Wednesday, February 17, 2016

From the Grave of William Penn-The Quaker in Me Paper:

For the past few weeks there's been something new happening at various locations along the light rail and other spaces of Charlotte's inner ring. The last time The Department of Homeland Security and a contract openly patrolled familiar streets and pathways downtown was during the 2012 DNC. Above you will see the four person team that walked up into my vision early yesterday afternoon whilst I was taking the time to continue reading an amazing book about the life and death of JFK over a mug of batch brew from Not Just Coffee outside the 7th Street Public Market.

Seems as if this similar scene has happened in front of my eyes four times over the last three weeks. Noticing the cargo khakis and desert combat boot combo is just the beginning. These pro-force shooters are carrying what appeared to be no fewer than two pistols. High Caliber. On their belts were  multiple magazines in the mag pouches. The operator on the far right out of view (except for his legs) had an extra large red beard to match the extra large combat mag pouch kit on his front belt harness. It looked weighty. And authentic. Like it could tell a story to someone about what it's like to be in combat in a far away mountainous place from the perspective of an extra large magazine pouch. Fighting the urge to touch it as I scanned it from a few feet away, my mind calculated that there were at least twenty pistol mags in it. Calculations.

Each were wearing a bulletproof vest over their dark shirts and jackets. It only seems proper that if you are going out that locked and loaded you'd have to wear protection. And of course the dark baseball caps finish off the military light ensemble with a certain flair of fitting in with the backdrop of our fair city in the form of acceptance. Subtle.

They stood on post for ten minutes or so before the CMPD Lt. liaison verbally suggested that it was time to continue and motioned with his hand for the men and woman to move out towards the south going down the light rail path on the western side of the tracks. The guy with the big beard and combat veteran magazine pouch leaned in and said something to the group that from my perspective couldn't be made out. But it was funny, the girl laughed audibly and the group stepped off all smiles. It was a light moment that immediately shifted back to the chiseled readiness of a fire team in an urban environment.

DHS's version of MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) ops is apparently more present for the last three weeks or so. The question is, is it a training or is it active patrols with operations orders? That theoretically suggests that someone at the White House knows about these walkabouts in Charlotte. Preparations. Asking around today to some of my longtime and newer CMPD friends yielded little in the way of information as to the questions. They seemed to know less than I do regarding these patrols. Of the four officers, not one had even seen DHS operations in Charlotte since the DNC.

Some of the officers kicked about theories openly as to what it could be and why it's happening now. One said that it could be federal ramping up of familiarity with Charlotte as we fast approach an election year with a primary coming sooner than later. That means all the candidates will be coming through Charlotte soon. Joy. More heavy combat presence in the name of it all. Maybe that suggestion makes sense, but I fell like something else is happening. Something deeper.

In his short time as President of The United States of America, John F. Kennedy had been working towards a real global peace. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting this philosophy and policy change in him. He gave everything he had to avoid a willed for nuclear (cold) war, he gave everything he had to end the Vietnam War before it officially started and he gave everything he had trying to dismantle the departmental and civilian powers calling for the constant policy of war. It was the trifecta of real awareness. In the year of his death Kennedy confided with his inner circle and wrote things down. One of the most profound things JFK came to understand in the summer before he died is that world peace could never happen from the top down. He knew that self examination is the foundation for peace and until that happens it can never be obtained. The depth of that thought is unimaginable to some.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fly High Pontius

                      I made this picture of GJR's knee hole on Jan 2, 2010 at the top of Red Clay Hill

Love is blindness
I don't want to know
His humor is kindness
and his strength an inner glow

So the Ghost of Jerry Reed left the constraints of earth less than a week ago. And because of that my heart body has been consumed by intermittent shocks of pain. Like anyone who gives it up in the name of realness Kenny's presence will live beyond the days he spent here. With both hands over my heart, the mantra is ringing loudly in my head, "What's real can never be taken away."

About six years back from this I went down to Hawleyville in midstate South Carolina to ride in the Ian Foster Memorial Ride with a bunch of fine folks. At some point during that ride the Ghost of Jerry Reed crashed behind me on a semi-technical fire road descent. Hitting the surface of our only earth caused a dirty hole in his knee. The kid instead of trying to arrange for an extraction because of the bloody open injury acted as if nothing had happened. There was still a long time left in the saddle to the finish, but he uttered not one complaint or suggestion that he was in discomfort. Strength and calm during what must have been a painful situation radiated from within him. Apparently Kenny has had that trait his entire life, the time he spent here.

For weeks after the Hole in Knee incident I couldn't shake the feeling of being responsible for what had happened. Guilt. Guilty. Guilt knee. In my mind, my choice to go out with these pros on my fixed gear work bike caused the crash. More guilt. Every apology I could muster over time as recently as a year ago was answered by Kenny with,  "Don't worry about it, it wasn't your fault." Kindness during pain. We all have something to learn from that kid.  Maybe it wasn't my fault, maybe it was...

My deepest condolences to his wife, family, inner circle of friends, coworkers, anyone who crossed his path or read his hilarious work at the Hawley Blog and of course his champion falcon Pontius.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

After Math: The Penumbra & Doppler Effects

Witnessing is like a certain testimony confirming the obvious. Observations from (Un)lonely Island:

A pall fell over downtown Charlotte shortly after dawn on Monday morning. Of course it had started hours before in the darkness of night after victory was stollen by the power of respect and absence of an overt ego. Within an hour at work this past Monday, the day after 'The Day', a realization came to me that our business was in the crosshairs of the corporate induced blanket of sad mood covering our fledgling metropolis. At that exact time the initial volley of emotional missiles came in the form of silence on the normally active communication line. Then as the day progressed towards the first illusion of a setting sun after 'The Day', our deepest fears had to be looked at for what they are worth. [We] lost.

Without aid of a scientific report, the intuitive in me feels like only half the normal workforce showed up on Monday. The other half was shell shocked without going to war. There was an aura of absence in all directions from The Square just before 0900hrs eastern zulu time. Sun and shadow casted down onto Tryon in a familiar geometric pattern which was a reminder of the Penumbra Effect. Even the police had pulled back from their normal posts giving those brave enough to show up on the stage that morning a chance to take in the coded drama. No sea of Panther hats which just a few days earlier were as ubiquitous as collared shirts tucked into khakis. On the day after 'The Day', the million Panther hats were put up for next year. There's always next year I've been told. Crickets and gloom all day became the theme. At 1700hrs eastern zulu time, the invoice told a telling story. It was 60% lower than any normal Monday on record. [We] actually felt the loss.

Penumbra Effect. Light and shadow, projection of opacity or translucence originating in this case from the sun, a glowing star 94 million miles from our line of sight. What's opaque is only really that at the center. From the center outwards towards the edges opacity becomes less. A stunning field observation of the Penumbra Effect is that the closer the opaque or translucent object is from the surface it is being projected on to, the more exact it becomes. Closest to the surface or furthest from the light source the image becomes the most clear to the visual cortex. Pull away from the projection surface with the opaque or translucent object towards the light source and the image becomes more blurred all the way to an unrecognizable vision. The Penumbra Effect seems to be a good gauge of society and its behavior.

Dialing in clarity takes bringing it close for an exact view of whatever it is. Questions that seem more important are never really asked because the response is usually the one that seems easiest. Less difficult is the choice of our new modern intelligent age. Maybe it is really flipped. Just perhaps the perceived easy choice is actually the complicated more difficult one and the choice that seems so difficult is easier than we could ever understand until we make it. There is only one way to know for sure and that starts with the individual experience of thought.

Shortly after the big loss I read about the new discovery confirming gravitational waves in our universe (or multiverse). The information stimulated my brain housing group to immediately search its hard drive for any past education of the Doppler Effect. The Doppler Effect impacts all waves. Light, sound, magnetic and so on. Now Gravitational on a universal (or multiverse) scale? That's a mind bender. The distance between the peaks of the waves shortening or elongating depending on the direction and speed traveling towards or away from the source emanating the wave(s) has explained many mysteries of our experience here on earth, a tiny speck in an ever accelerating expansion of a universe (or multiverse). How gravitational wave Doppler Effect reveals itself has yet to be fully understood. However there is evidence of what it looks like all around. Explaining it will take some time.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sober Dreams

The true barrier to world peace is staring us right in the face at this exact moment in time more than ever before. [Now], this magical instant before us provides a constant education in the form of the syntax of nature, an unspoken language created by the true human experience on a flying rock spinning through an accelerating expansion of a universe. Rationalizations as well as justifications of completely ignorant and at its base, unequivocal support of America fascism behavior identify a culture with no serious authenticity of living. Authentic living however has become a global hashtag in the gas burning ether, rather than truth on earth. Truth is unavoidable. And intentionally avoiding it has life and death consequences within our understanding.

Fascism is defined as a national government which supports the interest of corporations rather than the citizens of that country. We've got that. Plenty of it and more than we can consume. Again, rationalization and justification are human conditions that the modern clinical institution has provided as a crutch for the unanimous acceptance of the corporate plan of aggression. A catalyst. The chain can be broken even though it won't be because of reluctance to surrender on an earth sized scale.

Have you heard of Noah Pier? Of course he isn't giving us a veiled drug suggestive end zone dance, nor is he selling Doritos or the official soft drink of the NFL for $30 million a second. But deep down you are closer to him than those corporate decoys will ever be. Noah was a Marine from south Charlotte who gave it up the minute he took the oath. When he was hurried through the doors at the receiving center on Parris Island in the middle of the night after being awake for almost 48 hours, he looked up and read the sign above him.

                                     THROUGH THESE PORTALS PASS PROSPECTS
                                        FOR AMERICA'S FINEST FIGHTING FORCE
                                                 UNITED STATES MARINES

One without the other cannot be possible. As long as the avoidance en masse is the prevailing emotional wind of the day, we are all stuck here to live out the result. Friction. And pain.

Recently I had the chance to find Noah's grave amongst the endless sea of white stones geometrically lined toward the rolling horizon in all directions on what used to be Robert E. Lee's land and estate. Those hillsides just across the Potomac River from Washington DC are Arlington National Cemetery. From the prone position in the grass with the dead just underneath me, my mind saw it so clearly. More clear than any lens or digital money box could replicate. In the section that Noah is laid to rest in, the majority of the birthdates on the headstones as far as my eyes could see were younger than my own. The manicured sod beneath me gave a grounding charge of energy in the pale gray afternoon while I listened to the helicopters overhead patrolling the skies over our nation's capital. How has it gotten to this and how can it be undone if this is our new American now?

It's obvious, even though what's obvious is completely overlooked when the rationalizations and justifications mentioned above fill the small gaps that our busy schedules provide us from time to time.