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Regis Auffray

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A Week Of Community Freedom - An Idea
by Regis Auffray   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2006

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An article and a poem from the mind of Sha'Tara...

A Week of Community Freedom - an Idea


(written as a letter to the editor for the local newspaper - Sha'Tara)


A "tongue in cheek" idea to ponder


If a particular society ever wanted to "know itself" beyond any doubt, I propose that one of its communities - in our case, the city of Chilliwack - declares a 1 week sabbatical from any and all enforcement of "law and order" without any consequences incurred or praise given at the end of the week, no matter what offences, crimes or acts of heroism and bravery committed during the "armistice" within the boundaries of this community. 


Offensivedefensive and generous behaviour totally left in the hands of individuals - a kind of one week anarchy of personal choice. 


The "break" includes suspension of all government emergency services and private sector insurance services.  No "911" -- no response to emergencies by police, fire or ambulances and no claims can be made to any insurance company for damages incurred during the sabbatical.  If you need help, you are entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the neighbour, whomever that happens to be at the place and time. 


I propose this event be initiated during the Christmas week  when all are exposed to songs and messages speaking of peace and goodwill towards all.


Individually and collectively all will know themselves better after such an event.


If we believe we are basically a decent people living in a decent society, it's a given that we would desire to experience this.  If we feel we cannot, then that sadly says it all.  If we feel that as individuals we could do this but we cannot trust "the other guy" then it is good to remember "the other guy" feels the same way about us. 


If we cannot live without exploiting and oppressing one-another "at home" let us not wonder why we are involved in wars on foreign soils nor why such wars never end.


"Most civilization is based on cowardice.  It's so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice.  You water down the standards which would lead to bravery.  You restrain the will.  You regulate the appetites.  You fence in the horizons.  You make a law for every movement.  You deny the existence of chaos.  You tame."

(From God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert - Dune books)


The Song of the Eternally Caged



Am I free?

or trapped in an illusion of freedom?

The song I sing this day,

beside the mountain on the River

is it the song of Joy I recall of pre-earth days

or the song of the eternally caged

of those trapped in the labyrinth of time?


Do I have a home?

Am I ever the outcast on the street?

This box I live in this day,

beside the street in this rumbling city

is it the home I would have built for myself

or a body's parking place

waiting for someone to return - or die?


The world beckoned and I came

willingly, oh so willingly,

full of trust and wonder:

I saw what I took for an endless dance

until my eyes grew strong

and I recognized the chain gang --

it slogged sadly past my stroller --

no one looked when I screamed.


The chain gang's dead and gone now

its chains rusting in rows at the end of its way.

It served its purpose, no doubt -- and the guards:

those who wielded the guns, sticks and whips,

they are all dead too - their own chains rusting with the others.

But I remain, I, too young then to put in the chains:

they would wait another day.


And the day came -- it always does.

They put on the chains and led me to the line.

That should have been the end of the story --

but a rebel taught me well and I remembered a trick:

the locks were simple to pick, the chains dropped

and in the honeysuckle scented night I slipped away

to sail upon the seas.  Oh what a fool!


I learned to sing upon the indifferent breeze

as it swept freely upon open decks after a storm;

sad songs that filled my heart with doubt:

'Twas there, looking at the stars, I heard, and learned

to sing the song of the eternally caged.

It floated up from slaves chained below decks

who dying, sang the songs from their lost worlds.



Reader Reviews for "A Week Of Community Freedom - An Idea"

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Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson
A unique idea. I do wonder what would happen now days if this was to occur. A week would probally bring chasos to the fundamental structure of the town or city and lives of its people. I could see this happening in a small town or village for a few days. Who wrote "The song of the eternally chaged" ?...........M
Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
A very interesting and really enjoyable article, thanks Regis!
Love, B&R
Reviewed by Ann Marquette
interesting idea for a community exercise Reg...
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