Summer of the Red Pill
I'm from New York, but lately I've been living in a New Orleans of the mind. The world and my place in it got washed away, just like that city was washed away when the levees broke. By returning to the garbage, to lay claim to it and then to clean it aside and turn it into gold, isn't so much a rebuilding as it is a rebirthing--fitting as "NOLA Rising" is one of the slogans of this burgeoning renaissance. It seemed the perfect place to take this stripped down, NAKED walking talking BLOOMING version of my former self on the road, so that I could practice letting it out--thru my pen and my smile and my dancing feet in my high-tops.
NOLA is the kind of place where charm and the ability to HANGOUT DEEPLY will see u thru on a chilly spring eve even if u dont have any money in yr pockets: I walked the streets for hours past porches with music streaming out of living rooms and bars and living rooms that might also have been bars and people sitting on the street who called out Hello! and I smiled and spoke with them a little while, about this and that, music and life and travel, telling them about my city of plastic and concrete tiers lit-up by neon vines, a 24 hour city, an aching, battered and bruised place like this one
(except with more pretension and more money and all the stresses and strains that money brings along with it...)
Later on I was alone again, having shook free from a few drunken stragglers who wanted to know if a tough girl like me carried a can of mace (I told them I didnt need to). I pulled my hoodie tight against the cold night air and crossed train tracks that cut thru a small green field as brilliant, unfamiliar stars lit up the sky over the levees.
Who am i to tell it? No one, that's for sure. Im like the Jewish peeps in "The 10 Commandments" who followed Moses and kept doubting him and their survival, despite the miraculous works he showed them. His staff had turned into a snake--plagues and other disasters had struck the Egyptians, just as had predicted. But even after all of that, it's still human nature to develop doubt in the face of adversity. There's that tremendous scene when Moses and his people are run up to the shores of the raging Red Sea, with Pharaoh's army closing in behind them. Charlton Heston has a killer expression on his face when he turns from the sea to face their doubts. He half looks like he's going to laugh, because to him it's undeniable--time and time again, he tells them, you've seen the power of God, but still you don't believe!
It's shocking when I consider the sheer NUMBER of times over the past couple of years that I've had the audacity to push God away despite something completely godlike having happened. Even if something had warmed and strengthened my heart and helped me to wake up, I still resisted it CHANGING the way I lived my life.
In those times I'm like Neo when he first hears about the Matrix--he doesn't want it to be the case, despite all of the questions that its existence answers, he can barely handle the truth and wishes for it to go away.
The good news is that there is another part of Neo that only wants truth--not illusion. Part of what makes him The One is that he was not too emotionally invested in the superficial things of this world. He was already suspicious of people and systems and the government. He was hungry for the next level--yearning to wake up and be free.
This summer will see many Neos--from many places all around the world. Most of them will be young, but there is no age limit...
Everyone is invited to help turn the garbage into gold.