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Just Listen to the Grass
Grass XXI

I keep working on ideas for writing. I take a day here, a chunk of minutes there, and yet nothing seems to stick these days. Maybe it's that I've fallen in love as of late, or maybe it's that I've been living like a nomad for more months than I care to record, maybe it's a lot of things moving me into a state where my mind is as settled as the winds of spring. I think it has a lot to do with the environment.

I have a firm belief that our civilization is dead. I've done some middling research, I've looked around my city, I've witnessed the changes in the sun and yes, I read the news. Now, what preoccupies my writings is what's next, how exactly does the end look? Well, it has the things we know to be true, the end of days preachers, the fanatics and the visionaries. It has the governments imploding and the economies collapsing. The added aspects we have of oil spills, earthquakes and scientific monitoring equipment are just bonuses as far as I'm concerned.

So, here' s the thing. I'm not upset. I was upset, a few years ago. And the upset feeling was lovely and melancholy and it fueled a series of poems and a series of fine art prints. It gave birth to much of my work and this work was vibrant and passionate and full of fire. And then I burnt out. And now Greece has burnt out. Western Civillization is tired. And I think that's very OK.

For every person putting on their hairshirt or prepping their 2012 transformation pod, for every person recycling the plastic containers that come with their out of season strawberries that they just can't get enough of, for every person who sanitizes their hands compulsively while reaching for their kombucha, I love and salute you. And you should love and salute yourselves. You're living at the end of a horizon, at the end of your world, and you're handling it very, very well.

You get up in the morning and you go to your job. You pay inflated taxes to a government that imprisons one out of a hundred of you. You try to love your kids while keeping a green lawn. You're processing conflicting information about what is right, what is wrong and what you can possibly accomplish amidst your social anxiety panic due to sexual inability disorder and you are taking the right pills. You are managing your diabetes and you are submitting yourself to radiation and to radiation treatment. You are living in the swirl of the drain. You're moving with something bigger than a nation and bigger than your words.

A few years ago I came to another two realizations that I will share today and I hope they make you smile the way they made me did, too. The emperor is not naked and standing amidst his people, shaking in their boots. He is not about to be told he is naked by the young babe, too innocent to know the perils of speaking the truth. The emperor is wearing plastic wrap (I would say Saran Wrap, but I believe that is trademarked and improper use might get me in legal trouble; see the poor bastard who handed in the iphone prototype to Gizmodo), so anyway, you and I, we're the emperor, too. We're all dressed in plastic wrap, thinking we're naked or thinking we're dressed, but we have no real idea of how we do look and what it is we're wearing. The other thing I like to think about is how utterly amazing to live inside a change, inside a bigger change, inside yet another bigger change. If the apocalypse is a troika doll, well what an incredible experience to be inside something we haven't seen for at least several hundred years.

A friend of mine recently told me he didn't like my idea. I told him it wasn't me, he should go after a dead guy named Toynbee. He's the one who gave me a tidbit of understanding and yes, I found it on Wikipedia. But he looked so sad, my friend, so I offered him what some of us call a bone. I told him not to fret because this civilization had a really good chance of remaining alive on the internet. It had a good chance of literally dying and the new civilization birthing itself right in its place through machines and memes and satellites and every bit of our culture running through space. Imagine the phoenix I said, remember the ourobouros. Imagine it all happening right in front of your eyes, or at least in a split instant.

I think my friend was more depressed about himself. If the civilization died now, wouldn't he go with it? Well, over 230,000 people in Haiti would agree and the shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico, they might agree, too, or at least the fisherman who have been living side by side with them would. There are Indonesians and Iranians and women in Afghanistan who all agree that the passion of this moment is enough to make the whole planet look like a conglomeration of wild poets wondering how deeply moving and romantic, how deeply frenzied this could all be painted. These lost poets, one might argue, are lost in their very last moment of group adolescence, where their hubris and their fury are screaming on the pages of history, and taking too many others with them.

 And then I remember Walt Whitman and I get back to really writing because I "...suppose it lucky to be born..." and then I also suppose it lucky to die. And with that released, I get back to writing. Because when Babylon is toppled and when there is nothing left, no one will remember a damn thing that you did, unless of course by some chance bit of fate makes it so, but then again, why worry at all, unless of course you can turn worry into participation and you can believe you are one tone in a much larger voice.