Sunday, June 28, 2009

Revolution Revelation-Lifting the Veil

This sweltering heat wave puts my head in a simmer and my thoughts bubble against the hard edge of the world. Summer has hit at last, the tomatoes will finally redden and the gardenias are popping with perfumed abandon in the lusty atmosphere. But the tender greens are scorching, the nasturtiums are crisply brown on their edges and our skin is burning beneath the SPF 30 sunblock. We're all wilted, housebound and draped over the furniture, panting and out of production. The face of global warming emerges. The House just passed the Climate Bill but will the Senate rise to the occasion? And is it enough and in time? So many "chaos points" arising. Now or never moments in history when we collectively decide, will we let it break down or will we find a breakthrough. Beneath the thin flashy veneer of sensationalistic news stories, scandal and celebrity, are the real cruxes and crossroads. The ACESA Clean Energy bill. The rare chance to have real insurance of health care in America (H.R. 676) and most riveting of all, the revolution taking place in Iran. I've been following closely the widening gyre of dissent that began when the election in Iran went sour. Ahmadinejad's "landslide victory" was declared before the polls closed and the "official" numbers were beyond belief. It was the proverbial straw hitting the camel's back. For Iranians living for decades with a government that professed "the participation of the entire people in determining their political, economic, social and cultural destiny" (article 3.8 of the Iranian constitution) and yet voting meant choosing one of a handful of candidates selected by the Supreme Leader, the country's religious authority. It must have felt like a mask finally being torn away when the government began beating old people in the street and shooting young women through the heart. People surged in protest and outrage at the unequivocal revelation that their vote was an empty exercise and their "democracy" a sham. After weeks of relentless demonstrations in the streets of the larger cities and despite a brutal and bloody crackdown on the "rioters", an air of determination persists. There is no turning back. Something's cracked, fallen away, a veil lifted, a sense that the wheel is turning. 70 percent of Iran's population is under the age of 30, most of them urban dwellers. A demographic that is most definitely tuned to the future and they want change.

(It has been illuminating seeing the photos and videos leaking out of the cracks in the communication lockdown. I saw a country I didn't recognize. A fresh impression of "the other" that exposed fragile threads of connection and kinship with these Muslim brothers and sisters caught up in this human drama. My thoughts are with them.)

Painting: Eye of Khaos-A New Green World by moi. Painted while the economy was crashing earlier this year.