So this is us, the colorful ones.
Expressionists of nature, of appeal, of desire, of satisfaction
We clothe ourselves in the trappings of culture
Hopeful of reciprocation, of acknowledgement
Free of judgment, of condemnation.
At times shouting aloud, sometimes
Shyly issuing our declarations of spirit
that individuality be recognized
While adhering to convention
By paying homage
To those things we most admire.
The music we dance to,
our beats the same
our rhythms in beauteous synchopation
Of something we know without ever having to learn it,
even if we forget for a time.
The adage that you can never go home is a false one.
We are never anywhere else.
Every so often, something comes along that truly inspires me to be great, to be joyful, to be compassionate and understand that I am not alone in my fears, my desires, my dreams of living a life filled with expression and happiness. I have spent so much of my life railing against the idea of conformity, but never community. I think that man’s idea of what community is has become warped, perhaps through fear or desire to have more of whatever is available. The sense I get of the word community is best expressed when it’s separated into common unity. Sadly for some, the belief of what it is stems from a place that excludes, rather than includes.
There are many things that are truly universal, but only a few of those are acknowledged as such. Music is one such thing, and the ability to express one’s culture through music is something that should always be celebrated, always be shared. Sadly, this is not the case most often. Music is used as a tool for consumerism, to establish boundaries between who we are as people. People who listen to one type of music can have disdain for those who prefer another. Music is generated not from the heart, or the soul, but from a place of manipulation and control.
I want to affect positive change in the world. I want the world to reflect how I feel about myself, my family and friends, my culture, my planet. My frustration comes from the fact that the reality I inhabit is much different from the reality that goes on outside of my delightful little bubble. In my world, differences are celebrated just as readily as similarities. In my world, non human animals are treated with kindness and dignity, whether or not they become our sustenance. In my world, the ideal is a home filled with a greater emphasis on laughter and joy and love, rather than the shiniest new appliances, electronics and furniture. Time is devoted to education and health, rather than brutality and domination.
For so long I’ve been so angry. I believed that affecting change was the important thing, making people see where they were going wrong. The action didn’t matter, as long as the result was humans existing with their eyes open to the errors of their ways. But in order to affect positive change, the action has to be positive, to come from a place of compassion. And so my quiet revolution began. I stopped eating meat, as I didn’t want to eat anything that had been scared or tortured. Why should I benefit from the suffering of others? I never really bought brand name clothing, so that one wasn’t difficult, as I didn’t want to contribute to a consumer society dependent on people who were paid nothing to make clothing I would spend far too much on. I shop at second hand stores, because the first two R’s are REDUCE and REUSE. Recycle was a last ditch effort if the first two didn’t work out and I think a lot of people have forgotten that. I do my best to shop locally. I well admit, I’m not militantly vigilant on these principles, but these principles exist for me. Every day is a chance to have a revolution.
As I get older, I feel more and more like the human race is doomed. It’s saddens me, but it’s how I feel. I’m frustrated with the lack of global effort towards ending war, famine and desecration of the planet. I feel as though we’ve come far enough in our evolution, and we’re aware enough of what’s wrong to really stop the madness and affect change. Yet it doesn’t stop. So more and more I feel as though I’d like to cast off this mantle of humanity and move to the jungle, back to the trees, hang with some chimps. Crawl back into the ocean and swim into the sunset with the dolphins. Hang out with some sentient beings who aren’t hellbent on their own destruction.
Then, every so often, a light appears. Some humans appear in my sphere of reality who really are doing something to affect great global unity. And it makes me think, ok, maybe I’ll put off the tree climbing expedition for a little while yet. There are so many who do these great things. Do I have an awareness of them all? Hell no. Is it fair to single out only two when there are so many others working just as hard? Probably not. But where there are two, there are three, and then six, 18, 39, 76, and so on….wouldn’t it be awesome if that number reached into the billions?
These two that I’m referring to? They work under the moniker 1 Giant Leap. Seriously worth checking it out. If it can inspire a hopeful misanthrope like me to have confidence, be optimistic that we’re not completely fuckered as a species, they must be doing something right. Cynicism gets so tiring, hope and joy are so much more rewarding. And if that joy has a soundtrack accompaniment? Huzzah, I say! To be honest, I was already inspired by the work they’ve been doing for a few years now. I finally went on the website and actually let them know that (kudos and recognition are so underrated) and wonder of wonders, BOTH of them wrote back to me, independently of each other, within about 12 hours of me sending the note. Needless to say, it just reinforced that they are truly awesome guys, who are doing truly awesome things.
Thanks for that, Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman, brilliant work. Any time you’re around my neck of the woods, feel free to stop by for tea.