We Once had a Dream Called Occupy Wall Street. 04/02/13

We once had a dream called Occupy Wall Street. I don’t know if it was a dream, but it had the qualities. You know, that New York feel of importance as the sun broke over the buildings and spread it’s warmth across a small concrete park.This blog will be about this event, as it happened to me, as I experienced it. It’s going to be quick and dirty, a lightening recollection timed to the beat of meeting minutes which I attended. It’s going to be critical. I want to critique it, because it wasn’t what I wanted, or expected, but in the end many of the problems came from just that. Everyone wanted something, something built in their own vision, but our visions are just scattered fragments laced with our societies garage. Our perceptions of the poor, of money, of relationships.Love and battle. When the hundreds of people gathered there on the first day, and when that number climbed to the thousands we each brought our own stories, and we each brought our own garbage.

Occupy Wall Street wasn’t the Utopian dream that I hear many refer to it as…maybe to some it awoke that thread, that thread that the world we come from can be better, that somehow we can overcome the sickness, the death and starvation, the many many forms of suffering and oppression that surrounded us. The built-in controls in our everyday life. The points of power colluding to shift reality.

I believed in Occupy Wall Street, because I was there. I’ve told this story countless times now, and I figured it’s time I write it down.

July 19th, 2011 my plane landed at Laguardia Airport. I’d just left Grand Forks, North Dakota. I told myself for good, and as the plane decended I saw the Statue of Liberty flash by, I thought that my new life would be good. When I disembarked I waited for my luggage to spin out and this man walked up to me, he was jerk on the plane, he stopped next to me and said, “You know what I mean, I can see it in you. We got to stick together.” I grunted, out of fear or confusion, i can’t remember, and grabbed my bag and walked out to try to figure out how to get to Harlem to meet a friend.

I was wearing my favorite pearl button shirt and a skateboarding backpack I bought for traveling when I was eighteen years old. I was now 30. Attached to that backpack by carabiner was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles suitcase. It was filled with books. Books on organizing, books of poetry, and my favorite novels. I’d come to New York to be a spoken word poet. I figured a city this big had to have a community to support me doing what I wanted. I guess I still had that forever dream of sharing my views through poetry to an audience who was there to hear it. Back home I’d done spoken word at open mics where crowds of drunks proceeded to drink. Maybe here there was a place that people went to hear poets. That was my goal. I never achieved it.

I bought a metro pass at the airport and jumped on a bus to Harlem. My friend was waiting on the corner for me. We hugged and he said, “Hey, there’s this meeting tonight with some folks i’ve been organizing with, want to come.” I said “Yes.”

 

Audio recording: https://soundcloud.com/uneditedcamera-1/we-once-had-a-dream-called

(This blog will be updated weekly as a sort of serial novella. It also have an audio recording link to each addition. If you enjoy what you’re hearing please, support my media collective work at bit.ly/uneditedmedia)

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