It’s my new band name. Open Casket Wedding – has a ring to it, no? (Pardon the pun.) Today’s post is about the songs I heard today and the title is about living with the people who have taken over my beloved workplace, making each day funereal.
Well, with the first brutal week of a new semester behind me, I tried every morning this weekend to awaken with a positive shining light. This particular morning, I was looking forward to the SF Labor Council breakfast honoring Belva Davis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Who is Belva Davis you ask??? Click the hyperlink to her Wiki! I set my alarm clock to be sure I had ample time to dress appropriately for the upscale breakfast and ceremony at City View at Metreon. At 5:45am the radio alarm sounded with “Dance Into The Fire” – Duran Duran. Since I tossed and turned all early morning 2:30a until that alarm song sounded, thoughts of my college and the people from Texas, who have subsumed the administration, consumed my mind. I allowed a few lyric lines to pass through the air:
Face to face in secret places, feel the chill.
Night fall covers me, but you know the plans Im making,
Still oversea, could it be the whole world opening wide
A sacred why?, a mystery gaping inside
The weekends why?Until we dance into the fire
That fatal kiss is all we need
Dance into the fire,
To fatal sounds of broken dreams
before I hit the 10-min snooze in the dark of the not-quite-sunrise morning.
Next song to awaken me:
“I’ll send an SOS to the world
I’ll send an SOS to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle”
OK, no more snooze. Wake the “F” up. These lyrics are not making me feel good after pondering the hell of my workplace throughout my fitful sleep. I clean-up, dress-up, and head out the door. Upon my arrival, I am surprised by the number of people all seeming to be heading toward the location I seek. So, I inadvertently lead the crowd into a Target that looks like the entrance to the Metreon. All of us ride the escalator up with me in the lead. Doesn’t look like the Metreon to me, so I stop a security guard in front of me who points toward the Yerba Buena entrance which is around the corner. I see half the crowd coming up the escalator as I’m heading down: “Looks like it’s over this way, folks.” We all have a nice laugh together about our journey up the escalator to Target; it’s hardly the location for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.
An interesting morning ensues with connections via hugs, handshakes, business card swapping and the like before some great speeches by the various people involved in this morning’s event. However, I had to turn my back on San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who has been turning this city upside down since his election. He reminds me of the tubby man in the Monopoly game who constantly charges you for taxes and the like in the Community Chest card-pulls. He’s going on about how he carries MLK Jr. with him as he sets about building more affordable housing for San Francisco…REALLY? Where the “F” where? This city is filled with condos and high-rises going up EVERYWHERE, and you can’t even find a studio apartment for less that $2200/month. Who is he kidding? Out of a couple hundred attendees, he gets a few claps at the end of his speech. Clearly, this crowd knows what’s up.
I see one of the Texans who has taken a lofty position at the college where I teach. Wow, OK. Some of them are here too, I think to myself though I’m sitting at the AFT2121 labor table encircled with fellow laborers. The lyrics from the morning book a return flight to my brain. Back to the table and the wonderful people all around, more speeches, some music, and Belva Davis honored with a monumental piece of art that she cannot lift. Heavy.
On the way home, I turn on the local radio station and hear: “KFOG’s A-to-Z” and they are on the letter “W”. How’d I miss that? OK, so here come the “What” songs. I sit through “What It’s Like” by Everlast and I figure that any minute I’m going to hear the K-Tel hit of the 90’s by Linda Perry “What’s Up”, but other “what” titled songs play, and I’m at my destination to complete my errands for the day.
The last song lyric wrapped it up for me, and I figure is my mantra along with one more I’ll share with anyone who feels like you’re in a predicament in the workplace:
“When the world is running down, you take the best of what’s still around.”
Sting again. Interesting…This lyric certainly fills me with a slightly more positive edge. And this from one of my favorite City College of San Francisco, Art department faculty friends who wrote this to me yesterday about our troubled college: “I sometimes feel like I am being trained to become a Zen master in this process, learning to detach myself from too much sorrow or happiness, but simply increase my awareness and be in the moment.” (perfect) Thank you, Mine’ Ternar. You have written the perfect meme to carry forward into this second week of school.
I am reminded that there are far less fortunate souls in jobs that are not good for them, mentally, physically, and spiritually and many more without jobs, so who am I to complain?
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We shall overcome.