Feather Before the Face

Feather Before the Face
by Oxman [Contact at aptosnews@gmail.com]

This is dedicated to In the Absence of the Sacred by Jerry Mander and The Face of God by Roger Scruton, both of which I plagiarize from regularly these days, even though they drive me nuts on what they put out there sometimes.. It’s an unedited first draft, like most of my entries these days.

“The first black combat pilot and decorated World War I veteran, Eugene Bullard was knocked to the ground and beaten by the angry white mob which included white members of state and local law enforcement. The beating was captured on film and can be seen in the 1970s documentary The Tallest Tree in Our Forest and the Oscar winning Sidney Poitier narrated documentary Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist. Despite recorded evidence of the beating, no one was ever prosecuted for the assault. Graphic photos of Eugene Bullard being beaten by two policeman, a state trooper and concert-goer were later published in Susan Robeson’s pictorial biography of her grandfather, The Whole World in His Hands: a Pictorial Biography of Paul Robeson.” — from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peekskill_Riots

I was there. I watched that horror, not quite seven-years-old. [Pause.] And I’m still there.

In between, I lived in Osaka, Japan. Studied Asian Dramatic Art for years before I left.

In traditional Japanese society, whose balletic contours have been immortalized in prints and plays, we see people treating each other in a very special way. A reserved way. Each person on the Noh stage is standing in a sacred space: the space consecrated to the I. And the eyes burn in that space like the lamp on an altar, even when they burn behind a mask. The sanctity of the person is a human universal, and when we bow before the other, even when we reach out to shake a hand, we display our recognition that the space which one occupies cannot be violated, that a gesture of submission and acquiescence is needed, in order to acknowledge another’s sacred right to be present just there, where his/her body is.

For the same reason, many ways of attacking people are desecrations — negative acknowledgements of the sacred nature of the body. That is why Shakespeare, according to the great John McCabe (with whom I studied Sacred Theatre at New York University), in order to complete the desecration that is set in motion by Lear’s failure to see the true eye of love, brings the play to a turning point with the tearing out of Gloucester’s eyes. This violation of the temple of the body presages the final violation, which leaves Cordelia dead, her father holding a feather before her face, in the vain hope that the soul still breathes from it.

Chris Floyd’s http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/09/is-this-child-dead-enough-for-y ou/ opens the picture of a child. I know that child, even though I never knew him.

The language I am using here has a touch of the lyrical perhaps. I think that that can be traced to my visit to Edna St. Vincent Millay at her sacred Steepletop… around my eighth birthday, courtesy of my magical Uncle Max. Lucky me.

The Sacred Poet recited a few lines to me from her Sacred Renaissance, written when she was only about nineteen-years-old, during a sacred time in her life.

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,— 205
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.

In 1961, I attended Bullard’s burial. My sacred wife was born that year. She is the feather before my face. As is Naeemullah.

Perhaps someone will give me a sacred courtesy contact so that I can give them a peak at my sacred skills, the ones I very much want to apply to a sacred project which I have been working on for years. [Pause.] I’d like to implement it now in sacred solidarity.

Concluding note: Someone, in response to my twelve-year-old pointing out a source of cancer in food, just said “Everything causes cancer.” He answered, “Everything does NOT cause cancer, and, besides, the proliferation of sources which do cause cancer is partly a function of people generalizing like you just did.” Ditto regarding other violence. And our looking the other way as we fund each day the violent way, letting the powers that be push their profane policies and practices with our tax money… doesn’t help, does it? [Pause.] Ever wonder why the Nuremberg principles will never be applied — as things stand — to American abominations no matter what? Put the feather to your face, please.

Note to myself and a select few
: I just glanced at http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/09/rice-fields-resound-with-songs- and-bombs/ — just this minute — and I plan to attempt contact with Nancy tonight. It’s great that she makes access easy. One of the great weights working against so-called concerned citizens that choose to make socially-conscious films or write activist articles or publish books pleading for change or shout out their original protest lyrics (and the like) is that they don’t — to put it mildly — encourage contact. That makes movement in solidarity more difficult, yes? Sacred heartbeats, our sacred hearts beat, beg for a new paradigm in solidarity. [Pause.] I have 1.