Nov 03, 2009
I have thought of this question for a long time. Right now I am listening to the soundtrack of "Koyaanisqatsi", a film directed by the film maker Godfrey Reggio who had originally been a monk. The music is by the composer Philip Glass (whom I briefly met in person once with the poet Allen Ginsburg in 1991 when they were performing together). It is an experimental film consisting of slow motion and time lapse photography commenting on this concept. The photo was one I took in time lapse photography a couple of decades ago inspired by the fillm.
The title of the film is the literal translation of the Hopi words for life out of balance. I thought of that term then seeing people race off to work headed to Wall Street on the local train in the early morning (while I headed to school on my bike) at the time and somehow lose track of who they were. One sees as there is technological progress there often isn't societal progress and we lose track of our humanity. I went to vote today and with my physical disability having advanced to this point I could hardly speak and some of the people there were joking a bit, not knowing that I have a communication disorder from my physical disability. On the way back I saw a homeless man who lives in my neighborhood. Some people laugh at him. Some people are frightened by him. Some people occassionally give him money. But no one thinks to help him find a place to live or concrete support or treatment (which he is in need of). I thought of this myself a few months back having fallen down from a myoclonic spasm when I was in the city (with a home attendant ignoring me and talking on the cell phone, that is not usual, most are good people). Everyone walked around me. Some people were frightened. Some people were laughing. I had found myself in the same position. People have in a sense lost track of their humanity. I know that I have recieved letters of affirmative suppport and understanding from researchers into new treatment modalities (who have gained an understanding from my recovery from them) that will not cause my physical disability (as well as help for it to be treated). So I no longer believe it to be the powers that be. I believe the capacity is withim us to think of ourselves and our place in life first and not think of others who are less fortunate and whom within a moment we could easily change places with. And it is within our capacity to change that and reach out to others. But the more we don't question our life, if we have taken the right path and who we are, the more we are headed in the wrong direction..