Sunday, April 12, 2015

What's keeping the stars apart

It can be difficult to pay attention to the goings-on of politics, economics, society and all the very adult realities without losing some of your air supply. I'll admit it, I get choked up. I prefer to close my eyes sometimes and pretend that I'm somewhere else rather than deal with what is often exactly what Thomas Bloody Hobbes said life was - 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short'. There is a lot that sucks the air out from around you, that cuts your breath and leaves your throat dry. 

I've seen little in the political landscape of Australia's treatment of the most vulnerable groups of society - namely asylum-seekers, refugees and the indigenous people of Australia - to make me believe in anything other than what Hobbes describes life as. The myth of mateship and a fair go turn out, in practice, to apply to those with money, significant sway come election time and lower levels of melanin. People in power make decisions, the consequences affect people they do not know and do not care for. It's life, it's history. 

And yet. That's not the end. It's just a part of history, just a part of life. It's not all there is, thankfully. As much as cruelty does not make sense, as much as hatred is nothing more than something that occurs in our minds and is reflected in our actions - so too is that which keeps the stars apart. It's what they've said before and they'll say again. It's that which we cannot see. The fourth dimension. The intangible yet very real connections that go beyond that which can be explained. Human connection. and love. 

'Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins' - Maya Angelou, who else?

That's all I got. That's the best I can come up with. Because without it we're bunk. We cannot fix all of our own problems. We are human and fallible. We will not end poverty no more than we will end greed. We will not end wars or genocide any more than we will end prejudice and power and fear. But we can love. We can make that our mantra. We can focus steadfastly on what that means - not the way popular culture defines it - but in the way we feel when we know our hearts want to break but they don't. The way a hug feels. Warm and solid. Like holding hands. That's all I got. Love is all I got. Not a theoretical proposition but a real way of life. Love motherfucker. It's a powerful tool, the most powerful one. Love built on trust and vulnerability, not on strength and pride. Love built on the sharing of burden rather than the shoring up of successes and failures. No islands here man, just a big stretch of land that rises and falls, divided by glaciers and rivers but connected all the same as far as the eye can see.