Saturday, June 13, 2009

'Body language is something that you feel
It's just too real to be concealed.' - Cute Is What We Aim For
Stop relating children's books to current events.
Stop comparing science fiction to reality.
Don't teach children about environmental ruin
through bright-colored pictures and rhymes.
Stop. Don't. This isn't working.
People pledge, daily, rarely, never, to stand together.
Divided we fall?
Divided we are.
I feel it in parking lots, moving to avoid mothers and young kids.
I think they don't want their kids to see black pants and chains.
I'm tired. I won't change the world.
Who decided the world needs to be changed?
Freedom is theoretical.
You've got me choking on words.
China. Communism. Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
But there's also the Green Student Forum.
More than I'm doing.
There isn't a line dividing us.
There's just emotion and a need to blame someone.
You can't change the past, so shut up.
Focus, now.
You won't save your children by telling them they're failing.
You won't save anything if you don't start to move.
I don't believe
that anything can happen
without hurting someone.
Despite any good intentions, pain is still there.
I'm tired of seeing adults as robots and kids as the ones that breathe.
You can keep yourself from dating someone
to keep from hurting your friends,
but then you hurt yourself,
and you hurt who you left.
You can make a movie,
documentary, reality, about
hurt or self-harm.
and you'll hurt people.
Even when you're trying to show them
they aren't alone,
that other kids have toughened skin under their clothes,
good intentions cracking your voice.
You're still taking away their secret,
their privacy,
sometimes, the thing holding them together.
And parents; they love, but they'll
tear their kids apart when they're hiding something.
They don't understand, so they won't listen when kids try to explain.
They ask if you're stupid, but there isn't an answer to satisfy.
This isn't a warning, but an anecdote.
Flashback to the industrial revolution.
Work was faster, easier, better.
But now we've got pollution,
and so many people unemployed.
Move forward to help the economy,
to feed, to live, to have more.
But to do it, you tear down the environment.
Drown trees to build a dam.
This isn't fiction. Rhymes won't help.
Get down on your knees,
put your fingers in the ground,
and try to keep on breathing.
Everytime you exhale, you ruin the environment.
and you're cutting down trees,
lessening the oxygen.
Atleast, be worth the damage you create.
You can't follow the rules to live.
You can't live for long, if you keep breaking them.
Who said we were what the world should
aspire to be?
What are we, here?
Tell me.
I see divisions. Living statues.
Desperate kids waiting for a savior.
Hopeless parents, distraught over money and houses and pets.
Robotic adults, spitting out practiced lines, talking in circles, leaving lies.
This isn't right.
Tell me if I'm wrong.
I want to underline words from books,
write them down very carefully,
and send them to the president,
envelope stamped 'URGENT'.
We aren't tribes or nations or peoples.
We aren't united.
We can leave and go far, far away,
where colored codes don't mean our lungs have to work harder.
Where it doesn't feel like everyone
is lying or hiding the truth.
Where touch means more than grades and school.
Nothing gets fixed until all the cards are on the table.
You want to be better
so you hold what you know back.
This isn't a game.
You have to understand.
We've got kids starving because there isn't enough food,
stomachs bloated, malnourished.
Unwitting stars of documentaries made by withered white men
from places with surplus's of food.
World's with so much to be eaten
that game shows are formed around it.
World's with so much food being trashed daily,
with the rich buying five different houses,
small islands, useless cars
World's where
no one is looking at skeletons walking.
You should be a skeleton after you die,
not while your hearts still beating.
In that world with too much food,
there are kids starving.
Self-induced. Thrust a finger down your throat.
Brag when you hit three days empty;
pinch your skin and call it fat.

"Some are dying for a cause, but that don't make it yours."
A few people care.
Even fewer famous care.
It's not an army or a generation.
It's not even a group.
Miles and years to separate.
If you get out there, to dry hot places,
dripping tree leaves, green fog,
hot sand, salted oceans.
If you talk to the leaders,
ask them what they want.
Languages and generalizations,
mistakes you won't get past.
Suck it up.
Sit down.
We're the same blood. Same hurt, same smile.
Same world.
If you can't do it,
step down.
Call for someone who can.
Pacts and treaties only last so long.
Words don't mean a thing
when your hearts not in them.
We won't be getting anywhere
until you know.
I could quote books I've read,
lyrics from songs,
to show you what I mean.
but what makes me feel
isn't the same for you.
I could ask you to forget about oil,
disregard money and power,
but you'd laugh in my face.
'The world has worked this way for many years,
for too long to stop now.
Besides, it's worked in our favor.'
I could say forget about tongues,
and the languages you use them for.
You wouldn't listen.
You need your language for your identity.
I'd ask that you put aside religion,
because I don't believe you do.
But you're an actor, and you can't break character now.
They wouldn't, either, I think.
But in other places, hearts beat harder with religion.
With gods and prayer and afterlife.
It means something more
than fables told to children.
I could quote Fight Club or Fall Out Boy,
Blue Like Jazz or Envy on the Coast,
My Ishmael or The Academy Is...
We don't know the feeling of dirt or bark.
We can't climb trees.
We don't live to appease gods.
I can press my heart into words;
I could even send them out into the world.
To leaders with power threaded through their fingers,
but I don't believe a thing would change.
I could write my heart down,
lined with colored pencil illustrations.
I could make a video,
earnest and honest.
I could try my best, and I could put it on the Internet;
I could send it out to every kid I know.
If you want change, you have to make it.
Hearts can't be switched, emotions don't project.
You won't understand until you see it, feel it.
You have to bleed a little, risk a lot,
if you want to get beyond this place.

© Copyright 2008 Abby Almon

"The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His friend’s team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room, the folksinger said, was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALs entered the room they heard the gasps of the hostages. They stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them they were Americans. The SEALs asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn’t. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn’t believe their rescuers were really Americans.
The SEALs stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn’t possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALs, the folksinger’s friend, got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show them he was one of them." -
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

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