Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nightmares and Dreams

In the dream I was watching torture
Others were watching with robotic unfeeling eyes from the other side of a wall

I woke up and realized
With radical eyes

I realized
That right now in Hyderabad children were mourning their headless dead father
That right now schemes were being made for the overtake of Venezuela
That right now women were being publicly stoned to death for suspected infidelity
That right now presidents are planning to bomb buildings and people in Iran
That right now prime ministers are allowing or encouraging people to be flown out of the world’s watchful eye into prisons where they will be tortured, and tortured, and then killed when they return home.

How do I go back to sleep?

Right now, I sell cars for a living
I sell diesel cars that can run on modified or unmodified vegetable oil
Fields and vats that don’t need to be guarded with snipers and mortar rounds
But that can’t be enough

I need to do some other thing as well
Something more direct
Something more, period

I will need help with this
I will need the support I offer to you
To do the same thing

I thought this would be enough
That every day I can make a small real difference
That every day I can sell one or two more cars with a badge that says:
I’m trying not to kill as many trees as before
I’m not trying to wipe out as much bird habitat as before
I’m trying not to kill as many Nigerian oil rig workers as before
I’m trying not to give corporations as many reasons to lobby my congressperson to send warheads into suspected underground nuclear facilities.

And sadly for my friends and family, perhaps
I must do more

And sadly for me,
I don’t know what it is yet I must do
To be most effective
To make the best use of 40 more potential years of life

Sad because I might turn out to be a different person altogether
That I’m not exactly they person my wife thinks she married
That inside me was a person who was willing to die
So others might not have to kill or be killed themselves.

And how would I die?
Hit by a truck in North Dakota while walking from Washington to Washington?
Drowned while chained to a boat in Bremerton?
Crushed by the wheels of a transport plane bound for Baquba, sent from Fort Lewis?
Heart Attack from screaming for hours in Olympia?
I have no idea right now

I just know I can’t go back to sleep tonight,
And I will need your help to make sure others can.

Radical eyes

He gets his pants
He loads up his belt
With the weapons
To keep him safe
To make him sane
To keep his mind free
From trouble

One has an new iPod
With 60 wonderful gigs
One has an explosive belt
With 60 inward and outward pointing nails
One will enter a square of hundreds of people
And do what he always wanted to do
One will listen to the voices that overwhelm
His good thoughts, his normal thoughts

Blow up, go up, blow up
Wired for sound
Wired for death
Music from his [∞]
Instruction from his imam
Instruction from the producer
Instruction from his father
Instruction from his general
That he thinks he must obey
In order to live
In order to die

But this music
Doesn’t have to hate
And this word doesn’t have to wait
For you to have your bad dream

Can you find a way,
Can you find a way to weave all this into hope
Into a quilt of sanity
That you spread around the world

Can you take this radical notion
To stop it all
To do it all yourself
And ensure you are never alone?

As those two men were alone
With their belts and their dashed dreams and their hungry families
When they woke up this morning
Waking from the nightmare that isn’t going away
Until you do something yourself, for the people who can’t wake up.