The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Lisa Frankenstein was released to theaters Feb. 9th and was released to digital platforms Feb. 27.
"Lisa Frankenstein" Review
February 29, 2024
The program for SMU Lyric Theatres performance of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, Dallas Texas, Sunday February 18, 2024
Love, loss and laughter
February 27, 2024

Freedom rides

Filling Up The Glass
 Freedom rides
Freedom rides

Freedom rides

My anti-war machine is a vehicle powered by pedals. Above the frenzied Friday afternoon traffic near downtown Dallas, I use my legs to push for peace.

In life it is important to dance, to move your body to the rhythms that matter. Living requires the use of your hands. Your head and heart, however strong, are not enough.

So I’ve brought my bicycle into one chaotic nucleus of an oil-driven society in a demonstration of power. My body is energy that was not taken from anyone, over which no guns fire. No part of my planet was pillaged to get me six miles from my apartment, across time and pavement. My motion creates no noxious poisons to leak into our precious air.

Oceans away, George’s arch nemesis sits on a lake of hot, stinky oil. We want it. And we want it cheap.

Despite environmental projections that read like the Book of Revelations (floods, famines, fires, pestilence, drought and disease), SUVs wheeze and roar carelessly down city streets. Exhaust blurs the atmosphere with wavy lines of quiet destruction and invisible assault. The bodies of motorists grow soft and heavy to the monotonous drone of stoplights and gridlock. Complacency festers between sickly yellow lines. Accelerate. Brake. Accelerate. Brake. Accelerate . . .

These are the rhythms and the rights that people have become willing to fight for, to die for. It doesn’t take much to realize that humans weren’t built to live this way.

But what can we really do about it? Are we supposed to rearrange our lives and tinker with our carefully assembled habits and schedules and test the limits of our comfort zones just to keep the oil in the ground?

Well, yeah.

Take a moment before you chuckle and move on to consider that your life has already been arranged for you. You stay within prescribed lines, subject to the colossal momentums that dictate a modern existence. The momentum of time. The momentum of money. The momentum of war.

But one solitary act of resistance has the potential to shatter the tidal wave. One refusal has the power to halt the machine. I’m riding my bike instead of driving my car. I’m straining my muscles instead of rolling up my windows. I’m breathing hard instead of moving too fast.

What the man in the Lexus does not know, may never have time to notice, is that this afternoon is delicate and warm. Pink clouds tumble toward earth on clumsy breezes. The air isn’t yet so saturated with toxins as to eclipse the smells of cut grass, warm kitchens, and approaching evening. Laments of a dying world are captured in the poignant music of the city: detached voices, grinding tires and shrieking cell phones.

And yet, to put your hands on the face of the earth is to feel the brave pulse of hope beneath the surface. It’s never, never too late, she whispers. I am still alive. And so are you.

I ride my bike for freedom. I ride it for harmony and balance. I ride it for fun. I ride it for spontaneity and faith in what’s possible. I ride it because I want to watch and feel the world from deep inside it, not from the solitude of an internal-combustion bubble on its fragile surface.

As I do I begin to realize that just along the edges of this precarious life we’ve created, heaven is happening around me in glimpses. It dances in and out of focus so that I can almost breathe it in. And it occurs to me that it doesn’t have to be perfect. But it’s up to us to build it.

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