But Seattles—like those blinding moments in a love affair when the whole world stops, like those perfect poems that write themselves, like the song so catchy and beautiful it becomes a world wide hit, like the glowing day in the forest when you find the giant chantrelle, like any amazing, ecstatic, lucky peak experience, happen rarely. They’re the Black Swans, the unusual occurrence, the outlier. The daily grind of political activism is showing up, over and over again, with the same hundred people you’ve seen before. Getting yourself up off the couch where you’d much rather be, to march around feeling slightly foolish and chanting the same things you’ve been chanting since 1966. “Peace Now!” “Stop the Bombing!” “End the Occupation!” The effects, if any, of your actions are so far away and far removed that any sense of accomplishment or achievement is rare and abstract, and the chances of getting whacked, clubbed, trodden upon, hoarse from screaming, tear gassed, pepper sprayed, stun gunned, tasered, arrested, interrogated, deported, or facing other unpleasantness rise daily. The personal motto that carries me through these things is Garrison Keilor’s observation, that “things that are horrible for most people are good for writers.” And the sure knowledge that every freedom we cherish, every great change, every liberation of a slave or shift in conciousness or small increase in justice was won in just this way—in the streets by people who mostly felt at the time that they were losing.
We’ve got to do it. All those email petitions on the internet, all those phone calls are fine—but there’s no substitute for human beings putting our bodies in the way the operations of injustice and pounding on the gates of the exploiters and raising our living voices in outrage at stupidity and greed.
I'm an old woman and there are only a few things that I know for sure: Grounding is important. Kindness is seldom wasted. Photosynthesis is the highest good. Keep your house clean, your papers in order, some money set aside. Don't tell the Man much about yourself. Sisters make it all much better. As above, so below; as inside, so without. The moment when monkey mind most wants to take over, when fears are most intense, when you have the most reasons to turn back -- that's the moment when magic can happen. Hecate will be there for me, at the end. And, Starhawk is right. There is no substitute for human beings putting our bodies in the way of the operations of injustice. I have been glad every time that I did that, and I regret every time that I lost an opportunity to do so. I'm old, but I know this for sure.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."