Article and Photography
By: Curtis Beaird
Values, community, neighbors, friends. Not all things reduced to a price point and all humans viewed as a potential market. Our curse seems to be that we have managed to commodify everything. Relationships don't matter unless we have business with each other.
If there is no potential for commerce, financial gain or some other personal advantage, we don't seem to have any reason to talk with each other anymore. "Nothing happens," as one old store manager told me, "until somebody sells something."
We network, make contacts, build strategic systems, develop alliances and coalitions without once giving notice to the fact that this vertical or horizontal construct is made of people, human beings, flesh and blood souls who are one of a kind and will never pass this way, or our way again.
Fascination, wonder, and the mystery of simply being alive is lost to the matrix. Curiosity, compassion and an anger worthy of the name, and laughter deep down, born of the joy of breathing in and out the clean fresh air of life, disappears into the system's chilly abyss.
The driving question of life "Why am I here?" is answered for us by the kings of cash ---- to make and move money. The prophets of profit are easy to spot. Their eyes are dark, set deep in their sockets and hard. The corners of their mouth turn down like the horns of a mad bull. They don't speak; they glare. They expect their will to be known ahead of any comment. They don't relate; they measure. They don't move; they occupy space. They fill in what's left with their ego.
They gain power by taking yours. Without yours, they have no power. Yet, men gladly offer up their manhood to the insatiable appetite of the hollow, hard-eyed one.
If the profit-maker is a profitess, she is cold. Simply cold. She proudly and alone seeks to fill her void with bricks made of gold. She has an edge, an edge either blunt or sharp. But, an edge. Her's is a ruthless power born of a taste for blood and a striving made of a need to win. Her score is kept not as a total, but a string of those left behind and lost. She achieves through subtraction, even elimination of all things bright and beautiful, unless it is gold.
Creation trumps culture. Spirit and soul outlasts envy, greed and the hollow power they produce. Dead men walking move through time heavy laden with their stuff. The light of grace outshines the glint from the hood of their polished chariots.
The song of the soul sings with the wind in the trees. The culture of death will collapse. Ashes are the home of the phoenix. Rising and resurrection, empty tombs and promises, build future and hope.
Today belongs to death. Tomorrow belongs to God. Promises sustain. Consumption consumes and empties. Faith fires the imagination and powers the soul. Our restless spirit finds direction and a horizon made of hope.
Hand finds hand. Neighbor finds friend. Love lifts and moves. Prophets of doom fall silent. Their tongues cleave to the roof of their mouths. The obvious comes true and the lion lies down with the lamb.
The Four Horseman ride. Swords look better as plowshares. The silence of His presence becomes comfort found at dawn. The cloud of unknowing opens to the sunrise of hope.
A child smiles. The earth stops. The proud are brought low. The last are made first. The least are discovered to be the greatest. The poor are found to be rich and the rich are abandoned to wander alone in an eternal, hungry search for more.
The Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. The first and the last. All that comes between and follows after is called Life.
Copyright 2011, Curtis Beaird. All rights reserved.