MY “TRUTH” MAY NOT BE YOUR TRUTH and yours may not be mine. The nature of existence is a continuing drama between voices competing to tell what each believes is most true. The peril of our time is we believe only The Other is untrue in this time when more than ever all the world’s is a stage. On that proscenium of the heart, on that private promontory of the soul, some voice speaks quietly to each of us as the sea boils around us. The fortunate few hear what others say but are unafraid to admit that inner voice their own and what conscience says is true.
Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost. . . But as I have said, the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.
A QUESTION REMAINS Your truth is yours and mine is mine. What faith we have alone in whatever form will guide us in the fallible form of this world. How much would the world differ if we accepted our limitations and our powers and our truths as our own and had no need to force them on anyone else? What is your truth today?
THE WORLD IS FULL of blowhards ready to blow up the world. Some imagine a kiss and kindness give peace a chance. Only those who foolishly hold onto possibility have a chance to change this world. Some will remain forever in the dirt of this earth, but who looks in another’s eyes and sees stars may walk across the universe.
SOME LEAVE THIS EARTH too soon and we are left in wonder. I remember the nightJohn Lennon died, the voice of Vin Scelsa on WNEW back when a radio station still had a voice. I remember the tilt of my sister Sharon’s head, the one small tear in her eye. She is not given to tears, so the one she gave meant much. My brother Jim said nothing in his most eloquent way. For some but not all, night again becomes day. There is a light that comes at dawn, sometimes creeping wounded, bloody over night’s back.
THE SUN THAT COMES now over earth’s horizon and its light belong to us all. John Lennon sees it somehow, somewhere still across the universe. In my life I have learned what I have means nothing if what I have cannot be shared. In the end all we have is each other and often not for long. If the like of Lennon, John means anything to you as it means to me, share your light in this universe here.
SOME MEN SEE THINGS as they are and ask why? Other see things and end up in mental institutions. Some men see things as they are and ask why? Some women tell men to pull their heads out of their asses and help out with the housework. In the artless age bereft of imagination we get lost in details and all too often leave the worst details to someone else. I mourn the loss of imagination, in seeing things as another might.
SOME FIND SOLACE in a world made softer by cold hard cash. Getting the man to help out with the housework isn’t a problem if you have the money to hire a maid or a servant. Some servants will wipe the counters and the tub and will look into your toilet without remark. Some servants will wipe away the tears that fall in your children’s lives. Some will even wipe um whatever you need wiping. What needs wiping could be your rank butt or your less than sweet past. We find our solace and our servants where we will. We pay one way or another. We grow soft or hard. We grow too old to daydream, we weary of whimsy, we forget to imagine what might be. So we settle for what is, which we tell ourselves is more, which may in fancy if not fact be less. I mourn the loss of imagination, in seeing in another a world that might be.
SOME MEN SEE THINGS as they are and ask why? Others see things that never were and ask why not. That saying has been attributed to George Bernard Shaw. More recently it bore the mark of Kennedy, Robert, though some would say he bore the mark more in kind. I am a liberal, willing to admit a possiblilty. Conservatives ruled by certainty, governed by probability, have no use for the likes of me.
IF I DON’T HAVE A CAR they may tell me to walk, or demand that others less fortunate crawl. Told to walk, instead I will put on skates, I will glide down Broadway in mid Manhattan, past the long black cars stalled at hell’s worst stoplight at Herald Square, I will race down New York’s first street past hell’s hole in the ground where the towers fell, where others thought hatred could grow and I will hold better in an open heart. I will skate to the Battery and look upon Upper New York Bay, past the Narrows, to the wild Atlantic. I will skate upon water, ice not frozen, imagination ever unsinking. If I see it and believe it, I might just skate to the moon.
I WOULD LIVE in a republic of fools before I would submit to the imperial dreams of idiots. Power has a way of making the weak minded stupid to the ways of the world and blind to the common nobility of all people. We are more relative to each other than those who attack moral relativism would admit. We share an absolute bond no blood shed can stain forever. Ours are the bones bleached by history to reveal an anatomy of hope.
NIGHT’S DARK CURTAIN will rise to reveal a world made again new by the dream of a republic held close to the heart. In us are a pool of tears and an air of laughter in a land where none are free if all are not, where who wars for peace bleeds not for the foe, but for each and all. The world bleeds for peace, death and sorrow are our common sea.
HOPE THE OPEN HARBOR welcomes all ships returned from the seas of war. Hope comes ashore with a shoe on one foot and walks the street of many stones. Hope is the currency in the republic of fools. All debts unpaid may yet be forgiven. What is wrong cannot be forgotten, but in time may be made right.
A MESSAGE to those who torture and rain ruin on the world. November 20, 2005 is the sixtieth anniversary of the Nuremburg Trials. Nuremburg, the site of the Nazis’ Triumph of the Will, was chosen as the place where Western civilization would emerge from the muck and look toward the sun. [Speigel]
The root idea of bringing statesmen and military leaders before an international court of law when they infringe the basic rules of civilized life had its origins in the Nuremberg trials. The inaugural trial of the leading, surviving perpetrators of Nazi terror commenced on Nov. 20th, 1945. Indeed, Nov. 20 is the anniversary of an idea which traversed the world. The name "Nuremberg" is synonymous with both. Nuremberg played host to the Reich's political conventions -- a government that brought death, ruin and barbarism to Europe. But it was also in Nuremberg that the victorious Allied Forces dealt with the defeated power. In the history of man, their bold actions were wholly without precedent. There was no bloodbath, no peace treaty -- instead, there was a trial -- call it peace through justice.
VENGEANCE WOULD HAVE no play in the aftermath of war. Nor should it play a part in a war’s beginning. The cooler mind of process must weigh all facts wisely before the hot hand sets the world aflame in the firepit of war. Passion wars with reason. In war reason must win out at the beginning and also at its end for passion rules the middle when men burn against men. Justice asks for good reasoning at the beginning of war and strife. In the end justice demands a reckoning for the loss of every life.
ROBERT JACKSON PROSECUTED the war criminals with a steel mind and a stainless eloquence. Power hides behind power when it hatches havoc upon this earth. Power corrupted corrupts all things. Reason and life sacred are found profaned and prostrate beneath the jackboot and the jaunting jaw.
"The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated."
. . . Hitler had made it patently clear to many of the defendants that, for propaganda purposes, he would give provocation for war. "It will make no difference," he announced, "whether this reason will sound convincing or not. After all, the victor will not be asked whether he spoke the truth or not. The stronger is always right. We have to proceed brutally."
. . . Jackson trembled: "Civilization asks whether law is so laggard as to be utterly helpless to deal with crimes of this magnitude by criminals of this order of importance."
NO MATTER WHAT leaders say when the clock strikes an amoral midnight, certain rules apply, especially in times of stress. Who needs rules of behavior when the heart is light? Would be torturers and criminals beware. No “exemptions” exclude you from the judgment of history.
I REMEMBER THE SHINE of the soldier’s shoes and the stiffness of his chin. He walked in the sun and clicked his heels twice. Later my younger brother Jim and I would click our heels twice and salute in imitation. This was back in 1966 the year Jimmy Marin went off to war. Vietnam was some unknown place, but we would know it soon enough. Jimmy Marin was Judy’s brother and Clare was Jimmy’s mom. Jimmy’s mom played bridge with my mom and the other Catholic nurses Sunday nights in duplicate and Wednesday afternoons for fun.
I REMEMBER THE SHINE of the soldier’s shoes and the glint of the gunmetal in the sun. He wore the dress uniform of the Army and the second who replaced him was a Marine. Both then were at least ten years older than me, but my mother sighed and said, “So young.” The soldiers we sent to war then were always boys, some remained forever young. Only the lucky ones get a chance to grow old. It might have been Sister Mary Charlotte or Mary Antoine the one who left to get married. All the Sisters of Mercy said write letters, pen pal letters. Write them to Jimmy and to John McRedmond, your former basketball coach. It doesn’t matter if they write back. It’s good to write a letter to somebody who might not come back. So we wrote our letters.
I REMEMBER THE SHINE of the soldier’s shoes and the solid shape of the marble tombs, the tombs of the unknown soldiers in the full light and grace of the sun. One soldier came at the changing of the guard and took the place of the other at Arlington National Cemetery. Then with a click once, then twice of the heels, the first soldier left. His tour of honor and duty that day were done. And the Unknown Soldiers in marble remained then as they remain now, a testament to all the unknowns of war.
I REMEMBER THE SHINE of the soldier’s shoes, of how my grandfather always called November Eleventh Armistice Day, I remember he talked of a document signed that day on a train, a first bid to end the War to End All Wars. Wars are fought to fight the warring ways of others, my grandfather Joseph Ivory said. I have not forgotten those Pen Pal letters we all wrote. Dear Jimmy. I am okay. How are you? Jimmy came back and Johnny did too. How they were was changed. On November Eleventh I remember them and all the unknowns of war.
THE PERMANENT POLITICAL CAMPAIGN of George Bush has suffered some self inflicted defeats of late. The bragger lacks the old braggadocio. The people are weary of war.[story]
The Bush team brought its campaign skills from the 2000 presidential contest into the White House and never stopped its reliance on these methods. Along with that style went the assumptions rooted in the Republican DNA of the president and those around him: The Democratic Party is not a worthy partner in the political process; repealing key elements of the New Deal is but a prelude to overturning the accomplishments of the Progressive Era; and negotiations with a partisan opponent are not opportunities to be embraced but traps to be avoided.
ARE PEOPLE CATCHING ON how much Bush marches to a different drummer? Is the drum stick he beats with something he also uses to beat down the inevitable call of the future? Are we one country looking forward in fantasy and another looking back to the mists of myth? Are our greatest days yet clearly ahead or somewhere in the clouded past? Can we ever be truly united and if so, at what cost? Is our native division a multiplicity of wealth? Will Bush’s own future brighten? Or will he now march into the past forgotten darkly?
Some show the heart standing up Others teach by sitting down And refusing to rise when told Change comes when dignity sits Unafraid and undaunted Power great pulled at your arm The bus stopped, the driver yelled The police came and shouted Know your place, get back there now Power great pulled at you But you sitting there in dignity Unmoving quietly pulled a nation forward Rosa, our Rosa, your strong heart May be buried now in grieving earth But that heart beat then, it beat Who might beat you still and silent But that heart beats still and silent Dignity defeats death in this earth
HEY BLUE here is a song for you. It seems several lifetimes ago, Joni Mitchell tattooed her name on my heart. The Viscount reminded me of this recently. Romance is a shared history, a shared bleeding out. Love is touching souls. Joni, surely you touched mine.
JONI MITCHELL, GRAND MAMA of EMO and singer-songwriter spawn spun such bittersweet confections for the confused and the late contrite. A part of her pours out of me in these lines from time to time. I grew up in the kitchen of a girl who played me Joni Mitchell songs open tuned on her guitar. In the wreckage which is adolescence I learned from Lisa to open tune my life. When I get the urge for going, I hear Lisa in the wind. And Joni too. The music on the wind is a soft reminder of some gone long ago and far away who are not so distant as we might forget.