What The Candidates Can Teach Us About Ourselves
An older man and an older woman, sparring for the throne. And the country watching, mouths agape, as if it is some gladiatorial sport from days of yore. Half of us are hating the one, and the other half hating the other. We fill our minds with our own words, and see through glasses colored to our preference. We cheer for our favorites when they make a clever jab, and cry “liar” at the opposition’s witty retort.
But are these visages of good and evil so very accurate? How can we claim to know what we do not know? Can we read into our future, or another being’s past? Can we not instead imagine ourselves under the pressure that they are under, feeling the pulsing in the brain, and the sweating at the palms? Or can we only wish that the one will choke or the other will trip in their turn of phrase? Shame on us, all of us.
I am an artist, and it is the artist’s job to read between the lines leveled as us for our animalistic satiation. Bard’s walk the middle way through blood-sprinkled battlefields. We seek out the inner story, written with unseen ink. We should be empaths, lightworkers, keepers of the story we all share. We should feel the humanity of others singing through our skin.
You need not love the political agendas, talking points, nor flashing lights smearing makeup-washed faces. It is passing as the stars that glimmer and die, both in the sky’s highway and on the doors of celebrities who rise and fall. Are we so addicted to power, to fame, the garish, synthetic city lights that we fail to see the light of the turf fire that burns silently within?
Put not your faith in princes, but for the love of God, love them for their souls’ sake! If they are monsters, then so are we! Get used to your own reflection in the mirror, and see if you can bear up with that. I believe you will find that we are not in fact “monsters,” but a strange, sacred combination of animal and angel, and we all must the same potential within ourselves, the same call to the heights of the fire-gold sun or the depths of the fire-red pit. Can you not see that in them, in those eyes we see, flitting left to right before the throngs? They are our eyes, created in the image of the Great Eye that first brought sight into an infinity of blindness.
Are we not knit together, one to another, under heaven and upon earth? This is the end to which all things flow. This is what should be at the heart of our politics. This is the nature of love, the field of our energy, the coursing initiative that drives towards social justice. Club membership is but a petty excuse for cheering this side and booing the other. Are we children at boarding school, dealing with a competition of cliques? O Country of Confusion, no!
Hold fast and reach out amidst the insanity that swirls around our basest instincts, to gnaw at each other like dogs after fresh meat and savory bone. Has our evolution gone in reverse, to squelch our blessed flame and turn us once again in the dust of the earth? In days of old, men going to war would put clods of dirt in the mouth to remind them of their mortality. Perhaps we should do so to remind ourselves of our common origins before we sally onto the field to shed another’s blood.
Let it be love and not hate that transforms our thoughts and builds our communities. Let us be motivated to do that which defends and nurtures all life, especially in its most vulnerable states and conditions: minorities, the poor, the disabled, and elderly, and young, and yes, the unborn. And yes, let us remember also the rich and the powerful, the ones who are often most lost and in need, those who are hoisted up as the symbols of our inner ideals and dire demons. Let us see them in the mirror that does not lie, and let the warmth of our hearts shatter the coldest glass.
May 18, 2017
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