It is difficult to be vulnerable.
To allow yourself to place your heart on the chopping block and take the risk that the person you are showing it to will not drive a knife through it and walk away, laughing.
It is also very easy to stab someone through the heart this way, especially once it has been done to you.
For much of my life was the well armored clown. The man who made you laugh, kept you at ease, kept you amused, anything to keep you from looking too closely at me, close enough to see the flaws, the broken pieces, the scars, the still seeping wounds and the fear…
I am a master magician. I am flawless in my misdirection, I can conjure dragons and peonies from the very air if it keeps you from noticing my pain.
I have also become a master surgeon, I have grown quite skillful at taking my butchered heart and binding it back together with staples, wire and butcher’s twine. In my romantic’s mind, I like to think of the Japanese custom of repairing broken pottery with gold, thus making the flaws beautiful and so I hope that my jigsaw heart has been made more beautiful because of its suffering, but I am not sure.
My journey over the last year or so has been profound. It has altered me more than any other path I have followed in my life. More than the years studying Zen, more than my life as a martial artist, a practicing pagan or a poet and author. In the last year I have come at last to the big reveal and though I am far from the end of this road, I can finally understand the beauty of my Frankenstein heart.
In this era of social media, much of the world has found a home for their hate, their anger, their frustrations, it is seemingly a world with no consequences. I do not like to believe that it is human nature to be hateful, to mock those different from you, to belittle others for their character, but there is so much of it to be seen that it must be true, right?
I don’t think so.
As it has always been, the most insecure, angry and hateful are the ones who are the most willing to be loud, to scream their opinions from the parapets and to force change through fear of reprisals. But beneath that blackened surface lies a whole world of beautiful people. Ones who love with all they have, support others with every fiber of themselves and care for even the most misunderstood.
We notice the monsters more because they are the ones that make our hearts hurt. We scroll through our timelines, we dial through our radio stations, we flip through our newspapers and we almost instinctively find the things that make us believe that the world that we know and love is coming to an end.
This is not just about this election and inauguration. This isn’t about any political stance, this is about the spirit of mankind.
I do not believe that everyone can be saved.
There, I have said it.
Humans are flawed, like any other organism, but unlike most of the others, we do not have a natural culling process that weeds out the ones that disrupt the balance of nature, the ones that keep it from being all that it can be.
Now, I know, some of you that have been reading me for years are beginning to think, “Ah, there is the old bloodthirsty bastard I remember, about to call for a killing.”
Sorry to disappoint you, but no.
Here is today’s metaphor. We are on a gigantic sinking ship, but some of us have found a raft, a huge one that looks like life and have climbed aboard.
It is now our job to look around.
Here is what you will see.
There will be the loudest ones, the ones screaming about how faulty the ship was, and how weak we are for climbing on board the raft instead of floating around waiting for god or the government to save us. They will blame the ocean for stealing their ship. They will claim that it sank because we are not Christian, or because we are sexually experimental, or because we don’t see skin color in our judgements. They will scream for attention and as they scream, the ocean will rush in and one by one, begin to take them down.
Then there will be those who are just floating, not even noticing that the boat has gone down, they will be glued to their devices, to their stock portfolios, they will only notice that the world has changed when they go to buy themselves something to make themselves feel more complete and discover that they died long ago.
Lastly, there will be the important ones. The ones with the desperate tears streaming from their eyes, the ones looking at us unsure if they can trust us, the ones that have been whipped, wounded or sure that they are about to be whipped or wounded. The scared, creative, solitary, introverted people with hearts so bright that you can see them even below the surface.
Save every last one of them.
Let the rest go.
It is for the best.
Now is a time for bravery.
Look around, you know that one friend or family member who cannot change or be reasoned with, that one person who lives for the celebration of their hate and bigotry.
Call out to them, once.
Tell them that there is room on your raft.
If they refuse, then turn away and look for someone else.
Let them go.
It may seem cruel but now is no time for tilting at windmills, now is a time for burning bridges so that we can use the light from that fire to see the road ahead.
We can burn them, because we built them and can do it again.
Come onto my raft, there is plenty of room within the sound of my Frankenstein heart…
Take care of each other.