Ringing Bell

“As bad as that horrific recent scandal was with the misappropriation of public funds in Bell, the citizens there and others are being ripped off to a far greater ugly tune on an ongoing basis, and it’s not being talked about nationwide in any meaningful way.” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges, once he learned that I would post this.

“Mantegna’s Lamentation of Christ reminds me of the humanity of Guevara in that photo of his dead body laid out in the Bolivian laundry room. And love of humanity manifested while we are all alive must be the order of the day, not the way which envelops us all, all for one and none for all. O bailan todos o no baile nadie. That originated with the 60s Uruguayan Tupamaros as a threat. When I say it these days I am bursting with love.” — the author, lecturing some of his home schooled teenage charges late last night (7/13/14)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMDCaKcceKM [I love talking and walking history.]

Ringing Bell
by ROx

It’s more than interesting to come across http://www.cityofbell.org/?navid=7 following my talk with Mayor Valencia today. I sense serendipity kicking in when I consider that I only recently posted http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1737.

And when I came across http://www.bellhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=184715&type=d&pREC_ ID=384685 with its Coming Soon message I began to hear a ringing bell, a call of sorts, as I had just been toying with ideas related to securing parent participation in the lives of Bell youngsters.

The dated 2012-2013 reference at http://www.bellhs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=192888&type=d (and other school website aspects) bothered me a bit, but the lack of scheduled events at http://www.cityofbell.org/?NavID=20 intrigued me more. I mean, all of the constructive criticism I could offer up respecting the online presence for Bell High School is one thing. The lack of scheduled community activity for the entire summer, however, is of a whole different order. That rings a special bell within me.

Granted, I’m really operating from a great deal of ignorance. I know virtually nothing of the nooks and crannies of Bell, its mundane nuts and bolts a mystery to me. But I’m so eager to jump into the participatory pool that I’m presumptuously wanting to put passing thoughts on the table immediately. So… here I am ringing a bell for Mayor Valencia, hoping he’ll ring back, as promised, sooner rather than later.


I just can’t resist a pun. Can’t restrain my sense of childlike fun sometimes.

But, seriously, I’m bubbling over with beautiful ideas for Bell from a distance. Really sweet notions I can taste. Lots of them, some which stand to stir up the creative juices of the community in unprecedented fashion.

I started out wanting to help vis-à-vis the immigrant children who Mayor Valencia has been trying to support. Then I tuned into his wonderful character. Then I learned a bit about the community, including the local high school, and watched some footage of residents addressing the city’s recent scandal. I was impressed in a deeply positive way by so much ‘cross the board that I began to really want to be on board with Mayor Valencia and his colleagues and the people he serves post haste.

I have no time to waste. I certainly will not be wasting the heartbeats of anyone else.

But when I say that I have no time to waste I ring a bell. I ring a bell for one and all capable of hearing the sound of silence which resides at the very core of Emily Dickinson’s “Heft/Of Cathedral Tunes” from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/theres-certain-slant-light-258. I touch upon something very serious. I play with a vibration that’s always been within me.

When I was not quite eight-years-old I had the good fortune of being in the presence of the great poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Talk about vibrations.

Among other lines which I will never forget, she recited (from her Renascence)

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
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

I want to volunteer for Bell. But I want to let the sound of God shine through in the process. Which is not at all like the vibrations which come from being on bended knee bleating out bootless cries to self-serving career politicians.

I want to — while helping residents with mundane matters — have the chance to help people understand the grand challenge before us as citizens of this country. The need to rise above self-serving focus, and join in solidarity along fresh lines, embrace untried sights.

In short, I hear the sound of Rilke’s injunction in the face of our horrid momentum:

“You must change your life.”

It is very loud, frighteningly deep.


Now that I’ve probably frightened my audience away with my ultra-serious tone, perhaps I should conclude with something along the lines of that childlike character I invoked above… in the hope that I can salvage a few readers.

All that I post is a kind of a love song. Each time I try to touch another person these days, try to break through the ever-increasing atomized barriers which are so in vogue, proliferating so, I sing as personally as I can, hoping that my love will hit the heart.

The ringing of the bell I speak of is like, then, a banging on the ear… as per what the loveable Waterboys beat about in the pure fun sounds directly below. It’s something I’ve been engaged in over the last ten years or so, targeting well over 12,000 concerned citizens (and others), attempting to find a basis for moving in solidarity with them… offering up my heart, head and soul and everything but my first born to have a shot at that solidarity, open to where our bonding — based on our love for others — would bring us. So… on that note, maybe I can just end with a link to the Waterboys’ beatitude.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+bang+on+the+ear+waterboys&form =VIRE1&first=1#view=detail&mid=4C29B47A50B4533948A14C29B47A50B4533948A 1

Addendum: I’d love for someone in Bell to tell me about any footage they know of which captures the innocence of Latino youth… along the line of the Appalachian line dancing youngsters shown in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES4JdPkWsJE. In fact, I’d like to get with the citizens of Bell respecting Latino music in general… for I see it as being at the core of the visceral approach to politics I touch upon in the previous post.

This is all dedicated to ringing a bell which has not been rung very often.


children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
— from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/anyone-lived-pretty-how-town