Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On Learning to Fly

Here's an interesting take on the history of black/white relations in the US from Ampersand at Alas! A Blog.

I think this cartoon makes a powerful statement about how the game is played these days. But its all about climbing over each other to get to some destination where the table has already been set by the guys in charge. I was reminded of all this by a comment keres made in a diary at Booman Tribune.Here's what she said:

And I would argue that to dismantle partriarchy you would need to dismantle society in it's totality, and start over. It's no good just letting women in as "pseudo men" to societal structures so long formed by and to men's wants and desires.

Our societies are not "OK", except for the sexism, racism, heterosexism, ablism, etc. Our societies are intrinsically those things - they cannot be removed without a complete revisioning of the social compact. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, in an apartriachal society would look, sound, or feel even remotely the same as to what we have now.

Thinking about all of this today took me back to a book I've had on my shelf for years. Its one of those things that I read a long time ago, and as I read it again this morning, the meaning went to a whole other level because of the things I've learned lately. The book is hope for the flowers by Trina Paulus. It is formatted like a children's picture book, but the message is aimed at all of us who are beginning to realize that there must be another way. Here's the publishers synopsis:

"Hope for the Flowers" is an inspiring allegory about the realization of one's true destiny as told through the lives of caterpillars Stripe and Yellow, who struggle to "climb to the top" before understanding that they are meant to fly.

In the story, Stripe and Yellow see all the other caterpillars climbing to get up to the top of the caterpillar pillar. So, reluctantly, they join in. First they learn that its hard to step on and over others if you've actually looked them in the eye or (heaven forbid) talked to them. Then they learn that at the top, there's actually nothing "there." As you can imagine, they finally realize that their destiny is to leave the climb, make themselves a cocoon, and become butterflies.

So as we continue to hear solutions to the "isms" of our day, let's evaluate whether they are simply tools for teaching "others" how to climb, or if what they are really talking about is learning how to fly. Here's Paulus' tag line on her book:

a tale - about life partly about revolution and lots about hope.


  1. I'm first, I'm first! :o)
    Now I get to return the favor you gave to me by reading and commenting at my place for so long. I'm glad too that you're posting music, maybe the best and purest way to express yourself :o)

    Good on you :o)

  2. Thanks for stopping in super.

    And good looking new digs for you too, huh? Gotcha on the blogroll.