Sitting in my Armchair

I was remembering a time,

when I was younger,

a quiet, reflective, young,

boy.

I think the same feelings existed

way back then,

when,

I would wonder about

whatever might be ahead.

There were different

sets of friends.

Or at least we felt different,

wait …

 

Time delivers chapters

to our daily lives,

when once this chair

felt sturdier,

the painted varnish glistened,

in the sunporch,

with books laid about,

some would call them

strewn,

alongside periodicals and

the evening Telegraph

I suppose.

 

It hasn’t really changed too much,

the same stains will remain forever,

its justifiable reason,

told so many times over to whomever

might listen,

though we do occasionally recall,

back then,

well,

they did,

listen.

Conversations Again

I’m sitting in my local coffee shop,

listening to Bjork shout angst toward

human behavior,

and I have to pause, listen to the words,

watch the lips move,

‘same as it ever was’

a lyric David Byrne gave us years ago,

and yet,

the conversations are still the same,

people trying to make each other,

make each other believe,

a promise, an idea, an ideal, a plea,

a necessary tool toward their own

imminent survival.

It is this human condition,

causes all of us,

well most,

to somehow indicate we can communicate,

participate, challenge, inform, suggest,

repeal,

what a God-awful reality,

when our luxuries of communications,

fall into the trappings,

the attitude, the ugly, the incomprehensible nature,

of human hypocrisy.

On Waking the Soul

We carry ourselves,

a part of the said society,

the local groove,

where be our means,

we define who we are,

why we do,

where it is we belong,

based upon the couple next door,

the family down the street,

the look of the vendor,

when purchasing ordinary.

 

We measure our lives,

in respect to the tone of voice,

our own ‘pardon me’ provides,

when we mean it,

or certainly when we don’t

and the recipient

does realize,

we do surmise

to disguise,

rather than look in each other’s

eyes.

 

It is the Is

they speak aloud

when walking together

in the street,

sitting in a gathering of

many souls,

when in the moment,

we all seem to share

the similar goals.

 

So how is it we can in unison,

even begin to understand,

we all have similar souls.

Living With Anxiety

How many are out there, when the sky turns gray,

where does the heart remain,

the fear in our mind,

in the quiet of an angry world,

how do we all come to terms with that reality,

the personality of peace.

 

We all seek that solace,

no matter the denial, beyond the circumstance

suggests we can belong inside this melting lava of judgment,

seems everyone does want some time to cool off,

and yet,

we plod on,

build the walls around ourselves,

that will prevent the leak,

that could envelop our soul to such a dire degree,

it no longer matters if we believe in freedom,

that kite has flown,

yes it is a pretty sight,

so tangible as the sky does drift its matter into eternal waste.

 

Would we really call it disposable justice

to recognize we might all feel it.

There on the horizon, we wake to look at the sky,

if a storm looms, we immediately recognize

the nature of our lives is out of our control,

and yet,

we fight that truth with every fiber in our body,

and then,

there is always the truth, when suddenly

we become lost in the translation of our it is,

we might even breathe another gasp,

instead we pretend we are beyond this mortality.

How Will Society React

Justine

Justine Ruszczyk

 

In Minneapolis, a white, blonde woman, of means was gunned down by a Somali police officer. Let me say this a different way. A woman in a dark alley was recently shot dead by a cop on patrol in south Minneapolis. Or I could say, after making a call to 911, a woman in certain distress approached a responding squad car, and the officer in the passenger side, fired his weapon across his partner through a window, and she died in the alley of a fatal wound. How do the three descriptions differ from each other? One might wonder which context of this absolute tragedy will matter in the outcome.

Here is the truth. We live in a society that places priority on means. In other words, money does play a role in how situations of tragedy are handled. However, there are many other variables in play here. This isn’t about a white police officer gunning down a person of color, without explanation or cause. This is actually about an officer of color ending the life of an attractive blonde woman. Take the blonde out of the story, this is the story of a woman being gunned down for no apparent reason. Either way it is described, there will be no pleasant outcome. We don’t know there wasn’t a reason because both officers in the patrol had their body cams turned off, another variable.

We don’t know the motivation for the gunshot because it was dark, the woman approached the vehicle, there was no dash cam, and apparently no witnesses beyond the officers and the woman. We are as a society asked to appreciate the reasoning and risk, and thereby respect the duress of our police departments when responding to any call, in any circumstance. I was gently reminded of this weeks ago, when writing about the Philando Castile verdict, how an officer is clearly always walking into danger, whether it be a routine traffic stop, or an already identified point of threat. So this commentary is not about our police force and their right or wrong doings.

This commentary is about how our society is going to handle this current crisis. How is social media going to react? What will be the chain of priority when handling this investigation? Does it take more precedent than the string of killings that have occurred on our streets in the last month, not including the twin cities but across the country? How do we decide that one case matters more than countless others? God help us, that we live in a world that the color of our skin creates a definition of what we determine to be important.

The clear fact is that a woman died at the hands of our police force. The truth is no one knows why except for the officers involved and in circumstances of such terrible outcome, in the moment of haste, worry, concern, personal threat, even their hearts were certainly adrenaline driven in the moment. On the surface we can be quite sure there was a lot of tension and panic involved. In the end though, a woman is dead, and another police force is under scrutiny, and the twin cities has become national news.

So, how do we go forward? Some people might pray to help themselves find calm and balance and heal. Some are pragmatic and will return to their lives and this will be a sad afterthought. Some will move out of the neighborhood, change the locks, buy home security systems, take self defense. Some will remain quietly nervous for the rest of their lives.

We as a society need somehow to respond to one another, and recognize this isn’t a race issue, not a gender based issue, not an easily explainable issue. What is true is that a young woman has lost her life and the treasures of her future and her fiance, family and friends are forever altered. We can try to move forward. We can try to find understanding, empathy, and peace throughout the confusion. There is no easy solution, there is only reality, and the acknowledgment of horrific human error.

I Wonder Who Told Me

For it was that time my heart sank,

when I knew I was no longer alone,

I was exposed,

and the world around me felt anger.

 

I walked the city streets that night,

and the cobblestone felt ugly,

looking for crevices to catch my feet,

wanting to trip me into the street.

 

A stumble is so obvious to the naked eye,

yet hiding the pain is such a mystery.

We often are left just wondering how,

we could ever begin to understand a cry.

 

If I were to melt inside the rays of a hot sun,

there would be reason to wonder just why,

instead the days continue to run beyond

my control, I’m still only able to crawl.

 

One day a friend of mine, chose a story,

I listened because I always trusted his reason,

and afterward, well I just wanted to …

yet when the truth is told, we don’t ask why.

 

I do wonder sometimes, why it is we cry,

when we are always part of the reason

we exist, the answer to finding legacy

is in the message, while traveling on by.

 

Stop and listen, and your friend will answer,

from there well, the reasons I’ll defer.

When One Does, The Other Can Only Imagine

We in our constant tangle of thoughts and reason and need

for clarity,

we are certain to be the victim of an insecurity,

in a time of words,

when suddenly the meaning,

strikes us in the heart,

our soul,

begins to ache when trying to find an answer,

to know the future,

we wonder about all the things we cannot have

in the moment,

yet,

are they still going to be available then,

when,

at a time we imagined otherwise.

 

We live in the quiet of our mind,

only to find we can often sense the other,

just a matter of knowing

when is the right time.

 

Who can possibly predict the future,

when so many signals,

so often the same routines,

goals, desires, passions,

when the human condition continues,

to wind the wheel,

the master plan.

 

We might only allow ourselves to believe,

there is truth, we just need not fight for its reveal.