New Civilization News: Dusk in the City    
 Dusk in the City1 comment
picture7 Nov 2004 @ 06:58, by John Ashbaugh

Dusk leads to darkness in the city, and there is no video jacket that captures my imagination and the dark mirror of channel one flickers on the desk. The surface is on the horizontal plane and it holds an empty book, with pages as white as the Antarctic ice cap vanishing into the line between horizon and the sky.

Cottonwood leaves have blossomed into golden yellow along the river valley, and tumble through the breeze onto the forest floor, returning to nurture their roots. The paper mache shopping mall glitters artificial starlight for the mesmerizing flux of roaming heads and taillights. If you haven’t been there already, you may go there again. This is the same place and we are taking another route.
Surrounded by the forest, surrounded by the desert, surrounded by the ocean, surrounded by deep blue and black sky, the glittering paper mache shopping mall is the gravitational black hole of nothingness and emptiness into which we have poured our dreams for a better tomorrow. Like moths towards a lantern, we have been drawn from our home in the forest, trusting the light without understanding the heat until it is too late. The black hole has sucked us into emptiness of heart and spirit, and we wander through an endless labyrinthine maze wondering, with some vague and ancient memory, if there might not be, if there might not once have been, if there might not really exist, some true starlight, some original source of insight, inspiration, and interpersonal sharing that spoke with our ancestors’ ancestors.
All of those ancestors are wandering through the mall this evening, searching for some glittering trinket, toy, colored cloth, adornment, or exotic taste, wondering why they are here, wondering if their voices are being heard, searching for some set of words that rings with some truth in meaning. Let us listen closely to those ancestors’ voices as we wander through the mall. Unless of course we, you, I, any one or more of us have decided that the entertainment as provided is sufficiently satisfying, that the maze with its padded walls is sufficiently comfortable, that, given that no light escapes from the black hole anyway, only folly and futility would dare to imagine that there is a universe of real stars on the other side of the paper mach umbrella.
Here inside the closed circuit maze masquerading as an infinitely finite set of possibilities, it is clear that without some construct of order for our myriad motivations, that we will have to discover the path of return to the true nature of our individualities, and that might prove discomforting, certainly an unacceptable alternative, so let us construct an economic and political set of relationships through which we can spend our precious time haggling with one another over nuances of property, prices, paternity, placebos, pumpkins, and palisades. We can go round in our networks of lines drawn on the ground, calling them our states of mind and domains of jurisdiction and systems of representation through which we pass on to others the privilege of speaking for us. Our ancestors might think that in silencing our own voices, we may have relinquished one of, if not the, defining human characteristic.
We have nothing to say in the paper mache mall, except to compare prices, while we listen to ideologues bantering promises in order to elicit our following. How can we know anything other than that we have lost our way, and not only do we not know how to get there, our sense of where it is we are trying to get to is disappearing into the flames consuming the Amazon jungle. The fires of destruction are burning, now. The radioactive waste is burning, now. The rampant idiocy propagated through the television is frying the collective brain, now. The United Fictional States of America is becoming a political and economic anacronism, now.
The idea of engaging in Congressional debate regarding the ongoing environmental catastrophe and the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is pure idiocy. There is no United Fictional States of America, except in someone’s imagination. All of those of us who subscribe to the fiction are serial participants. Unknowingly, we are born into a mythology through which our sense of good and evil and right and wrong and all the dualities of our lives are defined and nurtured, and every once in a while during our sojourn in this psycho-physical space, an aspect of movement in the duality will veer towards the outermost edge of its end of the see-saw, and a far-reaching movement will of necessity begin to seek and restore some viable sense of equilibrium.

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