A World Full Of Peace – I Feel Crazy


The title is the gist, a world that’s full of peace and I feel crazy. All the many things that make life interesting can be painful at the same time. I wrote this song in the zone. I did not write it with intention or purpose, rather I wrote it as a question. Why do I feel crazy sometimes? Am I crazy?

So often I can feel a world that is desperately trying to be at peace with itself, but there always seems to be a tempest just behind the peace. This world is filled with so much destruction and damage that humans have done to one another, the atmosphere, the landscape even deep in the planet, the oceans and all of the life forms here in, everything now seems to be negatively impacted by humans. Yet, it stands to reason that on a planet where everything living, lives by consuming something that has died, there would be a lot of violence. There have always been people killing one another. One of the first stories in the bible is of Cain killing Abel. Even children stand up in school and shoot their classmates out of rage or insanity.

Why? Where does it all come from? Ask a Jew a Muslim or a Christian and they are likely to tell you it comes from original sin, or they might say it is from the devil. Hindus and Buddhists might say it is the karmic consequence of all of our behavior and choices. I believe karma is closer to the answer, but it must be deeper. I mean we don’t intentionally mean to destroy everything, look at the beauty we have created on purpose. Look at our art or inventions and their original intent – most of them anyway. I truly think we mean well overall as a species. But what choices do we have when we need to kill something in order to survive?

A vegan might say “Ah, but you don’t have to kill something to stay alive.” On the surface that might be true, but I would argue that something had to die in order for whatever it is you are eating to have come into existence. I read about a vegan that started her own garden and was flabbergasted to find that her soil needed some bone meal and some dead organics in order for it to have the nutrients it needed. So maybe I don’t have to kill it, but something has died in order for this planet to have so many diverse lifeforms. The myocilin and bacterium take a dead thing and makes nutrients. Nothing can survive without something else dying. In the big picture it is because of entropy.

Entropy is the chaos in an organized system. All of our systems utilize heat and heat destroys. We shed skin cells because they are being destroyed by the environment. Our organs are constantly having to renew themselves because of cells that get worn out from pumping and filtering with heating and cooling. This entropy ultimately leads to death in all organisms – on this planet anyway.

Our problem might be a lack of understanding or acceptance of death. If death is such a crucial part of life and living, why are we so obsessed with it? How can we sanctify life and still embrace death? Why do we flinch when in its presence? Why do we dodge it so? Why are there so many studies on why, how, who, where, when someone or something dies. There are so many data that you can find them from apple to zebras all about how and why they died. I know people that live as though this were a game of whomever lives the longest wins. We are obsessed with not dying. And yet if we won this battle against death, in no time at all, there would be nothing but humans on the planet, you wouldn’t even be able to see the surface of the planet it would be covered with people. I make this statement based on the exponential effect of something constantly doubling without depletion.

Religious philosophers tell me that God has a handle on all this and God will fix it. Without terraforming planets for us, even God couldn’t prevent overpopulation, including in heaven. Space as we know it and occupy it is limited by its size and since two three dimensional objects can’t occupy the same space, eventually there will be overpopulation. This means that death is an integral and important part of being in any three dimensional space. I mean we can’t just keep filling up space.

All of this makes me feel a little crazy. Then I see the world we have created for ourselves and I am blown away at how we are able to feed clothe and house so many here on earth. I’ve been to India and seen hovels so flimsy and crumbly I was amazed they could stand, I have seen neighborhoods where nothing but castles are built. This wonderland of amazement and creation is a playground where we fill our sand boxes with everything we believe in, then if we believe in it enough we make magic happen. It is truly amazing.

The thing I find the most remarkable are the souls that become addicted to power and money. They will launch wars and genocide. They will myriads of unscrupulous things just to gain a little more of each. They will put another human being on the curb with nowhere to live just because of money. We will do the most ridiculous and perverse things just for power and greed. This avorice is not just human, chimps do it and so do lots of species. They will go to war over territory, food and space – which I suppose would be power in their domains. But I reiterate how else would you expect life to behave when something must die to purport its very existence.

What if the real problem here is we do not know how to resolve this death paradox? Or perhaps the afterdeath dilemma? So many religions and philosophies paint a target on death as the reason to subscribe to their beliefs. But they are using our fear of death or our desire for an eternal reward as a sales pitch for taking on their beliefs. Then others say all we need to do is be at peace with the transition. The later makes the most sense to me which is why Buddhists and Eastern Zen philosophies resonate with my accepting soul.

As I reach an age where death is more and more likely to come calling, I am finding that being a part of self replicating biological system brings me a lot of peace. However coming from a Christian background I am consistently drawn back into wanting consciousness beyond death, I long for some knowing, not just that my molecules lasting in a system, but my awareness that they do. Yet there are too many holes in the reincarnation or resurrection or rebirth theories. I will continue to seek peace and live in peace, peace with you and with my death and my insanity. Thank you for reading and listening. I wish I had some answers for you.

Peacefully Yours
Rusty

Uncle Bob

Pretty Souls


This song is a product of the following story:
My uncle Bob was a bitter angry racist for 60 years of his life. That was the year he came to live with me. One day he used the “N” word at our kitchen table and I told him, “No! Not here, not ever. Your daughter is married to an African American man and I will not let you take the chance that one day your grandchildren are in the other room hearing you use that word. Remove it from your vocabulary if only while you are in my home.”

Fast forward a few years and I walked in after work one day and he was sitting in the living room, with his oxygen tank connected to his nose, and he was weeping. He was watching Oprah, where the great grandson of a slave owner was apologizing to the granddaughter of a slave that was born on their plantation. Of course there was not a dry eye in the house… including my house. Bob looked at me and said: “I have been so blind, thank you, son, for helping me see.”

As fate would have it his daughter was retaking her wedding vows the following month – he had of course missed her first wedding in rebellion to the “mixing of races”. This time he wanted to be there. It was my honor and privilege to take him to her ceremony, where he walked her down the aisle… again, there was not a dry eye in the house.

With Love and Respect,
Rusty

Someone Else’s Heart


When athletes began taking a knee during the National Anthem, I was inspired to write the song “Someone Else’s Heart” during the one knee protest of the national anthem. I wrote it because of the empathy I felt for the Black Lives Movement. My empathy is human, it is empirical in its nature because of this story.

When I was 9 years old in 3rd grade we lived in Wilcox, AZ. Our school was an old rickety 3 floor building (it was torn down in the 80’s I think). Our basketball court was a concrete slab raised inside a retaining wall to about 5 feet and it was surrounded on three sided by chainlink and the other side was the building itself. It was a dead end that had no exit gate. I hadn’t realized this until one day…

My mother was a Jehovah’s Witness and as such, she didn’t believe in celebrating birthdays, or any other secular US holidays. Even Easter they changed to be the Passover and never would it fall on Easter Day. So I was not allowed to even be in the room when these school celebrations occured. This marked me as an outsider. The worst of which being that every morning when we recited the pledge of allegiance, I had to remain seated. I didn’t want to, but I was still young enough not to rebel, and I was afraid Jehovah would retaliate or something. Not to mention the lashing my mother would give me. She would whip with a belt while the whole time she would be saying, now remember this hurts me more than it hurts you. Ha!

So being the new kid in school – we had just move there from Safford, AZ – I was instantly an outcast and an outsider. After a few weeks of sitting during the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance, the boys in my class decided to tech me a lesson. As class was let out they screamed “get him” – after all the glares and mumbles since my arrival, I knew it was me they wanted. So I turned left and ran like hell. I ran straight out the door an onto the basketball court. Dead end. No way out. I was trapped. Those sons of cowboys and farmers were not happy with me and they were determined to teach me a lesson. The teachers turned a blind eye to the abuse.

I was once beaten so badly I woke up in the nurses office. Where my bloody nose was left unattended as the nurse treated me like a worrisome nuisance that didn’t deserve her care or nurture. When my mother arrived she was appalled by the nurse’s lack of empathy for a 9 year old boy. So she repeated the lecture I got all during that school year: “Remember all good Christians will be persecuted.”

So I know intrinsically WHY we have a RIGHT not to salute, pledge, stand or place our hands over our hearts. At an assembly of students, they played the National Anthem and when I didn’t place my hand over my heart, later those same boys tried to make me hold my hand over my heart as one of them sand the song. Hence the line in the song: “Never hold your hand over someone else’s heart.”

I post this with love, respect and forgiveness.
Rusty Cline

35 Years On


(The video is age restricted because of the “Eff” word)
Amazing that after 35 years my ex still thinks all her problems are my fault. Wow, that says a lot about her problems. I wonder why I couldn’t see that in 1979 when I met her… hmmm. Now all these years later thanks to her hatred, my son born in 1980 was never allowed to get to know me. He is the one that suffered her ugliness. He still suffers from only knowing about his father through the ugly stories and lies told by my angry ex-wife. He has never asked for any validation or clarification to the stories she tells. Sad really. In my stubborn refusal to ever say anything unkind to him about her, I blew my chances to tell him and show him who I really am. Every time I tried to be with him she made the scene so miserable that there was nothing to do but pull away, or prove her to be the monster to me that she was.

I am not saying I did nothing wrong, I am saying that no matter what I did to try to make our parting amicable, she always turned it into a way. Just like this song says, 35 years later, ALL of her problems are MY fault.

Missing You John Prine

Sept 16, 2021
I hadn’t looked at this song on Youtube in a while and today I say that it has 10,359 views. That is a big deal for me. Woohoo… still… I miss you, John. Thank you for the lovely song.
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John Prine died on the night of the 7th of April, 2020, I found out on the morning of 8th and spent the entire day writing and crying. John affected and influenced my writing my all my writing life – since 1975.

I put this playlist together starting with a song I wrote for him the day he died. There are others I wrote for him and some songs where his affect was obvious.

Rusty the Sculptor

I did my first sculpture in 1982. I played with carving and molding concrete. In those days I was limited by the state of the art in those days, not to mention a lack of readily available information.

Nowadays, there is a plethora of information in the internet. I have recently used what I have heard with experiments of my own to develop a mixture that is serving really well to sculpt and carve with. It is hard, long lasting, colorful and the materials are all readily available. If you are interested, contact me.

I love making utilitarian sculptures that function as a usable device and as a work of art. Below is a work in progress that will be a mailbox holder:

My old mailbox holder was a concrete knot that was hit by a car:

This was a gift for a friend titled Earthbound Friendship:

An anniversary gift for friends entitled Heart of Gold:

Concrete Cactus: