In the United States, in much of the world that has long followed its lead, life is about surfaces: superficials carried to extremes of glamour like a thick and heavy layer of makeup; makeup that highlights, changes, and masks what lies beneath it. Glamour not only hides reality, it denies it. It seduces and lies and makes it seem that it is what matters most. Glamour distracts.
We have learned not to look deeper. We have forgotten the need.
But there are calmer cultures, older cultures that live lives more full, more dimensioned. They live with their own depths, knowing that besides the uppermost, there are layers like the ocean: the playful shallows of the shore; the quiet beauties and wonders that inhabit the zone of decreasing light; the profound and total darkness of the deeps that harbor monsters… and still, wonders.
There are gardens in their cities, there is art and music in their streets, and people stop to take them in, to appreciate, to feed their own souls. Cities are not all about pavement and profit-seeking. Of course those things are there, too, but they are not alone. The superficials are there, shining and flashing in the breeze, but they are grounded in the reality of the wholeness of all the layers. Not everyone thinks about it, but they live with it always in the background, always on some level, aware.
There are the powerful who wield the mop and broom, who chop the wood, carry the water…
There are the wealthy who finance support for the weak in body, in mind, in resource…
The strong in the superficials also have inner, deeper strengths that make them more whole human beings. Glamour does what it does, but the blinding seduction, the total distraction fails, because the whole human being knows what things are really worth, and recognizes, distinguishes between the real and the false.
Comments and conversation are welcome.