Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trey's Days No. 6

Tennessee told us a while back we could blow out the candles because now-a-days the world is lit by lightening. As a cold front blows through Little Rock a massive thunderbolt strikes the stately marble dome. Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Iraq crackle with the voltage of revolt. Under the dome in Wisconsin a storm of workers clambers for a collective voice. Around the world Tibetans spark any flint they can find to light Beijing with enlightening. Four Amish children are swept to their drowning by the Kentucky rain of climate change. And in my heart thunders the voice which would speak with a deafening clap. Tennessee knew it. Now-a-days the world is lit by lightening. Can we pretend to not know why Obadiah Elihue put God on Parker's back? Be still and know that I am God, cries the Psalmist from the mist of our oblivion. Once you know you can't not know and so we're stuck with it. We who made our messes now must clean them up. It's no wonder when the angels speak they open with “Fear Not!”

“Food Inc.” struck me like a shock in the gut. Cows standing knee deep in putrid waste, antibiotics coursing through their veins to keep the bugs at bay. Pigs scream like babies as they watch their sisters electrocuted before their eyes. Crowded chickens get their beaks chopped lest they peck each to death to get some air. Ground water groans in a choke of chemical sludge as Monsanto feeds the corn that gags the cows. Yet I get up hungry and wallow off to Wal-Mart clutching my Yarnell's Gold Rewards coupon . Not the least bit squeamish we've been trained to tune it out, that voice that says that's God on Parker's back. The burning tree looms on the horizon, but who can beat free Yarnell's?

Dick Cheney's heart runs on a machine now. Halliburton paid in advance for any advancement that would keep their favorite son alive a little longer. BP paid too. Cheney more and the shrimper less. It was more peaceful to not know. Ignorance of the collusion between our elected government and the corporations for whom they work was bliss. Knowing is such an irritation, like heart burn only in the mind. The grocery store, the gas station, the TV crime drama all look a little different now that Parker has the face of God on his back and the burning tree is on the horizon blazing. Blind oblivion is more tricky now with the sky lit up by the lightening of that swift storm. We cannot ignore the drowning Amish babies another second. Climate change is not a victimless crime.

Now that the oil no longer boils up in the Gulf we are encouraged to forget. A green myth of clean coal beckons us to forget. Pundits at Fix News obfuscate to obscure the data. Besides we gotta eat! And there are a couple of scientists out there who doubt it's the hand of man that drives us toward the cliff. Lulled by sweet confections, delighted by dramas where good guys win and coupons in the mail for free glut, we just look away when pigs scream, babies drown and pelicans loose primordial nesting grounds. The whizzing of NASCAR thrilling us to sleep is overpowering. Oscar's bright lights blind us in our dream of glamor. Blinking but not seeing, we drink the salt water of wanting and thirst for more and better and different. To see the face of God on Parker's back we have to stand between the mirrors and look just so, but the second we do it we see plain as lightening. Bang dawns the truth like the whack of a broomstick on bear shoulders. Red whelps mark the face of God. Once you know you can't not know. “Who's there, I ast you?” “Obadiah, Obadiah Elihue” the whisper thunders.

We turn our heads as if we expect someone behind us to give us the answer. The sky has lightened slightly. There are two or three streaks of yellow floating above the horizon. If we are still and look we can see a tree of light bursting over the skyline. And as Flannery brings her story of Obadiah to a close she has him leaning against the tree, crying like a baby. And so it is with us. The grief at what we have done, what we have allowed our appetites to do looms large in us and will not be denied. But we know instinctively the angels who whisper “Fear Not” know something. We see the organic farmer on the side of the road with apples, corn, peaches and peas, Monsanto nowhere in sight. A soft cleansing light falls gently as we gather groceries with our neighbors, from our neighbors. As we can and share, we stand between the mirrors and see the face of God, on our backs forever with eyes to be obeyed. We get up and look toward the dawn wiping away the tears shed for the pigs and cows, the Amish babies, and Dick Cheney. At the end of a storm is a golden sky and we walk toward it.

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