Wednesday, April 1, 2015


In the very recent past, I attended a lecture by Franz de Waal, a renowned expert on the great Apes, of which we humans are a member. There are, as you know, remarkable similarities in behaviors amongst the apes, until we get to the branch on the evolutionary tree where arrogant, self righteous humans split off, replete with their opposable thumbs stuck up their pompous asses. There were several interesting observations he shared. The first thing that piqued my interest was that virtually all apes, and several monkeys, and elephants recognize themselves in the mirror, and they all, when looking in a mirror, examine the insides of their mouths. Humans, on the other hand, might check the whiteness if their teeth, or pick out random food particles stuck therein, but they seldom open their mouths wide enough to discover the gobs of shit about to spew forth. Apparently, some time after the split, when the bipedal human found a wider wonderland to explore, his brain simultaneously devolved to the point that he thought his beliefs and opinions had some merit to others of the species. This is known, to all animal behaviorists, as 'the first mistake'. Unfortunately for us humans, the bonobo ran off into the forest at this point, and kept their fabulous, peacekeeping sexual tactics hidden from man, likely thinking that they would pass the taller, more stupid human in the evolutionary 100-yard dash.

But Professor de Waal really knocked my socks off with a later observation. All primates, in fact all creatures, fight. Over food, over mating, over territory they scratch and claw and bite but at least among the primates, they reconcile within about ten minutes. Whats more, even among the rhesus monkey, a particularly aggressive little fuck that takes longer to reconcile, it was shown experimentally that they could learn to reconcile more quickly from the examples of more peaceable monkeys, and retain that quicker reconciliation when denied those exemplar, peaceful stump-tailed monks as company. I would like to believe that it is obvious where I am heading with this, but alas, I am too jaded and too smart to bipedal down that road. Lest you think that I believe that every human should be handcuffed to a stump-tailed macaque, let me set the record straight. Since humans are capable of holding a grudge for millenia, they earn the gold medal for most aggressive and stupid creature on the fucking planet. It would be pointless to delineate the words and attitudes we use to perpetualize our grudges. I would only cite one example of how our beliefs extend our grudges. Arab or semite leads to camel jockey and diaper head, until muslim alone becomes slanderous, and grudge becomes septic and deadly. Conversely, American becomes heathen becomes invader and devil (ok, all that is true) becomes infidel and grudge becomes jihad. As a species, we have chosen fight over reconciliation, and adorned it with the poison of make-believe moral and religious indignation. When did we decide to abandon the evolutionary motorcade? Flat tire?

On a more positive note, spring has definitely sprung here in Oregon. Torrential downpours foreshadow blue skies, and the resplendent sun nourishes all the possibilities, even love. Love blooms in spring like onion shoots and daffodils when the soil moistens and loosens. And as the dark sleep of winter melts away in solar heat, moles tunnel to the warmth, and leave piles of living dirt on the lawn. Love, while it does not hibernate, becomes shrouded in winter, in a cloak of stubborn reticence that we all weave. When spring arrives, however, even the psychotics shed their protective layers, and waltz into simple silly, naked. I like to think that I am always naked, but the intangible fibers that weave our cloaks often sew and knot despite our best intentions. "Strip", the pirate used to say, and she was right, as exfoliate, denude, peel are all words that apply to spring's awakening, hidden from us is the new growth. Smiles reveal from the winter scowl, and green, the color of go, emerges
from the white of winter. Love is rediscovered in spring, floating towards us, like the giggle-bubbles blown by children from looking glass soap. It cleanses us to renewal, and floats on the popping warm breezes. We only need to let it wash us. And yes, dear readers, I am naked and clean, chasing her bubbles with every newly discovered kiss, enlivened with her scent and touch, opened by the sound of her voice, and giggling in every smile she offers.

Yes, I know that many of you believe that spring is a time of resurrection, but it is not. It is a time for reconciliation. It is time to examine that ugly tapestry you've woven. There may be such a thing as rebirth, and while I don't believe it, I do know that it will only come after you're dead. Try to remember that you are alive, and only while you're alive is it possible to reconcile your ugliness with your beauty; only now is it possible to weave a better cloth.

I am in love...passionately, drunkenly, rabidly. My spring is ready for changes for the better. I love every Muslim, every Jew,  every Catholic, every Protestant, every Hindu, every Zoroastrian, every gay man, every lesbian, every everyone. But right now, what I love most is her, with all that she is, all that she may become, all that we may become. It is not about being reborn. It is about becoming.
Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy anything you believe in...but happy.

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