Am I nothing more than a flower child raised naked in the garden of eden as my parents angelically saw me in a pot-haze? Or am I something solid against the noise of earth with clothes on and a voice? I don’t know. I see the pictures, the halo of daisy chains and bare baby limbs frolicking across an impossible green Berkeley lawn, but I can’t connect the dots to the present.
In spite of this I keep returning to the soil. Again and again it’s what confirms my humanity.
Maybe it’s ridiculous that I save the wasps that collect inside my window. Maybe it’s ridiculous that I don’t eat meat, something that started as the way I was raised and became the alliance I have with myself and nature. Maybe it’s naive to try so hard to keep the flame of peace lit against all hope, against all probability. Maybe all the tiny numbers don’t count. Maybe each of us is less than n0thing in the big scope of things.
I don’t know.
I have nine yellow jackets sleeping in three huddled groups in my windowsill. I feel as though I’ve tucked them in for the night. I won’t kill them. Not even if they sting me. I’m not saying I haven’t killed some. I killed one last week and in the skirmish I sunk a staple all the way into my finger. Instant karma.
I don’t care if you can’t see why I should save them. Maybe you just haven’t had a conversation with them yet. Maybe you’re allergic to their stings, enough to make anyone intolerant. What I do I do because it’s what right between me and the planet.
I tucked nine wasps in for the night and tomorrow I will gather them up and shove them back onto the breeze that brought them to me. I am not angry for the sting of the wasp. I am not angry for the bite of the snake. I am not hateful for the scratches of the feral cat. I can live at peace with these things.
What of the feral bite of the human?
Bring me your faith, your color, your gender, your affiliation, your political party, your sexual orientation. Bring it and I will find a way not t0 kill you. Not to hate you. Not to oppress you. You, no matter your allegiance, you are not that different than me. Not that different from everything I love.
Even if I want to call you an ass. I am also an ass.
What we all want is hope. Maybe our ideals are different and our dreams are different colors. But we want love. We want safety for our children. We want prosperity. No one on earth doesn’t wish for that. Not if they’re being honest.
I have become the keeper of the wasps.
It’s a queer honor I accept without reservations.
They sleep and tell me I should sleep too.
I am you. You are me. We are mirrors.
You must sleep now.
Dream of peace.