Going home

We had these going a few hours ago, low and steady and singing along. Last night’s debris was cleared. The cards were put away. It felt like home. The sun decided all on his very own to say good morning. The dog and I went out to greet him.

It would be too easy this morning to carry on endlessly or proselytize or preach or rant or even just post some of the heinous video footage and photos from my streets last night. Plenty of people will be doing that. Everyone who cares has seen them and come to their own opinions and theories. I’m tempted to quote Joaquin Phoenix’s joker here. Something about getting what you fucking deserve. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got to say.

You make your own peace, man. That’s it. A friend told me last night that I’m too old now to be out in the streets. That’s probably true. My son asked me if our anger, at this point, may not be a liability, provoking a militarized police force who will take it out on people who don’t look like us because they know it’s easier to get away with. That’s an interesting question. All I know is that I feel like I’ve been fighting my whole life. It had to be at least ten years ago that quoting Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce I said, “Today I will fight no more forever.” It’s hard to let go of though with so many other people still struggling.

You do make your own peace though. That’s the truth of it. Define peace in the way that works best for you. Sometimes peace is just settling scores, to to paraphrase Conrad, it’s about rendering an account to some authority. The authority could just be your own conscience.

We wander in our thousands over the
face of the earth, the illustrious and the obscure, earning beyond the
seas our fame, our money, or only a crust of bread; but it seems to me
that for each of us going home must be like going to render an account.

We return to face our superiors, our kindred, our friends–those whom we
obey, and those whom we love; but even they who have neither, the most
free, lonely, irresponsible and bereft of ties,–even those for whom
home holds no dear face, no familiar voice,–even they have to meet the
spirit that dwells within the land, under its sky, in its air, in its
valleys, and on its rises, in its fields, in its waters and its trees–a
mute friend, judge, and inspirer. ~ from Lord Jim

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