You May Think I’m Lying But I’m Standing

davinci1How do I look?

Pretty good right? You may think I’m lying but I’m actually standing. You would be right if you said you thought I was lying. I feel like lying sometimes I really do. Blame it on my age. But I’m actually standing. I’ll always be standing. For all intents and purposes you can pretty much consider I’ll be standing forever. Even at those times when I feel like I’m lying. Why is that you ask? Because I’m a new paradigm.

You know how sometimes you feel so bad, because you can’t give the world what it wants: the cure to cancer or unlimited food supplies or tickets to a sold out show or you somehow feel you’ve offended people because they thought they should be able to buy tickets to the sold out show (they have the money, it’s not a matter of money) or they’re hungry and you’re out of Twinkies or they have a disease that has no name so it has no cure, if they could just name it, someone could endow a hospital and in 100 years we’d have a cure, but they have no name, they just hurt and feel trapped in their own fundamental darkness; and it’s at times like these that I feel like I must be lying.  I feel like I’d rather just lie here. I feel like you might just as well all stampede right over my body. There’s a lot of angry, needy people who need something I can’t give them and so I think I’ll just lay my body down and, go ahead, break my bones, just trample me, if you think that will help you.

But then sometimes when I think I’m down, waiting for the stampede to begin, I remember Leonardo. And I feel that my trampled body, is …art.  I put my legs like this and my arms like this … hey not bad. Thanks Leonardo. And he drew me at the dawn of the Renaissance. And the Renaissance was a renaissance because mostly the zeitgeist changed. And it used to be that God was foremost in our minds, and all our painters painted pictures of God and Gods and superhuman creatures that really, they thought, ran the world. And Apollo and Venus and Zeus and everybody; and then just God (he’s got no name cause he’s the only one).

And then somehow that changed and Michaelangelo painted God touching Man’s finger and now Man was like ET, he had the power and now Man wasn’t a caveman anymore, now he was beautiful; so beautiful that Michaelangelo made love to him and Shakespeare made him in love and Man was so fucking great, it just makes you wanna cry. And so that’s how I feel most of the time. I feel like Man, I mean I feel fucking great.  But these mood swings are scary — passive/aggressive, manic/depressive, bipolar/expressive.

I mean Dostoevsky and end-of-the-world summer movies, and the newspaper headlines and the global warming and Kim Kardashian and Man sucks, Man really sucks and that’s reality. But the reality is, that reality is also what you make it and it can be a particle or a wave and you get to decide, and it can be the time you say it is or some other time, you get to decide, because the truth of the matter is that they’ve discovered, all those scientists and Buddhists and Eastern thinkers and Western spiritual types, that it’s about you. See DaVinci was right and Shakespeare and Michaelangelo and Einstien and …it’s really all about you.

But no man is an island, and so it’s like you at the center of the universe of you, but touching everybody else. No hermits, no DaVinci men by themselves. No. It’s 8 billion DaVinci men and women and children and snails and puppies and birds and bees. It’s about us, but it’s really about us. And so that’s a lot of hope. That’s very hopeful. I have hope. The real world is hopeful. As long as it’s YOUR real world not Bernie Madoff’s.

Some say the Apollo moon landing never happened, they created it in a TV studio. But my real world says it happened. Because my real world has the possibility of optimism. Where Man is fucking great. Because Einstein and his pals according to Quantum Physics say that a cat in a box you can’t see is in limbo, which contains the possibility that the cat is dead and also the possibility that the cat is alive. I get to decide if the cat in that box you can’t see is alive or dead. And in my box it’s always alive. It will always be alive.

So take that all you nay-sayers and all you people who make money by being naysayers because other people just love to go into their own dead real world and just love to watch movies about how dead the cat actually is and how frankly it’s not only dead but someone attached a little suicide bomb to its back, those people just need to grow up and become humans, real humans and decide that their world includes the word faith and the word hope.

And as soon as I can get the energy up to believe I’m still standing I will tell them all to their faces that the world they live in is small and narcissistic, with the only panorama being video games and that they have innoculated themselves against the very thing they need to nurture. They think it’s too square I guess, but I say it’s round. Round and beautiful. And they are at the center of it, like me, and they are beautiful and they don’t even know it. Why don’t they see that? The cat is not dead. Long live the cat. And I am going to tell them that. I may look like I’m lying here to you, but if you realize I’m a new paradigm, I’m THE new paradigm,  I’m actually standing.

The Spirit of ’13

The Spirit of 13

The Spirit of 13

     2013 should, if we’'re to follow superstition, be the unluckiest year in
the calendar. Americans have this superstitious thing about the number
thirteen. Ok. Maybe it'’s not an easy number to live with. You can'’t multiply
anything by anything and get thirteen. It’'s clearly not a number that most 
Americans want to get in bed with (there are no thirteenth floors in most hotels).

     On the other hand, of all the numbers in the world, American’s should
be absolutely bowing down to the number thirteen.  They should have special
holidays on the thirteenth of each month, wear thirteen-leaf clovers in
their lapels and spend the day with three extra prosthetic fingers and toes
trying to grasp the meaning of life.   That would, in fact, be more
productive than trying to understand what makes Lindsay Lohan tick.

     I submit to you that Americans don’'t know how to appreciate any more
(unless it’s capital). Maybe if they honored what they THINK is difficult,
they  would learn to appreciate what they have just a little bit more. Not
be just vaunting ambition that o’'erleaps the American Dream and falls on the
other side.
     Let'’s start with poor, discriminated against, abused and neglected
thirteen. I mean, how in the Audie Murphy hell did thirteen wayward colonies
rebel, fight and beat the mighty British empire?  We became thirteen
original states, against all odds creating a way of government that lasted a
good long time before it merged with Wal-Mart.

     You want to understand bad luck? Follow Lindsay, the mistress of bad
causes. Good luck? Stick with thirteen. How about the fact that there are
thirteen full moons every year! Thirteen diamonds on a rattlesnake’'s back!
Thirteen cards in a suit. And four times thirteen is that magic number
fifty-two!  Oh my god, it'’s the natural cycle of things—--fifty-two weeks in a
year, fifty-two stages of boddhisatva practice, fifty-two cards in a deck,
fifty-two men on a dead man’'s chest. Need I go on?

     Artist Archibald MacNeal Willard made a painting in 1875 commemorating
U.S. independence called the Spirit of ’'76. It should have been called the
Spirit of '’13. Willard fought on the Union side in the bloody carnage that
was the American Civil War. He endured locusts, gunfire, and bad medical
advice so that he could paint scenes from the war.  Inspired by a parade he
saw, he used his own father for the model of a white haired man leading a
spirited march in the center of the painting. There'’s a little drummer boy
to his right, direct from playing a one-night engagement for the baby Jesus,
and a man to his left playing the fife. Painted one year before this country's
centennial where it was displayed, it reflects an American can-do,
tough-it-out, soldier-on, never-say-die, pioneering, hang-in-there,
grin-and-bear-it spirit.

     I'’m telling you, you don'’t need a drum and fife to lead the parade. You
have thirteen.  No one should spend this precious year waiting for Godot or
for Congress to pass a bill. No one. The Spirit of ‘'13 is you change it.
Stop waiting around for the ball to drop. Like the “ball” could unleash your
potential. Are you kidding? It’'s a TV show gimmick!

     So pick up your recycled spackle bucket and some chop sticks and fall
in. Others will join you and the Spirit of ‘'13 will live. Pretty soon Rush
Limbaugh will be marching and Jackie Evancho. You can bend your Spirit
towards Rush and believe that the world is a dolby loud preview of coming
attractions of The End of The World, The Movie, with Arnold Schwartzenegger
as a hero with an uzi and scenes of wreckage and destruction from the minds
of adult screenwriters who miss their Tonka trucks, or you could sing opera
with Jackie. Your choice.

     The key is, keep marching. And 2013 will turn out just the way you
thought it would, 365 days later, based on that choice! It will shine like
the finest aria if you put your heart into it like a 13 year-old opera
singer, or it will go to “hell in a handbasket” as my father used to say in
his declining years, and nothing will be right. Your choice.

     It’'s the Spirit of '’13 and you lead the parade.