When we were very young...
In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
fearing not I'd become my enemy, in the instant that I preach
... Ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...
I received a pronouncement from an older Friend that I am no longer a young adult. This surprised me, as I don't know what that means! I asked him to tell me when that happend, and as with other questions, he pointed to silence, his own, I am afraid.
I've always thought that it was for the young to ask why.
I have, in the past week, asked... deeply and gravely why, and the only answer I gave... I did not post, nor will I post, as that answer was a bitter and naked atonement which is between me, a very small circle of Friends and God.
But, I was informed that I was not a young adult Friend, and told that my "Unless your pictures lie, that's not you." and that I tend to lay down the law.
Oh my dear old Friend. I can tell thee that pictures do lie. When I was a combat photographer, I attempted to tell the truth through my images of war. I found that my pictures were honest, but the truth did not shine through on its own. An image is never the truth. It is a symbol which can be manipulated to say whatever it is perverted to say.
In my songs, about the rape of young women in Bangladesh, I sought to point my finger at war, and chose my language so carefully, and only asked a question. That question, it turned out, was answered by using that image as an anti-Muslim anthem, leading me to write another song, trying to transcend the symbols... it is what we Friends attempt... to transcend symbols, no?
To thee, my questions are a symbol of intolerance. To me, thy response is symbolic of Whiteness, White empowerment. But, I look past that symbol of thee, for I don't know thee. We never met.
When I was very very young, we had a young president, we were told. He defined youth, not by years, but by asking rather than telling. That thee feels in my questions, I "lay down the law" and that it saddens thee... this and that, I see as a matter of age. I am not sure I ever will be as old as I assume thee to be in the certainly of thy answers. Maybe if we ever meet, I will find a young man in thee.
Age... a dear young Friend of mine, regarded by some as the Dr. King of Ireland, Burnadette Deviln McAlsiky once spoke of age in a speech. I hope I remember it well enough. She said, in the sixties, the youth of occupied Ireland sought to inform through demonstration, the government that they were wrong in the oppression of Catholic and Nationalist people. "The old ones said, do this, march, and it will lead to war. Oh no, old woman, Oh no, old man, we replied, if we show the wrong of their ways, those who oppress us will change... and in less than a year, we were at war."
It seems I committed the grave sin of youth. The hope that I might demonstrate my pain at the oppression of my people by another White establishment... and a wise old man told me, if you demonstrate these issues, there will be war. And war there was. Funny how times change... when I had seen a few springs less, I thought that war was begun by the old, in their set old ways. Ah but I was so much older then...
There was a band... to me it seems a few years ago, who sang... " I hope I die before I get old..." I used to think that was a stupid thing to say, because... ah foolish youth, I thought that old age was a golden time. Perhaps it is a golden thing to be so sure, and set the questioning of youth aside. I'll tell thee when I get there, perhaps our Friend the contented Larry, down in Florida, might... if he ever get's old, in spite of the name of his blog... I don't think he will. I am pretty sure he'll die before he gets old, and I pray that is a long time coming.