11 February 2015

What I've learned over the years.

What surprises me most about my 60s is seeing our world and personal realities still very much divided along the lines of race, culture, money, gender, group identities and/or personal strengths and weaknesses. It baffles me that some individuals and institutions use their resources to contribute to these divisions and drive them deeper by their desire for more - more money, more power, more control for resources while others work so hard to make life better. When I was little, I really believed the world was going to be much more unified than it is. I believed we were going to have accomplished more and that we'd have better skills in doing what's good for the earth and for life that needs sustained and nurtured. I do love that I have been able to witness this time in history and despite what I've written, I hope that I personally can do more at this time of my life to contribute something positive to the lives of those I know and in the communities where I live, whether it's here or some other corner of the world that I find more hospitable.

04 February 2015

Civilization

Each morning, a missionary advertises neon sign
He tells the native population that civilization is fine
And three educated savages holler from a bamboo tree
That civilization is a thing for me to see
So bongo, bongo, bongo, I don't wanna leave the Congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, I'm so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go
Don't want no bright lights, false teeth, doorbells, landlords, I make it clear
That no matter how they coax him, I'll stay right here
I looked through a magazine the missionary's wife concealed (Magazine? What happens?)
I see how people who are civilized bung you with automobile (You know you can get hurt that way Dani
At the movies they have got to pay many coconuts to see (What do they see, Darling?)
Uncivilized pictures that the newsreel takes of me
So bongo, bongo, bongo, he don't wanna leave the Congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, he's so happy in the jungle, he refuse to go
Don't want no penthouse, bathtub, streetcars, taxis, noise in my ear
So, no matter how they coax him, I'll stay right here
They hurry like savages to get aboard an iron train
And though it's smokey and it's crowded, they're too civilized to complain
When they've got two weeks vacation, they hurry to vacation ground (What do they do, Darling?)
They swim and they fish, but that's what I do all year round
So bongo, bongo, bongo, I don't wanna leave the Congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, I'm so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go
Don't want no jailhouse, shotgun, fish-hooks, golf clubs, I got my spears
So, no matter how they coax him, I'll stay right here
They have things like the atom bomb, so I think I'll stay where I am
If that's civilization, I'll stay right here
~Andrews Sisters, "Civilization"

The River

upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded, cratered land, cratered faces  mangled extremities...