Saturday, November 28, 2009

22 Months

Love comes to us all and in its many forms we discover a wonderful perspective on life. When Quinn came to us we knew that it was love that was entering our life. It wasn't hard to see and it's not hard to be soft, to love a beautiful little baby with all the tender desire that your heart exquisites. We'd experienced this love before, you see. A magical little guy that we call Lucas. So the love we saw designed in Quinn was bound to understand our hearts and welcome our joy in this world.

But it was unique, this vision that descended upon us, wings golden ruby in the sunlight and Quinn smiled with a different warmth that we'd yet to know. We thought that we'd learned so much over time and grew comfortable in our familial skin but there she brand much a much love to give us new life.

She's a fighter and a feminist and a gargantuan dream and a monster madness after midnight bringing laughter and glow. She is an athlete and an artist and a magical futurist and she's from her home, her land, her growing heart. She is the clouds and the sun and the wind. She is the breath of you and I. She is her own damn irritation and her own rebellious nature and her own revolution. She is change and it is a wondrous idea to see so far beyond ourselves. She is a star, she is a galaxy, she is a monsoon inferno. She is a sibling and a daughter and she clings and she chases and laughs and loves. She cries (often) and she learns (so fast) and she blossoms. She is the glossary of life, a precious vital fluid that forever moves through all of us. She is divine.

I love my Quinn and I love to know that she will always be her own person. I, nor anyone else, can never take that from her. She will always be a dynamic voice in the universe and what is not the expression of life, the expression that is uniquely human, but love? Whar art thou voices that give green to the grass and spill blue upon the sky? I see it all in Quinn because she is so grand and she is deeply intertwined in us all. She is love and that love is now among us.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

61 Months

(artwork courtesy of Lucas Pavnoz)

We were at the park the other day and Lucas was playing with two young boys who appeared to be brothers. The oldest was slightly younger than Lucas and the youngest was about three-years-old. They were running around acting like they were on a spaceship that was going to the moon, which is one of Lucas' favorite games but before long the other boys sucked Lucas into one of their games; stabbing each other until they died. The older brother was using a toy shovel to slice at the younger brother's organs and then, when the little guy fell down to die, the big bully would pretend to chop off his brother's head. Hilarious laughter ensued and I pictured a future as either a terrorist or riot cop. No matter how disturbed I felt watching this type of behavior, the worst part about it was that Lucas was eating it up. He thought it was cool stuff.

We recently have dealt with yet another horrible shooting in our society; when a young army officer killed thirteen people on the base where he was stationed. Every couple of years or so we are forced to stand in horror as our society delivers another demented profile of assassin and then we wonder in our hearts, "Why did this happen?" After a few days of relentless coverage and churned out analysis of a psychopathic individual we turn our faces away until the next occurrence. When are we going to look ourselves in the mirror and question the culpability with how we have developed our society here in the United States of America?

We are raising our children to adore violence. My generation grew up with The Terminator and The Dirty Dozen and Steven King and Porky's and Dario Argento and Doom and Red Dawn and Friday the 13th. I grew up addicted to the romance of the serial killer, nurturing my racist tendencies and hating women. I developed into someone who didn't know how to relate to my own heart or express my feelings in a productive manner. I became a shell of ignorance and self-loathing. I was numb.

This is what our culture produces. If you think that I'm an isolated incident then ask all of those kids who watched a girl get gang-raped right out in the open at her school what they were feeling when they continued to let it happen right in front of them. These are not isolated incidents. They are simply the ones that are being reported in the media. I could go into statistics about rape and gun violence and racial hatred but we all know in our hearts that our society is simply not the magnificent utopia that our card carrying leaders of liberty would espouse. We need to do something to correct this distorted notion because it won't be long before we're reading about another Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Which comes to why I've been thinking long and hard about this very topic in the first place. Ever since Lucas has been attending kindergarten I've come to face some of my darkest fears about the culture with which we live. It's been an absolute wonder to see him grow so rapidly and with such profound confidence. He has blossomed under the guidance of his first educational endeavor. This is wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for the anything but it is also the first time that we have allowed his development and his time to be under the hands of people that we have absolutely no relationship with. We don't know who these people are and we don't know what they could be doing with our son. In my older years I have tried to become an optimistic person and to have faith in the nurturing side of humanity, which is the entire purpose of our educational system as far as I'm concerned. But there is still a moment of uncertainty when you watch your child walk away from you and cross behind that cyclone fence, where you realize that you no longer have control over his doings.

The ten year anniversary of the Columbine massacre occurred this year and the tragic memory of it has once again overturned on our consciousness. Then I recalled the "I Don't Like Mondays" teenager who shot up an elementary school back in 1979 and I realized that for my entire life I have lived under this dark umbrella, hoping that the bomb wouldn't drop upon my head. I'm sure the ominous nature of it had something to do with the apathy that consumed me during my young adult years but it wasn't until Lucas started to attend school did I began understand how deplorable our culture has become.

As a parent you have a specific understanding of the future. There will always be someone that you love with supreme intimacy that will continue to live beyond you. The world will one day be theirs just as it has now become ours. To understand how our society became the way that it is today all you need to do is look to the past. The generations before us have created this environment that we live in today. They have failed. Now it is up to us to create the environment of tomorrow. The road that we trod is not one of value or nurturing. It is one of degradation and decimation. There are so many aspects of our society that need work and a new understanding that it may seem almost impossible to overcome but there is no one else to do it. It is our time to create change, to develop hope and to build a better community.

No child should ever deal with the utter terror of an assassins bullet in the classroom. It should always be a place of nurturing and understanding. It is an abomination and my heart weeps whenever I see it happen. It is a condemnation against our society. It is the universe reminding us of how much work we have to do until we create a culture of value.

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