In many ways the world is not that much different today than it was yesterday. There has always been hatred and discrimination, corruption and greed. There have always been struggles for power and dominance on this earth. The places the evil penetrates may change from day to day. The lives it alters are new and forever dismantled. The news travels at a greater speed and media outlets inundate us with opinion after uneducated opinion. And all of those tweets and instant images create a reality inside each and every one of us that unless seriously checked – will lead us to a world of certain alienation, disassociation and uncertainty. We are no longer making decisions based on our own experiences and personal journeys – but rather based on the social media posts of the nameless. We are collectively falling into a vacuum of propaganda and fabrications and forming our opinions based on wild fiction and the viral ramblings of the uninformed. Scary shit.
Perception becomes our reality.
He was walking in front of me, with an even gait and purpose. The jeans fit as if they were made for him. It was morning and the snow was falling gently to the ground with intentions of turning the whole world icy white. Winter was a whisper we were all about to hear. The roll of the train sounded beyond the building in front of us as he pulled his phone from the pocket of his navy blue parka. It was then that I noticed his head was wrapped is a dark blue turban and my mind heard the voices. The voice of compassion, the voice of doubt, the voice of what if, the voice of peace, the voice of humanity, the voice of media, the voice of culture and conformity, the voice of history, the voice of reason and certainty. I could not hear his voice as he pushed through the door in front of me and entered the busy lobby of the hotel. What would happen next, where was he going? Whom was he meeting? I walked through the door he walked through seconds before and saw him stop just ahead of me. He ordered a tall skim vanilla latte as he placed his phone back into his coat and called the barista by name as he wished her a blessed Thanksgiving. His glance caught mine as he turned, I smiled, he smiled and the voices in my head went away.
Things are not always as they appear.
She was sitting alone on the train. She was wrapped in layers and held her pocket book tightly against her chest. Her face wore the story of her life between every laugh and worry line etched into her aging brown skin. If hardship were a person she might very well be that person. My eyes shifted from the dirty windows and the stalled traffic outside back to her quiet presence and I wondered who she was, where she had been and what sort of life she had lived. The doors opened at the next stop and a dark skinned man lowered his head to enter the train and find his way into the seat next to hers. He looked frustrated and exhausted, unfocused and annoyed. His baggy pants were ill fitting, his Bull’s cap was tilted back to the side which automatically created an “aura of punk” – whether he knew it or not. The woman glanced his way and repositioned herself. He looked down on her and adjusted himself in a manner that was loud and obvious – he seemed irritated as he stretched is long legs out into the aisle. She said something to him and my heart felt tight in my own uncertainty of what might transpire. He leaned in closer to her, tilted his head towards her and she spoke to him in a soft and calming voice. He smiled hard and said he was about 6 feet 5 and, yes, he played a little basketball in college just like her son and he was even teaching his daughter how to play. She listened intently, gazing at him and smiling. His laugh was warm and secure and her eyes grew brighter as their conversation continued. He was kind and sweet, polite and attentive and I allowed myself the pleasure of listening to the two of them share their stories until I quietly left the train.
We need to be present in each and every moment and strive to do the right thing. Consciously move towards acceptance and peace and push away from divisiveness and bigotry. Take the preconceived notions that others have planted in your brain and discard them so that you can create your own reality from authentic thoughts and experiences. Turn off the news, shut down your phone, take a break from politics and hate mongers and go outside. Embrace the miracles, believe in the mystery and walk the path of integrity. Breathe the air, clear your heart and mind so that you might find the beauty just outside your door. Be kind – be open – be fair and receptive to all the possibilities this wonderful life chooses to bring your way. Perhaps, together, we might be able to save what is left of this crazy world we share.
About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.