I recently penned this letter to author / activist adrienne maree brown. I’ve been reading her incredible book Emergent Strategy and it really got me thinking. I’m hoping to get a dialogue going to include in my forthcoming book on poetic living. Here’s my note:
Hey there adrienne maree brown!
Like you, I have had a fascinating life, and I’m a poet too. Despite our differences (I’m an 85-year-old family man), I believe our goals are the same – to think through alternative ways of empowering people, starting with the individual soul. I liked your book Emergent Strategy and your open minded welcome to critiques.
The State’s purposes always end up creating violence, often forming other similar statist-institutions that go along the same pathway. Rousseau’s social contract, which is inherently wrong, has deeply influenced our education system. I’m not into being overlong in the mostly useless normal responses to the demands of Politics and Governance. These demands are backed up by jail and death to those that refuse their calls, even when innocent, just trying to live their own sweet lives.
My voice speaks loudest for the individual independent conceptual genius who uses his/her energy for decentralization of and handcuffing of the State. This person would be able to call to action the best ideas to share and promote, thus attracting other soul-rich people toward a different, unprecedented control of our lawmakers. It makes sense that all political terms are limited, and local groups exert local knowledge in selecting their representatives. Finally (we hope), an even playing field! Only on this kind of field can the poetic vision endure. An example: as a physician, I saw how “healthcare for all” worked better in the past with county hospitals, where no one was neglected or put aside because they could not pay.
Like poetry, which asks for the best ideas with the best words in the best order, I believe that these topics can be a part of our “poetic life,” which imagines (emerges?) the best strategic ideas and actions. I have tried to set my life up this way and it is the subject of two of my books. My naturalist background informs Follow Your Dog, a collection of stories, meditations, and adventures following the call of nature. The book I’m working on now is all about poetic living, pondering, and play (these three p’s so important in life) – the title is still up in the air.
I like the unknown author’s statement, “Don’t think that one man can’t change the world. That is the only way it has ever been done!” A bit grandiose but I look at Winston Churchill. Without his enduring leadership it is likely that Britain and the US would have been in much worse shape before and after WWII. His choices were directly responsible for my own “golden era” upbringing in the middle 1/3 of 20th Century America, and after. An aside… Yes, this may have been my golden age, but it was also a killing spree in much of the rest of the world, with Hitler and Stalin and Mao pushing brutal deaths on many millions of their own citizens. We’ve seen these horrible scenes repeated, also in my lifetime, by “ethnic cleansing.” So, what’s an optimist to do? It’s a very big question.
OK, let’s go to the part of our humanity ruled by play and joy. This gives us an aura of the positive, helping us through the difficulty of watching the aura of the negative as politicians scream at each other, doing nothing about any of the real ethical/moral issues. In play, you are trusting and loving yourself.
I’d love to discuss some of these things with you. I could also send you my poem, “Truth and Beauty,” which is the best I know of on those important subjects, which I feel is one of the most important accomplishments of my life.