> jumping into life.

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a lovely long walk through garrapata canyon yesterday with nika. we stopped at a clearing by the creek with a big log to sit on, and ate chips and black bean salsa, talking about the world.

we have done poorly by this country, robbing her of her beauty and taking so much for granted. on the train, we passed cornfield after cornfield, and absolutely endless monotony, all the same height, all the same green. i wanted to scream with it, wanted to burn them all. this is not my country's grace, i wrote, to be a suffocation of corn. we passed a feedlot during dinner the second day, and the old man across from me blithely continued with his steak and trite conversation while the man in at the next table cradled his head in his hands. i wanted to weep, and later i learned, so did he. we talked all the way to flagstaff, each joyful in the finding of another like mind.

"every generation thinks they'll change the world," he said.

"but the difference is that our generation will have no choice."

nika and i talked about the power of one voice, about our high school biology teacher who had posted, in giant letters across the front of the classroom, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED TO EVERYTHING ELSE. my third grade teacher who made us learn the names of all the wildflowers. parents who made it clear that turning off the lights when you leave the room is part of your basic responsibility as a human being. and the utter frustration of interacting with (not to mention living with) people who simply don't - don't turn off the lights, or the water, don't recycle, don't bother to throw their trash into a can and not on the ground. also the frustration of people who pay lip service to the actions but miss the point altogether. a ralph nader sticker on an SUV.

this is not my country's grace, to be buried in filth and ignorance.

also, i have become convinced that a new (or, in fact, very old) concept of the feminine is vital to our survival as a culture. while half the world is dominated by the other half, can we be surprised that the world itself is dominated as well? sharon butala says in the perfection of the morning, "I thought that if women are often petty and small-minded on occasion and bicker endlessly with one another in ways less characteristic of men, it might be because we have no dignity in our womanhood and never say to ourselves, I am a woman, as men say, I am a man, to remind themselves of the nobility and courage this image requires of them." well, I am a woman. look thee to these hips, they are mine. if my belly curves, it is because it shall bring forth life, in its time. my legs are strong and round and if my thighs move when i walk it is because i have lived a good life. my mind is not a man's mind, it is the mind of a woman. i think woman's thoughts, and they are sometimes thoughts of clothes and food and boys. all those things that women have had mastery over for thousands of years. i am a woman, and i bleed life. no man can bleed anything but pain and dying; i bleed life. and in my lifetime i may see the end of oil, of clean water, of redwoods, of freedom as we've been defining it for our two centuries and change.

goddammit. i'm just so tired of this world, and its rapid-fire bullshit, and its pain.