Let these words ring loud
From the heart’s quaking shackles:
Rage against light’s death
[ americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan ]
Recently, I wrote an article about sponging anger, and how when I am bicycling I would often get angry for reasons I could not place. After carefully analyzing this hatred and noting when it tended to arise I have concluded that I am allowing myself to be controlled by the mostly negative emotions of the drivers I come into contact with while out on the road. Oh how they must hate me for daring to ride on the sliver of pavement that runs to the right of the single white line and to the left of the edge of the road, as witnessed by a recent increase in the number of cowards who shout out of their windows at me as they speed by, often saying things such as, “Get out of the road,” and, “Move over.” (Soon, I hope to find the courage to stop responding by telling drivers to go fuck themselves.) I have taken to occupying the entire lane while climbing a particular hill on the last stretch of byway before the last turn toward my house, as in the past on this short rise people tended to floor their engines and squeeze daringly between me and opposing traffic as we were all trying to squeeze up a blind, sharp incline. During this maneuver the transference of hatred and loathing from the drivers to me is particularly strong, as I take up the entire lane for fifteen whole seconds while powering my way up to the top of the rise, dragging myself across the asphalt landscape silently and without belching noxious fumes from a metal tailpipe. Once I reach the top I immediately vacate the lane to allow the vehicle that has been tailgating me to roar past toward business that – I am certain – has to do with curing cancer and saving a stranded kitten and eliminating hunger in the Global South. I am happy to be doing my part to honor and conserve the mineral resources of this our only Earth, and to be saving hundreds of dollars a year on car maintenance and fuel and registrations and fees and taxes and fines. I have been lucky up to now, for which I thank the gods of the traveler, among them Legba and Ganesha and Christopher and Hermes, lifting my supplications to the heavens and saying: “Please guard these travelers along their path, keep them this day from Fate's patient wrath.” Aho.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
During my yoga teacher training, I discovered that I have powerful skills of empathy. When persons choose to direct their feelings and emotions at me, in my current condition I receive that power mostly intact and largely unfiltered. If others direct love at me I am learning to let it buoy my heart; if they thank me I am trying to wallow in gratitude for as long as I am able to; but if it is anger or disgust or discontentment that they feel toward me my heart grows cold, rage builds in my chest, and I become deeply irate. At some point in my life I learned that sponging anger in this way makes me feel powerful, that it is proper to answer like with like, hatred with hatred. My fellow Americans exhibit this type of behavior frequently, and over the years I have been wont to retreat into it much as my compatriots do. As however I study the ancient truths and leave behind the clouded and the confused path for that of the warrior I am beginning to understand that anger and hatred frighten Spirit and that our connection to the Divine is severed if instead of compassion and grace we cultivate in our hearts loathing, coldness, and fear. My path is for me alone to walk and I am not saying that other people are acting incorrectly, only that they seem to have abandoned action for reaction, consciousness for unconsciousness, beauty for ugliness, and that it shall take a lot of effort on the part of each individual, individually, for our the soul of our nation to become bright, once more. The greatest journeys of the world start with just one person stepping forward, and so I lift my foot. Mahalo.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
Since deciding to no longer vituperate and lambaste the American political system and Western society as a whole, I am breathing easier. No longer does this author try to hoist the problems of the world onto his shoulders, slash and burn through them, and nose around in the rubble for solutions; now, he better understands what the limits of his responsibilities are, which things are his concern, and which thoughts and rants and habits are simply no longer worthy of his time. It feels as if these americanifestos are morphing from platforms upon which a lone figure would spout and foam and rave into logbooks of one no-longer-quite-so-confused native son who is slowly learning not to lash out at everything so violently. Perhaps now, with the hatred draining from my heart and the spaces within me that once held rage and grief slowly filling up with compassion and acceptance, these American manifestos will become something truly grand, truly worthwhile, truly fitting of their name and of my heritage. We shall see, and thanks for reading. Huzzah, mahalo, and aho.
mentiri factorem fecit – 場黑麥
blog updated Fridays, usually
I bicycle, write, surf, and the rest.