An Israeli Peace Activist carrying a sign with an Israeli and a Palestinian Flag
©2013 by Alice Walker
In times of war, Truth, it is said, is the first casualty. But that won’t remain a truism if we sincerely seek to know what the truth of a situation actually is. It has been interesting to see the various spins put on my book, which is essentially about the value of meditation: THE CUSHION IN THE ROAD: MEDITATION AND WANDERING AS THE WHOLE WORLD AWAKENS TO BEING IN HARM’S WAY, as well as that surrounding the withdrawal of an invitation to speak at a school in Michigan. Imagine my surprise this morning when I opened my computer news to find I’ve been re-invited. Nobody alerted me to this. Right beside this news (to me) is a photo of myself in which I seem to be gloating over a triumph.
So many twists, turns, and falsehoods. What to do?
Meditation seems the best answer, along with yoga stretching. Also good food and plenty of rest. It is also calming to recall the title of the companion book of poems that was published along with the now controversial and largely misjudged book of essays: THE WORLD WILL FOLLOW JOY: TURNING MADNESS INTO FLOWERS. We are awakening to how the world works, how we are seen as objects to be manipulated by people who care little about the good of the whole if it interferes with their own personal desire for domination. We are coming into a greater awareness of the astonishing beauty and preciousness of our planet, and that it has only us humans to protect it. And that this means making every effort to protect it’s endangered peoples. All of them. If we rouse ourselves to our highest vibration of love, of caring for each other, the joy that I feel is inherent to, and characteristic of, our planet, will become more and more accessible to us.
We will learn to follow the Earth, our mother, and to emulate her joyful ways.
The narcissism that assumes everything in the world is about itself is a grave danger to the world. And as with every imbalance, the best place to begin to rid the world of this tendency is to start with ourselves. Breathing deeply, avoiding caffeine, engaging regularly in brisk walking, talking candidly to family and friends, not avoiding the mirror offered by other people’s caring thoughts, these are all good activities toward transformation.
Though I am not formally attached to any religion I have learned something from all of them. I am especially grateful for the teachings that encourage us to have patience with our neighbors. Loving them is often a tall order, especially when they are, as we said in our church, taking our names in vain, i.e. lying up a storm, but what a good guide, that someone (many someones) have told us to do this. What a loving insight, for our own happiness, they have shared with us.
Recommended: “Anxiety Soup,” one of the essays in THE CUSHION IN THE ROAD: how making soup and energetically dancing to great music can sometimes trump meditation.
“Desire” a poem in THE WORLD WILL FOLLOW JOY: how desire can sometimes transform into devotion.
A fresh from the garden salad of English cucumbers and Cherokee tomatoes splashed with Hurriya olive oil from Palestine, while drinking a glass (or two) of excellent Handley Cellars red table wine from Northern California.
For grounding, humility, and getting over our collective selves (including Mossad and the Israeli military whose names are bandied about threateningly in my direction), Etta James’ 1997 CD “Love’s Been Rough On Me.”
If you have time for only one of these recommendations, cut to the chase and go directly to James.