Now's the time
It's not an easy time right now for lots of folks. Unless you're fabulously well-to-do, you may find that life seems harder than it was in the recent past. Arianna Huffington just wrote a book called "Third World America", and the New York Times told me today that one out of six people in this great country of ours is on food stamps. This great country of ours was referred to often as the "good ole YOU-ESS-of-A" by those of us who love it, which I think is most of us. So it's a hard thing to watch racism and greed and sexism and ageism and war-mongering and ignorance proliferate.
"Now's the time", as good ole Dexter Gordon used to say. He said it real slowly. He probably meant he was preparing to play the blues classic of the same name, and perhaps he was preparing to play it as slowly as he said it. But if he were around today - and many of us wish he were - he might mean that the time is now for us to get our act together and start loving each other, helping each other, taking care of each other, playing nice together. He might say "Now's the time to start acting like a real family instead of acting like bozos. If my band suddenly started acting like bozos instead of lovingly playing music together like a real, honest-to-goodness family, I'd fire every last one of 'em."
Well, now's the time. We could conceivably end up like the poor Dodo bird (dodo -n., an extinct flightless bird, once a native of the island of Mauritius, discovered 1598, extinct by 1681), only known to us human animals for eighty-three years! Hardly enough time to get to know anything about these fellow animals of Mauritius, of Earth. More and more species are going bye-bye, thanks to human animals and their often brutish behavior towards other animals that don't quite look or act the way they do. A lot of times this behavior is caused by a burning desire to own everything, even the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky (or on the ground, as was the case with the poor Dodo) and sometimes it's just pure insanity. Whatever the cause, now's the time to reel it in and act like a family and not like a bunch of deranged bozos.
Painters: get to your brushes, your easels, your canvases, your oils and acrylics. Make a picture that soothes the beast. Make a picture that shocks the complacent. Make a picture that makes us think again. Make a picture of reality as seen through your own eyes and heart.
Writers: start writing stories. Short stories. Novellas. Novels! Make us swoon with your words, and tell us how to live together again. Tell us how to NOT wind up like the poor Dodo.
Poets: make poems and send them out to us in e.emails. Fill them with blood and bone and love and life. Like message-bearing bottles in the vast ocean of loneliness, we'll find them scattered on the shores of our souls and wake up better for it tomorrow.
Musicians: What are we here for? We're here to fill the air with incendiary sonority and mellifluous cacophony. We're here to create the silence between the sounds, to retrace the boundaries of our own flesh with the flesh of humanity. We're mirrors. We're here to save the world.
Now's the time! Otherwise in ten or fifty thousand years, folks from another planet may record for their own amusement on their own media an entry that reads, more or less, "bozo -n., an extinct hairless biped, once a native of a planet called Urth by the locals, discovered by observing their orbiting detritus and extinct by the time we arrived."
Just a thought, Jessica, 10.24.10