“Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.”
George Bernard Shaw
I feel those words resonant at the top of the spine, the area headaches tend to grow. I see the mountains decapitated by coal companies and the loaded gun cabinets of frightened men, and again drop into a cold void contemplating the last breaths of Sandra Bland in a cell patriarchy built. Every day it seems the self interest of a small set of men deadens the life force of all that is holy on this planet. My own feet, inclined to dance, feel clumsy and disoriented at each headline.
Yet I know all movement is no more or less than photons stirring, energy recycling through space. Nuclear fusion makes sunlight and the hydrogen bomb. Sharpened blades can cut heirloom lettuce just as easily as skin. And despite the scars covering every inch of my own heart, I continue to know the expressions of energy are infinite and not fixed. This is the alchemy of human existence: not an abstract “free will,” but the endless direction of anima.
However stupidly the energy is funneled in the monstrous, deadening tunnels of capitalist patriarchy, there always remains the possibility of redirection.
The last time there was a strong wind I saw a tent collapse, and perhaps that same current of air passed through Sandra Bland when she raised her voice to a white man on the side of a remote highway in Texas. Yes, I worship at the church of the effective power of women. Because everywhere I hear them shout and sing, energy is transformed again, snatched from the cyclones of death and redirected toward our liberation.
Collective interest backed by force: that is the west wind I cast my prayers onto, knowing long after me another woman will stop in that gale and say her own name.
Image: Robert Thornton, The Night-Blowing Cereus, Temple of Flora, Plate 14, 1799 – 1807, via Abraxas Journal