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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Saturday, June 26, 2004

'New' policy...right

Entering Nevada, I find the biodiesel station I intended to fill up at has closed – tears! So now I’m forced to load up on stinky, horrid diesel. The clerk makes me come into the station to give her cash – s.o.p. (standard operating procedure) NOT!  Usually, over the intercom, they ask my biz name (Its Her Business), truck number (#1); license number and state (sunny California). I go in and ask her how come she’s making me come in.
She smoothly declares “New policy.”
I retort: “Oh? Since when?”
“Some time now.” she snidely responds.
Our matching fake smiles broaden even more, I issue my rejoiner: “Like since I drove in?”
“Oh no!” she denies loudly, glancing behind me at the growing line.
I don’t believe her but I hand her my money anyway. I could go to the next station but I’ve been traveling on fumes wanting to make it to biodiesel. Several truck drivers come up to me, mostly men of color, and express their approval of my signs, their disgust with bush, their eagerness to vote in the election.
The rest of Nevada is very quiet – only 4 yeahs, two from other truckers but the amazing thing is NO fuck yous!!! Not even a thumbs down!
The two covenant “it’s not a choice, it’s a baby” truckers pass silently, even after I flash my “It’s not a choice, it’s a RIGHT!” sign back at them!

Slash my wrists...

I stop in Reno at for an espresso. I’m learning that I can most always count on espresso shop employees to be supportive and this one doesn’t fail me. Both the manager and the associate talk about seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 while loudly declaring their deepest desire to rid our nation and the world of bush.
Out in the parking lot, a womon has driven into the lot pulled next to my truck – she is on her cell phone, circling the truck and reading to someone every last word I have painted along with all my bumper stickers. I wave and approach her.
“I spotted this glorious truck from the highway. I love love love it!” she effuses dramatically. “Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11 yet?”
 As we talk, she expresses her angst over the war, bush, the horrendous damage to our land, our young people and our world he has done. She asks me if I’ve seen the videos of Iraq and the prisoners. I realize immediately she is referencing the u.s. soldiers’ inhuman atrocities committed under the pretext of war at Abu Ghraib.
Her voice falters as I slowly shake my head and tell her I’ve only heard, I haven’t looked. She speaks of viewing some of the tapes and her utter despair. And of thinking the only thing she can do is slit her wrists.
As she talks, I can only hear that sentence striking my heart. She is crying, the horror spilling from her, speaking the unspeakable that I close my ears to: footage of american soldiers raping young girls and boys in front of their mothers. I slam shut the vision of those images, saying I’m aware they were put up on the internet but I didn’t look.
We speak our horror, our disbelief and then I feel driven to speak with her about her despair.
“Lilith, you must not slash your wrists,” I pronounce firmly. “Yes, it is so very vile and vicious and unfathomable. But you must know that when you start feeling that way – the deep despair, the unimaginable angst, the overwhelming shame and powerlessness – you must realize you are falling under the spell of those in power. They WANT us to feel despair and  powerless; they want us to take all our righteous feelings of rage and hurt and shock, and turn that into wounding ourselves or each other! Anything to keep us from directing our rage onto them.”
I can see the understanding light her eyes and transform her tears of helplessness into tears of determination. Later, my heart still heavy, I think I should have taken a moment to mourn with Lilith those victims and survivors of such unspeakable violence and to cast a circle of healing for us all, for the pain and despair are still there too. I let her know that I’m leaving California with over 37 yeahs and only 1 fuck you.
She tells me seeing the truck, speaking with me has given her hope and re-energized her. She promises she will work to get out the vote, to rid ourselves of bush, visions of slit wrists no longer dominating our landscape.