The End is Not Near

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I wrote this piece eons ago, after years of writing about a situation in a certain African nation that seemed unresolvable. I was looking for some way out. I suppose this piece came out of that dimming hope. It’s a two-handed dialogue between two POVs, one as seen from my present state of misery, while the other come from a perceived future. Now that nation I spoke of seems to be making inroads to a better form of governance. It remains to be seen whether that comes to pass. That need for hope is still an ongoing thing, unfortunately closer to home these days, so I’m re-presenting it here.

 

A Song of Hope

 

What kind of world are we leaving our children

who can they believe after all the lies

why must the mistakes of the past

be visited on the generation to come?

 

My generation thought we could do anything

my people touched the Moon

our songs moved a young nation

The path was ahead, not behind

But that’s where this generation is hiding away

 

All the wonders we have seen

are forgotten by narrow minds and narrow hearts

all the questions our children will face

are coming to haunt our fading days

Tell me, why haven’t we learned?

 

Oh my love, your glass is so half-full

your eyes see only half the picture

This much is true

there can be no rest so long

as men rule the world

 

But the winds change with the seasons

The minds of men open and shut as easily

The doors you now see closing

one day will open again

You can’t put aside what Ngai has decreed

not before ten billion more seasons pass away

so how can you say that the end is so near?

 

Please tell me, why can’t we learn?

When did we become slave to the black goo

dribbling ‘neath holy ground?

Haven’t you called it ‘The Devil’s Excrement’?

 

How can so much money flow into so few hands?

Why are so many promises left unfulfilled?

Tell me why another generation can only hope

 

Oh love these things are not new

Freedom ebbs and freedom flows

even in the shining lands

Everything you fear to lose

will come back to your hands another time

Even the darkest night must have a dawn

 

Even the Earth you walk one day will cease to be

But that day is so very far away

Take my hand and believe what I say

This day, today, the end is not near

 

From the future to the past

With love from the Emancipation Posse

 

Overview: ‘Disturbing the Peace ‘ by Vaclav Havel

Between 1985 and 1986, Karel Hvizdala conducted a book length series of interviews with playright and reluctant human rights activist Vaclav Havel, via underground mail. At the time Havel was living in Prague, Czechoslovakia which was still under communist rule; Hvizdala was corresponding with him from West Germany. The book that came from these questions was first published in Czechoslovakia in summer of 1986. Later it would be translated by Paul Wilson and published in the West in 1990 just as Czechoslovakia’s democratic revolution was underway.

I thoroughly enjoyed Havel’s candor and modesty, even if it was only evident on the printed page. He describes his parents and grandparents as enterprising men born to create. Despite an admittedly privileged upbringing, in his childhood Havel says he “felt alone, inferior, lost, ridiculed, ” emotions I’m all too familiar with. Perhaps those feelings are the bane of every writer’s existence. He also touches on the depersonalization of modern society, of losing touch with our fellow man and losing a connection with the work we do, whether it’s in a communist or capitalist state.

He remains hopeful in the power of the masses, which had to be a hard thing as he’d been imprisoned three times for his activities, which would probably not raise half a fuss in our country, even today. “All power is power over someone, and it always somehow responds, usually unwittingly rather than deliberately, to the state of mind and the behavior of those it rules over. One can always find in the behavior of power a reflection of what is going on “below “. No one can govern in a vacuum. ” That gives me some hope too, and believe me we could all use some of that right now.