Women and Men, say "ENOUGH"
Dedicated to and inspired by Alice Walker
Every day, life in America seems to slide a bit farther down the entropy slope. Our unemployment rate is increasing every day. Our school systems are either in dire danger of closing or absurdly expensive and competitive, forcing our children to forego their very childhoods. Our access to health care is almost entirely dependent on our capital worth. Our trees and forests are being stripped bare, our bays and lakes and rivers are being polluted, and our animal population is dwindling daily.
Near where I live now, the deer and rabbits are increasingly prone to becoming road kill because they have very few places to find food, inhabit, and graze. Owls and squirrels and snakes and sparrows watch as huge yellow metallic monsters eat their forest, their home, violently stripping the land and the habitat of every life-sustaining morsel. Their dwellings, their children, and their lives are bulldozed, ignored, forfeit to the legion of profiteers whose minions are adept at using John Deere heavy machinery.
Contractors are putting up thousands and thousands of palatial houses made of plastic and wood, with only a few feet between them, and no grass. People who are lucky enough to have jobs are working double shifts, and have no time for mowing lawns. They have no time for cooking, and little time for eating, so they make a fast-food stop (cars encircling the golden arches like hungry wolves gathering around a campsite) and eat on the way home while driving. I see this all the time. And shortly, they're in bed, asleep, tranquilized by the 60-inch TV screen flickering through the short night, getting a marginal amount of sleep so that they can repeat the cycle into an endless future of bleak tomorrows.
Meanwhile, the banks on Wall Street gear up for another round of hedge-fund mania. It's time to play the same game, in the same way, and steal from the same people. One could imagine that this might continue well into the next century because it is so profitable for them, and they are curiously unregulated.
And, of course, there are always the glorious and continuous wars.
Afghanistan is a country whose population is largely children under the age of fifteen, women, and old men, many of whom are disabled. They die horribly each and every day so that we may enjoy our "freedoms". And in Iraq, the madness continues as young American men and women lose their lives (lives beyond value, as is every life) while instability and confusion reign and killing is a daily reality.
And what are women saying?
Excluding the gum-chewing, beer-swilling, pro-gun, ultra-right-wing patriotic female who carries her American flag as a representation of her own stilted beliefs, what are the women of the world saying about these atrocities? THIS atrocity? The SINGLE atrocity that values money more than life, success more than happiness, security more than freedom, and power more than wisdom?
Where are the women's voices, where are their hearts, what are their convictions?
I awoke today to a bleak, steel-skied, overcast landscape. Even in this gray light, though, the roses are still so very beautiful in their colorings, at the height of their vitality. Some are red, and the red ones are the largest. The orange ones are magnificent in their hue, almost artificial at first glance but enchanting when closely examined. There's the yellow and white ones, also large and very lovely. There are a few colored like peaches, and they're small and subtle, almost struggling to survive with their two-toned character, but the roses as a whole make up a symphony in my back yard, and the music and color and brilliance seems to me as if it should last forever.
I know, as an early elder, that all things die, and all things slide down the entropy slope eventually. That there are graceful, natural, even proud and positive ways to slide down, back to the Mother, is something I know very well. I also know that there are awful, brutal, agonizing ways to slide down.
Women all over this planet are now called upon to say "ENOUGH" to the continuing defilement, debasement, and suppression of all that is Feminine, in both men and women. The battle in America to drive back civil rights for women, and Black People, and Gay People, and "those not like us" is simply an attempt to return to white male domination, complete population control, and slavery.
Men who know about the Earth, and the Feminine, men who know about the roses, men who know about the deer and the owls and the snakes (and the polar bears, wolves, lions, panthers, elephants, whales, and fishes also), men who know that we are really CHILDREN on this Earth, our Mother, and that she needs us to love and honor and take care of her, these men also need to say "ENOUGH".
We as women have been a little too silent, I think. I have, I know.
I had let the slave-masters control my beautiful MUSIC, given to me by the roses and the trees and the little animals and the divinity in the stars. When I was a very small child, I knew all of this, and they made me forget. They were brutal in their methods, and their brutality left scars that will never fully heal. They were so powerful and sure and swift and rich and physically strong that resistance was virtually futile. But their power had its limits. As we grow older, we learn about OUR power, the power to heal and to cleanse and to grow and to nurture and to make beauty; we learn to make change, to seek truth, to make love, to forge peace, all without the false, transitory, illusory power of force.
It is time at least that I say "ENOUGH". Many other women of courage have said it, and many other women have seen the hope-giving changes, small changes, but changes nonetheless, in our reality. At the age when I could just give up and let the entropy slope take me, I've found the courage and the awareness to shout "ENOUGH" in my own way.
There is no more time for foolishness. No more time to remain silent while the planet crashes into chaos around me. There is a place of peace. It is not a place that is pain-free or idyllic. Too many of my ancestors and my sisters, too many of my brothers and my people, too many of my loved ones have fought and died tragically here. But a graveyard is a resting place, and we all reach that place. Standing on my Mother's ground, on this bone yard of Earth, we can all, men and women alike, shout "ENOUGH". We can stop participating. We can grow gardens. We can refuse to let our minds and the minds of our children be programmed by TV and fast food and drugs and tainted water, we can refuse to let our hearts and the hearts of our children be broken, generation after generation. We can say "no" to the 20th Century model of life and death. It is a zero-sum game, and it doesn't work. It never did. The 20th Century was the bloodiest century our people have experienced.
We can say, with tears in our eyes and pain in our voices, "ENOUGH".
As we keep saying it, it can become an early sign, the seed of a NEW mantra (or metta) that may emerge, one that does not cost us our lives and our loved ones and our very home planet. It can be a mantra rooted in love. It can make us happy and healthy and... once again, fully human.