The great American novelist and poet Alice Walker was in town the last two days, and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at her public event last night at the Morton Theatre. It was a conversation with a great and generous soul, who reminded us to be kind, generous, curious and grateful to the wonder of which we are all a part, and to which we are ever-present witnesses. She instructed us to read, read, read, and to be aware of all that we allow into our consciousness via the invasive nature of electronic and broadcast media. We should be mindful of our ancestors and their suffering, because of which we should work to alleviate all suffering that we are aware of and encounter. Truly amazing and inspiring. She even read a couple of pages of dialogue between Shug and Celie talking about God from The Color Purple. I hope your Thursday night was good, too.
But here, I’ll share a poem from her website [yes, she blogs]. This is The Future Captured in A Heartless Fist by Alice Walker:
Somehow it is left to us
This most hopeful of generations
We do not need to have given birth
To the children
Who are being destroyed
To know they are our children
Not only in the present and the past
But certainly in the future.
All children are connected at birth
To all the others ever to arrive.
Their faces turned upward
Toward the parents all grown-ups were meant to be.
How can you separate your child
Little one, they have captured you
And placed you in a cage.
What are we to make of this?
Are we supposed to see you
As an animal?
Though animals also do not deserve
Are we supposed to think
That you are, at five years old,
Already a “terrorist”?
Are we to believe you deserve
To stand alone in this tiny jail
Obviously constructed with you in mind
While grownups stand around
And frighten you?
Who paid for this cage
You are Palestinian
You are also Earthling,
You are Every Child.
By most humans of this planet
You are beloved.
But in this moment,
So hard to own
As what any parent or grownup
Could desire or wish
You are The Future
Captured in a heartless
Image from last night, stolen without permission from fB.