January 20, 2003
Here it is Wednesday afternoon [January 15] and I haven't even started a column for
you. There are so many issues and concerns to write about nowadays that I
feel like a child in a huge toy store and, at the same time, like a child
in a dentist's chair. Part of me wants to look for something to play with
and another part of me wants to run away, far away. I guess I'll do both.
My regular readers may allow that I live in a unique little corner of infinity with Green Party officeholders and tree-sitters by the dozen, so why would I want to run away? To be with you, that's why. To meet you and share something human and memorable with you. I want to live a once-in-a-lifetime experience with you. I want to be intimate with you, dear friends. I want to change our world with you.
So I'm going to the big demonstration in San Francisco this weekend, to be with you.
Activism is like that, you know. It always works best when we work and play together. Of course, that's something we should all try to do wherever we find ourselves in life's journey. But every once in a while we struggle with each other, we are human, of course, and sometimes we feel like it's all closing in and our cause is lost and we've no hope of surviving or of changing a damn thing. That's a good time to get together with our friends, old ones and new ones and those yet unknown, to work and play and celebrate and grieve, to encourage and renew our humanity and our love for all life.
That's why I demonstrate, to be with you.
I LOVE trees. The bigger, the better. I love to get out in the trees, so far into the trees that I can't hear anything but the trees. I love the smell of trees, and their touch. I love green. It's the softest and kindest color on earth. When I go out into the trees, into Nature, I feel as though I've come home, and I have. One time I lived in the trees for eight years but, unfortunately, I had to come out of the trees to do things to save them. That made me very sad.
I LOVE the ocean. It's alive. It's immense. The surf sounds to me like the 'breath of life.' I love to go to the ocean and get into it and where I live the ocean is very cold, until you get into it, but once you're into my ocean you don't feel the cold anymore, it burns. When I'm out in the ocean I can feel myself melting into it. Going home. I feel invited to stay with it forever, and not leave, but I can't. I have to come out to do things to save it, and that makes me sad.
So when I go into the trees or into the ocean I feel I'm going home for a while, and I feel renewed after the sadness. When I demonstrate with you, I feel at home for a while, but when we part I feel sad...and then renewed.
That's why I demonstrate.
So watch for me wherever and whenever you are demonstrating. I'm the one who looks determined and at peace, the one who looks like an old childhood friend. Together we will demonstrate our convictions and our love for each other. Together, we will change this world.
· · · · · ·
Michael W. Stowell is a local activist in Northern California.
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