Sunday, April 5, 2009

Birth, Death, Love, and Rachmaninoff

Hi World Family,
Falcon, here. This is one of the more challenging blog posts I have ever written. It has happiness, death, and music… and all of these must be included in the events of this weekend past. Let’s start with the good stuff.

Angus of the Tribal Rock group BROTHER along with his lovely wife welcome the arrival of their son, Asa to the breathing world. He is fantastic and all is well. Falcon and Dove are thrilled that there is another tribal rocker in the world and wish them and all the members of the band well. We hope to see them this summer on the road, and we thank them for sharing their joyous news with our family. We are all One. It is nice to hear of more beautiful voices gracing our world. It is what makes reporting the next few things more focused, but not any easier.

By now, any of you who have paid any even remote attention to the television, radio or Internet news know what happened here in Pittsburgh yesterday morning. There was yet another mass shooting (yes, there is now a category for this, any time more than three individuals are shot in a single incident) in this country, and this time, in Falcon and Dove’s own proverbial back yard. This involved the injury and death of 5 police officers: 3 dead, 2 injured. A young man believed that his life no longer had any importance and meaning, and texted his friend telling him that he ‘would die today’. He didn’t, but three other fine men did. Two officers, answering a domestic call were shot in the head by the frustrated and fearful young man, and when a third officer, off the clock and on his way home in the very same neighborhood, heard the call on the radio and arrived to help, only to suffer the same fate. There were 100 shots at a time at three points during the morning ordeal, and it was so severe some neighbors were evacuated while the SWAT teams moved in to secure the perimeter so that the officers injured and killed could be attended to by EMS. It was that bad. As this awful story played out live on television, my thoughts went to the families and friends of these officers and how devastated they would be when the names were revealed. Everyone was on pins and needles for much of the day, and then at three, the young Mayor Luke Ravenstal had the sad duty of revealing to the world who was lost, who survived, and the particulars of what had happened. Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper gave a detailed report of what occurred. It just saddened us all.

Their names are as follows: Eric Kelly, a 14-year veteran of the force; Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo III, both of the Pittsburgh Police since 2007. These men take on the responsibility along with others in police, fire, EMS, etc. of protecting our communities every day. They know a day may come when they are required to make the ultimate sacrifice for their communities, and yet, they still go to work every day. Yesterday, April 4, a lovely spring day in Pittsburgh was the last morning these three men got to say hello to their friends and families, talk about the Pirates spring training coming to an end, and discuss the Pens chances for the playoffs. They will not get to hug one more friend or their children; no more kisses in the kitchen or at the front door. We expect that there are many scenarios that may take the life of a police officer, fire fighter, or other public servant on any given day. The following scenario was completely unnecessary and could have been avoided. A clearly disturbed young man who had a history of violent incidents and unbalanced behavior had a house full of loaded guns with his mom hiding in the basement, believed that his guns might be taken away, and planned to go out with a show of force. These men did nothing but show up at the door on a domestic call, and got shot in the head.

This young guy had a machine gun for ‘recreational purposes’. He committed his crimes with an AK-47, a rifle, a handgun, and more. Although he was injured, he did survive…but his life is over. He will be in jail forever.

Falcon feels the need to vent about this: Since Venus Retrograde (check our previous post warning that this period, according to our Native calendar could pose difficulty for those on the brink of poor decision making), there have been nearly 100 people killed in mass shootings. Reasons vary from loss of job to loss of lucidity. One thing must be mentioned: they all involve guns.

Let’s be clear; we know guns don’t shoot themselves off, and the practical approach is to address the problems being faced by those on the edge of reason and make sure that they have the proper counseling and treatment. That is clearly not being done, and one reason may be that many of these challenged individuals are in family and friend structures completely incapable of recognizing that those in question are not well. The family structure is not well, and that didn’t start yesterday. These are long term unrecognized or denied problems and this must change. One more thing, though: I don’t hunt with an automatic weapon. Needing one to sneak up on a deer seems completely unnecessary to me. My bow and arrow have never accidentally ‘gone off’ and hurt or killed somebody.
I like the idea of being defended, and my best defense is between my ears. Weapons are the first choice of the desperate and the depraved. Sensible, reasonable people try to reason before they resort to violence. Automatic weapons in the hands of the disturbed seems to happen all too frequently.

Okay, so Falcon always tried to present solutions. Here are a couple of suggestions. First of all, physicians, clergy, teachers, professors, social club members, organizations, friends and family members MUST get involved with getting these people the help they need. If you see a problem, say SOMETHING to SOMEBODY! Yes, your observation may be the important one that gets this person the help they need. Don’t allow fear to be your ‘mind killer’ as Herbert Frank would have said.

One more thing: where is the love? What has happened to ‘love they neighbor, as thyself?!” As thy self…love your self! LOVE FIRST! Give your friends and neighbors a hug, or if you can’t, just let them know that they are not alone. A kind word may be the difference between a smile and more receptivity to their own self worth, or despair and an unfocused spiral into the depths of the unrecoverable.

Just for the record: you are not your job. It’s a job. You can get another one. Volunteer somewhere until you do get another job. Who knows? You may meet someone with a job for you out there while you are giving to others. A job doesn’t define your self worth. It never did, it never will. You are so much more than what you do. You are worthy of love even if you don’t have a job to identify yourself by. You are loved, even if you don’t hear people say so. You would be missed if you were gone. You have made significant contributions to the world in every small act of kindness that you do. Do not despair. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and no, that is not an oncoming train. It is the light of love and understanding. It is the light of your own heart, shining back at you. Just look up; you’ll see it.

Yes, and Rachmaninoff. Falcon attended the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s performance this weekend, and it was magnificent. Serge’s Symphony Number One was performed here this weekend for the first time, ever by the PSO. The performance on Saturday night was dedicated to the police officers who were injured or killed in the incident in the Stanton Heights area of the city.

Rach was WAY ahead of his time. He knew that maybe all of his works wouldn’t be accepted right away, and this particular piece wasn’t well received initially, but now it is clear that his influences were nearly intuitive to what was to come not only in classical music, but it the forms of music that as of yet had no name. Here’s my point: he would probably be surprised that his first symphony was dedicated to some local heroes who lost their lives in the course of their noble occupations. He would be humbled, I would think. Imagine if he had never written that piece? How different would today be? It’s the same with each of you.

Value who you are and what you bring to the proverbial table each day. You never know what will leave a lasting impression of inspiration and innovation to future co-workers, friends, children, family members, and the community at large. Never doubt that you are sacred. Love yourself most fiercely. Never doubt that you are loved. Need inspiration? Pull out this blog any time you want. Better yet…write your own.

With much love,
Peace Brothers and Sisters,
Falcon and Dove

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