2008 to 2009

Well, I have held out for four days. The dust has settled the day has dawned and 2009 is upon us and I guess I just want to talk to briefly about what I have learned.

Inside people there is a fantastic potential, to love, to care, to nurture, to inspire, to create worthwhile mystery, to teach. In the balance there is just as much capability to create, angst, misery, jealousy, falsehood, apprehension, lies and general misconduct. These are all facets of our being and no one with any virtue worth mentioning is not possessed of some equally disturbing vice.

The whole of history is a just a tale of human relationships, sometimes wearing the masks of states and institutions, sometimes dressed in the garb of prophecy. Small activity to broad waves just patterns of noise and emotion. The whole of human activity can be seen as kind of struggle against natures both internal and external.

So here we are, simple creatures that can only understand the world as concepts and symbols, masks on the more ornate and difficult to understand deeper realities. Each of us bound by a world of proxy scratching the surface on a broader mystery.

A year like 2008 can put even the most disjointed dislocated person back in touch with the harder edges of our real world. Even the people most comforted by status, position and fame felt some of there own inertia and weight, stocks hitting the ground like watermelons thrown to the pavement of a third story window. Those on the ground already are just trying to cover there heads.

It is all too easy to caught in the rigging. To think that you are your job, your income, your relationships, your friendships. It is an easier route to put your faith into institutions, religious, financial, governmental and just hope the autopilot works. It is nice to just shut off, disconnect or unwind. Who doesn't want it easy?

Here's the rub. Easy isn't real, easy isn't even easy! This year I got a big look behind the curtain, and it's just like the Wizard of Oz. What you see on the screen isn't the real deal, and never mind the man behind the curtain.

At the front of everyone of our vaunted institutions is the layer of glamor that we all fall for often too hard. The glitzy appeal of the life we think we want to lead. The slick, comfortable nonsense and the artifice behind it. The great big world that we can see in magazines, movies and TV. The wonderful world we imagine it could be. But you

The reality is the day to day struggle, the hard work of good but fallible people just doing the best we can. The truth is that we all fight the same fights, to get ahead, to help each other out, to do the right thing, to make the most of the time we have.

Even once that the institutions we have built crumble, the things we may have believed in have let us down and we are lost and confused let me offer the small bit of wisdom I have learned.

In the beginning there were people doing the best they could, in the middle there were people taking all they could, and in the end there will be those that have the courage to make things great again. I am optimistic that I am in the latter portion. Somehow no matter what happens I still believe in people and think things are going to be alright. We are still those people that got us to this point. We have lessons to learn but I think things can still get better. I guess that is the change that is coming, I guess that's why I have hope.

As Hunter S. Thompson wrote, " Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and remember that you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors." Happy 2009, Go Forth and Kick Ass.

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