Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Everything is a human being-- a la Alice Walker

.....even spiders

From Alice Walker dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr, 1983 
And,  it comes to me as I follow her reasoning THAT I believe we should be allowed to declare  war only against people whose language we speak and whose culture we understand.  In fact I am quite sure that if we had a Ministry or Department of Old Women (aka Crones) in our political system that they would over-rule a war between strangers as  irrational and self-destructive.  If we do not know people well enough to skillfully befriend them then neither do we know them well enough to hate them.  The opposite of love is not hatred but indifference; whereas the source of most hate is fear born of ignorance (and unfamiliarity).    Moreover, the chances of winning a war are significantly reduced if we do not take the time to know who we are fighting and why they are fighting back.  Remarkably, knowing people well enough to wage war against them effectively also exactly what protects us from ever starting a war against each other. 

I am shaking my head that so few Americans speak Dari or Pashtu and I think wishfully about a Ministry of Crones. So it is to Alice Walker that I return (certainly she would be in the Ministry) but this time on the topic of war.  In her essay "The Universe Responds: Or, How I learned we can have Peace on Earth," she says,

"War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attention at all. 
Peace will come wherever it is sincerely invited. Love will overflow every sanctuary given it. Truth will grow where the fertilizer that nourishes it is also truth".

How difficult for us to do.... 
Meanwhile, everything is human, yes, my lovely daughter, Natalya, even spiders, or if not exactly human they are enough "us" to be worthy of our respect and far beyond our capacity to imitate - or create. They are weavers and spinners and since time out of mind there have been stories woven with spiders-- remember Arachne? 

Here -- to all the lovely forms of existence-- we dedicate these images to our many legged spinning friends that live life on their toes & up in the air like members of cirque du soleil.


Nene Riley said...

Thanks for the spiders; I love Alice Walker.

Take care of yourself,


Bobbi Thami said...

Hi Sharon,

I am totally in awe of both your mother's photos (I assume the photos
were your mother's) and your writing. I'm afraid all I'm creative at is a new way of writing a contract clause. Sigh. Anyway, your blog is wonderful and I love it and I'm really glad I know you.

As for my previous e-mail - how have you been affected by Hurricane
Irene? The news stories of Vermont are awful but they seem to be more
in the southern part of the state, I think. And the fact that you can
send an e-mail is reassuring. I guess that means you have

Plan on a winter trip to San Antonio. There's Internet there too.


Nene Riley said...

I have to say that I was impressed reading your spiders piece that you ere able to write at all in the transition. It speaks to how deeply you must be called to this.

A Ministry of Crones...I think of Marion Robinson and feel glad she is in the White House. It is simply a matter of turning to and trusting a precious resource that we have had all along, at every layer of our communal life. And some powerful men do I think. It's just an underground reality. So the question would be how to get them into the corporate and political power centers. What a difference that
would make.

I think of women like Marian Wright Edelman and Maya Angelou and even
Nancy Pelosi. And also many of my friends entering their sixties and
seventies...providing such strength, support and wisdom to children, colleagues, and parents.

There is something Harry Potter-like in the term which is fun.


Unknown said...

Nene and Bobbi,

Thanks so much. I love encouragement. I think spending a week with Dr . CP Estes was a great boon to my willingness to speak up.

Nene, it seems that the Ministry of Crones would have to start as an institution outside the political sphere. It would have to be organic. If "we" believe that there is an important resource for our political and cultural lives--- the wisdom and mischief of older women -- and that it is missing from the important discussions and deliberations, then we have to demand to hear them. I think a traditional political office would be too isolating and not foster the creativity or cooperation that such a "center" would need. Women in high office, at least traditionally worked in threes. Perhaps what we are envisioning is a "think-tank" of sorts. One that is committed to discerning wisdom and kindness, seeks out these voices and shushes the noise...hissing "HUSH" while they speak. Clearly I haven't got all the kinks worked out yet but the names you give are fantastic. I would like to add many names.