Things Unseen: Slam Poetry: Theo Wilson at TEDxMileHigh (Full Transcript)

“People will never know how far a little kindness can go,” Rachel Joy Scott. On the day that Hitler would have turned 110, two gunmen ignited Columbine High School like birthday candles to his sadistic legacy.

Rachel Scott was the first flame extinguished. Her first breath was sun-charged Colorado oxygen just 55 days after mine was. Her last, a choking exhale facing at the Rockies, but Rachel’s diaries will one day dwarf that horizon. People ask me, “What’s in that air in Colorado?” and I’d tell them, “Shoot off a gun in a room full of propane gas, by the time you see the flame, it’s too late.” Thus, the resulting inferno at the heart of this nation post-Columbine revealed the chemical properties of hate.

See, it can be in the air, all around you, until an incident ignites it, but instead of alive, some victims just end up too late, and God is always on time, they say. Some would argue, “Yeah, just two steps behind the buckshot.” Sarcasm, stumbling from the rightful barrel of a skeptic’s mouth, the hand of tragedy stroking their ego, they ask, “How can you have faith in the invisible?” As if we don’t rely on things unseen every day. Show me the color of your Wi-Fi signal, the radio wave that dance songs through your flesh, leaving no exit wound. The repulsive charge in your skin’s electrons is the reason why you’ve never actually touched anything in your life.

So find me a liar more persistent than your five physical senses, that’s only five wavelengths broadcasted on the ocean of possible. With different organs your whole universe would change. A bee’s eyes would turn your garden into an infrared orchestra, the way a bat’s sonar turns the night into an aerial buffet, and I have seen 50-ton jets held aloft by nothing, and thus, everyone- on-board’s prayers that day I would argue, and so would Rachel’s family, that nothing is more real than that which can’t be seen, and you never believe it until it hits you. My old sensei said, “Not every champion looks like Mike Tyson. Sometimes, that skinny blond freckled kid will put you on your back.”

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Yeah, you see his muscle, but not his timing, not his conditioning, or the suffering that made them necessary. And science says, the human brain is command center of the body; cut it open, the commander you will not find. So either you are not real or reality must be redefined, because magicians’ve been fooling doctors since Houdini, pulling smart guides cards of a joke because on their face like he’s led you. So how is laboratory science the measurement of matter, when nothing that matters can be measured? There are no stats for the kids who opt out of suicide.

If you don’t shoot up the school, you don’t make breaking news. Speak a kind word, and you may not see him un-beat his wife, but you still gotta believe that it matters, because it does. Every smile, every flower, every butterfly wing, every bullet unchambered, every breath and baby sings weighs something, and there is no way around it. And we waste all this life on the things that go wrong, when too much goes right for you to count it.

Rachel wrote, “Things untold, things unseen, one day these things will come to me.” Why at her death, make her diary immortal? The torch of her words, burning open our closed minds, forcing apart lids to an eye that we didn’t know that we had, to a bandwidth of brilliance we were blind to. Tune in, and the miraculous can not help but find you, and you’d never believe it until it hits you. Time to swan dive in a technicolor infinity, close your eyes and submerge into the real. Thank you.

 

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