Sunday, August 28, 2011

A response to yesterday's post on Jack Layton's funeral...

Here is a letter that I received from my dear pal, Bob Stark, today. We've been friends since God wore shorts and he is one who lurks around here without commenting. So, I'm outing him. He is a fabulous writer - both in rants such as this and in his lovely songs...
I asked permission but haven't heard yet - I'll put it here and if he REALLY objects I'll take it out! Tomorrow, stay tuned as we go back to regular programming - A Month of Fridays.
'There's something happening here...what it is ain't exactly clear...' Buffalo Springfield
Hi Banan,

Not sure if something stirred the body politic, or something deeper, beyond yesterday, as your blog note suggests but I, for one, celebrated the fact that, albeit in death and ceremony, the ideals that I have believed in all my life were expressed in 'royal' and 'universal' fashion - my 'tribe' assembled and given centre stage.... to see my heroes (Stephen Lewis) not duck or cringe - as we so often have to do, are forced to do - but display pride of purpose.... when the traditional 'majority', the power elite of liberals and conservatives, were in the minority and held no microphone..... and thus could not direct the circus.
When Lewis spoke of social democracy, it rang not only true but received its long deserved standing ovation.... and the dumbfounded conservative members in attendance could do nothing but sit there and look like the fools they have been and continue to be. (Credit to Harper for mounting this celebration and, he, alone among his silly servants, stood and applauded w/o hesitation.... in perhaps a moment of complete incongruity, safe for when he sang "Imagine" at his Christmas Party... but stand he did.)
All over the world we are seeing the traditional elite either crumbling or struggling thru financial and/or military means to hold onto their power and control. People are fighting and/or finding ways to say 'enough is enough'! We'll have to wait and see how Jack's death will transform our own country if at all.
In any case, I did say to a friend of mine that perhaps.... perhaps..... Jack may become a beacon of light, not unlike Terry Fox... a symbol of the fighter against all odds, the mythic hero, the tragic hero who must die in order for his life to truly begin and reach or point to his goal....with both, in a sense, on one leg, Fox with his artificial leg, Layton with that cane - which became so much more than a walking support, hobbling onward, at risk to their own safety/health.... for the love of people and their country. Powerful stuff. That will happen if it is meant to be, i.e. if it evolves naturally from the ashes. It will fail if we manufacture it.
There was a genuine outpouring of grief at Jack's passing. The country learned more than they knew about the man and his incredible life. A lot of great men/women in history are more successful as 'spiritual' leaders than political ones. Not to draw any comparison here - cause that would be foolish hyperbole - but I think of Gandhi, who was a complete failure as a politician and even, at times, as a social activist.
Finally I liked the minister's reference to us as more spirits coming into bodies and leaving for further adventures than bodies living on earth developing our spirits. The Atheist part of me still has struggles with all that 'after-life' spirit rising stuff.... there could well be a 'god' and yet no after-life, eternity, nirvana for us plebeian human beings.
Anyways, here's a link to a Globe article that touches on the same theme....
Keep the faith...
Love, Heck xo
PS off to read today's entry!


Clarissa Draper said...

It's a great letter to a great friend.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful letter,


sue said...

I'm so glad Bob hasn't asked you to pull this piece. I was away when Jack died, but had been watching and reading bits and pieces with interest. Maybe there is a time of change happening, we sorely need some wisdom and integrity in politics and public life worldwide.