Rebecca Walker


Friday, August 29, 2008

BBC NEWS | Health | Hurt feelings 'worse than pain'

BBC NEWS | Health | Hurt feelings 'worse than pain'

For everyone who has ever been told their feelings don't matter; that they should shut up and be quiet; that at least they haven't been beaten; that they should just "get over it" and move on.

Hope you've recovered from the incredible DNC party last night. I'm planning to write a post on it today. Check back later.

Peace and love,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It was so Summer 2008.


Hi beautiful people! Sorry to post this so late!

I know there's a lot to talk about. The miraculous Michael Phelps, inspiring Lolo Jones, and breathtakingly beautiful Huang Shansan and her fellow trampolinists, to start.

Then there is Georgia and Russia.

And, of course, the economy.

I went to the mall a few days ago to buy a bathing suit for Tenzin. It was so cheap! I looked at the tag. Made in China. Then I went to the farmer's market and bought ten ears of corn. It was so expensive! The farmer said, "Locally grown, costs more."

Today I went to make sure Tenzin was sleeping and not chasing geckos at naptime.

I opened his door and found a delirious, somersaulting, almost-four-year-old boy hard at work paper-clipping all of my credit, debit, gift, frequent flier, health insurance, and drivers license cards to assorted stuffed animals, blankets, and pieces of furniture.

It was a post-modern installation piece: a room full of debt, a house of cards. He had found my wallet and was tearing a hole in it. It was expressly American, it was my Visa to enlightenment. It was, "Money can't buy you love" and it was "Child paper-clipping your credit cards to rocking horse? Priceless." It was rich. It was tragic.

It was so August 2008. When an ear of corn cost two dollars.

I stood thinking about Georgia, the trampolinists, and the sixty-five dollars it was going to take to fill up my gas tank tomorrow. I thought about all the people with no gas tank to fill up. No corn to buy.

I thought about the interview Obama gave upon return from Hawaii.

When asked what to do about all the unspeakable horrors going on in our world, Barack said the most important thing we can do is talk about them, and acknowledge, in a forthright way, they exist. We can't pretend nothing is wrong. We need to be able to look, to allow, to let down our defenses so that we can see. So that we can feel, and move from there.

Which is what I think we all need to do right about now. Not so much that we totally lose it, but just enough so we don't totally lose it.

Things are not okay in the world, and they haven't been for a very, very long time. It's not pretty, but it's the truth. And we can't change what we won't look at, and we won't look at what we think we can't change, which means we have to either look or set our hair on fire.

And if we did that, who would take care of the children?

Power to the people.

Each and every one of us.



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clinton Democrats My “Catharsis”

Clinton Democrats My “Catharsis”

Hey beautiful ones,

I'm writing a piece on the convention and in researching, I found the Puma site, with pieces like these.
Friday, August 15, 2008

Seydou Keita: Conjurer of Images


For all the people who wrote about the photo from yesterday's post--here's more on Seydou Keita, one of my all-time favorite artists.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

McCommunism: The Opening Ceremony


Okay, you know I have to talk about the Opening Ceremony.

Not because the humanistic aspirations of the Chinese people aren't real and true and moving.

But because the political aspirations of the Chinese government are more disturbing than the last eight years of US foreign policy.

Here's what Naomi Klein wrote about the Olympics this year:

"These Olympics are the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades. It is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarianism communism -- central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance -- harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism. Some call it "authoritarian capitalism," others "market Stalinism," personally I prefer "McCommunism."

If I had been twittering while watching the Opening Ceremony, instead of driving everyone in my house crazy exclaiming over every little thing, this is how my twitter log would read:

That's a lot of technology. That's a lot of money. This ceremony is really long. This is like a super creative military exhibition. The Americans are really rocking the Ralph Lauren. Cheerleaders in white go-go boots, fifteen male athletes to every female athlete? Thank goodness for Patsy Mink and Title IX.

How can every country be represented except Tibet? What about the priceless Buddhist teachings destroyed by Chinese military? My teacher's teacher shot and killed? The Tibetans watching this and weeping? All the Chinese dissidents being tortured at this moment? What about China's rapidly developing relationship with Africa--taking oil, selling guns?

What's up with George Bush looking at his watch? He probably doesn't have the option of opting out of attendance. Perhaps because the US owes China over 400 billion dollars. Or because our economy is based on cheap Chinese imports. Or because America is 300 million citizens strong to China's 1.3 billion. They can raise an army the size of our entire nation and leave a billion civilians at home.

I'm glad my friend Julia, owner of Little Pim, is sending a Chinese foreign language DVD for Tenzin.

Did they say that little boy went back to save his friends trapped in the earthquake because it was his responsibility? Because he was a hall guard? That little boy is a symbol, not just for China, but for humanity. At every moment, we can choose to do the right thing. That's our only hope. Except that...our only hope was just appropriated by McCommunism.

Am I right?

I know you're busy--but I'd love to read even a few of your thoughts.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Katrina, the Tsunami, the Dust Bowl and how they relate from Chronicle Project on Vimeo.

Video of the week. Beautiful. Plant a tree.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Many Who Are Free


I'm a Buddhist.

Not just a part-time Buddhist, but a twenty-year Buddhist.

I'm a Buddhist because I grew up amongst Baptists, Jews, and Goddess-worshipers, and none of them spoke the language of my particular heart. I am a Buddhist because my parents, generously, gave me the freedom to find my own spiritual path.

I'm a Buddhist because for many years I was a seeker. And because I was a seeker, for some time, books were my religion, my life.

I read so many books! About the lives of women all over the world. About people fighting for freedom. About people making beauty under unspeakable conditions. I read Franz Fanon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, T.S. Eliot, Bessie Head, William Faulkner, Ayi Kwei Armah. I read Liberation Theology, French feminist theory...

I read about the artists I loved--Mark Rothko and Roy Decarava, Frida Kahlo and Seydou Keita, who took the photo above.

I read poetry, like June Jordan's The Things I Do In The Dark, and The Captain's Verses by Pablo Neruda, both of which changed my life forever.

And I also read a lot of books about Buddhism. The first was Peace is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk nominated for the Nobel prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dozens of others followed, from every Buddhist tradition, but that book was the beginning.

Buddhism's teachings on interdependence, compassion, and the cultivation of happiness rather than regret, were just what a mixed race, multi-everything girl needed to hear to feel whole. Buddhism said the fragmentation I felt was an illusion. My essential nature as a human being had never been broken, never been stained. My thoughts about myself were problematic.

But my thoughts could be changed.

There is more to say about this, but watching "Buddha's Warriors" on CNN last night, I couldn't help but think about CNN's "Black in America." There were no African-Americans in "Buddha's Warriors," and no Buddhists in "Black in America."

And yet there are many who have feet in both worlds, many who feel the idea of "two worlds" is, itself, an illusion.

Many who are free.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


All Rights Reserved 2007.