(Awesome Reader Family members used to a steady diet of unread original works from the poet’s accumulated 4,000 pages will be seeing a few repeats go by now ~ it is a time during which she feels it important to be sending her central messages to her world)
Recorded Reading: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5sd7noizvchx09x/How%20the%20Dishes%20Got%20Done.mp3?dl=0
How the Dishes Got Done
These days, we have every kind of “New Age community” on offer to us, from cohousing to slave — ‘scuze me — learning farms and eco villages.
The poet has, in the last few years, researched a large number of these, some of which she then took the trouble to contact individually to get a feel for their general flavor, and to ask a few questions with an eye to anything among them resembling a category of quality in the Arts.
Or the Arts at all, fine or not.
Or old people.
Or young people.
Or people with both special gifts and handicaps…
Which ———— passssssssst —————- turns out to be every one of us…
… Well, let’s just say that if she’d actually discovered anything remotely workable she’d be there, right?
We’ve got to do a lot better than this, folks.
And the thing is — it’s not only possible, the poet herself has seen it done. Been part of it herself.
On more than one occasion.
(You can read or hear more about one of them by going to this site’s search bar and dialing in “Flour Power.” This post is an account of another.)
We don’t have to invent the wheel, here, folks.
All we have to do is…
You see — back in the days of this poet’s wild and sultry youth, we didn’t have all the scams — ah, options — on sale — (dear me, I did it again, didn’t I?) — um, listed above.
We had love families.
Had she not had the child to consider, make no mistake, she would have — as indeed it was offered — joined this family whose worthiness she is here describing to you.
Now, at the time in her life being described, the poet was pretty much seeking a place to settle down for ten or twenty years in order to do the best possible job of raising her then one-year old daughter.
It was not that they didn’t do a superb job of raising their own children — quite the opposite.
But this was forty years ago.
And the first babies of that family were becoming adolescents.
Now — if we allow ourselves the luxury of consulting such ethnographic luminaries as Margaret Mead, Gary Schneider, Reul Mugo Gatheru and Branislaw Malinowski, we find there have been plenty of cultures on our home planet in which adolescence was not only generally free of trauma but actually, in the most significant ways, a rather delightful time of life.
Among ourselves, or — at least, it is to be hoped we might say, “among ourselves so far (but not much further)” — we know adolescence to be, on a routine basis, quite a different kind of experience.
As a species, even as a leading culture of the species, we just weren’t quite ready, forty years ago, to become adult.
You know — to stop bashing one another over the head with our little pails and shovels in the sandbox? Like that.
But now we flat out have to.
That’s all there is to it.
We’re jus’ up ‘n out a’ time.
Folks, it’s just nach’l.
Ain’t no other way to put it.
I mean — ever watch the drag ‘em down, life ‘ r death struggles it is to get baby birds to leap off them lifelong nest-edges an’ fly?
Well, y’should, some time.
I’m not sayin’ kick all our kids out.
Where’s your haid? Tryin’ ta help some, here, that okay wid you?
No, quite diff’rently — I’m saying that’s what’s happ’ning to all of us. To the human race.
— We gotta lighten up an’ fly!
‘N this be that time, that’s all. That’s the way I see it.
But, back then, I could see, too, that letting those little star-children off the family lot before all the rest of us quit foolin’ around an’ decide ta join the human race was going to be about like sending Pinocchio down that ol’ rose trellis and off into the wide, wild world, but about times a few dozen of ‘em. I didn’t want mine to end up being one.
So I couldn’t stay.
But I sure did want to.
It was like moving through a little bit of the future. What we’d call the near future, now.
And before you start up about lazy hippies — this family owned a number of houses in that happy little neighborhood, free and clear of encumbrance.
They also educated their own children — and a bunch of happier, brighter, cleaner, rosy-cheeked smiling wee ones you never saw.
They fed their people — and sent trainloads of food to India with the leftovers!
We’re not talking foolin’ around, here, okay?
Everything, and I mean everything, necessary to good community ordering and governance was seen to.
Their buildings were kept clean and beautiful — some of them decorated with awesome art or woodwork by a member whose genius had been so obvious to every-clear-body that they jus’ stepped on back an’ let ‘em to it.
There were lots of extra cozy corners for people passing through to sleep in.
The women wore the most beautiful clothing — velvets and cottons, all embroidered, sometimes with little mirrors sewn in. And they smiled when they saw each other coming, rather than arming themselves for cutthroat competition.
Well, this poet doesn’t have to imagine it.
She was there.
There was no theft — there was so much extra of everything. Piles of colorful clothes, pyramids of food, the most beautiful meditation rooms. Crystals. Music.
Habitually smiling (clean) (coherent) people.
Now — in order to provide a crystallization — a microcosm, as it were — of the general method by which all of this abundance was made manifest, we’ll think of the job that absolutely everybody hates the most (and so, among ourselves, has been overwhelmingly often assigned to the women, children and people of color. Of course.):
So here’s how that went, okay?
Having enjoyed one of the yummiest dinners of her life, featuring as it did yams from their gardens, honey from their hives and nuts gathered from one of their trees — this poet noticed that four or five of the people present, eying one another playfully, began attempting to sidle past each other, as it were, from different parts of the room toward a point in one wall which turned out, on closer examination, to be the dishwashing station.
Smirking victoriously, the first arrival dramatically swept up the wash rag as two more did toe feints at each other nearby, while yet a third dodged around them both for the drying towel.
The victor of the toe-feint war then began receiving each dried dish from the dodgy towel-reacher, and putting it away.
… Leaving the fourth ~ loser of that competition ~ with nothing whatsoever to do but to jam his hands in both pockets and put some seriously humorous verbal imagery into giving the one upfront with the dishrag a hard time.
Backup for toe-feint-loser-man was already on the way as dishrag man (having actually had time to wash about six or eight dishes) was at last prevailed upon by all present to get his butt out of the way — whereupon towel man handed off to putter-away-woman and moved up to the wet station, while the formerly putter-away, but now towel-wielding, woman began passing newly dried dishes to a much happier toe-feint war loser ~ who found himself under considerable pressure from the three individuals already backed up behind him with nothing to do but….
And so, the flow…
Let me hear it again.
Ahhhh. Thanks. ‘Preciate it.
Well, the flow went just like that, or maybe a li’l faster even toward the end of the whole entire ten or fifteen minutes it took to clean up after all thirty of us, pots, burners an’ all.
I wouldn’t lie to ye.
That’s how the dishes got done.
This poet is physically disabled. Public housing being insufficient to her medical and creative needs, she is presently living, in order to continue working, in her minivan, publishing all of her works using one thumb on the touch screen of her smartphone at an income of a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. She would treasure any donation you might care to offer ~ http://www.UgiftABLE.com ● #72D-31S
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