This poem was written during my freshman year of college. Occasionally, I go back - as many writers/poets do - to retread the literary ground we paved months, years, decades ago. I was flipping through some old journals and stumbled upon this one.
The gravity of this piece has changed for me since I wrote it. Back then it was about angst and coming of age and findingmyplaceness. Now, though, it's balance center has shifted. I understand this piece in a broader sense, taking it more for what it is at face value, rather than what I felt at the time.
Alone We Stand, now, tells the story of our individual selves fighting for our individual lives, our individual rights and liberties and privileges - staking ground on faith that it's possible to live in your own, personal Nirvana Americana - while trying to come together as a whole.
Community is a funny thing. We come together because we are all trying to make our lives better. As a group we decide how we get to live individually. Funny, that. So much of that kind of communal thought ends up washing over what we consider most precious.
It's ok to be complacent on civil rights, because nobody is lynching people in the dark pit of night. It's ok to quiet our voices on religious freedoms or environmental issues because we don't live in a military state. Our individual spark and fight can, at times and for our most important issues, get squished out why what the common good has decided is commonly good.
Needless to say, this poem gave me something to chew on today, and I thought I'd share it. Seemed apropos to the greater conversation at this time.
How do these ideas relate to our American community, and how do they relate to our pagan community? (A community of solitary practitioners. Oxymoronic or right on the money?)
Love and Lyte,
Alone We Stand
In groups of
2 and 3 we go
at the world
and wage our wars
of oneness with the universe
(the very universe!)
and we celebrate our triumphs
and we console one another
on our losses
we forget what it was like
to go at the world
and wage the war