Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Moved Me

Yesterday I had the tale of brave Ulysses. Yesterday I marched from my apartment in Mountain View to the bus stop, to Caltrain, to the bus again, up to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, and then from there all the way to the Tenderloin, and then back down on the train and a bold stride homewards.

My steps home were buoyed by angels. There was so much love and beauty and truth that I met Plato and shook his hands. Both of them. I clasped people, homeless, immigrants, or long-time San Francisco residents. It didn't matter. It was met with big hearty hugs.

I walked more than a mile in the shoes of others yesterday.

Even as I typed this, this very moment, that very moment already past, on KFOG-FM, poor Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones are singing, have sung, will ever sing:

"I'll never be your beast of burden.
I walked for miles, my feet are hurting.
All I want is for you to make love to me."

Well, Mick, that's just not the deal to get your best results.

Myself, I felt more like a beast of burden than ever in my life. In fact, I accepted the burden again. The burden of human interaction as a social, political, economic, communicating band utterly human animal. The burden of being a real Christian, a real spiritual being.

Like a beast of burden, I need to carry my weight in the world. I need to walk a mile with more people. To meet more people. I need to continue my pilgrimage in life, as a witness to the wonder of it all.

As the Edward Bullwer-Lytton contest proclaimed decades ago, "If you want to eat, you gotta work. And at last I knew Pittsburgh." So today, I'll be focusing more on self-work and the work I need to do for a very good set of folks in Berkeley, California, who are creating cell phone games that are quirky, fun, and utterly charming.

My job is to help them build their Web and Internet community. Of all the Content Management Systems (CMS), we chose Joomla. Why? Well, there was a rather complex decision-making cycle between me as a Web/Internet consultant and the client. We both looked at the options, but in the end analysis, Joomla, as a name, just sounds more fun than other systems, like MaxDev's MD Pro. If we were into medical research, we might want a lot of M.D.s who are pros. For now, we have no idea what a Joomla is, or where the name came from, but it sounds quirky, fun, and more in line with the spirit of the company.

Music surrounded me when I woke up, but only by my conscious choice to turn it on. I was so tired when I went to bed last night I must have snored like a sawmill.

Yes, I left the alarm clock off, since I had fallen asleep some time after 2 am. I woke up, and thought it was before the dawn. No, the red letters on my trusty old alarm clock assured me it was 11:21. So I turned on the radio.

Tears for Fears. Shout.

The 1985 hit from "Songs from the Big Chair." Of course, that was all too "sensitive new age guy" music at the time. But for some reason, 21 years later, the lyrics were just as powerful.

In violent times, you shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white, they really really ought to know
Those one track minds that took you for a working boy
Kiss them goodbye, you shouldn't have to jump for joy
You shouldn't have to jump for joy

No, I didn't jump for joy yesterday. I walked for it. And in my pilgrimage, I found plenty of it. And not just in black and white but all the colors of the rainbow. Dr. King would have been happy to see all the people at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. However I did jump to my feet with applause at the song, the poetry, and the speeches!

I wore one black sock and one white sock all yesterday to show that we were all black and white. Like Feirefiz from the tale of Parzival, who was "motley like the magpie," the second-self our hero Parzival needed to meet and embrace as his brother before he could get back to the Grail Castle after his years of searching alone in all the wrong places for what was ever all around him.

The Revolution Starts Now. Another great song.

More to come, but for now, I need to get rocking and rolling on other things.

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