Alice Walkers Garden Home Page 2019
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Man on White: Woman on Red and Man With Black Dog, by Bill Traylor, late 1800s
The True Artist Speaks To Us Through Time (Alice with her dog, Mbele, SF, the 90s)
Excerpts from this essay appeared recently in The Wall Street Journal.
© 2019 by Alice Walker
The place where I was born is as beautiful today as it ever was; at the curve in a highway that used to be a skinny dirt road. In a grove of trees that used to be huge. It is still green, serene. I was there last July, with many of my townsfolk who came along to see if where the marker now says the house stood is in fact correct. It is not. But I don’t mind. I know where I came into the world and that this might remain my secret feels wonderful.
It was here that I encountered the art of Nature, in profusion: earth, sky, trees, rabbits, opossums, horses. But also where my mother turned into art anything she touched. And so our silvered pine cabin, with its aging tin roof, was set off by a gaily waving bouquet of white and red and purple petunias that she planted in a gigantic stump loggers had left, especially for her use we imagined, and that signaled “the Walker house” to travelers walking or riding down our dusty road.
I recognize Bill Traylor’s genius because I recognize the “urge to create art” that my mother also had, and that I, with much thanksgiving, inherited from her. In the attached photo there are many works of art, including quilts, for instance, two of which I created myself (with help, I admit).
When I was a child in the backwoods of Georgia “art” arrived by way of prizes one received for selling a number of tins of soothing salve. Relatives bought this product from me, assuming it chased dryness from skin, and, when swallowed with hot water, eased coughs. If I sold many tins I might receive a picture of Jesus chasing moneylenders out of the Temple, or Moses delivering the Ten Commandments. This vivid, not to say lurid art, was more thrilling than perhaps can be imagined, in this age.
I have surrounded myself with paintings wherever I went, starting in college. Only copies then, of course. I had Reubens’ “Head of a Negro” and Modigliani’s “Alice” on a wall facing my bed. Van Gogh’s Sunflowers hung over my desk. I still have these. In one of my rooms today, “Alice” hangs across from Ester Hernandez’s painting of a skeleton of Frida Kahlo wearing a slice of watermelon on its head, captioned “If This Is Death, I Like It.”
In Mississippi during happy and hard times my husband, Mel Leventhal, also a lover of art, and I, ordered art from a company that specialized in showcasing contemporary paintings. We spent days looking in catalogs and, after ordering a painting, waited anxiously for its arrival.
I remember a painting called “The Red Chair” that I loved. It did what art often does: for no reason one can think of, it moves the heart and refreshes the spirit. After a divorce, it vanished. But not the beautiful lithographs by Rufino Tomayo we bought on a visit to Mexico City. And not posters produced by SNCC (Student Non-Violence CoordinatingCommittee) that demonstrated the creative attentiveness to beauty that was a hallmark of this youthful and determined organization as it set about the task of liberating the people of the South. (All of them, incidentally.)
My house has often seemed to overflow with art. In the photo above the centerpiece is by the Swedish artist Monica Sjoo. I bought as much of her work as I could afford. She died much too soon, and her African-Swedish sons preceded her. A double tragedy hard to understand. She was an amazing artist and would have loved Bill Traylor, another “wonder” of African American life to share with her sons! She was brilliant as a painter and as an intellectual. Her book, The Great Cosmic Mother, co-authored by Barbara Mor, is one of the great inquiries into religious thought in our time.
Someone attempted to take Sojourner Truth to task because, as an old woman, she sold photographs of herself. You would never want to get into an argument with some of our old people, then or now, and least of all Sojourner. She said “Chile, I sell the shadow to support the substance.” I added the “Chile.” That is what I hear. Anyway, to the question of why I am auctioning “MAN ON WHITE, WOMAN ON RED” which was a gift from someone I consider a genius with soul,* like Sojourner I have something to support. I wish to begin The Institute for the Study of Womanist Practice.
Though it will never have more than two students at a time or more than three teachers at a time, nor will anyone ever be asked to apply, as all student/seekers will be recommended by elders who know them well, the IFSWP will benefit from the gift of leisure and time that may come from the passing on of this work. A momento from a formerly enslaved artist (!) and sharecropper, to a sharecropper’s grateful daughter; the irony and richness of this experience, that of somehow being in an ancestor’s distant thoughts, is one that we can sometimes count on, in America.
That, and, because I live in Northern California where fires regularly burn dwellings to the ground, it is my hope that a safer wall than mine on which to hang MAN ON WHITE, WOMAN ON RED will appear. The blessing of artist Bill Traylor on my decision was received when I learned that, on opening the back of this wonderful work, after its arrival at Christie’s, there was a second painting, as intriguing and provocative as the first. A human and a dog.
Imagine my dog and I, waving.
En español: El artista verdadero nos habla a lo largo del tiempo
Sit for today: It was not so much race pride that Zora had as cultural confidence. ~AW
Happy Birthday, Scorp! Alice and Rebecca at Temple Jook House, the 90s.
Photo by J. Weisinger
Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world.
Where Harriet Tubman should be in this montage, or any one of our “Mammy” ancestors, over centuries robbed of milk, there is a cotton plant. Who could imagine the South without the black woman? Nurturing everyone. Black and white. It could not have existed, or exist, without her.
Womanist practice #2. Notice where you are not. Scroll down to August: They Were Her Property….
A million roses. And a North Star.
When the Institute For the Study of Womanist Practice is in place, this film about liberator Harriet Tubman will be shone on the first night of retreat as an encouragement to recognize why it is important to know one’s own name.
Womanist practice #1: Free yourself. Then free as many others as you can.
This principle and practice is echoed centuries later in the words of revolutionary Assata Shakur, who might now be speaking for all humanity: It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.
What has disappeared in the last few hundred years is our access to the primal knowledge, so we have to find the way back to it. This is only possible through the body. -Reinhard Flatischler
With my Spirit Daughters: Crystal, Spring and Janeth, in the Peruvian Amazon, honoring Pachamama, Plant Spirit Medicine, and the endlessly supportive Buddha, the woke one. Oct. 2019 Photo by Yugo Feather
Hard Times Require Furious Dancing
WE HAVE COME TO BE DANCED
BY JEWEL MATHIESON
We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity, the body breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.
We have come to be danced
Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced.
WE HAVE COME
WE HAVE COME TO BE DANCED en español, Hemos venido a bailar
In the 16th century, when Portuguese settlers arrived in Brazil, there were about 3 million native people living there. Now there are only about 1 million. Indigenous peoples make up 1% of Brazil’s population. Here, an indigenous man sits on a scorched branch.
Giorgos Moutafis / Bild / Sources: BILD, IBGE, Funai
For the Indigenous
©2019 by Alice Walker
They are destroying you because you are beautiful
And you know how to live here;
This they have done
Since landing in smelly, ill fitting
And observing that you
Already had it down:
Life on Pachamama;
Life on Earth.
Leer Para Los Indigenas
Photo by Alice Walker
October 9th. Happy Birthday, John Lennon!
By taking your life, they stole from us. It is the body we have missed; the Spirit expanded to cover us, as you hoped it would. Double Fantasy. Thank you. -AW
And When The Time Comes
A Meditation on the murals
of The Women’s Building
in San Francisco
Copyright 2018 by Alice Walker
And when the time comes
We can say that we honored the beauty,
The formidable grace
That we saw them clearly
In their apparently casual
Abundance of nurturing,
Carving out a place
That did not at the same time
Carve up the planet.
When the time comes
We can say: look at this.
Look at what we have done.
Here you see the faces
And read the names
Of those who have stood together
Against the endless tidal waves
Of hatred and destruction:
The daily ritual
You see, towering over your head,
So many, many feet high,
The proud visage of Rigoberta Menchu,
The self possessed image of
The sagacious and knowing look
Of Dr. Joclyn Elders
The faces and bodies of Goddesses, healers, mystics
And those who, while they lived,
Appeared to have grown their courage
From the very ground on which they stood.
And this, we know,
is the truth of it.
For it is Earth, the embodied feminine,
That we all are standing on.
And so it is with gratitude
That we thank the artists,
Our magnificent sisters
For giving us this vision
Of our diversity and power
Our strength and our bodies
Drenched in light.
For the primary muralists: Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone, Susuan Kelk Cervantes, Meera Desai, Yvonne Littleton, and Irene Perez, and for the many other artists who arrived with brush in hand to bring to completion this inspiring and incomparable Maestrapeace.
May the honoring of our artists, those who have inspired us past and present, and our female selves, continue to serve the shift that is needed to save our world.
MAESTRAPEACE: SAN FRANCISCO’S MONUMENTAL FEMINIST MURAL is published beautifully by the commendable Berkeley, California publisher: HEYDAY BOOKS.
And When The Time Comes en español, Y Cuando Llegue El Tiempo
My new typewriter!
Clearly the Answer Is To Share
For Tayari Jones
©2019 by Alice Walker
We met each other
through our books.
And then on the road in the wilds of Northern Michigan.
You, instantly, to me, another literary daughter.
How proud I am of you.
You said wisely: I write my books, I only write
my books, and anything else, on a typewriter.
I was beyond happy to hear this.
My computer spies on me, I offered, and so does everyone else’s you opined.
But where, oh where, did I throw my perfectly wonderful
Smith Corona? I lamented.
I know a place…. you said mysteriously.
And today, it arrived! I am beyond thrilled!
It sits on my table as if it never left,
my beloved Smith Corona.
Thank you daughter of our lineage.
Thank you writer with the thoughtful mind
and generous soul.
Your haunting and unforgettable book,
An American Marriage,
written on a typewriter,
was the beginning, I hope, of
a long and joyful
American Friendship. Long live ancestors
who before us
shared their twigs.
This poem assumes humanity’s ancestors “wrote” in the earth with twigs. It also leads to the thought of how long trees have been speaking to us.
Lee mi poema, Clearly the Answer Is To Share / Claramente la respuesta es compartir, en español
Alice Walker and Reem Abu Jaber in Gaza 2009 photo by Ann Wright
War, the most frequently overlooked cause of climate change next to polar shift.
Triggered by David Icke: A Review of Confidence & Bravery – The Trigger & Belief in Truth by Laurie Lee-Davies
In a review in which David Icke meets Celie Johnson!
In the process of becoming, in the process of evolving, we’re neither doomed nor completely free but creating our future with every word, every action, every thought. We find ourselves in a very dynamic situation with unimaginable potential. We have all the support we need to simply relax and be one with the transitional, in-process quality of our life. We have all we need to engage in the process of awakening.
– Pema Chodron
“When the grandmothers speak (and are listened to) the world will begin to change.” – Indigenous wisdom that we know is true.
Capitalism Hits Home: Jeffrey Epstein: Literal Rape by the 1% – Part 1
Serious Brothers Read ~AW
Happy Birthday, Fidel!
August 13, 1926
Photo by Gloria La Riva, Havana, Cuba 1990s
All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? He who seeks happiness By hurting those who seek happiness Will never find happiness. For your brother (sister) is like you. He wants to be happy. Never harm him… Never speak harsh words For they will rebound upon you. Angry words hurt And the hurt rebounds. Like a broken gong Be still, be silent. Know the stillness of freedom Where there is no more striving. Like herdsmen driving their cows into the fields, Old age and death will drive you before them. But the fool in his mischief forgets And lights the fire Wherein one day he will burn. Be harmless, be blameless. The farmer channels water to his land. The fletcher whittles his arrows. The carpenter turns his wood. And the wise man (person) masters himself.
– from The Dhammapada, the Sayings of the Buddha
The world is the altar on which I place my offering. –AW
~~ en español, La Violencia ~~
This Is Not a Tweet
This Is Not a Tweet: Nothing To See: Move Along.
© 2019 by Alice Walker
Lucky are those whose hearts are broken
Regularly. So many cracks appear it is unlikely
No light will come streaming through.* With time
One becomes almost immune
To the pain. But not quite. And that is
The important thing.
All those things you thought you’d help fix!
All those things you thought you understood!
All that pain you thought was over, anyway!
Then you have new pain that makes you relive
The agony already outgrown. Or so you had thought.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon brings awareness that the work of liberation done in Jackson, Mississippi long before young Laymon’s birth, was ultimately not done, or was not done well enough. Or was perhaps impossible to do. Which I sometimes felt was true.
The suffering of his childhood!
Seven years we spent* dreaming a childhood for him, for all black children (and ultimately white ones too, in that state) that would have a foundation not just in a first rate education but in an intimacy with joy. Didn’t happen, as this harshly honest memoir attests. And what of his mother? Caught between the needs of creativity, love, mothering, pushing the race forward, and surviving in a land where not one of us was safe; and her desperation, fear of falling backward, dread that her only son might become another Emmett Till.
Did we fail you, Beautiful Son, because we did not fight long enough, there where you were born? Did not love strongly enough? Did not die from bullets and bombs, broken hearts, depression and soul wounds sufficiently enough?
But you have come through, anyway. So did we fail completely?
In you I see the soul of black folk. As DuBois thought we might. Now that your inner mirror is clear, I know you see this too.
There is a purpose to all this suffering. In fact, as an elder, I can begin to see suffering as a birth.
A birth of soul. A growth of it.
Now the old hymns and spirituals begin to make sense, though most need liberating from a context they have outgrown.
Thank you for HEAVY.
Thinking of your journey, Beloved Son,
(so harsh I nearly stopped reading after a hundred pages) I am reminded of my sense, that we are on a journey that has no end. That after so much suffering perhaps we will have many days in the sun, as a flower. Then, who knows, refreshed by wind and rain, we might begin again: sensing more, enduring more, learning more of the essence of Life Itself, because the experience of ever expanding consciousness is the true unending endeavor of this realm.
*Leonard Cohen, a poetic soul mate, wrote a song about this.
*My civil rights lawyer husband, Mel Leventhal, and myself, “ friends” to the children of Mississippi. 1966-1973.
There is synchronicity all over the place. And so just as I was opening Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers book They Were Her Property: White Women Slave Owners in the American South, I was hearing Ta-Nehisi Coates speak brilliantly about the need for Americans to consider, with the coolest of minds, the need to repair the harm that capture in Africa, enslavement, unjust laws and continuing terrorism have done to the collective community of black souls in America.
Till recently, I had avoided this conversation. Too painful. Too insulting to my pride. Too many memories. Of a father, toward the end of his life, begging for Social Security, and being denied it after a lifetime of work. A whole year’s labor not always netting 300 dollars in cash. While his employers flourished.
Who wants to think of this?
And so I never asked for anything.
And the whole conversation about reparations passed over me.
But now, reading about white women and their slaves in the old South, something sticks: Many of the white people today who are against reparations of any sort – and Coates is speaking more of policy than of cash – had ancestors who were suckled on black women’s milk. Yes. Even our mothers’ milk was stolen from us. Not only that, these mothers were sometimes forcibly impregnated (raped) so that black slave and white wife would “freshen” at the same time. And the white woman could keep her figure and her unbroken rest at night, while our foremothers rushed to give whatever milk was left after suckling a white child, to their own offspring.
How can the nation repair this?
Just the thought: Rhett Butler, Ashley Wilkes, Scarlett O’Hara herself and certainly Melanie and Miss Pitty Pat (characters in Gone With the Wind) all were nourished on black women’s milk. And presidents and senators and criminals in high office: their straight teeth and strong bones “inherited” like the plantations, factories and railroads just “naturally” left to them.
What did you learn,
Those endless nights,
Did you learn
As your owners did not
That all children
Are the same?
And is this not
Our journey here has been breathtaking in its obstacles and yet I feel we have done well. As well as any people could. I feel great pride in us. As I see it, all any black people have asked for is a fair and equal playing field. Which is what Coates, I believe, is saying. Given that, we are delighted to be on our own. We tend to get so happy, even briefly experiencing this, that we readily invite white people, and others, to join us. I cherish our heart. When treated with respect, undrugged and uncaged, it manages to grow in sweetness, even here. It is like a wild rose that, crushed, gives off perfume.
Note:. We might yet become a soulful America: See Presidential possibility Marianne Williamson on reparations.
Meanwhile on the BDS front: Some things, like the stealing of our milk, continues: 28 September 2019 | http://www.bdssouthafrica.com/post/mass-consumer-boycott-campaign-against-clover/. Could this South African “Clover” be affiliated with the American Clover whose products are everywhere? Please, American drinkers of milk and lovers of kefir, look into this!
29 September 2019 | http://www.bdssouthafrica.com/post/anglican-church-in-southern-africa-adopts-bds-boycott-of-israel/. Formal churches are slow to awaken but when they do, they can become the fortress they became for us in the Civil Rights Movement in the American South. Many were burned to the ground. However, to me, that was their finest hour, and made all the teaching I’d received in church, about loving your neighbor, come to life.
When I was in Palestine I was cared for by Christians, as well as Muslims. I hadn’t expected the Christians because the programming says they’re not there. Or did at that time. They were there, and they were suffering for being Palestinians, followers and descendants of Jesus, a Palestinian.
As well as being terrifying, the Palestine/Israel impasse is a treasure trove of surprising and endless teaching, and learning.
I had not seen this program before. But was encouraged to watch/listen because Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins, a book fundamental to understanding US foreign policy, was mentioned in the first five minutes. As well it is instructive of how we are routinely robbed of housing.
We have lost a great writer whose extraordinary novels leave an indelible imprint on the consciousness of all who read them. What a force her thoughts have been and how grateful we must be that they were offered to us in this extremely challenging age.
The Sisterhood 1970S
We met beneath a framed photograph of Bessie Smith, who lived her life because it was hers. Toni Morrison, June Jordan, Audre Ballard, Ntozake Shange, Lori Sharpe, Nana Maynard, Verta Mae Grosvenor, Alice Walker. All for one, and one for all. So may it always be.
The wonder of belonging…
Thank you, and blessings to the sweet people of Eatonton, Georgia, from around the country, and around the world, who showed up in loving ways for this amazing celebration. Let it be known far and wide that we have- together, this time- begun the dance of Life again. -AW
A worthwhile intervention… and funny too!
Other People’s Books! Or, My Troubling Nightstand
(There is a back end for posting “Other People’s Everything,” brief comments on books I have read, but for some reason I can’t find it today.)
Some books are challenging to “finish.” You find yourself reading and re-reading them. Dipping into them when you are actually done, or so you thought, and are already reading something else. SMALL FRY by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, (daughter of Apple computer creator Steve Jobs) a book my daughter was reading while visiting my house, was that book, recently, for me. Who was Steve Jobs, really? How much of an Earthling was he? Why was he such a cruel parent to this marvelous writer and exacting memorialist? And what of her mother, Chrisann Brennan, disdained by her daughter while growing up, for being something I had thought wonderful: a stone hippie, a state of being that I considered evolution for white people. It is such a fine book! And, in fact, I can see in it some parts of why my daughter was reading it, and left it in my house. This parent/child territory is so under-explored. Especially when parents separate and the child’s heart is required to re-balance its affection, trust, love, and especially its imagination about a future. And what of the heart-shocked parents? Usually worried, overworked, lonely, and scared. And so on! Many, many stars.
Tina Turner, My Love Story, by Tina Turner, is a delight. A true rags to riches tale of a princess whom her sorely misguided first husband, Ike Turner, took to be a drudge. Tina’s spirit is recognizable as one that always shows up somewhere, somehow, in life, no matter where the body that carries it is wandering. It will not take defeat as conclusive; it will never resist the urge to fly – if only on a rope over a stream that to others seems a bit too wide. I love the spirit of this woman. Is it showing us where the African, the Indigenous, the European contributions to soul meet and merge? I imagine spirits mingle as bloods do. In any case, a book to read on a long plane ride, or during a week of solitude in the country, or while sitting beside someone who is leisurely leaving this reality in a hospital. There is courage, faith, daring, outrageousness, and always, amazingly, the comfort of knowing how to be both naturally good hearted and generous, and to follow one’s bliss, as love shows up, unannounced, and beckons to you.
Then, alas, there is: They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. (More on this after I go “home” to re-visit my own Southern, Georgia roots, in a small town, Eatonton, that, to my astonishment, is collectively celebrating my 75th birthday!)
Happy Summer Solstice!
I believe it is Frida’s thinking/writing/spirit but not her voice. – AW
Ronald Bernard “Satanic Child Sacrifice” April 2018 Testimony /International Tribunal For Natural Justice
Most of us know there is something terribly wrong with the world. We learn this early from such troublesome issues as not having a decent pair of shoes, or a satisfying meal. Or parents and community too stressed to give us the attention we need to grow as us, rather than as some throw-a-way character on television or in movies. In my childhood it seemed the white man had all of what there was of EVERYTHING. How he got it, I had no idea. It was a given. So to speak.
This has made it a challenge, not just for me, but for many people in the world, to see beyond the facade. To see, and more importantly, to feel, what “the white man” has to say for himself, in terms of his nightmares and traumas.
About thirty-five years ago I received the distinct impression that I must begin to really see “the white man.” Being a novelist I created him first as a character, an Albino child, in his birthplace of Africa. But this wasn’t enough. I needed to find white men who were speaking from their deepest hearts, divulging their deepest truths. I see this as essential work for the planet to transform, perhaps even to heal. I was especially instructed (by Spirit) to speak to young white men, to whom the world must seem – to some of them, the most intuitive and thoughtful – a huge burden they have inherited without sufficient guidance to know which way to go. Older white men, who should be of help, being too often self-blinded by fear, and escapism in its many forms.
I am deeply moved by this tribunal of apparently regular folks trying, on their own, to bring their suffering and their healing to the light on an artificially en-darkened planet. And by doing so letting themselves be seen in a nakedness that we have rarely, if ever, seen before. This candid recounting of his life by former Dutch banker Roland Bernard is a huge gift to our understanding of some of the deep-seated trauma that undergirds much of the cruelty and injustice in the world; also the fear and indifference. Then, there is the light in his eyes, as he grinds through the horrors of his tale, and we see that most precious of sights: a human being reclaiming his soul; and his right to happiness.
“When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it–at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice.”
Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
The image of CONFLICT
Thus in all his transactions the superior man
Carefully considers the beginning.
–I Ching or Book of Changes
The Richard Wilhelm Translation
Foreword by CG Jung
Our Daughters Rising
Or, In the Hammock With the I Ching
©2019 by Alice Walker
In the hammock with the I Ching,
Which favors the fate of superior men
I am reminded of eons past
When women had no say
That was not ridiculed
And I wonder why I still
Cling to it.
It is poetry, of course,
It is also a record of the problem.
I believe in records
Though this is amusing
Since I also believe
The present is all
There is. This moment
Here. Right now.
Where is your yesterday?
Where is your tomorrow?
Gone and not yet.
This moment then,
Of studious bliss,
Considering the past
And its ignorant errors;
Imagining the future
That is not yet.
Here’s the thing:
Learning from the recorded past
Is so… delicious.
Only a seasoned time traveller
Would think to think like that.
Anticipating the future can be fun
Not merely dreadful.
I am solidly with the Mother
However it goes down.
I am content to return a thousand times
Or come back not at all. Her word
But as I yield to the present
How happy I am
this very moment
-and who can anticipate
how long this moment will last?-
Across an age that
Has seemed forever
Intelligent and strong,
Courageous and beautiful,
Netflix: KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE
Women of feeling and courage work to get there.
Coming Soon: RENEGADE: The Life Story of David Icke
Banned premieres in London and L.A. But the people found a way!
Already here: WHITE LIES – Maori medicine from Aotearoa. Netflix
Just published Murder Incorporated, America’s Favorite Pastime: Empire, Genocide, Manifest Destiny*
Book Two of Three! (Volumes)
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
& Stephen Vittoria
Mumia proves we have NO excuse!
The Gospel (Good News) According to Shug
To bless is to help.
“HELPED are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.
HELPED are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city, or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity.
HELPED are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be as full as it is long.
HELPED are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision.
HELPED are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception, and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.
HELPED are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with trees.
HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the life of an animal or a child.
HELPED are those who risk themselves for others’ sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the word in which no one’s gift is despised or lost.
HELPED are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will be that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or of war.
HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world.
HELPED are those who forgive; their reward shall be forgiveness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth.
HELPED are those who are shown the existence of the Creator’s magic in the Universe; they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing.
HELPED are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous.
HELPED are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of the animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.
HELPED are those who love the lesbian, the gay, and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon, and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.
HELPED are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.
HELPED are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion.
HELPED are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another–plant, animal, river, or human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid.
HELPED are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass.
HELPED are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differences.
HELPED are those who know.”
From The Temple of My Familiar -1989
Was this it: An awake, uncontrollable and fierce consciousness, with a planetary audience?
What does it mean to love?
I would rather be loved than perfect.
Learning is slow. But we are doing it.
Michael is helping us.
¿Acaso era esto: una despierta, incontrolable y feroz conciencia, con un público planetario?
¿Qué significa amar?
Preferiría ser amada que ser perfecta.
El aprendizaje es lento. Pero lo estamos logrando.
Michael nos está ayudando.
In the wake of the confusion and disappointment surrounding the initial summary of the Mueller Report, Michael Meade answers listeners’ questions about what story he would tell Congress and political leaders if asked. After pointing out that the facts can never tell the whole story, he turns to an ancient wisdom story in which telling the truth is the only way to stop the spread of life-threatening poison. As the tale illuminates, living under falsity can poison the core of a society as well as an individual. When the poison is already spreading, the only remedy is the medicine of truth.
“Choosing to spend our tax money on building our nation instead of endless war is not magical thinking. Magical thinking is when you believe bombing strangers makes you safe.”
Children of the World, Unite!
Photo source: Nation of Change and Twitter #ClimateStrike
It is not too late to study for the present. Which is all there ever is, anyway. – AW
For instance, these children from different worlds. Who ate well?
March 8, 2019
A Blessing for International Women’s Day
by Alvaro Chavarin (See Other People’s Everything recent post)
New Greeting for Humanity (looks old!)
A New Greeting
to Replace Hello
Copyright©2019 by Alice Walker
A new greeting for humanity
to replace hello: recognizing we have been
tortured, for the most part,
into our present state:
“I love you forever,
The task: To work our way
To The Teachers of Oakland
Dear Teachers of Oakland, I am honored to have been asked to speak to you today, or, in the event, to send you a message of solidarity and support.
As many of you know, having read my work over the years (hopefully!) Teachers are some of my favorite people. I have a deep respect for you. A deep caring that you are treated fairly. That you are treated well.
Frankly, I want you to be praised! (As well as paid!)
To me, teachers are the most important people, next to parents, on Earth. It is you who are given responsibility to instruct our children, which means, in effect, that it is you who are given the responsibility to shape our society, our country, and our world.
For this responsibility, so unimaginably heavy, you should be given, really, anything you ask for.
It is criminal that you are not.
Especially when we see it is the war machine, more often than not, that is supported lavishly. A machine that often cuts short the very lives you have lovingly prepared to live with understanding and intelligence in this world.
Know that you have sisters and brothers who stand with you, heart to heart. We may not be beside you physically, but we are beside you in every other way.
Those of us who have benefitted from the devotion and care of great teachers will always stand with, and beside you.
Rain, or no rain.
And with all my love,
To be delivered by my friend and longtime comrade in struggle, Jack Heyman, of the Longshoreman’s Union. Thanks, Jack!
February 9, 2019
Gracias a la Vida!
Temple Jook House
Photo by Sheherazade Tillet 2018
Maria Sabina was a curandera from the mountains above Oaxaca, Mexico. She was known for her healing prowess which had a foundation in the mushrooms that grow wild in that region. When she was a child, fatherless, she was often hungry. One day she was so hungry the mushrooms around their hovel seemed to be bread. She ate them and had amazing visions, and, in fact, was reunited with her father, who assured her of his love, and of his deep sorrow that he was absent. She grew up knowing of the other worlds that many people now learn about through another plant (actually two plants mixed together) known as ayahuasca. These plants have been demonized by some people because they let you see that ours is only one reality among infinities.
María Sabina fue una curandera de las montañas que se elevan sobre Oaxaca, México, Era conocida por sus poderes curativos que se basaban en el empleo de hongos que crecen silvestres en la región. Cuando era niña, huérfana de padre, con frecuencia andaba hambrienta. Un día tenía tanta hambre que los hongos alrededor de su choza le parecieron pan. Los comió y tuvo increíbles visiones y, de hecho, se reunió con su padre, quien le aseguró su amor y su gran pesar por estar ausente. Creció con el conocimiento de otros mundos de los que mucha gente ahora conoce mediante el uso de otra planta (en realidad dos plantas mezcladas) conocida como ³ayahusasca². Estas plantas han sido demonizadas de cierto modo porque nos permiten ver que la nuestra es una realidad entre infinidad de otras realidades.
Thich Nhat Hanh: Be Beautiful, Be Yourself
See Andrea Miller’s interview with this great teacher in Lion’s Roar
I thank Thich Nhat Hanh
I thank him
From: Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker
“There is no religion, no doctrine higher than brotherhood and sisterhood.” Thay (teacher) Nhat Hanh.
The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization.
-Luther Standing Bear,
Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937 – in solidarity with
Omaha elder Nathan Phillips 2019
El hombre que se sentaba sobre la tierra en su tipi meditando acerca de la vida y su sentido, aceptando el parentesco entre todas las criaturas y reconociendo la unidad con todas las cosas del universo, estaba irradiando en su ser la verdadera esencia de la civilización.
Luther Oso Parado,
Sioux Oglala, 1868-1937 – en solidaridad con
El Qnciano Nathan Phillips, 2019
Crop circle: Thank you for trying to talk to us. AW
Círculo en el pasto: Gracias por intentar hablarnos. A.W.
Archive of AliceWalkersGarden.com Home Page 2018