I recently changed digital platforms, mostly to post poetry for the Amaryllis Recordings label, where I have been trying to share poetry and music in the world. I’ve put other voices in front of my own, and use my poetry to try and help build a new way for all of us to communicate. I’ve always been afraid of twitter. I thought it would be a place of trolling and harmful speech, which it can be, but I was also suprised by how much I learned. Following a hashtag I found in a side bar showed me so much injustice and hurt in the Al Aqsa Mosque confrontation, and as I scrolled through the site, found so many other violent atrocities happening all over the world, and I had to ask myself, is what I’m doing enough?
Thinking further, I remember a vow I took in the early 2000s stemming from a book by a Christian saint, I’m not sure any more about the source, but the approach said for contemplation, you should “not invite disquiet” and that meant a withdrawl from current affairs. Yet I still tried to address violence through my visual art, creating generative criticism, inviting disgust and outrage, just to examine one thing, the recoil from injustice itself. I never made that clear in any writing or anything else I did. It was a simple vow, and it carried me through so many difficult moments.
Something else happens when you approach things this way. Looking at the twitter feed, it became not about one thing, but about thousands, and so much of it was based around religous and ethnic intolerance. It seems almost ineffectual to demand simple tolerance, and cries out for understanding. The understanding that can only come from listening, and when needed, share that sound with others, wether it is a human cry, a poem, a letter, anything within my ability to do. Yet what is the common root of all of this suffering? I think it’s understanding differences. We are all different, all the same, we are all diamonds, mirrors in the light, reflecting each other, becoming one, and hopefully that’s something I can remember, and yet it’s inescapable, that I realized this through technology, the work of designers and engineers, who are giving us spaces for our voices, and I recoginize that. Thank you for this twitter. I can see this because I’m part of a generation, the last, that remembers the difference between the world without the internet, and the world with. I take none of this for granted, and it’s bringing so many voices together. I’m listening.