The Sun Is Real

June

Someofthebestnewsisthattherearealwaysotherwaystobe.~awThe Tassajara Seven (Zen Buddhist Retreat): Carletta, Alice, Zenju, Ofosu & Co. Missing from photo: Arrow the baby and his mother, Asia. Also Rev. Angel. June 2024

                                                                         Photographer unknown.

 

“I’m A Woman Who Speaks With a Voice…” Sweet Honey

This great spirit and writer, a true lover of India as well as of freedom and truth, must have our prayers.~aw


Struggle can make us beautiful, which is why the Cuban Revolution will always inspire. It is as if we begin to see the very backbone of ourselves, the spirit that makes us stand.~aw

Victor Dreke

For Us Cubans, Africa is Our Heart, Our Blood Znetwork article 2024-06


I love Mexico. ~aw           Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo: President-Elect


 May

REPOSTING THIS IN 2024:Coming to Worship the 1000 Year Old Cherry Tree

Radiant Earth, Japan. Mother Tree, Yumiko Jannson Yanigasawa, and William Poy Lee Photo: ©2003 by Alice Walker.  This photo could also be called: China embracing Japan.

Coming to Worship the 1000 Year Old Cherry Tree
Copyright © 2011 by Alice Walker

Life is good.  Goodness is its character;
all else is defamation.

The Earth is good.  Goodness is its nature.

Nature is good.  Goodness is its essence.

People are also good.  Goodness is our offering;
our predictable yet unfathomable flowering.

Thankful and encouraged
Infused with our peaceful inheritance
May we not despair.

Original post: Coming to Worship the 1000 Year Old Cherry Tree


Once There Were Warriors.  Some did not go away.~aw


The Truth Will Bring It Down. A doctor, nourished by poetry,  speaks. ~aw

Our Martyrs

©2011 by Alice Walker

When the people
have won a victory
whether small
or large
do you ever wonder
at that moment
where the martyrs
might be?
They who sacrificed
themselves
to bring to life
something unknown
though nonetheless more precious
than their blood.
I like to think of them
hovering over us
wherever we have gathered
to weep and to rejoice;
smiling and laughing,
actually slapping each other’s palms
in glee.
Their blood has dried
and become rose petals.
What you feel brushing your cheek
is not only your tears
but these.
Martyrs never regret
what they have done
having done it.
Amazing too
they never frown.
It is all so mysterious
the way they remain
above us
beside us
within us;
how they beam
a human sunrise
and are so proud.

***

A great griot presents the energetic faith and love that has kept us afloat. Thank you, Beloved. ~aw


Beloved sister, thank you for your tears. Humans are not meant to encounter what we are witnessing without weeping.~aw


Why I love teachers.  And the sun. ~aw


No greater love.~aw


Cornel West brings us back to what we know is important.  What is right. What is true. He reminds us there are people, articulate, life-tested people, who can envision a path out of here: i.e. our horrific global disaster.  I naturally dream of councils when I think of being led as a nation:  To his council I would add Rand Paul, Chris Hedges, and Jill Stein. I would add Bernie Sanders for the depth of his education in politics, for his obvious suffering and disappointments, and what he knows. And of course Douglas McGregor and Scott Ritter. Gloria Steinem and Barbara Lee might serve as c0- chair. We must dream a different dream, or die, befuddled, in our sleep.~aw


What can make us happy? Two exquisite humans sharing wonder. ~aw


April

Never give up.  Together, we are amazing. Join us, Police. Understanding brings tenderness. You are The People, also.~aw

Seeing You Coming: To the Children of Migrants and Immigrants

Silhouette Of Refugees People With Luggage Walking In A Row with rain clouds in the background

Viéndolos venir: a los hijos de emigrantes e inmigrantes

© 2024 by Alice Walker

There is so much we cannot know. So many things challenging to comprehend. For instance “simulation” and whether we live in one.  I assume I live in heaven, though it is getting smaller, or recognizable only in patches, here and there, among the devastation. I believe we as humans are wonderful, like any flower, but not special enough (again like a flower) to last forever. I also believe that, having had the human experience, we go on- as life force – to exist in other things.

These days of Eldering I think of future generations – a lot.  This must be normal.  I think,  lately, of the children accompanying, or will be born to, the masses of migrants and immigrants now coming into the United States. I think about what they will be told about America, the U.S.A. How it will seem to them. I wonder about what meaning it will have.

A writer, I think of books I would want them to know about, to ground them in the reality of where they’ve landed. Foundational books.

Two such books are Margaret Walker’s Jubilee (on audio: I suspect it will be impossible to understand some of its “dialect”- what I prefer to call “folk speech” – by reading); and Master Slave/Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo.

This multi-colored, multi-ethnic citizenry will need to recognize who in the distant past would have recognized them as autonomous human beings; and what the struggle was to affirm their right, whether in present or future, to enjoy integrity not only of body, but of spirit and mind.  I am not engaging the question of whether the United States is, presently, being invaded.  Which on some level it obviously is. People are streaming in from parts of the world the US has destroyed. From parts of the world, also, that have an agenda for the US that so far appears, at least partly, mysterious.

My interest is in the children who will be inheritors of the United States, wherever they come from. Many of them unborn at this time.  I want them to have, left for them deliberately, some sense of the rich dramas, life and death struggles, that our country has witnessed.

Some incredible lives have been lived here! Our stories and histories are too fabulous not to be known!

Jubilee, by Margaret Walker (no relation) is so crucial to an understanding of America that it is a shock to realize how long most of us have been without it.  And that this lack isn’t always our fault.  I read it years ago, thought it remarkable, but was not mature enough to grasp its deep meaning as a cornerstone of American literature. The “dialect” was odd. I wasn’t always sure I understood what characters said; I also was not educated sufficiently to grasp the greatness of Margaret Walker’s scope, as she confidently takes us through the ante bellum (before the war) South, the Civil War, and the days of struggle for people – black and white – after that horrendous, stupendously wasteful, debacle. She shows us some deep wounds, mighty struggles, how “soul” was made and unmade, disaster after disaster, and how Americans of color, and white Americans, often fought against the dehumanization they witnessed all around them as the decades, characterized largely by misinformation, violence, greed and theft, rolled by.

Part of our lostness has been our ignorance of our determined comrades and sister and fellow liberators.  They were often fierce.  Even awesome. Their integrity and courage so great that, even after over a hundred and fifty years, their words and deeds startle us.

Some of these liberators we encounter – working together to give freedom a chance –  in Ilyon Woo’s masterpiece Master Slave/Husband Wife. Which is so carefully constructed it is, finally, simply astonishing.  Woo seems to have tracked down and fleshed out sufficiently for us to understand them, dozens of personalities we have usually come across only in skinny paragraphs that manipulators of the past tried to pass off to us as “history.”( Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States a beautiful correction of this trend.)

So Woo and Walker or Walker and Woo.  Then, to hold more of our history together in a way that makes sense, add  Black Elk Speaks, by John Neihardt; because it is impossible to understand anything about America without including Indians at its root. And Black Elk, interviewed by Neihardt, passes on wisdom no sentient American should be without. Other foundational books are: W.E.B. DuBois’s  Black Reconstruction and The Souls of Black Folk, as well as Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery and any one of Frederick Douglass’s three autobiographies. These will make the United States much easier to understand from the point of view of a possible “new serfdom” i.e. return to slavery, which is what many children and grandchildren of migrants and immigrants will almost certainly encounter, and have to oppose. “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” was a myth; it is an elder’s duty to point this out.

Then, holding another rich part of the hoop (of American Life) there rises the incomparable Barbara Kingsolver.  Whose work should be studied – and perhaps it is – as an antidote to everything taught in University about politics and religion. But also, because she has saved for us a sense of how we might have lived as family, as Melungeons did, long before laws were instituted to separate us into races and colors, thereby separating us from the possibility of being One People.  Her books: Daemon Copperhead and ThePoisonwood Bible are extraordinary. I may be the last person/reader on earth to realize this: it is  because I have only recently had time to read her. How grateful I am!

Then, a fierce underpinning to all of this, there is James Baldwin, rising from a virtual “nowhere,” i.e. Harlem;  poor, black, odd looking until you recognize his beauty, and teaching America where it is headed if it can’t come to grips with what it is: a deeply wounded, dysfunctional, scared and lonely country that has turned itself over to movies to imitate a life. Go Tell It On the Mountain, his first and very autobiographical novel, might serve as the opening story of any outsider’s, or newcomers’ life. A life, in Baldwin’s case, that evolved into a fiery commitment to justice and to love, in spite of every conceivable obstacle. And even every inconceivable one.

So!  Welcome young ones. You will be the future of America.  You, a motley crew, for sure. But by studying your new country you will see it has always been incredibly varied in its inhabitants; that attempting to rank us based on color, sex, finances, education, religion, even skin tone and “good hair,” caused suffering that did not have to be.  You can do better.  By thoughtfully engaging the past, you will see that much of the America you inherited, might have done things differently.  You can find ways to insist on inhabiting a nation that honors all who live in it.  That “pursuing” happiness while glorifying inequality and meanness means stumbling and falling through endless lifetimes. True happiness can only be experienced in enjoyment of mutual equality, in law as well as in custom. And happiness is worth having, regardless of what else seems lost.

You need not be lost, in any case.  Find these books  – on tape or wherever they reside by the time you most require them – and get to know us, your American ancestors.  Many of whom were lovers of life, of goodness itself, and fun, even before, many times in spite of, being American citizens.

If you wonder why Working the Roots, by Michelle E. Lee, closes this offering, it is because it is as important as all the other books, perhaps more so. It is a compendium of ancestral knowledge of roots and herbs and earth that Africans and Indians and African-AmerIndians (and the occasional white renegade) passed down to descendants over hundreds of years in order to ensure our ability to heal ourselves. I marvel that despite their great suffering – that for centuries  included not owning their own bodies –  they never lost belief in the power of Nature to sustain them.  In this sense, they worshipped Nature with a faith that nourished their spirits through horrors unimaginable. Their caring for us, demonstrated in this book by the patience and generosity afforded the writer, Ms. Lee, reveals to us that whatever else might have been stripped from these ancestors, Soul itself, most identifiable through acts of sharing and of compassion, so crucial to being truly human, was not lost.

Onward! With love. ~aw

“Working the Roots” refers to the name given our traditional healers, “Root Workers.”


Palestinian Youth Movement    #Strike4Gaza
April 15 Strike For Gaza No Work No School No Spending Strike4Gaza.orgJoin us on Tax Day, April 15th, for a national strike demanding an end to the genocide in Gaza. From all corners of society—mosques, churches, businesses, workers—the time has come to strike for an end to this genocide.

Through worker and student power, a national strike day is meant to increase pressure on the US administration to end the genocide in Gaza. We urge all community organizations, mosques, churches, businesses, students and workers to organize walkouts or otherwise abstain from business as usual. We further call upon all people of conscience in the US to close businesses, call off work, walk out of school, and join an action in your city.

Don’t cross the picket line of justice. Stand in solidarity and #Strike4Gaza on April 15th. We’ll see you in the streets! 🇵🇸✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🇵🇸

 

 

Source/Instagram:  palestinianyouthmovement  |   Strike4Gaza.org

 


What we can do: gather and learn; what did not have to be.~aw

The Road to Famine in Gaza –  Neve Gordon  – The New York Review of Books


March

She is the one who will notice/ that the first snapdragon/of Spring/is in bloom. ~ from She, a poem for Gloria Steinem, by Alice Walker in The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers.

Happy 90th birthday, 3/25. Beautiful Soul. Beloved Sister. Dauntless Friend. ~aw


I am grateful not to have missed this teacher, Credo Mutwa,  who is fabulous in the original sense. I am even more  grateful (and amazed) that I recognize, and resonate with, the revealed world of his awareness.~aw  


Akosua Busia, Gordon Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Alice Walker, Quincy Jones, Robert Allen ( On the set of The Color Purple, Georgia 1985)

Happy Birthday, 

Beloved

Quincy Jones (3/14)

who took such good care

of us.

Thank you. ~aw


Our Hearts Are Not Yet On the Ground: Indigenous and South African Encouragement

If we are open to it, a love of humans will wash over us from time to time.  In this video there are moments of this.  We see who we are, and how we might be. We see our smallness, our scattered-ness, our grief, our broken hearts. All this  in the faces in the “audience.” But we hear our determination not to abandon friends and comrades in the voices of those on stage. The strength that comes when we stand together with those we love.  One minister tells the story of visiting Gaza’s churches and witnessing Palestinians lining up to baptize their children and themselves, before they died. Clearly an immortal people who will inspire generations to come, if in fact humanity, as we know it, continues after the severe harm- by not stopping the genocide in Gaza-it has done itself.  And Naledi Pandor, so solid and beautiful in her clarity, who is a force that brings comfort to the human race, so often wondering if there is any worthy leadership among humans to be had. In fact, all the leaders on this stage, and some who are absent but are mentioned, offer hope that we might, as a race, be worthy of continuing.

It is affirmed in this gathering that those who left South Africa to fight and kill Palestinians will be arrested as soon as they return.  The United States has many such soldiers who will be returning from their part in genocide. South Africa has faced the issue head-on; the US can do no less. It is perhaps news to many in the US that Americans in Israeli uniform are part of the destruction of the Palestinian people.  That they will be walking among us, reeking of what they have done. Soldiers with dual citizenship will certainly, if they survive, return to the U.S. What must be our way with them? Whatever it is,  for the sake of  our own mental and spiritual health, a decision will have to be made.  It will not be a a decision based in revenge, or even retribution, but in justice.~aw

When the children ask if, when they are grown ups, their feet and hands will grow back…..

We must not bear this.~aw


Quan Yin, Goddess of Mercy

Thank you, genius flower guru, Anthony Ward. May we all learn to trust what we are meant to bring. ~aw. Photo by Chris Hansen.

Anthony Ward wearing a beanie, in a garden, pointing at the one red rose and a leafless rose bush

Anthony Ward: Chris Hansen photo


Alice Walker in Havana, Cuba, Langston Hughes’ birthday, February 1. 2024
Alice Walker in Havana, Cuba, Langston Hughes’ birthday, February 1. 2024

 

 

Not Seeing What Is Not There:

 

A Gain In Revolutionary/Evolutionary Perception

I know it looks impossible. But hug someone you love or your dog that you might love more,  and cheer up!  We’ve come too far to turn back.  Love is powerful. We shall overcome.  It can happen today, this hour, if we continue to recognize the vacuum that is before our stricken eyes, rather than the caring world leadership we had assumed must be somewhere, but is not.~aw

Here’s looking at you, George Galloway! Last seen in Gaza. ~aw

 


February

Living the truth. ~aw


Living the Dream:  Accompanying: the (Extraordinary) Journey of Staughton and Alice Lynd. A Film by Catherine Murphy.  Bowing~aw


Beauty never gives up. ~aw

 


The only eternal revolution is friendship. Poet Nancy Morejon, Alice Walker, Andy Shallal and friends in Havana Cuba, February 1st. Birthday of American Poet Langston Hughes, whose statue in bronze has been installed. We celebrate and honor Hughes’s long friendship with Cuban poet, Nicolas Guillen. ~aw     Photo: by Ti Walker

 


 

Let us dance with Rumi and the Sufis and pray that this is true.~aw

 


January

Reaping the whirlwind.~aw


A teaching about what can happen when you worship the box instead of the sky. Thank you brother Hill.~aw


 Alice Walker and William Poy Lee in Japan 2000s
Alice Walker and William Poy Lee in the outback of Japan; 2000s

Happy Birthday
 William Poy Lee
January 16th
May your extraordinary 
Book: The Eighth Promise
Nourish our wonder at 
Our mothers’ lives
And the realities of puzzling
And mysterious countries
From which so many of us
And our parents 
Have come. ~aw

 


2024 Martin Luther King painting of MLK Jr. face against a translucent backdrop of a Black man in legal gown at a wooden podium

 

Happy Birthday January 15
Martin Luther King. Because 
Of your sacrifice
 we can always
Know: we are loved.
You were a dancer, too.
Of course.

You can’t kill the spirit. Quoting many thousands gone. ~aw


Bless South Africa and Palestine and bless the love and solidarity between people who truly understand. To bless is to help.  There is another anthem from our own struggle of standing together against apartheid in America: We Shall Overcome. ~aw


John Pilger, presente! 1939-2023

Thank you, John Pilger,

For demonstrating it is possible

To live
By a higher faith
Than pleasant
Survival.
That we can dare to know
The terrors of our time
And, knowing them,
 At least confront 
And fully live
Life
In awareness, 
Rather than in immobilizing
Dread. ~aw


Photo by Alice Walker: Opened light purple door with a medium size tan dog quietly sitting looking out towards another open archway. Surrounded by tall bamboo and garden.Photo: What will the new year bring?  2023 by Alice Walker  

          A blessing: 

 The Gospel According to Shug.

Happy New Year. ~aw

 

Link to the post: The Gospel According to Shug


DECEMBER 2023

This is Beauty. Truth. Dignity. That this should have happened to Rev. William Barber and his mother at a showing of The Color Purple is made bearable only because we know, from experience, that we can sometimes harvest good from evil.  As is demonstrated here. ~aw.

 


 

Garret “Kaleo” Jarlmar Larson and Alice Walker

Happy Birthday  (Dec. 28th)
Beloved Garret “Kaleo” Jarlmar Larson
Thank you for loving
Miles Davis
For making exquisite music
For loving liberation
For blowing your horn
On our boat
To Palestine
For leaving it
In the delighted hands
Of a child
In Gaza.

Alice and Kaleo
In Petra, Jordan 2009


Happy Birthday, Beloved Grandson, Tenzin

Happy Birthday, Beloved Grandson, Tenzin:  After a thoughtful morning of hanging prayer flags together. (December 22). Photo by Tenzin Randall Walker, 2023.

May all beings be happy. May all beings be at peace.  May the winds carry our hopes and labor for peace to the ends of the planet.  And may our collective hope and love equal a grandmother’s  dream of peace and happiness for all children everywhere. Temple Jook House, Northern California


                                                         But where is her world?  ~aw


Thich Nhat Hanh Meditation Alice-Walker share 2023-12

To be fully with ourselves now is more important than ever. We are being separated from ourselves without our consent by forces we could not, in earlier times, have even imagined. Though it is true that humans do horrific harm to each other and to our world, there are overwhelming numbers of humans who are utterly precious. Learning to meditate, to reclaim ourselves, is to bow to the gift they are to our lives.~aw


This is awareness and honesty; seeing who is in the mirror. ~aw

Will even intelligence, experience, and truth save us? Who listens anymore? And yet: how grateful we are to hear from a mature, thoughtful, well educated, and sick to death of meaningless conflict, grownup. Bowing. And wishing this teacher as Merry a Christmas as is possible under the circumstances.~aw

This teacher’s talks are often cut off or replaced by cartoons and images of a young woman knitting! I so appreciate his ability to share his experience in such a way that we can – even knowing little history, which is so American – better understand our global peril. Bowing. ~aw


Altar December 2023 Alice Walker

Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker, born December 2, 1912, in her garden where some of her flowers  (especially dahlias) grew taller than she was.  Beside her is a framed painting by John Asante Harris, age 4, who painted it as a gift to me, during a visit.  

My mother loved children and would have loved John Asante’s painting.  The ceremony above – indicating my transition to a new stage in Life: that of Infinite Retreat – represents over sixty years of work  inspired hugely by the spirit of this woman who adored children and flowers, and seemed to think of children, really, as flowers.  Certainly we were taught that the human race is like a flower garden; which is why we are so many beautiful colors. ~aw


   NOVEMBER

Solidarity is real. ~aw


To miss learning this…. ~aw


Remembrance is action too. That our breaking hearts not slay us into forgetfulness. Bowing.~aw


Our Mother speaks. ~aw


This is integrity. ~aw

This is conscience. ~aw

 


Code Pink National March Washington DC Free Palestine 2023-11-04

RSVP TO JOIN TOMORROWS CODE PINK ACTION TO FREE PALESTINE!

National March on Washington: Free Palestine

International Day of Solidarity: Free Palestine Bay Area

Social Media Hour: March for Palestine Virtual Support


Code Pink.  You’re my hero.  Especially wunderkind, Medea Benjamin: The Force Extraordinare.  A million bows. From Jackson, Mississippi, where the deeds of tyrants are still all too visible. And, alas, ongoing. ~aw


This is beauty.~aw

 

This is teaching. ~aw


October

“After the war, there was a brutal war of sanctions that lasted for 13 years and killed 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5. MECA worked with Voices in the Wilderness, churches, and other international organizations to bring millions of dollars of food and medical aid to the starving, sick and injured children in Iraq.

In 2001, MECA and Voices in the Wilderness bought a school bus, took out the seats, built beds and desks for computers, and named the bus in memory of an Iraqi child who was killed by sanctions. The “Remembering Omran” bus traveled across the US stopping at high schools, universities and churches. Activists got off the bus to show videos about the war and the sanctions, to speak about their first-hand experiences in Iraq and to dispell the lies our government was telling about weapons of mass destruction. The bus travelled at least 5000 miles collecting school supplies at each stop to be sent to children in Iraq. Though MECA is no longer an organizer, the bus still travels across the US educating people about the situation in Iraq and Palestine under the name “Wheels of Justice.”

Since the US invasion in 2003, it has been extremely difficult to deliver aid. But MECA has managed to send $350,000 of medicine in 2005 and $758,000 in medicine and medical supplies to a pediatric hospital in Baghdad in 2007.

Palestine

Throughout the years of war and sanctions in Iraq, MECA continued to support programs for children in Palestine. MECA has had a special relationship with the youth in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. We have supported a women’s embroidery collective, computer center and many educational workshops on health and nutrition in the camp. In 1999 MECA brought a dance troupe of 20 children and their leaders to the United States. The children performed traditional Palestinian debkah and theatrical choreography that tell the stories of Palestinian refugees in theaters, schools and churches across the country. MECA raised close to $200,000 on this trip and the same amount in 2003 and 2005 when the children came back to perform. The funds from the three tours enabled the community build a four-story guest house with a restaurant, computer center, and mutiprupose hall and a five-story women’s building which houses a kindergarten, children’s library, mental health clinic and other projects for women. The tours were also an opportunity for children from Palestine and children in the US to get to know each other.

In 2002, Israeli tanks and helicopters invaded Dheisheh Camp and soldiers took over one of the buildings. They used the roof as a sniper’s nest and critically wounded four small children. Then they destroyed most of what was inside the center. MECA, along with other partners, rebuilt the center.

MECA’s work in Palestine keeps growing in new directions. MECA’s scholarship program in the West Bank and Gaza has helped many talented young people get the education that they deserve.  Last year, 100 students were able to attend universities in Palestine thanks to scholarships from MECA. Four young boys and one girl had the opportunity to graduate from colleges here in the US.

MAIA ProjectMECA Director of Gaza projects, Dr. Mona El-Farra has facilitated emergency aid distribution for MECA and support for remarkable projects in refugee camps like a soccer team, libraries and play rooms, summer camps, health education and most recently, the Maia Project.

In September 2009, MECA launched the Maia Project, a long-term initiative to address one of the most harmful features of the Israeli Occupation and the blockade of Gaza: Water. Our partner, Afaq Jadeeda Association, coordinates the Maia Project installations in Gaza. By the end of 2009, MECA provided funds for clean drinking water systems in two kindergartens and five large elementary and middle schools in Gaza.

 

 

Gaza food aid

Aid from Meca arriving in Gaza, 2009

But our aid work in Palestine also continues. In January 2009 Director Barbara Lubin and Gaza Projects Director Dr. Mona El-Farra flew to Cairo during the brutal Israeli attacks to meet a four-ton shipment of medicine and medical supplies coming from Europe that MECA had arranged months before. This in-kind shipment, valued at $1.6 million, was delivered to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip who then distributed it to local hospitals and clinics. While in Cairo, Barbara and Mona purchased and delivered more than seven tons of powdered milk, fortified children’s cereal, an ambulance, wheelchairs, and surgical instrument—as well as a full truckload of art and school supplies. During the bombardment and invasion, MECA sent funds to our partner organization, Afaq Jadeeda Association to buy and distribute food, blankets, and plastic sheets to cover broken windows.

MECA’s Work at Home

While MECA works to address the terrible harm done to children in the Middle East, we know that only a just and lasting political solution will protect their lives and their rights.  As a US organization we work to educate people here and do everything we can to change public opinion and stop our financial support for the state of Israel. Since 1988 MECA has brought the reality of children’s lives to tens of thousands of people through public events and the media. We have organized dozens of demonstrations and actions to protest war, occupation and sanctions against the children.

Barbara Lubin at a MECA Children's Center
Barbara Lubin at a MECA children’s center in Gaza, July 2009
Reflecting on twenty-two years of work, MECA Director Barbara Lubin says: “It’s hard not to get discouraged when day after day children are killed and maimed, land is stolen, homes are destroyed. A fourth generation is growing up in refugee camps. Palestine and the Palestinians are in real danger of extermination. But somehow my perspective becomes more optimistic when I’m there and I see first-hand the strength and vitality of so many people.  And I see more and more people here willing to speak out, standing up to the smear tactics of the pro-Israel side, contributing their time and money. I am extremely grateful to our partners in Palestine for carrying out such important work, and for all the people who, through MECA, are giving children the chance to live, to just be children, and to envision a better future for themselves, their families and their country.”

It was Barbara Lubin and Howard Zinn*, both Jewish, who supported me in my wish to be involved in the ongoing crisis for the Palestinian people in Gaza and greater Palestine. I had been labeled anti-Semitic by some of the people I loved best, simply for having this desire. As the people of the world are standing up for Palestine today, following the massive intent by Israel to commit globally witnessed genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza, I think of the importance of elders in the world community who teach, not only by speaking out, but  by their  behavior, whether they survive or not, to encourage action that might liberate us all, on behalf of our common humanity. Deep bows. ~aw

*The trustworthy historian.  Howard Zinn

 


For Gaza and Palestine: This is how I love you.~aw  (Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles)

(Please watch Stevie Wonder and others singing)


Dr. Mamie Lee Walker

February 15, 1932 – October 23, 2023

Here you are as we knew you when we were children: bright, free, alert, and an artist in every way
You could imagine
From an
Imagination that knew
No bounds!
Who could forget your lack
Of interest in ordinary cooking?
When you thought mashed potatoes
And green onions
And carrots
Should naturally evolve
Into a rooster with
An orange beak
And a long green, and seriously
Impudent tail!
The Stories you told!  The games
You improvised! The endless
Care you took that we connected
Reading to real life!
How many Christmas trees
You helped to hunt down,
Then drag toward
Our house!
How many pretty skirts
And jackets
You brought us
From far off Central
America and Mexico!
How you loved us
In our crushing poverty!
That we thought was just
Real life.
Now I see the breach
That so burdened us:
We could not even imagine
The world we lost you to.
You could not see how
We would ever escape.
Oh my sister,
Go on with your seriously
Undaunted and upright self!
Rolling toward becoming
Ashes,
Which, if she still lived,
Our mother would sprinkle
Among her other flowers.
You will bloom again
We know
In a future we can
As humans
Only
Imagine.
I see you perky, though.
Perhaps telling the trees
Around you
To limit their shade
In your direction.
Or moving
Your flower feet
Out of the way
Of humans
Who would step
On anything.
***

Copyright 2023 Alice Walker

Dra. Mamie Lee Walker 15 de febrero de 1932-23 de octubre de 2023
 


Avaaz Sudanese child alone torn clothing burns throughout body 2023-10-23What have you done? ~aw
October 23, 2023


A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 10, 2023. (Fatima Shbair/AP)
A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 10, 2023. (Fatima Shbair/AP)

Oct 16, 2023
Episode: Voices of Gaza
The Daily Podcast New York Times

“Warning: This episode contains descriptions of death.

As the conflict continues, Israel has blocked food, water and electricity from entering Gaza and has bombarded the area with airstrikes that have killed more than 2,600 Palestinians.

Late last week, Israel ordered people in the north of Gaza, nearly half the enclave’s population, to evacuate to the south ahead of an expected Israeli ground invasion. Many in Gaza now fear that this mass expulsion will become permanent.

Last week we told the story of a father of four whose kibbutz was attacked by Hamas. Today, we hear from the Gaza residents Abdallah Hasaneen and Wafa Elsaka about what they’ve experienced so far and what they expect will come next.

Guest: Abdallah Hasaneen, from the town Rafah in southern Gaza. Wafa Elsaka, a Palestinian-American and one of those who have fled from the north of Gaza over the past few days.”  (NYT Podcast post – Voices of Gaza)

There is no “other.” This is happening to us.~aw

 


 

The ‘Sheer Evil’ of Israel’s War Crimes: Israeli General’s Son Speaks Out
Duration: 01:01:59 minutes

Do we want to live? ~aw


 

Also:  Israel’s long war on Gaza w/Norman Finkelstein | The Chris Hedges Report – YouTube

Fortunate is a world that has great teachers in it. ~aw

 



It is a joy to hear this Kennedy. Though he is wrong about Palestine. And this is why. ~aw


 

September

EMERGENCY EPISODE Mo Gawdat Podcast E252. Steven Bartlett, podcaster.

“It is not about how long.” Mo Gawdat

Along with other things I didn’t ask for, Tik Tok appeared on my computer.  Often the snippets of American life are sad and depressing; we see we are losing, if we ever had it, a grace that drug use, homelessness, terror, war, insufficient food, violence – sexual and otherwise –  are designed to stamp out.

 America and Americans did exhibit a grace.  Perhaps it was the grace of innocence.  Or ignorance.

In any case I was riveted by the Tik Tok presentation of a young white male apparently over-dosed on what seemed to be the stairs of an institution, perhaps a college. A collection of janitors, passersby and medics were rushing to help him, but from the look of things, it was too late.

Some genius placed WHITNEY HOUSTON singing The Goodness of God Duration over this scene.  Just her extraordinary voice.  I felt shattered – in a good way; profoundly – by the juxtaposition. This “shattering” is – for those not of the Love Faith that some have inherited from the marvel of Existence itself – what is called, or was called in the church in which I grew up and was baptized,  “Surrendering” or “Getting happy.”

To see this occurring in a grownup you knew as staid and proper, in his or her daily life, was incredibly thrilling to a six and seven year old. You wondered if you would ever have that same capacity to exhibit spiritual freedom, regardless that people were watching you.  What you learn if you are lucky is that you can have this experience even alone in front of your computer.

Artificial Intelligence is apparently poised to take away a lot of what makes us human and capable of intense spiritual and emotional states. Hence the grief that smashes into our faith.

It goes deeper.  The ones who handed slaves the Bible later handed them the word for “God.”  Lord.  For of course they were lords and why wouldn’t the grandest being they could imagine  be but a bigger version of themselves? Those who wish to rule us, to have us living in 15 minute cities and eating crickets would impose their own “Masters of the Universe” label for themselves. But just as Mo Gawdat reminds us that “it is not about how long,” we can remind ourselves of the many kinds of artificial intelligence we have already outrun.  That it is the “duration” itself that is assured, and we, in whatever form,  are to witness that. Or, in the words of another of our heartrending songs:  “He (i.e. Love) didn’t bring me this far, just to leave me.”

Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, also sings Goodness Of God Duration.  And, to my ears, her singing of it is superior.  Also, if you Google the song, you will see someone has thoughtfully provided the lyrics.  But Whitney’s singing – some of the words a bit slurred or almost swallowed – reminds us, as soul warriors, of the struggles and the losses.  Not just from drugs.  Rest in peace Whitney and Michael whom we will love into forever.  Not just between us and “the lord” but between us and our mothers.

Between us and the devil so often described and denounced in our church. A devil that turns out to be, too often, our unfortunate blinding by the light that looks like sun (the ultimate God and soul of Earth; along with Love) but is not.  Only a fake “gold” ever glinting before us as we rush to possess it, and finding, usually too late, that it wasn’t worth the chase.~aw

EPISODIO DE EMERGENCIA Mo Gawdat Podcast E252


E Homai Zelie Kuliaikanu u Duvauchelle Song Cover

Song credit: E Homai Zelie Kuliaikanu’u Duvauchelle  |  Song source: Zelied and E Homai Song recording

E Homai is a kāhea, a calling chant
Preceding gatherings to call in insight and knowledge from the hidden forces-for the task at hand.

E homai ka ‘ike mai luna mai e
O na mea huna no’eau o na (mele) e
E homai, e homai, e homai e….
Grant us knowledge (insight) from above
Of the things hidden in these chants/songs
Grant us these things…

And with fervent aloha to the people of Maui. ~aw

En Español, E Homai

New photo of Alice, Zelie and maybe Marley!


AUGUST

Mauna Kea, Montaña Sagrada, Conducta Sagrada

That Mauna Kea, the Mountain, is understood to demand that the people’s protest of protection for Her be rooted in Sacred Conduct, is one of the reasons I love Hawaiian activists. Respect. Honor. Cherish. Defend. Praise.  Though most often without land of any kind to call our own, let us climb together, on all continents. Our people are our Sacred Mountain.~AW

El que se entienda que Mauna Kea, la Montaña, reclame que las protestas de la gente por la protección de ella se afiancen en una actitud sagrada es una de las razones por las que amo a los activistas Hawaianos. Respeto. Honor. Aprecio. Defensa. Halago.  Aunque muy frecuentemente sin tierra de ningún tipo que podamos llamar nuestra, ascendamos juntos, en todos los continentes. Nuestras gentes son nuestra Montaña Sagrada. AW/MV

Since I was very small I have felt that everything, in the natural world, is made of love. As I grew, I realized Love is covered over with hostilities of all kinds. That there is anger, fear, distrust, incessant and unshakeable memory of harm done to us. There is fighting. There is war. However, somewhere, always, there are humans who connect with the intuition I held as a child: that it is all, everything in nature that we see and feel around us, is made of Love. I realize our method of uncovering this Love comes to us most often through song, a direct conduit from the soul.

Mauna Kea, Sacred Mountain, Sacred Conduct demonstrates this intuitive knowing of what is Sacred. Love is the most Sacred of all experiences on our Earth. May this magnificent offering of a film, condensed into one long song of liberation, guide us to our deepest connection to what truly matters: Defending our right to honor, protect, and celebrate the grandest Love of all, a Love that never leaves us alone, our planetary Mother, Earth. ~Alice Walker

August: 2023: I thank Meleanna Meyer for her steadfast documentation of the people’s struggle to be free, and themselves, in their own land.  I re-offer her film as encouragement to the people of Maui who are suffering so grievously.  Remember who we are: we are the Indigenous around the planet who know and love our Mother. Though tested severely by forces whose motives and faces may be hidden from us, there remains a protocol of conduct that we who believe we know, for sure, who our earth parent is, must never forsake.  Some days this will seem impossible, because of the brutal severity of pain; but if we can stand with Her, in her steadfastness and determination not to be completely trashed, and disappeared, at the very least our hearts will be calm and our spirits, free.~aw 8.17.23

Mauna Kea, Montaña Sagrada, Conducta Sagrada

Desde que era muy pequeña he creído que todo, en el mundo natural, está hecho de amor. A medida que crecía, me percaté de que el amor está cubierto por hostilidades de todo tipo. Que hay ira, miedo, desconfianza, memoria incesante e inquebrantable del daño que nos han infligido. Hay enfrentamientos. Hay guerra. No obstante, en algún lugar, siempre, hay seres humanos que concuerdan con la intuición que sustenté desde niña: que todo, cuanto en la naturaleza vemos y sentimos a nuestro alrededor, está hecho de amor. Me di cuenta de que nuestro método para descubrir este amor llega a nosotros con frecuencia a través de una canción, un conducto directo desde el alma.

Mauna Kea, montaña sagrada, conducta sagrada, nos muestra tal conocimiento intuitivo de lo sagrado. El amor es la más sagrada de todas las experiencias sobre la Tierra. Ojalá que el magnifico ofrecimiento de una película, resumida en una larga canción de liberación, nos guíe a nuestra conexión más profunda con lo que verdaderamente importa: defender nuestro derecho a honrar, proteger, y celebrar al más grandioso amor de todos, un amor que nunca nos deja solos, nuestra planetaria Madre Tierra. ~ Alice Walker

Agosto 2023: Agradezco a Meleanna Meyer por su inquebrantable documentación de la lucha del pueblo por ser libre, y ser ellos mismos, en su propia tierra. Vuelvo a ofrecer su película como aliento a la gente de Maui que está sufriendo tan dolorosamente. Recuerden quienes somos: somos los nativos de todo el planeta que conocemos y amamos a nuestra Madre Aunque puestos a prueba severamente por fuerzas cuyos motivos y rostros pueden estar ocultos para nosotros, existe un protocolo de conducta que nosotros, que creemos que sabemos con certeza quién es nuestro progenitora terrenal, nunca debemos abandonar. Algunas veces esto parecerá imposible, debido a la brutal severidad del dolor; pero si podemos permanecer junto a Ella, en su firmeza y determinación de no ser completamente destrozada y desaparecida, por lo menos nuestros corazones estarán tranquilos y nuestros espíritus libres.~aw 8..17.23

Original post, Mauna Kea: Sacred Mountain, Sacred Conduct –   |  Translated by Manuel Garcia Verdecia

2023-08-18, Sharing an article on Hawaii Fires, Water Rights and Disaster Capitalism,

Why was there no water to fight the fire in Maui? | Naomi Klein and Kapuaʻala Sproat

The Hawaii fires are a dire omen of the climate crisis’s cost to Pacific peoples, Kiana Davenport

An insightful, if heartbreaking commentary by the great Hawaiian/American writer, Kiana Davenport.


AUGUST

“Men’s Work:  Ending male violence.”

I once shared my life with a man who co-founded a men’s group and that was their slogan.

I think of it now, having seen, finally, Sound of Freedom.  I have been far from theaters but caught it on its last day in a town hours away.  I was deeply moved.  It is so true that the work of rescuing children from pedophiles and other predators is the most crucial work on the planet; and preventing the traffic in children, their literal enslavement, must be at the top of everyone’s priority list.  Abused children grow up to be traumatized adults who, without enormous help in reclaiming their sense of worth, are likely to lead lives of unending suffering and distress; capable of inflicting their own suffering on what they perceived as children to be a deaf and uncaring adult world.

Watching this film, attempting to comprehend the enormity of the traffic in children, absorbing a fraction of the horror they are feeling even as this tiniest part of their story is told via film, I almost despair of us as human beings: that human adults could ever conceive of turning on defenseless children in the ways depicted in the film. A film based on solid evidence of the staggering number of little ones who are suffering.

What to do with our abhorrence?  Or grief?  Our despair?

At the very end of the film we are reminded that America was once a country where owning human beings, including infants, was legal, and considered ok by an unbelievably huge number of people.

The beginning of the resistance to hundreds of years of slavery was in acts of rebellion, begun, usually, by one person. Nat Turner comes to mind.  As does his fate.

After “many thousands gone” we have learned to step to the side of the one who is standing up.  May it be so, where Sound of Freedom, and its creator, Tim Ballard, are concerned.

In this, and in so many instances now on our suffering planet may we realize: We are the ones we have been waiting for. ~aw

***

Esta publicación de la película Sound of Freedom en español

New video added 2023-08-18: Redacted “Baby Farming Industry in Ukraine”:

 


JULY

 

Alice Walker with friend July 2023

Two sisters walking: Perseverance furthers. Ref: the I Ching.          Photo 2023  by Vaschelle Andre

 


Children sitting at an outdoor table with tropical Mexico backdrop, cat at foot of chair and photo of Che Guevara on table top JULY 2023 photo by Alice Walker

Two boys studying. Martin’s restaurant. La Manzanilla, Mexico    Photo: by Alice Walker 2023

Dos chicos estudiando. Restaurante Martín. La Manzanilla, México Foto: por Alice Walker 2023

Related post: Happy Birthday Beloved Ernesto Che Guevara Serna June 14th

 


JUNE

Pacific Stories Kiana Davenport book cover

Kiana Davenport is an extraordinary writer.  I knew this years ago from reading Shark Dialogues.  But even that book which relieved me of considerable ignorance about Hawaii and Hawaiians did not prepare me for the breathtaking stories and magically precise writing, in this book.  A book not only about the people of Hawaii but of Fiji, Guam, Easter Island, Tahiti, Australia, Aotearoa, and other places in the Pacific I’d never heard of.

I have never encountered characters like some of those in these stories. Which has felt shocking.  It is almost as if we are finally seeing a third of the planet that we never knew existed, and it is revealing itself to us because part of it escaped (the writer, a native Hawaiian of mixed race) to “tell the others” what has been and is still going on.

What has “ European civilization” been like for those who, never inviting it, were forced to endure it?  What were they like, some of those indigenous civilizations that were in fact terrifying, especially to women, before “the long pigs” (some of whom were eaten) invaded their islands? Who added so many bright colors to Gauguin’s paintings of “his” Tahitians if what he saw was mostly green? (An astonishing tale!)  So many tantalizing observations, conjectures, quandaries. We are left as I am so often with the question:  what makes writers?  Who are we? How do we get to paint pictures in other people’s minds?  How do we bring time back to be observed, examined; if possible, understood?

***

Photo of Kiana DavenportKiana Davenport

En espanol, HISTORIAS DEL PACIFICO House of Skin, Cannibal Nights, Opium Dreams

 


Daniel Ellsberg, Presente!

Toward the end
It is said you enjoyed
The foods you liked
And returned with gratitude
And humor
The smiles
Of your beloveds and friends.
We will miss you. Though you must
Realize
You are not really gone?
This is how it works, as Thich Nhat Hanh
Reminded us:
A cloud never dies.
Therefore:
Like truth,
Courage is a cloud
That can drench us
With eternity.
Thank you.
For yourself,
and for standing with another courageous one:
Julian Assange. ~aw

¡Daniel Ellsberg, Presente!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Beloved Ernesto “Che” Guevara Serna: June 14th

With one of his children: October 1967 in Bolivia

Earnest and Faithful
Copyright 2023 by Alice Walker

Weeping
I stood close
As I could get
To your bones
In the crypt
In Santa Clara
Where lacy ferns
Inspired by your
Revolutionary
Gardener
soulmate
Celia Sanchez
Threw
Green shadows
On the walls.
For so long we did not know
Where your assassins
Buried you.
But your brother “Faithful”*
Found the desolate hole
Beside an airport
Runway
In a distant country
Dug you up
And  brought you
Home
To us.

Though they took your healer’s
Hands
That comforted so many
They did not succeed
In destroying
Your rebel spirit
And renegade heart.
These survive
In us.  Humans who
As long as strength
Lasts
Recognize
And defend
All
Other

Abused
Humans
As our tribe.

====
*“Fidel”
*It is possible that if Artificial Intelligence robots have one blessing it will be to enlighten humans to the reality
That we are One tribe.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara Serna,  1967.

Arriving in Life with apparently nothing; we can leave with everything. Who is still alive in this photo? There are no words, really. Only: thank you for the love. ~aw 

 

Consciente y Fiel

 


Rebecca-Walker-Alice-Walker-Scott-Sanders-producers-Back-With-the-Wind-The-Color-Purple-The-Musical-Christmas-2023Rebecca Walker, Alice Walker, Scott Sanders, producers

Back With the Wind, The Color Purple (The Musical), Christmas 2023. 

Photo credit: Vaschelle Andre of Divine Photography


MAY

Robert Allen, Alice Walker (with magic wand), Rebecca Walker opening night of The Color Purple NYC 1985

Happy Birthday! May 29th

Beloved Robert Allen
Your love of the moon
And of this earth
That tree
This water running
Down a hill
The sound of frogs
The grass under our feet
Warmed by sun –
All this …
Thank you.~aw


Queen Charlotte Shondaland!

The Wonders of Shondaland!  Deep bows to Shonda Rhimes. ©2023 by Alice Walker

I’ve put off writing about Queen Charlotte, which must be a new iteration of Bridgerton,with which I have not kept up, because like much great art I have loved, it leaves me speechless.  But then I mused, in meditation, how lucky we are to have  art that does this to us!  

In any case, Queen Charlotte does that thing great art does: it surprises you. Constantly.  It also doesn’t care one bit about your prejudices and your thoughts that such and such could not/should not be done!  

What a joy it is to see young queen Charlotte and young king George in all their determined coming to terms with the wicked demands of the British Empire when all they’d really like to do is get him well, attend to the stars and learn progressive ways to farm; also do more dancing, and spend most days in bed.

Cheers to everyone but especially to the beyond delightful India Ria Amarteifio, and the sweetest pea Corey Mylchreest, and the gay retainers/support system so often overlooked and who are frequently, as these two in Queen Charlotte are, completely adorable!

Posted May 27, 2023


May 24 2023

Tina Turner

Deep bows.

Beloved Tina Turner

Blessings 
On the Life
And Moving On
Of a True Rebel.
Leaving us
To look for you
Forever
Among the stars
And in ourselves. ~aw


Young Adriene-Rich bettye-lane-photographs-schlesingerAdrienne Rich Cover photo Outward

May 16th
Happy Birthday!
Beloved Adrienne Rich
Who refused
To remain asleep
In any part
Of your life
And consciousness.
Great woman.
Great poet.
Thank you. ~aw

image 1: Harvard Radcliffe Institute Schlesinger Library Collections / image 2: Eamonn McCabe/Popperfoto


Seeing Myself through Alice Walker’s Eyes — Self-Portrait, by Jean Weisinger, 1991, Oversize Box 3:4, SDiane Bogus papers, BANC MSS 2018/280, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

May 14th

Happy Birthday!
Beloved Jean Weisinger
Master photographer
Of so many
Brave and beautiful
Sisters.
Thank you for the 
Tangible witnessing
(In film)
That makes remembrance
Delightful
And …
More possible. ~aw

Image source: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley – Constellations of Black feminism in UC Berkeley’s archives


Mothers’ Day

soldier carrying another wounded soldier
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” ~Julia Ward Howe

Image source: Upstate medical university


RRR Movie poster

Great films that I have neglected to write about still linger in the shadows of my consciousness, though I realize I cannot write about every great offering by committed people that arrives on the screen.  And it is also true that until now, when there appears to be more time, I was not likely to be found in front of the television. Some offerings have haunted me:  Click Bait, for instance; and Dopesick.  I remember making a note about them: that they were presented by people, and especially by the persons acting in them, as a prayer.  That this level of artistic expression has something of holiness (the good kind) about it.

And that is true also of recent offerings, two astonishing Indian Films: The White Tiger and RRR.

Aravind Adiga“Iqbal,* that great poet, was so right. The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave. To hell with the Naxals and their guns shipped from China. If you taught every poor boy how to paint, that would be the end of the rich in India.”

― Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

*Muhammad Allama Iqbal 1877–1938

I watched White Tiger first. Blown completely alert to a view of poverty in India that is not an advertisement to travel or to meditate.  But moved beyond imagining by discovery of a poet of whom I had heard nothing, Muhammad Allama Iqbal.  Who wrote the above line which is worth repeating even in this small space, because it is so overlooked and true:  the moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave.

You may still be poor as dust but nothing can prevent you realizing the freedom you exhibit in being able to recognize wonder.

So this led to RRR, of which I had heard not one word!  Though apparently much of the world raved about it a while ago.  This film is indescribable, really.  And seems to be in a way what film was made for: incredible feats of imagination, terrifying battles between good and evil, the search for goodness or even sanity during centuries of British Colonial rule in India where there was not even common sense.  A wonderful lampooning of the English who were so dreadfully used and misguided by their leaders, the kings and queens back home in England! 

And beneath it all, a stout reliance on ancient Hindu myth about who one’s guru can be. For truly, are we not always looking?

An unforgettable film with many memorable moments but none so welcome as when the wild animals leap to the side of the humans worth standing with; and we are left gasping  at this spectacle of solidarity between us and them that leaves us, after all our damage to animals, hopeful.  A miraculous vision.~aw

***

“Let the People Decide,” Bob Moses of SNCC, The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, to Black People in Mississippi, USA 1960s.


David Icke 2023

Happy Birthday, Beloved David Icke, April 29th

Imagine! I was never supposed to like you, David. Two hundred years stood against any affection.   As a child, seeing you, so unlike my own clan, I would have run! But I do like and admire you.  Banning you from 26 countries does nothing to ban you from my regard. Those banning you are running, like I might have, from a fright most have only heard about! You are a miracle, really. A wonder. A being of supreme stubbornness.  You will never be in a field anywhere and not be noticed for the fierce flower that you are. A rare signal that perhaps humanity is loved, after all.  As the color of your shirt reminds us. ~aw


Happy Birthday, Mumia Abu Jamal!

 

Happy Birthday, Beloved Mumia! April 24
Rest assured that
though not in prison
we are aging right along
with you.  Age is a new world
as all worlds to come
must be.  We love you
and thank you
for all you have given us
by maintaining the spirit
of fierce engagement
against injustice 
and tyranny
that in its eternal nature
of resistance
is forever free. ~aw

~aw


Happy Birthday! April 20th.
Beloved Sue Hoya Sellars
Evolved Being
Great Artist.
                 Neighbor extraordinaire.
I miss you, always.
~aw


alice walkers garden show man on top of a palapa

Photo 2023 by Alice Walker

The man who appears tiny as he repairs a palapa in my garden seems like a magician to me. I wish I had words in his language to tell him how impressed I am – instead I offer a deep bow, and two apples. 

Yesterday a friend took me to look at a dusty, far from “civilization” village of perhaps thirty residents. As I gazed, he said: this is the village of the palapa makers. 

Nothing was shipshape.  In the heat and dust, nothing stirred.  And yet, here is where genius lived. Magicians of stripped wooden poles and leaves of palms, sun browned men make extraordinary, leak proof, creations out of poles, palmas, and fibrous rope. 

Though palapas often sit atop structures two stories high, nowhere did I see a ladder!  

Sometimes I feel this world is  too much for me. That  I will just, very quietly, keel over from admiration, astonishment, and awe. ~aw

From a book in Progress:  Seeing Is Everything by Alice Walker

Mexican Palapa Builders Alice Walkers Garden 2023-04

Palapa in Mexico, photo by Vaschelle Andre 2019



Turning Away From the Wreck:
Blowing a kiss to Adrienne Rich

Copyright 2023 by Alice Walker

Will the one on the way
To prison
Run for President?
Will the one who should be
Napping
Forget us 
In his sleep?
Let us rouse ourselves
Americans.
We who can barely 
Grasp 
How it has happened
That we have fallen
Into impotent rage
And manufactured
Controversy.
We who sit stunned
To see our children
Becoming strangers
And the dollar bill
Disappearing 
Into memory.

What can we do? Usually
Something
We do not wish
To care about:
We must listen
To each other.  Shouting 
Each other down
Will not save us.
The river is high
As foretold by Hopi elders;
Our raft 
Not strong.  Sturdiness
Of anything, it seems,
Has become a concept
From the past.

Still.  Let us gather ourselves.
Lie under a tree somewhere
And reread or read for the first time
Leaves of Grass 
Poetry that reminds us
Where we are 
Always heading 
Regardless of how loud
And cruelly
Some of us shout.

Today I think I saw
A way out of our distress:
It is the same vision I have
When times are not only hard
But insane:
Dump everything you can
That does not work
Has not worked
And never will.
Listen to those 
Sensible enough
To love themselves;
Clear headed and hearted enough
To see that you
Even confused and hard to take
Are another version
Of themselves.

Who knows, “lucky Americans”
We might still
Have the slimmest
Chance:

And citizen representation
Thoughtfully reimagined,
by Grand Parent
Council.
Even with this prescription
We are not talking about
Being saved.

We are in the rapids
Headed for a destiny
Long foretold
Of Conquering Empires.

We will think new thoughts
Or drown in the turbulence
Of our
Self-righteous
Hot air
That is a flimsy
Covering
For our grief
A mocking
Echo
Of our
Despair.


Wisdom Exists

Dr. Reverend Elouise Oliver Emeritus East Bay Church of Religious Science

Happy Birthday Rev. E! (Elouise Oliver)

(April 1st)

So wise and deeply
Caring. Wholeheartedly
Appreciated and loved
For your truth telling empathy
That makes us think,
Weep,
And sometimes
Laugh.~aw

Thank you.


March

Beloved of Ancestors

Alice Walker Tracy Chapman 1990s

Tracy and Alice camping mid-Nineties.  Photo by Tracy Chapman

Happy birthday! (March 30th)

Blessed one
Who carries 
 ancestors
In your voice-
As extraordinary
And faithful 
To your course
As the sun.~aw

 


Encouraged

Happy Birthday (March 25th)
Beloved Gloria Steinem,
Encouraged by your generous way 
With Life
We are baptized into a deeper
 Affirmation 
Of  Loving
Friendship.
Thank you.~aw

Gloria, Alice, Roberto
Early 90s, Mexico


          A Blessing

Happy Birthday, my favorite brother Bill Walker, born March 23. Who left us decades too soon. The memory of our bond, and your steadfastness beside me as a child, remains a strength. Thank you. ~aw. Photo of Alice Walker and Rodney Lee, both of Georgia!  by Canadian filmmaker Anne Wheeler, 2023.


                         The Sacred Journey Into Love

                       Your Teacher Will Have Come Through a Lot

Quincy Jones March 14

Happy Birthday!
Ninety years of being you.
Amazing.
We are grateful.
And we thank you
for the teachings 
in this book 
and in your life.
It isn’t easy, this life.
But it is a dance.

~aw


                   Some Lucky Ones Have Sussed Who “God” Is

Nakawe, Huichol Goddess of Vegetation, i.e., Nature  Photo by Alice Walker

Peace is all around us ___in the world and in nature __ and within us __in our bodies, and our spirits.  Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. It is not a matter of faith; it is a matter of practice. 

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Nawake, La paz está por doquier


February

“Beauty is truth, Truth beauty,–that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Ode on a Grecian Urn | By poet John Keats

©2023 by Alice Walker

I got up this morning
Happily thoughtful
About two
Extremely
Beautiful men:*
I couldn’t believe it.
They were men
I’d never noticed before
But here is what they had
In common:
They were both talking
About war. How deeply
Absurd
It usually is.

Who knows how Spirit works?
But recognition
Was instant. Definitely we are
Spirit kin.

The main thing
Is they are both Truth tellers
(And one of them even has a dog!)
Both confident as they sallied forth
Across my tiny screen.

They were telling the truth
About the war
That, presently, is likely
To get us all killed.
If not sooner
Then later.  You know,
From fallout.
Fallout that has to go
Somewhere
Though Americans never
Like to think
Of that.

Yes, they are beautiful.
So beautiful they brought
This easy crier
To happy tears.
Because Truth
More than anything else
Is great fun.
It has a playful, freeing quality
That makes us
Sob
With relief.

*Scott Ritter and Col. Douglass MacGregor; Witness both on REDACTED.

 

Me Levante Esta Mañana: La Belleza es Verdad, la Verdad Belleza


Blood Sisters | Hermanas de Sangre

What happens to us if we drown our true selves in what is fake?

 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOKO!
February 18

Alice Walker and Yoko Ono

Beloved Yoko Ono, having known what war does after the bombing of your country, Japan, you have worked all your life for peace. What an inspiration you were to John, and then to all the rest of us, perpetually. Thank you for your focussed, unblinking light. ~aw. Photo of Yoko and Alice by Pratibha Parmar, (Feb. 11!). Reykjavik, Iceland, 2010.

Listen to Yoko’s version of Imagine


How Elites Will Create a New Class of Slaves | Whitney Webb | The Glenn Beck Podcast | Ep 162″

This is my first experience of Glenn Beck and I like his ability to listen.  Listening is the most important thing now, it seems to me, because deeply hearing what is being told to us is, after all, how we learn. Whitney Webb is always worth listening to.  Now with a massive two volume offering about so much that has puzzled us, she is to be found on most of the media that realizes the danger, as a human race, we are in. Deep bow.~aw


Roger Waters United Nations Full Speech

Thank you, for all the years of standing up, and for remembering John Lennon, always standing with us, in spirit.  And Yoko Ono, fierce force for Peace. ~aw

Source: LESSONS 4 LIFE youtube
(9 Feb 2023) Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters addressed the United Nations Security Council

 


BEING OLD!!! 

Alice’s 79th birthday morning after with jazz great saxophonist Bindu (see Hindu mythology) of Colima, Mexico, by way of New Orleans.  Who said to me, after my niece Ti flagged him and his lady from the beach next day:  It is hard work being yourself!  At which we laughed in recognition! Also Ede the wonder dog with white rabbit, much adored!

 

Alice with Bindu and his lady and his band! Dancing was done!!!

Alice with Jonathan McCloud, the super smart, and painter Shiloh McCloud, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, old and dear friend from Spelman days (!) Bindu and Isabelle, and my niece Ti Walker who pulled it all together! 

Alice and Ti! My brother’s child. Juntos! The straight lick with the crooked stick!

 


How do children get revenge on the adults responsible for the evil done to them?  How do grownups recover from having failed to defend a child? Can revenge be enjoyed without harming ourselves?

These are questions evoked by the intensely moving and beautifully presented Netflix offering from South Africa: SAVAGE BEAUTY. They are questions I have pondered over a lifetime, but especially during decades of hesitating, then committing to work on, the widespread disgrace of the “reshaping” of children’s bodies to suit adult fantasies: facial cutting, and, specifically, female genital mutilation.  I don’t think parents, and other adults, imagine, that while they may be culturally and ideologically supported in harming the integrity of a child’s body, the child may grow up to realize a different mind set than was had, submissively, as a six or seven year old, and deeply abhor what has been done.  In my work listening to women who were “cut” as children, sometimes as infants, I have heard many stories that chilled my heart. There is anger. Quite a lot of it. A rage that must go somewhere. I have wondered: How much peace, in the world, is destroyed because of a child’s impotent hurt? And who are we, as adults, to stand silently by?

This series, about a beauty “Empire” in post apartheid South Africa that deals in destructive skin bleaching creams, and is not about the cutting of faces or mutilation of genitals, challenges adults to be prepared to reap the consequences of even “well intended”  harm done to defenseless children who may grow up to seek revenge.~aw

Choices

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our
Thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the
World.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws
The cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our
Thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the
World.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakeable.

“Look how he abused me and
Beat me.
How he threw me down and robbed
Me.”
Live in such thoughts and you live
In hate.

“Look how he abused me and
Beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed
Me.”
Abandon such thoughts and live
In love.

In this world
Hate has never dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law
Ancient and inexhaustible,
You too shall pass away.
Knowing this, how can you quarrel?

From The DHAMMAPADA: The Sayings of the Buddha, a medicine teaching for those who can bear it.~aw

Belleza Salvaje


January

Alice Walker inside home 2023

The Welcome Table for Oprah. January 29th.
Photo by Alice Walker 2023

Happy Birthday
Astounding One.
A phenomenon
Of global connectivity
As unexpected
As a second
Moon.
You teach us
Many things:
That we can grow
In complexity
& generosity
To others
And to Self
As well as move
the whole world 
While not moving
ourselves
-unless we want to –
From our chair.

***

Feliz Cumpleaños Increíble Ser.


Diana, Goddess of the Hunt

My own view is that Diana was not originally Goddess of the Hunt, but Goddess of the hunted. Protector of those animals who were pursued by men on horseback, or with dogs, who drove them to their deaths.  That she was appropriated by ancient hunters who wished to feel absolved of evil, as they murdered, and frequently dismembered, the creatures they pursued.  I thought about this Diana as I listened to SPARE by Prince Harry, “Spike,” Duke of Sussex.  Who might now, I muse, in America, change his name to Harry Duke, which has a sturdy sound. And in fact, would match his sturdy character.

I was surprised how much I liked this book, liked this man our Meg has married.  I say “our” Meg because her ostracism by the British press has thrown her so solidly into our ranks – as people of color –it feels right to claim her. And of course there is her mother, Doria, who is so recognizable as a sister, with her dreadlocks and soulful staunchness, that we are not only happy she exists, we feel like cheering.

Harry, in this important book, is on a long, internally harrowing, voyage to a reconnection to his mother, Diana. He needs desperately to see her face again.  Seeing her body after death – which my own culture would have demanded – was forbidden. Diana, loved not only by her grieving son, but by so many of us around the globe, did die.  For some unfathomable reason, her sons were not allowed to see the truth, the awful finality of this. No wonder Prince Harry and his brother William fantasized their mother was away on Royal business or holiday and would soon return to them.

That Harry is unable to weep for years, and indeed, cannot access memories of his mother, moved me deeply.  I understand this.  If a tragedy occurs to us in childhood there is a wound that is more often than not expressed by a lack of memory. We are being protected from our emotions, though possibly wounded again by our poultice of forgetfulness.  When he is finally able to weep, he begins to remember his mother, Diana, and begins his long recovery which will doubtless take his whole life.

Fortunately he has found the best medicine for this kind of wound.  A partner who will not stand to be assaulted by the pain she had no hand in delivering,(proud of you, Meghan!) sitting meditation, love of the Natural world, and a good therapist. (And of course his children.)

I have also been stung by the tabloids of England.  Especially painful was the distorted information printed in, I believe, The Daily Mail, about my daughter, Rebecca Walker, and me. It is truly horrendous to have lies smeared all over one’s public life, and this has also happened to me for some of my political beliefs and activities, as well as for my writings, notably my novels, The Color Purple and Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart.* I mention this because even though I grew in my capacity to simply “disappear” into my private life, it is impossible to ignore completely that perfect strangers wish you ill, for nothing that you have in fact done.  After an early screening of The Color Purple movie, in the Eighties (!) a dinner guest expressed that he would like to kill me. News coverage in the black press at the time was often only a bit less blunt.

My illegal, happy, integrated marriage, as well as an early adventure in Africa (from which some of ONCE, my first poetry collection, comes) makes parts of SPARE feel wonderfully familiar and affirming as does the fact that Song of Solomon was also the Biblical poetry that bonded my former husband-to-be and me as we integrated, by ourselves, motels and restaurants that needed “clearing” for black Americans’ use in the mid-Sixties Mississippi Delta.

What are we learning? How to be truly men and women. Plus gender combinations of all sorts! Fundamentally, Grown. If we can no longer live in the cramped spaces provided by those who are tyrants but think of themselves as friends and family, we can leave.

We can be sure Harry’s mother, Diana the hunted, not once thought of her son as anybody’s “spare.” She would have agreed with Meghan: that “spare” is a word, for this loving and strong being, awakened souls would never think to apply.

Welcome to the path that is only made by walking it .~aw

Diana, Diosa de la Caza

*A review in The New York Times by  Michiko Kakutani.


Find Your Parents, and Help Them


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