Monday, December 5, 2016

ON BENDED KNEE

Back in the early 80s, I wrote a story, in Captain America #292, where Cap (embodiment of the modern spirit of America) faced off against Black Crow (the embodiment of Native America). The battle reached its climax when Cap realized that violence would never end their conflict, which had roots going back hundreds of years; so he laid down his shield and bowed before Black Crow as a way for the New America to seek forgiveness for its sins against the First America. The pair then embraced and (in comic books, at least) a new day dawned for our country. (My plan was to eventually have Black Crow become Captain America, but that, sadly, never came to pass.)
What happened Sunday at Standing Rock, when a group of veterans, led by Wesley Clark, Jr, knelt before the native elders to ask their forgiveness for our nation's treatment of their people, reminded me of that old story—but, of course, so much more powerful and soul-shaking, and so vibrant with hope, because it's real. (You can see video of this incredible moment here.)
Captain America and Black Crow would be pleased.




Tuesday, November 15, 2016

UNCONQUERABLE AND IRRESISTIBLE

A quote from Ram Das keeps coming to mind as we enter this new chapter in the American story: “You may protest if you can love the person you are protesting against as much as you love yourself." I'm not that evolved, if only I was!, but it's certainly a worthy challenge, a goal worth aiming for. 
Some healthy, focused anger (and, yes, I believe you can be angry and remain rooted in love) can ground us in our personal power, give us the courage to speak truth to power; but hate consumes everyone and everything, leaving nothing in its wake but scorched earth and shattered hearts. As Buddha said: "Never in this world has hate ever cast out hate. Love alone wins over hate." 
We don't always see it mirrored in the Big Events—there's just too much noise, too much shouting and shaking of fists—but in our day to day lives, in our one-on-one interactions, love and compassion are the most vital, valuable and transformative qualities we can cultivate. And if the microcosm is the macrocosm, then every act of compassion and love, no matter how small, how seemingly insignificant, will echo out into the wider world.
One more quote, from Avatar Meher Baba: "Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response that, in itself, is the nature of love. True love is unconquerable and irresistible. It goes on gathering power and spreading itself until eventually it transforms everyone it touches."
Even if that's not true—I believe it is, but even if it's not—I would rather live my life choosing love over hate, compassion over division. Even if it's just a dream—what a beautiful dream it is. 
There are spiritual traditions that say the entire universe is a dream. If that's so, then perhaps a collective dream of love can actually transmute (so-called) reality and change the world for the better. 
Worth a try, isn't it?


©copyright 2016 J.M. DeMatteis

Friday, November 11, 2016

DETOX

Just finished a post-election detox with two days off social media and a twenty-four hour news fast. A powerful way to remember that there is a truer, deeper reality than the one the media feeds us on a daily basis. There is something far more beautiful, and far more transformative, hidden beneath the skin of the world; and, by grounding ourselves in that deeper reality, we are better equipped to deal with the dance of illusion that we so often take to be reality.
I need to make this part of my regular regime.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

NOT WE, BUT ONE

Now, more than ever, we owe it to ourselves, to our families, to our world, to seek, and nurture, the light that unites us all.  As Avatar Meher Baba said, "You and I are not we, but One."  It may be hard to find that light right now; but I believe, to the bottom of my soul, that it's there.

And, with that, I'm taking a social media vacation for a few days.


Friday, October 14, 2016

HYPE FROM THE HEART

The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story has turned into one of the most creatively satisfying, and joyful, projects of my career.  It's hard to break through the wall of Big Two Superheroes with personal projects like this, so I hope folks that have enjoyed my work (especially books like Moonshadow and Abadazad) will give Augusta a chance.  Second issue is on sale now, so it's a good time to jump on.  And you can find a preview of the third issue right here.  (And, yes, I realize I hyped this a couple of posts back, but this series really mean a lot to me.)

Update:  If you prefer digital to print, the fine folks at Comixology are having a 50% off sale on all IDW books, including Augusta.



Sunday, October 9, 2016

IT'S JOHN LENNON'S BIRTHDAY!

As anyone who has followed this site for more than five minutes knows, no musician has impacted my life more powerfully, and more permanently, than John Lennon. His extraordinary songs—which form the greatest musical autobiography in rock and roll—shine on, speaking to our world today as powerfully as they did all those years ago.  Happy birthday, John.