Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Or is it just capitalistic city life worldwide?
I don't even know who Joshua Bell is and my cousins are concert trained violinists in the Seattle Symphony.
Do we stop to smell the roses at all in DC culture? Not really, is the answer from reading this article:
Should I hate DC all the more for this? Awww, shoot... why not! ;)
I think this is a good example of lonliness and capitalism... it's a good article published in a Dubai newspaper.
But really, hating DC more isn't the answer for me... it's caring for people around me. It's stopping long enough to deny my employment or employer the full ownership of my life. Perhaps it's leaving a job that enslaves me. Perhaps it's quitting greed altogether that robs me of these types of experiences. Is there a balance? I think so. Is a metro station a poor choice of venues to judge our social concern for one another, I think so.
In a metro station, people don't allow themselves to be impressed and stopped and mystified during intense pursuit of a goal. People are busy and in route somewhere when at a metro stop. Would Joshua Bell have been heard at a retreat center in the mountains of Boise, Idaho? Certainly! How about at in the tourist centers of America... maybe even in the Smithsonian Museum area of DC? I think so, yes. Is there leisure time to listen there? Yes.
But if you live in DC, how often have you gone there in the past 2 years that you've lived in the DC area?
I've gone 3 times in the 3 years I have lived here (and only to entertain visitors from out of town).
Does work bring us joy? For some of us the answer is yes. But judging from the use of antidepressants in America, therapists will tell you that the overwhelming answer is "no."
When we're dead and gone... was 30 years of our employer's demands all we will have experienced? Will we have travelled? Will we have lived in another culture? Will we have seen an elephant?... or visited our grandparents homeland? Will we have considered any beauty at all? Will we have tried our hands at a carving? A poem? An instrument? A painting?
I think, for me, if I continue the way I have been for the past 3 years, then in 30 years very few experiences of beauty will have been involved in my life. That is one reason I quit my job in DC and have vowed not to return to do a job there. I absolutely abhor the alienation of the metro system... the pin-drop silence of ignoring other living beings around me... the disbelieving looks from people when you say "good morning" on the streets. It's just inhuman... mechanistic... draining and WRONG.
And it really comes down to me and my loved one's expectations of my simplicity or complexity of living.
I think that fact was brought to bare on me very intensely through the book "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer.
In the beauty of Walt Whitman's poem "When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer" says it quite well:
When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By Sarita Hartz
Director of the Zion Project
Less than two more weeks left until your opportunity to change lives in Northern Uganda.
It is not very often when we can channel our Compassion into Action, but this is one of those rare and inspiring moments in history when we can say that we stood for something. That we saw, and we did not sit idly by.
Our history is marked with the darkest of betrayals against our own brothers and sisters. Yesterday, at Virginia Tech was one of those. Our flags stand at half-mast because we take notice when massacres happen.
Let us not just take notice of what happens in our own country, but let our own suffering compel us to take notice of those whose lives are marked by massacre in Uganda.
We are a nation that has perpetuated slavery. We are also a nation that has ended it. Inside us is the power to do both.
I will be one girl in the middle of hopefully thousands of others, lying on the National Mall, but in spirit with those I love in Uganda, praying for peace. This is not a party, and not even a simulation of what our brothers and sisters experience in Uganda. We can never know that. What it is, is a vigil. For one night, we give up a single comfort to connect ourselves to those who inspire us to become more than we are.
Will you join me?
Watch the NEW "I GOT SOUL" video and be inspired. SIGN UP TO COME TO DISPLACE ME, APRIL 28th.
Stand for something.
To sign up in your city visit:
with love and hope,
ps-I'll be manning the Letter Writing to our Senators Table :)