Sunday, October 18, 2015

Heavy On My Mind

I just watched a powerful, happy and terribly sad film.  "I'll Be Me", the documentary about musician Glen Campbell, his dealing with alzheimer disease and his final tour with the Campbell Family Band on their "Goodbye Tour".

As I watched, I was delighted to hear Glenn Campbell's music again, and struck by the sadness in the lyrics of some of his most recent songs, that touch on his condition, from his personal point of view.

It is one of those films, that fill your mind after the last frame is over.  The kind of film that opens your thoughts, as you walk them down a rabbit hole, leading from one point to the next, uncovering ideas in recesses of your mind.

I wonder at this wonderful human body, with all of its intricacies. And at how  wonderfully flawed it is, with how it breaks down so.  I consider my own body, how I used to feel, or actually how I didn't feel.  Didn't feel pain when I walked, didn't feel congested when I awoke, didn't need glasses to read, didn't feel so tired.

What are we? a collection of neurons forming a mind?  A dendretic arbor containing thoughts? When our brain breaks down and fails, so do we, as a conscious being?  Or is there really a soul there, deep inside?

And if a soul, is it within just humans? or every living thing?

I remember when I thought I knew the answers.  Life's answers. And I remember before then, when I thought I'd just discovered those answers. And even before that, when I thought that there were many high plateaus that I had to surmount, many levels of knowledge to attain.  And earliest, I remember when I was just me, when I had my original face, when I woke and slept, and ran and played, and did not worry, nor was concerned, but was only filled with young life.

This mind, fully functioning, thinking thoughts of Glenn, and everything else that is connected, from him, back to me.  And I think of this life, at a time that I again do not have the answers, a time when religion has been forsaken, and thoughts of God are faded, and the stark reality of the universe as it really exists is brightly clear before me.

Today I viewed a photograph from the Hubble telescope.  A spiral galaxy, bright white at the center, spiral arms swirling, full of bright white dots, those arms looking as if formed from a cloud.  But that wasn't a cloud, it was a swirl of stars, suns earth's own.  In the photo was other bright lights, and when looking closer, I saw that they were also whole galaxies. Eighteen hundred galaxies in this one single cluster.  And that, just a small pinch of star dust in this universe.

A universe, that men try to describe, try to place in order, with thoughts and ideas.  Ideas based many times on the truth of observation, but too many times on superstition and false presumptions, and even lies, that are built up into societies where the wonderful human experience is turned into a hammer of the gods.  Where to many false ideas are forced people, on pain of death.

My mind is a swirl of thoughts, much like the spiral galaxy, much of it unexplored, not enough time.

copyright © 2015 by Marc S. McCune

Friday, September 18, 2015

Alive

I used to be a true believer,
so sure I was reaching
higher planes
in this walk through life.

From early on, I was raised to believe
in gods and saints,
the afterlife and sweet by-and-bys.

All good people went to heaven;
innocents and babies immediately saw God.

Then, after a life of blind faith
and assurances of great rewards,
I changed my mind,
examined my beliefs,
and saw things differently.

Now, there is no great reward.
My agnostic eyes see no assurance of who is waiting
at some pearly gate.
There is no gate
probably no heaven
and surely no hell.

Life became more precious,
the Universe became huge,
and everything was let out of the box.

The single individual life
became more of a jewel.

We each have this life
this gift from the universe.
How we handle that life is up to us.
Some have great opportunities,
others only hopelessness.
Some live to that three score and ten
while the years of others are cut short.

That single life
precious jewel,
it is the potential to
experience and grow
the opportunity to blossom
like the flower.

Once that life has been created
nobody has the right to snuff it out.

Regardless of how that life came to be,
no one has the right to uproot it.

It doesn't matter how a person's life got started.
In the grand scheme of things,
in the eyes of the universe,
the simplicity is, that a new life was started.
A life with no do-overs
no returning to the bosom of Abraham
no assimilation into the Force or
back to the energy of the universe.

A life that is more precious in its unfolding,
more important in the start and finish of a complete journey,
than any reasons for prematurely ending it.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

believing in the visible lie, or the invisible truth?

"Pizzaro and conquistadors
The debris and the metaphors
And the scarcity of miracles he'd
found


Valverde and the battle lines and
everything it undermines
And the scarcity of miracles we'd
found"


Those are from the lyrics of the song "A Scarcity of Miracles" written by Jakko M. Jakszyk of the King Crimson Projekct.

Pizzaro is Francisco Pizzaro, the conquistador of Peru. Valverde is Friar Vicente de Valverde. Valverde accompanied Pizzaro as a missionary to Peru.

Prior to the Battle of Caxamarca, Valverde tried to obtain the peaceful submission of the Great Inca Atahaullpa. When the Atahaulpa rejected a pact of friendship with Pizarro, Friar Vicente joined in the conversation: “He came forward holding a crucifix in his right hand and a breviary in his left and introduced himself as another envoy of the Spanish ruler . . . Friar Vicente called upon the Inca to renounce all other gods as being a mockery of the truth.”[*] Atahualpa simply replied that he could not change his beliefs in the all powerful and ever living Sun and other divinities.

This brief telling of the event hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. The Incan ruler believed that his god was The Sun. The Sun was a visible daily presence. His people made sacrifices to the Sun so that it would continue to rise, and for plentiful harvests. To the Inca, the Sun was a visible present God. They were being presented with an invisible foreign god for which there was no proof of existence. When each side viewed the others' gods, they saw a scarcity of miracles.

© 2015 Marc S. McCune


* Carson, Margaret (2008). Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance. U of Michigan: Ann Arbor.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

old town

so many
old towns

walking through
your old town
the nostalgia I feel
is not mine

my old town
is far away
and lost in time

your old town
was once mine

© 2015 Marc S. McCune