“The world is being created and destroyed in this very moment. Whoever you met will reappear, whoever you lost will return. Don’t betray the grace that was bestowed on you. Understand what is going on inside you and you will understand what is going on inside everyone else. Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace. I came with a sword.”
-Paulo Coelho

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I spent Christmas week driving up northern California where I visited an old friend, and then upwards into Oregon, and finally, Seattle. The trip had several goals… to see Liz, try my hand at some “winter camping,” buy some “real” boots in Portland, and then explore the Seattle-Tacoma area as a possible place to relocate.

I had to get out of the Bay Area for a while. Far, far too crowded. And the cost of housing has gone from crazy to insane. But even worse are the culture wars and the brain washing that the past 30 years has lodged within the consciousness of so many people.

So I packed up my little Honda Civic and took to the road. That’s one of the great things about being single and retired. Life really is on MY schedule. Mercury was in retrograde as I zipped over the San Rafael Bridge into wealthy Marin County. The Marin County Courthouse stands defiantly over looking Highway 101. If you weren’t alive and of age, on August 7, 1970, the building would hold no meaning for you. But for Black people and Leftist radicals, what happened that day can’t help but register a chill … especially since a racist, reactionary Donald Trump is prancing around the White House like Mussolini.

So on I drove, looking for that “place to BE” that Carlos Castaneda spoke of. Some place without fear and misery seeking misery. A place where I could be more human than black. A place where all my inner selves can come out and sit in the grass with whomever I found entertaining … whoever and whatever filled my heart that day.

No place is free of problems, but traveling has taught me that I HAVE to be my real self … and more, I must stand up and even advocate for those parts of my that I repressed for so many years. Like Soledad Brother George Jackson Soledad Brother George Jackson on that day in the Marin County Adjustment Center, when with a gun in hand, after releasing the entire floor of from the maximum-security prisoners saying,  “… “This is it, gentlemen, the Dragon has come!”… so must I– and each of us–announce to the world that we will defiantly STAND up for who and all parts of what we are.

“Power is the ability to define you and make you believe it.” The State wants us to be a certain type of person to further its goals. Those … Right Wing, Conservative goals are not conducive to a happy, functional, fully lived life. We don’t have to go back to the 60’s… or the 70s… nor to Segregation. What we do need to do is COOPERATE together… after we’ve gotten real with ourselves.

“Culture is a trap,” said Terrence McKenna. We don’t have to all be the same… but we desperately need to contradict Hip Hop / Gangsta values of chest-beating narcissism. You can’t build something with a person who has been convinced that he or she has to be the baddest … “The Alpha” … the bully… or else he/she will, KILL a Nigga.

Growing up not only means self-autonomously defining your own values and principals … but HAVING some to define. Like the graphic above, we can’t go forward by looking backwards… and we can’t build better models of joy to contradict the State’s version of isolation and misery… by being a “victim.”

Journey beyond the limits of what you see on television. (In fact, never watch television again.) Read. Move out of your comfort zone. Learn Buddhist Meditation or Yoga. Learn how Codependency is killing us as a people. Learn to love yourself beyond addictions. But most of all, learn to connect with others–regardless of ethnicity, or age, or gender, or sexual orientation, or class, and build power with supportive numbers.

“To wander in the fields of flowers, pull
the thorns from your heart.”