Saturday Rain
e.e. cummings said:

To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.


Okay, so that's a meditation more about being than about writing--though you know by now that I believe in writing-as-being. Writing is what you are as well as what you do. (Notice I didn't say being-as-writing; that would be living for the page and the pen, standing back constantly from every experience to note: What an artiste am I!) You must fight to be yourself because everybody wants to control that aspect of you. Voter, tax payer, Republican, Democrat, parent, student, soldier, frycook. Lover. Writer.

I mentioned tree huggers in a previous post (among whom I stand proudly). I have had to battle to be me, even though being me is not always that great a prize in my opinion, but it is all mine. I am my own nation, and I will fight to defend my territories. Walt Whitman and me.

I also remember Kurt Cobain said, "I hate myself and want to die." That's me, too. I've had to fight right through that brush fire, as you all must, or have. Many of us more than once. But guess what--we're here. We won.

The theologian Will Campbell said organized religion (definition: "to tie down") was wicked, because it was a corporate entity, and corporate entities are about power, and their power is derived from binding and controlling the human spirit. Will C. was Johnny Cash's pastor. He leads a sinner's church, and that's for me. I need sinners because saints maintain such an exclusive club. Ol' Will once served communion to country-western singers and outlaw bikers in a bar, with bread and whiskey. God is too big for religion.

God is small as a haiku.

It's raining here. Cold and gray--and the cicadas are still hiding underground. My beloved Mr. and Mrs. Mallard walked around the yard again, complaining. They seem to have won the e.e. cummings battle upon hatching. They know who they are, all right. Though they seem to have some kind of suburban neighbor illusions. I feel like I should set out some chips and Buds for them.

My immigration essay runs in tomorrow's (Sunday) Washington Post. You ought to be able to find it on their website, in the op-ed area. And I got a gift in the mail today from Ana Castillo. She knew in her bones, I bet, that I needed some magic, and she sent a gift carved from amber. I won't tell you what it is. I learned my lesson when I received a certain fetish from Cinderella--a Hopi carving of an animal I loved. And I showed it to everyone. And it promptly vanished from the velvet pouch where I kept it in my pocket. It took one of the medicine women who helped me with Hummingbird to show me that the carving had become my own secret when I accepted it, and the showing was what made it go away. When you have lived in their world for a while, you listen and learn. So I tried again, minding my medicine.

Ana's object is so alive--the amber is still warm, as if the ancient sun were trapped in the stone. And it was definitely the right animals to send me. Plus, you know, she put some X's and O's in the card! Oh yeah! Writerlove moving around the country. My sisters and brothers are feeling each other in this season with so much at stake and so many threats to us all.

So fight the sweet fight. Fight to be you. Retain yourself. I can offer you this: I have no designs or plans for you; I only want to come upon you as you are, and experience you, and celebrate you, and lift you up in chants and ritual prayers when we part. You do the same for me. Remember what I said last time: to keep it, you've got to give it away. But nobody's getting Ana's amber!

My medicine is great, amigos.

Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above! Don't fence me in!
Let me ride, let me ride through the country that I love! Don't fence me in!
Besos y abrazos, Luis

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