The Earth Is the Only One Telling the Truth
“Kelly, everything with you is just so intense…
there are problems in the world… there have always been problems in the world, you can’t force anyone to change and you can’t fix everything.”
He is full of frustration. His brow is furrowed almost in disbelief…there is a profound sense of worry, concern and loss.
“Where is my Kelly the one who told me not to worry so much…that my joy was all the world needed?”
Right now I’m seeing his pure love and I’m seeing myself through his eyes.
I can’t push back because… he’s right.
For the first time ever I can feel the tension and the weight of the burden of being who I have been my entire life… someone who sees what’s broken in our society and feels a need to fix it. The weight of that, the sorrow is unsustainable, and that deep sorrow is not good for me and I know it.
As he looks at me I can hear my mother’s voice—from when i was a kid.—when she started worrying about me. ”Baby, you gotta to learn how to work with joy…”
“Take it easy…don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy…”
Take it Easy, The Eagles by Jackson Browne, 1972
When I wake up Johnny and Chris are long gone.
I’m in the motel 6 sandwiched between the Sacramento River and the Freeway.
My room is the last on the side.
Tucked into the corner of a roaring Thursday morning and I hear the gushing, mighty emptiness of Capitalism… Diesel Fuel… and transience peeling out and flowing along my bedside…
my first thought when i open my eyes is going to get some piping hot water from the gas station around the corner so i can pop in my freshly harvested mint leaves and enjoy a lil’ cuppa Heaven.
I dress quickly and move out into cold sunny morning passing a scattering of unhoused folks sitting on the sidewalk away from the gutters as cars pass, smiling their smiles that read both pain and surrender AND basically—this shit is what it is—talking and warming themselves with each others’ company and maybe whatever is in their cups. It’s a frigid bone chilling kind of a cold morning, where the winds have been whipping up, bending the high blades of grass ALTHOUGH in the sun there’s an intense warmth, it’s not enough to keep these folks safe from illness and the deprivation brought on by the cold.
“You can’t fix everything…” my friend, my beloved brother’s words keep crossing my mind as i feel the injustice..this shit is only normal in America…where desserts of wealth have joined oceans of heartlessness with alot of cognitive dissonance and trauma thrown in to organize a purgatory replete with the agonies of alienation from space and place for so many and landed them here.
“Man turns and says get a job…
that’s just the way it is…
somethings will never change…”
That’s Just the Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby. 1987
I’ve been in Oakland for 9 years and I’ve seen the interior of many of the lives of folks whose paths have led to this place..this no place place. To me they are not fixtures to be walked over. I see fathers… mothers… sisters… folks who could be making contributions to their own lives and the lives of others—not that they are not.—but after 9 years in Oakland doing the work i’ve been doing… their life expectancies… the outcomes… it can be grim…
“Best way to help the poor is not be one”
Comedian Steve Harvey, Explaining to Monique that she deserved to be blackballed
for speaking up for equity in Hollywood, 2019
I go into the tiny petrol booth and get eyed by the proprietor who looks me up and down long enough to make her own judgments about whether I’m there to rob them or not…
”How many tea bags you got in there?” she asks as I place the cup made of some bizarre-manmade-will-never-biodegrade- poly styri–filled-with-steaming-hot-water on the counter.
I wonder too about her life, standing here making her little bit of livin’ freeway side amidst the reality of having to fight off folks who probably wanna come in and stand in the warmth of the flimsy, dank little petrol station because the concrete has become too cold… her hard earned few dollars and change an hour…she’s a tough, narrow framed white woman… in her 60’s… was this what she wanted for her life… her mouth is turned into a consistent fixed smile upside down and the emptiness of the world i am traversing makes me happy for the refuge of the freshly harvested herbs in the trunk of my car… the mint that I break apart and stuff into the steaming cup of hot water…even just handling the herbs and that fragrance makes me feel alive and hopeful and i think of the sun in each leaf…photosynthesis… purity and light. Abundance… ever giving…The kingdom of heaven in every blade of grass… the earth telling us the only true truth… regeneration… infinity…
“I believe the sun and moon
Do shine up in the sky
When the day is grey i know
Its just clouds passing by”
Come Sunday, Mahalia Jackson, Written by Duke Ellington, 1943
I get back into my room and close out the cold of the morning… Sausage, my youngest pup snuggling between my legs underneath the covers and Play, Mr. Abercrombie, he’s resting too, my heart is at ease for a moment as I drink the hot mint tea and watch them sleeping… completely in the present… unencumbered by “the troubles of the world” as Mahalia sang.
I know i can’t fix it…
The real trouble…is that i can’t NOT see it.
My heart is completely open these days.
No filter that allows me to not see these elder white american brothers sitting on concrete, on a bitter bone cutting cold morning… and the myriad whys of it all… where are they from…in the world I mean… Ireland… Portugal… Romania…Greece… who were their people before they became “white?”
Did they realize giving up their culture..their tongue… their love for land and one another themselves… did they mamas know it or they mamas mamas…. this is not just about economics and the last recession… or the one before that or Vietnam…Iraq or Afghanistan… what im seeing has been thousands of years in the making since the first inkling of destroying human connection with land and food for power and dominion over ALL… and it feels like this virus which has made its way through ALL the People… including me… is in its in it final stages. The Apocalypse isn’t coming… it’s already happened… we’re living in the aftermath…
“When I look at the world it fills me with sorrow
Children today really suffer tomorrow
Oh what a shame
Who is willing to try
To save a world to destined to die”
Mercy Mercy Me, The Ecology, Marvin Gaye, 1970
Marvin is Echoing the warnings of Hildegard Von Bengim, Rhineland Mystic, 1072
“One day the seeds will no longer sprout and the land will be dry and barren…”
that’s the part that troubles me…
I need an antidote.
I need an antidote to soothe my heart after hearing the young woman I ran into the night before who cried to me telling me that her stimulus check had just arrived…in time for her to buy some food…”i feel like celebrating,” she said. I wished her well from my heart…knowing that in these days and times it’s best to leave it at that…back in the day i would pulled a page from my mama’s rhyme book…sat with that baby and talked to her…but now…the way this way world is…I said my prayer for her…with her and walked away….her words…the nervous tone of her confessional nature made me wonder about all the young folks in America right now who are like these young women…doing the best they can in a society that has bankrupted itself and left them hanging out in the breeze with the grief and hopelessness of what now…”I just wish people weren’t so mean” the young woman from last night said “it’s so lonely out here.”
“Cuz we’re all just pilgrims
and we’re traveling the same road
and I’m gonna help you yeah
if i can yes I will now.”
Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Can You Make it Brother, 1972
I told Johnny and Chris about her… the night before… as we gathered and laughed and drank whiskey and talked about everything in a room that I had “made my own” as Johnny put it..the room full of white sage incense, bright colored puppy beds and hand made quilt and us… and the tv muted.
“We need a Marshall Plan for our nation’s youth. “
We need to talk about how to support the youth through a time when our government has abandoned ship.
As I say these words our nation has just air striked Syria… war economy seems to be the only thing America can do very well…disembowel nations… communities… countries… people… overseas and right here at home…the young woman, the elders camped outside the freeway gas station… hotel/motel row alongside the Sacramento River… laughing and talking,knowing way before i even became aware that there is no Marshall plan…only more war…we have lived beyond the apocalypse…they dropped a bomb on hiroshima nagasaki on August 9, 1945 for sport.. their police will blow your brains out on national television and walk free the next day.
The dead BEEN walkin’… they the ones runnin’ shit and no one and no thing is coming for the children or the youth either… Death and Destruction are their marshall plan… there will be no support and maybe things just are what they are.
That’s just the way it is…
somethings will never change…
oh but don’t you believe it…
If The Kingdom of Heaven in every blade of grass,
And the Earth is The Only One Telling the Truth
And the mycelium network under our feet has the secrets
the gifts of our true nature and our destiny
And the apocalypse has already happened then that means that we are living in the beginning…THIS is the beginning and if Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson are right and the Earth is Every Woman…
Im every woman, it’s ALLLLL in me
Anything you want done babayyy
I do it NATURALLY
(with the help of Chaka Khan…1978)
then that means that this is the beginning…we are standing in the Garden of Eden…again… Blessed is he who will stand at the beginning. And he will know the end, and he will not taste death.”
Jesus…Gospel of Thomas
This Gospel discovered in 1945…in ancient ruins somewhere in Egypt…the same year we dropped the bomb…
“We’ve only just begun to live
White lace and promises
A kiss for luck and we’re on our way…
And we’ve just begun”
We’ve Only Just Begun, Richard and Karen Carpenter, 1970
“We are not separate from nature… we are nature…
Nature is a woman…
The cosmos is a woman
Hanging the moon… changing the seasons…”
Ayodele Nzinga — yesterday in a workshop on her writing
All of this Is my antidote.
You are my antidote