This Quiet Passion

It is a love, a desire, a response to silence,

for so many occasions,

while the skies do glance the usual,

always, the emotions might trigger,

might respond,

could offer a storm of wrath,

or perhaps,

when least we anticipate,

a light rain, to cleanse our soul,

allow our lives to breathe,

beyond the casual haze

of a summer day.

 

I stood in front of my emotions today,

asked a question,

perhaps stoic in my way,

I wondered just how far

we might have to travel

in order,

to participate in the aftermath

of chaos,

for it screams that phenomena

stayed with my being,

for as many days as the summer

holds true to an autumn.

 

While now I rest my weary soul,

the fortune of time offers sweet Grace,

when age becomes validation,

and hearts do forever listen.

I have traveled far and wide,

and yet there is a stillness,

may overcome me in evening’s tide,

as will the serendipity of passion,

an surreal reality as I stand here before you,

wanting only solace from a sweet panic.

 

In life, we do lead with thoughtful enterprise,

a notion, an ideal,

oft times an inspiration,

to market goodness,

to experience that

goodness,

to know such character

is infamy

when stood alongside

true character.

When passion speaks its favor,

our world, a planet, a state, a society,

a mosaic,

we are all

so much – so little – so together,

 

We can be universal,

we may align, smile, gesture, accord

each other …

we can be one.

Our Violent Humanity

GettyImages_830617844.0

Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

 

It would seem we haven’t had enough,

Watching our neighbors fall to the sword,

The world around us eschewing the evil

Of a nation lost in a swirl of self-pity.

No one to blame but ourselves,

Yet that never comes into play,

We are soon to discover some outlet,

Easy to say we may fall personal prey.

In looking at the news today, I saw

Real lives being struck down, a society

Lost in its own pitfalls of insecurity,

All of them wondering, remaining alone.

When we might raise a flag to equality,

Shudder the notion that fire might stay,

The real burden of proof is our own lives,

Lost in the façade of believing in truth.

There is a Christian belief in humanity

Spouted from every possible pulpit,

Always with the best intentions, they say

The world will be better without evil.

Yet is it some times the very cross carrying,

Honorable, parishioner borne out of fear,

Might wield the weaponry of utter hate,

The rhetoric of painful prejudice begotten.

Pitfalls occur with anyone’s desire to change,

To make change, ask for change, demand change,

The local grocer suggests we use credit instead,

Yet it seems everywhere, fake news still relents.

I watched today with an ill heart the display

Of a humanity lost in the perils of bigotry,

Lost on themselves, lost on each other,

Drifting aimless in a world beyond reproach.

We might only reflect upon where we came

From in a society that once believed in love,

Today is seemingly hell bent on the otherwise,

The ability to act without a conscience so unwise.

Oh, to find love again – to breathe.

When In A State

I would if asked,

Suggest my world an easy one,

Though to the onlooker,

It may seem quite the opposite.

 

Depends upon the day,

I might quickly suggest,

Have I been, browbeaten again,

Or just left for dead, I’d want to guess.

 

I wish there might be a time,

Like the night I sat on the bench,

A curbside onlooker,

Watching the cars drift slowly past.

 

I remember there were so many,

None of which I probably knew,

Or if I did,

They’d certainly never agree to invest.

 

That quiet state of mind,

Where no one is generally allowed,

Except to surmise, pass judgment,

Thinking everything always the same.

 

The screams inside that patient,

Call to arms the proper time,

The explosive revelation sublime,

Defines our world a chaotic dream.

 

I would when in this frame of mind,

Wish the world around me blind,

For in the spotlight I feel exposed,

Wondered just how much my life is known.

 

And then I walk inside a crowded mall,

Mill about in a sea of eye contact,

When suddenly there appears before me,

Another human being, in a state of mind.

What Is Integrity

I’m asking,

not knowing,

I’m believing,

not completely understanding.

I do know this,

a smile, a gracious compliment, a willingness

to step above the fray,

I know there are opportunities likes this,

to find our soul.

Is that it I wonder to myself a loud.

is all I’m doing part of the greater measure

designed to help me find that inner peace,

the road inside the forest,

the one with leaves overhanging, an occasional owl at twilight,

whereby the gravel takes us further into the mystique,

and at any point where might wish,

desire, anticipate, yearn, want with every fiber in our being,

to be swallowed whole in the mystery of the wood.

Is that integrity?

Is that running away?

Is that where this piece is going,

again today,

sitting in the shadows,

watching the sun in complete motion,

move past my windows, changing hue,

accentuating different parts of the room,

much like our words,

expressions, desire, passions,

do change the common need to find goodness,

in our heart.

Perhaps there is a solution after all.

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.

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.

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.