It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was further evidence that the bad guys were winning. It seemed like folks were locked into a stupor from which they could not be extracted. It seemed the bad guys were too powerful, or at least too far ahead of the game, to have any hope of meaningful change.
I'm not talking about O-hope and O-change. That was all a very slick marketing campaign, and anyone who was half-awake could see through it. I've used very similar techniques in branding campaigns. He also had that 'televangelist' voice. You know, it floats up and down in a rhythmic pattern, putting people into a trance. If you do it right, you could read recipes to a crowd of thousands and have them eating out of your hands. If you want a demonstration, take one of O's campaign speeches and speed it up 2x or 4x. You'll hear it.
At any rate, sometime around the beginning of the year, I started to get this gut feeling, like the clouds were clearing. Maybe it's just the fluoride finally wearing off, but I have a definite feeling of hope again.
It feels like real Change is coming. It's kind of like that feeling you get before a good ol' Texas Blue Norther comes through. You can smell the wet earth and the change in the breeze brings a feeling of giddiness with it.
I love those northers. The air gets very still and you can see a line of black clouds in the distance. As it gets closer, you can see the wall of wind move across the fields. In a near straight line, the sorghum lays down as the wind, rain and cold come whipping through.
Then, just as suddenly, the sky starts to lighten up, and before your know it, the sun comes out and there's just a trace of high, wispy clouds. The sky is shockingly blue and even sparkles. It's a strange effect. You just have to experience it. In the blink of an eye, there's not a cloud to be seen, and the air is bitingly fresh and cold. It almost feels like being reborn.
What the world feels like right now is that hour or so just before the storm. The air is like corn syrup. It's hot and thick and sticky. Everything seems to move in slow motion. The cows out in the field have all turned their butts to the north and gathered closer together. Their backs are dense with flies. It's hard to breathe.
How, you ask, does this engender hope, because what's about to follow is a wild storm and lashing rain?
The hope part of all this is that the storm will pass quickly, and behind it is a new, fresh world. Somewhere just north of us it's already passed and folks are enjoying the shot of energy. The calves are running around in the fields with their tails high in the air, bouncing up and down and playfully butting heads. The cool, tingling air is scented with the smell of wet earth and green plants. There's even a kind of electric charge crackling all around you.
That's the hope part.
We are still in the corn syrup, though. The world is holding its collective breath, because it knows what's coming. It will be wild. Sometimes trees are uprooted and tin sheets get torn off the house or barn. There's going to be small rivers where dry ditches were just moments before. People get hurt, and sometimes killed.
Behind it, though, is renewal. Things will change radically. The daytime sky will be deep, clear blue, and the night sky will be alive with stars and mysteries.
There is hope. It will change. Just have to get through the storm, is all. It's not the best possible scenario, but it's a damn sight better than eternal night...boots on faces...Room 101.
The Universe has an amazing way of righting itself. When things get out of balance, it will see to it that events get back on an even keel. The greatest weakness of those who would be masters is their eternal and infernal pride. They actually think they can rule the world, but the world knows better. You can't rule what you don't own, and in the end, none of us owns anything.
We just get to use the hall for a while. Some longer than others. But in the end, we gotta turn off the lights and give back the keys. There are scattered reports of some folks coming back from the dead, but I've never caught tale of anyone who could take something with them.
One of my favorite lines from the Bible Part II is:
It is easier for a camel to pass through The Eye of the Needle, than for a rich man to enter the kindgom of Heaven.
If you've never been to Jerusalem, the humor of this quote might escape you. Heck, I know a lot of folks who HAVE been there, and they didn't get it.
You see, in the walls of the old city, there is a very narrow slit called The Eye of the Needle. After the city gates were locked at sun down, the only way in or out was through the Eye of the Needle. It was just big enough for a man to pass, or an unburdened camel walking on its knees. I think you get the picture.
Though our would-be rulers have amassed vast fortunes and can put their boot on the faces of those at the bottom of the pyramid, there is one thing they can't do...pass through the Eye of the Needle. In order to do that, they must unburden themselves of all their worldly possessions. The problem is, they have no identiy, whether to self or others, without their burdens.
Some won't pass, others will have the choice made for them, but most will face the moment when they must choose. On the other side is Hope and Change.
The storm is gathering. We will have to get through it or die. But on the other side is the reward for perseverance.
It's frightening as we stand here looking at the dark wall of wind and rain approaching. But for the first time in a long time, I feel the hope behind it. I've caught just a whiff of the clean air and cool breeze.
Time to batten down the hatches.