Jessica Williams, jazz pianist, composer

CURRENTS

Love or money?

Currents + | -

 

Many of us seek a certain stability in our physical and emotional lives. To wake up in a familiar bed in a warm room, to feel anticipation about the prospects for the day ahead, to feel assured that the days ahead will contain a minimum of violent change for the rest of our lives. But unless one is wealthy, invests wisely, and follows the dictum, the formula of success laid out for them by their ancestors, their culture, and their government, such stability often proves elusive.

Change, the only Universal Constant, continues to interfere.

Even the aristocrat cannot avoid "the fates".

The market crashes . . . life-altering events occur without warning . . . age and disease encroach on the hoped-for static equation . . . entropy exerts itself as a fact of Nature. Death occurs, no matter the amount of money thrown at it in fearful appeasement.

Those not "financially solvent" also seek similar stasis in life, a stable platform from which to operate and exert control over their lives. They share the longings for the same bed, the same rooms, the dependable body, the peaceful mind not plagued by worry and doubt. Peace of mind is a state that is hard to achieve when one is continually counting pennies, and impossible if one falls into the dreaded state of homelessness.

Life becomes ever harder for those not blessed by inheritance or a high-paying position. When illness strikes, one can lose all sense of reference points. A simple toothache can become a threat to the continuation of life itself. Waking up triggers only the depressive state of desire to immediately fall back into unconsciousness.

Any stasis in life is illusory for ALL of us.

Are there any facets of living that may be depended upon?

Only one that I can think of: Love.

It is the only antidote to change, disorganization, disease, and death. Entropy, ruler of galaxies, cannot touch it.

Wrapped in its own null-entropy field, existing outside of local space and time, Love knows only its own rules and follows only its own Path. Like water, it fills every space. It defies time, literally dissolving decades upon decades. Years melt away at a touch. The true Love's kiss achieves cosmic superimposition and stops time altogether.

There are those of us who believe that Love is the only stable platform upon which to build a life.

 

Not all of us find what we search for. Many of us, and I include myself, live much of life not quite knowing exactly what it is we want, and that state will complicate any search. In my case, the fates have been kind, and I was born into a quasi-stable family, grew up in a pleasant little house, had parents who made sure that I was fed, clothed, and had what I truly knew I wanted: a piano. That others should be at least this lucky is a life-long dream of mine, a hoped for future for all humans.

We know that the application of Will can create many miracles and manifest many dreams into our realities.

What we often forget is our neighbors, and the "platform, or lack thereof, on which they operate". It is easy for a billionaire to sit back and enjoy a moment or a lifetime of gluttony. I have seen pictures of many grossly fat, rich men. It is also easy, I suppose, to steal money from others to amass one's own fortune. I heard an ad on the radio proclaiming, "Buy real estate using other people's money!"

And, being a musician in the "Age of Corporate Theft" — see this page — I cringe at watching my art and the money it generates stolen daily and used to make many hundreds of thousands, yes, perhaps even millions of dollars for others of no musical abilities and of a certain moral deficiency.

I and many other artists and musicians have had to use every strategy at our disposal to stay alive, cogent, coherent, and determined. It is very difficult to make music under such circumstances. Somehow, I always seem to do so, by sheer will and by the beneficent help of my friends and fans. Otherwise, "there, but for the grace of . . . "

So I am of the belief that every single human on this planet should have shelter, food, clothing, clean water to drink, and a chance to become more than they presently are, a chance to aspire to better things, a chance to dream of things that can be made real, improving all of human life in the process. In turn, these unique individuals will aspire to see that others have the same opportunities to lift themselves up and prosper.

It is clear to me that an enormously large percentage of wealth in the hands of a ridiculously small number of individuals presents itself as a recipe for a dangerous outcome. Greed is not good, no matter how many Gordon Geckos repeat it. Asking his underlings, in a recent speech, "What have my progeny done for me lately?" is simply inflammatory idiocy and promises nothing to anyone. It does no good thing, it does not help move societies forward, it does not serve future generations.

A Vulcan (Mr Spock, actually) remarked that "The good of the many outweighs the good the few." He then consigned himself to certain death in order to save his Captain, his friend. Yes — this is Hollywood Myth-making. Yet I also am convinced that certain adjustments need to be made if we are to continue as a viable species. We seem to be devolving.

Evolution, by the way, does not always work in forward motion. Like the Dodo Bird, it can often work in retrograde fashion.

We ignore the cries of our brothers and sisters at our own peril. We allow the theft of billions of dollars, even trillions, while locking away a young person for the theft of a loaf of bread. As an American, I had hoped for better in this, the Twenty-first Century.

Decency and common sense are needed, not more laws. Laws too often restrict and cause even more damage than they prevent. Bureaucracies multiply exponentially. Are we foolish enough to believe that this lopsided menagerie may continue unabated for thousands of years to come? Please. Our history as a species shows us that empires grow top-heavy and crash down around everyone's heads. They are provably unsustainable and collapse by their own corruption. Bands of thugs should not be allowed to establish dominance over thinking, hard-working people. It is always a bad idea. Always.

From Jesus, from Buddha, from Ghandi, from The Reverend Martin Luther King, and yes, even from John Lennon, we hear the same words, over and over. Love is the answer to all things. We are not even out of the cradle, and we need to pay heed to the words of our Great Teachers. Whether we "believe IN them" or not, we must believe them and behave accordingly.

We have at our fingertips the ability to transform this planet into a welcoming place for a newborn baby to enter. Using sheer Will as a lever, we have the where-with-all to change reality from a darkly dangerous corner of the cosmos into a vibrantly bright, colorful, vivid dream — a good dream for once.

We will not be whole as a people until we put the toys of our infancy away . . . unrestrained greed, the prejudices, old hates, petty squabbles, violent tendencies, blood feuds and duels to the death . . . all must go. That this is possible I fully believe. I trust in us. I refuse to enter my later years as a pessimistic old lady without an ounce of hope. I will believe in human's "better tendencies" until I die.

Yes. I do this for myself. I also do it for everyone around me. I do this for my own Love and for my own sake, and for the sake of my neighbors and friends. I do it likewise — and this should raise no eyebrows — for my ill-wishers. They, too, need our help.

And, in the end, I do it mainly for the Children of the Future, those yet to be born.

I cannot see a future for them other than the one I wish for myself.

- Jessica Williams, Sep 23, 2013

 

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