Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Protest


My But is back and it is larger than it use to be.  All my Shouldn'ts are glaringly evident as well, although I am told not to utter that word and am fined if caught. The punishment is severe if I add an I Told You So.
I practice sitting with my Is and letting it Be. A silent protest to my But. I am sure my pounding heart is audible and direct evidence to my internal panic during the five minutes of meditation I manage.
I have been advised to substitute or add an And. For possibilities. It is tricky; my words go awry, or  I lose my point, which is worse. I always default to But. And it is addicting.

I once had to walk through a police line in order to pick up a poste restante care package. The people of Ecuador had taken to the streets in a mining protest. The army stood in a perfect line surrounding the public squares and government buildings. I squeezed between bullet proof shields and masked faces. I brushed up against a military issued gun and a night stick. When clear, I ran as fast and far as I could beyond them. Behind me, the people marched forward in clumps into the soldiers faces and began to shout. They then turned and fled as tear gas took the air. It felt real, and not predictable. Not an American on a corner with signs and chanting kind of protest. It felt like it could go wrong at any given moment.

“ I'm a pacifist, but the most American thing you can do is to dissent, and the most un-American thing you can do is to stifle dissent. When you feel threatened by the suppression of your liberties, you exercise them to the nth degree, you scream your head off every chance you get. You talk to people you don't agree with. Really good advice: Every day, talk to at least two people who don't agree with you. It's the only way it is going to get done.” ~Utah Philips



1 comment:

  1. I love the quote! And your experience with the army in Ecuador sounds terrifying. I think I know what you mean about the "buts" and "shouldn'ts". I guess I decided I can at least (is "At Least" one of them?) I can at least try to put only positive energy into the world, and avoid adding to the negative.

    I love the painting. So serene and beautifully realized. The figure seems so thoughtful.

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