One of the most interesting mysteries of life, in my opinion, is how a variety of people with similar life experience can view the exact same picture and see various “realities”.
I suppose little has changed in the nature of the flowing images competing for the mind’s eye, year after year after year. Happy, sad, tragic, glorious…A thousand years, same emotions, crimes and conquests…only the names have changed.
But something crystallized for me this past week…the Week of the Wikileaks! Two images in the flow of random chaos settled side by side before me. One was the picture of Sir Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey being honored at the Kennedy Center, and the other was of Prince Charles & Camilla being…honored on the streets of London http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/off-with-their-heads-shouted-the-crowd-as-charles-and-camilla-met-rage-in-regent-street-2157412.html Everyone kept their heads fortunately, but has there ever been a sharper contrast of images in the same world at almost the very same time?
As a singer-songwriter, I am accustomed to being in the company of opposing ideology and world views. I think that has strengthened my ability to empathize, but has done little to lessen the mystery surrounding our parallel universes. McCartney is right up there with my songwriting heroes Springsteen & Seeger, but we couldn’t possibly be more opposite.
I had the most surreal experience last year. Within the space of 24 hours I was on the Capital steps in Washington with my Tea Party brethren one moment, and in a song circle playing with Pete Seeger the next! Only in America I suppose…
But I wonder sometimes, beyond the “holding opposites” moments…where the “truth” lies in the chaos of flowing images. When a young black man (mid 20’s) who is obviously well versed on current events looks me in the eye and tells me with conviction that Obama is a “great” leader, just as I am reading all about the army of teenage “hacktivists” http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23905686-the-teen-hacktivist-revolution.do, I realize they are all missing a little something called “history”. Now the Kristofferson quote …nuthin’ left to lose makes perfect sense, Those who have had their minds “historically” pick pocketed truly have nuthin’ left to lose! A Marist poll taken on July 4th, 2010 revealed that 25% of us did not know who we fought for our independence! But don’t take my word, quiz your kids tonight at the dinner table on the most basic elements of our founding!
Conclusion: There is but one universe with two peoples. One holds onto “truth” for dear life, while the other has forgotten where they left it.