As I break away from the shore, I have been given many opportunities to ponder the extraordinary nature of my life (so far). I’m reminded by this week’s post at survival acres that “you cannot change the system from within, all you’re doing is playing musical chairs as it is too entrenched and has too much inertia to effectively be changed,” and “departing from the system is the first critical step, you must stop feeding the beast.”
I’m done feeding the beast, but not quite done feeding my stomach or my ego. So the week has been filled with at-least-daily celebrations, and they continue through the weekend, when a dozen students will be visiting the mud hut and meeting with the locally famous primitivist.
At the end of my last class in the Pima County jail, I wrote a poem to thank the inmates with whom I’ve spent each Wednesday afternoon this semester. The guys, from pods 2R and 2Q, have been serving as advisers to the teenagers in the other two classes, from Pima Vocational High School and the juvenile detention facility.
As we push away from the shore,
let us feel no remorse.
We have traveled so far,
though not always on course.
We are bound together now,
more us than me and you.
I will joyously remember
2R and 2Q.
As we cross the rubicon
and hear the door close,
another door opens,
filled with new highs and new lows.
You’ve been thoughtful advisers
to the kids and to me,
teaching through patience, kindness,
prose, and poetry.
Instead of mourning our goodbye,
our bittersweet ending,
let us not demand more, but instead
offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
And now you see why I don’t get paid for my poetry.
In marginally related news, my latest guest commentary appears in this week’s issue of the Tucson Weekly. As usual, the online comments should be the most entertaining part (starting with the one posted to date).
John Michael Greer reminds us about the inability of many online commentators to think through an issue in this week’s version of his blog. His primary point, that our information age is actually dependent on physical substrate, reminds me of the cognitive dissonance running so deeply among the American populace. Exhibit A is the magical thinking that we’ll create new alternatives to oil, despite the absence of any such alternatives so far, even when the price of oil skyrocketed to $147.27 (this is the gist of the first response to this week’s op-ed piece). Exhibit B is the magical thinking that we need to keep the cars running at all costs … which means, of course, at every cost to the planet and even our own species. Exhibit C is the magical thinking that our economy is necessary to our survival, when in fact it is a grave threat to our survival.
As usual, any number can play. Please post your own example here.