We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For:
Inner Light In A Time Of Darkness. Meditations

Alice Walker

Have your work in the world, and have your children. Only one, please, out of respect for the weight we are to our Mother. But be aware that the other children of the world are your responsibility as well. You must learn to see them, to feel them, as yours. Until you do, there is no way you make your own children feel safe. p. 24

Susannah, however, also an angel or ghost, has learned an important lesson about how destructive is the need to be remembered, and is gleeful to watch her own body burn. p. 38

If [female genital mutilation] can happen to a hundred million women and girls alive today, across the globe, without protest, without comment, without any but the most isolated outrage, what did it mean to be a woman anywhere in the world, at this particular time on Earth? p. 40

And when someone thanks you for something, you thank them, because you realize it is only their acceptance of your gift that allows you to give. p. 46

After the end
And before the beginning
In time, too,
Let it alone, don”t try so hard.
This is God, too.
All of you is.

p. 52

I thought that life
With him
Had killed
The wild-haired girl
I knew.
But no.
There she is
There she goes.

p. 55

It is the woman who says: Stop. We have enough firewood and canoes, don”t cut down any more trees. Stop. We have enough meat; don”t kill any more animals. Stop. This war is stupid and using up too many of our resources. p. 60

It has been despairing to see the ease with which women, after over thirty years of Feminism, have chosen to erase their gender in language by calling each other, and themselves, “guys.” This is the kind of thing one can reflect on during a pause. Are we saying we”re content to be something most of us don”t respect? Conjure up an image of a guy. What attributes does it have? Is that really you? Is this a label you gave yourself?

What does being called “guys” do to young women? To little girls?

Isn”t the media responsible for making it cute to be a guy, as if that”s all the Women”s Movement was about, turning us into neutered men, into guys? For guys don”t have cojones, you know. They are men, but neutered, somehow. So if you”ve turned in your breasts and ovaries for guyness, you”ve really lot out. p. 60-1

And does this make you remember that when we were trying to get the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment, passed, which would have assured equal rights for women, suddenly the market and our television screens were flooded with a new dishwashing liquid called, you remember, ERA. A not-so-subtle message that equal rights for women was still associated mainly with the kitchen and a sink full of dirty dishes. And it must have been in the Sixties, when women were claiming their freedom to have a good time, that the dishwashing liquid magnates came up with a concoction called Joy. p. 61

This is the true wine of astonishment.

We are not
When we think
We are.

p. 68

Most of us believe emptiness is nothing, and we fear having nothing. Emptiness, however, is filled with possibility, filled with space. p. 73

The time of the lone wolf, Capitalism, for instance, is indeed over. I cannot possibly sustain itself without gobbling up the world. p. 77

[Who or what is Bretton Woods?] p. 115

I would certainly never consent to guide my own life by any religion that teaches the inferiority of women and the degradation of people of color. Or the acceptance that poverty is inevitable and husbands should control wives. That people should be stoned for any reason whatsoever. p. 117

And why is it considered evil and obscene in a patriarchal world? Because it is a remnant of the worship of the Mother, a gesture of gratitude and blessing, that European civilization has denied and tried to wipe out. p. 127

How is it possible, I wondered, that nine American presidents had failed to comprehend what I could plainly see? That they saw only the return of their previous ownership of Cuba as a desireable goal, and not the health and happiness of an honorable people? p. 132

The Gospel According To Shug

To bless means to help.

Helped are those who are enemies of their own racism: they live in harmony with the citizens of this world, and not with those of the world of their ancestors, which has passed away, and which they shall never see again.

Helped are those born from love; conceived in their father’s tenderness and their mother’s orgasm, for they shall be those — Numbers of whom will be called illegitimate — whose spirits shall know no boundaries, even between Heaven and Earth, and whose eyes shall reveal the spark of the love that was their own creations. They shall know joy equal to their suffering and they will lead multitudes into dancing and peace.

Helped are those too busy living to respond when they are wrongfully attacked: on their walks they shall find mysteries so intriguing as to distract them from every blow.

Helped are those who find something in Creation to admire each and every hour. Their days will overflow with beauty and the darkest dungeon will offer gifts. p. 134

Helped are those who receive only to give; always in their house will be the circular energy of generosity; and in their hearts a beginning of a new age on Earth: when no keys will be needed to unlock the heart and no locks will be needed on the doors.

Helped are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.

Helped are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city or farm; to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity.

Helped are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be as full as it is long.

Helped are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision.

Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall receive the thrill of their own conception, and realize a partnership in creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful. p. 135

Helped are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over the pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in their lively response to love, they will converse with trees.

Helped are those whose ever act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the live of an animal or a child.

Helped are those who risk themselves for other’s sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the world in which no one’s gift is despised or lost.

Helped are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or of war.

Helped are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world.

Helped are those who forgive their reward shall be forgetfulness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth. p. 136

Helped are those who are shown the existence of the Creator’s magic in the Universe; they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing.

Helped are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous.

Helped are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.

Helped are those who love the lesbian, the gay and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.

Helped are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them.

Helped are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion.

Helped are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another — plant, animal, river or human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid. p. 137

Helped are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass.

Helped are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differentness.

Helped are those who know. p. 138

Unfortunately, many or our leaders seem to view Florida’s Cuban conservatives, including the assassins and terrorists among them, as People Who Vote. p. 145

To be a revolutionary means, by definition, to be willing to sacrifice. One”s comfort, one”s joy, one”s health and life if necessary. p 149

It should not be necessary to destroy them to make their country safe for McDonald”s and Starbucks. p. 150

The Cuban love of education mirrors the passion with which African Americans have traditionally viewed knowledge and learning. My own parents, some of the poorest people in the United States, with almost no resources beyond their determination, built the first school for black children in my community. It was immediately burned to the ground by white landowners. Incredibly, they, like the Cubans, were not swayed from their course, but managed, somehow, to erect another school. p. 151

But even this behavior taught me something useful; that children learn best when they are warm, well-fed and suitably dressed, and when they are seen and loved; and that is what we must insist upon across the planet. p. 162

May you be happy
May you be well
May you be peaceful
May you know joy
May you also know
Your student
Of so long ago

p. 163

When he died by the gun, for many, many people, in the Movement and out of it, there was a feeling of release. We can”t do it, many felt; we can”t live as nonviolently as Martin Luther King Jr., did (and once again the white man – in the person of King”s assassin – has demonstrated why). p. 169

He was someone who, in a sense, was living, consciously, toward his death. p. 171

It is the writer”s duty, it seems to me, to question all establishment gods… p. 184

What will be the impact on coming generations if they are denied knowledge of evolution? If they are encouraged to ignore global warming? If no one teaches them were the goodies of the West come from? If leaders gloss over the widening enslavement of people of poor countries whose women and especially whose children are locked into foul, airless rooms for hours on end and forced to make cheap rugs and towels and clothing for a European and American market; women, children and men earning as little as seven cents a day? This is modern-day slavery, and we should call it what it is. p. 188-9

Listen to what people are shouting at their rallies and read what their banners proclaim in the street. Sit with their anger until you can see America through their eyes. p. 190

People who do not cry
Are victims
Of soul mutilation
Paid for in Marlboros
And trucks

p. 207

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image