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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tokyo 1989: Imagine Signs Of Life Amidst All The Debris Of Change

Daily earthquakes constantly shake so I create a ritual, I walk -
I need to get out of my thin paper-wall room -
flee the fragile construction of the worker's guesthouse -
avoid being inside a matchbox ready to ignite in case of fire -
so I walk,  I traverse beneath sub-way trains -
along traffic-clogged roads, through nature-lined parks -
under tree branches by flower gardens, over water arterial pathways -
past rock bands playing heavy metal, rap and hip-hop -
competing for fans stranded in the open air oasis of urban parklands.

I walk past shiny desire beautifully machined into personalities -
designer labeled elegance graphically alluring to the passersby -
yours to have and hold just pay cash, or swipe a card -
press the touch pad to select and receive -
cans and bottles full of beer, sake, juice, iced milk coffee or green tea -
walls and streets of machines that vend satisfaction to satisfy any need -
solar powered health aids, sex aids, comic books, street maps, food parcels -
all prettily wrapped in delicate paper and sealed attractive, yet accessible to all -
disposable convenience sold to friends and strangers -
one day I found a camera vending machine and picked up a disposable camera -
I clicked and flash-captured the spirits of people weaving between the worlds -
sitting and standing by water fountains looking blurred like bends of water -
ascending upward to sky in the Earth's pitch -
yet simultaneously descending downward onto the ground during the Earth's roll.

Occasional drunk men approach for quick sex in dark corners -
they whisper sweet nothings into my ear -
pushing and promising speedy exchanges -
fast, cheap, no sitting or kissing required -
just heated breaths accompanied by warm rice wine -
then the post-activity completion-cigarette to seal the bargain -
they take rejection badly, refusal of their offers very personally -
as if it is unkind to not share their keen urgent desire for intimacy -
on those occasions I decide no eye contact is the safest route back home -
I walk quicker, avoid alleyways, and evade unexpected encounters – 
I learn to ignore anything, but not everything, while I look for signs -
there are signs in the city that communicate the best way forward -
how to push through the unwanted events, noise, fuss, confusion -
glide past the neon stares, glares, competitive nudges of strangers -
it seems everyone is seeking refuge from unwanted life experience -
yet we are all on the same trail to detect the secrets within the book of life.

There is ancient knowledge contained inside our body of archives -
how the human mind and universal heart translate the language of society -
decode the wisdom of ages bookmarked inside humans -
everywhere within the rare events of life are reminders -
memories are shaken from their sleep -
the signs in life that were in shadow begin to become illuminated -
all the passageways slowly clear -
and within the human heart all that was lost is once again found.

Collective tragedy quenches the thirst of sorrow -
and fills all the vacancies forgetfulness brings for lust of life  -
in moments of grief the human heart awakens -
and the mental organ's become suddenly love-filled  -
desire rekindles to release all the now unimportant troubles of the past -
all that before plagued, and weighted life down within each human's heart -
releases as the earth quakes change, shakes it's Self free of what is pent up -
and reminds us all of previous historical destruction -
everyone momentarily shares their mass need to forgive and forget past wrongs -
all are one united in the surreal turmoil of safety and survival.

Amongst the life signs and coronary streets trafficking confusion -
glimpses of the occasional human camped out in a dark corner -
disguised as an electrocardiogram witnessing and reading the beats -
counting each heart rhythm as a footstep drumming -
a fingerprint strumming, an instep tapping and lapping at life's distant shores.
I watch a monk bend over tending to his garden -
concerned for the trees and worms, beetles and snails -
he gently cuddles them, all the children of this nation -
he softly encourages one and all -
to find refuge within the heated earth, now quickly cooling.

I walk past flower stands still blooming -
and pretty stuffed-red-bean green-mochi dessert shops  -
color adding elegance to the business of the walled-street night -
colors embody the same qualities in the darkest shadow and the fullest light - 
one and the same aspect of Soul -
yet we perceive, and so experience, color as separate events -
independent within the same body of life -
what we judge as dark is also light -
what we discern as light is also dark - 
all shades of life with no simple duality of extreme, this or that, one or the other  -
simply one, one color, one event, one experience, one sense of Self, one Soul -
perhaps what we are experiencing is the individualization of our Soul -
as it separates from life to distinguish it's Self at source.

I walk past Korean workers as they hastily prepare Japanese take-out food -
I watch Japanese workers make American fast food -
I witness Arabs vend Italian leather, as Africans trade Chinese pearls -
I hear Russian women sell their wares, as Thai women ply their trade -
I squeeze into streets full of half broken red and blue neon streaks -
I see ascending signs reflect down onto wet ground -
an unearthly sign of change reflect up onto pedestrian faces -
proletarian rain blurs obscure the color palette of urban technology -
everything is melting -
the organic outline of nonlinear golden light -
butters sweet the non-organic lines of luminescent light.
I trip over cylinders, tumblers, wormholes, twisted vortexes -
left behind by time travelers making quick getaways from the present and the past -
this street feels like it is paved with a vague sense of the future -
accompanied by all signs of life made visible by tremors that change -
fear that reveals the unknown -
I read recently in a book that American General George Stilwell once said,
“All living generations are responsible for what we do, and all dead ones as well.”

There must be more signs of life in life -
evolving us through unexpected events that transform all we know-
that veer us away from our everyday routine -
if only in that one moment which fatefully changes our direction -
we are altered in our journey's course -
we are slowed down into absolute stillness -
our rhythm quiets until our pulse is heard
and united as one with our heart's beat  -
unification stills us until 
we can see the light that courses through our veins -
I, ignites inspiration into e.motion, so we can feel, I am, wisdom -
I am wise, embedded into the deeper seeds within, awakes
I muse, infuses amusement into the life signs 
within the everyday trickery of society's pathways.

Courage and strength are found in the undoing of the familiar -

the unraveling of the common threads becomes our sword and our shield -
change protects us and shatters our dream-chasing of the non-essential -
trauma shared unites us all with the illusion of fragile mortality -
sudden change marries us to the deeper meaning of our eternal existence -
we witness liberating signs of life within society's walled and caged moments -
and then perhaps in one instant, one precious moment -
for it only takes one moment to alter us forever.

In one moment I am altered forever -
knowledge surfaces that I am enough as I am -
standing alone on the edge of the unknown within myself -
my truth glows brighter than my lies -
I am showered with validation and Self-love -
I am awakened from death to rebirth my imagination -
I begin again to imagine my Self a new story -
dream my Self a new dream -
larger than my life, brighter than any and all stars in all galaxies -
a remembrance sparks of my own eternity -
greater than a flash of heat and fire -
forged into my mind, sculpted into my heart, 
 my unique fingerprint is carved to perfection.

I do not remember if it is fate, destiny, free will, or mere chance that creates change -

I do remember in my moments of life or death situations that I chose life -
I do recall that I reminded my Self of how special and precious my existence is -
I am glad that I can put one foot in front of the other 
to dance my Self anew into each day -
I am grateful that I have the courage to renew my strength -
I am blessed with imagination to imagine signs of life amidst all the debris of change.

~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Sometime after 1857 Ferdinand de Saussure said;
“We can therefore imagine a science
that would study the life of signs within society…
it would teach us what signs consist of,
what laws govern them.”

"Urban Blur"