared meal. The communion of a shared cup. The gathering in a shared song. The moment of a moment that … in diverse voice… gathers velocity, together, for…
For a different day.
Then, the mighty pen… that of declaration of ‘civil unrest’ … a ‘rioting’ of someones … against … someones.
To confront being vector being transmitter, being receptor… To confront all of the personal responsibilities of that set of triad. In the rule of three, the stool which stands, as it has three legs… the rule of communication… for it hears, it engages and it speaks… or listens or … is a tube through which sound passes… with some recognition of the sound.
In a social setting… sitting at distance… still a vector, a transmitter and a receptor… all three, all three legs…
And when the signal, that darling signal of contagion, when that has no more stools to jump between… what then? For then, then we have set a new standard… and in that standard… the contagion for which we modified … it now has left an imprint. What then?
How funny. To speak of that then… we are in this now. The panic of contagion. The cacophony of contagion. The peace of contagion. What peace?
For certain, a new method of triage. For certain some method or best practice to make a layer between the vector and the rest… To have a place of care become a point of contagion… the calm voice of practice… And, that moment of wanting to be over there when we are here.
A voice, saying loudly, what do we do now? Or, follow me, I am going to lead a contagion parade. Another voice calling out in pain and exhaustion. Yet another singing a quiet song of lullaby. All in the same symphony of … requiem of…
The sea tide. The waves crashing. The great squall roaring across the lake. The wide river, rising higher and higher… all of these, the water that has tumbled down from high mountain or fallen in storms upon the face of the open surface… all of these… voices of this contagion. For, as vector… we dance in this storm.
The many locks to doors in the body… in the living organism. What locks does this particular key fit and turn? What doors of mechanism and shift do open? What doors, lock tried, resist the entry or turn the visitor to another place and time? The idea of point of entry… in through the front door? In through a small mouse hole? Carried with an ant… investigating the kitchen after the rain has pushed the whole trail inside? Or born on the gentle airs… sprayed and then carried as a note on the airs… carried as a note on the airs. If I can hear, then the contagion has come to me also…
Transmission and contagion… not the same. One is a cacophony. The other… it is a communication. In this moment, sitting with the still small voice… hearing that quiet focus in the dawning… the sacred touch of all dawn… there is a place to quiet the contagion… at distance, connected still… a lesson of the desert mothers and fathers. In this time of great learning… when the old saws have dulled in the practice of just running them across the stone… Dulled in the automatic script… Dulled in the speaking that has unhooked from the moment. That speaking that meets not a moment but a spin…
When the tide rises and the docks rise also, the sudden rush of … into this rising tide… speaking of the wane… the wane to come… it is the … wait, that moment is not now.
So again. The dawn has kissed this moment on this place on the planet. The contagion of cacophony is stilled for the rise… and now, into the day. The voices of all creation, speaking in and at and through… From this set of speaking comes a symphony. For the moment it may be a requiem. Or, a transition into new form. Certainly a song of creation. A gift. A wonder and a gift.
The air smells like the Russian River in summer. The compressed heat, cool for the moment, ready to turn on the after-burners… in a while. In a while. In the yard, the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow blooms in profusion. The Jays play and cavort. Their tilt head look of … “… and what do we have here?” As they dance along my walking route.
The ancient bones of the house gift the upstairs bathroom with the smells of long ago, my youth, as a child visiting the grandparents. Bones that in human years are ancient, in house years are ‘pretty old’, in relationship to all time… a blip… perhaps a half a blip… for the moment, ancient feels a comfort.
Faces and voices zoom down the hall. The office is full of project. The slow recycle of paper, ancient in relation to projects. Twenty five drafts of one chapter of a paper that was written, now four or five years ago… dusted in the filing cabinet. The final paper, part of a public document, a policy document so… it will live in the minutes of a meeting in front of some body… as long as that body is a functioning library of its work… how funny to have stuffed the drafts in a file and … kept, because, well you never know. The knowing that went into the paper has moved far down the river. And, as I was reading the framing from that then, I was and am struck by how far my thinking has come since that day.
Foundations crumble. Those ancient stalwarts who, with voices of thunder, call out importance. Foundations crumble. In the crumbling, so many opportunities to build anew. In the cacophony of the crashing… a path revealed…
Reading again, an old favorite author. A little story of plague. The moments… recognition, standard engagement, a breach of the standard, a collapse of the rigor, sudden emergence of possible path, complete fatigue, demoralization, overt anger and demands for the crumpled frame to provide as advertised…, the ironic turn of phrase that castigates ‘other’, frustrated words of human frailty, demand for help, wailing for help, voices of ‘help thy self’, many voices speaking, many voices shouting, in many corners, graceful care, one, two, three… in overwhelming corners, graceful care… And then, a sunrise where, all is changed and in the sun breaking through the passing storm, those voices, still in great Greek Choir raised… now is the new day. In that new day, a cycle of integration, yet again. This, the great run on… it is not a closure, it is an integration.
When a great strife has painted the whole of the earth… then there, in the cracks, the new integration comes again, and again, and again. The moments… and again.
In the thinking chair, in the black and white… knowing the colors and seeing the great relief in the black and white… now the integration. Changed yet still many voices… Experts humbled, workers raised up, information aplenty… and now, as a symphony… from cacophony, the score invites a conversation. In that conversation, each day, a new integration. Enough. And enough…
Vector. Just sitting with this, to be the vector. We are the vector. So, this silly idea of infection control… we are the infection. So, when we are a balanced vector, we are contained. The instant that we are an unbalanced vector, we are a cause. The fact that a human being is, and can be, both balanced and unbalanced in the same instant creates the most amazing set of variables.
Shift happens in a moment. That would be the first moment. Shift happens in many moments; starting with the first moment. If it is a shift that is anticipated… then there are all of the anticipatory moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, even centuries of anticipation. The angst of anticipation.; the binding angst. Then… the pivot, the shift, the moment. All that energy suddenly unbound. The unbinding can be so violent that it also unbinds my own connection to the moment. Blasting across the all of creation. At other moments, the unbinding is as a release of … allowing the prisoner to go free. The opening of the cell door… The new journey actually begun.
Time and passing time happens. The rolling of generation into generation. Moment into moment. Moment into minute, into hour, into year and on and on. That wonder of cycle. Sun rising, sun setting… the seasons: of living, of the year, of the earth, of a star, of all of creation. Leaning into cycle. Leaning into the wonder of a rising sun … the setting sun. The tradition of watching the sunset. The pause… just before the sun eases beyond the horizon… the ‘going, going… gone’. The breath of pause, the prayer and holding up. The thanksgiving for the gift of days. The thanksgiving for …
In each beginning there is an ending. In the anticipation of both beginning and ending, there are moments of wishing to go back. To hold that warm and perfect place of memory that was a… let us do that again moment. The deep desire to hold that moment in all time. Into this wish, this desire, this deep wanting… the grand hook of zero sum comes. The straw hook, reaching into heart and soul to offer the return to Eden. We are far, far east of Eden. The simplicity of options of yes and no are long past. Yet, the offer of return is the siren song of desire, of wanting and of heaven. The thought makes me smile. The movie line… “Is this heaven? No it’s Kansas” (Field of Dreams)
And so… The moment, minute, hour and on; call to my heart this morning. The understanding of call to communion. Communion in the altar in the world. The call to sharing around the well of living water. That water, consecrated in heart, soul and spirit. That water, in sacred cup, passed among all of creation. The deep roots, sharing in woven communion. As a tapestry, woven wisdom.
In the passing of a moment. The passing of a life. The passing of an era. The passing of a someplace. The passing of icon… the phrase, “We will never forget,” is raised up. Yet, in the sands of time, many grains have passed from memory. So, to honor those sands, the foundation stone the builders rejected… now becomes, from the gift of earth, of creation, the new foundation. To welcome new foundation is to make the whole of creation ready to weave anew. This weaving anew happens with each sunrise. So too, with each sunset.
What my father taught me, as he lay dying. When he would suddenly feel like he was falling, he would reach up a hand… and all he needed was to have the hand grasped. Nothing more. Perhaps a word… gotcha. That is all.
Sometimes… a schizophrenic asks for 5 minutes in a warm room to drink a cup of coffee… Disheveled … and five minutes. Permission is given. A timer is set. A cup of coffee is drunk. Then, raincoat on, umbrella up… with great appreciation, that seen, connected mind… in gratitude, can be in the rain, with a community connected smile.
Five minutes and a cup of coffee. A hand and gotcha… Then, in a safe place of connection… getting back to the work of … negotiating with the staff in my mind… laying down to die…
Is our connection that of being in charge of both sides of a conversation? Is our connection to connect with the moment of common? Or, is our connection to begin, within, to see and choose, with understanding,
What language? We, us? They, them? We, us with a management of both sides of the connection? We, us with connection and deep listening? They, them… are we and us when we ‘choose’ …
The challenge of this moment is that subtle and ‘all the power of the universe’; seeing.
Dancing in the tension of the gap… in that dancing, there is something else. It is the gratitude of a moment when the connection carries across the gap. The circle of all of ‘us.’
The Dove… a bird signifying peace, rising up, the harmony of… Yet, sold in a space or from a place… the taint of the space or place… does it taint the dove and the dove’s symbol? Does the taint of one set of belief or rule taint every aspect of the rest?
Or, as with all living, is there context?
Is the blanket taint the point?
In this story. The rule of Some rears its shadow large. Just as the care of a one is something that is … beyond.
It is a simple straw argument to say … all. It is so much more nuanced to engage the variation of some of this and some of that… that I could be a bit of this and that… you could be a bit of this and that… and that when it is this… there are some frames … when it is that… there might be different frames.
The rule of Some goes the other way too… application of absolute by some may mean that there is a moment of standing up and saying… not so much.
In this dance, the sun rose this morning. In this dance a few breathed their last. In this dance, the dogs got up, barked, boofed, and took their breakfast. In this dance a song ear worm began its daily work. In this dance lovers cuddled. In this dance couples shared a smile of intimate care. In this dance, cats came for a morning pat, a meal and a purr… In this dance, a day began. War was waged. Environmental damage was wrought. The ice caps melted a bit. Winds of change blew in every place and space… In this dance, creation wove in warp and weft. The tapestry of all creation … on this Sunday of palms… that tapestry of all creation… in the rule of Some… A star is emerging. A star is collapsing… And a rose is blooming … the first of the season. In some places … and in some other places. That taint of … speaks to each in that place of some.
The blessing of sunrise. In humbling gratitude. An ache and yet also a great amen. Here, emerging from the retreat cave… the candle now… joined in the world with the rising sun. Amen, and amen. Amen and amen.
“… and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” Matthew 21:12-17