Letter to Paris

paristugofwar.jpgGod I wish I was there with the Shop Shopping Choir. We're out of money, so we will sing in New York, trying to harmonize with you across the dying Atlantic.

Your dance with police is heart-breaking and revealing. It is a gift to all of us out here who will carry on the Earth's work, the job of tornado-ing in the plazas.

The mind-leap that the politicians and police make - that any gathering in public space resembles the Other and must be called Extreme - this doesn't seem like France, but I am naive.

My lazy thinking has it that I myself would never be this way, but we all fall back into fear, don't we? We are the predator species, and we forget that we are made of the Earth. We are mammals made of soil and ocean-water, a column of water up on our hind legs.

That is what we are on both sides of the conflict. But one side has a club and no face. The other, you, you bring your vulnerable body as close to the action as you dare. You show your flesh to the public air and receive the bruise. You show a smile, you are hopping in place, and then running back to slow down a friend's arrest.

When we protest we make a storm in the street that the Earth's horizon watches with interest. The Earth is our leader and our teacher. We know that the Earth will win. She will heat up but she will survive the extinction that sweeps across her eco-systems. We know that the men in body-armor will join us ultimately as we fall to the ground like leaves in the autumn. At some point the cops too will feel the Earth in their bodies - that is what will persuade them not to work for nationalism descended from old wars.

The Earth fills us up and sends us into the fight with instructions in its singing molecules. She gives us power beyond policies, ego or courage.

When we watch you on the streets we feel a strange kind of gratitude - your bodies are like letters arranging in words against the page of the ground. You give us our new instructions!