OCTOBER

Hurricane Ian has devastated Cuba’s western provinces of Pinar del Río, Mayabeque and Artemisa. All of Cuba was without electrical power for two days. For six hours the hurricane passed slowly over Cuba, causing unprecedented destruction of thousands of homes and the region’s agriculture, and creating major flooding in Havana. Fortunately, Cuba’s evacuation of the people minimized losses to three people who died.

Cuba needs massive help to recover! The ANSWER Coalition and the Hatuey Project appeal to you to help Cuba in their time of need. Please make a donation today, so we can send urgently needed medicines and other essential needs to Cuba as soon as possible.

Flooding from Hurricane Ian

Electrical workers across the island are struggling mightily to restore power, and the people are working hard in the recovery.

The will and determination of the Cuban people to recover is strong. What they lack is resources, due to the U.S. economic blockade and 243 added measures signed by President Trump. Those measures have not been lifted by President Biden.

When a massive oil depot fire hit Cuba in late August, we asked for help. You responded with almost $20,000 worth of donations. We immediately delivered that medical aid to help the burn victims of the fire.

When we asked, you responded. Now we are appealing to you again. 

The U.S. blockade of 60 years harms Cuba greatly. Recently, the U.S. added one more blow in its vicious assault on the Cuban Revolution — designating Cuba as a “state sponsor of terror.” This utterly false label presents a major obstacle to Cuba’s ability to trade with the world and to purchase needed supplies. Your help to provide those supplies is absolutely essential.  We ask you to donate what you can immediately because, as we did with our response to the Matanzas fire, we will rush supplies that we purchase to Cuba as soon as possible. All donations are tax-deductible.

Please click here to make a donation to The Hatuey Project for Hurricane Relief. Every donation to Hatuey is tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, The Alliance for Global Justice.

On behalf of The Hatuey Project, we thank you.

Brian Becker, Executive Director, ANSWER Coalition
Gloria La Riva, coordinator, Hatuey Project

Nadia Marsh, MD, Assoc. Prof. of Clinical Medicine
Simon Ma, MD, MPH, Family Medicine
Rachel Viqueira, MHS, Epidemiologist

More about the HATUEY PROJECT

 

SEPTEMBER

Alice-Walker-with-friends-2022-09-The-Woman-King-FilmAsabi Niambi, Alice Walker, Zainab Salbi: at The Grand Lake Theatre, in Oakland

This film (The Woman King) breaks our hearts and heals our hearts.  Here we see our battle scarred selves and how the ancestors, too, carried their own warrior marks. Africa has been and always will be dear to us, her children, wherever we have been abducted. Are there areas to discuss? Beyond our joy and grief?  Of course. The work of our people in this gift opens that door too.  A door we are learning to walk through.~aw
 


An Iranian woman on top of a car bonnet sets her headscarf on fire in central Tehran during protests for Mahsa Amini, 22, who died after she was arrested by Iran’s morality police over “improper hijab”.Fresh protests broke out on September 19 in Iran over the death of a young woman who had been arrested by the “morality police” that enforces a strict dress code, local media reported. Public anger has grown since authorities on Friday announced the death of Mahsa Amini, in a hospital after three days in a coma, following her arrest by Tehran’s morality police during a visit to the capital on September 13. Tehran, Iran on September 19, 2022. Photo by SalamPix/Abaca/Sipa USA

“We are the children of war. Come on and fight, and we’ll fight back.” Chant of Iranian young who want a future worth having. Sons, and brothers, now is the time to join your sisters and your mothers. There is no future without them.~aw

“Somos los hijos de la guerra. Vengan a pelear y pelearemos en su contra.”


An Evening of Unity and Solidarity…featured speaker Alice Walker

Free Assange • Free Mumia • Free Palestine

Join us Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 7:00 pm

First Congregational Church, Berkeley, California
between Durant & Channing, Berkeley
MASK REQUIRED! Admission/donation $20-$10

Event poster Free Assange Mumia Palestine LAP Progressive 2002-09-16

This was a soulful gathering.  Attended by those who never give up.  I read a poem I rarely read: The Slain Children of Palestine Hold Council In Paradise. ~aw


August 2022

Celebrando el 100mo. aniversario de la vida de Howard Zinn, 24 de agosto de 1922, extraordinario historiador rebelde.


Struggle is great, but absolutely you have to resist. If you don’t resist I really think you lose a part of your own life. We’re not meant to succumb to dictatorial, crazy people. We’re not. In whatever way you can resist, resist. Resistance is the secret of joy. ~aw.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Life of Howard Zinn, August 24th 1922, rebel historian extraordinaire.

Howard Zinn, before awakening. ~aw


There are no words. ~aw
Source: My Mar-a-Lago Raid | Ep. 253 Rumble with Michael Moore podcast, Aug 30, 2022

No hay palabras ~aw

 


July 2022

Farmers Lead: No Farmers, No Food

Onions hanging on a fence 2022 photo by Alice WalkerOnions drying on a fence photo by Alice Walker

As I am Dying
Copyright 2022 by Alice Walker
(For all the farmers of the world who are standing up.)

As I am dying
Please place a small earth streaked
Onion
In my hand.
Onion has been my friend
Throughout  my long life.
From my mother’s soups and stews
To my father’s Southern frittatas
To my grandmother’s loving
Breath.
Onion, you have been with me!
And what a journey it has been!
Pulling you from the dirt
As a “tot”…

Read the full poem, As I am Dying (For all the farmers of the world who are standing up.)

#dutchfarmers #nofarmersnofood

Lee el poema completo, Como Me Estroy Muriendo   (Los Agricultores Lideran: No Hay Agricultores, No Hay Alimentos)

Alice Walker standing in front of Diego Rivera Painting "The Flower Carrier 1935"

 Why Frida loved Diego. ~aw

Diego Rivera at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. July 22- January 23. Photo by James Olmes, curator of exhibit.

 


What Does the Supreme Court Have Against Happiness?

Copyright 2022 by Alice Walker

I ask this having experienced John Lahr’s book about Tennessee Williams, MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH,* a story of a gay man, a flaming gay man, a path seeker and truth sharer, who was as well one of the most tortured and brilliant playwrights of the last century.  I refrain from saying he was the greatest American playwright only because to me he is beyond category. Ridiculed by his father who nicknamed him “Miss Nancy,” and stifled by a deeply disturbed mother and tortured siblings, one of whom, his favorite, Rose, was lobotomized, Tom Williams, whom we know as Tennessee, lived a childhood so bleak it is astonishing that he survived as a creative being at all.

From time to time Williams found companionship tolerant, even supportive, of his genius, but often he did not.  Getting married to another man probably would not have helped him; he was a true genius and pioneer, whose self-acceptance as queer meant he was brave enough to follow his own desires.  Even so, I sat wondering as I read Clarence Thomas’ threat that Gay Marriage might be next on the Supreme Court’s chopping block, whether Tennessee Williams, to my mind irreplaceable in American literary culture, would be denied the right to marry a man he loved, if he were alive and being brazenly brilliant, and blazingly gay, among us today.

As I have written elsewhere about our blighted country:  Americans seem to have learned just enough about America’s aspirations to know it is our right to “pursue” happiness. But it has learned little about what it might mean to enjoy happiness itself.  The Supreme Court clearly has little inkling about this matter and by now we should stop expecting it to.  We can grow up to believe our own eyes.  And, even more important,  believe and follow our own hearts.

In fact, love will always run ahead of bad laws.  Our playwrights and novelists and poets help us stay, at least psychically, ahead of those who fail to wish us well.  In this brave new territory we have entered, where people decide to publicly own their own lives, by marrying who they wish –  which the Supreme Court may decide to stifle or retard – we can count on our literary artists.  One such guide to the new American world of hard won understanding of happiness in the context of racism,  sexism, and homophobia is the extraordinary novel The Other Mother by pathfinder and brilliant novelist Rachel M. Harper.  This book breaks new ground, as Williams’ plays did, throughout his long, creative life.

The Supreme Court may have clueless justices and cruel laws, but we the people have artists.  I rest my case.~aw

*Narrated gloriously by actress Elizabeth Ashley.

Encounter the cynical hypocrisy from which much of the world is laboring to escape:  see the stunning Mexican film: The Dance of the Forty One, directed by David Pablos, written by Monica Reveille, and produced by Pablo Cruz and El Studio.

Bearded Iris
Bearded Iris

 

Wedding Ceremony: Marrying Good Men (from The Cushion in the Road) Spring 2013

 

 

 

 

 

¿Qué Tiene Contra La Felicidad El Tribunal Supermo?

 


June 2022

To Hell With Dying, illustration of a children's book, by Catherine Deeter
To Hell With Dying, illustration of a children’s book, by Catherine Deeter

When I Had My First Abortion: Or, I Was Spared To Be Here For You

©2022 by Alice Walker

When I had my first abortion, while a student in college and nineteen* years old, my biggest worry was that my mother, if she ever learned of it, would consider me evil and would disown me; suicide, prior to the abortion, had seemed my only option. I did not tell her for over a decade.  When I did, she informed me that her love for me was unshakable. That her own mother gave birth to twelve children, before dying of ill health and overwork when I was two.  My mother assured me that she herself, having become pregnant as a teenager, had tried every way a country girl could imagine to abort the fetus growing inside her.  She was unmarried at the time (later she would marry my father) and was certain her own father, a brutal man, would throw her out of the house.  It had not helped that she had no idea how or why there was such a thing inside her, since it was forbidden to teach young girls how they became pregnant.  This forced innocence, and carefully monitored ignorance, was a carry-over from enslavement days when it was considered profitable by slave owners for enslaved women to produce as many laborers, “hands” on the plantations, as possible.

My mother had eight children though often remarking she’d wanted only six.  As the eighth child I was conscious of the harm I did to her by being born.

(In Mexico, my friend X told me her mother had been pregnant 28 times. 14 of those pregnancies came to term.  When she asked the priest to talk to her husband to help her avoid pregnancies that were destroying her health, the result was that her husband beat her.) She outlived him! :)

My mother’s understanding meant the world to me; it freed me to become the woman I was to be.  Speaking my word when I want to; joining with a suffering humanity to bring liberation, food, medicine, light.

My second abortion was during a time I was so deeply depressed that when my husband left the house each morning and closed the door, I felt I could not possibly still be alive when he returned.  I felt locked in; and in fact, that was the reality.  Because in Mississippi, where our very loving but “interracial” marriage was illegal, there was a sense of no escape from the American totalitarianism that is coming now so fully into the open. We knew the children being fire-hosed were innocent of anything but being children struggling for a future.  We knew the beatings, car bombings, explosions, house and church burnings, and violent assassinations were intimations of a future that more and more is coming to pass.  To bring anyone, especially a helpless infant, into what was clearly a destructive situation, in a world where few in power even pretended to care for children of color, seemed the very definition of madness.

The first abortion cost more money than I had ever held in my hands.  It was raised by friends.  The second abortion, without emotional support of any kind – my husband was away prosecuting a Civil Rights case in the racist courts; and after a long lonely, flight from Mississippi to New York – was brutal.  Though it was done in a clinic that professed to care about women, the attitude of the mostly male staff was, apparently, that women seeking abortions should be punished. I was given no anesthetic and the pain was so severe I fainted.  I bled for over a week. Why I didn’t die is something I’ve often pondered. But not only did I not die, I don’t recall even complaining.  Who would understand?  No one around me at the time, it seemed. Not even the man I had married.

Perhaps I did not die because I need to be here to say to young women: Courage.  You have mothers and aunts and grandmothers who understand perfectly well the terror you are facing. You have elders!

There was a saying in the Women’s movement years ago:  If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.  We must remember this now.

We are in for a hellacious time.  (Rape camps, anyone?) We can study China to see how wretchedly wrong heartless leadership can be.  China years ago instituted a one child policy.  Their way of mitigating their out- of- control birth rate and bring their population down to reasonable – in their view – numbers.  What this did to women (and the men who loved them) can be glimpsed in a film called One Child Nation.  It can be seen, in this film, how even the party hacks who enforced this law became broken humans (men, mostly) who thought they were doing a good thing, because they believed the rhetoric of their leaders, but later understood they had no right to humiliate, degrade, and ultimately attack women whose only “crime” was that they were pregnant when their government didn’t want them to be.

American women are now to be pregnant because their government demands they be.

Today there are women and girls snatched off the street by trafficers, i.e. enslavers, slave-catchers, who are forced to give birth over and over again in order to bring China’s population “back” into balance.  In India there has been a similar disaster. And, one must ask, is it the object of the court’s ruling to bring whites, especially white males “back into ‘balance,'” since there has been a fraught discussion for decades now concerning the lowering white birthrate.

In China male indifference to the suffering of the female body has created a society in which though there are millions of cameras everywhere no one seems capable of seeing or saying anything; without fear of the most severe reprisal.

We are heading that way.

America will face incredible suffering because of the lack of compassion exhibited by the Supreme Court justices who voted for removal of protection to often poor, scared, unprepared women guaranteed by Roe V. Wade.

In our hearts we know if Trump and Co., the justices he installed, really cared about children they would feed and clothe and house the ones already born. They would not permit children to languish in cages.  They would not let pregnant women chase after section 8 housing vouchers in hopes of finding a place for themselves and their children to live. They would not permit weapons to flow like a river into places like Ukraine, or onto our own city streets, where the only object is to terrorize and kill as many humans as possible.  They would have stopped the murder, unending, of the people and animals of Africa, our Mother continent.

My position as elder is simply to tell young women of my own experience; what it taught me about the reality of indifference, cruelty, malicious harm done often to defenseless people.  A pregnant woman forced to term is defenseless.  When the great task of pregnancy is completed in duress and not in joy, the world suffers.  This has been, in my view, one of the greatest causes of unhappiness on the planet, a planet being controlled and mismanaged mostly by men (and their female accomplices) who, for whatever reason, are not recognized and stopped early enough to prevent their gargantuan harm to humanity and the Earth.

*I misremembered this as seventeen, but I was nineteen, and in meditation this became clearer to me: also clearer and dearer the faces of my friends, Carole and Brooke, white and black, who saved my life. /\. Bowing. 

Alice and Rebecca Walker, mid-Eighties, on the set of The Color Purple Photo by Gordon Parks

Alice and Rebecca Walker, mid-Eighties, on the set of The Color Purple

Photo by Gordon Parks

My third and final abortion was spontaneous; it occurred after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., after my husband and I attended his funeral and walked four miles (as I recall) behind his shattered body.

My decision to request and receive tubal ligation happened at this time.  The country was not safe for anyone. Both my husband and I knew it.  It dismayed us both that his written  permission was required by the hospital before this procedure – the only way I could imagine securing my freedom from imposed subjection to a male dominated code of life – was done.~aw

Cuando Tuve Mi Primer Aborto: O, Me Salvaron Para Estar Aquí Por Ustedes

(FOTO de Gordon Parks)
Alice y Rebecca Walker, mediados de los 80, en el plató de El Color Púrpura.


There Are Grandfathers Worthy of the Name

african-american-masterpiece-the-thankful-poor-by-henry-ossawa-tanner-prints

The Thankful Poor by Henry Ossawa Tanner

There are grandfathers worthy of the name.

Noam Chomsky and what love is. ©2022 by Alice Walker

It has amused me at times to note some of the places I have been criticized.  The most odd was the mockery for saying I love old men.  This was of course long before I became old myself.  I didn’t understand it.  Why should my love of old men, starting with my devil-as-a-young-man grandfather, raise hackles?  Decades later, looking at recent photos of Noam Chomsky, where he is definitely an old man, I see clearly what it is that always appealed to me.

A lack of hesitation in recognizing and stating facts, i.e. reality.  Which Chomsky has done apparently all his life.  When I was most puzzled about the recent and ongoing planet threatening collision between Russia and Ukraine (when I traveled through those countries in the Sixties they were both the Soviet Union) I looked him up.  And can direct you to some of the most sensible and thoughtful intelligence regarding this matter to be found on the planet.

Old men with cajones and smarts (and Chomsky has to be one of the smartest humans who ever lived) telling us what they’ve observed, and deeply know, must definitely be invited to walk beside us. If not in front.  Apparently this freedom of caring enough about humanity to tell the truth about what they know is what I’ve loved in old men all along. ~aw

Chomsky: WAR in Ukraine is “AN INSANE EXPERIMENT” by the USA! (05/2022) You Tube. See also fierce Granddaughters on this subject: Wonderfully savvy Kim Iverson of  THE HILL, (now at The Kim Iverson Show),  and Palki Sharma of the extraordinarily knowledgeable and brilliant, GRAVITAS. You Tube. Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman, remains a warrior at spreading reality.

 We do not have to be entertained by “news” that assumes we can survive Covid, the endless spins on Covid, and more diseases coming down the pike, plus a nuclear war,  while starving.~aw

Hay Abuelos Dignos Del Nombre


The World Does Not Want Me Anymore…

The writer Ding Ling, Alice Walker holding tight to her! Tillie Olsen, Chen Ming (husband of Ding Ling)Paule Marshall, Nellie Wong, et al.  Beijing, China 1982.

Photo by Susan Kirschner.

“THE WORLD DOES NOT WANT ME ANYMORE”… Chinese woman in chains.

Sister, if you ever see this, know that the world does want you. And here you see in this photograph that women all over the world understand we are in peril, together.  Here in 1982 we are surrounding the heroic dissident Ding Ling who suffered also from a toxic male leadership that erased millions.

In order for us to begin to understand our common danger, we must study, so that your cry of abandonment has context.  This is not a call to war- for all wars at this point are patently insane. What we can perhaps save is your feeling of dignity. Of worth. You might also feel our compassion and deep love of you. You are our mother, our sister, our grandmother, our aunt. You are kin, in whatever form the heart can feel this.  You are also our teacher; your treatment intimating a future brutal beyond imagining.

No human being should be required to suffer from the colossal errors of its government. If all we can do is study what is happening to women, in China and elsewhere, the attempt apparently everywhere to kick us back down the stairs of freedom, then we resolve to do that.  I would rather know what is happening to you, than not know.  If all I can muster to stand beside you is the lighting of a candle in my own country, my own house, I will do that.  But learning more, and more, and more, we must!

A good place to begin to comprehend our peril is with this film “One Child Nation.”  It is on Netflix. Recognizing that the country of bad ideas is one country.

One Child Nation (2019) – IMDb

https://www.imdb.com › titleFirst-time mother and filmmaker Nanfu Wang uncovers the untold history of China’s OneChild policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by …  After viewing this film, or even before viewing it, here is the hashtag below signaling urgent exploration of our sister’s plight and that of untold numbers of children and adults in China.  Will you ever, somehow, our sister in chains, know that sleep among some of us, is lost, over your cry of desolation?  I pray this is so. And that we awaken together to make it our business not only to know your fate, but to change it.~aw

#humantrafficking #womanchained #missingpeople

El Mundo No Me Quiere Más


Sunflower 2022

Pale Face, Forked Tongue, Wasichu* i.e. Fat Taker: Thoughts On Being Slandered (Prepared for, though not delivered, at a gathering at First Congregational Church in Berkeley, California). April 2022.

©2022 by Alice Walker

It has occurred to me that the best way to engage the charge of anti-Semitism is to confront it in a public forum.  This is such a space.  Thank you for being here and please do me the courtesy of listening as if our lives depend on what we share; they might.  For we are living in the most volatile and unpredictable era humanity, to our imperfect knowledge, has ever seen.

During the Q & A I will do my best to be an Elder you can trust. I have no fear for my life, my reputation, or my legacy.  In fact, in my view no one need worry about being remembered.  Walk anywhere on the earth and you understand that earlier humans, who lived here, whatever their contributions and gifts, are forever gone.

I believe the charge against me, mostly from anonymous sources – except of course from the always truthful Alan (I kept my shorts on) Dershowitz, who also accuses Bernie Sanders of being anti-Semitic – is a ploy to shut down my webpage blog: alicewalkersgarden.com.  I believe the pretext will be that I am endorsing David Icke, considered an anti-Semite for espousing theories of human evolution and control that appear unacceptable; and for describing some of our ancestors as descendants of reptilians from another galaxy.

Why would my webpage be shut down?  Because I regularly post disturbing photos and videos from an Israeli peace activist friend, Nurit Peled-Elhanan, that graphically expose what is being done to the people and especially to the children of Palestine by the Israeli government and its soldiers.

 I have been to Gaza and also the West Bank. My companions and I were forcibly turned back when we tried to enter Gaza by sea, carrying letters of love and support to children who are terrorized every moment of their lives. I know what Israeli occupation and apartheid looks like on the ground.  It is terrifying, and lethal.

  Not since my earliest days in the racist battlefield of the American South, and especially of Mississippi, where I lived for seven years, (with a courageous Jewish American husband) had I experienced such terror.  Not as much for myself, as an American, as for the local Palestinians wherever I went.  Treated more inhumanely than most Americans – unfamiliar with the former apartheid system in the American South – can imagine.  And in fact, treated a thousand times worse. They are living in hell.

David Icke whom I consider a teacher and a friend, a man who has more nerve than anyone I’ve ever encountered, except perhaps Fidel Castro, is being used as a pretext to control my persistent effort to awaken Americans, who give Israel each year- for weapons that terrorize, mutilate, and murder adults and children- more money than working class Americans, collectively, earn.

There is a story that comes to mind about this friendship, more accurately spiritship, with Icke (whom I have conversed with only once) which may seem peculiar to many, and was actually odd to me, in the beginning of reading his very dense, heavily researched, books. I have always adored mythology, and for a time I never considered his theories anything else. Though introducing me to the South African Shaman Credo Mutwa was heavily in his favor.

 At a conference in Mexico that explored the use of entheogens (plants that permit us more easily to “talk with ‘God’”) I was annoyed when a friend spent lots of time talking to what looked to me – all slouched shoulders, Southern drawl and drinking a beer – like a perfect “redneck”; as we so frustratingly sometimes referred to those oppressing us.

 She didn’t cave to my criticism, only saying: “that’s not the part of him – the “redneck” part – I was connecting with.”  This was a lesson I hope never to forget.  People have a right to connect with whatever part of other people that allows them to speak with and listen respectfully to them.  This ability is sorely needed in our world.  For instance: what if Biden and Putin went on a retreat of two or three days together and hashed out what is to become of a war between Russia and Ukraine that looks like it might lead to destruction of the world?

Black people, who are frequently charged with something absurd whenever we dare to step into a public forum we are deemed unqualified to enter, have been in America at least since the 1600s.  We have seen a lot and remember most of it.  The terror, for instance, that comes of being black people in racist white America, is literally in our cells.  Many of the people charging me – and other people of color with anti-Semitism – by comparison, and relatively speaking, arrived recently to these shores.

For many of them the idea that reptilian ancestry might be responsible for some of our worst trauma in America seems far-fetched.  They would doubtless be surprised to learn that “snake” i.e. reptilian, was a code word for many centuries that Black and Native Americans used for the human appearing beings who inflicted barbarous treatment on enslaved women, children, and men, for at least 400 years. And literal genocide on the Indigenous populations in the Americas amounting to hundreds of millions of deaths. What else would you call people who raped, starved, murdered, sold into slavery, chopped off hands, ears, penises, etc., and “strung up” people, and burned them sometimes alive and screaming, while eating snacks and laughing?

So though I am such a lover of myth that I dived into Icke’s work as if he were Joseph Campbell, the well known mythologist who taught at my college, Sarah Lawrence, I was soon considering the behavior of whites in the South, when I, my parents, and ancestors, were living there. Whites who seemed to have not one iota of soul, i.e. compassion. This led me to realize that this word too, “soul” was what black people used to identify their difference from the people who abused them without conscience and sometimes, most times, without thought. Certainly without feeling.  Reptilian behavior, for sure, by anyone who has ever observed snakes.

Where does it come from? This complete lack of compassion, of empathy, in some so-called “humans?”  As a country, as a world, why not consider the question?

I was brought up to love everyone. “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” That was my nature and, even as a child, I was never afraid to show it.  It was also the essence of the teachings of Jesus that was bedrock in our church. Black people remain remarkably compatible with this Jewish Palestinian from a world most, to this day, can barely imagine. Which is itself cause for wonder.

Realizing it would be impossible for us to automatically love white people who treated us despicably, we were rarely allowed in their presence.  My mother and father absorbed all of their racist arrogance and abuse for us, heads lowered and words few. Except when my mother was in a mood and some white man, who wanted his fields tended right now, tried to tell her it was useless to educate her children.

I feel almost in my mother’s position now.  I feel hounded by people I never get to see.  Accused by people who are not courageous enough to show their faces.  I once asked an anonymous voice accusing me from his seat to stand up.  I waited. He never did.  If someone like that is here tonight, please stand up.  You have a right to your opinion, just as I do.  And I ask the people in the audience to listen to you with respect.  If not respect for what you say, then for your right to say it.

***

Two months before my new book GATHERING BLOSSOMS UNDER FIRE: THE JOURNALS OF ALICE WALKER was published, my friend and editor, the incomparable Valerie Boyd, died of pancreatic cancer.  We knew her death was coming, but we danced the dance of hopefulness for about seven years.  Rather than read this piece about the charges against me of befriending the wrong person, and being anti-Semitic as well, I decided, along with my friend Beverly Guy-Sheftall who moderated the evening, to remain in a mood of gratitude, heartfelt sorrow and remembrance, and, ultimately, celebration.

Being accused of outlandish things is not new to any African American man or woman, or courageous white person or Native American of any sexuality.  We have only to study our history to see this is so. It is also not new that we have learned to respond in ways that make life bearable for us.  This is completely human and should not be judged.

I prefer to resist.  Because, as one of my characters comprehends as she  faces a firing squad for killing the old woman who genitally mutilated her as a child: Resistance is the secret of joy.

Om Na Ma Shivaya:  I bow to our inner light.

Alice Walker

###

Wasichu (Waseechu) is Sioux for “fat taker”  – one who takes everything of value (literally living off the “fat” of the land) while leaving behind despair, ruin and starvation.

Below: What Solidarity looks like. ~aw

April 26, 2022
Chris Hedges: Alice Walker & the Price of Conscience
https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/26/chris-hedges-alice-walker-the-price-of-conscience/

Cara Pálida, Lengua Bífida, Wasichu, es decir, Asolador: Pensamientos sobre ser calumniada


April 2022

Mumia

Happy Birthday Mumia Abu-Jamal/ April 24

What have you given us
to accompany our despair?
A life lived to the full
In a cage too small for it.
A teaching.  A miracle.
Accept, please, our gratitude.
Know as well our sorrow
That we could not get you out.
Deepest bows. ~aw

Feliz Cumpleaños Mumia Abu-Jamal/ Abril 24


MY RENEGADE GARDEN IN CAREYES

Alice Walker MY RENEGADE GARDEN IN CAREYES 2022-04(Photo by Manuel Vejar Castenada)

I Had Only A Month

©2022 by Alice Walker

(Especially for GFB who would have been appalled.)

I had only a month
some rocks
some compost
and a trowel
that had seen
better 
decades;
still, my heart
was longing 
to grow something
for the sheer
magic
of it.
The rocks were heavy,
the men strong
who came to help;
the seeds brave.
Thank you Mother
for all simple
and satisfying things.
For gardens made
from what’s on hand
and for friendships
that learn to grow
in faithfulness
along with red zinnias
and green collard
greens.

***

MI RENEGADO JARDÍN EN CAREYES


Standing in the Ring of Life: Pub day April 12th 2022

Parados en el cuadrilátero de la vida: Día de publicación: abril 12 de 2022

Valerie Boyd & Evelyn

Dream Team:  Valerie and Evelyn and Ali Gathering Blossoms Under Fire  / 
Equipo Ideal: Valerie y Evelyn y Ali Recogiendo Flores Bajo Fuego.

____________________________________________________________

Photo by Jean Weisinger Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: Oakland Boathouse Celebration of Being.
Foto de Jean Weisinger: Los tiempos duros exigen bailes frenéticos: Oakland Boathouse celebración del ser.


March 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court 2022 Image source: MoveOn ~ Celebrating the nomination of Judge Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court!

Celebración del nombramiento de la jueza Jackson al Tribunal Supremo de los ESTADOS UNIDOS!


For All Beloveds Born in the Willing Springtime of March!     Photo by Alice walker 2022

                                                              The peach tree that seemed
                                                               safely dead
                                                                soon to be
                                                                kindling
                                                                until
                                                               this very
                                                               war.
                                                               The one we must win
                                                               against
                                                               our disbelief.~aw

###

¡Para todos los seres amados en la primavera de marzo!


We Who Believe in Freedom Can Not Rest; We Who Believe in Freedom Can Not Rest Until It Comes: Ella Baker’s song as sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock.  Presente!

Los Que Creemos En la Libertad No Podemos Descansar…Hasta Que Ella Llega (Ella Baker, Querida, ¡Presente!)

Code Pink – Open letter: Solidarity with Russian anti-war protestors

Source credit for this open letter: Code Pink

”Add your name to the open letter from women, and other feminists (including men), in solidarity with Russian anti-war protestors.

Dear Russian anti-war protestors, 

We, women and other feminists (including men) of the world, express our solidarity with you as you protest the devastating invasion of Ukraine, and we join your call for Russian troops to immediately leave Ukraine. We are aware of the risks you face from police and civil authorities and thank you for your profound bravery and sacrifice. We are also moved by the tremendous courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of disaster, and our hearts ache as we bear witness to Ukrainian families huddling in bomb shelters and parking garages, or facing long lines at the border after being forced to flee their homes.

We have experience standing up to our own governments’ aggression. During the U.S./NATO invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, we took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to oppose the horrific destruction of entire cities and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Now, as Russian missiles mercilessly wipe out your neighbors’ homes, medical facilities, and schools in Ukraine, we see you take to the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities in peaceful protest, and we are so deeply inspired and grateful. 

As we oppose this brutal war being waged in your name, we are also aware of the role the U.S. and NATO have played in stoking the geopolitical crisisthat led to this war. We have opposed NATO’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, and we continue to oppose NATO expansion today. We steadfastly believe Ukraine should be a neutral country.

Today, as Putin has put your nuclear arsenal on high alert, we see the terrifying possibility of this conflict spinning out of control. The U.S. and Russia are guilty of stockpiling 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons, putting the entire world at risk, and violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. As we organize today to stop this war, we must work together in the future to force our governments to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons so we can rid the world of this existential threat to survival on our beautiful planet.

The imposition of sanctions aimed to damage the Russian economy also concerns us. We have no problem with taking yachts and private jets from oligarchs, but sanctions that hurt millions of ordinary Russians like you and impact the entire global economy are cruel and counterproductive. We have seen the devastating results of sanctions in countries from Cuba to Iran to North Korea–such sanctions harm the civilian population, particularly women, children, and the elderly, and fail to change government policies.

Instead of indiscriminate sanctions and fanning the flames by pouring more weapons into Ukraine, we demand that Russia and Ukraine engage in serious negotiations, with all the compromises this would entail.

As women and other feminists, we have had enough of senseless wars that destroy lives and communities while lining the coffers of weapons manufacturers. We’ve seen too many attacks on civilians from Yemen to Gaza to Ethiopia to Ukraine, and we’ve watched in horror as precious resources are poured into wars while families’ basic needs for food, shelter, education, and healthcare go unmet and climate change threatens all life on our planet. A world of violence, hatred, and destruction is not the world we want for our children. With fire in our bellies and love in our hearts, we join with you — across borders — to demand an end to the bloodshed and the destruction.

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine!
Ceasefire Now!
No NATO expansion!
Peace Talks NOW!

Thank you for signing!!


As Bad(d) As It Gets: Valerie and Her Sisters

Valerie Boyd, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ti Walker, Alice Walker, Hidden Sister, Deborah Plant, Evelyn White, Diana Young, Joan Miura.  Hard Times Require Furious Dancing Celebration:   Oakland Boathouse Autumn 2019. Photo by Jean Weisinger.

Tan Malo(d) Como Se Pone: Valerie y Sus Hermanas


FEBRUARY 2022

Valerie Boyd, Presente.

You Are the Best. ~aw

Healing the Soul We Love

©2022 by Alice Walker

Yes, Beloved.
Though you have left
I feel you still
Beside me. As present
As the phone call
From your hospital
Bed
Mid-way through
My birthday dinner
A continent away
As you were
Surely
Dying.
This connection
That presents itself
As showing up
Is the fruit
Of standing
Together
Facing whatever
Is to come. Juntos. Which
We have done
As soldiers
Of earned
Survival
Since the days
-Even before the days-
Of Harriet.

Our dream
Was to hit the yellow brick road
Of our shared journey
Free and dancing;
Your locks swinging
Next to my shaved
Head.

We envisioned
A Medicine tour
“Healing the Soul
We Love.”
In you I found a soul mate
So true
That when I offered
This title for our tour
You considered it obvious:
All you said was: Right.

I am thankful
Our work was held up,
Delayed,
As we waited
For your illness
To show us
The steps to its dance.
For we were learning
A lesson
Far more important
Than “Literature.”
We were learning
How to keep absolute faith
With ancestors, each other,
And ourselves.

Learning to ride
The crushing wave
That brings us home:
The home we may fear
We will never reach
On such a disturbingly
Distant,
If so often internal,
Shore.

***

Sanando El Alma Que Amamos


Get Up, Stand up… Happy Birthday Bob Marley, Feb. 6th. Welcome Curtis Mohammad, One of your multitude of brothers, whose spirit you knew, and sang, sight unseen. ~aw


Happy Birthday, Langston. Feb.1st.

Just so you know: Wonders
Have not
Ceased.
Though you appeared
to leave
the room.~aw


JANUARY 2022

    Gian Franco Brignone, Presente!
Gian Franco Brignone, Presente!

Coincidences are appointments that God makes but doesn’t take credit for.
I’ve given my life for my dreams, and my dreams give me life.
`Gian Franco Brignone

 Knowing
©2022 by Alice Walker

Now I know
For sure
That we were
Spirit kin.
It seemed unlikely
Decades ago
When I found myself
Only starving for lunch
Outside your rose
Colored turn-a-round
and door.
But immediately
My artist’s eye delighted
In everything
I saw
& bonded happily
With your intimacy
With Nature
and with Art.

I had no boat,
And was never near
Enough to water
To learn to sail.
My bilingualism
Remains
A sketch;
But having a home,
The longing for one
All my young life,
Was a desire
Each of us
Could understand,
And shared.

Just as I have found
And resurrected from
Oblivion and ruin
Many a dwelling,
You have created inhabitable
Masterpieces.
The hills around
My modest house
Are full of them.

You have left us
At 95!
Such a long life;
Filled
With mysteries, traumas,
Disasters and joys,
As all lives
Seen from outside
Or even up close
Always are.

Leery
Of those with money
The source of which
I fail
To understand
I kept a distance –
Though gallantly
You invited me and my
Richly varied friends
To eat at your table
& go swimming
On top of your
Spectacular
House.

Only you would situate
A swimming pool
Up there, better to
Swim in the sky
You must have thought;
Just as a ladder that stretches
Beyond the roof
Of your study
Invites visitors
From Earth
And Extraterrestrials
Alike to meet
And perhaps
Share
Intergalactic gossip &
A bottle of
Earth’s
Great wine.

Farewell, then;
We part not as friends
But as kindred spirits.
Each of us singular, driven,
Peculiar
But knowing as we study
Nature, so like
Ourselves,
That
Existing, flourishing,
Worshiping the beauty
All around us –
In whatever
Form
We ourselves
Are in,
Is also,
Like Nature
Herself;
Proof of having
Wandered
Into the one home
That is
For us:
Our passion
Our communion
With All That Is,
&
Truest of all,
Our sacred
Journey’s rest
&
Destiny.
***

There’s more! Gian Franco Brignone on the  27 Conditions To Owning A Home In Careyes

¡Gian Franco Brignone, presente! and Sabiendo y 27 Condiciones para poseer una casa en Careyes


Dakini the Skywalker c2022 Alice Walker

Dakini the Skywalker * thangka by Myumi Oda, photo by Alice Walker 2022

WALKING THROUGH THE NARROWING GATE
OF OUR FUTURE

© 2022 by Alice Walker (January 1st)

As we walk
Through the narrowing gate
Of our future
Who will guide and be
With us?
Only those who have known
Suffering:
Those whose suffering
Taught them
To care.
And so, here is a list
Of worthy
Companions:
The Real Anthony Fauci devastating revelations especially regarding Africa by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Whose father
Taken from life
before our stricken eyes
Wept
For the children
Of the poor.
The Three Mothers  by Anna Malika Tubbs
Of Baldwin, Martin, & Malcolm,
Who taught their sons
Never to abandon us;
Perceptions of a Renegade
Mind: by David Icke
The story of what a free mind,
So unusual,
Thinks like,
Inflamed, by children of
Immigrants Rupa Marya & Raj Patel
who searched out
the root causes of
our everlasting
illnesses
And were not blinded
By the “1st world’s” bling.
Passing, the straight lick
with the crooked stick that teaches
blackness is and is not
a color;  movie by Rebecca Hall, novel by Nella Larsen
And, surprisingly,
Black Fortunes: The story
Of the first six African Americans
Who escaped slavery
And became millionaires. by Shomari Wills
A demonstration
Of
History That Can Heal
By teaching us
We can pull ourselves out
Of almost anything.

***

Are we not enslaved this moment by our fear?
Are we not smelling the “one magnolia” that sends
our hearts
running
through the swamps?

***

****************************************************************************************************************************

Dakini Teachings talk about the need to reflect on our own mind, which is the mysterious home of the Dakinis.

Tibetan Buddhists teach a very simple practice to go deep within our own mind. It is to reflect on all the beings we have been in prior lifetimes: once we were snakes, once we were fish, once we were the monk of a temple, once we were a prostitute. These past lives are all reflected as who we are in this moment. It’s basically the same as how Zen Buddhism teaches coexistence. By understanding the deep interconnectedness, you become a “sky walker”in this universe; in both heaven and earth, you have the freedom to walk through, unimpeded.

The Dakini were originally lower class women who worked on funeral rites, chopping up bodies with cleavers before putting them up on the sky burial platform. So, in this painting the Dakini is holding a cleaver.

This Dakini helps you visualize your body; the symbol of selfhood, being chopped by a cleaver and put into a cauldron made of a skull. The body burns with a cleansing fire and becomes the Amrita, or nectar, offered as a practice of complete surrender to Dharma. ***

From: SARASVATI’S GIFT: The Autobiography of Mayumi Oda: Artist, Activist, and Modern Buddhist Revolutionary

Al Atravesar La Angosta Puerta De Nuestro Futuro


End of Year Poems

December

End of Year Poems: 2021

They are falling all around us…(Song)

©2022 by Alice Walker

angels
space beings
they are going home
to the only heaven
they truly desired:
the heaven
that can only
matter
if it is recognized
for all of us
and if
it already
 exists
 inside.

*** 

The Universe Knows When We Are Happy

© 2020 by Alice Walker

The Universe knows when we are happy;

After all, listening in

 Is pretty much all it has to do

As time rolls on, interminably.

It must say to Itself:

Oh, So and so is so happy!

And that after all

Was our intent.

We must go and collect them now,

Don’t we think?

Indeed, says Time’s yawning twin,

Senor Boredom, the fallen angel:

They have outgrown the boundaries

Of the circus.

However, the entertainment

That other humans provide

In torment

Must continue

***

Finally!
(Dedicated to the sufferers!)

©2022 by Alice Walker

Finally
There is no charge.
The love of your life
You thought would
Be a heart throb
Forever 
Finally leaves
No trace.
Poke your heart
As you will
Nothing answers
But gratitude
The thrill is gone
And so is everything
Else
Except hallelujah
And no regrets.

***

One Day
© 2021 by Alice Walker

One day
I will say goodbye
To my mind.
 
It will float
Away
Like a balloon.
 
I will be
Left
Like Earth
After a storm.

***

 

I Could Eat Collard Greens Indefinitely
©2021 by Alice Walker 

I could eat collard greens
Indefinitely.
Every morning
I think this
As I place a few
Flat, home grown
Leaves
In my pan.
Pan, not pot.
For we have graduated
To speed, to rapt
Anticipation;
To a stirring
Sensuousness
That satisfies
My sense of passion;
& I want them
Inside me
Like the lover
Of my body
That
They are.
Their green goodness
Beckoning me
To rise.
 

This Year I Had A Bumper Crop
© by Alice Walker
 
This year I had a bumper
Crop
Of tomatoes
Plenty of peppers
& garlic
& onions too.
 
I made spaghetti sauce
For the first time
From scratch
& found my connection
very much
to Italians.
 
Mostly we see
The rich & well to do
Italians
Or
Gangsters;
But the ones
I am feeling close to
Are the peasants,
The famers, the ones who make
The same sauce
I am making;
Imagining
That
If left to us,
Peasants and Farmers,
We could
Feed
The
Whole world.

***

In the Old Days They Might Have Burned Her As a Witch
©2021 by Alice Walker

There was a woman
In Kuwait
Who planted trees
In the desert.
There she was
On her tiny island
Of shade
Lowering the temperature
With her great
Good sense.
 
In the shroud
Of black cloth
She must wear
In public
Every day
Of her life
Her eyes
All you can see
She is doing
What women &
Mothers
Do so well –
Teaching her people
How to survive.
 
The temperature
Beyond her trees
Is literally
Unbearable
Unless folks
Walk at night.
 
A few scientists
Agree with this
Woman
As they listen
To her
Through her chador.
 
But will the people
Fooled into
Turning their minds
Into deserts
Of empathy
Be able to hear
Their Mother;
Speaking now
Like them, like the whole world
Through masks
Of black cloth.

***

Today, Walking, I Blew Kisses
© by Alice Walker

Today, walking, I blew
Kisses
At the fallen leaves
Brownish, yellow, green-grey
Along the trail
& thought:
Suppose everything
We blow kisses at
In this life
Is what we
In another lifetime
Become!
 
My dog was happy
Walking along
Beside this insight
This possibility
Of infinite
Expanding joy.

***

To Work For Peace
©2020 by Alice Walker

To work for peace
Means
First of all
Not to be
Ignorant
About who
Has none.

Without a Lantern
©2020 by Alice Walker

You are afraid
Of what we have gained
From our pain.
 
You had it once
In the Old Country;
But now
It is buried
Under gadgets
And gleeful escape
Into the world
Of Blonde.
 
You have lost the part
Of you
That could connect
You now
To
Everything.
 
Or have you?
 
Learn to walk yourself
Home
 Alone;
Or with ancestors
Who remain
Shadows
Without
 A lantern
 
Through
The dark.

***

Poemas De Fin Año:  2021


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