Monday, November 22, 2021

Lest We Forget


(I'm sitting here in tears listening to soul singer Marvin Gaye's rendition of "Abraham, Martin, John" as I write this. )

My fingers were fumbling at the keyboard in typing class that day in 1963, exactly 51 years ago, when the teacher from across the hall came into the room and whispered in Miss Jefferson's ear.

Her face turned white.

The other teacher left and Miss Jefferson broke into tears as she announced that President Kennedy had been shot and taken to a hospital in Dallas.

No one said a word.

Moment's later the other teacher returned. He didn't have to say a word.  His face, a portrait of horror and helplessness said it all.  We knew.  He knew we knew.  Holding back tears, he shrugged awkardly, turned -- and left. 

The unimaginable had happened.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Happy 10th Anniversary #Occupy Wall Street!

September 17th marks the 10 th anniversary of the day that protesters descended on
Zuccotti Park in New York City, re-naming it Liberty Park and launching #Occupy Wall Street!  

Here's the song I wrote that fall as I heard the announcement on the #Occupy livestream that Mayor Bloomberg had relented in his decision to clear the park that day at dawn.  The occupation would continue for another another six weeks before the NYPD arrived in riot gear to clear the park.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Life Support

A Good Friend sent me this quote from Alicia Garza, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, today.  IMHO, it's a wonderful expression of the Way It Is -- and of our on-going Mission Impossible quest to co-create a world that reflects the compassion and wisdom of an Awakened Heart.

One Love,
Brother Lefty
"My hope for us is that we begin to intimately understand that living in a society where everything can be bought or sold but not everyone can buy or sell is harmful to our health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That the best way to care for ourselves is in the manner that Audre Lorde described: to connect with each other in ways that propel all of us toward care—for ourselves and one another.
But with that hope, I also see reality. I believe with all my heart that change is possible and inevitable, but my honest estimation is that we are far from that change. And that means, for me, that we need to treat our work as if it is in fact hospice care for that which is dying and prenatal care for that which is being born." - Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Peace and Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago:

"We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*