Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18: Luke Skywalker Action Figure, Alice Walker, "We Alone"

I love this poem by Alice Walker.  Love how it questions the idea of worth.

Human beings spend way too much time worrying about wealth.  I'm just as guilty as the next person.  I watch Antiques Roadshow and wonder whether my original Luke Skywalker action figure is worth $50,000.  (I have two of them.)  Unfortunately, most people define themselves by their "stuff."  Cars.  Houses.  Salary.  Job titles. 

People who can afford diamonds or gold or Corvettes or tickets to Hamilton are the ones we envy.  Because those things are rare, and anybody that has them must be blessed in some way.

Alice Walker turns that idea on its ear.  She calls for us to treasure the commonplace.  Maple leaves.  Seashells.  The detritus that ends up in the compost pile.  We are all blessed by these wonders.  Every day.

Saint Marty still isn't giving up on his Luke Skywalkers, though.  That's retirement, baby.

We Alone

by:  Alice Walker

We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.

Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what's scarce.

No comments:

Post a Comment