Thursday, February 24, 2011
Spartacus, Wordsworth, and Young
When I was a kid, the movie Spartacus appealed to me for reasons I've never looked into, it just did. I can recall feeling a sense of hopefulness in the heroic destiny of Kirk Douglas' portrayal and the equally hopeless feeling of fighting against the powers that be. So when I woke up this morning, with mild annoyance slowly burning and turning into anger, I thought of him. I was angry at the state of the Union, at the more-than-dismal scenario that continues to unfold in our country and around the world. Righteous rebellions and peaceful revolution notwithstanding, there's a lot of, well, I'll use the word tomfoolery, going on all around us. I am reluctant to go there, as the last time I decided to write about politics ("Pollyanna, Meet Private Benjamin") an anonymous commenter suggested, among other things, I might be happier living in another country, Cuba. Naaah. I like this one. One of the things I like about it is being able to speak my mind.
Anyhoo, against my better judgment, I decided to write about my feelings, how we all seem to be at the mercy of the media, how everything we hear or read is white-washed, heavy on the white (sorry, but I've also been reading Black Elk and that has not improved my mood at all), how great the divide is and becoming greater. Opening lines of Wordsworth's poem, "The World is Too Much With Us," paid a visit, along with an assortment of other historical figures and bits. Spartacus and his little slave revolt of the early 70's. BC. Anyone remember the Appian Way? How about the Balkans, WWII, when village lamp posts came in handy for those sent in to quash any thoughts of further rebellion. Perhaps something only a little more current might ring a bell, like Kent State. Neil Young's song, "Ohio," ("four dead in Ohio"), began looping in my agitated head. Nobody cooler than Neil.
I tell myself I have no reason to complain. I'm not hauling Grandma, along with everything I own, over the Albanian Alps in a handcart. My life is pretty darn good. But, for millions of Americans it is not. I get angry when I hear the media suggesting that those who remain unemployed and whose benefits are long gone, might consider living with relatives in order to get through these hard times. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a pleasant alternative to me. Not at all. And that's all I'll say about that.
Our Little Band of Nitwits in D.C., who are fiddling while Rome burns, need to know: the villagers are not going to stay complacent forever. The lanterns and pitchforks aren't out yet, but if Wisconsin is any bell weather, the tide may be turning. I know, I know, I'm not out there myself, fomenting rebellion, so perhaps I should just keep quiet. I try to stay peaceful and calm and centered and usually I am. This morning, I was so caught up in anger, I almost didn't see the deer slowly walking through my yard. I almost forgot about the wild turkeys. I saw them roosting in the lower branches of my lilac bushes very early yesterday morning. They kept me company throughout the day.
Okay, what's goin' on...
I just took a break and noticed someone had read one of my older posts, from this fall, "What Peace Feels Like," and, as you might know, I try to heed signs as they're "comin' through the rye," so I re-read it and realized I do need to find some peace. And these words from Wordsworth need to find a remedy:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;-
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.
So, I need to try and see the world I really want to see, to reclaim my heart with a walk in Nature. Reclaim my powers that reside there. Find peace there. And that, my friends, is the perfect remedy.
P.S. I just looked up and I see the turkeys are back again today. They are moving to the beautiful stand of Norway pines on the backside of my property. No "sordid boon" today.