The Sound of Silence

Despite my resolution to do so at the beginning of the year, I have not been posting more regularly here. I have not been churning out creative work at the pace I had hoped. I have been having to work through a lot of internal stuff again.

I feel ready to begin the next chapter of my life, and I feel trapped in a cycle of mere existence. Like a snake midway through shedding it’s skin but unable to break out entirely, I feel awkward and stuck. Things are shifting, but not fast enough, and I feel like I’m missing out on the time with the kids that I so desperately crave. I also feel like the universe is mocking me and piling more on top of me lately.

Then all the pain in those around me weighs down. The separation of the family at the borders, knowing the irreparable damage being done to those kids. Knowing the damage being done to so many kids around our country in general. And knowing that all of humanity could be living in abundance and have the freedom to pursue their passions right now, if we used technology to work with nature, if we set aside our hatred and our greed, if we stopped viewing others as “less than”… we could accomplish so much good. What we are and what we could be are so vastly far apart right now, I grieve.

But I have been grieving fairly silently. I have gone deep inside myself, to the very depths of my being, and such a journey is always traveled alone, out of necessity. I’m only just now struggling to the surface.

I don’t know what the future holds, either for myself personally or for us as a nation or a species. What I do know is that we have to make the choice to stand up for ourselves and others, for what is right, even if the cost feels too high. Maybe my personal struggles right now are a reflection of the larger struggle of humanity, as we work to evolve. It’s a thought.

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Jack and Jill, a poem

Jack and Jill

Went up the hill

Needles clutched in hand

They both got high

Jill gave a sigh

As the euphoria began

 

They sank deep down

Dropped to the ground

While inside they touched the sky

Not a worry, not a care

No deep despair

No need to ever ask why

 

Jack once had dreamed

How good life seemed

When hope was in his heart

But the dream was dead

The noise grew in his head

And escape was easy to start

 

Jack passed out

Jill flailed about

And wondered what to do

She needed on hit more

So she still could soar

And when the needle bit, she flew

 

Jack faded, then died

Jill finally tried

But she couldn’t stand to stay

One more wasted life

Couldn’t handle the strife

So now it’s thrown away

 

Copyright 2018, Kat Micari

 

This poem was inspired by an incident in the parking lot at work yesterday – 4 teens were shooting heroin in their car. A client told me about it, and I called the police, but I’m not sure what happened afterward. It’s such a huge problem in our area now, as it is everywhere else in the country. Very easily avoidable too… just stop the shipments coming in. But someone somewhere is making lots of money off of it, pretty high up the food chain, so that’s not likely to happen.

I grieve for the wasted potential, for the dimming of their possibilities, for all the lives affected. It’s so sad.

Breaking the Cycles Collectively

Let’s have a bit of a philosophical discussion! I have noticed that more and more people are making an attempt to break free of the programming that binds them, in essence trying to cease the constant loop of life and give more meaning and freedom to their existence. I see more conscious parents actually making an effort to raise their children in ways that break through generational cycles of abuse, neglect, or lack of consciousness. People actually trying to reason and think and doing it alongside of caring passionately for others. All this happening, though, while society as a whole seems to be getting worse.

So I have been thinking lately, is it possible to break the bigger cycles? If enough individuals break their personal ones, process past traumas, take control of their lives, stop playing the game and feeding into the mess, can society as a whole do the same? Do civilizations always have to follow a similar script in their rise and fall, or can we actually create something entirely new and step aside? What are your thoughts?

Little Boy Blue poetry reading

I did another poetry reading on Youtube. It kind of speaks for itself, though again, I felt really awkward doing it, and I also think it’s funny I wore a black and white striped shirt when I recorded this as it’s a poem about police violence. Also, I happened to be wearing a different striped shirt when I recorded the first one. Weird, right?

Let the Young Lead You

I know personally so many great teens and pre-teens right now. I see videos of more circulating online. These are young people who care, young people who are tech-savvy while still connecting with each other, young people who are articulate and well-read, young people who value truth and knowledge and are willing to take action with what they learn. The post-9/11 babies who didn’t have that trauma (and let’s face it, many of us never actually dealt with any of that so it still lingers), a generation that lacks the cynicism that my generation has because we all actually bought into the lies society fed us and felt betrayed.

You have seen the shit the world can throw at you already at a young age, and you still stand firm in yourselves. You keep your mind and your heart open but are ready to fight for truth. You are in a remarkable position of being grossly underestimated by the current power structure, and I hope you use it to your advantage. They will continue to attempt to infantilize you, for as long as they can. They will continue to try to lay insecurities on you, and stress, and fear, and blame you for everything they can, as they have done on the generations before you, but I think there are enough of you that will see through all that, which is so exciting to me.

Thank you, all of you, for giving me real hope for the future, for allowing me to feel like the fight has not been in vain and that my children may have a chance to take part in a monumental shift for humanity. For giving me the bright spot I need to continue chipping away where I can. Thank you also to the parents of these kids because you learned enough to plant the seeds and break generational cycles to allow those seeds to bear fruit. It is a collective effort to improve society, even as we each individually do what we can, and it is so refreshing to realize so many are attempting to make that shift.

We Are Responsible

We humans have such power potential within us, but so many are unwilling to stand up and take that power. So many would rather allow other people and situations control us, because they fear taking responsibility for themselves. But you can’t run from that responsibility. It exists. It sits heavy, but shirking the load will only eventually crush you under the weight of it all.

I feel sad that so many people still are looking for a literal savior (whether that be a system or an individual) to sweep in and fix things, not realizing that until a great enough section of the population fixes the internal issues, the external ones are never going to change.

Standing in your own power can absolutely be terrifying at first. It means questioning the very foundations of your ego, it means being willing to wield the flame even at the risk of being burned by it. But it is so worthwhile.

I’m kind of rambling here, but I see so much going on. We’re going through some major growing pains as a species, and we can either be creators of our futures or we can get dragged kicking and screaming into a future not of our making and not for our well-being. But so many aren’t willing to do the necessary work. It’s really difficult to witness sometimes.

The Importance of Knowing Yourself

These are fascinating times to be living in the good ol’ United States, aren’t they? Negotiating new highs and lows in society, dredging all sorts of muck up to the surface. It’s good, though difficult, because airing all this dirty laundry can allow for some deep dialogues to happen, dialogues that need to happen for evolution to come. But in order for these times to be fruitful, we need to reaching deep into our inner selves and know ourselves to the best of our abilities. And I know some of us are more equipped to do that than others.

How often do you take the opportunity for self-reflection? How often, when you make a decision on anything, do you actually think about the consequences of your action or inaction? Do you know what it is you want out of relationships, career, family, life? Do you know what you need? Have you ever acknowledged that sometimes those wants and needs aren’t very well aligned? Self- reflection can get really uncomfortable. But it is necessary.

If you don’t know yourself well, you open yourself up to coercion, to being swayed from your inner compass. You are easily programmable by both the systems set up in our society and by individuals you interact with. You succumb to the marketing schemes of the corporations. You externalize your self-worth and feel like you always fall short.

If you know yourself well, you can recognize others’ attempts to manipulate you, and you can choose to play along or not. You have the conviction of knowing what is right for you and that gives you courage to both ask for what you want or need and to give an emphatic yes or no to others making requests on you. You can stand solid against the tide and always have an intrinsic sense of self-worth.

The trick though is that it’s not a one time checking in with the inner self, but a constant balancing act between your inner and outer lives. It’s easy to slip into autopilot again, to get worn out by life and the craziness of others, to float wrapped in bubble wrap and expect others to handle everything for you. Being willing to live with a little discomfort for the sake of strength and mental clarity and freedom is so worth it though.

It took me until I was 30 years old to really grasp all of this, and it’s through having some really deep conversations with those I care about this past year to realize how important it is for society in general and not just for my own individual life. We collectively are to the point where we need to step up and parent ourselves, get our shit together, and do the work that has to be done. We aren’t allowed to be children or adolescents anymore, humanity. There’s just way too much that has to happen in our lifetimes for us to have that luxury. And the first step to being able to raise ourselves up is knowing the length and breadth of our inner selves. Take that first step, see how it feels, then reach out a hand to others to help them do the same.

A Schopenhaur Quote about Machiavelli’s The Prince

I started reading Book 2 of Schopenhaur’s The World as Will and Idea last week. I had read Book 1 earlier in the year (late last year? don’t remember clearly now) and taken a break because I wanted to fully digest what I had read and have it working in the background of my brain for a while. So as I’m reading Book 2, I came across a footnote on Machiavelli’s The Prince, and it was one of those ‘aha’ moments for me. It’s a somewhat lengthy passage, as Schopenhaur can be very verbose, and I may do an even longer quoted passage on my next post from Book 1 about art and the artist next time, fair warning.

By the way, Machiavelli’s problem was the solution of the question how the prince, as a prince, was to keep himself on the throne in spite of internal and external enemies. His problem was thus by no means the ethical problem whether the prince, as a man, ought to will such things, but purely the political one how, if he so wills, he can carry it out. And the solution of this problem he gives just as one writes directions for playing chess, with which it would be folly to mix up the answer to the question of whether from an ethical point of view it is advisable to play chess at all. To reproach Machiavelli with the immorality of his writing is just the same as to reproach a fencing master because he doesn’t begin his instructions with a moral lecture against murder and slaughter.

The ‘aha’ moment was the bit about the notion of the prince playing chess with people’s lives at all, but there is a lot to chew over in this passage, isn’t there?

Ethics and philosophy and deep thinking in general have been kind of swept to the wayside, almost as if by design. But if you stop and consider our relationships to ourselves and each other, the only ethical pawn you should ever control in this game of life is yourself. You can argue that you can control your children, but really that is more of a stewardship of their own free will and all choices for their lives should be toward making them capable of controlling and exercising that free will for themselves. One ought never to seek to control other pawns. One ought never to seek for another to control them in order to shirk the responsibility of playing the game as a fully participating piece on the board.

Other thoughts I’ve been considering. Are we, as creators, responsible for our creations and how they are used or abused after we have birthed them into existence? The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh is a play I read in grad school that delves deep into asking this question. How does that align with personal responsibility? And then where do we as the general public take up the mantle of responsibility for how we allow outside work to influence us? Because in the end, what most of us seem to say is “screw this, I don’t want to think about this” and that is how we end up with the mess that we’re in as a society today, where too many people try to control the pawns on the board (ie. us the general population).

What are your thoughts?

An Ode to Net Neutrality

Farewell,
Oh fickle friend,
Who imparted both knowledge
And filth
And started many a rabbit hole of
Wasted time
Over the years.

The meager mewling of many
Claim that those
Who lament your loss
Regret potentially
Paying more for
Pornography and
The chance to
‘Netflix and chill’.
They want the whining
To stop on this
So they can get back to their
Premium cable and satellite packages
To consume their own
Method of escape.

But without you,
We live with more
Government and
Corporate control
(And how sad
There are those who still deny
These are one and
The same).

You dissent?
It will be monitored
And buried.
You sell small?
You will not be able to
Compete
No matter the product.
You want a variety of sources?
Equality of the classes
On the world wide web?
Do you think that the
Overlords will give
That to their slaves?

There is no government
Of the people.
It is a farce and
Has been for
A very long time.

So farewell,
Net Neutrality.
You’ve been a friend
But it’s time for our
True status
As a people
To come to light.
It didn’t have to be
Like this,
But it seems
We don’t get to keep
Anything nice
These days.

May your death
Not be
In vain.

Copyright 2017, Kat Micari

Uncertainty

I am moving forward in my hope to be home with the children and freelancing as soon as possible, but the economic uncertainty in the United States and globally right now is making me nervous. I am trying not to let it freeze me up in my planning, but I am now trying to plan smarter as far as the planning my online shop for my sewing business goes. I won’t want to invest huge amounts into bolts of fabric to begin aside from some basic silks, which means going with the slightly higher cost and lower quality fabric available from the handful of local stores in the area. And I am rethinking my plan of only having truly high-end products and trying to come up with a few lower ticket items that will still be well-made to entice people. And I’ll probably take on as many alterations as I can reasonably do this prom season to invest back into the business, which means of course less time to get samples sewn up. All of that really is dependent on whether or not we get to the place of financial security to get out of the current situation I’m in. We’re working on it, but nothing is certain in this world right now.

It also means I won’t be able to afford oodles of new art or music supplies and equipment, so I’m going to have to make careful stock of what I have and be very careful in my use of things going forward. Writing thankfully can be done anywhere on any machine.

It’s really difficult to stay positive right now with everything going on, isn’t it? It’s hard to make plans for the future when everything could be easily cast aside at a moment’s notice. Part of me wants to go be a survivalist somewhere instead, and hide away from society. But I want to do what I can with what I have to help. So I refuse to succumb to fear.