Detours in life always seem to be the biggest pains in the ass. You have an idea of where you want to go, and you’ve made up your mind that in doing so there will be no dilly of the dally. You want to reach your destination toot-sweet and have planned your little world around the notion that along the way the weather will be fair, the roads will be smooth and nothing unexpected whatsoever is likely to happen. Its not long after you hit the open road that the Universe reminds you that God’s sit-com is human beings planning things out. The All-Mighty gets a good chuckle out of that. This can be extremely frustrating for those of us stuck in time and space without the unfair advantage of knowing the beginning from the end. We are the avatars in the game, the characters in the script playing things out as they flicker across the screen or stream across the page. We lack the perspective of a harmonious Universe which can not only see but be the extent of existence and therefore when unexpected detours are laid before us we throw ourselves a pity party. This for me is especially difficult when coupled with the obsessive compulsiveness of a Virgo brain.
I had a goal, I had a destination, I had a particular place I wanted to be in my life by a certain time and the course I had plotted seemed easy enough to reach. I am a writer and therefore the primary pavement beneath my path should logically seem to be writing. This comes rather natural to me as I often have much to say about a great many things and tend to write as I would speak if my readers were getting an ear full rather than an eye full. So, I had set about doing just that. Shut down most other avenues of creativity or productivity in my life and dedicate, for an extended time, energy to beating on my craft. That endeavor started off rather well…until a crusade came along.
After a great deal of my energetic youth had been expended attempting to make some type of change on the world within the machinery of politics, I was none too eager to jump headfirst back into that arena. After marching alongside many Liberty minded people into the halls of the republican party a few elections ago with full intent to play by the rules, I knew all too well that when rules get in the way of agendas; all talk of honor and dignity is simply lip service. Political parties, for the most part, will chew you up, spit you out and leave you feeling as if you had been slipped a date rape drug when first you were naive enough to think your reverence of the Constitution was shared by the old folks that meet the first Saturday of the month down at Sonny’s Barbeque for the monthly meeting of the GOP. Been there. Done that. Not really interested in arranging chairs on Titanic’s anymore. This makes it difficult for people like me because I am what you would call a “true believer” so to speak. I am a genuine optimist and believe that ultimately the Light always wins over the darkness and more often than not what makes that happen is the ever-enduring power of the Individual. I believe that when Individuals set their minds to make a change in the world for the better it does happen, and the only time evil advances is when those Individuals do nothing. When systems where Individuals are on face value invited in to assist in making change, like political parties, become as corrupt as they have it becomes impossible to do anything worthwhile within them. One who wants to bring about change must find other means to do so. But sometimes when an Individual stops looking for a prolonged time, those other means will indeed aggressively find them.
Such was the case with your humble author. A crusade found me, and it was and is and will continue to be most worthy. You will have to pardon my veil of vagueness moving forward but I do wish for these words to be superimposed on all of you in your level at this game we call life. The crusade that found me was not one I can take credit for when it comes to having created it or given it birth through thought and will. No, this crusade was bubbling up a good while before I came along and stumbled into it. It is one that addresses what I believe to be the root of all the world’s problems regardless of what area you choose to focus. Be it political, economic, social, spiritual or any other sliver of those slices; the underlying problem…if there is one to be solved…is suffering. Now you may think to yourself that what I am saying is quite brilliant and to that notion I would tip my hat and say “why thank you” but the truth of the matter is that I am just ripping off an idea that was said countless times before me by people we either scoffed at, locked up or crucified. The dilemma in the human consciousness is suffering, which can happen in a multitude of ways. We all know this and to varying degrees can empathize through personal experience. As Dave Chappelle would say: “Everything is funny until it happens to you.”
Having this firm belief about suffering being the root problem in a great many areas you can see the appeal for me to gravitate towards anything that has the potential to alleviate suffering. How much more appealing when this crusade has the potential to alleviate suffering on a mass scale? So, from the moment I was introduced to this crusade I was already tossing in every poker chip I had with the hopes that the cause would prevail. I joined the ranks of other like-minded people in the effort to further the cause of the crusade and the initial experience echoed very much with the days of the Ron Paul Revolution. The energy was high, the camaraderie was strong, and the objective was crystal clear. Get people well. Get people healthy. Get people happy. Get people to remember that we are not created to stay in constant states of stress.
The Universe or God or Goddess or whatever is not some cruel entity above us that goes through the trouble of making everything from nothing or at the very least from the unseen just so it can place us within it like lab rats bred to run around an endless maze tricked out to keep us in a steady state of panic. No, we do that to ourselves for the most part and allow others to do that to us for the least part. I think we have convinced ourselves that a requirement for growing up or getting older is to be stressed out over every little thing with little to no evidence that those little things will ever last or matter three days from the point of us having begun to focus on them. And of course, the list of those little things never seems to end, especially in the internet age because now we are reminded of them every eight seconds when our phones or smart-thingies ding or chime to remind us that we nearly had some moments of peace and that just can’t happen when people are waiting on a rapid response. Things like that keep us in a state of stress and we simply weren’t created to be that way, at least not by the Ultimate Creator who openly flaunts that the fingerprints of Its handiwork are always harmony.
Of course, I am not saying that stress, worry and suffering are always over small and insignificant things. Sometimes freaking out can be a valid response when confronting things like cancer, PTSD, addiction, a terminal condition in one’s self or in the self of a family member, friend or loved one. If you happen to find yourself in a traumatic experience, then there is a purpose for being under stress during and for a time after the event. If you are in the middle of a major life change that you did not foresee or ever imagined would happen to you then stress can save your life. However, I would point out that when other creatures on Earth undergo stress it is always in short bursts, like a deer hearing a twig snap in the woods, it darts off only to be found frolicking without a care a short time later. Fight or flight is designed to get our asses out of a sling in an instant, it was never designed to be our default setting while experiencing life. So even when confronting major things like death, disease, divorce and loss, a person should only allow themselves a window of time to lose their shit and then with as much dignity as they can muster, get themselves together to find and relish in Grace. It is when we refuse to do that when stress evolves into suffering.The nature of the crusade that roped me in is one that provides healing and offers a transition into the state of Grace one should naturally be in and probably were before their known world turned upside down. It took logic, law, common sense, conscience, and compassion all as interlocking and intertwining things while also displaying a dash of civil disobedience; each of which tickle my fancy. How could I not join such a thing?
For a time, it was good. One happy family of like minded people marching to the same tune, the same beat of the peace drum, the same end goal in mind with heads held high. The crusade made a rapid expansion in a very short amount of time and it seemed as if our ranks had become invincible, unstoppable and indivisible. Alas, the old motto of sleep, love and riches being appreciated most after being interrupted proved to be true in our case. Tragedy struck the crusade snapping us out of our Grace like the zap of a bolt chunked downward by Zeus. Like a political chess game, our king was captured by the state galvanizing our ranks for a moment before it split away into different directions reminiscent of an ant colony post-boot. The fog of chaos in the after math begged the question to all of us what our genuine motives were for joining this crusade and if they were pure then why were we running? Were we indeed involved in this thing because we wanted to help this planet and its people heal on the most basic level or were we in fact waving its flag for the sake of filthy lucre? The allure of money is a very tempting honey trap and does tend to put a glaze over a person’s true intent in a thing. These were questions that had to be asked in this crusade I found myself caught up in, having been forced to take that detour away from writing for a time to play this thing out. When there is uncertainty in anything the looters always come. This crusade was no different in that when drops of its blood hit the water the sharks did come and as we all know, sharks don’t sleep.
For a while there the core idea of the crusade was unguarded and ripe for the picking for those that would take it off its pedestal and sell it to the highest bidder. The halls of the crusaders quickly became a den of thieves and snarling wolves among the true believers that had stood their ground in the after math of the chaos ever clutching the banner of belief. I found myself among those still holding on to hope; because in such things there is always going to be a faithful remnant. This remnant quickly observed that when it came to the core ideals of the crusade there most certainly was a vacuum surrounding the sacred heart. Call it instinct or dutiful default on my part but as much as I tried not to put myself in any leadership position, having hoped that such days were far behind me, that is exactly where I found myself. I honestly couldn’t help myself because in my mind’s eye the purpose of the crusade is of such importance that I felt compelled to my bones that it needed to be protected and preserved. So, I snatched it from the open pedestal, cradled it like some oblong ball from sports and ran with it like the wind. As expected, the wolves wasted no time in racing behind me with salivating teeth eager to see me stumble and fall with what they would devour. Thankfully, the faithful remnant of true believers was not far behind them, beating the ground to cover my flanks.
I admit that perhaps when I took this crusade on my shoulders a great deal of that act was looking before I leapt and hoping I could pull off reviving it with little more than a prayer and a single wing. I had absolutely no experience in dealing with this thing and knew that I was completely out of my element in even attempting to rebuild, re-establish or resurrect the crusade to what it once was. I just knew that it must be done and if I couldn’t do it then by God I would find someone or a group of someone’s that could. I simply had to trust that the opposition and opportunists on my heels would be dealt with behind me while I raced towards a finish line I could not see nor, could I define. I think that is called faith, but I often confuse faith with successfully bluffing in a game of poker. All the while, the closer I thought I was getting the hazier the horizon appeared to me and the burden of the crusade was beginning to weigh heavy on me. When one does a thing for themselves, failing isn’t always so bad but when one does a thing for a multitude, failing is unacceptable and intolerable. I knew that this race was not what I set out to do and was a far cry from a writer wanting only to write but there I was after a series of unexpected events doing something I never planned I would have to do. I also knew that one allowance of bitterness towards the crusade could result in my abandonment of it entirely and all would be lost. I knew that if that happened I would never be able to return to my natural calling and feel content. It would always be something gnawing at the back of my mind if I didn’t give it my all.
When my stride began to slow, and I could feel the hot breath of the wolves behind me that I dared not turn to see; I thought for a moment I would be consumed along with the crusade I still cradled. Then behind me I could hear the gurgling whelps of the pack being bashed in the head by the faithful remnant that ran behind and ultimately beside me. My Father always told me that the mark of a smart man is when he surrounds himself with people smarter than him under a common banner. He was right, and I grinned from ear to ear as my peripheral vision was flooded with the movement of such people on either side of me, running the race with me despite the odds and the dangers involved. The faithful remnant locked their arms behind me to help lift the burden I bore and as I felt the load upon me lighten I saw the finish line beneath my feet. As for my part of the race; it is done. Exhausted, I took a knee and with exuberant pride I handed off the crusade to the faithful remnant like a baton or Olympic torch. The remaining miles would be theirs to run, the crusade would be theirs to protect and make prosper. As I watch them shrink in the distance, into the setting sun and over new horizons I find myself glad on the deepest level of my soul. Primarily because in causes most noble I know that I am not alone even when it can sure seem that way sometimes, but more importantly because I was able to let it go and not cling to the perception of power holding on to it could or would bring. I had held the Ring of Power in my hand and managed to not let it suck me into the abyss of its obsession. “Tears for Fears” exaggerated a little bit, not everyone wants to rule the world.
In true essence of the Hero’s Journey, I knew when to make the Return to where I began before the Call of Adventure put me on my detour to seek the Gift of the Goddess. In my life there have been many things I have been apart of. Some of them have made me proud and some have made me ashamed. Some I started with sold out dedication to their completion only to walk away before the work was done or before the structure was complete. Some were taken away from me offering the temptation for me to become a victim rather than a person who had been victimized. However, this recent detour in my life has given me the greatest of gifts and that is that at least once in my life I can say that I saw something from beginning to end. Sure, there are plenty of other things in my story that I can point to that would fit that statement but none in my mind so bold and important as this latest crusade. It is one that truly can help in healing a nation and while detours in life can indeed be a pain in the ass when you want to go somewhere, I can think of no other detour more glorious than one designed to get a multitude home. So, for this last detour in my path I give thanks and in humble gratitude offer up my imaginings that the crusade once trusted within my trembling hands finds a firm foundation in the hands of the faithful remnant. As the man said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
– For Team 2.0-
A SONG TO PLAY US OUT…