Disconnected Perspective

That time of year where people gather
and create a buzz of busyness,
quiet in the office and so loud in the shops, bars and streets.
A time for seasons greetings,
which means to spend money.
While others make it, depend on it,
to boost the economy.
And perpetuate the idea that business success
is our basic human right.
Based on merit, make more money,
the only legitimate way to survive through the long dark night,
some call it life.
Some call it Christmas, with a capital C,
a time of year for compulsory good cheer,
a celebration of a man, a time in history.
It makes no sense to me.

It is a time of year where I burrow deeper
away from the masses,
and away from friends and family.
The different shades of the blades of grass
growing on the dunes by the sea,
are where I want to spend my time
and are what inspire me.
A quality time I find with plants, bugs and animals,
more comforting and more stimulating
than the trite and contrived time I find
that I am forced to spend with people.
A time where I am reminded of the loathsome qualities
that our modern society cultivate,
in the impressionable human animal.

So disconnected,
I am deeply conflicted with despise and compassion
for the lost and so overcompensatingly loud children.
Who no one has taught tolerance, respect and spacial awareness.
We are all children,
waiting for our parents to tell us what is OK.
Waiting for our mum or dad to set our moral boundaries,
and then challenge them,
and then have a safe haven to return to again.
But there are no parents other than the establishment,
which only teaches us how to be good nation state citizens.
Do what everyone else is doing.
There are no parents to tell us that there are major problems
that need our care and attention to find a resolution.

I am conflicted criticising a culture and system
that I am so entrenched in.
Well aware that I am no better, no different,
certainly not above anyone else just trying to survive.
All I want to do is get everyone asking the questions:
Am I satisfied working nine to five?
Is it OK that my choices mean that someone else is deprived?
And are plastic decorations, barbecued meats and public holidays what it means to be alive?

The Bridge

I sit in my living room, on this drizzly spring afternoon,
with the comfort of my warm woollen clothes,
and freshly squeezed lemon hot water.

When it rains here, it rains inside the house.

Literally,
I live in a 1920’s woodsman cottage on the south coast of the north island, where the southerlies are brutal.

Although I am in a somewhat privileged position in many ways,
I am also well aware of what poverty feels like.

It is for this that I create the bridge.

The bridge between poverty and prosperity,
weakness and strength,
community and individuality.

We live in a world where our democratically elected leaders are role models
for racism, misogyny and capitalism.

Where the natural world, our people, animals and plants
are suffering.

I acknowledge the pickings are slim.

We live in a world of extremes,
where information is manipulated, filtered and distorted.

So when it reaches the eyes and ears of the people, seems contradictory,
and creates confusion, righteousness and puritanism.

Either too afraid to speak up, or too stubborn to listen.

It is simply easier to understand the world we live in by categorising information,
into extremes,
right or wrong, good or bad, left or right.

The bridge looks to shine a light,
on the spectrum,
of information in between the extremes.

To start a conversation.

We already have a  sanctioned moral compass,
lets transcend that superficial layer of information,
and dig a little deeper.

What you find underground may look ugly at first appearance,
but spend a little longer in the dirt,
enough to get through the initially layer of cynicism,
and you will come to understand,
that everything you thought you knew,
was wrong.

Or at least incomplete.

The loudest voice has the weakest argument,
and won’t accept defeat.

But accept we must,
acknowledge that we do not know what we do not know.

And break free of our individual echo chambers,
by listening to the opinions of those we thought we opposed.

Build that bridge with one stone at a time,
and you may just find
that the people on the other side,
are actually just like the varying members
of your very own tribe.