The stifling silence of uncertainty
Shifting thoughts and goals.
Staring blankly at the page,
Trying to resume
A trip through the past
All for the future.
The press tightens,
Outside forces crush
With grinding pressure,
And cook your last nerve.
To the almighty dollar—
Kiss the ring,
Then pray to your god,
Because we lost control
And need a little luck.
The sun rises on the plain
Distant triumph over horizon
Calm deliberate motion
Mimic the swaying grasses
Wander slow with purpose
Live and let live
Sense the winds
Here and gone
Return to the fire’s light
Warming in even’ chill
The sun sets on the plain.
Oppressed, ignored, trampled,
a blade of grass grows in the desert
where old customs are held tight by tyrants.
A blade of grass rises in the storm,
it stands erect, then bends,
it stands erect, then bends.
but not broken.
Plucked from its native soil by the changing wind,
a blade of grass is deposited in a foreign land.
Undaunted by its new surroundings
it confidently grows amongst myriad grasses.
Trading aridity for seasonality,
a blade of grass stands erect,
sways in the wind,
endures the hot summer and the frigid winter,
but never again bends.
I was thinking last night, while watching Game of Thrones, what draws me (or us) to medieval fantasy stories, shows, movies, and/or games? I don’t think I came up with an answer, but rather questions I asked myself to try to make sense of it. Is there a simplicity to the life of those times that seems more appealing than our tech-filled, leisure-centric world? Is there some deep ceded desire to live in a world of seemingly unchecked brutality, imperialism, and domination? Does it maybe simply come down to a sense of adventure, discovery, and romping through open spaces? Is it fashion? Then I asked, would it be better to live a shorter life working hard with less leisure time, but perhaps more spiritual fulfillment, than living in our long, drawn-out world occupying our time with arguably meaningless jobs and a constant bombardment of distractions?
I play games like Crusader Kings and realize that I wouldn’t have what it takes to be a ruler over empires. I don’t have any desire to be followed, worshiped, or bowed down to, nor to kill or have men killed for my ambitions. For that matter, I don’t think there are any people dead or alive that deserve to be followed, worshiped, or bowed down to. I’m studying ancient civilizations this semester and it baffles me that we ever allowed others to ruler over us. The subordinate have been paying taxes, tributes, and allegiances for the entire recorded history of mankind. There is something pathetic about that. Yet, as we are pumped full of more and more distractions that remove us from thoughts of true independence and freedom, we still remain obedient to our allegiances – and are dumbed down in the process. I hate to think this is all there is, but it’s shaping up to look that way. All we can hope for, I guess, is to find our little slice of happiness and serenity amidst the world we’ve allowed to strip us of our freedom. Thank the gods for books, video games and television.
Check out the first short story in my Utopia available only on Kindle:
The people of New Michigan just want to live a simple life. After seceding from the United States, they found a new country focused on renewable energy, recycling materials, reinventing technologies, and reclaiming the land taken over by urban sprawl. With a manageable population, they live to help each other and live free. Without money, politics, and religion, the people are free to explore new technologies without hindrance.
When a visitor is allowed to explore the inner workings of New Michigan, he is taken aback by how technologies have truly made the lives of its people simpler and how the lack of consumerism has freed the people to live harmoniously. But when he gets back to the old world, he can’t cope with the unending strings of advertisements, politics, and media coverage.
I think going into the museum I was expecting to be horrified more than I was. Overall I found it to be a great museum and experience. However, I think I may have missed out on a more adult tour, since I got grouped with a class of eighth graders. The tour guide still described some of the more graphic details surrounding the holocaust, but he was definitely trying to make it more “kid” friendly.
I have studied World War Two for awhile, so was familiar with a lot of the timeline and language. I have also seen many World War Two movies and documentaries, a lot of which were reflected throughout the museum. I think the center does a good job of introducing the Jewish religion and culture in the beginning before getting to the horror of the concentration camps and holocaust. It was more interesting, I think, having learned more about the Jewish culture before going there, so the items and words were easily identified.
I think the biggest shock, however, came when we all piled in the train car. The way the guide described the gruesomeness of the transportation to the camps was probably the biggest shock. Standing there in that train car, I was brought back to when we were jammed into cattle carts in the military to get from point A to point B. We weren’t getting transported to our deaths, but I could just imagine if someone had to go to the bathroom, or if we were stuck there for days. An hour in one of those was enough for me.
Even near the end, when the guide gave the disclaimer that around the corner we would see dead bodies, I was still expecting to be horrified. The images on the screens are most definitely horrifying, but I think because I have seen it so many times already, it was far less shocking. I can only imagine what those eighth graders were thinking. Perhaps they have seen some of it before, but I know I didn’t see anything that atrocious when I was that age. We learned about it, but never got that graphic.
Overall, it was definitely a good experience. The museum holds a lot of information. I would recommend that everyone should go there at least once, whether they think they know about the holocaust or not. It is overwhelming to think about that kind of human horror, but everyone should know what we are capable of to stop it from happening ever again.