Moon in Aquarius

I can hear Patty Smith in her intro to “Gloria” emphasizing “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.”

People talk about the troops — and where did that designation come from, simplifying human lives into uniform units — fighting, sacrificing, dying for my freedom. I am so very sorry for all this horrendously stupid suffering. I never wanted it. I never condoned it. My freedoms get stomped on all the time with or without anybody’s sacrifice. It’s up to me, every day, to make sure I am free. These folks, dying in some far off post-imperial war sure don’t seem free. The folks they’re killing for the existential crime of being the designated enemy sure aren’t free. Freedom’s got nothing to do with it. Or security. More officially sanctioned violence in the world makes nobody safe. Honor on the literal battlefield is neither a surefire way to make a career nor the mark of a real man (male or female) — not in these days when there is so much real work, made even more imperative after all the wanton destruction, needing doing. Maybe people get so frustrated with discrepancies between what they’re taught to want and what they get that blowing stuff up, people, livestock, antiquities, whatever you’ve got, feels more satisfying, like something decisive has happened. Or maybe that’s just my silly girlish romantic idea of warfare. I’ve never been in armed conflict. Maybe it’s all so regimented that no one gets to really feel much of it at all. Occasionally some lives or limbs or other body parts get lost. Occasionally buildings crumble, homes, families, neighborhoods, lost in the rubble. Whose freedom benefits? How do I benefit? Is this meant to be some Malthusian pruning back of population to serve up bigger pieces of pie to we who remain? The pie is ruined by inedible rubble. Careful, you’ll break your teeth on that soldier’s bones.

It we want freedom, and whatever safety is actually possible in this unreliable world, wouldn’t strapping manpower be better used to build and grow, teach and heal, explore, improve communication skills, party and create? That thing about power coming from the barrel of a gun only works while you’re the fastest or biggest gun. People who feel empowered to be free can get killed. We all die. It’s part of the package. People who give their power and freedom to fear never live. They may as well be robotic troops.

There seems to be a common idea that if we can get the right toys, enough of them, it’s as good as being free. Violence to get those toys and hold them is a wonderful game. Just because I don’t get it doesn’t make them wrong, if it works for them, I guess. It does make it wrong for me and the others who have our own games to play that are being obnoxiously and sometimes tragically interfered with by the violence and its consequences. Our rights must be at least as legitimate, as important, as theirs. Who is charged with the promotion of peaceful, cooperative, creative, life-affirming initiatives and maintenance? Billions of taxed dollars and huge military organizations get wasted while we are expected to gloriously applaud, then individually muster what energies we can in the service of paying bills and taxes to keep the war machine, the industries and their corporations they serve, marching along. Who made these rules anyway? The sinners that Jesus keeps dying for? It seems like a bad bargain to me, not just because I am on the ripped off end. The Goddesses are so much more sensible, gloriously enjoying as a sacred example, not horribly dying in martyrdom. Isn’t that the way it goes: guys hopelessly posturing their foolish macho pride while the women get to not only do the real needful work, but also have to keep cleaning up all that needless mess. Well, not all guys, nor all women, but enough to prop up the metaphoric stereotypes. Men aren’t from Mars, nor women from Venus. We’re just variations of the biology of Mother Earth. Would it help if we made a point to remember that? Until the colonization of other planets, we’re all stuck here together. When we do it right, we can have so much fun. So what’s the stupid hang-up? A topic for eclipse meditation …

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