The Forgotten

homeless manFor those of you who may have already heard my rants about the boggling inequalities and imbalances in society, I apologize for the redundancy. But, my recent contact with an increasing number of heartbroken homeless with hollow eyes and vacant stares has compelled me to find a steady stance atop this familiar soapbox.

The disparity between the haves and have-nots is growing at an alarming rate, but like Roman emperors wearing golden blindfolds, very few seem to acknowledge the impending fall.

We are at a critical crossroads in this country and there is a cauldron filled with the forgotten just waiting to boil over.

Our culture has continued its unhealthy love affair with capitalism, even in the face of some severely detrimental consequences. Instead of making slight adjustments to stave off the resentment and rage directed toward those holding all the cards, the dealers have found ways to ensure that the house continues to profit exponentially. Greed was good in the 80’s, but it’s a poison we’re forced to swallow today.

Poverty and mental illness are running rampant, but it’s more comfortable to draw the blinds and bolt the doors. I watch consumers carrying thousand-dollar bags step over people sleeping in the street to stand in line for an $8 cup of dead coffee beans and foam. I see state-funded food in schools sit in the bottom of garbage cans because mandates force students to fill trays with items they never plan to eat. I walk around in an environment full of waste and pollution and excess, and I wonder where it all went wrong.

I don’t proclaim to have the answers, and I’m well aware there is no cure-all for a population that has been beaten into submission for generations. But, it certainly feels like there is a revolution just waiting to explode with the right confluence of actions.

A seemingly insignificant event may play the role of that backbreaking straw. But, it could be just enough to tip those apathetic scales to the point of no return.

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Inspiration

photo (6)Every time I think I’ve hit a wall, there’s a little spark that fires inside my brain, helping me swap train tracks like an invisible brakeman.

I’ve never been able to pinpoint the catalyst or explain exactly what forces are at play, pushing that first domino, but I’m inclined to believe it’s some sort of survival technique, allowing me to stay malleable in a world of rigid roadblocks. I generally chalk these things up to unexplainable phenomena. But, they might more aptly be classified as…inspiration.

There were times when I sat with a guitar or a recorded track of my band’s material and words and pictures seemed to appear from the hidden recesses of my mind. Images and narratives wrapped themselves around poetic phrasing, lining up like soldiers at a roll call. Before I even grasped what happened, a song had taken shape.

Many people refer to this as the “zone.” Athletes who can’t seem to miss or artists who find bottomless reserves of creative energy welcome these waves with open arms. Peak performance can accomplish some pretty impressive feats, regardless of the arena or context.

So, I find myself staring at another elevated wall. The tendency is never to run, but to find a way to traverse these unexpected obstacles. Clearing my mind and crafting attack plans, building potential roads, or devising alternative movements all align to form one comprehensive, sweeping force, and that coordinating energy is inspiration.

I’m grateful for the neural pathways that remain open and willing to accept information from whatever anagogic source is willing to send these much-appreciated gems. Not only do I reach a sense of personal satisfaction for slaying the proverbial dragon, I’m left even better equipped for battle when the next fire breather shows its uninvited face.